* Posts by MR J

57 posts • joined 22 Sep 2012

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

MR J

Re: One server to rule them all

There are a couple of "Key" servers on their network that when they go down, the whole network goes down. It wouldn't normally relate to generic packet loss, but I have seen it before. The basic stuff is that when the servers that protect us from porn or illegal downloads goes haywire, their whole network goes haywire.

Years and Years ago there was a lot of theft going on, I asked why simple steps like duplicate mac scanning didn't take place and they said it wasn't really needed as customers didn't complain about stolen service.. It took them about 4 or 5 years after I pushed them for valid reasons for someone to turn around and come up with a great blinding idea... Scan for duplicate MACs on the network to thwart theft.... Wow.. I asked a lot of other questions and even now some of those basics have not been put into place. Most of my questions came from the black hat public cable hacking that was going on at the time..

They have moved email over to the google apps system and its utterly shocking how many "features" don't work. Other ISPs can make it work, why cant VM.

Their reason for customers not getting IPv6 is that there are still enough IPv4 numbers to be passed around to customers. Mull over how the two are not related, and how VM staff think that running out of IPv4 is the ONLY reason the move has to happen.

I must say, I didn't spot the outage, and I have to wonder how difficult it would be for them to write some scripts to test end to end connectivity across the network. I have a feeling its wouldn't be that difficult to do, but eh...

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

MR J

With all of the specials that were ran in the past where EDF, NPower, British Gas, and SSE (my area) gave away bulbs, I ended up with so many CFLs that I still have about 7 left (11 - 13w).

I see some other posters on here saying they just moved from the heated filament bulbs to CFL, but to me that is just silly. If your still using anything other than CFL or LED then it should be time to move, the savings (if you use said light) is so high that waiting for it to take out is just costing you more.

With OLED Lighting coming to market now we might start seeing things like Lightshades that are the actual lights, or bulbs that are all bendy to help them diffuse better.

Personally I would like to see LEDs become greener (be it DC home supply or some other solution). I have no doubt the heat problems with LEDs will get better over time, OLEDs will get much more interesting over time, It will be lovely when we can get rid of the horrible ugly thing that we all know of as a light bulb... I think they are all horrid, but that's just me.

BTW, I was a "early" adopter of LED and CFL, most people thought I was nuts.. The "early" LED units I got were so poor in quality (and high in price) that I vowed to wait until the tech was really good enough for the home. In a strip light, or flood lighting (where massive heat sinks can be had) I think they are ready, the bulbs for home use really don't do much for me at the moment.. Once 6 more of my CFLs go out then it will be time to move to LED, so I only have a few more years to wait ;)

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Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012

MR J

They would need to add new laws in to say that any money transferred "out" to another company (or division) pulls that company back "IN", and as such, any money transferred "OUT" again would start the same cycle.

This would allow for it to all be taxed, but WOULD be a accounting nightmare for global taxation checking. The Company could do it correctly, but external audits would be damn near impossible of finding the truth.

At least this way you could give "Credit" for tax that is paid.

100 mil, 5% tax paid to host country, 16% paid to UK (21%-5%).. That's how Americans who live anywhere else in the world have to pay taxes. (Little known fact that Americans pay income tax to the IRS regardless of what country they live in!)..

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MR J

Unless the whole world moved to a system where there was a 0% tax rate then this wouldn't work either.

You seem to be mis-understanding how all of all of this works.

Most of the tax they are paying is in the place where it cost them the least in taxation, and guess what, usually that is also the place where they have the fewest (in some cases, NO) staff.

So sure, make $2bil, and pay 0 staff $0, so yea... That's going to work well.

You COULD bump taxes up on workers, but that doesn't work either for a huge amount of reasons.

