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* Posts by Christopher W

76 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009

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Game pirates 'donate' compute power to Bitcoin miners

Christopher W

Yes they are, they're making clear profit by not having to purchase a legit copy.

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Six charged over StubHub e-ticket heist for Elton John gigs

Christopher W
Devil

I have my main card numbers and (strong) passwords committed to muscle memory by now, are you new to the Internet?

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Christopher W
Gimp

Seems that

Don't Go Faking My Card!

...Saturday Night's All Right (For Scamming)...

I guess Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

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Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service

Christopher W
Devil

The Vole giveth, and the Vole taketh away

With the API now canned, and SkypeKit on a temporary death row reprieve, Skype needed to do something to allay the concerns of broadcasters who begrudgingly have to use it.

AIUI, CatCall Mk. 1 is little more than a slightly custom version of single-account Skype client on a PC-in-a-box with 'pro' breakout - but still analogue. There's still no pure digital throughput (something like multicast H.264/PCM output or even Livewire audio) so you still have to put up with D->A->D conversion into your workflow, and it can't support multiple concurrent sessions or more than one account simultaneously. Hardly ideal for anypne lwrger than a local radio or TV station.

Though of course you could buy one for each account, you hear the sales rep say... Only a couple of grand each, they say...

I believe they are working on an improved second iteration, but they'll probably want to flog a few more of these first.

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Three's money man reveals UK mobe firms' DARK PRICING dealings

Christopher W

Re: A lot of common sense there

And this is what sensible bears do - I kept my awesome grandfathered tariff with T-Mobile for six years because I just replaced handsets on my own initiative.

I'd rather spread the phone over a 0% credit card than owe the network more and get less, especially as they never offer quite as generous an allowance, if you do a direct comparison with a package's nearest SIM-only neighbour.

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Devs SLAM UK.gov's JavaScript-astic, 'shoddy' security education website

Christopher W

Re: regarding the size of the javascript.

Lest we forget, that's also a Flex abomination... Wait until uk.gov sites start asking you to install 'browser plugins' to enable such advanced functionality as page changes, and link clicks. Probably about a year off at most given this latest effort.

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Facebook app now reads your smartphone's text messages? THE TRUTH

Christopher W

Re: Lazy people to blame, as usual

I'm all in favour of more secure accounts. I just find it hard to believe that they'll be competent enough to activate or even understand how two factor works if they still struggle to read SMSes ;-)

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Christopher W

Re: Lazy people to blame, as usual

I can see a future where Android provides a nice and sealed off two factor auth method... provided you credential with a Google account - or share your other account details with them! </cynic>

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Christopher W
Big Brother

Lazy people to blame, as usual

If you're aware of it, most clueful SMS apps in Android will present a toaster notification when you get a new message so you can read a 2FA verification code and tap it in with very little inconvenience. (ChompSMS does this quite nicely and has options to adjust on-screen display for what remnants we have left of our privacy.)

Frustratingly though, as usual, we all have to blindly accept a blanket read permission simply because people can't be arsed to go into their text messages to get a six digit code. What's the point of two factor if you're allowing an app unsupervised access?

This is also an excellent highlight of Android's frankly shit permissions model. I'd dearly love to be able to selectively deny permissions to an app to invoke certain functions or system calls (optionally reenabling it later) but nope - vaguely descriptive catch-all categories are all we get.

The more clueful devs are beginning to list reasons for why their apps request permissions, this should be a mandatory requirement for every app, viewable by all potential punters and completely granular. Apps should also not crash out if part of a call is denied access (they should trap it and just return a null, perhaps with viewable message explaining what's not working) but this would need to be baked into the AOSP core. And can you imagine the software community rewrite carnage...

At least our security model is moderately translucent, unlike Big A's black box (which GCHQ are gleefully busy exploiting)...

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Christopher W

Re: Well....

It might interest you to know that a number of stations' DAB broadcasts are actually straight out the desk - no processing applied. Seems counterintuitive initially, but actually you realise it makes sense because most broadcast processing is done to overcome the limitations of FM (preemphasis to counter the high noise floor, 15 kHz frequency response, prevent overmodulation).

