2780 posts • joined Monday 12th October 2009 20:43 GMT
Hotel InterNet access may seem lax but almost every room connection ...
in the country has activity recorders attached to record and transmit back each individual rooms 'net activity. They were installed in preparation for the Olympics.
Our company uses a small hotel in NanNing when attending a work site. We hook a TP-Link WiFi up to a directional antennae, and crank the power up with a software patch, and use the connection at the work site.
At least we have access to more web sites than the locals do from their broadband connections.
In the more remote hotels in YunNan Province, which borders VietNam, Laos and Burma/Myanmar, the hotels have no room activity recorder as you can see the broadband connection coming through the wall and connecting to the modem and the hub for the rooms.
New Navy procedure: Ordering ships without armaments - Part 2
Britain's last aircraft carrier was scrapped a couple of weeks before everyone's 'hero', Cameron, decided to conquer Libya in 2 or 3 weeks, months ago.
But the Ministry of Defence, always on the ball, has ordered two new aircraft carriers which will be delivered in a few years time.
Everyone but everyone knows 'mods' aka 'variations' is where suppliers make money.
So our gallant desk bound admirals ordered these ships, but without knowing what aircraft will fly from them - in fact there will be no aircraft when they hit the water. The choice of aircraft will determine if the carriers will be equipped with the standard steam driven or the latest maglev launching system.
If they go with maglev on only one carrier it means when the maglev version is out getting oiled and greased the other, steam launcher version will be unable to launch the other carriers aircraft.
So what did these expensive destroyers teach DOD about procurement? Squat! And once again the British tax payer get to pay twice or three times the original cost.
Part 3 are the Trident submarines .....
Apple products - computers or Lemon 4's - are perfect; Jobs said so and would he lie?
Once again, Jobs mob is playing dishonest with their customers. Seeing how they have already been taken for premium prices you would hope for, but not expect, straight dealing.
No one is perfect, except in Job's mind - and that the sun shines out his nether end.
Name Brand versus Generic
In most Canadian provinces pharmacy customers have to be asked if the want name brand or generic EXCEPT WHEN doctors add, on a prescription, no substitutes.
Not being able to opt for a generic maybe explains why NHS costs are so high!
Many name brands only 'touch up' their formulas in the hope of maintaining a patent, according to a Canadian research paper issued when drug copyrights were being re-legislated.
Unless you can squeeze money down your broadband you have to use plastic
Canada has quite an able national police force, as well as provincial and municipalities, and it certainly doesn't need the US FTC. A simple message to the RCMP liaison office in Washington, DC is all that is required.
Snake-oil originated in the US, and reading US newspapers they are as active as ever (cancer cures abound). If the FTC had completed cleaning up the mess south of the 49th then perhaps, they can cast their eyes wider.
The US often thinks Canada is it's 51st state, it isn't - that's why both countries have border controls.
The US thinks it is the worlds policeman, it isn't, yet you find the US Coast Guard challenging ships in the East China Sea and other places thousands of miles removed from the continental USA. It pays little heed to the niceties of other countries rights; there are US DEA officials in many countries.
If the offending company did wrong, Canada is more than capable of handling it - without having to deport the operators to the US for their version of 'justice'.
Credit card errors can be resolved through the card issuer and the card issuer is well able to withdraw credit card handling facilities to businesses, of any kind, so they will lose the convenience.
Besides, if Americans are dumb enough to supply credit card details in order to receive a purported 'free' offer, and they are incapable of thinking something is fishy, then they are fools.
Follow the crowd phenomena are not new ...
as it is common in Lemming behaviour.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada was earlier known as Pile of Bones. Before the West was settled the First Nation Indians used to drive buffalo over low cliffs to kill them - the easy way.
The first few buffalo to the edge were hard to get over the edge but followers, seeing the first buffalo head over, simply followed.
Similarly, a few few early adopters entice the rest of the Jobsian supplicants to follow them. Just like sheep.
FTC: Clean up your US acts first ...
as one of the things the US continuously complains about is on-line Canadian pharmacies (chemists in the UK).
I was recently in the US and I was given a prescription for Biaxin XL 500 milligram tablets for which several pharmacies wanted USD$38.02, plus dispensing fee.
I went on-line to a Canadian dispensary and the generic of this, Clarithromycin, was only USD3, plus express mail and dispensing fee of $4.