Also, "information" sold as "goods" would be hard to tax too, you would end up with the same thing where some office (with 0 staff) is paying 250 million $ a year to another office (with 0 staff) for data information, but the island state charges 0% corporation tax... Then the buyer ships their "Global information" to the "UK Arm" for, oh, free, or even a huge fee (lets say 250 million $) and the plastic ducks they sold this year (and made 250 million $ profit on YAY) gets a tax offset due to the data they had to buy from themselves (BOOO) thus negating any profit.

DEAR GOD MAN, CAN YOU SEE WHAT YOUR DOING, TAX FREE PLASTIC DUCKS...

Until I replied to you I didn't know how bad you had it in for us, but no I know..

Now I know.

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Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

MR J

Would mesh systems that share local resources count as "Tax dodging"?

I guess it would open up the market for "Cloud" compression services, where everything you download is compressed to the hilt.

Why do they stop here, how about taxing each minute that they watch television, or rather, are "tuned in"?..

The only way I could see this working is if ISPs switch to selling fixed lines with a set data allowance. The rates charged in the story would cost me like £235 a month, that's crazy.

And will the government be tax exempt, I am sure that they use a lot of data!

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MR J

So what is the "VAT" Rate for calls?

If I buy a unlimited package from BT, and make 150 hours of calls, how much more will I pay than the guy who purchased the unlimited package and made 2 hours of calls?..

Share with me this finding of VAT on phone calls.

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OnePlus One cut-price Android phone on sale to all... for 1 HOUR

MR J

Re: "Sold at cost"

Cost per unit = Total Cost / Units

Total Cost = Staff, Development, Insurance, Licencing, Packaging, Public Relations, Loans (Including Fees and Interest), Component cost, Assembly Cost, Shipping Cost, and no doubt there are a lot of other things I have not included.

This is how "At Cost" Generally works. For example, In Europe if your child smashes something in a store and your asked to pay for it, you pay the "Cost" value, not the stores "Price" for it. So if they got said item for €86 and charge €385 for it, you pay €86.. Even if said item cost £2 in china.

Charities tend to run off of the same system, they make no "Profit", but they can have a lot of hidden "Cost".

If they say they are selling at cost then what you likely have here is a "company" that will make 0 (+/- some random value), but some staff and directors who will possibly pocket a huge wad of cash.

Now, here is the upside.

Say they put the phone out, and 30,000 of us get one for that price ($349, that's about 46% of what apples first Iphone cost with inflation, or about 46% of a 64 gig iphone 6).... There will be court battles, followed by some random "luck" where the US finds spyware on there that China has inserted, and soon we'll not be able to buy them at all. The company will close doors and everyone will walk away happy.

Us (having the phones)

Them (Having paid themselves good money probably!)

Apple (Competition is bad)

Us Politicians (We stopped them there China folk from stealing our American Jobs)..

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EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

MR J

Re: EE - the nPower of the communications world - can't make an app to track mobile data usage

I have found the CS a mixed bag.

It can take you 2-3 days to get through to some one (Literally!), but 9 out of 10 times once you get there they are useless. The other 1 out of 10 times the staff member really seems to care and go above and beyond what is required.

But I think your correct, If this box is broken, there is no way customers will get any support for it at all.

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MR J

So say it is a 2 year long contract.

£240

Did your XBMC box cost less than that to build, and is it a lowish power device?

I am not saying the box is a great solution, just that the price when compared is not bad!

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MR J

If it's a 12 month contract then this is still a good deal.

The box doesn't sound that bad, the BT boxes have a retail price of >£200, and a Ebay price of >£90

So 12 months @ £10 a month for a quad tuner box with catch up, possibly Netflix and Amazon (It would ideally need one or both services to be a Great box) means you could have it for £120.. That's not bad.

Would I go for this deal, £10 a month for 12 then no doubt. £10 a month for 18m, perhaps (If I get a little something extra)... £10 a month for 24, No way!...

The extra data on EE does also seem nice, but I have stuck with 3g (T-Mobile) because their "Unlimited" data works out at like £3 a month, FAR slower than EE, but wow so cheap!

