81 posts • joined 8 Sep 2011
Wife has a Doro phone with a drop-in charging dock which seems even easier to use than my Nexus5 with Qi plate (because with a cover on the phone, correct positioning on the plate needs a bit of care)
What use is listing Ryanair on comparison sites? Book for Paris expecting to arrive at CDG? or maybe Orly or Le Bourget? No, Welcome to "Paris" Beauvais.
Then if Ryan lists a price of £1 so you go for it then find that if you don't use all the complicated techniques to avoid extra charges you end up paying as much as for a better carrier but as you are then subsidising the successful freeloaders the overall experience is garbage.
Even if the price comparison site I use listed Ryan I'd disregard their offerings.
Having said that, my first flight to "Paris" about 50 years ago would have made Ryan look like a luxury. Coach from London to tin shack terminal at (not sure Lydd, or Lympne) very short flight, just over the channel to a similar one man and a dog airfield and coach to Paris. (Don't tell O'Leary, we don't want to give him ideas.)
Not exactly world shattering news. Below I list all the household name organisations that have never experienced an internet service outage:
When I investigate the cause of my rather too frequent FF crashes the problem seems to comes down to the add-on developer tools I use. The vast majority of users don't need them so it makes sense to provide a developer-centric FF and stop even trying to support the developer tools in standard FF.
Sounds like that could mean both consumer and developer versions of FF could end up more stable, smaller, faster than the current chimera.
Good call, minister
Like myself it seems the minister has in the past taken a look at T and F as evidenced by the existence of old and barely used accounts and had made the right decision, just as I did with Myspace, Geocities and other failed platforms. And why just mention T&F what about the hundreds of others some of which may indeed turn out to have a future? Is the minister in fact an avid user of LinkedIn, G+, runs a blog or prefers some other communication channel?
The problem here is those T&F users too lazy to grasp the concept that there may be other valid communications channels. If the minister caves in to them THEN Persson loses my respect. (And I suspect that like many other celeb/politicos the T&F accounts will be serviced by assistants anyway).
Re: The problem with blocking international and number-withheld calls
"Block international and number withheld" - no use with a widely scattered and travelling family and friends. Some temporary phone card services to allow travellers to make inexpensive calls home show up as number witheld. My solution is as soon as I hear an Indian accent the phone goes down. That gets rid of most of the scams but one does need a Bank that hasn't off-shored their call centre! It does pose a bit of a quandry for the Indian government, doubtless keen to get all that call centre employment but at the cost of the reputational damage of "indian accent = scammer".
The UKs TPS is run for the benefit of the marketing sector and our legislators are also beholden to them. Can't find the reference but within the last year one was was quoted with words to the effect that "telesales perform a valuable service of bringing opportunities to the notice of a wider audience". I believe it was in relation to those who use "government grant incentives" to hook mug punters to sign up for an overpriced scheme. For example there is grant aid for fitting a replacement energy efficient gas boiler. Our best known national Gas company used this hook to quote me nearly 3 times the price charged by a local contractor.
TPS intentionally makes it difficult to file a report and until very recently had NEVER imposed any penalties. I made an FOI enquiry a few years back, the response (paraphrased) was "Persistent offenders are sent a warning to stop".
Legislation needs to be targeted at the telcos, if they were subject to a penalty for every complained-of call to their subscriber's line and a 1471 style reporting system was put in place I suspect they'd find a solution.
Re: @ Tim 69
Choice is one aspect, free is another but my experience when visiting the USA was being overwhelmed by adverts. The problem has a subtle effect on UK originated programming too. Even those BBC programs which have an aim of selling to US appear to make provision for the insertion of ads and ad-breaks with padding at start and end (often used here to trail other BBC progs) and strange continuity artefacts which I assume to be potential advert break insertion points.
There are multiple aspects to the current state of TV. Yes the interface has got complicated, I have 3 remotes (TV, Cable and DVD - plus tablet/phone to operate Chromecast) but as I'm the only one in the household who knows which ones to use and how that does have the advantage that I get to choose what we watch!
More of a concern to me is the quality of the content. When we only had 4 channels, the fight for airtime was such that garbage programs rarely made it through. A science program would get 30 minutes, often not enough to really do the subject justice. Now the same program would be allowed an hour but on the same or smaller budget so the same (or less) content is padded out to an hour, no "added value" is derived from the extra time available. And that's just the quality programming. The price pressure means there's an awful lot of low budget, low aspiration, garbage programming like reality shows, chat shows which are primarily just a self-promotion opportunity for those with a book, a movie, or a music performance to advertise.
