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* Posts by Richard Jones 1

422 posts • joined 10 Sep 2009

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Richard Jones 1
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Mushroom

So What If Houses Go up in Price?

My understanding is that the very top end of the market consists of a very few percentage points of the total housing stock, though due to being very over valued a large part of the value. The number of >£10million houses is still small, the number of >£5million is larger but still small, it is only when you come down to the >£500,000 that numbers are large enough to matter with the number of <£500,000 houses being almost as small as those >£10million. To blame the super expensive houses for the housing shortage is plain stupid.

The argument then shifts to 'if builder could not build >£10million house and flats they would start building crappy little <£250,000 flats, no they would not; they would stop building all together. What is needed is something to stop the famine of building land and building permits that currently exists. That can only be achieved by a devaluation of both the land and the permits. In effect flooding the place with both, so that buildings can be created in sufficient quantity and at a sufficient price to mop up the demand. Yet this can be done as I have found since I returned to the country some years back. After working for many years outside of the UK where sometimes I did 18 hour days on the trot I came back in urgent need of a new house. I bought a new build outside of London and sold the previous small place I had owned- it was not possible to fit my family into the old place. The planning permission for the 'new build' had been contested as it lay on the edge of the town, but as ex-war department land there was no bar to re-cycling the land. Since then a number of other small scale builds have been completed, a filling station site now has >60 flats, an old pub will have perhaps 10 chicken coups and a burnt out work shop was replaced by half a dozen or more new, tiny houses. In fact, the trend to re-cycle land is seeing a number of larger properties being replaced by impractical tiny residences, which after a few years need to sprout loft extensions or other space generating warts. A side effect of planning moves to encourage smaller dwellings.

Is this the end of space as we know it in the area? No, there is still probably the equivalent of 10% of the built area, perhaps more that is currently derelict brownfield or otherwise blighted land. So now we have the other limitations, transport, water sewerage, schooling and power. Just like London we have the issue of ageing and failing ground plant exploding and causing power cuts

Oh I forget another 50 or 60 dwellings were recently built on ex school land - no not the playing fields as such, some very uneven land to the side of the school plot and near to the road.

So in spite of any nimby effect the town has built perhaps an average of >50 new dwellings per year, with the greatest rush of building in the last 3~4 years. However, this is the recent record; go back to the 1980s when industry was dying and the once great industrial engines that built the district were ending and the suitable buildings were converted to flats. The unsuitable ones were bulldozed and replaced by hundreds of flats. So where once wooden aeroplane parts were built, now later generations can sleep peacefully

None of these were intended for or sold to absentee owners and while some do now fetch well over £500,000, many still fall well below that level. Most have between excellent, very good or good access to rail 'services' into London. Using brown field sites the town had quite likely increased its population by between a third and a half in 30 years, so expansion on brown field land is highly possible and at far more 'affordable prices'.

This is considered and expensive area, my daughter recently bought a house in the adjacent town for less than £160,000, OK that is considerably more than the <£20,000 we paid for our first house in the 1970s, but the value of money has been wreaked, not by bankers, but by 'spend what you like' politicians.

As I remember it we had rent controls in the past and we also had slum landlords to go with those controls, the name Rackman comes to mind.

So, it is wise to repeat failed experiments and expect a different answer: NO!

Is it better to discover what works and how it can be improved, now that is difficult. (The answer is YES by the way.

As a final shot, I guess my house has more than doubled in value since I bought it, so what?

It will mean more IHT but that is of questionable value to me, in fact the increase in value of the house is more of a disadvantage than a benefit; discuss.

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TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit

Richard Jones 1
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Happy

Perhaps A mandatory Name Change Next Time?

It would be nice if the trolls lost their nice cosy names after any lost case with the new name being chosen to complete their humiliation. For example, Shyster and Crook Inc, even better if they all had the same handle as in Shyster and Crook Inc. 1, Shyster & Crook Inc. 2 etc.

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Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything

Richard Jones 1
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Facepalm

Not Always a Bad Thing - But Only if You Know in Advance

I was buying big devices a while ago that most people were paying about £2million a pop to obtain. Not having that budget and not needing all of the features, I negotiated a deal that brought the cost down below £0.5 million. Sure the incremental upgrades cost slightly more than the upfront cost, but we only turned on what we needed when the business existed, i.e. we had a customer with cash in their hand who wanted the upgrade.

