* Posts by auburnman

1120 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Toothless Ofcom: C'mon consumers, show your teeth on broadband speeds

auburnman
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You won't have the power to walk away

We 'have' the power to walk away from shonky contracts currently and it doesn't do us any good; there are enough ways for companies to ruin customers days (i.e. poor credit records) to provide a chilling effect.

I remember years ago I returned a broadband dongle the day after getting it because it was nowhere near as good as described in the shop. Queue retailer and provider ping-ponging me back and forth saying I could only cancel with the other until the cooloff period ran out, and when their invoice went unpaid they bounced me along a chain of debt collection agencies in the hope I'd give in and pay them.

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

auburnman
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Re: theft

This is assuming they get paid on time and that they are not being charged for the 'privilege' of using the RFID payment system. And that it doesn't cost them to integrate with their tills.

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auburnman
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Disaster waiting to happen

Revellers at a festival WILL lose and/or break these on an industrial scale. Anyone willing to bet the process or stock for replacements are nonexistent or woefully inadequate? What's the reaction going to be when someone who has paid good money to be there resigns themselves to paying £18.50 for a burger only to be told they can't eat because the dog tag isn't working and the vendor isn't allowed to take cash or card?

While we're on the subject, how secure is paying for things with the RFID, is there an identity verification measure or are they as good as cash if you nick one?

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I block, you block, we all block Twitter shock schlock

auburnman
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Wouldn't it be much better and simpler for Twitter to proactively review accounts that are blocked over a threshhold number of times? I can see this backfiring if it's possible for blackhats to game the system. Easy money for them if they can extort it from corporate twitter accounts.

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Trustwave: Here's how to earn $84,000 A MONTH as a blackhat

auburnman
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Trollface

It's almost as if someone at Trustwave is subconsciously willing IT professionals to go rogue as vengeance on the masses for years in HellDesk trenches somewhere...

"That’s an exceptional, albeit unethical and illegal, investment," NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK

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auburnman
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Re: Seriously?

Why not? It's how they got Capone...

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Capita wins four out of five stars for 'good', 'inexpensive' service

auburnman
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Re: Advice for Government

I don't know, then you'd have to trust them to keep food in date and in stock...

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HP coughs up $100 MEEELLION to settle Autonomy lawsuit

auburnman
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A payoff of this size is surely just blood in the water isn't it? Practically begging for more lawsuits while at the same time looking guilty as sin. You can't look at a settlement that big and not think something's up.

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DARPA unTerminators gather for Robotics Challenge finals in Hell*

auburnman
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Re: Observations

The bot can't be engine powered if it's intended to go into buildings and rescue people. And I'm just speculating but I would imagine the engine wouldn't be able to scale up & down in power supply fast enough for the balance adjustments needed to stay upright on two legs.

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We stand on the brink of global cyber war, warns encryption guru

auburnman
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I suppose if you look at it in a certain light* hacker attacks are sort of a spiritual successor to the commando raids tactics developed in WWII: Get in, do some damage well behind enemy lines, and leave. With the added bonuses of not having to risk lives or physically penetrate enemy territory in the first place.

*eg maybe after a few pints or a herbal cigarette

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HP haters: Get ready to rage against THE MACHINE 'next year'

auburnman
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I'll stick with volatile memory for now

Sometimes you just have to suck it up, pull the plug and start over as the only way to get back to a usable system. I don't know if I want a system that will try to go back to whatever shit state it was in before the power cycle.

The secure from the ground up and ludicrous data transfer speeds sound much more promising.

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Apple recalls Beats speakers: Rap chap's crap batt rapped in zap mishap flap

auburnman
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Coat

No pun about selling dodgy pills? For shame El Reg.

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

auburnman
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Re: In which country? And why?

I think the docs would have to be official secrets rather than just confidential by convention before leaking them in and of itself would be a crime. However as has been noted already, by offering payment for copies of the documents Wikileaks have created an opening where you could argue criminality on corruption or bribery laws (depending on the specifics of the case if there were ever such a leak.) Even if the offender weren't in the relevant jurisdiction, they could be hassled with extradition requests or limits on travel.

