* Posts by Edwin

411 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

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Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Edwin

We're all buggered

Android, IOS and Winpho all track everything we do, so it doesn't look like you can escape easily. Maybe Blackberry, but I don't know the handsets.

Agree that MS is getting uncomfortably invasive (stop that sniggering in the back!) now that Win8.1 is trying to get me to spew my personal details all over the desktop.

That said, I like the way WinPho sandboxes certain types of content and apps, and there's a couple of other features (family rooms!) that I find immensely useful. Android makes me paranoid when I see what kind of crap my kids can easily install, and IOS is just as walled garden as WinPho, albeit at twice the price.

My 930 will keep me happy for the next year or two, but I have *no* idea what'll come after that...

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Behold the Lumia 535 NOTkia: Microsoft wipes Nokia brand from mobes

Edwin

Re: Flagship?

but does it bend?

(my 930 doesn't)

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

Edwin

Re: 7110?

The huge screen was one thing I really liked about the 7110 - perfect for the carkit!

I never had a spring on the mic slider break, but the catch on the end occassionally failed, causing the cover to fly through the room when you tried to answer the phone. Aside from being mildly humorous, it also meant you could only hear (not talk) until you'd clicked it back on since it also housed the mic.

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Edwin

Re: Your 9110 is a 9210

I'm pretty sure there were terminal emulators for the 9210 (and later models) but on the 9110 you could actually get a native DOS prompt. I seem to remember you couldn't do very much with it, but the point was that you *could* get right into the bowels of the OS, which was unique. I think it involved hacking some of the configuration files to the device booted to a prompt rather than GUI.

Pointless, but cool.

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Edwin

Your 9110 is a 9210

Bounce was the game showcasing the 9210s colour screen - the 9110 ran GEOS and didn't have the colour screen. I had both, and while the 9210 was better, the 9110 had much more geek appeal for the ability to launch a DOS prompt.

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GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Edwin

I can see how this happened...

These sorts of contracts are not as uncommon as we'd like. The sexiness of having Apple (or some other A-list brand) as a major customer is extremely seductive to many 'executives'. Not only because it's great advertising, but the bolstering of the supplier's individual executive ego.

What's perhaps more surprising is the audacity of setting up production to compete with your customers. That's never a good idea, and doing it in such a high-risk method is either incredibly stupid, incredibly cocky or - probably in this case - both.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

Edwin

Pricey?

Absolutely, but if waterproofness isn't a must, an Aura HD (like the H2O, just not waterproof) can be found online quite affordably (though generally only on the western side of the pond). Love the HD - it makes my previous Sonys look pretty dismal, to say nothing of the BeBook Neo I have in the closet as a 'spare'.

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Let down by a lousy UberX driver? They probably skipped the 'optional $65 customer service training course'

Edwin

Re: Just one question...

I suspect it's because the taxis vs. minicabs distinction does not exist in most countries - AFAIK, only the UK has this fine line.

Coming back to an earlier question about waiving rights: no, in many countries, you can't. The famous 'the management of this establishment...' signs pertaining to e.g. wardrobes are a good example.

If you make use of a service in good faith (call a cab, hang up your coat), you have a right to expect that the company you are dealing with (restaurant, Uber) has made reasonable efforts to ensure the service is as expected. I suspect 'a background check' and 'vehicle inspection' would be borderline acceptable in many countries, and look forward to the first civil cases in Europe.

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Edwin

Yes and no...

Best buy should be delighted. More cables and adapters for them to sell - no sooner had I bought a displayport adapter for my DVI KVM switch than I got a laptop with a mini-DP socket, requiring another adapter. Coupled with the HDMI adapter I already had, I can now wait to buy a USB C adapter. Should be good business.

However much I may hate BB though, I have tried cheap and less cheap USB cables, and the super-thin, super cheap versions are much less reliable than the nice thick hefty ones.

