162 posts • joined Tuesday 17th April 2007 14:36 GMT
In other news...
...the Payment Cards Association have said that the UK could do away with physical currency within a decade as Britons switch to using their debit cards for all transactions, large and small...
Huh? People are allowed to purchase guns in any US state.
I wonder if the 'handoff' situation will be solved simply by having a short 'neutral' bit of the tunnel before network coverage of the country one is entering begins, rather than anything more complicated?
From the pop-up on first visit - "N.B. This site uses ‘cookies’ and Google Analytics" - should it?
The Crown and blocky "GOV.UK" text in the top-left hand corner rather look like they were 'inspired' by the wartime "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster. Whilst government isn't cuddly or soft, I think I'd prefer it if the style they used was rather less harsh - no need for all caps SHOUTY text, for example - the all lower case "directgov" might be a bit naff now (arguably it always was naff), but it looks a bit more friendly than the in-yer-face "GOV.UK".
I'm always amazed by the number of people who simply can't get their head around the idea that there are some folk out there who simply don't watch television.
The magic lantern doesn't feature prominently, or even at all, in the lives of a significant minority of the population.
No, I don't have an investment account with HBOS / Lloyds Banking Group - does that make me a bad person?
Re: Halifax Bank of Scotland twunts
It's only the *investment accounts* that'll be without online access - regular current and savings accounts will continue to have access to an online banking system.
Bravo for the back to the future iPod Shuffle
The 2nd gen iPod Shuffle was absolutely perfect for me, until I accidentally put it in the washing machine and it decided (quite reasonably) that it would no longer work.
I could never quite fathom why on earth Apple had to dick around and withdraw it in favour of the inferior 3rd gen Shuffle, so I'm very pleased that they've seen sense and are basically going back to the great clip-on design of the 2nd gen with the new 4th gen model. I only hope that it's got a standard headphone jack - if not, I withdraw everything I said!
And please Apple, don't stop making it again in the future - an itsy bitsy audio player that's great for sticking in one's pocket or taking for a run is just what many of us want, and the iPod Shuffle 2nd gen did it fantastically (and hopefully the 4th gen will do so too).
I suggest you keep your £5 rather than giving it to Three as a top-up if all you're going to do is find where the nearest KFC is - you could, y'know, put it towards providing yourself with some proper food instead...
Re - Krapspersky does it again
OK, so Kaspersky is a "Cheap second-rate virus scanner" - what AV system do people recommend for a Wintel box these days then?
(Yes, am quite willing to pay a modest sum for it.)
All content everywhere should be free...
...and without adverts. The notion of controlling or paying for content is disgusting. The BBC, all writers, musical performers and composers, actors, film producers, technical staff et al should do the work for free. Equipment companies should donate their highest spec kit for free to these people. Studio space will just appear out of nowhere, as will broadcast and content distribution infrastructure. Simples.
May I recommend FastMail.FM...
It's a paid for email service that offers some pretty advanced functionality. They're very well established, have a big customer base., and don't cost all that much really.
I've been a satisfied paying customer for, ooh, seven years or so. I remember people getting all excited over Gmail, but I was wary - Google obviously wanted to flog you stuff in return for all this freebie goodness - and I'm glad that I'm now not in a situation where my life is reliant on the boys from Mountain View.
Remember folks, free costs.
(No, I don't work for FastMail or anything along those lines, am just a punter.)
The world's only revolving because of Steve though...
...let us all bow down before the master and empty our wallets so we too can play with the latest god-like bit of consumer electronics. It will undoubtedly change your life, and make you a better person. Well, better than all the lesser people. i.e. The losers.
Winners Heart Apple.
Mag stripe travel ticket
The inclusive public transport ticket that everyone with an Olympic Games spectator ticket will get will almost invariably be a conventional printed ticket with a magnetic stripe on the back (and would I expect have the same validity as a normal all-zones Travelcard).
This makes sense - the infrastructure for reading mag stripe tickets exists across London, as despite the existence of the Oyster card system plenty of passengers continue to use conventional printed tickets - being specific, all ticket gates in London can read mag stripe tickets in tandem with the ability to 'read' Oyster cards.
Whilst it might have been neat to issue the free travel on Oyster cards, they're inherently more expensive to produce, and many might never have been re-used but simply just gone in the bin instead.
In other words, this really is no big deal.
Nominet are enforcing their T&Cs
No need for a court order to do that - their T&C's are part of the contract you agree to when you register a domain - if you fail to keep your side of the bargain (i.e. provide proper registration details) then they can suspend your domain.
