461 posts • joined 28 Aug 2007
This whole "Freinds and family" crap is such a pain in the arse!
I know why the US telcos like it so much - it makes the account much "stickier" but I don't want 4 or 6 or 10 lines, I just want one! I don't want to have to make arrangements with other people when I want to change my phone plan.
T-Mobile does have a reasonably priced (by US standards anyway) "unlimited web & text" plan for $30/month, but you only get 100 minutes of voice with that, and there is no true "pay-as-you-go" service available - you have to refill your account every 30 days, or they'll expire your number. You might as well go bill-pay if you have to pre-pay ever 30 days, whether you're using the phone or not! I'd like to pre-pay for 5GB of data, say, and use it over 6 months or a year, none of this 30-day expiration guff.
@Condiment: "Some sites/businesses rely on page hits for some of their income. By excluding some of their pages from search hits their business is being adversely affected* and they have the right to know the reason."
Does Google notify the Telegraph when changes to Google's search algorithms impact the ranking of any Telegraph page? Like %^@! they do!
Google has been very consistent on this since the company was founded - Google has no responsibility to inform you when it makes changes that impact your search ranking, and it absolutely denies that it has any financial responsibility for any harm that you might claim is caused by such changes.
The sole reason that Google is informing the Telegraph and other media outlets about these changes is to attempt to undermine the rights of ordinary citizens, and to enlist the media in it's lobbying campaign on this issue.
The courts need to be involved where there is disagreement between the person making the request and Google - but once the basic principle is accepted, many requests can, and most importantly, should be accepted without court involvement - you don't have to go to court to exercise your rights most of the time, but you always have the court to fall back on when you believe that your rights have been infringed. People are laid off every day, and in most cases there is agreement or acceptance of the situation on both sides, but we still need employment tribunal cases when there is disagreement between the parties. Disabled people have the right to certain accommodations, and they don't have to go to court every day to exercise those rights, but from time to time the courts do need to get involved to define what is and what isn't reasonable.
The same goes for this "right" - in many cases (most cases, in an ideal world), there should be no need for the courts to make decisions, because there would be a fair degree of agreement on what constitutes a reasonable request. Google is actively disrupting the process of defining what might be reasonable in these situations.
If you want change the results that Google returns, it seems pretty obvious that you should be able to ask Google to do that, rather than chase down 20 different webmasters in 10 different countries. After all, it's not as if Google doesn't already apply all sorts of filters and weightings to the results that they display anyway.
The key principle here is that I should have some degree of control over a search that includes the phrase "Al Jones". That's what Google really objects to, because it doesn't want ordinary people getting in it's way.
If anyone was in contempt of court, it would be Google for notifying the Telegraph of the change.
Google's hypocrisy on this issue is pretty bad - they change the order of search results all they time as they tweak their own search algorithms, but not only do they not feel duty bound to "inform the victims" that they'll no longer show up on the first page of the a search term, they persistently refuse to explain what changes they made, and why.
Re: All I ever wanted out of a Bowser....
FF 31.0 ESR was released on July 22nd, along with 24.7 ESR. 24.8 ESR should be released at the beginning of September, along with 31.1 ESR, and that will be the last update for 24ESR.
Re: Why is FF trying to become Chrome?
Firefox 24ESR will stop getting security updates on October 14th - 31ESR has been released, and there will only be a "2 cycle" overlap, as far as I understand. That's 6 months more support than he'll get for version 28, which "expired" in April, but the there were significant changes to the Firefox UI between release 24 and release 28, so the 24ESR UI might not have features that he's using in 28.
Re: El Reg is Pro-Amazon sympathiser?
Here's what the NYT had to say about Amazon's use of Orwell statement about paperbacks:
When Orwell wrote that line, he was celebrating paperbacks published by Penguin, not urging suppression or collusion. Here is what the writer actually said in The New English Weekly on March 5, 1936: “The Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if the other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them.”