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US Senate passes USA Freedom Act – a long lip service to NSA reforms

auburnman
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Re: As Ive said before

"If you arent [sic] doing anything wrong you dont[sic] have anything to worry about - I havent[sic] got an issue with the NSA or MI-whatever slurping any data related to me as Im [sic] not engaged in anything illegal."

Yes you are, you just don't know it. There are so many laws on the books across the world that someone somewhere can get you for something. That's why it's important that the authorities don't have detailed records on everyone, otherwise an agent with authority (a human being like anyone else) can decide to go through your history to try and make your life hell if they take a dislike to you.

"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."*

*Give me his browser history and he is totally fucked.

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FCC to crack down on robocall spammers' beloved loophole

auburnman
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That's why it needs to be a scaled response:

On the Whitelist > Straight through -

not on Whitelist > Challenge of some description -

Fail challenge > No connection.

The problem will arise when bad actors get hold of voice recognition software that can beat the challenge and/or certain scams are profitable enough to justify using 3rd world call centres "Hello this is Microsoft calling we have detected a problem with your computer".

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auburnman
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Re: @Ole Juul But some people just don't care!

It actually makes a twisted kind of sense - they'll only get through to people who need their product!

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auburnman
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Re: @Ole Juul But some people just don't care!

You can get housephones now that play a call screening message so incoming caller has to prove they are human before your handset even rings. You can whitelist the numbers of your friends and family so they can skip this part. My parents got one and they love it.

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Mozilla: We don't give a damn about cheap smartphones

auburnman
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Couldn't they develop the tools to allow the Mozillaphone to run Android apps? Roll their own or licence what BlackBerry came up with (I'm sure BB would love the cash.)

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NEVER MIND the B*LLOCKS Osbo peddles, deficits don't really matter

auburnman
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Re: It doesn't matter...until it does

Yeah I made an absolute hash of reading those charts. Mea culpa.

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auburnman
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Re: It doesn't matter...until it does

The interest may be small as a proportion of GDP, but it's still more than we spend per year on Defence or Welfare or Education.

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'Nokia store? I dunno no Nokia store. This here's a Microsoft Reseller'

auburnman
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Trollface

Staffed by Microsoft Authorised Re-Sales ExpertS...

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Why Joe Hockey's Oz tax proposals only get five out of 10

auburnman
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Re: interest on what?

I do mean interest on national debt, which is a separate problem, but also a concrete measurable example of why time is money and why tax delaying is such a problem.

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auburnman
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"(a) the use of facilities solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise"

They sorely need to turn the screws on (a) then. Not to eliminate it entirely, but acknowledge the fact that if you have a UK warehouse that delivers a certain amount of its stock within the UK you are a de facto UK retailer with a UK presence regardless of whether your sales are transacted via internet or mail order catalogue or smoke signals. That changing treaties is hard is no excuse if it needs doing, and as the article notes these are updated every couple of decades anyway AND they are all of a similar structure.

The other important point is that tax delaying may not be tax dodging but it is still bad because time is money. If work owed me a bonus by a certain date and then delayed it several months, I would be out of pocket for the interest in the sum of my mortgage/student loans/etc that I could have paid off, not to mention the added work of making sure I am still getting my money and when. Translate that to a cash strapped government paying millions in interest every week and you can see why people are miffed.

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UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

auburnman
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Re: The other way

Yeah they've had this for years. Reducing left turns (or turns that don't cross incoming traffic in your country) will inherently increase right turns (turns that DO cross incoming traffic in your country). This just sounds to me like a recipe for INCREASING vehicle collisions unless you're talking about only applying it at a tiny subset of junctions that are cycle accident blackspots* (and even then you'd be better off addressing the problem at the location.)

*queue someone informing that this is exactly what is suggested and that I didn't RTFA

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RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

auburnman
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Re: Cancelled

I was of the impression that Kickstarter was only for projects that aimed to make something for their backers i.e. prepaid sales transactions, not seeking donations. They probably got punted for being on the wrong platform.

