* Posts by Gavin Chester

59 posts • joined 17 Dec 2007

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Apple chief on Chinese VPN app ban: We always toe the line with other nations' laws

Gavin Chester

But they do comply

Tax law is complex, and everyone (both corporates and individual people) will look to minimise the tax they pay.

Some of the MPs who were highly vocal over the tax of Apple / Facebook/ Amazon etc, were also themselves using some of the same rules to benefit form Offshore accounts. On a much smaller remember how IR35 was introduced to stop the self employed doing tax avoidance, the point is we all would try to pay less tax if we could.

Yes big corporates can afford to set up complex systems that minimise tax, but they do so by cleverly staying inside the law. It may not be in the spirit of the law, but it will be to the letter of the law.

And I fully expect downvotes ,,,

15
2

Crap gift card security helps crims spend your birthday pressie cash

Gavin Chester

John Lewis use printed barcodes

Not sure it makes any odds as to the mechanism of discovering valid accounts, but you would hope the staff are trained not to accept cards with stickers with new bar codes printed on...

Mind you monochrome card printers are probably just as cheap as mag stripe reader / writers...

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Apple hurls out patches for dozens of security holes in iOS, macOS

Gavin Chester
Thumb Up

Credit to Apple, At least they do updates.

My almost 5 year old Iphone 5 got the upgrade, I know it drops out of support in September with the new IOS 11, but how many other phone makers offer support for such an old device?

And yes you may be able to get custom or 3rd party Roms, but I'm referring to the original maker supporting there products longer than it takes Marketing to think up a new advert campaign for the latest shiny, shiny (I'm looking to you Sony!!)

14
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The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Gavin Chester

See The Film Wargames

While in the film the key switches were replaced as the humans were considered a possible weak link in the chain, its not a huge stretch to consider replacing the human with a box to do the work as its cheaper, and does as its told.

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Drones over London caused aviation chaos, pilots' reports reveal

Gavin Chester

"One described the drone as five feet across, while another said it passed within 50 metres of his airliner."

"A Boeing 777 pilot reported a "large white drone, about 2m across and with four 'prongs'" "

These are not the likes of a typical off the shelf hobbyist machine like the DJI Phantom range, which is about 40 or so centimeters across. I doubt anyone would be able to see a 40cm object half a nautical mile away if you are traveling and 150+MPH.

Yes there are idiots out there flying like twonks, and they deserve to be caught. But a 2m wide drone is not the sort of thing you can buy off the shelf at Maplins, so either the pilots are mistaken, or if it really was a drone, it's most likely commercial or military, not a hobbyist.

16
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Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

Gavin Chester
Thumb Up

Hmmm

And I'll swear the Llamas know exactly where people go to take photos and photobomb them deliberately, I've got a very similar image at home on the wall from when the wife and I went to Machu Pichu...

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First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

Gavin Chester
Meh

Let me fix that last line...

For the lazy or time-constrained, the kit could bought through UK retailers Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and WH Smith but all the kits have now all been bought up and are being sold on Ebay for inflated prices.

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European Court of Justice lays down the law on Kodipocalypse

Gavin Chester
Meh

Re: Do you know what would deter pirates?

Have to echo that sentiment.

I'd happily pay for the Sky F1 channel but I can only get it if I subscribe to the sports package, and I've no interest at all in football. £27 for, on average, two races a month is too much especially as I would guess a chunk of that goes to buy football rights. Sky Sports is a 8 channel bundle, if they package F1 separately for a reasonable cost (say a fiver or so, as I doubt it would be as simple as charging an 1/8 of the bundle price) I'd be interested.

End result I watch it on Channel 4, Sky get nothing from me, the rights holders get whatever C4 pay, I could get it by Kodi but I can't be bothered.

I understand F1 is a high cost sport, maybe I'm not rabid enough of a F1 fan to pay the extra money, but the side effect is I'm watching less races , I'm less likely to buy any merchandise for the teams, I'm not so bothered if I miss a race either, and that's not good for the sport long term to lose viewers.

