294 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009
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.
Clearly size matters
FTA: "Anything above 10mm units should be considered a positive surprise"
Are phones getting smaller again?
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).
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.
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!
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.
"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!
@auburnman Re: Sharon T. Pokeworthy...
"I would Google for Microsoft"
Doesn't that have consequences like Googling for Google, only more evil?
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)
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Re: Bloody hell, they sound determined...
The story doesn't make it clear it has a link to the O2 price changes:
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?!
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.
WANTED: New head of crashingly expensive, error-prone and frankly cursed one-dole-to-rule-them-all system
Re: Wrong Country, Wrong People, Wrong Traditions
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.
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.
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.
Re: Firefox all the way !
I'd love to say a wholehearted yes but its not as easy as it was. I still use FF as my main browser on all my machines - primarily due to ABP and Flashblock - but there seems to be a swing towards reducing stability of late which is worrying because it isn't being dealt with in preference to Awesome bars and such like..
At home my i7 machine (Win 7 x64 home build and well specc'd with memory and MB etc) about 9 months ago I noticed that FF gradually got slower and slower until it reduced to a crawl over the space of 1-3 days. The only way to solve it is to kill and restart FF. A more permanent fix I found was to regress to version 17.0.1 and stay there until the other night when it managed to update itself to the latest v26 without my permission (killing things like persistent website logins and download history).
Then separately about the time I upgraded my MacBook Pro (17" mid-2010 i7 Snow Leopard) to Firefox 24 I started getting Kernel Panics which increased when I moved to FF 25. In the 3 years to that point I'd never had a Kernel panic on that machine ever. Regressed to FF version 23 (last known version before Kernel Panics started) and I've not had a problem since (touch wood).
The first problem Mozilla do seem to know about (from what I've found) but it isn't a high priority other than a Dev saying "we ought to keep an eye on this". I've not investigated the second Mac issue - as much as I'd love to I just don't have the time to debug other people's code.
This isn't related to the number of tabs open before anyone asks - the older versions cope fine with the same number of open tabs/windows as the newer problematic versions.
And as always YMMV.
Re: WD10EADS in RAID?
I've got 8*WD20EARS drives* (WD Green 2 Tb) in 4*2 bay Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v1 boxes. Each box is set up with RAID 1 (simple mirror) configuration.
In three years I've had one mechanism fail (one of the oldest). The ReadyNAS alerted me the driver was failing before any serious consequences. Popped the drive out, dropped in a new one and the NAS sync'd up the new mechanism overnight with no data loss. WD support sent out a replacement mech before I returned the faulty one - and made sure the model number matched too because the NAS is a bit prissy about supported drives.
* I have about 18 WD mechs elsewhere in my home systems and this remains the only failure in 7 years, but these 8 seem most relevant to the OP.
Re: Can be useful though
+1 Nick Ryan and SP
The admin page shown in the article is the user administration page (My Users) so the password shown would be for your Eclipse online account accessed through the Eclipse website. This would also be used to authenticate other services like email.
The DSL password (that is entered in your router's settings for PPPoA or PPPoE authentication) is shown in clear text on the Eclipse admin pages (Connection Manager) but as already stated this isn't as big a deal (debatable I know but there is a case for allowing this to be shown). Showing the password for the user account is definitely NOT acceptable (again as mentioned/discussed already) and it is that which is at issue in this article.
Re: There are some reasons to displaying the password...
I logged into my Eclipse account this morning and the passwords were obscured by **** on the User admin screen shown in the article.
That doesn't mean they've rectified the more serious issue of storing passwords in Plain text or reversible hash, but the more visible problem of showing them in clear text on the user admin web pages has been apparently solved*.
*At least for me YMMV
Hmmm, not sure what plan your boss bought but I have a handful of domains with Eclipse - a mix of .com and .co.uk. Domain registration only no hosting or email etc*. I think I pay about £8+VAT per year per domain - renewed for two years at a time.
