* Posts by paulf

322 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

Page:

Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

paulf
Alert

Re: Have they stopped

No they haven't My leap from 34.0.5 to 36.0 last night broke the search box.

It used to be you select the search engine you want to use and that applies in all windows until changed.

Now it uses the default (can be changed) at all times. To use one of the non-default search options you click from the selection of search buttons that appear when you type in the search box for the non-default you want. Not much help if you want to do lots of searching on your non-default search service.

Thankfully Classic Theme Restorer already had a fix for this which I turned on and reverted to the old behaviour.

I completely agree that it shouldn't be necessary to run an add-on to fix Mozilla's continuing UI train crash but CTR does seem to do a good job of fixing 99% of the problems IME.

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

paulf
Black Helicopters

Re: Why not just buy Smartflash...

"...and then fire shoot everyone? Just to make a point."

Fixed it for you.

Can anyone else hear helicopters...

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Why are you even diagnosing this lappy?

For anyone who, like me, is thinking, "Wait, what, really?" here is How to get Win ISO files for OEM installs with links to Digital River:

http://www.howtogeek.com/186775/how-to-download-windows-7-8-and-8.1-installation-media-legally/

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Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies

paulf
Alert

Re: BBC

Video clips on the BBC News website do demand Flash to work (on a desktop browser) and generally aren't available in BBC iPlayer.

The BBC have the technology for non-Flash video on their website as the BBC News website plays nicely (in Desktop mode) with Flash Free mobile Safari on the jPhone. This is what they need to fix IMO.

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Now not even muggers want your iPhone

paulf
Pirate

Re: urrr... they will still steal your device

The muggers may not know at first, but they'll soon find out when they try to punt on the remote kill equipped handsets to the dealer, gang boss, or international criminal mastermind they work for and are told it's [mostly] worthless.

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Apple preps to DUMP crappy, sluggish iPhoto FOR GOOD

paulf
Facepalm

Re: I've had a look at this

"Just because something stops being made doesn't mean it instantly stops working."

I'm not sure that was the point the OP was making.

I use PS Lightroom (Yes, I know, Adobe) so I'm not sure on the specifics of Aperture but I understand the OP's concerns are in continuing to use a package that has been abandoned by the publisher, not that it will suddenly stop working completely.

Lightroom gets updates from time to time. vx.0 releases tend to add new features and upgrades cost money. vx.n (n=1-6ish) releases are bug fixes and add support for new camera lenses and bodies - kinda useful for the auto correction of lens artefacts. This support is important when you upgrade your camera/lens and find that there is no auto correct profile for it.

I did a trials of Aperture and Lightroom but opted for Lightroom (despite Adobe) because at the time Apple were busy screwing over the FCP guys with FCP X and I realised back then that it was only a matter of time before Apple moved on to screw the Aperture users...

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WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

paulf
Linux

Re: Smart TVs

Myth-buntu (Myth TV and Ubuntu) and a dumb Iiyama monitor here, with Amp+Speakers for sound.

It's been our PVR since 2007 - it needs TLC a bit too often when upgrades inevitably go wrong, but much prefer it to one of these sneaky slurping "smart" TVs.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

paulf
Terminator

Re: "in-store digital display technology, with Electronic Shelf Edge Labels (ESLs)"

I'm not convinced ESL will happen any time soon, at least not in the UK. It may be that a significant seismic event will shock the big four into using them but the apparent relentless march of Aldi and Lidl still hasn't caused that (although that appears to be changing).

This ESL tech has been around for at least 12 years - yet in the UK they still pay flesh sacks to change the paper tickets on the shelf ends. In the distant mists of the past I looked at a project to design ICs for the displays, which got canned due to a lack of demand.

I have a funny feeling that rather than build loyalty with up to the minute pricing, variable pricing will will just royally piss off shoppers like me who will view the ever changing prices through rather cynical eyes. Among other problems - how do you placate shoppers upset that the price was lower when they put the product in their trolley?

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'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service

paulf
Happy

Re: Do One Thing And Do It Well

I've been with Eclipse for about 12 years now. I moved across from ClaraNet after their ADSL service deteriorated while remaining incredibly expensive for what it was (well beyond the Boutique mark up discussed here).

