* Posts by Phil W

833 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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Virgin Media costs balloon by MEEELLIONS in wake of Brexit

Phil W
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" is anyone not on a promotional offer with them?"

Unfortunately yes. Their half price for the first 6 month type offers are only available to new customers.

Also I don't know if it's the case with call customers, but following the end of my contract with them they offered me a loyalty discount to stay however it was not for the full term of the new contract only about half of it and doesn't isolate me from price increases I guess because it's a discount and not a promotional offer strictly speaking.

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Microsoft sues Wisconsin man (again) for copyright infringement (again)

Phil W
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Re: Go Check eBay

There are also a fair number of windows and office keys listed by those who aren't bright enough to blur or otherwise obscure them in their listing photos....

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Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Phil W
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This smacks of someone who doesn't actually have a clue what being a sysadmin is like but thinks they do.

Plenty of the helpdeskers, desktop technicians, and other vaguely technical staff where I've worked think they could do a better job than me or my team.

Unfortunately those same people are also the ones who think it's our fault when a product doesn't work as advertised, or some undocumented bug prevents us from using it the way they want, or don't understand when we won't do something because of the range of impact or potential risks involved in something they insist we should do.

Not coincidentally these are often recent graduates who feel they have vast technical knowledge from their wealth of education and they fully understand how things should work, not realising that due to lack of experience they have no idea how things actually work.

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Yelp wins fight to remain morally bankrupt

Phil W
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Re: what he should have done

It's not racketeering to take down legitimate negative reviews for a fee or as part of some other business arrangement i.e. taking out advertisements. It may be morally questionable but it's not racketeering or any other form of crime.

It's only racketeering if the negative reviews are written by (or on behalf of) the people offering to remove them for a fee.

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Phil W
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In fairness this guys claim was clearly a bit of a none starter, one bad review followed by them offering him advertising, which would also have made the bad review go away, may perhaps seem a little suspicious but hardly the basis for a court case. You'd think if Yelp were going to use such a tactic they would post more than one bad review as leverage.

In fact he's lucky Yelp didn't counter sue him for damages from slander/libel since it appears he accused them of racketeering without any evidence beyond a single coincidence that they actually did it.

I'm all for holding illegal or immoral business practices to account, but not without a little more than a single coincidence to go on.

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

Phil W
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Re: Not really much of a market

" if I need something, there is a great product called google that is really useful for finding things."

So because you hate advertising, you find the the things you want by using a search engine, which displays ads (or sponsored results if you prefer to call them that) in your search results and which is run by one of the largest advertising companies on the planet. Congratulations on successfully sticking to your convictions there....

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Phil W
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Re: Harrumpf

"Until sites actually write the ads into their own pages"

Frankly this is how it should be done. Sure it would require more work but it would massively reduce the possibility of malware laden ads since the site publishers themselves would be vetting and uploading the content before you see it, rather than simply sticking in a URL to somewhere else the content of which could be changed at any time without their knowledge.

It also takes care of any overly intrusive ads, since the site operators themselves would have to check they're behaving before you ever see them.

Surely in a situation where you can trust the ads not to contain malware, just as much as you trust the rest of the site not to, and a situation where the site publisher is having to make active effort to ensure the ads aren't intrusive you could tolerate one or two ads?

The added bonus then is that if the site you want to visit displays too many ads, or annoying/intrusive ads, you can blame them directly and not their ad supplier.

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Phil W
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Re: Not really much of a market

"The only real change is that I've purchased from different sites than the one I originally expected to visit - their loss."

Actually it may well be your loss as well. That advert, whether you click on it or not (don't forget in some cases ads pay for being loaded on the page as well as when actually clicked) is a revenue stream for that company. Having that revenue stream may well enable them to offer you a better deal on whatever it is they sell since they also have the ad income.

You wouldn't refuse to go into a supermarket and buy food there simply because they also have other things on display you don't want to see on the way in and demand they only display the things you want. As long as the other products aren't clearly in the way and preventing you getting to what you want there isn't a problem. It's no different with ads as far as I'm concerned.

As much as intrusive ads (and by intrusive I mean autoplaying videos and ads that cover the sites own content) are a genuine problem, a banner across the top or side of a page is really not a problem to anyone. You can try and argue that it's a problem to you, and that you don't want to see it and you'll decide when you want to buy something but if that's really the case you have a sufficiently capable brain to simply ignore the advert.

