* Posts by Bristol Dave

38 posts • joined 4 Nov 2010

Everything Everywhere's 4G: Why I'm sitting this one out

Bristol Dave

Do you really really need that extra speed?

With the ridiculously paltry data allowances that mobile networks currently offer?


Europe to assemble crack cyber-intelligence nerve centre

Bristol Dave
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"The centre proposed by the European Commission will focus on thwarting online banking fraud, attacks against smartphones, and large-scale coordinated assaults on public services and infrastructure. Other priorities will include protecting social network profiles, halting ID theft and combating the sexual exploitation of children online."

Mmmmm, smells like EU-wide "great firewall of China" to me.

iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Bristol Dave

The net has exploded the myth that we'll pay for something even if we don't use it

It's also exploded the myth that people would have paid for something if they couldn't get it for free (a myth that is still perpetuated by the ridiculous "Piracy costs the industry £x million a year" propaganda).

I think people being asked to pay again to watch something they've already paid for will resort in a lot of people turning to torrents.

'Satnavs are definitely not doomed', insists TomTom man

Bristol Dave

Also for N900

Sygic MobileMaps. More than adequate and wipes the floor with OviMaps

Ofcom mulls smackdown for rogue religious TV channel

Bristol Dave

Phone this number now

And have your credit card blessed by Jesus.

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'

Bristol Dave

Fedora fail

"3.0 version number, you see, causes problems with Fedora 15"



Hey! My friend is sending spam

Bristol Dave

Well, duh

I'd imagine it would be a set of authentication screens before you're allowed access to your account, in the same way Paypal occasionally does, so it's obvious it's an official Hotmail action. I'd have thought that was obvious.

Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'

Bristol Dave


It's the 1930s on the phone, they want their electrical terminology back.

Bristol Dave


When I worked there years ago, the old EPOS system had a "hidden" menu option where you could see the buy price of products (any other Maploids remember this?)

At the time they were selling IXUS Gold-Plated Serial cables. Yes, you heard right - 9 pin serial cables, over which you'll get a max data rate of either 115kbps or 320kbps depending on the UART chip, but with gold plating.

They sold these for £29.99.

The buy price? 72p.

Bristol Dave
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Currys are the worst for this. They were selling a Belkin HDMI lead for £99.99 that was available on eBuyer for a little over £12.

Whilst we're on the subject, their HD vs. SD demonstration (on two TVs side-by-side) needs some independent investigation as to how they've quite blatantly fiddled the SD signal to look appalling.

Virgin Media frustrates customers with 'intermittent' routing blues

Bristol Dave

Dropped out last night, fixed in an hour or so.

I seem to be one of the lucky ones going by complaints on here, I get a rock-solid service and I love it. It dropped out last night (modem lost connection and couldn't resync) so I left to get some shopping, Virgin engineer was at the CAB box when I arrived back, and internet was back up.

After reading online and talking to people it seems it's aaaallll about the contention. Because I live in a relatively pikey area (BS10) most people have gone with Sky for the sports and don't bother with Virgin just for internet/phone etc so therefore not many users. I'm just on the basic 10mbit package and I consistently get between 9.5 and 10mbit no matter what time of day it is.

However, talk to people in BS6, where there's loads of student houses, and they can barely watch iPlayer in the evenings. Seems Virgin need to (but aren't willing to) spend money beefing up kit in certain areas of cities.

Skype plugs Android privacy flaw

Bristol Dave


Vodafone's T&Cs say the same thing. I've yet to be punished (though in fairness, I'm not a heavy Skype user).

I do however question whether the cellcos actually bother differentiating VOIP traffic...

Apple 'orders 12 petabytes of storage' from EMC

Bristol Dave

Cock-waving about storage space

...I never thought I'd see the day. It's comments like this that make me weep for humanity.

I can *hear* the adenoids in your post.

Sensitive data easily swiped from eBayed mobiles

Bristol Dave

Data stored on SIMs

I didn't think anything of worth was stored on SIM cards now? AFAIK for the last 6-7 years or so most handsets have stored all user data in internal memory (mainly because the storage on SIM cards was so limited).

Facebook to share home addresses, phone numbers

Bristol Dave
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Exactly what I was going to post too

Why can't you have a list of checkboxes where you can allow and deny what the app wants?

Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

Bristol Dave
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RE: "The difference"

"The difference? Generally, the cyclists will slow down, look both ways and, once they're happy (to their own criteria for risk assessment) move through the lights slowly. Vehicle drivers will generally see a light going amber and put their foot down, often accelerating to well past the speed limit, before hurtling across the junction."

So if I "move through the lights slowly" in my car I can drive right through red lights too? In fact, can everyone? Thought not. But what's the difference? A car is bigger than a bike but the principles are exactly the same. If I creep through a red light it's no more dangerous in a car than it is on a bike. Hence why traffic signals (e.g. lights) apply to ALL ROAD USERS.

By all means admit to riding through red lights as a cyclist - everyone sees cyclists do it anyway - but don't for goodness' sake try to justify it.

