* Posts by Gavin Chester

102 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Dec 2007


Logitech's Wave Keys tries to bend ergonomics without breaking tradition

Gavin Chester

Still not offering a USB C adapter.

I get many people will have Bluetooth as an option but isn’t it about time Logitech offered a USBC adapter at least as an option??

UK smart meter rollout years late and less than two thirds complete

Gavin Chester

20 year meter change rules..

My spinning disc meter is being swapped for a smart meter in a week or so. I say smart, but I’ve asked all the smart functionality is disabled, although if that gets put on the installers notes is 50:50

What many people don’t realise is it meters have a certification life, mines 20 years old so I have to have it replaced by law which is really annoying.

My main objection isn’t to the data grab, it’s just I have little confidence that the software been fully tested, and like most IoT hardware, once the maker moves to the next model of meter, any form of vulnerability testing, patching or basic security management they may have been doing will just go out the window.

That’s a big hole in my eyes when you have a connected device that’s supposed to stay in place for 20 years…

Logitech, that canary in PC coal mine, just fell off its perch

Gavin Chester

Re: Quick Win

Typing on a Natural 4000 as my Work unit, corded version but still great. I too have lost some letters. S and E are just memories on this keyboard

Its not cheap but look at the Microsoft Sculpt range. That's my "home" keyboard and is a worthy successor. DO NOT buy a used one without a dongle, they are factory programmed and linked and not really user changeable.

Lenovo reveals small but mighty desktop workstation

Gavin Chester

Re: Is it true that it uses proprietary bits?

To be fair my home Dell UltraSmall, and the HP UltraSmalls I worked on in my time all have smaller than usual connectors in places such as power & SATA to fit the reduced spaces, so it's not Lenovo. Typically they use "standard" but smaller connectors such as JST rather than the usual SATA, although that's getting better as M.2 drives are becoming common.

The ones I have worked on all have offboard PSU for space reasons, so its just a standard DC barrel connector for power, and HP used the same PSU's as the laptops of the same vintage..

Lack shame? Fancy some festive Windows knitwear? We've got your back

Gavin Chester

Maybe they can weave it in blue, and have the Neck and Arms and Waist section all sew up with an unhappy Emoticon, showing the jumper has a problem, Maybe putting INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE as the BSOD cause?

Include instructions that the end user need to unpick the sewing to restore the jumper to operating condition, akin to re-installing the OS..

UK competition regulator to Meta's Facebook: Sell Giphy, we will not approve the purchase

Gavin Chester

Be interesting to see if the CMA has teeth here, its dealing with a big multinational that is not headquartered in the UK.

Will it make any difference or will Meta pull services and wait for the masses to scream at the authorities to rethink the situation.

Seems very like the no default password rules mulled, great on paper but you wonder how it will work in our global reality.

Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist

Gavin Chester

In Model Flying Geek mode...

In the "old" world it was 35Mhz that was dedicated to airbourne models (Plane, Heli's and Gliders)

While historic, 27Mhz was originally for general RC use but later became the frequency of choice for surface use (ie cars) , and 40Mhz could be used for any surface model but tended to be used for marine (ie boats and subs). 27Mhz had 6 channels but later was expanded to 32, and 40 Mhz has 30 or so possible channels. 27Mhz originally used differently coloured flags to show frequency in use, but as the band was expanded a black flag and channel number was used, 40Mhz use a green flag and a channel number and 35Mhz used a Orange flag with a channel number on it as there are 35 potentially useable channels on 35Mhz.

Almost all of these frequencies used an analog transmission mode, with no way to differentiate between transmitters. You CANNOT have two models active on the same frequency, as the radios will swamp each others signal, and the receivers not know which one is which. All model flying clubs had strict rules on who could turn on their transmitter at any one time, (as its obviously more serious in aircraft than cars if you lose the connection).

When we started to see cheaper Chinese toy models appear on the market (personal imports, or sellers not caring as they cashed in on a craze) we saw these toys being built for a global market and so saw any of the frequencies potentially in use, so you saw sometimes saw cars on 35Mhz, or planes on 27Mhz. You also say some models on 49Mhz, 72Mhz or 75Mhz, none of which are permitted in the UK, but that didn't stop them appearing.

There nothing wrong with 35Mhz, I still fly it, and its as safe as any other frequency, in fact potentially slightly safer as its dedicated to airborne models only, but its getting harder to buy new hardware for it as people have moved to the 2.4Ghz that uses a digital transmitting mode that can offer more features.

