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* Posts by Barry Rueger

228 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL

Barry Rueger

Re: Foot, meet bullet

Or like Starbucks announcing that there are absolutely no rat-droppings

in their coffee...

One word for you: civet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Barry Rueger

Anyone heard from a server admin anywhere yet?

admins of at-risk servers should generate new public-private key pairs, destroy their session cookies, and update their SSL certificates before telling users to change every potentially compromised password

Anyone heard from a server admin anywhere yet? I have logins at probably 50 to 75 sites of various sizes and shapes, at least some of which should have been hit by Heartbleed.

To date I have not heard from a single one of them to say that they've fixed things up, or telling me to update passwords.

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Will Yelp help 'Yahoo!' compete with Google? Search us...

Barry Rueger

Re: Yelp ain't a bed of roses either

As we speak Yelp is blitzing our business phone each day trying to sell us... well, I don't know what because I never answer calls from 1-888, can't be bothered to listen past the first ten words of their voice mails, and I sure aren't about to waste time phoning them back.

I'm honestly not sure that anyone really uses Yelp for anything. We've never seen a referral from them.

Then again I stopped paying them any attention when I discovered that a glowing review from one of our clients had been spam filtered by them, with no notification, and no apparent way to appeal the move.

That's the kind of crap practices that makes me lose all interest in a company.

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The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Barry Rueger

Re: Just great...

Silly me. I thought they could maybe FIX THE WEB SITE?

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email. If you currently reside outside of the United States, but purchased DRAM during the class period while residing in any state or territory in the United States, you can still submit a claim. If you supply me with your mailing address, I would be happy to mail you a claim form. Alternately, there is the option to print a claim form from the website www.DRAMclaims.com.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you,

Claims Administrator

DRAM Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation

info@DRAMClaims.com

1-800-589-1425

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Barry Rueger

Re: Just great...

I just e-mailed them to ask how to do that, since their idiotic web form of course will not allow anything but a US mailing address.

Yes, on occasion people do actually LEAVE The Land Of The Free.

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Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Barry Rueger

Fear Uncertainty Doubt

I am resigned to upgrading my Significant Other's XP box some time soon - probably just by just buying a new system.

What I dread is moving her files and such over from XP to Windows whatever we wind up with.

In particular Windows Live Mail. By which I mean, the Windows Live Mail that downloads and saves your e-mail on the hard-drive, not the Windows Live Mail that saves your e-mail in the cloud.

I still wake up with nightmares when I think of the horror show that was moving email from her old and horribly overstuffed Outlook Express (which honestly was just fine except that it was becoming unmanageable for some reason that I now forget but assume involved thousands of messages in her Inbox).

I'm assuming that moving her documents and email to a new Windows box will be anything but straightforward.

Seriously, I FEAR this job.

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eBay stockholders! There's MORE to COME, thunders Carl Icahn

Barry Rueger

Two Questions

There are still people who use E-bay?

And PayPal?

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HTC looks to cheaper phones as revenues wane

Barry Rueger

Cheaper phones? About time.

It's long overdue for a shake out in the smart phone market - no matter how I look at it the current $500-$1000 prices are way out of line.

Given how ubiquitous these phones have become, and how short the usual life span is for a bit of tech that gets carried in pockets and purses, and dropped regularly, I would expect prices for mid-range phones to settle in at couple of hundred dollars.

At that point I'd trade in at least once a year instead of waiting until my phone is well and truly dead.

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Facebook-for-suits biz LinkedIn shares drop on weakened 2014 outlook

Barry Rueger

Slightly More Useful Than MySpace

I've got a LinkedIn profile. Once every two years I even update it.

And I get no less than three or four e-mails every week from LinkedIn telling me something that I don't need to know about someone I don't remember ever linking to.

I honestly can't see the point of it. I know that I never came close to getting a job because of it. Or hiring anyone. I'm more likely to do either of those via Facebook or even Twitter.

I suspect that this is because I actually am drawn to content. Discussion. Thoughtfulness. Depth.

Stuff that LinkedIn can't or won't provide.

Besides - who in God's name wants to spend an afternoon reading other people's resumes?

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

Barry Rueger

Re: JB? I Dream of JB!

