1210 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
Re: Direct debit
PayPal can take money from your account via direct debit
Not from mine, they can't. A few years ago I made quite a lot of purchases on EBay, so I had to pay via PayPal, whom I in turn paid by credit card. After a few weeks I got an email from PayPal saying "You've spent over x. If you want to continue using PayPal you will have to let us suck money directly from your bank account via Direct Debit", possibly the only case I've encountered where a good customer gets a worse deal.
Naturally I declined, and ever since then I've been unable to use PayPal for purchases. Occasionally they even refuse my credit card when they're just acting as a card handler (in the same way as WorldPay, for example).
Kippers? Kedgeree? Devilled kidneys? Anything else that begins with 'k'?
TBH kippers is the only one I regularly breakfast on. Kedgeree is mainly a dish for impressing weekend guests with my ability to cook on Sunday morning after a bibulous Saturday dinner, and I can't remember ever having devilled a kidney.
Re: Storage costs aren't always commutable
I recently discovered another good reason for removable storage. Until the last Android update I could connect my phone by USB to my Linux computer and mount the storage as a disk device. Now it's something called a media device, the contents of which are inaccessible from my oldish Linux. The only solution, incredibly, seems to be to remove the memory card from the phone and mount it via a USB card adapter.
Re: Can you turn it off?
>> Grown-ups use email
>Grown-ups use TELEX.
Real grown-ups send messages in cleft sticks. (See Evelyn Waugh's Scoop for details.)
Re: Not for readers
@Michael Hawkes Amazon's doing it for profit, not for readers. I think they don't care whether people read books or not, as long as they keep buying them.
Whereas Waterstone's, Blackwell's, Foyle's and the independent bookshop in town would be happy to sell books at a loss as long as people keep reading them.
Re: We all moved to sharepoint.
@Buck Futter The paperback may have proved to be a financial success, yes, but as Woolf and Joyce feared, it has lowered the quality of writing.
Where's the evidence for this? What unit is quality of writing measured in, and who measured the pre-paperback score?
The difference in price between paperbacks and hardbacks these days is quite small. I suspect it's more a matter of market segmentation than production cost. The printed pages are identical, and binding is probably done by machine for both formats - few hardbacks seem to be stitched. Most of the hard cover edition is probably produced for libraries.
Being a bit of a book-fetishist, I like to buy hard cover books. Interestingly, they are much easier to find on Amazon than in bookshops.
Why so many keys?
That's a maximum of 13 keys. So what are all the other keys on chip & pin terminals for? Especially the ones in supermarkets. With one on every checkout in the country, and, I should imagine, a pretty short life before replacement, there can't be economies of scale in using generic terminals. But they often seem to have function keys and other extra keys. Do the checkout staff play games on them when business is slack?
...only really suits regular customers...
TGI Friday has regular customers? People who, having made the mistake of going there once, decide to return?
The flattened ‘bot transforms itself into a functional machine
So what function does it perform? I suppose walking away is a sort of function, but it's not a very useful one.
I, for one, am happy to wave goodbye to our robotic flat-pack overlords...
Scarcely relevant musing
Does anyone know why 99% of the UK population pronounce latte as "lah-tay"? In Italian, the "a" is short. In English, most words containing "att" have a short "a" (hatter, batter, latter...).
I can only assume that they think it's obligatory to pronounce foreign words in a special, non-English way. I believe people also say "basmah-tay" when talking about rice, though oddly I've never heard of anyone spreading "pah-tay" on toast.
Re: Move to the US
The US? The country that gave the world Starbucks?
Not to mention the poncey lightweight coffee nonsense.
Re: I only wish....
mandate to support IE9 and later
I'm working on a project where the "corporate standard" is IE8. Even if you install IE10, there's a setting in Group Policy that makes it pretend to be IE8, and naturally only a BOFH can change that.
Users are constantly complaining about the slow performance of the web UI. It's fine on IE10, but it runs like cold molasses on IE8.
Re: Thompson ...
@AC As a booster for Thomson you presumably have an excuse for their obnoxious and unhelpful attitude, as well.
Re: Thompson ...
Who he? The airline and holiday company are called "Thomson", after media mogul Roy Thomson.
You're right about the poor service, though. Last Christmas we flew with Thomson on a week's family holday to Austria. When we reached the departure gate, Thomson Airlines announce that my wife's 19-year-old, UK resident, son would not be allowed on the flight because his US passport had only a month of validity, and the Austrians might refuse him entry. So he had to take his case off the plane and go home. Merry Christmas from Thomson!
On arrival at Innsbruck we spoke to the border police, who expressed astonishment at our story, and said "We decide who is allowed in, not the airline". So we had to arrange another flight, which wasn't easy when communicating by mobile phone from Austria. I spoke to Thomson and suggested they might help us make the arrangements, and they basically replied "We were following procedures, so you can piss off".
