2337 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: What's new
After getting made redundant I temped for an insurance company for a bit. One of our form letters was, "I'm sorry to hear about the death of your beloved horse, here's some money."
Nowadays it would probably be, "Sorry your horsey's dead, can we have it please we could murder a lasagne."
I fancy a marble iPad sleeve though. How many relatives and friends do I have to kill off in order to win one?
Re: Piano player, I ain't
I must say I don't understand that. Surely the point of having a phone with a tablet to slot into is that all the big stuff can be handled by the tablet screen. Which allows you to make the phone a bit smaller. I still make more calls than I use data, so I want a phone that's comfortable to hold up to my ear for long periods while I try to solve ridiculous engineering problems with guys on noisy building sites. It's good to shout...
There seem to be a lot of grumpy old sceptics on here. Battle-scarred troops from the trenches of IT no doubt...
However this looks like quite a nice idea to me. People find it hard to remember numbers, but with this, the bit they have to remember could be a smiley face, the letter J or a random squiggle - depending on taste. Whether you can manage to explain how it works to users is another matter of course. But at least it's something that's trying to be user-friendly, rather than relying on increasingly complicated strings for people to
write down remember.
Re: What's new
Of course advertisers will plague the site. When you first set it up, giving your email address and a date when your relative died, you'll probably find your inbox inundated with undertaker spam, florist spam and the like. Or am I perhaps being a touch cynical?
What do existing sites/people do?
Do the current sites have plans for their user's dying? And, as a very un-social-networker myself I don't know, is there a social network etiquette (snetiquette I guess?) for this situation yet?
A friend died around 10 years ago and his Myspace profile stayed up. There was a particular song on there that he'd liked, so I can remember thinking about him a few times, and going back to listen to that song and look at photos. I think his family decided to leave it up, or it may just have been that they didn't know how to get it closed, or didn't think about it.
Now Myspace was a bit less interactive than Facebook, but I can imagine an FB page still sitting there, generating content from all the people that were friends, and of course giving Facebook valuable linking information to create their social graph. So even if they close them on family request, I'm sure they keep the data. I guess family could gain control, as they have access to the main email address, and turn them into 'tribute pages', but I don't know if that's the done thing.
Interestingly, I've just checked, and my mate's Myspace page is still there. With a few people who put up birthday wishes every year, saying they miss him. Although I also notice that Myspace have removed his songs.
Re: Since the move to iOS 6 app updates no longer require a password
Yep, I'm certain. I updated 3 apps on my iPad last night, and didn't have to put my password in. I don't remember if there was a setting I had to adjust, but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure it just happens when you update to iOS 6.
It might be nice to just have an 'are you sure' box for free stuff, but as other people are always borrowing iPads (especially kids - who make a beeline for them), I think that the owner needs some control. Of course, user accounts might be a solution for this, but Apple prefer to keep things simple. Also I'm sure they'd prefer you to buy one device per family member...
However, there is a new bunch of restrictions settings, so you can lock the phone to your PIN, while not allowing access to various things, such as in-app purchases, mail, contacts, phone function etc.
Re: Daily Mail
If you read the article, it says that this poster is new, and then they refer you back to the excellent TV mini-series with the bonkers name - to point out that it's not unprecedented.
So yes, it is news. As happens it's something I didn't know about, so now I've learnt a new (utterly useless) fact, all from reading the dear old Reg.
Although in reality, it's not news, it's one of those interesting titbits that can be filed under "and finally" or "funny things that foreigners do". Which is exactly what Bootnotes or Odds and Sods is for. If you don't like it, don't read it.
Since the move to iOS 6 app updates no longer require a password. Which makes sense given that you've already given permission for it to be there, and changes in access to your data are handled separately by the OS.
In general though, I'd much prefer to be asked 'are you sure' than not, when it comes to spending on my credit card.
Well, up to a point Lord Topper. Up to a point...
In fact it's the Foreign Office. And that funding has either ended, or is about to end, as part of the Licence Fee settlement that the coalition negotiated with the Beeb on taking office. It was basically pay for the World Service and S4C, or get your charter re-negotiated early. Effectively a significant cut in funding.
