* Posts by paulf

535 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy has data on 1/14th of humanity

paulf
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Mushroom

Re: what?

"On the ickiness of personalised advertising and its source being data individuals freely give to social networks, he says it's more pleasing to receive targeted ads than random stuff you don't care about."

ALL adverts come under the definition of "random stuff I don't care about".

If I absolutely MUST have ads flung at me then ads without "creepy stalking your every move" will be quite enough. The content of the site should be enough to target the adverts; for example if I'm looking at the Register I expect ads about computers. If you're into Golf you're probably looking at websites about Golf which I imagine will show adverts for Golfing stuff. If you're getting adverts for purses [Handbags] perhaps you're looking at a site that is generally aimed at and relevant to people who buy Handbags (usually, but not limited to, Women).

"On privacy, he says the company complies with all applicable laws wherever it operates and pays appropriate attention to security. "

Sounds like the typical refrain from tax dodging persons/companies who always say they've paid all required taxes and complied with all applicable laws. Of course they have. It means fuck all when the laws themselves are broken because they're written by the very people who benefit from them (or for them as a result of their lobbying).

I didn't murder anyone yesterday (today isn't over yet - there's still time) so I'll be making a virtue out of telling everyone I've complied with all applicable laws on not murdering people.

</rant>

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

paulf
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Mushroom

@ Tim Warren RE: Biker change of address

Previously when I've moved house I've written my new address on the paper part of my license and popped it in the post to Swansea. An updated paper copy arrived a week or two later. Nice and easy.

When I last moved (roughly three years ago) I thought I would use the online "prove your identity with your passport" way of changing the address on my Driving License in the hope it would save me a stamp. (Yes, I know, it's funny *now*).

I went through all sorts of hoops and steps to prove I am the person on the license including all my passport details (now helpfully and permanently linked to my Driving License). Eventually it came back and said "Thank you, your address has been changed. We now need you to return your old paper license in the post - you are obliged to do this.".

FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

Icon -> "WFT?" "FAIL" "Big Brother" "Terminator" "Facepalm" are all relevant here. Unfortunately there isn't a "Quietly weeping while hitting head against keyboard" icon.

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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

paulf
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Trollface

Based on that glowing report of unqualified success

It will be bonuses all round, again!

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

paulf
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Re: TiVo FTW

Our home alternative is TV capture cards in a system running Mythbuntu. Myth TV packaged up with Ubuntu. It isn't flawless but is perfectly capable and seems to run on an old 3GHz Athlon with 8GB of RAM. That comes with 30s skip forward which makes skipping adverts easier. It can also flag adverts and, optionally, auto skip them but this can be a bit hit and miss so best to manually skip the time it thinks is an ad break when the ads start.

Added bonus - TV shows can be kept as it simply saves the MPEG data to the HDD.

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Google stretches Scratch

paulf
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Re: It's in my diary

Re: My Tracks. Unfortunately not. I used that when I had Android phones and it was a pretty good App. Since I moved inside the fruity walled garden I've been using Runkeeper. It's good enough for my purposes but I can't remember if it supports things like exporting routes to gpx files.

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paulf
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Holmes

It's in my diary

About 4 years hence, just as Scratch is gaining real traction, is looking like a smart polished product, and has a dedicated but perhaps not quite critical mass user base, when Google gives 30 days notice that Scratch will be closed and users have 90 days to download their data or lose it.

I can't see any other end to this initiative unless they bundle it so that Apps developed with Scratch can only sling Ads from Google's Double Click...

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Google hits Uber, Lyft

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Is Waze still alive?

I'm finding it ok in the less South Easty parts of Blighty - it was useful on a recent trip to the bottom left for example. That said, a big problem I've found is submitting reports just doesn't work if the data connection at that time is less than 3G. Sometimes I can't even open the report incident popup if it feels the data connection isn't adequate so I don't bother reporting stuff as often.

On 2G (i.e. EDGE or GPRS) Waze just complains of no connection to the server in the mother ship and refuses to take details. A sensible approach would be to cache the report and upload it automatically when coverage returned but I guess Waze/Google just assume people only drive where there is an excellent 3G/4G signal on all networks.

