* Posts by Timmy B

705 posts • joined 30 Mar 2011

Capita screw-ups are the pits! Brit ex-miner pensioners billed for thousands in extra tax

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Outsourcing .....

"The Ponzi nature of Civil Service pensions is a cost for the future."

I totally agree. Pay them the right rate and make them pay for their own pensions like everyone else. That goes for all of them from PM to street-sweeper (I put those down in reverse order of usefulness).

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Poke in the eye...

"It's like watching an abusive relationship. The gov. Just keeps on going back. Black eye an all."

I seriously think it's because they will have someone to blame if something truly catastrophic happens.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Outsourcing .....

I agree. I don't even see the logic. Once upon a time the government wanted something done they did it. They paid themselves to do it so apart from what it cost to do it cost no more. Now they pay a private company to do it and thus it takes the cost + profit to do. How is that sustainable. Oh - competition will drive prices down will it? Where is that working exactly.

Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Windows users will absolutely love...

"Actually, I've set up 2 shitty printers from Argos with Linux, both wireless and it was a piece of piss. Just the printer driver was installed, without any "value added" shit."

Perhaps that's where I've been going wrong - I've failed dramatically twice with two expensive Samsung wireless laser jobbers. If it takes more than 20 minutes then I don't bother and write off that as another Linux has failed me again test.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Desperate MS fail again

"The biggest software vendors with the most popular, biggest selling products will _never_ put their products in the MS store"

Like Adobe you mean?

Android P will hear no evil, see no evil, support evil notches

Timmy B Silver badge


'cause that's who the Appleites think use Android....

Timmy B Silver badge

(Fry's) Peppermint Cream....

Now I want one......

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

Timmy B Silver badge

Sat at my desk one day happily carrying out my programming duties... All of a sudden a expletive, or more exactly a stream of profound and harsh expletives, come from behind my managers monitor. He stands up ashen faced and beads of sweat already forming on his brow. In updating the software for the main customer database for the company he had reversed the source and destination databases and totally blatted the whole thing. All of the information about sales and support and leads was gone. The most recent backup month older. Thankfully we had a development backup from earlier that morning.

Our main office is 50 miles away and this is in the days before decent internet connections and the backup is far too big for us to copy.

The two of us make an excuse about it seems to be some kind of hardware fault on the server take the system offline by deleting a random dll. We jump in the car like batman and robin - driving in a not dissimilar way to the office with a freshly burned CD with the data.

Later that afternoon we're fixed. Losing only a tiny amount of work that we put down to what could be a failing hard drive that we would "keep an eye on" looking like geniuses because in one day we not only fixed the hardware, updated the software, showed how willing we were to drop everying to support head office, etc.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Set Prices

re: royalties...

I think you're right. i also think that Lego do some of the inflation themselves. This could be why they are struggling. Look at a couple of the recent Star Wars sets - one is a half complete version of an older set and one is basically a way of getting Mace Windu. The Mace Windu set was £25 odd and a creator set of similar price had nearly double the brick count.

I am hoping that this either limits the number of sets or brings down the prices. As a household we have two collectors (me - Star Wars, SWMBO - technics, vehicles and architecture) and hundreds (read that as a number I'm too embarrassed to actually think of....) of sets are very interested to see what develops.

Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners

Timmy B Silver badge


"SO would be bankrupt if had to buy expensive non jack headphone solutions given attrition rate

And the apple "solution" for jacks is useless as SO needs to charge device and listen, not one or the other"

A Bluetooth adapter? That may make sense anyway as you wouldn't be tethered to the phone and free up some movement. You can get cheapo Bluetooth headphones for less than a tenner.

Timmy B Silver badge

Just too darn expensive....

I am in the market for a new phone right now. Considering my options as always. An X works out £15 to £20 more than an S9. That's £500 over the 24 month contract. But the phone isn't £500 more expensive if I buy it SIM free the X is only £200 more than the S9. The extra £300 is just the cherry and icing for the network. I wonder if that disappeared then some might change their minds.

But Apple would have to drop to lower as I'm fairly invested in Android.

Full shift to electric vans would melt Royal Mail's London hub, MPs told

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Hmmm


I have to agree. They say some things that are a bit off. Like there not being a second hand market. That's generally because pretty much all EVs are under 3 years old and nobody is selling them yet. There are a few - ours will be one of them soon.