As for being a propaganda arm of the FCO, not always. Probably not even often. The Beeb has clashed with a lot of British governments over the years.
Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"
now the BBC has a new slant on things following the F.O. financing review - I even noticed it before I read about it is a UK document.
What new slant do you think the World Service has? I've not particularly noticed one, but then I only listen to the UK broadcasts on digital radio. Although I did used to listen regularly when I worked abroad 10 years ago.
There have been 2 big changes in the last 10 years. Sometime in the middle of the last decade they merged all the news gathering into one big pot, rather than World Service being a totally separate unit. Although the stories are still selected differently, and they always shared the foreign correspondents anyway. The change to the FCO funding, was that it was cut off. Basically a disguised cut to the Beeb's license fee funding, by making it pay for the World Service and S4C (Welsh telly) out of its existing budget.
Re: Daily Mail
Looks like it might actually be genuine. Although the BBC doesn't give the program name, their source is BBC monitoring in Caversham, who watch foreign TV and listen to foreign radio all day. BBC story
But those commies do like silly names, see these 2 examples from the Beeb story:
Television newsreels such as "Employees of Pyongyang Textile Plant keep their hairstyle and dressing neat and tidy" and "Hairdressers at Ch'anggwangwo'n manage men's hair according to the demands of the military-first era" have also aired.
Re: Nokia Maps in Prison
Ah, the spectacle of one anonymous poster accusing another anonymous poster (who he/she/it disagrees with) of in fact being yet a third pseudonymous poster, in an effort to give weight to his/her/its argument. With the extra special sauce of accusing them of being a paid shill, with even less evidence.
This is a fun game. Can anyone play? You are Lord Lucan, and I claim my £5.
Re: Nokia Maps in Prison
Are you sure about that? When I looked, the figures appeared very promising, especially in Europe. But then IDC or someone came out with global sales that suggested WinPho 8 had dropped 0.1% share in the last quarter of 2012. Whereas it looked to me like they might get close to doubling.
OK, it's only one analyst. But they're much better at the past than at forecasting the future. It looks like Europe likes them, but not rich-Asia or the US. However with some of the new low-end ones Nokia have the potential to beat Android in the £100 - £200 market, which is probably the fastest growing bit of the smartphone market.
It's probably not where MS were aiming, but Nokia are. Win decent market share there, and it should get easier at the top-end. Having just had the work Lumia replaced with an iPhone, I can say that there's a lot I miss even from WP7. It had far superior email and contact handling, slightly better call quality, better maps, and bigger writing. All things I think are important in a phone. iOS has the apps of course - but I've got an iPad, so I knew that. I also tend to prefer the tablet for apps, so I personally regard the phone bits as more important than the mobile computer bits.
What a depressing thought. Do many people buy smartphones on looks? Obviously a few do, but I hoped it was a tiny minority.
I don't really understand the point anyway. Mostly they all look the same, because they're all a vaguely rectangular shape with a big glass front, and sometimes a button or three at the bottom. Plus buttons on the side. So your only real choice is materials and colour. The 'cooler' materials seem to be glass and aluminium, which are actually the least suitable ergonomically - because they're more slippery and cold. It's amazing how cold my new aluminium iPhone is when it's 0 degrees and I answer it, as opposed to the Nokia it's just replaced. I really like the rubberised back, preferably coating metal so it's stronger when I drop it.
Also, if Nokia like their current design, why have their phones look different to each other? If they think this brightly coloured thing is the way to go, it makes sense they do it across their range. Also, they do them all in black, it's just those aren't the ones that get into the marketing shots.
Re: Blame the Marketing Dept
Well, you can get a Nexus 4 for £280 at the moment, because a company is willing to give the operating system away for free, and the same company is willing to subsidise its hardware partner to sell them around cost price. That company is, of course, Google - who make virtually all their cash from selling advertising.
