* Posts by big_D

1714 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

How does a global corporation switch to IP Voice?

big_D
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Re: Get into VOIP

There isn't always a lot of choice.

In Germany Deutsche Telekom is going 100% VOIP on residential lines this year and all businesses have to migrate by 2018. The reason is, allegedly, that their hardware suppliers are pulling support contracts for the ISDN hardware.

Some cloud telephone exchange providers are offering encryption as well and the system we are installing also supports encryption.

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Belgium will drag Facebook to court if it has to – privacy minister

big_D
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Re: Just because it's optional,

The changes to the policy have to be agreed upon by both parties, before they can be enforced.

If an existing user does not like the changes, they do not have to accept them and the existing rules have to be used until both parties agree on the proposed changes.

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big_D
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Re: Commission all the reports you'd like...

I work for a German company, but when we do business in the US or other countries, we cannot ignore local laws. If we do, we face our products being banned in those markets.

Likewise products imported into the country, and the EU, must comply with local regulations. If you want to do business in a country, you have to follow its laws.

Facebook also has offices and datacenters in Europe.

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Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

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@W3dge yes and no.

VOIP, video streaming and other time critical services need prioritisation over non-time critical services, such as email, torrents, normal web pages etc.

The net neutrality should see to it that different services of the same type aren't bumped down the pecking order, because they aren't paying extra to promote their traffic. E.g a providers own VOIP service shouldn't get higher priority than other VOIP services, Skype, Facetime etc. The same for video streaming, Netflix shouldn't be throttled, when the providers own streaming service gets highest priority.

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Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics

big_D
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Mushroom

Re: Obvious question

My first thought too, on reading the headline.

And older people have more cash to splash? Hmm, young and free versus divorced, 2 kids and having to pay maintenance, yeah, that works. /sarcasm.

I expect the swinger app pusher to get a bit of a backlash in the next couple of days. Ooh, er Matron!

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Tim Cook chills the spines of swingers worldwide

big_D
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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Except your average plod wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a standard Linux laptop with a UMTS modem slot and one that hacking software installed...

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big_D
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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

And using the smartphone worked oh so well for BMW, until it got hacked by a specialist hired by the German magazine publisher Heise and ADAC (the equivalent of the AA).

http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Beemer-Open-Thyself-Security-vulnerabilities-in-BMW-s-ConnectedDrive-2540957.html

Basically the modem chip does the encryption, uses weak security and can be hacked by a MitM attack using a Linux laptop with 3G/4G card. It took the security expert a while, he had to dismantle a working ConnectedDrive box and do some real work, but he found the weaknesses and could open BMWs easily.

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Acer enters Windows Phone fray with cheap Liquid M220 mobe

big_D
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Re: Entry level indeed

But this is aimed at the "next billion", who can't afford 2GB of RAM and a decent processor. The 70 quid is going to make it a very expensive proposition for them, compared to the 10 - 20 quid they paid for their current phones.

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EPIC asks FTC to stick a probe up Samsung over 'snooping' smart TVs

big_D
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Re: Not exactly the same thing.

According to the articles I read, it only transmits when you tell it to, but it can send a couple of seconds before the order, so that it can understand the context better.

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big_D
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Re: I'm innocent, I tell you!

Given that Apple's Siri, Google's Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana / Xbox Kinext have been doing exactly the same thing for the last few years and nobody has complained, and Amazon's Alexa has now joined the fray.

Oh, wait, those are American companies...

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big_D
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Considering this is exactly what Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft do with their voice assistants, why is Samsung being taken to task?

Because they put the information into their T&Cs in a form that people could understand?

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Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

big_D
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Re: Land of the Fettered

More the press and bloggers.

They moan about Verizon et al having a monopoly on cable and that they block competition from other suppliers through local legislation. Then, when the FCC tries to do something, the press says the FCC should keep their nose out, they don't want federal interference.