However, all features we considered essential to the operation were delivered and working on day 1 and everyone knew exactly what they were getting and expected to deliver.

What is not acceptable is the hidden slicing that some appear to use. Oh you want to back up/disaster recover/obtain management statistics, etc,, that is an extra cost.

No! Make sure your supply contract specifies what you expect and require, BEFORE you sign up to the deal.

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HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE

Richard Jones 1
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Unhappy

Re: Backlash

I have never found a use for a tablet which possibly makes me the odd one out. I do not care who makes the thing I can see no point, but now Apple have come up with a killer application to ensure I will never want one, at least one that has access to this 'feature'.

Who on earth would want this other than as a single purpose odd ball deployment in a bizarre environment?

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Richard Jones 1
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Are They Trying To Cripple Sales?

I have yet to find a use for a tablet so do not accuse me of any pro this or anti that bias. However, the idea of being lumbered with full screen adverts on a device for which I have yet to find a use makes me think this is aimed at a very odd market segment to which I have no, make that absolutely no relationship - whom-so-ever launches such a defective device.

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Re: Daytime running lights

Another week another Monday and another superior being who, while only visiting earth for a short time appears to think he knows absolutely everything about life. As others have pointed out to you Jamie Jones, there are many people living on earth who lack eyesight well above the 20/20 vision limit such as you appear to think you have. Some are so poorly equipped they can be classified as legally blind in some countries, however, even they can sometimes detect moving lights. Humans show what is often called a spectrum of abilities, ranging from the lowest level of, e.g. visual capability to the very highest.

It may be of interest to check how many accident participants claim not to have seen other vehicles. Motorcyclists are not the only ones who often fail to be noticed, check your next drive and see how many apparently legal drivers fail to see you as you drive along. Given that well above 10% of road users, those with allegedly acceptable eye sight fail to see me on straight roads in day light I frequently resort to the use of dipped head light in an attempt to improve the odds of being seen.

Now I realised given your superior beliefs you will expect to take all of these failings in your stride. For the rest of us there are prudent steps we can and most do take. As for emergency vehicles; in addition to noisy horns and blue lights they have alternating head lights, this is due to recognition of a human factor. An apparently moving light jumping from side to side will be detected even more rapidly than one coming towards you. Since the emergency vehicle is likely to be moving faster than ordinary traffic increased detection speed is important perhaps, not for you, but for the other 99.9% of the population.

Sadly in spite of all the steps currently taken accidents still involve even emergency vehicles.

While the 5mph (or was it 15mph) buffers on American cars were not a success in reducing insurance claims, since they made any at or above the impact limit more expensive. Most safety measures are introduced after careful evaluation including tests over a wide range of conditions.

It always surprises me how many people are clearly in the wrong line of work given their strident views and widely based synthetic knowledge.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Richard Jones 1
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No Excuse

It is 30 years since I used to attend global conferences and I still miss them. Fortunately I never saw anyone acting like those in this unforgivable display. For me coming from a rather more restricted environment the shear joy was meeting minds, not bodies that could extend my understanding of the business and improve my knowledge. I am glad that some still think that is what conferences should be about. Though I shall never again get the chance to travel and enjoy such meetings I am violently concerned that a few think they are simply an extension of 'Sleazy Joes night club and catch what you can emporium'.

As someone else said, sod HR go for the police jugular those creeps ruin conference experiences for everyone.

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Carbon tetrachloride releases still too high, says NASA

Richard Jones 1
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Unhappy

Re: Carbon Tet ?? banned since the 1950's... I thought...

I thought most people used the so called OXY bleaches for laundry to avoid or mitigate the effects on colours? I certainly agree on the odour from too many environmentally sound 'cleaning machines.' A weekly boil wash of the towels along with the odd oxy wash does help with that issue.

Thank you for suggesting, or perhaps pointing out a possible new source. It appears the only law the lobby industry cannot repeal is the law of unintended consequences.

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Richard Jones 1
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Holmes

Re: Dry Cleaning ?

Very unlikely to be from dry cleaning now. Dry cleaning is a lossy process hence you could smell the product in the long gone past. Unless someone is making and spitting new stuff into the cleaning business the old stocks should have been lost by now. If levels are increasing someone or something is making it or slowly releasing their strategic stocks. It is a long time since tetrachloride was a favoured production chemical in any business due to its 'side effects'. In the UK and I suspect most places Perchloretheylene came in to replace it industrially during the 1960s, so either someone is very keen to use it for their favourite military project, a clandestine maker has forgotten to stop making it and is venting excess production or it is a side stream output from an old or current activity. Due to its relative stability, it could possibly be that very old stock is simply leaching out and that with further time the rate will decline until it becomes negative.