With DAB, as long as it fits into its mux bandwidth, anything goes. A/Bing DAB and FM signals on a good system (with a good bitrate station, sigh) will reveal the higher frequency response on DAB.

There's a separate argument about finding a decent quality station on DAB... Classic FM (if you can force yourself to listen to it) is essentially unprocessed on DAB. Compare it with FM and see what you think.

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Christopher W

Re: In 2014?! A new service "offering" 48Khz?!?!?

Not necessarily. If it's AAC-HEv2 then 48 kbps is a good compromise and more than sufficient for FM-quality audio. AAC-HEv2 at 48 kbps is subjectively identical to MP3 at 128 kbps; it's also far more efficient and quick to buffer and play.)

When you're sat in a resonant metal box with a two litre combustion engine up front and road noise from all around you, are you really going to hear those subtle transients on that piece of Brahms you just put on?

There's a lot of hysteria and much of it is unfounded. I've been waiting for cars to have SIM slots / integrated 3G for almost ten years now, BMW can't bring this to market soon enough (plus Omnifone have an impressive catalogue of major and indie labels' repertoire, meaning this is officially A Good Start). What they need to do is get enough rich early adopters onboard so they can recoup on their capex on the data packages, then they can drop the subscription price...

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Data caps be damned, AT&T says providers can pay for mobile broadband

Christopher W

Re: What a CROCK

Ah, but whilst the net cost of the data itself once the infrastructure is in place might be less than a penny, you still have to pay for the capital outlay, the building of the masts, the configuration of the infrastructure, the hiring of network admins to keep the thing running... When mobile networks become 100% autonomous with self-healing systems, then I'd expect data costs to drop. Until that point I can understand why a company would seek to claw back some of its investment!

This doesn't excuse some of the methods they use to attempt to claw back said investment... In the UK, Three have made a big play for customer opinion by basically making their 3G (and 4G) data uncapped and unlimited usage for what is a marvellously reasonable price - £15 a month. You're throttled if you're in the top 5% of customers in the country by data consumption, but some people apparently do in the region of 1 TB (yes, terabyte) per month with MyFis and it works great. I did 18 GB through my phone last month! And to add to that, they just announced a roaming arrangement with a US carrier which allows you to roam and use voice and data for no additional cost over your tariff... Actually groundbreaking!

Change is coming, it's just slow to arrive. Perhaps lots of Yanks will begin to sign up for UK mobile service then permanently roam in the States ;-)

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XBOX One SHOT DEAD by Redmond following delivery blunder

Christopher W
Coat

Re: The EULA is in force

Not quite: when buying DVDs or games, you still own the physical media but you only ever own the licence to use the software contained therein (which can be revoked if you exploit the copyrighted material outside the terms of your licence).

Ownership of the Intellectual Property remains vested in the copyright holder; this forms the basis of international copyright law. (Example: the licence text around the edge of every music CD or software DVD). I

Small, but important distinction. :)

(Mine's the one with the IP Law textbook in the side pocket)

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Leaked photos of iPhone 5C parts portend ugly Google legal battle

Christopher W

Unsophisticated buttons?

They'll fit right in with the unsophisticated UI then!

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Give them a cold trouser blast and data centre bosses WILL dial up the juice

Christopher W

Re: Heat? What heat?

Ah, but what happens if the cooling fails or runs suboptimally? The warmer it is to begin with, the less margin for error you have. This happened where I work recently in a smaller apps room, and it's amazing how rapidly those temps shoot up. Temporary cooling was promptly installed and crisis averted, but it makes you realise just how many BTUs those servers chuck out.

Monitoring onboard, chassis and CPU temps, even in a room at ambient 12/13 celcius, with your boxen throwing out air warmed to (sometimes) 40 celcius, the cool molecules get very excited quite quickly.

That, and a lot of gear has inefficiently designed / clogged inlets, is in a very hot rack behind a door or is obscured by messy cabling...

