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* Posts by Terry 6

474 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

Terry 6
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Prices

The model still seems to be "Charge through the nose when it's new."

Which is a pretty good disinscentive to upgrading.

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How do support staff read emails - or are they parsed by robots?

Terry 6
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Re: Over complicating the issue

Interesting. The issue that triggered this topic still hasn't been answered correctly by the company after I've rephrased the email four times now, ( On top of the one that I quoted when I first contacted them).

All I'd wanted was to stop box sync autostarting when my wife used her log-in to the shared home computer. She doesn't use Box. We each have our own log-ins to the PC.

And while I'm waiting I have sorted out a quick and dirty solution to the problem anyway. Not brilliant. But it's a perfectly easy and viable solution.*

Possibly they seem to be stuck in the original assumption that I am asking how two users can each have their own log-ins to Box on the same PC log-in. I did make it very clear that's not what I meant..

The last email contained the words.......

", but there's no way to provision sync to just simply limit who can log-in and those who can't.....".

I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure that it has not connection with wanting Box to not autostart for my wife when she uses the computer in her own log-in.

*Disabled the autostart from HKLM:RUN and copied the path to the startmenu startup folder FWIW

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Terry 6
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Do support staff read emails? Or are they just parsed by a computer?

Not for the first time, today I received a support email that answered exactly the opposite question to what I'd asked. What made this unusual is that my email had been a quote from another user who had previously asked the same question in a forum (box.com) and been told by the admins to log it as a support ticket.

I (we) wanted to to know how to stop the software doing from something annoying.

The reply was further details about how to make the software do what we wanted it to stop doing.

A day or two before I'd emailed a mobile phone company to ask if I bought a phone from them could I delay transferring an old number to the new phone until a week or two after I'd received the phone, (i.e. when I got the PAC code after the old contract ended). The reply told me that I could transfer my number to a new phone as long as I did it within 30 days of ending the old contract and getting the PAC code. Nothing about waiting a couple of weeks after I'd bought the phone. Again just the opposite of what I'd asked. It took three attempts to get the answer.

It's as if the replies just picked out some key words and chose an answer off the shelf. Not actually reading the sentences that made up the message.

So what does happen?

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AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up

Terry 6
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AVG?

I'm not seeing any of these nasties.There is a rectangular advert on the page on the few occasions when I need or choose to look at the programme. But it's not intrusive.

I switched one machine to AVG after it stopped auto-updating Avast ( I couldn't work out why).

But I have no toolbars/popups/adverts and wonder where they are.

Where it is a pain is at boot time. It does delay things. Maybe I'll give Essentials a whirl.

Or one of the others suggested here.

If Avast starts annoying us I'll switch more machines, maybe even to AVG.

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'Unsolicited texts' outrage: Man fined £4k for DPA breach

Terry 6
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Re: Actually

No. In the case of spam the victims* aren't the ones who respond. It's all the innocent parties with clogged inboxes.

The people who reply are just feeding the pigeons.

*Exception made for actual scams, which suck victims in. But they are only a subset of Spam.

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Terry 6
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Flame

Actually

It's the people who respond to Spam who should be prosecuted.

If they weren't so f*****g stupid the goons that (pay to) send it wouldn't make any money.

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

Terry 6
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Re: WTF Do you lot think the police should do?

Actually, no. What you may be witnessing is some distracting behaviour and a bit of close proximity.

You may suspect you have seen a pickpocket working. But if they are any good you won't see the "dip".

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Terry 6
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@hyphen

Maybe they just have rubbish 3G there.

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PayPal post-checkout cash slurp a FEATURE not a BUG

Terry 6
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Taking payment because they can

"flexibility they need to complete their transactions in a timely manner"

In these here parts that's called mugging, but maybe they should rename it;

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Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

Terry 6
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Re: It just goes on

Record keeping

They will have kept a record of who they gave the contract to on a specially designed database......

