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* Posts by Billa Bong

44 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

Billa Bong

Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

VM as in you have an empty desk? I think Simon could really make something of upgrading the whole company to virtual (non-existent as opposed to the other kind) machines and cloud (perhaps by filling the building with smoke through the aircon). Man, this material just writes itself, doesn't it?

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Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

Billa Bong
Alert

Re: Fantastic... this is going to be such a FAIL!!!

I don't think you've understood how trading futures work (CME doesn't trade equities, only options and futures - the article title doesn't make that clear). Futures are all about predictable service and price. Futures only requires 2 things:

1. A provider willing to guarantee that for a particular period of time in the future he will provide a specific service for a specific sum of money

2. A consumer willing to take that service at that cost

Everything else that happens in the middle is fluff.

If I was running a cloud service, and was able to sell a contract for £10 to provide a service to whoever held that contract from 1st Jan 2015-1st Jan 2016 at a price of £5/month then assuming I'm reasonably confident that I can indeed provide that service for that price and still make a profit it's guaranteed income in the future for me (plus gets me a bit of cash in the drawer right now).

If I'm a commodity broker who sees that the cloud provider is selling a contract at that price, and believes that the going market rate for that service during 2015 will be, let's say, £10/month then I'd happily buy it, because just before 2015 I sell the contract for £50 to someone who *actually* wants the service (i.e. is in the right location or whatever), at a profit to me (£40) and an overall saving for them (£110 instead of £120).

To address your points:

1. At the point that an individual actually wants to make use of that service they will buy that either from a broker with the right contract for the contracts value (unless they had the forethought to purchase such a contract early on) or from the cloud provider themselves for the market rate; the overall prices will be comparable, the only thing that changes is who makes the profit.

2. The contract value is somewhat divorced from the actual service cost. Wheat futures are traded well in advance of farmers growing and the price of the actual item varies wildly depending on the weather, etc., etc. - but the contract is to buy at a set price no matter what, so the value of that contract will increase/decrease over time as conditions change (i.e. my contract that I bought for £5 for a tonne of wheat at £5 when the real cost of the wheat is closer to £50 can be sold on for anything up to £45).

3. Please do build a data center. Would you consider accepting some money now to sell a contract of service at a set price that you won't need to deliver on until you have built it, thereby allowing you to build it? If so, you've just traded your first cloud derivative on CME. :o)

PS. I'm not 100% convinced it will work just because a pig is a pig - you don't have lots of choices, how many legs it'll have, how many ribs, etc. Cloud contracts can be very variable. If there's a market for such futures contracts then maybe it'll bring providers into conformity, but that in itself is unhelpful to those people who want to tailor their cloud solution for their specific requirements - like buying an off the shelf web hosting package with a lot of crap you don't want just because you wanted ssh access.

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Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL

Billa Bong
Coat

Yeah, well, pedents everywhere

We put a "we were not impacted by heartbleed" and even this wasn't specific enough - we of course meant that we weren't using openssl, but one client jumped on this to exclaim "How do you know you weren't impacted? It could have happened without you knowing!".

He's right of course. But so were we.

I'm off to the pub.

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Japanese schoolkids arrested in £2.4 MEEELLION phone fraud bust

Billa Bong

Re: RE: "I know this might be a little inappropriate....."

Stoking the fire, I know, but...

If someone states that "this and that look the same *to me*" (note "to me", try expanding this to "all apples look the same to me" without reference to red vs. green, small vs. large, apples vs. pears), is that racist just because they're referring to all people from that particular genetic line, merely a rather foolish thing to say or a reflection on how ones brain interprets certain visual stimuli?

If someone states that "it appears they must all sound the same" due to the ease at which people get away with this sort of short-con as reported, is that racist just because of the above statement, or just a statement that people (in general?) don't seem to listen?

I'm not agreeing with the original comment - I think it was a very foolish thing to say due to being poorly worded. Just saying that there's more to racism than personal observation...

