* Posts by paulf

732 posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

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Toshiba may sell silicon biz to contain fallout of nuke plant problems

paulf
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WTF?

Westinghouse

I'll confess I'm not in the know here, and perhaps it would have been useful if the story had done some more digging on this.

I seem to recall the British Government (through BNFL) sold Westinghouse to Toshiba. About 12-18 months later they announced we needed to build (some badly needed) new Nuclear power plants with much gnashing of teeth from those who pointed out we'd recently sold the in house capability to do just that.

With Toshiba writing down the value of the purchase substantially "The 2006, $5.4 billion acquisition of Westinghouse [..] writ[ten] down [..] by $2.3 billion." does that mean HM Gubbermint dodged the bullet of hanging on to Westinghouse or are these problems caused by Toshiba's ownership? $2.3bn may be peanuts compared to the savings of having built new nuclear in house though, but I'm sure Sir Humphrey would have meddled in new build whether Westinghouse or EDF/Areva...

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You know how online shops love to keep tabs on you? Now it's coming to the offline world

paulf
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Terminator

Re: Already a rudimentary thing

I have a vague memory* of something over the Christmas period (possibly advert or advertorial masquerading as "news") that Amazon was setting up bricks+mortar stores. You sign into the shop on arrival, pick up what you want and just walk out with it. The items are all tagged so the exit knows what you've left with and bills you accordingly. I know this is a bit different to the Intel stuff (and yes I know that Amazon already track and data mine your purchases to death) but perhaps it's a sign of where we're headed in physical stores, especially if the Amazon system can monitor your movement around the store for marketing purposes as opposed to just detecting who is leaving with the detected list of items.

As for the Intel shelf robot - I seem to recall electronic shelf price tickets being the next big thing about 12 years ago. This would resolve the shelf price accuracy but I've never seen them rolled out in any major UK retailer. Pricer is one, but I'm sure there are others. Surely the stock check could be built into the price label rather than having a robot bumbling about in between people that have difficulty steering trolleys.

*<coughs> "Christmas Spirit" may have been involved

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paulf
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Big Brother

Already a rudimentary thing

I have an online account with Wickes (a supplier of low cost/average quality building and DIY supplies). Deep in the fine print T+C of my last order was something about a new way they track my purchases. They will now link purchases made in store with my online orders where the in store purchase is made with the same payment card as I use on their website. I don't know if other retailers do this covertly like this (i.e. where they don't offer a purchase logger loyalty scheme) or whether this is just the first time I've spotted a retailer admitting to it but it's a bit creepy especially if their website purchase recommendations start saying things like "We know you bought paint at our High Street store yesterday, Did you know we have an offer on paint brushes?"

<shivers>

I know anonymity on in store purchases isn't likely these days as even if you pay with cash the CCTV and car park ANPR cameras will track you, but this really is a step too far IMO. The whole avoiding tracking is becoming a war of attrition and the retailers have bigger guns and much more time on their hands.

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Lloyds Bank customers still flogging the online dead horse

paulf
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FAIL

Re: I love Lloyds Bank online - not

@N2 "Dont you just love those SQL server fuck ups disguised as "we're sorry for the inconveience, but we've had to log you off" No Sir! just click the back button & youre right where you left off."

So that's the cause of those? I use a Bookmark to go direct to the login page and was often perplexed to find it had told me it had logged me out before I'd even logged in FFS.

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paulf
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Meh

@Dan 55 "Nationwide seems to be relatively free of these intermittent issues affecting a very small number of customers so far." FIFY

Top result from a Google search for "Nationwide Outsourcing" was this from Oct 2015: Nationwide Building Society outsources IT infrastructure [to Capgemini in 5 year deal]

I suggest get the popcorn and give it time as I suspect it's been more luck than judgement...

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Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

paulf
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Boffin

Re: Improvements

Perhaps the statement implies more general debugging + reliability improvements all round (both in the OS and the built in/installed Apps) rather than the constant dash for ever more new features when most of the current features aren't aren't that compelling for the majority of users? That could include tweaking useful features like improving the ability to control user privacy settings with respect to what Apps want access to?

