* Posts by paulf

355 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

Page:

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

paulf
Pirate

Re: My 2 cents

My £0.02 back on this.

I avoid price comparison sites like the plague. Whenever I've landed on one (perhaps because I've clicked on the link presented by Google thinking it was a retailer rather than a PCS) it usually presents a load of links to the product I'm looking for that are either:

1. Links to other price comparison sites claiming to have links to retailers for even cheaper (which eventually link back to this PCS)

Or 2. Links to retailers that either don't have the product in stock any more or never did in the first place.

PCS are a complete waste of time IME so perhaps this explains why you never got any decent business from the click throughs they generated to your site.

Not that I like Google, their creepy web stalking, or the behaviour alleged by this article; my only point is PCS are worse than useless as they claim to be able to source the item you're looking for when this isn't the case. Perhaps PCS ought to be reclassified as Click Bait sites.

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Vodafone hikes prices to 37.5p/min – and lets angry customers flee

paulf
FAIL

Re: " write to us"?

Based on my recent experience with the Red Apostrophe, dead tree plus snail mail is probably the most efficient way of solving problems. Five phone calls later and I STILL can't access my on line account despite the usual myriad of promises to sort it ASAP.

The most amusing attempt to login was when I got dumped onto an error screen from their Oracle back end servers telling me to contact the sys admin.

They haven't a clue about website stuff. Their social media escalation page (code is WRT165 if you're keen) demands a whole bunch of info through an insecure page!

http://www.vodafone.co.uk/contact-form/index.htm

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

paulf
Trollface

Patent?

"...the concept is likely not able to be patented but is probably the first of its kind."

It's ok, we've just found the USPTO and they've granted us a patent with no questions asked as long as we paid the fee immediately (cash only).

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Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

paulf
Mushroom

Re: Anyone remember the Sunday Sport ?

My favourite was when they reported this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQo6t9vcZYc

as "Anthea Turner's head explodes"

These days I prefer Viz - at least they don't pretend what they're publishing isn't bollocks.

0
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Cheaper Apple iStuff? Foxconn eyes costs-busting Indian move

paulf
Holmes

Apple reducing prices because their subcontractor moves the assembly factory to a cheaper location would only lead to a cut in the selling price if there was any connection between the final selling cost and the cost of assembly/BoM. As is often suggested in these very forums it's unlikely such a direct connection exists.

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Wholesale price cap: Take THAT, BT, says (now toothy) Ofcom

paulf
Holmes

FTA: "...big mergers in the sector "could affect the functioning of the market for consumers".

In a nod to the mega-deal between BT and EE, ..."

May it have also been a reference to the "four becomes three" mega merger that would be Three's gobble of O2 UK?

0
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I block, you block, we all block Twitter shock schlock

paulf
Mushroom

Re: I wonder...

I'd like to think that would work considering some of the "So wide of the mark it hurts" style of targeted" ads I get.

Unfortunately the Marketing department are one step ahead of you. I've seen tweets being promoted where the tweet is by random person with probably a fake account set up by Marketing who "...simply loves this product and now you can get it at a discount through this partner retailer" but the actual tweet promoting is done by the manufacturer/supplier. The kind of Marketing droid behaviour that walks up to the line, stands on it, leans over it and blows a massive raspberry; but never crosses it.

Pic -> Marketing department caught doing this.

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paulf
Facepalm

Probably not that simple.

I was blocked by someone on Twitter because I replied to something they Tweeted, agreeing with them. It wasn't exactly a flame-y thread either!

My point is, blocking isn't a precise science. There's probably much more blocking going on because "You're talking what I think is bollocks. Why can't you admit you're completely wrong and I'm totally right" than the more instructive "You're an offensive, nasty troll that's made death threats and might have tried to follow me home the other night".

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United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

paulf
Terminator

Some websites are particularly bad

The website of one big company in the UK allows a password reset by simply asking for the sign in user name. User names in isolation can be guessed (e.g. jsmith, johnsmith, johns) easier than username and some other credential (e.g. email address) so this would make an account lock out brute force attack pretty easy.

This interests me because I've been locked out of my account at said company for two months as a result of someone resetting my password multiple times this way (either by getting their username wrong or by guessing mine out of malevolence) and as a result locking my account so that password resets no longer work. The company in question isn't solving it either - bastards.

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Apple's HomeKit: So, you know, it exists and all that. Oookay ...

paulf
Gimp

Billions?

"[Apple]...can force an app on billions of people..."

Billions? Really? Maybe my sarcasm detector is on the blink today.

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Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

paulf
Holmes

Re: Shift Key

See the second feature in this MR report - keyboard now switches between lower and upper case to follow the Shift setting.

http://www.macrumors.com/2015/06/08/ios-9-tidbits-and-hidden-features/

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HTC execs: Oh dear, did we say we'd sell lots of smartphones? Our bad

paulf
Mushroom

Re: Relatively unknown brand . . .

