* Posts by Steve Pettifer

47 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Dec 2007

Have Brits fallen for Netflix, or do they still LoveFilm?

Steve Pettifer
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Just cancelled my LoveFilm account because i don't watch as many films as I used to. It always annoyed me that I'd get random discs off a list because I was rarely in the mood to watch what arrived and the streaming selection is so dire it's ridiculous. Their ads trumpeting it are pretty disingenuous at best. In addition, to cancel I had to speak to an incomprehensible person in India who would not deviate from their script:

Me - "I'd like to cancel my account"

Him - "As a valued customer I can reduce your monthly payments.."

Me - "No, I want to CANCEL my account"

Him "Well as a valued customer, you can take a membership holid..."


That alone makes me pleased to have cancelled.

I tried Netflix but their selection was similarly cack so canceled before the free trial ended (don't think I watched a single thing on it).

Blinkbox is overpriced, no question, but is really the only game in town for me as they seem to have the best selection of stream-able stuff. If they can get their pricing model to something sensible (say 2 quid for a recent release) I'd definitely use it more, but £3.49 a pop for latest releases is pretty stiff. Problem is, they have no genuine competition right now so they can charge what they like. Not sure if Sky Go will make any difference or not seeing as you basically have to have a Sky TV package to get it.

O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

Steve Pettifer

Disappearing Service

My sister went to O2 (on my recommendation as they used to be great) some years ago as she has an O2 mobile and they had unbundled her exchange (checked at the time on SamKnows). Recently the speed nosedived and I couldn't work out why until I checked SamKnows again and O2/Be are no longer listed in her local exchange and O2 deny ever having been in that exchange in the first place, which is cobblers. I wondered when this sort of news would emerge as it smacks of a contracting service, binning exchanges where they couldn't turn enough profit and eventually they will have to realise that they've failed in the market and need to get out while they still can.

Ice core shows Antarctic Peninsula warming is nothing unusual

Steve Pettifer

Trust me, 'global warming' IS a meaningless term. It was not born of science and nor is it a term ever used by any genuine scientist. The issue about the climate changing, NOT just temperature and NOT always in the positive. Trying to legitimise that term by pointing to average temperature increases over-simplifies the problem to the point of triviality. That may be fine for the tabloids but not in any discussion which aspires to even a modicum of intelligence.

And I don't think anyone (here at least!) is denying the global climate has always been, and will always be, in a state of flux; certainly I didn't. What we're really interested in is the difference between climate change (i.e. that which occurs whether we like it or not) and anthropomorphic climate change which is down to us farting out whatever we damn well pleased in ever increasing quantities for several hundred years. Temperature is only one factor that is affected, no less important for that, but people need to understand that it's not the be all and end all.

In truth, I suspect we're actually arguing the same point overall, but it is important to ensure that the terms used are correct.

Steve Pettifer

"Global warming may, as may climate scientists believe it is, be set to increase disastrously in the coming century: but there's no particular sign of it to be seen at the Peninsula, now that we have an accurate insight into the area's past history."

Errr...yes there is. It's mentioned in several places in the article that warming of 2C has been seen 50 or so years close to the peninsula. Lewis needs to learn not to confuse the terms 'global warming', 'climate change' and 'anthropomorphic climate change' as each has a distinct and different meaning. In fact, the term 'global warming' is pretty meaningless in any kind of serious discussion because there is no such thing. What we have is climate change (which means some areas may actually get colder rather than warmer, i.e the climate changes rather than the temperature simply increasing which are emphatically not the same thing). Global warming is simply a shit term coined by lazy, moronic, scare-mongering journalists in pursuit of a sensationalist story. Climate change, however, is very much a concern we must take seriously in our own interests, if nothing else.

Ten... festival survival gadgets

Steve Pettifer

Scosche goBat II

Whilst it's a great idea, it's a touch pricey at 60 quid. Happily, for about 42 quid amazon will punt you a similar device called a Trent iCruiser with a whopping 11,00 mAh capacity, or you can get a 6,600 mAh Arcadia ACD66 device for 35 quid, but if you promise t write and honest (not necessarily good) review within three weeks of receiving it, you can get one for about £25 (via the seller called Naphos). Got an Arcadia just in time for Beatherder and frankly it's looking like a good investment.

iPhones secretly track 'scary amount' of your movements

Steve Pettifer
Black Helicopters

Not going to read all of these comments...