IME I can think of a few problems: Plugging the iPhone into the Mac and seeing it reboot occasionally is pretty crappy for the premium styled shiny shiny. Also if a file is deleted from a playlist in iTunes, iTunes will then create a copy of the modified playlist when syncing to the phone. Right click on track in playlist and click Delete from Library - iTunes deletes from playlist. iTunes did have a habit of randomly deleting podcasts that are marked don't delete when listened but that seems to have been fixed. The other day the music app refused to play anything until I rebooted the phone.

I know I'm shooting fish in a barrel with iTunes but it's a necessary evil for the user to get things into and out of the walled garden. From my experience quality has gone to shit at Apple in the last few years, and I have no evidence or reason to suggest it's much better over in the Android world.

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Netgear unveils world's easiest bug bounty

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Doesn't address the issue

I would have thought the main issue wasn't so much getting bug reports filed as actually fixing them and pushing out an updated firmware image with those verified fixes? Netgear might be upping their game (finally!) on bug bounties but they've proved poor in the whole area of fixing bugs with updated firmware, and even when they do products get EOLd soon after release because the fixes only get applied to the vn+1 HW they've just released. [This happened with my router - loads of ADSL bugs which were never fixed in an official firmware release because they put all the bug fixes in a v2 HW release instead. I only got some of the fixes because I switched to an Engineering beta firmware after pestering their Support].

On the issue of rebranding - if it says Netgear on the front they need to understand they're going to take the flack for it whether it's their Hardware/Firmware or not so yes rebranded items should be included.

Oh and FTA: "They will score half that in they can steal only one user's payment information or the majority of Netgear's customer database including logins and products owned."

So if someone hacks their main customer database but only makes off with the majority of it they only get five grand? I can't help thinking it would be worth more than that to a competitor?

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My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

paulf
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Pirate

Re: If I could prepare proper meals every day I would

@Lotaresco "PS: The tone of this article is very much like "product placement""

The Huel PR department play serious hard ball if they got a full length advertorial in El Reg while also getting the article author to pay full price for the product being reviewed...

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Netgear: Nothing to see here, please disperse. Just another really bad router security hole

paulf
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Re: Too F***ing Late...!

@Adam JC "Maybe the downvote was due to your mentioning of RAID5...? *Shudder*"

@John H Woods "Dude, no. Just no. I'd recommend 6 disks and RAIDZ2 but other sensible options are available; RAID5 is not one of them."

Well, "RAID whatever" is likely more efficient than the current RAID 1 mirroring that's in use. I can't complain too much as it did save me from a drive failure with no data loss, but it's not particularly efficient. The two bay ReadyNAS Duo v1 supports RAID 0 or RAID 1 so not much in the way of choice.

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paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: Too F***ing Late...!

@BugabooSue "I have a couple of ReadyNAS Duo v1 Sparcs too, and they been bloody terrific!"

I have four and they're bomb proof - never missed a beat and still running 24/7 all these years later. They've also got features that [IIRC] weren't included in later versions like the iTunes library and Time Machine support. I probably should have bought a larger 6/8-bay device from the outset and used RAID 5 striping as that would have been more efficient but I'll replace them when they fail and that could be some time...

P

PS - From the smattering of single downvotes it looks like the Netgear PR dept shill is loitering on this thread. Instead of downvoting sort out your bugs and provide firmware updates for a decent period of time after release - 5 years strikes me as reasonable.

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paulf
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Mushroom

Re: Too F***ing Late...!

Similar experience here with Netgear. I had a wireless router from them over 10 years ago. It worked fine although the final firmware update managed to completely bork the LAN routing between Ethernet ports and I had to regress it to the previous version (thank $DEITY I kept the old image!).

