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* Posts by big_D

1222 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

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Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

big_D
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"Their refusal is politically, not morally, motivated," Ya'alon said.

It sounds like it is the other way round. It sounds like they are standing their moral ground, because they don't want to spy on / blackmail innocents.

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

big_D
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Re: Pedantry alert

That was my first thought as well Michael, a tank tank. Is that like the Ikea Book Book?

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Massachusetts shoots down car dealers' Tesla-busting sueball

big_D
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Re: The question is...

The Microsoft analogy is back to fron the YAAC.

It would be like Microsoft allowing Computacentre to sell MS licences to business, build up a good reputation for MS, then MS refusing to sell licences to CC and selling direct to those businesses.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

big_D
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Re: "The interface is terrible."

Here in Germany it is freeview satellite for me. There is the TV licence, but that is about the same as the UK. I also have Amazon Prime, which I got for Kindle library and free next day delivery, but it now includes video, I think I've watched about 4 films so far.

I wouldn't pay 10€ a month for TV, let alone 100€... The TV licence doesn't count, you have yo pay that, whether you have a TV or an internet connected device capable of streaming video.

As to $127 for cable and Internet, I pay around $40 for Internet and telephone 35mbps down12 up and unlimited phone calls. I could pay an extra $10 a month for 50mbps, but I don't usually use the full bandwidth of the 35mbps, so I don't bother., oh, and I just remembered my Internet provider has a streaming TV service included in the package, but I used it once out of curiosity.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

big_D
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

"Car sharing for profit without a licence is illegal."

And pray tell why is that? Is there a legit reason, or is it just protectionism via corruption?

Because there us a law, which was brought in, presumably, to protect consuners - that is the reason why we have laws for taxis and buses in Germany.

It means that the companies that run the taxis and buses have to ensure they have the correct insurance, that their vehicles are safe and that the drivers reach a minimum standard and are vetted, and in the case of taxis, that they have a calibrated meter, so that they cannot overcharge.

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big_D
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

car sharing isn't illegal.

Car sharing without recompense or to cover 'gas' is allowed, as per the story. Car sharing for profit, with a licence is legal. Car sharing for profit without a licence is illegal.

It is the same here in Germany. There are a lot of platforms, where people wanting a lift from A to B can register and drivers going from A to B can then pick up passengers, who pay a contribution towards the fuel. It is very popular.

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Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained

big_D
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Re: Vaporpus Sapphire

I'm no Apple fan, but...

Apple fail because they didn't deliver something they never said they would deliver?

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What kind of mugs do you take us for? Malicious sites in spam scams target UK

big_D
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We get those to our German (.de) mail addresses as well!

Being the only native English speaker in the company, I usually have to tell the staff, that they can safely ignore it.

I haven't seen an attempt like that in German yet.

The new one here, since the company decided to put me on the German web page as a contact for some products, is that I get "personal finance advisers", who specialise in Expats calling up and asking if I want to invest money with them!

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big_D
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Re: Cash...

Yep, most shops still don't accept credit cards over here. They take debit cards or cash.

Hotels, restaurants and fuel stations are the most likely to accept credit cards. But you can forget about paying with a credit card in supermarkets, and most electronics stores etc.

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Cloud? Nah, we're not bothering with that, say HALF of enterprises

big_D
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Re: Strike 1 for a bit of common sense

Nail on the head there Phil.

As someone who started programming just as everything was starting to move away from shared computing to private, internal systems, I find it ironic that we are moving back to the shared computing again.

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big_D
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Re: Strike 1 for a bit of common sense

And the US Government seem to be doing their very best at torpedoing the US cloud industry at the moment, by making it almost impossible for anyone outside the continental USA to use cloud services and stay within local laws...

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Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS

big_D
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Re: compromised fingerprint?

That is why biometrics are more like usernames than passwords.

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Payment security bods: Nice pay-by-bonk (hint: NO ONE uses it) on iPhone 6, Apple

big_D
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Re: NFC useful or not debate Depends where you live

And in parts of Europe NFC has been active for a while now.

In Poland the banks were offering NFC stickers for non-NFC capable phones for tap-to-pay last year...

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big_D
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Re: @Steve Davies 3

Hmm, you need to get your phone out, unlock it, choose a credit card, touch a button and hold the watch (or phone) against the NFC reader?