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iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012

Edwin

Re: NFC was never just payments

The pairing feature is quite nice, but the 'tap to share' NFC feature on the Lumias is something I use almost daily. Want to share a contact card, photo or web page with someone? Hit 'share', 'tap to share' and tap the two phones together and you're sorted. No hunting for active bluetooth profiles, typing emails or anything like that.

I think there are loads of use cases for NFC. What nobody else has managed so far is to make the payment process work. Apple's ecosystem may change that, and that's what the real news is IMHO.

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

Edwin
WTF?

Re: "...haven't you seen what the iPhone 6 costs?"

Well, yes - the US price incl. VAT may be comparable to the UK price ex. VAT, but then you're not comparing apples to apples.

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Ye Bug List

Edwin

WinPho app (red-faced vulture bug)

I told myself I wouldn't be a pedant, but when I saw it today, I couldn't help it anymore:

If the WinPhone app is unable to load an article it informs me that it's unable to 'retreive' the content.

The fact that it throws up an error message from time to time is one thing, but could you please, please, please fix the typo? "i" before "e" and all that.

Much obliged.

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Synology and the NAS-ty malware-flingers: What can be learned

Edwin

According to Synology...

The vulnerability that is being exploited was patched in December 2013.

http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=88770

Admittedly, it's "based on their current observations" but does suggest that this is an old vulnerability - there have been numerous patches and updates since then, so it would appear that these are old and unpatched systems.

While I'm appalled at the fact that I've not had an email notification from Synology, I think this article is a little harsh: it would appear to me that Synology has done fairly well in terms of patching and updates. The newer DSM versions are also fairly proactive about emailing me when updates are available.

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

Edwin

Re: It was the threat of a sarcastic comment...

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

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Curriculum Vitae - must rage

Edwin

Old thread but...

Excellent post!

Some further comments:

TAKE YOUR TIME! If the ad appeared today, tune your CV to the ad and write a cover letter. Then review it carefully tomorrow. The day after, reread the ad and look for key terms. Are they covered in your cover letter? If not, tune some more. If there's a deadline of e.g. two weeks, take ten days to get your ad in. If well written, the person on the other end will know that you put effort into your application and take the process seriously.

There is no silver bullet. There is always the chance (sometimes a very good one) that the wrong person will read your CV. Think they're asking for the wrong qualifications? It may not matter - if an overworked/disinterested HR drone is first to sift through the CVs, there's a good chance they will compare your CV to the list of qualifications and bin it anyway. No matter how good your argumentation (or supplementary qualification) is. The important thing is to stick with it and NEVER let the quality of your applications slip.

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Who DOESN'T want to play world's tallest game of Tetris – all 437ft of it

Edwin

Others have...

Yes... but Electrical Engineering students at the Delft University of Technology were probably the first in 1995 - long before MIT. There's some TV coverage (in Dutch) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwNQqePk8Kg

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Comprehensive security in the home

Edwin

Final rollup

Hi all,

After a lot of consideration, I've gone and sprung for the Bitdefender comprehensive license rather than one of the other packages. In addition, I'll be setting up a proxy on the Synology NAS at home to add an extra layer of protection.

Why Bitdefender?

- Nice licensing model: one fee, infinite devices

- Seemingly robust protection (e.g. no worse than anyone else)

- Online client management

- Unspeakably scrupulously honest

A few words on the last two:

The online dashboard is quite clever, though I think it could be clever-er.

With Parental controls installed, you create a profile for each child and group all their devices (or in the case of Windows, their usernames on each PC) under that one profile. Set up the various controls (when allowed online, which sites permitted) and you're off. The defaults are pretty strict but a good place to start. I've tuned them a bit and the kids are not complaining.

Things I'm missing are limiting online time (duration, rather than time slots) and the ability to check the status of a client (last updated) or even enable/disable features (BitDefender Wallet: I'm looking at you).

Features I think are a bit over-the-top: the detailed reports of what the kids are doing (applications run and sites visited). But if you're a paranoid parent, you'll probably appreciate those.

Other features (client protection and Android theft protection) not tested.

