243 posts • joined Tuesday 25th August 2009 11:28 GMT
Re: The way to avoid the tax is to spend the money in the US
Buying T-Mobile USA may be a good idea as it would allow Vodafone GSM customers elsewhere in the world to roam onto a Vodafone owned network in the US which isn't currently possible with Verizon wireless being CDMA based. However note the change of control clause in the MetroPCS story earlier this week:
The Germans can't sell out for 18 months, although where there is a boardroom will there is a sneaky way around it, providing we have better lawyers than you do.
"The German firm has also promised not to sell its stake for at least another 18 months."
There was talk several years ago of Vodafone selling its 45% stake in Verizon wireless and buying what was AT&T Wireless (probably with that same roaming rationale) but the markets voted a big NO on Voda's share price at that idea.
Re: Good luck with that!
You do know that Hutchinson Telecom sold up their interest in what was Orange back in 2000*?
Ultimately your complaint is now with the French and Germans!
*It was a convoluted take over with Mannesman of Germany bidding for Orange, then Vodafone Airtouch (as it was) bidding for Mannesman; Mannesman acquired Orange, Vodafone acquired Mannesman (thus owning Orange for a short time); then Voda sold Orange Hook line and sinker to France Telecom. It was around then that the headaches started, and the rot at Orange set in (some might argue it had already started with the departure of Hans Snook).
FT still own Orange, but the UK operation is part owned with Deutsche Telecom as a result of the merger with T-Mobile UK.
Re: BT Dialup gaming service
It was called Wireplay, but it isn't too easy to find details on its existence since its changed hands several times. This page has some history on it:
The original BT service logo was this:
Re: Just about to leave Orange...
They've just done that to me also. I still have a contract with the old Virgin Tariff that I got using the old Orange Value Promise (remember that from c.2003?). First 5 minutes a day (orange/landlines) 15p/min then 5p/min for the rest of the day. No daily line rental charge and no voice mail charge either - just like the original Virgin mobile tariff.
Well the "no line rental charge" aspect remains, but the calls are now 25p/min all times as is voice mail.
I can't complain too much as I'm long out of my minimum term, but its just another reason to hate Orange even more than I did for their ever increasing greed (1p for SMS delivery reports anyone?)
Tell me again - was there any doubt who "Operator A" really is??
You forgot "The Depress" which refers to the Diana fan club rag now owned by that Richard Desmond who also owns lots of grumble mags (and Channel 5).
+1 for Ian Hislop's esteemed organ PE
Re: Caller ID @Dan 55
I did that - it was free so I signed up for BT Privacy. Unfortunately in one quarter I only made three chargeable calls*, and the "free" threshold is something like four calls per quarter (IIRC). So the "free" feature *cost* me an £8 penalty charge for the quarter for the sake of an extra 10p call.
It was cancelled pretty promptly after and I moved my BT service elsewhere as a direct result; but even when I was cancelling the BT Privacy and explained it was due to the charge the CS service-droid still insisted it was "free" even though that was clearly bollocks!
*I have a mobile with more minutes than I can ever use on a stupidly cheap contract so I only use the landline when I need to call an 08xx that I don't have an 01/02/03 number equivalent for.
Re: A match made in Heaven - Crap + Crap = More Crap
+1 on D-Link=crap
Not touched D-Link since I bought a USB ADSL modem about 10 years ago. Not only were the drivers somewhat flaky, but it took about 5-10 minutes to train onto the ADSL signal after booting the computer. My Netgear DG-834Gv2 (still going strong 8 years later) was able to train on to the same line in about 60-90 seconds.
Re: talktalk 'accidentally' charged us for two accounts over 3 years...
The linked tweet shows they owed £3259.61.
You should have petitioned to have them put into "Compulsory Liquidation" as the debt was more than £750.
Tweet was dated 13 Nov, and promise to pay was 3rd Oct; so they have exceeded standard 30 day payment terms.
(IANAL as always!)
@ Benny Why does everyone hate on Yodel? Re: If Amazon offered customers a NAMED delivery service
Ok, I'll bite.
