* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

You do know that your incitable comment has been tracked and monitored, don't you?

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That new 'Microsoft GCSE': We reveal what's in it

Ian Yates

You say that

but using word processing software (like MS Word) and knowing how to word process are two different things.

As a very simple rule of thumb, turning on special characters and seeing a ton of spaces used to indent or align is a good example of someone who has "picked this up" and either ignored or been ignored in how to do it properly.

/bugbear

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Habeas data: How to build an internet that forgets

Ian Yates

I can't tell whether you're espousing this as a good idea or not.

Personally, I can't see how that solution could be tenable. Ignoring the fact there's nothing wrong with being held accountable for your own words/decisions (assuming people give up with the idea that changing your mind is somehow wrong), this would be the death-knell for FOSS, as it would require all email clients to implement and circumventing DRM when you have access to the result is trivial.

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Climate scientists see 'tipping point' ahead

Ian Yates

Re: I can understand no argument against doing more research

@Tom 13

Ad hominems aside, let's assume that the paper discussed in the article is correct and we're decades away from an irreversible climate problem, which we were unaware of because you spent half your research budget on AV software: how long do you get to enjoy editing your anti-asteroid footage before you run out of food?

In case my stance wasn't clear: I'm pro-understanding what we as a species are doing to our planet and how it will affect us in the future (and if we can do something to improve our time here).

If the option was to spend the money terraforming Mars or building a space ark, I'd be all for it: eggs and baskets, etc. But we only have one planet and one ecosystem.

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Ian Yates

Re: "If you are driving too fast in the rain towards a brick wall and you MIGHT hit the brick wall"

Nice strawman argument, but why swerve when you can just slow the car down and turn on your headlights?

And population control doesn't require death camps, just education. I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime (at least, not a world scale), but that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea in principle.

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Ian Yates

Re: I like the sound of the homebrew...

@Sirius Lee

I completely agree with you, we don't *know* what will happen, but we can come up with hypotheses on what *might* happen. Of all the ones I've seen, "nothing" is the most optimistic and "global warming/destruction of a large part of the ecosystem" is the most pessimistic.

I completely agree that the agenda (any of them) has been stolen by the political, economic, and "green" lobbies in order to further their goal, but that doesn't disprove the science (but obviously should cast doubt over some of the findings).

Whatever the "truth" is, I can understand no argument against doing more research (hopefully unbiased) and suggesting ways to reduce our impact on our environment - we rely on the whole ecosystem and we are clearly "straining" (possibly a poor word choice) it in a way it probably has never been before.

We live in a fine balance between ice age and global warming, either of which will have a devastating effect on our species. And we're definitely not in control of what happens in a geological time-scale sense, but maybe we have some ability to control it in the short term?

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Last.fm tell users to change passwords IMMEDIATELY

Ian Yates

Re: A question . . .

I was going to say something similar; why would you allow a SELECT against the password column (hashed and salted or otherwise) that isn't limited to returning 1 record?

That aside, my Last.fm password isn't complex because I really couldn't care less if someone got in and liked some random songs.

+1 to them for preempting; let's hope they fix the hole now.

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AMD crashes Windows 8 tablet party with ultrathin hybrid

Ian Yates

Re: Really AMD?

No excuse, apart from one: have you ever tried to use Windows (even Win7), which these laptops almost certainly are bundled with, on high DPI displays?

Maybe it's just me, but when I have my large display with the "make text larger or smaller" setting (DPI scaling) anything other than 100%, there are so randomly clipped regions going on it's almost unusable. I've had scrollbars in Explorer span out of the window and Chrome, Opera, and Firefox all seem to screw up their default stylings.

You can disable scaling on a per application basis, but then you're left squinting at the ones that don't supply in-app scaling.

The reason it works for iOS and Android is that interfaces are built to reference the areas of the screen they want to use in a relative way, whereas Windows applications tend to have been built historically on a pixel basis.

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Touchscreens to get finger friendly

Ian Yates

I couldn't have more opposite thoughts to you on this: being able to truly touch-type on my Sensation would be amazing! I'm making the assumption here that the capacitive sensing is disabled while the "keys" are protruding.