EE: Data goes TITSUP* for Brit mobile customers

Timmy B Silver badge

Today fine - yesterday I'd have gone mad

Yesterday morning I cruised through 6 gig of my allowance downloading test data and code to my laptop. If it had gone down then I'd have been stuffed. See... some people occasionally use mobile data for something other than YouTube.

Symantec ends cheap Norton offer to NRA members

Timmy B Silver badge


"Giving any American a gun is like giving Jimmy Saville a 9 year old. It may not happen straight away but it'll happen eventually and it won't be good."

No. You are simply wrong. An American gun owner is less likely to be involved in a killing than a Japanese gun owner. I've proved it.

You are wrong and other that huff and puff you've backed nothing up.

Timmy B Silver badge


"If the constitution gives the right to have firearms then who the heck says it needs to be any particular type of weapon?

Honestly, let the army have the rifles and the public can make do with a modern version of the musket."

Simple answer - because the person invading your home won't have that kind of gun. If they are allowed for protection then you need to look at something that will protect you.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane @timmyb


You said a mass school shooting in the USA. Please list the 8 mass school shootings in the USA so far this year. And the BBC said there had been 18 school shootings this year too! A soundly debunked number (unless you want to include a person committing suicide in a car outside a school that had been previously closed down as a school shooting).

I want to see the list of mass shootings the BBC have or I call BS on your quote.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane


Back at you.

1. The issue at hand is gun control. Control of access to guns. Thus I've conflated it to be the gun that is the issue. It's kind of obvious if you read what I'm saying and don't try to find issues.

2. Irrelevant - If you look at the odds of a gun owner killing someone it's either about the same odds or way more likely in Japan. We're talking about gun control. Looking at a place with very strict gun control and you see that those deemed worthy under that system makes them no less likely to kill.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane @timmyb

@Jemma continued...

To help, there have been 2... Just 2 ( 3 if you really stretch what a mass shooting is) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

Timmy B Silver badge

Aside from the Gun Issue

A friend took up a sales job with Symantec and on his first day a multi-national company returned over 150K copies of their AV stuff. The company weren't too bothered and carried on nicely. This is just virtue signalling.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane


I understand guns don't kill - it's obvious from what I was saying.

Objectively you need to factor in all the relevant information - such as the number of available guns and the number of gun owners. You're not doing that.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane @timmyb


Woah there. There is not a mass shooting in a school every week. We are 8 weeks into 2018 - please list the 8 mass shootings.

Some facts, please.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane

Edit: I'll use the Wikipedia page you posted. Per 100K people has 0.6 guns. and 0.6 deaths. That's on death per gun. The USA has 101.05 guns per 100K people and 10.16 deaths by gun per 100K people that 1 death per 10 guns in the USA. Thus each gun is 10 times more likely to kill in Japan despite their far tougher training and control.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane


Read what I said. I said the odds of any particular gun killing someone. Not the number of deaths. If you look at the number of deaths per gun and not the number of gun deaths then Japan and the USA are a rounding error apart. IIRC - 0.0001 for Japan and 0.00013 for the USA. The UK is 0.00003 I think. I'd have to check but don't have my sources to hand.

Timmy B Silver badge

If people actually wanted to make a difference and thought that taking any kind of guns away then the whole brouhaha about assault weapons and AR-15s would not be what they should talk about. If people really think that lessening the numbers of guns will make an impact then pistols is what they should be complaining about. The majority of deaths and the majority of crime with guns in the USA is with pistols.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: The Land of the Insane

Whilst you are right, Potemkine! the USA has more gun deaths individual guns are quite unlikely to cause a death. The likelihood of any particular gun killing someone is roughly identical to Japan, and they have some of the toughest gun regulation in the world.

Timmy B Silver badge


You allow hunting rifles but disallow semi-automatics. The issues is that many of these are functionally similar or operationally similar. I've seen people use lever action rifles quicker than some can use a semi-automatic. A revolver pistol can be operationally similar to a semi-automatic pistol (one trigger press = one shot and no manual reload).

