* Posts by gerryg

475 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

gerryg

Re: except, of course: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?one?!

While we're busy loving god, "market dominance"? What happened to Kodak?, buggy whip manufacturers etc?

Then there's James Dyson and vacuum cleaners.

Look how the world is (slowly, admitly) moving away from Microsoft, previously IBM

People dominate markets because they are good, people abuse market dominance because they are bad in all senses of the word

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gerryg

Interflora

If that is what Booking.com are doing, without the permission of the hotel then this legal case concerning keywords is timely and relevant.

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gerryg

except, of course

These hotels are not compelled to work with Booking.com Similarly they are not compelled to accept American Express with their higher charges. Many still do for other reasons.

How much advertising does a hotel not have to do as a result of these services?

If someone can do it better for less don't use Booking.com

If a hotel wants an alternative, use kick starter to help fund it. Find all the other hotels that want to work with you. Find out how much money and effort that will take.

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gerryg

Invaluable

Without Booking.com quite a few hotels and B&Bs would not have got my business. 85% of nothing is nothing.

I choose location within city, level of quality of room and then price. Booking.com helps me find "the one". Of course all this information empowers the consumer. Competition is thwarted by information asymmetry and the consumer is usually on the wrong side of the information asymmetry problem.

And let's look at who is complaining.

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Plusnet could face DATA BREACH probe over SPAM HELL gripes

gerryg

How big a problem and why?

Not happening with me or the few people I know that use Plusnet. I even use their squirrel mail as my client. I'd shout at them about various but not this.

I'd be curious to identify common factors among those affected.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

gerryg

Let's not forget the Portsmouth Landlady

On the matter of the single market

As the ECJ ruled: Local bans can't "be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums"

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Did rock-hard aliens turn young Earth MOIST? New probe data emerges

gerryg
Angel

musical reference in strapline

The Hollies

But this one has got more atmosphere

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

gerryg

Re: S.M.A.R.T.

no, I came back... see below

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gerryg

Re: S.M.A.R.T.

You're right - have an upvote

Sensible, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound (Drucker)

not SMART - Smart meters

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MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

gerryg

deja vu all over again

Feels a bit like thinly disguised protectionism to me. Let's throw public funds at European non-alternatives rather than notice what we're good at. Over here we failed to understand Turing, LEO was largely ignored and so we created ICL. Tried with Inmos and the Transputer. (Didn't really think Acorn Research Machines was up to much until it became ARM). In France it was Groupe Bull. Holland probably Philips, Germany Siemens.

Hurrah for MEPs

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

gerryg

colour me cynical

Add back in: don't eat too much red meat and don't drink too much, "there's no such thing as superfoods"

All that expensive research and it turns out the answer is "eat sensibly" who knew?

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DNA survives fiery heat of re-entry on test rocket

gerryg

evidence of not being impossible <> evidence of being possible

Regardless of the durability of DNA - experts seem to have already covered that off - this doesn't even begin to prove that life arrived on asteroids.

It just leaves open the possibility that some DNA could have arrived by asteroid and that possibly the DNA could have developed into an organism that might have had "survival of the fittest" characteristics and has not have gone extinct.

We have no evidence that this has happened or that if it did it's the unique reason for life on earth.

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Sharing Economy sharks need love, cuddles and SUBSIDIES – UK.gov

gerryg

You might be right, however...

"Uber is distinguished really only by its use of what seems to amount to zero-hours contracts and by-demand pricing"

Never used them, because I can choose not to. If they drive (no pun intended) others out of the market then it's because their customers have spoken. Not Uber's problem.

Without Uber we might find ourselves saying

Taxis are a complex monopoly abusing their customers because they can charge what they as there is no alternative

They've got form on resisting competition

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Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

gerryg

"Always leave them wanting more"

Atrributed to P T Barnum

"Bladerunner - the director's cut" is one of the few times where more is more. Leave it alone.

Nerd point: Although I haven't put it in the DVD player to check, I'm fairly sure it opened the question at the end of whether he was a replicant (in which case the sequel suffers from an obvious flaw)

Anyway, as someone has already posted it will be shite. I won't be going.

However, as also attributed to P T Barnum: "There's a sucker born every minute"

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

gerryg

laches or whatever it's called in the UK.

From a cached page on the Brennan website (URL now returns a 404)

In 2006 the British Phonographic Institute or BPI said to a parliamentary select committee that they wanted to “make it unequivocally clear to the consumer that if they copy their CDs for their own private use in order to move the music from format to format we will not pursue them"

So the effect of the passage of time on enforcement of rights will be of interest.

There's a helpful discussion here

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Calls for probe of UK.gov's DOESN'T VERIFY ID service

gerryg

government gateway never did authentication

The government gateway never did authentication. Its history is well recorded on ElReg including here and here

Despite the marketing rhetoric it was only ever formally described as a registration service. For non users of digital certificates (which authenticated you elsewhere) authentication was an off-line traditional service based on sending you something to your home address.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

gerryg

Re: I can't agree with this

Have an up vote. While my prejudices are based on having been there since S.u.S.E 6.1 this sums it all up

"The article, to me, focused more on the touchy feely stuff, not actually how it behaved in a real world work environment."

openSUSE is now either the longest running distro (1993?) or second, Fedora has similar longevity and unless you are going to go all Gentoo on me, (or Linux from Scratch) these are relevant considerations.