Another thing. They might still be better known if they had offered decent support and regular handset firmware updates over the two year lifetime of a typical contract. In a world of landfill Android this would have been a nice way to differentiate their offer.

I had two HTC handsets (Hero and Sensation). Both got the minimum of updates (eventually, if at all) yet they still had plenty of unresolved bugs. HTC support was useless when I experienced the "Random Turn off" bug in the Sensation which made a £500 handset worse than useless. I went to another manufacturer (where I remain to this day, and later this year will likely get my third handset from them) while the Sensation experienced a similar fate as your Desire HD will...

1
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Apple recalls Beats speakers: Rap chap's crap batt rapped in zap mishap flap

paulf
Boffin

Re: that'll be £55 please

I did see that they'll refund the full purchase price on presentation of the original receipt (unfortunately I can't find the story in question).

My understanding of the law (IANAL natch) is that a consumer's statutory rights are not prejudiced by the absence of the purchase receipt. A receipt may yield better service from the shop (e.g. a refund on an unused item within 28 days or a cash refund on a faulty item) but the absence of a receipt cannot be used to withhold a consumer's statutory rights. If Apple refunds to a Gift card (which I understand they're entitled to do on a faulty product if the receipt isn't presented) it should be for the full purchase amount. The only difference presenting the receipt should make is that the refund would be made in cash instead.

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Chip chef Avago gobbles up Broadcom for $37 BEEEELLLION

paulf

Re: Less diversity

On Panasonic I think you meant "Matsushita Electric Industrial"

Ferranti microelectronics fell to Plessey in 1988.

Plessey ultimately ended up as part of MicroSemi (Plessey to GPS to Mitel to Mitel Semi to Zarlink to MicroSemi).

The Plessey name has risen again and now owns the Fabrication plants in Swindon and Plymouth that were part of the former Plessey Semiconductors (Plessey to GPS to Mitel to Mitel Semi to Zarlink to X-Fab to Plessey)

Siemens Semiconductor became Infineon.

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Tesco tries to talk Tesco Mobile up from 'Value' to 'Finest' ahead of sale

paulf
Holmes

"As O2 is being bought by Three"

O2 (well, O2 UK) isn't being bought by Three until it's been approved by regulators (in progress - brown envelopes pending).

"..an industry which has thrown away One2One, Cellnet and amazingly Orange (BT should resuscitate it),"

Since Orange (nee France Telecom) own the Orange brand I suspect BT would be stuck licensing it from them if they wanted to do that. At least they would own the EE brand outright (providing their lawyers are on the ball and they wanted to continue using it).

Anyway the Orange that was crushed out of existence a few years ago had nowhere near the goodwill attached to it that the Orange of Hans Snook back in the late 1990s did.

2
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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

paulf
Boffin

Re: Not just planes

Eurostar 373/1 trains have three braking systems only one of which is Rheostatic braking. This is different to Regenerative where energy is returned to the OHLE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_373#Braking_systems

Assuming they use air brakes for the other systems, these apply the brakes by reducing the air pressure in the train pipe. So, put simply, an extended lack of power supply to run the loco air compressor to maintain pressure in the train pipe would mean the train stops and can't release it's brakes rather than the other way around.

Providing the locos have a large enough air supply reservoir for the air braking system there's no reason why braking should be compromised while it coasts through a few hundred metres of neutral section. It has been known in recent times for electric trains to coast for a couple of miles through sections with failed OHLE, which allows train services to be maintained while waiting for repairs to be completed in a possession that night.

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paulf
Gimp

Re: Not just planes

Also happens when a dual electric Electrostar set swaps between OHLE and juice rail on the West London line near North Pole Junction (between Shepherd's Bush and Willesden Jcn). The train usually stops for the swap and seems to reboot briefly when the onward power source is engaged. It used to knock out the PIS but that seemed to have been fixed last time I used it.

Eurostar sets used to support three power sources until the juice rail pick up shoes were removed. I understand those sets just coast between different electrical systems as if it was going through a neutral section.

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UK rail comms are safer than mobes – for now – say infosec bods

paulf
Holmes

Re: @Alister "Network Rail already have an existing countrywide telecommunications infrastructure"

I don't use the railways that often but the fact lots of other people do on a regular basis means the roads around here are somewhat less congested than they otherwise would be.

In the wider world there are lots of services I pay for in some way but don't make use of - just like the services I do use but others contribute towards.

