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* Posts by ql

267 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

ql

Re: All of this??

"Sounds like you need to be looking at the "marine" side of things"

Too expensive and too much hassle. This stuff is becoming off-the-shelf these days, rather than needing specialist suppliers. But yes, early learning was indeed on boats, and I have those ideas in mind when I set things up.

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ql

Re: All of this??

"So you can convert it back to something around 12-18 volts to power the computer that is the size of a laptop."

Well, I do exactly this.actually, and the reality is that some form of conversion is required anyway. We're off grid, but in front of me is my laptop, to the right of my desk, a small mini-ITX-based debian server which is on 24 hours a day, to my left an ADSL router and access point. My laptop comes with a AC->whatever-the-laptop-wants block, which in this case is 20V. The server, router and AP want 12v. As it's summer, my solar panels feed a 24v battery bank (I wish I;d gone for 48v, but you live and learn....) and later in the year, my small wind turbine will provide more power than the solar panels. Both the panels and the turbine put out around 50v open circuit, but the size of the battery bank makes this no big deal. The 24v battery bank gets up to 29.5v during equalisation charging, though I never let it go below 24v (50% state-of-charge with my type of batteries) but quite a range.

The battery bank feeds a small sine-wave inverter of 350w. This provides power for lights, the above-mentioned stuff, my wife's laptop, tablet charging, printer, weather station, telly,. radio, mini-hifi and so on. A bigger 1.2kW inverter provides power for the fridge, occasional vacuum cleaner, washing machine and so on - note anything with a motor, which takes a thump to get it started.

Sticking with an all-DC option would mean I need to stabilise the range of voltages coming off the battery bank as it is charged and discharged. Using power directly from the sources means even more stabilisation as the open circuit voltages fluctuate wildly. We now use mostly LED lights, which I think are minuscule voltages internally but for convenience ar simple 230v devices. The tablets want 5v. The weather station wants 6v. The telly wants 230v and so on and so on. "Mains" style voltage and AC turns out ot be a convenient standard.

I do, though, run the server, router and AP off a single 12v block. That choice very nearly halved the power draw at the battery bank for those three devices in comparison with running three transformers, so the idea of reducing the number of transformers absolutely is one that would be helpful in reducing consumption.

Not that I think Google have our situation in mind ;-)

S

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

ql

Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but

But there's no law that requires traceability, is there?

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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

ql

Re: And so begins-

"And so begins- The Enlightenment."

Quite, and as I live in Scotland, it's a shame that as far as I can tell, the Scottish Enlightenment has not yet occurred. I have written to my MSP askig whether the Scottish Parliament is planning to follow suit.

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ql

Re: Yay!

" For Microsoft to lose... "

But this isn't about Microsoft, it's about accessibility and restriction mandated by a government requiring that only a single (foreign) manufacturer's products be used when interacting with government, a situation which is does not appear rational. The UK gov has now corrected that situation along with the other unnecessary issues resulting from reliance on a proprietary, patent-encumbered file format. Microsoft can still play if they wish, they just can't demand that we play with their ball.

Fantastic decision, one that I never thought they actually would take, given their "roll over and tickle my tummy" attitude with most technology companies.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

ql

"Why filter hacking?"

You didn't think this "government initiative" was for the benefit of customers, did you?

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

ql
Joke

Vested interest

Surely you should have noticed that this is from Prof Kaffine, who obviously has a vested interest in his family's products being used, along with Prof Guanine. ;-)

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MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

ql

Email your support/opposition

If we only make our views known behind closed doors, we can't blame them for taking the wrong decisions.

As I mentioned in a comment to the original ElReg article - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/15/uk_parliament_rubber_stamps_drip_retention_and_intercept_bill/ - the Open Rights Group page makes it easy to write to each "DRIP Hero" and thank them. The seem to appreciate this, and I have had a number of responses to my email of appreciation.

Another link to Michael Meacher's blog of his short speech, which has gone unreported, - http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2014/07/my-speech-on-the-emergency-data-protection-aka-indiscriminate-mass-surveillance-bill/

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

ql

Re: Is their a list ?