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big_D
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Land of the Fettered

What always makes me laugh is that the Americans go on about the land of the free, about capitalism being the new religion, free competition etc. And then they turn around and moan about net neutrality being used to counteract monopolistic cable companies that use their lobbying power to ensure they are the exclusive suppliers in their markets, get bans put in place to stop other companies and local municipalities from being able to compete with them and provide a free market.

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big_D
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Correction?

Didn't Obama tell Wheeler he should use Title 2 as the solution to the problem, after the courts had already told the FCC that they couldn't enforce net neutrality under existing rules and should implement Title 2 and come back once they had done that?

The argument over net neutrality had been ongoing for a while, before Obama stuck his nose into the discussion.

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Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA

big_D
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Re: The sad bit…

Yeah, knowing how hardware works is still important.

It got me a job a couple of years back. By changing some code for an eCommerce system, I managed to get it from falling over at 200 simultaneous transactions across 4 servers to not breaking a sweat with 200 transaction on 1 sever. Just by changing the logic around to be processor friendly

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big_D
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Re: RIP

When I was at college, we had Z80 boards with Hex pads for programming them. Write the assembler, convert to opcodes and punch it in.

The same for my ZX81, assembler -> opcodes -> REM statement at the end of the program.

My first day at college, we had to write a program to calculate the minimum number of coins to return in change, in CBM BASIC on a PET 4000. We had a double lesson to do this. I finished it in around 15 minutes, including testing. So I spent the rest of the lesson punching in machine code to draw borders around the screen, split the screen in 2 and use gets to accept the input and make 8x8 block graphic numbers to represent the figures entered. It also used block graphics at the bottom to draw piles of coins...

The lecturers reaction? "I didn't know you could do that with a computer."

And that was on my first day! :-S

The BBC and my Memotech, with built in assemblers were a huge step forward. The built-in machine code monitor was also very useful on the Memotech. It was much more than just a pretty machine, it combined the best bits of the Spectrum, BBC and C64; unfortunately it never took off.

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Facebook sad-nav: How to put depressed chums on internet suicide watch

big_D
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Except your life insurance rates to suddenly sky rocket... Then you'll be really depressed.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

big_D
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Coat

Re: Which begs the question

You might say it is full of holes.

Tim Cook says it is full of stars...

Oh, wait.

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Spotty Ceres baffles boffins with bright patches

big_D
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Re: 'Pool' of light dust/ice

The surface has been scratched away and the Scrith is showing through.

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BOFH in mugnificent return to Cash'n'Carrion

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Re: El-Reg

Oh, I don't know, BoFH polo shirt for you, then PFY polo shirts for the rest? Too many cooks and all that.

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Flash flushed: Google's AdWords to convert ads to HTML5 automatically

big_D
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Re: Won't fix

The only good ad is a stationary ad with no sound (aka a JPEG). I run NoScript in Firefox, so the ad networks can't run Flash or JavaScript based ads anyway, so I always get stationary ads anyway.

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WANTED: A plan to DESTROY metadata, not just retain it

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Re: Unfortunately,

Flag them as interesting? No.

I would say that they need to be given an official evidence number (and have to therefore obey the rules for evidence gathering) for an active case, otherwise they will be deleted.

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Microsoft cuts Facebook Messenger, Google Talk from Outlook.com

big_D
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Rumour has it, that Facebook is also moving away form XMPP for their chat client, although there are no official announcements.

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Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

big_D
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Money for nothing

In the end, we pay for it.

That money has to come from somewhere, and that is from the end user / customer. Either directly (subscriptions to services or buying something outright) or through advertising. The more a product is advertised, the more expensive it will be, in order to recoup those marketing dollars.

Which means that we pay for it. Whether that money then goes into the founders pockets, the investors pockets, the company's bank balance or it is frittered away on "stuff" is irrelevant, we've already paid.

So, no, we don't get the stuff for free.