Will check it out!

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Barry Rueger

Re: So why didn't you buy an iPhone?

Do they not sell or somehow block unlocked handsets in Canada?

Actually it's pretty much impossible to find a handset for sale except from the the cel providers.

You can order up a Google phone on-line of course, but aside from that you will have to look very long and very hard in Canada to find a company other than the big three selling handsets.

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Barry Rueger

JB? I Dream of JB!

About three months ago my Nexus S gave up the ghost. Called my cel provider (Telus in Canada) to see about upgrading to a new phone. I got the Nexus on a three year contract and actually felt it was a reasonable deal. I'm perennially short on cash, so I can live with the contract. Or could.

After WAY too much time and energy I finally pinned them down: in order to upgrade to a current (ish) smartphone I would need to pay $150 and accept a MINIMUM increase in my monthly spend of $20. For two years.

Which would mean that the new phone would cost me about $650.

Except that the "cheapest" plan I could get on a new contract was not the same as what I have now. I would need to pay extra to keep my 2 gig monthly data cap, and my full voicemail service (not the "free" one that limits you to three messages in your inbox.)

They finally admitted that in order to upgrade the phone to a current one would cost me $150 PLUS I would now be paying $98 a month, instead of the $50 a month I pay now.

Meaning, to get a new phone and keep the service that I have would cost me an added $1300!!!!!

Which is how I came to by a cheap as dirt $100 pay as you go Samsung Discovery. Never heard of it? Neither had I.

Which arrived three months ago with Ice Cream Sandwich, and with no hope whatsoever of an upgrade, and because it's pretty much unknown, underpowered, and mediocre, little likelihood of a Cyanogenmod implementation.

The camera sucks rocks too.

I have to say that Android is pretty much a hopeless mess, with every phone, from every manufacturer, and many carriers, being it's own little customized item, which leaves 85% of the Android population powerless to do anything but wait for some large corporation to bother to upgrade their systems.

Why this matters: smartphones now handle just about anything that desktop computers did five years ago - e-mail, communications, banking, shopping, bill payments, remote access by VPN.

One hell of a lot of sensitive and private data is flying around, and the end users not only don't have any idea how secure their systems are, they have literally no way of improving the security of their smartphones.

None of us would accept it if Apple, or Microsoft, or (insert Linux distro here) said "Here's your OS, and don't ever expect us to fix any security problems, or make any improvements, or make it possible to replace it with a new version."

So why do we accept that from the companies that provide the OS for our phones?

Surely one massive lawsuit is pending at some point.

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IBM reveals radical email interface rethink

Barry Rueger

Email = Text

Every time you add pictures, or great swaths of white space, to a page, you've decreased the amount of text that is displayed.

Give me e-mail client that makes text the focus, and which can display a large number of useful things on one screen.

There's a reason why the basic e-mail client presentation hasn't changed since pretty much the inception of e-mail... it works.

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Sony on the ropes after Moody's downgrade to junk

Barry Rueger

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Wow. I can remember when you bought Sony stuff because it was, simply, the best.

Gee... what other tech company is seen as untouchable, very shiny and cool, has a fanatical fan base, and is seen as having success and stock value that can't be stopped?

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Barry Rueger

Why? Why?

I have to ask, who on earth would want to watch a videotaped version of a movie screening a theatre?

No, I've never bothered to download a camcordered movie, and doubt that I ever will. I can't imagine how it could be anything but awful, and (in my limited experience) I can't think of anything that I would want to watch that badly that I wouldn't just pay to see in the theatre - or wait for a DVD or screener to show up on Pirate Bay.

As an aside, a couple of months ago we saw an remarkably dimwitted woman arguing with the theatre employees when they busted her for videotaping the credits at the end of the movie.

I don't if she filmed the whole film, or just the credits (plausible enough), but standing in a movie theatre with a video camera AFTER THE HOUSE LIGHTS HAVE BEEN TURNED UP is about as dumb as it gets.

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Bloke hews plywood Raspberry Pi tablet

Barry Rueger

Re: We did question his use of plywood

I will continue to malign cheapo Chinese plywood.

Here in Canada our mighty leaders have determined that the best way to grow our economy is to ship raw logs to China, then ship the finished plywood back for use here.