Re: We all moved to sharepoint.
@ Headley_Grange: "Amazon are happy to make fractions of a penny profit on massive throughput."
30% of $10 is hardly fractions of a penny.
The real question that authors, publishers and readers should be asking Amazon is why there isn't a fixed transaction charge for selling an e-book. It doesn't cost Amazon any more to sell a $3 e-book than a $30 e-book, so why should Amazon take a bigger cut from the more expensive e-book?
Re: Makes sense actually...
If the "disclaimer" is meaningless, then why bother posting it at all?
The "disclaimer" isn't about alerting searchers that the results they see might be different if they try google.com instead of google.cc-tld, it's about getting the political message out there that google objects to ordinary plebs having a right to control the picture that google paints of them.
The whole malarkey about "delinking" articles is just more FUD - web pages aren't being unlinked or managed in any way by google - the only thing that is being changed is the index for a particular search term - not a web page, something that google does all the time whenever it tweaks it's algorithms, and it damn well doesn't do anything to alert webmasters that their web pages will be affected when that happens!
Re: Bugger solar panels!
In a vacuum, outside a gravity well.
The vacuum helps, but you won't be able to take off from the moon with this device.
Google is doing something with my name that impacts on me (returning a somewhat arbitrary list of links to web pages that refer to me by name). It makes sense to me that Google has a responsibility to respond to my concerns, and where my concerns are reasonable, change the way it handles my name, by altering the list that it generates in response to a search on my name. (I will grant that the definition of "reasonable concern" is a matter for debate).
The fact that some negative information about me exists is not the problem. The problem occurs when that negative information is presented without context in a way that has an inordinately negative effect. There is no question that Google has the technology and the wherewithal to change the results that are returned in response to a search for my name, the only question is what are the rules under which such changes should be made.
A simple thought experiment
Purely as a thought experiment, consider a law that banned searching by personal names entirely. It's immediately obvious that that would be fairly trivial to implement (with edge cases for certain names, but this is just a thought experiment) simply by filtering the index, something that every search engine does all the time. It obviously wouldn't involve the wholesale deletion of documents from the web, because the documents would still all be there, all findable by the hundreds or thousands of other words and phrases that make up the document.
Would this "break the web"? It might have an impact on a tiny subset of users who actually search for peoples names, but most of us would never even notice, because we don't do that very often, and even when we do search a persons name, it wouldn't really matter that much to us if we couldn't. It would obviously help with the privacy concerns that some people have, and it might negatively affect c-list celebrities. But it's hard to see that it would really make that much difference to the world as we know it, once way or the other, so it would cost the ordinary web user practically nothing, but it would be considered useful by the small subset of users that are damaged by the blunt-force indexing of their name that we get today.
After conducting this thought experiment, are you still convinced that a much more narrowly focused change that allows an ordinary user some control how a search engine handles their own name will be such a disaster for the Web? Yes, the details of how much control a user can have needs to be worked out, but the Googles of this world have tackled far harder issues than this.
"vague, ambigupus and unhelpful criteria"
"It is wrong in principle to leave search engines themselves the task of deciding whether to delete information or not, based on vague, ambiguous and unhelpful criteria".
Here's an idea - how about coming up with clear, unambiguous and helpful criteria to give citizens some control over the way they are portrayed by search engines!
It is actually a good thing that the initial ruling was not overly prescriptive, because we need a degree of dialog between a number of different parties, representing commercial, government and societal viewpoints on this issue, about how best to deliver on the principle that the ECJ has described. This will take time to work out, but the principle that each citizen has a right to their good name, and that that will impact how search engines respond to searches ON THAT NAME, will seem like common sense, and that it has absolutely nothing to do with deleting articles from the web.
Re: @Al Jones
Netflix is helping Lariat.net by providing content that is enticing enough that people want to sign up to Lariat.net so that they can get access to Netflix. The money that that new user pays splits about 80-20 in Lariat.nets favor.