So FTC, close your scammers down first, before chasing down Canadian entrepreneurs.
The UK government needs a single, coherent policy
My understanding is that UK law holds that websites that host chatrooms, such as this, are not responsible for content UNLESS they actively edit content.
Then people want ISPs, etc. to get in the business of moderating websites their users access, which, IMO, puts their heads in line for potential legal action.
On the other hand telco's are completely free of these encumbrances if their users plan so called acts of terrorism or just a simple break and enter.
Both classes of entity are 'common carriers'. Maybe the government could hold electricity supply companies responsible for supplying electricity to a indoor marijuana growing operation?
Why don't they absorb ...
ACPO into the Home Office so that British citizens can have law governing their police rather than guidance from a bunch of old reprobates who get their positions by not getting court at anything disreputable during their careers.
At least the Home Office and the government is answerable to the pubic at election times whereas ACPO just goes on and on.
The top cover fell off my SIM and it revealed ....
not one but two chips each covered by some sort of glue.
The cellco provides GSM with 3G.
Do we really care, when there are quality products from ....
TP-Link? Their products can be patched and all manner of neat 'features' added including high power outputs.
ASUS has it's new WiFi line, too.
Linksys always looked 'clunky' with it's case designs.
In the days before Thatcher buggered up the railways ...
and the Metropolitan line ran on electric traction to Rickmansworth where it switched to steam engines and later to diesel electric, the guards had a whole 'van'/carriage to themselves with plenty of room for passengers goods to be carried.
I have seen a small horse in a guards van in those times as well as a few sheep. Then they 'improved' the service by electrifying the rail to Amersham - but no more guards van.
Another UK politician reveals how stupid they can be
Laying cables today often involves ploughs and pigs.
Ploughs, designed for cable laying, can dispense armoured cable straight off a reel to a depth of about 1.5 metres, dependent upon the type of soil or the lack of it.
Pneumatic 'pigs' are devices shaped like a torpedo, in which a reciprocating weight, driven by compressed air, that can make holes under lawns and roadways in minutes. Think of it like a piston from car that is designed to strike the top of the cylinder, and kinetic energy drives the 'pig' forward. Some are 'steerable' within limits.
The problem has been, in the past, that the former BT entity always went the 'gold' route with cable conduits being installed (remember those 4 and 6 hole pipes?) and their conformity tested by dragging a test piece through them to ensure it didn't get stuck.
Canada has had thousands of kilometres of all sorts of cables laid by ploughs. Even undersea cables are ploughed in to prevent damage from fishing tackle.
The 'drops' to premises can be pre-manufactured so field work is minimised and limited to feeder connections in street distribution boxes.
Maybe the unemployed Davis has in mind can be used to make tea or coffee or roll the spools of cables around. Certainly they are not need for digging holes.
ACPO guidance which the Supreme Court has now deemed unlawful ....
Once again the unregulated ACPO is wrong.
Why doesn't the Home Office, a ministry rather than a prejudiced bunch of under-employed chief's of police, pass a LAW? Guidance is a recommendation and has little force in law.
The Supreme Court also failed: it should have struck down the ACPO 'guidance' and suspended it for 12 months to allow Parliament to get it's act together. All we have now is an indeterminate process.
HTC could complete customer frustration by ...
using an Indian call centre to handle complaints.
So next time a UK citizen proves how insecure a Pentagon computer is ...
the USA will bypass the niceties of deportation, etc and just send a drone to zap the offenders house?
I don't think so - better that server owners accept responsibility for their security.
Customer access to SIM's is key to ...
having the ability to use post or pre-paid services and to make the change without resorting to a fee-based service.
I travel frequently internationally and frequently see fellow passengers switching their SIMs for their destination carrier. Unless there was provision for multiple carriers, software SIMs, as used by the rapidly declining CDMA, the physical SIM will have it's advantages.
There is a limit to Apples stupidity in seeking Thin and that is SIMs need holders and contacts.
Why not have a David Davis unemployable accompany the inspectors ...
and stay in the hotel room guarding the electronic goodies?
You can also buy sealed satphones that cannot be physically accessed apart from charging them and the antennae.
Of course, a tube of glue also provides the potentiality of detecting tampering - a cracked case is a dead giveaway.
Canada, eh? What a pity!
It's most likely the border jumpers from south of the 49th who have just realised that the laws in Canada are way different from the U.S.A.