If you're being charged £100/domain/year I suspect you're getting more than just a domain registration. It sounds more like a SOHO or SME web/email hosting package.
[*I use their redirect function to redirect web visitors to those domains to the actual website hosted elsewhere]
"A fistulous communication..."
Nice to see they finally got to grips with the Perma-Wood.
Thank you Lester, this story should get me through Wednesday.
From page 1:
"Alun (sic) Sugar, in his autobiography, calls Potter and co. “an arrogant bunch of tossers”."
With respect, Sir Alan, Lord of Sugar, you are also an arrogant bunch of tossers.*
*Opinion. Partly based on the unreliability of the 3" disk drive in my Spectrum +3.
Re: One of life's little ironies
@Yet Another Commentard
> That as a law abiding citizen I can't get a mobile signal in my own home, but they seem to be able to
> get one in Dartmoor prison.
Perhaps the cause of this is the 200m North Hessary Tor transmitter that is within spitting distance of HMP Dartmoor at Princetown?
Re: While still a young nipper @Nifty
@Nifty "which is about how long your DAB radio will run for as you listen for new about when the power returns"
@monkeyfish "Then get a different DAB radio"
I have a Pure Move 400D. Portable with built in Li-Ion battery which needs charging about once every three months (yes it does get used a lot - always on DAB - as a bedside radio/alarm). Charger is std mini-USB so can charge from a USB socket or the myriad USB phone/gadget chargers out there.
I suppose the only problem is that the battery isn't really user replaceable (it probably is, but not in the way AAs are replacable). I hope there is no one on the Register forums that objects to gadgets with batteries that aren't user replaceable?
""He has an established history of driving operational excellence in delivering growth in the mid market and enterprise space across a multi-country footprint," said Lamneck."
I finally admitted defeat with Netgear when I bought a DGND3700v1 in Dec 2011. The v1 model was 10 months old at that time and it was EOL'd about 1 month after I bought when v2 came out.
The v1 has lots of ADSL bugs in it which can either not cause problems or cause lots of dropped connections with the dreaded red light lock up (where the firmware just can't be bothered to re-establish the connection, the connection status LED shows constant red, and a power cycle is required). I've been lucky in that it hardly happens to me, but plenty of others have had problems.
I did get some firmware updates from Netgear support, but they were beta versions (which were never generally released) and they sent them using various dodgy file sharing site that in one case pinged up on my anti-virus software!
I've had lots of Netgear stuff - my 10 year old DG834Gv2 is still going! Their home 8-port 1Gbs switches work well, and I have four SPARC driven Ready NAS Duo v1 boxes (all rock solid and still getting updates 3-years after I bought). But not any more. Netgear you've caught the HTC disease - punt new stuff out as often as you can and EOL the previous one with no more support because its 6-months since release.
@ Joe Harrison - Yes I have my old Orange number on OVP Virgin Tariff. Despite removing the free Voicemail calls earlier this year its still a great way to keep a second number going for very little - no daily line rental charge just pay for calls but with the convenience of contract rather than topping up a PAYG and keeping it alive once every 90 days. All I need to do is one chargeable event every 12 months to keep the Direct Debit alive so I don't have to call their Customer Disservice to set it up again.
>Orange were the first pure play digital mobile network operator, they had no analogue legacy unlike
> Vodafone and Cellnet.
Not quite correct. They were purely digital but Mercury launched One 2 One before Orange launched (by about 9-12 months). One2One had low awareness as they had wanted to build up the service slowly and profitably hence starting with M25 area plus Brum and motorways between. Orange launched in 1994 (the result of a pre-launch merger of two of the three operators licensed in the DCS 1800 band, returning one 25MHz pair to the Gubbermint as a result) and were ridiculed in the early days as being the straggler but suddenly went into overdrive with their network roll out quickly leaving 121 behind. 121 then had to pull their finger out to catch up on network coverage which remained a millstone around their neck for some years after.
