* Posts by JohnG

1375 posts • joined 27 May 2007

US diplomat: If EU allows 'right to be forgotten' ... it might spark TRADE WAR

JohnG

Re: Trade War?

"A reason to consider carefully how you use SAAS and cloud based storage."

Agreed. The lack of control and security for commercially sensitive data makes the use of such cloud services inadvisable for any company with US competitors.

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Wikileaks reveals Icelandic FBI shenanigans

JohnG

Re: Well...

@Falanx Malice would imply some ill will from the FBI towards the authorities of Iceland. I would suggest that "arrogance" is more likely i.e. it probably never occurred to the FBI that other counties have their own laws and procedures and that perhaps they should check before just turning up.

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BT to end traffic throttling - claims capacity is FAT

JohnG

Welcome to this century, BT

Here in a small town in Germany, my Internet and phone service of the last 5 years has no limit of any kind and (according to Glasnost at http://broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparency/bttest.php) the ISP does not shape traffic. I pay 25 euros a month for telephone with flat rate national calls and VDSL with a measured 30M down and 10M up. With the wife watching TV and films in Russian all day, we shift about 120Gbytes per month. Oh - there's no 18 month contract - I can cancel at any time with one month's notice.

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We're not making this up: Apple trademarks the SHOP

JohnG

Re: Prior art ?

"The Apple shops are very different to all others. There's a far higher concentration of pillocks among staff and customers."

Yes - but they haven't made that distinction clear in their application.

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I watched Excel meet 1-2-3, and beat it fair and square

JohnG

"People learn one tool and try to apply it everywhere."

Yes - and in the late 1980s, every accountant I met wrote all their letters and their CVs in Lotus123. Not a single one them used a wordprocessor. I don't anyone who took MS Word or Excel seriously for years - the MS products got their chance when the incumbents screwed up moves to 32 bit.

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Samsung demands Apple's iOS 6 source code in patent case

JohnG

Re: Karma's a bitch

"Thou what?"

How about: Thou shalt finish words and sentences and not just tail off in the middle.

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JohnG

Re: Why...

"Why can't we all just get along?"

Because all the lawyers would starve - and the lawyers won't let that happen.

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UK 4G auction kicks off in total silence

JohnG

Who cares? Who will pay?

The only people I know who discuss 3G, 4G/LTE etc. work in IT. Nobody else cares - they just want to update their FB status, play with Twitter, etc. - they neither know nor care which technology is used and they don't expect any increase in their monthly mobile bill. This is pretty much the same scenario as industry analysts described in the lead up to the 3G auction: Users expect new features and/or service improvements to be introduced over time but will not pay higher monthly charges.

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JohnG

Re: 3G debt

".....shouldn't the companies that put in massive bids for the 3G pay those off first before doing the same again for 4G?"

Yes - and those that had to sell their mobile operator when they spent too much on the 3G auction should probably sit this one out.

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EU-wide mega-Leveson 'needed' to silence Press, bloggers

JohnG

Linguistic, cultural and political pluralism?

"There should be a provision of state funding for media which are essential for pluralism (including geographical, linguistic, cultural and political pluralism), but are not commercially viable. The state should intervene whenever there is a market failure leading to the under-provision of pluralism, which should be considered as a key public good."

As the panel is chaired by the former president of Latvia, I guess they will start by encouraging participation of Russian speakers and other Slavs in Latvia and other Baltic states, as opposed to the racist discrimination currently allowed by the Latvian Nationality Act.

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JohnG

Re: A united Europe is a good idea

If Europe is united enough to avoid going to war with each other and to cooperate on some big projects that would be too expensive or otherwise impractical to complete in isolation, that's enough unity.

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Telefonica Germany starts bonking with friends

JohnG
Headmaster

Re: It's advertising.

Yes but "they're all bastards"

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Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV

JohnG

Re: what i'd like to know is

"The "restriction" part of it comes into play when you try and access bbc or itv content without a vpn using a UK ip address."

That directive isn't talking about the BBC, ITV or other broadcasters restricting how or to whom their content is broadcast. The directive says that member states must not prevent the retransmission of other member states's TV channels e.g. watching BBC World on a TV in a hotel in Germany.

Luckily for those living away from their home country, there are some other directives and clarifications from the EU regarding rights to access broadcasts in one's native language and to use services via a satellite dish. This allows (within reason) expats to have a dish sized to receive TV from their homeland.

