* Posts by Andrew

23 posts • joined 28 Jun 2007

12 of the best... mice


Bring Back ...

... the Microsoft Trackball Explorer.

OK, so you had to be right-handed but the ball was finger operated which is/was unique.

Greens: Telcos must share cell towers to save on CO2


Good news for the mobile operators?

Now that we're prohibited from competing in terms of coverage, we can all do away with our rural networks and concentrate on the profitable cities. Joe public hasn't got a leg to stand on as "we're only doing what we're told and saving the planet".

Amazon sued by cable TV giant over Kindle ebooks


Discovery to take on Apple next?

Unless I'm mistaken, the iTunes store securely supplies, and bills, for the distribution of text (track data) and graphics (album art) for subsequent storage on an iPod.

Users: The weakest link in laptop security


Try This (if you dare)

Have a single username/password for EVERYTHING. No exceptions.

Make the password immensely strong and impossible to remember.

Change it monthly.

Hand them out to users, written on a $100 bill. (Or even larger depending on the value of the data being protected).

Anyone who hasn't lost it by the end of the month gets to spend it once they've got the next one. That should ensure they look after it.

Anyone who writes it down anywhere else, or who's password is found to have been written down anywhere else (implying that it was inadequately guarded), is fired instantly. Even the boss.

Microsoft releases Vista virtualization


Not as mad as it sounds

If this will allow a virtualised 32-bit XP full access to all my peripherals (which are unsupported on 64-bit Vista), I can see it being quite useful. e.g. Run the 32-bit scanner application in the VM but edit the results in 64-bit Photoshop.

On the other hand, if it inherits all the limitations of Virtual PC then its doomed.

Logitech Squeezebox Boom wireless music player


@ Anna Log

As noted in the review, the SqueezeCentre software will certainly run on Netgear/Infrant NAS boxes. It's running on mine and is, I believe, a standard part of recent software releases.

York council gets sniffy with Street View



“It would have been nice and appropriate and perfectly legal for Google to go to the residents of York and ask their opinion on this, if for no other reason than to build trust.”

So, are the council going to seek permission from all the local hooligans to film them on CCTV?

EU battery rule may zap iPhone, blow away MacBook Air



Surely one key to compliance is to have an in-line connector for the battery instead of soldering its flying leads directly to the PCB. Archos, go and stand in the corner

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird


Do they actually know.

Given that many ad-funded sites out-source their advertising, how many host actually know how bad/intrusive it is? Or how much damage it is doing to theor reputation.

Personally I run no ad-blocking software, I just don't stick around on sites with loud, animated, full-screen, pop-up, etc., etc. .... adverts. This must hurt them more than it hurts me since there is now no chance of me clicking through on ANY of their other ads, however quiet, static, etc. they may be.

Besides which, since most animated ads are offering "free" things, and TANSTAAFL, I assume they all are (not just might be) malware attack vectors.

Dell rapped for £60 delivery charge on £200 laptop


The Delivery Charge IS the profit..

Its not just Dell doing this sort of thing.

I've seen plenty of eBay and Amazon marketplace items when the postage is more than the cost of the item. In one case it was £4.95 p&p for an item costing £0.01

Shipping charges are rarely refunded as part of money-back guarantees so the profit is secured even if the goods come back.

BBC website suits slapped for cash splurge


@ Simon

I don't know about £500, but they should certainly raise it - if only so they can afford to issue their cameramen with tripods. I'm getting tired of the fashion for wobbliness.

As for the TestCard - yes please - even if only for a few minutes late in the evening - I want to check my alignment.

The web rip-offs nobody cares about



"I have a credit card provider that allows the creation of a "virtual" CC number to be used for one online transaction only."

Pray tell - which credit card is that? I want one.

Information Commissioner: Phorm must be opt-in only


@ hi_robb

"The only way that the Opt In / Out must work (as a few people have pointed out) is for the Opt-In / Out to be done at an account level at the ISP. When you then connect, your account is checked and if you have opted out, your data goes straight to internet and goes nowhere near the Phorm servers."