If at some point in the future Google have a mobile monopoly, or decide that no other mobile platform is going to steal their search-paid-for-by-advertising business, then things could change rapidly. When you include buying Motorola, Google might have blown around $20 billion on Android (maybe more). Now as well as securing their mobile ad share, they've also got some fantastic data out of that to improve mapping, search and the rest, but that's still a considerable investment that I'm sure they'd like to get repaid. With interest.
Normal companies sell things for a profit. I strongly suspect the internet economy will be a lot more healthy when we pay for the services we use, rather than get them 'free' in exchange for our privacy or paid for entirely by a different service we use. The downside of things being routinely 'free' is that normal companies might not be able to make a profit at them, and so you end up in the situation of relying on corporate charity, or at the mercy of potentially the scariest privacy destruction machine in history. Not that we're close to that yet, but it's a point worth considering. Choice is good.
YOUR ONLY SAYING THAT BECOZ TEH GOVERNMINT MIND CONTROL MICROWAVE CANCER RAYS HAVE DAMAGED YOUR BRAAAINNN!
Re: We played this wrong.
Maybe they'd actually used up the ones 'we' sold them while arming both sides in the Iran-Iraq war?
Ah yes, the old bollocks. Don't bother finding out the facts, it's all the West's fault...
Not that we're totally blameless, and certainly having screwed up in Iran it looks like an equally bad decision was made to try and contain Iran by supporting Iraq. But for some factual background:
Iraq used Russian rifles and pistols. Iraq had Russian artillery and rocket launchers. Iraq used Russian SAMs and anti-aircraft guns. They used Russian radars, tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and other military vehicles. Iraq had FROG and SCUD missiles (shall I tell you where they bought them? Yup, Russia.). They then had some upgraded SCUDs with the range to hit Israel (which they built/modified themselves). Now when it came to the air-force they had MiG and Sukhoi aircraft, and Russian helicopters, but yep, they did have some nice French Mirages as well. And it was Chirac that sold them the nuclear reactor that Israel bombed in the 80s. Co-incidentally it was France and Russia that vetoed most attempts to tighten sanctions throughout the 90s (and of course war in 2003) and that French and Russian officials (amongst others) were taking bribes in the form of UN oil export credits.
I believe that German companies sold Iraq a bunch of machine tools and chemicals plant. Which were used in the process of making chemical weapons. But that stuff could have been, and was, used in the Iraqi civilian economy for things like making fertilizer. No-one (not even the Russians) sold the Iraqis their chemical weapons, they built them themselves. Even after whatever happened to their remaining stockpiles in the late 90s had happened, Iraq still had the know-how to rebuild their chemical arsenal. As for the biological stuff, I don't think they ever managed to weaponise that successfully.
So nope, the US didn't arm Iraq in the 1980s, although they also didn't stop them arming. The Kuwaitis in particular (along with the other Gulf states) did loan them loads of cash to buy Russian weapons - I guess Kuwait didn't fancy having Iran as a neighbour. The French sold them multiple billions worth of kit (mostly aeroplanes), but the Russians were their main weapons supplier. I know we in the UK sold them some stuff, not sure if it was dual-use or actual military stuff, but I think they had a couple of British patrol boats. The Americans didn't supply much stuff at all. Also Iraq bought some of its kit via Syria and Jordan, to confuse the issue further.
However, no-one sold Iraq any chemical weapons. They built those themselves. I've still not seen anything to say what happened to the stuff the UN inspectors didn't destroy in the 90s. It would seem that there was some stuff found dangerously corroded that were leftovers from the Iran-Iraq or 1991 wars. And Iraq declared some sites when it signed up to the convention on chemical weapons, but they got bombed and were too dangerous to inspect, let alone clean up. I wonder if we'll find out when the Syrian regime collapses? Did Saddam destroy them, given them away, or did the UN Inspectors over-estimate the stockpiles?
Re: We played this wrong.
Wrong way around - the policy was decided on and the intel made to fit.
I assumed when I read that sentence, you were going to talk about Iraq. Because it doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone that Iraq could have destroyed its remaining WMD stockpiles, or that maybe the UN inspectors had over-estimated how much they'd made before the 90s. Although the latter seems unlikely as they had purchase and manufacturing data.
