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* Posts by Jonas Taylor

51 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

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Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Jonas Taylor

So, which bank should I move to?

I used to bank with The Woolwich until Barclays bought them out and then scrapped my debit card - when I went to reapply I was told my credit rating wasn't good enough (as I refused an overdraft facility). That meant while I was previously able to make online purchases with my Visa Electron card, the Barclays replacement Savings card was literally useless to me. Needless to say I will never go with Barclays ever again.

I then applied to Halifax, again turning down an overdraft facility - I was rejected. Finally I applied for a Natwest account and ticked the box for a £1400 overdraft facility and suddenly I was accepted with open arms. However, over the years I've been unimpressed. It started with an iPhone banking app being heavily hyped, yet with no Android equivalent in sight. It took years for them to finally support Android, despite it having a much larger user base - it was more important for them to be trendy that address the needs of their customers. Then recently I spoke to a financial adviser at Natwest and asked about setting up an ISA, only to be told that as an existing customer I couldn't get a decent interest rate - they then advised me to go to another bank, set up an ISA and then come back to them to transfer it, at which point I could get the highest rate. Treating your customers like dirt is a bad way to do business.

The latest fiasco is just too much, as it was entirely self-inflicted. If a company keeps cutting its ICT staff - especially with the severity talked about here - it will almost inevitably end in disaster at some point down the road. I appreciate that banking systems are incredibly complicated but aggressive cost savings clearly took things too far. We have plenty of qualified ICT workers in this country, yet RBS would rather sack them and save a little bit of money by shipping everything off to India. It's super-capitalism gone mad.

I'm looking for a bank that has online banking, a mobile app, that wasn't part of the banking collective that destroyed the economy and that treats its customers with a modicum of respect. That's probably asking too much but what are the real options? I'm interested to see what Virgin Money does when their current account is launched next year.

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Blighty's new anti-bribe law will do more HARM than good

Jonas Taylor
FAIL

I couldn't care less for the advocates of bribery

I am completely in favour of anti-bribery laws. It may be argued that they make the UK less competitive when dealing with foreign cultures but does morality and common decency not matter? Subverting the economies and laws of other countries for financial gain should not be tolerated. We need to stop modelling ourselves on the super-capitalism so avidly pursued by the US.

PS - What an utterly self-involved and pompous article.

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Facebook co-founder renounces US citizenship pre-IPO

Jonas Taylor
WTF?

Really?

It's astonishing to see such absurd levels of greed. The US already has an insanely low tax rate and yet he is willing to abandon his citizenship in order to save himself a bit of money? It doesn't matter whether he saves himself $10m or a $100m, the reality is that he if he simply paid the tax he ought to he'd still be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and would never have to worry about money again for the rest of his life.

The problem with capitalism is that it's not about what you have; it's about what other people have. It seems astounding that politicians have convinced people that those at the bottom are abusing the system and should have their benefits and safety nets removed, whereas rich people should be taxed less because they're "job creators". Same with Mr Osborne - is it really appropriate to lower the top rate of tax at the same time that pensions are being slashed, hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs and millions are being given pay freezes? No doubt there is need for reform but it sends out the wrong message when the only people being asked to pay for austerity are those that can least afford it.

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10

Chrome beats IE for a weekend

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Re: Chrome is cuckooware

The reality is that most of the main players behave in the same way. That's certainly not to condone it - such options should be opt-in not opt-out - but to single out Google is certainly unfair. I've had to help elderly neighbours "fix their internet" after they installed a Microsoft product and it changed their default homepage from Google to Bing. Although most people would find that easy to rectify, it should not be underestimated how many people simply don't understand what has happened, let alone how to fix it.

As for your second point, Chrome is actually a very good browser. It has the best security record, a clean and effective UI, the best performance, the best standards support, excellent extensions / app support and it was the first browser to properly handle updates. It has earned its position as the soon-to-be most used browser.

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PlayStation 4 'Orbis' pegged for 2013 release

Jonas Taylor
WTF?

Re: You mean.. 1080p at last

Barely any games on the PS3 support native 1080p and even those that do - like Wipeout HD - take shortcuts, like dropping the resolution during the more graphically demanding scenes in order to maintain the framerate. Plenty of games on the PS3 run at less than 720p, like GTAIV and Viking: Battle for Asgard. The PS3 is no less "shit" than any of the other consoles on the market.

You can play the whole "PS3 is better than X360" nonsense until you're blue in the face but the reality is that both consoles are graphically dated and should have been replaced years ago. The only gaming platform that offers 1080p @60fps for all games is the PC.

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Windows 8 on ARM vs iPad: Has Microsoft lost already?

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Actually...

While Metro Start obviously benefits the tablet form factor and touch interfaces it also benefits casual users (customisability, ease of use) and high resolution displays, as well as general users. With the introduction of Vista Microsoft opted to constrain the Start Menu into a tiny corner of the screen, which didn't scale at technology improved. We now see 1080p becoming the dominant resolution - the Steam hardware survey backs this up, though it's admittedly slanted towards gaming - and as resolutions continue to increase (both in terms of individual monitors and multi-monitor setups) the Start Menu, relative to overall screen space, is getting smaller. Having used Windows 8 on a 27" 2560x1440 monitor I have to say that Metro Start is a considerably improvement - when you access All Apps it fills the screen with all your programs, rather than having to scroll endless through a small window and click multiple times to expand folders.

