* Posts by Neil Lewis

145 posts • joined 19 Apr 2007

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Apple patents AUTOGRAPHS. Checkmate, eBay

Neil Lewis

More Apple 'innovation'

While others are busy trying to create new uses for technology which actually have some tangible benefit, Apple come up with something completely pointless which will no doubt be labelled by fanbois as ground breaking. Colour me surprised. And cue the fawning BBC coverage.

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What's a Chromebook good for? How about running PHOTOSHOP?

Neil Lewis

Chromebooks, but not Linux?

I'm still trying to work this bit out, given that all Chromebooks run a Linux kernel.

Sure, there are some bits which are specific to ChomeOS, but it's not s though there aren't already versions of ChromeOS to run on a full Linux box anyway, e.g. CR OS Linux.

The other question is why a significant number of folks would choose to become ensnared in Adobe's bloated, resource-hogging, proprietary lock-in traps when genuinely free alternatives provide more than enough functionality for 99% of users. Must be a lot of mugs about, I suppose.

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Ello, 'ello, what's all this then? We take a spin on the new social network driving everyone loopy

Neil Lewis

It's not about the ads

Yes, I got my ello invitation recently and there are a *lot* of FB users I know currently jumping ship.

The reason has little to do with ads though, and here perhaps ello is slightly barking up the wrong tree. Most sensible users have adblock enabled anyway, so the intrusion from adverts is pretty small.

Certainly there have been many disgruntled users seeing their reach dropping off a cliff since FB decided to find ways to force them to pay for extended reach, but that's also been an annoyance rather than a reason to switch.

It's the intrusion into how users can portray themselves on the system that's really at the root of the exodus. My business concerns performers of many types, and they seldom want to use their real names in a public place. When Google tried the same trick with G+, they had a similar backlash. They've now removed that restriction, and I've seen a similar move by performers to try G+, as well as ello.

The thing ello currently has going for it over G+ is that it's simple, but that simplicity is based on very limited functionality, which is also it's weakness. Many users are already complaining that they can't actually do very much on ello.

My own web site is my primary way of staying in contact with performers, managing cast lists, media, etc. and my business only makes use of social networks for inbound marketing. As such, I'm not too bothered which social network they all end up using.

But I can tell you they are really unhappy with FB. They don't much like the G+ interface and find ello a bit sparse on features, so the jury is very much out on where they will choose to go, but they are actively looking at ways to leave FB, so it's just a matter of time before they do.

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iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!

Neil Lewis

Working fine here on Firefox on OpenSuse Linux, as it has for ages

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Neil Lewis

Re: Almost, not quite

No, you don;t own the copyright of an image created by another person just by paying them, but only if they are your 'employee' in the sense that you are responsible for their tax and NI. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

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Neil Lewis

Re: Almost, not quite

If the assistant is an employee, i.e. their tax and NI is paid by the photographer, then no, the employer owns the copyright. That's clearly stated in current copyright law. If it's a 'freelance' i.e. casual employee or just a friend along for the shoot, then the situation would be more as you describe.

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Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media

Neil Lewis

Re: GIF's?

Yes, a football stadium would count as a public place in this sense, exactly the same as any other venue where an even is staged, because tickets are available to the general public.

But that's a red herring in any case. The private place/public place issue is a privacy matter, not a copyright matter. Copyright *always* belongs to the person who creates the image (or sequence of images) and not the performer.

This story would seem to be about people sharing images or clips created by the TV companyand therefore owned by them, which have been broadcast over the internet, not images or clips surreptitiously caught by spectators on their own devices. Either that, or Murdoch's legal team are laughably clueless and sadly I don't believe that to be the case, funny as it would be.

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FSF slams Mozilla for 'shocking' Firefox DRM ankle-grab

Neil Lewis

History

Don't underestimate just how pragmatic RMS actually is. He tends to look a long way ahead and sees outcomes others don't wish to see. While his positions can initially often look hopelessly idealistic to the naive, the passage of time has repeatedly shown them to be right on the button.

