* Posts by JimboSmith

666 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012

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Head of Apple's insider trading program charged with… you guessed it... insider trading

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Why would you do this?

You couldn't make this up. The bloke sounds like some of the corpoate bods I've met. Except they were only stupid not allegedly engaged in criminal behavior.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

JimboSmith Silver badge

As a baby engineer, I once got stuck on the Coventry ring-road after visiting Marconi. Every turn I took eventually brought me back onto the bloody ring-road. I began to seriously suspect I may die there, endless circling 'picturesque' Coventry...

Driving to the football in Coventry with a mate one Saturday we had satnav problems. I knew the route having done it before many times and was directing him. He insisted on keeping the satnav on and was concerned when it kept saying 'recalculating' as we drove on. He stopped when we started getting turn around commands. He looked at the screen and could see according to it we had left the road a few tens of meters ago. We were actually driving through what had been the old Peugeot factory (now a new development) and his shiny new car had outdated info. He didn't like the idea we'd gone off the 'map' and was going to turn round before I persuaded him to go on. As soon as we reached what the thing referred to as road it stopped whining. I said he'd follow the bloody thing into the sea if it told him to. I was only half joking.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: I generate the licenses..

I had a fun situation when working for a media company many years ago. I used a program suit that had a batch converter for audio files. When the.company upgraded to the latest version of the program the batch converter ceased to exist. So I was looking at manually converting a hell of a lot of files on a Friday afternoon. Someone in IT support pointed out that we were technically still in posession of the software discs for the original version. Sadly we didn't have a license for it though the new version was using it. As a result I was told we couldn't use it as we were being FACT compliant which sucked for me. I said I'd call the UK arm of the company and plead with them to give me a license/key for just the bactch converter. I did just that one Friday afternoon and the bloke I spoke to told me I needed to make my explanation quick as he wanted to go to the pub. I made my case and he said he understood and would send the key for just the batch converter by email. I then asked about the license which we also needed. He said he'd write something official on Monday and shove it in the Royal Mail on Monday if I'd hang up so he could head off to the boozer.

True to his word on Wednesday a "license" arrived on headed notepaper. The compliance bloke in IT support wasn't very keen on it but grudgingly accepted it.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: He said that his firm had run its own test of CEST using the 24 cases listed by HMRC

Making Tax Digital....... The next HMRC disaster in the making.

Senior slippery sex stimulator sales exec sacked for shafting .org-asmic cyber-space place, a tribunal hears

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Well, still an idiot

OTOH, isn’t the .org TLD intended for non-profit organizations and charities? I certainly wouldn’t expect to find a personal lubricants business in that namespace, unless they were nobly crusading to ease the chafed naughty bits of the world’s poor.

From memory it was decided that the .org was designed to be used by charitable organisations but that wouldn't be compulsory. So the lube firm are fine.

El Reg talks to PornHub sister biz AgeID – and an indie pornographer – about age verification

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Does gov.uk

All all can conclude is that this law is not about protecting children. It is about appearing to care about children and winning votes from an IT illiterate public, with the added bonus of more data collection.

See my earlier comments about Daily Mail politics.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: And how long

until the government extend the AgeId scheme to cover other things deamed 'harmful' by the likes of sun editors and daily w(m)ail readers.

It's called Daily Mail politics:

Pick a topic that has appeared in the Daily Mail and enraged the readers.

Announce you are consulting on banning/restricting/encouraging this (delete as applicable).

Receive suggestions that the law will be unworkable.

Go ahead anyway.

Win votes

Simple!

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Huge loophole?

The problem being that it only needs one child at a school who has access to porn. That's if the school children on the bus I often use are anything to go by. The boys at the back are often swapping porn clips on their phones and tablets. it will mean that the kids with the technical knowledge who can beat the ban will be popular. They'll be the main conduit and either the knowledge of how to beat the ban will come from them or the pron will.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Join up today

Was going for a meal at a restaurant in Soho a few years ago and someone at the next table was talking about how the area had changed. She suggested that the internet had killed the number of sex shops in the area. That's probably true and more so now but she went on to suggest something else. She said the next step would be to restrict access to porn on the internet to take advantage of this and make access to it complete.

