* Posts by paulf

1043 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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Dixons Carphone smarting from £440m loss as it writes down goodwill on mobile biz

paulf Silver badge
Meh

@AC Sorry I disagree on this. I appreciate this is your job and not mine but my experience differs. I bought an iPhone from Apple direct; they offer AppleCare+ (clearly an insurance product) and I wasn't asked to complete/sign any form stating I'd been offered insurance nor that I'd declined that offer (I didn't buy AppleCare+). I also bought an iPhone from John Lewis*. They didn't get me signing forms for any reason (insurance or otherwise) they reserved it over the phone (with only my phone number, no account or payment required) and when I went to the store they took my money and gave me the sealed iPhone box like the OP expected CPW to do.

Frankly, this smacks of the overzealous implementation of a simple regulation into overly complicated store policy. If the FCA requires this a citation of the regulation would be useful. Really, this form screams data harvesting operation to me.

*I bought an iPhone SE shortly after Apple discontinued them back in September. I called my local Church of Jobs asking if they still had stock left. They did but the guy I spoke to told me to try JL first as they were selling off their stock for £100 cheaper which he couldn't match. Apple get a lot of criticism (plenty of it justified) but I can't fault that kind of service!

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

paulf Silver badge
Terminator

Re: “accidentally”

Exactly. I'm also suspicious that this story was filed in "Business". Isn't it about time El Reg formalised RoTM as a separate category so us wetware are better placed to keep track of this stuff rather than hiding putting it in euphemistically titled categories like "Business" and "destroy meatbags" "Software".

UKFast mulls putting IPO on ice due to six little letters: BREXIT

paulf Silver badge
Trollface

Re: forthcoming meetings in the next few weeks "will shed more light on the situation"

I'll cautiously add to this as IANAL (and this is an active court case). The CJEU could choose to give more than a simple "yes/no" response to the question "Can the UK's TEU A50 notification be revoked unilaterally?". They could add conditions to avoid the very thing you mention - a country (e.g. the UK) making yoyo notifications to extend indefinitely the apparently fixed 2 year term specified in A50. I think the lawyers for the EC made this very point in the hearing on Tuesday (27 Nov). That said they did suggest the notification was revocable so it comes down to whether it could be done unilaterally, or whether it would require agreement from the EU27 (and whether that would need to be unanimous or whether QMV would be acceptable). I'd note that one of the lawyers suggested that what's happened to the UK in the time since the TEU A50 notification would be deterrent in itself against yoyo notifications.

The court could decide to say "Yes [it can be unilaterally revoked] but if you do revoke you don't get to make another TEU A50 declaration again".

Alternatively the court could troll HMG by stating the original A50 notification was invalid so revocation isn't necessary. (See icon).

It's also worth noting that to get a respojse from the CJEU in 5 working days (27 Nov to 4 Dec for the Advocate General's opinion, final judgement a week or so later), indeed from any higher court, is light speed in legal terms!

Not a price cut! Apple perks up soggy iPhone demand with rebate boost

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Who needs analysts?

@ djstardust You forgot two from relatively recently.

The wired USB keyboard (with numeric keypad) used to be about £39 (? I think that was the UK price). The mini Bluetooth keyboard was a bit more. The old style trackpad was £59 (again I think). All took normal AA batteries although you could opt for the fruity flavour rechargeables+charger if you wanted to.

Now you're looking at £129 for the new keyboard (£99 for the trackpad?) that are bluetooth only and have a fixed built in battery (yet charge via a USB to lightning cable). But it comes in Space grey and rose gold! Wow, hardly justifies a 2x/3x price increase.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

paulf Silver badge
WTF?

Yet from the article sub-heading: "A compact, grown-up 4:3 machine"

The antisocial network: 'Facebook has a black people problem,' claims staffer in exit salvo

paulf Silver badge
Facepalm

The irony

FTA: "In the Twitter thread, the irony of a Facebook exec lamenting his loss of privacy did not go unnoticed. ®"

Surely there's a double irony that he posted his note on Facebook, looking at the link in the article: "On Tuesday this week, Mark Luckie posted a copy of the note, distributed internally on November 8, shortly before he left his job."

Surely if you're going to try and trash your former employer by publicising an internal message, you don't do it using the service provided by said former employer?

Scumbags cram Make-A-Wish website with coin-mining malware

paulf Silver badge
Childcatcher

Check the annual reports

The 2017 accounts confirm DavCrav's figures on turnover. Note it's a scan so not searchable which makes fact finding a touch harder (so perhaps intentional?).