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Google Glass: Reg man tests tech specs

Neil Lewis

Re: The unfortunate thing about glass is that...

Going back a (good) few years, I can remember that being the exact reaction some folks had when people began using mobile phones in the street. Doesn't seem to have stopped them catching on though, does it?

BTW, if the events you describe had actually happened.I would have no problem defending myself, either. i.e. decking whichever self-important prick thought it was any of their business if I choose to wear such a device in a public place.

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Neil Lewis

Re: The unfortunate thing about glass is that...

Going back a (good) few years, I can remember that being the exact reaction some folks had when people began using mobile phones in the street. Doesn't seem to have stopped them catching on though, does it?

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

Neil Lewis

Re: Multiple standards

I don't really see a problem with having two truly open standards, but while ODF is truly open, the MS equivalent formats are at best an XML wrapper (the open part) around a closed binary blob.

There should be no reason why two properly open formats could not interchange data easily and with full functionality and data integrity. So long as the specifications of both are properly understood, two-way interoperability is easy enough. And most people accept that there is value in competing products, in principle, because it tends to encourage faster progress.

That others outside MS find it hard to convert to and from MS formats, and that MSOffice does not properly interoperate with ODF is by MS deliberate design, not an accident.

The problem is, and always will be, that for as long as they have a monopoly of the desktop OS ecosystem, it's not in MS interests to make their own formats truly open, nor for conversion from open to proprietary or vice-versa to be easy and reliable. They depend upon the lock-in to proprietary formats to prevent use of alternative office suites, and by extension, of alternative OSs.

If HMG and other governments mandate the use of ODF, then MS will have to make sure MSOffice can handle and interoperate properly with other office suites, including LibreOffice and others which run on OSs other than Windows.

That scenario undermines their entire lock-in mechanism, so of course they will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.

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HOT AIR-FILLED Apple fanbois SHUNNED iPad 2 at Xmas

Neil Lewis

Wait a minute...

'LG is set to manufacture the screens for the widely anticipated iWatch'

An iWatch? But, ...but surely that would be BLATANTLY RIPPING OFF SAMSUNG, wouldn't it? And the super-innovative fruity ones would never steal other people's intellectual property, would they?

No, that can't possibly be true.

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Facebook fans fuel FAGGOT FURY firestorm

Neil Lewis

Re: 'Twas ever thus

It's not about 'right of way', it's about preserving your safety in an intrinsically dangerous situation. You may have noticed that cars (a) can't stop as quickly as pedestrians (b) can't change direction as quickly as pedestrians (c) tend to be moving a lot faster than pedestrians. Vehicles contain people, too, and they have just as much right to get to where they're going as you do as a pedestrian. That's why we all have to take it in turns to have 'right of way'. If you, as a pedestrian, are too impatient to wait to take your turn, than sooner or later you'll get hurt, and it will be your own fault.

Having said that, pedestrian crossings are just another type of traffic light, and all traffic lights are horribly inefficient at managing traffic of all types.

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FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

Neil Lewis

Glass is not intrinsically unsafe

Quite.

The built-in GPS in my Citroen also provides a choice of a half dozen computer modes for general info, maps and more, as well as the ability to play a feed from a connected video device. It's not illegal to have it switched on while the car is in motion, indeed, I can't recall there being any way to *not* have it on while driving, since it comes on with the ignition. It does issue a warning that the GPS should be initialised before driving off, and that it's suggestions should be taken as a guide, not orders.

It would seem that Glass would provide similar functionality, with less chance of being distracted from the road when used in a similar, safe way. Of course, that doesn't stop a fool from using it in an unsafe way.

Is anyone really saying that a device capable of providing a potentially safer way of managing navigation and other travel and vehicle info must be banned, just because it's possible to use it unsafely?