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Interesting argument

Also, if you contracted someone to rearrange your kitchen but found your walls 25% closer after the operation I reckon you'd be pretty pissed...

A mate hired some builders to redo his kitchen. He was very puzzled when they appeared to be building the island to one side and not in the middle of it. He asked why and they claimed that it looked better there. He told them to fix it and either follow the plans or feck off.

One retailer I worked for had an idiot in charge of the showrooms. So I turned up at a new showroom before the building work commenced to take measurements and check services/power. I recommend the till be placed in one spot because the data points are there along with power sockeets. So I go back to cable the place and install equipment as the shopfitters are nearing completion. I discover to my amazement that the small back office/stockroom is now about 45cm narrower and 25cm shallower. The showroom is similar because there are false walls everywhere. There are also far fewer power sockets on the walls with one wall totally devoid of them. That same wall has no data ports either all of which is a worry given according to the plans that wall will have the till. There was even the physical counter that had been built to take the till but no ports. I pointed this out to the builders/shopfitters who just said that's what we were told to do and presented me with the plans they had. The idiot had made the changes and obviously had no idea the problems they would cause. The sockets/ ports had been stripped off the brick wall as well to add insult to injury. The counter had to be moved to the other side of the room and away from the office/stockroom which had been a key feature of the plan. He was fired for something else a few months later and I slept much easier as a result.

Irish data watchdog to Facebook: Hang about, what's all this about a WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger now?

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Creepy

That's sadly more than likely true.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Creepy

The whole thing is creepy. Does anyone seriously think that they're doing this just to make the user experience better? Another reason for keeping WhatsApp on a different number to my normal number. I wouldn't use anything to do with.Facebook if I could avoid it but thanks to my family I can't as they use WhatsApp.

(Can we keep Brexit out of this? I'm already bored to the back teeth of hearing about it elsewhere)

I helped catch Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht: Undercover agent tells all

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Interesting postscript to this long running tale.

Yep that was a cracking article. Just hope the film is as good as the real story. The Wolf of Wall Street film was nothing like as good as the books.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Frosty

I was discussing financial crime with a colleague who was by her own admission uninformed. We were discussing what she needed to watch out for. To do this I was explaining how she could set it up hypothetically herself. I said to make the crime.possible you need to have a few dummy companies and these need names - suggest some. She called them after her husband and children failing to see the error. When I pointed out that it made linking the crime to her much easier she realised I had a very good point. I suggested she read up on Enron, Andy Fastow and the Raptors which he named after his family.

PSA: Disable FaceTime. Miscreants can snoop on your iPhone, Mac mic before you pick up call

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Bug?

First thing I did when given my work iPhone was disable Facetime and cover the cameras in electrical tape. Nothing personal against Apple but I don't trust them or Facebook etc. We don't use Facetime anyway at work.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Is there a scammier corporation

And now they're apparently merging WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47001460 Bloody annoying as I'd rather not deal with FB at all but thanks to my family I can't avoid WhatsApp.

You're an admin! You're an admin! You're all admins, thanks to this Microsoft Exchange zero-day and exploit

JimboSmith Silver badge
Pint

You almost owed me a new keyboard. Have a pint.

Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers' voices to biometric database

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: My imagination

That does make me feel better about the small fortune the accountants charge to do my tax. It's them on the Inland Revenue voice database and not me. Might use one of those speech synthesisers if I ever do have to and say I've got laryngitis so can't talk.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Not sure...

I've had the odd present in the hopes I'll put them at the top of my to do list, keep quiet, replace something etc. Once had a girl appear at 6:30pm with a bottle of Scotch and a plea that I help her with a report that was due the next day. She had lied about her abilities in a few packages to get the job and now needed help quickly.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Not sure...

At one employers I was the person with IT responsibilities at a satellite office. There were mostly very non technical people in that office and they dreaded my holidays. So one week off I return to a package addressed to me waiting in the post. As I opened it to discover a laptop the manager appeared and confessed. Between her and another staff member they had managed to spill a large glass of water into a company laptop via the keyboard. Panicked about what to do they had:

Pulled the power cable and battery,

Mopped the keyboard with a cloth,

Turned the thing on the side to drain it,

Whilst still on the side they put a hairdryer on full heat pointing at the keyboard.