So many of the heavy handed, draconian laws - such as the DCMA - are not in effective in Canada, plus we have some extremely fast InterNet pipes.
It's similar to the there being no TSA to rifle your air baggage - Canada is much more understanding and offers a great way to avoid the U.S. of A.
And our BC marijuana is way better than anything the U.S.A. has, along with the beer! You know something is going right up here when the DEA is bitching about our laws. What better reasons to come north?
It's not tha Android isn't 'open', it's that Google wants an offset for all of it's free services
Both Google and Apple seem to have gone the same route - only Apple has the applications store hoop for developers to negotiate.
Google offers 'free' services from which it obviously derives benefits and since it allows anyone, seemingly, to use Android at no cost, why can't it make contractual limitations?
Next we'll have the Android pad manufacturers jumping up and down saying but we can't access the Google App Store unless we make our pad a telephone.
Rubin and Jha are experienced businessmen and undoubtedly aware of the niceties of U.S. law. If Skyhook does not have a document that specifically says it's Google or the high road it's all a matter of 'he said' which isn't the greatest evidence to fight a case over.
Recently Skyhook has inveigled it's way on to Android through an App, or two, that uses Skyhook services which sort of weakens it's case. Besides if Skyhook wants on so bad you have to wonder what THEY are doing with the aggregated data and who are they going to SELL it to?
Still, this case makes a change from the petty Samsung stole our rounded corner icons with a black line in it we have from Apple.
This application was a preliminary one for a very minor matter, the type of games lawyers play to bug each other so nothing really flows from the Boston Beaks decision.
Does it really matter when all those little Androids are out there ...
doing such great emulations of ET and phoning home with massive mother loads of pay dirt - all at no cost?
I've never appreciated people's concern anyway - if you have a transmitter, and it is turned on, it may be received by anyone. If people want to get in a tizzy over what Google, and many others, are doing, turn the bloody transmitters off.
If you want keep the transmitters on, learn how to set them up - not take it out of the box and plug it in! And don't use WEP - make anyone wanting to use your WiFi work for the privilege.
Better for Google to help shape "self regulating policy" than simply have it put down it's throat
Google most likely perceives what the ultimate regime will be demanded by the politicians and has wisely decided to participate so it can make it's views known, if not accepted.
The most important thing on the tracking agenda is mobile tracking of any kind without informed user consent.
No doubt it is a novelty for ICE for someone to actually ...
and question their bona fides. After all the are part of the world's greatest government and Mozilla is an American outfit who should be pulling their forelocks and prostrating themselves before the flag.
Could this be a delayed April Fools joke?
Business media channels report that the decision was made by the Microsoft way back in April.
Could it be the jokes on MS?
At least MS won't have my real email address, I always use a different address, each time, when signing up for things.
Quantico official issuing the order responded, "We will do whatever we want to do"
Just proves the marines are mentally as dumb as they look with their short hair cuts - and they think they are above the law.
Little wonder they are behind so much of the excess cruelty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Readers who aren't sure if they're affected might want to err on the side of security ...
Being on FB endangers:
- Your job prospects
- Mortgage potential
- Even, especially for Koreans, prospective wives
- Police interviewees for people associated with criminals
Schneiderman is a State AG and they don't marching orders from the Feds
New york State Attorney Generals are known to to be very independent so Sony will have a little more reaching to do, than usual.
It's good to know that Reg Readers aren't the only Doubting Thomas'
In reality Sony brought this whole chain of events down upon itself when it shafted it's customers by 'upgrading' the Play Station OS and making it impossible to use for running other OS.
Anonymous rightly protested, albeit in it's unique way, but obviously there were yet other other unplacated users.
Sony, having failed in the duties of a server owner, by not patching it's server software, suffered what is not such an unusual thing - they got hacked.
Then Sony USA turns around and blames Anonymous for it's woes? Give me a break - next they will claim Anonymous should have told them about their server failings.
At least others than the technically with it aren't buying the story which is to their credit. Sony USA needs exposing, feet first, to a very hot furnace until the truth is outed. The USA, being the worlds leading torturers, must have something that works even on Sony.
It is a pity the New York AG isn't as fast off the mark in chasing down those white collar criminals who nearly bankrupt the USA, or on Goldman Sachs who bet against it's very own customers..