I'm very lucky - my employer allows us to have personal deliveries at work and this generates a lot of extra work for the guys in the warehouse (especially after a week of Amazon Black Friday deals when the increase in deliveries was palpable). A consequence is that they get to deal with the whole spectrum of carriers (RM, UPS, DHL, etc etc etc) and they tell me that Yodel are one of if not *the* worst they have to deal with.
In my experience Yodel were TAPS. I ordered a box of plonk from Branson-Wines and company policy is that by default they leave it on the doorstep if you're not in (and they take the risk if it gets pinched before you get home).
I had three "while you were out" cards from Yodel about that delivery (with no box left) and I only got my plonk when he showed up on the fourth occasion and I just happened to be home for lunch.
YMMV but from reading these forums (fora?) over the years Yodel have a crappy reputation as the worst carrier which is richly deserved.
I have just moved from an old building to a new one, custom built by my employer. The rats nest is nicely tidied away under the desk in cable racking. Above the desk is a panel that has 2*3A sockets, four USB sockets (powered hub with computer connection) and two RJ45 network sockets.
Beer for the good thinking!
Re: Not just for Joe Public...
Why post AC, then give a link to your blog?
Re: Face to face when I have problems
I thought the same when I bought a dSLR - buy in a high street shop then I have somewhere to go back to if/when it goes wrong. I forget the name of the major high street photographic retailer I bought it from but it was something like "Messups".
The body and lens kit cost me about £1300 with accessories. Needless to say when the kit lens failed after three years and 2 months (shortly after the extended warranty expired - I got it for the accidental damage having seen the effect totalling two digital cameras in 12 months does to your household premiums!) I went back to the shop hoping they would be sympathetic. Were they fuck! Was basically told to Fuck off and submit it to their repair agent for a quote as that is the only way they would deal with it. The shop staff while courteous wouldn't/couldn't do anything else about it.
It was only after the camera manufacturer got involved (and looked after me very very well with regard to sorting it out), that "Messups", while still refusing to refund my £150 repair charge, provided me with a £200 gift card as a goodwill gesture.
As far as I'm concerned that camera manufacturer (think ancient artillery launcher) rocks big time and I've bought lots more kit from them since, but next time I buy camera kit I'm buying online or a trusted small specialist retailer and stuff the bricks and mortar stores!
"Support staff from the three companies have reportedly been suggesting rebooting"
WP8 User: Hello? My Windows Phone 8 handset randomly reboots. It has just rebooted again. Do you have a solution?
Handset Manf: Yes. The best solution is to please reboot your phone.
WP8 User: Really?
> IIRC, Radio 5 was given Radio 1's AM slot when Radio 1 went FM-only.
Not quite. Radio 1's frequencies (1053 kHz and 1089 kHz or 275/285m) were given to what is now Talk Sport (was Talk Radio).
693 kHz and 909 kHz were previously used by BBC Radio 2
Radio 1 was much later to the FM only party than the other national BBC radio station. That is why it is up at 97-99 MHz (was an old police radio band?), rather than in the much lower chunk that is Radios 2 (88-91 MHz) , 3 (90-93 MHz), and 4 (92-95 MHz).
Re: Must of learned
I assume this is "leaves on the line"?
I'd add (rather geekily) that in the days the lineside had to be kept clear of trees because of the risk of combustible trees going up in flames caused by sparks coming out of the loco chimney. Bit of a problem if that kind of fire closes your line, and flambés the telegraph wires. As steam vanished from the network, and maintenance budgets were cut back, tree clearance was reduced - which is another reason why leaves on the line is a modern problem.
While I don't disagree with you AC (I upvoted) as I understand it the trees weren't allowed to get that close to the line in the first place when steam was king.
Flames - trees burn!
Re: Phone manufacturers have one chance to impress @truetalk
"I owned a Samsung, it was the updates (or lack thereof) that put me off Samsung and onto HTC"
Out of the frying pan and into the fire I think...
