* Posts by Headley_Grange

185 posts • joined 24 Feb 2010

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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Headley_Grange

Re: Erm

"What you're not allowed to do is to use that monopoly (market dominance) in order to enter other markets. At which point it all becomes rather murky, as to what's being normally competitive and what's unfair competition."

The BBC has all but destroyed local newspapers and radio stations. They advertise only their own products on TV, radio and podcasts. They copy their competitor's products and compete with them (time slots) for no other reason than to disrupt their business (they get the same revenue whether they show a programme at 8 o'clock on Sunday evening or 3 o'clock on Thursday). I'm forced to pay for this, even if I never watch BBC.

I look forward to someone fining the BBC for these anti-competitive practices.

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Uber wants your top tips to mend its rotten image

Headley_Grange

Re: Tips

And always wear goggles when grinding.

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White-box webcam scatters vulnerabilities through multiple OEMs

Headley_Grange

Re: Why, oh why?

"but why the fcuk do they always need to be connected to the Interwebs?"

The main reason for security cameras is that they would be pretty useless if the burglars ran off with the laptop or server that the cameras were recording on.

Another reason is upgrades. Many people aren't tech aware enough to do their own upgrades by downloading then uploading and installing. I had to do my NAS server a year or so ago and it was a stressful nightmare. A relative phones me every so often because the flash update on Firefox hasn't worked. The conversation always goes like.

"Open a Finder window".

"What's Finder? What do you mean a window?".

"Look on the thing that pops up on the bottom of the screen for a blue smiley face thing - probably on the left hand side".

"OK. Wait a minute while I close everything that's on the screen.".

"You don't need to do that - just open Finder".

"Hang on, I'm just closing everything that's on the screen".

etc. There's lots of "...look up at the very top right, then come down a bit - just next to the green dot....". They don't know what the following words mean: App, Folder, Return Key, Window, Finder, Side Bar, Column Header, Sort, Home Folder, Default, Settings, ............

They are not stupid; they are like the vast majority of home PC users who just use them to buy stuff on eBay and watch films and have no knowledge of what happens under the hood.

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BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

Headley_Grange

Re: Thank the Bank of England

@Ian45 - don't know why you're getting down voted because you're correct. Quantitative easing (BoE policy to keep inflation low) hits gilt returns. Pension funds tend to have big gilt investment because they are seen as safe. Pension fund forecast returns have plummeted because gilt returns have plummeted and therefore the forecast deficits in pension funds (dictated by actuarial rules) have grown. Note that these are not real deficits - they are forecast deficits based on predicted liabilities (how long people will live, inflation) and predicted values (gilt and other investment returns). At the moment, on average, both of these are going the wrong way.

From the FT last August : 'Over the past few years, falls in bond yields used to calculate liabilities have forced many defined benefit “final salary” pension schemes into deeper deficit — with total deficits reaching a new high of £935bn in the wake of the EU referendum, according to actuaries at Hymans Robertson.

“Any downward pressure on gilt yields will feed through in the form of an ever bigger black hole in final salary schemes,” said Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown.

"'

https://www.ft.com/content/995523f6-58de-11e6-8d05-4eaa66292c32

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Headley_Grange

Re: BT, a pension scheme with a telecommunications provider attached to it

Companies didn't raid pension pots; they stopped paying in because they had to pay tax on the surplus. The link below is to an old story, but explains the bones of it, including

"So-called pension holidays created a savings nightmare, the most spectacular example of which was at the Royal Mail, where successive governments paid nothing at all into its pension scheme for 13 years and ended up with colossal shortfall. "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/10343130/Who-will-end-this-pension-scandal.html

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Uber found to be doing something awful? Yep, it's Tuesday

Headley_Grange

Unfathomably Popular?

@InNY: I don't like or use Uber, but "unfathomably popular"? Have you ever used a cab? In my town....

- no credit cards in half the cabs and the rest whack on a £3 or 5% charge (whichever's bigger),

- filthy, uncomfortable, knackered cabs, with no heating in the rear in winter,

- drivers who don't know where they are going,

- cabs that don't turn up on time - or at all,

- no cabs on the ranks late at night,

- cabs that add on the station pick-up charge no matter where they pick you up,

- no way to complain about any of the above which gets results nor any way to find out who the bad drivers/cabs are.

The state has regulated Hackneys since the late 1600s and mincabs since the 60s and in those 300 odd years they've done virtually nothing to improve customer service other than implement general legislation (smoking, seatbelts, disabled access, etc). Getting a cab today was no different from getting a cab in 1965 - until along came Uber. I don't use Uber, their "self employed" model is disingenuous at best and they don't pay their fair share of tax (IMHO) - but they filled a hole that needed filling and, practically, one that could have been addressed by the regulating authorities any time in the last 10 years.

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Headley_Grange

Re: Let's mention Microsoft's Policy of hoarding patches unless you pay up.

@Dan 55 - there's a fix for Win7 taking hours to decide which updates are required. I had the same problem but I can't remember the specifics of the fix. Google it; it requires you to download and run a specific update which you've skipped in the past.

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Victory! The smell of skunkworks in your office in the morning

Headley_Grange

Re: How do you handle the legal part of governnance?

I did some work for a UK-based company which was owned by a US company. The high-paid help were briefed on Sarbanes Oxley. Briefing message: "You are responsible for what happens here and if you sign off stuff which isn't fit for purpose then you'll be in the US, wearing orange and using hairy soap."

HPH response? They pushed down acceptance/approval to the lowest level possible, including just-graduated engineers, and instigated a process that resulted in it taking weeks to get anything signed off. None of the directors would approve anything without evidence to "prove" it was someone else's fault.

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Headley_Grange

PM "How long til it's finished?"

Eng. "Couple of weeks."

PM "How's it going?"

Eng. "OK."

PM "What's the spec. again?"

Eng. "8dB min."

PM "And what's the performance?"

Eng. "9.5 dB, but I know I can get get more. Just give me a couple of weeks."

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Headley_Grange

ETC

As a newby PM in the midst of "managing" a development project I was informed by the finance director that the engineering overhead had increased by 0.8% and so I needed to adjust my estimate to complete accordingly. I told him that it was pointless because the ETC accuracy was nowhere near 0.8% and the genuine look of astonishment on his face made me realize that me and the company weren't made to be.

Skunkworks? There was a group of 3 guys who spent most of their time inventing new ways to use conditional formatting on project reports; does that count?

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Uber sued by ex-Lyft driver tormented by app maker's 'Hell' spyware

Headley_Grange

Re: ...serious driver retention problem

JimC - all those years ago I thought I was a paperboy, but in reality I was a self-employed news delivery platform.

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Headley_Grange

Chrome has no decent RSS reader and continually nags me for Keychain access, so I don't use it.

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Fixing your oven can cook your computer

Headley_Grange

Re: Firewall

@Tom7 "I think the problem here is the desire to make things more complicated than they are prepared to pay to actually have maintained."

I suspect it's more to do with not understanding what it means (costs) to have to support multiple configurations of hardware, firmware and software in the wild, especially if the said products rely on third party platforms (Android, iOS) and are attractive to hackers and criminals.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Coincidence?

You should have asked him to come clean.

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Headley_Grange

Firewall

Some appliance companies have taken two years (and counting) to fix dishwashers which are a fire hazard, have caused several confirmed house fires and been condemned by the fire service and in Parliament. I assume they are in the process of creating a special department of couldn't-give-a-toss for when consumers find holes in their IoT security.

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Crafty Fokker: Norfolk surgeon builds Red Baron triplane replica

Headley_Grange

Not enough wings

The model I built in my youth had five wings.

http://www.revell.com/product-images/85-1735-lg.jpg

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Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

Headley_Grange

Re: Yes, they look beautiful

Disruptive could be much smaller, faster planes with long ranges. On trips under 4 hours passengers spend as much time travelling to and from airports, sitting around in the terminal and waiting for luggage as they do flying.

Getting rid of the huge-airport-shopping-centre hub approach and having small 4 to 6 seat taxi planes with long ranges and no one living more than 30 mins from a useable airport would be disruptive. Catching a plane would be almost the same as getting a cab.

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Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs AGAIN

Headley_Grange

Re: Continued Cuts

@Steve Davis 3 - I used to go to the bank a dozen or so times a month. To cash cheques, to use the cashpoint (no Link service in the old days - Barclays customer, Barclays cashpoint; the tie up with Lloyds to share cashpoints was a miracle), to pay the gas bill, telephone bill, electricity bill, credit card bill, poll tax, etc. and to pay in cheques. I honestly can't remember the last time I went to the branch - it must be over three years ago.

Back office stuff - I get, but how much are people willing to pay to keep staff onshore? If one bank stays onshore and the rest go offshore then it'll make less money, the share price will drop, it'll get bought out and the staff laid off and offshored. They could fix this by charging customers for their banking, but free banking is a sacred cow in this country and if that means a bunch of foreigners being paid sh*t wages in sweatshop conditions with no meal breaks or fire exits then so be it, as long as I don't have to pay £10 a year for my banking.

For the past 30 years we, consumers, have been complicit as industry after industry has left the country or raced to the bottom to save money. We don't give a f**k where stuff's made, how badly staff are treated or where the profits go as long as we can buy cheap stuff. We prefer to buy trainers in well known discount sports outlets rather than the local indy sports shop and don't give a toss about the poor buggers who are treated like crap in their UK warehouses so we can save a fiver. Online shopping is so convenient - who cares if the distribution centre staff are docked wages for taking too long to piss as long as I can order a printer cartridge by lunchtime and have it tomorrow. And don't even start me on the gig economy.

Capitalism delivers what customers value. As long as customers value cheap over ethical, moral, society, family, respect, environment, participation,....., then the market will deliver cheap at the expense of everything else .

The banks will continue to go the same way until their customers give a toss about something other than cheap. Minimum wage, H&S, holiday pay, sick pay, pensions, p/maternity leave, welfare state etc. don't come cheap and most of us believe that these benefits are worth paying for, but only when they apply to our job.

/end rant - sorry it came your way Steve - not aimed at you.

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Euro Patent Office puts itself on Interpol's level, demands access to staff phones and laptops

Headley_Grange

The EU seemingly can't get rid of him. Why?

"The EU seemingly can't get rid of him. Why?"

The danger is that if someone discovers a successful way of getting rid of one useless senior EU bureaucrat then they might use it to get rid of some more. Better to keep your head down.

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User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Headley_Grange

Re: You can't just fire people like that.

I once worked fora a US company where many of the permanent staff were on 12 month renewable contracts. It meant that every year the boss had to make a decision to continue your contract, or you were out the door.

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Headley_Grange

From a user's point of view...

Notwithstanding the PIA work in changing, from a user PoV I can see the sense in not having strict rules for email addresses. A couple of friends use their middle names because they hate their first names - so they are pissed off every day by having email addresses in their hated names due to company policy which just plucks names from the HR d/b and is cast in iron from that point on. A colleague who hails from somewhere east goes by his surname all the time, except with his mum, because his given name is about 30 characters long - yet in his first job his email address was namesurname@server.com. They had to change it eventually because back in the day some systems wouldn't take addresses >32 characters and, frankly, some people were ignoring the mails because they didn't know anyone called that.

For me, from a practical PoV, it's always good to be able to read the mail and see who it's going to by checking the email address. You know - when you're sending that sensitive mail and this time you really do check all the addresses individually (not the alias from the address book) before hitting send to avoid all that embarrassment (again).

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We're great, you don't understand competition law, Google tells Europe

Headley_Grange

"When consumers look at Google ads they do not get the best, most relevant results. Instead, they get results from advertisers willing to pay Google the most money."

I look forward to being able to go to the newsagents and buy my personal copy of the Sun with ads tailored specifically for me, instead of the current state where the ads are from the advertisers who've paid the Sun the most money for the column inches. Ditto ITV - I haven't got a cat, I've got a motorbike.

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Is password security at just $1/month too expensive for most?

Headley_Grange

Subscription

Security concerns aside, it's the subscription model that people don't like. I'm happy to pay a subscription for a newspaper or veg box cos I get new stuff every time I pay. I'm not happy paying for software this way cos I don't get new stuff every time I pay. Assuming I want the product then charge me a one off price, or a price per x passwords stored and I'll pay it. I'm not rational about this - the one-off cost could well be more than I'd pay on a subscription model - I just see software subscription as a rip off.

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

Headley_Grange

Re: OFCOM Powers

Problem is it's not in their sole power to deliver. N. Norfolk coverage is poor in some areas with locals complaining like hell. But not as much as they complained when the networks wanted to put up a new (government funded) tower to improve coverage and the local council denied them planning permission.

Stupid network wanted to put it on a hill where it would spoil the view.

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Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians

Headley_Grange

Re: fun.apply(handbrake)

Adam - good point. Many cars today don't even have a proper handbrake, so I guess that pretty soon there'll be even less fun to be had on (and off) the roads. When I trade up I suppose I'll just have to run the pedestrians over - or at least wing them.

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Headley_Grange

fun.apply(handbrake)

All they have to do is to programme the Johnny Cab to yank on the handbrake when pedestrians don't get out of the way quickly enough. When I do it, it locks the back wheels up and the noise scares the sh1t out of them. Watch them run for the safety of the pavement!

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Apple's car is driving nowhere

Headley_Grange

The article makes the point that Google's approach is to have an autonomous car - in which case humans don't need good all-round visibility because the car will be taking care of what's happening at junctions.

Google would probably prefer no windows at all, just a bunch of screens which give a view of the outside overlaid with ads. They could even tweak the routing algorithm to go the long way round to get more ads in.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Headley_Grange

Re: Swinsian

JLV: I mostly agree. I only listen to music with iTunes. i've got a 100+GB library to manage and I've never found another player that can let me create playlists like "all songs released between 1974 and 1980 which aren't Christmas songs, aren't songs I hate and which I haven't listened to in the last year"

I use "Skip" as a genre for the albums I don't want to listen to in Smart Playlists, rather than waste stars.

If you're on a Mac try "Export for iTunes" to copy playlists to other devices or memory cards.

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Headley_Grange

Midnight Chimes

I fixed the midnight chime by changing the sleep settings.

sudo pmset -a standbydelay 86400

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Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

Headley_Grange

Re: hiding things

TRT: I sort of agree with you, but the other week I was working with someone who's also a Mac user. She opens everything using the green button and puts it onto a new desktop. Every document, every spreadsheet - all on its own desktop. She's never used cmd-tab for switching and she just swipes right and left to move between stuff and was very adept - I got dizzy just watching the screen.

I guess it's horses for courses; I tried the desktop thing for a couple of days and it just annoyed me - except for apps where I almost never need the menu bar (e.g. iTunes).

Maybe the world does move on and old gits like me might have to get used to it.

BTW - just re-read that: my lawyer would like to point out that this post is not intended to imply that anyone else on this forum is an old git.

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Headley_Grange

Re: It's downhill all the way ...

Blue Pumpkin: agreed on Preview. <alt><file> will give you "Save As" in the file menu.

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OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Headley_Grange

It's All Vanity

I think it's because they realized that some of us might use phrases like "Oi, Bezos, you C**t".

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Headley_Grange

Re: Bad references

No. Over-cautious legal departments prevent companies giving references beyond "She worked here from date x to date y." because they think it protects them from getting sued should one of their ex-employees f**k up at another company or fail to get a job cos of a bad reference. Of course, it means that they now have no way of knowing that they are about to employ a potential f**k up - so there's potential karma out there.

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HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

Headley_Grange

Wrong Choice

tjdennis2 - isn't it "choice" that's caused this problem? For similar functionality, most customers' choice is based on the ticket price in the shop, not the total cost of ownership. By exercising choice in this way the customers have caused the manufacturers to drive down ticket price to the point where the manufacturers make a loss on the printer, so they have to make the money up somewhere else.

Maybe if we all stop making stupid, lazy choices then the manufacturers will price differently.

I'm interested to see where the Epson Eco Tank printers go. They are pricey, but not too different from some other pretty average printers which have pretty poor ink usage and cartridge costs. The cynic in me expects there to be a catch.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Got Sarsons

Fan of Mr O - Sarson's have done it. You can still buy 5l containers of Sarson's vinegar but you can't get the tops off the plastic shakers to refill them (well, you can, but with some difficulty and a pretty poor success rate).

Sarson's reason? "We were aware that other vinegars were being decanted into our recognisable, tear shaped bottle and so the expected Sarson’s taste was not being delivered to our consumers when they used the iconic bottle."

There wasn't much of an outcry as far as I remember, although I've never bought Sarson's vinegar since I broke the last shaker and I never will again.

As for HP - I gave up on them after I bought my first laptop - which was HP - and a PoS.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Headley_Grange

Looks like you are not actually using headphones

gnasher729 - here's how it works in practice; I've got about a dozen sets of headphones. I keep a set in my work bag, a set in my work jacket, a set in the pocket of my hand luggage, a set in my bug-out bag that goes in my hand luggage, a set in my denim jacket and two sets (IEMs) in my gig-bag and a set in the car. That leaves a few spares lying around the house for when I can't find any of the other pairs. So what now - £250 on 10 adapters?

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Headley_Grange

Re: Stupid headphone adapter...

I've got loads of cheap ebay lightning connectors going spare, mainly because they don't work. The phone goes bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, and doesn't connect to iTunes.

I gave up buying cheap ones.

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Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Headley_Grange

Open Banking

"Open" in the sense that access to my bank account will be via an Android phone that hasn't had a security update in 2 years.

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Calling all Droids: BlackBerry’s giving away the Hub

Headley_Grange

Compatibility

I assume that BB have made sure that the Hub doesn't fit on the Android device screen properly, doesn't recognize dedicated buttons and is deathly slow with plenty of blank screens and waiting for minutes for stuff to load. You know - like what happens when you use Android on your BB.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Meh

Phil - if I got a couple of hundred emails a day with some really important stuff mixed up in the dross and if I were a bit busy/disorganized and didn't read all my mails as they came in then the hub would be useful because of the VIP function and the ability to quickly see unread messages. However, I gave up that life to go contracting and don't seem to need tools to manage corporate overmessaging any more.

I agree 100% about BBM.

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So. Farewell then, BlackBerry Classic. You were a classic ... of sorts

Headley_Grange

Classic in the Austin Allegro sense, maybe.

<8 hour battery life in normal use.

No desktop synch for anything (BB Link still doesn't work on a Mac and BB Blend doesn't synch).

The native Tasks and Notes don't synch with any desktop apps.

A dearth of native Apps.

Most Android Apps are too slow to use, don't recognize the belt buttons, can't use the SD card, suck power and require privacy busting permissions to run. To be used only in desperation.

If all you need to do is make calls and read mails then it's OK - but the world's moved on since the 7320.

If you're heading out for the day and want to listen to music, use a map, buy train tickets, check the underground map, check out what's on at the pictures, review and book a restaurant and keep up to date with your eBay bids then you need to take a charger with you because even assuming you've got the patience to wait for stuff to load (you spend a lot of time looking at a blank screen if you use Android apps) you'll run out of juice by mid-afternoon with usage like this - and I don't do any social stuff - no Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, etc. You certainly can't rely on it to still be running when you need to look up the last train home.

The fact that anyone at RIM thought that a device as useless as this would revive their fortunes says it all. Seriously, I couldn't give mine away.

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New phones rumoured as BlackBerry cans BB10 production

Headley_Grange

Hmmm.....

Wolfietone - some might disagree. The absolutely shit day could have happened a while ago. It could have been when they decided to drop desktop synch for tasks and notes (or anything really; BB link for Mac still doesn't work and I guess it never will). It could have been when they brought out a device with no replaceable battery. It could have been the day they allowed Android apps on the phone with no ability to restrict access to private information. It could be today.

I switch to my Classic whenever I'm going on holiday - i.e. I need something a bit more rugged than an iPhone and I don't really care if it breaks or gets lost or stolen. I won't need any apps for work (ToDo, Notes, bank accounts, expenses, timesheet, etc. which are all missing from BB ) and I won't be using it much so it doesn't matter that in normal use I only get 7 hours of battery life.

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Chrome OS to get Android apps via the magic of containers

Headley_Grange

Access to specific hardware wouldn't be a problem if I could refuse permissions.

"Android apps that require specific hardware, like an always-on cellular link, won't run on a laptop that doesn't have the necessary kit"

Most of the Android apps which demand access to these features don't really need them. If I were allowed to refuse access and still run the app then it wouldn't be a problem, would it?

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Headley_Grange

"cheapest no name Chinese crap"

What? Like Samsung? My Galaxy Note 8, bought in April 14 is running Android 4.4.2. That's why I haven't turned it on for months and why I won't be coming out of the Apple garden any time soon. I certainly won't ever buy from Samsung again.

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Headley_Grange

Re: sigh

Tomato42 - I'd add to you list and have a British Standard lifetime (including slugging performance of old phones with updates) and repairability score for devices and hit companies with taxes based on the the quantity and the score.

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The case for ethical ad-blocking

Headley_Grange

So ethically it's ok to steal from rich people?

msknight - "big enough to have a voice, that won't miss the few percent,"

That makes things a bit clearer for me - all I have to do is decide for myself that you are "big enough" and I can steal from you with a clear conscience. I'll nip over to the big house later tonight and help myself to their silver - they won't miss a bit of it. Ethics is easy.

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Headley_Grange

Re: Dear Advertisers, pucker up & KMA.

Dear Shadow Systems - I've spent money creating this news site/movie/album. If you want to read it/watch it/listen to it then you need to pay me. If you refuse to pay via the channels provided (subscription or advertising) then I'll refuse to serve you. It's that fekkin simple. This is my work and it puts food on my table. I'll not deliver it to freeloaders out of the goodness of my heart.

*Pointing* There's my firewall. Pucker up and start paying.

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Met plod commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

Headley_Grange

Re: prove it

They wouldn't have to if they take the approach they do with credit card PIN fraud, "our system is secure and, therefore yours must not be, so the fault must be yours."

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UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

Headley_Grange

Re: Still slurping...

"I'd love to see an explanation of how they can deliver "relevant" advertising without capturing and storing personal information that otherwise wouldn't be needed."

Me too, but I'm still waiting to see how they deliver relevant advertising when they *do* capture and store relevant information.

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The Day Netflix Blocked My VPN is the world's new most-hated show

Headley_Grange

RTFM

Netflix are not denying you access to stuff you've paid for. Here's what you signed up for.

4.3. You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time. The number of devices on which you may simultaneously watch depends on your chosen subscription plan and is specified on the "Your Account" page.

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