* Posts by MR J

91 posts • joined 22 Sep 2012

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Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...

MR J

The local news station where I am from (NW Louisiana) ran deep investigation pieces on how this "Chip and Pin" thing was dangerous and put the customers at huge risk of data theft.

They stated that People were getting phishing calls asking for their SS Number, Name, Address, Mothers Maiden name, Birth information, Phone number, and Bank account details so their new "Pin Card" could be configured correctly. They urged customers to get in touch with their banks and demand that these new cards not be issued due to the ease of data theft.

I have lived in the UK since these cards were introduced, the US is nearly 15 years (15 YEARS!) behind the rest of the world in getting this adopted. That's one reason why we still have to suffer with Mag Strip fraud. We have needed that on there just in case we go to 3rd world places that don't have chip and pin.

I have a "pin device" at home that works with my cards, while it is a hassle sometimes to use I do look forward to the day that banks set it up so I can use the card for online verification of regular purchases, perhaps similar (in rules) to the contactless payment we have in the UK.

US Consumers as a whole are simply never told the truth on these things in such a way to make the migration easy. If this was some investment scam (Bank savings) or drug dealer (Pharmaceutical breakthrough) there would be 85 adverts on television every hour for them. Without even looking on American TV stations I can guess that there have been less than 1 consumer focused commercial explaining that "Chip and Pin" were being introduced.

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Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

MR J

IANAL either, but....

shooting a gun

TO

cause death or injury to random people

intentionally access or cause access to be made to an electronic system of a motor vehicle

TO

willfully destroy, damage, impair, alter or gain unauthorized control of the motor vehicle

Shooting a gun is not illegal (in most of the US). So it looks to me like they are stating that the owner needs to grant permission and that makes it legal? I guess part of it depends on how you read English, as the Impair, Damage, or Willfully Destroy bit doesn't say authorized or unauthorized. Perhaps it should be written clearer, but to me this looks like a storm in a teapot.

The big problem here is that firmware updates couldn't be done without express written permission, and any other modifications that might accidentally open up the BUS could fall foul of this law. Think a Bluetooth OBDII connector.

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E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

MR J

Ever seen a old person give one to a kid to play with?... I have..

"Just puff on this part, and this neat blue light comes on at the end, no no it is not harmless, it is just vapor"...

All it is at the moment is legal drug delivery. On top of that, the legal drug getting used really doesn't do that much too us older folk... It's like drinking 1% alk with the hopes of getting drunk in under an hour.

I personally don't like them, but if people are using them to stop smoking then I think that's great. What I see more of is people using them in places they cant smoke just so they can cope until they get to a doorway to light up. All we are doing is keeping people who are addicted to something, addicted to something, but if health can benefit globally then we shouldn't frown upon it.

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Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom

MR J

Phones, or Apps?

The Article says 66% to "Phones" with Apps and other stuff making up what remains.

But I dare say part of this is down to App revinue. Not just the profit from the AppStore itself, but also from people getting new phones just so they could run the Apps they felt they wanted or needed.

Fast forward to now, What new and crazy app has came out that really requires updating your phone hardware?

We have Chickens and Eggs now. No big reason to get new Eggs or Chikens.

It reminds me of the PC Market. There was a time when you felt it was a requirement to update every year, then every two years, it moved to four years, and now something that's six years old feels more than ample enough. Phones have in many ways hit this mark now, unless there is some sort of really spectacular addition to them then demand is not going to rocket.

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Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

MR J

My dog cant play with Sticks.

Sticks are dangerous to dogs, as they may get splinters.

To me this is up there along the same area. It is horrible to hear that someone has died by walking in front of a tram/train/car... The fix for them doing that is to just keep adding external factors to the environment to hope you can give someone notice? What will we see next, a "Google Walking" app that will say "Warning, you are approaching a cliff, Do an emergency stop and make a U-Turn".

The film Idiocracy comes to mind with the way many rules are put into place in Europe. I see poorly designed junctions and crossings that are in desperate need of updating, but instead we will look to pour money into zones where people just don't know the basic rules.

http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/media/stop-look-listen/

On a side note I have nearly hit 3 kids where I live, one of those has been hit twice by other people lol... She is now in her late teens and driving, but never did that girl learn to look before walking across a street. At least with cars children can sometimes get a second chance, or third. The speed limit in my area is now 20mph to help reduce injury to people who are not smart enough to look before crossing.

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Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

MR J

Re: Irresponsible

These balloons probably cost $1-$2k, LEO sats are expensive, and they move at 17k mph. Tracking a new sat every 15 mins might not work reliably well with cheap home equipment either.