They then left this for 15 minutes to dry out.

The keys then deformed and started to melt where the air was hottest. More panic set in at this point and they called head office who put another one in the post. She hadn't called anyone else because she thought she could be clever and fix it herself. After that an email from myself was sent to all staff at the office and posted on the noticeboard in the kitchen about what to do if liquids were spilled again. They were particularly surprised when I suggested flushing the offending article with distilled water. At the bottom of the email was an instruction in bright red and a very large font saying that On no account were hairdryers to be used with the heat on. Manager replied to my email saying that I was now banned from taking any holiday in case it happened again.

Stage fright or Stage light? Depends how far you dare to open your MacBook Pro's lid

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: "Thin&Light" means Piece Of Shit.

The reply said "if you can achieve that without fans, then fans aren't needed", which is about as useful and relevant as saying "stop moaning about the screen light, if you can see the screen perfectly without it, it's not needed", or "stop moaning about the bad keyboard. If the computer can read your typing requirements telepathically, you don't need it"

Precisely the point just because you don't need it doesn't mean someone won't. I was in a department store that rhymes with Ron Fewis, a few years ago. I asked if they had any portable radios with short wave and medium wave capabilities. The sales assistant told me that I didn't want those and DAB was what I needed. He then pointed me to several DAB/FM models. I said that wasn't the case I did need those bands and did they have anything? Again he tells me that all the stations are on DAB now "even abroad" so having those bands isn't necessary.

I explained that I wanted a portable because I planned to use it as a travel radio and in the USA and other places they don't use DAB. As that's where I intended to use the radio on my trips over there, having DAB was totally useless. Boy was that a surprise to him. No they didn't have anything and probably wouldn't again. He had no idea that anything still broadcast on SW (I listen to international broadcasters and the Atlantic HF air traffic control, to help get to sleep) and wanted to know what I listened to on MW. I said 1010 WINS and the Red Sox Radio Network. The latter is also broadcast on FM but not in the areas I visit.

If at first, second, third... fourth time you don't succeed, you're Apple: Another appeal lost in $440m net patent war

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: This company is simply outrageous

My football club owners have a similar problem with appeals. They've been in the High Court and lost so often that the supporters are thoroughly sick of them. Also as a result of the appeal of the previous decision we won't have anywhere to play next season. They just don't know when to quit and it's the fans plus the team who are suffering. Lovely. Oh and the team is Coventry

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/oct/23/coventry-city-sisu-homeless-future-wasps-ricoh-stadium

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Sweet greens

The best domain that wasn't for the company you might have thought it would be was back in the day - Baa.com

So the British Airports Authority might have been a logical guess but it wasn't owned by them. It was in fact hosting a website about sheep and wool. See here for proof: https://web.archive.org/web/20000520095021/http://www.baa.com:80/

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: lesson ?

I started to receive emails about 8 months after I last renewed my domain (a .com) regarding renewal. I contacted the registrar because I'd paid for ten years and should therefore have had 9 years and two months to go. I also started to get emails from other companies who were wondering if I wanted to register similar domains. The registrar admitted that they had buggered up the renewal and selected 1 instead of 10 years. They fixed it immediately but it was a interesting to see how quickly and how often I was contacted about renewing.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: So, the obvious question, - Nord VPN

Cue a load of questions from clueless relatives about what a VPN is after the TV ads. It's probably just a coincidence that they've chosen the months before XXX day to advertise on tv. Certainly a coincidence, nothing to see here or at least there won't be in a few minutes. The ban won't make a much of a difference from what I can see of the youth of today.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Too late

Look at Blackberry's suite for iOS, it might do what you want.

Thanks I will - although ironically was moved from BlackBerry to IOS.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Too late - What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.

I have a work iPhone for emails and it is only used for work stuff. I asked around how to get the equivalent of a no root firewall on the iPhone and no one knew. I asked a genius at the local Apple store who asked why I wanted to have one rather than answer the question. I told him that I wanted to be able to see and restrict what apps were able to send to God knows where. After telling me twice that there was no need to do that on Apple I said was it even possible?