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Protesters stop ground breaking on world's largest telescope

MR J

Re: Wow Ten times further

Largest Earth-Based = Largest on Earth. He mentions nothing about space.

It means what it says on the tin.

Europe has a larger one planned (that will not be in Europe).

What it does see will be up to 12 times the current resolution of Hubble. You might not call that further or farther, but now you will be able to make out things that you previously couldn't, so yes you can "see" something that is a bit more out there.

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Top 10 SSDs: Price, performance and capacity

MR J

What bugs me is that these are not standard options in Laptops...

As for "Reliable"... Well, those crap OCZ drives, they are outlasting the new Seagate Momentus drives I have. I have a faulty one here with about 250 hours of usage. It is just over a year old. My first OCZ SSD, Still not-ticking away just fine. In total I had 4 of them and none (to this date) have given me any issues.. So 2011 SSDs good, 2013 HDDs bad.

I do wish the cost per gig would ramp down faster, but it is not bad.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

MR J

Does it matter?

I ripped about 150 of my CDs to FLAC.

The way I view it is this. Each album is 450 meg and £200 will get you a 6tb drive. So IF I had 13,300 albums, then I could fill up the drive and worry about picking MP3 over FLAC..

As it stands now, they are there and they can easily be compressed to go on the "to go" gear, but I know that the "source" CD is still there for me to go back to if I ever want it.

And no, a really high end mp3 rip vs FLAC to me - I cant tell a difference. I have paid for the CD, so I'll stick with that quality, even if I cant see it.. If the top speed limit is 70, why buy a car that can go 230?..

What I think is criminal is that "audio" publishers still try to push out lowered quality crap in the hopes that we might buy higher quality crap... It's a bit like some "BD Samples" that used to be on DVD, they were better than the movie. It is shameful.

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UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'

MR J

Re: Which safeguards of RIPA is he referring to?

Uh....

What USA are you from?..

The one I am from just makes a blanket order to cover "Terror'ish't" suspects.

Your a suspect if your skin is too dark, if your skin is too light, if you speak another language, if you have ever flown to another country, used email, facebook, twitter, myspace, instant messaging apps, made phone calls.

I think what the UK is asking for is to retain METADATA (as the US would put it)... If you think that the government servers that store all of that data keeps it locked up until a specific court order appears then your a fool.

The only get-out-jail clause is when your accused of a crime and illegal evidence is used against you, you can have it thrown out plus whatever direct discover has happened because of it. If your up for "terrorism" charges then even illegal data can be used.

Hook me up with this "Democracy" your talking about, I have no knowledge of any existing on this planet.

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BOOM BOOM: Dixons fires the human cannon

MR J

DSG Staff putting two and two together....

From what I know of them that's probably taken a strain on them mentally...

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

MR J

Re: It's looking more and more...

Actually your wong, these type of projects usually harm the poorer nations as the funding ends up coming with strict terms from Europe and USA. These debts are so costly that they never end up getting repaid, think pay-day lenders or legal loan sharks.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZsqK-9Kon0UJ:patagoniasenzadighe.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Financing-of-HidroAys%25C3%25A9n-IR-080919-PROFUNDO1.doc+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Personally speaking... I don't think these projects are that good for the consumer, they are not good for the local ecosystems, and they are not good for the governments deploying them. The big winner is huge Euro/American firms.

If this was government infrastructure then I would likely support it, despite the huge amount of damage that these Hydro projects can do.

Probably the bigger (short term) loss here was the fact that a big provider was moving to HVDC, something that we haven't seen done enough for the world to move to it yet.

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Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer

MR J

As someone with a BADA Phone I can tell you that adopters of this will end up with nothing but large televisions, phones, and tablets.

I have Equipment from Sony, Philips, Pace, and Samsung and it is all the same. Once the "12 month" warranty is over there are usually no updates even when the hardware can cope with things just fine. None of them will release the source for any of the dead products either.

The only choice consumers have are to follow the sheep (Buy new every year) or use bulky PCs (not doable for the phone)..