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You just sent an on-prem app to the cloud and your data centre has empty racks. What now?

Gavin Chester
Happy

Blacklights, UV reactive paint, loud 80's disco music and maybe some foam on the corners and you have a 90's throwback Quasar suite ready to go...

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Gavin Chester
Meh

I can live with ads, things need to be paid for in one form or another.

The main reason I use adblockers are I get annoyed by the auto play videos especially when I'm on a mobile, it's my data they are using, or the ads that pop up full screen and you have to play "hunt the X" to get rid of them...

Annoying the potential customer isn't really a good marketing strategy.

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Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Gavin Chester

My work 2016 T450 keyboard is quite nice, only think missing the "new thinkpad smell" that they used to have...

1
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Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

Gavin Chester

Re: Dear Microsoft - Windows 10 Phone

I would assume the requirement for Wifi to download comes back the fact the beeb got a lot of flack in the past for letting downloads happen on 3/4G.

There were reports of holidaymakers who were downloading TV over hotel wifi (I guess regional restrictions were not in place back then) when the wifi died and the phone switched to a data signal. That resulted in a huge bill.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1988399/Lawyers-4900-bill-for-watching-The-Apprentice-on-mobile-while-abroad.html

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Virgin Media is so rustic and artisan you get to hand-sort your own spam

Gavin Chester

Hmmm

If you get the right service, you can even do things like have it forward emails to BOTH a GMail and a POP3/IMAP account so you can be sure to never lose an email while also using your favourite service.

I do and no-one has been told my Gmail address, I never delete anything on Gmail as they keep adding storage, so can search my old received emails anywhere I have connectivity, regardless if they've been pulled down to the local PC client in my web domains software.

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UK.gov flings £400m at gold standard, ‘full-fibre' b*&%*%£$%. Yep. Broadband

Gavin Chester

Re: Get the basics right first.

"His point was that they are set targets for delivery by the bean-counters who manage the funding, and they want to see new connections, not improved connections for existing customers"

I wasn't just looking to point the finger at BT but they have history here...

I absolutely understand that for the accountants the potential returns are the key, which is why the government needs to mandate a minimum speed or bean counters won't do the work.

Mum's estate was built in the 1960's when Ally was cheap and copper expensive, Ally is fine for voice so they used that through the estate, but its bad for data. Add in to that years of wiring fixes, cuts and re-soldering joints, and general age and weather degradation, and the only real means to fix is it to re-wire the estate. That's a large outlay but unless there is some legislation to force the issue (sort of like the post office has to deliver letters to everyone in the country) it won't happen.

4/5G may be an answer, but at the moment Mum has no change of fast broadband and FTT(anything) is just a dream for her.

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Gavin Chester

Get the basics right first.

My Mother is 6 miles from Barnsley, and joking aside that's not a technology backwards northern town, nor does she live in a small village consisting of two houses and a well, but a village of probably 10K of houses, that is more like an extended suburb. And Yes I've posted this comment before.

She gets 0.5mbs on a good day, all down to the old ally cabling that no-ones interested in renewing as it would mean re-wiring the entire estate she lives on..

If the Government wants to be serious they need to mandate *ALL* premises need to get the minimum speed they indicated in the past.

Yes I knowt his may be an unpopular post, and yes some people will be hard to reach and be costly, but until its mandated companies will continue to avoid doing expensive, but needed remedial work and concentrate on cherry picking the quick wins and the highest paying contracts.

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Drone idiots are still endangering real aircraft and breaking the rules

Gavin Chester

Re: C'mon

I'd have thought self interest may have played a part.

Planes can glide to some extent, Heli's don't, and the next contact may be with the police copter....

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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

Gavin Chester

Re: We need:

Same thing applies.

Law abiding fliers will do so. The people who do this probably realised they are already breaking the laws they just won't bother.

And much of the cheap Chinese clones makers won't care as long as they can keep selling things

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Gavin Chester

DJI devices have such a database tied to the GPS, and yes UK airports are in it. There is a however groups of "enthusiasts" who see it as getting in there way and did actively seek out lower software revisions without this database in it.