No it's not you can't get an app for doing that with Apple. So I locked it down as much as I can (via apps using mobile data) as a workaround). Now it may be that the genius was right and I have nothing to worry about but I like to know what apps are contacting the outside world and what address they're contacting.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Do phones still have an IR port?

Can't find it now but a product on Amazon had at least a couple of reviews saying:

"Despite my best efforts it failed to work at all and I returned it for a full refund" (Five Stars)

"Never worked so I sent it back that day" (Five Stars)

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Recycle Bin

One of my ex employers was migrating from Novell to Outlook and they were trying to minimise the pain involved. Therefore staff were told to get the size of their mailbox down to under 2GB. I hadn't realised just how big some people had let their mailboxes get so big. People in my department had some whoppers 6+GB which had to be slimmed down. So I explained to the most technically challenged staff how easy it was to save file attachments to the hard drive or the server. I also explained that if users didn't slim their mailboxes down by the deadline these wouldn't be transferred to outlook. Instead an empty mailbox would be created in outlook and only new emails would fill the mailbox. That last one really spurred people on because the majority of the buggers were terrified about losing their emails. It also wasn't true but it worked like a charm. Head of the project asked me how I'd got my department whipped into shape so quickly. When I told her she laughed out loud.

The Palm Palm: The Derringer of smartphones

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Oh look, they re invented the HTC Touch Diamond.

Agreed - great idea shame about the price.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: I spent two years in tech support

It's not just the users..........After the company I worked for merged with (was taken over by) another company the head of IT changed. New bloke who is more of a manager than a real IT type wants to make staff store everything on a network drive to allow for hot desking. He therefore instructs all the machines locked down. Users will not be able to store anything on a local drive at all. There was a rule that no personal data/files were to be stored on the network. This meant users were now seriously restricted compared to what had gone on before. However if you used a particular software package if you didn't have local storage it didn't work. He was perplexed as to why we were getting so many support calls regarding this as he'd personally certified that all the software was suitable. He'd used most things elsewhere and done the same trick but had evidently got lucky. A joke email that went round suggested buying a copy of windows for dummies. As this was really something a lot of people used the machines were required to have local access. That buggered up his hotdesking plans.

Tumblr resorts to AI in attempt to scrub itself clean from filth

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Blanket Ban on Searches

They've had that for some time it isn't a recent thing. Somebody posted at the time they did it that they'd better not forget that it was porn that had made tumblr what it is.

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Hey ...

Couple on the table next to me at lunch didn't have any service on their phones. Not to be outdone by Sky Mobile not working they switched to their O2 backup sims. Sadly that wasn't working for them either and therefore "Every network must be down at the moment not just Sky!" They were most amazed when I received a call.........

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Give 'em an inch....

The blokes will call it six and the women will just laugh.

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

JimboSmith Silver badge

I know a tiny bit about satellite navigation and don't claim to be an expert on this. However I seem to recall that when GPS was degraded there was a system that compared the known location of something such as a lighthouse with the GPS signal. This then gave the ability to work out what the introduced error was and broadcast it allowing automatic correction for it in suitably equipped receivers. Could the same not be used for Galileo?

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Automation does have its place

We had an auto delete option on some software in the config. It was supposed to be used for the deletion of older files from the data file system and to just leave two days worth of daily logs etc. It was also supposed to be set to local drives only. Someone at a satellite office set theirs to delete files from all the drives it could see. We were first alerted when a user found their database missing and investigated. About 15mins later we had retrieved the missing files (anything more than 48hrs old) worked out what had been done and administered a quiet word. The next day the same thing happened again from a different satellite office. Same bloke had been on a road trip and had applied the same fix...........