As an aside some very early 121 SIMs offered free calls within M25 for life. They went on to change hands for £thousands in some cases.
Re: Waitrose FTW @rurwin "Sainsburys"
I had this problem. I signed up to the JS self scan gun system about 7 years ago. It is pretty funky and nice to shop and pack all in one go without the conveyor belt at the checkout.
I was rescanned the first time (fair enoug) and not the second time, but then three times on the trot. Each rescan means unpacking everything so it takes twice as long as just shopping normally. I gave up and went back to normal shopping. The only reason I didn't walk out and leave it all in the trolley was because it was in my bags.
When ever I'm told to use the self service checkouts in some chirpy manner I always ask for a 20% discount because I'm doing the work myself and it always takes about twice as long as normal because of the "bagging area" shenanigans. They skulk away again when I say that.
That's why I hate B&Q they only ever have one normal till open (sometimes none) and insist on you using their self service checkouts. We hardly shop in B&Q as a result.
Re: Same old same old.....
"Supported. What about supported with updates? Anyone? Bueller?"
Precisely - the HTC One may be hallowed and made from Unicorn Farts but HTC are reaping what they sowed over the last three years in terms of dropping support for handsets soon after release (because the next batch were ready), not fixing bugs, not to mention shoddy support. If you want updates and bug fixes then you had to buy a new handset with the latest Android on it (old bugs still there with fresh new bugs added).
Yes I know about Cyanogen Mod, but I shouldn't have to do that for it to work as advertised!
I had two HTC handsets and they would have acquired a dedicated customer since I really like Android but they crapped on me from a great height with both. I'll never touch another HTC handset ever.
Re: Side question
"Nationwide. At least you're not paying shareholder dividends."
So how do Nationwide pay the coupon (dividend) on those PIBS (Permanent Interest Bearing Shares) they still have outstanding? Pixie dust or Unicorn farts?
Re: Was this valuable IP?
"If that proves to be true, it would seem that HTC’s design team haven’t grasped the concept of data loss prevention technology."
That is confirmed by their Android widgets that demand every permission available in Android (including making phone calls, sending texts and authenticating accounts among others) just to show share prices or the flippin' weather! As they're already installed you don't get to check the permissions before use as you would with a download from something like Google Play store.
When I ditched my HTC mobes I made sure I changed any account passwords I entered into them. Goodness knows how much of my data HTC has spaffed about purely because I wanted a clock on my home page.
Re: Was this valuable IP?
"detained by Taiwanese investigators on suspicion of [...] stealing valuable IP."
You beat me to the same comment. Can we be at all confident that any of HTC's "IP" could be considered "Valuable" in any way?
The two HTC Android phones I had didn't seem to have anything of value in them [from HTC at least].
Lets hope they don't give any contracts to Xerox in relation to this technology.
Standard Malware comment
Tell me more about the Malware things this rogue Firefox Distro has been stuffed with. Are we talking about Yahoo! toolbars!, McAfee scanners, Adobe Flash and the like?
Would it be malevolent to suggest that if he was fired on the spot for taking a picture* he ought to have switched his camera into Paparazzi mode and taken lots more pictures of his increasingly angry former boss until the security droids showed up?**
*I seem to recall the "AOL Supremo" saying he didn't really care if any of the information was leaked so why the tantrum at a photo?
**That assumes he's in a position where this blemish on his CV wouldn't hamper his finding onward employment.
re: "Fire up a 100W FM rig with a nice antenna, say somewhere"
Would Radio 1 listeners really notice?
If you want to guarantee a response you want to aim your 100W FM rig around 92-95 MHz.
suggest, just as the Plutocrat classes are settling down to tonight's episode of "The Archers".
Loud hailer icon - well 100W FM rig.
Exactly. It looks like HTC have upset far too many of their customers but still can't figure out why.