...but this is not news by any means and there is an en excellent analysis and explanation of how and when this was first 'found' here: http://bit.ly/e21NVr

Me, I'm not really bothered that someone *might* be able to get hold of my phone and then see where I've been: Should it be used for location-based advertising I'll simply opt out (since I'm pretty sure there would have to be an opt out clause somewhere). I suspect people are getting their pants in a twist about nothing much really.

French operator pooh-poohs iOS4

Steve Pettifer
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Sure I'll upgrade to an iPhone 4

Just as soon as they fix the inherent design flaws, give it to me for free and don't make me sign another 2 year contract but rather let the second year of my existing 2 years contract continue as normal. If that doesn't happen and they don't sort out the iOS4 problems then there's no way I'll be upgrading my 3GS, and even if they do I still won't upgrade until I can jailbreak it again so I can have my apps (which I paid good money for) that Apple decided I wasn't allowed. So all in all, customer experience fail from Apple. Yet again.

When will people stop buying into the bullshit PR and think for themselves? Sure, they make a couple of nice products (and a number of pointless, over priced ones of limited use), but my god the utter contempt with which they treat their consumers is staggering yet because jobs (intentional lower case) trots out some fancy pants PR statement everyone fawns over them and forgives them practically anything. As Keyser Soze said, the greatest trick the devil pulled off was to convince everyone he didn't exist. Apple's equivalent is to convince everyone that they're really a happy-go-lucky kinda company that really cares about it's consumers.

Twitter on a ZX Spectrum

Steve Pettifer
Thumb Up

Z88 FTW!

From 1994-2000 I worked as an engineer installing and maintaining weather stations and road ice sensors on roads and runways all over the UK, Ireland, bits of Europe and the US. When I started, the processors in the weather stations were Z80s and we used Z88 terminals to communicate with them whilst on site. They were handy, robust (to a degree - the screen was prone to breaking if you weren't careful but the rubber keyboard helped against dist and moisture) and worked well for the simple terminal interface we used. We used to build our own comms cables for them and they rarely went wrong although they ate batteries. We later moved onto Psion terminals which were smaller, more robust and had a better screen (more lines - width was never an issue) and was easy to program. The electronics in the weather stations moved on a bit but we still had some Z88s lying about the lab which were using for test bench kit up until I left and, from what I understand, well beyond.

Gawd bless 'em!

Bloody George's Budget: How bad is it really?

Steve Pettifer

Look North

@Franco Begbie - not that I know much about economics worth a damn, but I'm pretty sure Worstall pointed to the example of the Scandinavian economies which exercise a more extreme form of this kind of economic theory and they're in pretty good health. Certainly a good deal better than ours. Thus I believe your criteria of "proven economic model with a real-world successful track record" have been met, no?

Spotify adds Web2.0rhea

Steve Pettifer


"Who uses facebollox anyway" about 350 million people worldwide some number of which are likely to be Spotify users I would imagine.

I haven't used Spotify in a while now and this is the final nail in the coffin. I don't want another media library tool thank you - I already have to have WMP and iTunes installed and I don't even use or particularly want them; I use Media Monkey and like it very much indeed but I can't get rid of WMP and I need iTunes so I can have the cable drivers that allow MM to synch my iPhone. I really don't want another bloaty media library tool and as for the rest of the nonsense they've put in, I'm not interested in it. I already use last.fm and I have no desire to Facebook, Tweet or anything else what I'm listening to.

Bye bye Spotify - the end is near seeing as you struggle to monetise as it is and I can't see this 'upgrade' helping much.

Broadband boss: 'The end of freeloading is nigh'

Steve Pettifer

Do we really need a squillion bps to the home?

Seriously. Do we? Everyone seems desperate to get ridiculous bandwidth to homes but only a very small minority of people actually use all that theoretically available bandwidth. My Sky ADSL connection runs at a solid 8-10Mbps (I'm not that close to the excahnge and I'm not on ADSL2 to my knowledge so I have no idea how but it's all good). I do download stuff, usually things that I have missed on TV and forgot to set the Sky+ for because frankly the quality of iPlayer is a bit shit and I'd rather download a decent rip, or music from Amazon/emusic.