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

JimboSmith Silver badge

Data wipe

I had a PC at my office years ago that was running okay but the the network card had died and the sound card was also a little dodgy after an office move. At the time I wasn't in support at the time and had to hand over my machine to a support person. I said that it was very important that they left the harddrive alone as there was a set of large files that were too big for a CDR. So the machine was taken away and returned that afternoon and the drives had been wiped. I had words with the head of IT support and the staffer who was mere days into his job with the company was given a talking to. He had apparently thought that the machine was running a little slowly and decided wiping was the best fix. We told him that at the very least he should have contacted the user and asked if any files needed to be saved. He apologised and said he'd pay for a forensic data recovery service on the disk if needed. That was good of him. Unfortunately he then told me off for not storing my work on the server which let him down slightly. The look on his face as he had the words "broken network card" and "do not wipe" read out to him from the ticket.

Peers to HMRC: Digital tax reforms 3 days after Brexit? Hold your horses, how 'bout 3 years...

JimboSmith Silver badge

earn under 12k a year so this will just eat into that

Just to clarify I earn that from the flat I earn more than that from my day job. Thanks to my pedantic friend for pointing that out.

JimboSmith Silver badge

How in hell is filling out 7 boxes once a quarter so complicated it needs automating?

I had to laugh when told that this would be a benefit to me as it would mean that my tax returns were more accurate. I said my returns had never been inaccurate before and I couldn't see any benefit to me of having to submit three extra returns a year. I don't even have to do VAT and earn under 12k a year so this will just eat into that.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: How they do it in NL

I don't even have to fill in a VAT return and they're saying I'll still need to do this. I could cope with putting numbers into boxes on a webpage every quarter. I'm not going to be buying an app/software to do it although that's got me thinking. If the accountants do it they'll charge me and it's not reclaimable against tax. If I buy the software then that may be tax deductable and I can do it myself. The problem with that is I am then liable if I get it wrong which is less appealing. I'll just end up paying the accountants more thanks to this. I'll wait till HMRC tell me I have to do this before doing anything.

JimboSmith Silver badge

I was contacted by my accountants a few years ago to tell me that MTD was coming. They said they couldn't tell me much more because there wasn't any more information from the HMRC at that time. So I ignored it as I only rent out a flat and have some investments which could theoretically come under this. Then I heard more, that there were dates for introducing this to the wider populace so I made enquiries with the HMRC. The lady on the enquiries line basically said that if I wasn't party of the exercise that was being conducted then they couldn't talk to me about MTD. I asked if they could at least tell me what records I would have to keep? No not if you're not part of the trial then we can't tell you anything. I said it sounded like I was going to be paying my accountants for four pieces of work a year as opposed to just one. HMRC lady said that I could just do it myself and that it would be easy to do online. I said great what details will I need to enter? I can't tell you that unless you're part of the trial sir. She said I would be able to submit my digital records online to which I said you mean the PDF account statement that the managing agents send me each month? I think you're trying to get information out of me that I'm not supposed to give to anyone outside the trial participants. I asked if I only received an annual statement for my flat accounts could I just submit things annually like now? That information is only available for participants in the yada yada yada same response etc.

I asked if she could tell me what the fine would be for missing an information submission would be. I find it hard enough to get everything together once a year let alone every three months. Nope she couldn't do that either so I said it sounded like a shambles I would put money on the introduction deadlines slipping and wished her a pleasant afternoon. As it turned out the deadlines did get moved and I'm still waiting for more information. The HMRC website doesn't tell you anything about what you'll need to keep.

I found a security hole in Steam that gave me every game's license keys and all I got was this... oh nice: $20,000

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Tsk tsk tsk

Allo Nighthawk Allo Nighthawk I have a massage to piss to you from Michelle.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: The Enterprise runs Windows ME?

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsvaeo

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Few comments

I also have some spare floppy drives and AT power supplies in the same cabinet.

We were moving to a windows version of some ancient DOS software that the provider had finally got round to updating. At the same time we were taking the opportunity to upgrade the computers of the users of this software by replacing their machines. The new computers have no floppy drives as these are (at the time) going out of fashion being replaced by USB memory sticks etc. The switch is going well one weekend when I discovered that the software was effectively just a lazy arse port of the DOS version.