Why not just pull out your plastic pal, which over here is already NFC enabled, and tap it against the NFC reader and enter your code?

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Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff

big_D
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Re: Detectors?

It depends, whilst I agree it is stupid, it depends on how the declaration was worded and what the passenger's mother tongue is. In German an accumulator (recharbable battery) is not a battery, which is why such declarations usually have both the Akku and Batterie listed, instead of just battery in English. I could see this also being true for other languages.

If their English was bad or the translation into his mother tongue had an error, then it could be a tragic misunderstanding. On the other hand, if they were a native English speaker, then they are just a tw*t...

Either way, the passenger should probably have known better, if they were packing that many rechargeables - perhaps he was hoping to avoid customs' duty on them.

And having seen several episodes covering the customs in Australia, many passengers, especially from China, were caught with food in their luggage, because they didn't believe candy and fruit are food...

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

big_D
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Re: Good

At least it gives US based cloud businesses a stay of execution...

If Microsoft lose this case, it will make the use of any cloud business with ties to the USA untennable to companies and individuals outside the continental USA.

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

big_D
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Re: BBC Worldwide

Not just journalists Trevor, when I work from home, I am required to use a VPN to access the company network.

Likewise, our support department has around 200 VPNs set up to allow them to access our customer networks, to allow them access to the servers we look after and to remote onto problem machines to sort them out.

All of those must be moving pirated Only Fools and Horses around! Idiots!

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Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

big_D
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Re: They call $1920.99 a "fire sale"??

Same here Bruce, I pay 9.99€ a month for my contract and supply my own phone. It works out much cheaper than going for a subsidized phone contract.

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Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

big_D
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And how do you set it to not auto-play even when it is connected to Wi-Fi?

Makes me glad I deleted my account nearly half a decade ago.

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

big_D
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Re: with Bing @Philippe

I'm writing this on a Clovertrail Atom with 2GB RAM and a 64GB SSD and it runs very nicely. It is very smooth in operation and having several Office apps and browser open (connected to a desktop dock and 24" external monitor and keyboard and mouse) it runs fine. It won't win any speed records, but it is fast enough for general office use.

I wouldn't want to do major Excel sheets or photo editing on it, but general work is fine and it excels as a tablet.

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big_D
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Re: with Bing

Remote Desktop Host - that isn't a Windows 8 with Bing problem, that is a Windows non-Pro "feature", you can RDP out, but not in with all versions of Windows 8 without the Pro or Enterprise name.

As to limitations on the Bing edition, there don't seem to be any, as far as the user is concerned. Unlike the Windows 7 Starter version, you aren't limited on the number of applications or apps you can launch (although the 1GB RAM is a limiting factor there). After the initial set-up is complete, the user can also select their prefered search engine.

For manufacturers, if the screen is under 10" in size, they get "with Bing" free, for 10" and above it is supposedly heavily discounted over standard Windows 8.1.

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Gee, everyone who wants a tablet has a tablet. Waiddaminute....

big_D
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Re: Nice, but...

Yes, except who will configure the tablet and install it for them?

Whether Intel do it, or whether the AARP joined up with Samsung, LG etc. to produce a special AARP edition doesn't make much difference. They just happened to sign up with Intel.

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big_D
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Re: Nice, but...

Except the target audience feel overwhelmed by such devices, the AARP tab is supposed to be "simple" to use for people who don't understand or use technology.

It is a bit like those OAP phones and mobiles, with the extra big buttons... It isn't about features, it is about breaking down the barriers to being able to use it at all.

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Ballmer PERSONALLY wrote Windows' Blue Screen of Death text

big_D
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Hung so much?

I've been developing on Windows since version 2.0 and I must say that the blue screens on Windows 3.1 were pretty rare. Maybe I was just lucky.

The only versions that really gave me a lot of bluescreens were Windows ME and Windows XP - although the latter could usually be traced back to a dodgy memory module or ATi drivers.

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Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

big_D
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Facepalm

Most likely to be stolen ==

coolest phone...

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

big_D
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Re: salaried employees

I read it as more a case of the engineers are writing the tools for the unpaid Wikipedians and Jumbo is telling them Wikipedian to shut up and like it.

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big_D
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Hasn't

Jumbo Whales always been a bit of a megalomaniac?

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

big_D
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Re: It's difficult to remember all those passwords

That would require them to understand how to use a computer and Google...