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Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

Neil Lewis

So, if the forum insists on being so restrictive, fork.

A new USB ID standard is clearly needed for open source hardware, which would likely have no problem finding support from free software. No need to play the forum's game at all. You'd need to install an extra piece of free software to work with free hardware in order to bypass the restrictions. Big deal.

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Internet Explorer 11 BREAKS Google, Outlook Web Access

Neil Lewis

One word. DigiKam.

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eBay warns investors: Don't expect 'em to stuff stockings with our tat

Neil Lewis

Re: eBay doesn't have a Christmas peak.

I believe eBay's problems are largely of their own making. I can only give a personal vtiew on this, but if my experiences and actions are repeated by others, as I think they probably are, then eBay has a lot of problems to come.

I've been selling regularly on eBay for some years, and had built up a sizeable stock - around 10,000 items worth between £15 - £50 each - in my eBay shop. That used to be a sensible way to operate, because it was relatively cheap to do and easy to maintain, thanks to eBay's discounts for sellers in that sort of position. Over the past year or two, however, that has changed. It gradually got to the point where the cost of keeping a large stock permanently listed was not justified by the volume of sales, and the fees to do so just continued to climb ever higher. As a result, I've removed almost 75% of that stock, with very little effect on my sales, but a huge reduction on the relisting fees I pay each month. I'm now paying eBay a small fraction of what I did a year ago, even though (or perhaps more accurately, because) the discounts available to small/medium sized shop sellers have been reduced so much.

Now, I may be unusual, but I don't really think so. I'm quite sure there are some sellers who can still justify maintaining a relatively huge inventory, but there must be a lot more in a position similar to me, who've done the sums and realised it makes more sense to scale drastically back on the slow-moving stock.

That just has to affect eBay's bottom line, and until the fee structures are changed again to encourage bigger inventories, I don't see why things should improve for them.

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Firefox OS update adds performance, polish to Mozilla's webby mobes

Neil Lewis

Re: No MMS?

Well, it was released as a 'developer' phone, not as a consumer item. It wasn't intended for normal use, but as a means of testing and improving the system. In the free software world, the mantra is 'release early, release often' because that way more people find and report the bugs and shortcomings, and they get fixed.

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iPhone rises, Android slips in US, UK

Neil Lewis
FAIL

Pardon?

'most of Android's success is fueled by cheaper phones, not top-end iPhone competitors'

The biggest chunk of Android market share is surely the Samsung Galaxy series. Though a bit cheaper than an iPhone, these are pretty comparable in terms of cost. They're certainly not entry-level, low-price kit.

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Google Glass is HIGH FASHION in September Vogue magazine

Neil Lewis

Funny juxtaposition

I found it amusing that the story about Google Glass in Vogue, expressing the view that the model looked dorky (presumably only because of the glasses and not because of any other idiosyncratic styling choices) was placed alongside an image linking to a story about Kevin Bacon - a man presumably seen as 'cool' by those paying to use him in advertising - wearing rather similar, dorky glasses. Funny that.

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How did Microsoft get to be a $1.2bn phone player? Hint: NOT Windows Phone

Neil Lewis

Oh the irony.

Didn't MS build a twenty-year desktop monopoly on the back of having the applications people were used to running on Windows? It used to be that whenever Joe Public thought about switching to Linux, the main thing putting them off was not being able to run MS Office/Photoshop/AutoCAD or somesuch 'must have' program. Now the shoe's on the other foot.

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Selfridges dreaming of a snot-themed Christmas

Neil Lewis

Copyright?

Unless this is an actual copy of a DC figurine, I'd suggest it's more likely to be a trademark issue than a copyright one...

Still, the argument most likely holds true that the driver for this technology might well be the ability to acquire freebie source files for printing 3D items by dubious means. The cost per print will have to come down a *lot* to make it desirable for such impecunious, entitlement-driven types though.

