* Posts by IT veteran

58 posts • joined 4 Jun 2010

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Printer blown to bits by compressed air

IT veteran
Flame

Melted Printers

In a previous job, two of our offices got fire-bombed by a disgruntled ex-employee. I remember seeing a melted HP LJ III in one of the offices...

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No, Google you still can't have dotless, one-word domains

IT veteran

Searching from the address bar

Doesn't always generate the same results - my friend and I have just typed search into Firefox's address bar. The top two results (search.co.uk and *ironically* uk.search.yahoo.com) were reversed for him...

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Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

IT veteran

Well...

"QR codes are nice, but in that particular case, they offer no particular advantage over NFC. The miracle is rather that the store and the bank simply accepted the use of Alipay without throwing a fit and attempting to create their own incompatible and buggy system."

It probably helps that China is an authoritarian government which still has control over the banks...

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Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

IT veteran

The US Constitution was not adopted until 1789. I think you are thinking of the Articles of Confederation, which were so good they were replaced 8 years later...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution

As to Magna Carta, it was an agreement between the Barons and the King. The majority of people were ignored. Its only later Jurisprudence which has put it on its pedestal. King John revoked it almost immediately (with the support of the Pope), and it was only issued in modified form under his successor as he needed Baronial support against a French invasion. If John had lived and defeated the Barons, it would be a footnote in history

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

IT veteran

Re: Solution: More free speech, not less.

I'm afraid the last vestiges of socialism in the Nazi party were purged in June 1934 ('The night of the long knives' - remember that?). Any 'Socialist' policies were purged way before that (about when Hitler regained control in the mid-20s).

Just because they called themselves Socialist doesn't mean they were - no more than the 'Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea' is democratic or run for the benefit of the people.

40
2

ICANN further implicated in .Africa controversy

IT veteran
Boffin

Re: My question is: who cares about a .africa domain?

Er yes, there are a .asia and a .eu. No .americas as yet, and Antarctica doesn't have a permanent human population (Penguins don't use computers, not even Linux :)). Australia is probably covered by .beer (although New Zealanders have .kiwi).

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High Court smacks down 'emergency' UK spy bill as UNLAWFUL

IT veteran

Re: Called it :)

Election promises are falling like nine-pins - the care home fees cap has been pushed back to 2020 (it was going to be paid for by keeping the inheritance tax threshold as it was. Oops). Which means it will probably not come in this side of the election. And all the rail investment in the North has been scraped, of course.

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Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

IT veteran
Mushroom

The Manhattan Project

The amazing thing is that the Manhattan Project developed not one but two different atomic bombs (Fat Boy and Little Boy) as well as the theory behind thermonuclear bombs, In 3 years. The Germans didn't get beyond developing a primitive nuclear pile (which the Americans did in 1942). When German scientists were told about the bombing of Hiroshima, they couldn't believe that it was an Atomic bomb, insisting it must be a dirty bomb.

Icon: well, someone had to...

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

IT veteran

Re: Oh yes it is

Unless you don't pay UK taxes, they DO have your money. Who do you think bailed them out in 2008?

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

IT veteran

Presumably they will arrive at Earth and be eaten by a small dog?

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

IT veteran

The witches were introduced in Wyrd Sisters, a parody of Macbeth.

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

IT veteran

Ah, but they can't use the anti-terrorism laws against sedition, can they? No locking you up for 14 (?) days without charge, no secret courts etc.

4
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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

IT veteran

Re: Hiding information NOT an impediment to Free Speech? Seriously?

Google is quite happy to ignore freedom of speech when it comes to dealing with China and other dictatorships.

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Android ransomware demands 12x more cash, targets English-speakers

IT veteran
Windows

Windows

Surely Windows is the Windows of the Mobile World?

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Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

IT veteran

A vital purchase

Someone in the government REALLY needs to invest in a copy of "The Mythical Man Month". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

And if the UC computer system is anything like as badly implemented as Universal Job Match, then god help those on benefits: https://universaljobmatchisarightshambles.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/universal-job-match-problems/

1
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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

IT veteran
Big Brother

The Guardian is so "anti-government"

1) it supported one of the parties now in the coalition in the last election

2) one of its journos went on to become speechwriter for a certain David Cameron

3) it regularly publishes articles by tory ministers

Don't get me wrong, I like the Guardian, but the "anti government" line is so 1980s.

1
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Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks

IT veteran
Happy

Re: This thing you call windows

Er - no. Windows Defender and Security Essesntials have been merged and are installed by default. Quite OK if you avoid dodgy websites.

5
1

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

IT veteran
Alert

Re Start Menu 8

Just remember to untick the "I want to install cr*pware" on the last install screen. Also, the start button seems to occasionally drift...although I think that was more me trying to get an old program working ;-)

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IT veteran
Thumb Up

Re: The end of XP?

Indeed - I fixed a Win98 box a few years ago. A few years before that, I was asked to look at a Windows 3 (yes, 3, not 3.1) box (I pursuaded them to buy a new PC!). 90% of home users only upgrade when they buy a new PC.