Or should Nominet have to go to court each time they want to uphold their T&Cs? If you say yes, then why shouldn't the same apply to any company? In which case the courts will be absolutely chock-a-block with silly court cases, and most business will probably decide it's not worthwhile any more, turn out the lights and go home.
"...like the vast cooling towers..."
"...like the vast cooling towers at each end of the Holland or Rotherhithe Tunnels"
Hmm. And then more hmm.
(a) These aren't cooling towers - cooling towers exist at power stations - what you're trying to refer to is ventilation 'towers' (if, indeed, you must call them towers at all).
(b) Have you ever been around the Rotherhithe tunnel? The ventilation installations, such as they are, can hardly be described as 'towers'. You're probably trying to refer to the Blackwall tunnel, which does have (sort-of) ventilation towers... but it's too late.
Can't see the big deal
I really cant' get fussed over this one and see what the big deal is - these domains were basically being used by crooks, and they'd failed to comply with Nominet rules by giving false registration information.
@Vincent Ballard - you're quite right...
...it's just a website for the Spanish presidency of the EU - technically it's actually the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. What the rotating presidency of the EU means has of course changed since the Treaty of Lisbon created a permanent President of the European Council (this new position being held by Herman Van Rompuy) - the European Council and the Council of the European Union being different things, just to make life easier!
This article is incredibly daft...
...and I'm really rather daft for spending a few minutes reading it, as are you for reading the comments about it.
It fails at being funny too.
@John 186 (at 16:33) - Re Monopolies Commission
(1) The Monopolies and Mergers Commission is called the Competition Commission these days.
(2) What's happened today is that two private companies have announced a *proposed* merger. No regulatory body can possibly stop them making such announcements.
(3) The regulators will undoubtedly be all over this, be in no doubt. The current word is that the European Commission's competition bods are going to be taking the lead (as it has pan-European ramifications), and will be looking at it in conjunction with OfCom - a timetable of six months of so until they give their verdict is being talked about.
(4) As well as either blocking or allowing the merger, the regulators can also conditionally allow the merger to proceed so long as the parties agree to a number of stipulations. I dare say this is the most likely course of action.
Anyone yelping about the lack of regulatory oversight at this point in time is entirely missing the point.
The cost is a really important factor...
...that often gets overlooked in discussions on The Reg, presumably in part because this is geek world and hence people are happy - indeed very willing - to shell out for tech kit. In the real world meanwhile, the price disparity between Windows boxes - produced by multiple competing manufacturers - and the rather more costly Macs is *very* significant. And open out that issue beyond the western world and one soon realises that Apple kit is really pretty pricey.
I'm not a fanboy of any sort, and I certainly rate the simplicity and ease-of-use of Apple Macs, but they are expensive.
@M Room (15:13)
"I even do not mind the National Police (not local Police) having access providing they have just cause to do so [...]".
Erm, there's no National Police force as such in the UK.
IE8? No need, we've got IE6...
...and that's as good as internet browsers are ever going to get - that's what Microsoft themselves said circa 2003 - how *can* it possibly get any better, it's at the end of the evolutionary chain. Wait, don't tell me I'm living in the past again...
An attempt to stop the US citizen militia attack on NK?
I'm guessing detailed mapping has been removed to stop the somewhat wilder American patriot citizens from planning their own assault on North Korea, given that they probably think Obama's decision not to start World War III (at least not quite yet) shows that he's a lilly-livered yellow-bellied pacifist.
Seriously though, this is a bit odd - why have Google done this? Maybe it's to stop NK officials from easily looking at maps of their own country - but then the satellite views would have to go too. Bizarre.
Paris, because she's always visible via Google... more so when you disable SafeSearch.
"Jacquie, along with other MPs live in a UK where she gets paid 2.5-3 times the national average** wage for maybe 20 hours a week [...]"
20 hours a week? You have to be shitting me... yes, in fact that's exactly what you're doing. Most normal MPs who aren't ministers bust a gut dealing with queries and complaints from fuckwits such as you - she's the Home Secretary and like all members of the Cabinet absolutely busts a gut when it comes to putting in the hours.
You might not like what she's doing - you might not like what any of the MPs are doing - but fuck right off with your arsehole analysis about the number of hours they work!
