1084 posts • joined Friday 5th March 2010 16:20 GMT
I think people are missing the point
which has nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with a judicial system starting to assert it's control over the internet.
Once the principle is accepted by the sheeple (bearing in mind how much of the internet we have lost in the name of child pornography, and terrorism) it's a simple administrative task to get whatever the government of the day doesn't like banned.
Hasn't Google already had to nobble autocomplete in China ?
Re: Why is failure to grow a failure?
Why is holding steady at a billion users seen as a failure?
Because for FB to deliver to those people who bought shares in it, it actually has to make more money than it spends over a sustained period of time. Up till now, all of FBs profits have been derived from the fact that there were X+y users now compared to a point in the past. And it's the "+y" that generated the income. By drawing in companies who spent money advertising.
FBs business model is effectively a ponzi scheme. Very slick. Very popular. Highly visible. But very vulnerable to stagnation.
I still think at some point, we are going to see a FB "premium" account. Doubtless slickly marketed. Probably starting out around $10/£10 per month. Maybe with a discount, if you get more "friends" to sign up. Alternatively, you will start seeing paid-for content creeping in. Maybe premium groups you need to pay (or subscribe) to join.
Of course the one thing that many people *would* pay for is to lose the ads. But that wouldn't go down too well with the big companies paying (or in GMs case, not paying) to peddle their wares on FB.
The move by FB to insist on real identities should have been a wake-up call.
My main concern about FB as a non-FBer, is it's probably already possible to trawl FB, with it's users and friends, and pinpoint people who aren't on FB - and then profile them, based on the people they know who *do* use FB. I know my email address has been hoovered into FB when people I know have signed up. So FB knows I exist, who my friends are, and what they like. Imagine what this data is worth to a clever marketing company ?
Re: As a matter of interest...
Maybe ask Barclays to sponsor you ?
Re: silly questions...
Not so silly - it's what we need to teach kids to do more of.
With what seems like man+dog launching stratospheric balloons (James May ????) I've vaguely wondered about this too. ISTR talk that you need to watchout for pylons
Regarding the descent, the only thing I can think of is that statistically, it's so unlikely a falling weather balloon will hit someone, it's regarded as acceptable. However, that said, a few years ago, we (Dad & I) found a weather balloon plus payload tangled up in a tree at his garage yard, in Hounslow - and I would not want that hitting me on the head. ISTR it had a little inventory tag asking nicely to call the Met Office, who came and collected it. It did have a rather Heath Robinson appearance, and was spray painted silver.
By the way - I also love the banner ....
Anyone else notice ?
I just love this stuff ....
On a slightly different tack
Could such a failure to supply so many people indicate that there are fewer unemployed than we thought ? Or alternatively, shed some light on the employability of people without jobs ?
Re: every time
To be fair, successive Home Secretaries have been quite scathing that the Home Office is not fit for purpose. This is not a new phenomenon.
Why do I feel so unclean, appearing to defend Teresa May ?
To be fair to the police
they can only act on what they are given. And it wouldn't really be a great advert, or morale booster, if they had to assume that every arrest *could* be wrong. Which means they were acting in "good faith".
If there's one thing we should have learned by now, it's that "good faith" excuses anything, and negates the need for recompense. Ask people whose doors have been kicked in wrongly by the police who then (lawfully) refuse to pay for repairs.
if you think that having your fingerprints and DNA taken is the worst part about being arrested, then you really need a course in reality.
There have been many cases where people, wrongly accused of a particularly heinous crime (I really hope you don't need some examples) have had there lives ruined. Been forced to move house. Had marriages fail. Denied access to their children. Been unable to find a job. Resulting in more than one suicide.
How do you think your life would fare, if cops took your door down at 5am, dragged you in your underwear into a van, shouting at the top of their voices that you were being arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against a child ?
Re: Hate to say this
If you consider these an acceptable number of errors, then you are part of the problem.
*I* don't. Especially in light of the eye-watering sums these systems are costing us.
Luckily neither of the two misidentified people was being trailled by the murderous incompetent goons of the anti-terrorit squad.
not the *only* thing IMHO
the other biggie is pushing forwards the Anglo-Irish peace process, and cementing the Good Friday Agreement. Whilst it's debatable whether the Tories would have got there, Labour (in the form of Tony Blair) seized on the change of adminstration impetus, and nailed the best peace I think we could have hoped for.