As said, Unless it is able to support Google or Apple apps then it will just wither and die. Partially because developers will not develop, but also because (just like Bada) we will not see the OS updated.

I am going to look for the Logo, so I know what not to buy.

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Bill Gates is BACK... as CHIEF RICH human of PLANET EARTH

MR J

Re: @Mikel

He gave away 11% of his increase.

This year our household value went up by -0.77%, or about a $600 drop

So I am more than willing to give away -$66 (11%) this year to as many people as there are out there who want it!...

I would love to see all "Corporations" Liquidated, but that doesn't make the people who earn the most off of them bad people, and it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be able to get paid for their Monopolistic Behaviour and Corrupt Government dealings.

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Tizen devices are HERE.... Hello, Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches

MR J

Tizen could be Bada for users.

Seeing how Sammy left Bada users out to dry then I doubt anyone who purchased those "open" phones before will dare get anything Tizen.

I am sure it will be great at launch, but if they don't have millions of users dumping hundreds of millions into the pot then we'll see them abandon it (like Bada) and users will be hung out to dry.

Most of the tech sites seem to love the idea of Tizen, it is just regurgitated press releases from Sammy.

If the OS was 100% open, OR, if Abandonware like Bada (And Tizen in 2-3 years time) was made public then I would support it.

If Tizen is 100% open, then great... I doubt it will be. I doubt that you will be able to compile your own Tizen build for your TizDevices. Hopefully Sammy will prove me wrong.

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Top Brit docs wade into GP data grab row, demand 'urgent' NHS England talks

MR J

Never Received

I had been expecting this so kept waiting, It has not come through my post box. I asked and no one on my street has had it. Granted, due to cuts in the postal service last year we only get a postman about twice a week now and it is rarely the same person, so my guess is that these "inserts" are still sitting at the post office.

Last year I got a letter that was 13 months old, they had found hundreds of bags of stolen mail but were afraid to tell people about it, so the majority of it is STILL sitting in my local postal depot!.

They should OPT everyone OUT, and then send out the leaflets to let people Opt IN...

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Samsung leaps out of volume PC game as UK market crashes

MR J

I think the biggest reason for the slowdown in growth (or negative growth) is due to the fact that hardware and software don't seem to improve at the rate that they did in the past.

We went from a overall speed doubling twice a year down to two year cycles, and now we are down to 4-5 year cycles. The performance per watt value keeps increasing, but for many users this isn't going to be a huge deal. 100w to 75w was a great jump, 12w to 9w is the same improvement, but it doesn't really shout out wow!.

Most people I know who have laptops are more than happy with them. If you have a c2duo mobile laptop from 2007 then it is probably still chugging along just fine.

I expect phones to hit this limit soon, as it is games on phones are currently looking pretty good (read, near console quality). We will see consumers slow down once the hardware increases seem to do less.

I don't think the platform is dead, it may move to a easier to use modular system one day, but I expect it to survive for a while yet. Throw in a £300 video card in a 5 year old computer and you have ps4 quality gaming, this will keep some users attached for a while. Would I much rather dump my box for a phone that talks to input devices, speakers, and monitor all wirelessly, damn straight... Do I think a phone is going to be "good" at that anytime soon, No.

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How many keys can one keyboard have? Do I hear 200? 300? More?

MR J

Kickstarter is just the new tool to get fools to part with their money.

Nearly $190k to build some keyboards, pfft..

I am sure the cost producing this is so low that if they could sell just one, it would be worth it, so asking others to stump up $190k is a bit overkill. he also seems to imply that he has a lot of staff, but it is just something that a user could make for hackaday for a bit of a laugh.

This sort of project might be good, but it's small enough and simple enough that it shouldn't need people to "kick fund" it.

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UK IT supplier placed on ASA naughty step over 'misleading' HDD ad

MR J

Re: 2nd hand

Probably hammered for a few days.

5 years of bearing wear is a lot, even in a HDD.