There's no question that delivery of broadband to more widely dispersed populations, further from exchange points has different economies than delivering service in denser urban environments. But as I said, that's Lariat.net's business model, not Netflix's business model.
By the way, I should have pointed out that I don't even have a Netflix subscription.
Let me get this straight. Customers are asking Lariat whether Lariat will give them decent access to Netflix in exchange for paying a monthly subscription that is probably considerably more than the customer is paying Netflix, and it's Netflix's fault that the answer is no?
It's not clear whether Mr Glass is losing customers because they're switching to other ISPs that can deliver what he can't, or whether he's the only game in town, and he's complaining that his users can't get decent Netflix access because the population of Wyoming is too spread out to get decent bandwidth cheaply. But Netflix business model is working for Netflix - it doesn't have to work for lariat.net
The LZO bug may had been sitting there for 20 years, but there's no indication that someone discovered it 20 years ago, and didn't tell anyone about it so that it could be fixed.
There's no comparison with a known critical bug that was not revealed to the people that could fix it.
Re: firefox ESR updated too
Years ago I discovered that I could use a Firefox Extension to put my tabs down the left hand side of the screen. I can see the full title for 30-odd tabs at a time, and on a 1920x1080 screen, the one thing I'm not short of is room for a 2 inch column of tabs.
I've never made the switch to putting my Windows taskbar on the side of the screen, but for browsers, this single feature has made Firefox so "sticky" that there's no moving away from it. My only reaction to "Tabs on Top" is Why?
Re: Another breakthrough from the centre for establishing the obvious.
A country with a population of 300 million that absolutely refuses to broadcast any "foreign muck" on the mainstream channels*. They'll buy in a series and re-make it, but they won't broadcast the original. You can understand their reluctance with something like Taggart, for instance, that even some BBC viewers might have needed subtitles for, but when it comes to "police procedurals", for example, there are plenty of BBC and ITV series that would more than hold their own against their US equivalents, but they will never be seen on US TV, except on PBS stations. Even "niche"channels like the Food Channel won't show the likes of the Great British Bake Off, even though there's nothing in it that would be a turn-off for that channels typical audience.
It's a level of chauvinism that even the French can't aspire to!
Re: Now how about a .wales, .sixcounties and .england as well?
Some of the locals call it the 6 counties.
If you were to include the 300,000 "Ulstermen" who live in the 3 Ulster counties in the Republic, you might find that Ulster, like the man from Del Monte, says Yes!
Re: Now how about a .wales, .northernireland and .england as well?
"58% against independence and 47% for"
Are you expecting some people to be voting early and voting often?
Re: Scotland using English tld?
.alba might be a bit confusing for those who have encountered the phrase "Perfidious Albion".
Re: Booksellers do deserve protection
"Online selling, however, has done more to protect niche publishing. "
I'm not sure that I'd agree with that. For a start, Amazon is pretty useless at categorizing books (apparently, it doesn't need to be good at it, because it has made zero effort to improve it's search engine). So finding that niche is often harder on Amazon, than in a bookstore (especially a specialist bookstore that deals with that particular niche).
And in the case of France, French language publishing is also a (fairly large) niche - protecting French Bookstores may also be a factor in protecting French language publishing over the long term.
Amazon has certainly made self-publishing easier, which is definitely advantageous for certain types of non-fiction niches, as well as for fiction, where a certain gold-rush mentality exists, with lots of stuff thrown out there with the hope (or for the more deluded, the expectation) of wealth and fame.
But there's no curation, which makes finding the worthwhile stuff harder.
Re: "British Antarctic Survey"
How long has that windmill been up there???
"Broadband providers would be expected to report on every aspect of their practices and services, including metrics like jitter and packet corruption, which are unlikely to be meaningful to the average consumer," the Republican duo assert.
"Expensive and burdensome reports that add no measurable consumer benefit are exactly the type of regulatory overreach that cost-benefit analysis is meant to prevent."