The Oil and Gas industry has been using balloon based net for years, I honestly cant see what is wrong with it. Google is just trying to build on this method, and I think it is good.

To those who complain about the Hydrogen used... Imagine all of the towers, electrical wire, fibre, man-hours worth of construction, and maintenance that would be needed to get this out there using typical infrastructure, I am sure the "energy" and material savings easily allow you produce that Hydrogen without blinking an eye.

Would I love 2,500 LEO sats out there providing global coverage, yea. I would prefer research to go into things like launch loops, space elevators, or orbital rings. While the earth wouldn't be good for a Orbital Ring, If space elevator tech could be pushed forward then you wouldn't need many of them to act as large towers to hold tens of thousands of communication units.

My mother live in America, she cant get broadband, there is no cell coverage, and the local phone company charges a fee for "Data" calls, guessing that the compression cards they use cant cope so you pay that bit extra to make sure your routed down a line that has good cards on both ends. When I imagine how the area where my mother lives has to deal with the Internet then I really hate to think of how people in developing parts of the world can deal with net issues. So let the balloons fly!... Hopefully they will release some in the Southern US!.

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URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

MR J

I got banned from a MMORPG after one of the players tried scamming me...

He used a URL shortening service to post "proof" of what he had.. Thing is that he used the same account on that service for his primary game account, scamming account, and his University account!.. So all of his coursework and thesis papers were published against his personal stuff. Cyber Security major who was nearing the end.

I have also seen business use these services to link content that they are not wanting to publish on their website yet, but want it to be on their servers.

While neither are directly related to the research, it shows to me that not enough thought goes into these services at all from either end. Having 10 or 20 characters in a shortened reference wouldn't be good... The idea of making it "Short" is so it is not that long. I think it was a solution chasing a problem that would fit. The only upshot I guess is that you can collect stat data from a click through.

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Big telco proxies go full crazy over cable box plan

MR J

Re: Trying to relate this to the UK

I don't think you can compare them directly like that.

My mother has DirectTV and the last box she had went out, they replaced it with one that was much older. Neither box she has had a HDMI port - Those (in her area at least) cost extra, and they retain ownership of the box, plus some things cost extra to turn on. They say they will "sell" equipment to you, but a DVB-S receiver that cost 5 times the retail cost of a similar box just makes it not worth while.

In essence, customers are paying way over the odds for equipment that is generally crap.

In the UK these cost are built in to Virgin and Sky packages. The hardware on Sky becomes yours and customers can buy and transfer used hardware if it's out of contract (your cost do not go down). Virgin Media retain ownership all of the time and will never activate used boxes. YouView boxes are mixed between closed systems and open systems, but they are more along the lines of what the FCC wants in the US.

You can get 3rd party sky receivers (or could, not checked in the last couple of years), but the card does not update encryption details, so you need to keep your registered receiver to update the viewing card.

The problem that caused a lot of this was that customers cloned equipment so they had to find a way to secure what they had. That is, Customers pushed providers into locking down these ecosystems. This is one reason why Virgin Media was originally skipped in Ireland, one person on the street paid for broadband and TV, but every home had it ;P... NTL used to allow you to have your own modems too (and enjoy a discount!), but again the cloning is what made them push for a closed system.

If the FCC can dictate that the hardware will follow a standard AND be secure for the providers (no clone hardware!) then I think that would be great. I am not sure they will go down this path far enough for it to be a success.

The USA has plenty of FTA content on SAT for customers to have but you will probably find that a lot of people either lack the knowledge or the time to research and go down such a path.

I see nothing wrong with hardware "Rental/Leasing" and the closed ecosystem. The problem is that it is used as a price gouging tool. When a new "Retail" modem cost $70, and you are forced to buy one from your provider for $10 install + $10 month / 24 month minimum then customers should be mad. Two months of rental pays for hardware, but when it is crap then you can spend months on the phone line getting them to send out a replacement.

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US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

MR J

Re: A Kick in the Nuts

You could take the clone bit up a level as well.

If you were able to fully clone the hardware to multiple devices then the brute force time starts going down fairly fast.

So a 4 digit pin would take less than 5 days, a 4 digit pin over 10 devices could be done during one night sleep.

There were some brute force iPhone hacks in the past that would instantly reboot the phone if the password was wrong, bypassing the incorrect guess limit.

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Govt: Citizens, we know you want 10Mbps. This is the last broadband scheme for that

MR J

"Not sure where you are getting the £3500 subsidy from? If BT say it will cost £15,000 it will cost £15,000."

Perhaps off topic slightly.