It's worth noting PDF p27 (p25 of the doc) shows 2 people (of 66 staff in 2017 - PDF p28, doc p26) earning £80k-£90k (presumably CEO and someone else), with three more earning £60k-£70k; plus £15k of pension payments for all 5. Not at the higher end as some of the biggest UK charities tend to pay their CEOs around £140k but not shabby by Charity standards so they can't really claim there wasn't enough in the pot to pay for a decent BOFH to keep the hackerz at bay.

Total salary expenditure is £1,916,767, so with 66 employees the average salary is ~£30k. Excluding the five execs (2*£85k + 3*£65k) gives an average salary for the workers of ~£25,500

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

paulf Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Sigh!

@AC, "the NUR (or whatever they are called this week)"

Coughs, it's been the RMT since 1990.

Perhaps the railways should stop talking about disruption and just give a coefficient of entropy for the day's service.

Lucky, lucky, Westminster residents: Who better to look after your housing benefits than Capita?

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Dont Worry Dilbert will fix all!!

I always think of this Dilbert when it comes to outsourcing.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

paulf Silver badge
Boffin

Re: toner powder

Not as good a story as some of the other toner related ones but it's on topic.

I've been familiar with laser printers/copies since I was the only one who knew how to operate the office copier at my Saturday job. As a result I was unofficially appointed the main point of contact to resolve problems plus do light to moderate maintenance/unjamming. I was also the only one, other than the service technician, who knew how to get in to the maintenance screens but that's another story...

Fast forward to a few years ago in the current Paulf & co. The main A3 colour laser printer/copier device (serving a building with about 200 engineers) was reporting a full waste toner bottle so all printing was blocked. The usual trick of jiggling it about to try and lift it off the weight based trip switch didn't work. I turned to the receptionist/admin and asked if we had a new waste toner bottle. She asked what colour needed replacing? I then had a very painful five minutes trying to explain to her that there was one waste toner bottle for all four colours, with an extended remix of yes you do throw it away when it's full and put an empty one in.

Icon - don't inhale the waste toner.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

I have a SUN keyboard on my Win box so I'm going to use "Stop" then "Help" to recover from all the Punnage.

5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles

paulf Silver badge
Meh

Re: Wait for it...

Not that big of a deal as its it's the usual "small number" that have had their watch bricked experience an issue: "Due to a small number of Apple Watch customers experiencing an issue..."

Perhaps we should call this intrepid band of release day downloaders the Kamikaze Beta testers?

iPhone XR guts reveal sizzle of the XS without the excessive price tag

paulf Silver badge

It only took Oz govt transformation bods 6 months and $700k to report that blockchain ain't worth the effort

paulf Silver badge
Happy

Lets get this right. A Government IT project was completed within 6 months, for less than seven figures and came up with a tangible result. I'll put that down as an unqualified success, especially when compared to the myriad multi-million multi-year failures.

Bonus points that it actually debunked the latest buzz-word fad, and consigned it to the circular file.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Just the Usual...

@ Nick Kew "Surely there should be a healthy market for scanners and printers incorporating a metal detector that'll complain *before* potentially self-harming if fed a stash containing staples and paperclips?"

I suspect the market for selling new printers/scanners to replace the ones that got mashed by staples/paper clips is much healthier!

LinkedIn has a Glint in its eye and cash burning a hole in its pocket

paulf Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Software that tells you why employees keep leaving

In my case the background questions were sufficiently granular to identify people (Business Unit, Group, age range IIRC). It's not clear if the ability to narrow down answers to individuals was baked in or just a consequence of having relatively small groups (I'd opt for the occam's razor explanation). I answered honestly regardless and I suspect the morale level meant I wasn't the only one who didn't care about the witch hunt potential. That said, as mentioned above, I don't see Paulf & Co changing a damned thing as a result of that survey.

There is a Dilbert to cover every situation - including this one.

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Software that tells you why employees keep leaving

I'm inclined to think that an employer that doesn't already know why it is losing employees hand over fist probably won't want to hear the cold hard truth of the matter. The more sadistic companies who know why people are leaving and don't care will only want to know so they can use it again in the future (coughs, IBM, coughs).