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Canuck rumps resist Street View arsebusters

Christopher W
Thumb Up

Re: Well aimed

Shame Street View's recent visit to Manchester was slightly more prudish: http://imgur.com/a/s2vhw/all

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BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog

Christopher W
Thumb Up

Re: New legislation required - or Darwinism in action?

Awesome idea. I had a similar idea - any ad for a service offering should have a traffic light-style mandatory display, in a defined legible font and size, which clearly lays out total monthly commitment, total annual cost and minimum contract period, to be shown on screen (be it on TV or online) for at least a defined minimum amount of seconds. For radio ads, they could do spoken smallprint like for insurance / mortgage ads but with a defined reading speed.

Pisses me off too how people still seem to lack awareness about TCO, or just fail to adequately consider it which is bizarre when you consider the significant overall cost of these services.* "The phone was free even though the contract's £35 a month. But I got the phone free!" But did you cost out buying the phone sim-free on a 0% APR credit card, signing it up to a SIM-only tariff where the subsidy can be put into cheaper monthly cost? Thought not.

* No wonder the country's in so much debt. **

** And the answer to this problem is, of course, 42

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Christopher W
Thumb Up

Re: Try Talk Talk

To their credit, BTO's direct employees I've never had problems with. In fact when my ISP booked an SFI engineer improperly, the guy who turned up was just a standard engineer - with SFI experience and knowledge - and fortunately he had the tools, the wherewithall AND THE COURTESY to fix my problem anyway.

When I had a Kelly Comms subcontractor out, he was so keen to get to the next job and earn more commission that he effectively left the job half finished - with his termination equipment still on the line! - whilst he went to the exchange to presumably do two jobs at once. Even then, the problem wasn't fixed and I had to push him to rewire around a 50 year old hardwired GPO termination block and fit a new drop cable to the master socket.

Surprise surprise, when the problem recurred three months later, the BTO engineer stripped his work out, checked the overhead drop cable from the pole into my property then fitted a new prefiltered NTE5. Line's worked at max efficiency ever since.

I've always had good service from the BTO engineers, in Birmingham / West Mids at least they seem to mostly be experienced guys who are more pragmatic in their approach, probably due to the amount of shit they have to deal with caused by third parties and subcons. I had far more problems with the VM engineers during my office's protracted and VERY painful 100 Meg cable broadband installation.

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Christopher W
Boffin

Re: why is line-rental mandatory?

AIUI "Annex J" (wires-only PSTN access is) conflicts with BT's USO for providing voice and emergency service access. To disconnect the pair from the voice services for a pure data service without the usual crosstalk / interference problems could open them up for liability should customer attempt to dial 999 later.

That said, this situation may have changed now and it may in fact be ok to supply Annex J. However from a technical standpoint Annex M is superior to Annex J where supporting LLU ADSL2+ services are available.

If you're canny and find a provider who lets you pay upfront for a year, you can get some pretty decent line rental deals (a tenner month sound good?) Primus' Saver package, with appropriate referral affiliate site discounts applied on the web site - or deft haggling over the phone - will get you into that price band. If you go with a loss leader telecoms company as part of a double/triple/quad play package, you can sometimes get near those prices too.

BT Openreach's per-customer final mile access fees are so high I wonder how some of these companies actually make any money (or justify continuing in business given the potential to make such a loss...!)

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

Christopher W
Pint

Ah, spam.

I used to use OtherInbox to protect myself against exactly this kind of problem -- not just spam, but that middleground "bacn" which you don't hate receiving but which does clog up inbox arteries.

Amusingly I once had to supply an email address to download a WordPress plugin (the plugin was useful, so I caved) from MaxBlogPress. I supplied a brand new address on my OI account just for that... And within a day, I was receiving a dozen spam emails. I called out the MBP author on Twitter and emailed over with evidence of the unsolicited spamming - all of which was flatly and vehemently denied.

Until we can hit a button to electrocute the legitimate sender of an email when they send spam to us, this problem will persist unmitigated. SPF and DK have been shown to only slightly curb the influx of spam. I run a particularly aggressive combination of multiRBL and whitelist setups paired with tuned SpamAssassin and fail2ban on my busiest mailserver and it ditches about 95% of unwanted email -- but yet it still persists. And the amount of 'bacn' is so high now with every company fully committing to their 'online marketing campaigns' that after a while, if the boss maintains his habit of sticking his primary email address into every email form he comes across, there's not much you can do to prevent the influx.

