* Posts by paulf

460 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

paulf
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Meh

Telegraph

The Tory-graph is the latest to install "No entry if you're Adblocking" technology to their website. Tuesday evening I believe. I guess they felt they were on a roll after installing the Hack monitoring Occupeye devices last month. Messing about deleting cookies to get around their subscription "pay windbreak" was a pain but I'm not disabling ABP so they can fling their malware riddled ads+tracking at me.

I'm not sure how the adblocker detection works but I'm guessing it figures out whether a beacon is downloaded and if not determines an adblocker is in use. I'm surprised ABP doesn't offer a whitelist for the beacons to fool the website into thinking an adblocker isn't in use. And with that the arms race would iterate again with the adflingers still not getting the message....

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Virgin gives blessing to O2/Three merger

paulf
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Even if O2 went under (i.e. administration then liquidation) there would still be assets in the business that could be realised: physical network (stake in Cornerstone RAN plus backhaul), customers, stores, stock, spectrum etc. It's likely the business could be sold as a going concern to another entity if Telefonics walked away from O2 UK in that situation. For now there is no implication that O2 UK is even close to that situation, although things aren't too happy at Telefonica themselves - hence the sale to pay down their debt.

Don't forget the cable companies in the UK have been through multiple bankruptcies, and debt for equity swaps yet still exist even if the early share/debt holders have been wiped out many times over. Unfortunately they exist as a single company (Vermin Media) so not a good example who considers the merger a bad idea.

One thing I'm not convinced on is that if Three don't buy O2 UK the business is unviable so the merger is do or die for O2. The markets may not be that rosy at the moment (are they ever?) but the option is there to spin out O2 UK through an IPO. It may be risky but no less so than trying to get clearance for the acquisition by Three.

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paulf
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Unhappy

Competitors

@MrWibble - I agree it's utter tosh.

It's interesting to note all O2/Three's competitors like Virgin and Vodafone are quite happy with this merger - perhaps because they see the benefits to themselves of the oligopoly getting smaller, reducing the competitive pressures on their own businesses.

Plus there's the "we like it because we think it'll hurt our new bogey man enemy BT and their costly EE acquisition" warm approval from the Sky wing of Murdoch towers.

Still no word from Hutchison how they're going to deal with Three being part of MBNL and O2 being part of Cornerstone. Tear up Cornerstone agreement and face sueball from Voda? Tear up MBNL agreement and face sueball from BTEE? Try and make both separate networks work and lose major benefit of merger? Spend billions with lots of network headaches on the way which ever is selected?

Perhaps the simplest option would be allowing Three+O2 subs to roam onto the two still separate networks, as Orange/T-Mobile did when they started bringing their networks together, then work through a big de-dupe on the two networks; but I suspect the Cornerstone and MBNL agreements are pretty watertight to prevent one party neglecting their investment obligations so they wouldn't see any cost savings in network operation.

The only certainty is that prices will rise and service will deteriorate if it goes ahead.

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What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

paulf
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Pint

Re: I had a boss that...

"As long as you are right and they are being an idiot they crumble every time. Bullies and bullshitters always do."

Amen to that. A beer for you, Sir!

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Three: We won't hike prices if you say yes to £10.5bn O2 merger

paulf
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Re: Meaningless promise

I'd like to agree with you but those MVNOs will face the same problem with respect to choice and competition for their business: three options rather than the current four. Also an MVNO only has real control over the retail part of the monthly payment, limiting their scope for competitive pricing, whereas the retail operation of an MNO has influence over the retail and wholesale/network sides.

Even then it isn't that clear cut:

O2 seem amenable to MVNOs but they like to have an equity stake in them (Giff Gaff 100%, Tesco Mobile 10%)

Vodafone don't seem that interested in the MVNO market; as Sainsbury's mobile customers have found out. I can't see that changing unless there was external pressure and it's not clear why Voda should face increased regulation because two of their competitors have merged.

EE seem quite amenable to MVNOs (Virgin Mobile, BT) but whether that continues under their new overlords is yet to be seen. BT's not been overly keen on things like LLU.