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Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

JohnG

Re: BEWARE

"That is the way free speech and free opinion is stifled."

All the more reason to push back. It is a bit like accusations of witchcraft a few centuries ago. In a free society, people have to be able to discuss what is or is not discriminatory.

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Brits' privates furtled in TWO-THIRDS of UK fraud cases

JohnG

Re: Businesses have to prove their identity to customers too

"I kind lady with an Indian accent phone me and asked the same questions my bank asks to confirm my identity"

If my bank (or anyone else) phones me and starts asking for information, I tell them that I will not divulge any information to someone on the telephone and that they can contact me via some other means or they can ask me to contact them.

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Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

JohnG

A number of operators ban the use of certain technologies or types of applications (e.g. VOIP) in their Ts&Cs. A number of them don't police this but they might start blocking things that they feel threaten their livelihood.

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UK.gov told to get a brain in wake of £1bn IT deals collapse

JohnG

Re: Sour grapes?

"The complaint was that they did lots of work to beat their competitors, and then had the government withdraw the stuff they biding on."

Yes - but that is always a risk. ITTs can be withdrawn and the customer is not obliged either to issue a contract or to sign a contract. I've written a few tenders that weren't successful - there's no point crying over it. If you don't like the risks, don't tender for public sector work.

The harsh reality is that some ITTs are issued because open competition is demanded by procurement rules but the folk writing the ITT have every intention of giving the work to an incumbent supplier - the competitors tendering are wasting their time.

If the customer knew how to build systems that could manage their tender process, they might not need need the services of contractors to do such things for them.

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Pubic louse falls victim to eager Brazilian strippers

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Security audit finds dev outsourced his job to China to goof off at work

JohnG

Re: Office Space

I think this is what can happen when bright people are told things like "You're too technical for management so that's why we are placing an arts graduate with no relevant experience in charge of the team".

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Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

JohnG

Re: "The subsequent cleanup operation was complicated by a lack of backups."

This can happen if the cheapest of available quotes is always selected. It an also happen if a contract is awarded to a company on the basis that a director's relative works there.

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JohnG

Re: Just the facts mam.

Maybe some operations and maintenance contracts are up for renewal at the plants in question....

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Bloke blasts Sprint for fingering his home as phone thieves' den

JohnG

Re: That poor bastard...

Seeing as this chap lives in a country and a state where suing is popular, I'm a bit surprised he hasn't already got a lawyer involved.

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Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov

JohnG

How about posting a video of someone standing in a street and dishing out insults?

Is that allowed?

Or, how about someone on some online forum or social media recalls the details of their earlier public verbal insults?

Is that allowed?

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Belgian watchdog barks at Apple: Take care when you flog that warranty

JohnG

Re: Here we go again

"The Belgians seem to be complaining only that this information isn't sufficiently well publicised in store."

No, I think the Belgians are complaining about the statement that consumers only have one year of warranty when EU law dictates that they have 2 years of warranty. Apple is being economical with the truth (presumably because they want to sell more extended warranties). The stupidity of this is that some of those who have purchased extended warranties may claim now or in the future that they were misled into buying them and reclaim their money.

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Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

JohnG

IPv6: not enough incentive to move

There is just not incentive to move to IPv6. Companies which already have sufficient IPv4 allocation (i.e. most companies) don't need to move to IPV6, they also know that a migration would cost them money and that it would carry risks that some of all of their services might not be universally available following a migration to IPv6. The ISPs won't move as they don't want to be in a situation where some of their customers have trouble accessing specific services or using particular applications under IPv6. That some other startup company is having trouble getting online due to a lack of IPv4 address space is not going to encourage any company to take the plunge.

The only way to get people and companies to move is to have some substantial incentives - some things that are available under IPv6 but not under IPv4. I know there are some usenet servers offering free access to binaries newsgroups but that is not enough. If governments offered a limited period tax break for companies or individuals demonstrating that they had completed migrations to IPv6, that might generate some interest.

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BT's shock new wheeze: Make phone calls from smartphones

JohnG

My German ISP provides telephone via VoIP. Apart from removing the need for a splitter, I can connect multiple VoIP telephones to my landline number using the same credentials. This allows me to use my German landline from a mobile using a standard SIP client and handle both incoming and outgoing calls.

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Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

JohnG

Re: If she couldn't figure out...

