* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

1973 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

Phil O'Sophical
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"The Panel Majority therefore finds this to be a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"

And what effect does this decision have? Easygroup to pay all court costs on both sides? Easygroup to be fined for lying? Easygroup to laugh all the way to the next trial?

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: When I was a kid

Can anyone say whether it was effective?

The built-in degauss was really only intended to remove the minor magnetization of the shadowmask caused by moving the TV around in the earth's magnetic field, it wasn't man enough to deal with a small boy + magnet (I also discovered that effect :) ). Service technicians had big beefy degaussing coils that could be used for such cases.

CRTs are very senstive to such things, so much so that Sony (maybe others too) used to produce different models of hi-res CRT monitors for N. and S. hemispheres.

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Bad movie: Hackers can raid networks with burnt Blu-Rays

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "... avoid playing Blu-Ray discs from untrusted origins ..."

Any suggestions for an untrusted origin?

Torrented ISO images?

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Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ingredients

There ought to be laws, similar to what you see on food packaging, that list the ingredients of your laptop / device.

This laptop contains 56% zeros, 44% ones. This is 110% of the recommended windows allowance. Ones and zeros are known to cause cancer in the state of California. Please use in moderation.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Phil O'Sophical
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carbon fibre-tipped Akrapovič titanium exhaust

Does it have oxygen-free spark plug leads, and a gold-plated fuel filter as well?

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The finest weird people in the world live here, and we're proud of it

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Homeless

What is very common in the US is to buy a coffee or fast food meal for people obviously sleeping rough rather than handing out cash.

Or to get the remains of a restaurant meal "to go", and hand it to the first person sleeping rough you see.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

Re: However

Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

Bollocks.

The Sovereign Grant (which replaced the old Civil List), paid by the taxpayer to cover the Queen's official duties was £33m for 2012-13, likely to be £40m next year. It;'s handed over in return for the income from the Crown Estate, at an agreed 15%. i.e. the Queen gets 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate to pay for her duties, the taxpayer gets the other 85%. That's a tidy profit for the treasury, even without considering all the intangible benefits that come in from tourism, etc.

On top of that we get a constitutional arrangement that guarantees far more stability than having just another career politician in charge, as an elected President. Can you really imagine the catastrophic consequences of a President Bliar?

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Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Too late!

The problem isn't that bad things will happen in 2038, it's problems with 2038 and later. Take out a mortgage today, and it will have an end-date in 2040, so your bank better be able to cope with such dates today.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

Phil O'Sophical
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Would joe public actually vote for a candidate who truly represents them

Don't be daft. People don't vote for candidates they want, they vote against the ones they don't want.

Anyway, spend 10 minutes in any crowded place and you'll realize that Joe Public doesn't give a damn about who listens to their phone conversations.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

Phil O'Sophical
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Perhaps TV is now as good as it needs to get.

I don't watch TV for the resolution, I watch it for the content. The content is 99% crap, so what's the point in showing it in UHD? It's just turd polishing.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: TAX shouldn't be taxing

So living in the UK, sending your kids to UK schools, using the NHS and roads, while having your "salary" paid into a swiss bank, and doing all your spending on a swiss credit card with a fake swiss address while paying no tax

Might be nice if you could do it, but you can't. If you're "living in the UK" for more than a certain number of days per year then HMRC will consider you as being fiscally resident, and they'll want to see a tax return. They may make allowances for tax you've paid elsewhere in accordance with tax treaties, for example if your Swiss investments have been taxed at source you'll not be taxed again in the UK, but you will pay tax somewhere.

One way to limit that is to reside in a low-tax country, but even then you may need to convince HMRC that you have truly made a long-term move. Sending your kids to UK schools, using the NHS, etc. could well show that you still have an attachment to the UK and are therefore still domiciled there, even if you pretend your main home is in some Caribbean tax haven. There are a number of pop stars and sportsmen who've learned that the hard way.

Of course, you could really just go and live on a Caribbean island...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Tim, get real.

Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, but it is morally reprehensible on the scale that these companies are doing it. THAT is why people are up in arms.

So, how much more tax than you're required to pay do you, personally, hand over to the treasury?

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Phil O'Sophical
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Thumb Up

Speaking of the Computer History Museum

They have a Photoshop lecture tonight:

http://www.computerhistory.org/events/upcoming/#mastering-pixel-25-years-photoshop

and a whole weekend at the end of the month

http://www.computerhistory.org/events/upcoming/#adobefest-community-weekend

if you're anywhere near Mountain View.

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BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Flares would have to be HUGE to be visualle impressive for Neanderthals

I thought it was a pants joke, tbh.

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BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Not just tsunamis - truth is not something you can pick and choose.

And the inevitable consequence of this, of course,is that the real experts wil refuse to accept BBC invitations, leaving only the cranks to fill the airtime. It's a downward spiral.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Is BBC Radio more rigourous ?

Perhaps because they don't have to chase the ratings?

I suspect it's because they don't have to chase the money. Radio's not 'glamorous', and the career beancounters at the top of the TV food chain consider radio so far beneath them that it's irrelevant, so they ignore it. Long may it continue so.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Flame

anything now goes, it seems.

BBC TV hasn't been a trustworthy source of science or engineering reporting for 20-30 years. Everything is dumbed-down to the level of a hyperactive 10-year-old with an Xbox.

I have some old Horizon programmes on tape from the 80s. They're dated, of course (computer graphics and microelectronics have moved on a bit!) but the quality of reporting is far superior to the sensationalist claptrap it broadcasts today. Even Mythbusters takes a more scientific approach than the BBC does, which is hardly a recommendation.

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Sony's super-frumpy SmartEyeglass goggles are $840 Google Glasses

Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

Re: Futuristic retro?

Ah, eat your heart out Joe 90

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

Phil O'Sophical
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1) How easy is it to change the spark plugs and how much do they cost?

You've spent 70K on the car, why do you care? You'll be paying someone else to do it for you.

2) "the F-Type Coupé's structure is exclusively riveted and bonded ....." sounds like a recipe for future problems

It's aluminium, rivets/bonding is far more more reliable and repairable than welding.

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El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Phil O'Sophical
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Mushroom

Home-printed 3D rockets fuelled with LOX/isopropanel? I'm not sure I'd want the neighbours building one of them in the shed, isn't it a hypergolic mix?

OK, LOX probably isn't so easy to get, even on ebay, but still...

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Show me the money, America! It's time to learn how to pronounce 'Xiaomi'

Phil O'Sophical
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So, how does one pronounce Xiaomi?

I'd always assumed it was some sort of multi-lingual pun on Show Me, maybe not?

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Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: WTF?

having large batteries on-grid can potentially save some big bucks.

Flywheel storage seems more popular for that now, it has a much longer working life than batteries faced with constant charge/discharge cycles.

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FACEBOOK even from BEYOND the GRAVE: CHOOSE your Legacy

Phil O'Sophical
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it’s still very much better than LinkedIn, which regularly asks if friends and colleagues who died many years ago have certain skills

Yes, I regularly get a "people you might know" list containing a good friend who died a couple of years ago. Even though the person's account no longer seems to exist, and they don't show up in searches. Morons indeed.

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Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to EAT ITSELF

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: fulltime/part-time

When confronted with the controversial stuff, unproven whacko ideas, conspiracies, religion, I suspect it would develop Artificial Insanity, and go into what Marvin called "a bit of a decline".

Hmm, you mean the Internet embodied as an intelligent entity? Scary...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A few words of Interview advice

> " yet when you're 55 you'll probably stll expect a salary commensurate with your age.

> Er, in a word, NO.

I intended that to be taken with the first part of the sentence. I fear that a manager will interpret your position that way, not that you will expect it.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Grey beards pricing themselves out of the market

I have to disagree somewhat with the second AC poster. There's nothing new about the overall problem, but things have changed a lot in other ways.

