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* Posts by rhydian

284 posts • joined 6 Aug 2008

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Mobile coverage on trains really is pants

rhydian
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Re: Nonsense!

For all their faults EE does cover Mid and North Wales very well with 3G. During my road trip to the Isle of Skye I was rarely without signal, and usually had passable 3G, even at Glencoe

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EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

rhydian
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Re: "70 free channels"

Not everyone gets all the Freeview channels. Outside of main transmitter sites the number of multiplexes transmitted drops from six down to three, so you end up with a very limited choice of channels.

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rhydian
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Re: They just don't get it ?

If you don't like the big ISP/Telco offerings why not try the smaller ones.

I moved from EE to Virgin Mobile. Same network coverage but cheaper per month

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Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

rhydian
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All this "design" and no mention of sorting out the worst part of office design: Wiring everything up.

Floor boxes last about 10mins before the lids get trashed

Dado trunking means you end up with desks around the perimiter

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As bankruptcy looms for RadioShack, we ask its chief financial officer... oh. He's quit

rhydian
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Unfortunately niche shops like Radio Shack these days have to be very small and definitely online to thrive. The days of chain stores selling electronics are numbered due to the basic fact that you can have just about any component sent from anywhere in the world direct to your door for (relatively) little money.

That said, the last time I was in the Wrexham branch of Radio Shack it was for a reel of brown speaker cable that I needed that day. I've given up on Maplin (unless its an emergency) as their choice is limited.

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Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

rhydian
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Re: Number ranges

The US and Canada share a numbering plan...

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rhydian
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Re: This would be the same BT...

Glossing over the fact that all of the aforementioned companies all work across borders already (apart from possibly talktalk) none of those problems are insurmountable and will be subject to debate in the case of a Yes vote.

As for prices, if they really were skewed so much by the cost of providing universal service to outlying regions of Scotland/Wales/NI/England then I'm looking forward to my reduced Licence fee/line rental/Mobile costs*

*reduction delivered by flying pig

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rhydian
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Re: If prices go up, we'll know who to blame.

Indeed, the Irish situation does give some ideas for how an Independent Scotland will develop

e.g. Currently BT (and its Irish counterpart) count calls from NI to the Republic and vice versa as national, rather than international calls.

IMO the interesting bits will be in the borderlands areas. Currently TV, Radio, Phone, Electriciy, Gas and Water are all supplied as though there were no border (e.g. the Caldbeck TV mast near Carlisle transmits both English and Scottish channels). How will these be divvied up?

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rhydian
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This would be the same BT...

Who currently charge landline calls from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland at the same rate as regular national calls.

Call me cynical, but these companies might be just a bit concerned that an independent Scottish comms regulator might just be given some teeth...

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

rhydian
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Hourly pricing is a total non-starter...

Are the government and the electricity suppliers really expecting me to pay more to cook my dinner at the time I decide to have it (6 pm) just because a rather large proportion of the nation also finishes work at 5pm and lives about 45mins from work?

My current dumb meter is a traditional rotating disc type, and I can check my energy use "at a glance" already. If the disc is going around slowly, I'm not using much, if I've got the washing machine, hob, oven and immersion heater on, it screws around like a disc cutter.

I already submit meter readings online to my supplier, and once in a while someone comes to read the physical meter. As I live alone I'm very good at making sure items are turned off when not in use, and I have changed all the bulbs that I can/want to over to CCFLs or LEDs. The only traditional bulbs left are in places where there are no CCFL/LED bulbs that fit or where I need the light to come on immediately.

Ergo, a smart meter will be of no benefit to me whatsoever.

Also, what about rural areas where there is mains supply but little/no GSM coverage. How will these meters "phone home"?

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

rhydian
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Re: Fairhead also defended criminal penalties for non-payers - and over 70 sent to jail.

The same bloke that used to drive the "TV Detector Van" around my local town.

Said "TV Detector Van" was a long wheelbase Transit Minibus (you could see the seats through the tinted windows FFS)

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rhydian
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Re: Not bad value really

"Wrong ! take down your Arial, put up a sky dish. done. No BBC payment needed"

The equipment (dish, receiver/decoder) is equipment being used for receiving live television broadcasts, therefore by law it needs a licence.

I could have the decoder plugged in to my TV and use it as a media server with no problems. The second I plug a dish in to it (or technically an internet connection) and watch a live broadcast from anywhere its licence time.

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rhydian
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Re: Evil

"A better idea would indeed be to fund the BBC with a tax on cable, satellite, and other subscription TV services."

