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* Posts by jon

33 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

Nokia E63 smartphone to separate work, play

jon
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Separating work & personal - great idea

Love the concept...

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Rebel Nominet director calls for the heads of Chairman and CEO

jon
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Nominet is a fundamentally conflicted organisation itself

It acts as:

- industry regulator

- registry

- registrar

These functions are inherently conflicted and the company should be broken up accordingly.

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Europe takes aim at BBC licence fee

jon
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Archaic system

The manner in which the TV tax is collected is archaic, massively inefficient and inherently regressive. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of pounds every year hassling the population with threatening letters, and other aggressive tactics, why not just add a new line item onto income tax? It could be added as a flat fee, as it is now, or as a tiny percentage. Either way, the cost savings in collecting the tax would likely be north of 90% of the current cost and because noone would notice it, you'd avoid a lot of the entrenched opposition that the BBC now enjoys. Anyone without a TV, should be treated as an exception, and could apply for a rebate.

You could then reduce the amount of the tax while increasing the amount available to public broadcasters - yes, channel 4 should get some of the gravy too.

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Is the internet going down down under?

jon
Stop

No chance

There is no way this will ever get implemented. Apart from the technical insanity of the whole idea, it will be laughed out of the High Court. It may in fact give the court another opportunity to establish an implied right to free speech in the constitution.

That said, Stephen Conroy should be publicly whipped for his monumental stupidity in even suggesting this nonsense.

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MPs decry Heathrow T5 fiasco

jon
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At least it works now

FWIW I had a very positive experience at T5 two weekends ago, including getting through security in under 5 minutes at 6.20pm on a friday night, which was just as well as my flight was at 7pm.

Mind you, I didn't check my bag, but that, of course, is the secret to minimising the pain of flying...

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Mandelson's dept mulls UK internet power grab

jon
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Nominet needs to be split up

It currently performs three, inherently conflicted, functions:

- it is the industry regulator

- it is the registry operator

- it is also a registrar

I have no problem with Nominet acting as regulator, though it should look to widen it's membership.

It should tender out the operation of the registry on a commercial basis, and should enforce technical and commercial accreditation processes on registrars to ensure that minimum standards are maintained.

It should stop being a registrar.

The role of the government in all this should be to authorise Nominet as the self-regulator.

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Dell readies small, cheap computer for small biz

jon
Linux

More like four weeks

"Speaking of the Mini 9, while Dell did begin offering the cheaper, Linux version of the SCC earlier this month, readers report it's still taking the company around two weeks to ship orders. To be fair, the company warns buyers of the XP model that they face the same waiting period for their machines too."

I ordered mine on the 29th September - the first day they started taking orders on the Dell UK website for the Linux version. My initial estimated delivery date was the 17th October, but this was pushed out to the 28th October. When that happened I cancelled the order and have been very happily using my Asus EEE 901 Linux with the bigger battery for a whole week and a half now...

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Dell: 'We will out-pace the rest of the industry'

jon
Stop

out-pace?

well i gave up waiting for my new laptop after three weeks and bought the Asus instead.

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Google UK honours Queen Liz 2.0

jon
Coat

@Jonathan Richards - she's also Queen of Australia

by virtue of an act of the Australian parliament...

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Autopilot blamed for Qantas plunge

jon
Coat

poor old qantas

they really can't do anything right at the moment...i wonder if they're showing Rain Man on their flights again...

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3 threatens, T-Mobile shoots on late payments

jon
Stop

I don't like DD either

I rang Three the other day as I wanted to start paying with my credit card instead of DD, primarily as I'm going to be out of the country and don't want to keep money sitting in my current account. I was informed that while I could make a credit card payment at any time, they'd still take the full amount of the bill out by DD even if it had already been paid in full. WTF???

So, I asked if I could cancel the DD. I can do that but will incur an additional £4 per month charge for the privilege.

Their solution was for me to cancel the DD, make the payment, then reinstate the DD. What a load of crap. Why do they care whether I pay by DD or CC?

W@nkers.

Also, nearly every company I've ever had a DD arrangement with has screwed me over at some point. It may well be guaranteed and, in theory, you can get your money back quickly. In reality, it's a right pain in the arse and always takes multiple phone calls and weeks to achieve that.