However, the watchers of these things hate doubt so it is wise to check that no one is breaking the rules or that some other unknown process, natural or industrial is creating more of the stuff. The latter case would be the more worrying.

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Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN

Richard Jones 1
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WTF?

We Are Talking About Facebook Right?

Has anyone ever put anything useful let alone interesting on Facebook.

Surely most users would, if followed by any authority, be more likely to be charged with wasting police, (and everyone else's) time?

Or is there some magic to knowing what someone you never see bought, had for breakfast, went to see, etc., for the moment consider me totally confused.

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e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Some Useful Phrases and Words

Statement of Requirements and Objectives

Request for Proposals

Tender Documentation

Compliance Statement(s)

Contract

Delivery Schedule

Acceptance Test Schedule

A clear process in the event of a failure to deliver including what might constitute a breach of contract, e.g. a delivery schedule with clear milestones and testable milestone acceptance criteria.

There has been talk of this running four years late. If true that would be an achievement given that it it is claimed it was in trouble after only four years of life.

The partial information does not help those who are paying to understand what they are paying for other than a total cock up.

It is still not clear who screwed up and how, though I suspect a crap contract was at the root of the problem.

The old favourites such as liquidated damages are not worth the paper they are written on. You want a system, not years spent arguing in a court room over next to no payout for failure.

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Richard Jones 1
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Pick any Comparision

Dealing with opinions of Murdock and his warped views of the world. You have had a few but my opinions of the duffer run along the lines of:

Murdock is worse than plague

Murdock is worse than ISIS

Murdock is worse than Al-Qa'ida

Murdock is worse than your worst nightmare

Murdock is worse than a gang of drug crazed muggers

He ruined the print media, he ruined television, now he wants to wreak the internet.

Can the devil please come back out of retirement and swap roles back with him so letting the poor demented fool fester in peace somewhere.

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Richard Jones 1
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WTF?

Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

I upvoted you for you speak the truth. I first saw a computer in the early 1960s and have worked with them until I retired. However my taste in phones is not now supported. With little chance to get out of the house for long periods due to carer duties dealing with my children I have no need of an all singing and dancing phone. I need voice, text, long battery life yes, one touch voice calling with a headset like the 6320i yes. Internet and music are useless for me, though I do not begrudge those who need to options that are baggage for me.

I have found the market split between super phones at the top and nothing much phones at the bottom has almost cut me out.

It was interesting to see others display a range of needs that also do not fit the current marketer's dreams of heaven. Frankly this is a useful contribution at the lower end - the dual SIM idea is useful for those areas that are not spots for some networks when continued contact is vital - see above for reasons.

Note I have rational reasons for my needs as do others, we do not seek to restrict others, please do not restrict us to phones that are hardly as useful as a public call office.

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TracBeam sues Apple over location

Richard Jones 1
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FAIL

Re: WWII TECH RECYCLED FOR PATENT PURPOSES

Sorry if you fell asleep the critical bit was there was more to the sentence, in full it

'I cannot be bothered to look up all the details of using RDF for target location'.

Are you trying out for the USPTO?

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Richard Jones 1
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Re: WWII TECH RECYCLED FOR PATENT PURPOSES

I think you will find that triangulation techniques are involved in both cases. Yes the dambusters used lights with fixed angles, fixed distance apart - I said it used light to give an accurate 'fix' on their position relative to the ground.

For a while until they were jammed, both sides flew down radio beams and when another beam 'came in' they were over the target,

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Richard Jones 1
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WTF?

WWII TECH RECYCLED FOR PATENT PURPOSES

I am no defender of Apple but give me a break. I cannot be bothered to look up all the details of using RDF for target location or the (suspect spelling alert) Lorenz beam or airport approach location methods or the location of clandestine transmissions.

Talk about prior art in buckets, this is prior art in almost every conceivable form and quantity.

When the heck will someone take the US PTO outside and shoot it to put us all out of our misery? Frankly their ability to cause me to laugh until my side ache for days is making life a restricted affair. Still stupid is as stupid does and money does not just talk, in the US it kidnaps reason, so no doubt the Texas court will have the Dambusters paying royalty fees to these chancers for pre using their art before it was patented. (I know the Dambusters used light beams but light is just a different frequency.)

