73 posts • joined Saturday 12th September 2009 06:21 GMT
Re: Asda v Apple planning applications
May I invite you to visit Motherwell, North Lanarkshire?
Huge, poorly designed and hideous ASDA monstrosity built across the road from the main shopping precinct. It has taken almost 5 years for the shopping precinct to recover after ASDA vacated the main area to move across the road.
I don't object to supermarkets, just piss ugly design.
Vodafone, Tax. Pah!
Don't make me laugh. Vodafone pay their tax bill? What a load of tosh.
Our second largest communications company avoids far more tax than the banks ever do, yet no-one seems to care. It's about time the media got over their obsession with bankers and Starbucks and started looking at the real UK-based tax avoiders.
Re: Track information
My last Sony car stereo supported CD Text, but I only ever found one Album of mine that actually had the information encoded. (Room Noises by Eisley for those that are interested)
However, that stereo was stolen a few years back and the model that replaced it, which I still use, may or may not, as it has never to my knowledge had a CD inserted in it. The front USB port and a 32GB miniature USB stick has seen to that, comfortably holding a good proportion (about a fifth) of my entire digital music collection.
My company has just spent millions kitting out most of our 8,000 frontline staff with new iPhones on the O2 network, only to find they couldn't communicate with any of them. Many of the staff who got these new phones with limited personal use, binned their own personal contracts. Cue dozens of Tech's acting like their left nut had just been cut off.
I shouldn't have gloated to them, but my Orange handset was working fine.
Dixons have their place.
While most of us that use the Reg are savvy enough to use different specialist channels to get our hardware fix, Joe Public still needs a shop where they can go in, touch, feel and play with the tech. So the usual snobby comments such as that above are simply not needed.
I'll admit to having bought a few bits and bobs from PCWorld when I have an urgent need for a part. I've even bought a PC from them, when they were the cheapest supplier of the one I wanted.
Dixons are a moderately successful British company, employing British people and paying British taxes. It's in the interests of us all that they see out the downturn.
Went shopping for a telly...
I went to Currys, Comet, Best Buy, John Lewis and done some diggin on t'internet.....
Best Buy was the most expensive retailer for the TV I wanted, didn't have it in stock anyway and said they would deliver it to my home in 2-3 weeks.
Currys was cheaper than BB by almost £50 (closely followed by John Lewis) and gave me the TV to take away there and then. Put me off BB on my first visit.
(btw, yes I could probably have found it cheaper than Currys if I had really tried, but I was happy at my £50 saving and sick of shopping)
I've already jumped ship
Like a poster above said, my first phone, way back in 1998 was a Motorola (StarTAC), then I had a Nokia (nk402), then in 2001 I made the jump to Ericsson with a T68 and have been using SE phones ever since.
But recently, I have been dissapointed with SE's equipment. They seem overpriced, under-specified and lacking in updates. I was on the verge of changing manufacturers when this news came about last week. So I went out and bought a Motorola Atrix. Farewell SE.
Never needed this icon before....
Seems appropriate now.
Given that various organs have already given away my email address I'm not going to cry about the loss of it again.
I'm sure whoever was responsible will face the usual employer reprimands. Case closed.
Also, check out my eBay listing for recently farmed email addresses.
Economy is going down the swanee...
Scotland has a dying economy, a budget deficit that would make the rest of the UK look fiscally responsible and a heroin/drink/fags/obesity problem....
Yet this is the most important topic on the SNP's mind?
Welcome to Scotland, we're all f***d.
Dialling starts instantly...
As soon as you start to input the numbers on an ordinary telephone, the dialling sequence commences in order to speed up the call connection. It therefore connects you to the first available line with a number corresponding to what's been dialled.
If you lived in Bournemouth and your friends new number was (01xxx) 150282 and you forgot to use the dialling code, then as soon as you dial the first three digits you would be connected to the BT fault reporting line.
I can't see what the fuss is about, as most people use the full STD these days anyway as many calls are made from mobiles.
Also.... as exchanges are no longer mechanical and numbers are merely a computer allocation, why can't every exchange be given an 02xxx number as well and these used for new connections (02xxx could be used for DSL exclusive lines without voice capability which would free up 01xxx ranges).