Michael Meacher has replied to my email. His speech, on his blog, seems to me to articulate exactly the issues. He further pointed out that the cabinet reshuffle meant the press hardly took an interest in this issue.

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2014/07/my-speech-on-the-emergency-data-protection-aka-indiscriminate-mass-surveillance-bill/

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ql

Re: Is their a list ?

"Not too many to email to thank for holding on to principles. "

I've now done this - it didn't take long and is the one way we can participate in democracy. Received a few replies of thanks and one saying he did not vote against the measure but against the timetable.

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ql

Re: Is their a list ?

"There's a list now on the Open Rights Group blog."

Thanks for that. Not too many to email to thank for holding on to principles. My own LibDem MP voted for it.

There are two things to worry about here. The one is the entire charade of "emergency" legislation that is so obviously open to abuse, the scope of everyone being suspect and the increasing normality of over-arching and constant surveillance. But the one that really bothers me is the way that Westminster now behaves like a one-party state when it comes to these things, with mere factions with The Party, and a handful of rebels. Indeed, they are described as rebels. When it comes to trivial issues in comparison, like altering speed limits on a section of motorway, an enormous rumpus is created in true circus style (not sure if that;s gone to parliament, but you get the idea) while when it comes to issues concerning what we regard as our rights, there's hardly any smoke, let alone fire.

Increasingly I am thinking of spoiling my voting paper at the next election as the only way I have of expressing my concerns. No-one on that paper will bring us back to where we want to be, anyway.

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What's your game, Google? Giant collared by UK civil lib minister on 'right to be forgotten'

ql

Google Translation

Mr Hughes said "I'm about to be tossed out of government on my ear. I desperately need a cushy number maybe as a special advisor when I'm no longer in Westminster. Gis a job, google, if we give you the laws you want."

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F1? No, it's Formula E as electric racing cars hit the track

ql

Re: Our friends electric

"I don't think many hard core F1 fans will be won over,"

But Formula E seems more like Formula Renault at the moment, and few informed enthusiasts would compare F-Renault with F1. This is just another form of motor racing at the moment, though one that looks to become increasingly important. Chances are this is the area of motor vehicles where the most rapid technological advances will come, and for that reason it should be welcomed.

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

ql

Re: Not so silly....

" used to carry at least two sim cards in two phones,"

In our area, in a ten mile stretch, you can get Vodafone in one village, but not O2 or Orange/T-Mobile, but leave the village and turn a corner and the Voda coverage goes from 5 bars to zero, while Orange/T-Mobile bounce to 5 bars. Go up a hill, and O2 reception starts, while Orange fades. Travel a little and Voda starts again. I for one welcome the arrival of our mast-agnostic overlords.

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AMD details aggressive power-efficiency goal: 25X boost by 2020

ql

Re: re: NOT ALL programs use gpu properly

Sorry you feel that way, and I do hope your day/life improves soon. But oh, the speculation about my origin - that's a low blow.... and I do have a rather sweet westie. ;-)

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ql
Linux

Re: re: NOT ALL programs use gpu properly

I have a little AMD-based lappie that, according to Powertop, uses just on 5w when running the XFCE desktop (OpenSUSE, but it's about the same on Xubuntu), and on 80% screen brightness. This machine replaced a "low power" atom, that used nearly 4 times as much at rest. This may sound like a simplistic anecdote, but we're off grid, and wind and solar power is hard won, while battery capacity to store it is, of course, limited. So I really appreciate efforts at power saving. The laptop uses an AMD E1-2500 APU reported by /proc/cpuinfo, What I'd love is a mini-itx version of this to replace the Atom-based server which runs constantly, and accounts for 5% or more of the battery capacity over 24 hours.

Not sure what that anecdote has to do with industry-led concern over global energy consumption, but the effort has an effect in this household.

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Cisco open-sources experimental cipher

ql

Re: No, no, no Cisco!

OK, El Reg, you had me at "Cisco" and "preserve the anonymity of data in cloud environments." Which reminds me, the unicorn I ordered hasn't been delivered yet.

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World still standing? It's been two weeks since Cryptolocker, Gameover Zeus takedown by feds

ql

Re: Oh, like the average muddlehead has a choice!