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Credit card donations to WikiLeaks restored as Mastercard breaks ranks

Neil Lewis
Thumb Down

Re: Paypal is pretty criminal in itself.

It's off-topic, but you're only telling part of the story WRT eBay's attitude to counterfeits.

If you try to sell genuine, big brand goods, e.g. used Burberry, you'll be slapped down in minutes as soon as you use the brand name. Penalised if you dare to describe them as genuine goods, because the manufacturers don't want their brand diluted by a secondhand market. Effectively, you're forced to prove your innocence rather than your accuser being forced to prove your guilt.

Of course, if you're not a big brand with expensive lawyers, you have no chance trying to block copyright-breaching items from sale just by telling eBay about the offending items.

As usual, it's not about honesty or justice. It's about how big you are.

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London Olympics site to become digital mega-hub

Neil Lewis
Thumb Down

Oh really

So this will be a "world-leading hub for the digital and creative industries"?

Given that the government's plans for so-called 'orphan works' is likely to decimate the actual creative industries while benefiting those who merely copy and re-use, perhaps he really means this will be a "world-leading hub for those who rip-off the creative industries on an industrial scale".

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Why UK slid £150m to tax-exempt phone-mast master Arqiva

Neil Lewis
Headmaster

Re: tax avoidance may be the legal kind but

Not wishing to disagree with your underlying principle, but 'paying the minimum tax you can get away with' is exactly what every individual is *expected* to do. That's why you fill in a tax return.

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Groupon's retail chief heads for the door... after just 1 year

Neil Lewis
Facepalm

Why Groupon is failing

It's quite simply because the whole 'crazy level of discount' voucher idea is exactly that - crazy and unsustainable. Not to mention deliberately dishonest. It's nothing but a marketing scam designed to prey on the unwary.

Those businesses which sign up know perfectly well that they can't provide the goods/services at the discounted price and stay in business. The voucher is never more than bait to lure in the naive and unsuspecting in order to hard-sell them loads more and make the deal viable to the business.

The trouble is, people who actually think about it realise that and aren't taken in. They either ignore the vouchers completely, or ignore the hard sell.

People who are genuinely stupid/naive enough to fall for the bait in the short term tell their friends what a scam it was afterwards. So the number of naive punters drops off pretty fast.

Either way, the basic premise for the company working with Groupon becomes untenable. They stop using Groupon or go out of business. Or both. Groupon then find they have no vouchers to sell, so their 'business model' goes up in a puff of smoke, too.

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Good news: Debian 7 is rock solid. Bad news: It's called Wheezy

Neil Lewis

Re: But what can it do?

'Well the cost is in one's time, even for a home user.'

- which was precisely my point about not actually needing to spend any time at all on upgrading with a system like this. Install once and you can 'upgrade' it on a permanently rolling basis for year after year without having to spend any time doing so. That's real saving of your time. Upgrading is only an annoyance when it's a faff, and a Linux system is usually a no-brainer to keep properly up to date.

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Neil Lewis
Linux

Re: But what can it do?

While the question is undoubtedly valid for a commercial OS, i.e. one you pay for and therefore expect to provide better to be worth the cost of upgrading, free software doesn't really have the same limitation.

In fact, I'd go further than that. With commercial OSs, there *has* to be a long list of questionable 'new' features just to persuade anyone to buy, irrespective of whether any of those features are actually useful or even wanted.

With a free OS like Linux, and Debian in particular, those considerations simply don't apply. The updates and improvements may only be incremental, but since it's not costing you anything, any improvements are just that - improvements. They're not simply marketing tools intended to hoodwink you into getting your wallet out. I said 'Debian in particular' for a reason, by the way. That reason is the fact that most users of Debian (and many other Linux distros) will hardly ever reinstall from scratch to get the latest and greatest version anyway. If it's set up to do so, an installed system can update itself seamlessly from one version to another with the user hardly even noticing. It won't even need a reboot unless there was a kernel update.