There are two different bridges, with two different names....
Forth Bridge - Railway Crossing
Forth Road Bridge - A90 Road Crossing
Similar to the situation in Gloucestershire / Wales.....
Severn Bridge - original bridge, now carrying M48
Second Severn Crossing - new bridge, carrying M4
I can't wear my crash helmet in a bank or petrol station.
So why should these women be allowed to wear a full face-covering outfit? I agree that there is no harm in it in normal public life, but if I am to be treated as a criminal for wearing a cumbersome piece of apparel then why shouldn't they in certain circumstances.
> Off to don a burqa and rob the local post office.
I feel an FOI request coming on to my local council....
Dear North Lanarkshire Council,
I would like to know if you have prepared emergency readiness plans for the following situations which may result in a downfall of civilization:
a) Zombie Invasion
b) Rage Infected Monkeys
c) Trained Ape Rebellion
d) Tremors (of the underground worm kind)
I appreciate that most of these have already afflicted the citizens of Motherwell as can be seen by the horde of half-blind, violently angry, zombie-fied Apes that populate the streets of a Saturday night. But I would like to know if the experience gained in that locale can be used in areas such as Cumbernauld, Wishaw and Coatbridge.
P.S. - BRAINS!
Do your research....
The BigYin: "...you can create as many straw men as you like, but my worry was that we suck at major contracts (which is why I said "any major UK contract"). Almost without exception, every major contract any modern UK government has tried has gone massively over-budget and been a total shambles."
I present to you High Speed One (or "Channel Tunnel Rail Link" as it was originally known), Delivered on time, and under budget, despite the collapse of it's customer, Railtrack, during construction. Also, the M74 Completion project in Glasgow is being delivered under budget and 9 months ahead of schedule.
I'm sure there are plenty more, but I have to get back to my own projects. All on time, and under budget.
I would miss Comet
I like being able to turn up and buy a TV. Being able to browse a product in real life and get a feel for its build is better than anything the internet can offer. TV bought, home and set up in an hour. Rather than waiting 5 days for overpriced delivery from a surly driver.
As for the salespeople, just tell them to go away. It's not hard.... the word is "no", feel free to use it. Also, Darty is just as bad as anything we have in this country. I tried to buy a prepay mobile phone in their La Defense, Le Quatre Temps store last year and all I kept getting from the salesbot was "you can't buy one, if you are not a French resident". So I went next door to the Orange shop and bought one there, no hassles.
Everything is ALWAYS someone elses problem, when in reality it is their own incompetence.
I like the railway analogies
Especially as Global Crossing's backbone network in the UK is installed alongside the railway after they bought out BRT in the 1990's.
Their hubs would be a secret if it wasn't for the fact that half the building I work in seems unoccupied and there is a secret door. I did try and talk a Thales engineer into letting me have a look one day (after all, I am a NR Signalling and Telecoms Engineer), but he was having none of it.
Oh, they also don't like it when you accidentally hack through one of their cables when replacing signalling equipment. Mines the orange one with the reflective stripes.
Not quite innuendo...
But there is a butchers near where I work in Lanark called "Damn Delicious" and I actually heard one of my colleagues (a devout christian) complaining that it was blasphemous.
When pressed for an explanation, he said it was because the use of the word "damn" in any connotation refers to using his particular deity's name in vain. I'll remind him of that next time he gives himself an electric shock (which is an alarmingly regular occurence).
I now do all my sausage shopping there! (ooh matron!)
Haha, so did my old local authority,
I remember all the paperwork from the old Strathclyde Regional Council having the nuclear free logo on them. They had obviously decided that HMNB Clyde (where the strategic nuclear deterrent is stored) and Hunterston A and Hunterston B Power Stations were in some other region.
I drove from Motherwell to Carlisle (85 miles) last week for a job interview at a steady 70, and was amazed at how I only used about 9litres of fuel compared to the usual 12-13 when I have a mad dash.