I wish there was a unified, globally recognised mechanism for instantly unsubscribing - it would be the best elements of a good listserver combined with a protocol-defined mechanism for silently (or with confirmation message) unsubscribing from all mailing lists. It would require headers to be set defining the message as a mailing list which would then enable options in all mail clients which would need to support these parts of the spec. Never going to happen though. Oh well. Time for the pub.

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HSBC brands EVERY Apple iPhone 'an insecure PC'

Christopher W
Facepalm

Rapport? Repugnant

Bloated, inefficient, insecure and wholly unnecessary. Trusteer's known for having done deals with some of the UK's major banks (and some overseas) to push their Rapport security software. It probably works OK on an unprotected machine with no antivirus/internet security package but I've only ever seen it cause problems on a patched, protected machine.

Usually on those machines there's some fundamental loss of functionality - inability to access the Internet, error messages or crippled behaviour. Guess what fixes it? Removing the Rapport software. Terrible piece of sloppy programming which achieves nothing except infuriating the user.

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Drew's Cookie Jar - psst. want a forum upgrade

Christopher W
Pint

Oh hello...

This looks like it could be fun. Count me in.

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Compact Disc death foretold for 2012

Christopher W
Facepalm

Such utter tripe

Such utter codswallop. So the CD is dieing, just like vinyl? They'll always exist, there's means to publish smaller numbers for niche / cottage labels via duplication (as opposed to replication of pressed discs in a plant) but that tipping point of 1,000 discs will always mean there's a market for CDs. Once you get into low thousands, cost per unit is so comparatively minimal (like oldskool DVDs) they'll remain a viable distribution method for some time. Unfortunately it's the warehousing aspect which incurs most cost; we could almost halve the cost of our CDs if we could minimise the warehousing aspect free, it's what sucks up most of the wholesale price and results in us getting a very small return.

CDs are just so darned cost effective when you scale... Also, do not underestimate the twofold demand through by scarcity and the (more and more) 'deluxe' sensation of having full artwork, a CD and packaging to fondle. Intangible MP3s just don't get me excited like a hotly-anticipated CD album arriving in the post. (even though I might download it beforehand)

Sauce? I work at a record label. If anything, we're increasing the amount of CDs we're pressing over the next 12 months.

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BT and F1 legend punt miracle diet in Twitter hijack

Christopher W
Coat

Not just big companies

I have several accounts, one of which was compromised and used to spam out links to a Rusky site of some disrepute. Twitter's automated systems noticed the breach and locked the account (sending me a link to reactivate and specify a new password) -- thing is, my passwords are never simple words, they include mixed case letters and also numbers. My shortest password is 11 characters long.

The Twitter automated message said that there was potentially a breach via a third party app granted access -- but on the affected account, only TweetDeck and HootSuite were given access. So, either TweetDeck, HootSuite or Twitter have some kind of undisclosed vulnerability which allows people to randomly compromise accounts through them... Or the Ruskies have developed MIND READING tech! In Soviet Russia, Twitter use you etc

Mine's the one with the one-time pad in it

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Twitter update: @regsecurity – The Reg bags imposter

Christopher W
Coat

Aha

Now that you're apparently embracing the Twitters, does that mean el Reg's social media policy will be updated to stop rampant crossposting of identical articles across multiple twitter accounts? (reghardware, regsecurity, regmedia, regmusic etc?)

Mine's the one with the self-penned styleguide in the left pocket

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Skype gulps group app as it is swallowed by Microsoft

Christopher W

buh?

A friend of mine who runs an indie hosting service has a perfectly capable skype-to-asterisk bridge set up... I helped him bug test. (granted, it ain't native though)

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Phone-hack backlash BBC in embarrassing headline gaffes

Christopher W
Coat

Shurely shome mishtake

i frequently find myself reaching for the "Contact the Editors" page to inform them of misspelt words or poor grammatical constructions. It's really very disappointing.