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

big_D
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Re: Google admits there are INFINITY MILLION bugs in Chrome!

Yeah, that was my first thought. $∞ Million = $∞ Billion = $∞

And I thought that Google were supposed to be math geniuses? :-S

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German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

big_D
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Re: die die die

@Arnaut and it doesn't help that the first 3 films have a different name in German (Stirb langsam - die slowly), then the 4th film had the English name. :-S

I got a shock looking at my clock this morning... It said "DIE". :-O Then I remembered that that was the abbreviation for Tuesday (Dienstag). It was confusing, looking at it half asleep at 5 in the morning. ;-)

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big_D
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Re: die die die

Yeah, there is almost nothing from Sony on YouTube in Germany.

Although it is nice to see a mea Culpa this time.

Last time Google were taking down videos themselves and claiming that the musical rights organisation GEMA had requested them to be taken down. Google lost the case and had to change the notice to say they had taken down the links without authority as a precaution, because they hadn't asked GEMA if they were licenced...

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Give us a week to GUT Superfish, begs Lenovo CTO

big_D
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Re: Exploring a wide range of options..

@shaolin cookie there are plenty of PCs and laptops around (at least here in Germany), which come with just FreeDOS installed.

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big_D
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So...

Who will they send in?

Godzilla or Giant Octopus?

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big_D
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Re: Exploring a wide range of options..

In which case the buyer should pay what the device is worth. That is where the problem stems from, most people won't pay a "reasonable" price for a PC, so the manufacturers cut the margins to the limit, sometimes selling at a loss, then making up the difference with crapware.

I would happily pay a bit more for a clean device (I wish that we could buy Microsoft Signature PCs over here), but I suspect that most people would rather save a couple of quid and put up with the crapware, until something like this happens...

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Superfish: Lenovo? More like Lolnono – until they get real on privacy

big_D
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Re: Problem is inherent to closed source

Everybody knows that nobody upgrades the software on their computers. Part of that is the training: Everybody is told that they are not supposed to modify the software on their computers.

Rubbish. The industry is continually spending millions trying to get people to upgrade. People don't upgrade, because they don't understand or aren't interested in what operating system they run.

"It works, why would I want to upgrade" or "why would I want to pay for Windows again? My copy still works."

And for that audience, and that is the vast majority of PC users, they buy a pre-installed PC, because they wouldn't know how to install a mint on it, "that is something you eat, isn't it?" So they buy a PC with the manufacturers Linux image and they wouldn't be able to tell the difference, if it was standard Ubuntu or Ubuntu packed full of adware...

For those users, it is like selling them a car without an engine and expecting them to put their own engine and electronics in. They don't know and they don't care, as long as it gets them from A to B and their friend Tom or the local dealer can check the oil for them once a year...

For IT professionals and IT enthusiasts, that is a totally different story - but like car enthusiasts, who strip the engine out and rebuild it to blueprint specs or bore the engine out - they are few and far between in the general population.

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big_D
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Checked out Yoga 2

It is clean. No trace of the malware and the root certificate was also no there. It was an October 2014 model, so allegedly affected, but no sign of the malware.

Maybe it was restricted to certain markets (this one was bought on Amazon.de).

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big_D
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Re: $30 extra for Signature Windows?

That is the problem, the consumer is so used to buying bargain basement stuff, the prices have been pushed so low that the manufacturers can't make a profit, so they have to resort to other methods.

Until the consumer is ready to pay realistic prices for stuff, they will have to put up with such tricks.

I work for a company that supplies software to the food industry. Here the prices are similarly depressed, although in this case the large supermarkets set the prices "they" are willing to pay and if the farmers and suppliers want to sell their product, they have to agree to those prices.

There was a documentary recently, here in Germany, where they interviewed an egg supplier for Aldi. They got a big contract from Aldi at reasonable prices, he invested in new hens and new equipment to meat the demands of Aldi, then the next year they sunk the price by something like 30% and the year after they wanted to sink the prices again. The farmer now loses money on every egg he sells.

