* Posts by paulf

639 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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ARM moneymen OK buyout

paulf
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Re: Only in Newsbytes?

Likewise - I hope you're wrong for the same reasons. Softbank aren't magicking that £24bn out of thin air and the entities putting up that cash will want an RoI from a £17/share purchase that was previously generating a reasonable return on ~£10/share.

Others have said it - the Softbank promises all sound a bit Kraft-y. If they don't keep their word what come back is there?

I've racked my head since this deal was announced and just can't see any rational logic behind ARM being anything other than independent (i.e. the status quo). I guess that's why the current management extracted such a hefty take over premium but that will come at a price when the new owners want their pound of flesh.

Sad times.

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paulf
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Alert

Only in Newsbytes?

Considering the acquisition price of £17/share (?) represents a major premium over the pre-announcement price many may have considered this EGM nothing more than a "rubber stamp" affair but surely this warranted a bit more prominent coverage than a few lines in Newsbytes? It does represent the end of independence for what many consider the jewel in Britain's technological crown after all.

Hmm, sadly no Reg Tombstone icon any more...

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

paulf
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Holmes

Re: What I don't get...

@ It wasnt me "Seriously, whats so difficult?"

Brown envelopes full of money/company directorships/Knighthoods (<coughs> BHS <coughs>) etc is what makes it so difficult to change these things. Otherwise your analysis is spot on.

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

paulf
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Holmes

Re: Irish politicians will need to fight this ruling...

It's also worth noting Ireland asked the EU for a €90bn bailout in 2010. Would that have been necessary if the big multinationals like Apple were paying tax at the published rate everyone else had to pay?

Unfortunately companies like Apple (I know there are others who do this, but Apple is the subject here) always use the same defence; that they've paid all the taxes due by law, carefully sidestepping the fact they're wealthy enough to exploit a loophole most workers and small companies cannot.

I wonder how Irish tax payers feel knowing they were, in effect, subsidising one of the biggest and richest companies on the planet? That's what happened when the Irish state decided to accept lower tax revenue by offering a special deal to one company that one assumes wasn't available to most others.

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Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

paulf
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Pint

Re: Let's get this straight

@ Mark 85 "More like market manipulation..."

You're right. By means of an excuse, I wrote that comment at 0500 (long story) on BH Monday and as I'd only had one coffee by then the brain was more sludgy than normal. Icon - what I enjoyed several of that evening after a long day.

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paulf
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Coat

Let's get this straight

One company finds a security hole in another company's products and accuses that company of not fixing them because they put profit before safety but before disclosing their findings they place a bet on that company's shares in the hope their (disputed) report pushes the share price down which it does thus they make a profit at the expense of the safety that would have resulted from a prompt disclosure.

Surely this is just a sophisticated pump and dump scam?

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Sprint learns that a 'rebate' includes paying people money

paulf
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Unhappy

An interesting demonstration of how Softbank tentacles treat their customers

If I was an ARM licensee I'd be getting nervous, if not already.

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Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: Raising the White Flag

@ Steve Davies 3 "Bought myself a MacBook to run Photshop. [...] Runs with an SSD and thanks to TimeMachine moving from spinning rust to SSD was easy."

You don't even have to bother with Timemachine. I moved my MBP to SSD last year without it: Plug SSD into MBP using a USB adaptor, Reboot Mac into Startup Manager in the EFI, Use Disk Manager in that to clone one drive to the other, power off and swap SSD into Mac (or do what I did and boot from the SSD via the USB adaptor until you are happy all is running fine).

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Error: Print job 'Money' failed for laserjet001.lan.hp.com

paulf
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Coat

That's a lot of redundancies

"HP says it is on track with its plan** to lay off 3,000 workers by the end of the year in an effort to reduce its overhead costs."

** From that article, "HP, which employed 302,000 people in mid-2015, is just emerging from its previous round of redundancies in which it binned roughly 58,000 workers."

I don't have access to the detailed Q&A that happens at their results but do Manglement ever get taken to task on how they can make a fifth of the workforce redundant? Either Manglement neglected their responsibilities to run the business efficiently and the business was egregiously overstaffed (i.e. burning money with no real RoI) or they're expecting the unfortunates left behind to pick up the slack for no more pay with the consequences of the resulting overwork causing more costs than it saves.

Icon -> Yes I already know the answer but it's frustrating all the same.

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Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: oh dear

@ Tessier-Ashpool "Imagine if they made the phone as thin as a playing card."