Now, if I'm lucky that rip will come down at up to 7 or 800KBps and won't take long but to be honest I'm not that bothered if I have to leave it running for a night or two because I've been throttled or whatever. The truth is that most people aren't bothered about it either. A lot of these projections are based on the assumption that everyone will demand a crazy fast service and want the entire intertubes to download instantly, but it's just not true.

I wonder, if everyone was limited to, say 2 or 3 Mbps (and of course could actually get that, which they can't) whether there would be any talk of insufficient capacity? Is this a self made problem fueled by telcos brainwashing people into believing that what they need is the worlds fastest conenction, when in fact most people really don't need a great deal of bandwidth, followed by over-selling and under-delivering?

Just saying. We don't have it that bad on the whole in the cities (and I don't even live in a particularly big city). Stop the pointless speed 'arms race' and first concentrate on getting the more remote places up to a decent basic speed. Then worry about delivering lots of pointless content through fibres to the home.

Opera for iPhone: The review

Steve Pettifer

@Anonymous Coward - "Close..."

Sorry, but you can't be looking very hard. I only get GPRS in my office so I tried the BBC news site on Safari and then Opera and Opera blew Safari into the weeds as far as speed of loading the page goes. The Turbo feature is about improving the speed experience on GPRS and 2G (EDGE) networks: Not so much 3G, and WiFi won't improve any at all because the point about a WiFi connection is that you are likely to be connected at 1Mbps or more in most cases (bar some crappy public hotspots) and therefore the compression might actually cause a very small slowdown, although not a noticeable one.

And as for searching a site - well, where to begin? I have opera set up to use 'g' as a shortcut to search google. I could easily set one up such as 'gs' which basically does site:myurl keyword. Yes, you can bookmark searches but if we're into pedantry here (and lets face it - we're discussing search shortcuts on El Reg like true commentards so we definitely are pedants!) but the point of the Opera saved searches is that I can open opera and type in the nescesary string straight away rather than going to a bookmark (or even speed dial) and then typing it into Google and so on. Sure, it save mere seconds but its more about the faff - I can use fewer key and mouse strokes so its easier to do. Each to their own though - some prefer doing it a different and maybe longer way to others.

Steve Pettifer

Just a thought...

...but I imagine that many of the glitches that you raise will be addressed by the Opera boffins in their usual fashion (i.e. they actually listen to their users) but I imagine that with no guarantee that it would be accepted given the precedents and constraints on such an app there had to come a point where they stopped polishing it because there was no guarantee that the work would be worth it. Now that it's live and working (and yes, I downloaded it this morning and so far I do like it, but then I don't do a massive amount of mobile browsing except idle Google searches, rugby/cricket/golf commentaries/scores, news etc etc etc, the issues with things like Slashdot won't bother me. Speed is phenomenal compared to Safari which is the most important aspect for me).

Wall-punching Brit gamer foams (milk) at the mouth

Steve Pettifer


Mental. Surely you'd know if the game wasn't for you within a couple of hours at most. That dude needs to get outside and join the real world. Or be sectioned. Or both.

Apple breaks jailbreakers' hearts with iPhone 3GS patch

Steve Pettifer

@ Sean O'Connor 1 & Robert Hill

I suspect you boys speak from a position of ignorance...

Just like the official App Store, not everything available via unofficial stores is free - some of it has to be paid for. This is not a bunch of 'freetards' trying to scam the Man: The argument is "Why should I be restricted to just the Apple App Store?". If I want an app badly enough I'll pay for it alright, but competition is nearly always a good thing as it ensures that prices remain fair and balanced. Also we are not then at the whim of what Apple deems to be fit for our consumption. If I should wish to download a paid-for, legitimate app which serves up a daily dose of quality hard core bongo, then why should I not be able to do so? Just because someone at Apple thinks it's not appropriate?

If the AppStore put prices up 100% tomorrow there'd be much wailing and gnashing of teeth but eventually it would make no odds, people would still pay because there is no other officially allowed alternative. But would that be a good thing? No it wouldn't, it would be a pretty questionable bit of business practice.