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Phil W
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Re: Big mistake....

"Look, we're going to continue to block ads as people look at your site unless you cough up the cash"

I'm not sure this is really an issue, since they're making their money by taking a cut of the sites advertising revenue rather than charging them a subscription fee. If they make their percentage too large then publishers will simply abandon the service. Sure by doing so they'll loose ad revenue from visitors using ad blocker but they'll still be getting 100% of the ad revenue from the ones not using an ad blocker.

For anyone other than large websites/publishers at some point paying the ABP tax, plus the time to select acceptable Ads from the market, wouldn't be worth the commission ABP want. Anything >=50% would seem like it wasn't worthwhile to any small or medium sites I suspect.

So the question then is, would ABP rather get 30% of something or >=50% of nothing.

If ABP wanted to hike their fees this way, they could implement a sliding scale where their commission goes up based on the number of hits per day your site gets.

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End all the 'up to' broadband speed bull. Release proper data – LGA

Phil W
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"Virgin and other cable suppliers could probably provide similar data for their connections."

They could but there isn't much point IMHO. From my experience and that of others I know who are Virgin customers, if you're in a Virgin area you pretty much get the advertised speed.

This comes down to the the type of cable used and the fact it is much newer and was always intended to provide more than just a basic audio telephony service unlike a lot of BT's copper, maybe not the 220Mbps it's now doing but still more fit for purpose than a single twisted pair phone line.

Occasionally with Virgin post install visits are required to fit attenuators or they have to tweak the power levels from their end but of the dozen people I know on Virgin in different areas, they all get the speed advertised.

Virgin's only real speed problem is contention in some heavily populated areas.

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Daddy, what's 'P2P file sharing'?

Phil W
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Re: Was just reminiscing

Long live Bearshare!

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Phil W
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Eh?

"Wathelet said that hyperlinks should not fall under copy protection. This caused a shock wave around rights-holders since it meant EU works were not protected by copyright in the EU"

No, it doesn't mean that, not even remotely. All it means is that providing hyperlinks to copyrighted work is not covered under copyright protection, the content itself would still be protected however.

It would mean that rights holder would have to pursue the site/service hosting the content rather than any other site providing a link to that site/service.

To make it law that providing hyperlinks to copyrighted content infringes copyright has two problems

1. Unless you make the wording of the law very specific so that it only covers links to sites/services providing copyrighted content without the right to do, it would make links to the copyright holders (or their licencees) own sites and services illegal

2. Even if it did specifically cover links to sites/services providing copyrighted content without the right to do so, and hyperlink is effectively just a pointer. To make it, in principal, illegal to point to illegal activity is to essentially make it illegal to report crime.

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BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

Phil W
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Re: BT

"I think either works in this context."

That was what I intended to suggest.

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Phil W
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Joke

Re: BT

" I'm going to put you forward for an award from to the Campaign For Plain English"

I'm afraid I must veto that award, since the syntax makes the meaning technically unclear.

The sentence should read

"You are fucking clowns"

However this sentence then leads to confusion as to whether it is intended to mean that BT are clowns, and the fucking is just a pejorative adjective, or that BT are partaking in sexual in sexual intercourse with clowns.

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Phil W
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Re: Why ?

"what is meant by "Brexit traitor"? "

Not my words, I consider him more of a failure than a traitor.

But you could say he is a traitor to the labour party by refusing to provide effective leadership for the party's position on a key issue because he disagrees with it and not stepping down so that someone else could do so.

From an EU neutral point of view you could say he was a traitor to the people for not being more active in supporting the course of action he felt was best for the nation, regardless of which side that may be.

Even if you were in favour of Leave, you shouldn't ignore his failure and betrayal of the party, the British people and his own values by refusing to actively support either side on such a key issue. It demonstrates a lack of courage (either to stick to your beliefs of swallow your pride and toe the party line) and a lack of leadership, which somehow the the swathes of Corbyn superfans seem to be ignoring.

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Phil W
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Re: Why ?

"Corbyn is a dirty Brexit traitor"

"You keep writing this and I still don't know what you mean."

I would of thought it was pretty obvious. Corbyn is the leader of the labour party, whose official position was (and is) support for remaining in the EU. As leader of the party you really have 2 choices, support and publicly advocate for the party's official position, or step down. At best you could argue that you have the option to keep you mouth shut and let someone else lead the campaign.