Re: We are all going to love...
If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?
If you get Olympic-ring dents in the back of your car, it's only a matter of time before the IOC sends round the trade-mark enforcers to nail your head to the floor.
IME, you only have to write the amount once for each cheque, and the total is written in the box on the front.
It's been a while since I had to do it, but I seem to recall, when paying in a single cheque:
- payer name + amount on the back of the slip
- total amount (i.e. the same again) at the bottom of the amount column on the back
- same amount next to the "total of cheques" label at the front
- same amount again for the total of cheques and cash
Perhaps I could skip one of these totals, but I'm afraid I won't get the money unless I complete the entire ritual.
Anyone know why paying in slips require you to fill in the amount at least twice and write the name of the cheque signatory in a strip about 2 cm wide? They seem curiously at odds with modern banking. It's like they had 200 years supply of the things printed in 1950 and they have to use them all up.
If display of the disclaimer depends on fame, Google presumably has some kind of slebometer to decide who's famous and who isn't. You can tell your public profile's slipping when the disclaimer starts to appear.
It also has a commercial version, SUSE Linux Enterprise – along the lines of Red Hat’s Fedora.
I should have thought Fedora was the equivalent of OpenSuSE*. The commercial, enterprise Red Hat is Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The clue's in the name.
* Or is it OpenSUSE?
already testing driverless cars in Milton Keynes
Driver or no driver, they'll still get lost.
Science minister Greg Clark added: “...our strengths in cars, satellites, big data..."
Is there any aspect of human life that isn't enhanced by "big data"? My impression is that 90% of IT job ads now require "big data" skills, and I wonder how many of the advertisers have a clue what they are.
The Transport Catapult, a government-funded organisation dedicated to devising new ways of getting us moving
Who chose that name? It sounds like they plan to get us moving by firing us into the air with strong elastic.
Tell me about your Turkish connections
I flew to Istanbul then I changed to a flight to Ankara. From there it was a bus ride. ..
Shall I go on?
Upvoted for serious erudition. What other techie forum includes posts that cite Horace and Cicero?
As you can probably tell, my Latin grammar was handed in half a century ago, and it wasn't overused even then.
I agree that "Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" is a winner.
I think repleta is the word for "filled up with", as plena seems to mean full in the sense of complete, or even plump. And I'm not sure about the genitive case; "full of" has the feel of an English idiom, but I can't think of a more appropriate case. Possible alternatives:
Navis volitans mea subter anguillis repleta est (Filled under eels? Nah.)
Navis volitans mea per | propter anguillas repleta est (Filled by, or on account of eels.)
Navem volitantem meam anguillae replent (Seems to imply that the eels did the filling.)
Where is John Cleese when you need him?
I'd always assumed that parking sensors use Sonar. Am I mistaken?
The EE Buzzard looks like a monstrous thing. Why does it need to be the size of a drinks can when it offers a small part of the functionality you get from the smartphone that fits in your pocket? Especially as most of the components seem to be on the outside of the can.
And why is it such a vile colour? I could understand if it was disguised as a drinks can, thereby avoiding the attention of thieves, but this seems designed to attract their attention.
I recently spent 6 months migrating legacy applications off WS2003. The main reason it took so long was the lamentable state of the deployment documentation. But I have to wonder what the company was supposed to gain from the upgrade. Retirement of unreliable old boxes? Maybe, but you don't have to install a new OS for that. As it is, the company is 26 * my weekly rate poorer with no measurable benefit to show for it.
Using random spin glass instances as a benchmark, we find no evidence of quantum speedup when the entire data set is considered, and obtain inconclusive results when comparing subsets of instances on an instance-by-instance basis.
That's the way it is with quantum computers. You either know where they are or how fast they compute, but not both. If you don't watch them they're really fast, but as soon as you try to measure the results they're no better than ordinary computers.
Re: "this writer's Apple Map app has started giving directions in a Welsh accent"
I've had difficulty with anglophone satnavs - both Android and Garmin - when driving in Italy. All the names get an English pronunciation. "Viale Doglie", for example came out more like "vile doglead". Some of the more polysyllabic Italian names required so much re-interpretation that I missed the turning.
It must be much worse in languages with more complicated pronunciation rules than Italian. If I go to Belgium, I wonder if it will give me directions to Wipers?
Re: ..service disruption..staff being unable or unwilling to adapt..
retraining from XP/Office 2003 to Linux/OpenOffice would be about as disruptive as changing to Win 7/Office 2010
Less disruptive, given that all developments in MS Office seem to aim to make the UI as unlike the previous version as possible. Libre/Open Office have a straightforward interface that's just like earlier versions of Office. No ribbons in sight.
They tell you they need a contractor in place ASAP, so you beg your previous client to let you off a few days early. There then follows a three-week process of reference-check timewasting*. When you arrive on site it's apparently a complete surprise to everybody: there's nothing for you to do**, and you idle around reading documentation while they think something up.