That's precisely why a super-stable, incrementally upgraded system like this is perfect for actual production use, not just for geeks. It quietly gets on with doing it's job (or gets out of the way of you doing yours) more or less forever instead of insisting on regular user intervention.

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New Google Play terms ban non-store app updates

Neil Lewis

Re: When will we able to define *which* WiFi connection to download apps over

Presumably you're in control of the device when the original download is done, so you should know which type of connection you're using and whether or not it's costing you per MB.

When it comes to updates, Android has, for as long as I can recall, provided a setting to disable them for 3G connections. As an 'ultimate' control over metered data, you can also set all updates to ask first before downloading.

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UK.gov coughed over £2 MEELLION in data breach fines in the past year

Neil Lewis
FAIL

Government fining itself?

Oh really.

1 The government only has money it gets from us.

2 The people signing the cheques to pay the fines aren't paying with their own money, but with ours.

3 No-one in government ever takes any personal responsibility for anything.

Hence the government fining itself for breaching it's own rules is meaningless. No-one gives a toss. At least in a private company, someone will possibly get fired for causing the problem. Though they're probably a scapegoat, sacrificed to protect the arse of an executive's who really caused the problem.

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'He's F**KED with the wrong nerd ... I warned I'd go public'

Neil Lewis
FAIL

Perhaps not quite so hypocritical

Yes, it's very easy, moderately funny even, to criticise Eric Schmidt (and by extension Google) for complaining about private surveillance by drones when they use fleets of Streetview cars as part of their business plan, but there is actually a glaringly obvious problem with that criticism.

Streetview cars only drive on the public roads. That means anything photographed by them is already visible by the general public.

A drone flying over your home could peer into nooks and crannies quite invisible from the viewpoint of a Streetview car; into areas you would normally quite legitimately expect to be private.

Can the author of this article really not understand the distinction? Eric Schmidt says a lot of questionable things, but this does not seem to be one of them.

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

Neil Lewis
Linux

Re: And yet, and yet ...

Yes, of course you can. I've been doing so since 2008 or thereabouts. My business is photography with many associated design activities - not exactly the kinds of thing Linux is best known for - and for sure there were times when it was a little more effort in some areas, but that was then and this is now. Today, I have more power, better features and much better stability at my disposal than my proprietary-OS-using competitors. I tend to view them with a degree of pity, having painted themselves into a single vendor dependent corner with rather limited options.

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Microsoft, Adobe, wilt during Australian price gouge grilling

Neil Lewis
Linux

Re: good for the soul..

All those are certainly examples of alternative presentation applications, and I'm certainly no MS apologist, but I can't help noticing they are *all* also bundled as part of a suite. Surely all htose companies were playing the same game, trying to bundle enough stuff together to make it all viable as a combined proposition. MS were able to win because they had an OS monopoly, not an office applications monopoly. That's still largely true today, though current trends in mobile may change the rules a little.

That Adobe also managed to gain such a huge monopoly mindshare in graphics software is largely down to their early footholds on the early Macs and the continuing dominance of Macs in that area to this day.

BTW, I'm a pro photographer employing a small staff who all use Linux exclusively. LibreOffice, Gimp, Inkscape, KDEnlive, Blender and suchlike all perform exactly as I need and I have absolutely no problem producing saleable, publishable work. There is another way. And it does work very well indeed.

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Young model ruthlessly fingers upskirt iPad petshop pervert

Neil Lewis

Re: Her Mutt

Journalists regularly use demeaning and/or insulting language to describe almost any profession (apart from journalism, of course) in an attempt to be funny.

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BlackBerry Q10: This quirky QWERTY will keep loyalists perky

Neil Lewis
Thumb Up

Re: Samsung GT-I5510

Likewise my Motorola Pro Plus. People seem confused by the fact it has both keyboard and touchscreen and runs Android, but usually appreciate the functionality pretty quickly.