It makes his subsequent career as war criminal all the more poignant - who remembers him for peace in Ireland ?
Re: Blast from the past
I vaguely recall it *was* working out for them. Clearly there were enough people who valued the content to pay for it. The interesting thing is whether they can continue in a viable way - if they can, then (as El Reg highlighted at the time) other content providers may change their business model.
I predicted here before, and I stand by it: If Facebook ludicrous market valuation is to remain anywhere near what it is, it will have to find a way to directly monetarise it's users. "Facebook Premium" springs to mind. However, for most users "premium" would mean opting out of being bombarded with ads and spam. Which is exactly what Facebook advertisers *don't* want.
sometimes, people dont realise ...
Pickles also warned that, under the proposed law, protesters outside Parliament might, for example, be more easily rounded up and identified by police who could access the comms data sent between individuals in that area.
I rather think this is the whole point - not some unintended side effect.
Re: Home workers..?
I wouldn't. But then we use Citrix with an RSA key.
Straw poll ?
How many readers here can honestly say their IT departments would have caught this.
I know ours would (no default access on any machine to the USB port. Plus software to only allow company encrypted sticks to be used where needed).
3) don't use Royal Mail, or companies that do.
The bottom line
there's an obvious dichotomy inherent in the governments plans.
If they can intercept and read everything then clearly e-commerce will die. If banks can't rely on the technology used to be secure, then they can't offload the liability onto the customer. The second that happens it's end of game.
If they have to leave some parts secure, in order to assuage the worries of the banks, then there is always the option to use *that* channel for your secret surfing.
The *real* purpose of this law though, like the extreme porn law, or various swathes of anti "terror" legislation, is to give the state a tool they can use to deal with people they don't like. Since Magna Carta, inventing reasons to lock people up (and in most cases execute them) has been frowned upon. So successive governments have carefully (what, you though they were incompetent when they were drafting those laws ? A parliament full of lawyers ?) drafted laws that can catch most people out, if they step out of line.
Re: Interesting ...
I live in a bungalow, as my wife uses a wheelchair. So we have a very heat-inefficient house - all flat and no heat rising from downstairs to upstairs. But thank you for telling me my house is too big.
Regarding condensation - well you could simply have a once-a-week programme. Or just a tiny bleed of heat for 1hr a day.
Once you can control every rad individually, you could probably save some serious dosh.
I vaguely recall that being debunked somewhere - it was pointed out that in zero G, a pencil would give off graphite dust, which would be the LAST thing you want floating around a capsule.
Still it makes a good story.
On the other hand, there was a story about a (US ?) scientist who travelled with the Russians, and noticed they used a mirror on a stick to help dock. When the scientist pointed out that NASA would probably have put a remote control camera to do the job, the pilot just said they had considered that and discounted it as too much to go wrong .....
however, IMHO a better way to save money is not by time divisions, but space divisions (which of course, are much harder to implement). That is you only heat the parts of the house that need it. Although I have noticed you can now get individual radiator 'stats that can be programmed by time, *and* remote controlled.
Catching up with Barclaycard ?
my Barclaycard is NFC enabled. And to encourage me to spend more through it (I use it for expenses) they kindly sent me a mini stick-on NFC card for my phone.
Which I stuck on the *inside*, where it can't be seen.
you are 100% spot on. But you need to understand that we Brits thrive on innuendo. Your weekend project will be to watch a series of "Carry on ..." films, or failing that, a few issues of "Finbar Saunders" from Viz.
re: when did marketing become more important than the product
History is littered with great inventions that failed for their time for non-technical reasons. The shining example being Betamax (readers under 35 will probably have to look that one up).
Whilst Sony were busy getting Betamax to be techincally superious to VHS, the VHS guys were quietly doing deals with Hollywood studios for exclusive VHS releases of movies. When the war of the formats hotted up VHS won hands down.
Thing is, Sony *learned* from this. Which is why they went on a massive spending spree in the 90s, buying up studios and record companies - remember the Prince/George Michael sagas ?
So, yes, sometimes it is about marketing.