I had something installed about 18 months ago for "Free", mostly paid for by a Gov Grant. The price for the item was I think £900 + (extras) out of my pocket, the Grant changed about a month later to be a max of £650 instead of £900 and the installer changed the price down to £650+(extras). The last I heard was that the max has been reduced again down to £500 and now they charge some on top, but other installers are doing it for "free" with said grant/subsidy.

I am sure OpenReach does the same type of thing for all subsidy based installs. Find a way to make the numbers go as high as the creative accounting can take it.

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Met plod commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

MR J

The problem with card theft is that we still have the Mag Stripe. Once that gets removed then a lot of fraud will stop.

My local Halfords STILL to this day require Chip&Pin PLUS a swipe so they can get the magstrip data. I now take cash with me when/if I need to buy something from them.

Online Transactions are also getting much more secure, not great, but much better.

I think the biggest amount of theft comes from foreign banks letting the cards run though their ATM's and really empty the system.

I would LOVE to see "Foreign" withdrawal/purchases blocked by default, and like to see the ability for you to add a limit on them or even perhaps specify only a group of countries that you will allow your card to be used at.

Many years ago I made a online order via Dabs (When it was worth using) and my CC company though that a £1,200 order seemed a bit excessive.. So my bank locked ALL of my cards.. I pulled up to the Shell Station, filled my tank, and found 3 of my cards all not working, it took about an hour to sort things out. Sometimes they reach too far, other times they don't reach for enough.

The ATM should start face scanning the people using the cards. Have 6 people used the same card this week - yea?, somethings wrong flag it. There is a lot they can do, but until losses exceed the cost of implementation then don't expect any changes.

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Don't – don't – install iOS 9.3 on your iPad 2: Upgrade bricks slabs

MR J

My phone got the Marshmallow upgrade yesterday.

It reset the phone, installed the upgrade, and backed up the settings from the cloud.

I had a iPhone once that wouldn't clear the registration process, it turned out that it was the ISP mashing up the activation process. So perhaps all of the issues here at the moment are just a matter of service load (apple), isp, or carrier issue?

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French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks

MR J

HOSTS files are the way to go.

Until late last year I had all ads blocked on YouTube too.

Watching YouTube with the adverts really seems shocking to me when I use a computer that is not mine.

There have been a few sites that I frequent where they now say something along the lines of, "Thank you for visiting, you will make me no money, but I do not want you to go away"... That works much better than the pestering adverts you see these days.

Long gone are the days of selling a product that consumers want because of quality.

These days it is about selling a product that you can make Facebook or Twitter users "think" is worth while.

Save $0.0001 on a cheaper capacitor just so you can add that money back to the advertisting budget, who cares if it dies in 5 years instead of 12... The customer will only have it 9 months before we start pushing them to the new replacement.

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Boffins find a way to put your facial expression on Donald Trump's mug

MR J

So does this mean that they can pay Actors like Will Smith $5 million for his "Likeness" in men in black 7, or does it mean that he'll now earn $60 million a year as he can do 3-4 movies all at once without actually being there.

Hmmm...

As this software gets better over time then TV Interviews could get interesting... Imagine someone else hijacking a video stream...

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'Hot Tech Talent' IT job board ads caught up in sexism allegations

MR J

Re: Where did I see that thing this weekend?

Are you sure the pay was not bad in the 60's because it was built by women?

I would have thought the sheer lack of global sales would have something to do with it.

From my limited knowledge of those years, I don't think there was many people getting paid well until at least the early 80's.

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Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

MR J

They need to change the way these things work.

The phone provider should carry some form of burden I think. These guys use VoIP providers and change ownership or fold the company really fast to avoid these fines. Laws should be changed. If a phone provider can see millions of calls going through that last for only seconds, then they should flag it. Perhaps there should be some form of retainer fee put in place before a business like this can be allowed to make so many phone calls.

I would like to see the penalty go up, and see some compensation go back to the customers who receive such calls. The company should have all owners/directors put on a list stating that if they open another business that does this then they would see criminal prosecution.

The "Green" industry is the same in the UK. So many of them start up and fold within weeks... But if you want to get the "Deal" that the gov is offering you are forced to pick someone off of the list. It is just the way the UK works. It is just like when all the Quango's were "axed"... Many did not go away, they just changed so that profit went back to private hands instead of the Gov...

Perhaps we can do away with the ICO and find a few more people with Wheelchairs that some money can be taken away from.

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The paperless office? Don’t talk sheet

MR J

I applied for some stuff at the US Embassy a few years ago. They have gone "paperless"...

They managed that by forcing me to print everything out and bring it in!... I probably used about 100 pages (most had full color, as color coded paper, err, scans? are how they sort things).