A quick look at this list shows Three hasn't got much MVNO business - whether this is because they're not amenable to them or their network isn't of interest to MVNOs isn't clear:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_mobile_virtual_network_operators

TL;DR - more MVNO activity isn't likely to be a serious solution

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Consumers Vs Business

It isn't a given for Consumers either, really.

Three may promise "not to raise prices" but what happens if they do? What happens if they make a change like allowing RPI increases mid-contract? What happens if they reduce your contract allowance? Your monthly price hasn't risen and the price you pay for out of bundle minutes/texts/MBs hasn't increased per-se as these these aren't split out from the monthly bundle cost, but you get less for the same cost so it's a price rise in effect.

What sanctions will be available to TPTB if Three either blatantly or stealthily breach their wide ranging (and potentially vague) promises? Mass compensation to customers? An unwinding of the merger? Or a dicky fine, paid to OFCOM, and all agreed behind closed doors with back patting and doubles all round?

The problem with promises is they assume there's someone effective monitoring and policing* them with an arsenal of painful sanctions available** once they've got the big and mostly irreversible prize of closing the O2 acquisition.

Assumptions:

* they have the ability to get all the necessary and company confidential data to monitor them

** they're prepared to apply those sanctions

I can't help thinking that the only outcome from this merger is that everyone will get shafted more than they are at present. EE and Voda will face 2 competitors rather than 3 so they'll have less incentive to avoid raising their own prices, regardless of what O2+Three claim they're doing with not increasing prices.

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T-Mobile US's BingeOn does break net neutrality, says law prof

paulf
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Boffin

Who funded the report?

From what I know of binge-on and the details of the report in this article, I agree with her conclusion and that she offers alternatives for T-Mobile US that are more likely compliant with Net neutrality regs suggests she isn't out purely to criticise.

But to see it fully in context it would be useful to know who funded her work. I'm guessing she didn't throw the report together in an evening in front of the telly. Unfortunately Murrica tends to be a mesh of interconnected corporate vested interests. Did she do it in her spare time out of pure academic interest or was it funded by something like "The institute for the better understanding of cellular radio utilisation, a division of AT&T (Cayman islands) Inc".

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paulf
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Meh

Re: big fuss over nothing

The best argument for why Binge on is wrong (along with all other schemes that are at odds with net nutrality) I've seen so far is this comment by AdamWill

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/01/29/tmobile_bingeon_wins/#c_2763050

TL;DR Establish the principle that a two tier internet is acceptable (preferred tier, and everything else) through differentiated pricing that cuts the price of everything in the preferred tier. Once established, at some point in the future, start ramping up the charges for stuff inside the preferred tier and by much more for anything outside the preferred tier.

I don't live in Murrica so it's harder for me to see how T-Mo US's campaigns under Legere are affecting the market. That said the reports I've seen show T-Mo US are shaking up the market to a tangible extent which is chipping away at the bigger 3's oligopoly. Unfortunately things like Binge-on will only undermine what T-Mo have done so far as it shows that in time they could be just as pernicious as the bigger three.

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How many Surface power cords are a fire risk? 2.25 million in the US alone

paulf
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Flame

Intentional joke?

“it's whether the device department can plug into that infrastructure,”

If they do plug in they'd better be careful the cable doesn't catch fire.

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Network builders: LTE costs will transform the cell tower biz in 2016

paulf
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Meh

I can't help thinking "Densify" was the biggest abuse of the English language in that article. Up there with the regular manglings George W. Bush handed out. Does that mean "To Dense" is now a verb?

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Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

paulf
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Happy

Re: Wait, what?

Depends if you want to pay for your email or hand over your email for advertising purposes?

I ditched Gmail and Yahoo as I'd had enough of the miserable buggy UI and platform (the latter), and creepy monitoring/tracking of my messages (both in spades). I moved to a paid for IMAP provider - $40/year for 15GB storage, calendar etc. I've raised 2 support tickets in the last 18 months and both times I've ended up with a reply from one of the main Devs who personally fixed the problem (low priority corner cases) within a few days.