Re: Practical action?
The problem for mail filters is that it can be very difficult to distinguish spam from "good". Indeed we, as individual recipients, aren't good at it. For example I had a double opt-in * bulk newsletter mailing list of a few hundred and despite following all best practise I'd still find one or two recipients labelling it as spam rather than use the unsubscribe link in the email # or on the web site.
* double opt in is where after requesting to be added to the list a "please confirm" message is sent to that email address, if the recipient doesn't acknowledge they they'll not be added to the mailing list
# some advice is NOT to unsubscribe by clicking a link in the email because if it was spam you've just confirmed to the spammer that the address is live and actively used.
The fix for form-spam is in the hands of the guys whose form it is. They need to use good validation of the input - a form validator I've used in the past with some success is from tectite.com
I have met people who assure me their ISP has really good spam filters, they never get any junk. That's worrying. Spam filtering is not an exact science, zero junk implies a high probablility of false positives. There is a risk of some "good" email being wrongly flagged as spam for reasons like inclusion of a trigger word like the name of a medication gentlemen may find beneficial in connection with their relationships with ladies. It's 99.999% certain indicator of spam but there remain 0.001% of legitimate use in emails, perhaps a correspondence between an individual and a medical professional.
@ Pascal Monett:
"I'm guessing that, in a majority of those 400k+ cases, the website is for a small company..."
True but a small minority of 400k is still a lot and the article says "... included Fortune 500 organizations..." and there are only about 50,000 stock exchange listed companies globally so the 400k could (hypothetically) include all of them.
Maybe the biggest risk is from things like the vast number of insecure blogs that people sign up to in order to comment. The blog owner won't have a clue about SQL injection but in any case may take the view that for just posting comments to his blog security isn't a big concern. It's common practise to use a common login (email) & password for those and that could be used to aggregate everything an individual had posted anywhere and build a useful identity theft profile for example. And some users will have used the same login credentials for more significant sites/services...
Some uneducated reasoning...
The ejected waste we can see looks far less than the volume of the hole.
The distribution of the waste doesn't look much like that left over from an explosion, it's all very close to the hole. So try this for a hypothesis:
Forget about explosions, a relatively slow acting underground force has forced a body of ice to move upwards pushing aside the topsoil. Once exposed to warmer temperature the ice has melted leaving the lake at the bottom (and doubtless some water escaped hence the loss of volume). The "missing" material from the hole is just ice.
Perhaps it was historically a lake, not unlike some of those others in the area but froze and became covered in topsoil but recently something has caused the ice of that frozen lake to move upward.
Either that or when the aliens landed they needed a source of water so they dug a well.
I like G+
Unlike facebook and linked in I have a reasonable degree of control over who sees what and I don't get loads of emails suggesting I link with the distant aquaintance of someone I linked to ages ago and can't remember why but am now able to view their drunken photos.
My facebook and linked in profiles are as locked down as possible and state that I am not active there and prefer other channels of communication.
I welcome quality control, I welcome the attempt to make people stand behind their online rantings by providing identity information. I use all kinds of pseudonyms on various forums etc or choose to post anonymously in some situations. In some situations that is useful, perhaps allowing me to be a little more frank about my employer than might be wise were my real name attached. There are plenty of places on the internet where I can do that, what's wrong with having one we can choose to use and where we must behave like grown-ups?
An editor I know said they gather loads of feedback via social networks, most of it is garbage, the exception is G+. It will be a pity if it does end up as just another stinking pile of dross.
What does it cost ...
to set up a gTLD and then what are the running costs? There's a USD185,000 application fee but I saw an estimate of total year one cost being USD1M. If that's right, who's footing the bill?
I just don't get why anyone would want a gTLD. For example why would UK supermarket Tesco buy tesco.shop? It's a well known name, everyone knows it's a shop tesco.co.uk at least tells people it's a UK shop (they do have shops elsewhere with relevant country TLDs). co.uk means its (very probably) a UK company, that implies governed by UK law, prices in GBP, local shipping (no high international shipping costs or complications with taxes and customs duty). Were I to buy the tesco.shop domain (hypothetically, I expect Tesco will have got there first) I'd expect to hear from their lawyers soon after. I had a domain name which included the word technik, Panasonic's lawyers wrote to me claiming that the similarity with their brand name techniks would be an issue potentially causing confusion and diluting their brand.