First Apple and now HP, must be a industry trend ...
letting purchasers do the QC for them. Doesn't seem to improve pricing in our favour though.
Next we'll have keyboards and sheets of stickies so we can really have custom keyboards.
YOU might not care but identification information should be guarded like your bank account
I have never given my Social Insurance Number (Canada) or Social Security Number (USA) to anyone for years.
Canadian uses of the SIN are well defined in law and no one can use them as identifiers be it police or credit bureaus.
In the US almost everything is linked to it but I refuse to give it as it is lawfully used only for the payment of taxes/pensions and the collection of retirement benefits.
Once an inquirer knows you know the law they usually back down.
They might steal your information but no one has ever stolen mine, easy since I never hand it out.
If the attack was based on a “known vulnerability” why didn't SONY fix it up front?
Sony is responsible for this successful attack if, as they now claim, attack was based on a “known vulnerability”.
Things are supposed to updated when weaknesses become known not after clients data has been stolen.
If not Legal then it is at least Immoral
First of all I accept that, for purposes of troubleshooting, certain historical datasets are needed. For instance an LG handset with a slider keyboard counts the number of slide operations.
Likewise collecting the last 30-50 cell sites or a similar number of WiFi transmissions (1) If used by the handset in question; (2) Used within the past 7 days; and (3) accessible only to a 'local' service need (i.e. a technician troubleshooting the handset) is OK.
However, TRANSMISSION of this data is wrong and IMMORAL. This involves, usually without INFORMED user consent, the collection of geolocation data (otherwise for what use would it be) and an IDENTIFIER (no identifier reduces the use of the data) and THEFT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS.
Apple has admitted it has collected data for up to about a year. What use can this aged data be used for?
I do not accept for a minute that it was an oversight. Any software author knows damn well how difficult it can be to get an authorised service to function properly. This infers that a great deal of effort went into this data collection. What triggered a collection and what triggered a transmission?
Then let's consider the transmission. Handsets and cell sites have strict protocols and even if such protocols were successfully navigated, how was the mass transmission of this data 'ignored' by Apple. Stray strings of data, in my experience, almost always result in a Request for Retransmission/NAK and almost always GUARANTEED to trigger an alarm.
This implies either Apple has sloppy server software that ignores certain transmitted data - which requires programming or they are lying - again.
Apple has had sufficient problems with Lemon 4 software for it to have checked, and cross-checked, almost every line of code used in the handset if only to save 'face' in the case yet more weaknesses are exposed.
It is common to find notable 'remarks' in software code but the comments are short whereas Apples data collection code would be far lengthier.
I personally would have less concerns with data collection if (1) Apple and Google, etc. were up front about it; (2) if users had control over transmissions; (3) if users were compensated for transmission time.
No one needs to know a users location unless a handset has gone 'rogue' and cellco's already have plenty of ways to minimise interference since almost all handset operations are subject to their control.
Authorised entities can already interrogate a handset's GPS function without the knowledge of a user so why is it necessary for a MANUFACTURER to know where it's products are?
Since Apple et al cannot be trusted to practice proper privacy it is incumbent upon legislators to put in place the necessary laws, with large financial penalties, to ensure compliance.
What was he convicted of or was he bailed twice?
The Canadian Courts take themselves very seriously and it is quite likely even though the original offence was a nothing, failing to appear IS taken very seriously, even in Quebec, and is often treated as a contempt of court type offence.
The RCMP won't like to be considered to be doing a CDPMA a 'personal' favour as it supposed to treat all people equally. Mind you, it's kind of hard to get hold of them as they use telephone answering machines a lot. The RCMP office for Toronto is about 40 kilometres out of town!
GuangXi Province has over 140 jails and even from the outside ...
they look depressing. No one, but no one, would want to stay in them.
For a short list of the prisons see < https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_prisons_in_Guangxi >. These are where the prison factories exist.
For a country whose raison d'être has always seemed to be ...
plagiarism locking these guys up seems a bit rich.
They should be given 'gongs' for entrepreneurship.
You don't need to store ID data in a file
Any cell phone can be interrogated for it's unique identifier, along with other criteria - it need not be stored anywhere else.
The fact that so much data is accumulated makes it suspicious. Google has strict limitations on the data it accumulates which makes it more believable that the data is being used for trouble shooting.
Even though Apple has many more communication failures, and probably needs more data, it doesn't excuse them collecting 365 days worth of information.