One problem with this approach is that the no fly zones can be huge. The FAA in the US changed the one around Washington DC airport from 15km to 30km (and then later returned it to 15km). That will affect a lot of law abiding hobbyist fliers who were flying responsibly but then found they had a expensive paperweight through no fault of their own..

For some zones there is the now the option (and you have to manually turn the option on each time) to allow the drone to fly within some of these zones. Remember there are legitimate commercial uses of drones, and some of the higher end DJI devices are aimed at professionals, who may well be filming with permission in what may be restricted space..

Clones or self built devices on the other hands are a different story, they may not have the software installed, have obsolete databases with no update mechanism, or the owner has deliberately removed such restrictions.

As I said before, the law abiding flier will find these tools and mode useful to help them stay within the law. The people who fly without regard to the laws will continue to do so.

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Gavin Chester

Re: Sorry, but . . .

So the propellers stop and gravity takes over, leading to a few KG of plastic and metal falling at 120 mph to the ground.

May not be seen as a great idea by the folks are under the flight path.

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Gavin Chester

Re: Genuine question

Technically nothing.

Drones are classed as Multi-Rotor aircraft, effectively a sub class of model helicopters, and subject to the same rules as other model aircraft.

There are additional rules if the drone has a camera fitted related to privacy. Recording images for your own use is fine, but any form of selling those images is not, as that then can be seen as a commercial operation not a hobby with different rules around it.

The BMFA has lots more details but that's a summary for here..

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Gavin Chester

Re: I suppose...

More Likely to cover the drop in profits as EU roaming charges have been capped by the EU.

Think of it as a balloon, Squish a balloon in your fist, and it pops out elsewhere. So force prices down in one place, so they have to increase elsewhere.

9
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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Gavin Chester

Problem at big indoor events

I've no problem with people vaping as such, where I have a minor issue is when its done indoors at busy event. The plume of smoke / vape appears and its a royal PITA to find them and see if its a e-cig (or whatever kind) or a real cig.

We took the same route as many pubs, its another hassle for the staff to deal with, so easier to ask people to go outside, and be stopped allowing vaping indoors at our events (beer festivals). And on more than on occasion one slightly sozzled person has seen the "smoke", and then started to light up a real cig thinking its OK.

6
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Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

Gavin Chester

Well...

I'm not a radiohead fan but now I'm just curious to go watch the video anyway.

As they say there no such thing as bad publicity..

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5G is looming, but network innovations are needed far more urgently

Gavin Chester

5G? Be nice if I could get a reliable 3G signal everywhere before the networks move on. And I'm not talking the remote area of Scotland I'm talking big swathes of East Anglia...

Course that may just be down to 02, but you get the idea...

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1

UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

Gavin Chester

Responsible model flyers have insurance, and obey rules and bylaws, but even money says this won’t be the case, it will be someone who’s bought a drone cheap, and thinks of it as a toy. It’s already an offense under the Air Navigation Orders to endanger a plane in flight, but whoever was flying this won’t care anymore than the fact it’s generally a really dumb thing to do anyway, but like dazing pilots with lasers there’s an element of the population that think it’s a “cool “ thing to do.

The flying RC model hobby will get the blame, for an action taken by a very small idiotic minority of the population. And Yes as a RC flyer if its shown this was a deliberate act I hope they throw the book at the perpetrator, as no doubt knee jerk reactions will affect me even though I fly way out in the countryside.

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Virgin bins Webspace, tells customers they can cry to GoDaddy

Gavin Chester

Re: ISP Email

They did, but brought it back in house late last year, (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/21/google_ends_isp_email_support/) but frankly its still not working that well.

I only now use it as a disposable address to send signups to and moved to my domain providers package that works far better.

You still cannot use a standard POP3 mail client to delete mails on the web servers so they are just building up in my and my wifes mail accounts and VM can store them forever as far as I'm concerned...

And I bet despite another service going (Usenet seems to be either dying or closed) my bill won't come down at all.