I was also pleased to see in another comment that the good KDE 4.0 bashing is alive and well, personally I'm thinking of losing all GUIs cuz I'm 1337 and all over TTY

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

gerryg

Strawbs

For those that didn't get the musical reference in the sub-heading, here it is

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

gerryg
Facepalm

Obligatory xkcd reference

The story on the BBC website repeats the usual tosh about what constitutes a strong password. I don't understand why these "experts" don't look at xkcd for real advice.

As it says there "Through 20 years of effort, we've successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess"

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Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand

gerryg

nice software, shame about the hardware

I really want to like Jolla and kickstarted the phone.

The interface is not handed, so for lefties such as me, that's good. The software is very pretty, but not sure it's as open as advertised (show me the source code and I'll recant)

The other half was an idea in search of a reason, ambience (a colour my mood on my phone feature) is probably best left to those who have "had their colours done".

The real problem is that you didn't get much hardware for your money. It sort of reminds me of the Meriden workers cooperative that tried to keep Triumph motorcycles alive. My heart wanted to buy one but my head said BMW for this reason or Kawasaki for that reason.

Obviously a lot of people disagree with me and I wish Jolla well (my much replaced Nokia 5800 only recently abandoned is still a great phone) but a Nexus 7 however mundane is still a safer bet.

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UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

gerryg

Just a thought

When everyone has finished working out the ways this won't work, the requirement to do stuff on line might provide a reason to keep libraries open.

And while we can talk about a "Tory-led" coalition, those Labour party supporters that want to use any stick to beat the drum should remember the stick (doing it all online) was fashioned by the previous Labour-led government.

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So You Think You Can Conduct Original Research?

gerryg

For the graduation ceremony...

She will need one of these

The comments are priceless.

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Pay-by-bonk 'glitch' means cards can go kaching-for-crims

gerryg

Who knew pay by bonk was insecure? It's bonkers, I tell you

No PIN, no need to prove the card is yours, etc.

So the crims are going to steal money from your credit card company (not you, obviously, what with the transaction being fraudulent n'all) but how are they going to hang on to it? Unidentified?

I understand cloning and buying a Porsche - the crims convert to goods and then sell them on. Good luck with that one. But this requires them to get the cash out of the system which takes time. For example, my credit card company, if not them all is fairly tuned up to weird transactions in which case I get an SMS inviting me to confirm.

While I think about it, the last time I tried to pay by bonk in a supermarket without removing the card from my opened wallet, the terminal got confused by the card in the other half of my wallet. When I pay by bonk on London Transport (tube or bus) the system is less sensitive but does require a firm hand, as it were.

So I'd like to know the physical circumstances in which this could work.

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Microsoft opens Office 365 to devs with APIs, SDKs

gerryg

Any WordPerfect developers...

...care to give us a history lesson?

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Amazon sells Fire Phone in UK ... on CONTRACT

gerryg

It's probably fatal to say this here but...

...for those of us that actually use Amazon, this is old news.

It's been on their website landing page for some time.

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Microsoft discovers long-lost phone division down back of sofa

gerryg

Don't own "Nokia" dropping "Lumia"

Not sure I understand this. So Microsoft have sufficient confidence in the brand value of "Microsoft" phones - what has changed?

If nothing has changed:

- why did they buy the phone division in the first place?

or

- why are they dropping the brand value of Lumia?

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SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

gerryg

Don't often find myself praising the BBC

However, on this occasion, they're doing the right thing. Google seem to be vulnerable/defending themselves from disgruntled competitors but it seems to me that the right to be forgotten is nonsensical. The example cited by the BBC themselves is a case in point.

As the crims themselves say (apparently) if you can't stand the time don't do the crime.

If you do something that attracts public attention you didn't do it in private. No doubt there are counter examples (e.g., Max Mosley might have interesting tastes but he was indulging in private and he was stitched up) but English Law at least, is based on remedies not rights.

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EU blesses $19bn Facebook-Whatsapp marriage

gerryg

Facebook? whatsapp?

face palm, who cares?

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UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

gerryg
Facepalm

fair use

"UK Music has claimed that the reforms will cost musicians £58 million a year in lost revenues."

Just quoting but is there a provision for self-parody? If not will UK Music be suing itself?

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DARPA joins math-secured microkernel race

gerryg

micro v macro

Has the discussion on reliable OSes moved on from Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate?

For me it seems that it's all about risk - you throw it over the fence and hope it doesn't come back to bite you (micro) or you attempt to contain it and avoid getting bitten (macro). Neither approach eliminates the problem

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

gerryg

learning from history (not)

In 2011 one of those think tanks published a study for digital government "System+Error" lots of hoopla and government support at the time

In "making the case for change" the report begins by highlighting online vehicle road tax as an example of successful IT. Unfortunately on the day the study was published the DVLA site was "down for essential maintenance" screenshot for posterity.

More here

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Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

gerryg

belatedly - may I ...