Contrast with Yahoo where the "Reply-to" field bug I reported about 3 years ago is still there despite two support tickets and multiple promises to fix it but only when they had time. If you're still with Yahoo make sure you have an exit plan pretty quick - if they sell up or shut down you could find yourself summarily without your email address.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

paulf
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Alert

Re: Customer always right?

"So I show the code comment to my boss. He shrugs his shoulders and says:

"Well, go do it – it's what the customer wants..."

Nick tells us the company in question, true to the source code comment's warning, is no longer in business. Lesson: Customer is always right."

The customer was being a major asshat KnowItAll and wanted it changed and wouldn't accept no or reasoned argument for an answer. In the circumstances Nick did the right thing checking with his boss - I just hope this was one part of some major in triplicate arse covering before Nick made and delivered the change as demanded by the customer. The customer got exactly what they wanted.

It would be interesting to know how much this change contributed to said company's failure and whether it did so according to the prophesy of the comment.

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Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

paulf
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Re: O2-UK Assets @Argo

I suspect OFCOM could do something about it (assuming they'd want to which is another matter). Any large scale attempt to induce customers to move to a competitor would attract OFCOM's attention - they couldn't manage a mass NDA of that kind!

A joint venture (like Cornerstone or MBNL) would have to be approved by OFCOM so there wouldn't be any setting up a joint venture to hold Three UK and O2 UK's respective businesses. This joint venture aspect is what makes the Three+O2 merger particularly difficult. The merged entity, should it be permitted, would have to extricate itself from either Cornerstone (the O2+Voda network) or MBNL (the Three+EE network). Would a Cornerstone+MBNL be permitted by OFCOM (if approved by Voda/EE respectively)? Probably not but they permitted Arqiva to have a monopoly on broadcast masts when they were allowed to acquire NGW.

Ultimately their value is in their spectrum licenses. A mobile operator with spectrum, but no license to use it, isn't! If OFCOM detects attempts to subvert a blocked merger (or get around imposed conditions) they'll find a way to put them in breach of their license conditions. A lack of spectrum suddenly makes what's left worth significantly less - especially as any physical assets would be shifted at firesale prices.

I can't see the "we want to exit the UK and Three is the only buyer" argument to hold much water with regulators.

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paulf
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Facepalm

Re: Three versus the charity that is BT?

You're assuming that with Three acquiring O2, thus reducing their competition from three incumbents to two, they would continue to offer the roaming deal they do now. As mentioned above they're already forcibly kicking people off the old unlimited data tariffs. The point is with reduced competitive pressure from the resulting smaller oligopoly prices would rise. Also there would be significantly less incentive for Three to act as the challenger brand, as it has since it won the "reserved for a new entrant" biggest chunk of 3G spectrum in 2000, as it would go from the smallest operator to the biggest.

I can remember a time when international calls on Orange mobiles were 20% less than BT landlines (sometime around 1999). I wonder how that offer went? If you want to see what happens to the market when two mobile operators merge check out EE's creation - capacity/coverage reduced through the network rationalisation and prices rising.

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TalkTalk CuffCuffs 'ScamScam CrimCrims'

paulf
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Boffin

Is it criminal or not?

"Acting on information supplied by TalkTalk, the local Police have arrested three individuals who have breached our policies and the terms of our contract with Wipro"

I appreciate India and the UK have different legal systems but I understood that in England and Wales "policy breach" and "contract terms" would represent civil matters not criminal matters. Does this mean local plod has got involved in what are (I assume) civil matters in the local applicable law? This sounds a little odd as plod ought to only get involved in breaches of criminal law, not civil law.

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Sony slurps Altair Semiconductor to make 'things' sing

paulf
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Alert

Tips and corrections

"2016 has started with a bit of a bang, in terms of merger and acquisition activity, with Microsoft buying Atmel, "

That would be Microchip not Microsoft.

Apols to Richard Chirgwin - Tips and corrections is done by email and I can't email from work so a comment here is TNBT.

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400 jobs to go as Texas Instruments calls time on chip fab in Scotland

paulf
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Boffin

Re: Texas and Motorola - common issues

RE: Foundry evacuations.

I used to work in a Semiconductor foundry building - thankfully in the Engineering office so I didn't have to 'don a bunny suit.