But, in response to what you said about the inside lane. I learned this lessons on the M6 when I used to drive from Bristol to Glasgow every month. Especially between Wolverhampton and Preston. The inside lane usually does move faster than the outside, because the outside is full of Audi's. BMW's and Merc's all pushing their way north.
I'm an engineer, working in the field.
My company provides me with a Vodafone handset for general use, but also an O2 handset for backups (less features, really just for voice calls). If both those fail, then I use my own Orange handset and bill them for expenses. Failing everything else, I have memorised the number for our Fault Control, and will beg, steal or borrow a phone. That also assumes that all the signal post telephones have also failed and I cannot even communicate through a signaller (yes, i work on the railway). So, I have three methods of comms provided by my employer and at least two of my own.
Maybe you should look at your own resilience before blaming everyone else. I agree Voda should have a bit more security and redundancy in their data centres, but your company can't be much better.
T-Mobile could be a roving hot drinks distribution platform. (i.e. snackbar)
Orange has been around since at least 1994, way back before T-Mobile had even been thought of. Remember "Mercury One2One"?
Orange as a brand has worldwide recognition, which was used in several countries by Hutchison Telecom (including Australia and Israel) and now it is a part of France Telecom it has become their primary customer facing brand throughout Europe and the French Overseas Territories (everything they do in France is now branded Orange).
Let's not forget, Everithing Everywhere is a holding company, not a customer brand. EE was created (from my perspective) purely as a method for FT to get their hands on DT's UK operations and for DT to start pulling out of the UK market without upsetting the regulators. FT own half the company, and are owed the outstanding value of the rest by DT (who were loaned the money by FT to pay for their half). When it comes time to pay, I reckon the cash strapped DT will simply hand over the keys. Hey presto, Orange PCS Ltd is resurrected. T-Mobile is kaputt.
Absolute tripe anyway!
I used their reserve and collect service for a part for my bicycle (needed it straight away, so didnt have time to go trawling around bike shops).
Reserved it online and toddled over to the store (about 6 miles away), only to be told that "We don't have that in stock. Maybe it got stolen from the shelf". Aside from the fact that it is a pretty strange thing to steal (a bottom bracket, the bearing collection that goes inside the frame between the two pedals), when did it go missing and when was the last time you done a stock check?
Last week I went into the store to buy an Air Filter for my car. Checked the little book on the shelf, picked up the one stated, paid my £12 and went home to fit it. To find it was 2 inches short on each side. Called the store to be told that it must be an unusual model. Last time I checked, a Vauxhall Corsa is a pretty damn usual model of car. Funny how, if my car is so unusual that the local Vauxhall garage was able to sell me a GM OEM filter for £7 (cheaper than Halfords!!! at a GM parts dealer!!!!) just by knowing my engine size. Sounds pretty standard to me.
Bunch of useless twats.
As a Network Rail signalling engineer can I just add that this is the bane of my very existence.
However it does provide me with some mirth when the halfwits (almost always in a relatively new, metallic painted, unmarked Ford Transit) come out in the dark, armed with a Stihl saw, cut the cable and drag it off into the darkness.
Then a call comes in from the Signalbox to say some random telecoms assets have dissapeared off the grid. The stupid twits nicked the Fibre Optic cable. Serves 'em right! Should be interesting when they burn the insulation off at the scrap yard and find the whole things melts.
Don't get me started on Scots Gaelic.
I live in a part of Scotland that was settled by the Britons from Northern France. "Scots Gaelic" as it is known was never spoken widely here, and certainly isn't spoken at all here now. In fact, without even having to take a poll I would bet there are no more than half a dozen people in my town of 38,000 that can fluently speak the language. There are certainly little more than 30,000 in a whole country of 5,500,000 that can use it fluently.
The dominant language in this corner of Scotland made up of the former kingdoms of Strathclyde and Northumbria was Cumbric, a language more closely related to Welsh and Cornish than Scots or Irish Gaelic. But our current el Presidente in Edinburgh (Dun Eideann) and his cohorts at Transport Scotland in Glasgow (Glaschu) seem to be on a mission to educate us by train. They have started giving all the stations and timetables gaelic translations, including some which have had to be completely invented as no gaelic place name existed. For example, the town of Lanark (from the Cumbric, "Lanerc") has had to be given the name Lannraig even though its English name is almost exactly derived from its original Cumbric.