Trying to report road closures only works when you're on the specific bit of closed road. Since it's pretty involved to make the report it makes more sense to do it when you next stop rather than at the closure itself.

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Apple's iOS updates brick iPads

paulf
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Re: Apple could spend

@AC

"For iOS I'm in my usual 48h wait time for any OS updates and it appears it was already worth it"

I used to update pretty quickly but that all changed with iOS 8. Now, for n>7, I usually skip the n.x.0 version and wait for n.x.1 (n.x.2 for x=0) and then usually wait a few days after release. In case anyone gets upset I do the same wait on Win 7 updates.

"I'd recommend you also wait with OSX 10.11.4 as there are reports about random crashes that have as yet not been addressed and I now had a few as well (once every 3..4 days or so - it simply freezes)."

Thanks for the heads up on this. I had planned to wait until near the release of 10.12 in the hope it meant 10.11 was tending towards stability. Looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer and I note 10.11.5 is now being seeded to Beta testers.

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Apple could spend

@werdsmith

The Car/Bluetooth connection problem has happened twice and GPS problem only once. Clearly some process got screwed up and could only recover with a reboot, and it's probably not something simple as I've not been able to recreate on demand, but it still looks a bit scruffy from a QC point of view. A 20 day up time isn't really a big ask.

The iPhone media deletion (which isn't the same as the more widely reported "Apple Music Match wipes your computer's iTunes library after scanning your songs" problem) has happened about 6 times now and again cannot be recreated on demand (it's happened under apparently different circumstances each time). Apple support have had a bunch of diagnostic files from me and have gone silent.

These are just the bigger show stoppers I've remembered. There are others that I just seem to instinctively work around...

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Apple could spend

@Halfmad

"Bottom line at Apple though is that under Jobs people were took scared to screw up, under Cook nobody seems to give a toss."

I think that describes it perfectly. A culture of fear and intimidation isn't a good way to run a company but it seemed to work for Apple under Jobs. The alternative, under Cook, doesn't seem to be working as well as the methods used by the previous incumbent.

To those down voting my previous comment (presumably because they think Apple's software is perfect?) two more bugs in iOS 9.3.1 I've just remembered:

1. My iPhone refused to connect to my car using Bluetooth. A reboot fixed this (the phone not the car!).

2. My iPhone couldn't get my position more accurate than +-1300m (i.e. over a kilometre) when another phone GPS device was within a few metres. A reboot fixed this.

Yes, I know, "Have you tried turning it off and on again"; but that isn't the kind of thing you expect from devices that are as reassuringly expensive as Apple's, especially as in both cases the up time was ~20 days.

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paulf
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Gimp

Re: Apple could spend

Quality at Apple went to shit around the time Jobs died. He may have been a complete asshat (YMMV) and perhaps it was a coincidence but his shouting tantrums and obsession with design+UX seems to have kept people more focused than under the current regime.

I'm not saying Apple stuff was bug free under Jobs (it most certainly wasn't!) but iOS 8 took 7 revisions (8.0.0/8.0.1/8.0.2/8.1.0/8.1.1/8.1.2/8.1.3) until it was reasonably stable and iOS 9 (the "stability release") being not much better says a lot. My favourite iOS 9 bug is the random complete deletion of all my media files (music/podcasts/videos) from the iPhone which can only be restored with a sync from iTunes. This has only happened since iOS 9 and on two different handsets.

For related reasons the MBP is still on 10.8 Mountain Lion, although I'm probably going to have to suck it up soon and update to El Capitan.

As others have said - perhaps Cook and Co could spend some of those billions on some Software QC?

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Lloyds online banking goes TITSUP*

paulf
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Headmaster

This article seems to be all over the place:

"Customers of Lloyds have been unable to access online banking since 10am this morning,"

"One user said: "Bit hit & miss @ the moment. Tried logging in & failed, opened a second window/tab & loged in with no problem - strange to say the least.""

"Update: As of this afternoon, the issues do not appear to be resolved. [...] Online banking is not affected and customers can still access via:"

Well, I'm thoroughly confused. Perhaps we can start with "What broke and is it fixed yet?". Perhaps then we can consider tautologies like "10am this morning".