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big_D
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Re: "We've all done these things"

If I tried to take naked selfies or naked photos of my other half, I'd be single again in a flash!

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The IT kit revolution's OVER, say beancounters - but how do they know?

big_D
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Analysts

are just worried that their pyramid scheme, sorry, the stock market, is going to collapse before they have made enough money - and they are greedy b*stards, so they never have enough money, so they worry when markets mature and the gold grabbing slows down with it.

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Hot Celebrity? Stash of SELFIES where you're wearing sweet FA? Get 2FA. Now

big_D
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Re: Two-factor auth for Find My iPhone?

Using a Smartphone as second factor is silly, especially as more and more, you are authorising services on the phone!

I use a YubiKey with a few services now. Either plug it into your PC to get second factor or hold it to the NFC reader on the phone... Okay, it won't work with the iPhone, but most mid and high end Android and WindowsPhone devices from the last couple of years it works a treat.

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Uber alles... nein! Deutschland imposes NATIONWIDE BAN on taxi app

big_D
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Re: EU law proportionality test

not minimum wage, but according to the law, they should get a fixed rate - that is up to Uber, the drivers and the unions to agree upon. Paying the driver's health insurance is, again, a legal requirement.

Nobody seems to be saying that Uber should be permanently banned, after all, it is just another taxi company. What is being said, is that there is a legal way of doing things and an illegal way of doing things, and Uber seems to be taking the illegal way and putting their drivers and their customers at risk. If Uber ensure that their drivers apply for and get a licence before they hit the streets, and thus they can get their vehicles insured, then there won't be any problems.

It is Uber's attitude that they are above the law and that it is irrelevant, whether their customers are covered in the event of an accident, that grates. It has nothing to do with fixed price guilds, it has to do with following the law.

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big_D
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In Germany the drivers have to be licenced by the local authority in order for them to be able to get commercial insurance for carrying passengers. If they don't, the insurance is null and void.

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big_D
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You could be picked up by a convicted rapist in an ininsured car for all you know.

Given that you can only get personal transport insurance (i.e. to carry paying passengers) if you have a taxi licence and your insurance company will revoke your insurance on the spot and refuse to pay out in the event of an accident in Germany, then the second part of that statement is true.

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big_D
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Re: EU law proportionality test

Sorry, but no.

The law is there to protect the consumer and the driver. That means that everybody who wants to be a taxi driver (and that includes the, as described in the original article, "hobby"-Taxi drivers working for Uber) has to get a licence.

If Uber made their drivers get a licence / only used drivers with a licence, as well as ensuring the meters in the cars are properly calibrated, made sure the drivers have commercial transport insurance and that the cars have been approved by the local TÜV (equivalent of an MOT station) for the carrying of paying guests etc. then there wouldn't be a problem.

The law also states that Uber must pay them a fixed wage and they must pay health insurance for their drivers as well.

Schlenker makes the point, as did I last week in another article here, it is irrelevant, whether the journey is initiated by a smartphone app, a telephone call, picking up a ride at a taxi stand or hailing a taxi, they are all the same thing, plying for hire, which is covered by the law. His argument is, that you can't just wrap up a taxi journey in a "new fangled" App and say it isn't passenger transport from A to B and that the law no longer applies.

Further, "he who steps into a strange car must trust the driver with his health and life. No driver can check driver, company and vehicle. Therefore the law makers only allow this business model under strict conditions. An Internet rating should replace a thorough check by the authorities?"

Additionally the background check, resulting in a certificate of conduct, from the authorities goes far deeper that the private check from Uber. Additionally legally licenced drivers must undergo a thorough medical examination, before they receive their licence.

Those caught driving for the likes of Uber will also find that their car insurance will be revoked by their insurance company (and in Germany that means that the registration plates on the car will also be revoked / removed), as happened in Hamburg recently. In the event of an accident, the driver is not insured and the passenger will have to sue the driver for compensation. (Schlenker said, "Uber takes it as read, that the passenger will receive nothing.")

On the other hand, car sharing schemes have benn big here for over a decade. There are several that match drivers and travellers who are following the same route and pair them up, but the driver must have already registered that he is driving a route at a set time and the passenger will pay towards fuel for the journey - the driver cannot make any profit. Likewise hire companies operate a system where the driver can pick up a car that needs to get returned to another depot and they have a set time to get there, as long as they can get there on time, they get the car for free - and can make minor detours from the prescribed route.