As for Windows on ARM, I think we'll have to see what manufacturers come up with. Certainly I don't see it as DOA, though it will struggle if Intel improves its mobile offerings. And if Microsoft offers it at a discounted price we could see Windows 8 ARM tablets significantly undercutting Apple and its iPad. Having used both the iPad and Windows 8 I prefer the Win8 UI, though nothing comes close to the iPad hardware design, features and marketing.

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Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Predictable

It's sad to see another overly emotional tirade against Windows 8. The reality is that it really isn't all that different from Windows 7. Sure the Start Menu is now a Start Screen and fills the primary monitor but this allows you to more quickly and efficiently access applications, customise the experience and view pertinent information. It is an improvement over the Start Menu that Vista introduced, which was constrained to a tiny corner of the screen and which required considerable scrolling to find any application.

While the Start Screen obviously benefits touch screen users, it is also of benefit to those with high resolution displays - 1080p to 1600p - as it finally takes full advantage of the screen. Also, people often only pay attention to the pinned items on Start Screen - which is what most of the screenshots depict - but accessing "All apps" shows you every application installed on your computer without having to click to expand a single folder.

That's certainly not to suggest that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is without fault. It is difficult to hit the functionality of the corners on multi-monitor systems, particularly the Charm bar and Start Screen. And when you hover over the Start corner if you go to click on the preview image that appears - which many people will do instinctively - it disappears. More annoying, the Charm bar is sometimes triggered when I go to change the system volume from the tray icon. But it is certainly not the disaster that many would have you believe and I have been using it as my default operating system since the Consumer Preview was released.

It will be very interesting to see what changes are made between now and release, as though we will not see the Start Menu return we may see some worthwhile improvements that will mitigate or resolve many of the concerns currently expressed. There are more than enough improvements to justify an upgrade for enthusiasts - Storage Spaces; performance improvements; new Task Manager, file copy dialogue and multi-monitor improvements; cloud syncing and online storage; new unified drivers for hardware compatibility; etc.

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Jonas Taylor

Re: Metro

"Can you put Metro or Metro apps on a second screen and have them remain there without taking over your main screen?"

Metro apps, like the Start Screen itself, will only appear on your primary display. The rest of your displays - thanks to the improvements in multi-monitor support - appear just like a traditional desktop environment, replete with taskbar. So you can have fullscreen Metro apps on one screen and Office, Chrome and Windows Explorer open on another. Or you can simply pin a Metro app to the side of your screen and use the desktop as normal, which is well suited to news and social apps. The biggest problem is that most Metro apps are still only placeholders, so most lack any compelling functionality (the Mail client being the most obvious example) - this will improve over time.

As for "jarringly" taking over your screen, it's more a paradigm shift. Rather than switching between apps with the taskbar you have a black strips to the left accessible via mouse or Win+Tab. You lose the close / maximise / minimise controls; instead you can either switch to another app (in which case it is suspended so as to not impact system performance) or drag from top to bottom with mouse to close it. It's entirely possible we'll still see changes to this, as we did between the Developer Preview and Consumer Preview.

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5

HTC slaps Ice Cream Sandwich on 16 handsets

Jonas Taylor
Unhappy

I hope T-Mobile doesn't f*** with this update as well

It took T-Mobile UK months to provide the previous update and they didn't even bother with Android 2.3.5 or 2.3.6 (already tried the check for update functionality). The only reason they even delay updates is so they can add in all their crapware, like the wonderful internet censor that blocks innocent websites unless I jump through hoops and text them my details.

I just fear that by the time they actually get around to providing the update my phone will already be obsolete and I'll be looking to upgrade. It would be much better if they simply made their app optional and made it worthwhile to actually use - instead they mandate its inclusion and use it to flog overpriced services aimed at teens, while delaying or simply not providing Android OS updates. Not only would it be easier for them to not do that but it would provide a better service to customers.

Why is it that T-Mobile thinks that antagonising customers is a good business strategy?

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Oz says 41 hits a day turn bloggers into publishers

Jonas Taylor
Childcatcher

Good grief; what heresy!

Holding people accountable for what they say? Outrageous! This is the internet. We insult people for no reason and do so without fear of repercussion. In fact I'll have you know that I just spent the evening with your mother and she has a much better gag reflex than I was expecting.

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Boy died after satnav fault delays ambulance

Jonas Taylor
Meh

Re: Re: On the positive side...

My post had nothing to do with making me "feel better". Rather, it was a condemnation of her lifestyle. In the Daily Mail article there was no reference - in text or picture - to a boyfriend or father of her child(ren) and she was referred to as 'Ms', so clearly she is unmarried. She had eight children and was pregnant with a ninth, making it unlikely that she has a job. It's possible that her family has wealth and is supporting her financially, though the photograph does not support such a conclusion. The likelihood is that she is living off benefits, funded by the taxpayer. As for my "attack" on her religious convictions - it is well known that a large percentage of Christians oppose contraception and it is not far-fetched to assume, given the number of children that she has, that this was a precipitating factor . Admittedly that is conjecture but I never portrayed it otherwise.