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Secondhand Point-o-Sale terminal was horrific security midden

Terry 6
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Basic security

Some things should be basic.

But they don't seem to be.

When managing in a special ed teaching service I routinely took the HDD out of obsolete admin PCs before I took the boxes to the recycling centre. HDDs wiped and made at least physically unrecoverable by normal means, by breaking them as much as I could, then dumped with the general landfill rubbish.

The council didn't seem to care about how we disposed of them, since there was no policy for disposal, no option to have the HDDs removed and taken for destruction by central IT.

But I have a sneaky suspicion that if I hadn't removed the HDDs and one had ended up in the public domain it was my head that would have been on the block.

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Terry 6
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Re: @Andrew Jones

Pay with cash?

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Terry 6
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Facepalm

Aloha

I've been trying to think of new password, to replace "password".

That's one I could use.

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Terry 6
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Re: WTF?

Damn, just took the walkie-talkies we used to use on holiday* when the kids were little to a charity shop. I could have been at the cutting edge of physics.

/* These days they probably all have mobiles with a roaming tarif. But 5 or 10 years ago it was a great compromise when they wanted to go off in the resort hotel themselves.

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PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

Terry 6
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Pretty typical

I'm as cloise to being a Windows fan as you'll find in these here parts (comes from having been a CP/M user before MSDoS arrived).

But,

As theOtherJT put it,

"not only have they NOT fixed half the things that were wrong with it, they seem to be obsessed with fiddling around with the bits that did work and breaking them all the time.

And that seems so typical of M'Soft in the last few years. A kind of perverse development proccess.

Develop a product that turns out to have some bits the customers like and some bits they (often predictably) don't.

Then wreck the bits they like and make worse the bits they don't.

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Terry 6
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In other words....

......Too expensive for someone who just wants a step up from the low end machines. But not good enough for someone who wants a high end machine.

Overpriced mediocrity.

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

Terry 6
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Developer's reasons

I NEVER install an app that wants phone access, (unless it's a phone app).

But almost all the ones I look at do require this. For no apparent reason at all.

And phone access is a big blanket permission. It's your ttotal phone history, who you spoke to and when.

So sometimes I email and ask why.

Very few reply.

One or two that did have had excuses like, "So that it doesn't interfere with your calls."

Which is pretty much just a load of bollocks.

I just assume that if an app wants access to my call it's because they are gathering this into a database.

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

Terry 6
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Re: The ship has sailed, for me and mine

"Windows is for home users, middle aged office workers, grandparents... consumers! That's my problem with it.............I'm an IT professional.. a developer.. and more importantly, a geek. Windows is no longer aimed at me (and hasn't for a long time)."

And quite right too.

It's an OS, which means it's there for users to use. Not only the middle aged office workers, but all office workers who use a computer to get a job done. Users. The clue is in the name.

Win 8 on a non-touch device did nothing to help these. The users.

Office's ghastly Ribbon doesn't bother users too much, because most only use a small proportion of the commands. But the OS! It's the front door to the computer.

Win 8 is like nailing the front door to the ceiling, hiding the key in the kitchen and putting the letter box in the bathroom.

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Terry 6
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@Wade

Well put. That's been one of the niggles for me.

On the other hand, MSDoS was pretty good in its time.

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BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist

Terry 6
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Franchise

Reading the comments above, a thought occurs.

If lots of people are watching Tranformer Wars xiii on an illegal copy they are still just as likely to be buying the toys/McMeals etc.

And that seems to be where the money lies.

So maybe the biggest money churner is actually increased by illegal downloads etc. Which would make the share traders quite happy.

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Terry 6
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Meaningless research

If I've read it right he was looking at the effects on share price of knowing a new release is out in the wild.

Not at the time that the investors were seeing real effects on revenues.

So it's about whether one set of investors, working in short term transactions, feel that other investors, mostly also working in short term transactions, want to buy or sell shares. ( Even "futures" are traded in real time).

