1172 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010
Amazon user since 1997 here.
What can I say ? They are competitive. The way they have changed their site should be a lesson to all. Incremental upgrades. Useful features rather than flash. And the product descriptions, reviews and discussions all help to give you a feeling that you are empowered and informed. I've never had a problem with them - simple as that.
The nice feature of "people who looked at ..." and "people who bought..." and "Other things people bought ..." is incredibly useful to allow you to weigh up between different models and features.
The only improvement I can think of would be the ability to add an item to your wishlist from a search list, rather than having to click on it first.
Amazon is a shining example of how to do Web 2.0 incredibly well.
Re: Sorry, I call "bollocks"
The problem here is that you think the *state* is responsible for everyones welfare.
Sorry, I call "bollocks"
"at least they try and form evidence based policies and reverse previous decisions on the basis of new evidence."
I refer you to Mr Camerons recent pre-decision regarding cannabis. No matter what the evidence, he's made his mind up (I believe, using Gordon Browns turn of phrase, he's "minded").
MPs understanding the subject ...
shouldn't be a problem. They can afford to pay (with OUR money) for the very best expertise and advice in their fields.
The problem is when they get it, they promptly ignore it - look at drugs for a start, and energy policy for a finish.
I think they're trying to paint
a picture where you've bought a new PC (coz sales of them are rocketing) and when you turn it on for the first time, it's have a massive prompt saying "Are there children in the house ?" with a "YES" and "NO" button underneath it.
The silence from Microsoft and Apple (as Mac suppliers) speaks volumes. Where is this mysterious config screen going to go ? Where will the onus lie for providing it ? The retailer ? The OS supplier ? The hardware supplier ? The ISP ? How can an ISP put software on a clients machine ? Especially if that PC is running something which isn't Windows ?
Smart TVs ?
Oh well, at least the government gives us a good laugh when it tries to grapple with technical issues. They treat engineers with contempt and ignore them, and quite rightly get ridiculed when they try to live without them.
On a serious note, this could be an early indication of Camerons impending demise. Politicians usually have bullet-catchers who stop this sort of foot in mouth gaffe. Their mysterious absence, leaving their masters in the line of fire is a sure sign they've read the runes. Remember Jacqui "we'll force paedophiles to register their email" Smith ?
Real names are pretty irrelevant ...
Facebook/G+ don't give a toss who you are. They do care about who you know though. Because that's how they can slice and dice their data for the marketing guys.
But once your name
address, date of birth and NI number have gone, what can you do ? You can't change your date of birth. I really wouldn't recommend changing your NI number (HMRC fuck up enough when you keep the same one all your life, imagine the field day they'd have if you could change them). Changing address is more stressful than divorce. And changing your name is a bit of an imposition.
I would like to think we have a public think tank looking at the problem of re-securing identity after a breach like this, but I bet we haven't. Which means we'll be told how Facebook will solve the problem.
The only solution I can think of (this is my lunch break) is some sort of public registry, with individual records sealed by a PIN. Any organisation wishing to verify a persons ID submits the tokens (name, address, date of birth) and retrieves a token. The person claiming to be whoever they are then uses their PIN on the token. So when (not if) a public body sprays your data all over the interweb, you can change your PIN, effectively revoking the previous ID.
Government IT never ceases to underwhelm me ....
Back in 1986, I applied to the CCTA (as it was then) for a position for my sandwich year. Got the interview. Was faced by 5 people, 4 of whom wouldn't have known a computer if it had been paraded through on a carnival float. The fifth was clearly the "staff", and was current up to about 1970 - when I explained I'd studied Pascal, FORTRAN, ADA and Modula-2, he asked about my COBOL.
When they offered me the job, it was £1,000 a year less than had been advertised at. When I queried this, I was told that they paid salary by age band, and I was a year younger than the age band they'd advertised for.
Seems like nothing has changed in 26 years.
Or that search engine aggregator Copernic ?
Re: Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory
As you connect through your VPN ?
Madness is repeating the same action over and over again
and expecting a different outcome.
I have no love for pirates, but I can see the attraction of a nag-free ad-free programme.
Here's a question ... I can appreciate with free-to-air channels, that ads form part of the deal. But how come I am PAYING for Sky channels, and STILL getting ads ? Well, I would if I watched them. Combination of TiVo, usenet, and other sources mean I can't recall the last ad I actually sat through on TV.
Depends on the fuel
Thorium nuclear power, for example.
I think the point is ...
a massive PR campaign on behalf of the police to scare baddies into not challenging their "evidence".