... compliment you on yet another great headline.

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Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods

gerryg

Trend Micro...

...appears to be some kind of Microsoft shop

just saying

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Super Cali so litigious, Uber is the focus. Even German judges say it's something quite atrocious

gerryg

Re: Supercaliawesomeheadline

If you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything

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Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed

gerryg

Re: Why not

pay your taxes first. Until that point we don't care Apple

FTFY

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What TODO with open source: Google, Facebook and Twitter launch collab project

gerryg

Re: Strange

And there was me thinking that Google had been funding open source projects for years, without seeking anything specific in return.

It's not clear to me that the Linux kernel, or X, KDE, Gnome, Libre Office (list continues on p93) are in need of TODO.

Let's not forget that Facebook and Twitter also contribute to improving open source infrastructure. Possibly there are niche projects that might benefit. However, TBH, this feels like an initiative in search of a reason.

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In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE

gerryg

how will LG's spinners present this?

Or will they just hang the execs out to dry?

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Slough isn't fit for humans now, says Amazon. We're going to Shoreditch

gerryg

Re: Sweetners

You do understand that raising tax is a power largely retained by government not the Mayor of London?

Can you identify the scheme here?

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gerryg

Re: Bigger Losses

You actually have to pay the rent.

So while Amazon will be able to deduct it from their earnings they will only save the %age rate of corporation tax - JUST like every other company.

Unless you are aware of some cunning asset stripping plan, in which case you are either in tax planning or should consider a career change.

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BONEHEAD FANBOIS encamp outside Apple Stores

gerryg

The next Apple product I own

Will be my first, however, I do have a sneaking regard for a company that has its client group begging to buy an as yet unidentified product.

Reminds me of the flag seller sketch

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Finally, a USEFUL smart device: Intel boffins cook up gyro-magneto-'puter bike helmet

gerryg

Cycle helmets need ventilation slots

As with bikinis the less you get the more you pay.

From the photograph it all looks pretty solid (unlike motorcycle crash helmets, they don't protect your head from anything really serious) which would make it fairly uncomfortable for anyone travelling so far or so fast as to actually benefit from wearing it.

Solve that and it looks interesting.

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Multi-billion pound UK.gov tech framework awarded to 33 suppliers

gerryg

And how much of this is from open source providers?

And not Microsoft Windows based?

c.f: UK government plans switch from Microsoft Office to open source

But luckily UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

However, as El Reg predicted: UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

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TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit

gerryg

Re: Google are no angels ..

Google are a profit maximising enterprise just like many organisations.

However, they appear to want to win by open competition and do quite a lot to make life easier for others that fancy their chances in open competition, for example Google shields open source cloud tech from patent trolls" versus "Really? Apple's lawsuit against Google is REVIVED"

Is Google my friend? Who knows. Luckily they seem to be my enemy's enemy.

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Racing Post escapes ICO fine after leaking info of 677K punters

gerryg

neigh, lad

why look a gift horse in the mouth?

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IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

gerryg

Everything we know is wrong

"A highly influential paper by Dr John Ioannidis at Stanford University called "Why most published research findings are false" argues that fewer than half of scientific papers can be believed, and that the hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true. He even showed that of the 49 most highly cited medical papers, only 34 had been retested and of them 41 per cent had been convincingly shown to be wrong. And yet they were still being cited."

BBC Radio 4 listen again

Then there's Retraction Watch

See their FAQ So why write a blog on retractions?

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

gerryg

Re: They've got you...

There's interesting case law about this. For example Knuller v DPP (1973) HL

There exists a common law conspiracy to corrupt public morals and outrage public decency.

D published a magazine containing advertisements for homosexual acts amongst consenting adults.

Held:

Conspiracy to corrupt public morals ... really means to corrupt the morals of such members of the public as may be influenced by the matter published' by D, with 'corrupt' being synonymous with 'deprave' or amounting to 'conduct which a jury might find to be destructive of the very fabric of).

Regarding the offence of outraging public decency: 'the substantive offence ... must be committed in public', i.e. before more than one person. "'Outraging public decency" goes considerably beyond offending the susceptibilities of, or even shocking, reasonable people'.

Obiter... it's based on Shaw v DPP which was quite an interesting and relatively famous case as he had sought clarification from plod as to what would be ok before he published.

On the other hand some argue (pdf) this is contrary to Section 7 ECHR.

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Claim: Microsoft Alt-F4'd Chilean government open-source install bid

gerryg

Chile borders on...

...Peru.

So naturally Microsoft is pre-empting another nightmare.

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Go on, inhale our G-Cloud via 'Digital Marketplace' – UK.gov

gerryg

better value for money...

Does anyone actually know what "better value for money" actually means? Until then a requirement to "comply unless" is vacuous.

Actually, "value for money" is part of the boiler-plate in the topsy-turvy world of the rules of appointing Departmental Accounting Officers; the ones who have to report to HM Treasury on how the money has been spent.

Imagine having an accounting officer who did not have to achieve value for money? But we need to know what they value before we know what is better.

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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

gerryg

no it isn't

<irony>

<funny>this is a joke</funny>

</irony>

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