Unless I'm mistaken, the "moving parts" is actually just a slight expansion of some fluid when an electrical charge is applied, so battery drain should be pretty minimal; probably less than the existing moving part: vibration.

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France's biggest Apple reseller sinks: 'Tech titan crushed us'

Ian Yates

Presumably El Reg is hinting that this is very much a case of Apple pointing the gun at one of their own appendages.

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Oz has to go nuclear, says Adelaide U scientist

Ian Yates

Re: Hysteria

Reprocessing and breeder reactors would considerably reduce the amount of waste, but it isn't "economical" compared to burying the stuff and digging up fresh uranium.

Think about that sentence for a bit and then explain the logic in allowing companies/governments to completely hand-off a potentially massive problem to future generations just because they think it would cost too much to follow a partially proven research path that could potentially fully solve it.

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Ian Yates

Hysteria

Not all of the staff at Chernobyl were incompetent, just unlucky. The biggest problem was the poor design of the reactor, something that modern reactors have long solved (even the Fukishima Daiichi reactors were very old designs, having been commissioned before Chernobyl).

I'm not saying that there will never be another reactor meltdown (humans are involved, of course), but the chances are diminishing with every reactor generation, and any that occur /should/ be far more contained.

And don't forget that coal power stations are releasing significant levels of radioactive material, so it's not a case of one being "clean" compared to the other.

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Scan co-jacking nets crooks '€40k in IT gear'

Ian Yates
Joke

Re: easy-peasy...

"If you really want to avoid attacks like these or prevent other similar and tougher to catch frauds- call me"

Coming from a guy called "The Godfather", that sounds like a different type of crime ;)

"Nice looking reseller business you've got here... shame if anything were to *happen* to it"

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Minority Report-style swishery demoed with cheap webcam

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Is it just me?

I don't really get why we need gesture control everywhere... isn't this just 3DTV all over again?

I've played with some voice control TVs, and that was quite interesting, but waving at a screen is harder than using a remote... and less precise.

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SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

Ian Yates
Pint

Have the Vulcans seen us yet?

n/t

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Ian Yates

Re: Great but oversold?

Seems a bit beyond pedantic. Ignoring that (I believe) the use of the Canadarm to dock was made by NASA (given the control that they need to exhibit in order to be given the green light, there seems to be no technical reason Dragon couldn't do the dock), at what point is a (for all intents and purposes) docking arm small enough that it counts directly as docking?

If they got to within 10cm* and robotic arms pulled it the rest of the way, is that docking? What about 1m? How about 10m?

Not having a dig, it just seems like an arbitrary designation to make.

* Actually, I think APAS might be more than 10cm.

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WTF is... Li-Fi?

Ian Yates
WTF?

Hmm...

I'm sure there's more to it than the article says, but why would this be better than HomePlug/Powerline? It looks like the lamp is being modulated using the mains, but then you have a gulf of space filled with thousands of other light sources or reflectors before you get to the sensor, which then has to be in an optimal position to balance the signal-noise ratio.

Sounds less mobile than Wi-Fi and less resilient in a non-mobile solution than HP.

Unless I've missed some very obvious piece of genius.

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'Dated and cheesy' Aero ripped from Windows 8

Ian Yates

True, but the Basic theme is even worse; it just feels clunky and more like Win95.

Can't say I've ever used that wheel task-switcher thing. (Win+Tab, whatever it's called)

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Google took a bath on Android in 2010, judge reveals

Ian Yates

Re: Future of Android

"Their mobile search revenue comes mostly from Apple devices."

Not sure how you got to this conclusion. I may be wrong, but I assume the revenue they're talking about here is specifically "Android" and not "mobile". i.e., licensing fees to partners and Market fees to developers.

Or have I missed something in the article?

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Ofcom calls for end to 0800 charges on mobiles

Ian Yates

Re: Anachronism

Two URLs to help you out:

http://giffgaff.com/ - O2-based network with free 0800 numbers

http://www.saynoto0870.com/ - For finding the geographic number for many services

:)

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Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Ian Yates
WTF?

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Ian Yates

Re: The truth is iPad showed us

Did you miss Office 2007's ribbon interface, Win3.1, Win95, Vista, or Win7? They were all "a new, unfamiliar GUI" in their time.