Due to the various nasty and exotic chemicals in use in the fab itself we had semi-regular unannounced evacuation drills, regardless of the weather (If it wasn't a drill there were a plethora of sirens approaching within two minutes).

On one occasion we didn't evacuate the building into our assembly areas quick enough. The plant manager addressed the assembled 200 or so of us like a headmaster and told us that as we didn't do it quickly enough we'd be doing it again sometime next week.

*Icon - PPE required!

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paulf
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Re: deep in the heart of ...

This makes sense, especially in my experience of working in this sector (YMMV).

When a company decides to get smaller it's normally through closing or shrinking sites that are remote to head office. Those working at Head Office* are usually the last to experience significant cuts. I'm not saying this is a hard and fast rule (I'm sure others have seen it the other way round) but it's always been the case when I've seen, or been part of, redundancies.

*All positions, including Eng, IT etc, not just admin or corporate Veep types.

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Dixons Carphone to shut down 134 shops

paulf
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Joke

@Tony S

"Based upon previous encounters with these people, it seems likely that they will keep the same staff who will now be ignorant of products in 3 completely separate markets."

I counter they're not completely ignorant. They're very adept at getting all the information they need to answer questions from customers from the handy ticket shaped collection of notes on the shelf in front of each product.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

paulf
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Re: So long old friend

It is still possible, but not when in flight due to the whole locked cockpit door 9/11 stuff. I got a close up look at the cockpit of a 747 (Virgin Atlantic) before a LHR to SFO flight in 2012. A polite request to the cabin crew led to permission from the captain. Me and TOH had a good look around and a chat with the crew on the flight deck but that was while we were still at the terminal gate. Once they started getting ready to depart we had to clear off. The main thing I remember of that flight was sitting at the bar, at the foot of the stairs, drinking my way through the bottle of port they had. Every time one of the cabin crew went past they topped up my glass - hic!

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IRS 'inadvertently' wiped hard drive Microsoft demanded in audit row

paulf
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Windows

I'm conflicted on Microsoft at the moment

On the one hand they're taking on the US Govt in ways like this and also on Safe Harbour Vs Patriot act regarding Uncle Sam trying to force access to data in their Irish data centre.

On the other they're shoving Win 10 at Windows 7/8 users with some of the most devious methods they've ever tried. They certainly seem to be more evil now than they ever were under Bill G.

Icon - certainly not beyond Win 7 extended support...

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Ad-clicking bots predicted to rip US$7.2 billion from Mad Men

paulf
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Pirate

4. also applies to the Tory-Graph, if you've happened to stumble past there in recent times.

There's at least one regurgitated Press Release "News story" a day; and that's just the Finance section. The Journos seem to be so tired of it they don't even try to cover it up any more.

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IBM introduces fleecing-you-as-a-service for retailers

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: I don't know about anyone else...

"And if users are bailing out before they buy, leaving a full virtual shopping cart at the checkout, you'll know that too and be offered ways to stop it from happening."

Ebuyer already detect this even when I'm not signed into their website which makes for some serious questions about how they know it's me. Yes I know Cookies but if I'm not signed in they're guessing/assuming its me.

Once I did leave a small £10 item in the basket as I didn't need it immediately and figured it would wait a week or two. They emailed me daily to remind me it was there until I deleted it from the basket and bought it from Amazon.

So perhaps a #6 - the buyer hesitates before going to the checkout but then empties their basket and goes elsewhere when they realise a sales assistant has been following them them whole time and has suddenly started hassling them to go to the Checkout.

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Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart

paulf
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Holmes

Re: Natural behaviour

My point was not that inter-species sex didn't happen at all in nature, but that where it does happen it isn't called Bestiality.

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paulf
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Headmaster

Re: Natural behaviour

+1 your entire comment except for the Bestiality point:

"Bestiality is cross-species sexual activity between human and non-human animals."

so it probably doesn't exist outside of human "civilisation".

In other news the red lights are going off in the BOFH bunker after I searched Wikipedia for Bestiality to check I had the definition correct....

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FTC apologizes for leaking attendee details … to privacy conference

paulf
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Holmes

"We are assessing how this happened..."