Icon -> The pic at the top of the article is probably more appropriate.

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Ofcom serves up an extra helping of airwaves for Wi-Fi

paulf
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Trollface

OFCOM in a hurry?

"These extra [80 MHz] channels [...] could be opened up in a few years."

Wow, Ofcom are moving quickly these days. What changed?

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

paulf
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Boffin

"Is four some magic number that protects consumers then?"

Magic? No. Likely sweet spot between each MNO having high enough revenues to make adequate investment in the business without having dominant market+pricing power? Probably, Yes.

As others say above - markets with fewer than 4 players have higher prices than those with four or more.

Remember that building a Mobile Network is exceptionally capital intensive. The UK has a TAM of ~60m spread over a relatively small land mass which isn't going to support 27 separate MNOs! But also it is big enough to support 4.

Previous experience shows the UK can support 4 MNOs but seems to struggle with 5. When DCS1800 licenses were awarded (via the Beauty Contest method) in the early 1990s Mercury was awarded a license by default. The other two licenses ended up merging before launch, returning one license+spectrum to HMG and by launch became Orange. Three was a contrived effort to create a fifth challenger network when 3G licenses were awarded, realising the four incumbents wouldn't risk having no 3G spectrum but five again became four when TM and Orange were allowed to merge. I suspect if Three and O2 had tried to merge before TM and Orange tried it they may have got away with it (notwithstanding the stakes in MBNL and Cornerstone problem) and prevented TM and Orange from doing so.

So to return to your question: In the UK at least, "Four (sic) is the magic number"

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French maverick sniffs around O2

paulf
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Re: Shouldn't O2

BT did sniff around O2 UK at first before they opted to acquire EE from DT and Orange (FT).

I suspect this tells you more about the miserable state of O2 than it does about BT's empire/monopoly building.

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Verizon worker strike now in its third week

paulf
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Pirate

A $400m fund

FTA: "The union has told reporters it has set aside a $400m fund that could be paid out to the striking Verizon workers..."

So this Union, which presumably has members in other businesses not just Verizon, has the fat end of half a billion dollars kicking around to support workers just in this particular strike. I can't see they've decided to burn some reserves since that could destabilise their finances (perhaps fatally) so this must be a specific fund to support strikers which has been wheeled out to show Verizon they're serious. A noble gesture I'm sure, and 10/10 for financial planning, but where would a workers union get such a non-trivial amount of cash? I know that us right pondians have some strike happy unions but I can't imagine the RMT has that kind of money down the back of the sofa.

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Barclays.net Bank Holiday outage leaves firms unable to process payments

paulf
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FAIL

Re: Housing transactions crashed too

Considering house prices were at stake I'm very surprised to see this didn't attract the beady eye of the Daily Fail.

Perhaps Barclays Bank is to Viscount Rothermere as HSBC is to the Barclay Brothers over at the Tory-graph.

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Adblock+ has cake, eats it

paulf
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Facepalm

Alternatively

Add a PayPal Donate button to your website and I'll put a few coins in if I read regularly or wish to support your website financially. Yes, I know, "PayPal" are gits and all that; but when it's my coin I would prefer to be the one making the decision as who gets the cash and how much.

Anyway if Flattr are allocating my cash based on how often I visit various websites doesn't that mean they're engaging in the very kind of creepy tracking we use Adblockers to stop the Malvertisers from doing? Can you imagine the field day if a Malvertising house bought up Flattr and got their greedy mitts on all that tracking data?

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

paulf
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WTF?

Re: Catch them young...

What I find confusing is people are offering that colouring in book in the used section. Surely buying a used colouring in book defeats the object - unless you've run out of crayons or colouring in is a bit too challenging (as it probably is for the target demographic).

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Shares down?! But, but, but ... Apple just made $50bn – that's the way the Cookie grumbles

paulf
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Gimp

Re: Interesting

@ vgrig_us

"1. Final Cut Pro / Final Cut X debacle - almost all install base lost to Adobe on Windows because of that."

1b. The summary EOL of Aperture, which also cast those that don't know about alternatives towards Adobe (Lightroom).

