* Posts by Headley_Grange

120 posts • joined 24 Feb 2010

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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

Headley_Grange

Re: @AC

The landlord (and tenant) can only do what the contract (and, in my case, English law) allows. If the tenancy agreement allows the landlord to vary the terms of the contract in this manner with no agreement from the tenant then he can, and the tenant would be a bloody idiot for having signed a contract like this. More likely, a tenancy agreement will not allow such changes and if the landlord wanted to change the terms he'd either have to get the agreement of the tenant to a change in the agreement (and the tenant would be at liberty to negotiate consideration for the change - e.g. a rent reduction) or give the tenant notice IAW the existing contract terms and then try to get them (or new tenants) to agree the contract with the Facebook, etc, terms in it.

The important thing is that either party can only do what the in-force contract (legally) allows. I suspect (can't be bothered to check) that the original Spotify terms allow Spotify to change the Ts&Cs at any point and the only rights the user has in this circumstance is either to accept or to stop using the service.

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Mozilla-Microsoft spat latest: Firefox yanks Cortana away from Bing

Headley_Grange

Instacrash ditto..

I'm back on 39 too.

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Headley_Grange

Re: elDog

Some of us can't because FF 40.0 launches straight into crash reporter. I know - my fault for having a Mac.

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Ofcom coverage map: 7/10 – must try harder next time

Headley_Grange

Re: You cannot be serious...

There could be an app for that, couldn't there? It wouldn't give accurate power readings due to different phones' sensitivities and the reception bars aren't calibrated, but the fact that I've got no bars, or GPRS only or 3G etc is a reflection of a user's actual experience and might be better than nothing in terms of understanding what real-world phone coverage is like.

Put an app on the phone, let it report signals every few hours or once a day, or store them in a file for uploading when signal returns.

Privacy worries would be understandable, but shouldn't be insurmountable. The networks would hate it because many smart phones are deaf (my Sonim sucks signals out of space when iPhones all round me are showing no signal) and some areas where they claim good coverage would probably report bugger all signal - but that's the real user experience.

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It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

Headley_Grange

Re: iSCSI

Hmmm. That's some research to save for those long dark teatimes between contracts. Thanks.

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Headley_Grange

Macs can be problematic

I bought a Buffalo NAS a few years ago only to find it wasn't compatible with MAC's AFP. Buffalo were unapologetic (Apple's fault for changing the protocol) and Apple had the same "we implemented the spec. correctly and the other 99.9% of the world is wrong" excuse it has for everything (e.g. iCal invites, mail attachments, etc). I managed to get it working by using a different file manager, but it's a bit of a pain.

I also have a QNAP 410NAS. This has a time machine function which worked OK except that every few weeks I got an error message along the lines of "the time machine backup is corrupt and needs to be replaced". It was a pain because of the time it took to back up the 300GB of crap I've got and also because I lost backups. I bought a Time Capsule and gave up with NAS backups. The QNAP is also very slow. It takes about 20 mins to upload a ripped DVD on wired SMB and isn't much faster on FTP - which is way slower than the 25MB/s quoted. I'm not a tecchie, but my internet research blames either NAS OS or Mac OS or both. The NAS also doesn't cope very well with the Mac's attempts to write hidden files to shares when copying - so after 20 mins of trying to copy a DVD to a share it often comes back with a write error. FTP works OK (and makes me feel like an engineer again!).

I must stress that, apart from the hidden file thing, these problems are a three or four years old, so might have been fixed by firmware updates. The message is that Mac owners need to do a bit of extra research before buying NAS.

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Headley_Grange

Re: RAID-0 FFS?

Agreed. But also, remember that RAID <> backup.

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Headley_Grange

Re: Irony

It's a good point about free content, but the problem is that most websites delegate ad serving to third parties with absolutely no consideration for their readers. I'd be happy to trade free content for well-focused, well-behaved ads for stuff I want, like and have money for. In practice I get auto-running sound and videos for products and services which are of no interest to me and just steal my bandwidth and screen area. That's why most of us up-shields.

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Paper driving licence death day: DVLA website is still TITSUP

Headley_Grange

Re: The Real Question is...

In theory I want the insurance company to know who the high risk drivers are so that they can charge them more and keep the costs down for low risk drivers.

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Headley_Grange

What do other countries do?