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123-reg shrugs off customer complaints over stealth domain transfer charges

Billa Bong

Domain registration *should be* loss-leading

It's like slapping a £1 tag for wanting to remove a mars bar from a shop. I ditched 123-reg a looong time ago because of crap customer service, and FreeParking after them for crap customer service and excessive charges. I'm now with Heart Internet. Haven't had to complain so far.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

Billa Bong
Pint

Pub, anyone?

This stuff always becomes clearer after a jar.

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BOFH: Attractive person is attractive. Um, why are your eyes bulging?

Billa Bong

Bofh off his game?

I've never known him to explain so much to senior management without the inevitable "rapid departure" of said manager. Is he showing a softer side in his old age?

Kudos to not-Spartacus - for someone who knows the Crazy like you know a pint (one presumes, despite your curry confession) you seem very willing to tempt it out of others on this board.

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How many keys can one keyboard have? Do I hear 200? 300? More?

Billa Bong

Close look at the video...

The "it takes a long time" video seems to waste a bit of time - I noticed especially at the start that some time was spent zooming and positioning the lady just right, whereas on the short side that entire operation was skipped, leaving the lady smaller in the frame and with a blokes elbow sticking into it (before the next overlay was added).

How about a comparison of someone using this keyboard vs. myself. I used PS for about a week before I gave up and resumed my very trivial editing work on PSP. I'm sure that a comparison like that would make them look even better.

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iFrame attack injects code via PNGs

Billa Bong

Re: disable javascript in your browser!

Switch off images too, or use http://lynx.browser.org/

No, wait... that's a silly idea. I'd never be able to view cat lols again.

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Developer's rare $50,000 Twitter account @N stolen in web shakedown

Billa Bong

This would only work if...

The world knows his PayPal ID. Does he advertise it on his web site for random donations or something? If he doesn't then chances are that he's had dealings with the thief and therefore he would be easier to find.

Besides that, since it's known that people make their PayPal ID known to world+dog, surely the weak point is in PayPal for using just that one (public) item to give the last 4 digits of the card without saying "go log in and find out yourself, dimwit".

My life would be so much more secure if I didn't have to keep giving companies security information. *sigh*.

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Billa Bong

What I want to know,

and what the Reg should find out, is *honestly* how many of the trustees and management actually did the tour (particularly the Crap Egotistical Officer) and *honestly* thought cutting out parts of it was a good idea.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Billa Bong

Unbelievable

When the ceo was asked what he says to those unwilling to subscribe to the wrong decision he's made, he says "thank you for your service". In other words, you're fired. You can't read it any other way. I love the way he says it and then contradicts the reporter who translates this common English phrase for him. He even laughs about it!

If this is who we're putting valuable computing history in the hands of, I am very worried. How long before he removes "unnecessary" exhibits to make way for jam and t-towels, I wonder.

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German frau reports for liver transplant clutching bottle of vodka

Billa Bong

Re: sad...

The part that saddens me the most is people not wanting to donate because of it. But why should they? "Puppy - free to a good home" - people don't want to think that their liver will be abused in it's new host (more than you've abused it yourself, naturally).

And as for synthesizing them, I can see it now - "Right love, I'm just off for my annual liver transplant - can you pick up some more beer at the store? 10 gallons should last me the night." How long before we become like Trig's Broom - every part replaced, but still just the same...

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BT-owned ISP Plusnet fails to plug security hole on its customer signup page

Billa Bong

Sorry for the aside...

I've never understood how this is legal to sell the same or "competing" products/services under two different companies that you own and operate. It gives consumers the illusion of choice, but would these companies ever really compete with each other to provide, I dunno, better or cheaper service to the benefit of the end user?? This is really price fixing on a grander scale.

Oh, and naughty naughty plusnet for your unencrypted pages and password storage. Sit on the naughty step in contemplation and at least own up when you err.