What Corbyn did was to claim to support Remain, but do very little in terms of large scale public campaigning to support the cause. This is mainly down to the fact that Corbyn does not like to engage with the mainstream media, which is a perfectly valid choice for an MP but not for a party leader and potential Prime Minister. When he was pressed for details in his few media engagements he gave very half hearted support for the EU and was quick to list all the flaws he saw with it.

I am by no means saying the EU is without flaws, or that they should be ignored or glossed over, but if you are the leader of a political party whose position is in favour of it you have a responsibility beyond your own personal feelings and opinions to espouse its virtues and support it.

While individual MPs may, perfectly reasonably, be given freedom to campaign for whichever side they wish, the leader of the party has a higher obligation to lead the party in it's chosen direction if necessary to the detriment of his personal causes and passions.

If he feels unable to lead the party in it's chosen path because it conflicts with his personal opinion then he must step down, which is why Cameron resigned following the referendum result.

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Phil W
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Not that big of a problem

As per title, I don't think this is really a big problem.

If you're making that many calls outside your bundle that the increased call charges affect you significantly, then you're almost certainly not on the best value bundle for your level of usage and should switch tariff to one that includes the volume of calls you make.

In terms of voice calls the only people this will affect are people who go very slightly over their bundled calls each month, and if they only go over very slightly the cost increase will be minimal.

As for the other stuff, like picture messaging, who actually sends MMS messages these days anyway?

I've stuck with T-Mobile/EE for a number of years now for only one reason really, the fact that their data usage is capped. You get what's included in your tariff and then you're cut off, unless you actively choose to pay to add more on. Admittedly their data add-ons are horrendously over priced, but at least I get to choose whether I pay it.

I find this far more preferably to many other networks, where they charge either a fairly hefty per MB rate (1p per MB sounds cheap, until you realise it's £10 per GB) or a daily rate (£1 a day sounds good unless you accidentally use all your data within the first week of your billing cycle) for any usage over your bundled data, which could potentially lead to some fairly inflated bills.

Of course most smartphones now have very easy methods to switch off or cap mobile data built right into the OS, but back in the days of Windows Mobile 5/6 devices and the like such an option was either third party or did not exist.

It only took one massively inflated bill from O2, after my Windows Mobile device had lost it's WiFi connection and had eaten through a GB or two of data, for me to realise having the network automatically cut you off rather than just keep billing you was the way forward.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Phil W
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Re: Report in every day?

Sounds good except that I suspect if he reported to police that he intended to have sex and then didn't actually do it, that the police would charge him with perverting the course of justice.

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Phil W
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Re: He's a liar

It may not be true but that doesn't mean it's a lie. It just means that the legal system that doesn't want to help him has told him that.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

Phil W
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Re: Multiple steam...

Steamy webcams has always meant something very different to me.

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You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

Phil W
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"We had an American colleague fly to Iceland instead of Ireland. Only realised it when he got into a taxi at Reykjavik and asked to be taken to Dublin city centre."

If he didn't notice until he was in the taxi and asked to go to Dublin city centre, was he phenomenally ignorant/stupid? To get that far surely he musn't have noticed:

- The fact it said Reykjavik rather than Dublin on his tickets

- The various signs in Icelandic (I suppose he could have thought it was Gaelic, but come on)

- The length of flight (you didn't say where he was flying from, presumably the USA. But we're talking about an extra hour or two or flight at least most likely, I would of thought it would be noticeable)

- The Captain announcing the destination as Reykjavik on take off, and before approach.

- How bloody cold it was! Either in the airport or when he went out to get the taxi. I know Ireland is not exactly tropical but the difference is usually fairly substantial I believe? I think Reykjavik peaks at about 13 degrees in Summer?

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Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Phil W
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Re: Disk 1 of 2079?

"Trivial. Disk 38/38 is read and it asks for disk 39..."

Didn't that actually happen with Windows 3.11? I seem to recall it was something like after disk 12/12 it would ask for disk 13 which was actually an optional disk with printer drivers or something on that didn't come as standard. It wasn't actually required and you could continue without it, but still...

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Bees bring down US stealth fighter

Phil W
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To the best of my recolation...