That's as sensible as the guardian columnist that argued that all broadband connections should be taxed to support newspapers.

Why should the BBC be paid for by people who have decided that they'd rather watch something else?

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rhydian
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Re: Not bad value really

So many people make the sky argument/comparison but miss the basic fact.

I don't *have* to pay Sky/VM/BT to watch live TV

I *have* to pay the BBC.

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rhydian
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Independence?

"It ensures independence, universal service for a universal fee and ensures creative freedom"

Independence? The telly tax simply ensures loyalty to the government of the day, not independence.

Universal service? I'll give them that, but its only as a hangover of being given the best spectrum and the best transmitter sites back in the day (Radio/TV) or OFCOM licence requirements (TV EPG listings). DAB coverage is still far from universal despite their latest transmitter roll outs.

Creative Freedom? Then why are so many of their programmes (especially daytime) so formulaic and identical to those produced by commercial rivals?

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Carphone Warehouse, Dixons return from honeymoon with injured numbers

rhydian
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Re: I'm not at all surprised...

"Recently? My local one was like that years back. I have not visited them since."

It was two weeks ago (last saturday in August) in a North East Wales town famous for its Lager.

"I thought that mobile shops only exist to make banks look good."

With something like a phone (where size and feel are pretty important) I much prefer to see it in the plastic/metal first before signing my life away for two years.

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rhydian
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I'm not at all surprised...

Mother rhydian needed a new mobile the other week (and I needed a SIM only contract). So we steeled ourselves for a trip in to town on a school holiday saturday so she could gauge the look and feel of a few handsets, and decide on the one she wanted.

First stop was Tesco (she's a tesco mobile customer and didn't want to change networks). The "shop" was a dark, pokey corner of the electricals department. No Moto Gs in stock.

Next stop was Carphone Warehouse. The store was a part of a shopping centre so a decent size and very attractive. The problem was that during this very busy day they only had two people working (one on a "desk", the other at the till). We waited patiently for 10-15 minutes for the guy at the till to finish trying to sell someone a new phone and contract. He made no effort to acknowledge us at all. In the end we simply walked out, as did 4 or 5 other people in that 15 minutes.

In the end, in desperation, we tried the EE shop opposite. Its was packed, but they had at least 3 staff on (possibly four) and had a wide range of phones on offer (including both the Moto G and Galaxy S4 mini that we wanted to try). Unfortunately EE doesn't cover mother rhydian's home and they didn't offer us a signal box.

Therefore seeing Carphone Warehouse's revenues falling is no surprise to anyone who's actually tried to buy from them recently...

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

rhydian
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Re: Stock chucking

Or when French customs would inspect punched card shipments and take one or two out...

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rhydian
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Sharon T. Pokeworthy...

Is now part of my official "fake identity kit" for websites and services that demand all manner of personal data for no reason.

her date of birth is 01/01/1970

her phone number is 01777 777 777

And her post code is W1A 1AA..

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

rhydian
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Re: @rhydian Just give me an email address damnit!

Yes, in the end.

My suggestion was that I would happily pay for the network/calls/data/text I'd used for the two months it took to fix my phone, but I wouldn't pay the handset subsidy part of my bill, and it was up to them to work it out.

After a few days waiting I finally got an email back telling me that they were refunding me two full months back...

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rhydian
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"On the subject of EE, whilst deleting posts is unforgivable wanting customers to private message them with personal details and mobile number seems quite sensible rather than plastering them on a public forum."

Indeed, but complaints about coverage issues aren't exactly "personal", and showing them in public may identify a wider issue than just one user.

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rhydian
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Just give me an email address damnit!

While public shouting is all well and good (and quite satisfying) some of us have rather complicated issues to be dealt with and would rather not try and cut our complaints down to 140 characters a time.

I had an issue a year or so ago with Orange taking a month (and two goes) to fix my brand new GS3 which had stopped receiving wifi properly. Having finally got the phone back I then wanted to complain about the service I received. I decided the best way to do it was to write a proper, full length email outlining the issue and my preferred resolution. However all of EE/Orange's customer interaction now has to go through their social media accounts, where of course they have full control.

I the end I sent numerous messages to the one email I could find, the CEO's....

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BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes

rhydian
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Re: Money saving options

You'd still pay £180 a year even without a voice service. The cost of actually carrying voice is minuscule compared to the supply and maintenance costs. If you want an example look at "no standing charge" electricity tariffs. You still have to pay a standing charge (equivalent to line rental) but its wrapped up in to the cost of the electricity used.