You may attack my lack of empathy but it's hard to understate the impact that her lifestyle has upon society. Should we ignore the ills of society for fear of offending those perpetrating them? Without criticism of such behaviour we risk - as a society - condoning it. She wears a religious artifact yet fails to uphold even the basic tenets of her faith. Does that not open her to criticism?

I do not seek to diminish her loss, nor imply that her loss is of any less import than that of anyone else. My criticism relates to her circumstances. Had she wished to avoid judgement she could have grieved in private, instead of having her face plastered all over one of the largest UK news publications.

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Jonas Taylor
Stop

On the positive side...

She was expecting her ninth child? It was no surprise that a quick Google search produced an image of her wearing a crucifix, as religious opposition to contraception is a common factor in UK households with burgeoning child populations. The image also portrayed a woman that is financially deprived, suggesting that her role in life as a human incubator is funded primarily (or exclusively) by the taxpayer and an overly generous benefits system. As if that wasn't bad enough, she is neither married nor was there any mention of the father in the article. Brilliant.

Just a century ago her lifestyle would have been shunned by society, yet now we see her being paid for her story and held up as someone to pity. What a sick society we live in.

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Iranian gov mouthpiece Press TV finally gets taken off the air in the UK

Jonas Taylor

Strange...

"I live in a country which embraces the freedom to disseminate information without undue government censorship."

Which country is that?

Are you talking about Canada? At first I thought you might be referring to the US, as Americans love to talk up their constitution, but Al Jazeera is banned from broadcasting in most US states, despite offering incredibly high journalism standards (as stated by Hilary Clinton) and being broadcast in the UK without issue. And US news channels even entered into an arrangement with the government not to broadcast footage of military corpses returning home during the Iraq war. The US doesn't even make it into the top category for freedom of press.

If your statement is based upon freedom of press then it must be one of the countries with the highest rating, so it could be Canada, Norway, Sweden or Finland. It would be a lot easier if you simply included all the relevant information, rather than leaving us all to guess.

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Page won't show his ring to prove Google+ 'engagement'

Jonas Taylor

It started well but...

Google+ is fine as a social network but it's not definitively better than Facebook, nor does it have the userbase. My favourite feature is the Google+ Android app which has an option to automatically uploads all the photos I take on my phone to a private online group, which I can then quickly sort and share with friends - it saves me a lot of time and effort. However, nobody on my friends list posts regularly and neither do I; they're going to have to do a lot to save it stagnating. People initially made a handful of posts but now that has completely stopped. It's no good having 90m+ users if most of them don't even use it much.

If Google+ is to stand any chance of catching up with Facebook then it needs to add compelling features and a more distinctive interface - currently it's incredibly bland. I signed up simply because of curiosity. But then again, I did the same with Facebook and didn't use it much at all when I first signed up - it took years for me to actually find it compelling. Google needs to play this for the long-term but considering how quickly they shuttered Buzz and Wave I'm really not sure whether they'll give it a decent chance.

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UK's solar 'leccy cash slash ruled unlawful

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Boneless politicians... my favourite!

I recently worked on a solar build out at a local farm - two 4kW PV arrays, one to batteries and one to grid - and compared the output to their existing 4kW PV system bought from a separate company. The output of the new system was well over twice that of the existing system, each manage to generate over 2.4kW on an overcast winter day; compared to just under 1kW.

There really is a huge different in performance between panels, yet customers seem to be looking to pay as little as possible and it hurts them in the long run. You wouldn't expect a Mercedes for the price of a Fiat, yet that is exactly what is happening in the solar industry. It's shocking that people are paying upwards of £12,000 for a system and are still looking for short-term savings rather than the bigger picture, or simply aren't doing the research necessary.

PS - It's sad we still have nay-sayers suggesting we use fossil fuels instead of renewable. We have fracking poisoning water supplies and causing tremors, multi-billion pound wars over oil, and profiteering energy companies inflicting misery upon those that can least afford it... the current energy system is a disaster. And prices are only set to increase, which leaves us economically and politically vulnerable - what happens when Russia gets more money selling gas to China than the UK; and what about the cost of invading Iran to defend the oil supply after they block the Strait of Hormuz due to US political posturing? The solar subsidies were a step in the right direction and they were being used by councils to help lift some of the poorest families out of fuel-poverty, yet now the government has backed down and taken illegal action to prematurely reduce subsidies.

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US deploys 1.8 gigapixel helicopter surveillance drones to Afghanistan

Jonas Taylor

A camera resolution that high is useless if the "intelligence" at the other end is crap and if countries like Iran have the technology to spoof the GPS in order to capture it. But it's great if you're Rick Perry and your plan is to use it to patrol the US border with Mexico or you're a US police department using it to track down stolen cows (both true stories).

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Chrome is the most secured browser - new study

Jonas Taylor

I've been using Chrome for years and have found it to be an excellent browser. I migrated from Firefox, as the update procedure - both for the browser and extensions - was hugely inconvenient and interfered with my browsing. Chrome has a better interface, better security, better standards support and, most importantly, better performance. Firefox used to be my go to browser but it just didn't keep up with the competition and inherited many of the problems that people criticised about Internet Explorer (problems with performance, standards support, security, etc).

