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* Posts by R 11

135 posts • joined 14 Jul 2009

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

R 11

Re: Maths

Seems hugely unlikely. I check permissions before installing any app, and don't recall any unusual ones asking for read/send SMS permission. So I dig around and find the actual source for the article: http://research.zscaler.com/2014/07/and-mice-will-play-app-stores-and.html

And sure enough, of the 75k apps, 7% ask for SMS permissions, or 5,250 of the 75,000 tested.

68% of apps with SMS permissions have the ability to send, so 68% of 7% is 4.76% of apps, from the 75,000 tested, can send text messages.

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

R 11

Oh crap.

Whenever my discount ends I go through the 20 minute call saying match what you gave me or just cancel the service.

You mean now they're going to answer with 'okay, we've turned of your interwebs' rather than offering me a discount on my bill?

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Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

R 11

Re: Accessing data , and Chromebooks

Open docs.google.com

Create new document, add some random text

File -> Email as attachment

Set filetype to plain text

There, you just created a plain text version using the Google Docs web interface.

As for the backup being with Google, rather than on my computer, I'm pretty confident that Google have better backup processes in place than I'll ever manage at home. They've previously shown that even gmail gets backed up to tape.

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

R 11

Re: Fantastic!

On most modern phones, a clear rear cover is really only going to show you the battery, since it takes up the vast bulk of space behind the rear cover. That's probably a big part of why, when Google/LG and Apple made phones with glass backs, they chose not to show the phone's innards.

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Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

R 11

Re: With NYT-editorial levels of truthiness, we boldly go....

The problem is that if all the publishers act together then they'll breach competition rules. If one independently decided to boycott and others independently chose to follow that might be okay, but they'd likely be in big trouble if they acted as a group.

Still, there are other outlets for their books on both sides of the Atlantic, be it Barnes and Noble in the US or Waterstones in the UK. I'm sure either would happily take the business if one or more publishers wanted to abandon Amazon.

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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

R 11

Re: Use Welsh/ Irish or Scots Gaelic

God help us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

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Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Mozilla dev dangles Chromecast clone dongle

R 11

Strange description of Chromecast

I imagine streaming a Chrome tab is the least most common use for the Chromecast. A great many more users will be using it as a way to get Netflix, Plex, HBO etc onto their big TV while controlling things from their phone.

This is where Chromecast comes into its own, because it streams directly from the server, rather than through your mobile device as in Apple's AirPlay.

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Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

R 11

Comfortable?

An adult head weighs over ten pounds. About five kilos in new money.

Moving your head a lot is typically uncomfortable. Try tilting your head and keeping it at an angle for a minute. To me at least, this user interface sounds exhausting at best, and downright painful at worst.

I really can't think of a worse way to navigate a phone than moving my head.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

R 11

Re: I disagree

They could take lessons from Google. My Moto X responds to voice commands. It also recognizes if I'm giving them and ignores them if it's my wife speaking.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

R 11

I have to guess you've never used it. It takes me far longer to open my wallet and get out my card than it does to pull out my phone and tap the back against the terminal. So it's faster, not slower.

Using Google Wallet I pay exactly the same. My only disadvantage is I get fewer rewards from my credit card company - I'd normally get about 5% cash back in a supermarket and that's cut to 1% as a general transaction through Google Wallet. If I was using a debit card rather than credit card with rewards, there'd be no difference whatsoever.

Certainly it's unnecessary, but so to are debit and credit cards. Indeed we could all return to paying by lumps of gold. But, truth be told, I have a wallet full of bank cards and store cards. I carry my phone with me, so it's necessary. With widespread NFC acceptance, the wallet is not.

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Ofcom's campaign against termination rates continues

R 11

Solving telemarketers

If it were to be a big problem, the solution is for Ofcom to hold the carrier responsible for the CLID. They should trust peers to send a genuine CLID and where there is no trust, refuse to set one.

Telemarketers can then be blocked by CLID, calls with no CLID can be dumped straight to voicemail and abuse can be traced.