Frustratingly missing from all the reports on this is how other countries manage this. I don't know if other countries have the same penalties/endorsement system as we do for drivers, but for those which do, and only have a photo licence then how do their citizens hire cars? Anyone know?

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Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

Headley_Grange

Feature Creep

I'm fighting a losing battle with the more useful purchased apps on my phone as developers stop supporting the app I've paid for and try to get me to use a "better" version for which they charge a monthly fee. The "better" isn't worth having from my point of view (I don't want anything in the cloud - ever) so I live with the old app until eventually an OS update finally kills the product I paid for.

If I can make the fridge/camera/boiler/hair straighteners stop working at the flick of a kill switch then I've got a revenue model for white goods and tech stuff. Your fridge will be leased on the basis that you'll get "value" from it telling you that stuff is out of date and you'll have to root it if you don't want it shouting at you every ten minutes to tell you that Tesco has Ben and Gerry's on sale.

You read it here first.

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Headley_Grange

Re: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of IoT

I'm heading over to Kickstarter to fund research into an EMP device which I can focus to a city block or so. That way I'll be able to "sterilize" the "buildings and neighbourhoods ..... rendered uninhabitable by.... loss of control over the IoT" .

It will, of course, run only on renewable energy. And I'll paint it green.

It might also have other uses!

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Headley_Grange

Tell it to ...

...the keyless-entry Range Rover owners who have to resort to a Krooklock (with a shiny metal key) in order to get insurance in London.

I'll be sticking with my trusty tumblers and a metal key I can hang round my neck, thanks.

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T-Mobile prods at corpse of BlackBerry, says 'me too!'

Headley_Grange

It was a leading brand in PDA space

Secure email, calendar, ToDo manager, contacts and notes with PIN messaging and a keyboard, all integrated with desktop and enterprise. A proper PDA for workers who acted like they were organized. That's how I remember the little blue Blackberry I had about ten years ago; I loved it and I was looking forward to the Classic because it came along just as my 4S was feeling old. I was convinced that I was going to jump back into BB world. Then I did my research. No ToDo manager. No Notes. No confidence that it would synch with Mac Calendar and Contacts and no way to contact RIM for help if you haven't got a Twitter account (I haven't got a Twitter account) except by writing to them in Canada (they don't reply).

I guess I'm not a typical user. I want a phone, contacts, email, ToDo, Calendar, and I want desktop apps that synch with it. I don't do social stuff. I don't watch fillums on a 4" screen. Music would be handy, but I've got a bunch of iPods somewhere, so that's not a dealbreaker. A bit of web access every now and then is handy - but I could live without it (and where I normally work I generally have to!).

I'm off to eBay to see how much a 7320 will cost me - although I have a vague recollection that the last time I tried this I fell over at the BES stage.

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Apple MacBook 2015: Twelve inches of slim and shiny fanboi joy

Headley_Grange

Re: It's all wrong

Until you realize that Apple defines font sizes in pixels so the only way to get system fonts bigger (when your eyes go and you're an old git like me) is to reduce the resolution of the screen. So I've paid a shedload for a retina screen and the first thing I have to do is to knacker it so I can read the system fonts.

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You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

Headley_Grange

Looking forward to...

Tesco being forced to offer Sainsbury's own products on the eye-line shelves and show the price they paid the supplier for the products, together with how much the big brands have paid for the best shelf space for their products.

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Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Headley_Grange

From Texas

Dang It!

I'd just promised the six-year old a shotgun for his birthday so he could go shooting for his own Christmas presents this year.

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Headley_Grange

Re: "legitimate medical practitioners"

In the UK the GMC decides who is a legitimate medical practitioner. There's a list on their website (sort of).

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Headley_Grange

Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

If the intent is that the domain be reserved for medical doctors then in the UK it ought to be relatively easy to manage because you must be registered with the GMC to practise as a medical doctor in the UK.

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Google to tame Android's Wild Wild West to please suits

Headley_Grange

Re: The biggest problem with Android in the business...

Yep, and although Google might patch security or stability bugs, you have to wait for .....never.......for your operator/manufacturer to let you have the update.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Headley_Grange

I remember reviewing a longish report and the minor changes I asked for were met with a lot of resistance. The reason was that the author didn't know that Word could do outlining and even a minor addition required all the subsequent section numbers to be manually renumbered. He was gobsmacked when I enlightened him.

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Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years

Headley_Grange

The Size of My Package...