What was funny was that they couldn't use the documents I brought in for everything. So after scanning them they printed them out, I took them to another window who then scanned them and they told me to discard the paperwork.

Most wasteful thing ever.

Airline Tickets have gone paperless too... I find that about half the time I need to "print" my paperless ticket, and then you find out that the other airports don't support the type of paper you use so it has to be printed again. One year I had a single ticket printed about 5 times. For paperless travel. It was funny because when you finally go to get on the plane they don't take it off of you because they are now paperless!...

I liken it to the fact that my Asda has the odd 80-90% sale on things that are big, bulky, and expensive to dispose of. They call it a "Sale", I call it moving the trash to the customers home where they don't need to deal with it.

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Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

MR J

de ja voodoo

I had this happen a long time ago (during the migration to google IIRC). The forums were full of users like me who were seeing spam mail appear in the "Sent" box, sent to emails of those in my/their inbox, sent box, and website address book. They could show me that no one had logged in during the times the mails were sent, but sadly they said it must have been me and I must have been compromised. I used a random generated password (letters and numbers) that was 11 digits long, everything was IMAP/SSL.. It was my primary email attached to my web account too, so it could have reset passwords to about 20 other email addresses but nothing was ever touched... No password resets for Ebay, Paypal, or anything like that was ever sent either...

Lots of people complained, WG said they could find nothing showing it was them, but I am convinced there was some sort of non-login exploit used.

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Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

MR J

This is just so wrong.

I hope that they make sure no more toothpaste or antibiotics can be shipped into the country until this finally stops.

Why cant they be like the USA and just launch things like the X-37 to test how ketchup reacts in high orbit low gravity situations?.

Those North Koreans are so bad.

I bet they will be the first country in the world to ever use any form of atomic weapon. Those evil people need to be punished.

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It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

MR J

Re: Take down all road signs...

That's completely not what this story is about.

Think of it this way. You install a safe in your home, hidden under the floor in the bathroom. When someone does break into your home they go straight to that safe, it turns out the safe company publishes information about where people purchase their safes and where they are put.

This is not about directions to the known, it is about directions to the unknown.

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

MR J

I am confused.

It's £1,000 for a 90 min film.

But the cost is £101.5 + £7.09 per min..

That's only about £740.

And.. Not to be rude here. But How many people sit and watch this?

So £425 an hour, and BBFC says they use teams of 2-3 per film, and if something needs clarification they will run it by another 2 or 3 per film..

So we are going to pay 3 people £141.8 per hour each for 14 hours to show them how we don't like them?...

While there is some hilarity in this, I think a lot of people need to really consider what impact this will have. Personally, I bet the BBFC will enjoy these types of films coming out.

If anyone here dislikes what I do, I am more than happy to receive £141.80 per hour to keep doing it.

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ICO fines PPI claims firm £80,000 over 1.3m spam SMS deluge

MR J

They probably spent more actually sending the darn'd things anyhow!

I know you can get bulk msg's (paid) for about 2-3p each, so this penalty only raises the cost slightly.

If something gains £500,000 in profit from calls, and your penalized £80,000 for making the calls, then it is a no brainer!

Either close the door on the mass mailers, or make the fines a "per text /call" type of fine.

I can see the current gov wanting to get rid of this anyhow, they like to kill off things that stagnate business.

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UK citizens will have to pay government to spy on them

MR J

I say we all band together to create a web crawling bot that runs from our connections and sends out request far and wide to everything!....

20 million people have broadband, if we could get 1% of them to do this daily... hubba hubba at the data storage cost!....

My family does about 10 gig of data every day (games, streaming, browsing, facecrap, twatter, spyspace) and I am sure that a lot will be triggered just by that....

If you make it so expensive and difficult to do and use that it becomes worthless, then perhaps they would abandon it!...

On a side note... DNSCrypt up and running now....

If I could ask a question, it would be if there is a MP is that has a buddy that owns a data retention company selling hardware approved for ISP level data retention... Not that such things happen that way, but still..

The biggest worry about all of this to me isn't the gov having it... It will be that the gov has it next year and then realise that its worth a lot of money if its "anonymized" and we can "opt-out" if we want, but due to cutbacks those opt-out request will be ignored (like our "care-data").

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So is it 4.5G or LTE-Advanced Pro? Either way, it’s pretty damn quick

MR J

Cant wait for EE to get this!...

I can see Bacon on TV telling everyone how good it is for streaming HD video of them riding skateboards... For 30 seconds a month due to data restrictions!.

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Exam board in 'send all' fail: Hands up who knows what the BCC button is for?