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Mexican drink-driver shopped to cops - by his own gobby parakeet

Billa Bong
Coat

Maybe the last microwave beeper and smoke alarm were real...

Too soon?

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Ho, ho, HOLY CR*P, ebuyer! Etailer rates staff on returns REJECTED

Billa Bong

Re: Benefit of doubt

I'm guessing the 3 thumbs down are from the people who had to put in some hard work to get something RMA'd. I don't mind - but all I was saying was ebuyer might be crap but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since me and my team have to deal with overly aggressive people on a daily basis; as humans, and those not at the source of the original issue that's caused you to call us we're more likely to help people who are pleasant to deal with. Like it or not, aggressive customers get poorer service because support people don't want to deal with you.

** Edit: and a thumbs down on this one within 1 minute! Awesome. I'm going for a record. Maybe you'd like to explain why me telling you that there may be more to this story is so offensive to you? I thumbs down your thumbs down, sir.

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Billa Bong

Benefit of doubt

For the defense:

#1. Where does it say "leader board". The pixelation makes it hard to make out the top few scores and people are in the way of the rest - it does *appear* that they're in %age order just based on the top two, but "Dan" may be the first alphabetically.

#2. To receive back RMA kit that is not faulty hurts us as consumers because it pushes prices up. Maybe before laying into them you should be thanking them for checking that the kit is indeed faulty before accepting RMA. Oh, and getting people to call the *actual* technical experts to confirm the kit is faulty is also a sensible move, particularly if the staff don't know their arse from their elbow

For the prosecution:

#1. Never accept crap service. I've read a few people who've said it. If you've stated the issue and they've not acted on it in a satisfactory way then FGS tell them. I'm a support division manager and I take that stuff very seriously, but read the "finally" note below.

#2. If RMA is the only metric they're looking at then they deserve an additional slating for it. I score my guys on the number and complexity of the issues resolved with the customer to the customers satisfaction, no matter what the actual issue resolution.

And finally:

Geeze you guys, calm down a bit. There will always be people who they don't manage to satisfy 100%, but if you go off on them then you *will* be marked as a bad customer. Work with them and let them know exactly what the issue is - take photos, talk to them politely (as possible). You'll find they'll be less hostile and easier to work with. If you're not getting on with the individual you're talking to, ask to talk to someone else.

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Rise of the Machines: How computers took over the stock market

Billa Bong
Boffin

Re: Is there a benefit?

I can't tell whether this is a sarcastic comment or not... The point is to _be_ the fastest so you can _be_ the winning participant. If a company announces lay-off's, it can't be doing very well, so the trick is to catch the news and put in an offer to sell all your shares at a (not so reasonable) price before everyone interested in buying realize that you're now trying to offload something that's not worth what you're asking. I.e. the trick is to offload something worth 2p for £2 before everyone else realizes it's not worth £2. At the end of the day rapid selling only helps you increase the gap between what "everyone else" thinks a stock is worth and what you think it's worth.

Now scale that up - not only do you need to watch the news, but you also watch what other traders are doing, trying to infer meaning from their activity. The big players can really screw up the market simply by deciding to cash in and sell all their shares for _no_ reason, resulting in other algo's figuring that "they must know something we don't" and also selling up - no human intervention, yet the value of the stock falls significantly.

The principle of a free market is that I can buy whatever I want provided I'm willing to pay the price being asked by the _seller_. If you as the exchange enforce a fixed price, you're effectively saying "yes, you own it, but I'm telling you that you can't sell it for more/less than this price". It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm sure you wouldn't like it if ebay told you that your car is only worth £6000 today and therefore that's all you can sell it for.

If this was the case I'd also be out of a job since I work for one of the low-latency market data vendors!

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Think you're ready to make a big career bet? Read this first...