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Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

auburnman
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Re: Shy Tory

That could be what's causing the errors then; if you put me in a simulacrum of the real polling booth/situation, with a polling slip reasonably equivalent to the real one, but it's not the actual vote and there are no real consequences for whatever I write, I'd be fairly tempted to tick UKIP/BNP/whatever for a laugh.

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auburnman
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Re: "Shy Tories"

My mistake; I didn't mean to imply the referendum had been on PR, but rather we had the chance in recent history to signal that we wanted something other than FPTP. With it being voted down the govt can claim that the public is happy with the system we've got.

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auburnman
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Re: "shy tory"

City life steels you against interacting with strangers on the street. After a certain amount of practice in dodging nutters, drunks, chuggers, chavs and possible muggers, pollsters become just another obstacle to dodge.

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auburnman
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Re: "Shy Tories"

I don't know if you're joking or not - I sincerely hope you are - but the secret ballot is a keystone of proper Democracy. Just imagine the gaming of the system that could occur if your political affiliation was forced into the public domain.

Fancy working in the capital? You'd better be blue through and through because the money markets love the Tories, and now they can quietly check on you.

As for PR that was unfortunately voted down in the referendum a few years back (The death knell of Lib Dems in my 20-20 hindsight opinion.)

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Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

auburnman
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When Spooks first came on the telly, and they killed off what was presumed to be a main character in the first episode (quite gruesomely)* it was a refreshing change to have a series where there was real drama and a feeling that our heroes might not come out unscathed. Unfortunately after many series they seemed to go too far the other way, refreshing almost the entire cast every 3 series or so. Everyone who 'left' was usually killed or disgraced or forced to flee the country, to the point where you failed to see the point in caring about New Guy #5, or why anyone would take such a disastrous and thankless job.

*They later sent the SAS out on a revenge hit, which was also an interesting departure from super squeaky clean good guys.

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Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

auburnman
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Yes but then the joke wouldn't work unless they had coincidentally ordered a ton of lemons.

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auburnman
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Helping the NSA be naughty at a station in 'Bad Aibling'? You couldn't make this stuff up.

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Docker vs the container world: Techies rally around CoreOS-led spec

auburnman
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Joke

A name like Kelsey Hightower is wasted in project management. He should be fighting crime as a loose cannon detective or masked vigilante.

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Plod wants your PC? Brick it with a USB stick BEFORE they probe it

auburnman
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Re: Automatic bricking...

"If the USB device tied to your wrist is removed the encryption key for the hard drive is dropped"

You could probably tie <security action of your choice> to something more innocuous like when the system detects a device has been removed from the headphone jack. That way you could trip the switch by backing away from the computer with your hands up (assuming a reasonably sturdy set of phones round your neck.

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auburnman
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Re: Automatic bricking...

'Semantically, that implies guilt. I prefer "innocent unless proven guilty".'

I disagree, because I think the time bound of 'until' is important is important in the framework of law. Even the guilty have the right to be treated innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. So e.g. if an offender is caught red handed on camera and some newspaper calls him 'the offender' instead of 'the alleged offender' before trial, and then the offender is found guilty, the paper can still be sued/fined/cautioned whatever for violating the principle of innocent UNTIL proven guilty.

If the wording is 'unless', you could make the argument that no-one can touch the paper after the guilty verdict comes down.

TL;DR: My opinion is that from a law standpoint 'innocent until proven guilty' offers more protection tha 'innocent unless proven guilty'.

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'Rombertik' malware kills host computers if you attempt a cure

auburnman
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Re: MBR

Agree; it feels almost like a White Hat has gone over to the dark side...

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Console yourself: How the PS4 Spring Fever indies stack up

auburnman
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Re: helldivers

It is hilarious the first time something like this happens to you. Less so the fifteenth.