"...that on your average 80km road trip the road signs usually do NOT magically change languages, "

Although, in Belgium, signs do switch between three languages and is damned confusing if you are not used to it. Having said that, German is not a language used on Belgium road signs and she might have realised something was amiss when cars started whizzing past her at speeds well above 200KmH. Then there's the snow - one might have thought she would have noticed that the world had turned white when approaching the Alps.

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Disney World slaps pay-by-bonk stalker cuffs on grown-ups

JohnG

Disquieting?

Disney's voluntary scheme doesn't worry me as much as the RFID tags now embedded in passports. Some experiments suggest that these can be read over a distance of several metres, rather than a few centimetres.....

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Cisco sued by East Carolina University

JohnG

Re: Try a slightly slower google

Yes - I guess ECU will look forward to suing Intel, the Japanese government and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, who all apparently believe that "Tomorrow starts here".

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Twin brothers nabbed for scrap over sex with 'shared' girlfriend

JohnG

Re: IT angle?

resource allocation error?

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Open-source attack dog enters Ballmer's inner ring

JohnG

Re: Libre/Open Office?

"Except that you don't need to save documents in Microsoft proprietary formats these days. Recent versions of Microsoft Office can open ODF files,..."

"....and ODF becomes the defacto Office suite file format ;)"

Yes but that ain't gonna happen. The vast majority of corporate desktops and notebooks are using MS Office and save in an MS format by default. Why would Microsoft change the default formats of Office to benefit potential rivals? I suspect they will continue to warn their users that "this document may contain features that are not compatible with this format", which will help maintain the status quo.

This means that LO has to try to work with native MS Office formats and Microsoft are clearly going to do there best to make that as difficult as possible.

Things were much simpler when Word and Excel were the underdogs to Wordperfect and Lotus 123. Now, it is probably nearly impossible to provide a truly compatible alternative to MS Office, especially where complex documents using macros are involved. Added to this, Microsoft are not so stupid as to ignore the threat to MS Office from Libre Office (and by implication, to the Windows desktop from Linux) and will likely continue to move the goalposts. I like Libre Office and it seems to be the closest competitor to MS Office but I can't see it displacing the incumbent unless Microsoft completely miss the point.

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

JohnG

Suing and winning

Someone already sued and won:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/06/spam_court_media_logistics/

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JohnG

Re: Spam filter rules.

"...choosing Gmail for email is swapping spam for advertising. IMHO, the only reason Google removes spam is because spammers don't pay them anything."

All true but as long as Google keep the advertising within reason, I view it as a reasonable price for their services and their spam filters are quite good. If their advertising does get out of hand, there are plenty of tools to deal with that.

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JohnG

Re: Even worse; trying to change email...

One way to fix that is to forward all emails to the old address from that organisation to their abuse address. I find they stop when they tire of abusing themselves.

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North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins

JohnG

Re: "Let them starve...,

The snag is that providing aid (and specifically, providing more aid when NK threaten those around them) is accepting the demands of a protection racket that keeps the regime in power. As NK stipulate what aid they will accept and distribute it themselves, they are free to starve their people as much as they like and tell them that whatever they have comes from their leader and the rest of the world is responsible for all their woes.

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JohnG

Re: Yeh North Korea - you stupid stupid.. place..

"...we should teach those nasty North Koreans a lesson by imposing sanctions on them."

The sanctions relate to North Korea signing the NNPT (to gain access to nuclear technology from other signatories) and then developing nuclear weapons in breach of the the same treaty. If their Chinese and Russian friends felt that the sanctions were wrong then they could have vetoed them - but they have not.

"If that doesn’t work we should threaten them some more."

It is North Korea that does all the threatening - and they increase the threats every time they want to extort more food aid from the countries with whom they are still at war. Whether they are shooting American tourists visiting the DMZ, shelling civilians on South Korean islands or aborting the babies of North Korean women returning from China, it is the NK regime that is dishing out all the violence.

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JohnG

Re: Failure?

Is it known for sure that the satellite had any significant technical purpose?

The satellite? No, that was just a pretext to launch a rocket AKA an ICBM - just swap satellite for weapon.

The silly thing with all this is that it has to be easier to just grow enough food than it is to go through the elaborate process of building some rockets and staging a nuclear weapons test, just to extort more aid from their enemies. It isn't about protection: China is NK's protection. The nuclear weapons testing and rocket launches only serve to annoy their protector and provide ammunition for their enemies in UN Security Council meetings.