Billa Bong
Pint

Relying on bits of paper when recruiting

Not for me. From personal experience I tend to view these as certificates for managing to stay awake and off the booze for long enough to use your brain on exam day. My interviewees are subjected to "give me an example of a time when..." and "tell me about any work you've done which...", with a bit of on-the-spot testing of their technical knowledge (occasionally I even allow Google, because we live in the real world and being able to filter some of the rubbish you find on the internet is an important skill).

Beer because it's also part of the interview process.

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BBC: Monster cargo ship delivers '863 million tins of baked beans'

Billa Bong
FAIL

"Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers"

So "none" then...

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'Leccy-starved Reg hack: 'How I survive on 1.5kW'

Billa Bong
Pint

Popcorn in the microwave??

I can make it faster on my gas hob (powered by bottled gas because I live *miles* outside a major city - all 7 of them).

However, I do sympathise with you Lester. I'll restrict the usage of my air source heat pump tonight in your honour. The kids can put on jumpers and have cold baths instead.

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The seven types of commentard

Billa Bong

Re: Where do all the shills fit in?

Just what I was going to ask. A few customers of mine in particular get a lot of posts which start out very complimentary about the site (generic "what a good site" comments) with the sole intention of promoting then their own. I just delete the offending advert part of the text and publish anyway. Muahahaha! (BOFH logo)

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UK space agency to boldly send techies ... behind a desk

Billa Bong
Meh

Jobs for the UK! In the Netherlands!

Ok, I only clicked on 4 posts on the top 10, but they were all based in the Netherlands. Maybe it would be useful to include a "filter by location" for this - or at least state that the *UK* Space Agency are pushing jobs not in the UK...

Gave up looking. If you space bods want me, come find me. At the pub. [Tips hat to the PARIS crew.]

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Apple to appeal Italian warranty fine

Billa Bong

Did Apple not read the Reg's tag line?

Of course, I only read articles about companies I already don't like and would happily apply the shoe, plus all the bootnotes which I think the reg should set itself the task of writing more of, and kick Simon into weekly bofh's while you're at it. Fridays are very dull without a new episode. Very dull indeed.

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NHS minister's bombshell: I get emails from dead people

Billa Bong
FAIL

No, logic pass

See reply to Mr. Cheese above, and stop duplicating threads which is how this whole FAIL happened in the first place.

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Billa Bong
FAIL

Missed the point - again

You're arguing yourself into knots you guys. What I'm saying is that sending duplicate Emails (with the possibility of you not having understood the issue in the first place) is dumb, the unspoken part of the argument is "because that's what petitions are for".

You've basically said that I'm wrong because of petitions. Er... hello? These people are *NOT* adding votes to a petition which is a perfectly valid thing to do and *NOT* what I'm saying is broken. They're sending an Email that says exactly the same thing as everyone else's. Get a grip.

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Billa Bong

See my reply to Ragarath below

"Wot 'e said" isn't a good argument. I perfectly understand your reply, but MP's have a hard enough time figuring out their arse from their elbow, let alone sorting people with a legitimate argument vs. "Me too"-ists.

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Billa Bong

Nothing to lose?

"I think that he just knows that if these sites did not exist then the complaints would be less."

Only because people who normally don't care enough to make a legitimate case for their argument suddenly don't have a one-click way of joining the mob. I'm not saying these sites are bad, but I want to know what proportion of people who use them actually think about what they're joining.

You do make a valid point about not being confident in your writing skills and not wishing to sound like an idiot. I'd argue that the only way to not sound like an idiot is to make a good case for your argument irrespective of the language you use or your punctuation and grammer. Saying "Wot 'e said" is not a good argument.

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Billa Bong
FAIL

Well if all they do is forward the template Email to him...

Zombie: a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.

If you have an issue with something our government is doing, use *your* voice, don't just repeat word for word what someone else already said. As rightly pointed out, if he gets many Emails that are simply a reproduced template, he will filter them out and your voice won't be heard. And then you'll complain about it.

I have issues with his policies. But I also have issues with the half-hearted way people engage with our government and then complain about it.