Even if someone does pipe up the courage to tell the HR droids and PHBs why people are scrambling for the exits, it'll be dressed up as if nothing is wrong and likely the employees are wrong/at fault. My place commissioned a survey of all employees to find out why morale was at Dilbert levels and people were leaving in droves. Unusually the results were published in all their gory details showing a happiness level in the 50s% (While I'm surprised it got that high - it should have set off major warning klaxons). This of course had nothing to do with historically poor pay, then three years of pain starting with a boardroom coup, deep cuts in everything, a long bitter restructuring, and masses of redundancies which all culminated in the break up and sale of the company. How did the company deal with this crisis it was facing? They introduced a reasonably generous bonus scheme which most people got fiddled out of making the problem worse. Then they went for the big guns: a series of emails offering the opportunity to get to know the executive team.

And then in the distance, in the direction of the board room, a shot rings out, followed by someone screaming they can't find their toes.

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: Surprising

As for, "this means the marketplace is not competitive enough, and the government should start intervening."

I'm reminded of the saying that there is no situation so dire that it cannot be made worse through Government intervention.

paulf Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Surprising

I think you misunderstand the difference between Gross Profit and Net Profit (my simplified understanding is below). Retailers will generally aim for a gross margin of 40% which is not far off the 50% gross demanded by Maplin's banking covenants.

Gross Profit is the difference between how much it cost to buy the thing you've just sold and the amount you charged for it.

Net Profit = Gross profit less all business expenses (CapEx and OpEx)*

* - staff costs (inc salary), corporate functions (e.g. HR, purchasing), payments for buildings/vehicles and the like, taxation (business rates, tax on profits), other operational expenses like utilities (power, water, telephone, rubbish disposal), banking facilities (cost of credit/debit card merchant account and transaction processing, cash handling, cost of corporate banking facilities), cost of breaking bulk (buying 10,000 of something then storing them and distributing to stores while you sell them one at a time to customers). Then you have CapEx things like store refurbishment, buying+equipping new sites etc, closing unprofitable sites. This list isn't exhaustive and probably only scratches the surface.

Only once all that is paid do you have Net profit which is a lot closer to your 2% figure. A lot of that will be a payment to the business owners as a return on their investment (e.g. dividends to share holders) and some will be retained for future business development or paying down debt as it becomes due. There may also be exceptional charges on the accounts to cover (e.g. acquisitions, write off of goodwill, etc).

A company will need to generate a net profit higher than 2% otherwise they will struggle to attract capital/investors simply because of the "Why should I invest in your business and get a 2% return when I can invest in that other company with similar prospects and get a 5% return?" problem.

Note retailers will generally work on a 40% Gross Margin. How much of that percolates through to the Net Margin is quite another matter if only because they start to redefine Profit and they'll do accounting shenanigans like loading up with debt as explained here with Maplin. As explained by the article Maplin would have been reasonably profitable had it not been for all interest it had to pay on the debt it was loaded up with by its Private Equity owners!

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Profitability

There is also something to be said about not trusting things to the average delivery company. I used to buy blank DVDs at Maplin - their prices weren't significantly more than the equivalent at Amazon (this was a few years ago!) but made much more sense as the one time I bought from Amazon they sent the caketin of blanks in a big box with very little padding. By the time YoDel (or whatever) had played football with it and it got to me several of the discs were unusable so the whole lot had to go back for a refund. While I wasn't out of pocket it was still a hassle which made the Maplin surcharge fairly reasonable in comparison.

paulf Silver badge

Re: Further reading

@ARGO Agreed - yes my term for 1. is more accurately used to refer to your 3. funding early stage companies (e.g. Pied Piper). That's just my way of trying to separate "Good" Private Equity (the 1. type) from the "Bad" Private Equity (the 2. type) even if the terms aren't quite accurate.

You're spot on with your assessment of 2. I guess there is an ample supply of greedy mugs out there?

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Further reading

As an aside I think of two types of private involvement in companies.

1. Buying up a tired or unloved company/brand, investing in it to restore it to good financial and business health, then selling it on at a profit as a stable going concern; where the profit is recompense for the hard work involved in restoring the fortunes of said company. (Rightly or wrongly I refer to this as venture capital)

2. Buying up a healthy company, loading it with debt to fund a bumper payout to the new owners, mortgaging any assets they can lay their hands on to fund more payouts, cutting CapEx and OpEx to the absolute bone to artificially flatter the accounts in the short term, then selling it on to some mug as quickly as they can before the whole house of cards collapses under the weight of its own debt, spiraling investment needs and imminently tanking revenues. (I look at this as Private Equity - this is what Maplin suffered from since at least 2001, along with many other companies on the high street).

paulf Silver badge
Boffin

Further reading

For those who are interested in reading further about the story behind Maplin's demise this is a worthwhile article which includes the original mail order history. It is involved (like this story) but also a fascinating insight to what happened. (Spoiler alert: The die was likely cast back in about 2001 - "In fact it has been insolvent for a very long time. It is a zombie company.")

