* Posts by Kevin Johnston

916 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Kevin Johnston

Gosh, but it is sooooo useful

We have just moved and the new house has a smart meter and a wonderful monitor showing how excessive we are being with our energy usage..

Wow, so helpful...

Who would have thought that turning on a kettle to make a cup of tea was so damaging to the world? It took less than a week before we unplugged the stupid thing and stuck it in a drawer. How dumb does someone have to be to think this is meaningful information?

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Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Kevin Johnston

Sorry, what?

Reading through this story I get a warm and cosy feeling as like many (the majority?) LinkedIn users I was winding down my use long before MS popped up. Once that happened it was the inspiration to make merry with my profile which saw any number of unusual jobs/companies suddenly appearing in my past to go with the continually changing date of birth colour of eyes etc etc etc.

Kept me amused for several weeks before I finally killed my account and I hope MS appreciate the effort I put make my profile appealing to data mining for ambidextrous polylingual bagpipe playing software imagineers looking for a new role in marketing Xmas pension funds

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US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Kevin Johnston

Re: Here is some rounded corner prior art

Try looking at the farm which Prince Albert (he of the Queen Vic fame) had built near to Osborne House. Bricks were used which had rounded corners on door/window openings and at the building corners to make them safer when farmhands were bumbling about. I have a feeling that may pre-date and mobile phone, not just the iPhone.

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Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

Kevin Johnston

Round and round we go

Further to the Sophos comment above, many moons ago I had a pair from Dr Solomon

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Happy days for second-hand smartphone sales

Kevin Johnston

new opportunities to grow revenue and increase market share

Perhaps I am reading this wrong but should that not say something along the lines of...

Your new phones are so bad/expensive/meaningless that people are preferring over-worked second hand cheapness in ever increasing numbers? Can't be arsed to check the figures but this looks like second hand is growing faster than new.

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Forget 'shadow IT' – it's 'self-starting IT' now

Kevin Johnston

How about...

Unknown Provenence IT

I too have been one of those poor saps working to discover why the (your expletive goes here) Director cannot get mail on his phone any more only to discover he is now trying to use the Yamhanuchoki27000+ he found when he last when to the Far East. This being the same Director that wrote the Corporate Standards defining the IT procurement process.

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McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

Kevin Johnston

Re: The real reason

Those with long memories will remember images of 'British Pubs' in Spain with signs advertising Watneys Red Barrel for those tourists that only wanted to go abroad for some sunshine. The ones that didn't want to have to suffer that foreign food and drink and why does no-one offer a nice fish and chips like they get at home with a lovely cup of tea etc etc

Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences, it is part of what make foreign places ,well, foreign.

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Canada confiscates snoops' data nets after illegal trawling dragged up too much metadata

Kevin Johnston

Mostly legal?

Wow that is a wonderful phrase, so useful for so many situations.

"Well your honour, what I did was mostly legal as I can talk to people who are allowed to give me all the money they want to. The only bit that wasn't legal was where I said I would give them cement boots if they didn't rather than saying it was to make me President/Premier/Prime Minister (Delete as appropriate)"

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Kevin Johnston

Stats

Actually I see it more that not even all of the most rabid fans of Smart meters would recommend them...

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More movie and TV binge-streaming sites join UK banned list

Kevin Johnston

Re: Fix content availability and usability, and "piracy" will mostly disappear

Same with Channel 4... I would understand if it was the Ads I see when I watch it on the TV but no, it is EXTRA Ads I have to permit

Other ways and means wins hands down

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HMRC to create new compliance team focused on 'gig economy' workers

Kevin Johnston

Re: IR35, is currently costing the taxpayer around £440m a year

Like most HMRC activity, the original claims for IR35 and the current costs/usage are not even in the same Galaxy, never mind the same hymn-sheet. The biggest issue has to be that HMRC have decided they can ignore any contracts in place and how the relationship actually works to create their own 'deemed contract' based on how they think things are happening and prosecute on that basis.

This was always spun as a method of catching disguised employment and especially the cases where people were employees on Friday and self-employed at the same desk on the following Monday. There is a huge number of people who could fall into this category but mostly how it has been used is to punish the 'one man band' support companies who only had to become a Limited Company because of other law/rule changes on liability which made that the only way businesses would take the risk of using them.

The big money is always going to get away with this simply because there is enough gain to pay for a lawyer to find the cracks to funnel the cash through so the very few who fall into the clutches of HMRC will never cover the cost of tracking them down.

