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* Posts by JaitcH

3202 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

Canon Pixma MG-5250 Wi-Fi all-in-one inkjet printer

JaitcH
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Unhappy

How many multi-function machines have you encountered where a function has failed?

My experience is that, like Jack of all trades, multi-functions are as never as accomplished as dedicated, single function, machines. There are always compromises in some function.

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Gov gone wild: Mad new pub glasses, bread freedom introduced

JaitcH
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WTF?

Uniform packaging helps consumers compare prices

The lowly loaf of bread has significance in comparing costs of living in a diverse number of countries is usually in 400 or 800 gram sizes which has been fine for years, until some twit of a politician wants to make a name for himself.

Standards exist for good reason for decades, whereas a minister of the Crown is a passing fad.

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Garmin tells iPhone users where to go

JaitcH
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FAIL

Garmin: Great for underwater travel, ahem

Not long ago I used a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, loaded with Garmin software, and it faithfully recorded all my activities for some 1,900 kilometres.

After transferring the data to laptop it showed, according to the Garmin software, that I had made the complete journey 10-15 kilometres out to sea. This was unexpected as I made the journey by road.

There are only two major roads of any type running north and south, so it is impossible to take a wrong turn. One, called Highway 13, is a good 6-lane highway, clearly defined on maps. Again using my GPSMAP 60CSx recording my journey. Once again there was great satellite signal strength and once again the recorded track was 10-15 kilometres off compared to several maps.

So I acquired alternative software and it proved the Garmin hardware was good but that the software was crap.

So before you go placing your faith in the Garmin App, read the fine print - especially the part where Garmin denies all responsibility!

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US bumblebees in 'alarming' decline

JaitcH
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Must be that GM food striking back!

Wikileaks US diplo e-mails reviewed on Sunday highlighted the heavy handed techniques of the U.S. in pushing Franken seeds.

In fact a Filipino hustler, sponsored by the U.S.A., has just left the shores of Indochina after singing the (paid) praises of America's attempt to make all rice taste as bad as Texas rice. This guy was used as there is so much resentment of U.S. conglomerates trying to usurp local farming success stories.

Guess bee's don't like the taste of the chemical combinations. China has suffered too, but given the cost of farm labour, people laden with brushes and ladders are making out like bees quite successfully.

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Cellphone snooping now easier and cheaper than ever

JaitcH
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Alert

Add-on security only immediate solution

If network operators can't be relied upon to upgrade their systems, users will have to employ 'add-on' security via software or hardware accessories to maintain their privacy - which at least make the ever intrusive governments work for their money.

When the networks do eventually upgrade it will be the end of all the drive-by intelligence gathering activity that presently well-endowed snoopers currently do - with or without court permission.

Of course little of increased security will faze the U.S. NSA or the FBI as all cell systems in the U.S., and elsewhere in some countries, have to be CALEA-compliant so the FBI surveillance system, called DCSNet, for Digital Collection System Network, a suite of software that collects, sifts and stores phone numbers, phone calls and text messages, basically a comprehensive wire-tap system that intercepts wire-line phones, cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems . The system directly connects FBI wire-tapping outposts around the country to a far-reaching private communications network.

Unaffected will also be the DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, captures and collects the content of phone calls and text messages for full wire-tap orders.

Neither 'do' Skype!

Android users already have software options. It's always good to separate the encoding devices from a handset so you can be assured there are no 'bypass' circuits leaking unencrypted messages.

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Apple patent endangers unbiased product reviews

JaitcH
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FAIL

Leave Apple alone, it will bring the US Patent Office down unaided

Apple makes a mockery of the purpose behind patent legislation and it, alone, will best serve as an example of why it needs an overhaul.

Let's hope the new UK system doesn't ape that of the States. When China progresses from plagiarism to innovation, the challenges will be significant for existing patent regimes. At least India uses the English language!

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US woman sues again over XP 'downgrade', seeks class action

JaitcH
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Pint

Sounds like like a lawyer working on commission!

Oops, I forgot - lawyers don't call it commission they use the fancy term 'contingency', it sounds classier and implies risk - risk of not getting anything!

In the U.S. losing civil litigants don't usually get to pay winners legal fees.

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PlayStation 3 code signing cracked

JaitcH
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First Kinect and now Sony

The enterprising types who do this should be congratulated on their technical prowess.

