* Posts by andy 103

225 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

andy 103

Re: I'm confused

They also mean more expensive though. Bean counters prefer 365 because it's 5.5 times cheaper than 2019.

andy 103

If you think this is shit

"If you think this is shit, try one of our other products!"

Almost £5k for a deskslab: Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 hits UK

andy 103

I think machines like this are a direct response to the fact that most people are keeping hardware longer. In the past upgrading anything (a phone, a desktop/laptop, TV, etc) always tended to bring huge differences and benefits. We've got to a point where the device you bought a few years ago is still perfectly good enough and there's no advantage - perceived or otherwise - in upgrading. It does make me wonder who the target market for these things is. But I guess there must be people willing to buy them.

Congrats to Debbie Crosbie: New CEO at IT meltdown bank TSB has unenviable task ahead

andy 103

Re: In it for the money

Lose money if any updates fail? Then no updates. No new products, no new features, no new customers.

Yeah, I guess that's true. But there is still a fundamental problem, which is being repeated time and time again, where people take positions with no intention of staying to sort out problems. The salaries that go with these positions (plus any other bonuses/options) usually mean nobody would have to stay longer than a few years to walk away with a very healthy amount of money. That is a huge issue which needs addressing but there is no simple solution to it.

andy 103

In it for the money

It doesn't matter who they appoint, they all have the same plan: Take a position - usually on an incredibly high salary - and try and stay as long as possible. When the going gets tough, leave, having amassed a small fortune.

If the people who were in charge of these things were given a basic salary and given a bonus if - and only if - they avoided or sorted out cock ups, you'd probably find nobody willing to do it!

They're all in it for the money and essentially if it all goes tits up their attitude is - meh, I'll be on an island in the sun whilst someone else repeats the process.

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

andy 103

The browser is the limitation

The thing is, back when I first was learning about web development (nearly 20 years ago), the web and browsers were considered "stateless". Browsers had no/limited access to a users file system because their primary purpose was to present content stored on a server, i.e. nothing to do with your local machine. The data transfer was effectively one way (web page --> browser).

Nowadays there are ways to maintain state and ways to access a local filesystem. But the bottom line is that you're still running the application *in a browser*. Natively coded applications don't have to work around the constraints of a browser.

You then have the issue of the large number of different browsers, with different capabilities. Just because Google want to develop these API's doesn't mean everyone can suddenly start using them. In fact it's sometimes less obvious that a web app won't function properly because you're using a particular browser than with a native application that you can't even install under the "wrong" architecture.

It's an admirable effort from Google but they need to take a step back and think - a web app is running in a browser - and that will always limit it to some degree. Just because it runs fine in Chrome 500 doesn't mean everyone else has that version, or even knows about that. That's going to be a seriously limiting factor; not whether someone can code the relevant API's to get these things to theoretically work.

Sysadmin running a Mac fleet? IBM has just thrown you a lifeline

andy 103

"makes setting up macOS with Jamf Pro more intuitive for users and easier for IT."

I don't have any experience with Jamf Pro but if IBM can improve on anything in the sphere of usability it must be a fucking mess to begin with.

I also can't understand what's in this (as in putting it on GitHub) for IBM, a company that doesn't really understand the phrase "something for nothing". I guess it could be a pat on the back and to make them seem cooperative with companies they've had long rivalry with. Or, they can't be arsed to maintain it anymore and are hoping the community will give them...something for nothing.

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

andy 103
Thumb Up


"Tesco – a massive supermarket chain in Britain at the time "

Yeah, they've only got 1 store left now, haven't they?!

On a more serious note, I remember the vouchers for schools scheme. But I don't think that's what killed Acorn off - not to that extent anyway. My school started to buy IBM PC hardware in the early-mid 1990's. They had a combination of Acorn machines and PC's. They even had 1 Mac but I don't recall which model. I liked the Acorn machines but remember that it was the application software on the PC's that simply blew them out of the water. I think as well (some) schools had a foresight to realise that as their students entered workplaces they'd be more likely to use IBM PC's and investing in anything further from Acorn would have been a bit of a backwards step. Essentially, it was good, but not for that long.