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rhydian
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Re: Money saving options

You can easily get a line with no calls package on from other suppliers. However the line rental charge would still be there as its paying for the maintenance of the physical line and kit between your house and the exchange.

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rhydian
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Re: Looks like I got my timing bang on....

I waited until my contract and line rental saver were up with BT before moving over. Luckily I'd re-synced my contract and line rental saver end dates (as usually BT calls/broadband packages go for 18 months, but the non refundable line rental saver only goes for 12) by signing up for BT sport (which started a new 12 month contract a month after my line rental saver), therefore both came to an end in July (that was around the 15th).

Yet still BT screwed up by trying to bill me between the 21st of July and the 20th of August (BT bills cover you for the month to come...) at TWICE the monthly rate I was paying before. When I cancelled my direct debit (to avoid BT getting their hands on £50 of my money) they slapped a late payment charge on the account.

Furious Twitter/BT Forum rage finally got me someone with a brain cell to sort it out, and the upshot is that instead of me paying BT £50 for services I could never have possibly used, they're sending me a cheque for £20...

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rhydian
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Re: Glad I Jumped...

I'm in a market 1 area and have just left BT Retail. I don't pay BT retail one penny for my phone charges. I pay BT Wholesale (Through my new provider) for the line. BT Retail isn't BT wholesale.

The part of BT that the article refers to is BT Retail. BT Wholesale haven't announced any price increases.

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rhydian
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Re: Glad I Jumped...

"You still have to pay BT extra for your landline though. Which sucks. They still basically have a monopoly."

BT Retail (the part of the company that has just raised its prices) doesn't have a monopoly.

BT Wholesale and Openreach do have a monopoloy, but are required by law to serve all communications companies equally well/badly.

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rhydian
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Looks like I got my timing bang on....

I've just left BT after two years and have gone over to Plusnet. Yes they're part of the same borg collective but they're a fair bit cheaper

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I’ve never paid for it in my life... we are talking Wi-Fi, right?

rhydian
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I've stayed in that hotel (pretty much next to the East of England Showground). If your lucky however you can get a room opposite the new houses/flats that have been built. Rather than pay £15 an hour, I simply took advantage of my (then supplier) BT's openzone service and connected via the routers of the houses opposite!

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rhydian
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One of my local pubs....

...Has wifi that asks for a name and email address (and other info but I forget what). What I did (for a laugh) was feed totally bogus information in. It seems the wifi service doesn't actually check if the email account is a live one or not...

Therefore, it seems one of the regulars in said pub is Professor Stephen Hawking...

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

rhydian
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@NeilPost

".. what and bring on Fox News ?"

C4 news isn't publicly funded, and they are as far away from Fox News as your likely to get.

Public funding/ownership does not guarantee impartiality, it merely ensures partiality towards the govt of the day.

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rhydian
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Re: Politicians are to blame, not the BBC.

"

Unnecessary organisational and giovernance changes like BBC Board of Governors to BBC Trust, forced upon financial settlements, historical abuse issues (same ballpark as NHS, Prisons, Parliament, Social Services), forced upon new obligations (with huge cuts in money to pay for it) like World Service changes, swathing cuts in staffing, forced staff and relocation changes (BBC TV Centre to Salford Quays, Manchester and Pacific Quay, Glasgow) and much production to Cardiff), whilst selling TV centre with one hand yet building up a new London HQ in Broadcasting House at vast cost.............. are all to blame. Sometimes, you must thing the management's head's must be spinning with so much parallel forced changes. Politicians need to keep their meddling hands out of the BBC - Jowell, Purnell, Burnham, Bradshaw, Hunt, Millar, Javid....."

The fact is the BBC is a "tax" funded operation (even if it is called a "licence") and therefore will come under scrutiny and pressure from the government of the day.

Some of the changes (like DMI) were a shambles, but I don't agree that moving BBC services out of London was one of them. Yes the BBC needs a London presence, but for things like production and studio areas you do not need to be London based. TV Centre is an old, outdated building and refurbishing it would probably have cost even more than moving out.

It was however a lot of fun hearing meeja types complaining that Manchester was pretty much the middle of nowhere. Its a few hours on a train FFS.

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

rhydian
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Re: Builders don't put up with this shit

I remember stopping at an old style transport cafe near Swansea.

It seems the couple running were from the continent, and therefore they had a proper coffee machine and a price list for Capuccino/Latte/Espresso/Mocha...