1
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No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out

Gavin Chester

Ironically I'd bought a used Kindle a week ago for exactly the reason that Amazon is becoming the only player in town, and the old Android Amazon Kindle app that a rooted Nook can use won't now connect to Amazon as certs have been changed due to old ones expiring.

That said my £50 Glow Touch isbrilliant for reading on, especially when the light was low, such as on planes or trains at night so it will live on even if I have to side load stuff. When it dies I'll replace it with a lighted paperwhite but that hopefully that's a long while off as its only really used when we go on holiday, rest of the time I like dead tree versions of books....

0
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Dixons Carphone to shut down 134 shops

Gavin Chester

Re: Somebody say something nice about them

They are like Maplins, If you really need something there and then they probably have it in stock, and if you ring and reserve / click and collect you get a reasonable price, otherwise they are expensive.

They are OK for white and handheld goods, especially if you want to see it in person or feel the weight of something, but of the three PCWorld/Currys stores near home and work they seem to have such a haphazard layout, with shelves that show something out of stock, and even if the computer says its in stock the woefully inaccurate stock locating abilities sometimes its easier not to bother.

A few times I've ordered something only to be stuck in store 10 to 20 minutes as they can't find the item in the myriad of cupboards they may have hid the stock in, or even worse they haven't reserved it and you have to hope no-one else has bought it before you get there.

1
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Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

Gavin Chester

I understand that...

but for a major ISP to implement such a major change without any warning or guidance for its customers is simply lousy service.

It came in when they changed the mail servers, and yes its a good idea in theory, but there is very little evidence they ran it in any sort of soft fail or "learn" mode before turning it on and then said the customer was at fault.

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Gavin Chester
FAIL

Dumped the VM mail service about a month after they left Google, Shambles was not really the right word.

Legitimate Email rejected as spam due to a hard SPF rejection policy and Spam happily being let into the mail box, all the while VM saying they had "State of the art" email filters, and any problems must be with the sender, and the customer support saying it was not a widespread issue, when it clearly was. Not to mention they seem to force you to use a VM Email address, no good for folks who have their own domain and used that address, but used VM as the end point for email.

Frankly going back to just using my domains email hosting, and routing it to Google saved me a lot of hassle.

Fail Icon as there's no other way to put it, not sure what testing they did but it wasn't adequate.

0
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

Gavin Chester

Not the dredded Holiday special

That Lucas has reportedly said he would like to see vaporised out of existence...

0
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Be afraid, Apple and Samsung: Huawei's IoT home looks cheaper and better

Gavin Chester
Meh

May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

Having recently had a two month trial of the Samsung Smart Things it is indeed very clever kit.

However I struggled to find anything of real use that I can't do any other way, that made a huge day to day difference to me.

It can turn things on or off in the morning or as I leave for work, here a £50 smart plug replaces a a £5 time switch. It can switch on the kettle as I get to the door, well so can any PIR sensor for a lot less and a kettle does not take long to boil.

Don't get me wrong I really liked the kit, other people may see it very very differently, and with time maybe I'd have seen more uses, however it's gone back and I've yet to see any downside from my home becoming dumber as a result of it. Not to mentioned as the parts are in the £30 to £50 a unit depending on what you want to add, its a little too expensive to really retrofit the entire house...

4
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Virgin Media filters are still eating our email – Ntlworlders

Gavin Chester

Oi. Leave Ferrets alone. They are useful critters.

1
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Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

Gavin Chester

OOh Holiday...

Wanted to visit Chernobyl for a while to see how nature has reclaimed the place. This just adds to it.

Thanks El Reg for another reason to give to my wife to go :)

7
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Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

Gavin Chester

Hmmm

There were, some newer Microsoft products (certainly Office 2013 editions) only store a subset of the key. Lets you know what licence was used for example I have 2 office one for me, one for my wife and I can then tell them apart for re-install but does not give you all the details.

0
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Amazon to trash Flash, as browsers walk away

Gavin Chester

Re: It's a good start

At launch yes Beta only had an hour whereas VHS has two hours. Beta soon caught up.