It IS cheap, but as if often the case with Chinese products, you get what you pay for.

When we painted the stuff the top veneer BUBBLED.

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Workers, guards clash in hours-long Samsung factory RIOT in Vietnam

Barry Rueger

Frist Post!

"having experienced its first work-related riots"

Wow! Just the thing that every potential investor wants to hear!

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BlackBerry CEO: I LOVE keyboards, so if you want them, you'll get them

Barry Rueger

Hurrah!

It's winter again here in Vancouver, and that means rain, and snow, and cold, and numb fingers.

All of which make touch screens nearly useless. Even after you seal your phone inside a ZipLock bag.

I will quite happily buy a smartphone with real buttons and a physical keyboard.

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Samsung whips out 12.2-inch 'Professional' iPad killers

Barry Rueger

Thin White Colored Folks

At least Samsung is willing to actually admit that computers are not really intended for coloured folks.

My amusement though is on reading "The Note Pro is 7.95 millimeters thick ...By comparison, Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Air is 7.5mm thick."

Is there anyone aside from oh so delicate Apple fanboys who would actually be able to feel a difference of .45 mm?

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Barry Rueger

Re: Not another smart phone?

I have to add one more thing Ted - regardless of whether you look at it as a "phone" or a "really small computer." (I'm in the latter camp, and do everything short of editing documents on my Android device.)

When will the boneheads in sunny California learn that 98% of touchscreen phones are next to useless outdoors, in the rain, and the snow.

Seriously, I got so fed up with being unable to even answer a phone call that I took to carrying my phone inside of a Zip-Lock plastic bag.

As nice as touchscreens can be, there are simply some times when you NEED mechanical buttons. Answering calls would be one. For me, entering text would be another.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

Barry Rueger

Palm Sync

"The one-button data sync with a desktop computer made keeping things up to date easily"

This month I've been looking at options to sync my desktop and smartphone data - options that don't involve sluicing everything through Google.

Bit by bit it is getting sorted, but at the end of the day I really, really miss the simplicity of Palm software - one button - everything synced. I would pay real money for an app that would do that with my Android phone.

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OpenSUSE 13.1: Oh look, a Linux with YOU in mind (and 64-bit ARMs)

Barry Rueger

Re: I want to quit my addiction to Microsoft products...

Truth is if you can find your way around Windows, you'll be fine in any of the common Linux variants - Ubuntu, Mint, SUSE... the basic idea of desktop + toolbar + menus is common to all. And any major distro will be 99% sure to just work out of the box.

Try it out via a live USB drive or CD first - nothing is installed and you can play to your heart's content.

Regarding MS Office - yes, older versions will run under Wine, and I did that for a while.

In practice I get by just fine with LibreOffice and tend to send most things out as PDFs, which LO generates utterly painlessly. Again, if you know MS Office, LibreOffice is similar enough to be an easy learn.

The one program that I do need to run in Windows is our accounting package - it just won't work under Wine.

So for that, and an older version of Photoshop that gets used maybe once a month, I run VirtualBox. Once Windows has been installed inside that it runs just fine on my not too recent machine, and both of these programs run just fine. For my money it's much easier than Wine.

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'High impact' Gmail password security hole blew accounts wide open

Barry Rueger

Been There. Didn't Do That.

I believe that e-mail hit my in-box last week? Ignored it of course.

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

Barry Rueger

Audacious

I've been using Audacious on Linux for a while - what I take to be a Winamp clone? I really can't understand why you need behemoth of a program just to play tunes. http://audacious-media-player.org/

Like Winamp did on Windows, Audacious does on Linux and Windows - gives you a really simple music player.

Seriously, why do the people designing music players feel the need to i-Tunesify them and make large, cumbersome, and confusing?

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Acer's new Haswell all-flash Chromebooks sip power for less than $200

Barry Rueger

Right Wing Logic

Ah, the right wing logic always amazes me.

The item in question costs £14+ more in the UK than in the US even after VAT has been added to the $US retail price. (£199 - £185).

Right wing droid declares "You're "getting fucked out of" £14.60 at most. Not a big deal. Blame the government.".