Ah, Harriet "mad" Harman
luckily, yesterdays politician.
Re: "Software patents" - WTF ?
OK, fair point. Next question ...
did Apple sue Nokia (assuming it was Nokia that first bought this feature to market) ?
If the answer is "no" then is there not a principle that by not defending the patent, Apple have let it lapse ? ISTR this is the argument people come up with when people *do* sue on patents. "Oh, they have to defend their patent, or it'll be invalidated".
No you haven't
all you have done is deactivated it.
Reminds me of a Yes Minister line
"How do you know it's not true ?"
"It's not been officially denied yet"
"Software petents" - WTF ?
"...a patent that allows folks to isolate data such as phone numbers in emails and then call the number."
A feature that IIRC my Nokia 3210 had 10 years ago - OK, not from emails, but in SMS.
The whole worlds gone mad, I tell you.
Re: You know what would be awsome ?
I can beat that. When I was first suspected, by my optician, he wrote to my GP requesting they refer me to an opthamologist. I waited, and waited. Chased GP who said they had refered. Spoke to hospital who insisted they had send out appointement which wasn't kept, so they closed the file.
3 times this happened.
After 9 months, I actually spoke to the hopsital, and took the appointment verbally. When they said they'd post out the appointment TO MY OLD ADDRESS, all was clear
Obviously I told them to update it. They said it had been done.
Saw consultant. He booked an appointment there and then for 6 months time. I told him the problem, and before my eyes, he called the admin office, and checked the address. It was OK.
6 months - still no letter. Kept appointment. Consultant checked address again. Still OK.
Still missed letter.
Finally, I was sent to another hospital for phased eye-pressure tests. This meant I was asked to carry my file from one department to another. The second I had my hands on it, I solved the mystery. They had my address fine, on the notes. However, in the back, there was a sheet of labels, all printed with my OLD address. Needless to say, I tore it out.
So despite the system being 100% up to date, I would have missed the next 22 appointments - assuming there were no other rogue labels around.
The weirdest thing is, no one will actually admit it happened. When I told my consultant he wa emphatic they never used labels. The admin office said the same. And to be fair, appointment letters are printed with address on. Yet I know what I saw.
Outsourced cold calling
Slightly OT, but don't you love these new automated cold calling systems. They can't even be bothered to hire someone to annoy you now. Last 3 voicemails on my straight-to-voicemail voip number have been automated marketing calls.
Re: You know what would be awsome ?
Or indeed a system which actually knows how appointments work. I suffer from glaucoma, and currently see a consultant every six months. He likes me to have a field test just before. Now how simple would it be to have system which can work out that a field test just before the appointent is best ? Yet somehow, the current "system" loves to send an appointment for the field test, for a week *after* I have seen the consultant. Or the day before. Which then results in multiple phone calls to try and arrange the appointments so the consultant sees me just after the field test.
The scary thing is when I do this, none of the admin staff understand why I wouldn't happily take 2 days off work in a week.
You know what would be awsome ?
A system which actually used all that fucking data they seem to ask for every time ? How about a system which sends an iCal to the email address, so your online calendar can be updated - with the added bonus your phone reminds you the day before, and which is shared back to the sender, so if you cancel, it knows and can (a) reschedule and (b) give that slot to someone else. How about a system which sends an SMS the day before - and which can recieve a reply, if you aren't going to make it.
The saved postage would pay for something like that in weeks.
FB and climate change ...
or 2 subjects that seem to inflame people to downvote me - no matter what I say, but what the hell.
No thank you very much.
The upsetting thing, is now I have become a target for FB. As my email address is hoovered up more and more, as people I know sign up, it appears to have become aware of an FB refusenik. *I* may not be an FB member. But FB can work out from the people I know who *are* enought to be of value to marketing agencies. In fact, that is the hidden value to FB. Not only can it sell valuable data on it's users. Once it has reached a critical mass, it can start to harvest useful data on people who aren't users, proving that the measure of a man is the company he keeps. And unlike flat forums, or usenet, it's not use trying to create a shadow identity with Facebook. Once your name is there, your friends will find you, and helpfully correct any attempt you make to disguise yourself.
All that said, it probably fits that I don't like the X factor, Britains Got Talent, Big Brother, Strictly etc etc ...