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UK launches major road signage review

jon
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Speed limits?

How about putting some speed limit signs on motorways? I've lived in this country for seven years and I still don't know what the speed limit is...

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Virgin Media ADSL punters suffer 2-day email meltdown

jon
Stop

Free email is a false economy

Get your own domain name and host it with a quality provider. Then you never need to suffer this sort of muppetry again.

I recommend the Zimbra service from Simply Mail Solutions: www.simplyms.com - excellent Ajax web interface and there hasn't been a single outage that I'm aware of in the two years I've been using them. All of that, including a more than adequate 1GB mailbox for a tiny £3.50 a month.

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Electoral Commission criticises London e-counting

jon
IT Angle

Paper & pencil - the only way

Repeat after me: "Technology is not always the answer"

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Dr. Strangevote saves mankind with Luddite voting recipe

jon
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Electronic voting is a dangerous solution in search of a problem that does not exist

Paper and pencil is all that is required. So what if it takes a few hours to count the votes? Getting elections right is so important that I think we can justify taking a little time doing it.

Reminds me of that myth about the space pen that NASA spent millions on while the Russians simply used a pencil...

Could we have a Knight Rider icon for problems "that do not exist"?

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Gmail certificate expiry snafu follows security upgrade

jon
Stop

Why aren't Google issuing their own certificates?

They couldn't do a worse job than the Veri$ign monopoly (which includes Thawte and Geotrust).

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Acer Aspire One: the new sub-laptop to beat?

jon

bigger battery

Any news on when/how/how much the larger battery will be available?

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eBay Australia faces PayPal fury

jon

@ John Angelico

eBay would get past the legal tender issue because they were going to allow COD (Cash On Delivery) as the solitary alternative to Paypal.

The issue relates more to restraint on trade and abuse of monopoly power/unfair competition, something that the ACCC has quite a bit of power to deal with already. The Rudd government has made it clear that it intends to give it even more power in this area.

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jon
Coat

@ Will

Um, what?

The ACCC does have the ability to enforce decisions on eBay's operations in Australia. They are in fact the very agency that has the statutory authority to enforce the "fair trading law" (aka the Trade Practices Act, 1974) to which you refer.

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Observers criticise London e-count

jon
IT Angle

Paper and pencil is the only way

Technology is not always the answer.

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San Franciscans prep monument to US prez

jon
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Finally! a citizen-initiated proposition worth voting for...

and it will be such a fitting counter point to that other sewage treatment facility that they named after his dad: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deepsignal/379963514/

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DVLA, Tiscali, Barclays rake in phoneline cash

jon
Stop

Mobile scam

Mobile companies tend to charge the same rate for any number starting in 08. That's right, the same for 0870 as for 0800. How they're allowed to do that is beyond me.

I'm with Three and recently queried this with them. They informed me that "some 0800 numbers were free". I asked them to provide me with a list of those numbers. They referred me to a website which used to list some numbers but doesn't do any longer. After a few more weeks of hassle, they eventually dug out the list and sent it to me. Not that it matters as I now refuse to call anything starting in 08 from my phone (the saynoto0870.com website is one of my top 3 bookmarks now).

And Three (at 15p/minute) are, I believe, a lot cheaper than most of the other mobile networks.

I don't have a landline, because it's the 21st century (oh and BT wanted £125 to turn it on), so the sooner large organisations start switching to 03 numbers, the better.

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Supermarket goes hi-tech to stop kids buying booze and cigs

jon
Stop

Talk about a solution in search of a problem.

Why not just ask them for ID? No ID, no sale. Pretty simple stuff really.

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What did happen to all those London mayoral votes?

jon
Stop

Paper, pencils and cardboard is the only way

Paper ballots, pencils and cardboard ballot boxes with tamper-proof seals have worked exceptionally well in every Australian election that I've observed.

Here's a few other tips the UK might also want to consider:

- hold your elections on SATURDAYS, when most people aren't at work. Then you can close the polls at 6pm and get a result before midnight

- give people the flexibility to vote at multiple locations, at least within their borough/region

- make voting compulsory

- replace first past the post with preferential voting

- elect your upper house (it is the 21st century, for f***ks sake)

Then perhaps you could look forward to turnout rates comparable to the 94.76% achieved at the last Australian Federal Election in November 2007 and governments that can actually claim a degree of legitimacy as they're elected with the approval (or at least grudging acquiescence) of at least 47% of the electorate. Add on an upper house elected on a different basis that (most of the time) the government does not control, and you've got a pretty democratic system with some good checks and balances.