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

andy 103

"an attempt by Facebook to demonstrate that it isn't trapped in its own tech bubble and is taking criticism from politicians seriously."

That's the best one I've heard all week. Facebook is a tech company that's interested in making money, and don't give a shit where it comes from. They have no real political affiliations as long as the money's right. Politicians tell citizens Facebook can't be trusted for news - particularly political news. People don't trust politicians. Or Facebook.

How does appointing Nick Clegg make any of this better or different??

Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

andy 103

Re: Backup

is that silver lining.

No, it's the copper cabling.

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

andy 103

Well, that's a nicer eulogy than the Steve Jobs rant

In reference to this article - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/05/dead_steve_jobs_saint/

I was ridiculed by people for suggesting it's not very nice to talk about dead people in a negative way, particularly over business decisions or how they interacted with others during their life, even if it was in a less than favourable way.

Steve Jobs seems to have got the wrath of The Reg plus many readers. Opinions (so far) on Paul Allen seem divided. I am really curious as to see what comments we'll get about Linus when that eventually happens.

Personally I say RIP and wish his family/friends well. There's a time and place. If you can't say something nice...

300,000 BT pensioners await Court of Appeal pension scheme ruling

andy 103

Barrister BS

“Cost of living is a technical term that means the cost of maintaining a particular standard of living for any given individual,”

Wow, that's pretty insulting. The "standard of living" for a large portion of decent, working people has been going down the toilet for a number of years. People are being told to save for retirement - and the ones that do end up being shafted every which way. The message filtering down to younger generations is that pension schemes cannot be trusted, and at the same time these people are being warned of "consequences" of not having a pension. It would be an incentive for people to save if they felt some sense of security and that, after years of putting money aside, they wouldn't lose out. Or be insulted to the effect they had too good a lifestyle so it was perfectly acceptable for them to lose some money.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

andy 103

Achievements of Apple vs The Reg, hmmm

I get that there's bitterness between Apple and The Reg but writing an article like this just looks childish. If you want to add credibility to your anti-Apple bias then insulting a dead man is probably not the way forward. Granted, much of what's written is true, but you'll also find similar (and worse) stories about other people in positions of power, in any sector.

At the end of the day Apple have achieved far more of significance to mankind than The Reg. People get shat upon in all walks of life - the sandwich you had for lunch might have salad in it picked by someone who was treated awfully. Do you stop to care about them?

It's selective bias. When Linus dies I can't see The Reg writing an equivalent article, and most people acknowledge he's a total bellend when it comes to how he treats others.

China's going to make a mobile OS and everyone will love it, predict ball-gazing analysts

andy 103

Facebook will position itself as a provider of government digital services

Well, they do seem to have a shared goal of "get every bit of data on every single person in society and use it for questionable purposes", so yeah why not.

Facebook like money. The Government like pissing it away on "IT projects". Facebook are good at storing/processing huge volumes of data. The Government have no idea what data is never mind how to process and store it. Nobody really trusts either.

Seems like a match made in heaven!

UK.gov asks biz for ideas on how to 'overcome' data privacy concerns in NHS

andy 103

You can't have a solution when you don't know what the question is

The trouble is that the people involved with "Digital" within the NHS - and further up the chain - have little clue as to what they're asking for. It's often a case that there are simple solutions but they aren't educated enough to understand what they're asking for, or know the risks if they're given something which doesn't meet the criteria.

As a case in point I've witnessed a web application - made for the NHS - which was supposed to store data privately. The requirement being that nobody outside the NHS was allowed to access it. What they overlooked was the fact that both the hosting company and developers had full access to said database. This is probably something they didn't even consider because they didn't know how the underlying technology works. Where do they think the data is being stored? Where do they think it's being backed up to? Oh yes, they don't think, because in their minds that's the remit of Jonny Developer and totally not their concern. Even though it's their sodding data.

The NHS, and indeed the government, should start with being educated on the basics of how software/applications/the web actually works, and then take things from there. It's a very sad (unless you're a developer and want to "cash in"!) state of affairs when £9 million of tax payers money is being pissed away because the people that are in positions of power are so bloody thick.