Eclipse have been generally excellent to the point I've got my parents on Eclipse also. If there is a problem they can ring a patient helpful person in Exeter who talks them through a solution.

I moved over to FTTC with Eclipse about 15 months ago (primarily because the ADSL line length meant pitiful speeds, while the FTTC cabinet 100m away delivers 70Mbps+) and the service has been great with truly unlimited at the weekends. I do notice occasional throttling on iPlayer but I can't pin it down to one cause as it can happen at any time. Otherwise they're excellent and on the rare occasion they drop the ball they do make it right quickly. Static IP is included free on all packages I've been on.

Sad to see they've gone business only - they've assured me they're still interested in their existing home customers but we'll see. I found out some time ago, anecdotally, that they resell a Tiscali wholesale product for ADSL. I don't know if that is still the case but if their sudden lack of interest in home users mean they sell us all to Tiscali or BT (like Vermin media did to their ADSL customers recently) I'll be referring to this article for ideas on who to migrate to!

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How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

paulf
Angel

> I suspect he was being critical of the use of 'literally'.

Does anyone have any objections to the Clerk of the Court literally tearing to shreds the representatives of Comcast or Lee D's Car insurers?

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paulf
Thumb Up

@ Lee D Spot on - keep everything and use recorded delivery for letters. You never know when you'll need it because a company has decided it's YOUR turn to be shat upon from a great height (more than just the normal day to day crap). It is something that has served me well also. Even if you don't have the ability to record phone calls (can you suggest suitable kit for landline and mobile?) keep notes on every phone call (what was said, who you spoke to, time/date of call, number dialled) along with the phone bill showing the call was made in the first place. Being able to quote that kind of stuff is often enough to flummox the agent in the call centre as they know the usual BS won't cut it with this caller!

I hope you got a damn sight more than the £50 they offered - that was derisory considering you would have been driving without insurance and had you been called on this you'd have had twice the grief to deal with.

@ Julian Bradfield

Yes torn apart. In my experience and understanding (IANAL) Judges in the SCC get very tired very quickly of their court room being cluttered up with companies that are clearly taking the piss against a customer that can back up their opposing story with things like documentary evidence and facts.

12
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Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

paulf
Coat

Farting - I see what you did there

"Brackley explains that he’ll be monitoring the air quality and that there should be no farting about if he says to put the mask on."

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

paulf
Headmaster

Re: Does the writer forget...

This seems to be a general problem in journalism regarding company news.

An announcement that Company X has just started talks to acquire Company Y is usually reported as "Company X has bought Company Y" (as if it's completed) when, as you rightly point out, it is nothing of the sort until (among other things) Due Diligence has been completed, approval has been received from all relevant regulators, and the cheque has cleared.

While we're on the subject, when did "Take over" become a verb? Surely "Company X acquires Company Y", rather than "taking them over".

1
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Tat bazaar eBay confirms: THOUSANDS of workers will be AXED

paulf
Big Brother

Re: Large singer required?

The downside with Amazon is they now require a whole bunch of ID to sell through their marketplace. These are quite onerous and apply to both private individuals and traders. Previously, they were happy that you had an existing Amazon account (linked to your Credit Card and billing address) plus your bank account details to transfer the proceeds of any sales into.

This might help weed out scammers (lets face it scammers won't have access to fake IDs to set up fake accounts with...), but I suspect it has more to do with recent VAT changes and Amazon wanting to keep their Luxembourg tax deal one step ahead of the tax authorities.

I'm not a business trader and I used to use Amazon marketplace to sell unwanted stuff (in preference to Flea Bay it has to be said) but that stopped once they demanded copies of utility bills and a copy of my passport (Driving License not acceptable) to continue using my sellers account.

I'm still bemused why El Reg hasn't done an investigation/article into these Amazon changes (at least not that I've seen!).

