* Posts by VinceH

3066 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

VinceH
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"Given the lack of use, I wouldn't have one at all if the school didn't insist that children do assignments on them."

Sounds like the school is broken and needs to be fixed or replaced.

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VinceH
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Pint

"The RISC OS drap and drop was really good."

And remains so to this day.

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NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

VinceH
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Mushroom

"The real question is when Trump blows the planet up and there is nothing to come back to, what do the astronauts do?"

Well, I'm guessing that if there are three of them, one will be killed soon after they get back by a group of survivors. Another will be captured by them, and the third will somehow evade capture by remaining in the return capsule, but will be later captured by a more powerful group who is actually in control.

Bonus points if they happen to have some kind of nuclear weapon on board the capsule.

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A todger, a 2.5kg dumbbell, the fire brigade... and the inevitable angle grinder

VinceH
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Re: Correction - clue in headline

"I'm famous for going off half cocked."

And that's how the guy in question almost ended up.

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Equifax mega-breach: Security bod flags header config conflict

VinceH
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Re: I can confirm the e-mail address breach.

"Had it happen to me as well on an Equifax specific e-mail address. At the time Equifax's support blamed it on a third party contact management company who only had access to the e-mails."

I've had it happen on an address specifically used for a credit reference agency - it was either Equifax or Experian, but it was a very long time ago - around 2000ish, maybe - and I can't say for certain which of the two it was. Under the circumstances, it's easy to think it must have been Equifax, but I couldn't swear to it.

I'm pretty sure it was the first time I ever received spam at a company-specific address. ISTR contacting them and getting brushed off with "Nope, not a problem with us, guv."

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

VinceH
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Re: Hmm..

As in, "I'm going to kew the crown jewels!" ?

Um. I'll get my coat.

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VinceH
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Re: That'll confuse users

"No, that's only if Google googles Google."

But what happens if Google googles Google Doodles?

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Bluetooth bugs bedevil billions of devices

VinceH
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Re: Not terribly new

It's nice to have definite confirmation of something I've always just felt was the case. From the article:

'"Just having Bluetooth on puts you at risk," said Izrael.'

On every single Bluetooth-enabled device I've ever had, I've always made sure Bluetooth was firmly off for that very (felt, not known) reason.

Just because you're paranoid, and all that... ;)

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

VinceH
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Re: Apple copying Microsoft?

Not to mention the fact my OCD screams at me every time I see that cut out at the top of the iPhoneX screen."

Ah, you're referring to the 'Young Bruce Willis styling'.

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ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

VinceH
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Re: And this is why people we have spam.

" Forward the text? Who to? Though there are some places that will take them (like 7726), they are not the same on each network and there is no definitive "ICO" on where you can report text spam (because they would INUNDATED IN SECONDS)."

ISTR that there is a section on the ICO website for reporting spam texts. I don't think I've ever used it, though. The rare occasions I've received SMS spam I've forwarded it to 87726 (the Vodafone variation on that number). TBH, I've shown other people the necessary steps far more often than I've had to do it myself.

(A quick check my message logs, and I can see I've done it once on my current phone, on 19th July 2016.)

"Also, forwarding the text doesn't forward where you received it from (making it practically useless in my opinion), or whether that number was even genuine."

I can't comment on other networks, but on Vodafone you get a reply asking for the number the text was (or claims to have been) received from - so if there is one, you just copy and paste it from the original message info. ISTR my step dad having one with no number, so I told him to reply with 'number unknown'.

I also have a 'contact' set up called 'Spammers' - to which I add cold callers and the number from spam texts. Any subsequent messages with the same number will therefore have the name 'Spammers' attached but...

"And, literally, nothing happens."

...that's exactly what happened - in that I've never received another text from that same number (and, as I've said, no other spammy texts).

FWIW The only other number in that contact is a cold caller from March this year. I thought I reported that via the ICO, but I appear to have no record of doing so. Perhaps the call happened while I was out and I intended to reported it, but forgot by the time I was home. (I've had my current phone for approaching two years.)