At last, someone thinking along the same lines as me. I'm not with BT, but if I were I'd want my entire service opted-out at the connection level. After all, they know which pair of wires I came in on - it can't be difficult.

Microsoft makes final heroic grab for OOXML votes


@ Richard

"Completely wrong - Governments should adopt formats and tools that their constituents can inexpensively and easily read and utilise."

Ah, you mean plain text files. Assuming anyone can agree on a standard for line endings!

BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike


But what about the bills?

Am I alone in being concerned about the bit where they're now, in effect, charging £15 per annum for anyone unwilling (or unable) to participate in paperless billing?

Is BT really just a branch of the tax office?

Ton-up electric Reliant Robin offered for '09


Relative danger levels

Oddly enough, I have heard of Morgan 3 wheelers. I knew a chap who drove one. He also rode a powerful motorbike. Ironically, he was killed, as a passenger, in a normal 4-wheel car.

Road pricing 'back-burnered' by Brown gov't


Speed Advisers could be fun...

Consider, I'm driving along with my (government sanctioned/certified) speed adviser system activated and I'm flashed by a safety camera.

I can now call one govt. dept. as a defence witness against another govt. dept.

I'm sure the brighter minds here can think up even more tempting scenarios.

If users are a security threat, how do you manage them?


One Password to rule them all.

Do have ONE password that does everything, that way people have a "trained dog's" chance of remembering it (even a strong one). Manage changes centrally. Discard systems that can't fit in.

Do NOT have different passwords for: Desk Phone Voicemail, Mobile Phone, Blackberry, Laptop PC, Desktop PC, the other Desktop PC, each of the three different terminal services accessed from those desktops, one for the travel booking system, one for the timesheet entry system, one for the timesheet approvals system, two for the personnel appraisal system, etc... Do NOT manage changes on a per service basis with different renewal intervals.

Google, Yahoo! and Amazon sued over email patent


It's Inevitable...

Can anyone "in the know" confirm or refute the following beliefs about the US Patent system:

1) They operate on the basis of "first to file" not the "first to invent" and

2) They operate a "presumption to grant" on the basis that "the market" will sort out any mistakes later.

I'm not sure what thet actually leaves for the Patent Office staff to do, except perhaps to make sure no-one already has a patent with the same title.

So, if I see a nifty idea in a piece of GPL code, I can patent it and then sue the authors when it become popular.

As for breathing, I'm sure a patent exists, couched in such vague and wooly terms that it is not readily recognisable as such, and the owner is just waiting for breating to become monetised so that they can claim financial loss...

At least we don't have s/w patents in Europe... yet!

Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC


Platform Monogamy

I fear I may be missing the point here, but to watch BBC Terrestrial Broadcasts I have to purchase a 625-Line PAL receiver. I can't watch on a US-made NTSC set, I can't watch on a French SECAM set, I certainly can't watch on my fridge or my vacuum cleaner. Yet no one finds this odd.

To view the iPlayer BETA, I have to own (or buy) a specific computing platform.

What's changed??

BT feels the need for 50Mb speed


Reverse Installation

I'm all up for a bit of fibre. Let's start in the areas with NO broadband of any kind, then move onto areas where 500kb/s is considered good going (too much alluminium in the local diet) then, once all the ally has been bypassed, to those areas where true 8Mb/s is still just a pipedream and then finally to the populous metropolitan areas. In the interests of fair play, fibre bandwidths could be throttled to 8Mb/s until everyone has it and only then uncapped. That should at least stop johnny Londoner complaining about unfair treatment and still leave the cable operators feeling smug.

Netgear XEPS103 powerline power brick


Passthrough Anyone??

Does anyone know why none of the powerline adapters currently on the market provide a psssthough socket for the mains power?

After all, this has been a feature of plug-in time switches for eons.

Ghostly plastic bathtoy flotilla nears Cornish coast


True Value

Never mind selling them on the collectors' market there is, allegedly, a bounty just for reporting the place and time of arrival.

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