Now we are on 2.4Ghz many receivers have more electronics in them and most "bind" to the transmitter, so they should only responds to command from the transmitter they are bound to, think of it as akin listening for a serial number in the transmitted signal. As 2.4Ghz can be used for any model there's no need for makers to make three versions of a controller, one surface, one air and one marine, although some car transmitters are made with steering wheels as some people prefer them.

In theory as long as the receiver can "hear" the transmitter its bound to it should be OK, and will disregard any other transmitters signal. but there have been issues where the binding was programmed wrongly by the maker so it didn't work that way. 2.4Ghz systems usually do frequency hopping (some early ones did not) so interference should not be a big issue as it should hop away from the channel with interference, but if the entire band is jammed that will still be a problem. If there were jammers in use, they are probably blanketing the band as cellphones frequency hop too, and given frequency jammers are illegal they may not be that great on quality control so may be more powerful than needed, or poorly build and so may well bleed over to other frequencies than just cellphone ones.

Coat icon for very obvious reasons :)

Gavin Chester

Re: To everyone downvoting me for suggesting that he should have enabled failsafe

TLDR you put the safety of other people first - if this means that your model gets wrecked, so be it - that's a part of the hobby that us UAV pilots must deal with.


The folks flying models like this are almost certainly following all the guidelines and flying responsibly. They know the rules, and should have failsafe's installed and set up.

If you look at the AAB report its a 2.3M wingspan model, that will be a few hundred pounds of model (maybe getting for for a thousand) to get up in the air, Its not the sort of thing a new flier would have. The pilot had a B certificate, which is what is normally what you would need to show you are of a level that your considered safe to fly public displays.

There seems to be some people who think a failsafe is the answer to everything, and Clive is completely right in saying what we should already have set up to try and minimise risks. HOWEVER failsafe's are not foolproof, they work on the basis that is a signal is lost they move to either to preset settings, OR keep the throttle and control services at the same state to try and fly though the interference.

Failsafe's also will not work if the batteries fail, but the batteries were checked before flight and remember they are relatively cheap and mass produced electronics and so some will have issue from time to time.

Full on autopilots are also not really common in model planes, the skill in the hobby is flying the model, not pre-programming a PC.

Its very easy to say the flyer was negligent, but it sounds like they were reasonable competent, and did preflight checks.

Interference happens, sometimes you fly through it, sometimes it causes a crash, As Clive said as responsible fliers we have to try and take precautions to minimise the kinetic energy to try and reduce the risk of dameage to the model, the surrounding and above all to any person in the area.

Gavin Chester

Re: Failsafe?

While the public tend to think of a drone as as a multi- rotor device, typical the four armed quadcopter ie what a DJI model looks like, the CAA don't make a distinction. To the CAA a Drone is any remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicle (RPAS or UAV).

The fact its remotely controlled in real time (as this was) or autonomously following a preset flight plan makes no odds to the CAA definition.

Microsoft vows to make its Surface laptops, Xbox kit easier to fix by 2022

Gavin Chester

Costc cutting at the component level dies not help.

My Xbox one X's (living room and study) have both have had to have the HDMI timer chip fail after they stopped working without warning. Its a common issue, and an easy fix if you capable of board level soldering, I'm not but there are companies who do it for you. One failed less than 2 weeks after I bought it new with less than 20 or so hours use on it.

Its not only the cost and availability of parts, its designing the system to last, not taking the route of using the cheap components you can that may help the maker keep competitive price wise, but if they fail after 18 months and they charge more for a repair that the console costs (its £294 for a Xbox 1 X repair which is not that far off about what they cost new before they were discontinued) then don't be surprised if it your customer base looks at the competitors.

Did no one learn from the BadCaps / Capacitor plague issues in the mid 2000's that sometimes you can go too cheap.

The splitting image: Sufferer of hurty wrist pain? Logitech's K860 a potential answer

Gavin Chester

Re: n-key rollover?

Take a look at the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard.

I've had one for years at home, and its a close match to the MS Ergo4000 at work so its not a case of learning a slightly different layout.

Still expensive at about £75 to £100 for the keyboard/mouse Combo but then again so was the MS Ergo 4000.

Only downside is the dongles are linked at the factory and cannot be replaced (short of breaking out a set of screwdrivers and maybe a soldering iron to take parts from a broken donor unit ) so don't lose the dongle, but as its on my home desktop that's not an issue anyway for me.

Fancy trying to explain Microsoft Teams to your parents? They may ask about the new Personal version

Gavin Chester

Re: Teams Personal wholly separate toTeams (Business)?