I say, let these old languages die and dont waste time teaching children them.
That's a bloody good idea...
A lot of traffic lights round these parts seem to have acquired odd gray boxes and aerials on top of them recently. I presumed it was some kind of trial by the council because it seems to be quite a rural location for traffic management.
But methinks it's time to break out the hammer and go get some free SIM's. It's only South Lanarkshire Council (who recently gave some money to a Nigerian general and nearly closed a dozen schools because someone forgot to carry the 1 in a budget) so no doubt they are open to all uses.
A previous government privatised BT....
... now they can do whatever they like.
Their regulator was only ever tasked with ensuring BT could not abuse their monopoly, not with ensuring universal coverage of services other than voice. Hence all the Ofcom bleating about network sharing and LLU (which probably only applies to the physical network as existed at privatisation) and sweet bugger all about making sure that both the chap high in the Mendips and the chap in west London can get high speeds via broadband (which hadn't even been thought of as a possible pipe dream in 1984).
You get what your parents generation voted for.
How dare Microsoft encourage people to use it's newest product and make life difficult for people that hanker for the olden days. It's MS's product to do with what they wish and i'm fairly certain that their lawyers have made sure the EULA covers luddites.
I own a new car, it came with a CD player. I own some old cassettes but my manufacturer doesn't install them anymore. I'm sure the dealer could find me a cassette player and install it when the vehicle was delivered, but it would and should cost me more because it is now non-standard.
The world revolves around the sun and MS will continually upgrade Windows. Deal with it!
Worked sort of all right for me.
After a few failed attempts and some light swearing I eventually managed to reserve a new BD-RE drive on their website at about 2am on Boxing Day morning. Good job I printed out the confirmation screen because I didn't get the customary email or SMS. Perseverance paid off, and I got my new drive in their sale.
Why did I get it at PCW? Never had any problem with them in the past, though I'm not stupid enough to let them anywhere near any kit after I have bought it. The three local specialist hardware shops are staffed by "nosey know it all tech gits" who, no matter what you pick up, will tell you that it is inferior to whatever they have in their PC at home and that they can sell you the best one if you are prepared to mortgage your house, and in fact, you look too stupid to install it yourself so you better bring in your kit. Whereas, PCWorlds PFY's I can just tell to f**k off and leave me be. Much like the one a couple of years ago who was convinced you could plug a firewire lead into "any spare USB port".
Why not t'internet. Time. I needed to archive over a hundred GB of data and send it by close of business today. So, my only option was a new drive and a couple of BD-R DL discs.
On my 4th Oyster card since launch.
Since Oyster was launched all those years ago, I have had 4 cards. One got a hot spin cycle and 2 were stolen. Yes people, theft does happen on the Underground. It was once snatched out of my hand at the gates in Warren Street Station and once pickpocketed from my coat pocket as the thief could see exactly where I had put it.
So now, I always hold my Oyster card in the palm of my hand rather than in my fingers so it can't be whipped away from me, and I always place it into a pocket with nothing else in it and preferably the tighter pockets on my trousers so I can feel strange fingers snatching at it.
I'm not sure I relish the thought of it being my Visa Paywave card or expensive NFC equipped handset being nicked.
Opels and not always RHD.
The one which snapped a photo of me slacking off work in my van in the lovely village of Crawford, South Lanarkshire was a red LHD Opel Astra with a Spanish numberplate.
One assumes the corporate entity got a job lot from Opel and distributed them in the proper configuration to the national entities. My Spanish one was probably surplus.
Good, if deployed properly.
My employer deployed Wyse terminals to our communal staff areas to replace standard Dell desktops which were due for end-of-life replacement.
The only problem is that while we can carry out simple tasks such as checking fault logs and reading emails, it is useless for certain very important tasks required in my field.