The sad story of Maplin Electronics

UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: Don't need a condom.....

Having a picture of a massive cock on a condom packet does make some sense I suppose?

What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

paulf Silver badge
Alert

@Ledswinger, "Why would anybody commission such a dreadfully run company to tell them how to do anything?"

Oddly enough IBM seem pretty popular among dreadfully run companies, so there could be a link:

Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

Revealed: British Airways was in talks with IBM on outsourcing security just before hack

Salesforce supremo Benioff buys Time magazine for $190m

paulf Silver badge
Coat

Salesforce supremo Benioff buys Time magazine for $190m

He was over charged - it was only £3.50 in my local Newsagents

(Sorry - obvious joke).

Amazon probes alleged bribery of staffers for data on e-tail platform

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: "Reviews" on e commerce sites

The problem is the reviews you never get to see because they were deleted before you got there.

I've been mentioning this in El Reg comments for a few years now when Amazon's marketplace comes up in a story. I'm just an average Joe in the street and I get requests to remove negative reviews: both items and sellers. In one case a seller called me up one evening out of the blue and offered a 50% rebate on the item if I retracted a negative review which stated the item sent mismatched the listing photo (while the item sent still did the job and this was acknowledged in the review it didn't reflect the picture and as it was £7 it wasn't worth sending back). Amazon do obscure buyer's email addresses but phone numbers are provided as part of the invoice and delivery details (along with your invoice and delivery addresses).

I always decline such requests as deleting justified negative reviews undermines the whole review system but I'm sure there are others who are more easily tempted by refunds and the like.

One thing is certain - Amazon will not deal with this problem - they'll only do enough to make it look like they're dealing with the problem.

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: @ Waseem Alkurdi

@ Inventor of the Marmite Laser, "I guess he means summat a bit like Crown House (and one other I cant recall) who run TV transmitters,". IIRC:

BBC Transmission > CTXI > Crown Castle > National Grid Wireless > Arqiva

IBA (Transmission bit in Winchester) > NTL > Arqiva.

So Arqiva (owned by infrastructure funds like Macquarie) now owns pretty much all the broadcast infrastructure in the UK.

Icon, Non-ionising radiation etc.

Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

paulf Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Head phone socket

Same here - I'll be sorting out a replacement battery for my 6S+ before the cheap offer ends in December. That should keep me going for a few more years yet. If it hadn't been for the removal of the headphone socket I'd probably have updated to the iPhone 7S 8 last year. It might be a small point for some but I found the early smart phones (HTC and iPhone that I know of, and I'm sure others) use of a standard headphone socket refreshing and genuinely useful compared to the Nokia practice of every handset using a different proprietary standard for the headset connector.

I'm just tired of the rehashed arguments against the headphone socket, "It's an obsolete standard", "use bluetooth headphones", "use the lightning to 3.5 jack adaptor", "It's brave innovation".

"It might be old but it's not obsolete - comparisons with floppy disks are misleading (floppy disk storage capacity was long eclipsed by user requirements but audio can still travel along copper wires that terminate in a jack plug which connects to near enough any audio device)", "I don't want to spend money on new headphones to replace my Sennheiser HD-25s that will be something else that needs regular charging, plus carrying another charger", "Why should I need an adaptor for the basic action of listening to music on a fucking £700+ phone?", "removing useful functionality is not innovation (unless you're Apple)".

Milton Keynes: Come for roundabouts, stay for near-gigabit broadband

paulf Silver badge
Meh

The drive for market share

FTA: "In a research note today, RBC Capital explained that aggressive pricing is Vodafone's way of gaining share rapidly. "Vodafone’s market share in fixed is significantly below mobile across Europe."

That likely explains why I'm getting, with ever increasing desperation, postal flyers every other month plus marketing MMS messages about twice a month from them. They refuse to take the hint that I'm not interested because I already have a decent ISP that doesn't fuck about with my connection (either speed or content), gives me a fixed IP address, doesn't insist on using their own router etc etc.

Apple pushes new iOS 12 beta build to silence notification spam

paulf Silver badge

@ Lord Elpuss, "So making it 'Off' as opposed to OFF might have been a motivator here - to reduce support calls from muppets."