Pity they can't use it in a CV.

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Feds raid server farms in bid to root out PayPal DDoS perps

JaitcH
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WTF?

Now the FBI will demand point & click InterNet tapping

Presently the FBI has a very sophisticated, remote, automatic called DCSNet, Digital Collection System Network, a comprehensive 'click and point' wire-tap system capable of intercepts wire-line phones, cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems through CALEA conforming systems anywhere in North America, from any FBI office in America. It doesn't do Skype, or InterNet! :o)

Guess they will now demand ISP's provide uniform interfaces so they can monitor everyone's InterNet activity in the U.S. of A.

People think NSA 'taps' everything when in actual fact the NSA does not engage in 'wire-tapping'; it collects signals intelligence, AKA 'sigint' - rather it intercepts complete streams of communications containing millions of telephone calls and e-mails, etc. Then the NSA runs the intercepts through very bid computers that filter them for particular names, telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and trigger words or phrases.

Undoubtedly the FBI will demand that the whole world conform to CALEA interfaces so the U.S. can listen in to the world. Pity the U.S. doesn't have any money.

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China announces Skype ban to protect telco revenues

JaitcH
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FAIL

The Chinese Government is likely lying - censorship not cash

The Chinese government is more likely concerned that they, along with the Germans and the FBI, can't monitor what is going on.

Anyone familiar with DNS and port customisation should have little difficulty in circumventing the Chinese - or aircraft WiFi - attempts at throttling the InterNet and Skype.

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British-born NASA astronaut Piers Sellers becomes OBE

JaitcH
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Alert

Piers Sellers? Mmmm .... is this the French version of ...

the late lamented famous Goon Show actor?

IMO, people who have deserted the UK and taken another countries citizenship aren't deserving of any British 'gong' or recognition.

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UK.gov relaxes patent application process

JaitcH
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Happy

Well done, Gov.UK - smart move

Any red tape reduction allowing people to file their IP and then to get on making use of it is to be welcomed, particularly the EU wide concept.

The only thing we should hope is that EU patents don't become as confused and litigation prone as is the case with the U.S. system.

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In-flight fight for stubborn iPhone-loving teen

JaitcH
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Stop

They have the answer in mainland China

I was on a Chinese carrier recently and there were several instructions in English and Chinese that all 'electronics' should be switched off.

The Chinese are worst than most at using cell's everywhere.

The cabin crew simply walked down the aisles starting at the front of economy literally seizing cell phones that were in use from the hands of the offending passengers. They didn't collect too many as other passengers saw what was happening and quickly put their phones away.

After landing further announcements were made advising all passengers who 'lost their hand phones' should wait in their seats and could pick them up when others had disembarked.

In China No! means No!

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Apple slapped with iOS privacy lawsuit

JaitcH
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WTF?

The Walled Garden: A trap of Jobs own making?

Google's Android is open, too open for some, since Apps aren't pre-approved and some were withdrawn only after they were made available. But Google never promised a 'rose' garden - what you see is what you get.

However, Jobs, by claiming to 'vet' all his Apps, even keeping some locked in approval for months, is different - he has actively, and persistently, blocked all attempts to open up The Garden so obviously any Apps that have been released has been done with Apple's blessing. The conditions imposed by Apple on developers should obviously be tested as part of the approvals process and therefore it is not unreasonable to hold both Apple and the developer culpable.

In fact, Apple's liability is greater, IMO, since it has the ultimate capability of making all data unavailable to any App or, alternatively providing a user controlled function to allow, or deny, App access to ant data. Some Apps remove data that has absolutely no utility in the use of the App.

Most, if not all, Apps do not need a smartphones unique identifier, many do not need to know it's physical location, either.

This is not to say Google is much better; for they, too, collect all sorts of data and not many people know either how much or who else gets to share it.

There is a way to control all this: deny all access by Apps and have it supplied through Apple or Google so they become the gatekeeper to this data. The problem is that neither Apple or Google can be trusted much, if at all, but at least they can be trusted more than App developers.

Does, I wonder, the action seek compensation for the theft of transmission time used by all these back channels?

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Cambridge boffins rebuff banking industry take down request

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Inaction by banks deserves exposure

Whilst Barclays is to be congratulated in closing this particular loophole, the bank cards association had plenty of time to remedy the defect yet all they wanted to do was to shut the info source down.