I had English Comprehension, English Language *AND* grammar lessons at school. I grew to love my engagement with my mother tongue and I feel pretty confident that I can both speak and write to a high, consistent level with minimal errors. I certainly take pride in the fact that I can use their, there and they're appropriately (and the same for its / it's / its' - SERIOUSLY, IT'S NOT THAT HARD). The plague of hyphens slowly infesting written British English is a particular bugbear too... Hyphen-this, intersected-that! Unnecessary and illogical in some cases.

The old gem I always wheel out in these situations is a crudely handwritten sign outside the village where I grew up: "TRACTOR,S TURNING"

Mine's the one with the Oxford Super Compact Pico Pocket English Dictionary in it

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Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Christopher W

@Mark 65 re: variable quality

Hardly, stop trying to provoke me into an argument. ;-)

I'd rather that people could buy FLACs, with appropriate 300dpi artwork (or ALACs in Apple's case) and have that copy available everywhere. I have no problem with people having music they've purchased available on all devices, it's the scenario of Match being used for nefarious purposes I have a problem with.

Ideally I'd like a service which built on what AllOfMP3 offered - you pay for the quality you want; the premium for FLAC, the lowest for 128kbps. However I'd have it so you could optionally buy the FLAC then have the service transcode to MP3 / AAC on the fly for mobile devices, or you could download a LQ copy as AAC or MP3 for your MP3 player but always have the master FLACs available. It's certainly feasible as Apple have shown, because this is almost exactly what they're doing (just with one fixed bitrate and no download of the lossless original).

Also I'm still sceptical as to how much labels (except for the Big 4) will actually earn from this.

I regard myself as outside of the music industry, it's clusterfucking itself into a bloody mess with the way it's going (and has been for a decade now). I wish the industry had jumped onto Napster and produced a legitimate model and service based on it, that would've been incredible and we probably wouldn't even have the issue of multiple siloed stores.

Certainly we wouldn't have the issue of digital sales being counted as physical sales, which would have knock on effect of digital music being cheaper (and closer to its actual retail value, as I see it.)

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Christopher W

It was just one use case

My sister, who's one generation of kids after me, used to swap files mostly via sneakernet (Bluetooth via mobiles etc). She had (stlil has) LOTS of low quality MP3s.

For those who have massive collections amassed via P2P (Limewire, Grokster, even KaZaA or ripping audio from video sites etc) the quality will likely be very variable. Collections can go back five, ten, even fifteen years. There's still a lot of 96s, 128s and 160s floating around on P2P. I'm well versed on what's available both publicly and privately on BT and Tor, I grew up with Audiogalaxy, Napster, XDCC etc. ;-)

Even for people who download 16/44.1 FLACs, they can still get a guaranteed, 10-device-synced version of the file for their iDevices and have it legitimately tied to their Apple ID as long as they pay the almost token sum of $25 a year.

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Christopher W
Coat

Please clarify

Andrew, you realise that the uploading of content-to-Match isn't transcoding or reencoding, the audio is identified via fingerprint? After that, a copy of the AAC file (as available on iTunes), encoded from the label-supplied lossless master, is made available in your iTunes library through your Match account. There's no transcoding of MP3s, that'd be horribly inefficient and error-prone if metadata was wrong/missing etc. That's what I took from where you wrote about it "chewing and spitting out" AACs)... You may want to rephrase that to clarify.

For the handful of files it might not be able to identify from fingerprinting, it will upload the original files and then (I hope!) make those originals available from the cloud instead of transcoding to AAC. Transcoding would make no sense, and Apple (to be fair) are pretty anally retentive about audio quality through iTunes.

I work in the music industry in the independent sector, and I think - as Apple will have already carefully thought about and realised - that there will be a subset of customers who immediately attempt to use it to 'legitimise' their huge catalogue of unlicensed (read: shonky) MP3s. However, once they're locked into that $25-a-year model... Boom. Pure profit from that customer after year 1.