I can assure you that the average consumer wouldn't be able to make head nor tail of the regulatory reports that the Pharma, AgriFood, Auto, and Power Generation industries are required to file, but that's certainly not an argument that we don't need to regulate these industries.
(I deliberately left out the Financial industry, because they don't even understand the reports that they file).
Re: Something needs to be changed in how certificates are trusted.
That auditing idea might pick up "honest mistakes" (!) but if a CA was deliberately generating bogus certs, then they presumably would deliberately exclude that particular cert from a self-published audit list of certs, so you might end up with a false sense of security, if people were actually depending on this type of auditability of CAs.
Netflix isn't delivering their service over an ADSL connection in Zimbabwe - the congestion isn't occurring at the Netflix servers, it's occurring at the gateways where Verizon connects to the rest of the internet.
Verizon customers aren't paying Verizon $50/month to access Verizon's webmail servers, they're paying to get access to, and download content on Netflix, Youtube, Facebook and other 3rd party content, and they are typically consuming far, far more content/bandwidth than they are sending out.
(On a side note, Verizon's own website for paying my FiOS bill only is unquestionably the slowest, clunkiest website that I have to deal with on a regular basis - it's not hard for me to believe that Verizon are simply not capable of running an ISP efficently).
Being allowed to replace the original broadcast ads would be particularly interesting if they replaced the constant 3 minute ad-breaks with 1 second ad-breaks for programs that were recorded to be watched later. Their potential demographic would probably pay more for such a service, if Aereo could pull it off, than they could earn by placing their own ads in the stream.
$10/month with traditional ads, $15 with "blip" ads!
Re: Where the packets pass..
"which should be possible outside of funky NAT'ed networks"
You mean like the ones that a lot of mobile carriers still provide?
Re: It is pretty sad
It's pretty sad that you think that the FTC didn't know about Google.
Didn't you consider that maybe the information about the Apple lawyers e-mail makes for a nice juicy headline, even if the FTC were already investigating Google.
No wonder journalists get away with so much, when readers lap this stuff up!
Re: How is this Google's fault?
The ECJ ruling says that people in the EU have a "right to be forgotten". Google has a responsibility to respect that right, and EU citizens shouldn't have to go to court to exercise that right, once the right has been established. The Court is there to adjudicate in cases where there is disagreement about the implementation, but bouncing every single request to the court by default would clearly be an abuse.
For example, newspapers know that people have a right to their good name, and they won't publish information that they recognize would be libelous. Sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes the object of an article thinks that they got it wrong and the courts have to make a decision, but most of the time peoples rights are respected without requiring court intervention.
Re: This is a scam!
It's not so much that people are quite happy to replace stuff, as that the cost of labour means that an hour of a technicians time will cost a substantial fraction of what it would cost to just buy a replacement - and if one component has worn-out/been damaged, maybe another component will need to be replaced shorty after you pay for the first repair.
Given the pace of change in a lot of consumer electronics, buying new instead of repairing also means new features, better specs as well as the all important "shiny, shiny!!" factor (and a new warranty, to boot!)
I imagine there are probably some football fans reading who wish their TVs had developed a fault in the weeks before the World Cup so that they would have had an excuse to replace it, rather than repair it!
Re: Why bother making things so thin?
Fragile? A screen that cracks when it's being pried apart isn't necessarily fragile - it's being taken way outside it's design specifications.
If you wanted to replace the screen because it had cracked, then it wouldn't really matter that you'd probably break the screen by removing it from the case - it's already broken! (Though if you want to replace the battery, and you have to remove the screen to do that, you might have a point!)
In real life, you probably won't be able to replace the screen, because there won't be spare screens available to replace it with! That's already the case for many such devices, unless they have iDevice or Galaxy style market penetration.
UMA on T-Mobile has been very helpful with spotty coverage over the years, though it doesn't seem to like some wifi routers.