Much to my amazement too it can all be done in the one app, assuming your organisation security policies allow it, and you want to mix work and home on the same device. (OK on a phone you always carry, but maybe not on the work/home laptop)

Ofcom says no price controls on full-fibre broadband until 2031, giving BT's Openreach the kick to 'build like fury'

Gavin Chester

Re: £1.70 more ... justified due to the speed and reliability fibre offers over copper

I suspect they will charge the extra £1.70 because they can, rather than any other reason.

Very little helps: Tesco serves up 3-for-1 borkage special to self-scanning Tesco shoppers

Gavin Chester

WinCE - The memories...

WinCE despite its flaws, still follows most Windows conventions. I suspect its because the Apps coders knew Microsoft frameworks, and it easier to stick with what you know.

I suspect that the shopping part is really a web page running in a captive browser, Motorola used to offer something called Pocket Browser (and Symbol, who I think eventually bought that division, may still do) that once the browser started on boot it would not offer the user a way to close the browser (running Full screen/Kiosk mode so no window controls). Couple that with no on screen keyboard and it was semi- secure (borkage excluded) from casual attempts to break it.

Four cold calling marketing firms fined almost £500k by ICO

Gavin Chester

Re: I am surprised at this much progress

As soon as they start the spiel that they are from my ISP (Pro Tip - It helps if you get my ISP's name right if your trying to con me, and saying I'm calling from Sky, sorry BT [neither are my ISP] is a bit of a give away) and are detecting my internet issues I've taken to asking why they called me direct rather than it coming through the police switchboard.

The call drops rapidly, and I'm hoping sooner or later it gets marked in enough places as a police number and so it slows the flow.

Or I get back in the office and they can call all they want and talk to the Answerphone as its not me paying for the call

Dusty passports, smart tops and tracksuit bottoms: Are virtual events better or worse than the real thing?

Gavin Chester

One thing that annoys me is the virtual sponsor booths/ halls.

Often when you go around the halls in a real conference you come across companies you have never heard of, and you usually try and see if they are relevant to you and your role.

In real life I can look in from outside and decide if I want to "go in" and then get badge scanned and the emails for the next months, in exchange for learning about a product and getting some trinket my wife will disapprove of, or just walk by with just a vague idea what company does filed away for future use.

In the new virtual world often the company has a buzzword laden "tile" (you know that small square they get on the Sponsor hall page to hook you) , and you often need to go into the virtual booth, (or go google them) just to find out what they really do beyond the buzzwords. They get a virtual badge scan, before you have even got an idea what they do, and have chosen to virtually walk out before talking to anyone.

More and more I just avoid the virtual sponsor halls so I don't get the inevitable junk email about how we connected XYZ conference, when all I was trying to do was understand what they did. Its not great for sponsor that I don't go see them, , but at least its less plastic tut in the house.

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

Gavin Chester

Re: Digital Era

Been there, Done that.

My purchased books on Barnes and Noble eventually vanished after they went from B&N to Sainsburies, and then to Kobo, who really dont want to suppoort a rivals obseleted product.

If its something I think I will want to keep I buy a dead tree edition.

Think before filling in that convenient flight refund form with all your delicious details – there's a scam going about

Gavin Chester
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Ryan Air finally cancelled some of our holiday flights overnight and I filled out the refund form this morning. While I had I'd done the obvious checks that the link was Ryanair and so on, for a few second on reading the headline I did think "Oh Pants".

One quick re-check later and it was Ryan Air, but a timely reminder to all to always check carefully...

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands

Gavin Chester

Re: What's the difference

From the point of the view of the proposed legislation there is no difference.

What most people think of as drones are more correctly described as MultiRotors but the proposed legislation defines a drone as any Unnanned Airbourne Vehicle (UAV). That means it impacts model planes (including free flight models), model helicopters and the quadcopters people tend to think of when you say drone.

As there’s no defined weight limit yet (250g is often mentioned but as there’s no laws it’s still an unknown) then technically even a paper plane will fall under the UAV description.

Uber JUMPs at chance to dump load of electric bikes across Islington

Gavin Chester


Isn't that a bit of a fail?

If the miscreant can just lock it to itself and not using any solid object, then whats to stop them going back a few mins later to put it in a metal van a drive it off for tinkering and disabling the GPS/Comms so getting a free electric bike.