Android Phones are 10: For once, Google won fair and square

andy 103

Google is a primarily software company

Google is a primarily software company. Apple is primarily a hardware company.

Android is software.

I don't think much further explanation is needed.

See also: popularity of Apple laptops vs Chromebooks

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

andy 103

That reminds me

Someone gave me an Echo Dot at Christmas. I used it for a period of 2 weeks, unplugged it, and consigned it to a drawer.

Must remember to sell it to someone who wants a totally underwhelming, useless, and can-already-do-with-my-phone/laptop - piece of shit.

If you're the sort of person who needs or relies on devices like this, you have far bigger problems than whether they can be used at any given time.

NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

andy 103
IT Angle


"Staff have argued that such apps are now crucial for patient care"

Because the I.T. systems they have in place aren't fit for purpose.

Which leads to frustration.

Which leads to them calling Johnny Patient a #fanny on Twitter.

It's quite damning when a free service like Whatsapp or FB Messenger does a better job at getting information from A to B than a system that cost tax payers millions of pounds**. It's almost like the people involved specifying it - also getting paid millions - know precisely fuck all about what's required, how to implement it, and generally what to do.

** See also: the vast array of companies who use "spreadsheets by email" as a method to send data around.

Canny Brits are nuking the phone bundle

andy 103

Customers are (slightly) more savvy and the technology isn't moving as quickly

The other big reason fewer people are buying new phones - and going for second hand/refurb - is because the technology isn't moving as quickly as it has historically. It's also got to a point where it's more than good enough for the average users needs: Do you really need a camera with greater resolution than on the phone you had last year? I took some photos - which are in large frames in my house - in Tenerife in 2015 on a shitty Lumia 525 and I'm told they look fantastic.

The con which most people fail to understand is that if you buy a contract phone - you are paying for both the handset and the airtime/data. Many people even today still just let a contract run on afterwards, when the cost of the handset has effectively been paid off and they could be paying 1/3 of their monthly price for what they are actually getting (the airtime/data).

People are starting to know how to seek good value when it comes to the airtime/data aspect of their phone. I got an email from Virgin the other day which was something like £20/month for 100 GB of data, unlimited mins, etc on SIM only. I'd far rather use that in an older/cheaper phone, than be locked into paying £80/month for 2 years, just to have the latest iPhone with bugger-all data or minutes.

Essentially people are caring less about the handsets - due to technology of older ones being good enough - and caring more about things like data allowance, which is important for most apps and things people actually want to do with said handset.

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

andy 103

Re: Complete failure of understanding how search engines work

Complete failure of understanding how the law works...

Go on then, explain yourself. Furthermore explain how it's within Google's remit or feasibility to take offline websites which they have no direct control over? As I said, all they can do is remove results from their index.

If HTTP, web servers, and direct URL access work in a different way for you compared to everyone else in the world, we'd love to hear about that. These things have nothing to do with the law - and that's exactly the point. In this case Google can't do very much and ultimately it's up to the website owners to take down the offending content.

andy 103

Complete failure of understanding how search engines work

"block access to a post on squaremilenews.blogspot.com"

Sorry but this isn't how search engines work.

In what way is "blocking access" the responsibility of Google, or any search engine? The only people who can "block access" to a website (make it inaccessible, take it offline, all links 404'd) are the administrators of said website.

The only role Google - or any other search engine - has, is indexing content. If the website is offline (see previous paragraph) it can't index it. Furthermore the way Google search works means that if a website was offline for an extended period, any results would be removed from their index automatically due to being inaccessible.

In addition to this, just because a website isn't in a search engines index doesn't mean someone can't access it directory by it's URL, if they know it, or it's been posted elsewhere in a place they come across.

It really fucks me off the way people fail to understand the most basic things about how it works. See also: the government asking people to research how to "remove a photo from the Internet", ignoring the fact it could be screenshotted, reposted, modified by 1 pixel to make a hash different, etc etc.

No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

andy 103

No. Just no.