Despite the fact it was almost certainly an error, given that the bees were together in space, separated during removal and then presumably put together (colated, in a sense) into a proper hive, they were both relocated and recolated.

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Brit network O2 hands out free Windows virus with USB pens

Phil W
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Re: A spokesman said:

Love the incredibly episode specific Voyager reference.

Go go gadget Warp10 drive.

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Broken BitBank Bitfinex shaves 36% from all accounts

Phil W
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Re: In God We Trust

"Because every other fucker is out to get us."

Nah, He's out to get you as well. But there's nothing you can do about that.

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Calling all Droids: BlackBerry’s giving away the Hub

Phil W
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Re: BBM

"Is it because I'm unlovable, or because I take care about how much of my contact information I allow the rest of the world to have access to?"

I assume it's the unloveable thing tbh, since I've never used BBM ever and it only exists for me because I have a Priv, I think my problem has nothing to do with my contact information being out in the world and more to do with foreign scammers randomly generating BBM PINs and adding them as contacts.

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Phil W
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Re: Meh

"some really important stuff mixed up in the dross"

Obviously your experience may vary depending on circumstances, but for email from important contacts I just have separate folders for each person/organisation and server side rules filtering messages from them into those folders. Then when I look at my email I can largely ignore the inbox when checking for important messages and look at the unread message count against each folder.

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Phil W
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Meh

As per the title meh.

I have a Priv so have all these things, however I don't find the Tasks and Notes apps useful, the launcher is perfectly serviceable but nothing to write home about, the Hub is something I have actively turned off as it's next to useless.

It's not that the Hub doesn't work, it's just that it doesn't really seem to serve any real purpose.

Sure you can read all your messages in one place, but it's not actually an email client or and SMS app, it's simply pulling in content from the apps you have for that already.

So you can read all those messages in one place but should you try to reply the Hub simply launches the app the message belongs to. Particularly for email this achieves nothing since I have all my email accounts in a single app anyway, and when I reply to a message it doesn't require another app to be launched to do it.

RIM's own messaging service BBM is even worse, once a day or more I get a notification that some random foreign sounding name has added me as a contact. Or at least I did until I disabled the app, I can't remove it altogether since it's a system app.

Stick to hardware RIM, you do that quite well. Software not so much.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

Phil W
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Limits

I am by nature helpful, and enjoy problem solving, so if presented with a challenging problem that requires certain quirky things to be fixed before you can get down to the main issue that's fine.

But there are limits, and frankly this guy spent far more time on the work than I would of done.

At the point where it turned out that both the old and new servers were all fried, and that even the "new" server was ancient I would have been declaring the situation 99% likely unrecoverable and telling the company to find a plan B.

Sure it may have been possible (as indeed it was) to get a new server and configure Netware on it.

It may even have been possible to type in all 2000 pages of source code by hand, to recompile the software. But even then there is no guarantee the data is still intact.

Sometimes, regardless of the money on offer, it simply isn't worth the time or psychological trauma to put that kind of work in for people who have no concept of how to run a business properly.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Phil W
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Re: Earl Grey?

"Horrible, soapy muck."

If you've had Earl Grey that looked/tasted "soapy" I can't even begin to imagine what kind of shite it was. I presume by soapiness you mean that it was excessively oily?

If it came in a paper tea bag then it was utter shite for certain. Paper tea bags are only acceptable when you're making bog standard tea brewed to within moments of stewing which is so strong you can't taste the paper anyway.

Also some of the supposedly "good" tea brands are still crap when it comes to things like Earl Grey. Twinnings for example make bloody awful Earl Grey.

I can highly recommended Tea Pigs or Whittards.

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Phil W
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"I probably just use twice as much clotted cream though."

This is probably an acceptable reason not to use butter.

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Phil W
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Re: No milk-?

"That is fine (and good) for those forrinn teas!"

You mean "forrinn" like Earl Grey? One of the most quintessentially British teas there is?

If you'd consider putting milk in Earl Grey I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to have you killed.

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Phil W
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"Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them? What about cream - (s)he doesn't add it to the crumble before it gets to the table, I presume? Jam on scones likewise - what sort of cafe would sell scones with the condiments pre spread?"

I was with you until the crumble. Crumble, especially of the apple variety, should be served with custard surely?