* I recently had to prove my address for the past five years, so I sent a copy of my mortgage confirmation from 11 years ago, together with the confirmation that I'd just paid it off. Not good enough. I had to supply five years of utility bills to prove that I hadn't moved out and back in.
** Which is just as well, because there are no resources to do it with. In my latest (very highly-paid) contract, it took over a month before I got a desk and a computer.
To repurpose a joke about regular expressions*: you have a problem. You decide to solve it with Access. Now you have two problems.
*as far as I know this is actually the only joke about regular expressions.
Re: Not the best ever Friday article
Maybe not, but how many include the phrase "metonymic gender assignment"?
Re: Bumble bees
What's more, bumble bees have an 11-metre wingspan!
That proves everything!
Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?
I'm fairly sure that the term "trick-cyclists" was coined to refer to psychiatrists, rather than psychologists.
At the time when I studied psychology* it was trying very hard to be a serious science**. The result was an immense dose of very boring stuff about rats and herring gulls, and lots of statistics.
* I wouldn't have the nerve to call myself a psychologist.
** According to Rutherford "All science is either physics or stamp collecting", so only physicists have a right to sneer at this.
Re: Actual preparation for the future
shift water from where there's lots of it (I'm thinking of you, Manchester)
It's a long time since I lived near Manchester, but in those days it got most of its water from the Lake District. It may have a reputation for rain, but that doesn't make it a source of water. Have they discovered massive aquifers beneath the city?
Re: What to do with the waste
One person's life time's lifetime supply of long term nuclear waste if using 100% nuclear power fits in a dinner plate.
Well, that solves the disposal problem. We can just eat the nuclear waste.
Re: Forgive him....
In view of the import of your post, I feel entitled to point out that "dost" and "hast" are second person singular forms of their verbs, not just hilarious old fashioned versions of the third person plural.
Re: AI is harder than Turing expected
@Nick Ryan: "5g" languages would make programmers obsolete
I thought it was 4GL that made programmers obsolete. Does this mean I've been acting obsolete for no reason over the past 20 years?
Re: Which is why...
RTF is actually a very nice format - easily parsed, human readable
My recollection of hand-fixing RTF files is that they were only readable in the sense that they consisted of printable ASCII characters. Understanding the RTF was another matter entirely. Maybe I'm subhuman.
The problem, I suspect, may be that the RTF emitted by Word suffers from the same lack of structure as the HTML emitted by Word. Editing a Word-generated HTML document isn't a pleasant experience.
I'm not sure you will have to buy another TV. The net service screen on mine seems to show new applications from time to time. I assume it gets updates from somewhere.
Anything that improves on BBC iplayer will be welcome. It's probably the worst UI in the world.
Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?
I don't think any professional computer user would be satisfied with a single monitor, anyway.
And why is the keyboard on a stupid little shelf at the front? I thought that feature was confined to the tatty chipboard "workstations" found in furniture warehouses. Visit any modern office and you'll find everybody has a keyboard on their desk.
I also notice that the stupid shelf allows no space in front of the keyboard for resting your wrists. Expect lots of RSI with this thing, then.
Don't you mean "eyrie"?
More than a thousand ... worldwide
I don't want to appear complacent, but a thousand worldwide isn't exactly an epidemic.
Re: Since I've had a smartphone...
"Full English spelling"
When I got a new smartphone recently I was delighted to find that the predictive text now predicts words. You can compose an entire message without significant use of brain cells, and the result is readable., though strangely devoid of meaning.
Re: Some one else needs to be charged ...
Last time I was in America I ordered a glass of Bourbon in a bar in St Louis and actually left it undrunk because of the foul smell of chlorine from the ice in it.
A thousand engineers toiled to eventually produce one million lines of code.
1,000 lines of code per engineer, then. It doesn't seem much.
I honestly don't know anything about this kind of programming, but I assume whatever code they were using would generated an op-code per line, like assembler. I'd guess that you'd be lucky to send a line to a printer with 1,000 op-codes.
Can anyone explain?
Why Adaptec bothered with the 16bit and 32bit cards
Remember the archetypal story of the slugged mainframes?
IBM used to sell a big, powerful mainframe and a less powerful (but still very, very big) mainframe*. It emerged that the two machines were in fact the same, but the less powerful one was slugged** to make it slower.
When challenged about this, IBM pointed out that the total number of computers they could sell by using this strategy was greater than the number they would sell if everyone got the powerful computer for slightly less money, so the huge development costs could be distributed over more units. Everyone wins***.
* IBM veterans will no doubt be able to fill in the model numbers for me.
** I'm sure that's the expression that was used. Did they hit the computer with a sockful of sand?
*** But IBM wins most, naturally.
Re: Where the hell is my ROBOT butler?
Oi el reg?
I can reply to my own post?
The technical term is self-abuse.
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