Flames - natch
Re: Phone manufacturers have one chance to impress
I had a Hero and Sensation. The Hero was under powered and lacked updates - anyone remember the 9 months it took them to sort out the 2.1 update?
My Sensation suffered from turning itself off repeatedly and at random. It did get very occasional updates but the latest about 2 months ago managed to turn an otherwise slick smooth phone into a stuttering flickery mess. I can't see it getting Jelly Bean - and why should it, it was launched in July 2011 (barely a year and a bit) so HTC have already EOLd it.
You say manufacturers have one chance to impress. I am an idiot and gave HTC two chances. £900 later (both bought SIM free) and about three years of serious grief (plus crappy customer services that don't even remotely give a sh1t) I wont ever be giving them a third. My Sensation is a crock of wotsit.
Good riddance HTC.
Built in app permissions
Does this new found awareness of app permissions mean users will start questioning built in apps that request more permissions than they sensibly require?
The built in HTC Sense apps (like the weather widget, and the stocks widget) all seem to require EVERY permission Android has to offer. Exactly why does a clock app need to know who I am, what tasks I'm running, and the FULL CONTENTS of my contacts book?
At least they can be disabled, but it would be nice if they asked from the outset, rather than assuming the answer is "Yes, you can, help yourself!"
"Shorting is a great way for funds to make money out of nothing."
I didn't think this was entirely true, although on the face of it it does appear to be the case as the Short seller is making money from a falling share price using shares they don't own.
I thought the person lending the shares to the Short seller received a fee for lending the shares otherwise they have no incentive to lend the shares in the first place to someone who will profit from the shares reducing in value during the loan period.
IANA Broker or Hedge Fund Manager mind you.
"duel-generation boxes supporting 3G and 4G"
Let the standards fight out commence!
On a serious note, I think the idea of femto-cells, or Small Cells is great, even in a home environment. I'm on Voda, but have Orange and O2 handsets too. I get good coverage from those three operators at home (lucky-luck me!) but I'd be happy installing a cell to offload from the macro cells covering the nearby major transport arteries if there was some kind of benefit to me. As it is with Vodafone I'm expected to pay for the box and then provide free power+backhaul, yet they still bill me for use over that Femto-cell as if I had used their nearby macro cell.
These boxes have/had a great potential to free up spectrum from "static" users at home for the use of genuinely mobile users who are at least outside if not actually moving. The problem was in the implementation and mobile operators looking at these boxes as another way to squeeze money out of people. Even the Three/O2 boxes are only given free if you moan about the signal you get at home and threaten to leave (and your monthly bill is high enough that they don't want you to go etc).
My unbranded/SIM Free HTC Sensation worked lovely when I got the main update to ICS 4.0 (Android 4.0.3 HTC build 3.32.401.5). That was back in Feb I think, and it was a noticeable improvement over 2.3.4 which it had when I got it.
Then HTC pushed out a 60Mb "bug fix" update about a month ago - apparently this was to fix problems in the Radio firmware and other sundries. This kept Android 4.0.3 but updated the build to 3.33.401.6 and my handset was a buggy mess after that. Smooth and responsive became laggy with flickery screen transitions. HTC told me to clear the Cache partition. When that caused a whole bunch of other bigger problems (which thankfully have settled down now) I got the standard HTC support response "Do a factory reset" [because we haven't a clue WTF is wrong].
Re: Please Don't Track Me @AC
"If you are a Virgin cablephone customer (callerID is not free, unlike BT Privacy At Home), you can"
AC, I have to pick you up on one point. BT Privacy At Home is not free it is "free".
If you do not make enough calls in a quarter BT reserve the right to charge you for the Incoming caller display aspect of the BT Privacy service; which I found out the hard way*. I made two calls in a quarter, instead of the required three and got a £8 charge as a result.
* Yeah it's probably detailed in clause 271, on page 58 of the Ts&Cs but charging £8 for the sake of not making three 10p calls is completely out of proportion and is surely designed only to piss off customers while wallet raping them.
"However, BT are contemptible cretins who will do as little as possible as cheaply as possible."
and charge as much as possible.