"To be honest, 4.5% complaining seems HIGH."

Agreed - 4.5% is, IMO, very optimistic. Unfortunately.

"I imagine the rest just deleted the text. Which is fine if it's one text. But what if it's 20 from different companies? And if it's 20, how long does it take to complain about those 20?"

The point I make when I tell people to complain/forward is that the 'one text' they would otherwise delete could become ten, twenty, more if people do nothing.

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VinceH
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Re: Not the greatest business move?

According to the ICO post the firm was set up by the cab companies to create/run the app. I suspect they (erroneously) thought that because of that, passing on the data to the new company was okay.

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Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

VinceH
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Facepalm

Watch the linked clip.

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VinceH
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Alien

"The Doctor is a Gallifreyan, not a Vegan. He did defend the Vegans against a cyberman attack once, though."

Don't be silly - everyone knows the Vegans were a race in Star Trek.

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Oracle to shutter most Euro hardware support teams

VinceH
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"Unless of course they fly me to Las Vegas and ply me with drink, drugs and sports tickets. Which is the only way i can imagine they still make sales."

I get it. Buying from them would be the only way to stop the torture.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

VinceH
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Re: RIP

Lucifer's Hammer was the first Niven/Pournelle collaboration I read, back when I was at school - and the first by either of them. I should still have a copy, somewhere. Time to dig it out for another read, I think.

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Boffins: 68 exoplanets in prime locations to SPY on humanity on Earth

VinceH
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Alien

"The picture shows where transits of planets in the Solar System can be observed. "

It would also make a very good logo/uniform badge for some space-based organisation in a science fiction series.

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Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

VinceH
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I was going to fix that sentence as well, only my version was more like:

"Now, lawyers are lining up to make sure that those who have been exposed in the leak can claim a share of the payout amounting to less than a dollar each, while they themselves collect $MEGABUCKS"

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HSBC biz banking crypto: The case of the vanishing green padlock and... what domain are we on again?

VinceH
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Re: @VinceH

*shrugs*

In this case, complaining vocally about HSBC on Twitter resulted in a telephone conversation with someone at HSBC (who I referred to that post), and being paid £50 compensation.

I need to do a follow-up post at some point, in which that'll get mentioned, but I want to know what the ICO did, so I'm keeping half an eye on the ICO website to see if any outcome pops up there, now that they say they won't notify complainants.

FWIW, the issue was that there was a disconnection between their 'no spam please' settings in their online banking website, and the database they used for marketing, which has its own settings. It took the guy I spoke to logging in to his own account to see his settings versus those in the database to establish that.

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VinceH
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Re: worrying that I had clicked on a bad link from Google

1) Do not have the address bar double up as a search bar.

2) Do not have the browser suggest URLs from the browser history - bookmarks/favourites only.

Put the sites you do want to use on a regular basis in your favourites/bookmarks.

With the browser set like that, typing HSBC into the address bar will always result in the correct domain coming up.

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VinceH
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Since we're all having fun criticising HSBC, I'm just going to leave this here.

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VinceH
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Re: worrying that I had clicked on a bad link from Google

"The whole thing is a non-story. There's been no security breach."

There's no suggestion of a security breach - the point is that the person who reported this saw the change of URL and became worried that something was wrong. And he was right to be concerned. Banks should not do this.

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VinceH
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Re: worrying that I had clicked on a bad link from Google

"What kind of idiot has to Google the url for their bank?"

Quite - and what's surprising to me is that (thanks to my own stereotyping of people) I'm surprised he noticed the URL change precisely because he apparently used Google to find the bank's website.

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Google puts the last coat of polish on Chrome 61

VinceH
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Re: Google's UK Privacy Check up. A 35 step process to hell, to set, what are just 5 toggles.