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Intel joins The Document Foundation, pushes LibreOffice

Ian Yates
Joke

Re: "a new OS will prompt people to get their wallets out "

Yes, you do exaggerate. It's Office 2003/XP not 98.

Actually, that's not even a joke...

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Hey Commentard! - or is that Commenter?

Ian Yates
Coat

Re: Other considerations aside

"I guess we all know someone who repeats Python sketches verbatim?"

I don't.... oh, wait, it's me, isn't it?

(Ah, thanks. Yes, the one with the ex-parrot in the pocket, ta.)

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Ubuntu for Android: Penguins peck at Nokia's core problem

Ian Yates
Pint

Re: Re: N9/Lumia

"Android that NEEDS such high performance hardware to achieve acceptable user experience"

Is this from your experience or just repeating what others have said?

I ask, because my HTC Desire (running 2.3.3) is single-core and I have it under-clocked to 800MHz so that the battery will last ~2 days. I chose 800MHz because I couldn't notice any difference to the default 1GHz (apart from some games that I don't play).

I could post a screenshot from CPU Master, but that wouldn't prove that user experience, so unfortunately you're going to have to take my word at face value.

I can't comment on WP7, having never used it, but the drive for more powerful, higher-core chips in Android phones seems to me to be around mobile gaming, since this is a big-money area versus iOS.

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Megaupload honcho sprung from slammer (for now)

Ian Yates
WTF?

Re: Let me add some food for thought here...

While interesting, it's not exactly a new idea. 7digital did it with indiestore, but it wasn't profitable enough (I don't know what % they took) and there are/were others (MusicGiants did this, but I can't seem to find them anymore).

If it happens, good luck to them, but I can't imagine the big labels being too scared of it.

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Climate scientist admits lying to obtain 'Denialgate' docs

Ian Yates
Mushroom

Pah!

I don't like that they've conflated the views on teaching evolution in science and not creationism with the "fact" of anthropogenic climate change.

One is a scientific theory versus a religious viewpoint, the other is an ongoing debate with much data still to be collected and analysed. Stifling the other side of the climate change discussion is not scientific and doing it in this way only helps rationalise certain people's view that the teaching evolution debate is somehow equally spun for an agenda.

(I'm not stating my stance on ACC/AGW, I'm just discussing National Center for Science Education)

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Proview wins new Chinese IPAD ruling as Apple threatens to sue

Ian Yates
Stop

Re: Apple fanbois worried clearly.

Speaking as a fandroid, I think it's perfectly reasonable to disclose the state of the company.

You don't think the timing is a little odd? Why not speak up during the iPad 1?

A patent/trademark/copyright troll is a patent/trademark/copyright, be it Apple, MS, Amazon, Proview, blah, blah, blah. They are all behaving like little brats with little to no appreciation of what patents (et al) were designed for.

In this case, if Proview isn't just doing it to buoy-up their failing bottom-line, I'll be very shocked.

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Valve responds to Half-Life 3 grumbles

Ian Yates
Joke

Re: I was let doiwn a lil with HL2

Why do I feel we've stumbled in to a private conversation?...

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LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Looks awesome!

Out of interest: What happens if the parachutes fail to deploy?

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Texan TSA crew accused of nude scanner ogling scheme

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

Re: All pointless

I hope that's not your real name ;)

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Ian Yates
Flame

Re: Re: On the upside

Not just what's in the bag, they stole our padlocks! We even had the ones with the special (highly secure, obv) bypass key for the TSA to use.

When I completed I was basically told that I must have put the wrong locks on. Since they took the locks, what proof would I have?

I avoid travelling through the USA now, preferring to do UK to Aus/NZ through Asia. Nicer people, nicer food, and they don't force my luggage open.

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HP's Whitman suggests Googorola may close Android

Ian Yates

Re: Re: Re: Not hard to beat Apotheker...

So they're the Galactus of computer companies? I can see that

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Cupertino to ban permissionless address book copying

Ian Yates

Re: Now do something for Android

Hmm... but what about GoSMS that has to read the phone number and name of every contact in order to show those details against the SMSs and allow you to pick recipients? Or K9Mail that needs the email and name of every contact so that it can autocomplete email addresses as you type?