It was reported to be twofold, first JVC licenced VHS to anyone, for relatively small fees, whereas Sony were more picky on their partners and charged more.

Secondly VHS was the first with 4 hour tapes, the length of a typical US football match.

It then became about sales, VHS was cheaper and the more players on any format meant the more rental shops stocked that format, and before long Beta fell away..

Don't mention V2000 :)

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Feeling a physical present: Ten summer games and gadgets

Gavin Chester

Re: Ferrets

To be fair they are no worse than other pets, they soon learn that human skin isn't as tough as ferret skin, so it's more a kin to play fighting, ours generally don't play bite hard enough to break our skin, but could do harm if really scared.

Do they smell, sort of, leave any animal in its mess for a while and it gets bad, ours are cleaned out twice a day and its fine on all but the hottest days, but like any animal (cat/dog) you will generally notice the smell if you go into a house with animals if its not your own pet.

0
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Gavin Chester
Happy

Ahhh Bandits....

Wonder if ours will appreciate the Sphero, or get bored of it after 20 minutes like other toys, I see that the Marshall's super tunnels are popular with the ferrets too...

0
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Never mind falling revenues, BT watchers, look at the footy offering

Gavin Chester
FAIL

Really...

Quote:

"It now reaches around 80 per cent of all UK premises and we will work with government to help take fibre broadband to 95 per cent of the country by the end of 2017"

How about replacing the lousy Ali cable that seems to litter so many 1960's estates and wreck BB speed for so many people, or at the very least put fibre to the cabinets that are affected, so people have a chance of double digit speeds, not the 0.5 to 2mbits that they tend to get.

And yes this is from personal experience, my mother lives less than 6 miles from a major city, in a large village of 5k plus houses, but due to the way BT put the wires in get a 1.5 on a really good day, and more often 1mbit, and frequent connection drops.

4
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Malvertising campaign hits 10 MEELLION users in 10 days

Gavin Chester

AVForums has started to block users who have Adblocking enabled from posting to the classified sections as they need the revenue to run the sites, and I sort of agree with that, but given the malware I wonder how long before a lot of companies (and possibly ISP's) start block adverts at the firewall level.

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Email apparently from Home Office warns of emails apparently from Home Office

Gavin Chester

Interesting given HMRC is often held up as a poster boy for DMARC adoption in the UK.

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240231320/Lets-reclaim-email-says-HMRC-cyber-security-head

Wonder if its one government department not talking to another, perish the thought,,,

1
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The Internet of Things becomes the Game of Thrones in standards war

Gavin Chester
Meh

Lets leave it a few years...

"On one level, Z-Wave is at a major disadvantage: it is not an open protocol in that Sigma Designs owns the intellectual property and it manufacturers the chips and licenses the right to use it (there is currently only one other licensed Z-Wave chip manufacturer).

Like the other big, proprietary standard in the IoT world Z-Wave allows others to develop products with its standards but that comes with a cost and with tight rules"

And I suspect that's it in a nutshell, History is repeating itself, and I'm not sure Z-wave are really considering all the VHS/Beta issues.

There may be a load of reasons Beta went under but its generally considered down to a few key reasons,

- JVC licensed VHS to anyone who wanted to make VHS systems, whereas Sony only licensed Beta to select partners who met Sony's terms.

- JVC 's willing to licence to almost anyone helped competition and so reduce costs.

- Sony's Engineers concentrated on quality, JVC's practicality, the first Beta systems tapes could record an hour, VHS was two. Very few movies are 60 minutes or less so Beta suffered.

- Once you get critical mass then market decides, once Beta machine sales started declining so video library's stopped stocking the films which perpetuated the downward spiral.

So what will happen here, Exactly the same.

Most of us don't care what protocol we use at home, as long as it works. Purchases will often to be driven by cost and practicality. I'd like some Hue lights, but honestly I'm not bothered they are Hue branded or the fact they use ZigBee. I want a set of lights that's easy to use (I have enough IT issues at work) and change colour in response to something.