...makes no difference when there's no mobile signal at all. Two days ago a 1.25 rail journey into London had no mobile coverage at all for about 15 minutes of the journey and basic GSM for about 20 mins. So that's almost half the journey without any data.

Serious question: does the current train WiFi come over the mobile phone network or do the train companies have their own radio spectrum for it?

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Ski MOUNT DOOM or take top coffee to the beach? Your choice

Headley_Grange

Work Life Balance

Speaking from experience of a six-month stint in Aus (not IT - aerospace engineering) I agree with the article. In Britain we know what it means when a job description mentions work life balance; you'll be expected to work all hours, give up weekends and holidays at short notice if the work requires it, and family life is a career limiting weakness!

In Aus the prevailing (and accepted) attitude was that the work would still be there tomorrow so why would I cancel my evening's / weekend's plans?

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Headley_Grange

Professionals?

You have to respect a country which has Doyle on its $1 coin.

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

Headley_Grange

Amazon are a pain

It can be nigh impossible to find out if an Amazon seller is based in the UK. I've complained to Amazon too and they seemed to purposely misunderstand my complaint. Even eBay goes to the trouble of stating clearly where the goods are coming from (and it's mostly reliable). I complained to Bezos and one of his minions gave me a very polite worded finger. If I'm spending more than a few quid, or I want the stuff in a hurry, I only buy from sellers with a UK address.

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Headley_Grange

Puzzled too

I've re-read the article a couple of times and I'm struggling to understand it. As Dr Mouse writes - if they're coming from outside the EU then they would be subject to duty and VAT once they hit the UK and the buyer has to cough up before getting mitts on. A quick look on eBay has a number of new iPads from the USA at $250 +$60 prepaid duty charges (which include VAT in my experience). $310 is about £200 on xe.com- so the article doesn't seem to stack up.

The only ones I found from HK were at £190 and the seller does state in the small print that tax and duty are the responsibility of the buyer.

It's possible that the miffed UK sellers are talking about the eBay sales which don't have the duty pre-paid - and those buyers will get stung for Duty, VAT (including VAT on the duty) and £8 Royal Mail handling if it's left on your doorstep by RM. I guess that if the buyers don't realize this then the mythical £170 iPad is taking business from UK sellers, but it's not obvious how HMRC is being denied VAT.

Finally, pedantically, sellers don't pay VAT. Buyers pay VAT and sellers collect it on behalf of the HMRC.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Headley_Grange

You need some delay on the crap that flickers and drops down covering half my screen every time the cursor goes over it . It's bloody annoying and appears to be designed to bring on epilepsy. What was wrong with the old site? I hope you didn't spend any money on this.

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

Headley_Grange

As someone who carries 2 phones (Vodafone and O2) when on business to ensure that I have a signal, UK roaming doesn't sound like such a stupid idea. In my recent and everyday experience there are vast chunks of the UK where it's Vodafone xor O2, whatever the coverage maps say. Essex, Norfolk, N.Devon are all problematic. As general rule, if you can see the sea then there'll be a coverage issue.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Headley_Grange

Re: upcoming Blackberry classic

I've got enough free upgrade credit for a Classic (given that it's been accumulating since I got the 4S) but I guess I could give the Q10 a try given the price and use it as my backup if I get a Classic. Good call, AC; I sense a pleasant evening of comparing specs coming up!

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Headley_Grange

I got a Note 8 this year to use as a notebook for work but also to see what life might be like outside the Apple garden. Apart from a battery life that means it needs charging 2 or 3 times a day in normal use, the fact that I can't use it and charge it at the same time, a constant connection to Google and Samsung accounts which do nothing for me other than track me and deplete the battery, masses of undeleteable bloatware (it's not on a contract - this is Google and Samsung sh*ite), no apps that I can find which don't require access to my contacts, emails, phone, camera, internet history, etc. and no simple way to synch with tasks, notes, calendar or music it's a fantastic piece of kit. I can't remember where I left it and I've gone back to paper and pen for taking notes at work.

It's a shame because I love the stylus and the fact that the handwriting recognition is a standard keyboard and can be used across all apps. The multi-tasking was occasionally useful. The screen was great and as a way of managing client meetings and notes it was almost useful. If I can find it I guess I could look at rooting it since if I f**k it up it won't matter - but I honestly can't be bothered.