So the same backup provisions exist i.e. you can use the A: drive and nothing else. The fact that we now had CDR, USB, a fricking load of networked servers that could be used (as they're backed up to tape drive and taken off site every day) was irrelevant. We did a quick check that it wasn't April 1st and then started putting floppy drives into the new machines. Our Head of Technology and myself had a few words with the provider on Monday morning.

Lloyds Banking Group: We're firing 6,240 to hire 8,240

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Experience go bye bye

My financial advisor who Lloyds provide me with was banging on about digital at our last meeting. He was saying that we could do this meeting over the internet. I said no thanks I'd rather come into see you at the Private Banking offices. They've got enough of my money that I expect a personal touch rather than doing things digitally.

I hope everyone affected by this is given the chances they want and as few as possible lose out.

EU Android latest: Critics diss Google's money-spinning 'cure'

JimboSmith Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Amazon

There was something mentioned in the past (on this issue) about Amazon not being able use full android thanks to the restrictions from Google. If their bloatware filled tablets are supposed to be better then that's worrying. Looking at the access log on my firewall app the bloatware is constantly calling home to Amazon. Much more so than the google bloatware on the android phone I'm writing this on. I've disabled all the Samsung apps.

BT, beware: Cityfibre reveals plan to shovel £2.5bn under Britain's rural streets

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Its all Bull S Advetising

This is about fibre to the door/premises. They dug up the street to place the fibre outside every house.

Exactly what they did at my parents house, wired up the entire village. Sadly as I explained in another post this was pointless in their case.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Will Soon Have It...

At my parents house out in the rural Cotswolds getting a mobile signal indoors (even 2G) on any network is very unlikely. I'm sure they'll improve things when they get all this lovely spectrum though. However their village has been fibred up with FTTP available for everyone. I won't name the company but they must have spent a bit doing that. There may of course have been some subsidy or other to soften the blow. A sales rep came to the door and spoke to my mum before Easter about the service. I was there but as it's not my house I decided I wasn't going to speak to her. The rep checked to see if they'd noticed the (vast) amount of work that had been going on to make this possible. They certainly had as it had been going on for a while and required digging up the road in one or two places as well as just the verge.

The next questions were about whether they noticed many problems with their existing broadband. The rep wanted to know:

Sales rep: Do you have problems with the speeds on your current copper based broadband?

Mum: I don't think so everything loads quite quickly

Sales rep: Do you suffer much from buffering?

Mum: is that the same as buffeting because if so only when it's windy

Sales rep: Er no it isn't

Mum: Oh then I don't think so as I don't know what it means.

Sales rep: Do you get pauses when watching tv online or videos on demand

Mum: No we watch TV on the Television that's what it's for and not the computer. We can pause the videos of our grandchildren on Whatsapp though.

Sales rep: Do you do much on-line gaming?

(this is to someone who is north of 70 so whilst not impossible, fairly unlikely she's up with a headset on gamepad/mouse in hand till all hours)

Mum: Well I play Sudoku and Solitaire on my phone

Sales rep: Well You might be interested in our fibre broadband packages which start from as little as £40 and can give you speeds of 50Mbps

Mum: Is that good?

Sales rep: It's very competitive at that price and we can go up to 1Gbps for a bit more

Mum: Do I need that to online shop?

Sales rep: You can also get your phoneline and number ported over to our VOIP partner

Mum: What's VOIP is that anything to do with a mobile signal because we don't get a very good signal here.

Sales rep: No it's through your broadband connection and is only around £8 a month.

Mum: Will the burglar alarm work on that too especially when the power has gone out.

Sales rep: Erm I don't think so

Mum: Oh well then we'd need to keep the BT line too.

Sales rep: Maybe I can just leave you with some literature and my card and if you'd like to go ahead let me know.

Mum: That's fine,

Sales rep: Bye... (almost running up the drive to escape the luddite OAP)

Afterwards we looked at the costs of this service which came in as follows:

All the installation and one off fees came to £420. Higher cost because the house is more than 10m from the connection point and it will require a lot of internal cabling etc.

The cost of the service would be £615 over the life of the contract with another £100 if they took the VOIP.

So that's £1135 plus the cost of the burglar alarm land line. They both looked at it carefully for a few seconds before deciding they'd rather spend the money on something else.

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