Lucky he didn't have Plod breathing down his neck, too.

Since the introduction of Pin and Chip the banks have adopted a harder attitude towards complaints of customers accounts being plundered, claiming that their new system prevents fraud when in actual fact it doesn't

This means they are defrauding / misleading / lying to the public whilst some parts of the banks know there are weaknesses. THIS is what is so DESPICABLE about the whole matter.

I never withdraw round amounts from ATM's (490 instead of 500) and I always scan those receipts that fade (so quickly) so in case of dispute I have all the records.

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Amazon slips out Microsoft's Windows 7 Family Pack kill date

JaitcH
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No sweat - a DVD with all versions and a Keygen only costs $4 in NanNing, China

I was in NanNing, GuangXi Province, China over Christmas buying supplies and Win7 was going for $4 which is about the mid-price for copy software.

The Chinese government seems to be 'enforcing' I.P. rights as usual, doing nothing! All the latest movies available, too, for only $2.

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Paul Allen reloads patent attack against tech titans

JaitcH
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If you research 'gesture' technology you will find it predates Apple filings

Just because someone scores a US Patent doesn't mean too much. With all the big money swilling around smartphone technology, the US courts will soon be a spectator sport that will stretch over several years.

And make sure you back up your OS in case some code has to be redacted!

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Apple iPad 2 said to sport über speaker

JaitcH
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Simple, Youfs can't read unless it has pictures

Many people entering university need remedial English courses so they can have some form of communication with their instructors, others who don't make it that far resort to pictures and cartoons.

Likely those with their electronics turned up load have suffered from hearing loss through years of having ear bud volumes turned up full.

I thought Jobs barred displays of prurient material from his iThings?

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Santander mixes up 35,000 bank statements

JaitcH
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Why are we not surprised after the mess at Heathrow?

If these are the same clowns who own BAA, there should be little surprise if they can't even get their banking straight why should passengers expect any better at LHR?

Totally incompetent at running a bank or an airport.

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Mobile operators handed content billing blueprint

JaitcH
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WTF?

Sounds more like price fixing or conspiracy to price fix

Consumer law is pretty well defined concerning collusion between suppliers.

Could an enthusiastic prosecutor make some charge against these characters. Obviously the defendants wouldn't select a jury trial as most of the jurors would be likely victims.

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Coca-Cola fizzes over pornforacoke.com

JaitcH
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Pint

If they hadn't tried to make a buck out of it ...

Coke might stand less of a chance of rescuing it's name. I understand not for money copy sites have a better chance of remaining in the registrant's possession.

I read somewhere that Bank of America had recently bought up every derogatory combination of it's name.

In Canada the automotive retail chain called Canadian Tire, known for selling allegedly dubious tires (tyres), had failed to assert it's ownership of CrappyTire.com - the popular nickname for the chain - as the registrant was neither passing off as Canadian Tire nor was he selling anything. It was, naturally, faithfully reported by The Register <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/07/04/canadian_tire_loses_fight/ >.

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Skype makes wobbly return, offers compo to paying punters

JaitcH
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Pint

Given the usual reliability of Skype and it's reasonable cost ...

few people can criticise a failure particularly since it occurred on a major business break. Mind you, if you were travelling and needed to contact your travel agent you might be a little excised.

A tip of the hat for a great service, Skype.

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Google open sources '$5m' in Java Eclipse tools

JaitcH
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Pint

Another example of Google generosity to the web community

Google has a history of generosity to the web community that too many critics overlook - which is certainly more than many of Google's can lay claim to.

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Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

JaitcH
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Grenade

RIP Blunkett, Blair & Brown - Authors of British Excess

At one point in time the British government was covert in it's data collection. Then along come Blunkett, Blair & Brown and force all manner of data collection down British throats with hardly a murmur of complaint from the public.

Finally the public is becoming aware of what it does to it's citizens.

Many countries have ID systems but very, very few fingerprint children, or include them on yet another BBB database.

There is one benefit from ID cards: good forgeries are frequently accepted by systems/people not using electronic verification.

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Skype still staggering after major blackout

JaitcH
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Pint

Great service record, especially considering the traffic loads

It's only when you lose something, it's value becomes appreciated.

So it is with Skype, a good reliable service that provides so much for so little.