Reputable VOIP providers will require proof of ownership of the number before it's available as a presentation number. Non-reputable ones will find no-one sees the CLID they set and they'll lose customers.

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New software nasty encrypts Android PHONE files and demands a ransom

R 11

Restoring from an actual backup would limit the inconvenience to about three or four minutes. It's a shame Google, in their drive to get us all relying on the cloud, haven't actually integrated a proper backup tool within Android.

I'd love my phone to recognize it's at home and it's the middle of the night and to then start making a backup of itself to my NAS.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

R 11

Re: Platooooooon - HALT!

I have to wonder if the author has driven in the US? In the UK, you can anticipate the green light because it has a preceding red + amber light. In the US, the light switches immediately from red to green. Drivers of the mostly automatic cars then have to switch from brake to accelerator - no sitting with the clutch depressed, other foot on the accelerator and a hand on the handbrake for a quick getaway.

The highway code assumes about 0.7 seconds reaction time. I'm going to guess the computer driven car will have a much smoother departure from stationary than your typical driver too, so I doubt there would be any particularly noticeable delay from other road user's perspective.

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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

R 11

Drivel

Sure there are plenty of wide and straight roads, but - as someone who has driven on both sides of the Atlantic - the idea that all US roads are like this is tosh. Even San Francisco which has a nice grid system, also has hills and windy roads. Head east and you hit a mountain range.

As for everyone driving at the same speed with cruise control, it's no different to the UK. Sure if you're on the interstate/motorway you can probably use cruise control for lengthy periods, but then you'll hit a lorry passing another lorry with both lanes suddenly slowing from 80mh to 45mph in the blink of an eye. Then the two lorries - non speed limited - will reach the top of the hill and accelerate to 80mph on the descent before repeating.

Now the Google Car might not be prime time ready yet, but anyone who thinks UK roads are somehow special and that UK drivers somehow excel over and above all others is the type of person still buying stock in buggy whip manufacturers.

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Help. Mailing blacklists...

R 11

Re: Don't

Do you really believe this? If so, I cannot imagine why.

My gmail account has been made available to numerous companies. I see almost no spam, only a steady trickle of adverts that Google dumps into their own folder automagically.

On my own server, an email account that's about fifteen years old and which has been widely used also sees little spam, thanks to spamassassin, RBLs, and some postfix rules.

If anything, modern anti-spam techniques mean my inbox is cleaner today than it was ten years ago.

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Apple vows to squash iMessage SMS-KILLER

R 11

Re: SMS Problems?

WhatsApp? Don't Facebook know enough personal info? I really don't want to be reliant on a propriety messaging system as a replacement for SMS.

What's needed is a widely adopted internet based text messaging platform that supports public key encryption. Keys could easily be shared these days using QR codes or by NFC. Then a private message could be exactly that - private.

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You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

R 11

Re: Stop this madness now

That demands the domain name actually be shown in a different color which at present necessitates a much more expensive certificate. Or are we to have a rainbow of colors for those using EV SSL and those using plain SSL and those that are unencrypted and those with an expired certificate? Meanwhile users see the phishing domain name beside a secured padlock that they've been taught means the connection is encrypted.

Personally, I think that so long as this can be (1) turned off, and (2) when clicked on shows the full URL, it's potentially a good thing.

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Google's Nest halts sales of its fire alarm – because waving your hand switches it off

R 11

Re: Why would you make it convenient to turn off an alarm?

Presumably you are not elderly and don't know anyone who is. Presumably you're not disabled and don't know anyone who is.

I was actually quite taken by the idea of having an easy way to silence the alarm if I burn toast, since I find it difficult to reach a ceiling mounted alarm (even with a stool). Just because it's idiotic for you, does not mean it's idiotic for everyone else.

That said, something like the cell phone interface to silence the alarm would be almost as convenient and presumably less prone to accidental silencing.

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Amazon sets FIRE to your living room in bid to shake up TV streaming

R 11

Too pricy

Most houses either have a gaming device or don't want one. I just don't see where another entrant fits in this marketplace. I have three TVs, I imagine many households are similar. I've put Chromecast on two and will be adding a third and final one.