Please don't give them ideas! Without some kind of miracle revolution in battery technology you know that would be achieved at the expense of battery life. Also it would be curtains for the lightning port - if the rumours are to be believed they're already gunning for the headphone socket in their quest to save another 0.1mm (which makes as much sense as shaving 1mm off the MBP only to leave it marginally too thin to support GbE port).

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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

paulf
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Re: Selling Arm is starting to look like a dumb move for all concerned

I agree, but I guess that's how Segars and Co extracted a non-trivial 43% premium over the pre-approach share price from Softbank.

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Labour election 2FA fail

paulf
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I'm not convinced this is intended as 2FA

I get voting forms for company AGMs and Building Society Annual meetings (plus other organisations) that operate the same way - a two part security code delivered together. I've never seen it described as 2FA (probably because it isn't and they know it!), and it's certainly not limited to the labour party. The voting forms have been like this for years and they come variously from the ERS or Equiniti so also not limited to one company's voting system.

I've never understood why they do it that way, although as someone mentioned elsewhere one part could be identity and the other a checksum to prevent people voting for others by simply guessing the ID part.

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Gawker.com to shut down

paulf
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@dan1980 Upvoted because, with these words, you nail the main point of this whole case: "...Gawker, in publishing revenge porn...".

I'm sure there are cases where the super rich do "buy" justice simply because they can fund the lawyers longer and deeper than the other side (or can afford a super injunction) but IMO this isn't one of them. Gawker published revenge porn, a most egregious violation of privacy against the plaintiff. I can't help thinking they did it because they thought Terry Bollea wouldn't be able to sue or would settle early (for an amount they could write off as a business expense) due to a lack of funds. They took a gamble publishing a story they should have known was wrong, with little genuine public interest (other than gossipy titillation) and lost because a jury found against them.

All those people wailing about the threat to journalism might want to get a grip on what Gawker actually published: Revenge Porn. Not exactly investigative journalism in the same league as Watergate, or British MP expenses, or Jimmy Savile, or the Panama papers was it?

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CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site

paulf
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Boffin

Re: Prroof! That Demons exist!

Perhaps not demons but certainly Zombies as a bunch of PhD students at CERN made a zombie apocalypse film back in 2012. It's pretty good considering the amateur shoe string budget production.

Decay film

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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

paulf
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Headmaster

Might want to check your sums?

FTSubhead: "This would be funny if it wasn't worth 31 years of non-existent Brexit NHS funding"

I'm guessing this is a reference to the Vote Leave campaign which made reference to £350m for the NHS? Well, £11bn / £350m = 31.4 but I understood Vote Leave claimed we sent £350m** per week to the EU not per year. Unfortunately 7.2 months makes your subhead a little less dramatic although it still demonstrates that HM Gubbermint is perfectly capable of pissing tax payer money up the wall on crap projects like smart meters all of its own accord (and it aces this when IT is involved).

[**I'm not keen to open the whole Brexit debate here but it's worth also noting £350m is our gross contribution to the EU (before our rebate is deducted) and doesn't take into account money that comes back to the UK from the EU budget in things like CFP subsidies - full calc].

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Cops break up German sausage fight between pair of Neubrandenburgers

paulf
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Coat

The sausages were massive

"...Kochwurst, some of which can reach monstrous proportions."

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Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

paulf
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Joke

Re: Wow.

@Novex "I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago."

"I note Microsoft's attitude to how well my machine works will be governed by the nature of my interest in taking forced updates without question and would therefore be grateful if you would inform me what Microsoft's attitude to forced updates would be, were they to learn that the nature of my reply is as follows: fuck off."

With apologies to Arkell v. Pressdram

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New Google vid-call app

paulf
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Re: Why is this better than Skype?

@ DougS

"Why is this better than Skype? iOS and Android users already have this."

Native Skype for Windows Phone walked behind shed, shot heard. iOS, Android will also lose their native Skype apps

I think the standard comment wondering how long it will be until Google kill this new product applies here also.

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London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

paulf
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Joke

Slightly off topic but I like the way Viz usually get away with the kind of outrageous claims that would land other publications in the dock - they just attribute everything to an unreliable, ficticious source:

"Our source was on his twelfth pint when he made the completely untrue claim that <insert celebrity name here> liked to have sex with goats on a regular basis. 'The <celebrity> also has sex with rabbits', he lied to our reporter."

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

paulf
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Joke

Re: quality..