Don't get me wrong, if Chrome starts to fall behind the competition then I will switch just as quickly. Afterall, it's only a web browser.

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Did a Seagate sales bloke just say 5TB drives are coming?

Jonas Taylor

Well...

Personally I only buy Seagate drives, after having issues with Western Digital drives over the years. And I've never had a Seagate drive fail, I've always retired them through obsolescence. However, my brother has had exactly the opposite experience and will only ever buy Western Digital. It really does come down to personal experience.

My latest Seagate is a 3TB, which sits alongside my 2TB, 1.5TB, 1TB and .75TB drives. Meanwhile, I've had quite a lot of problems with SSD drives from OCZ. I have a Vertex 3 and get bluescreens, usually every couple of days - my two previous Vertex LE drives both failed because of firmware (expensive failure at over £300). The speed is awesome and I always backup any important data via Dropbox, so I don't take risks. Still, SSDs have a long way to go til I trust them.

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Samsung may try to block next iPhone in Europe too

Jonas Taylor
FAIL

Patents restrict innovation, not encourage it

I can appreciate the importance of trademarks, which prevent other organisations or individuals from playing off the goodwill earned by a brand. And I can appreciate a limited form of copyright, in order to protect the investment made in a work. I can even appreciate patents in a limited form, especially to protect smaller businesses from being ripped off by those with more money. But the problem is the scale and scope that they currently enjoy.

For instance, the newly passed copyright extension in Europe is a perfect example of what's wrong with the current system. Rather than let copyrights expire and usher in a new era of creativity or create an incentive to invest in the industry, large corporations seek to hold on to income generated from business deals up to nearly three quarters of a century after they were made.

Instead of protecting and encouraging investment in an industry it is actually diminishing it, as large companies seek to monetise existing products instead of innovating. That goes against the very reason they protections were introduced. They have failed the common sense test.

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Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Jonas Taylor
FAIL

Really?

Unfortunately this isn't at all surprising. Common sense dictates that e-petitions be assigned to a specific MP that would be responsible for initiating the debate, as no MP would want to voluntarily associate themselves with the inevitable radical proposals that will follow. And further, it has to be common sense that such debates be scheduled so as to not conflict with existing proposals or committees.

It's just a shame that their PR department has got ahead of itself and that they can't deliver on what seems like a genuinely good concept.

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In-flight fight for stubborn iPhone-loving teen

Jonas Taylor
WTF?

How backwards

Aren't laws meant to reflect the moral values of a society? If so then the man should be rewarded for challenging the kid who was ignoring the rules, not punished. Is there really no consideration for common sense?

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Twitter 'martyr' takes airport joke case to High Court

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Sympathy = Zero

I'm sorry but he should accept the ruling and move on. Twitter is a public communications network and unlike Facebook, messages are searchable rather than simply communications between friends. That means if you threaten to blow up an airport then your threat could be taken at face value. If he'd shouted such a comment in the street then people wouldn't have been surprised by such an outcome, yet the internet - which has considerably greater exposure - is somehow different?

Despite what some people here claim, his post - "You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" - can very easily be construed as a threat. He's an idiot and he deserves the £3,000 fine and criminal conviction, if only for his terrible sense of humour.

People can't just behave like anything said on the internet is completely without consequence.

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Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

Jonas Taylor

And the point is?

Why would you want Firefox on your phone versus something light like Chrome? I just don't see the appeal, especially when performance is so important on a phone.

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Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

Jonas Taylor
FAIL

Just One Question....

Surely the legal system needs simplifying if companies are submitting 850+ pages in these sort of disputes? That's a lot of material, especially when common sense tells you that Apple is WAY over stepping the boundary here. Either the majority of it will be ignored or people will have to be paid to read it and we all know that legal professionals aren't cheap.

Big tech firms shouldn't be allowed to bully companies out of using standard dictionary words. I hope Apple gets put in their place but they've got little to lose here. If they lose then that's what they were expecting and they write off a bit in legal costs; if they win then they get access to a trademark the likes of which hasn't been seen since Microsoft managed to grab "Windows".

Again, do they really need 873 pages when any layman could tell you that they shouldn't be allowed the trademark?

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Nude trampolinist bounces free from court

Jonas Taylor
WTF?

Really?

This man was added to the Sex Offenders Register for being naked in his own back yard. Really? The MOST that this deserves is a caution; and I can't help but feel a simple friendly warning would have sufficed. Our legal system has completely lost the plot. If the guy was doing this repeatedly in front of children or neighbours then it would be a completely different matter but this is a disgusting abuse of the law.

What the hell happened to common sense?

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EU to shout at media player makers over noise levels

Jonas Taylor

Hang on a second...

I thought the EU already had legislation covering this, as there was a huge fuss at the time of the 3G iPod over the maximum volume level (in Europe it was considerably quieter than the rest of the world). Personally I don't have a problem with them trying to protect people's hearing, though I'd rather they opt for education and warnings than simply outright blocking volumes above a certain level, as there are always circumstances that can be affected unintentionally (e.g. you can have large fullset headphones that can draw a lot more power and thus play back music more quietly).