Re: Apple Tax.. extra revenue
>>e.g. time machine.
You would think that saving files would be a standard part of the OS, but apparently not when its a duplicate of existing files for backup. Then apple want you to buy a grossly overpriced disk drive from them to plug into the network for that function.
So route Time Machine backups to a USB HDD.
You don't HAVE to use an Apple Time Vault for network backup. My 2Tb Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (v1) has a Time Machine service built into it natively. My MacBook Pro (10.6.8) backs up to it over the network quite happily.
I'm sure other NAS boxes can also do this if you don't like Netgear.
Re: 1990 franchise round - why Thames lost
The "Death on the Rock" documentary:
< Big Maggie was watching you
[I had heard this theory a number of times before - Wikipedia link added as an easy reference for people wanting to know more - the loss of the franchise is mentioned]
Another high bidder that lost out in the 1990 round was Telewest's bid for the South West ITV franchise. Telewest had the highest bid of £16m (IIRC), but their business plan included relocating studios from Plymouth to Exeter which didn't go down so well. The franchise went to Westcountry who bid about the same £8m as the incumbent TSW had; but TSW lost out because they apparently hadn't pulled their weight on making programming for the ITV network.
Re: it's your job on the line...
"It astonishes me that banks call people like that and expect them to identify themselves."
Completely agree. I've refused to give out personal details on incoming calls for years since I was called by someone from a clearly foreign call centre (and withheld number) claiming to be from my bank and wanting me to give my DOB to confirm my identity. He wouldn't tell me what the call was about and I refused to tell him anything and he hung up.
When I tell callers I don't confirm any personal details on incoming calls, I usually get a bemused but understanding response, and I call back on a known number and usually get through to the person I was speaking to before. But sometimes they can be a bit stroppy about it.
Thing is when I call the bank (or other entities like my mobile phone company) they want to check MY identity. When the bank calls me they want to check MY identity. They never seem to understand there should be a way to confirm their identity on incoming calls.
I have used internet banking for some 12-13 years, so I'm not looking for a tinfoil hat nor am I paranoid, but I am really careful who I give personal information to.
Re: Bags of space...
I've had similar service at Maplin (and PCW) as you. When I needed a new Processor fan I took in the old one and said I needed a replacement for that. The guy got one off the shelf, checked it was correct - instant sale and a fair price! I may have saved a few quid online but it was easier to make sure I was getting the right one from the outset.
They're not always the best value - they have a 10x mark up on button cells for some reason compared to amazon - but the caketins of DVDs I bought there at the weekend were on offer so not only the same price as amazon but they weren't used as footballs by staff at the local HDNL/YoDel depot either.
I gave up on Dixorrys World long ago; when I asked a relatively straight forward question about a George Foreman grill, the sales droid just read features off the price ticket card...
Re: Ticket Office?
Slightly off topic - but move a little out of the TfL area and into the home counties and the Ticket Office is usually called "Closed". Thanks to London Midland for pushing through their ticket office closures by stealth before they get permission to do so by blaming it on a staff shortage of their own making.
Re: Have I missed something?
My point was performing this, rather substantial, data collection undertaking cannot have been the work of a lone "Rogue" Engineer. In the unlikely event that it was it couldn't have gone undetected in a company of super brainy geeks for more than a few weeks. If their reason for collating the MAC addresses and SSIDs was improving location accuracy (even when GPS is reporting excellent accuracy) then it was deliberate from the very outset and not the complete accident that was only discovered by chance, as portrayed by Google.
My point was, that I feel I have missed as it were, was that if it was deliberate from the outset (as I feel it was) they lied about it being the work of a "Rogue" Engineer. If it wasn't deliberate and they just woke up one morning to find a mass of Wi-Fi SSID+MAC+location data in their Streetview Database then they didn't waste any time in finding a use for it!
Smartphone Location service demands Wi-Fi
Not sure if this has been raised before but I'm convinced Google recorded the location of detected Wi-Fi networks deliberately.