Much of our field equipment (deployed during the early-mid 1990's) can only be interrogated via a dial-up telnet connection. The Wyse terminals are incapable of this. Also, rather stupidly, they send us our monthly video briefing by DVD, the Wyse terminals don't have an optical drive. There are many other safety critical tasks which the terminal cannot perform.
Also, due to the very remote location of our base, our corporate network access is very slow (<1Mb/s), which results is app access being ridiculously long. It takes 2 minutes to open MS Word alone!
Our manager tried to have the terminal replaced with a desktop, but IT refused on grounds of policy. Eventually he got round it by requesting a personal issue laptop for himself and then donating it to our cause.
It would seem that some IT managers have blind ambition to save power and cost with these terminals, but if in turn that means I cannot get the equipment up and running as I don't have the means to remotely interrogate the it, then any IT savings will be swiftly lost in compensation payments to the customer.
It must be 1977...
because who the **** are Dixons? I remember them, but there are users of this website younger than me thinking "Who/What is Dixons?", "Who is George Lucas?" "What is a Washing Machine?".
Wasn't that brand name consigned to the depths of the internet (and oddly, the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal) years ago, being replaced with the rapidly disappearing and bizarrely named Currys.Digital shops.
I have noticed that the DSG International plc website is now "Dixons Retail", why? That brand name is dead (except for said retail website), so if the company must be renamed, why not as Currys Group or something that has some resemblance to your actual business.
Similar ideas would be renaming the parent company of O2 as "Cellnet" or even better the parent company of B&Q, Kingfisher being renamed as "Woolworths plc".
I think you need to check with your bank.
My Lloyds Visa Debit card has been refunded before due to fraudulent transactions both by an illegitimate retailer (Esso Petrol Station) and online services (random Cypriot website). Both times it was done without fuss and money was refunded instantly to my account while the dispute was resolved.
Provided you have a good history with your card then there isn't a problem. I never use my Lloyds card for online transactions which look less than secure (I have a crappy second account for that) and I rarely use it outside of major retailers. But I hardly ever use cash.
AFAIK Visa Debit Cards (former Delta cards) are now subject to all the same rules as Visa Credit Cards which is why they can be used in all the same places including in car hire facilities which normally only take Visa CC. I can't say the same for Electron however as even though they are now branded as plain vanilla Visa they still come with several restrictions on their use.
Something for nothing and people just like to moan. Availability of network just doubled and I still only pay £20 a month. Works for me.
For the first time ever, I was able to surf t'interweb on Wednesday morning in the "Throne Room" at work as my handset roamed onto T-Mobile UK (it even came with a congratulatory text message for my first domestic roaming experience).
As for the name, as a former Orange employee who witnessed the way France Telecom took over Orange plc (buying the company, floating it, then buying back the remainder) I think it's a safe bet that Everything Everywhere will be just plain old Orange PCS Limited within a few years.
France Telecom put in some cash and Orange UK, Deutsche Telekom threw in T-Mobile UK and had to borrow the cash from FT. So when the time comes to pay it back and D-T can't put in the readies, I reckon FT will just allow them to hand over their 50% of EE, therefore making it a wholly owned subsidiary again. As Orange is now the global brand for almost all FT operations (only sticking with the corporate France Telecom name at the behest of "le gouvernement de la République") it will once again become Orange in the UK.
Who pays that for second hand?
My brand new HP laptop cost £550 from PCWorld and has plenty of the appropriate bells+whistles.
So not only were the couple attempting to buy stolen goods from "some bloke" on the street, but they were willing to pay more than they could from a reputable retailer.
If you ask me they deserve everything they get. The couple were probably brother and sister anyway.
PS, funnily enough I had been looking at jobs in Huntingdon with a major communications equipment company. Might just go down and fleece the locals instead, looks like easy money.
Take a look.
I think you will find that North Lanarkshire is a Labour controlled local authority with a sizable majority. One of the very few left in Scotland.
Not that there is anything wrong with it. Better than the SNP, who would be too pre-occupied with trying to rename the council with a gaelic name.
Works fine in Brussels and Paris.