I can understand that. I did see one suggestion that they could have used force touch here - tap for "Off", press hard tap for "OFF" but I did see something the other day suggesting Apple will not include force touch in coming handsets so perhaps they knew back then that method was a dead end...

paulf Silver badge
Meh

Not entirely sure what the OP was referring to, but the comment about [iOS] 10 makes me suspect it's a reference to the frustrating bug/problem feature where turning Wifi or Bluetooth off from the Control Centre only turns it off temporarily until the next day. To turn it off properly requires a visit to Settings. Before iOS 11, Off meant off even in the Control Centre. Apple claimed this change was to improve the customer experience - ho hum.

What happens to your online accounts when you die?

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Get a Power of Attorney

@Dr Dan "I would strongly advise obtaining a dozen or so legal copies [of the death certificate]". A good post throughout but this is spot on advice. Everyone and his dog wants to see the original death certificate before lifting a finger so if you've only got one you'll be years sorting everything out. Get 10 or so copies and the paperwork become much easier to plough through.

paulf Silver badge

Re: Get a Power of Attorney

Respectfully, I'm not convinced on this (IANAL). When someone dies the executors of their estate gain control of it via the process of Probate assuming they don't die intestate (i.e. without a Will) which complicates things. Once the executors have completed the process of probate they can (along with a death certificate) gain access to the affairs of the deceased (things like ownership/possessions/property/financial affairs) so they can close down their estate. This is all done in writing so I suspect the problem you faced is that you tried to do this over the phone (the solicitor should have known better). I can understand the call centre droid declining to talk to someone on the basis of "The account holder has died, honest" even if the scripted reply sounds a bit odd. On the other hand I would be quite surprised if Tesco Bank were routinely disregarding the legal process of Probate without censure, and organisations like this usually have specialist bereavement teams to deal with this process. AIUI once the executors have completed probate an organisation like Tesco Bank could only challenge their access to the accounts by challenging the probate itself (again IANAL).

Emma's Diary fined £140k for flogging data on over a million new mums to Labour Party

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: He Just Wanted Love

Don't hold your breath.

In terms of ex-PM honours John Major was the last in 2005 (8 years after leaving No 10). Tony Blair is pending (left No 10 eleven years ago in 2007), as are Gordon Brown and David Cameron (left No 10 in 2010 and 2016 respectively). Until they figure out a way to make a PM gong for Blair palatable to all the people who didn't like him "Call me Dave" could be waiting a long time!

paulf Silver badge
Pirate

Re: If political parties want our personal information

That should include their proper home address, not the address of the small 1 bedroom flat they've rented (or bought on expenses) in the constituency to adhere to the letter of the rules.

Chip flinger TSMC warns 'WannaCry' outbreak will sting biz for $250m

paulf Silver badge
Holmes

Re: so installing critical security patches

@Stephanh, "Based on this, I would assume that the infected computers are Windows 7 "

FTA (Paragraph 2): "The malware struck on Friday, and affected a number of unpatched Windows 7 computer systems and fab tools over two days."

Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

paulf Silver badge
Flame

Please call them what they are

"members of the alt-reichright"

Frankly the strike through text in the article had it spot on in the first place. Perhaps I risk down votes for putting my head above the parapet on this, but the current fashion for calling the new generation of far right fascists "alt-right" (or even alt-reich), as if they're just another right of centre political grouping that deserves equal prominence in the interest of "balance" just masks their true cause + hateful aims, and risks legitimising them.

I hope the warning shot from the DEF CON Organisers works, and they can complete the conference successfully with plenty of constructive debate and no disruptive trolls.

UK comms revenues reach all-time low of £54.7bn, as internet kills the TV star

paulf Silver badge
Meh

Re: Will the parasite kill the host?

No, the hosts (Telcos) will simply charge their customers more for service to make up for the revenue lost to the OTT "Parasites". I guess that's when people find out their "Free" OTT service has another hidden cost beyond data slurp.

Apple takes an axe to its App Affiliate Program

paulf Silver badge

Re: not on my list of fine upstanding gentlemen

Arnold Kim is also the owner of Mac Fanboi news site Macrumors.

Porn parking, livid lockers and botched blenders: The nightmare IoT world come true

paulf Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Parking kiosk

They do it, not because it makes sense to anyone who sees the whole picture, but because it's considered an easy win and they assume putting up parking charges will not cause any change in behaviour.

Councils used to get about half of their income from central Gubmint as a grant. That's been reduced to nil over the last 8 years leaving them to either cut services or raise new revenues from somewhere other than Council Tax (they have to hold a referendum if the put up CTax by more than 5%). Some councils are so stuffed by the current situation they're struggling to provide the bare minimum (statutory) services. Faced with that I'm not surprised they're going after the "easy wins" even if it makes bugger all sense for the reasons you cite.