I got my lad to work out how many of his 300+ FB "friends" would lend him a fiver. For a brief moment, he actually got my point.
Given that Facebook is free (for now) I would it's fair to say it's certainly value for money.
On a more serious note, I would be curious to know on a commercial level (peoples personal use doesn't really bother me) has Facebook actually delivered any revenue to anyone *other* than Zuckerberg ? Once you factor in the time people spend on FB when they are supposed to be working.
Another automatic update story
(after the Skype one)
What is it with these companies that they assume any big organisation is going to happily let them update their firmware whenever they want. Is this a US thing ?
Surely any organisation of size would have automatic updates disabled, off, forbidden etc, based on the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school of keeping the lights on.
Or is this a symptom of increasing virtualisation ? "Oh well, if the updates bork the company, we'll just roll back" ?
Re: Oh look.
to be fair, the LastPass one is good - if just for generating passwords.
a good reason
to tape over the webcam on any laptop ....
this is the one you needed ....
Re: yet another well intentioned but misguided law in the making
Or just any site which criticises the government.
Or any site which has the *potential* to criticise the government
Or any site which doesn't have a banner telling us how wonderful the government is.
When things like this are discussed, people really need to remember that illegal and legal are simply words that apply to what the government of the day wants them to. It's not the government of today we need to worry about with these powers. It's the government of tomorrow.
that's a fascinating legal minefield ...
because I read of *two* prisoners who were affected. The one you mention, who was held over a weekend, because despite his bail being posted, the Prison Service couldn't verify it.
However, *another* prisoner in a similar situation did get out, because his solicitors did some ringing around, and managed to either stand surety themselves, or convice the PS that it was a genuine hiccup, and the money was there.
So, as I originally said, *every* case will have to be fought individually. How much do you think that will cost NatWest - even if they sucessfully defend every claim. Especially since they can't be guaranteed of recouping any costs - even in the high court.
to buy shares in VPN providers.
you mispelled Capita
and left the "r" out. (Private Eye speak)
It will cost then Dear
that's dear with a capital "D".
Quite aside from the fact that no one in Britain would let them near running a fete stall, let alone their bank account, is the fact that they face a deluge of court cases for *consequential* losses. Not only from their customers, but people who were relying on them to transfer money in a contracted timescale. Each case will need to be decided on it's merits, which means NatWest need to defend each one individually. We've already heard of cases where house sales were affected - what if some of those sales were cancelled, due to the lack of funds transfer ? Everybody so far seems to think in terms of a few quids interest on late payments, or overdrafts. I'm thinking of cases which could run into tens of thousands. Enough incentive for both sides to take to court,
Who cares ?
Well, because it's a building society, it's only shareholders are *you*.
Given that Nationwide appear to have charted their way through the credit crunch with no fuss at all (possibly because they can't play fast and loose with *members* cash, unlike a bank) I would say it matters a great deal.
We moved to Nationwide after HBOS messed us around - can't fault them so far. Pleased we also have our mortgage with them.
Re: About time
Not sure if you are being uber-ironic, or trolling, but you may just have a point. The one point I could see, where MS might just be able to work it, is for Windows Mobile/8. After all, you go to an Apple store, and all you can buy is an iPhone/iPad.
Go to a Microsoft store, and you can choose from a variety of models and makes - as long as they run Windows.
I wonder how CPW et al feel about this ?
I would imagine it's just being sent to a bunch of miscellaneous harvested email addresses. With 16.9million accounts affected, you're bound to hit a few ....
Re: Problematic updates are normal?
I was channel hopping a few weeks ago, and hit UK Gold and an episode of Yes Minister, where a bank CEO wanted a few more storeys on his HQ building and had to go to the Department of Administrative Affairs to discuss it.
As he meets Sir Humphy, the "joke" is that the CEO of the bank hasn't the first clue about banking, and that Sir Humphy is lined up for a nice non-executive directorship with the bank when he retires.
Can you guess when that episode was written:
- Review Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G
- Fun-killing fireshow-flunking ZOMBIE COMET ISON only LOOKED alive
- On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns
- Review Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box
- Inside IBM's vomit-inducing, noise-free future chip lab