Someone else drew the parallel of the EU case against Microsloth for it's IE shenanigans and I can't help but agree this seems like a very similar case. And no, I am not a fanboi. I resistsed the iPhone for a long time because of my distaste for all things Apple generally, but relented eventually and yes, it is jailbroken and yes, I am happy with it. However, I would never buy any other Apple product and in fact I earn my living developing software on the MS platforms, so I can't be a fanboi :)

Highways Agency plans new speed cameras

Steve Pettifer
Black Helicopters

We know where you are and were...

BigYin has pretty much hit it on the head. I agree that the variable limits do work to a degree, but mostly the cameras will inevitably be used to generate revenue. And probably to track where we all are (cue the paranoia!)

I also agree the motorway limit should be upped to 80 (but more strictly enforced) and that lorries should be banned from overtaking, but reducing urban limits to 20 is senseless. It's actually quite difficult to maintain only 20mph and uses more fuel because most people will be in second gear which is very inefficient. Stick to 30 except for short zones around schools etc (Sweden does this and very successfully too) and punish bad drivers: Failing to stop at a zebra crossing? 6 points and £250. Driving whilst using a mobile? 6 points and £250 etc etc etc.

And for gods sake, employ proper traffic cops again who can catch this sort oft hing and deal with it properly!!

Apple decrees Spotify worthy of iPhone

Steve Pettifer

Not enough to make me pay

I love the free Spotify service but I'm not going to stump up a Pavaroti a month for the premium service to have it on the iPhone. I only really wanted it so I could stream music to a powered speaker system wherever I was in the house (such as the garden) without needing to bring the laptop out with me.

But all is not lost - use Spotify on your PC and then download Airfoil onto your PC and Airfoil Speakers onto the iPhone. Airfoil will 'hijack' an app (i.e. Spotify) and then transmit any sound from it across your wireless network and the iPhone will receive it. Plug the phone into your speaker system and presto - Spotify anywhere in the home!

Obviously, thats no use if you wanted Spotify on the move, but I'm really not so bothered about that.

Old school music sales fell 8% last year

Steve Pettifer
Paris Hilton

Beat me to it...

Ananoymous cowards 1 & 2 beat me to what I was going to say. Of oucrse the indutry blames pirates - it's the easy target much like the urban 4x4/kids in hoodies/insert scapegoat here.

Cat ill today? Blame pirates. Lost your keys? Blame pirates. Missus/Fella burnt your dinner? Blame pirates. It's getting a bit old guys and no one believes you. Re-evaluate what you're selling and who you're selling it to and then factor in the economic climate (after all, music is a luxury item) and then, when you've proven that you ahve taken this stuff into account, perhaps people might be more willing to listen to the pirate argument on the remaining discrepancy.

Anyway, in this day and age, an 8% fall in sales is not a bad result. Many retailers are reporting that or worse and they don't have pirates they can blame.

Paris 'cos she knows all about the pirate copies.

Behind IE 8's big incompatibility list

Steve Pettifer
Gates Horns


I'm with Dan Moore (third comment). I'm an Opera user and the MS and Barclays site, both of which I use regularly, work just fine without any buggering about with 'standards compliant' modes. How is it MS are finding this so difficult?

I'm a web and applications developer and my sites are always standards compliant (*disclaimer - for the most part: Might be the odd bug!) and they work in all browsers just fine although I confess I have not tried IE8 because I haven't had the time of late. Some of these sites are inherited ones which were coded for old versions of IE and event he bits I haven't changed do, for the most part, work. There must be a better solution than this uber-list surely?

Droid sub goes under Antarctic ice on 5000 D-cells

Steve Pettifer

Pfft, old news...

Autosub was around when I was a student of Oceanography at Southampton in the mid-nineties and it has always run on D cell batteries because when it was first built there wasn't a sensible alternative. Granted, they are probably right that the exotics are not as economical so there is no point changing, but this hardly makes it a unique story. Add to that the fact that Autosub has been under the Artic ice before and has been doing so since about 2002 (albeit not always successfully - http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2005/autosub.asp), and it all ads up to...a slow news day!!

Wireless comms and the end of civilisation

Steve Pettifer

Raynet fail?

Surely Raynet will die shortly after local power? I can't imagine too many volunteers having access to long term backup power generation...

Fancy nipping for a quick two-thirds of a pint?