The Villo in Brussels and Vélib in Paris seem to work fine. In fact I use them fairly regularly, and have never had a problem. I cycled from the Berlaymont to Gare du Midi in Brussels last week for a mere £1.23, which is cheaper than the Metro system. I am just a casual user as well, and it couldn't have been simpler. Slot in your card, select a bike, cycle away.
As for not being able to return the bike, there tends to be massive cycle hire stations at train stations and on the outskirts (places like the Pont de Neuilly Metro station on the outskirts of Paris or the Gare du Nord) and smaller ones in the main business areas of the city. I have never had a problem returning a bike. You are never more than 500m from a return station, and they usually tell you where the nearest one with free slots/free bikes are.
There is a flow of bikes in one direction, but this is usually sorted out overnight by the scheme operators who attempt to balance the loadings and there are more stands than bikes.
So, a scheme that works fine elsewhere falls apart in this country. We Brits could not organise a convivial get-together in a place of ale production even when following a plan laid down by previous soirée organisers.
You want mobile gaming, then buy a PSP.
I'm sorry, but the same thing would probably happen if I moved my PC while a disc was spinning up. The XBox was not intended to be moved while in play. If you all of a sudden take the urge to reposition all the furniture in your room midway through a game of CoD then you need to take the consequences.
Also, as my XBox lives under the TV, if it does get booted in the name of Kinect gaming, then the TV is highly likely to get booted first, and I don't need to tell you which costs more!
I got one....
Purely for convenience. It's quite handy for EU travel (it's a rare occurence for me to go outside the EU, in which case I would need a visa anyway). I've never had a problem when using it and all operators I have used (AirFrance Régional, bmi, BA, Eurotunnel, P&O) have taken it without issue. Some EU countries do also require you to have your passport or national identity card on you at all times, so forgive me if I think something that slots in my wallet is a tad more convenient than a ruddy gert book.
I see it as less of an ID card, and more of a small passport. In fact, my drivers licence has more visible sensitive information on it. Someone get's my drivers licence, they also get my address. The only visible useful info on my ID card is Name and Date/Place of Birth and let's face it. The average street mugger doesn't have any interest in trying to access biometric data or would even know how to pass this information on. I would be far more concerned about my Credit/Debit cards and Drivers Licence falling into their hands.
It is not, and should never be compulsory. Even Labour knew they would never get away with making it compulsory. If you don't want one, don't get one. But given the sums spent on it, I think the ConDem's are wasting an even more obscene amount of cash by scrapping it purely out of spite.
I probably won't fight to get my £30 back, because it's not a battle I have any chance of winning. But please Dave/Nick, can we at least look at introducing a small passport for EU travel, because I'm not sure my actual passport will last for much longer in my pocket.
You have your iPhone OS...
...and I will have my Windows For Workgroups.
Yes, you may have fancy apps for everything including best tips for a good bum scratch and GPS directions to the nearest Kosher Thai restaurant. But do you have XCom, Transport Tycoon and Theme Hospital?
I suddenly feel all nostalgic for MS-DOS, and feel the urge to go home and dig out my old 133MHz Pentium (now with MMX technology!!) from the attic, and fire up the old bird.
Bring back the airyplanes!
If only so that I can get on with my job on the railway, without the constant stream of bloody Virgin Trains getting in my way. There has been a lot of extra traffic on my stretch of railway, so much so, that planned renewals jobs are being cancelled for Saturday night/Sunday morning. Presumably to allow trains to run later and earlier (West Coast Line is normally completely shut down on Sat night/Sun morn).
Working on the railway would be much easier without trains.
I am already preparing my excuses for Fault Control about it being the wrong type of ash. :-)
Do you want it? Useless as an Airport and a town.
Remember those old airports you used to see in films like Airport '79 and such.... that's Prestwick today. Sorry, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport. As close to Glasgow as Beauvais is to Paris, i.e. not very!
Iceland = Undefined?
I was under the impression that Iceland straddles both Europe and North America, hence the ridiculous amounts of seismic and volcanic activity to be found there.
Unless you mean Iceland, the purveyor of piss-poor frozen foods? If my mum went to Iceland, I'd get her labotomised.
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