"Oh, really? Which part of, "DON'T CLICK ON THAT!" is somebody NOT supposed to miss?"

It's OK for the likes of us, who have enough experience to smell a dodgy email, but for many, it's not an unreasonable thing to click on an attachment or a link, on the basis of "that's how computers work, isn't it?"

My aged m-i-l fell victim to one of these scams, and the experience destroyed her confidence in using her computer. Now it's much harder to keep in touch with her children, scattered across three continents. So there are other consequences than merely financial to these criminal activities.

Another anecdote:- a business I support recently sent a paypal invoice to a new customer who was nervy about using the online shop. The customer, who again seems over-cautious, now is not sure if she should open the link in the resulting email from paypal to go through the payment procedure. How can one person say "click on the link" but another "never click on a link"?

This is rather more complex in practice than blaming either users or the police.

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Virtual Africa is the logical target for IP address colonists

ql
Devil

Regretable? Come on, isn't this just imperialism

This may be an IT site, but technology affects the social sphere, and surely this issue merits a little more philosophical analysis. This issue can be construed as mere colonialism, taking resources from one country to feed another. The allocation of IPv4 was unbalanced in favour of developed countries at the start, and it's hardly South and Central America's fault that the developed world has rejected IPv6. Could one option not be to build out infrastructure in those countries rather than nicking their resources, and offer a more equitable short term solution through that approach?

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Snowden's Big Brother isn't as Orwellian as you'd think

ql

Re: It's not today's government you need to worry about...

Exactly so. Every single building block is in place to turn the fiction into a worse reality, and the tipping point is very difficult to see. I always think of Sophie Scholl and her brother in this light - as teenagers they were able to see an inevitable future of which few around them took heed, and what signs are we missing at the moment? GCHQ is a weapon of attack more than a defensive agency, and where it has gone wrong is to regard absolutely everyone, even its putative masters, as potential enemies needing attacks in readiness. The Yahoo webcam story should be analysed in terms of GCHQ's morals being so bent that it actually sees nothing wrong in so heavy handed an approach, possibly just to test some techno-gasm it had hoarded. There is a fundamental imbalance in its activities that it and, apparently, the whole of Westminster, seems incapable of seeing. The government's tinkering with "scrutiny" and constant, weak statements of GCHQ operating within the law completely fail to understand what the public concern is all about.

Recent shenanigans within the UK government of ministers trying to out-right-wing each other, and the announcement of likely secret trials are further signs. The Register's exposé of the Oman listening stations, as close to an act of war in that entire region as it is close to come, is another. Just what else do we need before we do, in fact, find out the hard way that these agencies are indeed as Orwellian as we fear.

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Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

ql

Re: They missed one or two things....

"gathered round the water cooler"

But once the water cooler obligatorily part of the Internet of Things, and Facebook's creepy listening in "feature" is running well, that's exactly what they will be doing.

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ql
Big Brother

Re: Push-driven advertising and extreme greed?

True - for once, the Beeb had an interesting magazine piece relevant to this the other day - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27517577

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NASA spots new Mars meteorite crater

ql
Happy

Looks more like ATeenagerFromMars has broken out. Wash twice a day in KlearaPlanet - it may help

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Google: 'EVERYTHING at Google runs in a container'

ql
Linux

Re: about to deploy a few containers

"No obvious way to "vmotion" a container to another host(I believe it's not possible)"

I think that's what this tech from Google now allows, which is the interesting thing, and seems to be what some comentards have missed. For small projects with which I have been involved, portability for operational as well as DR purposes was one of the main technical reasons to virtualise. KVM virtualisation I've tried LXC as it seems to be a technology that is attractive for reasons given here - speed of spin-up, reduced overhead etc, but running different guest OS's, even different versions of the same OS, seems yet to be cracked. For that reason it seems to me that LXC and other such container technology has a more specialised use case than general virtualisation such as KVM.

Another apparent advantage of LXC is simplicity, as virtualised systems can become so complicated you lose track of the point of virtualisation in the first place. However, as pointed out by Nate Amsden, it would seem that LXC's simplicity means complicated workarounds to meet requirements in practice. That LXC style of systems suits Google is fully understandable, but I wonder to what extent it scales down to mere mortal level.

