892 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Too much crud
I find the phone experience itself to be just fine. However, I'd like to be able to uninstall some of the Google stuff (I don't use Gmail or their contacts), plus the Facebook app and various other things that I've only ever activated to see what they were and then decided they were a waste of space. It may be time to investigate rooting the phone (i.e. it's out of warranty) to see what I can zap.
Re: I only know one person using windows 8
My brother-in-law recently bought a new computer. He opted for a store-brand one that shipped with Win7 rather than Win8, and the guy in the shop noted that there is still a clear preference for Win7 which is why it's standard on their own-brand PCs.
Re: I only know one person using windows 8
With Linux it can work the other way. I downloaded Mint 13 twice (KDE and XFCE editions) and installed the KDE version on a couple of machines and the XFCE on five. You're not allowed to do that with Windows unless you've paid for a big posh licence.
Just remember what they say about statistics.
I bought one of those cheap clip-on monitors a while back and yes, it has encouraged me to sort stuff out, including buying one big PC and running a bunch of virtual machines on it which dropped my base load significantly. However, it's pretty much down as low as it's going to get so I don't need a smart meter, the little device on my desk tells me what I need to know. Someone's put the kettle on because it just went up by 3kW.
I was thinking more of a small tuned noise source, so anything within a very short distance finds it can't receive anything else. If there's an external antenna fitted then according to my amateur radio friends, a pin through the coax and cut off flush can be very hard to find.
Of course, all this is in violation of various bits of the law, so perhaps I'll stick to a tinfoil lining for the meter cabinet. I don't think you need to resort to lead, it's not gamma radiation.
Re: At least
I get an email around bill time asking me to provide them with meter readings if I want an accurate bill if they're not planning on sending someone round. Of course, it helps that my meter is in an outside-accessible cabinet anyway, so I don't need to be here when they come to read it.
Probably off getting some photos for his passport application?
Put a piece of cling film over the glass before applying the turd. If you smooth it out properly it's invisible to the scan and makes cleaning up a lot easier.
Re: If a PASSPORT is good enough for a COUNTRY ...
Given the trend for on-line billing, it's quite possible to not have a recent utility bill. If they'll accept one you've printed yourself then you can just make one up, which sort of defeats the object of the check in the first place.
Re: Apple are not the only ones
I wonder what they'd make of my driving licence, given that it's an old non-photo one?
Re: Recruitment agencies also ask for scans of passports
Given that you might not have a passport, showing an alternative is perfectly reasonable. However, they've got a box to tick on a form that asks for a passport scan and won't be able to sleep in bed at night until it's been properly ticked. It's a hard life being a bureaucrat.
However, a UK birth certificate isn't necessarily proof of citizenship. Unlike some countries, we don't automatically grant citizenship to people who are born here, although the exact rules change form time to time. I know someone who was born to a foreign mother who was not married to the British father and so ended up with the mother's citizenship despite being born in a UK hospital and so getting a British birth certificate.
Re: FAIL - no Credit Agreement with Apple
Actually, for an on-line transaction where the customer is not present, the bank reserves the right to charge back to Apple in case of fraud, so in this instance Apple are indeed taking the risk. The three-digit security code on the back helps a bit, but if someone's nicked your card, or noted the details while handling it, that's not much of a barrier.
I'd still tell them where to stick their security check though. Perhaps there needs to be a mechanism where they can put it through normally but raise a flag with the bank, who will contact the customer to verify that it's a genuine transaction on the card (as they do occasionally anyway if you raise one of their security flags).
Re: User E%$^&#nce?
User experience: i.e. it does what I want without any of the useless marketing crap added on. I always distinguish between websites for engineers and websites for marketing. The former tend to be a bit stripped down in appearance but are good at finding what you want quickly, the latter just look flashy and are often quite useless if you're looking for something specific.
Re: Three wins for Debian in a week
I thought the whole point of Debian (and Free Software in general) was people taking advantage of what's gone before, and paying for it by contributing code back for everyone else to continue the process. Debian profits by receiving code contributions that improve it so that even more people want to use it. As soon as there's a concept of charging (as opposed to accepting donations towards running costs) in order to make a monetary profit, the whole thing breaks.
For the London Market
What they need is a little clip-on device that fits on the spike on the end of a rolled-up brolly so that when the wielder waves it appropriately, it signals the nearest suitable cab.
Re: BYOD - The other side of the coin
If you've got an 'approved' MAC address, turn off/unplug that machine and set up the laptop to spoof its address.
I'd probably also be dropping the occasional email to higher-ups, pointing out that the IT policy was leaving me unable to do my job properly and that they needed to sort out an acceptable compromise. At least that way there's an audit trail for when shit hits the fan.
I've worked in places where the IT policy was pretty strict, but the IT people were always reasonable enough to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis when a need for something outside the policy was demonstrated.
End of Job activities
I think an important thing here is exactly what happens to the device and the data on it at the end of the job. If it's my device then I'm unlikely to consent to my about-to-be-ex-employer wiping the storage. I happen to use my own netbook for work purposes because for a long time it was a convenient Linux machine in a sea of Windows, and when I took it to the US on holiday, I did actually archive the work directory elsewhere and deleted the copy on the machine, then restored it when I came back. However, this was as much to free up space for photo storage as any thought of US customs imaging the disk or me losing the machine.