At least the PC makers have something they can fall back upon to make up the difference.

We need to get away from the craziness of paying less than something is worth, or what it actually costs to produce. Until then, we only have ourselves to blame.

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big_D
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One point to your rant, which is generally well thought out, the software was only installed on non-ThinkPad, non-corporate models - although it also wasn't installed on my daughter's Lenovo Yoga 2 either (October 2014).

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big_D
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Re: Problem is inherent to closed source

Exactly Lars, or the machine would have been more expensive with Linux installed, and no crapware.

The problem has nothing to do with open or closed source software. The problem has to do with the hardware being sold below cost. That means that the manufacturers have to make their profit somewhere. And that is, currently, selling high end machines for realistic prices or selling cheap machines piled up with crapware.

That said, I inspected my daughter's Lenovo Yoga 2 yesterday, when she came to visit, as it was an October 2014 model and allegedly affected by this. But there was no a trace of it.

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Microsoft to store deleted Exchange Online mails FOREVER

big_D
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Re: Shift-delete?

Only from your personal account. The secure store in the background cannot be deleted, so the emails remain. This is a legal requirement in some countries - hence why it has been implemented in Exchange since 2007.

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Re: RLY - thats nice

On the other hand in many countries all business related emails have to be kept for a long time.

Here in Germany all business related (especially financial or contractual) emails have to be kept for 10 years. And that has to be in unalterable form. In general that means products like Exchange implement a secure store in the background and all emails are kept for the 10 years (Exchange cannot / is not allowed to distinguish between private, business and spam). Everything that makes it onto the server is therefore stored in the secure store.

Which means that most companies have a ban on the use of company mail accounts for private emails, because they are not allowed to store or access private communications; unless the employee is informed, so you are told, no private emails and if they are private, then we/auditors/authorities will have the possibility of seeing them, because we have to store all communications due to tax law.

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

big_D
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Re: This sounds horribly familiar

Most of out employees don't have credit cards (credit card penetration in Germany is around 30%). That means that most employees can't even push the expenses out to the end of the month.

But the company books the hotels and train tickets and they try to get as much as possible billed directly on invoice to the company. The employees also get a float to take with them for meals etc. whilst they are away.

That said, the rules in Germany are very tight and you get around 24€ for meals per day (if you are away for 24 hours) between 8 and 24 hours it is only 12€.

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big_D
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Re: This sounds horribly familiar

I assume it's due to the amazing number of different ways you can render the message "The computer says no" in German that the suppliers had failed to translate so many of them into English

I had a customer who had an ERP system (that we weren't responsible for), which came from Germany. On Christmas Eve they got an error message that was one word, about 40 characters long!

The software company had closed for Christmas and nobody spoke German, so they tried the international operator, they couldn't help, but they then rang a German operator and they also couldn't make head nor tail of the word, but came up with a literal translation:

The first character is after the last character of the file. The techs then managed to work out that it was complaining that the import file was empty (EOF).

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big_D
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Re: This sounds horribly familiar

Sounds like our old expenses system at work, which was so long and convoluted, and with so many approvals and sign-offs that getting expenses actually paid sometimes took 2-3 months.

I was lucky, when I started work, it was same day.

I had a credit card with a 250 quid limit (I was 19), I was working away for 12 weeks and each weeks hotel bill, including meals came to between 240 and 250 quid... So that meant rushing back from Plymouth to Southampton on a Friday afternoon, filling out the expenses, grabbing the cash and going to the back on Saturday, so that I could use the card again the next week!

I tried getting the limit raised, but I hadn't had the card long enough, so I had to do the same dance every week!

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Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

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With the reinforced concrete floors and ceiling here, I'm lucky to get 5mbps out of my 11n router and tablet. When I am working in my office the cellar, my tablet is connected to a USB-GB-Ethernet dongle, so that it can get decent throughput.