I'm in my 50's, and I well remember, 30 years ago, a guy in his 40s who'd come up "through the ranks", starting as an apprentice. He'd always turned down all opportunities to a more managerial/team-lead position because he enjoyed the technical work too much. Eventually he decided that it was time to take that step, and started applying for promotion. He was rejected every time because he was seen as somewhat hidebound and his managerial skills as old-fashioned. He'd missed his chance, and no-one in the office was greatly surprised by it, even though he was seen as a generally likeable guy, always ready to help. Unfortunately he started to harp on too much about being denied his 'entitlement' to promotion, and was eventually encouraged to take a severance package. No doubt he would tell the story differently, which always makes be sceptical about these "I'm 50-years-old and that's why no-one wants to hire me" sob stories, there's usually more too it than that

The comment about the UK reads, to be honest, a bit like like sour grapes. I wouldn't generalize so much, I've had good and bad UK managers.

California is interesting. Back in the 90s startups had lots of youngsters, greybeards were rare, but today we're everywhere. It still entertains me to sit in internal meetings where people are enthusiastically presenting ideas for new products and features, based on the latest trendy technology, and to realize that half of them have less hair (and more grey) than I do. Sure the youngsters may be the ones who work all weekend prototyping to impress their boss, but when it comes to getting a reliable and secure design that same boss has the greybeards heading up the meetings.

Europe varies too much to generalize. Older Germans really do think that working late means being in the office after 4:30pm, and older French really do assume that August doesn't exist when it comes to setting project schedules, both of which attitudes really irritate US managers. Yet, while both countries allegedly have problems with over-50 unemployment figures it's still not impossible to find good work at that age. My wife is having a great time at a local startup where she's one of the older people in the place, but she seems to be valued almost as much for the stability that she brings to the youngsters as for her technical experience.

At the end of the day your own attitude has at least as much impact on your employment chances as your age, be you 25 or 55.

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French plod can BAN access to any website – NO court order needed

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Plus ça cha-ching!

Better yet, get a UK ISP to shop you, then you not only get the expenses, but can lay the blame on l'Albion perfide.

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Bitcoin trade biz MyCoin goes dark, investors fear $387 MEEELLION lost

Phil O'Sophical
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Facepalm

Did these people really solicit investments in bitcoins, and promise returns in dollars?? and they got takers?

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

Phil O'Sophical
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Damn

I now have a burning desire to buy several of these, even though I haven't yet done anything really serious with the Model B that I already have. They clearly know how to tap directly into nerd brains.

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Black Beauty Martian meteorite IS a SPOT-ON match with Red Planet's DARK PLAINS: boffins

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Tasty?

Except Parmesan. Hate that.

Fresh Parmesan is good, it's the dried powdered stuff that smells like vomit which gives it a bad name.

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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

Phil O'Sophical
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So don't call the open network "guest". Call it "executive" and firewall it to allow only minimal, well-logged and virus-filtered access.

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: the solution is simple

Give every telco customer the right to repudiate any premium-rate item (call or SMS, including reverse-billed) on the bill.

Oh great, you mean I can be reimbursed for all the charges I ran up on the sexchatline last night when I was drunk?

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Mobe-hungry BT's sales slip over Xmas amid EE buyout silence

Phil O'Sophical
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EBITDA

The I is Interest, not Inflation.

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FCC sexes up, er, sextuples 'broadband' speed to 25Mbps in US

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: .. but it makes a difference

ISPs will no longer be able to claim they provide broadband technically

The FT pointed out an interesting and (possibly unintended?) consequence of this. By effectively reclassing lots of small suppliers as no longer providing broadband, the FCC has effectively put Comcast into an even more dominant position, which could threaten its bid for Time-Warner under anti-monopoly rules.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I still shudder...

It's called the future. Get used to it.

Why? I live in the present, and tomorrow never comes...

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Supersonic Bloodhound car techies in screaming 650mph comms test

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Doppler etc...