"It happens when aren't logged in, say when cookies have been cleared/new browser install. You have to agree to these terms via the Privacy Check-up tool, to use Google's Services in the UK, even when you're logged out now, and it's pretty nagging."

Okay, just took a look and I see what you mean. I hadn't noticed that at the bottom of the screen before. This is probably a reflection of how often I visit any of Google's domains - i.e. not that often.

However, I notice there is a "Fuck off and let me get on with stuff" link (aka "Remind me later"). If, like me, you have your cookies wiped anyway, and don't keep browsing sessions up for very long, it can probably be (reasonably) safely clicked (or the entire prompt ignored).

A different matter if you are logging in, though.

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VinceH
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Re: Google's UK Privacy Check up. A 35 step process to hell, to set, what are just 5 toggles.

"but you aren't they will ask you the same questions in a few weeks hoping you cant be arsed going through it all again, and then a few weeks later again.... and again.... and again......"

This struck me as odd because I don't log in very often (and cookies are killed by default after a session) - so I'm surprised I've never seen this prompt to do the so-called "Privacy Check-up".

Out of curiosity, I've just logged in - and still no prompt, so I went in search of it ("My Account" - > second box in the middle column). Since I was in, I went through it. Most of my controls were set to "Mind your own fucking business you evil data slurping bastards!" - but a couple weren't.

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Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

VinceH
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Windows 10 S was an experiment that has, thankfully, fallen flat on its arse. Had it been more of a success, we might have seen a gradual change in Windows 10 towards it - and WIndows 10 is bad enough TYVM. (And I only ever use it when I'm fixing things on colleagues' computers!)

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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

VinceH
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Meh

Shame it'll be let down by the operating system they'll almost certainly include with it.

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Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

VinceH
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Re: Everything, except what we really want

"You don't have to use Windows, there is choice."

For some values of "you" and some values of "choice" - your assertion doesn't apply to everyone.

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Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

VinceH
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"who worked as a clown entertainer"

Wait, what? His job was to entertain clowns?

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VinceH
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Thumb Up

"Don't forget the classic B movie - Killer Clowns from Outer Space"

It's Killer Klowns from Outer Space - but upvoted anyway for referencing something I immediately thought of when reading the article.

I must watch that again.

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'Open and accessible' spambot server leaks 711 million records

VinceH
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Re: have i been pwned?

"Worth subscribing to."

Isn't the subscription option based on the email address subscribed with? If so, that's not practical for anyone using multiple addresses. It would be an insane number for me!

There is an option to search for all email addresses at a given domain which can be quite telling as well. (I can't remember if there's an option to subscribe on that basis)

For my primary domain name, there are 170 email addresses in the HIBP DB, only some of which are addresses I've used at times - many are usenet message header IDs (that include @domain), and many are just made up, some are what were real addresses but with extra characters tacked on (n and nn seem popular).

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Microsoft's fix for web graphics going AWOL? Disable your antivirus

VinceH
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Re: @Ken Hagan: Who'd be a web designer?

"Ken,

err wrong, I do.

Jay"

Earth calling web designers: nobody other than Jay cares about your stupid font.

There. Fixed it for him/you.

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Uncle Sam outlines evidence against British security whiz Hutchins

VinceH
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Re: Does he sound like a baddie?

"I'm going to embrace my Merionethshire accent next time I visit the US."

The biggest problem with that isn't your accent - it's that you have the US as a possibility in future plans.

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Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

VinceH
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Re: I'm an old fashioned guy

"I prefer my TVs dumb. I am using a TV decoder anyway and don't need the TV for anything but display."

^This.

I have a 'smart' TV - but it's used as an ordinary TV. I get my TV service via my VirginMedia box, and Netflix either through that or via my Amazon Fire Stick.

If TV makers want to improve their hardware, they should stick to that - the hardware. Do things like adding more/better connectivity - which includes putting certain sockets in more accessible places!

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Reality strikes Dixons Carphone's profits after laughing off Brexit threat

VinceH
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Re: Grasping at straws

"Is it just me or are these straws, like white mice, getting smaller?"