Someone pushed Ctrl+V one field too early when sorting out the email and didn't realise.

Hope this helps.

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One Ring to pwn them all: IoT doorbell can reveal your Wi-Fi key

paulf
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Coat

Re: Doorbells? Who needs doorbells?

That'll make for a new entry on courier "While you were out" cards.

Dear Householder,

We were unable to deliver your item today because:

1. It was too large for your letterbox

2. It requires a signature

3. Your doorbell didn't ring because it was downloading and installing a firmware update.

As a result I've:

a) thrown it over your back gate

b) left it by the front door for some scumbag to pinch

c) thrown it on the roof

Yours etc

Yodel

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NY to Charter: Sure, we'll approve that TWC merger, if you boost our broadband speeds

paulf
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Holmes

Weasel words?

FTA (my emphasis): "...the TWC-Charter conglomerate PROMISES to increase the AVERAGE network speed in New York state over the next FOUR YEARS"

Can anyone see any ways TWCC can wiggle out of those commitments once the merger is sealed, irreversible and can only be enforced via sue balls.

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Kaminario salesmen will now be told why they're earning their dosh

paulf
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Meh

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt it read more like a press release than an article (excepting the standard snipey El Reg comment in the last two paras).

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If you want a USB thumb drive wiped, try asking an arts student for help

paulf
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Boffin

Re: "a camera that has multiple card slots"

My Canon 5D Mark 3 has CF and SD card slots. A dozen of those might cost you a few quid though and that money would be better spend getting memory from a reputable seller instead. It's not the only Canon to offer this and other manufacturers offer it too. As for operating in RAID - I suppose it's RAID 1 since the card slots operate in parallel. I doubt you'll find RAID 5 in a camera unless you have it routed to a nearby NAS box via Wifi...

If a camera of that calibre is outside your budget, then test the card before use. Reading your original comment it sounds like you added media over several days to the same card before realising it had failed. Surely you would have checked the stuff you'd captured at least once a day if only a quick browse? At least then you'd have spotted the failure sooner. Also the camera ought to have detected a problem with the card. One of my CF cards failed once, taking with it 5GB of RAW files, but the camera at least told me there was a problem and I was able to swap cards.

Fulfilled by Amazon means nothing regarding how reliable/genuine the item is. They're acting only as the warehouse/logistics agent - the Marketplace seller is responsible for the product itself. Fakes may slip through - but this is less likely with Amazon supplied items and in that case you'd at least have comeback against Amazon themselves.

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paulf
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Facepalm

Re: h2testw.exe anyone??

When you say "Amazon" do you mean "Dispatched from and sold by Amazon EU S.a.r.L. ", or some random third party trader selling through Amazon Marketplace? There really is a massive difference!

Regardless, if you trusted the only copy of irreplaceable and precious media files to a single storage device (with no backup) you're crazy! Even genuine drives fail.

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BT and EE, O2 and Three: Are we in for a year of Euro telco mega-mergers?

paulf
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WTF?

Re: The USA....

"Certainly Europe has a vastly fragmented market, with KPMG estimating the region has 150 mobile operators. In contrast, the US has just four."

This whole statement is ambiguous - not just because the US has more than four operators (as mentioned above).

1. Was KPMG not able to actually count, rather than estimate, the number of operators?

2. That suggests they're including MVNOs (harder, but not impossible, to count than MNOs as many will be smaller/niche players). Were KPMG not able to tell the difference between MNOs that also offer retail service (i.e. vertically integrated companies like Vodafone, O2 etc) and MVNOs like Virgin Media with no physical network?

3. That Europe has so many operators is probably because it consists of many separate Soverign nations that allocate service licenses separately, albeit with some coordination on standards and frequency use. For example did KPMG consider Orange France and Orange Spain to be separate, or Three Ireland to be separate to Three UK? The US would show more operators if they'd considered all the constituent acquisitions that went into the current big operators Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

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Ofcom retreats from 4G spectrum auction after legal threat from Three, O2

paulf
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Pirate

Any objections?

I would normally expect, in the tradition of winning spectrum auctions via M'Learned colleagues, for the networks not involved in this decision (i.e. the other two: EE and Vodafone) to lawyer up against this decision.