On the unspeakably scrupulous honesty:

The privacy assessment of android apps is quite clever - apps are evaluated and the device is given an overall score. The wife and kids spent an afternoon competing with each other, trying to get the best score without sacrificing anything "important". Also very clever is the ability to share the risks of an application with friends. Which brings us to Honesty: The Bitdefender Android Security application correctly identifies the Bitdefender Parental Control application as a major security risk (which it is, of course, since it captures user data). One of the kids massively enjoyed sending me security risk reports to this effect and demanding the app be uninstalled (no).

My thanks to you all for your input!

Regards,

Edwin

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Edwin
Happy

Rollup on the first set of comments

First, my thanks to El Reg for bumping this topic. I owe you a drink! Also thanks to all the helpful responses. I feel some pride in having started a thread with a troll:helpful post ratio of substantially less than 1.

Second, to all the suggestions that I should change my home setup to Linux, Mac, OS/2, or CP/M: Trolls aside, I think you're missing the point. The vast majority of people looking for a comprehensive solution will be working cross-platform, unless you're running Chromebooks and Nexii only. And yes, I have sufficient *nix cred to run Linux (I even have my first Slackware distro on 60 floppies lying around for nostalgic purposes), but at the end of the day I'm only 1 out of 4 users in the house. Even if I were to change (hardware costs aside), I'd still want some sort of protection against virii, phishing and various types of mal- or grayware. There would be a lot of new shiny toys, but the problem would persist.

OK, on to the topic at hand - some comments:

Cost: As I said, it wasn't only about cost. As some have pointed out, my prices didn't match with 'shopping around'. They were based on what the vendor was offering in their own webshop and in the end, they weren't *that* different. I'm in Europe, but since the first quick round of websites put me in dollar land, I stuck with USD. Anyway, yes, cost is a consideration. Otherwise I'd have plumped for an enterprise-grade solution.

Multiple vendors: I must confess to quite liking the idea, and may have a go with it. I feel my data risk is fairly low: all the data at home lives on a NAS which has a weekly offline backup. I guess here my expectation is a bit different from Joe User since he's probably not as paranoid as I am. Second, this is slightly at odds with my laziness: what I want is a comprehensive licensing model: I want my 'home' covered, so that if one of the kids buys a new tablet, or we install an extra PC or whatever, I don't have to worry about it: just install the application and it's covered. Still, a second line of defense on the main PC is probably worthwhile (any other PC only takes me an hour or two to wipe and reinstall).

Routing: my FritzBox already provides a certain degree of protection on the network, but the idea of a separate proxy server is something I'll have a go at. Synology is pretty hackable, and I've seen some tips on getting it up and running as a proxy server.

On the clients: my shortlist is currently Norton and Bitdefender. I've always had a soft spot for Norton, though the performance impact used to be horrific (and one of the home PCs is a lowly Thinkpad T60p) and online research suggests they haven't quite solved this yet. The lack of a true many device license is also a pain point.

Bitdefender gets good reviews, though there appear to be some installation niggles about disabling parts of their software. OTOH, the "every single device for 5 family members" and "parental controls" are very tempting, particularly since you can apparently manage the parental controls via a portal.

I'll try to get things sorted over the next week and report back. Meanwhile, further comments welcome!

E-

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Edwin

Comprehensive security in the home

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some suggestions, because I'm rapidly losing my mind in the minefield that is security software, particularly when it comes to licensing many devices... The internet has become useless for this sort of research, I find: 90% of search result hits are resellers trying to sell me software rather than a comprehensive comparative review.

Let me sketch it out:

I'm looking for a software solution to manage security on the family digital devices (me, wife, kids of 9 and 12). Between the four of us, we have three Windows 7 PCs, three Android tablets and four Lumia phones.