As far as I can see the only beneficiaries of gTLDs are domain name registrars and scammers (same thing?)
Why does the DMA even exist
The suckers who do business with these companies are ultimately paying for the junk email/telesales/post and encouraging the bastards to do more.
As I understand it part of the technology is "white line detecting cameras". If that is the case how do they cope with snow, of for that matter bright sunshine reflecting off a wet road? (and of course: http://www.crankycreative.com/sandbox/blog/bid/20272/Canadian-Speed-Control-Illusions-Using-Repositionable-Graphics)
Re: Telephone Tracking
Googling for: "Your website is currently under construction, please check back later." (WITH the quotes) leaves no doubt in my mind.
Re: Discovering texting at 92
Absolutely right. Got the same for technology challenged wife except her model does have a camera. Docking charger is great too, much better than faffing around with tiny plugs. Hangs on a neck cord. My only problem was trying to conceal the fact it's intended as a "granny phone" big text, loud, easy to read tactile buttons. The SOS button is a bit of a giveaway but I got away with it.
There is a good reason why many of the old simple Nokia phone models sold over 100 million, far more than any iPhone or Android. I have an antique nokia as a spare but the battery has died - in its youth it could last up to 3 weeks between charges, I bet if someone made a truly minimal phone with current technology they could get even longer battery life - or use an even smaller battery (mine is 700mAh my Android phone battery is 3 times the capacity, allegedly lasts 12 days on standby but in use, because of the wider range of power consuming hardware and software components, maybe a day.)
There's a place for a £10 phone, it's not the same place as the £500 phone but if you just need phone calls and SMS, save yourself £490!
There's a parallell with the Swiss Army knife, do you need the one with every imaginable "blade" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wenger-Giant-Swiss-Army-Knife/dp/B000R0JDSI 1.4kg GBP880 or will this do http://www.amazon.co.uk/Victorinox-0871000-Army-Knife-4-25in/dp/B0001P15C6
Chopin's Funeral March perhaps?
Re: @PaulR79 "Never click links for banks etc in emails"
You are right but in effect the (some?) banks do this when they phone you.
My bank has called a couple of times to check "suspicious activity" on my account (usually it's legitimate activity but outside my normal spending pattern). First thing they do is ask a question to confirm they are speaking to the right person - a scammer could use that approach to harvest details from you. In reality it is I who should be asking a question to confirm who they are, and that's what I do. Even then their standard answer is problematic: "call back using the number on the back of your credit/debit card and quote reference..." If it is a scammer they don't put the phone down so you "redial" but the line hasn't dropped and you are still connected to the original caller. If you are alert you can check, if you've not got a dialling tone the line is still open.
Re: Anti-phishing could be done in other ways
Well I'd not noticed 'till today, both FF and Chrome show the domain in solid black and grey the rest. (Apparently other browsers are available for the less tech savvy who would benefit most so I checked MSIE10 YES! and Safari (Windows vsn) NO!)
Now surely someone can find a tweak buried somewhere in FF/Chrome to make domain bold red.
Re: @ Fiddler Crap Service is the Norm
Some businesses have realised that a small % of customers demand a disproportionately large amount of support effort. One of the most cost effective ways to reduce the cost of your support operation is to give those awkward customers the worst possible experience so they defect to your competitor - a double success, you save costs while at the same time increasing your competitor's costs.
As customers we bring this upon ourselves to some extent. We seek out the cheapest service then expect the highest standards. As ISPs go I believe Zen Internet is highly regarded for taking ownership of support problems and getting them fixed - but they're also towards the higher end of the price range.
And, as a customer, the best solution is invariably NOT to go for the biggest or the "household name" provider. To a small provider every customer matters, they are less likely to offshore their helpdesk, less likely to put support calls into an interminable mess of phone menus and call queues, less likely to rely on script following minimum wage help-desk staff.
Phone menus and call queues mean they value their own time more than yours. Compare your hourly rate with that of a minimum wage offshore call centre worker: they're saving pennies and costing you pounds. When you're choosing a supplier and you get put into a call queue for pre-sales enquiries what does that tell you? If pre-sales was OK then try routing your next pre-sales call to their help desk instead - less well resourced? What does that tell you?
In my business we have neither phone menus nor call queues. If the line is busy you get answerphone. When a customer leaves a message we call them back, usually within minutes and to the evident surprise of new customers, more used to answerphones being used as a black hole. I have customers who can be a serious PITA, in reality some of them understand that and the time we spend helping them is not wasted. We rely heavily on recommendations/referrals from existing customers for new customers. If a customer leaves for a cheaper provider they come back when they let them down.