Well the choices are to make them smaller or make them more expensive.

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Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

VinceH
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Re: US drivers often disable lane departure warning systems

"In test drives (I was the passenger), they all delivered frequent false alarms on busy freeways. It was not only distracting, but it caused risky corrections that didn't need to happen."

A similar thing can happen with some modern speed sensor signage - the type that detect the speed of an oncoming vehicle, then flash up the speed limit as a warning.

There's one near where I live, on a 30mph stretch of road. It's a couple of hundred metres after where the speed drops to that, so on that basis probably a good thing to have there.

The problem is that it flashes up 30 even if you're going at about 27mph (measured using GPS a few years ago). People immediately think they're going too fast - even if they are within the limit - and react accordingly. You can plonk yourself a little way up from it and see brake light after brake light when people approach that sign.

And in the car you're likely to instinctively glance at the speedometer - and because you're doing so as a reaction to something external, it means you're *unexpectedly* taking your attention off the road.

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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

VinceH
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Re: Picture

Given the obvious amount of damage to the vehicle from the parts strewn about, I'm wondering what that person must have been made of.

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Did ROPEMAKER just unravel email security? Nah, it's likely a feature

VinceH
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Re: Err,

I've always done this. And I've always replied properly - snipping anything unnecessary, and interleaving my reply so that each part it is given context by what is quoted immediately above it.

I was once asked by a colleague where my reply was, because he couldn't see it.

He couldn't see it because it wasn't at the top where he expected it to be. :(

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Google's Android 8.0 Oreo has been served

VinceH
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Re: If this upgrade is anything like the last ...

I have a Storm, and haven't suffered the problems you describe - but there were other issues. A couple that spring to mind:

One, not with Android 7 as such, is that Truecaller is now used - previously it was an option, and I thought it was horrid, so didn't use it. :(

Another, which may or may not be related to your app settings, is that there is inconsistency in where some things are set. For example, the alarm tones. There's an option to set the tone from within the clock app, and a way to do it through the phone's settings - but setting them from the clock app does nothing.

There were a few other annoyances at the time which I've now forgotten, but with a little effort I managed to get the phone set up how I preferred again (the use of Truecaller aside).

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

VinceH
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His name is one of those I remember when I think of all the SF greats I read when I was young. However, when I initially read of his death, thinking I should reread whichever ones stood out most in my memory I looked at his bibliography - and didn't recognise a single title!

I suspect I may not have read any of his books, after all, but more likely read some (many) of his short stories in anthologies. I don't recognise any of those titles, either, but there are more of them (and I read many anthologies, so I'm less likely to remember specific titles).

On the subject of Supertoys Last All Summer Long:

Aldiss said that he wasn't keen on the happyish ending that Spielberg tacked onto the film, but that was just his personal view. He said that the story of the unloved robot child David was inspired by his own difficult relationship with his severely depressed mother growing up.

I've only seen the film once, and (unaware of this view) I said much the same thing at the time - there's a point where I felt the film should have ended (in the sub - that should be enough of a reminder to those who have seen it, without spoiling it for anyone who hasn't). Everything after that ruined it.

If I ever watch it again, that's the point I will stop - especially now knowing Aldiss had a similar view.

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Foxit PDF Reader is well and truly foxed up, but vendor won't patch

VinceH
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Re: Suggestions for replacement?

"SumatraPDF - use it for years"

Seconded Thirded* - I've also been using it for a good few years.

I do occasionally receive PDFs from one source that it can't open, but whenever I get one of those I import it into Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (or whatever they've chosen to call it this month).

* I read Pascal Monett's comment after first posting this one.

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British Airways waves Bing dong: At least it's not a tech cockup

VinceH
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Re: I am impressed

I'm wondering if someone with a drone drew a penis in the sand, then send the drone up to take a picture - and because the penis is so small in the resulting image, submitted it to a photo library, to see if anyone would notice/use the image.