I am not an Apple fanboi and the size of the new iPhones means I'm looking at a new battery for my 4S rather than upgrading - but Samsung and Android are going to have to up their game significantly and give me back some semblance of control over my phone if they want my money. I know this will drop my credibility even further, but I'm looking at the upcoming Blackberry classic as a way to try something new (the Passport doesn't fit in my pockets).

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Even a broken watch is right twice a day: Not an un-charged Apple Watch

Headley_Grange

Re: Daily charging...?

My 5S also lasts a couple of days if I just use it as a phone and bugger-all else, but if I just wanted a phone I'd have kept my Nokia 6310 and gone for a couple of weeks before stomping around the house searching for the charger that hardly gets used.

Let's pick a real-life example: I want to do a pub crawl in town. I do my research plan the route - upload the maps to Google maps, upload the interesting information and the quiz to DropBox - then head off with me mates. Problem is that if the pub crawl lasts for more than 6 hours then the phone won't make the distance - really - it won't - trust me.

What's the point of selling me a tool with maps, documents, journal, compass, comms, camera,voice recorder, train and tube times, etc if the whole package only lasts half a day in real use. It's exactly the same at work when I survey a site, use GPS to mark pics, record client discussions, etc - I wouldn't start a day like that without a full phone and a notebook and pen.

If they'd kept the 6 as thick as the 4 - or even thicker - and made the battery last 24 hours in real use with poor GSM and non-existent 3G signal and a standby of a few days then I'd have been the twat at the front of the queue in Covent Garden. It's not just Apple - Samsung are worse; I need a charger on each step of the stairs just to get a Note 8 from the living room to the "office" upstairs. On a pub-crawl the Note 8 lasted less than 4 hours before it was useless - well not completely useless because it gave my mates loads of entertainment taking the piss out of it. It's amazing how many times a drunk can find it funny calling a beer mat a tablet.

So this weekend I'll be heading off to town with me mates and a sheaf of maps printed off Google (and isn't that a pain), written directions, tour notes and a notebook and pen. The phone will be carefully conserved for emergencies and booking a cab for when I stumble off the train (although I'll make sure I've got some change for the payphone).

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Headley_Grange

It's a great idea but clashes with Apple's number one requirement that all its products must be as thin as possible and this requirement overrides any utility or user needs.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Is a broken watch is right twice a day?

You're right, JDX, if you're assuming that time comes in 1 second quanta, but it doesn't - time is continuous (for the moment*).

Assume my watch is stopped at three o' clock (exactly). When a real 3PM comes around how long does it stay 3PM for? It's not 3PM for a whole second. When the real time is 3PM plus 0.264443 seconds the stopped watch is slow. Ditto for when it's 3PM + 6E-24 secs*. It's only telling the right time when the real time is 3 PM ± 0 secs. The stopped watch is only correct for an infinitesimally short amount of time - no time at all really, so I don't think it ever tells the right time.

*There are theories about quantized time, but the quanta are much smaller than 1 sec - GIYF.

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Headley_Grange

Is a broken watch is right twice a day?

For how long is a broken watch right? I think that the actual period for which it tells the right time is vanishingly small - so it's never right in fact.

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MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

Headley_Grange

Re: Compromised? - good point!

And not just the FBI. I go for a meal, I give the restaurant my card details (i.e. when i put it in the reader) and I leave my "PIN" on the cutlery, the wine glass, the card reader, ...etc.

I assume that my contract with Mastercard will replace "You agree never to write down your PIN" with "You agree never to leave your fingerprints on anything".

Of course, Mastercard don't care. They will play the "it was validated with your fingerprint therefore you must have been present" game.

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Headley_Grange

What happens when....

.....the fingerprint is compromised? When my password is leaked then I change it. When my fingerprint data are leaked then do I need plastic surgery.

Biometrics seem like a daft idea to me. If your BM data get stolen, or even just end up fat-fingerdly on a do-not-fly list then you're buggered - it's hard to change them and just as hard to get the erroneous data deleted from a foreign database. If I've just spent the week building a house or climbing millstone grit then my fingerprints will be virtually worn away. A serious onion-slicing incident could leave me cashless for weeks.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Headley_Grange

"Everything between sample points is lost"

Mmmm. Messrs Nyquist and Shannon might have a bit to say about this.