Now I've got a (employer-supplied) PC capable of running a VM, so I have a Linux VM instead.
Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?
Provided they honour the price and don't take too long (i.e. taking less than a Sinclair[*]), I'd be prepared to wait a bit.
[*] I'd like to propose this as a Reg unit of measurement for delivery times.
Re: Too many moving parts...
Hands are so steam-punk. An 'Atomic Clock" needs a digital display.
So fingers rather than hands then?
Re: About "time"
Yes, my first thought was battery life. 40mA from a lithium battery, 25 hours with a 1AH coin cell, 200 hours from an 8AH C cell. Definitely not a small watch.
In the interests of fairness and balance, perhaps the people should be allowed to go read the contents of FBI emails on request. Similarly for those of politicians.
Any government performing wiretaps should be obliged to disclose to the subject of that tap its existence and nature no later than two years after starting it, unless extended (with a time limit) by a judge. I'm sure that might make them think twice about asking for a tap, at least once the scale of the activity came to light as disclosures were made. (Of course, this assumes that they wouldn't find a way to 'lose' records.)
At some point they'd perhaps get a clue.
Re: Whilst I can see the value.....
ENERGY COMPANIES ARE INSTALLING SMART METERS ONLY BECAUSE IT IS MANDATED BY UK LAW AND EU RULES THAT YOU MUST BE OFFERED ONE BY 2019.
How much compulsion is there in this 'offer'? Can I say "no thank you" and stick to a clockwork meter?
Given the involvement of the EU, I probably already know the answer to this.
I'm on a rolling 1 month SIM-only deal, so I can depart when I want. It's slowly coming, where you get airtime and phone separately, although no doubt the short-term deals will either massively increase in price compared to a lock-in, or they'll just get abolished altogether. In which case, back to PAYG which might even work out cheaper.
I've always preferred IAX2 to SIP, simply because it goes through firewalls easier. Of course, I'm following in the best traditions of not looking at the patent or the prior art so for all I know, it might also fall foul of the patents.
It sounds a bit like an escort service, a guy with too much money pays a woman to go out with him for the night. Of course, being geeks they might not realise that this is all it is and that there's no chance of it going further.
I wonder how many such dates it takes for a typical Japanese geek to realise what's going on, and whether, once realised, they keep doing it anyway?
Re: Tea Parties
The point I'm making is that there is an argument (especially in places with lots of lawyers) that voluntarily paying more tax is not in the best interests of the shareholders, some of whom would then sue the company for not taking advantage of the tax breaks. Therefore, the correct behaviour for a company is to comply with the law[*] and those who don't like this behaviour should be lobbying their elected representatives in order to make it possible, if not mandatory, for companies to pay tax more in line with earnings in their jurisdiction.
[*] Noting that some companies can be quite creative in what they consider is compliance...
Whatever they may be doing wrong elsewhere, I can't fault their tax behaviour, because they're complying with what the governments of the world require them to do. UK/EU law lets them move money out of the country without paying UK tax, the EU positively encourages multinationals to have a single tax base in the EU and pay their taxes in that place (with the intention of encouraging countries not to set too high a rate of corporation tax) and there's an overall obligation to act in the best interests of the shareholders and no one else. Therefore, they're doing all they should and the government ought to be changing the tax laws if they don't like it, not trying to score cheap political points (of which all political parties are guilty).
Re: On the subject of the Facebook app
Usually anything that comes with the original phone is difficult to remove. Unfortunately the FB app is one of them.
A far better way (for consumers, not the companies involved) would be to receive the phone with the bare minimum installed, register the phone with the Android infrastructure and then either using a web browser on the phone or on a desktop PC, select from a pre-defined list of 'standard' apps. That way the carrier/Google could still extract money from companies who want their app to be on the list, and those of us who'd rather not have said apps can easily avoid having them on our phones.
Re: Instead of retro-rules that *seem* well-intentioned for the users
How about making carrier-locked phones become non-carrier-locked when our contracts formally expire? If we do not remain with the carrier, WHY the HELL should their custom ROM impositions remain in force on our phones?
This may be solving itself soon, with carriers separating out the phone cost from the airtime contract. I realised some time ago that it's better to get the phone unencumbered by a contract, although it's a big hit of money for some. I did manage to flash a manufacturer's image onto my Nokia E71 some years ago, over the carrier's image. It didn't unlock the phone (but then I didn't expect it to) but some interesting new menu options appeared.
And yes, it should be a default that if a carrier locks a phone for the duration of a contract, the unlock should be free and automatic at the end of that period without the user having to do anything. If anything, it's to the carrier's benefit that they do this silently, because then they'd be making money from people who haven't bothered to upgrade their phone.
It's obviously all part of the master plan. Don't forget (the cats certainly haven't!) that cats were once worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians. Anyone know if the new Pope is pro-feline?
Re: Any distro recommendations for use on an old Thinkpad 365XD?