Steve Pettifer

@ Anonymous Coward

"What's wrong with 500ml - half a litre ?"

Whats wrong with 568ml - a pint? We use it already we all know what it is and we have the infrastructure for it (barrel sizes, measuring equipment, drinking vessels) so why bother changing? It's been decreed that we don't have to change our traditional measures just to fit in with our continental neighbours (who, I imagine, mostly couldn't give a toss anyway) so we migth as well keep the stuff we all know.

So a few tourists are confused - once they see a pint and realise its much the same as a half litre at home, and most poeple can easily do that visually, there's no bother. As for distances and weights, so what? They'll be here for a week or two then they'll bugger off home again so it's no great hardship. Indeed, in many cases it's part of the charm of visiting this country because it's different to what they have at home. If you want uniformity everywhere then I feel sorry for you because you're probably the sort of person who thought it would be a wizard idea that every Holiday Inn on the planet should be laid out the same, decorated the same, feel the same, serve the saem food in the same weay int he same dining room as all the others. Let me assure you, it most certainly is not; it's depressing and homgeneous and dull, dull, dull!

Vive la difference!

Mines the one with the full pint of best in the pocket.

Renault looks to wee-hued windows to cut car power draw

Steve Pettifer


French car...lots of electrics...I see a significant problem here...

OMFG, what have you done?

Steve Pettifer


New site = FAIL on Opera 9.52. Tut tut...

Chrome: A new force for web applications?

Steve Pettifer
Paris Hilton

Some nice stuff I guess, but...

There's issues. I'm an Opera user for pretty much everything bar our company Sharepoint site (naturally, MS have made this so that it only really works with IE - it works mostly with other browsers but there's always a few features that won't). However, I have 14 years of tooling about the web and development experience behind me so inevitably IE isn't going to cut it for me after about 1997.

Our users on the other hand, they have no choice but they still find things to complain about and one of those things is one of our reporting services sites. They complain that it doesn' quite fit on the page and that the IE window makes it look crowded. Aha, think I, this nice Chrome lanuch-from-the-desktop-with-no-chrome thing might do the tirick. And it does, although since Windows rarely lets anything play nicely with NTLM that hasn't been written by MS, you do have to enter your credentials first time. But if you use the Save My Password feature, it really does save it and logs you in no problem next time (unlike some browsers and apps).

The down side? It really doesn't work well with Reporting Servcies pages as the formatting is all over the place. But, if this were fixed then frankly, I'd bet tempted to use it for situations like this. I wouldn't use it as a browser per se, but for launching certain web apps full screen with a convenient set of window re-size and close buttons its a pretty nice tool.

To whoever said it thrashed their hard disk - I'd suggest you have underlying problems because it sure as hell doesn't thrash mine one bit.

Paris because she'll appear without any furniture anyt time you like.

Hackintosh maker bites back at Apple

Steve Pettifer

Hypocrisy R Us

All you fan boys and frothy-mouthed zealots who are claiming that its fine for Apple to abuse their position to make more money from punters by forcing them to buy their branded products should remember two things:

1) If the manufacturer of your car told you you could only play CDs in it that had been purchased (at a vastly inflated price) from them otherwise you'd be breaking the license agreement for it, you'd shit bricks and be up in arms in a nanosecond. Certainly in the UK, car manufacturers used to try this kind of thing by invalidating warranties if you didn't have servicing done in their overpriced dealerships, usually by some poorly trained, spotty and dis-interested YTS trainee even though independants are often better and use exactly the same parts. They got a kicking for this and they are no longer allowed to do it. I see very little difference in this case.

2) Look inside your precious Mac and see what the badge is on the CPU - Intel. Did Apple invent that, or design it, or build it? Did they fuck as like. To paraphrase the first commenter, they are merely leveraging the work of others, the lazy fucks. Why don't they get off their arses and design their own CPUs, north bridges, south bridges, PCI busses, GPUs, memory...........oh wait a minute, its because there's no profit in that. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT MORONS. Do you really think Ford, GM, BMW, VW, Renault, Citroen or any other car manufacturer makes every component in their cars? Of course not, they buy them from specialist manufacturers because that is the most cost efficient way of doing things, and you'd be the first to whine about the price if they did go ahead and make everything themselves.