I can't see EE wanting to upset their new BT Overlords who'll want to avoid rocking any OFCOM boats until 1. The EE acquisition is rubber stamped + ink is dry and 2. the investigation into OpenReach is over.

So that would leave Vodafone to challenge it alone, and I can't see them fighting a solo battle on that front.

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Nuisance call blocking firms fined £170,000 ... for making nuisance calls

paulf
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Mushroom

Re: My gripe...

This happens a lot more regularly, at least to me.

A hotel in Bath I stayed at in 2011 apparently removed me from their list (after they sent out spam with all recipients in the TO list FFS). Then the hotel changes hands earlier this year and the spams start again. The new owners were introduced to a diverse array of four letter words when I asked them why...

Halfrauds. Placed one order with them 18 months ago. Unsubscribed from the emails which started despite not unticking the box to not be unsubscribed from their don't email me list. Then emails start again last week for Black Friday.

Oakley. Nothing from them for years then last week I start getting emails about their deals on Black Fucking Friday and Cyber Sodding Monday.

As with you - I now issue unique email addresses which get deleted when the spam starts up.

Shits all of them. Icon - bonfire of marketers.

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paulf
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Devil

Re: Can we have some collection statistics?

@ Ledswinger

"The sooner the ICO gets powers to bar directors and managers the better."

This should be the bare minimum - people should personally carry the consequences rather than an expendable legal entity with no money, making the fine an academic exercise.

Imprisonment and the resulting criminal record would be more desirable. That would kinda hamper their freedoms in the future and may encourage others to think twice before deciding to become a SPAM slinger (see icon).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14556347

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paulf
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Pirate

Re: Can we have some collection statistics?

I can't help thinking that the collection statistics would show a success rate in the region of "Manifesto pledges kept once they got into Government"

This is ripe for a FoI request. Any journo at El Reg up for this before "Call me Dave" manages to repeal the FoI act and thus our ability to find out Gubbermint dirt?

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paulf
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Stop

STOP!

"An enforcement notice has been issued by the ICO to the two companies, demanding they stop.."

Stop now or we'll ask you to stop again, nicely, pretty please.

The ICO issuing anything as strong as an "Enforcement notice" just makes me laugh.

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Mincing Nokia's factories made Microsoft a sausage factory

paulf
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"Positive discrimination, is still discrimination"

It's certainly never positive.

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Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: No.. Not the Cloud

I'll see your market is saturated comment.

About four years ago I bought 4 Netgear ReadyNAS Duo boxes - each is populated with 2*2Tb HDDs in RAID 1 configuration and they work perfectly well for the archive/media storage use they're put to. I've not had a firmware update since last year (still pretty good considering how quickly Netgear EOL their routers!) but the HW is still going strong and they're completely firewalled from the WAN.

Storage efficiency isn't as good as with a bigger NAS (e.g. four mechs and RAID 5) but when I bought the first one I didn't realise I'd be needing more storage until after I bought the third. The thing is I've no need for more small boxes and my next purchase will be a much bigger NAS to consolidate things when the small ones start to die.

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Apple's Faulty Powers moment: iPad Pro slabs 'temporarily bricked' during recharge

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: This is the problem with iOS...

This is a good point. Under Tim Cook, quality has really taken a hit at Apple. I'm noticing more and more silly niggles creeping into both iOS and Mac OS. They may not be show stoppers like this charging one but they make the OS look unpolished. It's quite something when versions claimed to be stability releases (iOS 9 and Mac OS 10.11 El Capitan) are less reliable than earlier versions (e.g. iOS 7 and 10.8). That said - at least with Apple there is a reasonable chance of getting updates that may fix things.

Jobs may* have been a monumental asshat but his screaming tantrums certainly focussed minds on quality**.

*YMMV

** Again YMMV

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paulf
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FAIL

Re: At least they are consistant.

Your comment about docking stations and charging is interesting - I had a similar problem.

I have an iPhone 5s (yes I'm putting my head above the parapet on these fine forums by admitting that!) and had a charging issue with iOS 8.4. The phone had an uptime of about 3-4 weeks but all of a sudden refused to charge from the original style lightning dock (the one designed for the iPhone 5 so it fouled the fingerprint reader when docked). It charged fine when connected directly to a wall wart but not in the dock (either wall wart or computer USB).