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Apple ends Palm Pre's iTunes charade

Jonas Taylor

Really?

It's disingenuous for Apple to claim that syncing is not supported for non-Apple devices when they're actually going out of their way to prevent it. It makes it sounds like it's just an unforeseen consequence of an update when it's actually a proactive policy.

I'm not one for Palm piggy-backing on Apple's success but then iTunes should support 3rd party applications anyway. This is yet another move by Apple to further bolster their dominance over the phone and media sectors. I really wish Apple would grow up and learn to behave like a mature company instead of resorting to childish tactics like this.

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Microsoft store crumples as Win7 promo kicks off

Jonas Taylor

Well...

It's not like the other stores held up much better. When I checked Ebuyer they had 268 in stock but a refresh a few minutes later saw that drop considerably; I got my order placed in time but it took less than 25 mins for the rest of the stock to disappear.

It's hardly surprising, though. Win7 is actually a decent operating system and it's been my default OS since January. It's not perfect but certainly it's a worthwhile upgrade, unlike the Office 2010 Preview I tried earlier - Microsoft has really dropped the ball on that one.

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Masked passwords must go

Jonas Taylor
FAIL

Common sense

They're missing the obvious. Surely it would make more sense for most websites to simply not use passwords? Exposing passwords for everyone to see completely defeats the point in having them. Unmasking passwords is one of THE most ridiculous ideas I've ever heard. I frequently have to type in passwords when there are other people in the room and find it bad enough that they can overlook my keyboard, let alone if they were able to see my password on screen.

Anyway, if websites supported secure biometrics it would save time, reduce user confusion (you know, the "which password or username did I use?") and improve security. Screw all this typing nonsense. I shouldn't have to remember which username, password or email address I used, which is especially problematic when restrictions are imposed ("username is too long", "password must contain a capital letter and a non-alphanumeric character", etc). I've had to resort to a passworded Excel document to keep track of website details even though I use the same details for most sites.

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Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity

Jonas Taylor
Flame

I think I'll join in...

If Microsoft only intends for a tiny minority of people to use Ultimate then why bother? It just adds confusion. All that is needed is Home and Professional - the enterprise version should just be Professional and the emerging markets version should be Home. That way Microsoft can markup the features that cost more to develop without putting the price of the consumer version up.

Oh, and why are they restricting multi-language options to Enterprise and Ultimate? Surely language is fundamental to how users interact with the operating system? Limiting language options strikes me as the most obscene of the artificial restrictions Microsoft has put in place.

Microsoft needs to stop drinking engine oil and sort its act out.

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Kanye West blames Gmail hijack for bisexual porn hoax

Jonas Taylor
Paris Hilton

I don't get it

Why the hell would a multi-millionaire being using a free email service like GMail? That strikes me as absurd. He'd be best using a paid for service, one that puts privacy and security first. Still, the cynic in me says it has got him loads of headlines.

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US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Why didn't she just buy a copy of Windows??

I don't get it. She could have just bought a copy of Windows and installed it on her system, or got someone else to. That way it wouldn't have been a wasted purchase and she wouldn't have had to drop out of college (though one has to question how long she would have lasted anyway). So the question is why did she throw away her dreams instead of spending $100 on a copy of Windows?

Sympathy = Zero

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0

Pro-Palestine vandals deface Army, NATO sites

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Really?

"Israel's response may seem disproportionate, but how would you try to disarm a remote hostile location filled with fanatics while trying to protect your own people?"

"Seem" disproportionate? It IS disproportionate. Israel has had 13 fatalities, which includes friendly fire and 3 civilians - the Palestinians have had 820, including children and innocent civilians; they were targeted in schools, UN buildings, etc. Israel even rounded people up, moved them into a building and shelled it. No-one is saying that Hamas is right to be firing rockets into Israel - certainly not I - but it is Israel that is committing war crimes here. Which side has the tanks, naval vessels, helicopter gunships and artillery? Which side is it that clusterbombed Lebanon on withdrawal to create an effective minefield? Which side is it that blocks food and fuel to push people to the brink of despair? Which side is it that has support from the US? Which continue is it that was given nuclear weapons by the western world? Yup, Israel.

Unfortunately Obama has been very quiet on this issue. It's hard to believe he stands for change if he's content for this continue, all the while the US pours billions of dollars a year into Israeli aid. Perhaps Israel wouldn't be so quick to massacre Palestinians without the $2.5bn a year that the US provides. Instead the US and UK continue to veto UN motions critical of Israel, paralysing it from taking action.

I don't know how anyone can, in good faith, defend the actions of Israel. And yes, I have spoken to Israeli people that are also opposed to their actions - in fact I spoke to Gilad Atzmon on the subject, someone who actually served in the Israeli military. Israel commits huge land grabs, constantly expanding their borders and creating demilitarized zones around them, which they repeat and rinse. The Palestinians have little left and clearly what they do have they are willing to fight for. I just wish the western world would cut its ties to Israel and leave it to stand alone. I mean afterall, it's fine to leave Zimbabwe and the Sudan alone. Isn't it time we stopped meddling in the Middle East?*

*Minus humanitarian aid, which should of course continue.

