Feeds

* Posts by Matthew 3

352 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Page:

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

Matthew 3

It's not just Switzerland

If I lived in the Channel Islands I'd be looking for an angle here. They did it with CD deliveries, for a while, and I'm sure they'll try and do it again.

VAT doesn't apply there - they're not in the EU.

0
0

Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Matthew 3

Let their constituents judge them

If each MP knew that their local electorate were approving every pay rise or expenses claim there'd be a lot more honesty in the system. And a big improvement in representation too.

At the moment every MP can lie their way into power and then just sit tight for years. If you're lucky they might need to make a few more creative promises in time for the next election but for too many it's just a job for life. These types need constant reminding that their primary obligation is supposed to be towards the electorate who put them there.

3
0

El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

Matthew 3

Flyspray?

Surely they'd like that? It must make their lunch easier to catch.

2
0

Something rotten stalks the Cloud Kingdom

Matthew 3

BlackBerry

I remain convinced that BlackBerry's slow slide into oblivion is because their licensing arrangements are straightforward. If you don't have enough client licences the console will tell you, with a list of how many you have, how many you've used and a negative number if you've gone over.

Simple. No wonder nobody thinks they'll last much longer.

1
0

Microsoft to get in XP users' faces with one last warning

Matthew 3

Re: XP Activation

Does the 'activate by phone' option still work? If it does I bet that goes first.

0
0
Matthew 3

Re: Not the end of XP if you've got the cash!

Methinks there may be a (black) market to sell on those privately-purchased patches to all those other folks who want to keep the old XP boxes whirring.

1
0

Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Matthew 3

Insurance comparison sites?

Does this mean that comparison sites would be illegal?

If it means the end of the meercats and the opera singer I think I could live with that.

1
0

Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

Matthew 3

I've been amused that IE 11 removes the 'MSIE' token from the user agent string. This is to ensure that the old CSS hacks and workarounds required on some sites - to support IE6, 7 and 8 - aren't inadvertently sent to IE11 (now that they are, belatedly, no longer needed). A 'like Gecko' tag has also been added for further consistency with other browser types.

It's a long overdue change but has the amusing side-effect of making an Exchange server misidentify the browser and load the crappier Outlook Web App interface. A server-side update is needed to fix this.

3
0

Glassholes, snapt**ts, #blabbergasms, selfies and PRISM: The Reg's review of 2013

Matthew 3

But you bothered to scroll to the end of the last page, go to the comments, login and post a reply?

Very odd.

3
1

TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

Matthew 3

Used to be a fan

I first started using TomTom back in the days when it had to be installed on a PocketPC with a serially-connected GPS receiver. Postcodes required a third-party app which fed co-ordinates back to TomTom's app.

But they're a spent force now. I use Waze on my phone. It's free, I get realtime hold-up data and I can see live travelling speeds on the roads. If I ever get bored of it I can install another app. Why would anyone pay for a separate device that offers no more functionality than you get for free?

2
0

Company selling you out? You've been TUPE-ed

Matthew 3

Backstabbing by another name

I was TUPE'd as part of a UK FTSE 100 firm wanting to offshore its IT to an Indian tech firm. Immediately we all lost our final salary pensions and were signed up for a standard alternative one that offered far worse terms. We were all also thrown out of the employees' sharesave scheme, losing the chance to buy shares at a discount.

Within days of the transfer we were all told we were 'at risk of redundancy' and asked to train our (cheaper) Indian replacements. These people were allegedly paid the same as us although their compulsory bed-and-board deductions while they were in the UK apparently made up a significant proportion of their salaries...

It's hard not to assume that the whole process was intended just so that our former employer could deny laying people off to the press - "No, guv, not us. We TUPE'd them. We're nice and ethical!"

2
0

Who’s Who: a Reg quest to find the BEST DOCTOR

Matthew 3

It's those 'Where were you when....?" moments

Tom Baker was my first Doctor, so he's the best. I can still remember, with startling clarity, where I was at the shocking moment when he turned into Peter Davison. Until 2001 that was my equivalent of what my parents called 'a JFK moment'.

