85 posts • joined Thursday 25th November 2010 18:32 GMT
How do those pesky Scandinavian countries end up on the top of all 'good' lists!?
Lastpass and Yubikey has been working for me. Only cost about £18. Every site has a different password and I sleep much better at night. The big question is if you trust your entire online life to LastPass.
Competition, or the lack of it
There are only two companies in this market, Sony and Microsoft. They are both well known for this type of behaviour. The Cloud is a major marketing ploy. It's about losing control of your own data and putting it into the hands of major companies and having them charge you for the pleasure. All for convenience.
I'll stick my hopes on Linux and hope they develop that into a decent gaming and media system at one point in the future. It has the potential to. XBMC is a good example of what can be done when people put their mind to it. The current XBMC is already more compatible than the PS4.
Lost market share to Amazon?
Personally I've stopped shopping as much at Ebay as I used to.
I find buying through Amazon and Amazon Prime especially is a better experience at practically the same price point with more quality control.
When selling on ebay I always felt uncomfortable selling anything over £50 to anyone with less than 50 feedback. Fortunately I was never bitten but I know family members who have been bitten by Paypal fraud and others who have been bitten on ebay in general. YMMV.
I'm glad I left that Bluetooth Vibrator on the shelf.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
If you're really looking for a stonkingly good deal and don't feel brandwashed (I've coined that) try one of the Generic Android phones available from China. Anything based on the MTK6589 or MTK6589T is pretty decent and available SIM-Free for less than £200 delivered. Some smaller phones are available at around the £100 mark. Most are available with Dual-SIM as well, very handy for those with Mistresses. Rooting is trivial on all of them. The only problem I've had is some Chinese Crapware which might scare off the Tin Foil Hatteries, a simple remove sorted that out.
The usual caveats apply when buying direct from China, but I've had reasonable success.
I'm curious as to why vBulletin allows a user with to run "SELECT * FROM USERS;" via a PHP page. I would have thought by now this type of query would be questionable.
Is there a genuine need for this?
Seemingly if a user account (especially an admin/moderator account) is compromised then there is nothing much that can be done apart from limiting what those accounts can do in the first place.
Apple still make a bucketload of cash, Samsung also make a bucketload of cash.
"O2 reckons customers don't call as much as they used to"
I can't remember the last time I rang a call centre without hearing the words 'We are currently experiencing heavy call volumes'. Be that anytime between 8am and 8pm.
Thanks for that link. I found the article well put together. I love stories about 'rogue' mathematicians who come out with a genius idea that takes everyone else by surprise. I'm glad there are people like that out there. It reminds me of the Reinassance era when one person could discover something whereas now it feels a rarity. The Russian genius Perelman is also a fine example.
My Toshiba NB550D (about £215 when I bought it) is a real trooper. I upgraded it to 4GB of RAM, give it a 64GB SSD drive upgraded to Win7x64 and it is now an excellent field laptop. I take it to all the dusty LAN rooms where there is no room to move and this fits the bill. The Battery lasts over 10 hours. The only major downside is the screen vertical pixels of 600, however It does do HDMI@1080p and is a very convenient tool.
Re: Crime watch
I saw this as the highest rated comment without context and immediately knew who it was in response to.
Re: My cost effective solution that costs $0.00
or deleting the WinSXS folder because it's 20gb for no apparent reason
It's a shame
they don't update their website. Whatever I look for seems to be nested about 3 levels down under an ambiguous sounding title. Is it just me or is their entire website painfully non-intuitive?
In my experience WiFi Hotspots just don't work.
I work in Central Birmingham and all of your general cloud providers like 'The Cloud' and 'BT Openzone' are there but you will be lucky if you get a connection. I get free Openzone access because I have BT at home.
1) You can be 'connected' to the hotspot but subsequently get no IP address leaving you with a 169.X unroutable dud.
2) You connect and get an IP address but the re-direction to the HTTP landing page doesn't kick in.
3) If you're lucky to get this far you might actually get online. Usually you're required to click through at least two more pages, one of them being a EULA and you might have to sign up if you're a new user.
4) Now you're online! On the BT Openzone hotspot I used today my connection dropped out completely roughly once every 30 minutes (with a 4/5 bar connection) and I had to disconnect and go through the whole process again. If I moved 10m away the connection went down to 1 bar and was unusable.
The most reliable connections tend to be dedicated ones in Coffee Shops.