Hate to burst your bubble, but that extra £14 is being grabbed by the capitalist whores at Acer, not by the government. But hey, what's a little 9% premium if it keeps Free Enterprise humming along....

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Netflix, YouTube video killed the BitTorrent star? Duo gobble web traffic

Barry Rueger

Netflix all the way

We have a Netflix account (that thinks we're in the US, not Canada). $10 a month roughly for all that we can watch. Cable would run some $75-100. Not a hard choice to make.

If you like British detective series and foreign films, rather than NFL and hockey at least. If your life is only complete when you can watch TONIGHT'S NEW EPISODE OF (some mediocre American sitcom), then yeah, Netflix won't do it.

What Netflix doesn't have I will pull off of Pirate Bay - maybe once or twice a month.

At the end of the day Netflix has demonstrated that people will choose to buy legal content if it's priced reasonably.

Note: Bittorrent traffic maybe a smaller percentage of the whole, but does that mean that they are generating less traffic? Or just that Netflix etc are doing much, much more than previously.

Note 2: Do not under any circumstances watch the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Movie after the full TV series.

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FLIGHTMARE! Inflight cell calling debuts, dealing heavy blow to quality of life

Barry Rueger

Please Mr. Al-Qaeda, Save Us!

There's an obvious and simple solution to all of this.

Hire a brown skinned passenger (aka "Terrurist") to carry a cel phone filled with something that goes "Boom."

Once the TSA nabs him you can be sure that phones will be added to the list of stuff that you aren't allowed to carry on to the plane.

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Backup software for HDD and Cloud

Barry Rueger

Re: I use...

Wow - I used Second Copy about ten years ago to sync Palm files and calendars between two systems on our home network (Windows something) and really liked it. One of those little gems that Just Worked, and which let you do what YOU wanted, rather than what THEY wanted.

After a foray into Apple, then settling on Linux, never used it again. Good to see it's still around.

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Barry Rueger

Non-Cryptic Printer

A great mystery is the "free from Craigslist" HP 4315 Inkjet printer beside me. Mostly just used as a scanner because even after installing HP's Linux driver bundle it never exactly works right.

Specifically: It refuses to print the Guardian Cryptic Crossword Puzzle.

It will print the clues, and all of the numbers, but will absolutely not print the lines and black squares that define the actual grid.

Actually it gets stranger. If I choose the "Print Version" of the puzzle, it won't print. If I "print" it to a PDF, then print THAT it's fine.

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Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

Barry Rueger

Value vs Features vs Price

My trusty Nexus S has died finally, so I'm shopping. Probably I'll find a used Nexus 4 on Craigslist, or maybe go one further and pay Google $350 for a Nexus 4. I'm tied sufficiently into the Googleverse that using hardware that's also predominantly Google makes sense.

However....

In the interim I'm using a cheap and crappy Samsung Discovery, running ICS, with no hope of ever upgrading to the beauty of JB - much less KitKat. It's slow, and kind of ugly, but I only paid $100 for it - new - and it runs everything that I use adequately well. You might call it a "landfill" phone, but for 90% of people it would actually work just fine.

If an adequate phone can be had for $100, why would I spend $700-1000 for new Samsung or Sony device? (The asking price from any of Canada's network operators.)

For that matter, how come the Nexus 5 which sells for $350 on Google's web site is being offered for $500 by the Canadian telcos? (Greed of course, pure unfettered greed)

The thing that allows this level of price gouging is obvious: it is more or less impossible to buy a cel phone from anyone other than a cel provider. Whether you're paying the full (inflated) price up front, or going for the the "free" (inflated price) phone with a two year contract, you're pretty much stuck with buying from the greedy cel companies.

The reality is that virtually no-one will know about or buy a phone from Google, because they are awash in advertising from the cel companies that imply that you have to buy from them.

Ultimately what we in Canada need is a big enough, tough enough retail operator who will specialize in selling unlocked name brand phones at good prices. Someone with enough marketing budget to blast through the wall of cel company advertising.

Until we can separate the hardware from the phone service we're going to continue to get screwed.

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Hate data fees but love your HD slab? Here's a better way to pay for bytes

Barry Rueger

Two problems actually

Oh Canada! Where the current MINIMUM plan that comes with new phone costs $70 a month, and includes - hold on! - 250 megabytes of data. If you want more than that you'll wind up paying a nice round $100 a month.