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Mac security packages range from peachy to rancid – antivirus tests

Headley_Grange

Re: Sophos not good with Mavericks in my experience

Paul - I didn't have any trouble with scanning. `If it's finding stuff it can't delete it might be because it's scanning your backups (e.g. Time Machine). If Sophos is scanning your backups then that might be why it's taking a long time - or not finishing. If it does find bad files on your Time Machine then Sophos doesn't have the privileges to delete them and you have to do it manually.

My problem was that occasionally it would look like my wireless link was down cos I couldn't see the web from browsers. After lots of messing about I discovered that it was Sophos and the only way to fix was to uninstall it.

I've run without AV for a couple of months. I read all the stuff about Macs' inherent protection and the fact that there aren't many virus attacks for Macs, but I don't like not having AV. I've just installed a trial of Bitdefender, so I'll see how it goes.

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Headley_Grange

Sophos not good with Mavericks in my experience

On my 2013 MBA Sophos and Mavericks don't play nicely together. Sophos randomly prevented browsers (FF, Chrome, Safari) from accessing the internet connection. I fixed it by uninstalling Sophos.

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Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Headley_Grange

Re: We all moved to sharepoint.

Rowling was turned down by half a dozen or so publishers and her agent thought the book was dead in the water. She only got a deal because the guy at Bloomsbury did her agent a favour, then couldn't be bothered to read it and gave the m/s to his kid. I wonder how many of those J.K. Nothings might be as bankable as Potter.

Remember - these poor publishers who think they, authors and readers need defending from Amazon are the same publishers who implemented the Net Book Agreement which fixed the price of books across the UK and prevented bookshops from discounting. Now they are trying to do the same with eBooks, but the problem is that instead of having a few relatively small book shops to bully they've come up against Amazon. Some might see Amazon as just a bigger bully (although as a reader I don't - yet.).

VAT apart - I don't understand why an eBook should be more expensive than a paper book. Even ignoring the savings in manufacture, storage, distribution, over-production, pulping, etc., readers only pay to rent these books. There's no second-hand market, it's very difficult to lend them to friends and family and they can't be left as an inheritance. So the market is automatically larger for an e-book than for a paper book because of the limitations of use*. Hachette and Amazon appear to have very different approaches to making money. Hachette want a protected market where they can charge what they want and make loads of money on each sale whereas Amazon are happy to make fractions of a penny profit on massive throughput. As a reader I prefer the Amazon approach cos I can get more books for the same money. For me the jury's still out on whether or not this will result in an Amazonopoly which acts to the detriment of authors - and thereby readers.

*I've heard that Calibre might help!

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Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Headley_Grange

Memories of the way publishers like Hachette used to fix book prices (Net Book Agreement) mean that I have little sympathy for them. They don't give a toss about their authors; all they care about is that they missed a trick somewhere and someone else is making the money.

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Headley_Grange

Vouchers

I remember when the catalogue was a flimsy green affair with about 40 pages and you got vouchers for every £1 you spent. The first time I went to Southend with a girlfriend in the early 80s she couldn't understand why I dragged her off to visit the Maplin shop!

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Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

Headley_Grange

And they say that Americans don't do irony.

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'We don't use UPS. If we did we'd have huge UPSs and tiny computers'

Headley_Grange

Re: Argument seems illogical

If they have no standby generator the UPS would have to run the cooling system to keep the system at temperature while it was doing the backups.

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

Headley_Grange

Re: I think not ...

Unless otherwise marked the national speed limit on single carriageway roads in the UK for cars and vans up to 2 tonnes is 60 mph. It's 50 if you're towing or a goods vehicle <= 7 tonnes.

https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits

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Headley_Grange

Re: Caveat Emptor

You're right - you have no idea what I'm on about. There's no USB Mini B connector on my TomTom Go 540 Live. The connector is proprietary.

Whether you're correct or not about China being able to provide a screen mount, it's still the case that TomTom has effectively discontinued hardware support for my TomTom only 4 years after I bought it. My experience with their "support" staff is all the evidence I need that they don't give a toss about customers once they have spent their money. However, should I require more evidence then my 3 hour trip yesterday when the device was unable to access the traffic service for the whole journey would help.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Caveat Emptor

Oh - I forgot to mention the fact that they stop supporting stuff after 4 years. When I tried to buy a spare lead for my Tomtom they no longer make them. If my dock or car mount breaks then I have to bin the device and buy a new one. It's a proprietary connector - not USB. They clearly hate customers.

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