Given police claims about cannabis factories being stuffed with UV heat lamps, I'm not sure we have much to learn from their science unit.
Re: "Traces of milk lipids on the pottery revealed its original use"
Cleanest in town sir.
Making cheese is not a walk in the park ... to discover our ancestors were up to it so long ago is incredible. The implications are astounding, since cheese making is analogous to beer (and bread) making.
The ability to adapt out environment to suit our needs is a unique trait to human species.
Re: Windows mobile - a real showstopper
Oh, and my own bank ... Nationwide.
Windows mobile - a real showstopper
I've whinged about the dearth of apps for Windows Mobile since getting my (work) phone 2 years ago. And it's almost a given that when I do some smart alec will comment "what apps can't you get ?" and then proceed to heap scorn on me when I list them claiming they're either "not worth it" or "you don't need that anyway".
Well today, for various reasons I needed to use Barclays PingIt. But is there a Windows Mobile version ? Is there bogroll. So there is a real crunch point. My company has dumped Windows Mobile, and has no plans to look at Windows 8. If I weren't so damned honest, I'd "lose" the phone.
Meanwhile, the Mrs sails on with her Android HTC.
always pilloried as ignorant and dumb. Don't forget it was a pope who asked Copernicus to sort out the problems with a calendar, and who was happy with the end result.
And until Galileo did his impersonation of a 16th Century Assange, the church was quite involved in science, in a good way. Unfortunately (and ironically) they had this nasty niggling need for PROOF. Something which Galileo was unable to provide, because he hadn't done the maths (which had yet to be invented). The real ding-dong started when Galileo went public, called the church liars and couldn't back up his claims.
I can't help but feel this is another example where the well-meaning are unknowingly corrupted by those they oppose. Pardoning Turning would mean in future, people learning about him would not learn what a nasty, homophobic and hypocritical society we were back then, and (more importantly) how we still are.
No pardon ...
as others have pointed out, let his conviction stand, to remind us of the nasty, bigoted, spiteful nature of those that rule us. Don't let them airbrush that out of history.
Predictable really ...
The second it dawned on our lords and masters that this meant *they* would need to "opt out" of a porn filter, this was a dead duck.
Re: I consider it a public duty
I was actually suggesting getting the URL from the phishing email, and then supplying it with a few hundred bogus login details. If the hit rate for the scammers dropped from (say) 1 in 10 to 1 in 1,000 they'll soon give up. Although I'm not so naive as to believe they won't devise another scam.
I consider it a public duty
to waste as much of these scammers time as possible, when I encounter them. My missis has become particularly adept, after a little basic coaching, and can happily keep them on the phone for half an hour. I wish there was a way we could have calls sent to us from the public to deal with.
I keep meaning to write a small program to deal with all the phishing attempts we receive, and just reply to them with thousands of random username/password combinations. Maybe with the dark evenings, I'll actually get round to it. I was thinking of a monitored email address which takes the URL and then loads the page and submits it again and again. In fact I'm going to go and check and see if LastPass has an API ....
why can I hear bells ?
In the old days, no supplier would ever risk alienating Dixons - they were one of the major outlets in the UK.
The times they are a'changing ...
Re: Rebuilding a Speccy...
Surely a simple circuit diagram ?
My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I'm pretty certain there was a very short-term release of DIY spectrum kits* so there might be something already out there. Trying to build a modern compliant version strikes me as the IT equivalent of fitting wheels to a tomato - time consuming and utterly pointless.
*The genius that was Sir Clive realised that you could get your customers to build the unit, thus avoiding unrealistic delivery schedules *and* sell it as a "feature". Certainly the ZX80, and early ZX81s ....
Presumably they have paid the Beeb ?
for the use of the design (as a "TARDIS")
Should have stolen it.
Or put it in a pigeon coop ( (c) "The Wire").
Re: Julian Huppert did well
Of course what la May really wanted was the additional benefits of all this data ...
"People who visited X also visted Y and Z"
"People who emailed A,B, and C also emailed D,E and F who visited X and then visited Y"
"After IMing K, Q IMed L. L emailed M. Last week M visited the UKIP website."
and so on.
the number of humans who have walked on the moon still exceeds the number of humans who have descended into the Mariana Trench .....
I salute Canada
for refusing to extradite in capital cases, unless the death penalty is taken off the table.
Facebook get's it's users to give it phone numbers of people who still haven't drunk the kool-aid ? No doubt from their address book, so now Facebook knows their phone number AND their email address and name.
Nothing bad about that.