It's widely acknowleged that First Direct have got this right - so why is that tried and tested way of getting the reputation of "best phone support" not widely replicated?
A while back I ordered a Dell and ticked the "no crapware" box (they described it differently).
The result was that "crapware removal" made the machine "a custom build" and while they could hardly charge me for the service they punished me with a 2 week delivery delay whereas "standard build" complete with crap could be shipped for next day delivery.
Don't teach, inspire.
It seems like a weekly event for a politician or self proclaimed "expert" to propose we solve a problem by adding it to the school curriculum.
My proposal, is that in order to fulfil all those aspirations, we expand the school week to 168 hours.
That may hit the odd stumbling block so let's take another look at the situation.
Better to explain to that there are experts, use them and choose your own field in which to become an expert (and perhaps command a good salary). I could do that appendectomy for you, I've got a sharp knife, needle and thread, I know roughly where to cut and what I'm looking for (dissected a rat at school, anatomically quite similar) - no takers? You'd prefer a trained experienced surgeon? Yes but in the USA the cost ranges from USD1500 to USD180000, I'll only charge USD100. You still aren't convinced are you?
Many experts started out on their subject as the result of some kind of inspirational moment, event, person, teacher. We need to expose kids to the widest range of stimuli with the aim of inspiring some. Ben Garrod was interviewed on the radio today. When he was a kid an art teacher gave him a sheep's skull to draw. He was so overwhelmed with its beauty, complexity, function that he didn't draw it but spent the time examining it. That set him on a course to become an expert in bones and skeletons. Don't miss his TV series starting on BBC4 8:30pm Tue 18 Feb.
The world doesn't need many bone experts. We do need plenty of computer experts but how many? I have no idea but let's say 1%? So we bore the other 99% with enforced lessons on something they'll never need? We'll not get those future experts by school lessons taught by a teacher who's read a book, had a one day course but has no real life IT experience or skill and scant understanding. We could get them by exposing them to inspirational expert practitioners who give them a whiff of the possibilities - that will stimulate those with an interest and aptitude to quickly streak way ahead of what any school teacher could ever hope to achieve - just as happenned with the Sinclair and BBC computers in the early 1980s.
Re: About time
Nostalgia corner: Yes I evaluated CP/M & MS-DOS on the Victor 9000 (ACT Sirius in UK market) and my employer (one of UKs biggest businesses) bought dozens (for, in todays money, over £4k each ). They stood up very well in comparison with the IBM PC but that was only available in USA at the time anyway. If I recall they used 2x5.25inch floppy disk drives 128K RAM. Later some lucky power users got an external hard-disk add-on with a massive 10MB.
Our CP/M vs MS-DOS choice was primarily influenced by the availability of applications, initially we used both but MS-DOS ended up the winner for giving us more/better apps.
Later I got to evaluate the Apple Lisa and decided it was an overpriced novelty (so in 3 decades nothing has changed at Apple!). Not long after that the Mac came out, more affordable but with a tiny built in screen - not much use.
Clearly the objective of Iain Standen is to erode the income of TNMOC to the point at which they cannot afford their £100k annual rent they pay to BP. That would raise the issue of the fate of their prize exhibits - and I'm sure he'd love to get his grubby hands on them...
This is one of the longest threads I've followed on The Register and the vast majority are critical of BPs actions. Sacking Tony and Standen's attitude to that in the BBC interview should be grounds for at least a strong reprimand and a public apology to Tony.
Grumbling on here will achieve nothing - so what can be done?
Lobbying the Bletchley trustees might be a good start.
Get more coverage in the computer press.
Lobbying the known benefactors of the BP trust to exert their influence - and perhaps transfer some of their generosity to TNMOC.
Is there a way to feed back to the Lottery fund that their donation is being misused to the detriment of another deserving cause?
Lobby Gov't for an MBE for Tony
Lobby owners of exhibits on loan to BP to ensure they are aware of the situation with TNMOC and Tony's public dismissal
Do something yourself - become a member of TNMOC £45 p.a. - that's a bit steep for me especially living a few hours drive away (and never been) so not likely to get much personal benefit - but I'm sending them a £10 donation (gift aid eligible).
From what I read about BP and TNMOC (and as an aging computer geek) TNMOC is a greater attraction to me than BP, I really will have to make the effort to visit sometime.