Bristol Dave

Sorry, but

"Also most cyclists pay more attention to red lights than most motorists. I'm generally horrified at the number of motorists who treat amber or "just red" as green."

Absolute and utter bollocks. Maybe it's a "Bristol" thing, but a cyclist heeding a red light is a VERY rare sight, especially during rush hour.

If I had a pound for every time I saw a cyclist sail through a red light because, apparently, the rules don't apply to them, I'd be a very rich man indeed.

But who are they bound to blame if they have an accident due to jumping the lights?

Bristol Dave

Just to clarify

I wasn't trying to suggest that motorists have more right to be on the roads than cyclists. It's a moronic sentiment and I've never used it. In fact I own a bike as well as a car and use both.

However, if you add up total revenue form VED and fuel duty/VAT, and you take the total amount of expenditure on the roads, there's a massive surplus in tax take. So to use the "no such thing as road tax" argument to imply that motorists haven't contributed MUCH MORE than their fair share to be there is completely disingenuous.

Bristol Dave

But when it's non-hypothecated

i.e. all the tax goes into a "big pot"), what's the difference?

I never meant to imply drivers have more right to be on the road than cyclists.

But when the "there's no such thing as road tax" arguments over symantics (because that's all they are, symantics) are used to imply that somehow drivers haven't PAID THROUGH THE NOSE to be on them, it drives me nuts.

Bristol Dave

Yeah yeah, same old "no such thing as road tax" arguments - BOLLOCKS

Yes, roads are paid for by general taxation - because no tax in this country (bar a couple of exceptions such as the congestion charge) is hypothecated.


Motorists pay the same "general taxation" as cyclists and pedestrians do, and ADDITIONALLY they pay vehicle excise duty, fuel duty, VAT on fuel, motor insurance premium tax, the list goes on.

The amount that motorists pay into the "big tax pot" alone through VED and fuel tax more than pays for total expenditure on roads.

So in effect, motorists do pay for the roads. You can't use semantics about non-hypothecated taxation to claim they don't.

Google whacks link farms

Bristol Dave
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These terms only appear in links pointing to this page:

I know it may not seem like much, but when you're trying to dig out some obscure data this can be the most annoying message on the internet. Sort it out, Google. If the words only appear in a link to a page and not on it, especially when the page has a LOT of text, 99.5% of the time the page isn't relevant. Just sayin'.

Virgin Media to issue firmware update after Superhub slows to crawl

Bristol Dave

Fine also in BS10 - student areas are the problem

You'll find the problem areas in Bristol (and other cities!) are the ones with high student population - BS6, BS7, BS8 etc - there are many HMOs in these areas, and most will go on Virgin because they can get the higher speeds, and can afford it when the cost is shared. Students are more likely to be torrenting downloads than families/older residents, and they're more likely to have multiple PCs all browsing the web, iplayer, etc, as opposed to Mr Jones checking his email and browsing the net now and again. These student areas have massive amounts of contention which is what causes the problem. I know people in the above areas who struggle to watch iPlayer in the evenings, which strikes me as ridiculous.

Bloody students, eh? :-P

However, I'm on 10 mbit broadband and it's honestly solid as a rock and a constant 10mbit on speedtests whenever I care to test it.

Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service

Bristol Dave

Not a problem for me

Though I am only on 10Mbit anyway, but I consistently get 9.5-10MBit, even during peak hours. Never had a single blip with iPlayer. I live in BS10.

Mozilla blocks Firefox-breaking Skype toolbar

Bristol Dave

Just bin the toolbar

Oh, and the (beta) Linux client, which crashes on my Ubuntu 10.10 machine more than I care to mention.

The integration on my Nokia N900 is very good though.

Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'

Bristol Dave


So write ten apps at $999 and buy each one

HTC Desire Z Android Qwerty smartphone

Bristol Dave

Looks like a good replacement for...

my N900.


Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Bristol Dave

"Running dry"? Really.

Yes, of course fossil fuels are finite, but the idea that the well is "running dry" is ludicrous. As it happens, most oil companies propagate the myth because it allows them to bump the oil price up, my mate was working at one of the plants in Saudi where they currently have enough oil reserves to last them for another 80-100 years at current consumption - IF they don't discover any new oil supplies - which they will.

The concept of your post is correct but the alarmist "running dry" nonsense most certainly is not.

And renewable sources are a nice idea but don't appear to be particularly viable in terms of cost, value for money (i.e. power generated per £ spent), and reliability.

Bristol Dave


"Don't you think that car reporting is hugely biased against electric cars already?"


How is it biased against it? Because it highlights the extraordinarily high cost of electric cars, or maybe the poor range and performance hampered by battery technology?

Would you prefer these facts were just ignored? Then where would the bias fall?