I updated it with a new Netgear router in 2011 (a/b/n/ac wireless and GbE) - supposedly top of the range at £120. I bought about 6 months after release yet it was EOLd only 5 months later. The ADSL never worked properly with the production firmware build and I had to download an Engineering beta via Support to get it working "properly" (of the three versions I downloaded the second was the most reliable oddly enough) as it wasn't updated again with a production firmware to fix the myriad bugs in it - it certainly didn't get any security updates! I still don't get why the Engineering Betas were never finished off and released considering the work that must have gone into them but I guess they just lost interest when they released the v2 that did get all the bug fixes.

The ReadyNAS duo v1 boxes I have (Sparc Powered) are still getting occasional updates despite being 6 years old which is impressive but after the router experience I won't be touching Netgear again. To have a relatively new product EOLd just months after purchase is unacceptable. My next router will hopefully be a DrayTek as I hear good things about them.

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Not OK Google: Tree-loving family turns down Page and pals' $7m

paulf
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Terminator

What's happened to El Reg these days

There was a time when "..tens of thousands of wide-eyed Googlers.." would have made reference to Oompa Loompas at the Chocolate Factory.

Now, where did that El Reg tombstone icon go?

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Dixons warns of looming Brexit storm cloud amid bumper results

paulf
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Holmes

@ Doctor Syntax "Or simply ask them to hang on for a moment and then lay the phone aside until it makes that siren noise."

Yes on a landline (assuming you don't mind the line being blocked until you hang up after you hear the off hook siren), but the OP noted his Missus was called on her Mobile...

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paulf
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Holmes

Re: "identifying areas of potential market share growth"

@ John Lilburne "Oddly dixons/currys have been considered a bunch of "completely useless wankers" for almost 40 years. [...] however, they are still there where others have folded."

That'd be the "We're cheaper because we're useless wankers and we're depending on you relying on one of our more expensive competitors (with decent knowledgeable staff) to answer your questions then you coming here to buy for less" effect.

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paulf
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Unhappy

Re: All I want for christmas is for DSG to go BUST, DSG to go BUST, DSG to go BUST.

@ MR J "There is little to no brick and mortar competition to them any longer. The gov says there is."

The only real remaining High Street competition, if you can call it that due to their more limited reach, is the department stores (John Lewis, HoF, Debenhams, et al), to a limited extent the larger supermarkets and the "Poor Fucking" HP stores like Brighthouse. If you thought Slurrys were determined on their extended warranty sales you've clearly not seen how ruthless places like Brighthouse are with their claims you can only get the necessary "loan" if you buy the extended warranty. Talk about the next PPI in its genesis...

The only training Slurrys dish out is how to read information off the shelf ticket. If the answer to the question put to the sales droid isn't on that ticket you're SOL.

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paulf
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Alert

@AC

Presumably you are a regular here at El Reg? If that's the case you should have explained to your better half the art of telling unsolicited calls selling crap or asking for personal information (and the like) to (bugger off)^2*. Had you done so (this is your failing not hers!) she would have told the "Pushy, arrogant [...] liar" to summarily get lost saving you both a lot of hassle.

*You can work up to "string them along for entertainment" over time.

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paulf
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Pirate

Re: More opportunity than threat

I think this part of the quote was more interesting (My emphasis): "In particular, we have been focusing on reducing our fixed cost base, identifying areas of potential market share growth if the world becomes a tougher place for our competitors, and generally preparing for all eventualities - just in case."

IOW - If a competitor to one of our foreign operations does a Comet, leaving us as the only major gig in town, we'll respond as we did in the case of Comet by cutting service levels lower than your thought possible while extending our price gouging on the poor hopeless saps in that country as all vestiges of being able to go somewhere else equally crap but possibly a bit cheaper and less likely to insist they buy an overpriced 5 year warranty evaporates before their very eyes, while we rub our greedy hands with glee laughing maniacally.

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Apple's Airpod wireless earbuds finally go on sale after six-week delay

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: £159 .....