@ Frenchie Lad

"Exactly the reason why my house wiring, circa 1910, still uses ceramic fuse wire holders which renders the sound superb, naturally using special copper wire fuses to ensure purity of electricity throughout."

That's all well and good but if you haven't upgraded to the properly shielded Titanium fuses (£1000 each) you just won't be able to fully appreciate the purity of the music. Make sure you upgrade all of your fuses otherwise some impurities can echo back along the wires from your light bulbs.

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paulf
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Re: quality..

@ Baldy50

"Would still use copper for the current carrying conductors inside as Titanium is a very poor conductor of electricity, so just a pretty costly covering."

It might use a length of super cooled unicorn hair to carry the current - it's irrelevant what it uses. My point is that even if the cable delivers completely all of its wild promises it would be immediately let down by the rest of the infrastructure used to deliver that current to the wall socket.

The same is true with all of this extreme Hi-Fi bunkum - it relies on people not realising 1. They will *never* notice the difference (even if they think they can) and 2. The chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - a fancy power lead won't change your house wiring or the distribution grid. In some cases the meat bag's own sensors are the limiting aspect.

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paulf
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Facepalm

Re: quality..

@ Anonymous Coward

"Since you mention cables and wax, I'll slide this in here. http://marigoaudio.com/tuning-dots/"

I had a look on that site - clearly I picked the wrong career:

Titanium power cable 6ft $2995

I wonder if it implicitly upgrades the copper ring main it connects to. Or the old fuse box with ceramic fuse wire carriers.

There might be a facepalm icon but this really requires a head in hands quietly weeping icon.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

paulf
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Re: Turning point?

@wolfetone

When apple ditched the 30 pin connector they just swapped one proprietary connector for another on accessories that are only used with an iPhone. Yes, Apple probably made a fat extra pile of cash out of people replacing their accessories but, assuming they only wanted to make money and it didn't offer a some kind of improvement, that's not a trick they can pull often. Ten years ago each mobile manufacturer had their own proprietary connector and were quite happy to change these every few years - I have a box at home with a multitude of hands free earphones as testament.

I would agree with djstardust regarding the headphone socket. This is a standard port and most consumer level things that kick out audio support it - you can plug almost any pair of headphones into any device with a 3.5mm jack. I've seen claims it's old tech and Apple led the way with ditching the Floppy Disk drive but FDDs died because their capacity didn't keep up with storage demands (BIOS supporting "Boot from CD" also helped) - the headphone jack may be old but it isn't obsolete. I may be in the minority, but having a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adaptor dangling out the bottom of a £600+ iPhone (so it can be 0.1mm thinner) doesn't strike me as either appealing nor the sign of a cutting edge innovative move. If improved water resistance (something I think already done elsewhere?) is the goal I don't believe for a second Apple's financial muscle is unable to source 3.5mm jack sockets with water resistance matching the adjacent lightning connector.

Apple seem determined to push and push and push. Right now they seem to be pushing too far but, as is typical when this happens, they won't realise until it's too late. I lost interest long ago in their disposable/non-repairable/non-upgradable "It's all soldered to the MB" Macs and considering the number of bugs I trip over in iOS 9 it won't take much more than a dropped 3.5mm jack socket to make me lose interest in a new iPhone.

[That said I agree with you on Beats headphones - nothing comes close to my HD-25s]

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UK local govt body blasts misleading broadband speed ads

paulf
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Re: Well I never...

Now that your village has had Wessex Internet installed, and proved the existence of demand, I can't help thinking BT will now suddenly decide to upgrade internet speeds in your village so it can quietly snuff out its competitor by tempting WI subscribers back to services over BT lines.

I hope that doesn't happen - BT need a bit of competition.

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Three posts lacklustre results, angrily mutters over O2 merger rejection

paulf
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Thumb Down

Re: Revenue dropped by 2%

@ Lars

"So should we weep and should we not understand that they like to merge in order not to have to compete."

Exactly this. As I've mentioned before the £10bn O2 acquisition money (plus the various monies for advisors etc) would buy Three massive customer service and network improvements plus the savings of not having to merge the O2 CS operations into Three not to mention the myriad complexity of having the O2 half of the network in Cornerstone (with Vodafone UK) and the other half in MBNL (with BT-EE). That kind of competition would put a serious rocket under the other UK operators. CS quality and coverage seem to be the biggest gripes so if Three could become best in class for CS it would be a major selling point, with improved coverage/capacity the icing on the cake.