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Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%

Kevin Johnston

Re: Things that a smart watch is good for

"over the car audio system if you have a reasonably modern car"

I recently replaced the audio system in my 15-year old car for exactly this reason. For £50 I got a unit which can have two devices connected through Bluetooth plus it has a USB connector for me to plug in my own music.

Since I am not a fitness type I figure that is a good alternative to a similar prices wearable since if I am not driving I can just use my phone

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Kevin Johnston

Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

Quite, I always look at the 'new' beetle as an Audi TT which has an over-inflated bodyshell

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HomeKit is where the dearth is – no one wants Apple's IoT tech

Kevin Johnston

Re: No one wants IoT tech period, whether Apple's or otherwise

Exactly, and ask Blackberry about what happens when you turn up late with something a bit better than everyone else's toys.

The only way to take a chunk of the market is to be 2nd/3rd team in and offer a step change over what is already available. First through the door has to make the public aware there is something they didn't know they wanted and tends to fade away to niche (or be bought out for the expertise). Even second may be too quick unless your product is a big step up and you have an upgrade rolling through R&D which can make use of at least some of the original kit.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Kevin Johnston

Amazing

When Cortana was announced I did question the use of the name in light of how Cortana came to an end. Looks like Apple are showing MS how to implement Rampancy on a PC, perhaps they could Patent it and save the world from overloaded CPUs?

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Facebook pays, er, nope, gets £11m credit from UK taxman HMRC...

Kevin Johnston

Nothing new here

Back when I was a callow apprentice in the 70's/80's the company I worked for would routinely move departments around the building with refurbishment and almost continuous rebuilding works because they could charge that against profits. The impact on the teams who continually had to pack/unpack all their records and spend weeks getting back into normal working mode was just another cost of working.

The only real difference now is scale where some country offers incentives to build data centres or call centres. They then write the costs down over a few years and then sell them off to build a new one in some other country which makes a good enough tax-break offer.

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Sudden explosion in reports of exploding phones

Kevin Johnston

New phones with added features

So if I am not interested in the new 'pocket warmer' feature I guess I just buy a new battery for my current phone to extend it's life.

Hmmm seems the battery swap feature is missing from the new phones, is it a 'one in, one out' concept for features or is it a requirement that the battery is glued in for the heating feature to work properly?

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Blighty's telly, radio watchdog Ofcom does a swear

Kevin Johnston

Swear words?

I have seen a few people on TV demonstrate to great comedic effect how the actual words you are using mean nothing compared to how you deliver them. It is possible to use only words of the mildest nature yet still utter a phrase which leaves no-one in doubt as to what was meant.

I try not to use swear words and whilst younger developed the art of being so over-polite I could draw blood, how could anyone complain or legislate about that? Doesn't actually excuse it or make it right so I reserve it for cold-callers now.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Kevin Johnston

They want honest?

OK, here it is then...

Most of the news sites I used to visit got so up themselves with adverts that it was taking an age to load each page so I put in a blocker. Now those sites not only have even more ads and pop-ups that I just don't go there, some of them don't even do more than add some 'follow the twitterati' stories and have multiple copies of the same article spread around the home page (Telegraph I am looking squarely at you here).

I now use Reuters for raw news and they are whitelisted since they have a very clean site, it does have ads but pages load very fast so I am happy to let that through. For tech news I come here obviously and also go to more focussed sites for the products I support.

If I try a new news-site and the page fills with ads, I just don't go back.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Kevin Johnston

Re: El Reg unit

The 'Reds' are new compared to Cowes Castle which took us over to the Island when we first arrived

:)

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Kevin Johnston

Re: El Reg unit

Quite, the Lymington ferry is a fraction of the size of St Claire and the new Red Funnels (Red Falcon?) which is mostly down to the narrow waterway coming out of Lymington and the lack of traffic wanting to drive through the New Forest to catch a ferry.

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HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

Kevin Johnston

Re: Sometimes you get what you pay for

Upvoted for referencing Sam

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Brits: Can banks do biometric security? We'd trust them before the government

Kevin Johnston

It's all in the people you ask

"Nearly two-thirds of consumers (64 per cent) want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication"

Like most surveys (and as mentioned above) this is simply 2/3s of those questioned but they will have no qualms in scaling it up to whatever volumes required to justify some PHB's latest unicorn tears moment. Until they actually put real numbers at the forefront of these quotes they should be ignored. How do we know they didn't just ask the first 100 people who bought a copy of the Daily Mail from Walford Mini-Mart and 36 got the answer wrong?