By the way, would you like to buy a nearly-new 2000 Honda Civic?... Bluebook is probably £400, but as It was £11k new I'll sell it to you for £5k.

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Smog-hit Beijing shows sunsets on a giant TV to remind people what the sun looks like

MR J

Re: Hang Onto Your Hats

I am not sure if you two are trying to be Ironic or what.

Blaming China for Americas ills, because China sends out more pollution...

Keep in mind that things like Start-Stop, Hybrid, Compact, and All EV vehicles have been shunned by the US, so the largest market has dictated what was out there. Clean Coal and Clean Gas can both also be considered one of those blocked technologies by the US that has happily been passed on to the rest of the world.

China air pollution is 27% higher than in the USA (per cap), The USA carbon output is 284% higher than China (per cap)..

Keep in mind how much "American" product is made in China and then try to decide who the blame should really sit on.

Yes, they should combat the issue.

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Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

MR J

Re: Retro, Meh

DAB is not cutting edge :/...

They make them look like old AM sets because the quality is on par with old AM sets.

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China's 'Airpocalypse' forces pilots to learn BLIND landings in smog

MR J

Ford is going to help, they are targeting china for the new Mustang!

That EcoCar should help everyone.

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JESUS battery HEALS itself - might make electric cars more practical

MR J

So a phone, 500 charge cycles.

That means it'll be good for 2-3 years?... Where is the benefit here supposed to be, we go from 2-3 years of usage to ... err ... 2-3 years of usage..

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Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

MR J

Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

Energy Cost go up 11%.

Many foods go up 5% or more.

In some parts of the UK house prices have DOUBLED over the past year.

"Inflation" in designed in such a way that it often ignores some of the high ticket items.

Fuel/Energy accounts for about 4% of inflations value, yet it consumes between 10% and 20% of peoples take home pay.

Don't trust RPI/CPI... BT is putting in a similar increase at the same time as VM, in fact, BT's announcement came first and then VM's followed afterwards.

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Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

MR J

"Take SSE, simply because they are a UK listed company...(snip)...Their return on assets last year was a miserable 2.4%. My building society are getting that on my mortgage. Where's the huge margins?"

They build them away, as any good listed does.

The idea is to never make a huge profit, It is to build the money away in other projects that see those sub companies make huge returns, then people look at SSE and say "oh, they are not sticking us over"...

I knew a pipeline company that was owned by the compression station that was owned by the well company that was owned by the huge international petrochemical company, and that pipeline was leased out to another company that leased it back.. When it was all said and done one petrochem company owned it all, but there was a huge trail. By the time customers were due to receive royalties on their natural gas wells (some of the best in North America) there was no money left, it all went to pipeline leasing. They were taken to court and told to "lower" their cost to something reasonable, but This is how they all operate.

Let us also not forget "Regarding Green Stuff" that these same resellers/owners/providers were part of the reason the schemes started getting deployed like crazy. They all ran SolarPV schemes where they were going to get the most benefit, you didn't hear them objecting while they were doing installing or applying for subsidies. I have known people who work in this industry "regulatory capacity" who have been saying for a few years now that it's all about to fail again.. They have been slamming Renewables from the start. How many years now have a lot of these plants had the ability to build carbon capture into their existing infrastructure and not done it?...

I know that in a couple of states in the USA they are complaining over something similar, it has to do with mercury toxicity... They say they cant operate with the harsh restrictions that are trying to lower mercury levels, the people of those areas know they cant eat more than 3 fish a month so the law is just a big pain in the ass, they will never be able to provide the customer with something good without putting prices up through the roof...

It doesn't matter how much profit any of these companies make, It doesn't matter how sweet they have it. They will, like a child, never be happy with what they have or how they need to give it out.

On a side note, in the UK You could build a battery backup system for your whole home, move to a economy 7 tariff and (after cost) save a few quid a year, plus unless that rolling blackout last over about 12 hours you would be okay :)..

Second Side Note, I think the Inq has Solar Panels....