None of which is based on anything more than gut feeling. Certainly not on what will actually happen to those revenues over the next few weeks.

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I've got 99 problems, but a Facebook boycott ain't one

Terry 6
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FAIL

Re: Emails and Announcements

@080

"Closed" systems.

The clue is in the name. They are not going to be using these.

Why would they?

Would they even know what they were, or give a f*** about them if they did.

These are families, not business associates.

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Terry 6
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I don't mind FB

I keep an eye on old colleagues people who were on the same volunteer scheme as me 30 odd years ago, and acquaintances. And it's fun to share discussions with family and friends around the world in a general sort of way.

BUT. Some people out there seem to forget or fail to comprehend that it's just a big chat room and not the source and repository of all information. Nor is it personal.

So, expecting that putting an important family announcment on FB and expecting that all the family will be aware is just ignorance and stupidity.

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Bezos house 'on FIRE': Amazon in-app kiddy megabuck charge storm

Terry 6
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Coat

Re: Amazon needs a good bollocking

"What is it about human nature..."

Not humans; accountants.

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Terry 6
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Re: Don't hook it to a credit card

I suspect a lot of parents wouldn't even realise that a credit card they used for some ordinary purchase online was hooked into an account thereafter.

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Terry 6
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Yes, most parents are focused on making sure that the kids are playing games that are age appropriate, and safe, They will not be aware that apparently respectable companies are targeting their kids with tempting/essential/sneaky* purchases to let them play the "child friendly" games.

*Sneaky. I was, myself, playing a newly installed game (Bubble Witch, I think) a few days ago on my Hudl, when it started to launch a credit card purchase window, without my consciously doing anything, which only fell over because it couldn't find a vald cc number.

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Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout

Terry 6
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Actually

As much as I loath most of the Apple istuff, I have to grudgingly admit that they have created an instantly recognisable (if horrible) image for their stores.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Terry 6
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Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

Voice control has a built in drawback.

Voice

No one wants to hear you talking to you computer.

Not many people want to be heard talking to their own computer either.

So unless you are in a private office voice control is not a good idea. It's fine on StarTrek, but not in the middle of an open plan office. ( And even in StarTrek they didn't often talk to the computer, come to think of it.)

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Terry 6
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@Truth4u

Re:Why would you ever need to turn a computer off?

Energy saving/fire risk/noise even.

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Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

Terry 6
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Doesn't kill anyone

Porn doesn't actually kill anyone.

But does Google block Adwords for cigs?

( I don't see the ads, like most people commenting here, I assume, so can't test this myself).

How about dodgy "meds"?

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RM: Killing our PC unit hit our top line, but our bottom line is pert

Terry 6
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Re: Politics

I'm thinking more about the primary, special and smaller secondary sectors Some still do have Local Authority teams, with an SLA the school buys into.

Bigger schools can employ a tech team themselves.

More to the point, as you note, schools get better value for money by not buying a RM box, and RM make more money by selling into a market that has become geared up to schools paying for commercial services of all kinds.

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Terry 6
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Re: Easier to Take Buying Depts for a Ride

Nuke and Skullsmasher

I'd say it was more that RM always sold an implicit service to schools, going back to the early days, supplying the expensive hardware with a package of reassurance - in effect saying "Don't worry about anything, leave it to us, we'll do it for you and you know it will be right because we specialise in schools' computers".

And schools wanted that and anyway felt they had to conform to what all the other schools were buying. The educational equivalent of "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM". LAs recommended them for that same reason.

Which was fine before computers and even networks became a commodity item. Cost counts and RM's premium for supplying school friendly hardware isn't what it used to be. For a start, in the old days, it was that the 380z and 480z machines were solid enough to take the abuse that schools worried their small stock of expensive computers might suffer. These days decent computers are a fraction of the cost, and schools have many more of them. They won't pay a premium for robustness. And the LAs won't recommend them for the same reasons - preferring to negotiate a good volume price with a supplier.