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Privacy International probes GCHQ's mouse fetish

ql
Black Helicopters

Nothing technical to see here

This was simply an exercise in power, a childish tantrum that should not be forgotten or treated lightly. If anything, it was a test of whether security "services" (quotes because who knows who they serve) could get away with a physical act of vandalism against a newspaper that was not towing the line. How many times do we have to be warned before we take notice and act?

Good for PI for looking into this, but really, the issue is not technical.

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China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

ql

Well said, Mr Orlowski

"Our perceptions of Chinese business are coloured by two powerful myths, both of which are from time to time tinged by racism and paranoia."

It's hard to understand a culture so different to our own, but assuming that difference == inferiority, and to encourage uncritical acceptance of stereotypes is not helpful to understanding.

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PayPal Manager bug left web stores open to cyber-burglars

ql

Not a proper corporate

A proper corporate would have brought the cops in to arrest the security researcher, lobbied for harsher penalties for "computer crime" and, of course, left the bug un-patched for the next CIO to deal with. Oh, and blamed $ENEMY_DU_JOUR for the subsequent slurp of customer info from the unencrypted file in the web root named "customer-info_-_full.txt" right next to the recently renamed file "dot-htaccess"

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Microsoft walks into a bar. China screams: 'Eww is that Windows 8? GET OUT OF HERE'

ql
Black Helicopters

Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support

Mmm. Makes you wonder if there is a connection between this and the convenient list of alleged Chinese military "hackers" just Microsoft's guvmint has just released.. Just wondering...

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Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

ql
Childcatcher

Re: The small, the big and the ugly

Good points, and actually in keeping with Smith's contentions. "Wealth of Nations" actually points out that making capitalist principles the ultimate aim holds dangers, and that many of those dangers are moral dangers, a common pre-occupation with Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, For example, in the section on what would now be considered to be assembly line techniques, specialised tasks in production, Smith acknowledged that such division of labour results in far greater productivity, but pointed out that a worker doing a single, mindless repetitive task has no opportunity to make something of their lives; they are expected to be mindless drones, a process Smith called alienation.

Now contrast that aspect of morals to big business, which on the one hand has created an imperative that profit comes first, an aspect enshrined in the requirements of corporate directors. In that quest for profit, any aspect of moral governance goes out of the window; the "prime directive" is no longer building a better society, but generating most profits. Corporates even want laws changed to their advantage, laws which are designed for civil society.

Given that the conditions pre-exist to make big corporates behave in ways that are not to the moral good which concerned Smith so greatly, regulations must take the place of the individual choosing to do the right thing.

And the point of the article was surely that micro-businesses are in better positions to take that moral position, which should not be constrained until something Trumps (capital intended) that moral imperative.

See what happens when you start quoting Adam smith?

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Giant pop can FOUND ON MOON

ql
Mushroom

And this....

...is why the marketeers were first up against the wall when the revolution began

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

ql
Pint

Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike DOS and Wordstar

It's possible for a simple Linux installation to provide the required magic of a connected machine, while running joe in a full screen terminal or a simple CTRL-ALT-F2 for the full command line experience. joe uses wordstar commands,* and yes, I admit it's one of the first things I install along with mc to get some work done.

* - When you're on a machine without joe. using something like nano, there's more magic as entire lines can disappear. This is apparently caused by your fingers automatically going CTRL-K, CTRL-X, deleting text for some weird unexplained reason

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Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors

ql
Black Helicopters

Not just for export

Tor developer seems to have thought her new laptop was tampered with, courtesy of Amazon

https://privacysos.org/node/1311

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Net tech bods at IETF mull anti-NSA crypto-key swaps in future SSL

ql
Mushroom

Or impliment PFS now

An article in the last few days from Howtoforge explains setting up PFS now on nginx - http://www.howtoforge.com/ssl-perfect-forward-secrecy-in-nginx-webserver

I've not been through it in detail, but it seems at a glance to do what the new spec suggests.

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Study: Users don't much care about Heartbleed hacking dangers

ql
IT Angle

OK, I'm afraid - now what?