I heard it happened a lot to the electric scooters, (they get picked up and the mainboard replaced for a few tens of pounds) , and to some extent the un-powered bikes, but the bikes re cheap, heavy and not as desirable as an electric bike would be..

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Gavin Chester


Potentially yes, but practically probably not as most drones are small and the onboard camera would have a limited field of view to actually be useful. DJI stuff will not fly close to airports by default, and an override is possible but would probably take a while as you have to request if from DJI (I know how to do it by reading the instructions but I've never had any reason to actually requested an override to know how long it takes)

However they have these helicopter things that can stay up far longer, have multiple people in them, plus FLIR and stuff that may help tracking. Normally a Helicopter at an airport would have defined flight path, but as the airspace was closed there could have been more leeway where a copter could go, but I'm no expert on air traffic control..

You are also assuming the miscreants want the drone back, if they really were intent on creating chaos, they may consider them one shot devices and fly them to a random location and dump it there to prevent the authorities tracking them back.

Gavin Chester

I fly a drone for fun (a DJI Spark) and I really hope they do find the people who did it, and give them a long sentence for the problems they caused, but now the pilots seemed to have left the area I'm unsure how the police have any chance of doing so.

Unfortunately as Alister points out, the only people this will affect are people like me who fly for fun, and do stay within the laws. I have no doubt there will be calls for bans and restrictions, but as you can build a drone with a PiZero as its brains, I can't see how a determined adversary would be put off by such a ban on off the shelf products, like DJI kit, that already have GPS Geofencing built in to prevent this sort of thing happening. Another option is the bad guys buy the parts in France and come back through the tunnel, or ferry so evading any UK requirements.

BALPA are calling for the exclusion zone to be increased from 1KM to 5KM, licences for pilots and to fit something that transmits a signal to ATC, but as the bad guys here are already ignoring the 1KM zone, and ignoring Air Navigation Orders then why does anyone expect they will suddenly respect the 5KM zone, get a traceable license or bother fitting and registering a transponder.

There should be something done to try and prevent this in the future, but a knee jerk reaction probably only serve to restrict the already law abiding hobby fliers while the criminal element just wont care.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

Gavin Chester

Re: I wonder if...

d3vy said:

Time for the airport to nip into the duty free PC world buy a dji and send it on a suicide mission to collide with the offender?

They don't sell them, I looked on a holiday last year, oddly most other airports do sell DJI stuff.

However DJI stuff is geofenced, if the GPS says its within 1KM or an airport is simply wont take off.

Can't imagine this is something off the shelf in use, the fact its not geofenced, and seems to have a really long battery life (been there 15 hours so far as far as I can tell) suggests this isn't a hobbyist grade bit of kit.

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

Gavin Chester


"Where's Kevin?"

Please let him be there rather than in another annoying EE advert...

Brits pay £490m extra for mobes they already own – Citizens Advice

Gavin Chester


To be honest you may not be happy but unless you make sure you cancel the DD to them Mortgage company they will still try and take it.

Not its not personal experience, but one of a friend who trusted the Mortgage company to stop once they took the final payment without checking.

If you have to simulate a phishing attack on your org, at least try to get something useful from it

Gavin Chester

We sim-u-phish employees too.

I'm not sure whats worse, the fact we can't use anything as realistic in these exercises as the real phishers do, so most of our people can tell its a phish as it looks amateur (We can't use real brand/names/logos for examples such as fake Paypal/ iTunes invoices as that may cause other issues).

Or the fact we still have a small number of people fall for these phishes almost every time even through they look fake to a semi-trained eye...

Beam me up, PM: Digital secretary expected to give Tory conference speech as hologram

Gavin Chester

Pah. It will be a Pepper's Ghost effect, not a Hologram...

If it was a real hologram I'd be impressed...

Discover which dangers lurk ahead – at Sophos' 'See the Future' event

Gavin Chester

It would be nice to know what the focus is, I'm interested in some of Sophos stuff but not all , and I dont want to spend a day hearing about something I dont use.

Last years one was about Intercept-X and while very interesting wasn't directly related to the areas I was interested in. And Yes I asked via Twitter, and got told it was about upcoming in Cybersecurity and Sophos in general with a few breakouts at the event.

PayPal reminds users: TLS 1.2 and HTTP/1.1 are no longer optional

Gavin Chester

Oh.. So it wasnt spam?

I did look at the links and think if it was spam it was good as it looked legit, but then erred on the side of caution and I just assumed it was the usual scam to try and get me to click a link and deleted it.

HP Ink to compensate punters for bricking third-party ink cartridges

Gavin Chester

Some Laser Printer have these chips too.