Far more importantly for labels, it's yet to be revealed what the actual base royalty rate will be as paid to labels whenever a customer is given access to a track through Match. Given a track sale through the iTunes store only yields (on average) 50-59p gross to the label, I suspect iTunes Match royalties will be comparabie to Spotify levels of royalty, which are an absolute pittance. (You have to get multiple hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify to earn more than $100.)

I'm on the fence about Match at the moment. We could see another incremental source of revenue, but I guarantee it won't be a large amount (and lots of our catalogue has been pirated and shared online, particularly on filesharing blogs). We send out DMCA notices if we see lots of catalogue sprout up but we could send out hundreds a day and never get on top of the problem.

We'll have to see if Apple implements and enforces a FUP with regards to how many tracks you can fingerprint and get access to at once - the majors (whose favourable royalty rates haven't been disclosed, but still won't be amazing) will get really pissed off if the majority of Match customers use the service to basically download 128kbps (or lower!) MP3s then get a pretty-much-free upgrade to 256kbps, DRM free, A+ quality AACs. I know I'd be pissed off by that.

Mine's the one with a copy of the iTunes Music Store Style Guide handbook in it

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A peek inside Apple's iCloud data center

Christopher W
Mushroom

Nor is it very ethical!

From the company that brought you unibody Macs (which seem fairly environmentally friendly) - coal-fired electricity to power their cloud services... Natch.

Producing RED devices with one tentacle, destroying the world's future climate with another. Perhaps they want the Earth to glow white during use like their flaming logo?

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iTunes Match is iPiracy, claims loopy Oz industry troll

Christopher W
Boffin

Apple of course!

Apple takes 30% just for being special. The remaining 70% will likely be split 58/12 - 58% of the remainder to labels, 12% for the US publishing. This will have to change for non-US royalties because publishing is administered differently in the US from almost everywhere else in the world because the rest of the world usually has just one unified collection agency per country, not two or three!

Thing is, the actual amount on which the royalty will be calculated will be an absolute pittance - revenues will probably be similar to Spotify (where you need hundreds of thousands of plays to earn $100).

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Christopher W
Black Helicopters

Nope, cleverer

Neither - ID3s can go missing or be wholly incorrect, they'll almost certainly be going the Shazam-esque route and using previously produced fingerprints of the audio provided by the labels (through a third party service) to identify the tracks. These are VERY resistant to abuse, degradation, corruption or even transcoding / playing out of a speaker then rerecording back in via micrphone!)

Think of YouTube's audio ID and replacement system; this also uses the same fingerprinting solution (it's likely Audible Magic's platform). We've been courted by Audible Magic at work (indie label) to fingerprint our catalogue in the past (at the behest of Merlin); we've not done it yet as the cost is disproportionate and it wouldn't stop people uploading entire albums in RARs to blogspots.

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Tesco pricing cock-up provokes beer stampede

Christopher W
Trollface

Not really

Several moons ago, when I worked at Tesco, I sometimes had the job of oversight on the self checkouts. (they're all manufactured by NCR and the manual inside the top lid makes for some amusing reading - also some have keyboards in the cabinet underneath the main controller's station, they all run Windows XP!)

There's no way to manually adjust prices of things already scanned (deliberately!), you can only void off items if the customer doesn't want to buy them.

I'm sure they will have cottoned on though if every single customer just had three multipacks of Stella... However the tills could just as easily have been closed, forcing customers to go the manual route.

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Bletchley Park completes epic Tunny machine

Christopher W
Thumb Up

This = amazing

Bletchley Park is one of the most undervalued historical landmarks in Britain, nay, Western Europe. Incredible feats of both human and computer engineering were achieved there during one of the pivotal times in recent history and I find it disgraceful that parts of it continue to suffer from underfunding and lack of understanding about the Park's significance. Where's the EU funding for BP? What about some more from the Lottery Heritage fund? Surely there's some spare in the 2012 budget, we can't have frittered it all away on shuttle bus lanes and Underground extensions.