OK, so we get robbed blind by the monopolistic triumvirate that runs Canada's cel networks. I accept that.

The real problem is apps that refuse to let you limit their use to WIFI.

Our local library has been flogging the Overdrive app for e-books and audio books, and I was using it on my Android phone for the latter. It's actually one of the worst apps I've encountered on almost every level, but I like our library, support them, and where a good option exists, actually try to obtain media legally.

Because I am not independently wealthy I had specifically set Overdrive to only download via WIFI.

Last month Overdrive updated their app to add some flashy but generally useless swipey junk. And REMOVED the WIFI only setting. And removed the control that let you pause a download in progress.

The next time I went to download a new audiobook the damned thing gobbled up a month's worth of data in a couple of hours.

So Overdrive, I'm gone back to using Pirate Bay for audio books. Better selection, faster and easier downloads, and they don't expire after two weeks.

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Ahoy, scalliwags! FBI claims another haul of Silk Road booty - $26m of it

Barry Rueger

Tax on the Stupid

Sigh. Repeat after me: Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean that a) it isn't still illegal and b) the authorities won't lock up your ass for doing it.

Just as it was stupendously inevitable and obvious that the government and media companies would hammer Napster, Pirate Bay, and other such enterprises, it was abundantly obvious that at some point they would step on Silk Road.

Were these guys really so stupid that they didn't expect the feds to show up? For that matter, do their customers think that they won't also get nabbed?

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LG opts for a Brazilian, lobs out low-powered Firefox OS mobe Fireweb

This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by a moderator

FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Barry Rueger

Re: Obscured upgrade path

"And Windows Easy Transfer doesn't count, assuming it works with Windows 8 (although it should). You have to know it exists first and then locate it on Microsoft's website."

And you know, at the end of the day, that's a big deal.

Girlfriend is still running XP, and only last year was upgraded from Outlook Express (with which she actually was very happy) to Windows Live Mail (or whatever the version is called that actually downloads the e-mail to your hard drive).

I'm sure that a new system and new OS* are coming, and I automatically assume that somehow moving all of her stuff from XP to Win 7 or 8 will become a nightmare. Maybe it isn't these days, but I have long ago learned to not assume anything with MS.

* Yes it'll be Windows. She specifically uses MS Word a lot, and it makes no sense to try and move her existing docs into LibreOffice.

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Wanna sell a phone in New York? Better have a receipt

Barry Rueger

Canada has it.

Just announced last week, Canada now has a thingy on the the Interweb to check the IMEI of stolen or lost phones. http://www.protectyourdata.ca

Of course...

a) It's run by the evil scum slimeball cel phone companies.

b) It's ugly as sin and confusing to boot.

c) This service is limited to 2 queries per day by Canadian consumers only (WTF??)

d) The website bizarrely doesn't actually tell you how to register your phone as stolen, beyond calling the cops. Who largely don't care about penny ante stuff like phone thefts.

And of course, it's already possible to hack and change the IMEI number http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/police-mobile-software-hack-defeating-anti-theft-measure/

What i can't understand is why all of the stolen/second hand phones on Craigslist are selling nearly retail prices.

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Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

Barry Rueger

Re: A neat trick

Oooh! Bargain! In Canada the minimum monthly spend is $70, meaning your free phone plus service costs you $1680 over two years.

Canadian telcos finally eliminated the infamous three year contracts that were required when you got a "free" phone.

However, they maintain the same level of profit by jumping up the monthly charge, so you pay just as much, only over 24 months instead of 36.

In my case I have two year old plan that charges $50 a month. If I walked though the door today, or even just wanted to upgrade my phone, I'd have to pay at least $70 per month.

(In fact, more than that. $70 a month get you 250 megs of data and a voicemail that will only hold THREE messages. To maintain the services I have now (1 gig + 20 message capacity) I'd have to pay just shy of $100 a month.)

All of which is why I'll just buy my next phone off Craigslist and keep this "cheap" phone plan going until the end of time.