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Robot resolves Rubik's Cube in record time

Billa Bong
Pint

"but only after being told how"

Or after the programmer has figured out how and programmed the phone to run the same logic.

Yes, it's a machine that simply does what it's told. Yes, it's not hard for a piece of software to solve a cube. Most innovations (e.g. auto-parking on BMW's) are the same sort of innovation. For goodness sake, see it for what it is... *lego* connected to a mobile *phone* to do something pointless *really* fast.

I want one!

Beer, because these guys deserve one. More than one. But they only have 5.3 seconds to drink them.

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AMD: Windows-8-on-ARM app compatibility is relative

Billa Bong
WTF?

Freeky de ja vu

I'm sure I read this article yesterday along with some comments...

News flash! The Register invents time machine!

Anyway, this is hardly news - more like AMD trying to protect market share with scaremongering.

News flash! You have to target your code to the processor you want it to run on!

Sheesh.

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End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out

Billa Bong
Coffee/keyboard

Meh.

I don't use phone numbers anyway, dialling friends by name rather than number, and I doubt it'll be long before a "phone number" becomes a hidden thing that users themselves aren't expected to remember.

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How are we going to search our hard disks now?

Billa Bong
FAIL

Oh, and let's not forget...

That in order to correctly identify all the meta data for the *content* of a file that you're going to need in order to file things in a way that's easily locatable by *position* on the hard driver, you'll need to not only see the future, require about 10 times the hard drive space for the meta-data and soft-links to the file in question but you'd lose probably about a year of your life per file doing the categorizing and organizing.

Hey, maybe I could employ a librarian to keep my computer organized? Nah, I'll just download Google Desktop. Oh, Sh...

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Billa Bong
FAIL

It amuses me that you think the solution is to teach *people* to file things properly

I store all my documents in a well organized way. It doesn't mean that I can find the document where I cited a particular passage from a book, or am looking for a particular error message in my log files. Hello?? Libraries don't work in the way that we need to search out computers.

But I agree with you that if you write a document called "My C.V." and put it somewhere idiotic, and then can't find it... well, perhaps you weren't meant for the job.

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Bloke ordered to remove offensive numberplate

Billa Bong
WTF?

Who does this guy think will protect him in a lawsuit?

The DVLA is responsible for the database of number plates and has always reserved the right to withdraw number plates on certain grounds, whether they were bought at a premium or not. Just because I buy a domain name now doesn't mean I won't have it pulled off me by the registry for some legitimate reason (that I agreed to when I bought it - just as this guy would have implicitly signed up to terms and conditions upon purchase of the plate).

Basically all the DVLA will do is withdraw the number plate and then every single cop that see's this guy will pull him over for having an unregistered car. I can't see how he can win, but I bet a lot of tax money is going to be wasted sorting it out.

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Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

Billa Bong
WTF?

"More than 50 per cent of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day."

I suspect that their definition of "active users" are all those users who regularly log on, so in effect it's just a brilliant way of saying "Look! Our users who are logging on are in fact logging on!" without saying whether the number of active users is declining. I log on to face book about once a month... am I an active user?

Message to the Reg though - I wouldn't hold your breath for stats from Facebook. Chances are they don't have them and wouldn't know how to get them without another crap-ware update.

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Mumsnet founder: Our members are 'very keen' on PORN ...

Billa Bong
Stop

@ClareCares - really?

So your need to neglect your duties as a parent supersedes anyone else's right to an opinion? Name calling isn't an argument, and you've just stereotyped anyone with an opinion different from yours (i.e. "make porn illegal").

I think children do need to be protected from porn. I think trying to make it illegal or ban it from the internet or get the ISP to do the job just ain't going to work, mainly because kids will still see it everywhere else (and still on the internet, given that it's impossible to clean stuff like this up).

Pick your battles Clare.

Now everyone stop beating Clare up and get back to the point... beating up Justine Roberts for her original comments

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IE is tough on Flash cookies but ignores homegrown threat

Billa Bong
Thumb Up

I applaud...