You could try Tiny Core Linux, as a stripped-down system to which you then add stuff, you can try things out and see what it's capable of.
Re: But I don't like Ubuntu stuff.
I switched from Fedora to Mint for the long-term support editions, after I got fed up with the forced upgrades at frequent intervals as each Fedora went end-of-life. I grew up with the RedHat way of doing things, so it was a big switch. I keep a Centos server as a virtual machine for nostalgia (and the fact that it's supported for many years...)
When it was just one machine, Fedora was OK, but with half a dozen or more it gets to be a bit of a chore.
I can recommend LXDE for anything more than a few years old, and especially netbooks. It's responsive on old graphics hardware, I've been running it on my Aspire One machines for over four years now.
I'd also recommend it for computer-phobic relatives if you get lumbered with tech support and helping them sort out their machine. It behaves enough like Windows that they can get to an Office suite, mail and web without problems, and it can be remotely maintainable over an ssh connection. It also seems to be harder to screw up from the keyboard than the fancier desktops.
Re: Fail yourself.
behaviourlibrary.com appears to be hosted in Atlanta, Georgia. It still doesn't tell you who the registrant is, but it does mean the data is available to the US government.
Re: Applied Placebo Effect?
Psychology only works on the unaware.
They have to be positive about it, imagine the effect if they did actually give an answer telling someone he was an obnoxious little shit and they fully understood why no one had employed him.
Horses for courses
If I wanted to do something that needed graphics I'd probably choose a Pi. If I wanted something that either didn't need graphics or only needed a simple GUI (a lot of industrial controllers could come into this category) then I'd consider the BeagleBoard. As it is, my Pi has been commandeered and lives behind the TV as a media centre, so I need a new one to play with.
Of course, one could take the position that the way to level the playing field would be to abolish all sales tax, not impose it on those who had previously escaped it.
Perhaps another way would be to require tax to be payable at the rate in the home state of the business and then forward that revenue to other states based on recorded sales, which would (1) give all mail-order companies an incentive to relocate to the cheapest state and (2) give states an incentive to keep sales tax down. Surprisingly, this is what the EU was attempting to achieve with its corporation tax (apart from the forwarding bit) to give nation states an incentive to keep corporation tax rates low, and is why all the multinationals don't pay much tax in the UK.
Re: There's sales tax for second hand goods?
I suspect that if eBay didn't charge commission and offer some (however vague) buyer protection then they'd have a stronger case to argue for tax-free status. After all, Craigslist is still tax-free for private transactions, but it's very much caveat emptor.
The usual rule about second hand goods is that if sold by a business then taxes apply, if sold by a private individual (who is not taking the piss) then they don't. This is to stop the blatant abuse of the process whereby I could go into a garage and choose a car. The garage takes a couple of people on a test drive in that car so it's no longer a 'new' car and I save a fortune in tax by getting it 'second hand'. Obviously this could be applied to other goods too.
As I understand it, under UK law a company is obliged to do the best for its shareholders. Many of them would probably consider intelligent tax planning as part of that, to maximise the income for shareholders (given that money is the measurable part of 'best for').
Therefore, not only are they not illegal, they're positively obeying the law as it stands.
As others have said, if we want big multinationals to pay more tax then change the law to make it so, whilst noting that getting it wrong may cause said multinationals to choose to do business elsewhere.
Activation was how much?
If people were ripped off for $700 just to get the service then I'm not surprised it was making a loss. I wonder what the take-up is, and how much it will bump up when the up-front fee comes down to something more reasonable.
If it really does cost the city that much to connect someone then they've done something wrong.
Unless it was for not nuking Windows much earlier?
Take the money and RUN
Saw a fascinating article on Groklaw about the Apple-Samsung spat
Apple are trying to get the current infringement lawsuit through to the point where they've been awarded damages and the appeals process has been exhausted so they get to keep the money. The rush is that there's a parallel process which may end up declaring the patents invalid, which they acknowledge might not finish its appeals process until 2017. Under the broken US system, if they win damages from Samsung before the patents are declared invalid, they get to keep the money.
Re: Running your own server?
As mentioned above, the standard port for mail submission is 587. Sendmail/Postfix and other common mail agents mention it in their config files. Just set it up to use TLS and authentication so that others can't use it to send spam.
The alternative is to try to pick an ISP that doesn't block traffic, but expects its users to be competent enough to run their own security. I agree that this is not always possible when it comes to mobile operators, but then you might just need one that allows you to run a VPN and connect to somewhere else that does allow you to do stuff.
Re: Still no good with custom firmware and locked bootloaders
I suspect this is one of those things that many people have to learn the hard way the first time. The lucky ones get to read about it in the comment section of El Reg and revise their target spec for a phone accordingly.
My HTC phone can be rooted with the manufacturer's 'blessing' (can be done via their website), at the expense of voiding the warranty. I guess I ought to get around to that now it's over a year old :-)
If you do the same level of business with them as your company does, yes. They probably qualify for a quantity discount, so you'd probably get charged at least a tenner for a one-off version of the same deal.
The bulk deal probably works on the principle that the average amount of data used is below a certain limit, but some phones will be using a lot and others hardly any.