When I was looking for a RAW processing package I trialled Lightroom and Aperture. In the end I reluctantly opted for Lightroom as it came with Win 7 and Mac versions in the box whereas Aperture was Mac only and depended on Apple's mercy for its continued existence. With the FCPX stuff going on at the time I wasn't keen to take a risk on that continued mercy and good job I didn't*.

*Not that Adobe is a bag of happiness but at least Lightroom is still supported

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paulf
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Alert

Re: Idiotic economic system

"Apple made $10.2bn profit in Q2. That's a shed-load of money!"

And a gross margin of ~20% ($10bn profit/revenue on $50bn of sales). How many other computer/phone makers can claim gross margins like that?

We need a $$$ icon. Perhaps this would be suitable?

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paulf
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Gimp

Re: This is it

A "Me too" upvote on the Mac sales slowing.

I like OS X too (not to Fanboi lengths - I use Win 7 and Linux also) and was planning to migrate the Parental units to OSX from an antique Win XP system about 2.5 years ago. When I realised the shift to disposable Macs that cannot be repaired or upgraded I opted instead for a home built Win 7 system. That'll migrate to Linux when Win 7 goes out of extended support.

My MBP is still going strong because I upgraded the HDD to a SSD and added extra RAM. Not being able to do even basic maintenance or upgrades like that is a complete deal killer.

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Honestly though, Twitter can't do anything right

paulf
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Facepalm

App client just gets worse

Recently I took the plunge and updated my App from a very old version (12-18 months) to the latest version. I have found how to turn off the algorithmic time line (as I've done on Bookface - its annoying there too) but I now find big chunks of timeline are missing whereas the old app would tend to pick up everything since I last looked. It also very helpfully skips to the top of the timeline so I either spend less time looking at it if I don't want to read backwards through time.

I've also spotted the number of promoted tweets has steeply increased and I seem to get a promoted tweet of the week. At the moment every 10th tweet for the last two weeks is a promoted one about Kia cars. A few weeks ago it was something else to saturation. Tweets are often appended with promoted tweets about Uber.

TL;DR - as time goes on the UX of Twitter just gets worse so it's no surprise people aren't sticking about so much.

[Yes I know crappy social media/time sink/splurging personal info/ad slingers but it's simple chewing gum for the brain when I'm taking a break from the design work to get a cuppa at the office].

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EE grows network by one-third, promises to build 750 new sites

paulf
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Alert

Re: Poor technical decisions....

I've seen this point echoed elsewhere. Retain Airwave for the superior voice coverage and things cellular can't do like PTT and back to back operation, then if you really want to stream video from a helicopter tack on a 4G radio which is enabled when required for data. That way when the cellular network falls on its arse during a major incident Cops and co can still speak to each other albeit without the fancy stuff like video.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

paulf
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Terminator

"How do you fix it?"

Here's a suggestion which may help although I don't claim it is the silver bullet.

Limit the number of call origination attempts from any particular line on a per minute, per hour and per day basis. This is a limit below the inherent limit imposed by the capacity of the network.

I have a paid for IMAP/Webmail service as I'd rather pay than use the usual personal info snooping suspects. Despite being paid for (they have no free option, only a short free trial with much lower limits) they still impose limits on the number of emails sent to prevent people sending bulk/junk emails. In normal use (even business) you shouldn't hit the limits unless you're definitely up to no good.

All outgoing calls placed (even invalid numbers, engaged and voice mail etc) count against the attempt limits to prevent randomly calling numbers to build a list of valid numbers.

There is a chance you may hit the call limits if you're trying to phone up for e.g. high demand concert tickets but I suspect the limit can be set to a level that curbs the spammers but also doesn't impinge on 99.9% of subscribers.

Once someone hits one of the call origination limits (per minute/hour/day) the network locks the line into incoming calls and 999 only for 24 hours after the attempt that hit the limit. Since this would hit telco revenues it would require legislation. Some companies may get around the limits by installing extra lines to keep their calling within the limits. That's fine since their costs would escalate massively threatening the viability of their business model. Alternatively allow higher limits per line only if the company pays 100x across ALL their lines.