Hue and ZigBee is already selling in the numbers , its working and looks simple enough for everyone to use. Phillips have invested time to make it simple to use, and promoted it to get tools like IFTTT to support it. Hue may not be perfect but I suspect that's got a foot in the for the ZigBee camp to build on.

Lets face it one of the biggest things that us consumers learned from the VHS/Beta format wars (or DAT/DCC.MD, or BluRay/HD-DVD, or all the memory card formats, ) is that we just leave them to fight it out before shelling out. No-one wants to be left with the V2000.

3
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STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

Gavin Chester
Meh

Almost backed it again..

My Early bird pledge went wrong, so its the regular $179 plus $10 shipping option now. Its harder to justify a $10 saving over retail as the Shop offers free worldwide shipping.

I may as well wait till my Pebble V1 dies. A 2nd time around engraved message is a nice touch but not a deal maker for me..

0
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UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Gavin Chester

Every phone I've had from my first Panasonic POS has a pin and SIM lock option.

The user wanting to use it and reading the manual to set it up is another matter.

2
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97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Gavin Chester

Re: 2Mbps - I Wish...

Like it no.

But given BT is a private company I don't see how it will happen otherwise, besides UK Gvmt has already given BT a boatload of cash to do some of the job, they just need to be forced to finish the job.

https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

Quote - The Government is investing over £1 billion in improving broadband and mobile infrastructure to:

Provide superfast broadband coverage to 90% of the UK by 2016

Provide basic broadband (2Mbps) for all by 2016

Provide superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017

Explore options to get near universal superfast broadband coverage across the UK by 2018

Create 22 ‘SuperConnected Cities’ across the UK by 2015

Improve mobile coverage in remote areas by 2016

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Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE

Gavin Chester

Went years ago, I didn't know it had closed. The Eden projects probably got less bare earth patches than it did when I went too...

Until you get close you simply can't understand the scale of the dishes, you somehow always think they are nearer than they really as your sense of scale assumes they can't be that big so they must be further way.

2
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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Gavin Chester

Isn't this just the smartphone version of the old 3310 Navi-Key

1
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£2k burning a hole in your pocket? Let this 'advanced' DRONE relieve you

Gavin Chester

Re: Legislation may not be required

Sort of covered, See http://www.bmfa.org/Multi-Rotors/tabid/1425/Default.aspx

Need to be below a set weight, to be classed as a model, and your subject to the Air Navigation laws. (so are prohibited from acting like a loon and endangering anyone or anything) and filming for commercial use is prohibited without a license.

In terms of flying over people, looking in houses etc then existing laws say you cannot fly within 150m of a congested areas (but does not define what congested means), closer than 50m to vehicle , vessel or structure, or 30m of a person who is not involved with that flight (with the exception of the pilot at take off / landing time) and you always have to be in line of sight to the drone.

That said while us modellers may follow the rules others won't, the drones are cheap enough to be bought on a whim (my wife won't agree) and you need no training or insurance to fly one.

And yes I'd like one, but can't justify it at home....

2
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Termination charges drop smacks Vodafone and EE in the WALLET

Gavin Chester

Flash you warranty away..

Unfortunately (and this is from experience) replacing the ROM blows away the warranty the networks and manufacturer will not be interested in repairs even if the fault is not down to the software but a physical fault.

I can understand not supporting the software ,I disagree that changing the ROM affects or causes hardware faults but that's what happened to me

0
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Brits won't have to pay for thieves' enormous mobe bills any more

Gavin Chester

Re: interesting

The UK does have plans that are unlimited, and international and premium numbers can be locked out on request, although it's an opt in system. Did you opt in to the code system or was it automatically done for you? That may be where we differ.

However people tend to think they "may" need these services so don't request a bar.

Once you report a device stolen you are not liable, the problem is also many many people don't even bother with a simple PIN lock on their devices (becasue 4 numbers slows them down too much). Calling UK numbers would (like you) come out of the plan minutes, its only where people have not PIN locked the phone, and have internatinoal calling enabled that it's an issue,and I suspect that may be the case in the USA for some people too.

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