There are 3 things to note about this:

1. It's not required/useful to anyone who is competent.

2. No "visual design tool" for web pages has worked, or ever will work. The whole point is that to code something well you have to, you know, understand the code. Therefore point 1. Just write the markup yourself, properly.

3. When it comes to anything web-related, Microsoft is just not a name you trust, if you're a competent or experienced web developer. FrontPage, IE, "Online Services", horrible .NET applications... the list goes on.

Point 1 is really the clincher for me. If you need this sort of tool, you don't understand the underlying code of what you're creating. If that's the case, you shouldn't be involved in the production of any serious web site or application, end of story. Maybe invest the time in learning the appropriate skills by doing some coding, instead of fannying around with a tool the world does not require.

Event warning... Serverless Computing London early bird offer about to expire

andy 103

"how can I go faster"?

"how can I go faster"?

By not wasting your time, money and effort on stupid bullshit buzzword conventions like this.

The sort of people who attend events like this are probably the same people who Gatwick Airport employed to tell them "the cloud" meant their departure boards could never be offline: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/20/gatwick_fail/

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

andy 103

Redis Labs !== Redis

Redis Labs is a private company.

Redis refers to the open source project, https://redis.io/

They are 2 separate things.

What's to stop any private company taking open source code and doing this? It's been done before and it'll continue being done. In my mind this is one of the serious "problems" with open source and a reason many people are put off contributing to such projects.

I do the work and someone else profits financially or otherwise? Why would I want that?

The danger here is devious people starting open source efforts to get "free" contributions and then turning them into something for their own commercial gain whilst also turning their back on the people who helped them get there. I don't have a solution to this, but I don't think anyone else does either?

"cloud providers benefit from open-source software while giving nothing back."

Right, except cloud providers wouldn't even have a service to begin with, without open-source efforts that came beforehand!

andy 103

Re: Why....?

"Why can we not have mainstream journalism dealing with complex controversies as thorough as El Reg journalists produce?"

"It's a shame the Daily Mail haven't covered this story" - Nobody, Ever.

Super-mugs: Hackers claim to have snatched 20k customer records from Brit biz Superdrug

andy 103

Re: Clueless

"Use a password safe"

- Does an average (non I.T. literate, non Reg reader) even know what a password safe is, let alone how to use it?

"create a unique, strong password"

- Which I have to write down or store insecurely because I can't remember it, and don't know what a password safe is.

Do you get why so many people use the same password across multiple sites now? Simplicity and convenience will always go over security for most people in society, and it's hard to convince them otherwise... unless or until something bad happens.

andy 103

Why they store date of birth

I can't believe how many people have questioned why they store DOB.

Hello - the clue is in the name SuperDRUG. There are age restrictions on buying certain products, including "basics" such as Paracetamol.

I haven't checked whether they validate DOB when trying to buy certain products but imagine the criticism they'd receive if they weren't keeping records and selling age-restricted items to anyone!

Apple web design violates law, claims blind person

andy 103

Sorry to play devils advocate, but what's the chances this person would complain if the same issue was on Joe Public's website? Presumably the fact they could potentially make money out of this in the form of compensation is more valuable to them than whatever they were trying to do via the website in the first place.

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

andy 103


It really is as simple as this:

Install a redundant fibre cable, or other systems to ensure if a loss of connectivity happens there is a backup


Get a few members of staff - on less than 50k a year (accounting for London salaries) - to write the flight information on a whiteboard, on only 1 - 2 days of the year when the situation actually occurs.

The people who oversee and are "in charge" of these things want Range Rovers, fat pensions and country houses. Putting in redundant systems takes away from that, and the spleen venting on Twitter is a small price to pay for them being able to have the spare change.

And yet, people are still confused and shocked as to why these situations occur. It comes down to money, like everything else. It's not because it can't be done, it's because it "can't" be done.

Airports don't go out of business due to some customers being pissed off about whatever they say on Twitter. Don't like it? Fly from a different airport - where you may experience the same or worse - or shut the f**k up. What are the other options?

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

andy 103

How much should a cable cost?