Bristol Dave

Not enough

I hardly think blowing up a Gee Whiz on a car program (famed for its hatred of electric cars anyway) is enough to balance out the hours and hours of inaccurate ecomentalist guff the BBC usually come out with (unplugging mobile phone chargers when they're not charging phones is a classic example)

Bristol Dave
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"It was plainly done from a more critical standpoint than most e-car journalism is - you do have to suspect that Milligan and his biz-section editors are personally a lot more sceptical about e-cars than even the average motoring hack, let alone green cheerleader-reporters like the Beeb's Roger Harrabin."

Good, frankly. The world of electric car reporting needs a bit of balancing out.

Sarko to use G8 presidency to promote net regulation

Bristol Dave

Standard response

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the cheeeeeeldren?

English Defence League membership list stolen

Bristol Dave
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But nevertheless, I note with interest that nobody is able to deny the hypocrisy of a group labelling themselves "anti-fascist" calling for others views that they disagree with (whether they're racist or not is almost immaterial) to be banned.

That's a slippery slope leading towards true fascism. Goal posts and definitions can and would be moved, and before you knew it perfectly legitimate speech would be banned under the pretence of it offending someone. It's hard to deny that the BNP's views are reprehensible (I personally don't find them offensive per se, just ridiculous, and think the leaders and members of the BNP are at best a laughing stock) but the UAF is going about their "aim" in completely the wrong way. Everyone would like to see an end to racism but the UAF's methods of achieving this are just completely naiive.

By calling for the BNP and its leader's media appearances to be banned (as they have done) they simply come across as trying to declare themselves judge and jury of what people should be able to see and hear and what the general public should and shouldn't find offensive. This totally alienates them from a lot of the potential BNP voters who don't like to be told what to think, and probably gains the BNP votes in the process. And as I've said, calling for another group's views (however objectionable they are) to be BANNED just because you don't like them IS fascist in itself.

What the UAF should be doing, instead of just turning up and protesting/fighting with the EDL such that most people can barely tell the difference between them, is highlighting what the BNP's views are, and why they're ridiculous or objectionable. They'd win far more support that way. As it happens it just seems like they're trying to tell me what I should and shouldn't find offensive.

Bristol Dave


"What are you saying, that Unite Against Fascism shouldn't try and get the dumb folks in the EDL to explain why they believe what they do?"

Which would be all well and good, if that was actually the UAF's message.

Except that the UAF's message appears to be: We support free speech, providing we agree with what you're saying. If we don't like it, then we would like to ban it (ref: Dick Griffin's appearance on Question Time and the furore surrounding that). And well, trying to get views that you don't agree with banned strikes me as just a little bit fascist.

The irony of this sheer hypocrisy appears to be obvious to everyone but UAF members themselves.

The UAF/BNP/EDL/ANL all just seem to be up for a ruck and are as bad as eachother in my opinion.

Gawker tech boss admits site security was crap

Bristol Dave


But then who gets the blame when it all goes wrong? Even if you point out that they were warned at the time, it's considered irrelevant.

Reg Hardware Reader Awards 2010

Bristol Dave
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Gotta be Virgin

Privacy issues aside, their service does "just work" and for me has always, always been rock solid and quick. Broadband Speed Tests at various times of day perform as you'd expect, and near enough to my limit.

I haven't met anyone yet on ADSL who hasn't had to restart their ADSL router numerous times - the frequency of restarts varies but they still have to do it. Virgin seem to be the only true reliable provider of an always-on connection.

Pentagon braces for Wikileaks' diplomatic dump

Bristol Dave

What happened to wikileaks?

It used to have huge amounts of documents from all over the world, some of them fascinating. I used to enjoy going on there almost daily and seeing the latest leaks.

Now it's just a load of "classified", but dare I say it - dull - information and memos about the Iraq War.

When are we going to get the (far more interesting) user-submitted content back?

PARIS laid bare in intimate snaps

Bristol Dave

Camera location?

Am I the only one to question the camera's location? Seriously, almost all of the screen is taken up by a static plastic head.


Fedora 14: haven for Ubuntu's homeless GNOMEs

Bristol Dave

Another agreement for Ubuntu "just working"

I much prefer Ubuntu to Fedora, because as other posters have said, it "just works".

Fedora's package management sucks. I mean, it really sucks. How many times have we seen yum bork out with failed dependencies? I never, ever get that with apt.

If you take two identical systems, and put Fedora on one, and Ubuntu on the other, I guarantee that more will work "out of the box" on the Ubuntu system with no fiddling compared to the Fedora one.

Broadcom wireless drivers are a classic example. Ubuntu 10.10 install just installs the drivers so they work. FC13? Ohhhh no, you have to arse about with fwcutter, for goodness sake, and I really just can't be bothered with it. "Oh, that's because they're closed source", whine the Fedora fanboys. Do you know what? I don't give a toss, and I shouldn't think most users do. I'll be happy if the OS installs whatever works reliably, and I certainly don't care if it's closed source or not.

In fact, fedora's package management is so bad it's lead to a necessity of apps such as "Autoten", because the OS is so piss-poor at "just working">

Ubuntu all the way for me, I'm afraid.

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