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: Internet of Idiots

@ Halfmad

I think the point is that all of the desirable functionality you've mentioned (and I agree it makes a lot of sense in the case of your Father) can be provided without requiring an internet/Wifi connection, and the ability to phone home to a manufacturer or connect to a smartphone app.

I feel a plead... a plead for speed: FastMail naps amid network blunder

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I like Fastmail

I've been with Fastmail for 4 years now (I have two accounts, with a third for the parental units) since I moved away from the "cost free, and privacy free" services like Gmail and Y! Mail. They've been spot on with reliability which makes yesterday mornings near three hour total collapse stand out all the more.

Yes, it costs money, but the web interface is pretty slick, and they allow lots of stuff to be configured far beyond the free services do. Also their support is pretty damned good - not something you can say about Google!

As an aside, about three years ago I had a complicated support problem which ended up getting third line tech support from Bron Gondwana (yes he did resolve it). Hopefully this means he's not just a random suit but understands both the business and the tech side.

Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

paulf Silver badge
Alert

@ Derezed, Your pension provider is probably looking over their shoulder at the strict rules on verifying identity to prevent money laundering. That said the application of these rules varies wildly - some are happy to have a utility bill and a bank statement (I suspect difficult enough for many in the El Reg readership who get these electronically). In your case they've applied the rules much more strictly.

@ Uberior

Best of luck with your complaint. In your case with the marketing muppets they definitely have no right to ask for all that stuff and they know it. IANAL but you might like to look up the DPA clause that notes data processors should only collect and process data directly relevant to the matter in hand. Asking for passport and DL is way beyond that level IMO. Unfortunately the ICO tend to be like this too - you have to give them lots of identifying information to make a complaint against the spamming slime.

Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour

paulf Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

@ Gordon 10, "Fixed batteries have been a MacBook staple for years with little discernible impact on sales."

You're right but it's the degree to which things have been fixed inside that has most definitely changed.

My old Mid-2010 17" MBP can have it's battery swapped at home - unscrew the back, unplug old battery, plug in new battery and screw the back in to place again. It's not something you can do on a regular basis but it is a world away from the latest MBPs with their batteries glued in place inside and near enough impossible for someone to replace at home.

Qualcomm demands blueprints to Intel chips used in Apple iPhones

paulf Silver badge
Gimp

Units of Apple profit

Apple's latest results (Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour) suggest that at the rate given in the story ("...imposed a penalty of $25,000 per day on Apple...") Apple could have held out for 212 days on just an hours profit. I wonder how much the lawyer time cost in comparison to get that penalty reversed...

Also "Even so, Intel may be hoping to delay document production until September, when the new iPhones debut, as a way to curry favor with Apple.". Assuming this is true I wonder how favourably Apple will look on Intel when it comes to whether they make the much predicted shift to ARM processors for macOS. Not much I imagine...

From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit

paulf Silver badge
Alert

Re: They're still at it!

I always thought different retailers having the same units, with the same base model number, but appended with very slightly different suffixes which vary in each retailer was to protect retailers, rather than the manufacturers. It meant a retailer could claim you won't find this model cheaper elsewhere - then when another retailer discounts that model they simply point out the single character difference in the model number and their promise holds (to the letter, but perhaps not the spirit).

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

paulf Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Customer Delight Providers

If some jumped up MBA type PHB (or shyster HR skank, for that matter) changed my job title from something meaningful to "Customer Delight Providers" the dying embers of their lifeless corpse would be in the bottom of a skip by the end of the day; their only company being the charred remains of the piss stained mattress, which every skip seems to contain, that was cremated with them.

Sorry, It's been a long week and I think we ran out of Coffee by Wednesday afternoon.

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Nothing wrong wirh reusing passwords

About 8 years ago a system I use regularly started enforcing password changing via AD. There was much grumbling as the change timer is about 3 months and the old password cannot be a prefix of the new password which immediately rules out changing totalBollocks to totalBollocks1. Then someone pointed out to me that adding numbers into the password means it's treated as a completely different password. Thus:

totalBollocks

total1Bollocks

total2Bollocks

are all unique passwords.

This has served me well for the last 20 odd password changes.

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

paulf Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Google braced for giant Android fine from EU

@andy 103: "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."

Resident Google Critic Andrew Orlowski published this at lunchtme: Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

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