GSM is limited to speeds well below this

Well, I wouldn't expect Bloodhound to need a cell-to-cell handoff over it's run, which is what gives GSM problems. Just picking up a radio signal from a source pootling along at 0.000001c shouldn't be rocket science.

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Man trousers $15,000 domain name for $10.99 amid registry cockup

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: So How's Pets.com Doing?

I can't think of anyone who has build a well known successful business based on having having a generic domain name.

B&Q do nicely out of diy.com, but that perhaps works because it's a fairly UK-centric term, the Americans don't use it. Interestingly, the French registrar refused to allow Castorama (a French DIY chain owned by Kingfisher, who also own B&Q) to register bricolage.fr, which would be the direct French equivalent, on the grounds that it would be unfair competition for one business to own a generic name. A very different attitude to business.

By the way, to test my theory about "poutine.com", I tried typing "poutine.com" into the address bar of my web browser. There's no site, and the address is for sale.

Also possible Freench complications there. Poutine is how the French spell Comrade Vladimir's name, since the pronunciation of "Putin" in French would make him Vladimir Whore. I'd guess that more people would expect poutine.com to be a politics site than one to find pub nosh.

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Sleepy Ofcom glances at Internet of Things, rolls over, takes nap

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: failed to set direction

You don't need IPv6 for external inbound connectivity, I do it fine with IPv4 across a NATed connection. Equally, of course, IPv6 doesn't mean unlimited inbound connectivity, there's no reason that a domestic IPv6-capable router wouldn't have a firewall that blocked all inbound connections by default.

This is completely separate from the security issue. We've seen the problems with internet-enabled cameras and default (or lazy) passwords, and we can clearly not expect ordinary users to configure IoT devices correctly. If my home heating controller, or any other important and.or potentially cost-conscious device, is to be connected to the internet I will not tolerate it being protected by a simple username/password. I would expect a proper certificate-based encrypted connection, linked only to specified external devices, so that even if someone does get through my firewall they can't do any harm.

Creating such a security model is not too difficult, but making it easy to use by ordinary non-technical folks is far from trivial. It won't be done by the cheap supermarket/DIY store own brand gear, unless that is forced on them by legislation. That seems to be where Ofcom has dropped the ball.

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Phil O'Sophical
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The single biggest issue that IoT will face is security, looks like Ofcom is taking the ostrich approach as usual.

I'm no fan of IoT as an idea, I think it's another solution looking for a problem like 3D TV, but when the papers start running stories about home networks being hacked, and someones fishtank being frozen, or budgie baked, or a huge electricity bll because some hacker turned on all their appliances for a week, it will put people off completely. Having decent security would at least allow those who do want it to have it in a trustworthy fashion, and Ofcom should be mandating that.

This peculiar slow-lane approach to IPv6 stands in contrast to most other countries' regulators and government agencies that are actively promoting the upgrade.

That I find less surprising. It fits perfectly with the average man-in-the-street attitude to the internet. NAT may be the spawn of the devil for purists, but for most home internet devices it works just fine.

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EE squashes Orange UK: France Telecom's been 'destroying it for years'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Tell us more !!!!

I just hope that relations remain cordial between the merged groups.

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Chunky Swedish ice maiden: Volvo XC60 D4 Manual EE Lux Nav

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Safety??

But the blind spot indicator isn't an alternative to looking in the mirror, it covers the bit the mirror does not.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I understand your point, but unfortunately I don't think it will work that way. Instead of looking in the mirror, and then over their shoulder to check the blind spot as we were all taught to do, people will just fall into the habit of a glance in the mirror, check the little indicator isn't flashing, and pull out. They'll stop looking over their shoulder. They shoudln't, but they will, this sort of gadget encourages that sloppy driving.

Parking sensors lie somewhere inbetween. They are the equivalent to the age old process of having the passenger jump out to have a look. I was rather pleased when I git a BMW X5 to have both front and rear parking sensors beeping at maximum frequency at the same time. That's a tight space.

