* Posts by paulf

376 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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Legal eagles accuse Labour of data law breach over party purge

paulf
Alert

Re: The Labour Party...

Partly related.

Something I'm seeing a lot more is the: "By <interacting with us in some way that hands over your personal details> you consent to us contacting you for marketing purposes. If you don't want your details used for these purposes please contact us by <postal address> to opt out".

In other words you cannot tick (or untick, or "don't not untick the box if you never want to not get our advertisers' shite") the box to opt out at point of first contact. You have to go to the added effort of contacting them separately after the first contact. Make it harder to opt out and fewer will bother. I can't see how this is informed consent when the only way to withhold that informed consent it not dealing with them in the first place.

Worryingly I find this more prevalent with Charities so I don't donate to those which pull this nasty little trick. My donation is the money I give you not my personal details for you to flog off to all and sundry via your marketing dept.

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Holes found in Pocket Firefox add-on

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Phocket

@Dan55

I found browser.pocket.enabled was already set to False in my FF. Since I've not modified it myself I think this must have been disabled by the option in Classic Theme Restorer to disable Pocket completely.

I've made the other changes you recommend though!

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FCC: No, Dish, you're not a 'small business' so forget the $3bn price cut

paulf

Re: I wonder...

It probably covered 6 months of interest payments on the $10tn debt?

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Vodafonica’s Cornerstone missing its UK coverage target, says report

paulf
Boffin

Sub-head: "If only it was all share and share alike for O2 and Vodafone"

The sub-head suggests the two halves of Vodafonica* have not worked equally towards their coverage target. This isn't referenced further in the article that I can see. I understand that the Sub-head may be written by a Sub-Ed rather than the article author but some clarification would be useful.

*"Vodafone will be looking after network maintenance in the West of the UK and Wales, while O2 will be looking after the East, including Northern Ireland."

http://blog.vodafone.co.uk/2012/11/20/better-coverage-fewer-masts-your-complete-guide-to-our-network-joint-venture/

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Dixons Carphone still has 7.5k Windows XP EPOS systems

paulf
Boffin

Re: So?

You're assuming the flesh sacks that occupy the "air gap" are 100% trustworthy and 100% alert to the risks of introducing infections to the internal network. All it takes is one underpaid till monkey to be offered an envelope of money to "Just plug this USB stick into the till so I can get some diagnostic information". Even if the USB sockets are glued up (as they ought to be on EFTPOS machines, other than possibly a debug USB socket behind heavy physical security) the Ethernet port (or something else) will be accessible...

As the saying goes - the target has to be lucky every time, the perpetrator only has to be lucky once.

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Labour Party website DDoS'd by ruly democratic mob

paulf
Megaphone

Re: I'd like to know..

Lots of rail points here:

"how Corbyn plans to finance any of his nationalisations"

It doesn't have to be cash raised in the normal manner. He could issue Government debt to buy up the private assets in question. This is how the big four railway companies were nationalised in 1948, their shares were exchanged for Government bonds. The risk, as another commentard said, is that the bond markets would [potentially] nuke him from orbit.

Note that issuing debt like this is covering the "defect" between Govt revenue and spending.

"BR was a disaster, chiefly because one uppity union rep could shut down the whole network."

Taking that one point - the messy structure introduced by the 1993 railways act was in part to smash the power of the unions. The upshot was the unions adapted and became very effective at playing one TOC off against another. Perhaps not good at closing the whole network, but good at getting pay improvements.

"[Other european contries have...] Progressive unions that don't strike"

I'll leave this here with no further comment

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/20/train-driver-strike-paralyses-germany-rail-network

"Ninth walkout in 10 months leaves millions stranded as sympathy for workers involved in industrial action nosedives "

"Tube drivers push a button to open and close doors."

On the Victoria line yes, as it uses Automatic Train Operation. On other lines, this is not true and the driver actually drives as well as operate the doors, etc. Note also that trains need some kind of track side competent operator on board. DLR tunnels were built to modern standards with evacuation walkways but the original tube lines are barely big enough for the train so evacuation is through the train onto the track.

Note also that it's shift work with incredibly unsociable hours and carries a lot of responsibility not to mention route knowledge. I'm not necessarily saying they're right to strike but it's much more than just pushing a button.

"I read somewhere he would fund it by printing money and calling it "QE for infrastructure" or something stupid like that."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33884836

"the rolling stock is not so easy."

The original BR rolling stock was split up into three ROSCOs (Angel, Porterbrook, and Eversholt) and sold off. This hasn't generated the competition hoped for. Car leasing is easy, you're buying a commodity product with a 10 year life. Once the initial 3 year lease is up you know there is a market to sell the vehicle into. Rail vehicles are bespoke modifications of a specialised product, aimed at a particular line, with a 40+ year life span. Why would you invest in new rolling stock unless you were certain of it being used, thus making your return over that 40 year life? Even in BR days leasing wasn't allowed unless it was at least as cheap as buying. Buying back the ROSCO stock would be difficult and/or costly.

"What's the situation with the freight train operators"

They are not franchised nor subsidised, providing you don't include implicit subsidy from the occasional building of new chord/link lines for freight operation. These often free capacity for passenger services so it isn't exclusively for the benefit of Freight operators.