The concern is that other vendors will now go the courageous ludicrous path of removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. I saw recently that Samsung's next big handset is likely to ditch the 3.5mm jack too, as reported by Fanboi site Macrumors. HTC may be a smaller player these days but even they think they have enough influence to move to USB C headphones without serious numbers of people going elsewhere. Like or hate Apple it seems they have a significant influence on the direction of this stuff. If Samsung moved first on this they'd have been rightly ridiculed (as Apple have been including by Samsung who made jokes at Apple's expense about their handsets still having a 3.5mm headphone jack) but it seems Apple can get away with these stupid decisions and still sell loads of iPhones which then influences the rest of the market.

So things have gone full circle back to every phone having its own proprietary headset connector that's generally incompatible with anything else (including other handsets from the same manufacturer). I wonder how long it will be before Apple ditch the lightning to 3.5mm adaptor.

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Uber-creepy: Dial-a-ride devs accused of stalking pop diva Beyonce

paulf
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Joke

Re: Shameless

"I also reported that Uber's lack of security, and allowing all employees to access this information (as opposed to a small security team) was resulting in a violation of governmental regulations regarding data protection."

I think the real news here is that the USAian government has any kind of legislation/regulations on data protection.

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Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

paulf
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Paris Hilton

Re: 'Barter'

@ CDD "Isn't that what Viz calls "paying with a hairy cheque"?"

See also "Gash Card"

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UK National Lottery data breach: Fingers crossed – it might not be you

paulf
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Re: No card data? think again

I call BS on Camelot on this one. They must store all the card data they're allowed to because it's possible to register a card for all future deposit/withdrawals of money to/from a NL account. They have all the details except the CVC (I think PCI DSS forbids them from storing this in any way) so they just ask the amount and the CVC then process the transaction.

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paulf
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Alert

@ cmannett85 "Use a bloody password manager!"

This is the core of the problem, only emphasised by this FTA, "Ollie Whitehouse, technical director at NCC Group, added: “This latest hack is yet another example of why people should use different and strong passwords for all online accounts due to the lack of transparency with regards to how they are held."

Every site expects people to register before they can use it (it's unusual to find a website that allows express checkout without registering as that would stop their data harvesting impair the user experience), you're expected to use a completely different password for each site, and every password must contain a capital, a lower case, the number you first thought of, a punctuation, an emoji, and what you did last summer. People are looking at 50-100 passwords just for the regularly used parts of their online time (possibly much more) all of which are near impossible to remember so is it any wonder they pick one "strong" password (as determined by the misguided password policy on the most cantankerous site they use) and reuse it elsewhere. It may help using a different email address for each site but that is a lot to manage for many people and strays into security/obscurity territory.

Password managers are helpful and I believe most of the major browsers offer some kind of "remember my password" functionality (Safari, Firefox, IE, not sure about others) but one breach on the password manager exposes the whole bloody lot. Perhaps the most secure password manager is a small notebook in a kitchen drawer?

My concern is that these kind of things push people towards third party authentication e.g. login with your Facebook account. The idea that Zuck becomes the password gatekeeper to the interwebz is just too horrific not just because it also concentrates the target into one place - crack a Facebook account and get access to everything. Facebook only keep things private if it suits them and telling them you log into Amazon, your mobile provider, your telly provider and your utility on a regular basis would be music to his wallet.

I'll leave it to someone else to dig out a link to the XKCD cartoon about passwords.

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Behold, your next billion dollar market: The humble Ethernet cable

paulf
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Coat

Re: Non-sense!

I don't know what's worse - charging $7000 for some snake oil a directional Ethernet cable, or whacking on an extra five bucks for delivery. I suppose extra for delivery makes sense since it's also directional...

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Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot

paulf
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Big Brother

Re: Just digging deeper here

I'd suggest it has already happened with things like Halifax Cashback Extras where your spending profile on the debit card at all merchants is used by the bank to target you with offers. For now it's opt in but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before that opt-in box is automatically ticked to borg the bloody lot of you "improve the customer experience".