A better idea is for LBE to be baked in to Android and drop the "all-or-nothing" approach when installing from the market, and permission escalation requests should have a short description on what they're doing with the data.

Every app will need to be designed so that if they want something denied to them, they gracefully fail.

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Google tightens its Wallet after PIN reset goof

Ian Yates

Re: More secure?

I think he was referring to a physical wallet.

IIRC, the Google Wallet still has the maximum transaction and maximum wallet load limits, so it's the same as carrying (say) £200 around.

Presumably, being an electronic (and trackable) process supported by various banks, you're also covered in the case of it being stolen and used.

Also, why would they need to brute-force your credit card? Plenty of places still take signature (and don't check) or support "card-holder not present" transactions where the CCV and address (which is probably also in your wallet) is considered a security check.

I doubt I'll use Google Wallet myself, but it doesn't strike me as being any less secure than the alternatives.

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Sony 'fesses to Whitney Houston price hike 'error'

Ian Yates

My only guess

If they weren't profiteering, is that they have some kind of news-monitoring tool that ups the wholesale price if an artist is mentioned in the news X times a day.

If true, they are probably likely to reconsider it after this ;)

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Hey Commentards! This pre-populated 'reply to' is for you

Ian Yates
Mushroom

Next niggle:

How long until we can have some kind "replies" counter, so that from "My Posts" we can see if someone has replied to a comment?

I'd prefer that to getting an email about it, and the whole "you have unread replies" concept is probably too much for El Reg-style discussions.

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LibreOffice debugs and buffs up to v.3.5

Ian Yates

I'm not a 2010 user, but isn't that just the old Text-to-Columns feature, but on the paste? I'm not saying that it's useless, but it really can only be saving 1 second of your time (Alt+A+E). Probably not even that, if you have to move the mouse to click on the icon to achieve it.

I disagree that MS really add that much at each release. The core functionality that people need 90% of the time hasn't changed since Office 97. If you're using over 65k rows, a spreadsheet is the wrong tool for you.

The UI improvements (especially around Paste Special feature being more prominent) are normally welcome, but I'd never spend the $500 per person that they're asking for in license to upgrade.

If it wasn't for the fact that we use a lot of VBA automated sheets, I'd push us to LO, but I can't bring myself to test and convert them all. (Yes, definitely the wrong tool for the job)

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Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Adult-only

As an early-teen, I remember finding my dad's LSL floppy-disk and had great fun learning the answers to the age protection questions, mostly around 1970s American politics, I seem to recall.

Don't think I got too far in the game, though.

Surprised you didn't mention Police/King's/Space Quest, which were essentially the non-adult version of LSL. All fantastic puzzle games.

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Lego builds Lord of the Rings collection

Ian Yates
Joke

I'm concerned that one of your children is aging very fast, or fascinated by the fact that one isn't aging at all!

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Google drive cloud to rain on Apple, Dropbox parade

Ian Yates

And it's optional

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Sinofsky shows off Windows 8 on ARM and Office15

Ian Yates
Holmes

(b) isn't much of a prediction, since MS have said it from the start and this article stated it in no uncertain terms ;)

For (c) & (d), my understanding is the the native "Metro" apps will work on both platforms or have some kind of one-touch compile in order to support both (very conceivable, since these are almost certainly .NET-based, so technically architecture-agnostic).

(a) and (e) sound spot-on to me. I think MS will go much more for the Apple walled-garden approach, with a little of Google's "run unsigned apps" option - mostly for developers. This would fit in with an evolution of WinMo and WinPho.

Definitely interested, though. I think a light, low-powered, "true" Office tool has a market waiting for it.

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HTC Ice Cream Sandwich updates slip to late March

Ian Yates

They've got the wrong people working on it

True, they probably have an updated version of Sense to implement and integrate, but the CM and xda-dev lot have even got ICS running satisfactorily on the original Desire.

Fine, it's not entirely in HTC's interest to update all of their models to ICS, but they're clearly making slower progress that the opensource community.

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New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Biases aside, this is the perfect example of why everyone should get the information from multiple news sources.