The disappointing thing is that this likely means no Chromecast support for Amazon Instant Video, not because they cannot but only because they don't want to.

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

R 11

Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

"Until the hardware dies there's just no reason to buy a new machine - unless you're obsessed with having new shiny-shiny."

This, and this again. I'm sure I'm not alone here in having been one of those who would routinely upgrade their desktop as new processors, motherboards and other bits and bobs became available in the late 90s or early 2000s. There was a big difference in going from a 500MHz part to 1GHz and as RAM prices plummeted we were able to go from computers with 4MB of ram to many hundreds of MB. Today, and since the mid-late 2000s there have still been improvements but they haven't revolutionized the ordinary desktop.

Sure we can now work more easily with video and other taxing stuff, but launching a desktop, a web browser and a word processor is juts as feasible on a 2007 computer as on one bought yesterday. Where one company supplied the hardware and OS, there's little excuse for them to end support this soon.

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R 11

A few people? I'd imagine there are quite a lot of Mac Minis from 2006-2008 still operational. They're running dual core intel processors and quite capable of running a modern operating system when they have a couple of gig of ram in them.

This isn't an XP moment, this is like Microsoft abandoning Vista which was launched in 2007 - the time as Apple were selling computers that they now imply are fit only for landfill.

And it's only recently that these upgrades were available cheaply. The upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5 was over $100.

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What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

R 11

Great. Expect random fluctuation in latency

It's pretty easy to make voip work really poorly on a given network. Random fluctuations in latency are almost impossible to work around. A little bit of congestion and your call becomes useless. I don't see networks who have already lost so much revenue from text messaging handing their voice revenue over too.

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Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

R 11

Re: Any specs? Release date?

From USA Today:

The Nokia X, boasts a 4-inch IPS capacitive display and 3 megapixel camera. It includes 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.

The Nokia X+ is almost identical to the X but comes with more storage and memory by including a 4GB microSD card and 768MB of RAM.

The Nokia XL boasts a 5-inch display with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 768MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. Like the X+, it too comes with a 4GB microSD card.

Nokia X, X+ and XL – priced at €89 ($122), €99 ($136) and €109 ($149) respectively. Availability is immediate.

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Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

R 11

Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

That's strange. In the US, Prime has been very reliable. Whenever a delivery has been late - other than for weather related reasons - I've received a very quick apology and usually a credit of something like $5.

I can't understand why the customer service in the UK would be so different.

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Google promises 10Gps fiber network to blast 4K into living rooms

R 11

Re: Carp

It also showed Google Fiber as the fastest network. Isn't it possible that the speed you refer to represents the maximum bandwidth for a mix of HD and SD broadcasts from Netflix?

They are, after all, a streaming service, not a download service. As such, they have nothing to gain from letting users download much faster than the program they are watching's maximum bit rate. Otherwise, when a viewer stops watching half way through a program, the bandwidth used was wasted.

The results at Speedtest.net suggest Google Fiber delivers a lot more than the Netflix survey suggests:

http://www.speedtest.net/isp/google-fiber

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Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

R 11

Because upgrading will surely let them know you are a new user? Do you often find all your preferences, history and bookmarks are deleted when upgrading Firefox?

Not upgrading a browser must be one of the most idiotic things to do, given each new release - from any of the big three browsers - is awash with security updates.

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Google waves its Chromecast dongle in front of developers

R 11

Re: Optional

Plex works perfectly and fantastically. It's a shame to have to pay, but the lifetime pass seems reasonable for what you get - i.e. the ability to watch your local media on your on your telly at home, or on your phone at home or anywhere else (assuming you have decent upstream bandwidth).

Given the purpose of Plex is to let you stream your local media, and that Google gave their app early approval, I don't think their problem was with local media streaming.

Did the other apps maybe use the Android device as a conduit, rather than setting up a link between the Chromecast device and the server? If so that would maybe explain why they were banned since it goes against the way Google designed the Chromecast to work.