I still don't see why they bother though. Nectar might only have one supermarket in it (the former Sainsbury's Reward card) but they have various other retailers so can pick up lots of data. I use mine only in JS and spend about £50/week, very occasionally spending £80 to refill the freezer, yet every week I get a voucher promising bonus points for spending more than £90. They know I almost never get anywhere close to that amount and must assume I sneak off to the other supermarket nearby to do another full shop. If they gave me a bonus for spending £60 I'd be able to use it most of the time while also subtly increasing my spend with them - i.e. it would be successful. Getting vouchers I definitely cannot use means I won't even try so it doesn't increase my loyalty which was surely the whole point in the first place.

TL;DR: Simply put after 20 years of harvesting and deep analysis of all this big data they still don't understand the data they have, and they definitely cannot put it to effective use to increase how much people spend with them (at least in my case).

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HTC and OnePlus spruce up flagships for Santa's sack

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: start all new phone aritcles

@ Ralph B "Also: 3.5mm audio socket: yes/no HTC has none, so no sale there."

FTA: "HTC re-emphasises it again here, bundling USB Type C headphones. ...So it's another phone that drops the traditional headphone jack."

This is the start of the fall out from Apple dropping the 3.5mm jack. Apple may have a relatively small market share* compared to Android in general but they get a lot of coverage, not least from the launch day queues which show how iPhones are so deeply desirable* and aspirational*. So when Apple does something quite ludicrous as dropping a de-facto standard connector (it might be old but it's not *obsolete*) they normalise this change when made to other phones. I seem to recall a Reg article years ago which noted Apple pushing the keyboard back on laptops to make wrist rest spaces either side of the trackpad would likely propagate to other manufacturers and that came to pass in various cases. Unfortunately in this case Apple's courageous shitty decision threatens to infect non iOS ecosystems. Samsung may have taken a swipe at Apple, noting their latest handset still has a 3.5mm jack, but that could change next year when the marketing narrative has moved on.

* All of these terms are very much YMMV.

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Sorry, iPhone fans – only Fandroids get Barclays' tap-to-withdraw

paulf
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Meh

Re: How is this progress?

@ Scotthva5 "You still have to physically open your wallet and wait for the cash to dispense."

TBH the phone makes things more cumbersome unless you store your phone in your wallet.

Using a bank card means you open wallet, put card in ATM, get cash, put bank card plus cash into wallet.

Using a mobe means you have to juggle wallet and phone while also keeping one eye over your shoulder at that shifty looking guy over there. It might be easy for Da Kidz to sort, but I can see it being really easy to put down your phone or wallet or cash on the ATM while trying to put everything away and forget one or more of them.

It might be a nice idea if, for some odd reason (or you just want to show off), you have phone but not wallet/cards but it sounds like more faff than it's worth.

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Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

paulf
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Joke

Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

@TRT "Gotta have Bluetooth".

Bluetooth is an absolutely necessity* so it can connect to the corresponding App (now available in the App Store and Google Play) that allows you to track how many times you visit the khazi, what you do, how much you did, how long it took, the consistency and so on. Then you can upload all the stats to our cloud servers (see the "privacy policy") and use them to play "Top Trumps" with your friends!

* This isn't entirely fantasy - TOH has a Braun electric toothbrush with Bluetooth probably for downloading a whole pile of useless brushing stats that result in some oddly contrived targeted ads. Sometimes I'm staggered beyond words.

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Emergency services 4G by 2020? And monkeys could fly out of my butt

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Any advantages?

The claimed point is that 4G will mean the control room can send a detailed map to an ambulance crew or perhaps a building plan to plod on the ground. That is a good idea.

The bad idea is migrating the primary functionality (i.e. voice) to the 4G side of things too so it's all 4G and no TETRA. TETRA can do all kinds of funky things - not only is the range much better due to the lower frequency (around 400MHz) which can punch through buildings that GSM signals at 900MHz/1800MHz+ struggle with but it can also run the handsets back to back in the absence of a mother network. Useful in serious emergencies as this is the time when the mother network tends to go TITSUP.