Re: "without contributing to its upkeep"
If Starbucks need not pay a fair share of corporation tax on UK generated profits because "they create jiobs" then why should the small business cafe owner pay his share? And of the jobs the multinationals are providing, a large percentage are at or near statutory minimum wage so generate little contribution from tax and NI.
Any business that wants to come here to trade on equal terms with local entrepreneurs is welcome, those who just want to exploit our system and workers is basically asset stripping the UK economy and they can go hang.
"The tragedy of the commons"
If you're not familiar with the phrase google it.
Why should my moderate internet usage be slowed because some customers make huge demands on the system. If the answer is "the ISP should invest more so they can give an all you can eat service to everyone, including the resource hogs" then I can expect a price hike in order to pay for the hogs excess usage.
I would prefer an ISP that works more like an electricity supplier. A quarterly base charge for service provision (based on bandwidth provided - 20Mbit delivered at the premises charged higher than a line providing 1Mbit) then a cost per gigabyte of actual traffic used this quarter. If I want a continuous stream of cat videos why shouldn't I pay more than the guy who just deals with a couple of emails a day?
It should not be permissible to claim ownership of a dictionary word or a common phrase. It's just a way for guys with deep pockets to get lawyered up in order to screw individuals and small businesses to remove trivial competitors and block innovation.
I think my proposed "Easy i-Virgin apple leaf candy" product is doomed. (In case anyone misses the references :ownership of the word Easy is claimed by Easy Group easy.com, Virgin by Virgin.com and Apple and the letter "i" in front of anything by some guys who sell overpriced low spec computers dressed up as expensive fashion accessories, they also claim ownership of "leaf" - http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/12/10/apple_applies_to_trademark_the_leaf/#c_1656721). If our political classes weren't in the pocket of big business they'd legislate to prevent this theft of our language.
To be fair: I did find how to uninstall from their website, fairly deep in there but go FAQs>Knowledge base>Why is the uninstall button greyed out?
To be fair (again! I must be in a good mood today!) - we've all read the stories of "I wrote an app one afternoon and now I'm a multi millionaire" but also the far more prevalent stories of folk who've invested months of development time and $$$ in creating and promoting an app only to find that sales are approx zero or that the app store (apple anyone?) takes a dislike to it, or that the idea is good so dozens of "me too" similar apps rapidly emerge to compete for the limited market. So a new entrant may be desperate to recoup his investment and consequently go about things the wrong way. That may be the case here - in respect of policies (not making it sufficiently clear that free is limited version, not making uninstall info easy enough to find), promotion (like not paying due regard to El Reg T&C, positive reviews that are perhaps not from disinterested parties) , pricing and perhaps a naive atitude to permissions "trust me" - although that stance seems distressingly common and users distressingly accepting of it - which is why there's a need for an app like this in the first place...
And so, dear reader, my own unique and mind-blowing app ideas remain unimplemented because the statistics indicate too small a prospect of a positive ROI.
More to it than that. Suppose a Google search returned amazon.co.uk and amazon.com, amazon.scammersdomain.com, amazon.de, which one would you click? Hopefuly not the third but then if you are in the UK you'd choose.co.uk because you anticipate more likely to be governed by UK legislation, in-country shipping will probably be cheaper and faster, prices will be pounds not dollars, no risk of import duties, the site more likely to use English (the .de site is in german)
Re: How about...
In UK if police have suspicions they can check the mobile phone company billing records which show when and where a phone was being used. And the phone itself can provide info hence guilty drivers have been known to try to wipe the "last call" info from the phone.
Not all MPs are useless
A LibDem MP seems to be the instigator of this: http://www.no2nuisancecalls.net/news and has set up an All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuisance Calls which has just issued a report - inevitably a bit wordy and includes the likes of BT contributing feeble excuses for doing nothing (no surprise there) and the DMA trying to make out that unsolicited marketing calls provide a valuable service to consumers (my arse they do).
But it is at least good to see Talk Talk and Parliament doing SOMETHING about the problem. Lets hope it's not as utterly useless as the TPS set up in 1999 as a response to consumer pressure. Those registered with TPS now get MORE unwanted calls than unregistered users, the monthly crop of thousands of complaints to TPS are a monumental waste of time, just not worth making the effort, the total number of prosecutions after 14 years of operation is still in single figures.