Bring it on
if it finally pushes people to abandon whizzy flash non-W3C compliant websites with yellow-on-white text that only work in IE (6) then <Al Pacino>Bring it on</Al Pacino>
How many of it's designers has it outlived ?
Re: The golden rule of passwords is to assume that they can be seen by anybody ...
Ah, fair point, but having read their spec, it's as secure as it could be given life itself.
As I said, the vault is only one element of password security. Regular changing of passwords is essential too.
To be honest, there are several trivial things that could be done to greatly improve online security. My suggestion would simply be an SMS and/or email every time your credit/debit card is used, or a payment goes from your account. I'd guess that would cut fraud by 90% ? But then the banks would be liable for more than they are now, so that's never happen.
Re: The golden rule of passwords is to assume that they can be seen by anybody ...
Not sure what you mean ...
Password vault can be stored locally and backed up. I've been able to use LP even when the website has been down (or uncontactable).
The golden rule of passwords is to assume that they can be seen by anybody ...
until we have an ISO approved standard for database and system design for holding and authenticating user details.
Personally, I can't big up LastPass enough (not just because it's free). It's password generator means a unique complex password for every site I use. The only way it could be improved (and for all I know this feature exists in the paid for version) would be to expire passwords every <x> days and nudge you to change it on the relevant site.
Re: @Pete 2 Unintended consequences
"So what we're left with is higher prices to consumers, increased tax take to the government, a little extra profit to the newly "ethical" tax-paying companies and a larger one for all the others. In due course, those prices rises will feed through to increased inflation, slightly higher interest rates and a small, probably imperceptible rise in unemployment. Those would be the unintended consequences."
I say again: You believe that would be unintended ?
In a related topic, about the HomeSec snooping laws, it's being suggested that if they were to become law then more people (plus the baddies, natch) would use VPNs and drop off the grid, as if that's some unintended consequence. I would say that is *exactly* the intended outcome. Because then we'll have the government saying "it's dreadful, bad people are doing bad things. We need MORE powers".
Playing devils advocate ...
How can you change the system ?
If we're not careful, we're going to end up with a system where companies will be expected to pay the tax HMRC *thinks* they should pay, rather than the tax they should pay, based on a set of codified rules.
A lot of these tax wheezes were set up by governments in which successive ministers left to take up highly paid directorships with firms who are taking advantage of said wheezes.
*unintended* consequences ?
SMS - useful, but disposable
I once added an SMS facility to the emergency engineer system I worked on. Wished I hadn't, as they started relying on the damn things.
Individually, you probably don't realise SMS isn't a guaranteed medium. But when you deal with hundreds a week ....
Re: Bad decision by naive court
absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Re: Do they ?
Bad form to follow one's own post, but this is really starting to get on my tits ...
VM make a big marketing point about getting iPlayer, 4OD etc etc. Then the second any of their customers complain (read their forums !) you get this mealy mouthed "iPlayer problems are down to the BBC, 4OD content is controlled by Channel 4" and so on).
So what *exactly* is the point of paying Virgin ?
Reminds me of the Fawlty Towers scene where the guests go to complain, only to have Basil complain more ("You think I don't know ? You're just staying here, we have to live with him.")
Do they ?
"But the four broadcasters also punt these catch-up services to rivals Sky and Virgin Media, who bundle the services into their broadband packages. "
Because of a snafu'd TiVo series link (it failed to realise that "Part 2" of Derren Brown followed "Part 1") I was forced to try and watch if THE DAY AFTER on catch-up. Nowhere to be seen. So obviously I downloaded it. A call to VMs customer service revealed that it's the broadcaster, not VM who decide what appears on the VM catch up.
Re: Note on Sagan
From what I remember of Carl Sagans comments on religion was the great quote:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"
which is kinda cool.
Would *you* go ?
The US has a long and very public history of ignoring international law - what makes anyone they will honour their word ?
Wasn't there a case
a while back where a juror researching a case uncovered a patent untruth from the police which made it impossible for the defendant to have committed the crime ?
Maybe people would research less if they felt they could trust the system ?
Re: Very interesting case ....
So *any* assemblage of random bytes can be assumed to be encrypted ?
God help anyone researching radio white noise.
Very interesting case ....
I'm curious as to what would happen if a computer were seized with - say - a file of data from SETI, and the police asked you to "decrypt" it.
Mail order tax ?
If you can't catch them when they sell it, maybe you can catch it when they deliver ?
*Any* venture calling itself "Egnyte"
deserves to fail.
("Ignite" - geddit ?)
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