The downside is TETRA is really shitty on data rates which were specified for voice only and not actual data so TETRA alone would have struggled with anything other than voice.

The ideal solution would have been to make handsets that combined rich media via 4G with TETRA for voice only but that didn't happen.

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FYI Apple fans – iCloud slurps your call histories

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Or

@ MrDamage "You could take full responsibility of your own data, doing a nightly manual backup to systems and storage you own and control, and be prepared to lose a days worth of "data" should the phone go titsup."

I already do regular backups of the jesus mobe to my computer. There's a bit more to it than that, though. You need to sign in to iCloud for stuff like find my iPhone and the remote wipe option - that's the only reason I've signed into it. I have all the remote backup options turned off (I only do and trust local backups) thinking that would stop* the remote slurps to Apple's bit barns. They might not have outright hidden this (as noted in the article) but absent an option to explicitly turn this on/off they haven't exactly drawn attention to it either. As with these privacy cases the convenience claim is always bollocks.

* As far as a mere mortal resident in the walled garden can ascertain

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TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

paulf
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Big Brother

Re: switch off your Wi-Fi...

"For the privacy-conscious Londoner, the easiest way to not be tracked is to switch off your Wi-Fi."

And switch off Bluetooth while you're at it as that can be tracked too, although the shorter range makes it a bit more difficult. Switch them on when you need them, and leave them off at other times to save battery as well as avoid tracking. It's not just Tube stations, shopping centres are another that like to track "Footfall" offer free Wifi and ping you with targeted advertising into the bargain.

I use Wifi at home then turn off Wifi and stick to cellular when out and about then it's only your mobile operator and the Gubbermint that's tracking you.

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Red squirrels! Adorable, right? Wrong – they're riddled with leprosy

paulf
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Thumb Up

Re: As I once heard....

@ kyndair "DEFRA thinking always seems to follow logical fallacies such as: All rats are rodents therefore all rodents are rats."

I'd offer the Yes, Minister example of Politician logic from Sir Humphrey:

"All cats have four legs. My dog has four legs; therefore my dog is a cat".

I don't know what's more worrying - how often these dolts put forward such questionable logic or how often us in the electorate fall for it?

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Netflix flattens bug that allowed account p0wnage via voicemail

paulf
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Re: Voicefail

@ as2003 "Seems to me carriers not adequately protecting users' voicemail is the bigger problem here."

I guess these carriers, many of which have some kind of operations in the UK, have learned nothing from the various tabloid newspaper phone voicemail hacking that went on over here.

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Facebook 'fesses up to WhatsApp privacy blunder in UK

paulf
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Meh

Re: Say what you like but at least....

If she does indeed get it, and isn't just spouting the usual empty platitudes, then she needs the ability to dish out some proper punishments (i.e. permanent disqualification and jail terms for company directors instead of the usual "big fines" that just get ignored by liquidating one shell company and setting up another) and the will to pursue those in question to apply those punishments.

If that happened things would change pretty quickly - which is probably why it won't happen....

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Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

paulf
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Windows

Re: Now the the future is closer than ever.

@ Schlimnitz

"Ha, I'm on 2007 :) And even 2003 on another machine."

I have Office XP (2002) on my main Win 7 machine and it works perfectly well while my Mac is happy running Office 97 for Windows via Crossover.

"I did consent to ditch the disks for Word 2.0 a few years back." I still have Office 95 Pro kicking about somewhere although I don't like my chances of installing it after the way Windows 7 complained bitterly about Office 97. I seem to recall it came with Access 2.0 which couldn't run on a machine with >1GB RAM. I guess those "640kB is enough for anyone" beliefs were hard wired!

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Bristol AI chip upstart Graphcore scores $30m in VC dosh

paulf
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Alert

Sell out?

Perhaps he's hoping to sell out to nVidia again? At least this time it's clear they'll be buying to shut them down and kill off a competitor.