Reverse triangulation, i.e. mobile location using cell info, is far less accurate than cell data used to locate a handset especially now there is sophisticated software to d the job in real time, it makes the Apple database even more suspicious.
Even though I disagree with Apples lock-down philosophy, I am also against ANY accumulation of user data for any purpose unless it is stipulated clearly, in writing, and with user control of it's transmission.
That is why I do not carry a smartphone and until these aspects are governed I will not buy a smartphone. I use a satellite telephone and I understand the data that can be deduced from my communications and I accept these as a limitation. I can also govern my use of the satellite handset in order to minimise useful data.
People who claim they do not worry about being tracked are naive: the trust in governments and their agencies are minimal these days and likewise with law enforcement so minimising collected data frustrates any attempt at 'framing' someone.
I sued a Canadian police authority and in the process I subpoenaed their 'intelligence' files and spent 4 days dragging through the accumulated data. I was amazed at what inferences they deduced from certain data. At one time I carried a chemical heat conductive paste - the white goo that you see on properly installed semiconductors such as processors - it is poisonous. I also carried a powdered form, that looked like talc. It was intended to pack around high powered semiconductor RF amplifiers to carry away the heat.
According to the police 'intelligence' it surmised that I had it so I could poison an air-conditioning duct work system to poison people. To achieve this would require kilograms of the material whereas I only carried about 300 grams. Had they contacted my employer they could have explained my need to carry this stuff which was clearly labelled along with remedial treatment should exposure occur. Prospective poisoners would not do this, I suspect.
Whenever I renew my passport I remove all visa inserts because where I have been is really my business and few others need know. Having passport legally issued to me by three countries also assists me in maintaining my privacy.
At least Garmin doesn't get locations accurately
I have a couple of Garmins as well as GPS receivers from other manufacturers and one thing for sure is that notwithstanding what the Garmin claimed I didn't travel along a road 15 kilometres out at sea for a distance of 800+ kilometres.
The other units had it right - the road was actually on land. So your privacy using a Garmin is maintained!
As for Apples wet explanation, it makes no sense to display an approximate location as the incorporated GPS will produce a better accuracy. Using cell locations as a determinant is extremely risky as there are so many variables. Apple as much admits data is used by Third Parties so it is passed on.
And why keep so much data? Google's data limits are much more reasonable.
China is hopelessly behind, ... recent testing of a so-called "stealth fighter" prototype indicates
Anyone subscribing to this sentence is somewhat delusional. The existence of the Chinese copy of the U.S. 'stealth' aircraft made the Americans sit up and pay attention. After a U.S. stealth aircraft was downed during the Kosovo non-war the Chinese went around buying, for cash, all the scraps of the plane from which they designed/rebuilt for their own air force.
U.S. analysts estimate the Chinese are only about 4 years behind in this project which means they will be current in a couple of years time.
They already make civilian and military aircraft and are on the way to launching a space station, unaided, which lends further credence to the fact they are sufficiently technologically advanced to match the U.S. on an equal footing.
The West has supplied much of the IP and technology to the Chinese in the rush to acquire modern products are amazingly low cost. If anyone thinks the Chinese even honour production agreements they are fools. Nothing made in China is privy to the manufacturers - all can be considered shared with the military manufacturers.
China leads the world in the use of high-speed transportation; in building railways in poor conditions, etc. They have a very healthy integrated circuit design and manufacturing industry and even though they might not be up to the latest standards used by Intel, they are not far behind.
The Chinese are currently preparing to build aircraft carriers - of which the UK has none!
The Russians have long had jet fighters that can take off in inclement conditions, including grass or mud fields. The U.S. jets require runways be 'walked' before they can be used to remove all debris, etc. before their jets can take off.
The U.S. is an unreliable source for products as it retains control of their use, in the fashion of Apple, even after delivery to it's customers. It has even flexed it's muscles when the UK used U.S. facilities to execute military missions that didn't meet American expectations.
Today's military weapons are so advanced that even shells can be 'programmed' on the fly and this includes rendering them harmless - other than for the fact a whole hunk of metal is headed your way.
Ghadaffi was dumb to buy American weapons with smart technology, he should have bought supplies from the Russians or Chinese whose less sophisticated weapons still work even when fired at the suppliers.
Even the British had to seek technological assistance from the French in order to neutralise missiles fired by the Argentinians during the Thatcher Falklands escapade.
