* Posts by paulf

559 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

paulf
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FAIL

@The Mole

"Surely the first thing someone should have done was a bit of rationalization of duplicate stores"

I think some of these chains think by maintaining multiple stores they keep competitors out. That would only work if they were a monopoly getting them unwanted govt attention. Blacks and HMV were particularly bad at this and look how it worked out for them.

At one point Blacks had four stores in Plymouth: 2xBlacks, 1xMillets, 1xFreespirit (Surf/Skate). Plymouth might be near Dartmoor but it isn't big enough business to keep three mid-sized camping stores going. Nor did it keep out competitors like Mountain Warehouse or Cotswold.

HMV had two massive full range stores in Plymouth after they acquired the former Zavvi store.

Rationalising duplicated stores should be an easy win on cutting costs.

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paulf
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Facepalm

Re: Maplin Masters of the huge markup

Last time I wanted button cells I looked in Maplin and they wanted £3 each.

I went to Amazon marketplace and got 10 for £2.50 including postage.

I only needed 2 so I would have paid £1 each as the cost to have it now from bricks+mortar but £6 for two 25p button cells? Sod that!

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paulf
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Alert

@Ledswinger

"Screwfix were doomed the moment that Bodge & Quodge bought them"

I find B&Q are the most hateful of shopping experiences - a chain that has become very lazy as the competitive pressures have waned leaving only Homebase that's been wounded by years of Argos-isation. I never have a good visit to B&Q and only go there when I have no alternative. The staff there really don't care.

I remember a time when B&Q employed lots of old guys who had spent their working life doing DIY and were happy to advise you how to do your own DIY jobs, in the hope they could sell you stuff to get it done. Now it's full of the min wage slaves that populate other retail palaces who haven't got the first clue about DIY. On my last visit to B&Q I saw one guy answer a customer question without even looking up from what he was doing. Then there is asking your address when you return an item (an unnecessary invasion of privacy) which Homebase have never done despite various returns over the years. I just hope the new incumbent at Homebase (Bunnings) gives B&Q a sorely needed hard kick up the arse with some serious competition.

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paulf
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Pirate

Re: Cheeky bastards.

@Ledswinger "My money's on WHSmith. Or Halfords."

My money is on WHS lasting a good bit longer but that will make the crash all the harder when it comes. They are adept at increasing profits despite reducing revenues - a blatant sign they're sweating the assets. My suspicion is they will sweat the high street for all its worth until the last customer vanishes with their overpriced check out chocolate and vouchers for Weightwatchers and BHS then shunt it into admin leaving them with the captive market high margin "Travel" branches (Stations/Airports/Hospitals).

Halfrauds is an unpleasant shopping experience whereas WHS make a virtue out of pissing off the customers they have left.

And if you want the gory details of how awful Smuts are these days this will amuse and horrify you in equal measures while you marvel at how the hell they stay in business check out WHS Carpet on Twitter.

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Google tribute to Jo Cox

paulf
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Headmaster

The media have to tread a careful line here - especially where there is a court case in progress as making comments like "murder" can prejudice the court case and leave that media outlet in contempt of court. There is anecdotal comment to support what you say but you'll find the media using generally neutral language like the above until the Judge and Jury in that court case establish otherwise.

IANAL

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SOHOpeless Cisco wireless kit needs critical patch

paulf
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Trollface

Patent?

FTA: "If you're patent and.."

See icon, it's what patents seem to attract.

[Apols to the Reg Hack - Can't email corrections from the office]

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Who shot JR (that great Dallas broadband)?

paulf
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Get the facts!

Bus Wankers. A reference from the the UK series The Inbetweeners. Clip sound is NSFW so use headphones!

Jay tries it a second time and it all goes wrong.

There is a US version floating around which also includes the Bus Wankers sequence but I can't find it.

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Linux devs open up universal Ubuntu Snap packages to other distros

paulf
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Gimp

Off topic but... (Bees)

When I saw that picture of Oprah, all I could think of was this.

Icon - special clothing for the apiary!

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

paulf
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Windows

Money burning a hole in your pocket Sat Nad?

Despite this story being upgraded from News Bytes to full article I still can't believe it. $26bn? Phew. Really? Wow. My flabber is well and truly gasted! I still can't see any reason other than SatNad is trying to out Balmer, Balmer in one go by consolidating all his CEO ass hattery into one single massive value bonfire fuck up?