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paulf
Unhappy

@Alister "Network Rail already have an existing countrywide telecommunications infrastructure"

For now they do, if this "wild speculation and assumption masquerading as fact"* story from the Tory-Graph is to be believed. I'm sure one of the big telcos would be drooling at the thought of all that telecoms infrastructure being put up for sale.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11503134/Network-Rail-to-be-broken-up-or-sold-off-under-restructuring.html

*The best claim is "A move out of state ownership could boost efficiency." with no facts to back this up. The anonymous author then spends the rest of the paragraph debunking that very claim by showing what a "success" private sector Railtrack was.

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giffgaff riff-raff hacked off with lift-off of cash spaff

paulf
WTF?

@Simon Rockman

"It remains to be seen what Three will do with giffgaff *when* it acquires O2." [My emphasis].

Does the article author have some kind of inside information which indicates the proposed acquisition of O2 by HWL (Three) is a done deal and the outcome of the investigation into it is a foregone conclusion?

I know we make snarky comments in these fair forums about corporate acquisitions being all about the £££/$$$ but, in this case at least due to it's four becomes three nature, I still think it's all to play for until that large woman over there with the big lungs starts belting out her closing musical number....

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Massive TalkTalk data breach STILL causing customer scam tsunami

paulf
Flame

If someone calls me, usually from a withheld number as tends to be the case with all corporate PBX systems, I refuse to deal with them as they usually start the call with "Please give me all your personal data so I can confirm your identity". Hang on, you, that I don't know from Adam/Eve, called me from a withheld number and you expect to confirm my identity??

Give me your name and extension number and I'll call back on the main number, now fuck off.

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paulf
Holmes

Re: Talk Talk

What makes you think they'll get any kind of fine?

Typical MO at the ICO is to send out a nice letter and a leaflet to the company in question advising them to check their security, if it's ok with them and they don't mind, and to improve it if possible, pretty please; but if you don't then that's ok too we know these things are difficult.

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Costa Coffee Club members wake up and smell the data breach

paulf
Holmes

Re: Do they really need a DoB?

@ John Brown (no body)

I agree, that's probably the reason given for asking for it (they may also say it's so they can use it to confirm the user's identity) but it would still, in my opinion (again, IANAL) be superfluous to the reason for processing the data.

People who hand over this information blindly also need to take responsibility for the consequences of handing over their personal data to all and sundry, but that doesn't forgive the organisation for having non-existent security to protect those superfluous details.

If we had a decent Data protection organisation they'd have stamped out this kind of unjustified data harvesting before it got out of the starting blocks. I'll not hold my breath because decent data protection would be "Anti-Business"...

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paulf
Facepalm

Do they really need a DoB?

I understand (IANAL) that under the DPA a company should only request personal information directly relating to the reason it's being processed. If you're reporting a broken street light to the council they may want an email or phone number to let you know when it's been fixed, but they have no right to ask completely unrelated things like your DoB or NI number for example.

In that case what the hell is a fucking coffee house asking people for their Date of Birth for?? If all redemption is via the App or in store then they'd struggle to justify the postal address!

Oh right, yes, I should have realised. The App was designed by the Marketing droids who want their pound of flesh in exchange for the crumbs of "reward"...

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Eyes on the prize: Ten 23-24-inch monitors for under £150

paulf
Headmaster

Which IIyama monitor are we talking about?

The author references E2418HS-B1 and E2481HS-B1 in the same section.

It looks like the latter (E2481HS-B1) as I've got four of these on my BOFH desk at home - selected for the multi-monitor-setup-friendly thin bezel. They're bright with pretty good viewing angle. I don't use the provided stands but I understand they have height adjust, rotate on the base, and will pivot portrait/landscape.

With multiple monitors there's no good place for the buttons as they either increase bezel width or can be obscured. Having them on the back is perhaps the least worst option.

I don't know where the author got the £130 price from. I bought from Flea-Buyer two months ago for £160 each with free delivery when (review device source) Overclockers were charging more plus delivery. Ebuyer's price has gone up since then but even now Overclockers are charging £150 each plus delivery.

0
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I helped Amazon.com find an XSS hole and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

paulf
Holmes

I can't help thinking Amazon has plenty of resources to find these bugs themselves if they really wanted, or even debug their code sufficiently so they're not there in the first place.

The Altruism argument falls down because Amazon are a pretty massive company and stood to lose more from exploitation than they would have done by paying a bug bounty. If this bug is present then it's likely not the only one which shows their own debug procedures are inadequate.

Bug bounties seems to be a pretty established MO now. Bug finder gets a tidy reward for their work to prove the bug existence (and also to avoid them exploiting it) while $MEGACORP gets detailed information to fix bug before someone does exploit it with all sorts of reputational damage.

If you're really keen to debug Amazon's codebase for free in your spare time do feel free!

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Twitter slips into the world of venture capital with barely a chirrup

paulf
Terminator

Twitter harvesting phone numbers now?

Sorry I know this is a bit OT but the story is as much about Twitter as their investment in Cyanogen.