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Big biz, expensive beancounters write UK tax law, says senior MP

Neil Lewis
Facepalm

Re: patents

'Why isn't 'intellectual property' taxed like other property - for instance like business rates?'

In a sense, it is. At least, the income from ownership of intellectual property is taxed just like any other income.

When the owner licences a patent or grants a right to copy, the income from that is taxed in the same way as income from the rental of property is taxed. So profits from the ownership of copyrights or a patents is dealt with in a broadly similar way to profits from the ownership of bricks and mortar property.

Business rates are charged to the occupant, not necessarily the owner of the property. And at least in theory they are charged for the provision of services, not just as a tax on occupation. The equivalent would be to tax users for paying licensing fees.

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My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8

Neil Lewis
Happy

Re: "Notebooks were incredibly popular when they came with Linux."

I recently suggested a Chromebook to a friend who has always had problems managing a regular computer of any sort. Managing software in particular. Strangely enough given their reputation for ease of use, he'd also had enormous problems making his iPhone do what he wanted, but he's been a very happy bunny since switching to an Android 'phone.

He wanted something lightweight but with reasonable power, mainly for web browsing and related activities and one of the Samsung-branded Chromebooks caught his eye once I'd mentioned the term. He bought that and proudly brought it round to show me a few days later. Happy? Certainly. It does everything he wants and even he can understand how to make it do what he needs. He even had a suitable cloud-based printer already, so found setting that up a doddle.

So there you go. I've 'seen one in the wild' and it works very well indeed. It won't suit 'power users' but Google seems to have understood ChromeOS target market perfectly.

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UK taxmen turn heat on tax-swerving big biz, hope to smoke out £1bn

Neil Lewis

Re: VAT = Turnover tax!!

"The only companies in Britain that pay VAT are financial businesses since they cannot reclaim VAT in the main." is quite simply wrong.

The vast majority of businesses are required to act as unpaid tax collectors for HMRC, paying the VAT they collect from customers minus the VAT they pay to suppliers. This applies to all businesses having a turnover greater than the current VAT threshold.

If a business is making a profit, it is inevitably charging more VAT to customers than it pays to suppliers, hence there is usually an amount of VAT to be paid.

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A pre-ticked box in web forms should NOT mean consent - EU report

Neil Lewis

Re: Cookies?

The main reason there was a lot of back-pedalling over the cookies issue is simply that many sites people want to use simply cannot function without them. After the cookie regulations were passed, it soon became obvious that the the rules were practically unworkable.

Cookies are not primarily used to send information about your browsing habits to third parties, but to allow the site you're using to provide the interactiveness you expect. They are not really necessary for simply browsing a news site or reading a forum, but as soon as you want to manage e.g. a shopping cart, a favourites list or even just individual user preferences then they are needed. Some things can be got around using data passed with page requests, but that's a very limited approach.

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The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

Neil Lewis
Thumb Down

KDE/Plasma is a much better contender

Really, if your idea of Linux as a touch OS is a variant of Ubuntu or Red Hat using Gnome or Unity, then it's no wonder you'd think it's a hopeless quest. One of the things the KDE team did right a few years ago when transitioning to KDE4 was to rebuild from the ground up so that the environment could be easily redesigned to suit many and varied paradigms without needing further redesign of the underlying system. Plasma is a fantastic touch interface, more modern and arguably better than iOS, Android or Metro.

As usual with any attempt to get Linux into the mainstream, it's not the quality or usability which will be the problem but the inertia and vested interests of device manufacturers and consumers.

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Outlook 2013 spurns your old Word and Excel documents

Neil Lewis
FAIL

Re: Curious...

Open XML format? There was a huge outcry a few years ago when MS managed to 'persuade' ISO to count them as an open standard, despite being no more than an XML wrapper for a secret, proprietary, binary format. Open it is not.