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Ballmer reacquaints Microsoft with its PC past

Jonas Taylor
Stop

*Yawn*

I see the Microsoft bashing has already begun. The reality is that Microsoft delivers some great products that lead the market for good reason - Office 2007 was a huge improvement, standing high above its competitors, and Windows 7 is heading in a very good direction as well. Despite all the criticism Windows is still the best operating system out there when it comes to the user experience (yes, even Vista) - Linux has no focus and OSX still refuses to allow an open platform or to support gaming.

"Where these business practices don't apply, they are either less significant (servers and "netbooks"), a minor player (mobiles) or near invisible (set top boxes and general consumer/industrial electronics)."

That's ignoring the X360, which has taken the crown for games consoles (ignoring the mainstream angle the Wii went for). They have demonstrated the best quality titles, with the highest attach rate, and the best priced hardware. Sure they threw money at it to get to where it is today but Sony did exactly the same thing. You also have to factor into the netbook equation that it's an ultra-budget market and Microsoft has to compete with a free operating system. As for consumer / industrial electronics they're simply not areas that Microsoft is focusing on; that's like saying that Burger King is failing to cater to Columbian coffee connoisseurs.

Still, Microsoft's CES showing was rather weak and Windows 7, as polished and improved as it is, has little new to offer the Vista user. Certainly it's lacking the focus that made Office 2007 such a dramatic improvement. They'd do well to price it considerably lower than they did Vista, especially as an upgrade to Vista. The world is facing a recession and the feature set is far from stellar, plus they also need to win over the Vista-haters.

0
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Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Surely some common sense?

Nudity is not a crime. There is no sexual intent here so it is not pornography. It seems sad that modern society cannot tolerate the idea of our natural form being displayed, compounded here by the subject being a child. I also find it sad that as an adult I have to worry about talking to a child I don't know for fear of being seen as a sexual predator, especially as kids look up to adults for guidance. What sort of message does it send to a child for adults to have to ignore them or break eye-contact for fear of being condemned by society?

Obviously there should be laws and systems in place to prevent abuse, especially to protect children, but it seems even the slightest suggestion of a link to child pornography - no matter how baseless - sends everyone panicking. No doubt it won't be long till we have MPs jumping up to take the limelight on such an issue and pick a stance that no-one could not object to, like "I oppose child pornography". And all this over a pointless album cover that is of no real significance.

I don't know what the answer is but I just know that what we've got now is very broken.

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Reg readers in Firefox 3 lovefest

Jonas Taylor

Really?

"Really trying to think why people use firefox, beyond some intrinsic and unsubstantiatable point that 'open source is better' for some reason i've yet to work out, despite working on it for 3 years."

What utter nonsense. NEway, the main reason is extension support, notably Adblock. It is possible to block ads in Opera but it's very messy and doesn't update automatically. Opera is a decent browser, and the Wand feature is great, but I've given it a serious try several times over the years and I always end up back with Firefox - whether it was Ctrl-Enter on addresses not working (now fixed), websites not working properly, the annoying download manager... there was always something that annoyed me.

I'm more interested in Chrome, which is already very promising. With extension support (currently being worked on) and more features, particularly regarding privacy (I don't want it remembering my visited websites but I don't want to use the Incognito mode all the time), I can see it going places. The interface is superior. The features are great. It's based on webkit, which is more standards compatible and updated constantly (unlike Firefox, which takes aeons to make very little progress). I use Firefox 3 at the moment... it's far from perfect but it's currently the best out there.

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Bioshock sequel teaser trailer now showing

Jonas Taylor

A sequel, surely?

"First of all I have yet to finish BioShock. The game is just about totally unplayable. Buggy as hell, crashes worse then windows, I dont even know where to begin. And the utter lack of support from 2K was appaling. This company cares less about the gamer, which oddly enough is why they make money, then they do about the money."

Nonsense. It sounds like you have a poorly setup computer because it was one of the most polished games of the year and I didn't have a single issue, nor did anyone I know. And what do you mean "crashes worse than Windows"? I have found Vista, and XP before it, to be very stable - with Vista virtually every crash of an application is recoverable. Last, how on Earth do you conclude that they only care about money? Bioshock is considered a work of art and it's patently obviously a huge amount of effort went into it. Your rantings are baseless and only demonstrate your immaturity.

NEway, surely the trailer suggests a sequel? It looks like a grown up little sister and the barnacles on the logo clearly suggest time has passed.

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AVG chokes fake traffic spew

Jonas Taylor
Paris Hilton

OMGWTFBBQ

I'm sorry but isn't it common sense to only scan links AFTER they've been clicked on instead of trying to analyse the entire interweb? I can't believe the idea to pre-scan links even got off the drawing board. Common sense dictates that having 20m users scan dozens of links everytime a page loads is going to cause problems - it's simply unnecessary, especially as 99% of users will probably only visit just a single link.

> Paris, because it sounds like she's their lead developer.

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Governator outs Dubya's global-warming 'time bomb'

Jonas Taylor

Idiots

"I never realised that we were on the cusp of making Earth's entire atmosphere unbreathable. /sarcasm"

No, but we're close to dramatic rises in sea levels. Slightly more important than immigration and financial debt.