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Lloyds supplier payments TITSUP: What, you want MONEY from a BANK?

paulf
Go

Re: The bankrupcy option

Winding up* a company that owes you more than £750

https://www.gov.uk/wind-up-a-company-that-owes-you-money

*Having it closed down and liquidated; not calling them and asking to speak to Amanda Hugnkiss

Bankrupt an individual who owes more than £750

https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-bankrupt-someone/overview

Limit to be raised from £750 to £3000

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/edd768ae-9cb9-11e4-971b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3OzTn7Ywj

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Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

paulf
Facepalm

Re: me stoopid murrican

"turps" and "Music tips" = tapes i.e. Compact Cassettes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Cassette

"Paired vice slip" = Pay Advice Slip - A printed piece of paper that explains why you got what you did in your pay packet (A small brown envelope with currency in it, back when employees had the right to be paid in cash, and before the days of direct bank transfer)

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20 years on: The satirist's satirist Peter Cook remembered

paulf
Mushroom

Whoops Apocalypse

I'm glad you mentioned Whoops Apocalypse as it is one of the finest and funniest British films made (IMO etc). Cook's portrayal of Rt Hon Sir Mortimer Chris MP - a ruthless and mentally deranged Conservative Prime Minster from the 1980s* who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims - is chilling when you realise he is, quite calmly and seriously, doing some utterly outrageous things** as if they're perfectly normal while a sycophantic populace cheers him where ever he goes.

It takes a satirical look at the Falklands and the Cuban missile crisis (among others), while the USA pokes it's nose in at every turn making things worse. David Renwick co-wrote the film so a pre-One Foot in the Grave Richard Wilson makes an appearance too.

"It is the policy of this Conservative government that it is morally wrong to spend billions of pounds on Nuclear weapons that are never used".

"You can't show you're strong, without showing you're tough. And you can't show you're tough, without blowing people up."

* And of course entirely fictitious...

** One of the best being when Sir Mortimer publicly crucifies two of his ministers in Wembley stadium for their failures.

Icon: Plot spoiler alert...

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Dixons Carphone bye-bye'd 800 staff since merger

paulf
Mushroom

@DavCrav "Not if, as you suggest, it was "badly damaged"..."

I would like to think the Buncefield damage (and consequent expenses for disruption to business etc) would have been covered either by insurance or by compensation from HOSL.

@Sir Barry

ISTR a building with all the windows blown out with the commentary mumbling something about Dixons; so my memory probably confused "badly damaged" with "significant superficial damage, but structural integrity maintained"

Icon: Buncefield

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paulf
Facepalm

FTA: "This includes 400 staff at Dixons’ Hemel Hempstead-based HQ that did not want to relocate to Carphone’s equivalent office in Acton, a driving distance of a little over 25 miles."

It might be "only" 25 miles, but have you tried to drive south from Hemel to Central London in the morning? It isn't going to be a 20 min pop down the M1 at 70 mph that's for sure!

FTA: "One insider told us the costs of revamping the dusty old Hemel building was considered too high, and Acton has a larger footfall so has more room for expansion."

I thought the Hemel building was badly damaged by the Buncefield explosion in 2005? Anyway I would expect a building in Hemel to be cheaper than one in Acton.

Also "larger footfall" doesn't imply more space for expansion.

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Vodafone to spend more time hanging out at bus stops

paulf
Boffin

If the cell is on top of the advertising board or bus stop they'll be a good 2 metres from the flesh sacks at street level. The E/M field strength from the base station decays in proportion to the inverse square of the distance.

The further a Base Station is from the handset, the harder the handset has to work (i.e. greater EIRP) to communicate with the Base Station and the handset will be closer to your head than the base station ever will be!

IOW a very small low power base station nearer to you may well mean you're subjected to a weaker E/M field than a Base Station far away.

[And don't forget your battery will last longer if the cellular radio in the handset can ramp down it's EIRP].

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GERONTIC 'Ghost ship' prowled the undersea cables of the 1940s

paulf
Paris Hilton

Re: I did enjoy seeing the HURL acronym

The USA of America has other fine examples. I saw these buses on a mountain holiday, some years ago:

Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART)

http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Works/Transit/TART

Paris, yeah, because.

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Firmware update kills Lenovo Home Media Network HDDs. Here's how to resurrect them

paulf
Thumb Down

"Others may just choose not to buy Iomega or Lenovo again."

I think I made that decision (Re: Iomega) about 9 years ago after one of their Rev drives went kaput about a month outside the 2 year warranty. Options? New drive = £hundreds or chargeable support event (Eur 12) but no repair/replacement offered for out of warranty devices (see option 1).

Since the drive and backup software had always been flaky (at one point it regularly generated BSODs when backing up) I figured it was time for a different backup system.