Timmy B Silver badge


Well said. Totally sensible. And therefore will be met with a torrent of down-votes. I'd say 18 over 21 but you do have some weird age restrictions in the USA....

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: An actual usefull scenario...


Those things already exist. You can get g-force monitors to see if people have fallen and proximity monitors to see if they leave a particular area, also bed pressure monitors that call a care company if a person has got up within certain times and not returned after a set period.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: An actual usefull scenario...


This is the service we have. But they charge for the equipment, batteries and the service. £14 to change a battery that's £3 on ebay....

The one time we have actually needed them they spent more than 20 minutes trying to get sense out of a 98 year old with dementia before ringing the ambulance.

Timmy B Silver badge

An actual usefull scenario...

We care for a couple of very elderly and infirm relatives. We currently have an emergency phone line with buzzers and such that they can use if one of them has an emergency. Alexa could perhaps do this job quite well. Have buttons that trigger Alexa to make an emergency call and then turn into a wireless phone that they can use to talk to the emergency operator. Much cheaper than the subscription we have to pay for the current service.

User presses button - Alexa calls 999 and says "I have an emergency at such and such and address where there are x elderly people with x medical needs. Please send an ambulance. Do you wish to speak to them?"

There are some issues with power cuts but then the current system has to be plugged in too.

Nobody expects the social media inquisition! OK, everybody did, UK politicos

Timmy B Silver badge

"Only if you ban The S*n and The Daily Fail first."

Only if you ban Piers Morgan first.

Apple Macs, iThings, smart watches choke on tiny Indian delicacy

Timmy B Silver badge

"(2) Why is this bug able to exist in the first place?"

We would use the phrase "How would we prevent this happening again?". If you ask how it happened originally you may get an answer as vague and unsolvable as human error. If you look for way to mitigate and prevent then you may even stop that as much as possible. For instance we have rules where variables have sensible names above a certain length limit - this limits typos and the effect thereof.

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Pages prediction ...

"Hopefully enough punters will say "fuck that, my phones already running 100 apps ...." and we'll see a change."

Without everyone cancelling their contract and saying that is the reason I don't think they'll care. They could just bin the apps because of lack of use and save some money.

Charity accused of leaving sensitive notes behind after office move

Timmy B Silver badge


"Much of the information in the case notes of social services and similar organisations are 33% very selective truths, 33% gross exaggeration and 33% outright lies. "

I see you've had involvement with social services at some time. It's amazing how putting a condition on something becomes a refusal. "I will see you on such and such a day as it fits in with my work schedule" became "x refused to see social services". Bonkers!

Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: What I did

Were the points 4 to 98 figuring out how to get Linux to play nicely with printers an/or wifi cards. Something that never ever seems to go right for me...

From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work

Timmy B Silver badge

Auto playing videos is one thing.....

The worst is those that create a sub window that follows you round the page as you scroll and don't respect the fact you've paused the main window.

Facebook gets Weed-whacked: Unilever exec may axe ads over social network's toxic posts

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: What's worse?

"What do you mean by child workers?"

Children between the ages of 8 and 14 that are used on palm oil plantations. You seem to be arguing that this is ok as it gets them money. But a little money in the short term and denying them the ability, through education, to get far more in the long term is surely wrong. Or would you say it's fine for your children to go back down the pits or up the chimneys?

Timmy B Silver badge

What's worse?

Moany fake news on facebook or child workers and rainforest destruction?

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

Timmy B Silver badge

We have some echo stuff...

The thing is that I like my music and already had a fairly decent speaker setup so I only needed an echo dot to allow it to work with my current stuff. I would never consider another £350 purchase that would add very little to what I have. I think that this is the sweet spot that amazon and google are trying to hit that apple will miss. I'm sure it sounds great but better than a properly amplified setup with several good speakers? I doubt it.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: I think you forgot one


nope - googling "cats AND hats" gives different results to "cats hats". I actually did the searches.

Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Critical?

"There's a book for that:


There is indeed, and I've spent some time studying under the author. There is no substitute for doing, though.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Critical?

"Well yes, if people can no longer read maps.

Oh wait, GB and America have become that stupid."

It's a sad state of affairs. As someone who can navigate off road by map and compass I know it's not exactly rocket science and I could teach most people how to do the basics in an afternoon. I'm fairly OK in navigation without map and compass using natural signs and clues too - that would take a bit longer to teach.