That and taking any journalistic-rehash of a scientific paper with copious volumes of sodium chloride.

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Lenovo slates Ice Cream Sandwich for ThinkPad tablet

Ian Yates

@Jim

Market leaders? I'll give you Skype (which they bought) and Office, but I'd be shocked if Hotmail and Messenger are still receiving anywhere near the traffic from the 90s/00s (it's all WhatsApp, BBM, Twitter, G+, Facebook by now) and every individual and company I know (yes, yes, anecdote != data), is using Dropbox, Livedrive, or Spideroak, based on their needs.

I tried Skydrive a couple of years ago and found it to be really poor at getting data on and off it, compared to Spideroak and Livedrive, that is.

I'm not disagreeing with you entirely, but apart from XBox and Winpho (separately), I don't really believe MS have a homogeneous ecosystem. Win8 might address that, but their previous attempts to tie in the desktop with Games for Windows and Windows Market are absolutely abysmal, to the point where I now refuse to buy games with WfG because of how seriously it ruins the whole experience. (Have I gone off-topic?)

Look at what Google did with Android and then Apple with iCloud. If I'm at my Transformer, I automatically have every photo, contact, calendar entry, paid app, etc., waiting for me from my phone. I don't see that with MS.

Sony seem to have done well with the PSP/PS3 relationship, but the PSP is a pretty niche solution compared to laptops/tablets.

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Ian Yates

@Jim

Not sure what the hate is against you. I understand your point about having a common interface, but for me a common eco-system is more important.

I couldn't really care if the way I interact with my touch-screen phone and keyboard/mouse desktop was different, as long as getting data between them is easy and it can be opened on both. Things like Opera Link and Evernote, for instance.

When someone with an iPhone asks me what tablet is best, I point out that I'm a fandroid and say a Transformer but that the iPad would fit better with their phone.

I don't even run most of the same apps on my Desire to my Transformer - they're different solutions to different needs.

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Mozilla explains user-tracking proposal for Firefox

Ian Yates
Black Helicopters

Longitudinal analysis

It's just the old "vertical"/"horizontal" knowledge term.

You've got lots of stacks of data (vertical), which if fully anonymised don't allow you to cross-reference people's (for instance) average tab count to their daily crash total. Adding a UUID (but not necessarily being less anonymous) allows them to add that horizontal connection.

True, it's nasty marketing talk, but I can see why they'd be interested in considering it.

As long as Fx users are able to see what is potentially sent about them, it seems harmless. Although, I personally always opt out of "anonymised usage collection" schemes.

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Avast! Mobile Security

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Interesting...

I'm a long-time WaveSecure user and use DroidWall, but maybe Avast! is a good way of getting all this in one...

One question: free with no ads - what's their longterm business model for this? I don't want to switch to an app that's going to disappear without notice.

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Hackers may be able to 'outwit' online banking security devices

Ian Yates
Alert

MitB

Actually, this is where the Barclay's system works and the HSBC system doesn't

With the HSBC system, the device gives you a completely random number that you type in to yet another box during login - at EVERY login.

But the Barclay's system means that the device generates a number based on a sequence you also repeat on the website (account number, etc.). So, unlike the HSBC method, the MitB attack would need to somehow trick you in to entering an account number and amount that you otherwise wouldn't. Plus, this is only for new recipients, so users should notice if this happens at an unusual moment.

The weakest link in this approach is obviously still the user understanding what the device they have is for, but the HSBC system is definitely far from secure (and bloody annoying).

Lloyds/HBOS provide a unique code (again, only on new recipients or large transfer amounts) on screen that you must then enter in to your phone when the automated system calls you. I can see how a MitB attack could trick someone to do that, but the user would have to ignore the voice reading out the account number and transfer amount.

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Troubled Game wins reprieve on debt, mulls axing more stores

Ian Yates

In other news...

Seller in outdated consumer market is failing.

I doubt anyone's that shocked. Even with their sales, it's cheaper to shop online. Only truly impatient people and those that will be sad to see such shops disappear still visit Game.

I pop in to them whenever the other half has convinced me to visit a centre of shops, but I haven't bought anything from them in years.

Farewell Game, we knew thee.

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