Icon: Robocaller not only wants your clothes, boots, and bike but also wants you to press 1 if you've had an accident in the last five years.

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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

paulf
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Alert

Re: I love this line:

I can't help thinking that an unmaintained Quicktime (indeed anything not from Adobe) is still more secure from hackers than a "maintained" Adobe product. <cough>Flash</cough>.

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Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

paulf
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Trollface

Resolutions

"Google has said it looks forward to working with the European Commission to resolve the matter."

I imagine the "working with" will centre on the value of negotiable instruments placed in the brown envelope before it's delivered to the minister responsible to "resolve the matter".

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

paulf
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Trollface

Apple Airplay

"...the biggie here is Apple’s AirPlay. This will be backported to older HTC devices."

Excellent! I'll look out for that OTA update on my HTC Hero in that case!

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Vaizey: Legal right to internet access, sure. But I'm NOT gonna die on the 10Mbps hill

paulf
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Holmes

Re: Whut??

I can't think why a subtle plug for Satellite broadband has come from a user called, "Satellite TV Shop UK".

A quick look at the website of the Satellite operator you mention returns pages where the prices are conspicuous by their absence; but I can get a quote from one of their resellers (of which I assume you are one?).

Since, as a likely spammer, you're an easy target I'll just ask exactly how much allowance is included in that £39-49/month? I'm guessing its ≈ √(fuck all).

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Apple updates MacBooks

paulf
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Holmes

Re: Confused... Advertising pieces disguised as articles?

"I've noticed the Reg has several of these one paragraph articles every day now. "

I'll take, "What is the new Newsbytes section for $200", please Alex.

What's all this? Welcome to The Register's News Bytes

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HMRC Verify is '2nd class'

paulf
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Trollface

"Hackers will be swarming around [it,] like flies around a massive steaming pile of shit."

Fixed it for you.

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

paulf
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: WTF!

@ Anonymous Coward

"Fucking Silverlight? I wouldn't even kiss it."

See icon!

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paulf
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Mushroom

Re: WTF!

@ LDS

"For the matter Lightroom 5 asks you to install QuickTime (for its video features), don't know about LR6."

One of Canon's photo tools on the Mac (Zoom Browser or Image Browser - the same package has a different name on Windows) demands fucking Silverlight to install and run properly.

When I pointed out Canon's shoddy approach to application development their response can be summarised as "¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

paulf
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Pint

Acceleration

"One that can tell you how fast you accelerate"

I was expecting something about the boss investigating high buildings and terminal velocity at this point.

And this was just superb:

"The PFY [...] having picked up on my saying the same thing three times in quick succession – our Bat Signal for an exciting new opportunity to make someone cry."

A Friday pint, Sir!

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You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels (UK version)

As described in Yes, [Prime] Minister:

The civil service is really the government.

The Government is really the opposition.

The Opposition is really the opposition in Exile.

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Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years

paulf
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Happy

Re: Four years?!?!

A Mid-2010 17" MBP here (anti-glare not glossy screen). Still going strong after 6 years of use and recently given a new lease of life with a 1Tb SSD. Looking at the other comments I think I can expect many more years of reliable service.

That said - I can't help thinking the new "It's-all-soldered-to-the-MB" Macs that can't be upgraded or repaired, effectively disposable, would struggle to last four years.

As for the iPhone - I get two years out of it, then I get a replacement and hand down the old one to my parents who get another two years out of it.

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Half of Facebook's Free Basics users ditch the freebie web-lite service for the paid-for real deal

paulf
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Pirate

Android app permissions

I took a look at the Google Play App link in the article and stumbled on the required permissions. These stood out, among others:

SMS

read your text messages (SMS or MMS)

receive text messages (SMS)

Phone

reroute outgoing calls

directly call phone numbers

I'm not a Dev but I recall that in Android silly+reasonable things can trigger a permission request that sounds quite daunting (e.g. checking no phone call is active leads to a Phone call permission request). That said I can't see why an App that is really just a curated browser needs access to phone calls and SMS (although knowing Zuck I can probably guess).