I've just bought a brand new £1k laptop, the most I've ever spent on a laptop. It's got 16GB RAM (perfect for Virtualisation), Core i7, 1.5TB, Dedicated Nvidia 670M, Matte Screen with 1080p and a bluray optical drive. It has 5 USB ports, 3 at USB3. Its also a beast at 17". If I were to buy a similar spec Alienware from Dell I'd be paying £1.5k and more. Which brand laptop did I buy? Medion, made famous by Aldi. It came with Windows 7 (Home Premium).
The only problem is lugging the thing around, it's not exactly small and the charger literally defines the word brick.
Let's face it, ebay cuts out the Middle man. Barring the odd case of arbitrage, it's the cheapest place to buy anything because it is a worldwide market place. Some of it is tat, but most of that tat is the same tat you'll buy at B&Q, Tesco etc with a huge markup. If you're willing to wait a fortnight and avoid import duties then you can buy most goods at Wholesale prices direct from Hong Kong/China.
It is free market enterprise, and it's killing the high street through attrition as they simply can't compete. The older folks prefer to use high streets because that's what they're used to, but the younger ones are more internet aware and take advantage of this.
It's a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it gives consumers the cheapest deals, bad because high street businesses will collapse, the business rates they used to pay create a black hole in council finances and the jobs they provide will vanish. Scary times for retailers.
Re: Long before 2100, China will be a first world nation
I somewhat agree, China is changing gradually. However I think these positive changes will only continue if their economy continues to grow. If they were to suffer from stagnation or unsatisfactory growth (which is considered to be less than 6% in China) then I would expect them to do whatever they feel is in their best interests to encourage growth.
China has no targets as a developing country inside Kyoto. The USA has no intention to ratify it. Canada left the Kyoto protocol.
Yet the UK wants to try and heal the world of all its ills. We're a tiny island of little consequence in terms of CO2. Queue the news this week of the 'struggling' UK economy sending £2bn abroad to help fund questionable 'green' projects during a major recession.
Our government appears to have lost the ability of self preservation and is obsessed with wasting our finite resources on vanity projects with no benefits. That £2bn could have been spent on research within the UK.
Some specialised Apps are worth it
An App I have found fantastic and worth every penny is called Pleco which is free as a basic app. It's for learning Mandarin Chinese. For the dictionaries and addons you can pay a fair bit. I've paid £50 for all the dictionaries, OCR, flashcards, audio etc as it's very useful but also very niche.
Chinese is one of those languages where if you don't know a character it is incredibly difficult for a westerner like myself to understand it's meaning. Now I have OCR on my phone and it's success rate is fantastic.
This is the most I've ever spent on an App in my life, the next App down would probably be less than a £1 for Tunein Radio Pro or the Bus Checker App.
Looks like this is a solution looking for a problem. I gave up on wireless mice and keyboards years ago and have never looked back. For all other problems a charging dock or a new set of batteries will do just fine.
It's the new frontier of war
Especially when you can rarely prove beyond doubt who is behind it, just the IP address of where the hacks are coming from. Even then there is questionable doubt as it could be coming from a drone PC or a proxy server. Hiding your hacking activities behind a Russian or Chinese IP address is surely well known.
It's like firing missiles from an invisible and very fast moving ship.
Isn't QQ full of malware, ETware and other miscreants? I looked at it on a Chinese lads laptop and couldn't believe it was so popular. It looked awful. Then again that is what happens when you have a captive market unable to go elsewhere.
I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far.
Re: Hands up who's actually bought anything from comet?
I bought my Panasonic SD255 breadmaker from there using their click and collect service, £80 which was £20 cheaper than everywhere else at the time.
I also bought my Toshiba Regza TV from them, another Click and Collect. That was possibly the best part of their business. The clearance comet auction site also had some excellent deals from time to time, my Washing Machine was bought from the online site for £99 with £20 postage.
But the reasons all mentioned above have snowballed into what was inevitable to all of us. I don't know how long Maplins and PCWorld/Currys will last in their present form. I also think we might see a casualty in the large DIY stores, Wickes/B&Q/Homebase are often ridiculously priced but they do actually have most of the stock in store to buy instantly. They have a few years left but their overheads must be huge maintaining the large stores and staffing them. Their staff are usually well knowledged as well, but Screwfix and Toolstation are creeping up and have far lower overheads.
Let's face it, IT projects, especially large ones, especially government backed ones, are incredibly difficult to deliver. The civil servants are naive and unable to protect themselves against the aggressive profit making of the IT cartel.
In Game Theory it's often assumed that everyone is in it for themselves. There is no selflessness. If contract negotiations were started with that in mind, there might be a chance of success.
Best of luck to the DWP though, I hope this does take off and begin a new era of e-government where I can manage everything online.