When I'm using Google Maps or Google
Stalker Latitude on my Android phone it always nags me to turn on Wi-Fi to improve location accuracy. If it only had mobile network triangulation then I could understand this, but it does it even when GPS is turned on and reporting the location with an accuracy of ~5m.
Really! Why would they suggest Wi-Fi as a method of location accuracy improvement unless they deliberately logged a massive database of Wi-Fi network locations with incredible accuracy?
Have I missed something?
Microsoft <-> Nokia payments
Article: “Over the life of the agreement, both the platform support payments and the minimum software royalty commitments are expected to measure in the billions of US Dollars. The total amount of the platform support payments is expected to slightly exceed the total amount of the minimum software royalty commitments,” Nokia said in its quarterly report.
So its as good as "earnings neutral" then?
Microsoft is in effect paying Nokia a few quid (net) in its attempts to expand its Windows Phone 7 user base; Not the $ Billions that was much heralded when the agreement was first put together...
Presumably the minimum software royalty commitments from Nokia to Microsoft continue once the platform support payments from Microsoft to Nokia dry up. IOW they become significantly earnings negative.
Your first hit is free...
"So send it to your work address and have them take receipt of it..."
Not everyone's employer allows personal deliveries at work. I am very lucky that my current employer does allow this, but my previous one very strictly didn't and it caused me no end of problems. In fact I attribute my massive switch from high street to online shopping to my current employer's benevolence* regarding personal deliveries.
* Yes it is benevolence - the warehouse guys have a big additional overhead sorting out personal deliveries for 600+ techie types all buying the latest gizmos...
Just back from a West Coast stateside visit. The US had several types of creme eggs: chocolate cream, caramel, and traditional. They even had Mini Eggs (Rayley's, Incline Village, Nv).
I took some UK ones over and in scientific taste tests we all agreed the Hershey's ones were pretty close to the ones sold in the UK.
But, yes, the usual Hershey's stuff is horrible.
Pint - we had plenty of beers in the mountains to accompany than chocolate eggs during our visit
Re: I see you in hi-def and crystal clear
Or mistakenly turning in to a street near Reading station which had recently had its bus lane restriction changed to be more restrictive. On the off chance, a handy camera had also been installed to catch anyone who wasn't aware of the bus lane change.... A camera that only provides two stills, crystal clear enough to grab the number plate, but a short video clip of the offence also!
Doh! (On behalf of the other half....)
higher and higher
Now up to £1,157,920.75
I wonder if the shifting sands of exchange rates are at play here?
Pirates. ForEx traders.
Similar problem at HMV
I found a CD I wanted in a HMV store (not a chart CD). Quick check online with the smart phone and bar code reading app and I found HMV's web tentacle had the same CD cheaper (a few quid on a price of £11 IIRC). Asked if they would at least reduce the shop price to keep the sale, even if they wouldn't completely match the online price. They point blank refused any reduction so I didn't buy the CD.
When I got home I did a full online shop around and found it cheaper on Amazon. If I am going to shop on line and forgo having it that day I was going to find the best deal and surprise that wasn't HMV.
Some retailers haven't figured this out. As soon as the person with money in their hand has left the store without making a purchase what makes them think they will win the subsequent online sale? Just like DMSlicer who found a better deal on Amazon since Dixrrys didn't want to negotiate to keep the sale.
Even then e-tailers ignore the result
Last week I ordered some shoes from an online retailer that shall remain nameless. They also have a small number of bricks and mortar stores but since I didn't want to spend most of a day and £12 on a train ticket to get to a store I opted to buy online with free delivery.
I went through the purchase, entered all my details correctly, answered the Verified by Visa stuff all fine, the order went through and my card was charged. The next day they cancelled the order and refunded me because it was scored as a high fraud risk as
1. I live in a flat, and
2. I wanted it delivered to work
The fact that the details I entered for my card (billing address, CVC etc) were all correct, and the 3D verification (generic name for Verified by Visa, or Mastercard Securecode) was also fine was irrelevant. Usually if the 3D security is validated and all other details are correct a retailer should be fine sending stuff to a 3rd party address. Considering their main demographic is the 18-25 age range I can see a lot of them living in flats, unless they still live with their parents.