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Russia, China could ban western tech if they want to live in the PAST

Richard Jones 1
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Re: Works all ways

Let's see some of the good ideas we could import from Russia and China.

1) Right its my way or no way according to Putin and the politburo, how does that one fly chaps?

2) You want to complain about any government policy, there's no internet and a windowless cell for you?,

3) Want to go on strike stick that work or starve your choice oh and forget your family.

4) Want to make any sort of protest? We've not got an app for that we've got a bunch of apes acting as thugs with whips for that! See pussy riot photos for confirmation.

5) you want an Apple/MS/whatever toy, here is a nice unheated cell for you.

Yes I can see how the good ideas flow from those two 'wonderful lands' China and Russia.

Just don't let me stop you from applying to go there.

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Richard Jones 1
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Stop

Time To Wake Up and Smell The Grass?

It is now time to reconsider the idea of using China and others as cheap labour sites that can be safely employed for stuff that is essential(?) to us.

Perhaps Snowden's one useful contribution might yet be to make someone realise that making things that we want might well be better done at home and not the other side of the world. Then, rather than exporting jobs and importing debts we might start to run a re-balanced economy.

Perhaps then some good might yet come out of what otherwise has been a string of evil.

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China rips Apple out of govt IT mail-order catalogue – report

Richard Jones 1
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WTF?

Could There Be Something Deeper?

I suspect that this is not an Apple issue at all but a symptom of something else going on in China at the moment. They are organising something close to a witch hunt involving non Chinese businesses at the moment even though the indigenous lot are not squeaky clean. I suspect that there are economic motives and possibly something of a drive to close the bamboo curtain. We should watch and be ready, to re-assess our own desire to purchase from China if it is going to become a less than reliable open trader.

I am happy to sign up for free trade if is is free from restrictions but if it is to be free one way only then we need to look to see where the balance of advantage lies. We along with other countries have pleanty of unemployed people at the moment, do we need to continue to export jobs and import debts?

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Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

Richard Jones 1
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Re: Depends...

An interesting read, but one question. When you are using battery storage why not run things like lighting at the battery voltage and avoid the need for an inverter for such low power devices? In fact many modern devices only use mains voltage inputs because they are there. Surely routers, LED lamps, etc. could all run at 12/24 volts perhaps in a few cases with a suitable low cost interface adapter e.g. a portable PC battery connector.

I also wonder if an 'inverter per device' set up for such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines might make sense as the inverter would only be need to be powered while the machine was active. I am aware that heavy power cables would be needed for the DC - I have seen others fall foul of the need for increased current capacity as the voltage reduces!

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BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Richard Jones 1
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So There Is a Series

I did not know they were a series but this has helped to launch Tropico 5

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Richard Jones 1
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Re: @P.Lee - Obvious answer to obvious stupidity is obvious

I think that there are two points that some might miss. Bulk buyers of business machine buy PCs or whatever, but private home users get sold their devices.

So all most sales people need to say to a user is:

"This is the new xxxxxx."

Then they can take the user's money.

Businesses know what should work with their systems and buy accordingly.

So I Linux really wants to make an inroad one of two things has to happen, perhaps both. Business needs to decide that what is has now and coming is not good enough and needs to be replaced by a Linux box with 'this specification', or the big sales companies need to do more or less the same.

At the moment business can upgrade their win 8 boxes to 7 while users have abundant other choices Android et al.

If Windows (H)8 is really doing so well why is it not showing up in usage statistics, is it the down - oops sorry upgrade rights to Windows 7, or are too many people finding it a poor user experience that a Hudl and friends does better? My dog and his friends have accepted that Windows 8 is well an emaciated cat, they sit round wondering and pondering how humans get it so wrong.

Their consumer focus groups feed back suggests that many home computers are now Android or perhaps IOS mobile devices, which see one home computers replaced by a factor of 2 ~ 4 mobile items.

The only other discussion the dogs have is why my home still has numerous PCs all running Win 7 or other and no 'mobile toys' for them to get their teeth into.

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Richard Jones 1
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Coat

Re: Welcome to Urfscked. Population: you

OK I have mirrored my server disks so my 6 TB is effectively only 3 TB for a home system. I do have images from the last 40 years to store so not quite so wild but still...

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Twitter: Hey. Remember us? Hello, yes. Govts want to spy on us too!