Now that Britain is essentially stripped of it's advanced military industries it is little better than Ghadaffi being dependent upon others for it's military capability, such that it is. Hell, they even depend on U.S. designed radio systems.
Rule Britannia should be read as Fool Britannia (tip of the hat to Fool Britannia (1963) with Peter Sellars, Anthony Newley and Joan Collins)
The U.S. market does not necessarily reflect the world market
The U.S., even the North American market, do not necessarily reflect world trends since the carriers position in the mix is more of a determinant than in the European or Asian markets.
Therefore it can be inferred that Neilsen, or whomever's, numbers are distorted to a degree.
The Apple OS market is monolithic whereas the Android market offers users a wide range of choices allowing them to select hardware most suited to their needs.
Whilst RIM might be facing challenges in it's home continental market it sure seems to be doing well in other parts of the world.
In India, ownership of an IBM Selectric typewriter can be a source of wealth
Travellers to India will see prominent signs in smaller villages proclaiming IBM Typewriter where locals can go to get Important Documents typed up for government, etc. Typewriter owners often make as much money as pre-birth baby sexing clinics.
Computers are less adaptable, more expensive and cannot compete with the manual or electric typewriters for ruggedness and the intrusion of the occasional bug. Maintenance is simplicity itself by people with a touch of mechanical ability.
P.S. Visitors to India should be aware of a new hazard! <http://www.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/science-technology/India-Superbug-120747334.html >
If more WiFi outlets were open Plod might finally figure the futility
When we order in an InterNet connection here, one national ISP inquires whether it is for a hotspot. If the answer is yes, it kindly configures the USER as ftp and the PASSWORD as telecom.
This is almost the standard set up right across the country in coffee shops, fast food outlets, restaurants, etc. It is hard to pinch WiFi time as downloads are unlimited and few locals even bother with WiFi security even in their homes.
As a result the police have decided chasing pornography of any type is an exercise in futility and they simply ignore it.
This way the perverts can do their thing in front of their computer screens and the rest of the world can get on with their pursuits. If there is physical child abuse, the courts are extremely hard on the adults - a case last year involving a man and wife resulted in them getting 20 years each - no time off for good behaviour, either. Convicted rapists are frequently shot - after trial - so there are few repeat offenders.
Mind you, Facebook is blocked along with about 20 other sites.
What do you reckon? The Chinese or the Ruskies?
Given the Russians prowess using the InterNet for fraudulent purposes and the proximity to the Russian border it seems more likely it is the Russians behind this.
The Russian border of China is a pretty desolate place and the comforts of BeiJing or ShangHai are likely more amenable to would be Chinese fraud artists.
Perhaps if a 'holding' period was established in such transactions of around one business day would allow for the bona fides of both parties to be verified.
Not Ready for Prime Time? The Old Maxim, Back Up, Back Up Still Applies
Given Amazons cloud history, along with it's peremptory transactions with Wikileaks, it is obvious the service is not ready for prime time.
Obviously Amazon can't provide reliable back-up, the need for clients to secure their own data remains effective.
Keep Plod out of people's lives
Plod should apprehend alleged scoff-laws and leave the determination of guilt or innocence, as well as punishment, to the Learned Beaks.
Too much power has accreted to Plod and, in particular, that collection of aged reprobates who hide behind ACPO.
Plod has affiliation to government whereas Learned Beaks are, allegedly, independent. Any rule assessment by Plod is a conflict of interest.
Perhaps the working environment is ...
outside those specified in Apples spec's microprint.- Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F
(0° to 35° C). Source: <http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html >.
Obviously iThingy's aren't supposed to operate over 10,000 feet only they omitted to say above what - sea level or ocean floor.
Besides, everyone knows Apple uses customers for quality control - since when has a Lemon 4 ever worked perfectly straight out of the box?
Google participation can only benefit the travelling public
Presently all the GDS/GRS systems such as Sabre, Galiileo, Amadeus - who supply ticketing services to travel agents and the like - all have their own public-facing retail outlets such as Travelocity, etc.
Then you have the 'independent' Expedia (owner of TripAdvisor), Kayak, etc.
What the public doesn't realise is that these outfits are rated as consolidators (airlines aren't allowed to discount flights to the public so they resort to using wholesalers and consolidators) and selling these discounted seats results in substantially higher income.