I wasn't aware of that story about the Soviet ICBMs. However, the CIA's threat estimates were surely correct. Given that the USSR had a massive nuclear force. They may have got the timing slightly wrong in the deployment of a new ICBM, but it's not as if the Soviets didn't then go on to build lots of them.
Also it was the CIA (and MI6) that got the data to Kennedy that the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces weren't ready for war - during the Cuban missile crisis. That was intel from Oleg Penkovsky. Given the danger involved, what's scary is how little political intelligence both sides had. In the case of the West we were finding things out about the military all the time, but the Soviet political system was opaque. Unless something comes out that's still secret, our highest sources appear to have been KGB or military and not political. Weirdly most of the information the Soviets needed was totally open to them, but the KGB don't seem to have been passing that on to their political masters - either due to groupthink, self-interest, stupidity or something else.
It's particularly grim that not only do you have to sing for your supper, but even if you've given Google such brilliant free publicity that they select you as a winner, you still have to fucking pay for the goodies! What kind of competition is it where the prize is nothing. Oh except we'll generously let you buy our stuff at 'early-adopter' prices.
On the other hand, it's certainly an interesting toy, that could be very useful, but how am I going to be able to use it, when I need reading glasses? Are you looking at a tiny screen that's got a magnifier, or is it projecting light across the glasses? I've never been quite clear on that.
Re: Why is it?
all hell breaks lose
I don't wish to be a grammar-nazi, but I was just tickled by what I think is the first time I've ever seen someone type lose when they meant loose. Of course we've all seen it a million times the other way...
Its a rediculous typo!!!one!1!
Google have made a huge error here
Why use Android. Android@Home is rubbish, when you could have the clearly better:
I've often seen the comment that OSX would get more viruses (virii?) when it was more mainstream. And it still isn't really, although I believe their US laptop sales are pretty high now. But don't they now have a huge number of developers using Macs? I saw a picture taken at a Ruby on Rails conference, and there was a room completely full of Macbooks and only one lonely Dell.
I guess that's still not mainstream enough if you're trying to sell Viagra. But if you're after information, or playing the long-game and want to infect websites/programs rather than individual PCs to push your Viagra, then maybe that makes OSX mainstream now.
Not nice PR for Apple though. I wonder how good their security response will turn out to be?
Re: "Microsoft declined to comment."
Well it would be a tad embarrassing if MS had to admit they'd been hacked too. As that would be tantamount* to admitting they do their developing on Macs...
I wonder if MS will now send a nice present to Oracle. Perhaps a new yacht for Larry, with a pirate flag with an apple impaled on the top of the pole.
Re: We played this wrong.
Surely the correct response would be to say our nuclear explosion detectors said that there was no explosion. Nothing to see here, no problem.
As for the Iraq thing, you do realise that Iraq did have WMDs. It's not as if they had any great intelligence of what Iraq had, they simply took the figures from the UN inspectors in the 1990s (mostly of what they'd bought or produced), subtracted what the inspectors had found and destroyed and took the remainder to be the current stockpile.
Despite the crap about 45 minutes, if you read the original dossier from the UK government, that's pretty much all it said. I read a history of the early Cold War just after reading it, and it was amazing just how little intel they had on Soviet Union with which to form policy. And clear from that, just how little they seemed to have on Iraq too. The book was by Peter Hennessy called 'The Secret State' - which I highly recommend. It was quite an eye-opener on the early Cold War stuff - and I'm even more amazed that we didn't have an accidental nuclear war, given the confusion.
Re: 4G must be going badly
Ooops! I'd be really really pleased with 7Gb/sec...
It's not a great tarrif, but the unlimited calls is more important than the data (our previous contract had 500MB). It's about par for the course to get the iPhone 5 though, at least from a quick look (I've not been dealing with this or we'd have bought the phones and gone SIM free).
Re: looks like it will have to cough up $100K for the replacements
If you have a few hundred stores, it's probably cheaper not to buy insurance. What you'd pay in premiums is probably higher than your total annual damage. It's not as if Apple don't have sufficient spare change on hand to cover the odd £100 broken door.