Looks like not much has changed so thanks for the heads up about Lenovo!

1
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Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE

paulf
Pint

Work Experience

Reading this article reminded me of the time I did a weeks work experience on the Goonhilly site during my A-levels in the mid-1990s.

The site is massive, and the dishes equally so. Thinking about it, I can't help feeling somewhat privileged to have had that experience from reading some of the comments above. There is a picture somewhere of me on top of Goonhilly 3 in a white BT hard hat from the "Piper" logo days. That's the one with the design based on a windmill - the lift shaft on the back was added because the tapered throat at the top was too narrow to get equipment through! That was during my site tour when I also got to look in detail at the kit in the main control room.

I also recall going for a wander on site one lunchtime and having a mooch around Goonhilly 6 (This was opened/named by Blue Peter in the 1980s).

It was an impressive site, staffed by some pretty smart people. All the best to GES in their efforts to bring it back into use - a pint for you!

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KCOM Group results hit by Phones4U woes

paulf
Unhappy

Re: That explains why Eclipse has sucked lately

I did wonder why they suddenly lost interest in the home market a few months ago when they redesigned their website. When I contacted them they insisted they're still interested in home users but the ominous "Home customers click: here" link at the top of the pages says it all.

http://www.eclipse.net.uk/home-users/

Sad - I've been with them for 12 years because the service was always pretty good. Why do I have a nagging fear this will end with, "We've teamed up with Talk Talk/BT/EE/<Other Shit big name provider who will be delighted to wallet shaft you> and they will now be providing your service". Yeek!

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

paulf
Happy

Orange OVP Virgin

I've got an old number on the Orange OVP Virgin Tariff that I like to keep going. Like PAYG but with no minimum usage requirement to keep it alive and the balance paid as if it was a contract. Cracking price plan.

It was a shame when they started charging 25p/min for voice mail earlier this year. I tried to work around it by calling the voice mail service from another phone only to find out they billed me for that as if I'd called from the Orange handset! (Plus the cost of calling an Orange number from another network).

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US Marshals commit DIRTBOX INTRUSION on Americans, says report

paulf
Holmes

Re: Dirtboxes being used by dirtbags!!

@ Lionel Baden

"this isn't some nationwide surveillance on tap to whatever agency wants to peek at it."

For now / That we know of (delete according to naivety).

I could also make the same point about ANPR cameras.

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NHS quango fatcats spend £2m tax dosh on iPads and iPhones

paulf
Coat

So what angle will Jasper take on this story with tenuous link to Apple?

"NHS quango fatcats..."

Ah, answered in the first three words of the title!

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NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code

paulf
Holmes

No updating

FTA: "...the huge number of [android] phone-owners who never update – either through choice, ignorance or that their handset-maker holds back upgrades."

Which of those three options is the most likely?

[Hint it isn't the first two! And to debunk the ignorance angle, the last Android handset I had would check for updates once a week and ping an alert if one was available].

Looking at the typical update rates on iOS (yes, I know, excepting iOS 8.0.x) it looks like there aren't significant numbers of users that are complete refusniks when it comes to updating phone software.

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AMD-AMMIT! Hundreds face axe at chip maker as PC, graphics crash

paulf
Mushroom

Re: Summing things up...

The UK story sounds right in my experience.

The last time I was shown the door through compulsory redundancy (about 10 years ago) I think we all received the statutory minimum plus, wait for it, a bonus of £75 for each [complete] year of service.

As you can imagine we were all knocked sideways by that kind of generosity.

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Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

paulf
Facepalm

Clearly size matters

FTA: "Anything above 10mm units should be considered a positive surprise"

Are phones getting smaller again?

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Report: EE in talks to scoop up 60 Phones 4u stores from troubled High Street retailer

paulf
Facepalm

Complicit but not convinced the networks are to blame

I'm no fan of the networks (they can do their own excuse making) but from a dispassionate read around this subject two things stand out:

1. The business, which was already holding significant senior debt, was loaded with £200m of junior debt in autumn 2013 which was paid out immediately to the Private Equity owners as a special dividend. I suspect this was secured on the business with no recourse to the owners so i) the interest rate would have been [relatively] punishing and ii) the PE boys could just skip away without penalty when it all went kaboom. If there was a viable business worth investing in the £200m would have been invested in it, or not borrowed at all to keep the cost base as low as possible. The business was bought by the current owners for £700 but had almost that in debt when it went into Administration.