For those that don't recall - here's El Reg's recap of Monkey Boy's acquisition blunders. SatNad's MS is offering $26.2bn for LinkedIn yet the first three in that El Reg list of Ballmer's mistakes (Nokia, aQuantive and Online Services) come to just over $25bn by my calc. That's over a billion short of Linked In and still doesn't include the monumental near miss that was the $35bn odd Ballmer offered for Yahoo! (pre ! tilt) but Jerry Yang turned down. I'd speculate Ballmer thinks he had a lucky escape but he probably thinks it's still a compelling purchase (post ! tilt).

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Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

paulf
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Terminator

Re: Money burning a hole in your pocket Sat Nad?

While I was writing the above comment my regular Monday delivery of LinkedIn Spam arrived, right on cue. Time to sort out the disposable email address (long over due) before it gets fully borged into the MS collective.

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paulf
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Windows

Money burning a hole in your pocket Sat Nad?

$27bn? Phew. Really? Wow. That eclipses the first three in this list of Monkey boy's acquisition blunders*.

Does this mean SatNad is trying to out Balmer, Balmer in one go by consolidating all his CEO ass hattery into one single massive value bonfire fuck up?

*Nokia, aQuantive and Online Services come to just over $25bn by my calc, over a billion short of Linked In. That list doesn't include the near miss that was the $35bn odd Ballmer offered for Yahoo! (pre ! tilt) but Jerry Yang turned down.

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Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

paulf
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Pirate

Re: Blame the customer

And how many of them did want to leave but the TalkTalk shyster they spoke to told them it would be £200/£500/think of a number to break their contract mid term and just didn't have the energy/knowledge/gumption to tell LieLie to do one. Even if they did push on with leaving they would have risked ShitShit wrecking their credit history in revenge.

To put it another way: I agree with you but only in respect of people who've joined or renewed their contract with ShitShit since the most recent and high profile data breach (or they didn't leave as soon as their existing contract commitment ended after that breach).

I especially agree with you in respect of those who said "It didn't happen to me and they're cheap so it's a lot of fuss over nothing."

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TalkTalk scam-scammers still scam-scamming

paulf
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Holmes

Re: I think you should have a warning here.

"Something about never giving unexpected callers access to your computer."

True but when the legit callers do this kind of thing how are we supposed to tell the difference?

On phone calls with the bank, they want all manner of personal information to prove I am definitely who I am. That's all well and good when I call them, but when I get an incoming call I have no means to verify they are who they say they are but I'm still expected to prove my identity.

Companies all do this - call the customer and expect them to prove their identity yet they called the customer on details given by the customer. Point out how silly this is and they just mumble "Data protection, innit".

I refuse to hand out personal information on incoming calls. It causes no end of problems trying to get back to someone on a published number and running the gauntlet of call centre droids who want to know what it's about first and wondering why they can't help me with the problem but if I never give out the info there is no risk I can give it to a very well executed scammer's confidence trick. Unfortunately it's a war of attrition - I need to be lucky every time, the scammers only need to be lucky once. Until the big companies/banks realise they need a secure way of calling the customer that doesn't encourage us to hand over identifiable personal information educating people not to trust random incoming calls will be VERY difficult.

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Yahoo!'s $1bn! for! patents!

paulf
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Gimp

Re: About to be evicted...

Former Rocketmail.com user here also.

I now use fastmail.fm. You'll pay $20-$40/yr for it but it's damned good and they won't be pushing adverts at you, nor scanning your email to target them.

Also when you have a problem it gets fixed. In two years I've raised two tickets and when first level support were unable to resolve they were passed up to one of their senior devs (who really knew what he was talking about).

I have no connection with the company other than as an existing customer. YMMV etc.

If you want "Free" because you don't mind ads and creepy stalking GMail is pretty good and throws in Calendar and IMAP.