Compare that with the 21% of the electorate that voted for Labour at the 2005 British general election and the 0% that voted for anyone in the House of Lords and you get a feel for just how undemocratic this country really is.

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eBay kills live auctions

jon
Go

@ Gail - yep and the ACCC is already on the case

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/Free-Articles/The-Briefing/20080417-RBA-to-weigh-in-on-eBay-case-at-ACCC.html

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Yahoo! to post Google ads on Yahoo!

jon
Flame

Yahoo have lost me

I was until very recently a strong supporter of Yahoo and have been a heavy user of many of their services.

That was until I discovered that they had deleted all my photos from their Yahoo Photos site, without warning.

I would have gladly transferred them all over to Flickr, in fact I enquired mid last year about doing just that and was told that it wasn't possible at the time. Fast forward a few very busy months and I discover, having just bought a fancy new camera and ready to become an active photographer again, that Yahoo Photos is closed and all my photos are gone.

I have had an active Yahoo account for over a decade and have always kept my email address details up to date with them. I also have an active Flickr account. Yet I received no notification whatsoever about the shutdown of Yahoo Photos.

I'm sorry but that's just not good enough. I was worried about what to do if/when Micro$oft took over, but Yahoo have made the decision for me. I won't be using their services ever again and will now watch their demise with proactive disinterest.

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El Reg reconstructs Heathrow T5 chaos

jon
Happy

Genius

I'm sending this to all my friends...well both of them, actually.

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Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe

jon
Happy

it's articles like this that keep me coming back to El Reg, everyday...

keep up the great work!

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Wider London c-charge mooted as road pricing bounces back

jon
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Go Ken!

There's a lot I don't like about Ken, but his political courage in leading the world in this area is to be congratulated and encouraged at all costs.

Cars are bad, m'kay!

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Phorm launches data pimping fight back

jon
Stop

comparisons with Google are disingenuous

It is disingenuous to compare this Phorm system with Google and to claim that they're better than Google because they don't store data (which is a barely credible claim anyway).

The difference is quite simple: no one is forcing anyong to use Google's service, and those that do, as pointed out in the interview, are receiving A SERVICE. This Phorm system will INTERCEPT your browsing regardless of whether you're opted-out or not.

Thankfully, I shall be leaving this country soon and hopefully Virgin Media won't manage to implement this precursor of Skynet before then...

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Network Solutions sued for price fixing

jon
Black Helicopters

ICANN has already moved to stop this activity

ICANN has already decided that its per domain fee (which ATM amounts to about US$0.20 per name) will apply for all newly-registered domain names, regardless of whether they are deleted within the Add Grace Period. At present, a domain deleted within the AGP is refunded both Verisign's registry charge (US$6.70) and the ICANN fee.

This means the cost of doing what NetSol are doing will increase massively, from zero to thousands of dollars a day. It will have the same effect on the bottom-feeders that engage in domain tasting and domain kiting.

It's about the first time that ICANN have done something of real value to anyone.

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Legal attack dogs chase software pirates from eBay

jon
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@Anonymous Coward

And guess who owns gumtree.com...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/19/ebay_gumtree/

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Network Solutions games net domain biz

jon

@Donn Bly - ICANN did just that (eventually)

Network Solutions was sold off by Verisign in late 2003 because ICANN (eventually) forced them to choose between running the .com registry and being a registrar. Being relatively sane people, they chose the .com registry which as a business is pretty close to a licence to print money.

There are no gTLD registries at this point which also own/control registrars, although some registries are at least part-owned by registrars. Afilias (.info), for example, is owned by a consortium of registrars and Neulevel (.biz) was for a while 10% owned by Melbourne IT.

That said, I agree that Network Solutions have a long history of anti-customer behaviour. Personally, I hope this issue becomes an enormous own goal for them as it's no more than they deserve. Many top global companies continue to use NSI for their primary .com domain, regardless of who they're actually paying to manage their names. I can't see that continuing any longer...

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