Unfortunately CKH/LKS clearly decided the £10bn only had a compelling RoI if it also came with reduced competition thus increasing their pricing power over muggins!

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

paulf
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Pirate

Re: Proof! that! Yahoo! not! really! dead! (Sponsored)

And by selecting "Hide all ads from..." you're playing right into their hands of sorts as you're giving them more information on your advert preferences (other than the one you'd really like to give which is stuff your ads up your chuff, Zuck) which makes their targeting even more valuable (or so the theory goes).

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: How are they going to do this exactly?

@JetSetJim

"There's your first mistake. The FB app wants to slurp all your phone data ..."

The other half found out the hard way that the FB app for iOS "helpfully" backs up all the photos on your phone to Facebook. How kind (not)! Even by Facebook standards this is the most monstrous invasion of privacy as the app should only be uploading photos specifically selected for the purpose not quietly deciding to upload the whole bloody lot. Even with the granular permissions of iOS there are still risks to allowing these slurping apps permission to do anything.

@ Charles 9

"Except I believe Facebook paid ABP to get whitelisted."

I'd be surprised at that considering Zuck's claims about ABP and the whitelist charges in the article. That said, have you ever read through the whitelist? After sifting through pages of Google ad slinging and tracking shit I wondered why anyone would allow whitelisted ads to be shown as they do all the creepy tracking that you'd want an ad blocker to prevent.

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Vodafone bins line rental charges as it moves onto TalkTalk's turf

paulf
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Holmes

Abolished or just a combined price

Exactly. All they've done is combine the line rental aspect with the rest of the charges into a single monthly price, and they'll be obliged to this soon anyway. Also they haven't suddenly decided to provide Naked DSL.

Come on El Reg - even Auntie Beeb was brazen enough to call them on this rather than regurgitate the Voda press release verbatim: "However, some experts said the charge is being merged, rather than abolished. "To be clear, Vodafone isn't really abolishing line rental charges, it's simply combining the charge into its fibre pricing," said broadband expert Ewan Taylor-Gibson from uSwitch."

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London's 'automatic' Tube trains suffered 750 computer failures last year

paulf
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Headmaster

@ Commswonk

"Harry Beck's design is the only "handy" map in existence."

The Harry Beck design is a diagram, not a map, as it's not geographically accurate. (Among other things Zone 1 is shown disproportionately large due to the density of stations).

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Dear Imation. It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black

paulf
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Facepalm

Re: Getting things under control

I think if those fixes take much longer they won't survive to reap the promised benefits. A company that deals with bad numbers each quarter by cutting stuff each quarter is a dying company in a nose dive spiral. Cutting today's R&D means fewer products to sell 1-2 years down the line which means lower revenues, which means bad quarterly numbers (wash/rinse/repeat).

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paulf
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May I offer: "Action will be taken to prevent the next disaster as soon as possible after it has occurred."

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Bug bounty for in-flight entertainment units

paulf
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Headmaster

Surely Panasonic Avionics?

Sorry - no email for corrections at work.

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Mozilla 404s '404 Not Found' pages: Firefox fills in blanks with archive.org copies

paulf
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Meh

Re: Doesn't strike me as a good idea at all

You make a very good sub-point. When a domain is acquired by a new owner any request they make to remove pages from IA should only go back to the point they bought the domain - it shouldn't remove content that predates their ownership of that domain.

I've also seen the complete and only archive of a site removed from IA simply because the new owner of a domain (that had otherwise been dormant for 10 years) decided they didn't want any of their content archived. Having their new content omitted from IA is fine, if that's what they want, but they shouldn't be allowed to tell IA to wipe historic data of that domain that predates their ownership (content they had no hand in creating).

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ARM's top brass land £54m Softbank windfall

paulf
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Holmes

Re: A bit paltry

If you think £11m is "A bit paltry" I'd love to have some of what you're smoking as it's more than I can hope to earn in my lifetime of being an Engineer. Maybe you think £11m is pin money but I could retire immediately with no money worries ever again on that kind of cash (and I'm sure I'd survive without a posh London pad).

I assume you refer to this "Chief executive Simon Segars will land £11.36m...". Simon Segars has been CEO of ARM for just over three years so £11m in what I assume is long term shares isn't that bad considering he could have got through those three years as CEO just by coasting on the successes of the pipeline established under the previous incumbent (although I'm not suggesting he's done this).