I'm sure that on the day 3 announced that they'd simply shift everyone on their One tarriff to 4G, loud swearing broke out at EE's head office. As you can see from my post above, EE have realised this, and finally got it into their noggins that they need to sign all the 4G hopefuls up at normal prices if they want to take advantage of their monopoly. Well done Ofcom! I wonder why they haven't loudly announced that they're cutting the prices? I can't believe it's not wanting to upset the early-adopters. Can't imagine one of the mobile companies caring a tuppeny-damn about hurting their customers' feelings...
4G must be going badly
If you remember their first price was £55 for half a gig of data many calls and texts, and then last month it was £75 for all the data you could eat (no honest really we won't have a 'fair-use' clause hidden in the small print much...). That's obviously gone piss-poorly, because they've slashed the prices without talking about it much. We've just moved the 7 company phones on with them. I wouldn't have gone for it, but we've got:
£36 per month 2 year contract (I haven't seen it yet, I'm assuming that'll be ex VAT). First 2 months free - so it's really £33 p.m. (£40 gross).
iPhone 5's, all 16GB models + 1 64GB one (there's always room to give extra shiny to the guy signing the contract...
Unlimited calls and texts.
1GB data per month.
7 handsets. This worked out cheaper than the 'sharer' contracts we've been on for years (which seem to keep getting worse), where you have one pool of minutes and data. If you went for the shinier handsets anyway. I'd have been happy to go for cheaper, but we've got some serious iPhone fanbois here, and I got outvoted.
So it's goodbye to Win Phone 7 (your fonts were lovely and huge), with mixed feelings but mostly regret. And a big Hello to iOS 6, and no I'm not updating you to 6.1 just yet thanks. Phone feels a bit weird in the hand, but it's nice enough.
So that's a 50% price cut on the 4G tarriff they announced just 3 months ago. Oops! Ha ha ha!
Oh, just to add, I get 7Gb/sec in the office (which is marginally faster than the broadband). We're too close to the exchange to be allowed fibre to our cabinet. And we get tethering without paying extra (fuck you Vodafone!).
Re: Soft southerners
The Why-Aye-Pad is soooo tough, that it disnae need a case. If you're going to use it in really difficult conditions, say on an Antarctic building site, we do sell a t-shirt for it.
Re: Skull and crossbones
I kid I know was in his nursery Christmas play a few years back. Obviously he was the pirate (for reasons to become apparent), although I'm unsure which of the gospels mentions any pirates in the nativity story. I doubt there's even anything in the Dead Sea Scrolls... Anyway, they dressed him, and went to send him out on stage, when a little voice said, "excuse me, you've put the eye-patch over my wrong eye, and I can't see." Turns out his glass eye looked more realistic than the real one...
Damnation! I can't see where's I be goin'! My iPatch is covering the wrong eye! Would have been funnier, but he was only 4.
I wonder if he was the one that brought the baby Jesus the gift of rum, and so got written out of the story... I've no idea what you'd do with myrrh nowadays, but everyone can find a use for a bottle of rum. It was obviously popular, because Jesus's first miracle was to turn water into wine, and save a party from disaster.
Re: Didn't you lot get the memo?
I'm guessing that's why he only bothers writing a few every year now, rather than one a week. There's only so many users and bosses you can murder... When it comes to humour on El Reg, I give my allegiance to Verity.
BOFH reminds me of a TV detective show called 'Midsummer Murders'. It's set in this idyllic English village, population probably under 1,000, and yet for goodness-knows how many series they've had several murders per week. By now, the entire population has either been murdered, or been given life in prison, several times over. You'd have though that house-prices would collapse, and no-one would move there, given the 100% chance of you being killed, murdering someone, or both...
Re: Skull and crossbones
I says buggeration to your electronic gewgaws and gizmos, pass me the rum! And I'll keelhaul the first lawyer who sets foot on me boat!
Re: @I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
I must admit it was a bit too subtle for me... I read it several times, and still couldn't decide if it was being rude about me, or another go at the French.