Frankly, I reckon the manufacturers of all the ancillary hardware used by Apple should stipulate in their licenses that they may not be used for Macs and that way they'd die out and we'd be free of the odious smugness that ozzes from every pore of the self-righteous Apple sheep.

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

Steve Pettifer

How many cars?

Hang on a inute - this argument abuot any new road 'immediately filling up with cars' isn't quite true...we have a fied number of driving licenses in this country and we can only drive one vehicle at a time so there are a finite number of vehicles that can be on the raod at a given time. So, what si the diparity between this number and the number of vehicles on our roads no, say, and average wednesday morning rush hour?

Congestion is not something that affects every inch of the road network, it affects key areas at certain times of the day and then eases back down. surely instea dof penalising the entire network, it is these areas that need to be worked on? And not with a congestion charge, but with sensible public transport initiatives. And that defintiely doesn't include sticking a bus lane on the M32 into Bristol which is the dumbest plan since the M4 lane and will amke the traffic worse, not better.

and how about maximising the freight capacity of the rail networks? The lines are under-used at night and by placing longer distance freight ont he rail network then using smaller local distribution vehicles at freight hubs (of which me might need to build more - yes, investment please) we reduce the amount of large vehicels on the motorways at a stroke. Might not reduce that much congestion but it will sure as heel be more fuel efficient.

The sooner we get Labour our of power the better - they lostt he plot eyars ago and now they are gettign worse and worse. I can't say I like the Tories or Lib Dems much eaither but frankly, I would rather the Tories were in right now. I ams ick of the attitude of government that believes that they can tax a solution into being. No you can't you fucking idiots!

eBay UK pimps users' privacy for targeted ads

Steve Pettifer
Black Helicopters


Was just kidding old boy. It was just nice to see it brought to peoples attention.

I take someones point about Amazon having been doing it for ages but that doesn't make it any more acceptable to be sneaky about it. I don't like ads but can live with them as a nescesary evil (and anyway, Opera does a damn good job of blocking them!), I just object to them not being clear and up front about quite an important change to T's & C's.

And before anyone says it, I don't consider a legalese type emil to be clear and up front.

Steve Pettifer

Nto strictly accurate

It was me that actually tipped them off about this yesterday and sent them the email text. However, I turned it off OK and at no point did it ever seem to be an 'opt-in of bugger off' scheme. My point was more that this change was quietly announced at the end of an email which eBay knew only too well almost no one would bother to read (few people ever read a terms of service change announcement) and since it was opt-out, it meant they would be able to harvest a lot of data before people realised they were doing so, thus making a load of cash for themselves.

There's no doubting that eBay probably fulfilled all their legal obligations to tell users (i don't believe it is stipulated quite how and since the email will have gone to every user they're probably covered) so it's not like the Phorm fiasco, but it is another bit of evidence to suggest that they really don't care about pissing off their users.


And where was the Bootnote on the story thanking me for the tip off?? Tsk, some people ;-)

Firefox 3: now available bug-free, say devs

Steve Pettifer

Bug free?


Oh, the arrogance. There is no such thing as bug free software. Stable releases with known issues resolved, yes, but I defy you to find something that can be classed as bug free from the outset and which never goes wrong and hasn't needed updating in some way.

That said, good luck to them - not keen on FF myself but it' alwasy good to stimulate the competition with a new version. Who knows - if they've made the user interface less annoying then I might even use it once in a while.

Well, at least until Opera 9.5 is out fo beta and released properly.

Safari practices self-love, claims code monkey

Steve Pettifer

Got to be done

Love it. I often embed stuff in my comments which goes unnoticed even though the code is supposed to be reviewed. A former team leader of mine was surprised to find a quite long diatribe in some comments I made about a dodgy hack implemented because I was about to go on three weeks holiday and couldn't be arsed to do it properly (legacy app, being phased out - you know the score). Luckily, he's a mate and foubnd it rather amusing especially as he found it in a section he allegedly reviewed, 3 years after the event.

Mozilla guns for Guinness world record with Firefox 3.0

Steve Pettifer
Black Helicopters

Not on your nelly!

Never liked FireFox much so won't be getting this version either. I use Opera all the time now and it's just sooo much nicer. And who was that climing that fireFox is on 99% of XP machines now? Don't talk out of your arse old chap, just makes you look a bit dim.