(Bootnote: 95% of the Canadian cel market is owned by three large ugly greedy companies. There are a couple of tiny upstarts which are supposed to provide competition, but they only have service in major centres, and often spotty coverage at that.)

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Problems at Home: Facebook opens alpha testing to world+dog

Barry Rueger

Call me Back When/If it's Finished

Yes I'm a Facebook user, although every time they remove another bit of privacy or another actually useful feature I find myself one step closer to leaving.

What amazes me about Facebook is that they have consistently had one of the worst Android apps that I've seen. With every version it just seemed to become more and more unstable, slow, and generally useless for anything that you would want to do with Facebook.

At the same time they want it to be ever more closely integrated into the larger Android ecosystem, with access to more or less everything that Google has control of.

How foolish do they think that I am?

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Three BILLION people now potential nodes for the transfer of cat videos

Barry Rueger

Setting Ourselves Up For Disaster?

I think of how much of my life somehow relies on the Internet - shopping, banking, information, communication at a minimum - and how many essential services now pretty much demand that you access them on-line.

I think about how less secure all of this is than we have been assuming (from either governments, corporations, or Bad Guys), and I think about the sheer size of some of the recent attacks on specific sites and services - can you say "bot-net" anyone?

I've pretty much concluded that we're fast approaching a day when suddenly a significantly large part of modern society will stop working with no warning. Whether by accident, incompetence, or malice really doesn't matter.

The frightening thing is this: twenty years ago it would have been hard to imagine a utility outage that could impact more than a small geographic area. The possible exceptions might be some major electrical outages that might touch a couple million people in a region.

Otherwise, when stuff broke, it was generally a local problem.

Now we're all relying on a large network which, although sold on the idea of being self-repairing, looks to me like it relies on a some pretty vulnerable weak spots - maybe DNS systems; maybe major fibre conduits, or the major hubs that data passes through. And let's not forget the ways that a government can close off some or all of the 'net. And that's not even considering the volume of data living in "Clouds" run by Amazon and others.

It seems to me that there's a looming possibility that one day a large part of the Internet that we rely on will come crashing down.

How much of your life would grind to a halt if the 'Net was unavailable for a day?

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Google says it's sorry for Monday's hours-long Gmail delays

Barry Rueger

Re: Let's fix the #1 problem with email: SPAM

Spam? A serious problem at Gmail? Not in my experience.

My e-mail(s) are scattered hither and yon all over the the Internet, and I seldom see more than a dozen messages a day in my Gmail spam folder. (Yes, I do check it daily, for that one message in a thousand that is filtered wrongly. Although it's likely less than that...)

I remember the bad old days of trying to keep my spam filter settings caught up in whatever standalone desktop mail application I was using - the ability to entirely ignore spam is one of the reasons why I like Gmail so much.

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Open source Android fork Cyanogen becomes $7m company

Barry Rueger

Re: Non-plussed

No, my point was that Android jelly bean lacked these stupendously obvious features, which is why I was trying CM.

Battery life still sucked...

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Barry Rueger

Non-plussed

I've installed CM twice on my admittedly ancient and dusty Nexus S. Both times it was quickly removed when I ran into odd crashes and downright nasty battery life. YMMV.

Ultimately though what really gets my goat is that (aside from random curiosity) I installed it because I wanted a couple of "obvious to anyone who actually uses the damned thing" features: Lock Screen, so I don't keep randomly losing icons from my home screen; and the freedom to send a text message to a group of 44 people at one time without being harassed by Android.

And of course that bloody obvious to anyone that isn't brain dead thing: a quick and easy way to turn WIFI, BlueTooth etc on and off.

I haven't had a chance to play with KitKat yet, but I fear that Android is going the way of so many Google projects - losing features that people actually use, and adding strange restrictions that really have no place.

Who knows - maybe this will be the year of the Firefox and Ubuntu phones.....

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Amazon to offer FREE smartphone?

Barry Rueger

Fair prices for technology

Anything that will drive down phone prices is good by me. I can't conceive why a new smartphone (locally in Canada) runs $600 to $800. Someone is taking a staggering mark up on these items.

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New! Yahoo! logo! shows! Marissa! Meyer's! personal! touch!

Barry Rueger

Holy Remind Me Of GeoCities Batman!