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How many Watches will Apple flog? 20, er, 18.5, no, five, wait, 50 million!

big_D
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Re: Not for this Apple fan.

Exactly, my Casio is still on its first battery, it is now 10 years old, so should need replacing soon.

My Seiko is coming up for 20 years old and cost about the same as the mid-range Apple Watches will cost. That should keep going for my lifetime and I can probably leave it to my heirs... I'm guessing an Apple Watch at 10 years is going to be a useless piece of junk metail, let alone at 50 or 100 years.

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big_D
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Re: iWon't

Yeah, I'm kind of interested how the 18ct gold version will fair, when the owners go to hand that down to their heirs in 30 or 40 years...

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Microsoft updates Outlook app security, but haters still gunna hate

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Exactly, there is no need for them to be stored on AWS or Azure...

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big_D
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But why are they storing the passwords on any server at all?

The standard mail client on iOS and Android can get mail without the need for a proxy, even from Exchange accounts. They have no need to store emails and passwords on a third party server, over which the user and their employer have no control...

Until there is an option to use the Outlook app without using the proxy, it cannot be taken as a serious business solution. Which is a shame, because the app itself looks fairly good.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

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Re: Microsoft hardware @Buzzword

You mean like the Surface Pro?

Or what about the "Signature" editions of other manufacturer's hardware that they like to promote that don't have any crapware installed, just vanilla Windows?

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Google MENACED by Russian probe over 'abuse of dominance' gripe

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Re: Whats next?

No, not really.

More like you can no longer download desktop apps in Windows, you have to install everything through the Microsoft Store app and you can't install a third party app installer, like Steam, for example.

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big_D
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Yandex, Samsung, Amazon, etc.

We are talking about the Android platform.

On the other hand, there is nothing to stop Yandex doing deals with phone makers supplying phones to Russia to put the Yandex stuff on top of AOSP.

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Are you ready to ditch the switchboard and move to IP telephony?

big_D
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Re: My personal opinion...

If you have a choice that is...

We are currently upgrading and we are going VOIP internally, through ISDN trunking to the outside world. But the new PBX is flexible and will switch over to VOIP trunking.

The problem we have here, in Germany, is that the Telekom is phasing out ISDN. They have already migrated most private households to VOIP, but their VOIP trunking for businesses is not yet ready for the big time. However it will need to be in place soon, as the ISDN equipment providers are cancelling their support contracts as of 2018. That means that they have to get all customers switched over to VOIP before their ISDN network is left hanging in the wind.

They are planning with a 2016 release of VOIP trunking and migrating all businesses by the 2018 deadline.

All of the PBX systems that they currently sell are VOIP trunking capable. But the older systems (like our old HiPath) aren't VOIP capable.

We also looked at a cloud solution, but that was incredibly expensive, compared to upgrading to the new software PBX. The investment for the cloud solution (set-up fee, phones, headsets. switches etc.) worked out to almost the same price as the PBX, yet the monthly running costs were more than twice as high as the local PBX - and would get steadily more expensive as we add new employees.

That is the good thing about the local PBX, you pay a moderate 1 off licence fee for each new employee, which is about 20% higher than the set-up fee for the cloud solution, but the monthly running costs remain the same. For each additional employee on the cloud, you also have an additional 5€ - 18€ a month (depending on capabilities required).

The cloud solution initially looked reasonable 4€ a month per employee, but that was for a pure phone system. Add in softphone (1€ a month per employee), CTI with Outlook integration (2€ a month per employee), Fax (1€ a month per employee), mobile integration (using smartphone to call over landline number - 1€ a month per employee or 50€ per employee one-time fee). Then there were the flatrates for telephony - 9€ per employee per month for European landline flat rate.

The advantage, of course, with the cloud solution is that (depending on bandwidth availability) all employees can make external calls at the same time - but we've never had the situation where all 12 of our channels have been used.

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