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Double-clicking patent takes on world

JaitcH
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Is this guys name's name Jobs? If not only prior art filed by him is acceptable

Double clicking in 2002 is new art? Even Jobs was double clicking in the last century.

Perhaps the problem is the U.S. Patent Office has run out of REJECTED slips so they just issue a number as a way around it.

Maybe someone ought to do an article on the Patent Office, so the rest of us can see something so obvious can even be issued a number. Little wonder they can claim more patents are issued there than any where else in the world..

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BA flights website grounded by snow

JaitcH
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@ Nonsense

If we were to extrapolate your concept of 'standby' or emergency' service governments could save a fortune by killing off fire and sea rescue services on the grounds they are only needed every so often.

Perhaps you are unaware that many public works, including roads and the Thames Barrier (another waste of money using your criteria), are designed to survive any historical challengers that have occurred in the previous 50 or 100 years.

Another example of risk input into capital expenditures have occurred into response to recent rail/tube accidents. When 31 people were fried to death at Kings Cross on 1987 November 18 as the result of a fire on a wooden escalator, a subsequent report recommended all wooden escalators be replaced with metal treads. The recommendation was rejected after cost was considered including the cost of compensating for any deaths - figured at around 2-million pounds per body.

The present Heathrow has been at it's present location since New Years Day 1946, it was first Fairey’s Great West Aerodrome then RAF Northolt, and if BAA has it's way it will be there forever.

This means (1) BAA has to take into account historic conditions; (2) The level of service it proposes; (3) Capital investment needed to achieve these goals.

Even if an event occurs every 20 or 30 years BAA has to take it in to consideration. Notwithstanding BA's attempts to increase the accident count (2008 BA flight crash-landed) BAA still maintains a very expensive fire service that spend months, even years, waiting for the next crash.

The provisioning of this fire service, and even snow removal equipment, is based on historical demand, and proposed service levels. BAA claims Heathrow is a 'world class' airport, it doesn't claim any exceptions. Therefore it has failed in it's duty. It matters not an iota whether the interruption is caused by a humans or Nature exercising it's options.

Talking about 'whingers', you might want to canvas the opinion of those people sitting it out in the airport. They might have different opinions to yours.

The cost of capital equipment, amortised over 50 years or more, might look like a real bargain when stacked up against airline costs (including repositioning empty planes), BAA losses and added costs, passenger losses and added costs and losses to the general economy.

Only people with a myopic viewpoint can't see why BAA failed.

P.S. Where I am has a temperature of 35c, the sun is shining and the drinks are long and cool. But the BBC World Service TV makes us appreciate our luck!

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JaitcH
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FAIL

BA and BAA - made for each other

BA is not/never was the world's favourite airline and serial mismanagement have reduced the airline to a shadow of it's former corporate entity. If BA was ordered to bring it's employees pension fund contributions up to date it would have declare bankruptcy.

This, of course, is not the case with Wee Wiily Walshes benefits package, unsurprisingly.

As for BAA Heathrow, allegedly Britain's 'gateway' airport, it is little less than a scandal.

The last weather that equalled this recent weather disturbance was 20 years ago, according to the Met Office, and Heathrow has precious little to show for what some of the highest airport fees in the world.

Photographs of the snow are ample evidence that it has failed. Airports such as Toronto or Montreal are used to dealing with metres of snow. Until recently, Montreal airport had more snow clearing equipment than the City of Montreal.

The government should terminate the BAA Heathrow 'for cause' and re-tender the contract, which should have all weather performance written in to the contract. This is not difficult to accomplish be it with equipment purchases or retainer agreements that guarantee snow clearance equipment is available.

In any event, I hope those stranded at airports make it to a home or hotel for Christmas.

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Nokia sues Apple in European courts

JaitcH
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Alert

The side effects might be beneficial: international patent standards?

The disparity between patent legislation world-wide is, IMO, what is driving this mess of litigation.

In the U.S. you can patent a wet dream whereas in other jurisdictions you physically need to demonstrate the patent actually working.

Apple recently patented some real old ideas: hotel and travel reservations screens which clearly have been in the public domain for years, if not decades - so all they can expect is litigation.