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IT veteran

Thoughts on Windows 8

I have been using Windows 8 since it was RTM, and I'm very meh about the Metro interface. I can see what MS are trying to do, but it is clunky and annoying. When you have to google how to get out of a Metro app, you know you are in trouble. But it IS much faster to boot and doesn't seem to have problems sleeping my PC, as Windows 7 did.

I recently installed Start Menu 8, and will probably try Classic Shell now.

One thing that no one seems to have mentioned/noticed - Windows 8 is the first version of Windows to have Anti-Virus installed by default (Windows Defender now has AV integrated). Not that I use it ;-).

Interestingly, IIRC, Defender has not been Metroised.

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Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

IT veteran
Happy

Paradox Interactive

The Swedish games company Paradox Interactive manage to survive with NO DRM in their games - you don't even need the DVD in the drive. They even make it easy for their players to mod their games :-).

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IT veteran
Headmaster

Re: No one has the right to complain, they should read the EULA for EA.

AFAIK, you can't waive your rights under the DPA. If the company uses your data for purposes for which it was not provided, then the executive responsible for Data Protection can be sent to prison, and unlimited fines imposed. An EA customer in the UK could make a Data Protection request to EA, and report them to the Information Commissioner if they do not respond, or refuse to remove data when requested. Where the data is held is irrelevant. The EA subsidiary in the UK operates under UK/EU law. That is why UK companies off-shoring operations which involve storing or processing UK data outside the EU have to make sure the outsourcee abides by the DPA.

Also grabbing information from a PC or console would be covered by the Misuse of Computers Act, would it not?

Finally, the Sale of Goods Act applies in the UK, and allows a refund or replacement within 30 days from the point of purchase or manufacturer. Or within 6 years if the defect was there when the item was bought.

But IANAL

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IT veteran
Headmaster

Possible legal issue

If Amazon are selling a defective item in the EU, they can be hauled in front of the courts. Says a lot that this doesn't apply in the US...

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IT veteran
Thumb Up

It gets better

And if they take the servers down within 6 years you would probably have a good chance of getting a refund under the SGA (the 6 year refund is available if the problem, ie won't work without internet connection, was there from manufacture). But IANAL.

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Republican staffer fired for copyright reform suggestions

IT veteran
Boffin

Re: There is only one answer to Washington's issues:

Not gonna happen whilst SCOTUS says corporations are people, and thus get constitutional protections (e.g. Freedom of speech etc). That gave the US the odd position in the early 20th century where coporations were covered by the 14th ammendment, but blacks (for whom it was written) weren't.

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Amazon makes BEELLIONS from British customers, pays pennies in tax

IT veteran
Unhappy

Re: Well

I think you will find if you are earning 6.19 an hour, you will pay little if any income tax (and may even get tax credits, which means the job is being subsidised by other tax payers). And, as someone pointed out above, the jobs are not permanent, they are 12 week contracts with no holiday entitlement or paid sick leave.

0
1
IT veteran
Boffin

Re: Duty Free at the airport anyone?

Because the UK has a special agreement with the Channel Islands that goods below a certain value will not be taxed on entry, originally put in place to help Guernsey's flower exporters. I think the value was reduced in the last budget because of the outcry about Amazon et al exploiting the loophole.

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Why IT chiefs are irrelevant to Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy

IT veteran
FAIL

Re: really?

That is probably why employees of MS partners can get cheap copies of Office (for about £20 I think). Also, Server 2008 has a system which allows users to attach their own laptops to the domain. It checks security software etc is up to date. MS use it in their offices. Amazing what tech can do now days, isn't it?

1
4

Virgin close to releasing long-delayed TiVo app

IT veteran
Happy

Re: Just cut the cord

I was paying over £70 a month for the same (except one V+ box and what was then 50mb internet). I called and threatened to go to Sky - I was put through to the Customer Retention team, and managed to wrangle Tivo, V+ box, 30 (now 60) mb internet and free evening/weekend calls for £52 per month (goes up slightly after 12 months). The only thing I had to do was commit to an 18 month contract. Oh yes, I got free installation for the Tivo box as well.

And, as an added bonus, the engineer didn't replace my modem with that new VM box which has all the problems :-).

If you talk to the right people, you can get a decent deal.

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Labour claims 'highest ranked UK politico in World of Warcraft' title

IT veteran
Thumb Up

Re: yeahbut

Tom Watson was also one of the only MPs to take phone hacking by News International seriously before it all blew up. He was allegedly targeted by the Murdoch papers for his pains.

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Education Secretary Gove: Tim Berners-Lee 'created the INTERNET'

IT veteran
Thumb Down

If computer science is so important

Why is it not part of the E-Bacc, whilst Latin is?

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Samsung says 'yes' to iPhone 5-sized Galaxy S III

IT veteran
Happy

Re: Oh, interesting

My girlfriend loves her Galaxy S III: she used to have a N8, and finds the larger screen allows her to surf the internet now.