Don't waste any effort on the clever tricks to waste the callers time, they are earning peanuts, your hourly rate is higher than theres especially the off-shore callers who can be on under a dollar an hour.
What I do is let all calls with an unrecognised CLI go to answerphone. Currently running at around 10 a week.
If TalkTalk were willing to be a load more aggressive I'd switch to them. What I mean by more aggressive is if I could make a callback (like the mobile phone text scam number) to say "I want no more calls from the number that just called". I don't want them to be overriding my decisions about what is legitimate and what I consider a nuisance. As it is their offering is a positive step but still feeble.
Re: Will they block themselves?
"Is there a pre-filtering device ... How about someone develops such a device using the popular Raspberry Pi..."
There is such a system that runs on RaspberryPi (or other linux system) Google for "raspberrypi asterisk"
The only reason I use DAB is because it can usually get usable quality reception on the domestic mains sets - but only with that awkward antenna extended. Living in the forgotten North of UK we've always suffered poorer coverage.
I had to abandon Radio 3 when it left AM, FM was unusable, at least DAB remedied that but then I committed the horrendous mistake of moving to the hilly Peak District (the clue is in the name). AM signals were good at "bending" over hills, FM/DAB aren't. Listening in the car is a lottery, numerous places on A roads where the signal deteriorates from OK to static.
Re: Does this use the same plastic that everything seems to be made of these days?
Can I put in a good word for Sugru too (pity about its short shelf life tho'). And there's always used chewing gum...
All Google need to do is make safe search setting the default at http://www.google.com/preferences I set that anyway simply because it delivers fewer unwanted results for my searches.
In addition to that I use OpenDNS settings in my router with preferences set to block several categories of other stuff I might prefer my kids not to be looking at - drugs, alcohol, gambling, weapons.
In recent months there have been US originated scare stories about the possibility of back-doors in network equipment from Chinese manufcaturers such as Huawei. The cynics may have thought tis was to protect the commercial interests of such as Cisco. In view of the Prism revelations perhaps it was to ensure friendly nations installed US manufactured kit which might allow NSA back-door access.
Maybe the security analysts examining Huawei network gear should test their expertise on Cisco too.
Re: Commercial Blackmail
As the owner of hamstertunneler.co.uk we are writing to inform you we have reserved your .uk equivalent. You have a period of 6 months to cough up the money... during this "sunrise" registration period for a substantial premium after which we'll let the first con man to come along buy it for a fraction of the price and you'll be well and truly screwed.
No it's much more than that...
If I were to buy my-fantastic-domain-name.co.uk I'd need to register my-fantastic-domain-name.uk too to stop the guy down the road getting it to use in competition or to hold me ransom for a large transfer fee.
That means going forward a domain name will cost £4 for .co.uk plus another £10 for .uk
If I already own tesco.co.uk (I don't!) I'd be a fool not to buy tesco.uk as soon as available so nominet's big win is that a significant chunk of the 10 million .co.uk registrations will need to stump up another £10 p.a. for a defensive registration of the .uk equivalent.
So that's up to £100 million extra income for nominet - but it's a not for profit company so why do they need that? I guess Leslie Cowley is struggling to get by on her meager £187k salary and £70k bonus.
And don't forget that the registrars add their own margin to Nominet fees - Webfusion lists .co.uk at £9.99 p.a. (and just fancy that, when I look at Nominet's annual report for 2012 I find "T Vollrath (Webfusion Ltd)" is a director of Nominet with a salary of £30k) So it's drinks all round guys!
Re: @AC (08:06 GMT)
"...Brits who are generally too polite ...?"
An Indian sounding gentleman called asking for me by name. I said "who's calling?" he just repeated "Can I speak to Mr...", I again asked "Who is calling" this time he responded "F... off you c...". I assume he learnt that handy phrase from other Brits he'd called...
Re: Scheduling challenges
> you'll need to over staff. Who's providing the call centre?
One solution may be "cottage industry" as BT were doing (may still do) with directory enquiries where the operator might be a little old lady in a croft in the Shetlands. Negotiates "available times" and then paid a small
hourly retainer plus a per-minute or per call fee.
I might be in trouble. My wife just turned 60. She's a bit of a technophobe and had been grumbling about her mobile phone: text too small, wanted one she can easily use as a camera, prefers clamshell designs with a neck-cord, doesn't give a toss about smart-phones and apps, wants a phone to make phone calls and occasional texts (proper big clear buttons please - not on-screen buttons).