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EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

paulf
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Holmes

Re: It is not companies which are the problem

Publishing tax returns is all well and good (it's about time certain politicians did so after various promises they would) but that just tells us how much tax they paid on assets+incomes they're prepared to disclose to HMRC. The whole point here is people and companies avoiding tax they should be paying by hiding the assets/incomes that would attract it. Since they've hidden it - it won't show on the tax return! Who's going to pop "Income from secret offshore investment trust, with board meetings held in Switzerland" in the "Other information" part of the HMRC SA form?

As long as their tax return shows something reasonable for their KNOWN income streams people aren't going to look for the hidden stuff, and it's that hidden stuff which is the problem. For example the Chancellor's tax return shows he was taxed correctly on his earnings as Chancellor (plus Corbyn paid the right tax on his salary as HM LotO, Boris was taxed on his salary as MOL etc.)

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

paulf
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Alert

Re: Choice

@ Mage (Firefox and Thunderbird printing)

Firefox has always been bad at printing any page that is anything other than basic HTML that doesn't stray much further than the equivalent of "Hello World!". Anything more complicated than that it can render fine but printed copies tend to only show part of the page, if at all.

I'm sure some will say it's lame to be saving web pages on bits of dead tree ("Duh, it's all in the cloudz") but there's a bit more to Printing than that. I tend to save a copy of web orders placed online as a PDF - very useful if I have a problem with the order for example.

In contrast IE (yes, I know) can print almost any page I throw at it, as it's shown on the screen (albeit plus the ads normally blocked by Firefox). When Internet Explorer can wipe the floor with equivalent functionality in your browser you know something is very badly wrong....

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Daily! Mail! eyes! up! Yahoo!'s news! arm!

paulf
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Trollface

Profitable?

Is DMGT's current ample profitability anything to do with being based in Bermuda and being owned by someone who is a UK Non-Dom for tax purposes?

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Virgin slams CMA

paulf
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Holmes

Great ideas guys

Because the way to increase competition and combat the reduced number of operators resulting from BT+EE is to reduce the number of operators further with Three+O2.

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IBM wins BBC finance gig

paulf
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Alert

$DIETY help us

IBM must relish being one of a small number of operators that makes Crapita look good.

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Cash-strapped Sprint to raise $2.2bn by flogging off its network hardware

paulf
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Alert

Profitability

So the plan is:

Sell Network kit.

Lease back Network kit (we can't do much without it)

???

Profit!

It's one thing to securitise existing business assets to fund expansion or an important capital project but if the only way you can book a profit is by selling a vital asset and turning it into an ongoing liability; well, I think the phrase is, "You're fucked".

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Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

paulf
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Boffin

Re: Double standards

In short (not agreeing/disagreeing - just as I see it):

BT + EE didn't reduce the number of mobile or fixed operators to any tangible extent (BT had minimal mobile presence, EE relatively insignificant in landlines) although there were concerns about BT having a dominant position in the provision of fixed links to MNO cell sites to EE's benefit EE under BT's ownership.

Three + O2: Tangibly reduces competition in the MNO market because it reduces the number of distinct MNOs from four to three. That doesn't take into account the network sharing deals MBNL and Cornerstone which have differing relationships with their constituent MNOs (Cornerstone is more site/Air Con/Power sharing; MBNL shares almost everything except spectrum).

BT could use its fixed line dominance to advance EE's market share/revenues &c but there remains three mobile operators (O2, Three, Vodafone) to compete with EE, the latter of which has substantial fixed/landline assets.

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paulf
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Boffin

Re: That pledge on prices...

This is the problem with all these commitments and undertakings they're offering - they're absolutely meaningless. There are plenty of ways to increase prices without increasing the nominal monthly charge:

reducing bundle allowances, cancelling plans with only more expensive alternatives, increasing out of bundle prices, increasing roaming charges, removing special offers (e.g. feel at home roaming), increasing handset prices/decreasing handset subsidy, increasing any connection charge, increasing international call charges, imposing/increasing minimum charge on out of bundle calls, ending the contracts of customers they feel are insufficiently profitable so they have to get a more expensive contract elsewhere. I bet Marketing and Legal are more creative than I am.

If they've offered undertaking X, they've already figured out how to get around it to their own benefit.