Also as for serving scones with condiments pre-spread, while it does seem odd I have been to at least one or two establishments where they do exactly that. My theory on the reason for this is that it prevents them becoming offended by your choice of order for the jam and clotted cream. I'm a butter/jam/cream sort of chap, but I understand there is a bizarre fashion for butter/cream/jam or in acts of clear insanity just cream/jam or jam/cream and no butter at all.

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Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Phil W
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Re: Common sense prevailed?

"Put it this way, candidate A and candidate B are absolutely matched for a job vacancy, one candidate, however, does not know the difference between "have" and "of". Which one would YOU give the job to."

The one that didn't feel the need to point out someone else's single misuse of those two words in a tirade of expletives, when the conversation in question didn't call for it and didn't necessitate perfect syntax. More specifically, not you!

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Phil W
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Re: Always check the hardware as well as software

"But what if it's locked down and you lack the key?"

Presuming it's your kit (or you can get permission to cause cosmetic damage)

Option 1: If it's a padlock break out the bolt cutters, If it's a key lock built into the case see if it can be jiggled around/forced with a screwdriver

Option 2: Drill out the lock, or cut out the casing around around the lock.

If it's not yours and you can't get said permission, declare it not your problem and walk away until the key is produced.

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Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

Phil W
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Gaping chasm

Left leg is called "wealthy London" and right leg is called "rest of the country" ?

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Philando Castile death-by-cop vid mysteriously vanishes from Facebook

Phil W
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Re: Moderation

"Children need to be educated to the fact that our police must be viewed as incompetent, armed and dangerous."

Yes maybe they do, but perhaps not by psychologically scarring them for life?

You want your children to be aware of things like this? Fine you can tell them, if you want you can even find the video to show them, but do you really want unsupervised kids of any age able to find it on one of the world's most popular websites.

"But beheading videos are ok Phil?"

Nope, certainly not, and while some idiot at Facebook thought that they were a few years ago they were overruled a short time later and that video was removed.

The argument for removing these videos from a freely accessible platform like Facebook has nothing to do with their specific content, but to do with the suitability of various types of content for an unknown and unrestricted audience.

If you think it's ok to have videos of real life murder, and the aftermath thereof, freely available on Facebook then let's allow hardcore pornography to and while we're at let's put the violence and porn on prime time TV since we're not worried about the kids seeing it.

There is a world of difference between censorship to protect the young (and/or those of a sensitive disposition) and actively removing all traces of some material from the media to prevent the public knowing about things.

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Phil W
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Childcatcher

Moderation

So far the two explanations commonly put forward for the removal of the video are that it's a technical glitch (Facebook's explanation) or that the police/government are trying to suppress it.

While I'm all for shedding light on police misconduct, brutality or even murder, it is not unreasonable to think that someone at Facebook thought that video of the bloody aftermath of such a murder should not be readily available on their platform which is commonly used by all kinds of people, including children.

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Phil W
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Re: YMMV

"the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters"

Not sure how much this is true or that I agree with it, however the groups that this is mostly associated with are the Middle Eastern refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan etc. Primarily Muslim (not that I have anything against peaceful Islamic beliefs) countries, whose entire cultural history is quite different to ours, unlike the EU member states (like Poland where most of the EU economic migrants in the UK come from) who's cultural backgrounds are to some extent similar to ours.

Refugees coming into the UK from these Middle Eastern countries have very little to do with the EU, although we have an agreement in place with the EU to take a certain number of them this is to ensure that they are spread fairly across the EU member states and other member states actually take in as many or more than we do, if for no other reason than that their country is physically larger.

If we were not in the EU we would still be taking in these refugees, possibly in even greater numbers, because we take them in out of a caring and humanitarian nature (after bombing the shit out of their countries) not because we have to because the EU makes us.

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Phil W
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"prefer to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats than by an elected government"

@Tom7, which unelected Bureaucrats do you mean? In the three tiers of EU government, only one of them is unelected and that's the EU commissioners who have no power at all and only exist to come up with ideas to pass to the EU Parliament.

The EU Parliament is made up of MEPs from each country, who are elected by the public of that country. We actually have more MEPs in the EU Parliament (73 I think it is) than any other country besides Germany and France, because the number of MEPs you get is determined by population (and also previously the founder members got extra I believe but I think that has been balanced out since).