I had to call them up and explain that I wasn't a fraud risk and I was happy having stuff delivered to a different address. I then had to go through the whole shebang again to place the order which they did process and send thankfully.
On another topic in this thread - if I couldn't have personal stuff delivered to work then I'd only spend a fraction of what I currently do online because the faff wouldn't be worth it. Especially as RM in all their wisdom closed the local delivery office in the village just before Christmas (yes I know!). Before that carded items were available in the DO the next day, now it takes them 72 hours to leave it at the post office branch about 200 yards down the road. FFS.
and the rest
I have a 8 year old O2 PAYT SIM which I keep going as it has a stupidly low price for Landline calls. Handy when I run out of minutes on my contract mobile, but that doesn't happen often.
So I make a chargeable call once every six months to keep it alive - no problems. Then one day I turn it on and it fails to register on the network. Turns out O2 demand I apply at least one £10 top up every 999 days (seriously!) otherwise they cut it off anyway along with any remaining credit.
Thankfully I was able to get it reactivated along with the old price plan (which is no longer available) but I had to do a £10 top up to get it and all my old credit back.
So, yes, a PAYT SIM is pointless as a back up unless you use it, and top it up, regularly(!)
Official document analysis
Your mini editorials on the source documents you've used to research your stories are always amusing. The one in this article, "Ofcom's analysis [pdf, coma inducingly dull]" has just brightened my day (in describing the OFCOM document as "coma inducingly dull", not that you have risked life, limb and consciousness to research this story!)
"though why you’d want to when Google Navigation already offers this is a mystery"
I have the Sensation sim free handset and HTC loaded an app on it called Locations. This is pretty useful as it has offline maps available. Regarding Navigation though, when I mount the phone on the HTC car kit cradle it automatically loads the Locations software in navigation mode and demands payment to use it. I select cancel, but its a PITA EVERY time I put the phone in the car cradle.
I've spoken to a HTC support manager about this and at present there is no way to turn off this behaviour. I certainly couldn't find any way to do so without killing Locations and the offline maps are useful to have.
HTC promised me that this would be resolved soon as Google Navigation was finishing its Beta period. While Google navigation is in Beta, they consider the HTC Locations software to be the only navigation software of choice on the phone. That's crap as I've found Google navigation perfectly acceptable, and free is cheaper than the HTC equivalent.
For those wanting to know, the navigation stuff in HTC Locations is provided by TomTom IIRC.
While I don't disagree, I have to ask what would make up the other 3% of their traffic if you're considering even voice traffic to be data.
Just asking, since by your definition even signalling would be digital data.
That should be interesting and costly
Its no surprise that there are 1000 manual signal boxes on the NR network.
In Cornwall alone I can count at least five mechanical signal boxes (Liskeard, Lostwithiel, Par, Truro, St Erth) still in existence and controlling mainline and branch movements. They're almost every other station. Some movements governed by Train crew operated ground frames and tokens (I'm thinking Looe branch line for one).
These all have ground frames (the big mechanical levers we associate with manual signal boxes) and have usually been upgraded to run the Colour Light Signalling on the line that the box controlls but is too far from the box to be run with mechanical wires and pullys. These distant signals are usually as a result of an smaller intermediate signal box being closed and its responsibilities moved to the remaining larger box along the line.
Travelling West (down) the last full power signal box is Plymouth North Road AFAIK.
I only hope that they don't use this as an excuse to close lines because they're not economic to upgrade from ground frame to power signal box. It'll also be sad to see the semaphore signals disappear from Cornwall - they give the railway a kinda quaint feel :)
<cough> Agilent <cough>
The company you are looking for is www.agilent.com
Agilent Technologies, a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard Company, broke records on Nov. 18, 1999 as the largest initial public offering (IPO) in Silicon Valley history...
As suggested by the article I took a look at the patent:
6,956,564, "Portable computers"
When I went to view the images it insisted I download Apple Quicktime to view them!
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