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LaCie flings out super-glam desktop Bolter drive

paulf
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FAIL

Re: These guys are still in business?

After the 640GB Starck drives that all died en mass colour me shocked they're still in business at all.

Both of mine were replaced under warranty after they failed within weeks of each other.

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MPs want Blighty to enforce domestic roaming to fix 'not spots'

paulf
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Alert

Re: Up yours, Mobile UK

This is exactly it - make sure the cost of roaming is in line with the savings an operator would make from not having to build a complete base station but not so high that roaming has to be mandated by law. That should avoid the unintended consequence of operators not building anything to piggy back on the others via roaming.

Operators should be championing this idea - you don't need four separate* base stations to serve some small village with five houses and a shop miles from a main road. Have one operator build a suitable base station and charge the other operators to roam onto it**; or have all four operators share the cost of construction. Unfortunately that means they're colluding as a monopoly and would need protection from competitive laws - risky territory with Telcos unless it's done very carefully!

* yes I know it's really two with MBNL and Cornerstone.

** Roaming at the MNO level so a roaming agreement to use that base station signed by O2 would apply to all MVNOs on O2 e.g. GiffGaff and Tesco.

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Birmingham sperm bank pulls plug after just a handful of recruits

paulf
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Unhappy

Re: Anonymity

Not just that but AIUI they removed the right to anonymity retrospectively so those who donated in the past under the promise of anonymity had that removed long after the fact. In my book that major shift represented a significant breach of trust so it's no wonder they're short of donors.

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paulf
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Paris Hilton

Re: Missed opportunity

""Once you have a donor at least 70 per cent along the process, you have income, she said."

I would have thought that once you have a donor 70% along the process they're almost at the vinegar strokes and a deposit is imminent?

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Groupon buys Living Social

paulf
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Meh

Group buying?

FTA: "Remember when group buying was the hottest marketing tactic ever and Groupon and LivingSocial were duking it out at the top of the market?"

Yes I do - and I remember the last time it was "the hottest marketing tactic ever" when letsbuyit.com tried it then crashed and burned when the .com bubble burst in the early naughties.

Oh and are Groupon still a thing? I thought they'd finally died a death due to a lack of people wanting fish nibbling pedicures at 600% off.

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Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

paulf
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Flame

Re: Oh look!! It has a display. And a keyboard.

I remain completely staggered that they've systematically dropped the Magsafe connector from their portable computers. This, at least for me, was one of the more compelling aspects for the MacBook [Pro] machines as it offered a genuine benefit - trip over the mains cable and it safely detaches without wiping out the machine in the process.

As for connectors - completely agree. The chase is on for removing as much functionality as possible in the name of "courageous" decisions making it 0.1mm thinner. This seems to be a disease pervading Apple under Cook. If you want it super thin get a MB Air. If you buy a MacBook Pro you are probably planning to do some serious work with it so it should be connectors galore.

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

paulf
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Whatever ....

I've been with Voda for 10 years since leaving the former Orange. Orange CS truly was (shit)^2 and that's why I left them as a customer of 10 years (since the Hans Snook days).

I've not had many problems with Voda (but I don't doubt others have). The online chat resolved an overbilling issue - it took a while but I just did it in the background while working on something else (probably like the agent was doing). The Level 2 support in Egypt got Wifi Calling working during the Christmas break last year and even called back as promised while also being friendly and helpful.

With no disrespect intended to either those Voda staff who are trying their best nor the people who have had shitty service from them and hate them with a passion, I'd put them down as the "best" of a truly bad bunch:

EE: Terrible before acquisition by the utterly dreadful BT

Royston Vasey Three: You'll never leave (as we don't give out PACs)

O2: Crapita (Enough said)

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Clinton, Trump actually agree on something – blocking AT&T's Time Warner mega-buy

paulf
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: Y'know, after 2008

Alistair: "...the issue of to big to fail. Really. even *wall street* should get this by now."