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China switches on 'BDS' civilian nav-sat rival to GPS

JohnG

Re: So when do we start to see consumer SatNav

I have a GPS which uses both GPS and Galileo, with added SBAS (WAAS./ EGNOS) support. There are some GPS chipsets around which support GPS, Galileo and GLONASS. I am not sure if there are yet any which also support the Chinese system as well.

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Chill out, biz barons... your new IT system might not look like the old one

JohnG

Looking at this another way

The suppliers want to flog whatever they have and usually haven't considered the impact of all the changes to procedures/processes of their client or the costs entailed in such changes. Sensible clients will look past the marketing to assess the total cost of the available offers, including costs of training and changes to all affected procedures. Suppliers who have considered such impacts and have offers which seek to mitigate the effects are often those who win contracts, much to the surprise of the "sell it cheap and run away" suppliers.

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Brits are so outraged by Amazon, they voted it TOP for shopping

JohnG

Re: Another Red Herring

"What is wrong is using internal cross charging at extortionate rates (i.e. above market rates) that are designed to suck any profit from one location to another where tax rates are more favourable."

This is where the problem lies. If smaller companies or one-man bands try the same trick of declaring almost no profit on UK sales and pay their taxes in Eire or the Netherlands, HMRC would say it was a tax dodge and act accordingly. It seems that larger companies escape, largely because they have more expensive lawyers than the rest of us.

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JohnG

Re: When you look at the state of most high streets...

The state of the high streets is partly due to competition from online retailers like Amazon and partly due to greedy car-hating councils who have set business rates to ridiculous levels, closed off roads to cars, painted double yellow lines outside the shops and set extortionate rates for parking. Why would anyone bother to buy something in person in a high street store when the parking charges are the same as delivery to their door?

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Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

JohnG

Re: Apple was supposed to get it right the first time, right?

Apple missed the point completely. When Google releases something new, they release it in beta and then tweak things and add bits to it until they are happy. If you tell users something is in beta, they still tell you how crappy it is but they don't get nearly as upset as if you tell them it is a finished product - like Apple did with Maps. Gmail was in beta for 5 years.

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Bear backs down: Russia soft-pedals ‘net regulation proposals

JohnG

This while thing kicked off when a few US politicians suggested that the US government should take direct control of organisations like ICANN, so as to gain political/military control over the Internet. Whilst nobody in the US appears to have listened to them, the governments of Russia and China did. They have suggested that entities like ICANN should be under the remit of the ITU rather than that of a single country, the USA. They do have a point.

The snag with not arriving at a sensible agreement is that Russia has already indicated that they are happy to go it alone e.g. force Russian ISPs to use only state owned root servers.

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Mystery X-37B robot spaceplane returns to orbit on Tuesday

JohnG

Death Star construction

They are starting construction of the Death Star, as per an earlier article :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/07/whitehouse_petition_death_star/

So, far they have about 100 bits of Meccano but need a several gazillion bits to complete it.

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Iran draws veil over lolcats, launches local YouTube knock-off

JohnG

Re: So,

Is the site sponsored by Mullah Lite?

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'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands

JohnG

"...the Nobel prize committee for economics are fools..."

Giving Obama a Nobel prize for peace, essentially because he wasn't George Bush really made the whole concept of Nobel prizes a bit of a joke. It would be even funnier if the big knobs of the EU were made to collect their recently awarded Nobel prize for peace in Athens.

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NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

JohnG

If the Mayans were so clever at predicting important future events....

...how the hell did they miss their own demise at the hands of the Conquistadors?

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TVShack O’Dwyer strikes deal to avoid US extradition

JohnG

Google OK though?

Google and other search engines also provide links to downloads of copyrighted material.

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Elon Musk envisions small town of vegetarians on Mars

JohnG

Robots first

Wouldn't it be more sensible to send some robots with a load of materials first and only send people once the robots have built something to live in, grow stuff, make things, etc.?

Who would own what in the new land and how would governance be handled?

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ITU to EU: We don't want to control the internet... honest

JohnG

Re: It's not the ITU that's trying to control the internet

All this started when a few US politicians suggested that the USA could use its position to exert control over the Internet by taking control of bodies like ICANN. Although the idea didn't get off the ground in the USA, the mere suggestion was enough to worry countries like Russia and China. The problem now is that some countries may choose to segment their section of the Internet if they feel that the the governance of the Internet is not impartial. Such fragmentation of the Internet would be a disaster.

The ITU has managed to establish agreements on things like international telephony between countries which are normally unable to agree on anything, so they may be the correct institution to broker any agreements about keeping the Internet together.

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