The fact that only 20-30% of UK voters actually bother to turn out to vote for their MEPs probably makes you feel like it's undemocratic, but it's not the EU's fault that you choose not to engage with it. The low turnout is also why we have a number of UKIP MEPs who don't want to be there and don't bother to turn up some of the time.

The EU Council makes all the major final decisions anyway, and this is made up of the leaders of each member state. Since all member states are democracies all of these people are elected by their countries to, just like we elected Cameron who represents us in the EU Council.

The majority of EU Council decisions require a unanimous vote, effectively giving the UK a veto over decisions we don't like, such as the formation of an EU army, Turkey (or anyone else) joining the EU, increasing our EU budget contribution or reducing/removing our rebate.

So basically if any of these things happen while we're in the EU it's because the Prime Minister you voted for agreed to it.

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Phil W
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Re: @Custard Fridge: Cracking article

"the Euro simply does not match their economic requirements"

This, so much this! I'm very much in favour of remaining in the EU, because while it does have a myriad of problems, none of them are insurmountable with the right legal and political reform, except the Euro.

The single currency is the biggest problem with the EU, you can not have a single currency and interest rate for so many countries with vastly different economies in terms of both their size and strength as well as in nature in terms of service vs manufacturing etc, that will actually work.

By their very nature the stronger and larger economies in currency will tip the trade value of the currency and interest rates in their favour, not intentionally but simply by the weight of their economic effect on the currency.

The required political reforms will inevitably happen for the EU to survive, and in fact to some degree already are.

Despite what the Leave campaign say about Cameron getting nothing from his EU negotiations he actually got a lot more than some expected and the fact that he got what he did has really paved the way for more reform in future.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, was recently quoted as saying the EU needs to abandon it's ideal of ever closer union due to the tide of eurosceptic feeling not just from the UK but in other major EU countries such as Germany as well.

Change in the EU is not only coming, it's already started.

Could it all go wrong and make the EU even worse than it is? Yes.

Could it all go well and make the EU more like people really want it to be, a close political and trade alliance that keeps like minded countries united in the face of destabling forces like Russia and China (and even the USA, in a different way)? Yes.

N.B. If I hear one more person say we have to "take back control" from the unelected EU commissioners I have shall have to beat them to death with a beginners guide to the structure of the EU government.

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Pressure mounts against Rule 41 – the FBI's power to hack Tor, VPN users on sight

Phil W
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Bad I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.

"America, fuck yeah!

Comin' again to save the mother fuckin' day yeah!

America, fuck yeah!

Freedom is the only way yeah!

Terrorists your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to...

America, fuck yeah!

So lick my butt and suck on my balls!

America, fuck yeah!

Whatcha gonna do when we come for you now?"

Seriously though, when has jurisdiction, international law or sovereignty ever stopped USA law enforcement and intelligence doing whatever the fuck they want?

America is the land of the free, where the government are free to do whatever the fuck they want to whoever the fuck they like. For freedom. Oh and money, definitely for money.

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When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

Phil W
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Re: Spreadsheets used for critical functions?

"Spreadsheet use in critical functions is usually seen as a danger signal"

I think it really depends how you're using the spreadsheets. Using an Excel workbook to do all of your accounts and customer data handling and saving it in an xls file on a hard drive is not a suitable way to run anything other than a very small business.

However Excel is a very capable and user friendly tool from the point of view of actually manipulating data for analytical purposes, and using Excel with and ODBC connection to an SQL server as a way to access and present your data for particular purposes is a perfectly legitimate business process.

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Your new Android Smartwatch? Dead!

Phil W
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Re: Expectations

"By making the phone and wearables market just like the PC market the OS makers and manufacturers have pushed the notion that Mobiles and Wearables are mini-PC's and users have been able update the OS and get updates every week/month for a long time."

I agree with as far as phones are concerned, however to some degree smart watches are still a different market, there's only so many new features that software updates really add to them unlike phones where the hardware is starting to plateau and most of the major changes are in software at the moment. Also in most cases, and definitely in the case of the G Watch, the device has limited connectivity and data handling so there is a less pressing need for security updates unlike with phones.

It's not like LG have not provided any updates to the device at all, the device is now 2 years old but has been updated as far as Android Wear 1.4/6.0.1 Marshmallow, that's two or three major OS updates since release, and is in fact the latest version.

The fact they have no plans to update a 2 year old device yet again, to an OS that hasn't actually been released yet anyway, is really not a big deal.