Another patent was placing AM, FM and entertainment satellite receiver inside a cell phone. Given that satellite frequencies dictate certain physical parameters and that integrated circuitry has about hit the buffers in size reduction, it will be hard to physically reproduce this without enlarging a cell phone case. Anyone who has a satellite entertainment receiver can attest to this poor reception in diminutive receivers, unless you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One 'feature' was mapping the radio stations. Guess what, I have a older cell that does this already although it didn't use an InterNet-based database to obtain it's mapping. Stations can be input manually or automatically.

So what does this Apple patent bring to the table? Litigation, for a start. Almost all prior art.

Patents need a much shorter life span, too.

Then again, there is the disproportionate power exerted by the U.S., whose politics are driven by election funding. To get the votes needed for international agreement encompassing all it's views, as amply demonstrated in the Wikileaks cables, it would simply buy support, as it has in the past, even though it is technically bankrupt.

Perhaps the EU needs to establish a common patent standard with the rules enforced by a EU patent court. Then a single voice, with more bodies behind it, can talk on equal terms with the U.S.

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Euro cops mull crowd-sourced cybercrime data

JaitcH
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Unhappy

The knowledge gap started when the Plods shed bicycles for cars

When young, our local Plod used to lazily cycle around his beat, in Buckinghamshire, carefully making mental notes of what he saw.

These days days Plod has wheels and as they whiz by, they miss so much. Criminal activity nears eyes to be detected.

Sharing information will only act as a guidepost for Plods to alert them to things that might otherwise be missed.

One international credit card scam gang was found only because a detective, on foot, noticed unusual ATM use.

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Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

JaitcH
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Alert

Landlines have geographic rates; mobiles undesignated multi-rates?

It would nice to have a symbol appear when dialling a mobile that is geographically remote from the calling party so people can evaluate costs before the call connection is completed.

Messaging needs regulation given that it costs cellco's minimum amounts in terms of channel use - which is nil given SMS is interleaved in the control channel traffic.

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Assange: Text messages show rape allegations were 'set up'

JaitcH
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Unhappy

The complications of Common and Napoleonic Law

Most of Europe uses Napoleonic law whilst Britain (guilty until proven innocent), and it's former colonies including Canada and America use Common law (not guilty until proven so). America has developed, or evolved, it's law so really it's Common law plus plus.

Unfortunately Canada is, metaphorically speaking, half-way between Britain and the States, say Common plus.

Britain's idea of justice has also evolved - double jeopardy, talk when arrested or lose out, etc. - which has not been carried across the Atlantic.

Australia and New Zealand produce interesting precedents.

ONE THING that both Canada and the U.S. agree on, legally, is if the cops suppress ANY evidence that is beneficial to the defence they must disclose. This applies to all levels of cases, misdemeanour (petty stuff) or felony (anything over 2 or 5 years penalty, roughly)..

The case law on this is long and settled law and Assange would be entitled to everything, but everything, good and bad which, I guess, is not what he has so far.

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Apple, EMC, and Oracle in Novell patent play

JaitcH
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Grenade

It's the American way of doing business - duplicity, cheating & shaft the shareholders

Today's U.S. business news is filled with the arrest of another 4 outstanding U.S. business men - free link: < http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023392558482006.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection > (and on the lower LH corner). This Novell deal is just as deceitful.

The fact MS and Apple are sleeping together on this deal reveals so much more about their true relationships than do stories about litigation between them.

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LG whips out dual-core Android smartphone

JaitcH
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Pint

Unless the models have large hands ...

it appears LG has really worked some miracles in packaging this smart phone.

Interesting how Korea is home to of the leading smart manufacturers.

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MPs shocked at Taser supplier overlap

JaitcH
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FAIL

It fails the 'arms length' test

It looks like a government blessed 'slight of hand' so the original importer continues to reap the benefits.

Do you smell the stench, too?

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WikiLeaks mirror site rails against malware warning

JaitcH
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WTF?

So why blame Wikileaks? They were forced to move by Amazon

Possibly Spamhaus could arrange hosting services with a server farm acceptable to them.

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Patents do not protect small firms, says trade body

JaitcH
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Happy

Canadian 'David' slew the Microsoft 'Giant'

When the Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued the thieving Microsoft and scored $290-million and a cease shipping order on software.

Just proves little guys can win.

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Ofcom sets out airport fees

JaitcH
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FAIL

How can they charge for, or change, the aeronautical AM, VHF band?