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Modi hints at H-1B unease

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: H-1B

It's not the "Plebs" that matter though. It's the CEOs, who offer ample campaign contributions to the Congress critters, knowing H1-B will help push down salaries, that matter. Note Modi was addressing Congress, not the Plebs.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

paulf
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Happy

Re: As I see it

Considering the point you make about Tesla's home storage battery. UK Power Networks (they own the REC distribution part of the network that used to be EDF Energy Networks (London and East of England). They are trialling a massive battery in a substation near Leighton Buzzard which can charge up during usage troughs and then start supplying during demand peaks:

http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/news-and-press/press-releases/Minister-welcomes-trial-of-pioneering-energy-storage-project.html

Note that the linked article flirts with alternative units:

"The building itself is approximately 760 square metres – about the size of three tennis courts -"

This moves the storage out of the consumer premises into the network, where it should be more efficient than a domestic unit.

I think Wind and Solar do have a roll to play in satisfying our energy needs but since we can't control when the wind blows and the sun shines storage becomes an inherent part of the Renewables system. If you can store electricity from wind at 3am when it's worth, say, £1/MWh and release it into the network when people are making their morning cuppa and get £10/MWh for it (example values) suddenly the economics of wind power are turned on their head. It certainly wouldn't need subsidy any more.

As we've seen with solar, more deployment drives research into improving the technology and the same should be true with storage; and this research may well feed back in battery technology in general.

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

paulf
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Meh

Re: One thing I hate

That's one thing that annoys me for similar reasons as I often struggle to find trousers/jeans long enough for me because I'm not wide enough!

Why do they automatically assume people get taller as their waist line gets wider? Humans are a diverse bunch - you can have fat short people just like you can have thin lanky people.

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Mushroom farm PC left in the dark and fed … you know the rest

paulf
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Holmes

Re: Fly agaric..

@ itzman

"If you ever go picking wild mushrooms, don't."

TFIFY.

If you want to know that a mushroom is safe to eat - pick it from the shelf in the supermarket.

Some mushrooms=tasty, some=near certain (and probably very painful+lingering) death and there isn't much wiggle room between the two extremes. If, like me, you're not much of a gambling man those aren't appealing odds for a game of mushroom Russian roulette unless you're really fucking certain you know which chamber holds the live bullet.

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Apple GPU screen rumors

paulf
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Re: wow.....

AIUI the thunderbolt connection currently available wouldn't be fast enough to shift 5k's worth of graphics data. Apple solution? Shift the graphics card to the monitor to reduce the data bandwidth requirement between computer and monitor.

http://www.macrumors.com/2016/06/01/5k-thunderbolt-display-integrated-gpu-possible/

Downside is that if the monitor only has a thunderbolt connection (i.e. no HDMI etc) which obsoletes the monitor with the graphics card that isn't good. That said - Apple tend to flog iMacs and MacBook portables that have similar problems when it comes to a graphics card that can't be upgraded.

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Want a job that pays at least $90,000 a year? Get into ransomware

paulf
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Joke

$90k is all well and good...

But what are the other benefits? Health care and dental plan? Non-contributory pension scheme? Subsidised Gym membership? Generous holiday allowance plus Bank Holidays? Bouncy castle and free soft drinks in the IT office that's in the sub-volcano island lair.

I can't help thinking in that line of work a pension probably isn't much use (excepting the Mr Big) as you're not likely to live long enough to draw it. And you'll get plenty of exercise staying one step ahead of the law.

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It's a Hull of a thing: Kcom takes a break from 8-year sales slide

paulf
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Unhappy

It wasn't just with KCOM itself where opportunities were lost. The local council made a fat pile of cash from privatising Kingston Communications (as was) and proceeded to (as I understand it) squander the lot such that they now have little or nothing to show for it.

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paulf
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Unhappy

I'm not surprised Openreach were more than happy to fall over themselves fixing the problem ASAP once the fault ticket came from BT Yorkshire rather than a competitor

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paulf
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Unhappy

Eclipse residential

I never really understood why they abandoned new residential users (about 2 years ago) via their Eclipse residential brand. I've been with Eclipse for about 13 years (starting on 500kbps ADSL, now on FTTC) - they're not the cheapest but I've always found them pretty reliable and with good service. They do occasionally feck things up but they always sort things out and you speak to someone in Exeter that IME isn't reading from a script.

For now they're supporting existing customers but if they give up on that too I'll be considering A&A or Zen (who seem to be closest in service and customer satisfaction).

I suppose they either didn't have much confidence in their product, or in their ability to pull customers away from the mass market where TalkTalk style "6 months free then £5.99/month - min 3 customer data breaches per year and scripted Mumbai call centre" offers are king.