The software in question must:

- provide good antivirus and general protection for the PCs for all platforms

- provide good malware protection for the tablets

- provide an overview of which android apps pose privacy risks

- be free of ads and whatnot (which is why I'm abandoning Avast)

Nice-to-haves:

- parental controls (restrict what the kids can install on their tablets)

- have some intention of covering WinPho in the future

- whatever system optimisation and other features they care to add

So far, I'm looking at Symantec, Bitdefender, Webroot and Kaspersky. They all seem to offer more or less the same features, though licensing is a nightmare: almost everyone will cover *5* devices, but not *6* (or, if we include the handsets, 10).

WinPho doesn't seem to be covered by anyone, though Webroot indicated they have been contemplating it, which puts my costs for one year (in USD, since that's what the websites are offering at first glance) at:

Symantec: $100. They offer Norton 360 licenses up to 5 devices, so I would need to buy one extra mobile security license. The customer service agent I chatted with suggested Norton One instead of the Norton360 family pack, because you can 'add seats'. Great idea, except Norton One costs twice what the 360 pack costs, and offers for no clear extra value that I can make out.

Kaspersky: $105. They have a 10 device license, but that costs more than taking out a 3 device overall license for the PCs and another 3 device license for the tablets (why???)

Bitdefender: $130. Bitdefender stands out here in that they offer 'family member' packages, so for households of 3 or 5 people they will cover all devices. Great licensing model, though the most expensive offering of the lot (and what's wrong with my family of *4* people?)

Webroot: $60. They are by far the cheapest option on the face of it. Their customer support also claims to offer a 10 device license, but I can't find it on their website. Plan B would be a 3 device license plus 3 copies of their android software (though whether the android software goes by year is unclear)

In the end, it's not strictly about cost, but about functionality and reliability. Cost comes in second (very very close second if you ask the wife).

My question is: does anyone have experience with any of these packages and different licensing models? Or is there some key player I'm completely overlooking? I appreciate that last question is a bit like starting a discussion about your favourite Linux editor (emacs) or hard disk model (who cares), but suggestions are welcome!

Thanks!

Edwin

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

Edwin

236kbit=2g?

c'mon Simon, you're not trying. 2G (GSM) data rate is 9600 baud (yes, I *do* remember dialling in to get my mail using a Nokia 6110 and a cable or IR port). IIRC, GPRS (2.5G) only does up to 100kbit or so, so your 200+kbit is most likely EDGE ("2.75G")

Real men use a Tandy 102 with an acoustic coupler and a pay phone (300bps on a good day)

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Edwin

Ahhh... memory...

My first programming experience was on a LED display HP. A game involving landing a lander on the moon, IIRC.

Still have an old FX-something lying around, but when I need a calculator, I reach for my HP48. None of that pansy smartphone stuff.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Edwin

Re: Affordability my arse

Plus it's CHEAPER than the affordable iPhone...

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Did Kim Dotcom invent 2-factor authentication? Er, not exactly...

Edwin

Ordinarily, I would support your statement.

Having followed Kimble's career with interest for the past 15 years or so, I will make an exception in this case and suggest that patenting previously patented stuff for the purposes of claiming to have invented it in the future is the correct explanation.

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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Edwin
Thumb Up

Re: Usefulness of Pebble increasing

The big headache with Pebble (for me) is the lack of WP8 support. In that respect - the Agent looks perfect: WP8 and Qi, which works nicely with my handset.

That said, I like the idea of using e-ink as a power saving feature - that would give the whole an even higher gadgetfreak score...

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Watch out, Nokia: Global mobile phone sales slowing

Edwin

Nokia on the way out?

I'm not buying it.

Tripling their (admittedly tiny) market share without help from their new cheaper wp8 models tells me there is a lot of potential there. And whatever the joys of Elop-bashing , I was very pleasantly surprised by wp8.

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Edwin
Thumb Up

Re: EEPROM + UV?

No one else has commented on this because it's been so long since I used either that I'd forgotten the distinction....

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Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

Edwin

Re: Question:

Not sure about the Croatian border, but within Schengen you can go anywhere without being stopped. Even so, a border stop at the Croatian border is likely to be a quick glance at an ID card (passport not necessary) and being waved through.