They foist these odds and sods on an unsuspecting public when they build routing and fares.
Most Register Readers are well travelled people and they know their optimum routing for given destinations. My familiar routings include YYZ (Toronto) to Europe (avoiding Heathrow); YYZ to SGN (SaiGon).
As a test I routinely insert these into the usual search engines just to see how they 'optimise' your routing whilst dumping their discounted seats. Invariably the routing is through the US and then eastbound through some intriguing and imaginative routes and often using numerous carriers. Using numerous segments involves, usually, change of aircraft. Using different carriers puts the passenger at risk of being stranded by the late arrival of one carrier and the need to wait for a seat on the next carrier - and YOU picking up the cost of hotel/food during your wait.
Of course any trip involving the U.S.A. involves giving all your information to Homeland Security as well as having those thieving TSA security/baggage checking agents stealing your stuff. Now TSA gets to look at you stark naked!
The optimum routing is YYZ >> HKG (HongKong) >> SGN (Cathay) or YYZ >> TPE (TaiPei) >> SGN (Eva Air). Today's pricing on these routes - 1 year return - is CAD$2,300 and CAD$1,600 approximately, (Prices from my REAL PERSON travel agent).
You'll never get these prices from an automated search engine as it's not in their interest to offer them.
What Google is bringing to the table is transparency and this will reveal all the competition for what they are - on-line con artists. If your flight is a single segment each way, feel free to use these automated systems. If your journey involves several segments in each direction no one offers a better service for optimising routing/timing/pricing than a real live travel agent in your home town where the travel agents reputation is on the line.
Few people have better search capabilities than Google and their expertise will only benefit travellers but will also definitely impinge on others excessive profits.
There are many reasons not to use on-line res systems as opposed to the real, live, travel agent. The agent does the work, her/his expertise and ongoing knowledge adds benefits to the mix. They can play 'tricks' that on-line bookers won't do to optimise your flight or seat.
How many on-line systems offer access by e-mail and/t telephone? How many res systems will help you get another flight if you miss a connection? How many res systems will keep an eye on you as you follow your itinerary? How many res systems will remind you when your last day of validity is drawing near? How many res systems will tell you when a 'seasonal' price break/increase is coming due?
Smart people use Travel Agents and Google will only add to their performance and services offered to the public which might put a big dent is some peoples profits, but remember that is your money inflating their profits through conflict of interest and deliberate/dubious business methods.
Little wonder they were out there paying lobbyists and calling on their political friends to get this deal killed.
Another overlooked aspect of using on-line bookers is security of YOUR MONEY. Using a booking system outside your country of residence means that most Travel Agent Bonding (as in refunding your money in case of agency/airline failure) does not protect you. Just see how Expedia, etc. help you recover your money!
(I have no interest either in a travel agency or Google)
"all of whom have solid track records of being hostile to privacy"
T-Mobile USA has to comply with CALEA (See: < https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act >) and with the FBI's DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, and the other, classified, system, called DCS-5000 - which means they think you are a spy or a terrorist - can circumvent most any of the inconveniences that T-Mobile presents.
Triangulation techniques, using cell site reception parameters, have progressed to the point where location can be achieved measured in the single digit metres, unless obscuring RF technology is used.
A single FCC ruling could bring T-Mobile into the standard practice of other carriers. Sprint has gone even further when itestablished a website so that law enforcement agencies would no longer have to go through the trouble of seeking the assistance of Sprint employees in order to locate individual Sprint customers. This website was then used to ping Sprint users more than 8 million times in a single year. (Congressional evidence)
My UK mail handler has opened the package and ...
completed it according to my instructions which were not to complete it as it wasn't confidential and since they failed in this respect, I reciprocate. I also stated my time has a pecuniary worth and they were not offering any compensation.
Do they really care when they ask: How is your health in general? Very good/Good/Fair/Bad/Very bad? Besides since I am not medically qualified I am unable to answer.
Question 17 was an interesting one. Why was it printed?
Just another database filler. I guess we shall find out how proficient a U.S. processor is - no one ever bothered me for all the other census I missed.
Don't forget - use only light blue pencils, make Lockheed work for it's money.
Interested readers might like to check out: < http://www.s3ri.soton.ac.uk/isi2007/papers/Paper14.pdf > as to where the concept was sourced from. Not that it works in that country, either, as I have never completed their census forms no follow up was made.
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