HP also chip some of the Laser Printers range too. The on toner cart chip records toner use. If the chip reports to the printer the toner is cart is empty the printer wont print.

OEM makers have been making chips and reset chips them for a while, but to just say buy a laser isn't that simple.

HP say its to prevent damage to the drum when printing with empty toner cart, although they probably meant damage to their consumables profit line...

And I have no doubt other makers use similar chips, I just know HP does as my laser printer has this "feature"

Supercycle to su-'meh'-cycle: Apple iPhone warehouses heave with unsold Notches

Gavin Chester

Is the lack of headphone socket such an issue?

£1 (delivered) on Fleabay buys you a Bluetooth receiver/ mic dongle that converts a wired headset to Bluetooth one.

Its not super audiophile quality, and yes its something more to carry and charge (mine lasts maybe 6 hours on a charge) but it means the lack of a headphone socket isn't such a showstopper I thought it may have been before I got my 8+. I'm not a big headphone user so this solution works well enough for me, with the bonus my cheap non microphone equipped earbuds can be used as a headset for call.

As to why did I get an 8+, basically my 5 was long in the tooth, battery life sucked, and some apps were no longer available for it, I could have put a new battery in it and continued for a few more years but was getting slow and it was about time for a change.

However I hope this will last me the the same 5 years of so that my 5 did,

What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently

Gavin Chester

Re: Hmmm

With the V6 upgrades VM just send you the box and your on your own to do the install....

Gavin Chester

Re: Hmmm

The short answer is the Tivo is in the lounge and the VM line comes in to the other side of the house...

Stringing a Cat 5 across the house is not going to get wife approval, more get my strung up ....

HP starts slinging Apple hardware, tech support vending machines

Gavin Chester

HP just copying...

The hardware selling vending machine isn't a new idea or even innovation . Facebook experimented with it back in 2011.


Openreach ups investment plans: Will shoot out full fibre to 3 million premises

Gavin Chester

Re: Still does not solve all the Ali Wires issues...

I Did.

The UK has around 25 million households, this will target about 12% of the UK, and be focused on places where its cheap such as big metropolitan centers that are usually already well served. It does nothing for the rural and semi rural places that often have no choice than ADSL.

And remember this is OpenReach, they will say one thing then do another when they work out the costs, its not like they don't they have prior form for missing broadband targets after soaking up boatload of government and EU funding.

Gavin Chester

Still does not solve all the Ali Wires issues...

A lot of the slow areas suffer from the decision back in the 70s when they used "white copper" (ia Copper clad Ali) as it was cheaper. The wiring has since been been cut, snapped, rejoined, flooded, dried and generally abused over its life and generally has not aged well, it really needs to be replaced.

Unless they string fibre to the premises rather than to the cabinet many areas will still have issues due to the last few hundred meters of wire. And let me guess these areas will be stuck on what they have due to costs.

Heathrow Airport's local council prohibits drone flights from open spaces

Gavin Chester

Its a bit broad brush as there are areas to the left and right of the approach path that will never see traffic, due to the way the flight paths have to line up to the runway, but I can understand why its been put in place. Unfortunately its worded as all model vehicles and aircraft, so impacts everything from a kids toy to a RAF Watchkeeper.

IANAL but would you be OK to take off, land and fly from your back garden, overflying the parks and public areas, as not using the land in question.

As usual law abiding fliers will try to follow it, the people out to cause malicious intent will not care and continue regardless.

UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Gavin Chester

Re: pay enough , and you can get any speed you want

- Customer: "Er, OK - I'll stick with 1.5Mbps on my shitty aluminium phoneline, thanks."

Maybe (just maybe) it means people like my parents who live on an estate with Copper Clad Ali wiring that's no doubt bee drowned, snapped/fixed and generally abuse for the last 50 plus years, will be able to get BT to rip out the crap Ali and put in copper. That can't really be that expensive, especially if they were to do the estate at once, and not piecemeal.

That alone would help my parents, who struggle to get 1Mb even through they are are less than three miles as the crow flies from the exchange (and yes I know the cable route will be longer)

Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' is the ghost of Courier laughing mockingly at fanbois

Gavin Chester

Re: Microsoft FAIL

Nope, although mine is now a secondary phone to an iPhone...

Gavin Chester

Re: Microsoft FAIL

I have a Lumia 1020, I bought it as a second phone mainly for the camera, but then found the OS hangs together and it works really, really well in use. The free included Nokia mapping (Nokia Here) lets you download entire continents on to the phone to use offline and save data costs overseas, the display is crisp and clear, and it feels "right" in your hand, not too heavy, not too plastic-y.