I can't stand to see how some of the Park is, quite literally, still falling apart, and I applaud the team of staff and volunteers for continuing to maintain it as best they can and preserve the immensely important site and its contents for future generations of visitors. (why is the whole site not listed as a national treasure already and fully funded by the Government?!)

I will most certainly be visiting the Park again soon to see this new exhibit, it sounds absolutely fantastic.

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Virgin outsources techies, pulls plug on Trowbridge call centre

Christopher W
Unhappy

That's a shame

I used to live near Trowbridge when I was growing up, even went to school there. I remember when VM opened its call centre, quite a few people coming out of college or GCSEs who didn't want to do the Uni route were given their first opportunity into work (including a couple of my friends) and it sounded like a pretty good place to work from some of the stories I heard.

This last little bastion of locality means they might as well just port all their customers over to T-Mobile and be done with it, there's no real value left in the Mobile part of the company any more AFAIC. Will be sad to see more jobs leave Trowbridge too, it's not the prettiest of places but I still kinda like it.

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Sage Pay, down and out yet again

Christopher W
Thumb Up

Yet Another Alternative Gateway Provider

We've been using SecureTrading at work for many years, both their hosted SSL payment pages and we've been experimenting with their API (not for the faint-hearted). Probably not the cheapest around and the rates aren't the best either, but they're Rock. Solid.

They're also capitalising on the SagePay exodus on their Twitter feed :D

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CodeWeavers pours Wine for the masses

Christopher W
Thumb Up

Dirty Donkey?!

Shit, I'd buy it if it was called Dirty Donkey. Ages of endless amusement as it gradually topped my Wakoopa most-used software list.

Nice to see a C level talking plain English too for once...

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Ace Reg reporter in career suicide shock

Christopher W
Coat

eJourno moves to Dead Tree media shocker!

I'm just jealous ;-) All the best and I might even pick up a copy of the Telegraph to read your stuff once in a while. (it'd be the first time I'd read the Telegraph in mannnnnnnyyyy years)

In other news, does this mean there's now a Technology correspondence post waiting to be filled by me at Reg Towers?

Mine's the one with the CV and an envelope with the interviewer's name on it full of non-sequential used twenties in it

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Groupon cops triple slam from ads authority, blames newbies

Christopher W
Paris Hilton

Idiots in not reading small print shocker

Whodathunkit.

I hereby propose learned scholar and erudite student of the high arts Paris Hilton, because even she knows full well that first impressions can be very misleading

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Windows Phone 7 gets unlocked

Christopher W
Coat

Pah to WP7, a pox on it

The first person to develop a 'translator' so I can run all of my (purchased!) WinMo v6.* apps on a WP7 handset gets a gold-plated cookie from me, and perhaps even a donation. I'm fed up with MS dumping an entire decade of platform back-compatibility just because it didn't suit them.

I'd wager they could've brought WP7 to market with an XP Mode-style compatibility layer, which is why I found it odd they aren't offering legacy support like they do with all of their other OSes. I won't buy a WP7 handset, irrespective of how pretty they are, until I can properly run WM6 apps on one.

...Or someone does a decent community port of WM6.5 to a WP7 device... (here's lookin' at you, XDA-Devs)

Mine's the one with a battered but perfectly functional Touch HD and HTC Hermes in the pocket

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Virgin Media begins 100Mb upgrades

Christopher W
Coat

@AC

Sure, of course your old copper can handle 40/10MB - BT Infinity is effectively VDSL, hence the extra street cabinets required. Your DSLAM is inside the cabinet instead of in the exchange, so the line length is dramatically shortened. A piece of wet string could manage 40/10 at that distance.

The longer your loop length is, the higher its tendency to act as a massive aerial for EM and RF interference. Also dry joints / poor crimps or water ingress has less of an impact upon VDSL, but it still makes a diff. Once BT Infinity's max speeds are ramped up you'll see that you probably won't be able to make it all the way up to 52MB/16MB - VDSL2 can theoretically manage 100/100MB - without a rip and replace of your drop cable. VDSL's sync rate tails off dramatically past 300m from the street cabs.