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

Kevin Johnston
Joke

Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

So, how's that going for the Grauniad? Have they got enough for a Spellchecker yet?

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Microsoft wearable makes lazy lardies pay to play on the couch

Kevin Johnston

Re: No pain big drain

You are one of the Monks of Cool* and I claim my 5 pounds

*Sir Terry, I thank you once again.

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Nokia's 4.9G races Ericsson's almost-5G, yet the finishing line is a mirage

Kevin Johnston

Labelling for Sales

All this hyperbole and stretched deployment simply produces an environment where the difference in capability between the bleeding edge city centre installs and the sleepy valley edge of coverage moves from a flat(ish) slope to a hyperbolic curve.

Or in other words, it's gone from some simple standards to complete bollocks

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HSBC: How will we verify business banking customers? Selfies!

Kevin Johnston

Security eh?

"What’s more, 80 per cent of consumers believe biometric authentication is more secure than traditional usernames and passwords"

Of course 100% understand it is a lot harder to change your biometrics than your password and that while it is hard to remember a complex password (assuming you are allowed to set one) it is relatively simple to 'borrow' someone's biometrics through a number of techniques. When a fingerprint scanner can be fooled by little more than a photocopy it hardly classes as a security measure.

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BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

Kevin Johnston

Simple response

Valve should just tell the court they thought the contact from BT was phishing/spam. Certainly has the look with joke Patents and the demanding money with menaces bit. Just like those lawyers that demand money or they will tell everyone you were watching Pr0n...

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Kevin Johnston

Re: You have a choice where you live

Do like the idea of dropping big things on London to improve it, either that or paint it pink and turn on the SEP field.

1
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Microsoft drops OMI for Linux to GitHub

Kevin Johnston
Joke

So...

That's the Embrace and Extend bit covered, now what comes next?

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Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry

Kevin Johnston

the production of decent content costs money

I fully agree with this statement however the Content Producers need to understand this cuts both ways.

If you want to either charge to view, or front-load with ads to get revenue that way then the product had better be worth the grief to get there. The vast majority of what I see being pushed at the moment fails that test so I have no qualms about streamlining or safeguarding my experience and if that means an ad-blocker then so be it.

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TP-Link fined $200k, told to be nice to wireless router tinkers after throwing a hissy fit

Kevin Johnston

Re: Extra power

More to the point, where you could previously get a wi-fi signal in the potting shed, this will now be swamped by the high power hubs from a street away which mean you can no longer channel-hop to find a quiet slot.

In the last 6 months the 'visible with at least two bars of signal' points around me have gone from 4 to 19. It is now a regular activity to manually push the channel on mine just to re-connect the various phones/tablets and if you leave the house you invariably have lost it when you get back home.

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BT sees 35% sales gain as it digests hearty EE meal

Kevin Johnston

Companies running a pension deficit should have payout caps on pensions to protect those on the lower levels while the higher levels feel the impact of decisions they probably took part in. Also have a requirement that a percentage of pre-tax profit must be used to reduce the deficit.

Oh yes, and the company is not permitted to use that forced payment in any positive promotion of how they are handling their finances.

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Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Kevin Johnston

Wow

"shrinking from 39,873MWh to 8,770MWh"

Either that is a typo or that is more power than I would want sat on my lap even once it had dropped to a mere 8.7GWh

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Kevin Johnston

Re: noooooo

Do you mean liquid crystal LCD displays?

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Kevin Johnston

Re: Rather Late.... - Blackberry Playbook ?

Quite, in fact you can get a refurbished Playbook so cheap that I now have a 7" Satnav in my car which has all the maps I need and route planning which all works offline....and all for £30

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Blighty's Coastguard goes into battle against waterborne Pokemon

Kevin Johnston

Re: Art Desk?

Mr Garfunkel said he needed one to put his coffee on while composing more ditties

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Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

Kevin Johnston

Re: Dead man's curve

There are a few instances like that in flying and there was a classic known as 'Coffin Corner' where an aircraft would be sent to an altitude where stall speed and max speed met. Can't descend as that will push you above Vne, can't slow down or you stall....

Pilots are trained to spend 98% of their time doing little more than looking out the window and the remaining 2% one very small step from sheer terror. No surprise that most of them who survive a major event change to non-flying duties.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

Kevin Johnston

Re: 3% energy saving

At a rough guess, a bag and a half of nutty slack.