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Phil W
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Expectations

Frankly I don't see the problem. These days people seem to have the unrealistic expectation that their device will forever be supported and updated with the latest and greatest features, yet even 10 years ago this was not something that was expected or considered normal.

When you buy your device you buy it as it is advertised, and expect to it perform the functions it was sold as performing. Unless the device was sold with a stated promise of future software updates for a particular period, the only software updates you are entitled to are those that may be required to fix any problems with the advertised features, anything else should be considered a bonus.

Aside from not having any obligation to provide it, the new OS is almost certainly more resource hungry than the old one and providing an update to it on hardware that is not sufficiently capable may potentially cripple the device leading to far more outrage than not providing an update customers perceive they are entitled to.

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If The Register made reality music TV, this is what it would look like

Phil W
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Choices

It's hard to pick from the available options.

While Radio Shed is an amusing concept in principal, it was spoiled for me by the specification of DAB. Given how long Radio Shack/Tandy have been out of business (and more specifically out of the business of selling electronic components) it seems unlikely the necessary components for more modern DAB technology could be found there. Personally I would amend this idea to say that they have to build a functional and reasonably powerful analog two way set, the effectiveness of which would be tested by dumping them on a desert island with their hand crafted radio kit as their means of calling for help.

Tinie Tempah's Tiny Temper I'm pretty sure is already being made in the form of the new series of Top Gear where he has been inexplicably recruited as guest.

Hugh Grant's Huge Grants was actually by far the best idea, possibly only topped by the similarly alliterative idea's of my own.

Hugh Laurie's Huge Lorries, where Hugh Laurie attempts to drive HGVs of increasing size along improbably difficult routes with no experience or training.

Hugh Laurie's Lewd Lollies where Hugh Laurie reviews and consumes various suggestive or obscenely shaped/themed frozen treats, possibly with the assistance of long time friend Stephen Fry.

If the above two series were both made a further spin off could be made of Hugh Laurie's Lewd Lollies on Huge Lorries, where Hugh attempts to drive HGVs of increasing size along improbably difficult routes while also reviewing and consuming suggestive or obscenely shaped/themed frozen treats, with Stephen Fry in the passenger seat as his navigator co-driver (possibly using some sort of navigation technology which he could utterly fail to correctly explain the operation of to the audience).

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Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

Phil W
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"I like my phone case to be triangular with spikes at the corners."

It would certainly make those cases of celebrities throwing phones at their spouses/PAs far more interesting.

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Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

Phil W
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Re: So basically...

Being compared to Sir Samuel, high praise indeed.

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Phil W
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Re: So basically...

"Me? I want democracy."

I don't. Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you realise that it means everyone has an equal say, and then you look around you a realise how many complete fucking idiots there who get to vote.

That is the scariest thing about this referendum, and the only reason it is so close in the polls, there are so many people who completely misunderstand which issues relate to the EU and which don't or any of the reality of how international politics works, and don't read any further than newspaper headlines.

I have spoken to several people now who firmly believe that Syrian refugees coming to the UK is purely an EU related issue which will suddenly go away if we leave, and that the EU wants to ban all British made kettles and toasters and are therefore convinced that these are important reasons to vote leave.

Social media is also interesting, in a cursory glance over Facebook comment threads on the referendum you will see many clear and cogent arguments from those on the Remain side, some from those who are undecided or don't care and a mere handful from those on the Leave side. What you do see a lot however is those on the Leave side posting short one word comments of "Out!" and "Leave!".

The whole Leave campaign, both officially and unofficially seems to be largely comprised of shouting loudly and catchy headlines that are either exaggerated or fundamentally untrue.

Personally I'm in favour of staying in, however I'm also sure a clear, reasoned and sensible argument based on accurate factual statements could be made for leaving. I'm equally sure that no-one in the Leave campaign has done that yet.

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Would YOU start a fire? TRAPPED in a new-build server farm

Phil W
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Design flaw

"When I got to the exit however, my access card wouldn’t unlock the door."

I find it very frustrating when i encounter doors to rooms like this that require a card for both direction through the same door, when the room in question has no other exits (besides fire exits which can't be opened from outside).

Knowing who entered a room and when is very useful, but it is very rare that it is actually truly necessary to know who has left a room and when, a simple push to exit button would be more than sufficient in most cases.

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