* Posts by JimP

15 posts • joined 7 Aug 2007

Facebook's UK wing paid just £4k in corporation tax last year


We need a law about these types of computer "product". It's been said enough times that if it's free then it's you and your data which are the product, and that resides wherever you do. As such, if there is any tax to be paid, it should be paid in the country the product is in, and an export tax levied on exporting that product. Time for the EU to step up to the plate as I don't expect certain other nations who benefit from this to do anything about it.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Cherie was apprehensive about what might happen if she kissed Tony the spider...

Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank


How do we get from here to there?

I think I see a problem. Where is the money which is going to be deposited going to come from? The answer is existing banks - who, as you point out, only have a fraction of it to give out. In other words, if this becomes popular, all the Mrs. Migginses of the world have to finish paying off their mortgages or there is an almighty run on the fractional banks.

Also, what does the Bank of England do with all this money in order to finance paying the interest?

I think the above would lead to a refusal to award the licences needed for this new bank, on the basis that it might be stable, but it would destabilise everything else, because everything is already in a bubble caused by fractional banking. Just think what the situation would be like if second hand houses reduced in value to somewhere around what it would actually cost to build one. It's like the Emperors new clothes - and people manage to draw different conclusions from that, even though it usually gets taught in junior school.

The bottom line is that, because of fractional banking, our money is not really worth what we think it is, and an institution designed to correct that would cause massive deflation if people used it en masse. One country/currency on its own could not pull it off - it would have to be all or nothing, and athough I'm for it on the basis of it being more honest, the people with the bigger numbers in their bank accounts would no doubt find ways of making sure it was the less well-off who suffered most through the changes.

The other point about needing banks with better computer systems is a no brainer. Sadly, in order to get that done, it would require legislation approved by the house of people with no brains when it comes to technology. I can't see the banks doing it off their own bat, as it would look like an admission that what they have now is not fit for purpose, and if they admit that, they would most likely lose their banking licences.

No matter how many layers of the Emperors clothes I put on, I never get any warmer.

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems


The title is required - that's like Missing " 9 on a BBC model B

Thames Polytechnic had Norsk Data and PR1ME machines in the 1980s, so I'd guess you studied there. I did too. We used the PDP-11 for cross compiling stuff for 8085 boards, so it was either the same faculty or they had more than one PDP-11. One of my mistakes used enough punched tape to go right around my room in the halls of residence. I also got the badge of honour on the PR1ME, which was to get it to respond "fatal error in crawl out". In my first year there the PR1MES didn't have a full screen editor, so there wasn't much "yay" about them.

How to backup and restore your netbook


There are more ways

I use partimage from SystemRescueCD, booted from a usb stick rather than a CD (which is more than a little inconvenient on a netbook). You need to fsck the unmounted system partition before you try and back it up for linux netbooks, and chkdsk it if it's XP, otherwise you'll get errors if you've actually used the thing much.

El Reg seeks top net neologism


I'm not saying I like them, but...

FAIL as a noun, and always in caps.

LOL and hence LOLcats.

Wibble of course, but that probably falls into the old Reg days before the Inquiscism.

Adding -ster to the end of a word (like Regi?)


And finally, use of the phrase "skills shortage" to highlight the fact that the speaker/writer is incompetent at recruitment/retainment of staff.

Microsoft waves updated Maps, Hotmail at customers

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Increasingly irrelevant!

All MS seem to achieve with their "updates" to Hotmail is to break bits of it. It's getting to the stage of not being good value for money despite being free. Got to go - need to set a forwarding address, a permanent vacation reply and reply to address in preparation for the next "update".

How can I run Windows apps on a Linux Acer Aspire One?


Right now...

If you have enabled "advanced" mode, Thunderbird is merely a matter of choosing "add/remove software" from the "system" menu, click on the search tab and type "thunderbird" (without quotes), and clicking in the checkbox for the package "thuinderbird -" and then "apply".

Autocad is going to be a pain with Linpus Lite (which is what your Aspire One comes with), as Wine is not a straightforward install. It is possible that some older versions of Autocad might work with Dosbox (which does install from add/remove), but that name on its own should give you an idea of how old a version we are talking here, and dongles are out! There is a CAD package worth trying as its free and might do what you want - using the same approach as for Thunderbird, do a search for qcad and install that. It will appear under the Graphics menu.

If you want to try Autocad with Wine, it would be easier to install Ubuntu (specifically Xubuntu 32 bit, unless you buy more memory) as at least it is easier to get Wine (and many other things) installed with no fuss.