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Terry 6
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Politics

In many ways RM has followed the pathway set by politicians.

As education has been pushed away from letting teachers get on with the job, and replaced valuing teaching with valuing what can be measured a vast amount of education spending has been moved into corporate coffers.

Once a local authority team would have fixed the computers in their schools. And the teachers would have assessed their kids themselves. The money would have been used for educating the kids, buying equipment etc.

Now the schools end up with an expensive commercial maintenance contract and money floods into testing and assessment materials, published schemes and so on, instead of equipment.

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That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

Terry 6
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Re: There's not much wrong with windows

Olaf,

Yes. I'm looking at a contract phone.

Comparisons are difficult, whicever retailer I look at and they seem to be doing it deliberately, because there is no direct way to compare models, they all seem to have different ranges of specs. But the 625 price seems to be the same as the 635. Which is slightly more than a 620, but a 1020 is more than double, and a 1520 half as much again as that. (Carphone Warehouse).

Is the 1020 with data/calls twice as good as the 620 with data/calls? (bearing in mind that a significant part of the cost is the same for both, the cost of calls/data etc).

More to the point, where is the phone priced between the £13 a month 625 and the £26 month 1020

I've spent the last two weeks trying to make sense of it all and have come to the conclusion that this is deliberately made confusing. It's hard not to see this as coming from Nokia, rather than the retailers.

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Terry 6
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Re: There's not much wrong with windows

Strangely, since I'm looking to get a Windows phone soon, it's actually all far more difficult than it ought to be. Which if MS are trying to get market share, it shouldn't be.

What I seem to be seeing is that the cheaper devices are not brilliant, though they are quite, maybe even too, cheap. But the better devices are much more expensive than they deserve to be, or that I want to pay, with nothing in the price bracket between. The higher range devices seem to be about twice as expensive, but not twice as good.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Terry 6
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Windows wallpaper curtains desktop

It's all furniture and stuff. Is it that surprising if people mix 'em up sometimes?

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Terry 6
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Re: The summer heat brings them out...

Plus ca change

For about 30 odd years I've had to scratch my head many a time wondering just why they designed something the way they did.

Move the clock to 2010 ( or thereabouts) and the same breed of fuckwits are finalising designs for Windows 8.

Cue wavy lines....

" I Know, let's hide the controls as invisible icons on the edges of the screen so that they only appear when the user is trying to do something totally different".

"And we can have one that makes the workspace disappear all together."

"Ohh Yes yes yes!. And we can get rid of the start menu so that no one will be able to find their programmes unless they're on a big tile on the desktop"

"A really big tile. And all the spaces will be taken up with the programmes we want them to see..."

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Terry 6
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Me: "Do you mind if I connect to your computer to help you resolve this?"

See above.

Don't EVER make assumptions.

Always start with the concrete observations.

And always tell the user what it is you need to do.

As in " I need to connect my computer to yours while it is having (this problem), so that I can.... etc."

It won't rule out the total idiot factor, but will certainly cut out a fair number of agonised screams.

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Terry 6
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Eyes first

"OK" I say to my staff when they call me. "Look at the computer*. What can you see?"

.......................

"OK. Are there any lights on the front of the screen?"

..........................................................................

"Can you see a button, or something to press?"

........................................................

And so on.

Remember, the user faced with a computer not doing what it has always done, at 2:45 on Friday with a report due in by close of day is in a a state of panic and confusion. For them logically looking at the machine and working through the problem themselves is not an option. So basic, almost unconcious or subliminal problem solving checks that we ( and even they ) can do without a moment's thought, have got to be run through overtly with them.

You have to start with concrete observation. What they can actually see and hear. Not their assumptions ( or yours!) about what is happening. If they need deperately to email a file of data they will tell you the email isn't working. because at that moment, for that task, simply it isn't.