MR J

In dealing with several scout groups in the past I can tell you that most of the north west scout leaders have seen my email address. This was the best way in the past for people to harvest email addresses for malware/dos/bad stuff. I have even seen people install malware because the email was sent to "other" people they know, and they were sure that 7 or 8 people all getting the same email must mean it is okay.

Personally, I wish the CC field would be dropped completely and only BCC would remain!

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Second UK teen suspect arrested over TalkTalk hack

MR J

Re: Really?

I doubt the DDoS attack was done by users, those would have likely been infected computers. But most people who ask me to look at their computers usually have teenagers and you find that the illegal movies / porn / games that they download is often mixed in with tons of malware.. So perhaps they are arresting people that own the computers that took part in the DDoS attack.

My guess, these kids thought it would be fun to try and demand money from TT and it didn't work out that well.. Until such information is released then we will never know... Of course, many UK papers are saying it was Russian ISIL Jihad Terrorist... So these young lads must have been converted somewhere eh?.

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TalkTalk attack: Lad, 15, cuffed by UK cyber-cops

MR J

Re: Bobby Tables, 15, cuffed by TalkTalk hacking probe cops

It def wasn't a child, or him... The inlaw phoned me to say that it was Russian jihad ISIL hackers who were cloning bank accounts and buying things from Tesco and stuff from Shoe Shops. The newspapers never get it wrong.

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

MR J

This is not the Apple I wanted.

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Virgin Media takes its time on website crypto upgrade

MR J

Issues like this are there a lot with VM..

Use their webmail and look at the nifty security feature that list the IP addys that has had access to your email... Nope, Not your IP.. It shows a transparent proxy (Useful as that means EVERY user logs in via the same IP!)...

If your Deaf or Mute then their option for contacting them is for you to give someone you know your password and security details so they can manage it all for you over the phone, reason, DPA doesn't allow them to manage things over the "Internet"... Bit sad when you see the forum team tell someone who is deaf that they must use the phone to speak to someone...

Now you can get thousands of spam emails a day, but if you BCC something to 300 people then your email account is frozen for 24 hours too, because, well, who knows!...

Some of the mailshots they used to send also had a code printed in the corner that contained full account numbers, but they did eventually "Discover" that after years of users complaining and wala, it was fixed.

I have seen worse (Hi PayPal!), but overall what they are doing is not typically deal breaking and they probably know this - hence no need to rush out a fix.

Granted, All of those fixes will come when they deploy IPv6.. They said that would happen once they have more users than IPv4 IP's that they can give out. (When asked how giving out IPv4 was related to IPv6 Adoption they said that users don't need IPv6 until the ISP has no more IPv4)...

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BT gently returns to mobe biz with cheap SIM-only swoop

MR J

Re: Hidden extras?

Most do that now by actually using your mins against the phone call to get the msg's. Some even use non-inclusive numbers for you to pick up those calls. And some let you pick them up from outside the network by calling yet more numbers that will get them some termination revinue.

Something else to consider, now that the 0845 "PREMIUM" numbers are known to be poison, BT is pushing their 05x numbers quite hard. These have HUGE termination cost (Above 0845 in many cases!) so it's the same thing over again, but have fun trying to get a block on 05x numbers, as they are going to spin them for umpteen years like they did 0845.

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What time do you call this, BT? Late, state-funded broadband rollout plods on

MR J

Re: "Not viable"

Yea, new competition cant really step up and do this... at least... Not at the same price point as BT.

Bear in mind that regardless of what service you use, there will be customers than a provider doesn't make money off of, and other whales that more than cover the lossy customers. BT could have easily been using the fat cat areas to fund those areas that were not "viable".

I would rather see the council put down ductwork large enough for multiple providers and rent that space out but I guess that's not legally doable.

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At the third beep, the Atomic Clock will be 60 ... imprecisely

MR J

Just got a new Nissan Leaf.

It doesn't come with DAB.

It comes with Bose, so DAB would have been a great match.

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Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

MR J

0 Day Exploit

I reported a exploit for Netgear routers to Netgear nearly a year ago now that allows users to "ask" the router for the admin and password (From WAN side!) and even though they confirmed it was a valid exploit, they still to this day have not rolled out a fix..

Until it hits the public domain then I bet they wont issue a fix. So the question is, should we blackmail companies who don't issue fixes.

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PlayStation outage: Sony asks 'have you tried turning it off and on again?'

MR J

Ahhh the old MTU trick..

NTL used to try that one too, it would keep customers going for weeks.

Our ps3 could log in fine, but sometimes when these things happen we are unable to use web stuff as it seems a lot of is it sent through a PSN proxy.

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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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