Also how much weight will Sky (20%, £2bn not £20bn I'm guessing) and Vermin Media (10%) have, even if they vote together, against the majority shareholder CKH? Even if Sky and VM vote together against CKH they would only be successful in votes requiring more than 70% of votes (they're stuffed in votes requiring 2/3 or a simple majority) and I bet CKH is busy changing Three UK's articles of association to ensure it's 70% retains 100% control in any significant decisions.

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Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

paulf
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Boffin

My concerns about Amazon just keep increasing

As with tax avoidance, their capability at box shifting is as effective as it is ruthlessly efficient; and their prices tend to reflect this.

For basic CS stuff like "My item arrived damaged" they're great IME but I've only experienced their box shifting, not stuff like AWS.

But the deeper concerns keep mounting, thus far unresolved, and not investigated in the media (that I've found).

1. Their change last year requiring everyone to provide full photo ID when selling through Marketplace. That's understandable for entities trading as a company but its somewhat disproportionate for a private individual selling unwanted items to be asked for utility bills and a copy of their passport.

2. They provide all the billing details on Marketplace orders to the seller when I thought the whole point of Marketplace was Amazon acted as the payment processor. The consequences of this leads me to 3.

3. Marketplace sellers offering bribes [partial] refunds in exchange for removing negative feedback - whether justified or not. Thus a dodgy Marketplace trader could simply target partial refunds to improve their feedback score, potentially misleading future customers about how good that trader is. I've had contacts via the Marketplace messaging system which is fine but in one case I was called by a trader offering a partial refund despite the negative feedback being justified. This means they were given my home address too - not desirable if they were inclined to turn nasty about my critique.

I've contacted Amazon about this twice and both times got an email back saying they couldn't find my Marketplace account (I no longer have one - see 1) and couldn't discuss the matter further.

I just hope they haven't put too many of their competitors out of business yet as I'm looking for alternatives.

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

paulf
Bronze badge
Alert

Re: tailgate - oh the joys

@ P. Lee "Who needs to tailgate? I just go to reception, tell them I've forgotten my pass and they give me a new one, access all areas, no manager checks, no identity verification, access all areas."

Have an up vote as I've had this experience also. I don't forget my badge that often but when I do I ask the receptionist politely for a temporary badge and it's issued with no checks, no confirmations, NQA. I'm on "Morning" terms with all the receptionists and admins so they all kinda know me, but not well. That means it's wide open for someone they may not recognise but has the smooth talking and well researched social engineering nailed before entering the building.

On a related note - It's depressing to find out how much more of the buildings I can access with a temporary badge (which are usually issued to the cleaning staff each evening) than I can with my own badge as part of the Engineering dept at Paulf & Co.

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Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

paulf
Bronze badge
Pirate

I think the responses from Three (refuse to comment) and EE (can't be bothered) are quite telling. Perhaps the researcher wasn't able to get through to someone at EE (join the very large club!).

At least Voda and O2 bothered to dig up a spokesdroid each to put forward the usual "Legalese Manglement babble"; designed to reassure while offering no actual reassurance.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

paulf
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: 8.5kW and 0-60 in 10 seconds?

If the fuel tank ruptures you're almost certain to experience 0-60 faster than the quoted 10 seconds.

See Icon for further details ->

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French mobe repair shop chaps trash customer's phone

paulf
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Customer Service

@ Chris King "Back when they were part of Hutchison..."

The FT era was certainly the time when CS at Orange UK continually plumbed ever new depths of disservice. "We're not satisfied, until you're not satisfied" must have been written by/for them.

I got my first mobile in Feb 1997 on Orange and they were brilliant but as the newest entrant (until Three started 9 years later) they had to be, to differentiate themselves and minimise churn. Unfortunately I think the rot started to set in sometime around mid-late 1999 as I noticed CS standards tangibly dropped in early/mid-2000, 6 months before Snook left as CEO and before FT appeared on the scene.

FT purchased Orange group from Vodafone in Aug 2000. That was after a brief period as part of Vodafone's Mannesmann AG unit (bought Feb 2000) who had acquired Orange in Oct 99.

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