1
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Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

IT veteran
Headmaster

At Least

The last government knew the difference between 1 billion (1,000,000,000) and 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000).

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Navy pays 2x purchase price to keep warship docked for 5 years

IT veteran
Pirate

Funnily enough...

There were plenty of American sailors at Trafalgar - the Royal Navy tended to impress them as well as British sailors. It was one of the causes of the war of 1812.

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Argentina stakes online claim on Falklands

IT veteran
FAIL

Poor Chris

I'm afraid it is you who are misremembering things. Firstly, Thatcher was quite OK supporting vile dictatorships like Chile and its dictator Pinochet. Second, it was Thatcher who denied UK citizenship to Falkland islanders (British Nationality Act 1981). Thirdly, she also planned to strip the islands of their only naval presence - HMS Endurance, and to run-down the garrison. All three were opposed by Labour, who supported the sending of the task force (not many people remember that).

In the late 70's the Argentinians were building up to attack the islands. Callaghan sent a small task force and a nuclear submarine to warn them off. No lives lost, job done.

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Credit card companies plan to sell your purchase data to advertisers

IT veteran
Boffin

I think they are down-voting it because cash loans are notoriously expensive: they are not called legal loan sharks for nothing...

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World heading for massive jobs slump

IT veteran
FAIL

Ha Ha

Is that the reversal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 10%? Since the US is running a giant deficit (largely due to Bush turning a surplus into a deficit), raising taxes on the wealthiest is a good way to reduce it. Otherwise, ultimately, you need to raise taxes on the middle classes (like Cain is proposing - yep that's how the 9-9-9 plan will work). Cutting taxes IS NO guarantee that growth will follow, as much of the money will be diverted to off-shore havens by the rich, or spent on goods made in China.

At least Obama HAS a jobs plan - republicans WANT the economy to tank, to help them next year. Which is the more cynical?

Government cannot cut its way out of a slump - look what's happening in southern Europe and Ireland.

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IT veteran
Stop

Oh Yeah?

So we didn't have a massive banking collapse in this country - it was all Gordon's fault? But the rest of the world did? I'm not saying the last government (indeed, all governments since 1979) does not have to take its share of the blame, but I don't remember the opposition, well, opposing its measures before 2007. Indeed, they were calling for LESS banking oversight. And I think the banks should take a lot of the blame for trading bad debt etc.

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Apple sending sun-juiced iPads to rural Zimbabwe

IT veteran
Stop

So why did a lot of the seized land end up in the hands of Mugabe's family/cronies? I also seem to remember that it all kicked off after he lost a referendum to install himself as president for life. He couldn't care less about black "war veterans" before that.

0
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Virgin Media touts high-speed signups and TiVO

IT veteran
Go

VM Deals

I still have the deal I got from NTL years ago - I think it works out at £9 off TV/BB/Phone package. It has been maintained through several changes to my package (currently XL TV, 50Mb BB and basic phone).

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Ten reasons why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 5

IT veteran
Mushroom

Lewis disses US tech?

That makes a change.

Of course, if it was nuclear powered he would be urging us all to buy one, and denying any risk of a melt-down...

1
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'Boss from hell' knuckle-rapped for 'firing contests'

IT veteran
Boffin

Constructive Dismissal

This sounds like Constructive Dismissal in the UK - normally you don't get JSA (unemployment benefit) for 6 months if you resign, but you can claim Constructive Dismissal. But its very hard to prove.

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Woman nabbed for 'senseless' stiletto ATM attack

IT veteran
Linux

Win 2000

That's probably because they run Windows 2000. No, really...

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Apple loses bid to trademark 'multi-touch'

IT veteran
Joke

Is that...

Before or after the Marketing dept of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation?

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Blue Screen of Death gets makeover for Windows 8

IT veteran
Facepalm

My favourite Windows Error Message

Back in the days of Windows 3.11:

"The system does not have the resources to display the error message"

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IT veteran
Happy

What, like...

Kernel Panic?

1
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Samsung preps anti-iPhone 5 lawsuit before it's even out

IT veteran
Thumb Down

Maybe

The others licensed the tech from Samsung, and didn't steal it.

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Apple girds loins for 'obscene iPad sales surge'

IT veteran
Coat

Thinking out of the box

"So who else would have ordered 20m tablets?"

Amazon?

Just a thought. If anyone can sell a low-priced tablet and subsidise it with content, its them.

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UBS tells IT contractors: Take a 10% pay cut ... or 100%

IT veteran
Thumb Down

The clue is in the article

This is about the bank's *UK contract staff* - you know, the ones working in the UK and (presumably) paid in sterling, and paying UK taxes...

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DARPA drops another HTV-2

IT veteran
Black Helicopters

The real reason is...

They've been nicked by a Bond-style super-villain.

I for one support our SPECTRE overlords.

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