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Cointerra promises free, specced-up boxen for late shipments of first gen miners

R 11

You could add a small fan and a cheap telly showing that youtube video of a log in the fireplace and use the thing to keep the living room warm.

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NHS website hit by MASSIVE malware security COCKUP

R 11

What an unlucky coincidence that their typo pointed to a malicious domain that was registered yesterday.

I think one of two things could have happened. They did make a typo, but left it hanging around long enough for someone to notice. That person then registered the domain and took advantage.

The alternative is that they were simply hacked and the pages were maliciously altered.

To me, the first scenario seems the more likely screw-up. And therein lies a lesson to everyone in the dangers presented by typos, particularly when you're trusting code from other domains.

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Sprint to buy T-Mobile US? Not so fast, says antitrust official

R 11

Re: NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!

When you go to the AT&T website and select their options for bring your own phone it takes you here:

http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/customer-owned.html#fbid=9-lZzun4ipL

Select you want to bring a smart phone and they recommend a no-contract plan with 4GB of data at $110 a month. I've no idea what else you get for that crazy price, presumably a live-in butler or something.

Having come here from the UK, it's really hard to comprehend just how much ordinary families are paying for cell phones.

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Do you wear specs? Google Glass offers YOU amazing live HD video

R 11

I bet you were a barrel of laughs on the school playground.

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Pay-by-bonk? YEP, it's an Apple patent now...

R 11

What does this solve?

What problem does this solve.

Here in the US, I can tap my android phone momentarily against the POS terminal. That's all it takes for the transaction, as the terminal just needs to get the card number from my phone. It then processes it over a second (secure unless you're in Target) data network with the bank's merchant provider.

It's not like I need to keep my phone against the terminal for the duration of the transaction.

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Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

R 11

Maybe it's the author, not the Americans

"not being fully responsive" to such actions is a reflection of the lack of choice, not the 'stupidity' of Americans. of course, name calling is more fun but the author had already identified the issue earlier in the article.

If, say, an ISP blocked netflix, you would expect most netflix customers to switch ISP. That would be fully responsive. Where you have no choice of ISP, you cannot switch and so the customer base would not, as the court put it, 'be fully responsive'.

That's not a reflection on how lazy or stupid they are, it's a damning indictment of the monopoly/duopoly in internet provision that most U.S. residents face.

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Connecting Gmail to Google+ is SENSELESS, says Digg founder

R 11

Re: google idiots

Not sure I'd admit to visiting YouTube for the comments.

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R 11

Re: Not seeing the problem here

if you have email addresses that aren't public, don't create a public Google+ account with them. Problem solved.

As for the article saying people were stealthily opted in, I think the fact that Google sent everyone an email explaining what had happened and pointing them to where they can disable it is quite some way for being stealthy.

For those who are upset, and want a clean and private mailbox, there are plenty of hosts that will let you pay for one.

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Linksys's über-hackable WRT wireless router REBORN with 802.11ac

R 11

Re: Is this good or what?

And pray tell why the majority of people would need or want a hackable router?

This is hardly aimed at the majority of people. I'd think it's aimed more at the folk who've built an x86 router because there's nothing reasonably priced commercially available to meet their needs. For those folk this isn't unreasonable.

As for the psu, I'm an n of one, but my wrt54g has been running 2x7 for nine years 4 months. I have no problem with its longevity.

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

R 11

So, can I buy 100TB of AT&T data for my app, then sell a browser app with a per gb charge lower than AT&T's consumer data rate? If I faced AT&T's charges, I'd happily pay for Chrome or Firefox by montly subscription if they came with a data allowance.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

R 11

Re: Ways around censorship

@ Suricou Raven

That's why I specifically asked about whether DNS traffic routed away from port 53 works.

I also pointed out a well known public DNS service that permits traffic on other ports.

I'm suspecting they have a very simple block or possible transparent redirect of all DNS traffic on port 53. They'd need to start packet inspection to spot DNS traffic on other ports.