Why buy this MS Bloatware when you can get OpenOffice for free. Granted, it doesn't actually do what you want it to do, and it is spectacularly bug ridden - but the great thing is that you, the end-user, can help make it better. You just need to dedicate a day each week to collaborative online efforts in bugsquashing and feature improvements and developments. Complete novice to programming? Well, let the online community belittle your pathetic consumerist vision of a product that 'just works' and instead urge you to dedicate your life to improving OO, free of charge - it will heal the world.
Alternatively, pay up and let MS do the hard work whilst you get on with your life.
You mean, you don't know what root privileges are? You idiot! Anyone living in the 21st century needs to know that....
Government deserves the best
FFS I'm a Civil Servant and I want a decent machine so I can do multimedia powerpoints, monitor HD video sources, enable government through massively multiplayer online ga..., er I mean environments, all that kind of stuff. Government will be hidebound if we're not using the very latest quad-core processors too, as it helps government run more efficiently through multitasking.
You lot should be grateful and yet you moan.
Paris, because she's a dirt quad-core ho.
...is itself an utterly shit description in my books. Sure, you can sort of use a 'laptop' when it's perched on your lap, but it's pretty bollox to do so IMO (though I grant you a significant minority of folks do just that). Give me a table or some other form of surface underneath the thing, please, not my bloody lap.
Not really sure what to call them instead though - "ickle computer" perhaps.
Also, WTF is with the flowchart - specifically the "You're holding a wallet you ass" - arrrggghhh, it should be "You're holding a wallet you arse".
Repeat after me, ARSE not ass, ARSE not ass, ARSE not ass...
Lastly, @ Adam Williamson / 15:04 - oh, look how ladi da we are, so one wouldn't contemplate a laptop that weights more than 1.5kg. Guess what, your tiny dick waving competition doesn't impress anyone - it's just a bit of electronics, and that's not a measure of a man.
The sooner we get national ID cards, have an ID chip injected under the skin, have all our mobile phones tracked by the police and linked to the ID register, similar arrangements for our vehicles, and possibly start wearing tracking tags as used by prisoners on early release, the better - we can stop having these stupid arguments about 'big brother', 'police state' and 'civil liberties', and get on with life, whilst accepting the realities of the technological revolution - we're all on the grid now, after all.
I for one am totally prepared to do all of this on the condition that we get Lara Lewington doing a weather forecast naked each evening on television.
Stop the buck passing...
Of course IT departments aren't responsible for users being dopey, but IT departments need to be much much more pro-active in getting the message out about laptop security - they need to ensure the systems are user friendly (rather than just being geek friendly and hence user hostile), the instructions given are intelligible (written in English rather than Visual Basic) and they need to make sure the message gets out across the organisation (which requires the more subtle art of persuasion rather than the science of installation).
IT departments are only too happy to fall back and blame pressures from da management rather than actually engaging with said management to try and convey the importance of all this. They need to play the office politics game in a constructive manner rather than just falling into line with the existing status quo. They need to explain things in layman's terms, but of course to many this is antithetical to their approach, which is to keep all the IT secrets in-house and act as the gatekeeper to this universe, whilst simultaneously bitching about the ineptitude of '(l)uers' and basking in the glow of superiority from the light emanating from their own bumholes.
In other words, ye cadre of IT folk whom are all to willing to point fingers, the cultural failings are not merely those of the organisation without, but also the IT department within. But hey, it's so much easier to moan than take a look in the mirror isn't it - but the wise heads know that technology is paradigm changing, so the best IT bods will be working to change their organisation to fit in with that rather than fight it.
Firefox's anti-phishing and Google
I use Firefox - I understand it has anti-phishing protection provided by Google. I also occasionally surf whilst logged in to Google.
Fuck me this is messed up
You often mention the flaws of Wikipedia here on El Reg, but there's nothing like actually peering into specific instances in this world of Wiki-insanity to make the criticism really hit home.
Re: Accidental roaming
OfCom and ComReg - the Irish communications regulator - published a report on "Inadvertent Mobile Roaming" near the Irish border back in 2006...
It appeared to suggest that this is more of a problem for people with UK mobiles, as the Irish mobile telcos had in effect implemented all-Ireland rates. Not sure whether there have been more recent developments though.
Elsewhere I was stood with friends on the top of the White Cliffs of Dover and one of them received a welcome text message from his mobile network's French partner network - but it was windy so she didn't notice it at first and only read it when we were back in the town, so there was no chance to see how long it stayed locked to the French network for. Mad! I guess some uncommon tropospheric conditions may have helped, but I'm no expert in such things.