Anyway, why on earth would I want a browser that is thinking about pimping out your browsing habits?


MySpace fraudster indicted in teen's suicide

Steve Pettifer

@ John

MySpace might well be complete cack but since it's not your space that it's taking up why expend the energy on wishing it to be gone for ever? It's like complaining about a TV programme you don't like or agree with: Simply don't watch (or use as the case may be) it and then it's of no consequence to you.

That said, I fully agree with you that it behoves MySpace to pursue the matter because whatt he woman di was as wrong as it gets and she must be punished for it somehow. If that means pursuing a legal technicality then that's better than nothing for being the a small minded and mean spirited shit she so clearly is.

Phones 4u accused of misleading customers

Steve Pettifer
Thumb Down

They're all Turds

CPW, P4U - doesn't matter. They're all underhand pond life who will try and scam you rotten. For anyone else who finds themselves signed up to some helpline when getting a new contract, chances are it is an outfit called TMTI (www.tmti.net) and the best way to cancel it is to ring them direct and harass them a bit if needs be and they will cancel the subscription and make any refunds due.

Interestingly, my first mobile, 10 years back, was purchased through the forerunner of P4U and they were bloody useless then and were featured on BBC One's Watchdog for having almost non-existent customer support. I swore I'd never use them again and I've advised many, many people to avoid them in the past. The same goes for Carphone Warehouse, the most inept company since British Leyland.

Me? I make sure I know what contract I want then go through an established outlet like dialaphone who I have used a few times and aren't too bad. No money back gimmicks, got a free Hi Def LCD telly instead, job done.

SMS costs more than using Hubble Space Telescope

Steve Pettifer

Who pays extra for SMS?

I've not 'paid' for an SMS in years - my phone contracts have always included 'free' texts and these days the numbers are frankly ludicrous. I get 500 a month and maybe use a hundred or less for organising going out or rugby practice etc and there are plenty of contracts with 1000 a month or more. It's a very simple and cheap way for phone companies to lure those consumers who do use texts a lot because it looks good but costs the providers next to feck all.

It mystifies me why so many people are so smug about not using SMS or having phones that don't even support it. Bully for you; your families must be so proud.

[N.B. Before all the forthing -at-the-mouth wannbe pedants jump in and starts to tell me that just because it's part of a contract it's not free, please note the use of the single quotes. I know it's not really free but if you have a contract you'll get the messages so you might as well use them]

Windows XP SP3 blame game begins

Steve Pettifer

We'll have no touble here...

No problem on my Athlon 2600 using WU although I built it myself so there's no chance of a shonky OEM build getting in the way. Much as I like most MS products (excluding FrontPage, Sharepoint, Vista and Office 2K7), it sounds suspiciously like someone didn't do enough real-world type testing and is now hurriedly trying to wriggle out of it.

Canuck faces life sentence for nude girl webcam scheme

Steve Pettifer

Age of consent

As I recall, this was recently raised in Canada from 14 to 16 thus making some of the girls underage *now* but possibly not when the crime of blackmail took place.

Brown opts for morality over science on 'lethal skunk'

Steve Pettifer

I aten't dead. Am I?

It's been a few years admittedly, but I used to smoke skunk. If it's lethal then I must be dead so I'd like a refund on my taxes please. Gormless, unelected plebian stain that he is, Brown is making the most of his little power trip before he gets his arse handed to him in the next election either by the Tories or a (admittedly unlikely) coalition of Tories and Lib Dems or by his own party.

Oldham murders owl with whalesong

Steve Pettifer

To Zucc

When I was at southampton uni in the middle part of the 90's I ws told that the stupid Dolphin logo had cost something like a half a million or a million quid. So money well spent then.

eBay forces Aussies to use Paypal

Steve Pettifer
Thumb Down

UK too.

I've already had an email from eBay UK which suggests that they are very much planning to implment this in the UK too. As it happens, I don't sell stuff on eBay but I know plenty who do and they're not happy at all.

eBay - carry this out at your own risk because you are going to piss off a lot of punters.