IMHO, if you're 'distracted' enough to drive 1500km and not notice, hints like a border crossing are not going to be substantial enough.

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Dead Steve Jobs' mega yacht seized by testy Philippe Starck

Edwin
Go

Dutch news...

Says the family claims Jobs agreed to 6% of the cost of the yacht, and that Starck has been paid in full.

Starck claims 6% was discussed but the final bill was €9M, so he's still €3M short.

Either way, it's clear I should start designing boats instead of commenting on El Reg...

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SPEARS fired up for explosive climax

Edwin

Previously discussed

I believe there's a lot of safety and redundancy built in now, but you still have a single point of failure that relies on mechanics - the relay.

Are you sure it'll work at altitude?

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Google India slapped with £8.7 MILLION tax penalty

Edwin

In Google's defense

India has some of the most dynamic, tortuously complex tax law on the planet. Their sales tax regime is even more complicated than the US system, and more subject to change.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Edwin
Mushroom

Shameless Amazon advert?

Ummm no.......... Kindle was NOT first (no matter what the Amazon marketing drivel you're reprinting says). I bought my first Sony E-reader in 2006.

Also - on what planet is it worth paying 50 of any currency to be allowed to borrow one book per month? I can borrow books for free from my local library, and many libraries are starting to lend e-books but usually only in EPUB format (which Kindle doesn't support). You're paying for next day delivery, and the ability to borrow a book per month hardly even qualifies as 'added value'.

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Pints all round as Register Special Projects hacks hack off feet

Edwin
Trollface

Re: I miss the ounce...

In Dutch shops, it's quite common to order by the ounce (100g) or pound (500g). Maybe blighty should slowly change the value of miles, pints and stone (wtf kind of unit is that???) so that in 50 years a metric transition can be made easily.

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Cash in the asset: Nokia may flog global headquarters in Espoo

Edwin

Re: Move out.

You'd be surprised, and the fact that it's a couple of interconnected buildings means slightly smaller tenants would be an option also.

Kone has their HQ next door IIRC, and there are a couple of other large Finnish companies in Espoo that could easily fill the space if they were so inclined.

I suspect the problem is more that companies are collectively trying to get OUT of buildings, rather than build new ones, so there may be a bit of a glut on the market. OTOH, they're building a metro station quite close by, so who knows...

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Judge: Apple not liable for dropped, broken iPhone screens

Edwin
Trollface

Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Based on your first post, I never would have guessed that you have anger issues...

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Hotel keycard firm issues fixes after Black Hat hacker breaks locks

Edwin
Go

Re: The A-Team

Especially considering that the door is the strongest part of many American hotel rooms.

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Edwin

Re: Free Fix!!!

Any professional thief doesn't want to spend unnecessary time in a corridor unscrewing screws - you could possibly disguise plugging a wire into a port as fumbling with your keycard, but it's hard to explain the screwdriver stuck in the bottom of the door lock to a passing hotel guest or employee

So if that cover takes the time required to open the door from 3 to 15 seconds, they'll most likely go elsewhere.

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Reagan slams webmail providers for liberal bias

Edwin
Trollface

Impressive

how Americans can get themselves so incredibly wound up over choosing between two more or less identical conservative parties.

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The problem with wireless: all those effin' wires

Edwin
Facepalm

Re: Poor workman blames his cables.

Alistair, if you want to be able to charge everything at once, then you need to be prepared to take some pain.

I can typically charge two devices at a time, and with a little planning, that works pretty well. Not flawlessly, but I'm not prepared to haul around the equipment required to set up a full-scale office when on the road.

It's called a compromise. If you're not prepared to make one when it comes to hooking up when on the road, you need to stop buying kit that uses different types of connections. So dump everything that uses something other than a standard USB connector. Like those Nintendoes, those fruity products, and so on.

Sheesh.

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Edwin
Meh

Re: Poor workman blames his cables.