*computer may mean the monitor, but feel able to adjust your perceptions accordingly.

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Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

Terry 6
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But if she rules out these things in advance......

"Apple may not refer to GPNE as a “patent troll,” “pirate,” “bounty hunter,” “privateer,” “bandit,” “paper patent,” “stick up,” “shakedown,” “playing the lawsuit lottery,” “corporate shell game,” or “a corporate shell.” "

.......she's surely applying those words to that company by implication anyway.

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UK mobile sales in the toilet: Down by FIVE MILLION this year

Terry 6
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Value for money

Looking at the current crop, there is a massive hike in price between the latest phones and the ones that haven't been out all that long either.

Add to that the confusing model numbers and the impossible to compare but probably minor differences, with prices that are equally impossible to relate to those differences.

Then pile on the annoyance that each retailer sells a different collection of models from the same ranges.

Stir in bundles that all have totally different, and usually inappropriate, mixes of minutes/texts and data.

And then try to discern how to "upgrade".

It's a mess. And only 17 year olds are ever going to be stirred by it.

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Terry 6
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Rule of thumb

Tecchies do things to computers

Users do things with them.

The OS that tecchies want to see is safe, secure, quick, reliable.

The OS users want to see is quick, reliable and easy to use. But pretty helps.

It's a formula that's worked well for fruit based technology.

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Terry 6
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Re: XP

" He is one of those types who think "Windows" is what you open a Word document with."

It is.

Though you do open the email and the internet with it too.

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FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

Terry 6
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Re: Complaints

I'd add another strategy, which I hit only this morning ( though not for the first time).

They offer to "pass your complaint on to the department".

You say you want a practical ( and probably simple and easy) restoration.

And they say they "can't" do that.

Not won't, which would at least be honest.

But "can't".

Like it's written in the laws of the land that they can't refund/discount/replace etc.

Or maybe the replacement is on a high shelf and they can't reach it.

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Terry 6
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Complaints

A major vulnerability that lets these (alleged ) abuses take place is that the customer service/complaints departments of most large companies now work exactly the same way, by a sequence of avoiding, fobbing-off and then ignoring complaints.

We've all been there.

You have a grievance.

Stage 1; there is no direct contact, or else maybe just a lowlevel phone handler who runs through a script and then tells you that he/she's very sorry but there's nothing more they can do.

So instead

Stage 2; there is the web page that requires you to know/set up a user account to access, then starts by giving you a link saying "contact us". But this doesn't actually have a way to contact them, just a link to

Stage 3. a set of FAQs. None of which are what you want to complain about, because all of them are low hanging fruit responses.

The next step (Stage 3a?) is often to refer you to a forum. Which is where you can let off steam sharing your grievance with lots of other people who haven't got anywhere either.

If you can avoid that you may then get to

Stage 4 a webmail form for your actual complaint.

This will be answered by a robot, which will refer you back to stage 3, even stage 2.

There are of course variations on this. My current favourite is that I have an email address to get to a customer service team. Which was answered by a person, who says that for security you need to log-in to make your complaint she/he can't go through this route until you do that. Which is nonsense, since there is nothing in the complaint that they can't verify through information given to the low level call handler at the time of the original phone call (stage 1). Logging in puts you back at stage 2 again. A bit like throwing a fish back into the river. Where it is well beyond the reach of the customer service team. (Yes, I mean you Virgin Mobile).

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Terry 6
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Hmm

"...Virgin Media's status pages claim everything is fine..."

That's pretty par for the course with VM.

Sometimes even the call handler will be saying there's nothing wrong, and have you tried switching it off and on again, etc. And later you find out that the whole area has a problem.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Terry 6
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Re: I know this BOFH is only satire...but...

@itsnotme

To be honest,that sounds more like your actual Apergers Syndrome, which is probably quite a good thing for beancounters ( and some sorts of IT guy as a previous artilcle in El R once covered.)

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