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HTC shedding 15 per cent of workforce in 'strategic realignment'

paulf
Mushroom

Re: Bye bye HTC

@GrumpyOldBloke

Exactly right

In the early days people thought HTC Sense WAS Android. If HTC played that early and significant lead correctly they could have owned the Android market. But they majorly messed up because they didn't understand that what happens after the money is in the till WILL have an influence on that person's next purchase.

I was cut twice by HTC, the second much deeper than the first. Full of bugs, updates that never came, disgraceful support. I swore off them completely at that point and as the general techie support dogsbody person for the family I made sure that everyone who asked me avoided HTC like the plague also. When you look at recent problems of finger prints being stored in unencrypted "clear text" picture files that any dodgy app can access you can see they've learnt nothing from the "apps that collect all user information then report it home" problems they had years ago.

It's always hardest on the employees who take the fall, and I don't like to see people put out of jobs, but the HTC that exists today will be no loss if it disappears.

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If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

paulf
Big Brother

Re: 'Cheap' in terms of food, now means selling your privacy too.

@Greg D

"AFAIK a number plate is not private information."

No, it isn't. However my payment card is private information, while details the shopping I've bought is semi-private; and they're trying to link all three at the checkout. Note that it's trivial for anyone to look up the car make + model from the registration (i.e. is it a Bentley or a banger?) so they suddenly have much better knowledge of their shopping demographic. Maybe they have the ability to link payment card to the billing address from another source - another aspect of the demographic is how wealthy your 'hood is. We don't know what information the other side of the equation has access to...

That all assumes they're only interesting in knowing their shopping demographic better and not the usual targeted ads crap.

Paying cash is one thing but not many people carry enough cash with them to cover the weekly shop and if you only find out when you've packed your shopping and are about to pay it's a bit late to say I'll pop to an ATM. That said I'd probably empty my bags, buy the minimum shopping with cash to avoid a parking ticket, leave them to put it all back on the shelves and sod off to a shop that doesn't feel the need to track my every move!

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It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

paulf
Alert

Re: Comparative reviewing

I'd like to know how often the vendor will release software updates and what their roadmap is for EOL, especially considering El Reg's SOHO-peless "campaign" on updates to home/home-office networking kit for critical security flaws.

I've got four ReadyNAS Duo v1 (Sparc) units - the last update was Oct 2014 which works out at 3-4 years from launch. I don't know if they'll push out any more updates - I'm guessing probably not but I was surprised to see the last update come out.

People might grumble at "only" 3-4 years but this is pretty good in comparison to my Netgear home router which was EOLd about 6-9 months after launch. I'm currently running a Beta firmware from Tech Support to fix the ADSL problems I had but the various beta updates were never released.

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Ofcom wants to ease the pain of switching mobile networks. Good luck

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Slamming protection first please

This is the main (only?) aspect that makes the current system worth retaining. Getting a PAC from the current network should reduce to almost nil the changes of slamming (a popular practice in the Energy industry or have regulator memories forgotten this?).

It should be possible to get the PAC via the current operator's website (I think the story notes this as an option). People calling their current operator should get through to the right person within 5 minutes. The PAC should be issued (verbally and by SMS) within 5 minutes of the call being picked up. Fine all violations of these times at £10k per occurrence. This keeps the slamming protection of the current system but ensures minds are focused to prevent existing operators taking the piss by making it obscenely difficult to get the PAC.

I've only moved operator once - from Orange to Vodafone in 2006. Orange claimed they couldn't give the PAC over the phone or by SMS and could only post it for security (total BS!). Voda held the agreed deal until I got the PAC then did the port. Since then I've called Voda several times for my PAC as a starting point for contract renewal and always been given it within 10 minutes of dialling the number (YMMV as always!).

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paulf
Headmaster

RAS Syndrome

"...get a PAC code,..."

"...keep the PAC code..."

"texting you a PAC code"

Sigh. As mobile correspondent you really have no excuse for not knowing what PAC stands for.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porting_Authorisation_Code

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Austrian court rules online radio streaming is not broadcasting

paulf
Boffin

Key point here is Austria

Austrian court with jurisdiction only in Austria makes decision based on Austrian law regarding activities in Austria, that applies only to Austria.

Yes, BBC this is all about you. Do something about it now!

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Moneybags Bloomberg whips out checkbook to gobble spoof website

paulf
Pirate

Symantec

"the company said it had hired Symantec to verify every [.bank] application"

What could possibly go wrong?

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Loan application data hacked, company responds: Meh, not our customers

paulf
Pirate

Really?

"We automatically delete all of the stolen data once a full payment has been made.”

Sure they do.

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Trebles all round: The BBC's won this licence fee showdown

paulf
Facepalm

Re: But....

As I mention further up:

"I don't watch ITV, listen to commercial radio, or read a printed newspaper yet I, unavoidably, pay towards all of these through the money my supermarket, bank, power supplier, phone manufacturer and others spend to advertise on these services. Unless I manage to track down businesses that don't advertise (an activity made harder by its very nature) I'm paying for all these services whether I want to or not. At least with the BBC I can ditch the telly and cancel the TV License!"