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Big Cable uses critics' own arguments to slam set-top box shake-up

paulf
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Headmaster

"...which appears no less than 50 times..."

"...no fewer than..."

FTFY

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Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy has data on 1/14th of humanity

paulf
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Mushroom

Re: what?

"On the ickiness of personalised advertising and its source being data individuals freely give to social networks, he says it's more pleasing to receive targeted ads than random stuff you don't care about."

ALL adverts come under the definition of "random stuff I don't care about".

If I absolutely MUST have ads flung at me then ads without "creepy stalking your every move" will be quite enough. The content of the site should be enough to target the adverts; for example if I'm looking at the Register I expect ads about computers. If you're into Golf you're probably looking at websites about Golf which I imagine will show adverts for Golfing stuff. If you're getting adverts for purses [Handbags] perhaps you're looking at a site that is generally aimed at and relevant to people who buy Handbags (usually, but not limited to, Women).

"On privacy, he says the company complies with all applicable laws wherever it operates and pays appropriate attention to security. "

Sounds like the typical refrain from tax dodging persons/companies who always say they've paid all required taxes and complied with all applicable laws. Of course they have. It means fuck all when the laws themselves are broken because they're written by the very people who benefit from them (or for them as a result of their lobbying).

I didn't murder anyone yesterday (today isn't over yet - there's still time) so I'll be making a virtue out of telling everyone I've complied with all applicable laws on not murdering people.

</rant>

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

paulf
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Mushroom

@ Tim Warren RE: Biker change of address

Previously when I've moved house I've written my new address on the paper part of my license and popped it in the post to Swansea. An updated paper copy arrived a week or two later. Nice and easy.

When I last moved (roughly three years ago) I thought I would use the online "prove your identity with your passport" way of changing the address on my Driving License in the hope it would save me a stamp. (Yes, I know, it's funny *now*).

I went through all sorts of hoops and steps to prove I am the person on the license including all my passport details (now helpfully and permanently linked to my Driving License). Eventually it came back and said "Thank you, your address has been changed. We now need you to return your old paper license in the post - you are obliged to do this.".

FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

Icon -> "WFT?" "FAIL" "Big Brother" "Terminator" "Facepalm" are all relevant here. Unfortunately there isn't a "Quietly weeping while hitting head against keyboard" icon.

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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

paulf
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Trollface

Based on that glowing report of unqualified success

It will be bonuses all round, again!

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: TiVo FTW

Our home alternative is TV capture cards in a system running Mythbuntu. Myth TV packaged up with Ubuntu. It isn't flawless but is perfectly capable and seems to run on an old 3GHz Athlon with 8GB of RAM. That comes with 30s skip forward which makes skipping adverts easier. It can also flag adverts and, optionally, auto skip them but this can be a bit hit and miss so best to manually skip the time it thinks is an ad break when the ads start.

Added bonus - TV shows can be kept as it simply saves the MPEG data to the HDD.

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Google stretches Scratch

paulf
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Re: It's in my diary

Re: My Tracks. Unfortunately not. I used that when I had Android phones and it was a pretty good App. Since I moved inside the fruity walled garden I've been using Runkeeper. It's good enough for my purposes but I can't remember if it supports things like exporting routes to gpx files.

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paulf
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Holmes

It's in my diary

About 4 years hence, just as Scratch is gaining real traction, is looking like a smart polished product, and has a dedicated but perhaps not quite critical mass user base, when Google gives 30 days notice that Scratch will be closed and users have 90 days to download their data or lose it.

I can't see any other end to this initiative unless they bundle it so that Apps developed with Scratch can only sling Ads from Google's Double Click...

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Google hits Uber, Lyft

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Is Waze still alive?

I'm finding it ok in the less South Easty parts of Blighty - it was useful on a recent trip to the bottom left for example. That said, a big problem I've found is submitting reports just doesn't work if the data connection at that time is less than 3G. Sometimes I can't even open the report incident popup if it feels the data connection isn't adequate so I don't bother reporting stuff as often.

On 2G (i.e. EDGE or GPRS) Waze just complains of no connection to the server in the mother ship and refuses to take details. A sensible approach would be to cache the report and upload it automatically when coverage returned but I guess Waze/Google just assume people only drive where there is an excellent 3G/4G signal on all networks.