2. The networks claim P4U wanted a margin twice that demanded by Carphone, citing interest payments on debt loaded on the business as the reason. There may be some variance between high street retailers and allowing a slightly bigger margin may have been desirable so the networks weren't left with just Carphone on the high street but it isn't for the networks to significantly increase their cost base as a consequence of the funding/ownership structure of P4U.

The networks may have a smoking gun in their hands, but the gun was loaded, passed to them, and the trigger pulled by the Private Equity boys (who I bet have handsomely enriched themselves from this whole affair while happily blaming their suppliers for the whole mess).

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paulf
Holmes

And there were no other buyers for the stores in question?

FTA: "It's been alleged to the Sunday Times by anonymous sources close to Phones 4u's private equity owner BC Partners that the carriers "had engineered the retailer's demise so they could cherry-pick its best store on the cheap.""

This makes the rather big assumption that the stores could only be sold to another mobile phone retailer. On that I call bollocks. I understand there isn't much demand for shops these days (unless you're a pound shop, charity shop or a bookies) but if there was demand out there the networks wouldn't be the only buyers and would have to offer a competitive purchase price. If there was little demand, the networks would have had their pick of other empty units on the high street without buying the former P4U stores.

The only thing making these shops attractive to the networks is that they are already established as mobile phone shops and come with staff that would already be familiar with the products but that alone wouldn't make the networks the only buyer.

0
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Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills

paulf

Re: Malware proteced payment device....

Not quite the same but close enough that I can see since a direct comparison isn't entirely possible.

If someone gets a counterfeit note/coin they take a direct loss if they keep it and don't pass it on. Perhaps that explains the lack of reluctance to circulate counterfeits? Malware on the other hand people have no direct benefit/loss in circulating (unless they're the author!) so morals get a louder voice in its propagation. I don't know - but yes it would make for an interesting PhD!

For the avoidance of doubt, the falsie I found was permanently taken out of circulation!

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paulf

Re: Malware proteced payment device....

Upvoted, but not entirely true. Counterfeit notes/coins would be the equivalent of malware in the EFTPOS machine.

I found a fake £1 coin in the reject slot of a parking machine the other day. It was clearly a fake but not easy to spot if you're in a shop accepting a handful of change from someone and the queue behind them means you don't have time to check each coin carefully.

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Who us, SHARE infrastructure? Networks reject gov proposal

paulf
Holmes

"What's to stop the network with the coverage ripping off the other networks like crazy when they are obliged to use it?"

If the other networks were that aggrieved at the "rip off charging" they could always build their own tower to avoid their subs roaming onto the over priced tower! That would soon stop the silly charges and improve the coverage into the bargain! I suggest the rip off charges wouldn't happen in the first place as the risk of charging too much would make it economically viable for another to build in that area.

The network operators are so big that any kind of rapacious or egregious charging for other subs roaming onto one of their rural towers would be a kind of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) as the rip off merchant* would be hammered elsewhere where their subs roam onto someone else's tower.

[* - yes I know they ALL are]

But I agree your answer is correct in all cases to the rhetorical question "Ofcom? Yeah, right."

PS - You need a "Reg Hack" Vulture icon. Pop in a request to the BOFH!

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

paulf
Mushroom

@auburnman Re: Sharon T. Pokeworthy...

"I would Google for Microsoft"

Doesn't that have consequences like Googling for Google, only more evil?

2
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paulf
Facepalm

Re: Sharon T. Pokeworthy...

Surely if she lives at W1A 1AA (Broadcasting House, Portland Place) she should have the phone number 0208 811 8181?

(Older readers will remember this as 081 811 8181)

12
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Did you swipe your card through one of these UPS Store tills? You may have been pwned

paulf
FAIL

Not identified

FTA "...to date it hasn't identified any evidence of fraudulent activity as a result of the breach."

If someone did get a fraudulent transaction how would they prove it was due to this breach at UPS and not due to the usual stuff the banks claim as the cause (1. You were reckless with your details online, 2. You wrote down your PIN, 3. It's all your fault as you're the little guy and our systems are 100% secure LaLaLaLa).