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paulf
Boffin

@SuccessCase nailed it

@SuccessCase

Yours is the first analysis I've seen that nails what is really being played out here. This isn't about free TV licenses for old folks. One comment (Chris Ship, ITV News) nailed the superficial aspect of this, "Will the Government demand Energy Companies pay the winter fuel allowance, and Stagecoach pays the free bus pass". Before anyone says these companies don't get an equivalent of License fee money; among other things, the former gets subsidies for green energy and the latter subsidies for provision of services that cannot be run commercially - all paid for through mandatory taxation even if it isn't directly attributable in the way the license fee is. The former already has precedent for Government raids through funding energy efficiency schemes in private homes.

As you point out the real play here is a stealthy and tactical move that would push the BBC into a corner with regard to moving to some form of subscription model the BBC's critics (of which Orlowski is a typically vocal one) often demand, by allowing the BBC to require some kind of payment to watch non-live streams on iPlayer. I'm not aware whether this would require a separate subscription or simply requires a TV license but my understanding is it would be the latter not the former. As you say - once it's established a fee (i.e. TV license) must be paid for access to iPlayer catch up streams (whereas before no license was required and use was free since it wasn't live) it undermines the existence of the License fee for the reasons you cite.

My response to anyone who shouts about how unfair the "Telly Poll Tax" is because they don't watch the BBC is to remind them that advertising is a tax on all of us regardless of what we do. Even though I don't watch ITV, listen to commercial radio, or read a printed newspaper I quietly and unavoidably pay towards all of these through the money my supermarket, bank, power supplier, phone manufacturer and others spend on advertising. Unless I manage to track down businesses that don't advertise (an activity made harder by its very nature) I'm paying for all these services whether I want to or not. At least with the BBC I can ditch the telly and cancel the TV License!

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HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

HTC "support" initially thought the battery also and offered to send me a free replacement - but only after a had to throw a major tantrum at their insistence I pay for the replacement! The new battery didn't resolve it and from reading around the interwebs neither did the next HTC solutions of Factory Reset and replacement handset. There was a major version update and a couple of patch updates that didn't resolve the bug. It would happen to me mid-call, while using the browser and even when it was on standby in my pocket or on the desk.

There was also a fix to a bug that leaked user info to HTC's servers without permission (remember that). Then there was all the built in HTC apps, not possible to uninstall and demanded every permission going.

It is sad really, if only for the Engs and Devs that have/will lost/lose jobs. HTC had such a major lead in the early days. If they'd launched fewer better supported handsets (rather than the chuck handfuls of variants at the wall and see what sticks) and not treated their fanbase with contempt they would easily seen off the later challenge from Samsung (IMO). HTC failed big time because they didn't realise customer satisfaction was a pretty important part of being successful.

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paulf
FAIL

Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

HTC were a very early yet clear leader in the Android market IIRC with handsets like the Hero, Desire and Desire HD, giving them a good lead early on in Android's life.

I had two of their handsets - a Hero which I upgraded about 18 months later to the Sensation when it was launched (bought outright for £400 and £450 respectively). After 10 years of Nokia handsets (followed by one Sony Ericsson) I was keen to find a good supplier of Smartphone handsets I could commit to (while the iPhone was of interest it wasn't suitable for me).

The Hero was underpowered for what it was expected to do but it was at least functional. Then the upgrade from Android 1.6 to 2.1 kept being kicked into the long grass until it showed up 9 months after the originally promised release.

The Sensation was utterly useless and a complete waste of a large amount of money. I suffered from the random turn off bug (not widespread but I found various other users with the same problem) where the handset would just switch off suddenly and ungracefully for no reason. I never managed to diagnose the cause. HTC support was useless and I was glad to see the back of that handset 20 months later.

In all I wasted almost £1000 on HTC handsets that were utter crap and that is why I will never buy HTC again. They had the chance to build a very loyal fanbase of Android users (in the early days people tended to think HTC Sense WAS Android) but through their own greed/ineptitude/dire support they squandered it and they're now reaping what they've sown.

</rant>

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Ditch crappy landlines and start reading Twitter, 999 call centres told

paulf
Thumb Up

Re: Fantastic

Upvoted simply for the comment

"How much whalesong did they consume before suggesting this?"

I must remember that for my next meeting that involves hipsters (thankfully few and far between)

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Home Office kept schtum on more than 30 data breaches last year

paulf
Holmes

Re: This is why informing the ICO should be mandatory

It won't get watered down in the negotiation process. That happens in the massive lunch and brown envelope process.

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

paulf
Holmes

Re: "I thank Baroness McDonagh for"

@Ledswinger

"...everything that is wrong with the Conservative party, and with the depth, breadth and quality of our rotten and useless parliament (and things are no better on the opposition benches)."

I think you're right there. You only have to look at the way Michael Dugher (Shadow transport sec) has been blocking experienced and knowledgeable railway journalists, because they keep challenging him when he spouts rubbish in public, to confirm things are about the same on both sides of the house.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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"...

3
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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.

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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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2

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.

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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

1
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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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