I got her a Doro phone, so far I've managed to obfuscate the fact that Doro's target market is the elderly but now her friends all want the same. Someone's sure to let the cat out of the bag.
Wish me luck.
The chocolate factory should use Cadbury's as a model...
Eric Schmidt said of Google's tax avoidance "It's called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this." Well Eric it's not "ethical capitalism".
I used to live on Cadbury's Bournville estate in Birmingham, called "the Factory in a garden".
Like many 19th century capitalists the Cadbury family had a sense of responsibility to society and the community. They built good quality housing not only for their workers but also integrated homes for other professionals essential to a community - teachers, doctors. They built the local hospital (The Woodlands), they provided a holiday retreat for inner city slum kids, they donated an area of local countryside to the community (the Lickey Hills). In effect they had "planning laws" in advance of many we have today resulting in some of the most pleasant places to live, wide roads with wide grassy verges, mixed housing styles and sizes on the same street and plenty of well landscaped and maintained open spaces.
The beneficiaries were not just their own workers but a wide cross section of society.
Capitalism is often portrayed by the left as intrinsically "evil" and Google (and Apple, and Amazon) are trying hard to prove them right.
The reality is that many of our great institutions were founded and funded by successful business people and NOT as the result of legislation forcing them to and it continues today with such as the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.
But perhaps we should put another interpretation on Google's moniker of "The chocolate factory", the term is also used as a vulgar term for the anus.
My solution for businesses operating in UK and not paying their fair share is nationalisation of their UK operation.
Re: Not flashy but owns a market...
"...but you overinfalte the importance of Apple,..."
While you're right about the relative (non)importance of iphone/ipad to ARM success, I think we must acknowledge the usefulness of Apple's cash injection back in the early 90's, and the iDevice effect does seem to have raised awareness of ARM to a larger IT literate circle and beyond (but RasPI even more so?)
Re: Not nearly enough
With an elderly relative who may call for urgent assistance at any time, yes, I'd interrupt (almost ?) anything.
I gave up reporting TPS violations a few years ago after they responded to my FOI enquiry asking what the oucome of complaints was. The answer (shortened from 3 pages) was: If they got enough complaints about an organisation they would ask them to stop but they had never imposed any penalty. So whether the £90k gets paid or not at least the ICO has got of it' fat arse eventually and maybe some other crooks will get the message - and move their call centres to India. If I pick up the phone and hear an Indian voice, I just put the phone down - I've probably done it to my Bank...
The "problem" with ARM is that it's hidden, no equivalent or "Intel Inside". And it seems to be hidden in just about everything that uses electricity! Whist our desktop PCs don't use ARM as the main CPU, they've probably got a couple of ARM chips in there maybe in the hard disk controller or graphics card. When the price of the most basic versions of ARM is pennies then it becomes the best choice for anything needing a bit of logic. My stockbroker said it was time to take profit (after 2000% growth) on my ARM shares recently but then totally blew his credibility (like the author of this piece) by saying it was a risk because Apple may stop using ARM...
And when I say "problem" - well is it? I probably own a few dozen ARM chips in phones, computer preipherals, GPS, (car? Fridge?), I don't know and it doesn't matter, like I don't know the manufacturer of the mains cable in my house, I don't need to, leave that kind of decision to the guy responsible for wiring up the house. The only device where I do explicitly know it's ARM based is RaspberryPi. I'm fairly sure my mobile phone is too but my criteria were not "what chip" but the end-deliverable features - things like speed and battery life.
The claimed benefits were:
Nominet to check registrant details properly - an admission that their previous practise was rather casual.
Websites to be scanned for malware on a regular basis - at what additional cost? UK registrar 123reg offer a service "Site Scanner", 5 pages for £3.50 a month (or you can use Google webmaster tools and get free site-wide malware scans).
Registrants to be entitled to use a "Nominet approved" quality mark - along with all the other "approved" badges and labels that appear all over the web - and are universally disregarded
The shorter name is "more convenient" - delivering the fantastic benefit of 3 fewer keystrokes... but certainly more confusing, everyone is familiar with .co.uk
"The new names make it easier to choose a suitable domain name" because more become available - not true. If someone owns great-example.co.uk and someone else registers great-example.uk it only leads to confusion and they could be guilty of "passing off". Just try buying a name like tesco.cx (one of the few not already owned by Tesco, .cx is Christmas Island), I can confidently predict you'd be hearing from their lawyers not long afterwards even if you made no use of the name. SMEs simply can't afford the cost of registration under all top level domains never mind the legal fees to defend them.