Wall street definitely gets "too big to fail". They rather like the idea as it makes things closer to a one way bet. Getting more "too big to fail" generally involves campaign donations and directorships for suitable congress critters which is why they like it too. The downsides from too big to fail are like taxes - only for the little people.

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Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

paulf
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: Interesting times

David Roberts: "Edit: going to make it hard for El Reg to fill those column inches if Twitter goes Mammaries Sunwards and they can't publish Tweets any more."

I think that's going to make it difficult for all news outlets IME. They may have to re-employ some journalists to actually research and write stuff rather than the current MO of "Scrape frothing indignation from Twitter. Boom: Journalism".

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Who killed Cyanogen?

paulf
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Alert

Re: Cyanogen Inc killed CM

"Then Cyanogen Inc made a completely baffling move – one that continues to puzzle readers. It signed an exclusivity deal with Micromax in India...."

I agree this decision does sound baffling but having watched the first two series of Silicon Valley it probably made complete sense to the VCs that delighted in constantly meddling and were pushing for a big deal so they could cash out ASAP after.

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paulf
Bronze badge

Re: "try to leverage its market power"

Because what they really mean is "[attempt to] Manipulate the market with their power" but rather not say that just in case those uncool doods in the competition authorities hear them.

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Yahoo! hides! from! financial! analysts! amid! email! hacking!, privacy! storm!

paulf
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Flickr, Groups

Yahoo Groups used to be pretty good, but is now a shadow of its former self having been hacked to bits during refurbishments and upgrades over the last few years to the point it's barely usable. I know of several groups that have migrated away either to custom solutions or groups on Facebook (yes, I know). One group remains there, clinging to the wreckage, simply because they can't provide their own bespoke solution and it's not been possible to locate a suitable alternative.

I can only conclude that Yahoo Groups is a loss maker for the P0wnage palace and they've deliberately broken it to encourage people to sod off. If it was profitable then paid for alternatives would have popped up to grab those departing the mess at Yahoo. I've looked and nothing I've found (paid for or adverts) offers anything close to the same features and functionality.

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paulf
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Big Brother

Re: Hello I'm Yahoo!

The P0wnage Palace was reporting the quarter to 30 Sept. I'm not convinced the full effects of the 500 million user hack and Yahoo secretly handing over info to the US Government would have been reflected at all in those numbers.

IIRC the hack appeared on the dark web sometime in July but was only confirmed by Privacy sell-out Yahoo! a week or two before the quarter end (that was good timing, eh?!). The USG spying news started to break in early October (i.e. after the quarter end) so any revenue consequences on the NSA's bed warmer from this won't be reflected in these figures.

TL;DR big surprise it all stinks of bullshit. I'd be more interested in the figures for the current quarter (to 31 Dec) and the quarter after that (to 31 March) as they will really show the effects of people actually going elsewhere and presumably not coming back. If I was Verizon I'd be demanding access to current numbers to see any hit.

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Yahoo! cancels! earnings! call!, dodges! hacking! questions!

paulf
Bronze badge
Happy

Re: Verizon

Seppuku swords is a satisfying thought but it also implies they have an ounce of honour among them which is unlikely.

Verizon has already hinted at renegotiating or walking away as there has been a [quite substantial IMO] material change so I imagine the Yahoo execs are shitting themselves that the deal gets called off. Any eBay thoughts the Yahoo execs are having will be limited to either 1. Can we flog Yahoo! to eBay? or 2. I wonder if we can put Yahoo on eBay and get a few quid for it (Paypal only - no time wasters)?

I suspect this will be one of those unusual times where the board fail to get out with their massive golden parachutes before the whole lot implodes.

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paulf
Bronze badge
Pirate

Verizon

FTA: "Yahoo! says it won't stage the call “Due to the pending transaction with Verizon”."

"All our Execs are very busy arse kissing the Verizon board to the greatest possible extent so they are not available to attend the earnings call. Melissa is especially keen for this transaction to complete as agreed in the interests of her $56m bonus all investors."

FIFY

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