"Those numbers, say researchers, indicate far less interest among the public in Heartbleed than other recent security threats."

This issue is right up there with out-of-control government surveillance and other issues over which we have little or no control. It's therefore human nature to ignore or route around what cannot be directly controlled, or we'll go mad with fear. Modern life has pushed us into the digital arena, much of which most people cannot understand.* So when something like heartbleed comes along, it is tough to consider people reacting less than some researcher requires as not caring.

* - Anecdote - in the mid-80s, as the only person in an office who had played on a Vic-20 and Speccie, I was responsible for a "computerisation" project using those new-fangled computer things, as the Board saw it. The CEO stood behind his secretary who was typing a letter on Wordstar and when he saw me said to me "That letter on the screen." "Yes?" "Where is it?" He could grasp the concept of a typewriter where you could physically see the process, but to this day, I don't know whether his question is the stupidest or the most profound thing I've ever heard anyone say about computers.

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GOV.UK push in action: Er, FEWER Brits filling out govt forms online

ql
Pint

Re: Look, I must get this off my chest

Oh grief - look at the typos - sorry - profrending has never been a strong point.

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ql
Mushroom

Look, I must get this off my chest

Not directly relevant to this news, but during the week my wife emailed the local council to ask if a small ploytunnel requires planning permission. She was sent a five pages for to fill in that was merely the form to request someone to look into the planning regs. Shifting institutional luncay like that online isn't going to improve the take-up, and I suspect that in many cases guvmint, central and local, regard online services as form-gasm rather than easing the process.

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Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches

ql

Re: Their web page is already snooping...

/etc/hosts

## control analytics

0.0.0.0 www.google-analytics.com ssl.google-analytics.com ad.doubleclick.net plusone.google.com

etc

Not perfect, but one in the eye, at least and an indication that the fight is on, and it's a fight we must maintain in our own small ways, or we'll regret it, personally and collectively.

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Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

ql
Linux

Re: Back to the basics, hurrah

Yes, XFCE4 is home for me too. Like many, I was a happy KDE3.5 user, then was pushed to gnome when 4.0 came out. Gnome 3 then pushed me to XFCE4, which Simply Works, and adds things like "Arrange desktop icons" to a new release rather than "Re-arrange user's head". Recent PR drives from KDE, talking up its speed and stability pushed me to trying it again, and I stuck with it for long enough to know that it's not the pig it was, but in comparison with XFCE, there was just too much of it, and too many places to tweak to get it running as I wished. The customisation attempts were worth it, as the KDE apps I routinely run under XFCE now integrate with XFCE better, but going back to XFCE was very sweet. Gnome doesn't seem to have a place any more, and that regrettably seems a self-inflicted outcome.

Oh, and I am finding that refugees from Redmond are happy with the minimalist XFCE too. There's nothing to frighten them, and I end up learning from them, helpful little things, like right-clicking to open a terminal in a specified directory.

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HP: Lenovo's buy of IBM x86 biz is bad, bad, bad...

ql
Pint

Lenovo - capable of doing things right

How's HP's after-sales service? While it's not a server, I have a Lenovo laptop, personally, and it's just a mid-range E145. The other day, the keyboard went wonky, all the keys on the left resulting in weird output. It must have been hardware, because I could not use those keys even in BIOS settings. I phoned Lenovo support with a heavy heart, expecting a long call for little result, but just 15 mins later, I was assured a replacement keyboard would be with me the following day. We live in a rural area where deliveries are notoriously poor, so imagine my surprise when a courier from Glasgow phoned to make sure I someone was home. The upshot was that the machine was repaired less than 21 hours after placing the call. Fantastic service, I'd say, and if they respond like that with SME servers, bring it on.

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

ql

Re: wonder if that's true and what the fallout will be if it is

"Western democracies should revert back to peacetime investigative behavior"

Brilliant, Madam or Sir, brilliant. (even though "behaviour" has troubling spelling...) That's exactly the issue.

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Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

ql

Alternatives

"Dropbox alternatives" in the search engine of your choice brings up a few articles, with Wuala being mentioned - the rest seem to to have the same potential issues as Dropbox. Claims to do client-side encryption, and be Swiss-based, but is owned by Lacie. Anyone with any views on this?