The AM-VHF aeronautical band, with 25kHz spacing, is established as a world-wide standard so just what they think they can do with it?

They can't re-assign it's use as it would contravene the ITU convention the UK, and every other country, is signatory to?

I thought the Tories were putting these idiots out of business?

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Assange to be released

JaitcH
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Happy

Vindictive Crown Prosecution Service

Given the disproportionately high bail, together with other conditions, Assange was practically guaranteed to walk today - obviously an attempt by a vindictive Crown pissed off at losing the decision and wanting to drive Assange's costs higher.

Now that we know who forced this failed gearing, when is the Anonymous group going to test the UK government's cyber defences?

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Zeal Optics Transcend GPS goggles

JaitcH
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Pint

Ideal for long distance cross-country skiers

Cross country skiers will find these useful, particularly the hardy souls who don't follow the beaten trail,

Might even prove useful for Canadians living in the north when they check their trap lines.

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FBI 'planted backdoor' in OpenBSD

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Experiment yes. Success No: E J Hilbert, a former FBI cyber-crime agent

How do we know Hilbert isn't just spreading bullshit?

This is the problem.

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Trust and risk in the cloud

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Amazon really knocked cloud services when it knee-capped Wikileaks

The high-handed treatment of Wikileaks by Amazon highlighted a weakness of cloud services.

These services are very alike to communications, they provide carriage/storage of data.

They should be run on the principles relied upon by telephone companies and ISPs - they are bot responsible for content. Amazon's intervention was little less than political censorship. If every carrier in the InterNet had this attitude nothing would get through.

Another matter that needs clarification is where the cloud servers are based. Geographic location is very pertinent given that the U.S. government has laws permitting it to access any computer, without warrant, on U.S. territory.

How many organisations want THEM trawling through corporate data, not to mention the cloud operators?

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Yahoo! axes 600 jobs

JaitcH
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Unhappy

"are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo for revenue growth"

She has been criticized for having a poor relationship with the management of Alibaba, of which Yahoo! owns almost 40% of the China-based firm. Some have speculated that this stake may be worth USD$10-billion and argue Yahoo! should sell it.

Bartz could have sold a few of these shares and given 600 people a happier Christmas.

Back in October Carol Bartz was supposed to be fired this week, this month, or later this year, according to a number of media outlets. Maybe this her move for job preservation - hers?

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Man caught w*nking over Alan Sugar's autobiography

JaitcH
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Thumb Up

Just passing judgement on it's literary value?

Another possible use would in the outside 'loo. As back up.

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ASSANGE GRANTED BAIL

JaitcH
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WTF?

Sweden blowing a lot of political capital and goodwill: not good for Assange

The fact that Sweden is using up a lot of goodwill in persecuting Assange means it is painting itself in to a corner where it will have to have a trial to justify all this show-boating in London. After all this posturing, they still only 'want him for 'questioning' rather than to stand trial.

It looks more and more political than just a sexual assault.

Let's hope he is out for Christmas.

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US Army 'to issue every soldier with a smartphone'

JaitcH
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Happy

Stunningly sane, obvious decision: saves money too

The money wasted by the military on communications is enormous. Then when a choice has been made, there is the small matter of interoperability between members of different forces.

The Royal Signals alone has a stunning number of systems: PERSONAL ROLE RADIO (PRR),

PTARMIGAN, TRIFFID, EUROMUX, CORMORANT, FALCON and PROMINA almost all of them replaceable with cell/Wimax/LTE technology.

Now we have to persuade the police to dump all their old technologies and get with the money saving idea.

Guess that Thales/Racal, BAE and Siemens Plessey won't be too happy though!

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Microsoft joins protest against Google web travel buy

JaitcH
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FAIL

The whole bloody lot are incestuous fraud artists

The on-line res systems, GDS - Global Distribution Systems, evolved from airline based res systems into multi-carrier or universal systems.

Simply put, a travel agent, or vendor. inputs an inquiry and the res system kicks out a choice of slights. Due to their affiliations these flight presentations were skewed in favour of the airline owner - in the case of Sabre, now independent Sabre Holdings, it was American Airlines - then the U.S. government stepped in because of this bias and flights were listed by time of departure.

This why air carriers always list their morning departures at impossible times, even before the airport allows flights to begin, to get early positions in the screen listings.