Re: Wait a sec
Is that why the Barclays cash machine I used yesterday had the WiFi logo on it. It comes printed on all those nice little webcams you can buy. I just assumed they'd moved their cash machines to unencrypted WiFi, to save on networking costs...
Re: Clueless banks
The last credit card person to call me, and ask for my date of birth seemed rather wearily resigned to my refusal to answer. All the previous times I've met bewilderment that I shouldn't trust random people who ring me up asking for financial details...
I suppose they know who they are, so why should I doubt them?
Re: 'What's the point?'
I once heard them described as 'napalm covered in cardboard'.
So I'm presuming that mmmmm is due to your inability to speak after eating them, because of the third degree burns to your mouth?
I can well believe this, having once achieved the same, incendiary, effect with a jam toasty. Delicious agony - as I'm sure the Marquis de Sade would agree.
Re: Jonesing for BOFH
What kind of disgusting pervert are you? You don't incentivise people with kindness and gifts! You use violence, blackmail and threats.
All the Register need to do is threaten to publish his address in place of his next piece, should it fail to turn up by deadline. Then legions of his fans can storm round there, and give him a gentle introduction to high voltage testicles, with a cattle-prodding he'll never forget, and he'll soon get back to writing for you.
...Namby-pamby, pinko, liberal, woofta, modern, lefty, new-age, wouldn't-know-what-a-hard-day's-work-was-if-it-bit-them-on-the-behind, political-correctness-gorn-mad-I-tell-you... Mutter, mutter, mutter...
Well it's a close finish here at Plumpton. We've got Syliva Plath on the rails, leading by a nose, The Girl with the Pearl Earring making a spirited charge on the outside, and bringing up the rear (and most likely candidate for Findus lasagnadom) is Sarah Brightman.
I heard of one planet that got potted into a black hole, in a game of inter-galactic bar billiards. Killed 10 billion people. Only scored 10 points as well...
I'm sure there's a standard for the radio side. I was talking about the phone implementation. The carriers wanted to use the SIM for the encryption keys, so they could charge for it, or better, become transaction agents and take a nice percentage. The phone manufacturers wanted in on the action too, with hardware security they controlled. But Google also want in on the act, to do it in the OS. I don't recall who the banks sided with.
Re: I think you'll find...
More poor comedian than xenophobe. But what is the world coming to if an englishman can't be gratuitously rude about the French?
As a serious point though, there's nothing wrong with making jokes about disability in general. People being over-sensitive is far more of a problem. Plus 'comedy nationalism' is a speciality of British humour, and last time I checked this site ended in .co.uk.
I suggest you lighten-up.
What was the nature of this man's disability?
Re: "I just wanted it to end," he said.
You have a choice. Visit Charleroi, or crash into a ditch at 200km/h.
Re: Brewing time
That's where a desktop teapot comes in. First cup poured quickly, not so flavoursome but hot, and welcome. Second cup of perfection, after proper time to mash/stew/infuse/thingy.
Easy for me, I take my tea black no sugar. So I can just pour and go.
When I worked abroad, I used to have a teapot on my desk. That's the only language Johnny-Foreigner understands! Take teapot to kitchen, rinse, warm, add tea, pour in boiling water. Return to desk, drink 2 cups.
You talk of being a serious tea-drinker, and then laughably mention bags! Pah! Humbug! Poppycock! The correct dosage of tea is 2 mugs. In order to achieve this, you need a teapot. Make, savour first cup while scalding hot, pour again, down second cup before it goes lukewarm (the devil's temperature).
Actually, in the office, the teabag is acceptable. At home, only loose-leaf will do, and the strainer lives by the pot, so it takes no extra time.
It's the bloody cables. If the USB connector is the right way up, the cable is twisted. As soon as your attention wanders, it'll flip back the right way (inevitably trying to take a bite out of your wrist on the way round). So you know the connector is the right way up by the tension in the cable. Except when the cables deliberately tense up, in order to fool you.
Still, I failed an even easier
stupidity intelligence test last night. While fixing my Mum's Dell all-in-one PC, I wanted to plug a USB cable in, so bent down under the desk to find the case...
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