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UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

MR J

Yess

Along with the property I own in the US and get 20-25% royalties on I can now get some royalties in the UK and spend those to help stimulate the UK economy. Wait, Oh, No, Your right, In the UK the people do not own the mineral rights.

And they are planning on giving 1% of the "profits" back to local communities, YEA, Anyone who has dealt with this before knows that you take 1% of the sourced product value and NOT the "profit", the reason is that the oil giants tend to set up sub companies that own the pipeline, refining, and pumping networks that tend to eat up virtually all of the "profit" between the well and the cash out points.

The only upshot is that some of those common £30-£35 an hour jobs might come to the UK, my guess is that they'll push through for values a lot lower than that, but who knows.

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Virgin Media revs up for Liberty Global merger

MR J

Re: Could be good

The upgrades are not fully done, most areas are.

Also, there is a lot of Non-DS3 equipment in customer homes. VM put up a notice on the accounts page and once people read it then DS3 equipment is sent out for self-install. Some customers will not get the notice nor be able to self install until they speak to accounts as (for some unknown reason) old accounts can not be "autmagically" upgraded.

There are still customers out there who were not upgraded from the 2010/2011 upgrade cycle, I have requested an update on that and been told that they are not sure what areas are yet to be completed!

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Council IT bod in the dock for flogging scrap work PC parts

MR J

Lurking at dump

Actually, I had the staff come out and argue with me at one place. My dyson had a part that broke, and when I took some stuff up a guy opened up his boot and there was the same model as mine, his was broken in a different way. Great I thought, I asked him if I could have it and he said sure, so he sat it down for me and when I was done unloading my car I put it into the back of mine. Several staff ran out and told me either I take it out or they would call the police, that products taken there belong to the council and no one is allowed to pick up anything that is on site.

Sometimes these things are crazy.

There was a compaq repair center near where I worked, and I had 3 pc's from their garbage skip once, but I found out later that they had someone arrested for taking parts out of the skip (it was not for recycling either).

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Apple loses 'Most Valuable Company' honor to ExxonMobil

MR J

Re: Peak

Actually, I think the RISC/PowerPC processors used were much better at graphics during the early pentium era. Some people still like apple publishing software because buying it can be a lot easier. Buy one package and get nearly all of it, some of the x86 software is still sold as basic+packages, and it gets really expensive.

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Chinese boffins crack cloaking tech for camouflage

MR J

Wow, I really didnt see this one happening......

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Time Warner Cable to Netflix: We want your 3D films, not your network

MR J

While I cant see the logic in saying no.

I think "Forcing" this is a horrible idea. What about the small carriers out there, If you have only a few hundred customers does that mean that you cant use Netflix HD?... This really pushes Big content back to the Big Content providers.

Sure, Open it up, but dont force it.

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Linksys vuln: Cisco responds

MR J

Re: "the vulnerability only exists in the WRT54GL home router"

i dont think the GL was the most popular. The WRT54G series (No L or GS) were probably the most popular as a series. Only a couple of versions cant run 3rd party firmware, but the firmware is limited. Adding a USB port or other storage device to them of course extended this.

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Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

MR J

Re: Volunteering for the unknown

So you had triple layer nat, running game servers on the back layer, and NO forwarding/DMZ rules were set up on any of the three layers.

SURE YA DID.....

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BT in ad slapdown after 'misleading' punters on fibre deployment dates

MR J

Next to VM

I guess those users who still havent had their "Free" Upload increase from virgin media's 2009-2010 rollout could make a little complaint?..

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US nuke lab drops Chinese networking kit

MR J

It's not about China, It's about the Lobby

This is just a move to get "donor supported" gear into gov locations.

I am sure if IBM was to buy Huawei that they would turn around and quickly deem it all to be safe.

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Steve Jobs' Apple yacht freed after family settles the bill

MR J

Re: Typical Jobsian Design

Sure it underwent sea trials, but they were using Apple Maps and when they went 100 naut miles out it was really only 7 ;P...