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R 11

Re: Ways around censorship

Does anyone have it activated yet? What happens if you use iptables to send your DNS traffic to opendns servers on port 5353? E.g. 208.67.220.220:5353

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Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps

R 11

Re: Plex is a big deal

But $30 a year to stream YOUR local content? That is, after all, what a great many Chromecase owners want.

Avia looks like it might do something, but it used a crazy amount of battery on my Nexus 4 before I forced it to quit.

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Samsung uncloaks 'industry's first' one-terabyte mSATA SSD

R 11

Re: Crucial

Isn't that a plain old laptop SATA drive. This is mSATA and a fraction of the size. The largest capacity mSATA on the crucial.com website is 480GB for $329.99 or £242.39 inc. VAT in the UK.

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On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

R 11

Re: AC @ 21:25

Look it up again. Now it's got three times the effective range!

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We go joyriding in the Google Maps-killer's ROBO-CAR

R 11

Re: WTF?

Looking near me (small US city, circa 150,000 people), traffic.com shows no slowdowns. Google lists several small areas where local roads do typically get congested as yellow or red.

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Wireless pay-by-bonk? Yawn... Google Wallet now lets you pay by CARD

R 11

Article is confused

I've no idea what the article means by only Sprint supporting Google Wallet. Isn't that like saying only Vodafone support your HBSC App? My Nexus 4 is on t-mobile and Google Wallet runs fine. It has nothing to do with the operator.

That said, I noticed AmEx promoting Pay With ISIS which seems to be a Google Wallet NFC competitor. Their app does, bizarrely, demand operator support. So if you switch to an MVNO you will likely lose your ability to use the app. Thankfully not the case with Google Wallet.

Then the article suggests it's hard to find places you can use NFC to pay. Most our local supermarkets have pay by bonk terminals. I'm not sure where the author lives, but I've no problem finding places I can use it.

In fact, the only reason I haven't moved to it as my primary way to pay, is because I don't get cash back on transactions from my credit card that I do get if I use my card directly.

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Google's latest ad push gives LONE LAWMAKER the creeps

R 11

If they didn't interact with it, why would their picture be used? I thought the idea was that if you +1 Coca Cola, your friend might see a Coca Cola ad with your picture next to it, saying they had +1'd it.

I don't think they're planning to place random pictures beside random adverts. There wouldn't be any real benefit to the advertiser and lots of problems when a prominent PETA activist finds their photo used in an advert for the National Beef Association.

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Brace yourselves, telcos: Ofcom triples cost of 2G spectrum holdings

R 11

Since when were the original spectrum shares handed out for nothing? Both Vodafone and Cellnet had coverage obligations they were expected to meet in return for the spectrum

Had the government stuck to that mode of allocation, the heyday bidding on 3G would have been replaced with operators competing to provide 100% nationwide 3G coverage - certainly the bidding amounts on top of the actual 3G investment would probably have enabled it. Then today we'd be sitting on one of the best networks on the planet.

Instead the money has long since been squandered and Britania has lost its Cool.

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Google holds its nose, lets the hoi polloi run PHP on its shiny cloud

R 11

"The restrictions imposed on PHP by Google seem minor in the way they are presented. But they mean you can't run WordPress or Joomla or Drupal or pretty much any other major PHP framework."

Any basis for saying this? There's a prominent link on the Google App Engine page, under PHP, called "Running WordPress in App Engine". Here's the link https://developers.google.com/appengine/articles/wordpress

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Scottish NHS bosses say soz after 2-day IT ballsup scrubs 700 appointments

R 11

Re: Bullshit

Likewise, I have no idea why it took 2 days to restore. However, taking a 'less said' approach is foolish. This was getting a lot of publicity - I think you can safely say there would be a lot of folk from whatever software and hardware companies that were involved were working on this.

Personally, I'll never say this couldn't happen to me. Crikey, even Google had to resort to restoring lost gmail messages from tape a while ago. The unexpected can happen to anyone.

I'll look forward to seeing the postmortem and finding out what went wrong. Perhaps someone made a stupid mistake. Perhaps, there will be a lesson or a warning for us all.

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