The BBC showed an excellent documentary on Bletchley Park last night and it was sad to hear about the Tommy Flowers story. His son showed an IT certificate of him passing a dBASE,WordPerfect and Excel course in the early 1990s when he was in his 80s, something he had initially invented 50 years before. These people really deserve our utmost respect.
Re: Except for the fact that...
I recently had a nightmare trying to set up multiple monitors on a Linux machine. If you stick with two monitors off one graphics card you should be ok, which will be the majority of cases, but as soon as you add multiple graphics cards then you're pretty much stuck. You can fudge it with multiple X screens but you can't drag applications from one monitor to the other which is pointless. I also had it working to the point where a desktop was full screening over two monitors so everything appeared stretched out and all the message boxes which appear in the centre of screen were split over two monitors.
On Windows this works without any issues at all. This is just a fact of better driver support in Windows which has plagued Linux forever.
On the server, Linux is king. On the desktop, Windows is king.
Snowball and a Desert
So in the past the earth has been to the two extremes of a Snowball and a Desert.
It begs the question, is MMGW just speeding up the natural process?
I can imagine an alternative reality where the earth is cooling down and there are tax breaks on producing as much CO2 as possible to keep the planet warm.
I bought a Kindle DX which is only available in the States. I can see why Amazon never bothered to market it here in the UK. I predominantly use it for sideloading PDFs which Amazon get no commission for. It's a shame because it's an excellent e-reader with a hefty 9" screen.
Yes my Mrs also from Taiwan uses the method known as 'BopoMofo'. I had a nightmare trying to set up Zhuyin pinyin, Hanyu Pinyin and diacritic Pinyin along with Simplified and Traditional characters. The last time I was in Taiwan it seemed they were moving slowly over to Hanyu Pinyin to harmonise with the mainland.
Don't forget the traditional type
For example 中國 is what the Chinese from Hong Kong and Macau would use. So that's two domain names you need to register.
I can't see this catching on. The Latin Alphabet/Arab Numerals are ubiquitous so known by everone. As claimed above it is easier for a Chinese user to type .cn than .中国, Most of these will probably just be re-directs to their globally accessible .cn ages.
The day when I have to code in Chinese or log onto a router and type '显示日志 / show log' is the day English has officially lost it's grip on the world.
How long until Computer Science is a lesson taught in every school? I think as a nation we've arrived at this foregone conclusion much later than we should have.
In the next few decades I imagine Computer Science will play a far larger role in our economy than current stalwarts. Granted it's a difficult subject, but so are the big three Sciences and learning a foreign language. How much do those subjects contribute to our competitiveness?
We should be giving these away for next to nothing to encourage future generations. With the funds massively wasted with Government IT systems; we could have given one RaspPi to every person in blighty.
Of course not using a proxy or TOR when hacking is the real WTF.
Essentially a professional hacker with the right tools should never get caught.
Isn't this simply a case of eliminating the middle men and flattening out the supply chain? It has seemed inevitable for a while.
Thanks I found this to be a well written and informative article. Surprised to see ISL being mentioned, it doesn't sound right. I thought Cisco had killed that off years ago?
There are ways to load balance spanning-tree if you so wish. You can run multiple instances of spanning tree that span over different links. However if your traffic levels hit 50% and above you risk overloading your network in the event of a failover.
Whichever 3G network you choose you will face the same issue somewhere. My colleague can't get a decent O2 signal in his living room but can get a perfect Vodafone signal, swings and roundabouts.
I have to say this is probably one of those situations where a tablet has clear benefits over a laptop. If the primary aim is to gather information about visits then a tablet with a bespoke application linked in to a backend server would be very usable.
I would be surprised if a public service could actually make good use of technology.
I think the phrase 'the report of my death has been greatly exaggerated' sums it up. The high street won't die, but it will evolve into something quite different. People have become more savvy and now realise that the rip off prices that high street retailers have relied upon for so long are no longer acceptable.
After reading the reports it seems that the sales at some of the retailers went up, but their profit margins went down. Why is that bad for the shopper? It means the retailer wasn't able to rip you off as much as they usually do.
Let us hope this is a sign of consistently lower profit margins for all the big retailers.
I bought two 2TB drives last summer for £48 brand new. I've been able to sell my used 1yr old 1TB drives on ebay for £60+. It's very rare for IT kit to go up in value.
So now I really can poke the receptionist
You still need an engineer to support the thin terminal, monitor, power and most importantly the network connection.
I know the media like to push the word hacking wherever possible, but this is also the fault of the retailers or whoever supplied them with the POS equipment. They should never have had the ability to remotely log on to them, and the passwords should have been very strong.
I wonder if the US has a similar system to the PCI compliance we have here which is supposed to stop things like this happening.
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