Re: No roaming because of 999/112
What I don't get is why they think that a phone belonging to a user living in Liverpool, for example, can use WiFi calling in Calais, without confusing 999/112, but won't be able to do it 20 miles further away in Calais?
It's obviously about preventing people bypassing roaming charges.
That must be some impressive WiFi receiver technology on those balloons, if it can pick up domestic 802.11/b/g/n transmissions at the altitudes it's operating from!
Re: Macs in Landfill
At the bottom of www.dell.co.uk, there's a link called Corporate Responsibility - it includes exactly the sort of information that you found on the Apple site. HP goes for the rather more whale-song label of "Living Progress", also found at the bottom of the home page.
Even Lenovo has a "Social Responsibility" link at the bottom of the home page.
Of course, they're probably all just copying Apple....
Re: Bad Precedent
You mean like the Dell Inspiron 23 5000 Series Touch with a faster 4th gen, 4-core i5 CPU, a larger 23" 1920 x 1080 touch screen, 8GB of RAM and 1TB drive for £699?
There is no precedent here - Apple are not the first, and won't be the last, to build machines like this. And like Apple, Dell feels that there are customers that will pay a price premium for this form factor compared to a more "standard" mini-tower and screen (though in this day and age, an SFF box with VGA and HDMI/Displayport and 6-8 USB ports is probably more than adequate for 95% of users).
I also see that Dell seems to have standardized on 8GB for the default configuration these days, even for "value" systems. Only 6 months ago, they were charging a ridiculous premium to upgrade the standard 4GB configuration to 8GB.
Re: Wasn't there an "Almost Human" episode...
Maybe that's probably why they cancelled that show? (Pity - as chewing-gum for the eyes goes, it wasn't bad).
Re: There'll never be a good solution for tax shenanigans.
"However, if Apple are keeping their profits overseas as a result of these shenanigans, the shareholders don't benefit because the money isn't brought home to be distributed as a dividend."
Dividends? Where have you been for the last couple of decades?
Nobody invests in Amazon/Google/Apple for the dividend, the "return" is expected to come from buying low and selling high.
Apple didn't pay ANY dividends between 1995 and 2012, though since then it has been paying about $3/share per quarter - say $12 over two years. In the same time period the share price has increased by between $40 and $60 (it was $60 last week, it's only $40 this afternoon).
Amazon and Google have never declared a dividend, as far as I know.
I was sure that the old cattle prod would play a prominent part in today's episode when I saw the reference to rebranding in the title!
The smear is obviously working
There is absolutely no evidence that Ireland has offered Apple favourable tax rulings - both the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland and Apple insist that there are no special tax deals for Apple - the same rules apply to Apple as apply to any other company. But Brussels will take 12-18 months to investigate this, meanwhile leaving a cloud over the whole issue. The consistency and predictability of Ireland's tax code has been a factor in Ireland's FDI strategy, and a long drawn out investigation that will probably fail to find anything doesn't help.
Ireland's rules on "tax residency" for companies are based on where the company is managed from, rather than where it is incorporated - this means that some of Apple's subsiduaries aren't tax-resident anywhere, because even though they are owned and managed from Cupertino, the US doesn't consider them tax resident there because they are incorporated in Ireland. Ireland has recently changed it's laws so that any company that is incorporated in Ireland that isn't tax resident somewhere else will be considered tax resident in Ireland - presumably there was a LOT of lobbying to prevent the US government introducing a law that would have allowed to pick up these "state-less" companies, but in the long run, these US companies are going to come under more pressure to pay taxes to the IRS than to EU governments - indeed, if anything, the more they end up paying to EU Governments, the more unhappy the US will be about not getting its share!