I didn't think much of the next couple, as the series wound down, but Eccleston wasn't bad, Tennant was better and Matt Smith was somewhere between the two. I'm just glad it's back.

Have a jelly baby...

1
0

Want to keep the users happy? Don't call them users for a start

Matthew 3

Re: You can't win

"Why do you always question what I'm asking for, why can't you just do it?"

I counter this by saying that when someone goes to the Doctor and says, "I think I have a flesh-eating disease on my leg" s/he doesn't immediately reach for the chainsaw. It's rarely sensible to skip investigation of a problem if you want a long-term resolution for it.

13
0

Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Matthew 3

Re: Dyson have a point.

"Someone must define a 'standard carpet' with an exact laboratory-standard mixture of dust particles of various sizes and a measured quantity of cat hair."

Which? do this already. Here's a snippet from their 'How we test vacuum cleaners' notes:

"For our carpet test, first a machine spreads super-fine sand from Arizona over a carpet and grinds it in. We then strap each vacuum cleaner into the rig, which pulls and pushes it back and forth five times as it sucks up the dust. This is known as the ‘Arizona sand’ test.

We repeat this test several times, measuring when bags or canisters are empty, and also when they're filled with 100g and 400g of dust. Each vacuum cleaner covers a distance of 288m in this test alone. The rig springs into action again to do a similar job for smooth and creviced wood floors.

A bad vacuum cleaner picks up less than half of the dirt in the carpet, where as a Best Buy can pick up twice as much."

Miele usually spank all opposition.

1
0

Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

Matthew 3

Noting the absence of a power lead in the pic it occurred to me that Apple are missing a trick. For the extra hundred quid they should have put an inductive plate on the base so that you could power it through your desk. The one remaining unavoidable wire gets hidden away and the aesthetics go uncompromised by even so much as a solitary piece of cable.

1
0

Apple tackles iPhone lock-up cockup with iOS 7.0.2

Matthew 3

Re: Battery life?

Batteries do perform more poorly over time. Just pop off the back cover and replace it with a new battery.

Oh yes, Apple device. Hmm, sorry, you're stuck with it.

0
0

WHY didn't Microsoft buy RIM? Us business blokes would have queued for THAT phone

Matthew 3

I agree with your conclusion: Microsoft should have bought RIM. But in my opinion they ruled it out because it's so widely perceived as failing that they didn't want to be associated with it.

It's a shame as RIM do still have plenty of USPs that nobody else has. Personally I think a Windows Phone, with toys like BBM and the end-to-end encryption plus all of the centralised server management gubbins, would be well worth having.

Did nobody mention to them that BlackBerry Enterprise Server also needs you to buy client access licences for all the business features? Microsoft really like selling licences. I'm sure that would have persuaded them.

1
2

OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Matthew 3

Another tale of woe - that's in the customer's favour

My parents recently moved house and had BT transfer phone and broadband to the new address.

Then a 'sorry to hear you're leaving us' letter arrived. They weren't changing providers.

BT investigated. Apparently. The conclusion was that they'd been 'slammed'. But, after weeks, it turns out they hadn't. They're still with BT and always were. But all this cocking around means that nobody has asked for any money. So my parents have the wonderful situation of free telephony and broadband until BT realise that they're the ones providing the service.

A letter to the chairman's office saying 'I'd like to pay for my services' finally elicited a response but still -four months on - they won't take any money...

1
0

How to get a Raspberry Pi to take over your Robot House

Matthew 3

Re: Reg ongoing feature?

"Currently it's a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist"

As someone who is desperate for people in Sezchuan province, China to be able to use their computer to turn my lights on and off, there's a pressing need for this right now.

9
0

Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

Matthew 3

Re: Schiphol

Advice for you: don't follow it up with 'Get ready for a surprise!'