The reason there are so many cables (in general, not just limited to phone cables) in the world is because no consumer on the planet has any real idea about how much one "should" cost.

This is why you get "premium" cables that boast all sorts of things about the materials they are made from, right down to cables that cost under £1 that people will just bin if they fail after 10 mins. There is a huge market at all sorts of different price points - see also HDMI cables on the likes of Amazon which range from a quid to several grand. What's the real difference for those prices? Do consumers know/care, or will they just buy the one that they think is right for them based on virtually no useful information? Do they know/care about the likelihood of obsolecense? My guess is no not really, after all, who really knows what's round the corner?

There's no easy solution to this. Imagine regulating the cable market in terms of price - absolute pipe dream, never going to happen. Sell them then stick them in landfill or a drawer. That's the future.

andy 103

Re: EU Standard plug

Still using the SCART input on my TV and not even remotely sorry about that.

Stress, bad workplace cultures are still driving security folk to drink

andy 103

Swings and roundabouts

I've worked as a developer in 2 companies prior to where I was now. The first had a "health culture" where drinking in moderation was seen as ok, and drinking in excess was bad. It was a very badly organised place and the end result was that everyone went out and got hammered on a Friday and most drank during the week to keep their spirits up (no pun intended!).

The second place was very relaxed - the sort of place where they told you you must leave at exactly 5pm because they wanted you fresh and stress free the next day. Everyone here drank loads as well. This was because they had more free time, particularly at the end of the day, and the relaxed atmosphere prompted social activities which at that place happened to centre around drinking.

We also had a client - at the first place - who was in charge of an alcohol addiction project. He was also a heavy drinker, due to the stress of what he was expected to deliver. I remember going out one Friday and we saw him red faced and wasted and thought we were living in some kind of parallel universe. If the people who are working on schemes to help people come off alcohol are themselves pissheads, you know you're screwed.

In the UK, at least, there is a very strong drinking culture - much as we hate to admit it. People join workplaces and end up drinking to "fit in" even if they are not regular drinkers. Seen it happen at various places. I'm yet to work somewhere where the majority of people don't go over the sensible amount of units per week, or aren't drinking due to stresses of life and work. I'm not saying it's right, but that's how it goes.

Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

andy 103

replace their processors??

"Had they known, CERT could have advised people that patches were available but instead initially recommended those affected should replace their processors."

Sorry, but is that serious/genuine advice? Even if CERT hadn't known it's not a trivial matter to just replace processors in Christ knows how many millions of machines, especially when some of said machines may require a specific processor for the tasks in hand anyway.

We're supposed to think these people are competent and when they come out with total bullshit advice like that, well, it's no wonder people aren't always taking them seriously is it?

I couldn't find some wiper blades for my car in Halfords at the weekend so maybe I'll replace my car later tonight. Piss off.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

andy 103

Surely it would make more sense for the plane to calculate it's own weight and weight distribution from that?

Calculating its total weight is one thing, but calculating the distribution of the weight is a different matter. The cargo can be loaded in various configurations and seats can be allocated in different ways. It's not about knowing just the total weight, it's knowing how that weight is distributed. Yes, they could fit weighing devices across multiple surfaces but the cost of doing that on every single plane would be astronomical in comparison to the system they're using (when it works).

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

andy 103

I wonder how many people would (vs wouldn't) just go ahead and install Google services on a phone if they didn't come pre-installed.

My guess is that more would than wouldn't. By a seriously long way.

Want to use a different search engine other than Google? Fair enough. But most people use Google. Not because Google have told them to, but because it's, you know, the best one. See also Google Docs - what's the better/free alternative to that with equivalent functionality? Fancy driving round the whole world in your car to take Street View photos for your rival of Google Maps? All the best...

andy 103

Re: Where does the fine go?

"The point of the fine is not to compensate anybody for anything"

Right, except the money still changes hands. Maybe the primary incentive of issuing the fine was therefore to gain 5 billion? But some people think it's all "for the good of the people". Call me cynical but I think the EU antitrust commision might have given far less of a shit if there was no money involved.

andy 103

Where does the fine go?