Timmy B Silver badge

If only....

...there was some kind of paper based backup that could tell you the layout of roads and such. It would be handy if it came with some kind of useful direction finding device too.


Should ISPs pay to block pirate websites? Supreme Court to decide

Timmy B Silver badge

I recon...

A centralised scheme that companies opt into that is responsible for blocking sites. You're Nike and you want fake Nike trainers sites blocked you pay for access to the service for registration of sites blocked as the result of court orders and then ISPS check that service for free. Easy. That way anyone has fair access. Dammit governments if I can come up with these ideas, anyone can!

Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Answering a few points in the comments...

"All of the pro-EV ideas here only make sense while EVs are a tiny minority. None of them scale to full use, due to tax or practical infrastructure issues."

I agree and in may ways we are benefiting at the moment. I say that we should and will need to pay tax of some sort and that it is not maintainable long term like it is. It would nave to be far in excess of the current system to make it more expensive, though.

I'll bet you got a subsidy, and the "fuel" is charged at domestic 5% VAT, not road fuel VAT+duty of "61%. Remove the subsidy and price your electricty at the same per km as petrol or diesel, as must happen long term, and the cost wil be the same."

We didn't get a subsidy as we bought an ex-demo. I agree about VAT and tax as above. It will need to be changed or we'll have loads of car users paying no money to maintain roads.

"But they can't produce the same amount of power as the 'classic' methods. If all cars were EVs the UK would need to double it's annual electricity production to charge them. Can't be done with today's green technology."

Agreed - but I am an anomaly in that I am an EV driver that likes nuclear power....

"Double the range means double the energy stored in the battery. Inevitably that means double the charge time, or double the charge rate. "

No - a charge for newer versions of my car are the same as ours in terms of time. Improvements in efficiency and battery technology are helping loads - you will, of course, pay more.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: Answering a few points in the comments...


We didn't get the £5K grant as we didn't buy new - we bought an ex demonstrator.

We paid for the external charging port - it cost less than the last service for our old car.

So taking all that into account has already been done.

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: I've been pointing this out for years.

@Jake: "The pro-EV set always shouts me down ..."


Timmy B Silver badge

Answering a few points in the comments...

Our EV works out cheaper by far than the car it replaced. We pay less now including the repayments for the car and all fuel and servicing, etc. than we did for just the fuel on the car it replaced. The EV does very similar miles to the old car.

There are suppliers of electricity that are committed to only using greener methods, such as ecotricity in the UK. They are a little more expensive but even factoring this effect on the anual bill in, the EV still works out a little cheaper than just the fuel of the car it replaced.

We can pick and chose when the car charges. We can decide to charge it in the wee small hours negating the effect. I think that suppliers may offer EV rates where this promoted. If you have off peak tarrifs then this works out cheaper anyway.

Ranges, whilst still not up to scratch, are increasing each year with the latest model of our EV coming out this year able to do double what ours can (purchased 2016). I would say that unless you never do trips less than 50 miles you still can't currently run an EV for all journeys or have it as your only car, as you can't always depend on there being a functional charger at the destination. But this is slowly getting better.

A lot of people do need to get used to the idea that in the lifetime of many readers the only car you can buy will be something that doesn't burn fosil fuel.

Customers reporting credit card fraud after using OnePlus webstore

Timmy B Silver badge

"Spyware on the phones, CC fraud if you buy one, not that cheap any more, poor after-sales support."

This is why I didn't get a 3T or 5. It's a bit sad really as the 3 is an excellent phone.

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

Timmy B Silver badge

Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

I think, actually, that it's you that doesn't get it. The average user does want an ecosystem. They want something to manage their photos, browse the net, do some emailing and some word processing, and watch some entertainment.

If all these things could be done in one place then they would only go to that one place. This is why tablets are so used. They do all this thing in something you can easily carry about. People only have tablets because their phone screens are too small.

If MS could get all the above things that 90% of the people do 90% of the time done well in something they could easily use and afford then people would buy it. MS know this and this is what they are trying to do. So do Google, and Amazon and Apple and Facebook. Everyone is trying to make a one stop ecosystem for the 90%

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