Trade mark holders will be given priority - so if I've been legitimately using great-example.co.uk for ten years but a third party has great-example as a trade mark, they'll get priority for the great-example.uk name over me.
Having demonstrated that the claimed "benefits" are illusory at best, let's consider the disadvantages:
The annual fee is substantially higher, the wholsale price was to be "under £20 p.a." (compared with a the current .co.uk wholesale price of £5 for 2 years). Registrars can charge whatever they want as the retail price. In short, registrants can expect to pay a much larger annual fee.
Presumably there will be an additional charge for malware scanning and for DNSSEC.
As mentioned above the owner of great-example.co.uk name might find that a third party has registered great-example as a trade mark and will get priority for the great-example.uk name. The implication could be a great revenue earner for the legal profession. Alternatively it could go to the Nominet dispute resolution process (£££). A trade mark is not unique, more than one organisation can have a trade mark on a word as long as there is no risk of confusion, i.e. they are operating in different business sectors. Apple was example being the trade mark of the Beatles shop and of a computer company. For many years both had rights to use "Apple" as a trademark as long as the computer company didn't enter the music business and the Beatles didn't start selling computers. (Subsequently the computer company paid the Beatles to drop their trade mark).
There will be a "sunrise period" - presumably this will follow precedent of charging a substantial premium for sunrise registrations. (With the possibility of fraud as alleged by some sunrise applicants for EU domains). And if you don't "defend" your existing name with a sunrise application but someone else buys it (then or at cheaper landrush stage), you're stufffed.
Who benefits? Nominet is a "limited by guarantee" company, however that doesn't mean that employees can't benefit from generous remuneration packages, the average staff salary in 2011 was around £60k. The total financial benefit package for the highest paid director was over £250k.
Domain name registrars are Nominet members, paying an annual fee and a small fee for each domain name. They stand to do very well out of the new arrangement.
Those with deep pockets - SMEs on tight budgets just have to cave-in when they see the likely legal cost of a passing-off dispute
The corruption starts here: It's interesting that Nominet didn't use their mailing list of 10M domain name registrants to publicise the consultation - but doubtless all the registrars were contacted. No point in asking the turkeys to vote for Christmas, let's just get Bernard Matthews opinion.
If Nominet were serious about he alleged benefits then they could offer all but the shorter name acknowledged by a "Nominet approved sticker" as an add-on for .co.uk names with the associated DNSSEC, security scanning and some kind of legitimacy check - like that busineses are registered at companies house, genuine address on file not an accommodation address, accounts up to date, no credit reference agencies alerts.
Got one already...
Well almost. I've got a hot glue gun, the main difference I can see is that the glue stick is replaced by something that sets faster. Apart from that: the feed is from a reel; the plastic may come in different colours; the melt temperature may be different; the nozzle size may be different - but all those are relatively minor issues, a glue pen with different feed material, maybe different nozzle & temperature shouldn't cost much more than a standard glue pen, mine was £15 including a decent supply of glue sticks.
Re: MP's cojones
Yes, UK price is usually the same NUMBER as US price, they just replace the dollar sign with a pound. One excuse given is that "software has to be translated for the European market" - well I can cope with "colour" being spelt incorrectly.
When I needed to upgrade Adobe CS at a time when the pound was very strong relative to dollar I tried buying from Amazon US but that was blocked. I ended up getting a friend in US to buy it for me.
New legislation required - or Darwinism in action?
I never cease to be amazed at people showing me a shiny new and expensive mobile phone, for example, and telling me they got it free while not mentioning that it's on a 2 year contract at £40 a month.
I want all such offers to be required to include a "total contract minimum spend" statement. So that free mobile phone would have to state "total minimum contracted spend £960 over 2 years". That would also prevent the supplier ramping up the monthly fee during the contract. No, silly me, they'd still ramp the fee and hope nobody reported them to ASA - for no meaningful action to be taken, just an instruction not to do it again...
In similar vein are "free trials" where you are required to cancel by a specific date to prevent having initiated an ongoing subscription involving future payments. Same for 0% finance (subject to paying off the balance after 12 months otherwise the loan continues for another 2 years at a high interest rate).
On the other hand I'm getting to be such an old cynic that I'm inclined to think: "there are those of us who are numerate and smart enough to work it out for ourselves, meanwhile the mugs are paying over the odds and subsidising my better considered choices. This is Darwinism in action."
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