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2012: The year that netbooks DIED

MR J

Old I Are

Perhaps it is just an age thing.

But to me Netbooks and Ultrabooks are just odd names for Laptops.

Back in the day we could save money by getting Cheap underpowered Laptops, or big expensive gaming Laptops. Then someone decided to give those products specific names. Some Laptops are better than "Ultrabooks" and some "Netbooks" are better than Laptops. I think it was all just a marketing ploy. Now that they sold enough "Netbooks" they tell the world they are out of style and users now need to buy "Ultrabooks" instead.

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Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

MR J

Nail on the Head..

I think this story got my view straight across ;)..

What I want is something that cost 30% that of traditional storage, allows me to "mount" it like a drive on my network, and have it include high level encryption out of the gate.

Why 30%?.. Because I want at least 3 seperate cloud units running at one time, with sync software running that will make them appear all as one logical unit.

Until We get to that point I am more than happy to keep my lib's stored on multiple PC/Drives.

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Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

MR J

http://www.simplicitycomputers.co.uk/ was started in late2008 (I think) and made "elder" type OS solutions the key part of the project. This is built on top of MintLinux but it could have been built (with more work, and a valid Microsoft Product Key) on top of XP/2k or perhaps even Vista/w7/w8. Most of the guys I know who did overlay utilitys have moved from windows to avoid some of the harsh restrictions.

I think there is a place for Microsoft to keep making OS's, Personally I see no glaring problems with the things they make. A lot of the problems people are complaining about are UI or Non-Working hardware.

Non-Working hardware tends to just be down to lax driver support, and in recent years it has gotten a LOT better. I am sure a top of the line BD burner or the newest 11ac network cards migh thave issues, but they will have those issues in Windows too! Once every MFGR starts releasing drivers for their hardware to fit multiple platforms then that will not be a problem. In fact, I have seen some AppleOnly hardware work in Linux based PC's because that community can sometimes get drivers working.

The UI problems are simply down to the fact that users are so stuck on using one configuration that they really struggle when they move to something else. You can take someone from a car they have driven for 10 years and put them in a different MFGR's car and have the same sorts of complaints. A lot of people want it to look and feel just like Windows. Look at the move from windows7 to windows8 Touch Mode, people are up in arms about it. With the dominance MS gets out there this wll be pushed to millions of users who think they have no other choice (GNU, Linux, OpenSource, whatever) and they will adapt. Those users will then look at Windows7 and laugh at how crapy it is, they will also look at the GNU offerings and say how crappy those are.

Ubuntu has recently came under fire from Stallman for some of the same reasons that W8 is currently under fire. Keep in mind that there are times when Apple and Microsoft have not been on the bad end of the stick from the GNU crowd.

Locking down hardware and software is just the way it is, If you can force your userbase to rotate every 4 years then that's a lot of income. 7 billion people who buy a new os every 4 years, a lot of potential there.

I am not pro or anti MS, the are just another global corp who will do what it takes to win, even if that is not legal or ethical. The GNU crowd wants a "free" society where users are not put under huge restrictions and requirements, It is a nobel goal.

It is not just software that has the ills that GNU / MS / APPLE fight about.

I have a set top box more powerful than any roku box. It is hardware-locked by the vendor so I cant update it to support things like Netflix, games, or proper network streaming. It is Abandoned by the MFGR (Pace) and they released newer (low spec) hardware that has more bells and whistles. In the world of FSF/GNU My hardware would be good for another 10 years.

Try putting windows7 on a 486 JUST so you can have the latest microsoft browser JUST so you can view web pages. Try ripping your whole CD collection using Windows Media Player with the DRM option enabled and then buy a new PC ;P....

If you cant see the problems at that point then you truely have your eyes closed.

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END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH: TalkTalk no longer worst ISP in UK

MR J

My Experience

I once had emails getting rejected from TT's servers. They were open to listening and searching for this fault from their end. The "recovery" options they have for passwords and account details is great. I have found that when they say "we will call you back" they actually mean it.