...at the bottom there were listed separately "Coffee" and "Tea" (presumably for less continental wagon drivers)

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rhydian
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I Am the evil person who....

Fixed my previously off-line rural pub's wifi so that the restaurant and bar areas both now have reasonable wifi coverage. Conversation has taken a nosedive since.

What has to be remembered is that many pubs are very old buildings. Built when buildings were made to last centuries. Those thick stone walls were never designed to allow mobile signals in. Even if your in a modern (read "shite") pub building the chances that the wifi won't be overloaded by 20-30 people streaming video to their devices are slim.

And as for soya latte? What the buggering hell is that? Tea (in a mug or thermos) is the only way to start the day.

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BBC man Linwood 'was unfairly sacked' over £100 MILLION DMI omnifail

rhydian
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Re: > punt the guy by any means

Its an HR cockup, pure and simple. As the tribunal said, there was nothing stopping the BBC from not renewing the bloke's contract. The problem was the higher ups decided they wanted a sacrifice on the altar of "accountability" and hang the cost.

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GCHQ names the Hogwarts for Hackers

rhydian
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I assume its because they don't want spooks working for the away side (Maclean, Philby, Burgess)...

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Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

rhydian
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Re: BT Retail used to be masters at this

I moved from BT to plusnet (who are indeed part of the borg collective that is BT Group). The service is much better and prices are lower (quite a bit where plusnet have an LLU presence).

Unless you truly want/need BT Youview then there's no reason for bothering with BT.

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rhydian
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Re: BT

Best double check, but I don't think Sport/Youview/Vision traffic counts towards your usage.

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rhydian
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BT Retail used to be masters at this

BT Retail's ploy was to offer a line rental saver (a one-off line rental payment) that ran for 12 months

BUT

All their broadband and calls contracts ran for *18* months. Therefore when your line rental save came to an end you had three choices:

1: Pay 6 months line rental monthly via your bill (loosing out on the 10% or so discount), and then leave when the calls/BB package ran out

2: Renew your line rental saver, then move once that had run out (BT wouldn't refund line rental savers if they left)

3: Pay the cancellation charge for the remaining months of your calls/broadband package

Luckily, when BT launced their BT Sport service, you could sign up for free if you agreed to a 12 month contract. I never watched my BT sport subscription, but it did get my line rental and package end dates to line up again, so no cancellation fees for me!

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

rhydian
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At least it wasn't an air raid this time

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/25/air_raid_warning/

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rhydian
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Re: Red X

"Fuck your red X. I now ignore them completely until I actually crash in to a hazard"

FTFY

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Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!

rhydian
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Re: Seriously folks

A few years ago Radio 4 had a programme about wills, and how they're having to take in to account more and more online services. For example, who gets the stuff in your Ebay account (not to mention paypal)?

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BT Broadband issue

rhydian
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The last one was a routing foul-up in their network. Seems someone's let the work experience kid in again.

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

rhydian
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ISP provided routers are all (with very few exceptions) rubbish. Settings like DNS are locked out so that those with less technical acumen don't feel the need to pratt about with them and stuff up their connections.

Of course, when it comes to times like these then this shortcoming does cause a lot of issues, but expecting ISPs to supply top-class routers for nowt isn't realistic. Anyone who wants a properly manageable router should buy one themselves and ISPs should not put any impediments in place to stop that happening.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

rhydian
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Re: I wonder how they got this information?

"Tigers here in the west midlands?!?!"

Depends which side of Kidderminster or Bewdley you live...

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

rhydian
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Also, its not an "age" thing. Some users are simply not interested in engaging their brain when using an electronic device.

Case in point: SatNav berks.

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rhydian
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Re: But these are actually intelligent people ....

The best/worst one I had was with a laptop. I asked the owner "what's wrong with it"?

The answer I got was "your the computer expert, you tell me..."

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rhydian
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Re: VPN.

Teamviewer is a better option, as it doesn't rely on the user setting anything up other than a shortcut.

VPNs are fine when your in control of the kit though.

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BT at last coughs to 'major outage' after broadband went titsup across UK on Sat

rhydian
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Re: Wasn't a DNS issue...

BT offer business Infinity packages.

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BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

rhydian
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Re: Not surprising...

Yes, S4C does cover a much smaller population, but it does do rural a hell of a lot better on a much smaller budget. Remember BBC news got a right hammering a few years back for not making it clear when what it was reporting didn't apply to Scotland/Wales/NI (Mainly education and health stories).

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