Mine's the one with an ADSL2+ modem in the left pocket

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Christopher W
Flame

Re: In a perfect world, sure

What you don't understand is that cable broadband is remarkably similar to ADSL except in how it presents the available bandwidth. Cable modems sync to available frequencies and then the bandwidth is contended all the way from the UBR to the CPE. This is why DOCSIS 3 makes such a big difference as it has far more available concurrent channels (and the bandwidth of each is significantly higher).

HOWEVER, if the provider decides to undersupply bandwidth to the UBR the CPE is connected to, that customer WILL ABSOLUTELY experience slower-than-headline speeds, higher pings, potentially higher packet loss and frustratingly slow internet access. Sure, the modem may say it's synchronised at 104857600 bits/sec downstream and 10485760 bits/sec upstream but realistically it might spike at that but average much lower. Same will happen for oversold areas, of which there are many. (Pick a town, any town)

Source: my previous experiences on cable broadband, just after VM bought out Telewest and finished the rebrand (and flushed it all down the pan by introducing 20MB followed sharply by unannounced STM)

VM, Vituperous Marketing

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Nigerian airline ticket fraudster gets 8 years

Christopher W
Paris Hilton

In a perfect world, sure

However my boss paid for plane tickets for two other people to Canada and back on the company debit card - he wasn't a traveller nor was he mentioned anywhere on the travel documents.

In fact, I gave the nice lady at Co-op Travel the card details. Third hand card details? Nice. I think I passed the phone to the boss for two minutes so he could verify his address but that was about it. What can they ask in terms of verification? They have no prior knowledge of him. I suspect most over-the-phone travel operators will do exactly the same thing, the whole system is rife with loopholes for potential fraud and CNP transations will continue to be a major source of revenue as long as the balance of liability isn't too harsh on the payee. Accepted losses?

Paris, because her credit card says Daddy Hilton on it

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Nielsen cops to iPad stat cock-up

Christopher W
Troll

Nielsen is all thumbs

Maybe the poor sod putting the presentation together was using Keynote on a company iPad... Amazing what can result from careless multitouches.

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F1 2010

Christopher W

Stuff and nonsense

I'm a racing game enthusiast but come on, this game has a bug list as long as your arm. Codies will hopefully redress these faults in the weeks to come (fortunately Steam will push the updates down for me as and when they arrive) but I get the feeling this game was hurried out of the gates before it was fully finished in order to beat the end of the IRL F1 season.

Very disappointed with some of the bugs, they really detract from the realism I come to expect from a market-leading (and eye-grabbing) franchise such as this one. Bit of a letdown for initial release.

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Everything Everywhere unveils contrary figures

Christopher W
Badgers

I've said it before and I'll say it again

T-MOrange.

(say it quickly.)

I will chuckle away when the day comes where, once the "Everything Everywhere" branding 2.0 has been foisted upon us for so long, people just abbreviate it to " I'm on E" when asked what mobile network they use

Honestly I think they should stick with T-Mobile, it has a better brand image and customer service reputation than Orange (which I think you will find is almost universally dismal). Second only to Three in terms of rubish after-sales service.

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Pope makes central London no-go zone for BT engineers

Christopher W
Coat

Not quite

BT Openreach = physical network, "final mile". LLU ISPs pay regular access charges for SMPF and MPF access.

BT Wholesale = provide the actual backhaul and broadband services (their IPStream products and, for aggregate access, Central and Central Plus services, are used by ISPs)

BT Internet = the donuts to whom you pay your £25 per month for dismal quality service.

You're welcome.

Mine's the one with the LLU BE Broadband + telephone service bill in the pocket

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BioWare zeroes in on Mass Effect download snafu

Christopher W
Paris Hilton

Oh come now, Google can tell you this

1.5 gigabytes = 12 884, 901 888 bits Guessing it's using 1024bits/Kb.

Paris, because even she can type "1.5 gigabytes in bits" into your favourite calculator-equipped search engine

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Hotmail still not working? Use Chrome to fix it, says MS

Christopher W
Thumb Up

Certainly

In the same manner as when I see whiney amateurs complaining about their "important business web sites" not working on their Dreamhost account

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