Mozilla reaches stage 4 of Firefox 3 beta endurance test

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Also recently updated in the latest Ubuntu Hardy alpha, and all my extensions, plugins and addons seem to work now. Its going to cost me, as I can now buy a high res monitor and zoom the pages so I can actually read them without the text overlapping all over the place.

Software company says it can still resell Microsoft licences


Not only but also

In the case of second hand ex-corporate equipment, if the corporation licenses windows with a Select style agreement and never runs the OEM version of windows pre-installed on the machine it means they are running a different copy (possibly even version) of windows, and the pre-installed one has never had its EULA clicked on or agreed to. The issue of what is in the EULA of that copy is somewhat irrelevant to the organisation which sells it, as they have not agreed to anything about licensing it and were not given an opportunity to avoid buying it when they purchased the hardware. Sounds like a debatable plus point to bundled OS sales from the perspective of someone who buys an ex corporate PC with a license sticker on it to me, and I can't see why that unused license pack couldn't be sold on to be used on another machine (from the same manufacturer in the case of the OEM version). If there is a reason why then there needs to be a law to sort that out.

Unbundling could cost you £125

Paris Hilton

Shirley this means...

you just migrate to another unbundled provider (there's no information in this article about whether that will incur any costs). Why would you want to change to a provider who blame their own IT system for ripping people off? The only upside for me as a pipex customer is that if the service goes downhill as a result of being switched to Tiscali, it means I've just got a heads up that my local exchange has been upgraded and I'll be able to upgrade to a decent ISP with faster, more recent hardware. Duh! (Paris angle). There doesn't seem to be any other way of finding out when an exchange is being upgraded, not one which BT are allowing ISPs access to anyway.

BT Fusion is alive and well


This time...

I bet BT marketing will mess it up yet again. Ten years ago there was the "One Phone" which was actually 2 phones, and they wanted a ridiculous amount of money for it so they hardly sold any. Intermediate incarnations were full of the sort of turn-off "features" that only fans of DRM could like. I have a fusion hub and its locked to BT so I can no longer use it, and neither can BT! (Anyone know how to unlock it?). The only good thing about such things is that the miniscule take up helps reduce the landfill produced by it. Our so called competition authorities should pull it out and do something to encourage this kind of service to be implemented such that you can choose your mobile phone service supplier independently of your broadband supplier, but I'll not hold my breath while the chocolate teapot melts.

Ubuntu's latest OS not so Gutsy

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Re: And the fix already released by Ubuntu

> 20 hours from bug report to fix release

Yeah right. And probably 6 months before I will touch Ubuntu again. Thats if they don't bugger this up again in the next release. There is no fix if you have a system which can't see the repositories where the fix resides because some eejit forgot to include a patch which makes DNS lookup work in a sane manner, and I bet they don't update the release CD until April. I'll not hold my breath because the fix is described as "urgency=low".

Also, the word release is usually used to refer to something which happens after testing.


Its not just this release

The blog entry will tell you half of what you might need to know to get firefox going, but this is making microadjustments to the stable door, as all the stuff which should have been installed from the internet when you installed the OS didn't happen, and other things like Pidgin remain broken. If you do hit this problem, you really need to go and do a clean install somewhere where you can get a working network connection during the installation. If you're lucky and do the mods before going home, it may work.

I hit the same problems in dapper and edgy, feisty worked, and now the same symptoms are back. I don't have access to a "working" network to do a good install, so gutsy is a non-starter for me. Even if I did, it would give me no confidence to try and connect to someone else's network, so Ubuntu Gutsy is a non-starter for me and my laptop, which is a pity. Worse than that, I could not recommend it to anyone who wanted to try linux.

This issue hardly got any exposure in previous releases, so I can only hope that it gets enough this time around to get sorted properly by the next release. Meanwhile, feisty works for everything except the built in wireless (in the kernel from 2.6.23) and what I have seen of Gutsy looked very nice. My laptop middleman (you can't call them a manufacturer - its an OEM job via Medion) can't be bothered to do the right thing and make a working web complaint form, and I'm not paying and wasting my time on their phone support, so I can't even push them for an XP licence until MS make the Vista home bastard it came with work properly (the wireless driver just got updated to allow you the full horror of trying to copy files using Vista).

Alcatel unveils mobile phone under £20


What I really want is...

A cheap mobile phone which can run off AA rechargeable batteries. I can't seem to find one of those anywhere.

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