0
0

Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Matthew 3

Re: Fascinating article

But I'm still awaiting the explanation of how every tape left in a car for more than a fortnight could mutate into a 'Best of Queen' compilation.

8
0

Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Matthew 3

Re: Indeed...

A, er, friend of mine once wanted to print a document while working at a US army base in Germany.

Ignoring the odd-looking mysterious black box next to the printer he found a spare IEC lead and plugged in the (US-voltage) Laserjet. It did actually start a self-test before the smoke started and the lights went out for the whole building.

Several scary-looking men with guns weren't impressed with me. Er, I mean him.

9
0

Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

Matthew 3

So the Americans will either be calling it 'ununpentum' or 'elerum' then?

4
2

Nissan promises to sell self-driving cars by 2020

Matthew 3

"...25 years and legally you won't be able to go on the road without it."

Probably not, since the cost of all those new cars (let alone the environmental cost of destroying millions of old-but-still-working classic cars) would be prohibitive. There's plenty of us out there who are quite fond of some of those old-fashioned machines.

But I suspect that once the self-driving cars' liability issues are resolved it'll cost a lot more to insure a human to do the driving.

2
0

CLIMATE CHANGE made sea levels FALL in 2010 and 2011

Matthew 3

Re: I'm sure that there'l be a variety of amusing commentary here ...

"near unanimous" sounds a bit unequivocal if you're going to use that as your justification for the words "simple proven fact".

2
2

Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

Matthew 3

I remember awaiting with bated breath the update from NT 3.5 to the (far more usable) NT3.51, on which I got my first MCSE. That was before the dumbing down of MCSE bootcamps of course. It's like they say about school exams now: far harder in the old days! ;-)

0
0

Android detective explains Bitcoin borkage breadcrumbs

Matthew 3

Re: Random numbers

This was a feature on BlackBerries. (remember them?) You used to be asked to move around the trackball-thingy™ which generated genuinely random data.

0
0

UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

Matthew 3

Mobile signal?

If it relies on the mobile phone network what will they do where the signal isn't good enough?

Presumably the tinfoil hat wearers will just, er, wrap the meter in tinfoil anyway to block 'them' from doing whatever nefarious things it is that 'they' might do.

2
0

Graphical front ends for PowerShell? Here's a couple for you

Matthew 3

Efficiency

Personally I quite like this way of working. I can still do most things via the GUI and the majority of wizards show the actual Powershell command that they're going to execute at the end.

Having a GUI present you with the Powershell is a great way to get a feel for it (and also see if the shell command might be quicker and easier next time). I'm no scripting expert but I'm building up a bank of scripts / commands which is, slowly, improving my skill.

Ultimately you should end up with the flexibility of both systems - GUI and shell - and hopefully the skill to use whichever is most appropriate.

1
0

Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Matthew 3

Smokers...

...will still want their own car, where the Health & Safety people haven't (yet) prevented them from practising their vice.

1
1

Universities teach us a thing or two about BYOD

Matthew 3

Re: Eduroam, and similar

"I suspect that the reason is management. The institutions are clearly in the hands of the academics, and the IT people are clearly expected to provide a working system"

You're right that it's down to how it's managed but it's primarily because most academics respect the skills and experience of their IT staff just as we're expected to respect their knowledge in their field.

Out in the corporate world IT is seen only as a cost that reduces profit margins, rather than a crucial part of the infrastructure.

2
0
Matthew 3

Eduroam is an amazing achievement and it's nice to see it getting some well-deserved kudos.

6
0

Microsoft to switch off MSN TV

Matthew 3

Sad way to learn

...that this service existed by hearing of its demise. Seems to be happening a lot recently.

1
0

Hitch climate tax to the ACTUAL CLIMATE, says top economist

Matthew 3

Re: Fine in theory. Crap in practice

We're already paying climate-change taxes in the UK.

With this idea you could at least be sure that the taxes you're asked to pay are directly linked to the outcome of the activity, rather than the current arbitrary government-decided number.