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big_D
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Headmaster

Re: Umlaut.

Yep, Germans are sticklers for grammar. If you spell it wrong, you can't do business here! :-P

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Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

big_D
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Re: @Splodger

@VinceH

And the sort that answer with "Internet Explorer", when you ask them which operating system they are using...

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big_D
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Re: "hard core of folks"

@Grikath

I'll give you an up vote for the first part of your post.

After SP1, Vista wasn't bad and even pre-SP1 it was an improvement over XP in functionality, even if it required more horsepower.

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big_D
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Re: Why is Win 8 and Win 8.1 seperated?

They couldn't claim Window 8/8.1 was so bad, if it reported a double digit uptake...

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Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable

big_D
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How about banning bribes altogether? Sorry, that should be lobbying budget and campaign contributions...

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big_D
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Re: The only thing more staggering...

Frank Herbert had the right idea, there were two major sins, both punishable by death, corruption by a member of the government and attempting to corrupt a member of the government...

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Apple, FBI: YES we're, er, looking into the NAKED CELEBRITY PICS. Aren't you?

big_D
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Re: Isn't that what makes their products so intuitive to use?

On the other hand, most cloud services don't have limits, or the limits are large. Some may slow down the retries if they hit a certain number, or block an IP address for a few hours. Or require email verification (probably the best method), if a certain number of attempts are made.

If they locked the account every time a few wrong attempts were registered, many users would spend much of the day re-enabling their account - okay, they would then see that they are under attack and they might change their password, or enable second factor authentication.

Brute forcing attempts are probably something most cloud services have to put up with every day. How would push email work, if your account is getting locked every 15 minutes?

There needs to be a replacement for passwords. I agree unlimited attempts is wrong, but so is simply locking the account.

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Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email

big_D
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Re: PR BS

In fact, it is a legal requirement in the USA for email providers to actively scan email for known kiddie pr0n. They are given a list of signatures or checksums for all "known" illegal KP images and any mails with images matching those signatures have to be reported to the authorities.

It isn't an admin, it is the KP equivalent of a spam filter.

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big_D
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Re: why cant the US gov simply obtain an order in ireland separately

They chose to have the Irish data center for exactly this reason in the first place. Any data captured in Europe about a European citizen cannot leave the EU without the users express permission and it cannot be handed to a third party (in this case the US Government) without the express permission of the persons identified in the communications or a valid EU search warrant (an Ireland being part of the EU, an Irish warrant).

There is Safe Harbour, but that doesn't seem to be worth the paper it isn't written on.

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big_D
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And the stupid thing is, there have been processes in place for getting this information legally for decades, but now that takes too long for the US Government, so they are trying to argue that an Irish server, on Irish soil, owned by an Irish company falls under US jurisdiction, because it is connected to the Internet and the parent company has a presence in the USA.

The really stupid thing is, if they had gone through channels and asked the Irish to issue a warrant, they would have the information by now - assuming they could prove that the case had merit

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big_D
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Interesting?

the whole future of the Cloud, or at least an international cloud with any presence in the USA is in the balance here.

If the US Government prevails in this case, it will be the death knell for the US Cloud industry, although it will possibly spur on national cloud services.

This could be devastating for Google, Amazon, SalesForce, Apple etc. although Microsoft could benefit, as they have a good range of server products, so they could switch from growing Azure to going back to selling licences to cloud providers to make their own clouds.

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China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain

big_D
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Coat

Hmm, Office works fine with Windows... And reasonably well with OS X, iOS and Android... Next question please.

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big_D
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Re: The wonder...

You mean like the EU did over a decade ago? Huge fines, strict rules on how they can sell their products, forcing them to release API documentation for their "hidden" APIs?

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

big_D
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Re: Yes.

Stupid is as stupid does...

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big_D
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Re: Yes.

I've never understood, why they would upload such photos onto an online service in the first place. Surely these are personal and private photos? They have no reason to be on an online service, if they are supposed to be private, don't store them in public.

It seems stars have always had nude photos of themselves and sometimes they were stolen from their homes, but now it seems they are getting more and more lax about their security.

That said, it doesn't excuse the abhorrent hacking of their accounts and publishing thr photos.

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