My thought exactly. I sometimes miss those 'mad days' when everything charged via USB - I travel with:

My laptop power brick

My universal plug adapter with interchangeable USB charging port

USB Mini and Micro cables

If absolutely necessary: the micro USB car charger with extra USB port to power a phone (satnav) and some other device.

If I need a camera, the brick lives in the camera bag and shares the figure 8 cable with the laptop power brick

Anything that doesn't like the standard USB charger (looking at you Nokia) charges off my laptop when needed (which is daily at office when traveling for work, or only rarely needed when on hols).

Anything requiring some other form of power provisioning is either not purchased or stays home.

And oh yes: my kids pack their own charging kit to go with their nintendii. I am not hauling their kit around.

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Netflix puts end to fumbling, penetrates Scandinavia

Edwin
Headmaster

Scandinavia

is defined as Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

If you want to include Finland, you could say 'the Nordics' though that usually includes Iceland also.

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Hacktivists lift emails, passwords from oil biz in support of Greenpeace

Edwin
Coat

Re: That leading sentence

My thought exactly.

Does Anonymous now troll the news looking for excuses in an attempt to legitimize naughty behaviour?

If they *really* want to get some good press, they should hack themselves and leak their own email and ID lists...

(puts on flameproof coat)

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LOHAN fizzles forlornly in REHAB

Edwin

Re: A bigger hammer?

What about one or more igniters cast in the engine using something like crushed rocket fuel and some sort of weak binding agent?

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Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

Edwin

Re: Impossible 2-year warranty for Apple

I suspect things like batteries are subject to the 'normal wear and tear' disclaimer, so not covered by the warranty anyway.

I guess the big question is how 'serviceable' a product should be - maybe a battery shouldn't have to be consumer-replaceable, but perhaps it should cost less than x% of the new price to replace it...

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Ten... dual-band wireless routers

Edwin

Re: No Apple or Draytek or WAN to LAN throughput measures

Agreed. It would also be nice to know which devices have a built-in modem and (if so) how stable the connection is.

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Edwin
Thumb Up

Fritzboxen

Stability and ADSL2+ and VDSL is why I'm replacing my recently deceased Fritzbox 7170 with the 7390 despite the fact that I don't use analog telephony anymore. The 7170 also let me retire my external wireless access point, and I'm hoping the 7390 will prove to be as good.

Unfortunately, researching stability is an excruciatingly time-consuming task, because you have to troll through dozens of consumer review sites and weed out the tripe.

Yes, it's a ludicrously expensive router, but I have never seen anything come near a Fritzbox in terms of stability, performance and features.

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Reg hack attempts gutsiest expenses claim EVER

Edwin
Pint

German beermats

I quite like the German approach of tick marks on beermats - it's very easy to understand, even after many tick marks on your beermat.

Sadly, the expense department at a previous employer felt that a beermat full of tick marks with the total written in the middle did not qualify as a proper receipt.

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LOHAN seeks failsafe for explosive climax

Edwin

Gas strut?

I wonder if you could make a spring that's damped like a gas strut (such as on your car) and use that as a time-delayed tension sensor on the balloon lines? It would take care of momentary bounces during turbulence, but admittedly has a much higher risk of failure in extreme cold

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Self-driving Volvos cover 200km of busy Spanish motorway

Edwin
Thumb Up

Re: Why?

Still around in some places.

Park your car on the train in Helsinki, wake up in your sleeper cabin the next morning in Rovaniemi. You get a decent night's sleep, save driving 1200km and it cost me less than petrol plus a hotel.

There are loads of others around Europe, but the Finnish one is the only one I've tried. And the beer was acceptable.

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Mealy pudding v migas

Edwin
Flame

Mexican deathmatch

Green chili and cheese omelette vs. huevos rancheros with chili con carne

Flames, because only tremendous amounts of chili, salt and grease can overcome a proper hangover.

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Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

Edwin

Avast!

By far the best antivirus package, and the voice notifications don't bother me overmuch since I usually have the speakers switched off, but the 'add-ons' (the browser plugin, the widget, etc) are an incredible annoyance - switch all those off too!

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