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auburnman
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HellDivers is great fun and a beautiful satire of modern newspeak, but be warned you need an organised party of friends - preferably on voice comms - to play anything other than the first few ranks of difficulty missions. I've tried a few of the harder levels with randomers and it's just a frustrating grind punctuated by being shot in the back by teammates and being pulped as reinforcements/equipment land on you with only a split second's warning.

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Cylon is golden: Backstabbing bank holiday board games

auburnman
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"Battlestar Galactica .... The rules are simple"

This is absolute bullshit don't believe it. It's an entertaining game once you understand the rules but if you do play it go in with the understanding that there are literally 7 or 8 different card decks that are poorly labeled and you need to constantly reference the rules to look up the military hierarchy, the political hierarchy and what the NPC's do at specific points in the turn depending on the level of Cylon presence.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

auburnman
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Re: 4,192 KWh

The problem then becomes keeping the battery sufficiently cool in a hot environment. Anyone smarter than me done the sums for the additional energy draw on your AC in a hot climate? It's bound to put out it's own heat with constant charging & discharging, and with the battery size it can't be an insignificant amount.

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Android gaming platform Ouya is down to its last life

auburnman
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I think the OUYA team's biggest failing was to assume they had a long term future based on the hunger for the console. They thought the OUYA delivery was the beginning of a brand new ecosystem with a loyal following. The backers however saw it largely as the END of an arrangement, namely delivery of a product they paid for (months ago.)

The OUYA was bought by curious people and tinkerers who wanted to put XBMC or emulators on it for playing old games in the living room. Gamers continued to get their new content on Steam or Playstation as usual. The delayed delivery, PR blunders and lacklustre performance at launch were also nails in the coffin.

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

If it's smoothbore, it's not a rifle by definition. I can't see any articles confirming one way or the other, do you have a link?

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auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

So it's not fin guided then.

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auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

According to the quote from the article, the shot is taken from a "standard rifle." Where did the assumption a smoothbore will be required come from?

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Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

auburnman
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Re: supermarket pricing

In the UK there's usually a price per 100g/ml/item in the small print on the shelf sticker in most of the supermarkets for easy comparison. Not sure if this is due to legislation or a voluntary code or just trying to one up the other mob, but all the same studying the shelf sticker closely usually pays dividends.

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UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

auburnman
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Re: Reminds me of the classic

Sometimes it's a Long Stand...

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Amazon lifts lid on AWS money factory, says it's a $5 BEEEELLION biz

auburnman
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Re: It's a tax con

Yeah I thought this was common knowledge by now; I was actually a little surprised by the 'poor Amazon' tone, as if the author doesn't know this is how it looks when it's going to plan for them.

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>Ring, ring< Hey Wall St. Yeah, it's Google. Yeah, bad news again, fellas

auburnman
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Something occurs to me: would it be possible (in terms of navigating the legal hurdles) for companies to hedge against Wall street manipulation by publicly publishing a strategy of share buying/selling at set prices?

e.g. "We at ChamChung believe our company is worth $XBn, which corresponds to a share price of $100/ share. We will therefore automatically buy up our own shares trading under $80/share and sell shares when buyers are offering in excess of $120.

I realise no-one would ever actually do this due to executives usually having vested interests in the Wall Street shenenigans and not wanting to admit when your company is tanking, but would it be a feasible thing to do without being accused of insider trading or somesuch?

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JUNK in your TRUNK is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

auburnman
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Re: Cars/bulter ratio

Then surely the solution there would be an Amazon locker in the train station near the car park. What if it's a multi story park? I still maintain that with a number of delivery companies barely managing to service a static address, a moving target is a recipe for disaster. Or at least coming home to a "We could not (be arsed to) deliver your parcel" email.

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auburnman
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Re: Cars/bulter ratio

That'll never work in a million years. Some delivery companies can barely deliver to static addresses, now they want to go after moving targets? Banking on Joe public for accurate directions better than "the grey Audi on Somesuch street" and remembering they can't move the car on that day?

This all sounds way more complicated than just getting a parcel sent to your work if you can't be home.

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