My own requirements are met with Owncloud, but perhaps like may ElReggers, other people without the opportunity to run their own are asking opinions on alternatives.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

ql
Meh

Politicians....

Politicians and Whitehall wonks - the next thing there'll be a law making Reality illegal when it refuses to conform to their ideas of how things should be. It would be interesting to see an analysis of technology laws in the light of this type of event and to see how much law is there to prevent really bad things from happening and how much is, for example, "rights holders" wishlists or similar results of lobbying.

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Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

ql

Re: Dropbox Privacy Advisor ?

I deleted my account in February after changes to their Ts and Cs. Owncloud for me.

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Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

ql
Linux

"At least they are actively using the patents"

But are they? That figure smells too much like the mythical Linux 235 patents they previously alleged they held. As they're inventing numbers, how can this latest statement be trusted?

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Hyper-V telling fibs about Linux guest VMs

ql
Linux

Allow me to translate

While the market has forced us to acknowledge that OSs other than Windows exist, and that you use them, we will continue to ensure [administer electric shock now] that you understand that only running Windows [administer chocolate now] is really the right thing to run. Oh, and we also resent having to make up some bizarre story about our tactics on this [administer shock now.] But still, you're starting to feel better about how we treat your silly ideas of running Linux aren't you? [nod head sympathetically now.] Ah, what's the point [keep the shock button pressed now]

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

ql
Unhappy

Re: Clueless

"I've been burnt too many times by their killing of products"

Quite. When they miss the boat they run around like headless chickens (apologies for metaphors.) I learnt my lesson when we worked closely with MS to develop corporate web applications in the mid-to-late 90s. A project budgeted at over a million, running for 18 months, was eventually brought to its knees by multiple changes of direction from them, each previous "strategy" being abandoned and us with it. You only have to find alternatives to this type of nonsense once, and then discover that they're not as wonderful as they think they are.

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GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

ql
Linux

Re: Nope

In XFCE, that's right-click, and choose "Add launcher", easy even for a gran. A bit rough to conflate a reviewer's choice of a file edit, and which may show that gnome has a way to go for usability, with a perceived lack in two entire classes of operating system.

I'm still not likely to try gnome for a while, though, but the review is a reminder that Things Change.

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EE...K: Why can't I uninstall carrier's sticky 'Free Games' app?

ql
Thumb Down

Re: Customer Relationship Management and monetisation technologies

> Pronounced: Spam

I had the misfortune to be dragged into an Asda "coffee" shop (coffee in inverted commas as they seem to use the same coffee grounds for a week, and this was a Friday) but was mildly consoled at the prospect of a wifi connection. When you try to connect they claim that it is a "legal requirement" for you to put your mobile number in, with which they will then send a key, and legalese about what they can then do with eth number. Apart from the dubious law they just invented, they further collect another spamming mechanism.

ASsociated DAiries? No, just bull.

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Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk

ql
Unhappy

Re: ?

"What's this "innovating" thing he's talking about?"

Quite. It seems to be the word they use when the world does not conform to their reality which is (a) that the answer is windows no matter what the questions and (b) windows is best only when MS has a monopoly. When these answers no longer compute they "innovate" - a word which in Redmondese means "change the discussion to make the answers right, like the OOXML stupidity.

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Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

ql
Meh

Re: Happy with Plusnet

Yes, similarly a long standing customer here. I did get concerned a while back when they mucked around with my domain and actually removed my MX records, then claimed they didn't do it, then claimed that the original MX records caused unspecified problems for their systems, and admitted fiddling with them. The overall response was the first really poor bit of service I've had from them, and I was so rattled I moved my domain management elsewhere.

Having said that, the boot is occasionally on the other foot. Our connection was increasingly flaky, an after a cursory local check, I contacted them to find out what was going on. "Looks OK from here. Have you checked your connections?" was the techie's opening. Of course I got all high handed, but checked again anyway and found a lump of green gunk* behind a bookcase where an ethernet extender ought to have been. Hard to convey red face on the support ticket, but I did own up.

S

*- and me without a Vogon poetry book either.

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