That's even assuming it affected someone who checks their CC statement at the end of the month, AND does something about a transaction they don't recognise.

Even if they did prove it was UPS would UPS even admit it?

0
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Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: I had a home version Atari trackball

Upvote for "Speaking of SUPER EXPENSIVE mice, does anyone remember the original Sun optical ones that required their own specific metal pad with a pattern on it? Or the mortal combat incurred when # of mice > # of pads?" as yes I do!

I opted for the less accurate but easier to get from IT mechanical SUN mouse with a ball. Among my souvenirs from those times are two Sparc 10 machines (they make great foot rests as they're made of Lead or Neutron star or something) and my Sun "The Network is the Computer" mouse mat.

My current Sun "Wheel" mouse is optical but no longer needs a special mouse pad.

1
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Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales

paulf
Big Brother

Re: Amazon seller europe - verification @Ledswinger

I agree it is a rather broad and deep data slurp. There were several places where they said something like "We appreciate you trusting us with this information" (I didn't in the end!) but with thicker corporate speak applied.

While the national Gubbermint can find out my passport details other Gubbermints may not be able to, so that might explain to @fandom why this is plausible.

That said why is it only Amazon doing this? If it was an Uncle Sam mandated NSA data slurp surely all USA $MEGACORPS would be doing it? There are arguments each way but claiming its "all the EU and their business harming regulations" doesn't wash when it's only one of them implementing them. I know I've never had to give this kind of verification on my Paypal account and Paypal are near Bank like (but not quite).

As Amazon's stinky tax affairs are well known, along with the lengths they go to on the implementation, I'm still inclined to think that is the reason (that doesn't mean your theory isn't right at the same time).

0
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paulf
WTF?

Amazon seller europe - verification

I have an Amazon seller account and have used it a handful of times to sell stuff I don't want any more. It's easier than eBay and saves me dealing with the hurt that is eBay/Paypal.

In the last month or so they've been demanding I verify my identity otherwise I'll no longer be able to sell through Amazon any more. I'm a private individual (not a business or sole trader) so this seemed overkill and it's hardly like I "turn over" much (£40 this year and before that, nothing since 2008).

The usual bogeyman of "New EU rules on identity" were quietly cited in emails/FAQs.

I looked at the verification process and although it demanded a VAT number I managed to get past that step without entering one (I'm not a trader so no VAT number). Then it wanted to verify my bank account with a small payment like Paypal do - fair enough but they've paid money in to it before. Then it wanted my passport details and a bank statement or utility bill. You what???

I can understand checking the identity of traders but demanding (and verifying) passport details from private individuals when Amazon already have my home address, bank account + Credit card details is overkill. Anyway the latter two have already verified my identity and they've been registered with Amazon for years.

Someone mentioned to me this is to do with their Luxembourg tax shenanigans. If they can prove the income is generated by someone in a particular country it helps their tax position (in ways I can only imagine) as opposed to just paying tax at a blanket rate on their entire income in Europe. I've not seen any articles or investigation about this - apologies if I've missed a suitable story.

Considering the usual (and justified) vociferous comments about Amazon's tax free MO I'm surprised this seems to have slipped under the radar.

2
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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

paulf
Holmes

I fear for this - YBS uses this kind of crap too

I fear for access to my money again if the Barclays implementation is as good as the one Yorkshire Building Society use. [I accept this is voice recognition of words/text rather than the voice print but same goes].

The YBS system has no "push the keys on your keypad" alternative and no "push ?? to speak to a person" so you're stuck hoping it will recognise your answers. After three failed attempts to recognise the first of three letters of my password ("J", did you say "G"; "J", did you say "K"; ad nauseum) it then threatened to reset all my authentication details. I hung up before it did so.

When I finally got through to a call centre droid I went ballistic and was told they hadn't had many complaints about it. See icon - I bet people couldn't get through to complain.

Halifax use this kind of system also but it is a "Say the answer or use your keypad" so at least it is optional - for now.

My diction is reasonable, and I didn't have a cold or a strong accent and still it failed. $DIETY help people who have a speech impediment.

1
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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

paulf
WTF?