And so far (that we know of): Bing and BA.

Incidentally, it also pops up on Condé Nast Traveller. Get the full image behind that page and it's even more obvious.

From there, the source is easily found, but I imagine El Reg have either already been there, done that, or BA told them where they sourced the image.

(Glancing through the photographer's other work, it all seems professional (and innocent) enough, so perhaps my theory about it being his prank is wrong.)

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Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court

VinceH
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Re: When will this bosses realise it works both ways?

"Then they moaned about my attitude!"

Hmm. Back in the stone age... my hours were 9-5:30 and I was often there up to 15 minutes early in the morning, and around 15 minutes later than that leaving at the end of the day, because of the bus times etc. And those extra chunks of the time were originally given freely to the company - I worked. And at lunchtime, if I was in the office, I typically worked.

It was a salaried job, so there was no overtime anyway - but time sheets had to be kept for the purpose of billing clients. So even though I wasn't being paid for that extra time, the company was charging clients for it.

I didn't mind until I asked for a few hours off for something (my holiday entitlement having already been used). I was asked if I'd be willing to make it up, so I pointed out that technically I was in credit - that didn't go down very well. (Amongst other things I was told that I "shouldn't be counting hours".)

Thereafter, as you, I worked to rule and had that same complaint I've quoted.

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Nine months and a lot more b*llocks to go before new EU data protection rules kick in

VinceH
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"Data controllers need to stop sending us direct marketing unless we specifically request it."

And where that request has been denied, absolutely must honour that denial, not disregard it and send marketing crap anyway (I recently lodged a complaint with the ICO about HSBC for doing exactly that).

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NotPetya ransomware attack cost us $300m – shipping giant Maersk

VinceH
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Re: Medoc: PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant

I think that's the wrong company - if you look at their main page you'll see this disclaimer at the top:

Please note that Medoc Computers Ltd has no connection with the Ukrainian company 'MEDoc'.

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Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

VinceH
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Re: "We barely read the headline before having an opinion!"

"Wait, there are headlines?!? Since when?"

I think that's the larger, emboldened text that sits at the top of the annoying page full of text you have to click through to get to the comments section.

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Blighty’s beloved Big Ben bell ends, may break Brexit bargain

VinceH
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"Think of how much quicker (and cheaper) the works could be done if those wankers vacated Parliament and went elsewhere for a time."

Is that Mars colony reality TV thing still going ahead?

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GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

VinceH
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Unhappy

Re: RE : Brexit

"Forget about the UK, the place is fucked."

Unfortunately, forgetting about it isn't an option for those of us who have to live here.

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At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

VinceH
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I'm thinking of switching to a dash as a version number separator - but then you'll get people thinking version 2-1 is actually version 1.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

VinceH
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Re: Gotta be honest here...

Grr.. didn't spot this until it was too late to edit, but:

"but until and UNless I do, all I can do is repeat: My choice, cost accepted."

I wouldn't normally come back and do this if I've made a typo, but in this case I can see less vs unless being mistaken for one of those cases where the writer didn't know the difference. I do. I just fecked up.

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VinceH
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Re: Gotta be honest here...

"I'm curious to what you are doing that costs so much to run. That's a lot of cpu and bandwidth there!"

He could be accounting for his own time in that figure. I note he said "out of pocket" by the £150-£200 per month, which suggests actual expenditure, but creating the content can take time, and if it's eating into time he could be doing something to earn money, it's a cost.

I also run a group of sites that (if I count my time) could be costing me a fair old amount some months (though much less this year because my time has been more limited) - but I don't carry adverts except static images advertising upcoming, relevant events (and I don't charge for them). This is my choice, and I accept the cost of doing so.

It would be nice to recoup some of my costs, and I should sit down and think of a (worthwhile) way to do so (which will never include the use of ad networks!), but until and less I do, all I can do is repeat: My choice, cost accepted.

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