Trying to report road closures only works when you're on the specific bit of closed road. Since it's pretty involved to make the report it makes more sense to do it when you next stop rather than at the closure itself.

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Apple's iOS updates brick iPads

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: Apple could spend

@AC

"For iOS I'm in my usual 48h wait time for any OS updates and it appears it was already worth it"

I used to update pretty quickly but that all changed with iOS 8. Now, for n>7, I usually skip the n.x.0 version and wait for n.x.1 (n.x.2 for x=0) and then usually wait a few days after release. In case anyone gets upset I do the same wait on Win 7 updates.

"I'd recommend you also wait with OSX 10.11.4 as there are reports about random crashes that have as yet not been addressed and I now had a few as well (once every 3..4 days or so - it simply freezes)."

Thanks for the heads up on this. I had planned to wait until near the release of 10.12 in the hope it meant 10.11 was tending towards stability. Looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer and I note 10.11.5 is now being seeded to Beta testers.

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Apple could spend

@werdsmith

The Car/Bluetooth connection problem has happened twice and GPS problem only once. Clearly some process got screwed up and could only recover with a reboot, and it's probably not something simple as I've not been able to recreate on demand, but it still looks a bit scruffy from a QC point of view. A 20 day up time isn't really a big ask.

The iPhone media deletion (which isn't the same as the more widely reported "Apple Music Match wipes your computer's iTunes library after scanning your songs" problem) has happened about 6 times now and again cannot be recreated on demand (it's happened under apparently different circumstances each time). Apple support have had a bunch of diagnostic files from me and have gone silent.

These are just the bigger show stoppers I've remembered. There are others that I just seem to instinctively work around...

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Apple could spend

@Halfmad

"Bottom line at Apple though is that under Jobs people were took scared to screw up, under Cook nobody seems to give a toss."

I think that describes it perfectly. A culture of fear and intimidation isn't a good way to run a company but it seemed to work for Apple under Jobs. The alternative, under Cook, doesn't seem to be working as well as the methods used by the previous incumbent.

To those down voting my previous comment (presumably because they think Apple's software is perfect?) two more bugs in iOS 9.3.1 I've just remembered:

1. My iPhone refused to connect to my car using Bluetooth. A reboot fixed this (the phone not the car!).

2. My iPhone couldn't get my position more accurate than +-1300m (i.e. over a kilometre) when another phone GPS device was within a few metres. A reboot fixed this.

Yes, I know, "Have you tried turning it off and on again"; but that isn't the kind of thing you expect from devices that are as reassuringly expensive as Apple's, especially as in both cases the up time was ~20 days.

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paulf
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Gimp

Re: Apple could spend

Quality at Apple went to shit around the time Jobs died. He may have been a complete asshat (YMMV) and perhaps it was a coincidence but his shouting tantrums and obsession with design+UX seems to have kept people more focused than under the current regime.

I'm not saying Apple stuff was bug free under Jobs (it most certainly wasn't!) but iOS 8 took 7 revisions (8.0.0/8.0.1/8.0.2/8.1.0/8.1.1/8.1.2/8.1.3) until it was reasonably stable and iOS 9 (the "stability release") being not much better says a lot. My favourite iOS 9 bug is the random complete deletion of all my media files (music/podcasts/videos) from the iPhone which can only be restored with a sync from iTunes. This has only happened since iOS 9 and on two different handsets.

For related reasons the MBP is still on 10.8 Mountain Lion, although I'm probably going to have to suck it up soon and update to El Capitan.

As others have said - perhaps Cook and Co could spend some of those billions on some Software QC?

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Lloyds online banking goes TITSUP*

paulf
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Headmaster

This article seems to be all over the place:

"Customers of Lloyds have been unable to access online banking since 10am this morning,"

"One user said: "Bit hit & miss @ the moment. Tried logging in & failed, opened a second window/tab & loged in with no problem - strange to say the least.""

"Update: As of this afternoon, the issues do not appear to be resolved. [...] Online banking is not affected and customers can still access via:"

Well, I'm thoroughly confused. Perhaps we can start with "What broke and is it fixed yet?". Perhaps then we can consider tautologies like "10am this morning".