This was proposed many years ago

Back in the TACS/GSM days cross roaming between the (then) two networks (Cellnet/Vodafone) was mandated in the operators' licenses. Then Mercury and Orange came into being and the requirement was quietly dropped as unnecessary because the additional competition was supposed to drive better coverage. I don't remember the actual timings of this but I do know it was there early on but eventually dropped.

I think this is an excellent idea. The operator who has gone to the expense of building a Cell tower in a rural location is allowed to charge other operators who roam onto it - better coverage for all and more revenue for the operator who built the tower in the first place. Or all four operators pool resources to jointly own/operate towers in rural locations that don't justify separate towers with their own kit.

And what do you mean “do a Netflix”. I call BS on this as it has been discussed at length in the Net Neutrality stories. Netflix pays to send their data into the "Internet" and the DSL subscriber pays to receive that data. So the transport of that data is being paid for at both ends of the wire and you still think they're free loading!? The same applies to services in this country like BBC iPlayer where the data is paid for at both ends but still the ISPs bitch about having to provide the service their customers have paid for. What total crap!!

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

paulf
Facepalm

Re: It's looking more and more...

I became convinced the enviro-hippy movements aren't interested in The Earth/Being Green (tm) and are really determined to get us all back living in caves* ASAP when I saw a comment from one in a Tory-Graph** article about airport expansion that said (in not so many words):

"If people need to fly to see their friends they should make friends closer to home".

*Can someone come up with a good joke about coming down from the trees being a mistake?

**Yeah I know the Tory-Graph, hey ho.

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2

Hey, we'll do 4G for £15, says O2 (just mind how you go on the 1GB limit)

paulf
Thumb Down

Re: Bloody hell, they sound determined...

The story doesn't make it clear it has a link to the O2 price changes:

http://www.o2.co.uk/pricechange

I hadn't been aware of this until I saw this story.

I have an O2 PAYT handset which I kept going after the contract expired in 2003. I only took on the contract to get a GSM1900 handset for use in USA back when O2 sold unlocked handsets by default - the 12 months O2 contract was £10 cheaper than buying the same handset outright.

I put it on the declining tariff PAYT so 25p/min for the first three minutes a day then O2/Landlines were 5p/min during the week and 2p/min at weekends. A cracking rate at the time and still pretty damned good if you don't have a contract with loadsa minutes. It was handy to keep going as a spare (e.g. when main mob had no coverage or a flat battery) for the sake of a £10 top up once every 3 years. Money for old rope for O2 since I never called CS and only turned it on when I wanted to make calls.

It has less than £2 credit now and was getting close to top up time. I'll probably let it lapse so they've lost another PAYT customer. As the AC commentard said above - have they just been acquired by France Telecom?!

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paulf
Facepalm

Re: Bloody hell, they sound determined...

I recall the Orange per second billing publicity among other innovations. Ah those were the days of proper mobile competition!

If you have unlimited minutes you don't care if calls are rounded up to the next minute.

If you use 200/5000 minutes a month you probably don't care.

If you are making a chargeable call of 2.01 at 45p/min (Some 08x numbers are charged in this ball park) making the call 90p rather than 46p you very much do care after you've made several calls like that.

Depending on the calls you make it isn't entirely moot.

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WANTED: New head of crashingly expensive, error-prone and frankly cursed one-dole-to-rule-them-all system

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Wrong Country, Wrong People, Wrong Traditions

@Don Jefe

Have a +1 simply for "That's good solid bullshit [...] you can take to the bank."

Have a +10 for the preceding sentence of World Class Bullshit.

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Apple cash stash dash results in Icahn v CalPERS bitchfight

paulf
Mushroom

Re: Icahn can get stuffed

I'd love to see Larry Vs Carl too and see him get what he deserves. I suspect this wont happen for the same reason (IIRC) Carl didn't come sniffing around Apple until Jobs died. I think he realised Steve Jobs would have demonstrated his characteristic lack of patience and would have quickly and summarily told him to STFU and Fuck off.

1
1

Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

paulf
Alert

Perhaps that is why Google doesn't seem (outwardly at least) too bothered about Malware on Android?

As soon as the problem gets too big, and the majority of Android users are sufficiently non-technical to understand the implications/consequences, Google decide to kill side-loading and alternative app stores on Android phones to stop the warez. All for your own good and to save you of course.

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