Serious question - where does the 5 billion go?

Because on the face of it, it's going from one lot of people who can't be trusted, to another.

Do the end users actually benefit in any way from this?

Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

andy 103

Re: Google braced for giant Android fine from EU

I came on The Reg to see if they'd actually covered the main story - a record breaking fine for Google. But no, plenty more people give a shit about an undersea cable, apparently.

They'll probably report it in a few weeks, when they've woken up.

GitHub given Windows 9x's awesome and so very modern look

andy 103

That boring grey is good for your eyes!

I've worked in I.T. since before Windows 3.1 and fondly remember the interfaces - simple but great when it came to getting the job done.

I now work in web application development and like others have said, am appalled by how user interfaces are dreamt up by "marketing" teams who have absolutely no idea what usability is.

I recently had an eye test and the optometrist was running some software that looked like it was from the early 90s. He spent a while telling me, that despite its old appearance, all of the grey backgrounds actually helped reduce strain on your eyes. His explanation was longer than I can post here, but obviously this is when software was made by people who understood basics of user interaction, rather than something that looks good on a Linkedin screenshot post.

They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

andy 103

Still using Hotmail

I opened my Hotmail account around 17 years ago and still use it as my main email account through the new Outlook.com portal.

I'm the opposite of most people because I have a Gmail account I use to sign up for things I don't trust. That got so much spam at one point I opened another. In contrast Outlook.com's spam filtering seems very good - pretty much every item goes in my Junk folder and I never have to manually tell it that it's got something wrong. That seems like a fairly recent thing though because in the past it was truly awful at filtering spam (when it bothered).

The user interface seems better than Gmail to me as well.

UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

andy 103

Excel spreadsheets + email

Whatever half baked system they end up with, I bet they'll end up using countless Excel spreadsheets and "sharing" that data via email. This seems a very common pattern in so many organisations.

Shit or inappropriate software? No worries! Let's just store the data in Excel, and send it via the only medium everyone is familiar with. No need to learn anything new either - bonus!

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

andy 103

Re: Pipe dream

try living with out even some of it, (e.g. Google Maps ...

Absolutely! Google Maps is the main example to me of what I was referring to. How many man hours have been put in to creating that? It's extremely naive for someone to think they could just reproduce something to that level - are they going to drive their car around the world and take photos for street view of the entire globe? Didn't think so. And their only counter argument is "oh yes but at least it won't track you or have ads". I don't give a shit, unless you can give me that same functionality without directly charging me! Some people need to start living in the real world and understand the difference between what most people want and the trade-off they're willing to accept.

See also - Google Docs.

andy 103

Pipe dream

I get really sick of all these people whinging on about tracking, ads, etc.

Ok - let's imagine none of that was present. Let's say Google didn't exist.

What replaces the services people use every day like Google Docs, Maps, etc? How much time and effort were involved in creating those? How much did you personally "pay" to use them? Ads are a small price to pay for the convenience that you get, often at a hugely subsidised cost or free of charge.

This guy - and all these other people whinging on about "privacy" - can you really come up with something better than what we have today, beyond "it doesn't have ads / tracking though"? Grow up.

Time to ditch the Facebook login: If customers' data should be protected, why hand it over to Zuckerberg?

andy 103


Yeah, so here's the thing... Most people aren't Reg readers and couldn't care less.

Convenience of 1 login system - versus - continuously registering and remembering different passwords (no, they don't use a password manager, and possibly don't even use different passwords).

If only there was an easy solution. Oh yeah there is - login through Facebook. Data gets slurped in the background? They're not aware of it because they can't see it, and therefore don't know or care. It's too late to change things.

Whoever offers convenience wins. Even if it comes at a price.

As this is the Reg I should point out that I'm stating how the majority of people see it and what goes on in the real world, not what's necessarily "right".

UK consumer help bloke Martin Lewis is suing Facebook over fake ads

andy 103

Re: No permission is needed

The AGB's will almost certainly stipulate that the advertiser has obtained the necessary rights for the content and Facebook has a duty of care, after all it is being paid

Right, and in this case, that hasn't happened, has it?