I run several twitter accounts for an organisation, along with one for myself. These are all secured using the Twitter app login verification. Last night I had emails for all accounts noting that continued use of login verification would require me to give my phone number to Twitter in the account's settings (with this verified by a text to that number). No reason for this was given. Also a number can only be registered against one account which kinda makes a mockery of the Twitter App (based on Tweetdeck) that can manage multiple accounts in a single app.

Does this mean they have thought up some evil way to push ads at me via texts or calls from PPI service droids, to improve their revenues?

I can see two outcomes here, and neither sound particularly good:

1. Twitter harvest a large quantity of phone numbers for spamming purposes (both their own and that of others when their system gets quietly hacked)

2. People who don't want to be subject to 1 and thus don't submit their number, or don't have enough numbers for the accounts they manage, turn off login verification making their account that bit less secure.

0
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Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

paulf
Facepalm

Re: schoolboy's posterior...

@ Ed_UK

"If memory serves, the proper name for the 'rear' of a coin is the "obverse.""

The front is the "Obverse" (the bit with a pic of Her Maj). The rear is the "Reverse".

http://www.royalmint.com/discover/uk-coins/counterfeit-one-pound-coins

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Imagination touts cheap Firefox OS MIPS slab to Chinese kitmakers

paulf

Re: MeToo

+1 on your findings but on point 7, Intel have now sold their stake in Imagination:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/marketforceslive/2015/feb/13/imagination-technologies-slips-as-intel-sells-remaining-stake

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Consumers beware! Ofcom's seen a scary new mobe nasty: APPS

paulf
Facepalm

Re: "Don’t download from places which are not official app stores"

Note also the subtle difference at the bottom of the NL pages:

Icon for "Available on App Store" [Link to iTunes]

Icon for "Available on Android" (not Google Play Store) [Link to page @WonkoTheSane mentions with instructions to download from AWS server and sideload]

Interestingly - the Android side load instructions don't tell people to turn off "Install from untrusted sources" when they've completed their NL app install. For the average punter (i.e. non-El Reg reader), that won't enable side loading by default, nor understand the implications, that becomes a gaping security hole.

I suppose my question here is, "How do Apple include the NL app in their App store if Google cannot include it because of, as claimed, the anti-gaming laws? Do Google Play put all their servers in the US?"

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

paulf
Flame

I'll add my £0.02 worth

I've had two Netgear routers - neither received support for long after purchase.

My first DG834G received firmware updates for about 12 months after purchase until it was EOLd. The final update managed to bork the Ethernet side of things (Ethernet frames became so corrupted the network just ground to a halt) so I had to regress to the previous version I had. Good job I kept the previous firmware installs! The idea of Auto updates (with no manual intervention/regression) would concern me for this reason alone as an update that breaks existing functionality would be pretty final for many users (and it's not like that ever happens).

My second was a DGND3700 (top of the range N600 home router). It was EOLd 3 months after purchase (a year after original launch) when v2 was released (v1 and v2 firmwares are incompatible, natch). I took a risk as it had mixed reviews on ADSL performance (some had no problems - some endless problems) but Netgear support provided an Eng build of the firmware to fix the ADSL issues. This was a Beta so never got released on their website.

That was about 4 years ago and its not been patched since. I thought £120 was a lot for a Consumer router and reasonably expected more than a few months of updates. It now runs my FTTC connection via the Openreach modem.

I'd say there is a market for routers that are supported with security and bug fixes as my next router won't be a Netgear after that experience.

1
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IBM's secret growth plan is … Karaoke?

paulf
WTF?

Rights holders analysis

"...but that rights-holders will also like the ability to associate a performance with the original work, with biometric watermarking of their performances and analysis available to the owner of a song"

I might be missing something here but what analysis would a rights holder want to perform? Perhaps an over active legal dept (or the RIAA) has the time on its hands to check all those £12 PRS payments have been made to the song writer for every generic beepy-boppy rendition from the Karaoke machine but I wonder if it's worth the hassle (especially as places like Pubs likely have a PRS license anyway). Is there an aspect here of rights holders wanting to "own" your off key caterwauling rendition of Lady in Red.

The only thing I can muster is where an implementation of the IBM "patent" involves uploading a video of the singing to a social network? (and surely there are existing ways to detect this kind of thing).

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EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

paulf
Paris Hilton

Perhaps we need to bait Easy's lawyers a bit

A quick search on some randomly picked terms indicated the following domains are (inexplicably) not registered:

EASYTWAT.COM

EASYGREEKMORON.COM

It would be interesting to see if Easy Group UK's lawyers come knocking for a bit of Streisand effect publicity if someone registers these.

[Paris - see first domain suggestion]

8
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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...

0
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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.

4
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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...

0
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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.

8
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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?

0
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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!

1
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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?

12
0
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."

1
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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".

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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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