"During the Roman Warming period ( 2000 years ago) Greenland was over 5 degrees hotter than today (HOWEVER, the ice cap remained - polar bears in the artic didn't die out and sea levels didn't inundated the planet!) The same occurred during the medieval period. All this (and more) can be found in scientific publications and on websites.

Past warmings in the last 2000 years in particular and further back in history prove the theory of 'man-made' global warming is in fact a LIE!!"

There is no doubt that climate change occurs naturally - all environmentalists agree on that. However, there is also no doubt that we are having a profound impact upon the environment and climate change, despite what Fox News may tell you is the reality. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" highlighted the discrepancy between scientific reports and the media in regards to our impact - no scientific journal suggested we're not having an impact, whereas 50% of media articles did. This is part of the uncertainty principle that is perpetuated by pro-oil industries. We're also seeing uncertainty spread about bio-fuels and suggestions that it will cause food supply shortages - what is overlooked is the amount of tobacco, coffee, cocoa and other "luxury" goods that take up huge land mass, versus bio-fuels which are a good interim until something more efficient comes along. We need to make choices as a society and capitalism certainly isn't the best judge - that's why we need governments to step in and legislate.

I think Arnie is doing a great job of highlighting important issues. He might not be perfect but at least he's trying.

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Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt

Jonas Taylor
Stop

Keep the fire stations open!

I don't give a flying toss about this nonsense. What I want is for them to provide the service they're meant to! Currently they're talking about removing 24hr local fire coverage here in Falmouth (Cornwall) despite strong warnings that it will cost lives. So we are likely to lose 24hr coverage so some twat in a suit can look like he's doing something and so that Gordon Brown can use it to get one up on the Conservatives? I am furious that the government can propose nonsense like this with one hand while cutting primary services with the other.

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NBC to Apple: 'You're fired!'

Jonas Taylor

Hmmm....

I don't like the idea of Apple deciding what the price should be for other people's IP - NBC should be allowed to charge $1000 per episode if it wishes and it should be the market that decides whether that is acceptable. It's not as if Apple can even claim they're doing it to protect consumers because otherwise they would have opened up their content to other devices and players. This is, unsurprisingly, about Apple wanting to make more money and NBC deeming the terms being offered to be unacceptable.

Still, I'm sure there will be plenty of people defending Apple and saying how they're doing it for the good of the consumer. It's about time online media was a fair and open marketplace instead of the monopoly it is.

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Goggle box content comes to iTunes UK

Jonas Taylor

Why?

Apart from being able to access it immediately why would you possibly want to buy it online at the current prices? The quality is less, you get less, you pay more and you are very restricted as to what you can do with it. Doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps if they were offering HD content with bonus features and at a sensible price they'd be on to something but this is just an insult.

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Shattered teens subsisting on 'junk sleep'

Jonas Taylor

A bit high?

I don't care what these so called "scientists" say; I know how long I like to sleep for and it isn't 8 hours - that is just too long and I actually start to feel less refreshed. I always set my alarm for 6½ to 7 hours and find that that is the ideal amount of sleep for me. I really hope these people didn't get paid for this "research" as any idiot could have told you the length of time teenagers sleep for and the reason for it.

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Windows Genuine Advantage cries wolf (again)

Jonas Taylor

Nothing at all...

"Could you please enlighten me what exactly is wrong with the bloke being Indian here?"

Nothing at all, it was merely a description - if it was a Scottish bloke, a French woman or an American I would have pointed that out as well. At 3am I think it is logical that I would be connected to someone working normal hours rather than someone local working at night.

It's funny because the main reason I bought Vista was to be legitimate, to support Microsoft and not have to worry about any anti-piracy features down the road - any software I use regularly or for profit I take pride to make sure I support and pay for the developer's effort. The irony is that the many people I know with pirated versions have had less trouble than myself with a legitimate copy... though that's more a testament to how easy it is to pirate Windows as having to phone up a freephone number is hardly the end of the world (even though it is completely unnecessary). It's a shame because other than that I have had a very good experience with activation.

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Jonas Taylor

Irritating...

I dual-boot XP and Vista (mainly because Vista performance is quite poor) and so today I decided to boot up Vista to play Bioshock in DX10 mode... except it wasn't quite that simple. Even though I had used it was fine several days ago Vista told me that my LEGITIMATE copy of Vista was not legal and I needed to reactivate - I had heard about the issues so I clicked reactivate and... nope, it wouldn't work. I had to ring up Microsoft and type in a 48 digit code at which point... nope, it again wouldn't work so they had to connect me to an operator (a polite but dull guy, sounded Indian). I then read out the 48 digit code to him, repeating several sections [for some reason] after which he (very slowly) read out the 48 digit key I needed to activate Windows. I then booted up to find a message on the desktop saying that the copy of Windows wasn't legal - that was slightly disconcerting but a restart cured that. All this for what reason?

I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the accusation that I was running an illegal copy of Windows. All the pirates out there are happily bypassing security with minimal effort and yet I was here at 3am ringing up an Indian bloke to exchange 48-digit codes at a sluggish pace just to boot into Windows. Something's not right with this situation. At least the call was free. *shrugs*

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eBay seller nabs $1500 for Jesus-like garage stain

Jonas Taylor

Well...