ARM's profits always seemed a bit low compared to its importance - in 2015 their revenue:net income margin was 35% - but it's worth remembering it's only one link in the chain. Others have to take the IP, customise it, turn it into a SoC, get that SoC working, then then sell it for use in products which in turn have to be sold to end users.

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UK telco market worth £37.5bn, Ofcom reports

paulf
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Trollface

Re: Ofcom - they love their stats, but completely miss the point.

@AC "that's before I even start downloading the 4-6GB Windows 10 ISO."

I think someone is trying to send you a message about your Windows 10 upgrade plans (or they're trying to help you avoid it).

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Ofgem sets up database so energy companies can spam Brits

paulf
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Alert

Same here. We're with one of the newer, smaller, suppliers - they send me an accurate bill every month, send a blokey to read the meters 1-2 times a year yet still cost less than the big suppliers I've checked. I haven't contacted them for at least two years - they just get things right so no need to other than a quick email at fixed rate renewal time. Considering the massive clusterfuck of poor customer service, crappy billing systems and general all round asshattery at the big six I've got no interest in switching to any of them - I don't care how much "cheaper" they think they are. As another commentard says above - cheaper isn't always the best choice.

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paulf
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Alert

Re: Comparison site savings not what they seem.

The alternative to wrestling with comparison sites and their arcane systems is getting the actual per unit and per day charges from the suppliers without having to submit all your personal details for one of their quotes (invariably generated on the same questionable lines as the comparison site). It is possible but not easy and usually requires Google to dig it out of their website as the page is usually not linked to (Beware of the Leopard etc).

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: This cannot end badly

They're one step ahead of you:

"...Ofgem stated, and as such customers "will have the right to opt out beforehand to avoid receiving communications by post, and will only be contacted electronically if they explicitly opt in to such communications.""

I suspect they'd argue the post side has to be opt-out because people who already don't engage with the energy market have implicitly indicated they wouldn't opt in and we can't have such a great idea hobbled by being opt in because profits. Great news for the Royal Mail I suppose.

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paulf
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Big Brother

Re: And this is a good idea because...?

I agree - anyone who doesn't know you can switch energy supplier for a better deal has been living under a rock for the last 20 years or simply doesn't want to - but it goes further than that. I think it would be more like the local Tesco gets the contact details of everyone that has bought their groceries at the nearby Sainsburys for most of the last year and would be able to send them a flyer full of offers plus a ready completed Clubcard application form ("Just sign here and return in the pre-paid envelope").

Your comparison correctly pokes fun at the absurdity of this idea but doesn't have sufficient invasive creepiness.

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Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

paulf
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Big Brother

Are we now at the point where calling these things a "Privacy Policy" is just absurd? They seem to be more "No Privacy Policy" than detailing how your Privacy and information will be protected.

It's a bit like the Supermarket having a "Free food policy" that stipulates you will pay the full monetary cost of everything you buy.

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Reminder: IE, Edge, Outlook etc still cough up your Windows, VPN credentials to strangers

paulf
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Facepalm

Re: Response time?

"Do you believe everything marketing says?" No - It's more like I believe nothing Sales and Marketing say unless it can be separately verified. Do you take every commentard's scribblings as serious? Perhaps I should have added a </sarcasm> to flag my deadpan delivery. PS I up voted your original comment.

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paulf
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Flame

Re: Response time?

@ LDS

"Anyway, only very naive people can believe any software can be rewritten truly from scratch each time."

So why do Microsoft keep claiming that to be the case? You're not trying to suggest their marketing department are lying I hope? My faith in Microsoft would be shaken to its very core by such a suggestion.

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Firefox to block crapware

paulf
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Go

Re: I might update from FF 37

Classic Theme Restorer FTW

(Yes I know it shouldn't be necessary, but it works very well across my Win 7x64 and OSX installs).

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HTC Q2 sales crash

paulf
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Thumb Up

Not even worthy of a main story

The red ink bleeding at HTC is now so routine the stories have been relegated to El Reg's Mini-News section.

Are they still working to their time honoured tradition of releasing a plethora of handsets each year (as they're not sure which will stick), riddled with design faults and bugs (that never get fixed), supported for barely a few months after release then ditched when they can't be arsed any more? I wonder how that's working out for them?

They may have a chance against Samsung (et al) if they created a small number of well designed handsets that receive prompt updates for at least two years with decent support but if they've still not figured that out I don't see things improving for them.