It might say "17 EU countries reported they could handle calls in foreign EU >>languages<<" ***now***, but when I submitted my comment it said "17 EU countries reported they could handle calls in foreign EU >>countries<<" - I didn't just make that up, I copied and pasted it direct from the article. In other words it's been corrected after I wrote my comment.
Perhaps I should have contacted the author directly instead of submitting a comment - but I didn't.
You said "Mac's do just work out of the box..."
Then you went on to say "I bet the majority of these people who have had problems have never cleared cache files, verified and repaired permissions or dumped preference files. Hell, most of them haven't a clue where to find them."
Sure, you then talk about how all machines need regular maintenance and servicing, but Apple certainly doesn't acknowledge this - it makes out that "it just works" full stop - no fiddling around at all required according to the voice that speaks to you from the reality distortion field.
Make up your mind - do they "just work" or don't they? And if they don't, don't pretend they do.
Before upgrading Apple certainly doesn't make it at all obvious that one should clear caches, verify and repair permissions etc etc at all does it? No it doesn't.
One line in the article reads...
"17 countries can also deal with calls in other European countries."
Is that supposed to read "other European languages?".
Or does it indeed mean what it says - and this is in utilised in border areas when mobile phones connect to the 'wrong' network on the other side of the border. An obvious example of where this might happen is the Alps, but there are a zillion other locations too, including the border on the island of Ireland.
Paris, because she likes 'cross border' pursuits...
(Apols, best I could come up with this morning.)
@Anon Coward 12:44
Thank you for suggesting that I am a paedophile. I did not find the image "slightly arousing" whatsoever - did you? Because it sounds like you did. I though the album cover was an all too transparent attempt at being provocative by using a sexualised image of a child - simply saying that it isn't a sexualised image but instead is a purely innocent image is a specious argument, one that is in denial of what the image portrays.
I can understand why people are in denial over this - it is an inconvenient element with regards to the whole wider issue of Wikipedia and censorship - but in doing so they seek to gloss over any suggestion the image might be inappropriate by unilaterally declaring that it is an entirely innocent piece of art.
The image *is* dodgy
I've seen the image and I'm not at all comfortable with it. Anyone making comparisons with the Nirvana Nevermind cover image or somesuch is barking up the wrong tree - the Virgin Killer image isn't an innocent photograph, but rather a sexualised image of a pre-pubescent child. And I think it's right that sexualising children is a taboo. The notion of 'free speech' is being abused when people use it to defend images such as this.
What about IE4?
Seriously though, what with all this talk of ABP, all I can say is that I disable it when perusing El Reg - this journalism lark doesn't pay for itself you know?
And, before anyone says it, don't fucking tell me about the wonderful world of volunteer citizen journalism - I don't want to get my news from an ill-informed 14 year old with too much time on their hands because they got bored of wanking, I already get my encyclopaedia from them after all.
Paris because she could make use of Cock Block Plus but has instead chosen to disable it entirely.
If only we had an ID card system then everyone attending a mass attendance event such as a musical performance could simply produce their card, or better have their fingerprints scanned - this way known troublemakers could be singled out beforehand, and anyone else making trouble at the event could easily be identified.
It's just crime prevention, nothing more, nothing less.
Why weren't you asleep?
Full respect for doing the job and doing it consciensiously, but I do have to wonder whether it was really wise of you to stay awake all night writing an ever-so slightly self-congratulatory account of what you've been doing on the eve of the actual election day, which you knew would be very hectic and hence would require all the energy you could muster to keep your wits about you in assisting as many people as possible to vote and vote properly.
Is an exhasted PEO who didn't sleep the night before really good for democracy? A harsh comment perhaps, but one with a point.
There's no WiFi on c2c trains
"...Wi-Fi will be blocked..." said the article.
??? said readers of the Reg.
The only WiFi service one is ever going to make use of on a train is that which is intentionally provided by the train company (unless your train has broken down within range of an accessible WiFi network, i.e. outside a house or office that has an unsecured wireless network).
It would of course be rather nonsensical for c2c to provide an on-board WiFi service and then block it from penetrating their Quiet carriages through the windows. It would I suppose just about make sense for them to block WiFi signals penetrating their Quiet carriages from adjacent WiFi-enabled carriages, working on the logic that the tappity tap of keyboards is noisy and hence too loud for their Quiet carriages.
Anyway, this is all rather hypothetical as c2c doesn't provide an on-board WiFi service on their trains. They had a trial last year to assess the potential demand for such a service, but as nothing has yet come of it I dare say that they decided there wasn't enough of a market for it.
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