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Sorry, Apple - China's just not that into your iPhone 5

Neil Lewis
Joke

Impressive ex-pat statistic

'*503 million Europeans in the EU plus 312 million in the USA' - that's a helluvalot of ex-pats!

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Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

Neil Lewis

Re: Seems that by dropping ActiveSync, Google dropped a bomb on Microsoft

Actually, in some ways it seems less a move to reduce interoperability and more a move to marginalise those protocols which were intended to not to be interoperable. Sure, MS may licence ActiveSync, but Google are standardising on a free protocol. There is no reason MS could not make WinPhone use the free protocols as well as ActiveSync. As far as I can see, the only reason for that is a desire to lock people into ActiveSync, so this is bad for MS, but good for everyone else.

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Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

Neil Lewis
Linux

Re: mmmm

I'm also a photographer and have been for all 32 years of my working life. I moved 100% to digital back in 1999 and my business was a Windows-based one. I switched to Linux a few years later and have had no need to look back.

Monitor calibrations? Certainly there are perfectly acceptable Linux tools for the job. The only really important application for strictly photographic use would be a good bitmap editor and a good filing/management system. Linux has no shortage of excellent filing/management systems, e.g. digiKam is excellent and GIMP is perfectly viable as an alternative to Photoshop. Yes, I have used Photoshop quite extensively. In some areas it exceeds GIMP's capabilities, in a some others GIMP is superior.

In short, there is *no* specific reason why I as a very experienced, full time pro photographer cannot use Linux as his sole OS. I've been doing so for years.

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

Neil Lewis
Facepalm

Re: Let me fix part of that for you

...and the punchline is; under current laws the extra payment they are offering actually *is voluntary*.

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Google enables private Play stores

Neil Lewis

Re: Competing app stores?

As far as Google is concerned, you have always been able to do exactly that. Users simply need to tick the box in Android software settings to allow installation from sources other than Google's own store.

Apple and MS, not a chance in hell.

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Apple's iPad Mini mishap: scratching out the retina screen

Neil Lewis
FAIL

Cheap Chinese Knock-offs

It's a huge mistake to underestimate or dismiss the 'cheap Chinese knock-offs' in comparisons with either the Nexus or this new iPad Mini.

There are a huge number of not-very-tech-savvy people about who crave a small tablet device but can't or won't pay even £160 or so for one. They just cannot justify the cost for something which even the technical semi-literate recognise as having limited practical use.

I actually have just such a cheap Chinese knockoff. It has a display resolution the same as this new iPad Mini. It has only 8GB internal, but a micro SD slot means it was very cheap and very easy to add another 16GB to that. It has HDMI, WiFi and USB and runs the latest Android release with full access to Google Play. It cost under £60 including shipping from a UK seller. When I've used it to show e.g. photographs to clients, they are (a) completely unaware that it's such a cheap device and (b) most often sufficiently impressed when told the price to immediately ask where they can buy one.

That's real people looking at actual physical devices, in their own hands and seeing a use for them. Not fanboys of various sorts having a pissing contest.

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Google's Android celebrates fourth birthday

Neil Lewis

Re: Patently obvious

Agreed 100%. I had (and still have, boxed way) an early G1 and found the trackball very useful indeed. Even now, it's a bit of a pain using a touchscreen device on a web site with drop down menus; there is no easy way to differentiate a mouseover event from a tap or hold without a trackball.

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Work for beer, Neil Gaiman's wife tells musicians

Neil Lewis
Unhappy

It's the same old scam

The one cynical abusers always employ. "Do this for free and you'll get a credit". "Do this for nothing and I'll pay double next time". "Do this for free for me and I'll recommend all my friends".

Anyone in any line of business soon learns that such promises are worth as much as the fee. And twice as much as the value placed on their services by their 'patron'.

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'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

Neil Lewis
Alert

How do we know she is the daughter?

It could just be that the original Ms Vision hasn't aged...

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