[Note for down voters - I like Android, it's just HTC and their shitty "support" I don't like]

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Android's latest patches once again remind us: It's Nexus or bust if you want decent security

paulf
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Facepalm

Re: the combined clusterfuck of manufacturers and carriers

@ joeldillon

"Google can't release updates for gear they don't make."

My computer wasn't manufactured by Microsoft yet they somehow manage to issue updates for it (Win 7 x64). Pop over to the latest Win 10 article and see the debate continuing to rage as Microsoft can now update computers they didn't make, without first seeking user approval.

The point is Google could have structured Android so it was possible for the underlying operating system to receive these kind of security and bug fix updates without the Manufacturer/Carrier gating their distribution and without disturbing any customisations added by the manufacturer/Carrier. Even if they didn't do Android like this from the outset they've had 7 years to sort it out.

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Google are wasting their time

Surely it's about time Google started revoking use of the GMS binary blob for manufacturers that don't keep their devices up to date with patches for at least two years after launch. Would that focus a few minds? I suppose it doesn't get around the Networks/Carriers also wanting to stand in the way.

Google have the power to solve this clusterfuck but continue to not give a toss.

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EE roaming outage hits Brits basking abroad

paulf
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Coat

Re: The real problem is that

They only come marked URGENT in red ink if you don't pay the previous one in black ink.

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paulf
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Holmes

Let me fix that for you

"A spokeswoman from EE said it was aware that some all EE customers who are travelling abroad and trying to use roaming in certain most countries are experiencing issues affecting their voice and data roaming services."

When they say "some" or "certain" you know they mean pretty much all of their customers are affected.

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Three owner Hutch lobs sueball at EU over failed O2 buy

paulf
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Boffin

Re: Dwarves?

Three buying O2 would have reduced the oligopoly from 4 to 3 which would have meant less competition and rising prices for end users. The various shenanigans in the UK mobile industry have shown that 4 is likely the magic number - enough operators to ensure some useful inkling of competition but not so many that they can't build viable networks with sensible coverage.

Lets not forget Three, as a new entrant, got the biggest 3G spectrum allocation back in 2000. Spectrum and coverage don't have the direct relation you imply - you also have to consider the number of cell sites. More smaller cell sites means the same spectrum can be reused more often which increases capacity but also increases costs.

Lets say CKH/LKS decided to chuck half that £10bn at improving an unmerged Three UK. £1bn would pay to move the call centres back to the UK for 10 years plus general customer service improvements. That reduces churn and means less spent on acquiring new customers. The remaining £4bn buys a LOT of new cell sites, increasing capacity through more spectrum reuse, filling in gaps etc. If it was spent through MBNL (and thus involved EE) it would go even further.

My point is if he has £10bn burning a hole in his pocket he should spend it on Three UK not on reducing what competition we have, as what's left only just keeps the four operators on their toes. If his numbers only stack up through a significant increase in his pricing power then perhaps he should sell Three UK to someone else that DOES want to invest in it.

PS - from what I hear from O2 users, it may have given them the coverage but it wouldn't have given them much more in the way of capacity and even if it did that would soon reduce when Three+O2 went through the inevitable cell site de-dupe operation that EE did when it integrated the Orange and T-Mobile networks. Let's also remember that BT were sniffing around O2, turned their nose up and went after EE instead. Says a lot about the quality of O2 TBH.

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paulf
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Facepalm

Dwarves?

FTA: "Brussels has left UK punters with a choice of one dominant telecoms company, and three “dwarves”."

In what world is Vodafone a "Dwarf" (Market Cap £60bn)? Or Telefonica for that matter (MC €44bn)? Indeed CK Hutchison is a pretty substantial company (MC HK$351bn). [For reference BT+EE MC £41bn]

You can argue the toss on the merits of their respective UK network operations but these are not "Dwarf" companies as implied by the article. If Lee Ka Shing was that bothered about EE being "dominant" perhaps instead of spending £millions on lobbing sue balls and enriching spivvy M&A analysts/advisers/lawyers (not to mention the £10bn for O2 itself) it could be spent improving Three UK coverage+capacity and compete EE into touch rather than just trying to enrich himself further by reducing consumer choice so he can do a few more price revisions like the most recent ones.

[I've never used Three UK, and you may disagree, but their coverage does seem to suffer more gaps than the others. That's probably because they don't have a 2G network to drop back to but it means they should do more to expand their 3G coverage]

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