The casual "I'll buy one that looks nice in the shop" buyer will probably avoid HTC through "Last HTC=Bad" association, but that's the nature of the beast for most mobile buyers who can be fickle and at the mercy of marketing and what the shops have on their shelves.
More importantly, it looks to me like HTC have pissed off far too many of the "I absolutely love HTC and will look at them first for my next upgrade" crowd. Lose too many of them and you're at the mercy of the former Fickle brigade - and they're currently deciding between Samsung or Apple only from the look of it.
Re: Doesn't surprise me @Larry Crapbeans
You hit the nail on the head. I'm one of those people who vowed never to have another HTC handset. I had two HTC handsets (Hero and Sensation) and they were both total crap. The Hero was under powered and it took them 9 months to sort out the Android 2.1 update after announcing it. By then 2.1 was old news and the Hero was EOLd.
The Sensation spent all but the first two months turning itself off regularly and at random. It was EOLd about a year after launch.
HTC were utterly unsympathetic in both cases and couldn't have cared less. Right now only Apple get away with (allegedly) treating the customer like that.
Maybe the HTC One is a cracking piece of kit (I wouldn't know but I seriously doubt it), but you muck up once and the market may forgive you if you sort it out next time and don't do it again. Muck up repeatedly and treat the customer like crap when they complain about your muck up and words gets about eventually.
I know I would NEVER have another HTC handset even if they gave them away for free with a unicorn that pisses rainbows.
Re: Massive conflict of interest
"and the city council gets a cut of the revenue from the network operators too"
I'd say they have definitely considered this massive conflict of interest and ensured their wallets are on the right side of it!
Re: In fairness it's Samsung rather than Jay Z
I'd also wonder if its not just Samsung here.
HTC's built in widgets and apps all seem to demand all the permissions possible in Android. Things like the clock and share price widgets (which at most need internet access and perhaps the ability to make a noise for an alarm) have EVERYTHING enabled in that even the stocks widget wants to know your location, your call history and the ability to do chargeable things like calls and texts. Unfortunately these things are already installed on the phone at purchase so you don't know until you go digging around in the apps part of the settings and find the widgets.
I don't see this as a fault of Android per se, more the fault of the data leaking manufacturer added bloat. That said the ability to permit/deny individual permissions to an Android app would be nice rather than the current "all or nothing" approach.
I don't think I've had mobile insurance since Orange offered it free for 12 months with new handsets (remember that? 1997?).
I've never knackered a mobile to date - if I'm honest I have a big box of museum pieces^H^H^H spares in case I do knacker one mid-contract, but I've been buying unlocked handsets for years now anyway. At £5/month or what ever I think I've saved enough to cover a replacement or two and still be up on the deal.
Never bother with extended warranties either. When I was offered a £150 extended warranty on a £600 appliance recently a simple calculation showed they were expecting a 1 in 4 chance of a total failure in the covered five years. My request to the sales droid to instead show me some more reliable appliances just got a blank look. Perhaps that question isn't covered in the script?
Re: Touchscreen mania
Another issue with touch screens is leaving a more visible indication of where you've been "tapping" the on-screen buttons.
If I've just entered my PIN using the touch screen I'm going to leave four greasy fingerprints on the screen. I think this came up as an issue with unlock codes/gestures for unlocking smartphones, but I can't find the story.
If you have no repeated digits in your PIN, a mugger that knows those four digits shortens the odds on nailing your PIN from about 1 in 10000 to about 1 in 24*. That improves the success rate for someone shoulder surfing who is confident of the order but may not see every number.
One solution would be numbers that appear on the screen in different configurations each time, but that brings a whole usability firestorm with it as people are used to a keypad in the same arrangement every time (normal busy/not paying attention people, not just the visually impaired etc). Thus card swallowings on a massive scale!
* Note to Maths pedants - figures may vary - they're BoE Monday Morning maths reliable only :)
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