Icon -> The pic at the top of the article is probably more appropriate.

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Ofcom serves up an extra helping of airwaves for Wi-Fi

paulf
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Trollface

OFCOM in a hurry?

"These extra [80 MHz] channels [...] could be opened up in a few years."

Wow, Ofcom are moving quickly these days. What changed?

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

paulf
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Boffin

"Is four some magic number that protects consumers then?"

Magic? No. Likely sweet spot between each MNO having high enough revenues to make adequate investment in the business without having dominant market+pricing power? Probably, Yes.

As others say above - markets with fewer than 4 players have higher prices than those with four or more.

Remember that building a Mobile Network is exceptionally capital intensive. The UK has a TAM of ~60m spread over a relatively small land mass which isn't going to support 27 separate MNOs! But also it is big enough to support 4.

Previous experience shows the UK can support 4 MNOs but seems to struggle with 5. When DCS1800 licenses were awarded (via the Beauty Contest method) in the early 1990s Mercury was awarded a license by default. The other two licenses ended up merging before launch, returning one license+spectrum to HMG and by launch became Orange. Three was a contrived effort to create a fifth challenger network when 3G licenses were awarded, realising the four incumbents wouldn't risk having no 3G spectrum but five again became four when TM and Orange were allowed to merge. I suspect if Three and O2 had tried to merge before TM and Orange tried it they may have got away with it (notwithstanding the stakes in MBNL and Cornerstone problem) and prevented TM and Orange from doing so.

So to return to your question: In the UK at least, "Four (sic) is the magic number"

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French maverick sniffs around O2

paulf
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Re: Shouldn't O2

BT did sniff around O2 UK at first before they opted to acquire EE from DT and Orange (FT).

I suspect this tells you more about the miserable state of O2 than it does about BT's empire/monopoly building.

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Verizon worker strike now in its third week

paulf
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Pirate

A $400m fund

FTA: "The union has told reporters it has set aside a $400m fund that could be paid out to the striking Verizon workers..."

So this Union, which presumably has members in other businesses not just Verizon, has the fat end of half a billion dollars kicking around to support workers just in this particular strike. I can't see they've decided to burn some reserves since that could destabilise their finances (perhaps fatally) so this must be a specific fund to support strikers which has been wheeled out to show Verizon they're serious. A noble gesture I'm sure, and 10/10 for financial planning, but where would a workers union get such a non-trivial amount of cash? I know that us right pondians have some strike happy unions but I can't imagine the RMT has that kind of money down the back of the sofa.

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Barclays.net Bank Holiday outage leaves firms unable to process payments

paulf
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FAIL

Re: Housing transactions crashed too

Considering house prices were at stake I'm very surprised to see this didn't attract the beady eye of the Daily Fail.

Perhaps Barclays Bank is to Viscount Rothermere as HSBC is to the Barclay Brothers over at the Tory-graph.

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Adblock+ has cake, eats it

paulf
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Facepalm

Alternatively

Add a PayPal Donate button to your website and I'll put a few coins in if I read regularly or wish to support your website financially. Yes, I know, "PayPal" are gits and all that; but when it's my coin I would prefer to be the one making the decision as who gets the cash and how much.

Anyway if Flattr are allocating my cash based on how often I visit various websites doesn't that mean they're engaging in the very kind of creepy tracking we use Adblockers to stop the Malvertisers from doing? Can you imagine the field day if a Malvertising house bought up Flattr and got their greedy mitts on all that tracking data?

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

paulf
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WTF?

Re: Catch them young...

What I find confusing is people are offering that colouring in book in the used section. Surely buying a used colouring in book defeats the object - unless you've run out of crayons or colouring in is a bit too challenging (as it probably is for the target demographic).

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Shares down?! But, but, but ... Apple just made $50bn – that's the way the Cookie grumbles

paulf
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Gimp

Re: Interesting

@ vgrig_us

"1. Final Cut Pro / Final Cut X debacle - almost all install base lost to Adobe on Windows because of that."

1b. The summary EOL of Aperture, which also cast those that don't know about alternatives towards Adobe (Lightroom).

When I was looking for a RAW processing package I trialled Lightroom and Aperture. In the end I reluctantly opted for Lightroom as it came with Win 7 and Mac versions in the box whereas Aperture was Mac only and depended on Apple's mercy for its continued existence. With the FCPX stuff going on at the time I wasn't keen to take a risk on that continued mercy and good job I didn't*.