Maybe it's just me, but "the government" couldn't piggy-back on big-data's surveillance if that surveillance wasn't so pervasive. I'm far more concerned about the implications of higher health-insurance premiums because big data has developed a profile that fits some high-risk category (analysis of my spending patterns, or cell-phone location information showing where I eat or socialize). I'm more concerned that a future potential employer will pass me over for a job because they've bought a "job-candidate-profile" score from some spin-off that analyzes my social network footprint and decides that I have too many or too few of the right kind of friends, and has nothing to do with my technical skills or otherwise. These are commercially driven invasions of my privacy that aren't "opt-in". Different attitudes to privacy might mean that EU citizens would have some degree of protection from this type of thing, but if there's a way to monetize it, US citizens will definitely be subject to this type of profiling.
Even in the ultra-partisan political environment of the US currently, "the Government" doesn't care about me, and just doesn't have any incentive to slice and dice the data to get at me. Yeah, the knowledge that spending a lot of time looking for certain topics on the internet is going to raise flags has a chilling effect, but that was true before the internet too. But so far, the sort of "social control" that people seem to be afraid of doesn't come from deep-data analysis - Kansas gets Creationists on the local school boards, Colorado votes for pot, Arizona votes for a Cactus Curtain largely by very broad brush "old media" campaigns.
Re: Something very wrong here.
If this error was as common as corrupt BBC Basic programs (and, to be fair, corrupt Speccie, C64 and Amstrad CPC64 programs), then no doubt there'd be a number of tools out there to fix it.
But it's not that common a problem. Without taking away from the time and effort Trevor put into figuring out how to actually open up the file and fix it, the process is relatively straightforward, and it just needs an XML parser with a slightly different focus (highlighting the hanging tag) to make it easier, but the problem doesn't crop up often enough that the people with the necessary skills have been motivated to write code that will make it easier to fix this type of problem when it does crop.
I kinda knew somewhere in the dusty recesses that an OOXML file was just a .zip file, and Trevor's description of the process that he used will probably mean that I'll remember that fact if I'm ever motivated enough to try to recover data from a corrupt OOXML file, but I'll probably end up trying whatever XML parsers I have to hand at that time, rather than remembering which ones worked best for him.
Re: Not sure I agree
Congratulations - you have just undermined the very point that the author is trying to make - that State Pensions (Social Security in USAian) should be treated as wealth.
Your example of using your own private 401K as collateral against a loan disproves Worstalls argument - try taking a loan out against your future Social Security income, and see how it works out. You wouldn't be able to do it on the same terms that you can with your 401K, so even if (for example) your 401k ended up providing exactly the same income as you will eventually get from Social Security, it would be wrong to count your Social Security as part of your current "wealth", though the author says that it should be.
Re: Here's what Comcast is saying as of 8 April:
So you can save $5 by going from a 300GB cap to a 5GB cap which means that Comcast are only putting a value of 1.7c on those GB, but if you go over 5GB, you'll be charged $1 per GB.
Nice margins, if you can get them!
Only a tiny fraction of an end users bill pays for actual bandwidth - a user downloading 250GB a month doesn't cost Comcast $10 more to service than a user downloading 5GB a month. Even if the average user went from say 50GB a month to 150GB a month, Comcast's actual costs wouldn't increase by $10 per user per month.
Re: Perversely, I thought metering was sane.
Someone IS paying to ship Netflix's bits - the "eyeballs who are being charged $60 a month by Comcast to connect to their $8 a month Netflix account!
Re: POS systems were Internet facing as well.
Would you prefer if Siemens had said "we're not going to bother releasing patches to our software that is vulnerable to the heartbleed flaw, because only an idiot would make their SCADA systems internet facing".
There's a known vulnerability in some of the libraries that they use in their SCADA software. They've released a patch. The only head-scratcher is why anyone would think that they shouldn't have bothered!
Re: sounds familiar
Do you know when the bug was identified? You don't think OpenSSL.org released an updated version at the same time as they announced the vulnerability because it only took them 20 minutes to figure out and release an upgrade, do you?
In other words, we DID have to wait for the owners of openSSL to fix the bug before we found out about it, and could protect ourselves from the impact.
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