That's why they won't change to this system.

1
1

Mastercard and Visa block payments to Swedish VPN firms

Matthew 3

Time for a new credit card firm?

They could even resurrect the name 'Access'. Several shops around here still have that logo in their window.

14
0

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Matthew 3

Re: orly

If you'd like to see the effect of alternating current on a filament bulb take a look at The Slow Mo guys' video. Well worth a look.

2
0

Julian Assange: I'm quite happy to sleep on Ecuador's sofa FOREVER

Matthew 3

Re: His legal status.

More importantly does his current status explain why the trademark on his name has lapsed? I'm sure that every previous El Reg article quotes him as Julian Assange™.

0
0

Flash flaw potentially makes every webcam or laptop a peephole

Matthew 3

Re: Let's get, err ...practical

Good question and one I'd like to know the answer to.

0
0

Chrome and Firefox are planet-wreckers, IE cuddles dolphins

Matthew 3

Re: A few points:

I've used lots of browsers over the years and not one of them has asked for a prick measurement. Are you sure that you're visiting the right websites?

0
0
Matthew 3

Sorry Eadon, your logic fails too

You said: "That's because no one uses IE." at 05:42 GMT

But by 06:55 GMT you're contradicting yourself:

"...your logic fails because the clueless run IE."

Or is your point that nobody is clueless?

3
1

The only Waze is Google: Ad giant tipped to gobble map app 'for $1.3bn'

Matthew 3

Not strictly accurate

"Waze offers nothing more than the text messages sent by people stuck in traffic to local radio stations for the DJs to read out"

That's not quite right - by capturing the data about the current speed at which a Waze user is travelling on a road it can display that as accurate realtime travel speed for others. Waze users do have the option of reporting a holdup but that's not required for Waze to collect beneficial data.

I've found it to be very accurate at reporting what speed I can expect to do on a particular rush-hour road.

4
0

Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Matthew 3

...

and more jelly babies.

2
0

My, my Pi, did it spy ya? Bye, bye Pi, did it go higher?

Matthew 3

Re: Air traffic safety

I know the associated story has been debunked by Snopes but, still, I have to add:

"Thaw the chickens first".

2
0

Oi, Google! Stop LIBELLING us Germans, fix your autocomplete

Matthew 3

Re: "online nutritional supplement and cosmetics company"

...one must assume we're dealing with a small aquatic bird from the anatidae family.

5
0

Your Flying Car? Delayed again, but you WILL get it, says Terrafugia

Matthew 3

Re: Trouble is ...

"...my airspace"?

When you're on the ground do you drive an Audi by any chance?

28
2

ZX Spectrum cassette player lost? There's an app for that

Matthew 3

Re: Cause to dig the speccy out I reckon

"I still find the screechy white noise comforting in a way."

I was startled to realise that my kids had never heard dial-up internet either.

2
0

Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Matthew 3

Mixed up with toys

At the moment a plastic kids' toy gun is obviously not the real thing. With these out there it might become a bit harder to be certain what's what. I predict that someday a young kid will be shot for playing with a toy gun, just in case it isn't.

0
0
Matthew 3

Re: Keep calm and carry on hysterizing!

"... there had been 33 mass shootings from 1983-2013, IE more than 1 a year."

That browser has a lot to answer for...

0
0

How did something so small and pink cause so much trouble?

Matthew 3

Re: Drifting slightly OT ....

There was a similar story posted by Bill Bryson about a chap who couldn't get the US authorities to understand that he only had nine fingers. The 'system' wasn't equipped to cope with less than ten prints.

2
0

Plusnet's 'Everyone's a winner' claim is a plus-sized whopper

Matthew 3

Re: [sic]

Shouldn't the footnote be 'sic erat scriptum'?

(Not trying to be arsey - I just googled your Latin quote as I'd only ever seen it as [sic] before. That's what I was offered as a correction)

1
0

Page: