* Posts by tin 2

271 posts • joined 3 Apr 2010

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Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

tin 2

Again I say they should have made the flash capacity of the low end model a lot bigger, and this would appear to be another (minor perhaps) reason.

I wonder what this is going to do for obsolescence of the older phones. If apps start coming out that are 64 bit only? Worrying.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

tin 2

They've missed a real opportunity to beef up the base model storage, and perhaps remove the incredibly expensive increments (£80 for an extra 16gig in this day and age?). As a confirmed fanboi, I'll not be buying, purely on that point alone, I imagine I'm not the only otherwise guaranteed sale they've lost.

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The bank that likes to say... crash: TSB's online banking goes titsup on launch day

tin 2

http://www.abouttsb.co.uk which is linked to under "who we are" was listed as a reported attack site this morning as well! Well played :)

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Deutsche Telekom: We don't need no steenkin' set tops

tin 2

HTML5

"Fluid"

Good luck with that.

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Dixons in talks to offload loss-making online mart PIXmania

tin 2

Wow they cut out all of the customer service, and ignore returns, and they STILL can't return a profit?

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iPhone 5S: 64-bit A7, 128GB storage, flashy ƒ/2.0 camera, and...

tin 2

Re: @tin 2

""The IET engineering magazine seems to think they pay $20 for 64GB (Unless there are using better quality stuff this time it has always been the same figure with part numbers at the commercial price."

I don't know where they're getting their figures from but the flash in iPhones is much more like an SSD than a cheap SD card. Those are the prices that you should be comparing. And you can't get a 64GB SSD for anywhere near $20."

Well the figures I saw were Apple paying $40 for 64GB flash, not $20, and you can bet that the flash that goes into a 64GB SSD is around that price (probably lower) with retail prices now being $60-70.

Of course you can't *buy* a 64GB SSD for anywhere near that price, same as you can't buy a 64GB iPhone for anything like the BOM price. I'm talking about the hit Apple would take.

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tin 2

Well seeing as ifixit seemed to reckon that apple pay about $20 per 32GB of flash for the iphone 5 (for which apple charge $100 e.g. when bumping from the 32 to the 64gb model) and they reckon there's $440-odd of pure profit in the base 16gb model, I reckon with another year of price reductions and economies of scale in supply, Apple could manage to sell ONLY a 128GB model at the base price and still make $370 profit per phone.

Although of course that doesn't consider that it looks like Apple make $611 per 64GB iphone due to the extreme overpricing of a few gigs of extra flash, and of course there's some losses in retail distribution etc that ifixit don't take into consideration.

Maybe not the Apple way, but perhaps time to sacrifice a little bit of the profit for market share? There are rumblings afoot and maybe this is one way to tackle them.

I think they'd influence some of the Market their way and have the dual purpose of not losing the Apple fans that have found they constantly have to administer the space on their device cos they didn't want to pay an extra $100/200 for $10/$30 worth of flash back when they bought it. I also think it would make the decision a lot easier for those that are updating their phone and considering other options.

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Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

tin 2

Hey people, that product that we said was amazing and the best ever, and the bestest and most securist ever ever? Well I'm here to finally admit it's a load of shit.

Please buy our new one, it's loads better, promise.

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Auntie touts e-babysitting ... and no £15,000 in-app purchase shocks

tin 2

They managed to get it down to that by efficient coding and advanced data compression techniques.

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Microsoft SkyDrive, Outlook stricken by cloud outage

tin 2

Cloud means someone much bigger than I or my employer could ever hope to be has lots and lots of servers in geographically dispersed locations, with fault tolerant services running on them, meaning that even if there is a fault somewhere within the infrastructure, everything works still, the fault being invisible to the user.

After all that's the only reason one would consider moving their stuff to the cloud right?

Right?

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

tin 2

The device even warns 'use these low resolution settings and you may get character substitution because we compress like a bastard' (in the GUI, no RTFM required apparently), and then someone uses said low resolution settings and gets character substitution. This is a story? Should it not be a story about the user being thick? Stick it back on high resolution and shut up!

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Microsoft Surface sales numbers revealed as SHOCKINGLY HIDEOUS

tin 2

Microsoft have *always* made crap products

They just got lucky (right place, right time) with Windows, and have dined out on (and crushed the competition with) it ever since.

To release (at most generous) an also-ran in the market with well established quality from Google and Apple was never going to work.

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Apple drops hints about future low-cost iPhones

tin 2

Just stick 128GB flash in the new iphone whatever base model and scrap the bigger models, sure it will stop apple making an extra $170 clear profit on the larger models, but I'm sure it will bring more people in.

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Google brings Blink-powered Chrome to Windows and Mac OS X

tin 2

Embrace and extend folks, embrace and extend.

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Comms giant Vodafone ready to smash up hosting and services market

tin 2

Good luck with that

Several years ago when I last dealt with them on a regular basis, CWW was staffed by one or two gems surrounded by large number of buffoons. If the sources are credible and they can be a "contender" then there's suddenly a very large number of contenders out there.

I could be wrong - most of my experience is quite ancient, and most was with one specific department, although contact was regular and for many different infrastructures - but somehow I doubt it's much different now.

The only thing of course is a lot of potential business that could go to more nimble, proactive and specialised providers will go to Voda as the decision makers will be blinded by the name.

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The only Waze is Google: Ad giant tipped to gobble map app 'for $1.3bn'

tin 2
WTF?

Indeed

I'll certainly be deleting my Waze account if this happens.

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Virgin Media slides fat 10Gbps pipes into Murdoch's BSkyB

tin 2

VM business have had extreme trouble delivering any and every circuit I and my colleagues have ordered in recent memory. I forsee Sky's network staying as it is, and VM folding under the weight of missed SLA penalties!

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Patent shark‘s copyright claim could bite all Unix

tin 2
FAIL

Obvious, cos El Reg never works a bank holiday :)

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300 UK domains pilfered, MASSIVE security lapse blamed

tin 2
FAIL

123-reg's control panel has been broken in a number of ways for a few months now, notwithstanding the effort maybe a year ago to update it to something that looks modern, bolted onto the top of their old control panel. I've paid for renewals I didn't want to with them because I couldn't get the domains transferred out with bits of the registrar lock and admin details panels being broken at various times.

Of course I cant say if the weakness exploited is part of the new or the old CP. I hope it's actually the new one. The old one was boring plain but entirely functional, and remnants of it are clearly underneath parts of the new one.

Now for example if you're a heavy user of email forwarding, an small old rather long webpage is replaced by (in my case) a 1MB, 40,000 line behemoth of javascript which will show a whole 10 email dresses (while the rest are in the source, but need to you click to see them). It also nicely puts ellipses in email addresses making them impossible to read, usually replacing no letters at all, just for a laugh.

If this security problem affects .co.uk as it would seem (Nominet's involvement) that 123-reg has "terminated our registrar agreement with one registrar" seems BS, as they indeed have, but I understand it's their upstream .com registrar (which in itself has causes nightmares for us that have .coms registered through 123-reg). It also seems from the story to make no difference as it's 123-reg's control panel that's at fault, so why they could say they've "worked with our registrars to help them tighten security" also reads as BS.

Unfortunately 123-reg's marketing/PR have been hundreds of thousands of miles away from what's actually happening on the ground for months (have a ganders at their tweets to and from - complete disconnect). Presumably these statements came from the PR bods sitting there in cloud airy-fairy land.

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Freeview telly channels face £240m-A-YEAR shakedown by Ofcom

tin 2
FAIL

Re: IPTV is complementary.

Absolutely! And also way inferior reliability.

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Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

tin 2
FAIL

Stick with Civ 5?

Does Civ 5 work? Civ revolution marked the end of me as a EA customer, as the endgame was bugged to hell to the extent it ruined most games and despite releasing updates that updated *something* they never fixed that.

I also find it amusing that el Reg is plastered with SimCity ads, and the recent articles going through the old Sim Citys. Fair enough it has to make money somehow, but it's amusing nonetheless.

I'm no genius because there will be plenty of other people will be saying I told you so, but this SimCity disaster was completely predictable from the start. Everything EA release these days is full of bugs and has something to extract more money out of the player. There's also no way a small amount of back-of-fag-packet maths would not have calculated the server capacity required, the software will just be bugged to hell.

An enormous shame as I'd love to waste the next 6 months of my life playing SimCity or perhaps Civ something, but perhaps fortunately EA have ensured I actually do something constructive with my time :(

+1 for running the servers on Amigas too. It's true that it would work, if only because the code would have to be debugged fully to avoid continually bringing down the whole OS (no memory protection is a blessing sometimes)

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Review: Livin' in the cloud with Google's new Chromebook Pixel

tin 2
FAIL

Boots in 10 seconds

EXCELLENT, we're perhaps matching the boot speed of my Amiga circa 1998 (and I *am* talking OS, TCPIP stack and Browser off a mechanical HD) technology's improving so much isn't it?

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One titsup server kills Brit-hosted Donhost websites for THREE DAYS

tin 2
FAIL

One of our VPS hosted "servers" fell over at the same time, and while the service status page said there was a network issue their ("we are VERY busy at the moment", yet answered immediately) helpline said a similar thing had befallen it - a disk failure and being restored from backup. What puzzles me is their VPS are supposed to be RAID-5. Don't they keep an eye on the disks?

Additionally said VPS is down again tonight.

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HP cranks up bandwidth on BladeSystem sheaths, adds pretty platinum stripe

tin 2
FAIL

I can't STAND the new disks, impossible to get an idea of what's actually happening, for the sake of a spinny gimmick!

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Atomic Weapons Establishment ditches 2e2 in funding row

tin 2
FAIL

and so is shown the problem with "managed services"

"Unfortunately AWE cancelled their contract yesterday. The administrators do not know what replacement arrangements AWE have reached but employees may wish to seek further guidance as to the possibility of their employment transferring to AWE or AWE's new supplier under TUPE,"

WHUT? So effectively 2e2 was just employing the people that worked on AWEs systems, to just work on AWEs systems? When AWE says bye bye, they tell the AWE people there's no AWE to work on anymore and they may be suitable to move across to the next provider? Where's the economy of scale/pooling of skills/etc here? Ah there is none. Just someone else standing in the middle of customer and employees creaming off money for themselves.

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5,000 UK pubs get free Wi-Fi... and they're not even all in London

tin 2

But

Free wifi provided by the cloud == just the same as no wifi at all.

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AWS stops some EC2 servers without warning

tin 2
FAIL

@Tezfair. If you are missing something, then I am missing the exact same thing.

This does not sound like what "cloud" is always described as to me. This appears to be a layer of virtualisation over some server resource that you still buy piecemeal, that results in it failing more often than if you just bought some servers.

The requirement for (and lack of in most cases) software/system that can get over things failing by itself is one of the reasons the little guys are invited to put their stuff in the cloud I thought. The cloud handles the outages by shuffling stuff around as needed. Not so it seems, although admitted I speak without much knowledge or experience.

No sense IMHO. Also explains why mysqueezebox.com has been so flaky in recent weeks even though it's "in the cloud"

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NHS Trust ditches in-house servers, chucks 15TB into the cloud

tin 2
FAIL

NHS is one of the organisations that big and ugly enough to roll their own "cloud" (= shared) services in house, rather than outsourcing to companies that - as rightly pointed out in these comments - need the same equipment and staff to provide the service AND make a healthy looking profit on top.

Why people in charge of NHS stuff - particularly Informatics Merseyside if they look after 9 trusts - don't understand and get the balls required to roll their own, free of any profits required to be made.

After all it sounds like SCC are offering the extremely complicated service of 15tb worth of disk space.

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Just bought an Apple product? Need support NOW? Drop an F-BOMB

tin 2
FAIL

These voice recgonition things are shit

I recently had the displeasure of using Virgin Credit Card's one, that to my surprise could understand perfectly all the complicated stuff I said, aside from the word "yes" when it asked for confirmation that it had understood.. No options to back out of the system either, or even - blindingly obvious I would have thought - provide the option to type numbers instead, or "press 1 to confirm".

BT's genius implementation on 152 is great as well. "I'd like to report a fault on an ISDN line" is not within it's vocabulary, and it repeatedly insists that you must say something it understands. I always end up with it completely misunderstanding me, then apologising to whoever I do get through to, who usually punts me in the right direction.

I had a training course recently where some crazy fool said these things are the future of callcentres. Only if clueless implementation managers fall for the emperors new clothes big sell from Massive Telephone Services Company Limited. People have been doing voice recognition for years and it will just never ever work at anything like an acceptable rate, until we start reaching technology that gets near emulating however the brain does it.

How about actually training and looking after some people that can speak and understand English, and can comprehend and deal quickly with multiple types of user problem, so they can get the customer off the (freefone?) telephone lines ASAP, with them satisfied and hopefully therefore a returning customer who will go out to the world and extol the virtues of the great service they just received?

They'd additionally save the cost of all the voice recognition snake oil system that no doubt piss off a slice of their customer base so badly that they go elsewhere and usually require a new and better one be bought every 2 years or so because they failed to meet expectation.

Or am I missing something?

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Power to the people - if you can find a spare socket

tin 2

What offices do you work in?

Every office I've ever worked in, and a lot of the datacentres too, have 4 gang plugged into 4 gang plugged into 4 gang on and on, regardless of if they were fancy new ones or re-purposed sheds. People hope that the IT equipment plugged in means never reaching anything near 13 amps (actually I'm not sure they even consider it)

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Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

tin 2

BUT

If it makes sense for companies to always pay as late as they can, while they make millions of £ a year in good times and *could* afford to re-arrange their business so that they *could* pay in advance if they wanted to - does it not make sense for them to arrange their business and finances such that they become their own credit insurer? Then - apart from they have a big pile of cash they can't do anything with - their credit insurance suddenly starts costing them zero, but more importantly their credit insurer can't suddenly run off into the night screaming.

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Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

tin 2

One thing missing surely

Apples whatever-it-is has OSX and everyone else's has Windows. Surely for a lot of the population (those that aren't hardware geek/snobs) that's the bit they're bothered about?

Say I'm desperate for something that runs OSX, I'm not going to buy a Lenovo because the hardware is either cheaper or more innovative.

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Angry Birds Star Wars game review

tin 2

@stig2k yep - I'm definitely no star wars geek, but I did notice that too - made me smile :)

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Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

tin 2
WTF?

O RLY?

Windows? Pre-emptive multitasking? Do me a favour! Maybe for the process that draws the mouse pointer but that is all.

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Amazon's Virginia cloud data center knocked out – again

tin 2
FAIL

Cloud == resilient, no? If someone's made a "cloud" that is (perhaps optionally) not - resilient, that's not what people are thinking of when someone says "cloud" right?

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Amazon accused of remotely wiping punter's Kindle

tin 2

The difference is IRL someone goes "I did not and here's why, what's your problem?" and conversation ensues. With Amazon (and Paypal IME, and undoubtedly others) one goes "I did not and here's why" and a nonsensical inapplicable canned response comes back. You then repeat several times and give up.

That they control all your stuff unequivocally and you need them to listen, understand and agree with you to get your stuff back is the problem when the customer service is like this.

While it's certainly an inconvenience, I'd agree with a number of comments on here - do the credit card chargeback.

I'm intrigued by the talk of T&Cs on here. Can ANYONE honestly tell me that you've read, fully understood, digested and then genuinely agreed with the entirely of the T&Cs on Kindle or anything else for that matter. If the percentage of people that read/understood/digested/agreed with these "agreements" is near zero, can they really apply? When does the definition of "agree" get properly considered?

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IBM slices UK GTS contractor rates

tin 2

Ohhh yes. What Pete 2 said.

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OCZ chief dashes as flash cash stash bashed

tin 2
FAIL

Gotta totally agree on the Vertex 2 point. Perhaps they guy jumped before the class action? Personally going nowhere near OCZ ever again.

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Viewsonic 22in Android 'tablet' hands-on review

tin 2
Thumb Up

want

cracking idea, i'll take 30 of em immediately - if you put a sim slot in it, and it does have a battery.... hmmm.

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Internet Explorer needs fresh dev infusion for a full recovery

tin 2
Mushroom

Haha, anyone who genuinely is thinking they'll use or develop for IE because the new versions are "better", have been fooled at least twice.

IE, MSs "extensions" - and by association those developers that were sucked in by them - are the reason there are corporates and public organisations up and down the country are absolutely stuck with IE 6 or 7 because they are needed to run their ageing expensive to replace web based systems, while also getting bleated at by their users because the new stuff they're buying (and/or youtube etc) are demanding that something new is installed instead.

An undoubtedly huge number of developers and users got locked in and then abandoned by MS. Why would you risk unblinkingly walking into that again!?

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Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue!

tin 2

Love it, we have a hack to bring back the 2nd* most rediculous UI design feature ever (squish every function of the computer into one button)

*it was pushed back into 2nd place by the monster tab (ribbon)

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Everything Everywhere flogs 4G hand-me-downs to Three

tin 2
FAIL

3G doesn't work reliably. Coverage is patchy on all networks, and data rates when you supposedly do have a signal are far too often zero. Handover between the technologies fails frequently. The kicker is, use a 2G phone and mobile phones are suddenly a reliable technology again (aside from on Three of course). Why are we at all hopeful that 4G is going to be any better?

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AT&T to mothball 2G network by 2017

tin 2
FAIL

re: Smart move

It's a smart move if 3G works. In my experience it doesn't on an extremely regular basis. Let's hope it works better in AT&T land than any of the UK networks (I've now tried them all!).

That said, we'll get to know because if it's as bad as I think it will be, then pretty much everyone will cancel their service. I'm pretty certain 2G is seriously propping up sales of 3G in this country.

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Airline leaves customer on hold for 15 hours

tin 2
FAIL

@Lee Dowling - totally spot on!

I have no idea why it hasn't clicked with any of these companies that having someone on the end of the phone fully trained, bothered what people are phoning for, and having all the possible systems at their disposal for getting a result is much cheaper than filling call centres full of clueless, powerless morons, and pissing the customers off both waiting for them and dealing with the buffoonery once they get through.

I've had experiences much the same as yours with BT, Sky, O2, Orange (who unbelievably told me they "didn't have the time" to deal with an overcharge!), Talkmobile, Fujifilm (who's callcentre closed while I was holding) and loads more that I probably should be glad I forgot about.

To go on another slant, I have worked closely with callcentre "system admins" on a number of occasions (but never as one). The lack of thought into the design never ceases to amaze. It seems the simplicity of administration of such systems - or should I say the perceived simplicity - fosters the idea that anyone can write a callhandling script. They actually get really complicated really fast - particularly in a multiskill environment. Try telling a caller to one line what caller number they are when there could be a call to a higher priority line any second. That's probably the main reason why most callcentres don't do it. People get told they're called number 2, then suddenly they're caller number 5.

The main problems I keep coming across are (1 - mentioned several times above) what happens when a call centre closes while you're in the queue. The easy answer is that the lines close but the agents don't go home until all the calls are answered. Of course all the agents are on strict fixed hours and are treated like disposable shit, so go home immediately. and (2) Monitoring. Nobody usually has a clue what's going on in the callcentre, wallboards if they're present are usually based on the known, rather than the exception - e.g. some caller being punted off to some unmanned queue somewhere for 16 hours, and reporting tools are pretty much universally a work of fiction, even in the rare cases they are configured correctly. Tiger billing, Cisco webview for examples just punt out a load of stats that really do mean sod all. Management love them though...

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Gobble gabblers: 'Seagate will put up $1 BEEELION for OCZ'

tin 2
FAIL

Will do wonders for Seagate's reputation for reliability!

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EA unplugs Rock Band for iOS

tin 2

I hope everyone who downloaded it demands a refund from Apple. Disgrace.

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Dabs warns staff: Your roles are 'at risk of redundancy'

tin 2
FAIL

Incompetent Dabs?

Indeed. In their great customer database migration of April 2011-ish my account disappeared. I've emailed and rung (0870, 30 min+ wait) several times, because not only can I not order anything, I can't retrieve old invoices. After my emails in April, and their apologies for not sorting it quicker, we emailed back and forth until August with them ignoring most of the requests, at which point I gave up. Seems they don't even need customers like me. BT have cocked up what was a pretty decent place to buy from.

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Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain

tin 2

The 'we know best' crowd have been in charge at Microsoft for several years now.

Indeed. Starting with the ribbon and windows 7, although it was creeping in even at XP. Menus? You can't have them, things that look like menus but are buttons - have some of that. Where's the print option? sorry we hid it under the "everything else" button. Start menu where all your programs are there in one view in the order you knew they were yesterday? Not any more. Quicklaunch? no you don't need that either. Programs on the taskbar in the order you opened them? no chance.

These things that have gone missing were all put in because at the time they were a good idea. Why is it then a good idea to remove them and - critically - not put an option back in to restore them? All win 7 (and win 8 by the looks of this article) need is a "GUI works like XP" option surely? Winners all round, those that like new stuff get metro, those that just want to get on with stuff but on a newer (better?) OS get something that works and looks like XP.

Actually what am I talking about? MS have been doing this for years, like mashing every single function of your PC down into one button in the very bottom left of your screen, while leaving the entire rest of the screen estate to a glorified file manager. Oh and disabling ctrl-alt-delete for the purposes it was meant.

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Samsung hauls Apple into court over emoticon patent :-(

tin 2
FAIL

There's no way...

...that the disputes only, or mainly, enrich the lawyers, or the companies with the patents wouldn't bother using the services of the lawyers to defend them. Companies aren't stupid, in the main they know a lose-lose situation when they see one.

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Virtual server farm goes titsup TWICE in a month

tin 2
FAIL

99.99%

SLAs are pretty much always like this. We'll give you a tiny amount of money back, and cap it at a slightly less tiny amount of money, should it go completely pear shaped and the 5 nines run off into the distance screaming. In this case, if you notified Fasthosts that your service was down, you'll get a whole month service credit. Wow. I've seen much bigger services that offer pretty much the same - here, massive company, we'll give you a day's service credit in return for your day of lost trading.

Although I do agree in this instance that expecting events of this nature never happening on such a cheap service is foolish. If your service was business critical you implemented a standby on another provider didn't you?

That said, like "unlimited" broadband, the practice should be stopped. 99.99% guarantees should only be made by those that guarantee it, not with a big asterisk next to it linking to a passage offering something quite different. In this case 99.99% uptime will have been added to Fasthosts webpage because, like unlimited broadband, that's what everyone else was offering, and they were losing customers by not doing so.

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