O2 says 128Kb/s is all its 3G customers need

Steve Pettifer


I've actually switched off 3G on my O2 phone because I find that I get a better phone signal out in the sticks where I live when I'm not trying to get a 3G signal. Besides, I very rarely use data services because trying to browse the web on a mobile phone is the most pointless and frustrating exercise since the invention of the "Press 1 now" call handling services, so frankly I couldn't care less. I pay no more for my new contract than for my old one (which was on a handset not capable of 3G) so if I do use it, it's an added bonus.

The whole 3G thing is a monumental waste of time and money all round. I refuse to use mobile phones as modems because, frankly, it makes you look like a twat who thinks they're so important they can't possibly be out of contact with the office for more than a nanosecond. A mobile phone is just that: A phone that can be carried around. Stop trying to make it do everything else as well!

Seagate ships first 1TB HDD of the SAS persuasion

Steve Pettifer

SATA also available

Ebuyer are punting a SATAII version of the ES.2 drive in 1TB with 32MB of cache for £172 so $300 seems very competitive for such a piece of kit.

When poor people pollute - the Tata Nano and eco-crime

Steve Pettifer

Not enough fish in the sea after all

Although I agree that Monbiot's argument is flawed, so is the authors rebuttal. Taking his example, should we run out of sand then we would not be able to make either sandpaper or silicon based chips without finding an alternative so the creation of wealth is, at it's most basic level, entirely based upon the use of resources.

This is why banks do not generate real wealth, only what they say they have generated, because they do not consume a resource: They just take some numbers from one column, put them in another and add a bit (in a very very basic sense).

Granted, in the case of sand we're not likely to run out any time soon, but we certainly have a finite amount of it available to us. More importantly we have a finite amount of oil (our most important resource currently), land and other basic resources so once we have used them up we can only generate wealth in an imaginary sense unless we find an alternative resource or a way of re-using what already have.

Still, the basic argument that this Tata doesn't mean the world will end sooner is absolutely correct: Many western countries have reached or are close to vehicle saturation (i.e. there are as many or more vehicles in the country as there are licensed drivers so they can't really get any more vehicles on the road at one time) so someone in the west buying another car is no big deal (unless they buy a real gas guzzler and use it as their primary transport instead of a more efficient vehicle) so by extension any projections had to be based on second and third world countries gettign richer and therefore being able to afford their own motorised personal transport. Just a shame the quotes came from the office of the blindingly obvious at Pew.

Most home routers 'vulnerable to remote take-over'

Steve Pettifer

Never used it

Since I know that only a very few ports are required for the stuff I use and they are all on one PC on my network I've never used UPnP. Mind you, as I have a linksys router I binned the standard firmware and moved to Tomato - much better than the standard stuff and has UPnP off by default.

Tesco to start flogging Dell computers

Steve Pettifer

Online is no better for handling

Ishkandar - do you honestly think that couriers handle goods any better than retail stock handlers? Come on - most of them are bloody useless and drop kick packagaes about because they care just as little as their high street store counterparts (or, in the case of one company who shall remain nameless, they employ light fingered scrotes who have it away on their tooes with half the packagaes that go through their doors). Just make sure the packaging is weel filled with polystyrene and you'll mostly be OK. After all, who amongst us hasn't bought a hard drive from eBuyer and not had it arrive in no more than a Jiffy bag?

Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Steve Pettifer

Waily, waily!

As Daft Wullie might say:

Ach crivens! Ye're already deid so whut's the problem eh?

Ever since being introduced to the Discworld 15 years ago I've been an avid fan (and also a fan of the non-Discworld stuff especially Good Omens so I was pleased to see someone quote that!) and had the pleasure of meeting him albeit briefly to get my copy of Soul Music signed. The queue was outrageously long but still he suffered all manner of oddballs, students and other assorted fans with excellent humour and all round affability for hours on end.

Glad he's keeping a positive outlook and planning to carry on writing as long as possible because there's no point in just giving up. Like the Feegles, if there's a fight to be had then a fight should indeed be had.

Virgin Media eases off bandwidth throttling

Steve Pettifer

4Mb package unfairly hammered

Considering the cost of the 4 meg package (2/3 of the cost of the 20 meg), it seems a touch unfair to throttle it to just 1/4 the speed: Halving would be more palatable. I also think this should be the case on the alleged 20 meg service (although plenty of colleagues and friends tell me that they might as well be permanently capped seeing as they never actually get 20 meg they're supposedly paying for).