"Jonas Taylor, you must not know many Americans, you're comments are ignorant."

Of the Americans I've met many have been rude and arrogant. I do not claim that that is what all Americans are like (of course that would be ridiculous), only that that is the impression of the nation as a whole (hence my original statement). There are plenty of progressive states that put the rest of the world to shame but they are dragged down by the backward states full of religious zealots, bigots and extreme capitalism.

"Religion is shrinking every year (not soon enough for me) and agnostics are starting to gain power."

In some areas maybe but from what I've seen it seems to be increasing - there is a polarisation, with the religious becoming ever more extreme and the athiests becoming increasingly resentful.

"I've been to several countries many many times (UK more than most) and have seen people's anger towards America. However, nearly every time it's misguided. They are angry with our government's policies the arrogance at the helm."

And they were voted in by the majority of the US voting public to represent the nation. Not only that but Bush was reelected after his disastrous first term. See where I'm coming from? I detest what the UK has become thanks to Tony Blair and am ashamed to call myself British - sadly I accept that this is apparently what the majority of the country want.

"Don't judge by worthless politicians and the people the news companies decide to highlight. Travel and engage."

And go through all the absurd security checks and have my life examined by unchecked US government agencies? No thanks. It is only under Bush that I have come to resent and dislike the US. Vote in another leader that will actually change things and stop the disasterous foreign policy and I'll happily reconsider. However, the US continues to meddle in the Middle East, particularly with regards to Israel, and so I have no time to listen to worthless excuses.

"God will not turn his back on anyone who truly calls his name."

So all these natural disasters, murders and tragic accidents are all part of the picture? Praying has always helped recovered people affected by accidents, like mine collapses? Give me a break. There is no evidence of God playing an active role in human existence... in fact there is a distinct lack of it, especially considering the amount of people that believe in religious crap. I lead a moral life... if that isn't good enough for God, should he exist, then that "God" isn't worth knowing. I won't pray or worship something that I cannot verify.

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Jonas Taylor

Well...

"I suppose it was inevitable that someone religious would take offense to this article."

You can never tell with the internet - it could be someone just pretending to be a religious nut. However, if that person was genuine then it is VERY, VERY scary.

NEway, I'd say America is for "cash, crazies, Christians, bigots and homophobes"... but they're all the same thing. Honestly, I think the world would be a better place if the US just sunk into the sea and drowned everyone there (leaving Canada, of course). And if you are an American reading this: yes, you are despised right around the world.

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Pentagon chief: no more oil for blood, man

Jonas Taylor

Title

"the mushroleum fuel project might actually put the Pentagon out of a job, as the need to keep the Middle East stable and exporting oil disappeared"

The US economy relies upon the arms industry to prop up the economy - wars are the easiest way for them to subsidise the economy and appear strong. The US cannot afford to stop warmongering. The focus would just shift from oil producing nations to nuclear nations or nations "suspected" of producing chemical weapons. For a superpower to maintain its position it needs an enemy - previously we've had fascism (Germany) and communism (Russia, China) and now we're on terrorism (every country that trades oil in €s instead of $s). Already the US has started the propaganda campaign against China, a nation that will soon surpass the US.

The US has already lost its position as a world superpower... it just doesn't know it yet.

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Fist-sized monkey flies from Florida to New York

Jonas Taylor

Actually...

The marmoset gets elected as the next President of the US.

The Zoo gets a free George W Bush.

...and the man gets punished by American law, meaning he'll likely end up as the Secretary of State or with a senior management position at the DoD. Justice is served.

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The BBC iPlayer 'launch' that wasn't

Jonas Taylor

What a waste of money and people's time

Tried in Firefox first... obviously that was not allowed, so I loaded up the old IE6 and tried again. After I finally managed to download (couldn't download it with FlashGet) and install the player I logged in but kept getting messages saying they're experiencing technical difficulties. I quit out and then launched the app again to be told I had signed out and needed to sign in again... that would have been fine if it hadn't told me my password was too short. WTF?! It's bad enough that my username and password is unmemorable gibberish but it's slightly worse when it doesn't even work. This is an absolute farce! Very limited support (XP / IE6), very limited number of users and they still can't get it working even close to smoothly.

I remember seeing the video demonstrating a Vista sidebar gadget for the player yet I can't even get it working nicely on the ONE OS that they "support". I understand the need for DRM but there is NO excuse for a player as shody as this. They have had years to design the program and yet they tie it into to proprietary software / protocols for no good reason and even then it's barely usage (I'm guessing it is actually usable... I haven't actually managed to watch anything myself yet).

The BBC is going downhill rapidly. Programs like the Daily Politics and News24 have become very dumbed down and it doesn't seem the BBC knows what it's actually trying to do with them. I find myself watching CNN international news far more often now - the reporting is better and less sensational, even if you do have to put up with more overt sponsorship/advertising. I'm usually a staunch supporter of the BBC but I'm starting to see less and less worth in what they do. I expected better of the BBC iPlayer as the BBC website is one of the few things they've done very well.

They need to bin this and start again... it's junk. It's not worth trying to save - they'll just be pouring good money after bad.

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