*Not that Adobe is a bag of happiness but at least Lightroom is still supported

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paulf
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Alert

Re: Idiotic economic system

"Apple made $10.2bn profit in Q2. That's a shed-load of money!"

And a gross margin of ~20% ($10bn profit/revenue on $50bn of sales). How many other computer/phone makers can claim gross margins like that?

We need a $$$ icon. Perhaps this would be suitable?

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paulf
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Gimp

Re: This is it

A "Me too" upvote on the Mac sales slowing.

I like OS X too (not to Fanboi lengths - I use Win 7 and Linux also) and was planning to migrate the Parental units to OSX from an antique Win XP system about 2.5 years ago. When I realised the shift to disposable Macs that cannot be repaired or upgraded I opted instead for a home built Win 7 system. That'll migrate to Linux when Win 7 goes out of extended support.

My MBP is still going strong because I upgraded the HDD to a SSD and added extra RAM. Not being able to do even basic maintenance or upgrades like that is a complete deal killer.

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Honestly though, Twitter can't do anything right

paulf
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Facepalm

App client just gets worse

Recently I took the plunge and updated my App from a very old version (12-18 months) to the latest version. I have found how to turn off the algorithmic time line (as I've done on Bookface - its annoying there too) but I now find big chunks of timeline are missing whereas the old app would tend to pick up everything since I last looked. It also very helpfully skips to the top of the timeline so I either spend less time looking at it if I don't want to read backwards through time.

I've also spotted the number of promoted tweets has steeply increased and I seem to get a promoted tweet of the week. At the moment every 10th tweet for the last two weeks is a promoted one about Kia cars. A few weeks ago it was something else to saturation. Tweets are often appended with promoted tweets about Uber.

TL;DR - as time goes on the UX of Twitter just gets worse so it's no surprise people aren't sticking about so much.

[Yes I know crappy social media/time sink/splurging personal info/ad slingers but it's simple chewing gum for the brain when I'm taking a break from the design work to get a cuppa at the office].

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EE grows network by one-third, promises to build 750 new sites

paulf
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Alert

Re: Poor technical decisions....

I've seen this point echoed elsewhere. Retain Airwave for the superior voice coverage and things cellular can't do like PTT and back to back operation, then if you really want to stream video from a helicopter tack on a 4G radio which is enabled when required for data. That way when the cellular network falls on its arse during a major incident Cops and co can still speak to each other albeit without the fancy stuff like video.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

paulf
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Terminator

"How do you fix it?"

Here's a suggestion which may help although I don't claim it is the silver bullet.

Limit the number of call origination attempts from any particular line on a per minute, per hour and per day basis. This is a limit below the inherent limit imposed by the capacity of the network.

I have a paid for IMAP/Webmail service as I'd rather pay than use the usual personal info snooping suspects. Despite being paid for (they have no free option, only a short free trial with much lower limits) they still impose limits on the number of emails sent to prevent people sending bulk/junk emails. In normal use (even business) you shouldn't hit the limits unless you're definitely up to no good.

All outgoing calls placed (even invalid numbers, engaged and voice mail etc) count against the attempt limits to prevent randomly calling numbers to build a list of valid numbers.

There is a chance you may hit the call limits if you're trying to phone up for e.g. high demand concert tickets but I suspect the limit can be set to a level that curbs the spammers but also doesn't impinge on 99.9% of subscribers.

Once someone hits one of the call origination limits (per minute/hour/day) the network locks the line into incoming calls and 999 only for 24 hours after the attempt that hit the limit. Since this would hit telco revenues it would require legislation. Some companies may get around the limits by installing extra lines to keep their calling within the limits. That's fine since their costs would escalate massively threatening the viability of their business model. Alternatively allow higher limits per line only if the company pays 100x across ALL their lines.

Icon: Robocaller not only wants your clothes, boots, and bike but also wants you to press 1 if you've had an accident in the last five years.

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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

paulf
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Alert

Re: I love this line:

I can't help thinking that an unmaintained Quicktime (indeed anything not from Adobe) is still more secure from hackers than a "maintained" Adobe product. <cough>Flash</cough>.

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