I drive a Mondeo, so also a biggish car. The sensors switch to a continuous beep when they are about 15-20cm from an object. I can get the car closer than that just by looking, even without a passenger. It takes practice, of course, to learn where the edges of the car are but again the sensors encourage people not to practice.

A while back I was on a narrow country lane when a van appeared at speed round a corner, straddling the white line. I just squeezed between it and the rocky bank beside me, no scrapes. My passenger gulped and said "you do know what width your car is, don't you". Not something parking sensors would have helped with.

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Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

Safety??

One of the options which significantly adds to the safety of others is the blind spot indicators. If there is something in the blind spot a light comes on by the door mirror. It seems to be sensitive scooters and bikes.

So the driver pays less and less attention to the mirrors because "I don't need to, the car will tell me", until the day the car doesn't tell him, or he forgets he's driving someone else's car without the gadget, and he kills some poor sod in the blind spot he didn't check.

My car has those pointless bleeping parking sensors. I don't need them, they don't help me park, but I can't turn the bloody things off. Yet even so, when I'm in my wife's car I still find myself reversing and half-waiting for the beep which will never happen.

If you don't want to have to drive the car yourself, get a bus pass. Otherwise LEARN TO DRIVE THE FUCKING THING PROPERLY before you kill someone. No wonder road death figures are starting to go up again.

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Call filtering

Not necessarily a good approach. Our GP doesn't give CLI. It's easier to answer the Withheld calls than find a new GP.

My GP doesn't call me out of the blue. Obviously if I've called someone to make an appointment and am expecting a return call, or if I'm waiting for a delivery and know the driver will phone to say "just where is your house?" then I may answer.

I get very few - almost disappointing few - nuisance calls these days. I think I must have got myself on a do-no-call list....

Mine come in bursts, I can have a month with 3-4 every day, then a month with none. Going to my online account with a local supermarket and replacing my number with that for their own complaints department made an amazing difference to some marketing calls, it was clear who they were selling my details to.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Call filtering

I've had several NUMBER NOT AVAILABLE or WITHHELD displays on the phone that turned out to be important calls from hospitals or credit card companies.

I don't answer any calls which present no number, or show a number I don't recognize. That applies to landline and mobile.

If the call is important, they'll leave a message. If they don't leave a message the call is clearly not important.

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Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

Phil O'Sophical
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The companies can't volunteer to pay more, because their shareholders would react badly - with a lawsuit.

The only way to fix this is to change the laws, there's simply no way any entity is going to pay more tax then it needs to, no matter how much some fatcat banker complains about it.

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EE data network goes TITSUP* after mystery firewall problem

Phil O'Sophical
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Coat

Re: Oh, dear...

Mobile networks' customer service was obviously designed by a farmer.

Maybe they got confused by the old joke: farmers are clearly experts, they are men out standing in their fields.

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Phil O'Sophical
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Sounds more like "For the first 12 months after release you can upgrade for nothing, after that you'll have to buy the upgrade if you want it" but once upgraded, you're OK for the life of the product.

Or in other words "we need some cheap testers" ?

I wonder if this means that you need a W7 or W8 activation code to activate the "free" upgrade? Might be worth shoving an old spare disk into my W7 laptop to get the "free" upgrade loaded, then pop the W7 one back in while they work the bugs out of W10. When W7 finally dies, W10 will be ready...

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Flash zero day under attack

Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

Don't you guys spell check your articles?

Wouldn't have helped with "immanent", although it is certainly a most inappropriate adjectve to describe a security vulnerability.

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2015: The year of MAD TV science, but who can keep up?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Do the older amongst us

Funny you should say that, but I recognise that little TV in the upper centre of the picture, the one the guy has his hand on. My sister still has one. Still works, too (if there were anything to watch on an analogue telly)

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Phil O'Sophical
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WTF?

Europe?

Sadly, we’ll never, ever see this innovation in Europe, because Sharp actually sold off its entire European TV and AV business to Slovakian electronics brand UMC last year.

Come again? The Slovak Republic is in Euope, it's even been a member of the EU. for the past 10 years

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