... The Reg's use of the Bible in this article. I hope to see more of it (to describe or condemn the foolish things Microsoft do, natch).

(Thank goodness you chose a fairly recent language translation and skipped all that "thou art" rubbish).

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TomTom sorry for giving customer driving data to cops

Billa Bong
Stop

If you weren't speeding, you wouldn't care

I *don't* care about people collecting data about me; I *do* care about the use to which it's put; but what annoys me more is when people blame a company like tomtom for something which is not really their problem (especially since they acted with better intentions than the data buyers). The problem you guys are (mostly) complaining about is unnecessary low speed limits and police using the data to collect speed tax.

Sort it out with the proper authorities by requesting a revision of the speed limit, or don't speed, but don't seek to blame tomtom: Traps are set up in known speeding hot spots - if the police can't obtain the data through tomtom or another gps based tracker (there are many) then they'll just continue to use public informants and complaints to set them up - speeders will not be any safer from the law - accept it and act responsibly, but stop bitchin' about it.

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Facebook flick wins three Oscars

Billa Bong
Thumb Down

Facebook got oscars?

Unlike! Unlike!!!

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Anti-virus skulduggery - upgrade licence clock shock slammed

Billa Bong
FAIL

Big-Mac-affy is just as bad

I got stung by them a few years ago after a subscription which came with my old Dell expired - rather than allowing me to renew it my only option was to take out a "new" license (for the same product), which of course didn't carry the previous deadline over.

I got that sorted by a very angry phone call to them. Last year they tried to sting me for something else. I deliberately contacted them at renewal time only to be force fed a 3 seat license at £30 extra instead of my existing 1seat.

"I'm sorry", said I, "I only have one PC at home, so I only need 1 seat."

"Don't worry, you can install it on 2 other machines!", said they.

"You'll be buying the machines for me then, will you?", asked I.

"Err... but with a 3 seat license you can install it on 3 machines", said they

(Cue recursion exercise).

My conclusion: AV vendors are like petrol stations - they *know* you need them. AV vendors think that gives them the right to deliberately mislead or add stuff you don't need and charge you extra.

I'm still waiting for AV vendors to classify other AV vendors software as crapware.

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Firefoxers howl as privacy add-on auto updates with 'bloatware'

Billa Bong
Flame

What I want to know...

is how many of the people who think Abine is ok and hasn't done anything wrong publically on this board actually works for them or is affiliated with them. I *hope* none, but I doubt it.

At the end of the day they did one thing wrong, and it's a whooper - they took a tool which had a specific (and simple) purpose, and hijacked it for a load of crap that was in no way related to original spec and knew that many people wouldn't download otherwise, kinda-like when you try to install a useful app and it asks you if you want the Yahoo toolbar - of course I don't! I didn't ask for it! But at least it asked, unlike Albine.

It took me 10 minutes to realize that my computer hadn't been infected with malware and Albine had been installed because it was mislabled as TACO. Uninstalled, and I'll live with the ad tracking until someone writes another pure TACO addon.

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Norks 'have answer to humanity's greatest problem'

Billa Bong
Stop

Hang on...

So rather than carry on with "more energy to run than it gives" pure fusion, why don't they harness the massive increase in explosive power of a fission/fusion hybrid to generate more energy than just fission alone? More bang for your buck, you could say.

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Don't call me Ishmael

Billa Bong
Boffin

Lack of imagination

I reinstalled my home machine recently and went for "PC". Sorry. But before that it was "ABBOT" (I had a lot of ale-powered technology) and the description was "the heat generating monster", as that was appropriate. It gave me a sense of pleasure when I went to, as Windows put it, "shut down the heat generating monster"!

We don't have lack of imagination at work though, e.g. using the characters from Rainbow. However, naming the hundreds of nodes in the cluster proved too much. Any suggestions?

PS. Verity - I like what you write, but you can go on a bit...

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