10
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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Kevin Johnston

Not sure who this was more embarrassing for but I worked with a contractor who was a bit of a god on the systems we supported. Due to a small problem with renewing his contract he moved on and took the opportunity to try a different path by opening a shop. Knowing his IT he installed IP-based security cameras but despite testing fine on the bench they would not work when plumbed in. I went down to help him and made up some fresh cables which we initially tested out by laying them out on the floor and all worked fine. Fed the cables through and now all was perfect.

Tested the original cables and they were 'less than good' so I asked where he got them......came the reply B&Q.....I went home

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77 per cent ignore company social media policies

Kevin Johnston

Re: Unproductive breaks

I used to have a manager just like you. At the time my role meant that I was only earning money for the company when I was on a customer site and these would be visits of several weeks in length. One glorious sunny Friday we were chatting and he 'mentioned' that it was a wonderful day to be strolling round a golf course. Taking the hint I 'mentioned' that I wanted to clear through my systems documentation and toolkits and make sure things were neat and tidy. He merely said 'See you Monday' and off I went.

The payback? One Saturday morning he rang me at home to say he needed me to fly out on Sunday to a customer for two weeks, I just asked which airport/flight.

As you say, treat me like an adult and I will respond in kind and everyone feels good about it.

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Filet-O-Phish: Insecure NFC tag relics hidden under Maccas tables

Kevin Johnston

Re: Fillet-o-fish

Sounds like a fair swap

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Tor torpedoed! Tesco Bank app won't run with privacy tool installed

Kevin Johnston

Re: "when your customers only have ONE factor to them?"

ah hahahaha...haha

I did a count of my account with a certain bank and when I use a PC which does not store their funky cookies, I get 6 (yes really, 6) steps for authentication.

-Initial Customer code

-Security password as there is no cookie so PC is not recognised

-pre-agreed image

-pre-agreed phrase

-Customer Number

-Security code

and if I use a Windows PC it whinges that I don't have cRapport which would 'improve my security'

So 6-Factor security isn't good enough and you want an extra package to help???????

0
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Apple and Android wearables: What iceberg? It’s full steam ahead!

Kevin Johnston

Watching the payment

Had to laugh at that ending. I have also seen someone trying to pay with their watch which was difficult as they had their phone in the other hand along with their coffee....in the end they gave up trying to twist their arm off to get the watch lined up, put the coffee down and paid with the phone.....serious progress there

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The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Kevin Johnston

and in the future?

This could be the death of 'Professional' level sites of this nature. Linkedin already had issues with fake profiles and an overload of recruiters but with the buyout the last fig-leaf is dropped and the value OF the users leapfrogs the value TO the users.

While other sites may exist or appear in the near future, would enough people be willing to give away all their data all over again?

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Shhhh! Facebook is listening

Kevin Johnston

Re: Privacy-Whack-a-mole: New Facebag Privacy Rape Settings:

Sadly I am continually hassled by SWMBO to have an account so I now have one....equally sadly I made some mistakes around my personal details when I created it but I did write them down so that's OK. Additionally it is on a FB-only VM on a laptop which wasn't being used as it has rippled down the capability stack so it got rebuilt with some Linux or other (didn't care which) and then a VM on top for the hell of it.

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ISS pump-up space podule refuses to engorge

Kevin Johnston

So, they could get it up there but couldn't get it up there? Is this a riddle?

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Kevin Johnston

It Bodes

This has all the hallmarks of another solution looking for a problem. Ignoring the complete inability of government to secure data on this (or indeed any) scale, how could this possibly be seen to advance anything?

So you have a copy of your license on your smartphone, wow, except someone has nicked your phone and their mate who looks a bit like you is now flashing your ID when stopped by Police. That's going to come out well isn't it?

It's not like you can prove that the image/Scancode/page you are showing a shopkeeper when trying to buy alcohol could have been faked up in the school IT room is it.

Bunch of failed apprentice muppets

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EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

Kevin Johnston

Not sure on the level of the fine but...

I can see the reason why it is happening. There were reasonable concerns about abuse of monopoly but rather than grumble and moan like Microsoft (and keep 'losing' the browser choice screen), Google managed to come up with an option that was even more abusive as it would cost even more for competitors to simply stand still in the advertising race. Not sure how they thought this would satisfy the worriers and clearly it has failed.

They would have done better to pick a simple option such as a clear split-screen with their stuff one side and everyone else the other so they could appear to give equal weight while still taking half the screen real-estate.

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Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

Kevin Johnston
Joke

Re: It's Good...

There was a house near London where they had a kid living in the cupboard under the stairs and the authorities never took any notice so there are big regional variations here.

He was a nice kid too that Harry Potter

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