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Re: Just say 'NO'

Why would anyone say yes anyway?

So many of the anti social sites are like the website feedback spaces of news papers. The appear to be a prime location for weird one to show they lack a grip on reality. Oh and for the even more stupid to show their unintelligent failure to understand humour, sarcasm or any other form of critical comment so they try to get roles in law enforcement.

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Recording lawsuit targets Ford, GM in-car CD recorders

Richard Jones 1
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FAIL

Hard Time Make Them Envious of Hard Disks?

Now be fair, how else is the industry going to afford its drugs bill otherwise. The basis of the claim is otherwise so stupid as to be laughed at in normal life.

Mind you I have a CD slot in my car but have never used it as much as once in 8 years and have no idea if it even works, the radio gives me traffic and roads status reports, a CD does not. Neither would a hard drive even if it would store 'The Wounded Bulls Greatest Squawks.

No doubt the 'recording industry' would like to sue me for not buying something to use in the player.

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Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away

Richard Jones 1
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FAIL

I May Not Be Typical

I am trying to understand what unmet needs I have that could be fulfilled by a tablet. So far I have come up with nothing much. Could I drive my photographic scanner, no. Would it be compatible with my printers? Probably not. Could I do photo correction? If I can work on a small screen perhaps but at my age that is an unattractive idea. Would it be more practical at my work station? No.

OK what would it do that I could use?

So far I have found nothing that would answer that question. Perhaps that gives an answer as to why sales of high price tablets are something of a niche activity. Apple appears to own the high end, I guess there are good reasons for that. The other end is possibly made of of don't care devices, as in

'I don't care if this is useful as it is low cost and it might just be a toy',

or

'I don't care if this breaks after a little while as it is cheaper to buy another with probably twice the capability than worry about the few pounds it cost.'

Where is the huge MS size market in this situation?

Their marketing told me Windows 8 was not for me and so far they have doing zero to convince me that a tablet is the slightest use. As for their cousins 'smart phones', when they catch up with the 8 year old phone I use please wake me up. I need proven function not 'dubious features'.

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Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

Richard Jones 1
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Re: Meh.

I have never used FB and I've lost out on nothing. My wife has it on her computer, which she does not even switch on everyday. She looks at Facebook from time to time but is it a pillar of her life? No not ever. As for having it on a mobile, if I am out and mobile it is because I am doing something and therefore engaged with an activity. Why would I want e-mail, facebook, or for that matter some dumb arse PPI sales twat calling me?

Sadly I do get the PPI calls, but never borrowing means that I have never wasted money on PPI either. The money saved on loan interest means that if I want something I can now borrow from myself and no one comes chasing if I do not pay 'me' back!

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Re: What I would like to know is....

It is not just when working on computers. Screw drivers are a vindictive lot with a sense of humour. They watch for the time when you have just spent 15 minutes lining up the most darned difficult set of bits and need to drive the screw to hold it from collapsing. Normally the driver is to be found in another room, or if assisted by a wife in the tool box in the tool store as it you "have finished with that thing".

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Richard Jones 1
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Joke

Re: I already have an NFC iPhone

Its an iPhone, do they even make telephone calls? I thought they were too cool for voice which might connect to a normal person.

To make calls you used to have to have a Nokia has that changed?

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Richard Jones 1
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Unhappy

Re: Cut or compress

Sadly this is the summer of discontent for some viewers of terrestrial TV with a poor selection of choices. The choice being reduced to Money feast winterball sponsored by Fifa*, Commonwealth Sports, or endless repeats that have not been greatly relieved by the shopping channels pushing I care not what.

One could almost wonder if there is a softening up process going on to prepare is for returning to radio or home entertainments all round the self generated performances and dropping TV altogether.

*Could this stand for Frauds Intermingling False Accounting?

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Verizon to limit unlimited 4G plans

Richard Jones 1
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First a disclaimer, I do not do mobile streaming, ever. So no special pleading here.

The design and distribution of cell sites is a technical effort that should be based on user location and usage data. However if you rely on the 'bung one in and hope' method results are likely to be poor. The 'All you can use' tariffs came from marketing; Capex and Opex limits come from the financial control side and customer demand comes from customer expectations of what they bought. Perhaps customers were simple minded, though in the case of some operators you need to be worse than simple minded to believe they would ever supply what they sold.