The res systems made their money when a seat was "sold", the air carriers account was debited with a handling charge and the travel agents account was credited with a small piece of the action whilst the res system grabbed the most.

If a seat sale was cancelled the process was reversed - which all seemed fine. The res systems were, in fact, doing the accounting for all three parties in the deal.

Airlines can't, under IATA rules, mess with discounts, etc. To get around this restriction air carriers introduced 'contracts' where they provided seats at a discount to a travel vendor based on 'production' or ethnic origin. (This why it is often best to buy overseas flights from a travel agent ethnically affiliated with your destination)

On occasion the res systems had technical problems where their accounting systems screwed up and either the carriers or the travel agents lost out, monetarily.

SURPRISE, no one bitched, no one noticed they were getting gyped by the res systems. These 'incidents' continued for years with everyone, except the GDS, losing a small percentage.

Then some airline accountant got smart. Instead of accepting the GDS accounting as gospel, he decided to audit their returns with actual seats sold. Big problems for the GDS, but another opportunity for IT - automatic seat sales/GDS reconciliation.

Remember ALL THESE TRANSACTIONS were ORIGINATED by the independent TRAVEL AGENT. In order to actually sell a ticket and accept money on behalf of airlines, travel vendors have to be IATA approved. Individual airlines made travel vendors 'authorised' by issuing a 'plate' which would be inserted in the manual ticket machine so the right codes, and discounts, were applied.. This 'plate' data was later held by the GDS so they automatically printed the data on tickets.

Many of the discrepancies were sorted out between the GDS and the airlines but many airlines didn't have the clout to deal with the GDS so they came up with a new idea -screw the weakest link. These 'charge backs', aka Debit Notes, are made for everything: agent booking errors (including GDS errors), credit card refusals, etc.

Then some travel agents decided to check out their GDS accounts and they found that their sale 'credits' were 'short'.

This has happened with Sabre and, at least, Galileo - I know as I was sued by both (and they both lost) for warning travel agents through a web site, that I am one moderator of, of these losses.

To demonstrate exactly how amoral GDS are consider: they are travel agent suppliers, they collect all passenger identification and contact info, they know all about travel agent customers, as well as travel agents.

In normal businesses suppliers don't sell against their customers. But travel is not a 'normal' business. Sabre set up Travelocity so it can retail against travel agents (Travelocity has to use real travel agents in some locations to issue tickets because of law). In other words Sabre gets the transaction handling charge and the discount through the 'contracts' it holds through Travelocity.

So today we have all these incestuous crooks complaining because an honest broker, Google, wants in and that all their little deals, that rip off passengers, will be exposed.

Tough luck, I say, the retail travelling public deserves transparency and these 'friends' in the travel trade should face true competition!

P.S. To get the best, and safest, deals:

1. Pick a reliable travel agent who will appreciate you and your business;

2. Only buy from IATA approved travel agents;

3. Make sure your travel agent can be contacted out of hours by e-mail for emergencies;

4. Make sure your travel agent is bonded - often through a trade organisation;

5. Note that buying travel from the company organising the travel/package means NO insurance!

6. Not one of the members of FairSearch.org will provide all of these passenger friendly benefits. Most are not insured to protect their customers, either.

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Paul Allen's monster patent attack hit by judge dismissal

JaitcH
Silver badge
FAIL

Guess what someone's doing for Christmas?

In many jurisdictions judges like to keep docket bare over the Christmas period so they, and the lawyers, can escape to the ski slopes or beaches.

I'm sure the plaintiff's lawyers can read the message.

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Beeb ordered to release TV licensing contract sweeteners

JaitcH
Silver badge
WTF?

"famous "detector vans" should remain shrouded in mystery"

The only mystery is how the BBC has never been charged with extortion or fraud, harassing seniors who don't even have televisions.

Given today's solid state screens, built to low radiation requirements, another mystery is just what are these mysterious vans detecting? Guilty consciences? Or are they using the Israeli voice lie detectors?

Maybe Wikileaks has a new challenge?

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Coder converts Kinect to air guitar

JaitcH
Silver badge
Gates Halo

Time for a Kinect Apps store?

Since MS missed the boat on Smart phones, perhaps they can make it with KINECT Apps ... until Jobs has time to file his prior art patents.

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