I took the dock back to the nearby fruity store - the guy there (to his credit) did try to help and when he drew a blank happily offered me a refund on the dock (despite it being 18 months old and not confirmed to be the cause). We did try a completely brand new dock from the shelf and the phone refused to charge from that too.

Getting to the point - it was a bug in iOS 8.4. I rebooted the phone and it started charging via the dock again. I realised that the dock appears as a lightning peripheral because of its built in DAC for the audio jack and some bug in iOS had thrown a tantrum and was refusing to connect to lightning peripherals.

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Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

paulf
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Coat

Job Advert

Situations Vacant: Google Plus Software Engineer

Must be willing to work alone

https://twitter.com/HopelessSurfer/status/666560460561457152

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Virgin Media daddy Liberty Global swoops on Cable & Wireless Communications

paulf
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Thumb Up

Nor confused with the entity "Cable & Wireless communications" which was the UK cable TV bit of C&W plc which was sold to NTL in 2000.

I suppose that means Liberty Global has, at different times and indirectly, purchased two separate companies called "Cable & Wireless Communications".

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

paulf
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Pirate

Dealers

I'm pretty sure car dealers aren't really in the market for a lot of love from most people, but I bet it bites to be a dealer for any of the VAG brands right now. As this latest slow train wreck of a scandal plays out they'll be seeing fewer sales of new cars and the profit margin on their second hand stock quietly vanishing as the value of those cars falls.

I wonder if they'll be queuing up to sue for their costs along with muggins motorist or whether they'll just suck it up to avoid pissing off their supplier. Perhaps VAG will pay them handsomely to apply the required fixes to make it up to them?

As always, interesting times!

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paulf
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Pirate

So that's another ~1 million vehicles with questionable software routines

Are VW still going with blaming their code review and sign off processes for not spotting the defeat routines added in by a couple of renegade software engineers acting completely alone with no oversight, nor knowledge of the board?

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Sennheiser announces €50,000 headphones (we checked, no typos)

paulf
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Megaphone

Diminishing returns

I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD-25s for £115 and they give, what I perceive to be, excellent sound quality. Even then I think I'm into diminishing returns so this is just nuts. That said the best quality input source I have is CD Audio.

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Firefox 42 ... answer to the ultimate question of life, security bugs and fully private browsing?

paulf
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FAIL

I've also had repeated random crashes - 3-4 a week. There's nothing iffy or exotic in my add-ons:

ABP

Flashblock

Classic Theme Restorer.

Anyway it shouldn't be possible for an add-on to completely take out the entire application with a fatal crash. Even if an add-on is causing problems the main Firefox application should be able to contain that within the add-on.

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BT Openreach boss says UK telcos need 'predictable regulation'

paulf
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Meh

Full separation

The problem is the only options being touted are full divestment (i.e. BT are forced to dispose of Openreach either through a sale, IPO or issuing shares in new company to existing shareholders). BT wants to retain the status quo, naturally.

I still think the best solution is to fully separate Openreach into a separate standalone company, with its own board and fully audited separate accounts. This means BT Group plc can continue to own Openreach, if it so desires, but as a wholly owned subsidiary rather than as a division. It also means its finances will be much more transparent, hopefully sorting out the cross subsidy complaints from Sky/TalkTalk/et al. and making it easier to regulate than being a Business Unit only issuing Management accounts as at present.

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Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

paulf
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Devil

Re: Free, but...

Even less likely with Kelvin MacKenzie's recent column suggesting he become Lord Kelv of Anfield (at the end):

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/suncolumnists/6705355/Kelvin-Mackenzie-says-brave-Paul-Settle-who-forced-Tom-Watson-to-say-sorry-shouldnt-go-unnoticed.html

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paulf
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Devil

There's not much worth paying for behind the Daily Hello-graph's pay-wind-break; unless you enjoy reading rehashed press releases peppered with a lack of Sub-editing that would make the Grauniad blush!

Pic - Murdoch.

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