Above all cell sites need to be managed, in a normal well run enterprise this would mean cell division or other augmentation techniques, in Verizon's and many others cases it means service down grading, how typical.

It is the same the world over, you had good service from T-Mobile? Oh we are are EE now so we will pull out a few cell sites to save money and the service can go hang.

It is just that for some the technical aspects of service management are on another page in another book.

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

Richard Jones 1
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Pint

Re: Nothing works faster ...

I lived with the pain for ten plus years and took industrial levels of Dicloflex to no effect. I was even on Viox for a short time, what a story that came with: drug test data, it appears you might as well make it up.

When the pain got worse I graduated to Tramadol but then two and a half years ago I had a proper scan. I found out the I had a real problem that could be solved by a real action, (and it had better come quickly by that stage or I would have been in very serious problems with lower limb and organ function). So I went into hospital looking like a shoo-in for the hunchback of Notre dame and came out the next day six inches taller and not needing crutches, having had the stenosis resolved. Tramadol helped with all sorts of other pains but not severe nerve pain from pressure on the spine, it can make you more relaxed and able to sleep sometimes. Its said to be addictive, though side effects can discourage any repeat pill popping - at least with me.

The biggest success with back pain has been through posture correction while sitting and standing and trying to keep mobile, unfortunately, this cannot repair nerve damage or other joint wear and damage. So ineffective pills continue to be taken while I hope for something better.

I'm not sure which is worse, growing old or the alternative.

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HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs

Richard Jones 1
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Joke

Jobs?

I thought Jobs created a big business.

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Re: I think...

An interesting comment on trainers. Some years ago, more years ago than I like to remember my wife and I both bought some as walking shoes for a relatively few dollars while in Washington DC. I do not remember the name of the maker, but it was no one famous . They lasted us for years. Never been able to buy anything with a similar lasting quality since. 12~24 months and they are clapped out. UK ones are all damned expensive someone is making far more than they should.

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Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

Richard Jones 1
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Re: I'm gonna start a new business, anyone care to join?

While I like your style are you really being rude about USA Zero(worth) Halliburton and USA Transocean.

Watch out for black Hellicopters soon.

The lesson appears to be DO NOT TRADE with the blood in their own hands Yanks.

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Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

Richard Jones 1
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Re: Regardless who is the good boy here or the "less bad boy" I feel ......

The answer is simple, all in application purchases are null and unenforceable debts if there is no adequate protection mechanism in place. If (cr)apple get hit in the pocket rather than their silly customers getting hit perhaps they will sit up and smell the grass.

Mind you why anyone would be silly enough to give a child the keys to waste money in something as pathetic as silly electronic code pack purchases I cannot understand.

For god's sake or the child's help them to get a life.

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Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations

Richard Jones 1
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Word Play

If a supplier employs others in a way that does not conform to the contract you have with that party there is a clear breach of contract and trust. I do not know the terms of the contracts in China but if the local labour laws are being broken that does strike me as unlikely to be supported by the contract. If the entity contracting with the supplier feels the need to verify that laws and employment terms are not as they stipulated in the contract there is an obvious lack of trust.

If I cannot trust a supplier on one item could I trust them on anything else? Frankly no wonder Samsung are questioning whether they should use the company in question.

Playing about with the semantics of their statement might be a sarcastic way to show your beliefs, but I suspect that Samsung wanted to convey a belief that breaching the labour laws was unacceptable. By attempting to define the breach of trust they said too much they should have omitted anything after the fact that illegal practices are not supported, good bye.

I am not aware of Chinese contract law but in the UK indulging in illegal practices and bringing a purchaser into disrepute would likely raise serious legal doubts about whether the contract still existed. Most purchasers would have strong grounds for walking away from the contract as Samsung have threatened to do. Now I shall 'watch this space'.

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Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1

Richard Jones 1
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Re: No new dick extensions to China

Remember governments hate competition and the so called smart phones allow competitors to do what, (possibly better than the government) the government has been trying to do for years.

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

Richard Jones 1
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FAIL

And That Awful Sky

Between News Of the Screws and Carp TV he has the whole thing sewn up, sadly.

Talk about a race to the bottom.

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FCC commish: We don't need no steenkin' net neutrality rules

Richard Jones 1
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Facepalm

Re: …And Those Who Pull His Strings…

Almost there, customers are either money pits to be dug or turkeys to be plucked - perhaps both. And the FCC Commissioner is the dumb plucker, (did I type that right?) who will see they get robbed.