I can only directly compare them (who I deal with) against virgin media cable (who I deal with) and can tell you that as a "customer" TT tend to be a lot better. When you go through nearly 20 staff members (all second level tech) at VM before you find one who understands how a modem works then you begin to feel like your fighting a battle that cant be won.

What I have found is that TT will not give you kickbacks like VM... I received nearly 3 months free once on VM when trying to get things fixed, but when there is a problem with TT they just want you to wait it out. I guess the other problem is that when there is a line fault they are reluctant to call out the BT team to fix it, so perhaps because I have not had a "major" fault on the BT side is why my TT experience is good.

I have not dealt with the other providers (with the exception of the odd call to BT).

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Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?

MR J

Re: An engineers view

This Is the idea I just posted (ish)..

PLC Ladder Logic (well, a lot of it doesn't use that now) can really get the mind working and is a simple form for programming. The fact that you only need to teach a child 3 or 4 main componets for them to have a working "program" is great too. I think this is where we should focus (on the younger children) to teach them the basic understanding that goes behind something that runs through sequences. A lot of programmers or backyard coders would say no, but the truth is that simple and robust is the way foward. I dont think the Pi is in the Sky, but I dont think it is a great first step for the masses at a young age.

If users cant see how PLC programs are similar to coding in popular languages then it is probably because they have never actually worked with complicated PLC programs. That said, Highly complicated programs on a PLC can often be done much easier in a modern language, but I would rather my children learn to ride the Bycycle before getting a Kawasaki Superbike to practice on....

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MR J

Logic

I think we need to go back to "Basic" coding, and perhaps even coding before that.

Flow Charts, Ladder Logic, and simple "Basic" programming is all that the children need. The lack of logical understanding is what hurts the most. There is a joy when you write your first program and the class watches as your whatever does whatever it was designed to do (In my day we had to type it all out and it took time).. When it was all said and done, the class of 30'odd that I was in had about 2 people who were highly computer litterate, and a 3rd who went to university to become a programmer "He's yet to write any successful work, but that's another story of my dissapointment of the tech sector"...

Teach children Logic, Perhaps even use electronic logic boards. Children may not see the fancy screen, but their understanding of the relationship between all variables is a lot better, plus it is much easier for them to use!.

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German city dumping OpenOffice for Microsoft

MR J

Re: Even the folks LibreOffice agree

LibreOffice can save as PDF, so I am not sure what your saying. Unless Microsoft Office has c hanged recently I don't think it can?

While PDF is not quite "GNU" style Free, It is widely supported on Phones, Tablets, All forms of PC, Even my TV can support PDF Viewing. I suggest to everyone I see to publish as PDF. It also makes tampering with documents a little bit of a pain for those with no real computer skills.

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MR J

My kids school puts papers online that have been generated in Microsoft Publisher....

The biggest issue is that everyone wants a "Microsoft Office" interface, they cant cope with options being slightly different for the same result in the end. So far both schools my kids have gone to have included "IT" classes that teach computer skills.. These skills are "How to use Microsoft Office" and "How to use Internet Explorer"..

My schools IT system (for the office) uses a mix of Office 97, Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2010, If they were to make the move to a "free" Office then at least they could update and not use software that is 10+ years old. If your staff are too dumb to be able to use OO/LibreOffice/ApacheOffice then should they really be doing all the backend work for a buisness?

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Sony KD-84X9005 84in ultra-HD TV review

MR J

The fact that is it Sony and all "firmware" updates for it will cease on the day you buy it makes this a -100% item for me.

Nothing like buying a TV from sony, getting it home and finding out that the default firmware will be the last release!

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Uh-oh! Kim Dotcom is back with a brand new Megaupload site

MR J

Re: Nice, but ...

Not if the user system is doing the encryption/decryption. To have this done on the net provider side would be costly and cpu intensive.

Most of us no longer use 486's to do sthuff on the interwibbles.

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