This is the problem I have with people who comment on this site. They don't understand the difference between how things are "supposed" to work, and how things actually work in real life. My point is exactly that - any external rules/laws outside Facebook are not being enforced. If they were, we wouldn't even have this story here!

I'm aware of the difference between user generated content and FB adverts. Try and upload anything to either and you'll find it pretty damn easy. Whereabouts do the rules get enforced within FB's platform? Oh yeah they don't, so it all has to be fought for externally by people who get annoyed at what appears there. This story being a really good example.

andy 103
Paris Hilton

No permission is needed

I was ridiculed on The Reg the other week after trying to explain this very problem - to a person who didn't even have a Facebook account.

No permission is needed - as things currently stand - to post content such as photos of other people - on to Facebook.

As a case in point I uploaded a photo of Paris Hilton to my Facebook account, with various captions. Now, unless someone "reports" that, it will remain there forever. Paris and I didn't have a conversation when I uploaded it, no consent was implied or required. And so it will remain there, even with defamatory words on the image etc etc etc. She isn't tagged (we're not "friends" of course) so I doubt she even knows it's there.

This is one situation where legal intervention would be useful. As it stands, I can post something horrible about you - or anyone else - on FB, and unless it's reported - or even known to be there - it will remain there, for all to see.

The onus is on the person who's pissed off to report it, and then fight for its removal.

Oh, and just so everyone doesn't downvote me this time - I'm not suggesting I think the way it works is acceptable. Far from it.

Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

andy 103

Re: RE: As a never-signed up non member....

I'm not really prepared to carry on the debate from an OP who doesn't even have a Facebook account but claims to know how it works. So, to round off, here's how it works:

If you have an account - and are tagged in something - you can very easily press a button to Report content and ask for it to be removed. If you don't have an account, that function isn't available. These are facts and if you're not sure, make a dummy account to test it. It will take a damn sight longer to remove stuff from Facebook if you don't have an account, than if you do. This is even illustrated by the fact the OP is complaining he isn't getting a response from FB, when if he had an account, the Report feature would have already taken care of this extremely quickly. Feel free to dispute it, but if you test out both strategies I think you'll soon find out which gets the fastest result.

andy 103

Re: RE: As a never-signed up non member....

1) He doesn't know how tagging works.

2) Go and try what I've said - upload a photo of anything or anyone. It will appear without their express permission or consent. Getting it removed is particularly hard for someone who **doesn't** have a FB account (and easier if you do have one - particularly if the post/photo is tagged against your account). Fact.

I have a FB account and know exactly how it works. I'm telling you how it actually works. You're going on about some pipedream of how you think it should work according to your own thoughts on privacy. I doubt GDPR will solve all this overnight, somehow!

andy 103

Re: RE: As a never-signed up non member....

who said I consented to it?

Again, your level of ignorance is worrying. Answer: The person who uploaded the photo (presumably one of your "friends" in real life) - and they **didn't** have to ask for your consent - that's very much the point. If I take photos of a load of people (whether they have Facebook accounts or not), I can upload them no problem. No consent is asked for or required to upload pictures. However, if you had a Facebook account - and I tagged you - you can set it such that you have to manually approve things before they appear (wall, news feed etc). You could also request them for deletion.

However... you don't have an account...you are not identified/tagged as far as FB are concerned, so none of that applies.

If I upload a photo of Paris Hilton on the wall of my Facebook, I do not ask her permission to do that, it just gets uploaded. As a case in point I just tested this, and yeah I can definitely upload a photo of pretty much anything or anyone. How does Paris know it's there? I haven't tagged her so it's not identified as being her - only someone (human) who views it and knows who she is could say that. There's no ID in Facebook to say "this is a photo of Paris Hilton" - it's just an image, not tagged to anyone. All anyone knows is who uploaded it.

If you're wanting the photos taken down then you need to speak to your friend (the one who uploaded them). Facebook can't help you here - precisely because you are **not** tagged! If you had an account then ironically you could much more easily get the photos/posts removed.


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