Wow. Just for fun I opened a new tab and typed "yahoo.com" just to see what in the heck Yahoo! was doing these days.

Ooooh-Kaaaay... I now know why I never visit Yahoo.com....

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'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!

Barry Rueger
Paris Hilton

Do They Use Yahoo Groups in Syria?

Wow. So much venom over a glorified mailing list... But then, this IS the Internet.

I subscribe to a couple of Yahoo Groups, and have created a couple in the past. The truth is that Yahoo's interface always sucked big time. At least now it looks good while sucking.

I just can't get all that worked up about cosmetic makeovers of Yahoo, Google, or Hotmail. Sure, I like stuff to more or less stay the same, but I also can see that there are probably 100,000 more important things for me to worry about.

The bottom line is that if you have very specific needs or wants, you should roll your own instead of relying on a large (free) corporate provider. Any web host will offer you a mailing list similar to Yahoo groups for a few dollars a month. That way YOU can choose the interface, the design, and make the rules to suit yourself.

I go back to the days of using LISTSERV and Majordomo - don't even try to tell me that Yahoo's interface is difficult!

(Paris, because well, we are talking suckage...)

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Huawei Ascend P6: Skinny smartphone that's not just bare bones

Barry Rueger

Re: What all this proves is that you can’t get a £550 phone for £350

I've long wondered what on earth people need so much storage for on a phone? Surely just music?? Ten thousand albums downloaded from Pirate Bay? Every picture ever taken?? Movies??

My two year old Nexus S still has 10 gigs free of 14, and I don't worry about managing what's on it. I'll copy off the photos every couple of weeks, but that's it.

Truth is that probably two thirds of people exist quite happily with 8 or 16 gigs on a phone.

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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

Barry Rueger

Re: thuggery isnt it?

Possibly, just possibly, the drives in question held information which would have compromised Guardian sources, and the Guardian was clever enough to refuse to hand them over, and instead "allowed" themselves to be bullied into destroying them.

Under the current global regime, there would likely have been no legal avenue to refuse the government access to all data held on the machines, so smashing them to bits would have been a good way to go. And doing it at the "request" of the government is just a bonus insurance.

(Coincidentally in the midst of reading "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet

By Assange, Julian, ioerror, and others. What they discussed a year ago is pretty much spot on what is happening today.)

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ZTE to flog Firefox OS mobe worldwide via eBay

Barry Rueger

Suits Me Fine

I'm still running fine with my much battered Nexus S. I've been shopping for a new phone, but just can't see spending hundreds of dollars for a marginal improvement in utility.

I'd give this a go with no problem. If it will do Gmail, Twitter, and has a decent GPS, I'm in.

Does though raise the question why big name phones are running $500-700 when ZTE can sell this for under a hundred bucks....

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You're 30 years old and your PIN is '1983'. DAMMIT, biz mobe user

Barry Rueger

Technology Which Should Die

It's time that we tossed the password concept onto the trash heap and found something, anything, better to replace it.

It's ludicrous to have dozens of passwords for dozens of services, which is why so few people actually bother. Aside from stuff like banking and taxes, which actually matter, I recycle the same easy password for most sites.

It's ludicrous to expect people to generate complex alphanumerical with a hashtag passwords - which is why few people actually bother. Again, The Register doesn't get a super secure password because - well, who cares?

And of course, again this week, despite what I might do, another site that I visit now and then got hacked (a local municipal government), so it's again time to replace my password there, my actually very strong password because I used a credit card there, and on any other sites that use a variation on it.

Passwords are 80s technology that should have been retired a decade ago.

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Chromecast: You'll pop me in for HOT STREAMS of JOY, hopes Google

Barry Rueger

But Can They Fix NetFlix?

I'd buy one tomorrow, plus a second smartphone to run it, if they could fix the god-awful NetFlix interface.

It still amazes me how hard NetFlix works to make it difficult to find anything they offer. How their browse function - well, it doesn't really even exist. How they don't even support something so stunningly obvious as a bookmark feature. How the search is on the level of what I had on my Commodore 64.

Seriously, 90% of what we watch on Netflix is found purely at random.

Hands down Netflix offers the second worst media experience that I know of.

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