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* Posts by Simple Simon

15 posts • joined 30 Jan 2012

SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

Simple Simon

Unfair Tax?

No.

It's the fairest tax of them all. It's the only tax where all the money goes exactly where you think it goes. And if you don't want the service, you don't have to pay the tax.

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Simple Simon

Genuine Question:

Does glueing (rather than screwing) stuff together make it easier and cheaper to recycle? If you want to reduce a screwed-together item to its constituent parts, you have to pay someone to sit there with a screwdriver. If it's glued, could you just heat it up and watch it all fall apart?

Writing as someone who's replaced batteries, hard drives, memory and logic boards in my own Apple laptops and desktops, I'm very disappointed to note that I won't be able to do this if I buy another machine. However, if we accept that the modern consumer likes to have new shiny-shiny every couple of years, does this method of construction make the disposed items more recyclable?

Like I say, it's a genuine question.

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WD unveils new MyBook line: External drives now bigger... and CHEAP

Simple Simon

Re: Encrypted?

Nope. It's encrypted. And no, I didn't just plug it into a Windows box. And yes, I spent a considerable number of hours on this.

For reference, see here:

https://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=8054

Even if the user does not set a password in the UI, the data is encrypted with a "null" password - and whatever salt WD have in the hardware.

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Simple Simon

Bad Experience

Seeing as this seems to be an advert, let me share my bad experience.

The thing is, they drives are encrypted. They're encrypted even if you set "no encryption" in the UI. And, the encryption is done in hardware on the controller PCB.

I was asked to try and recover some data from a MyBook that had been dropped. The drive was fine, but the controller card was broken. I could read the disk by putting it into a caddy - but couldn't retrieve anything from it.

And, you can't buy replacement controller cards.

And, they keep changing the controller cards, so finding a donor is almost impossible.

In the end, I had to give up.

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iOS 6.1 KNACKERED our mobile phone networks, claim Vodafone, Three

Simple Simon

Re: Strange

Just to re-iterate that point:

We have servers running Postfix (SMTP), Dovecote (IMAP), CalDAV and CardDAV - serving a mixture of iOS, OSX, and Android (all of multiple versions). They all talk, and they all sync.

Sure, the iOS devices are bound to an iTunes account, and the Android devices are bound to a Google ID, but we don't use any of the cloud services from anyone.

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Mystery X-37B robot spaceplane returns to orbit on Tuesday

Simple Simon

Hovering over China?

The only way to "hover" (ie. not move relative to the ground) is to be in geostationary orbit. And you can only be in geostationary orbit over the equator (or thereabouts, if you accept a wobble) - at an altitude of about 22,000 miles. I don't think there's any part of China on the equator.

It may well have been doing all sorts of slurping, but I guess it would have been on a different (probably lower) orbit, passing over points of interest, rather than hovering.

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Apple ships 'completely redesigned' iTunes 11

Simple Simon

Re: ...hover over info bar

The trouble with UI elements that appear when you hover the mouse, is that there is no hover event in a touch UI.

I think designing UI elements that require onmouseover is a little short sighted. I'm certainly finding that I'm rethinking my approach to UI design, and noting the general move towards supporting touch interfaces, I wonder whether hover events (should) have had their day?

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APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us

Simple Simon

Responsive Design

It's not that the link on the home page is small, it's that some jolly clever responsive design always has it sitting under the fold. As you make your browser window larger, the image (currently of the iPad mini) grows. The footer is *always* off the bottom of the screen, and you always have to scroll down to see it - however big the page, and however high the resolution of the screen.

I may have got my court rulings mixed up, but didn't this one stipulate that the link had to be *above* the fold???

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Why is solid-state storage so flimsy?

Simple Simon

Best of all worlds?

I've swapped out the internal optical drive of my laptop for a caddy that holds a spinning disc. I have a (only 128GB!) SSD as the boot/applications/user folder/working files drive. The spinning disc is partitioned - with one partition being a target for a scheduled daily clone from the SSD, and the other being a place to store larger files (eg media).

I think I'm having my cake, and eating it - but I'll wait for the inevitable correction...

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Scottish brainiacs erect wee super-antenna

Simple Simon

Whatever the impact on battery life, isn't it just a good thing that the RF output is (possibly) reduced, and (possibly) directed away from your head?

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Nominet mulls killing off the .co from .co.uk

Simple Simon

Who Cares...

about domain names?

Don't most people just use a search engine anyway? Even more so now that browsers seem to have done away with the separate field for search.

The point being, that you just type what you want in the URL field, and and your search-engine-of-choice takes you there with just one further click.

And, when was the last time you saw a domain name on a print or TV advert?

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JK Rowling's adult novel arrives on ebook full of FAIL

Simple Simon

Re: 3% VAT

Nope.

Under EU VAT law, for "Business to Consumer" transactions, and where the deliverable is "not physical" (eg. services, software, or electronic books), the VAT is charged where the vendor is based. In the case of Amazon (and iTunes, and the rest) that's Luxembourg. The VAT on electronic books (and anything else a consumer in the UK downloads from Amazon, iTunes and the rest) goes to Luxembourg, not to the UK.

For "Business to Business" transactions, and where the deliverable is "not physical", the VAT is charged where the purchaser is based. So, as a business purchaser, if you can demonstrate to the vendor of "non physical" items that you are indeed a business and are VAT registered, they should not charge Luxembourg VAT (and you will instead have to account for the VAT on your UK VAT return). However, try telling that to iTunes, Amazon and the rest...

For all transactions where the deliverable is "physical" (eg. a piece of hardware you bought from Amazon), the VAT is charged where the purchaser is based. Which means that, if a consumer buys a physical DVD of a piece of software from Amazon, they pay UK VAT, and if they buy a download of the same piece of software, from the same vendor, they pay Luxembourg VAT.

Oh, and BTW, if you've paid Luxembourg VAT, you can't claim it back on your UK VAT return.

Great, aint it?

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Why lock your digits to a phone? Telefonica to flog cloudy numbers

Simple Simon

I genuinely don't understand. Help please.

But, unless I completely misunderstand it, I've been doing this myself for years.

I have a VOIP number (from Sipgate, but that's not important) - and that number rings on whatever device I use to log on to the VOIP service at that time. When travelling overseas, that's usually via a locally bought data-only SIM, and a VOIP app on my smart phone.

So, I am "subscribing to a number" (from my VOIP provider), and simply using the data service of the telco of wherever I happen to be.

What's new with this offering? The only thing I can think of is that there's some kind of QoS for the VOIP traffic?

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Dot-word TLD registration closes tonight, maybe for many years

Simple Simon

Pedantic Point

Actually, it'd be 00.59 BST on the 30th.

However, I think it's irrelevant - and a waste of money for most. Actual domain names matter increasingly little I think (unless you are Pepsi, Nike, or the like). It's more about getting your brand high in the search results that counts.

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Google spews out 'privacy' email to Sky punters too

Simple Simon

DIY

It's fashionable to outsource to the cloud. But you pay the price.

We stubbornly refuse to do so, and run our own mail server. We enjoy all the benefits that the cloud providers offer, with push syncing to iToys, Androids and desktop apps, webmail, and infinite storage. And the cost really is minimal.

But crucially, we control the data. For us therefore, it's a no-brainer.

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