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Telefonica inks deal with mobile ads platform: Find your customer? There's an API for that

Richard Jones 1
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FAIL

Re: My choice?

Same here, I do not have a phone that supports this 'helpful activity', though unlike those phones mine does what I need.

It amazes me that people are happy to be hacked for the money others can make from them but get so worried that the billing info might be held for a while.

Mail filters are wonderful if you can get them to do what you want, though a delete key is pretty darned good.

If only I could now delete the ruddy scammers with whom I have NO relationship who ring and text to push PPI, double glazing, Microsoft 'support', solar panels, etc.

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Yelp files competition complaint against Google search biz in EU

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Who, What, Why

Who the heck are this apparently secret lot? Apart from having a name that sounds like a neighbour's dog complaining, why have I never heard of them before and more to the point, why would I need to know about them?

Broadly speaking I am in favour of choice, but I am also in favour of getting things done with the least effort. This does not included looking under every stone in case there is some other hidden group with which I may or may not be able to do some form of as yet unknown business.

If they are so darned good (at what?) why have I never heard of them?

Are they some form of yellow pages?

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Amazon woos dispute-stung Hachette scribes with 100% ROYALTIES

Richard Jones 1
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Sympathy For The Authors

I may sound an off beat tone but while I have sympathy for the authors who on average earn about £11,000 p.a. I am less able to show the same sympathy for the what is starting to feel like a Mafia who act as their intermediary. Trade rules are changing and the old order is always slow to 'wake up and smell the coffee'. Many industries are enjoying or suffering, (delete as required) dis-intermediation and this sounds like just another example of irresistible force meeting a wannabe immovable object in the shape of a publisher.

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

I'm Glad I don't Smoke What They Smoke

The title says it all, really I am glad that I am not into mind altering substances they way they are. Come to that I am glad that I am not into technocarp from them either. If this is the future bring back the quill pen or a possibly plastic version

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UK mobile sales in the toilet: Down by FIVE MILLION this year

Richard Jones 1
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WTF?

I Have Just Seen and Had An Interesting Conversation

My daughter has one of these wonder phones, all singing and dancing except that the call she had was terrible and she barely understood a thing that was being said. I pointed out that my old Nokia has voice. Her answer was that modern mobile whatevers, (they are not apparently phones) are really just expensive game blocks with a voice bit stuck on as an afterthought and she does not like calls as she can never understand what is being said! Her 'real life' consists of (anti)social sites dealing with people she has never met and will never see. Still she 'knows three generations of their family'. She just cannot have a conversation with anyone she has actually met.

Could it possibly be that the obsession with distorted reality technology is suddenly not looking so bright. When electronic representations of people are just not quite so important as real wetware should be?

I leave it to the real social anthropologists to answer.

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Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

Richard Jones 1
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Unhappy

Re: What's the point of having all that money

It might have been a stunningly uninformative interview but were they not stunningly badly designed questions?

I am still unable to understand what is being questioned, call me whatever you will for that failing.

If I want a list of places that might be able to suggest where I might find someone to help me find something that is one question and I would need a search site for that.

However, most times when I go to Google I want an actually 'thing', e.g. a blade for a mower.

I do not want to find another search engine that might either (a) find a mower blade or (b) another darned search engine.

Can someone please tell me whether I will still get what I want or would it be a non optional list of things I do not need, e.g. alternative search engines.

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New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

Richard Jones 1
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Flame

Re: This is news?

Now you have got me really thinking does this mean that we could get rid of that revolting crowd with Red Ed and his friend Mr Up, the Balls who previously help empty the treasury we are all having to pay to refill - my tax went up twice as fast as income as my contribution to the repair bill.

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Analyst: Chinese buyers shunning IBM, EMC, Oracle and Cisco

Richard Jones 1
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Unhappy

Something About To Roost?

With all the moves to outsource production to China and thus funding the investment in high technology production methods and teaching them how well they can make things it is to be expected that they would want to cut out the middle men. Snowden undoubtedly provided a nice public hat peg on which to hang the change but the USA reservations about Huawei provided a lovely reason to tie several things together.

So we now have a perfect storm. We have lost most of the production capabilities and skills to China, spent our available investment there, chased a mirage that they had a market we could sell to. For good measure we have also set off a mare's nest of security threats, oh happy days and lost visibility of threats.

Looking on the slim bright side. I feel just a little better that personal and family health issues are making travel that little bit less likely.

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