I know it was the flagship for a while and you expect some these things but I was impressed with it as a device.

Unfortunately the world lives on IOS and Android so there's less apps (I have all I needed but I'm not a big social media user), and the battery life if you use the great display is lousy (I use it as a sat nav on holiday having a car USB adapter is a must).

I still use it as a general phone satnav when out of the UK, and the fact its unlocked and 4G means it gets a local sim in, but its starting to show its age and lack of updates are starting to have an effect when modern websites wont display correctly.

What was probably the final nail, and why I would not have considered a Windows phone again even if MS pulled the plug was, almost like some Android makers, less than 18 months after release (shorter than most mobile contracts) Microsoft announced no more firmware updates and that it cant go to W10 Mobile. Not a huge deal for most mobiles, but if your trying to build brand loyalty its not a great life cycle on what was a flagship phone. Compare that to Apple, when an iPhone usually gets 4-5 years support before they consider it EOL.

Facebook Messenger ... for who now? Zuck points his digital crack at ever younger kids

Gavin Chester

It make me wonder why UKGov repeatedly parrots the lines that the "Tech Companies" need to do "something" to prevent child abuse / terrorism/ cyber threats, when its clear that said Tech Companies do not seem to care what UKGov thinks as long as they can continue to monetarise their product. Any "conversations" seem to be lip service that's got the aim of doing just enough to avoid regulation but not really make a heck of a difference.

I can fully understand the request to do something, I just wonder why UKGov can't see that without a suitable stick to force any company into action its very unlikely that these requests will bear any fruit. After all they are usually not UK based so seem to manage to skirt most of the ways they could be forced to action.

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

Gavin Chester

Re: Another great decision

Possibly, but the rules exist already in the Air Navigation Orders. It's creating new rules that will be hard to enforce for the same of it.

Look at mobile use in cars, it was already covered under driving without due care and attention, a new rule may make it a more tangible "crime" but judging by the number of people I still see clutching their mobile as they drive its not really effective as a deterrent.

Gavin Chester

Another great decision

The majority of law abiding fliers will register. The people breaking the existing rules will not bother and continue to break the rules.

Not sure how this improves the current situation (I already use Drone Assist...) If I was looking to do something illegal why on earth would I bother registering in the first place???

Apple chief on Chinese VPN app ban: We always toe the line with other nations' laws

Gavin Chester

But they do comply

Tax law is complex, and everyone (both corporates and individual people) will look to minimise the tax they pay.

Some of the MPs who were highly vocal over the tax of Apple / Facebook/ Amazon etc, were also themselves using some of the same rules to benefit form Offshore accounts. On a much smaller remember how IR35 was introduced to stop the self employed doing tax avoidance, the point is we all would try to pay less tax if we could.

Yes big corporates can afford to set up complex systems that minimise tax, but they do so by cleverly staying inside the law. It may not be in the spirit of the law, but it will be to the letter of the law.

And I fully expect downvotes ,,,

Crap gift card security helps crims spend your birthday pressie cash

Gavin Chester

John Lewis use printed barcodes

Not sure it makes any odds as to the mechanism of discovering valid accounts, but you would hope the staff are trained not to accept cards with stickers with new bar codes printed on...

Mind you monochrome card printers are probably just as cheap as mag stripe reader / writers...

Apple hurls out patches for dozens of security holes in iOS, macOS

Gavin Chester
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Credit to Apple, At least they do updates.

My almost 5 year old Iphone 5 got the upgrade, I know it drops out of support in September with the new IOS 11, but how many other phone makers offer support for such an old device?

And yes you may be able to get custom or 3rd party Roms, but I'm referring to the original maker supporting there products longer than it takes Marketing to think up a new advert campaign for the latest shiny, shiny (I'm looking to you Sony!!)

The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Gavin Chester

See The Film Wargames

While in the film the key switches were replaced as the humans were considered a possible weak link in the chain, its not a huge stretch to consider replacing the human with a box to do the work as its cheaper, and does as its told.

Drones over London caused aviation chaos, pilots' reports reveal

Gavin Chester

"One described the drone as five feet across, while another said it passed within 50 metres of his airliner."

"A Boeing 777 pilot reported a "large white drone, about 2m across and with four 'prongs'" "

These are not the likes of a typical off the shelf hobbyist machine like the DJI Phantom range, which is about 40 or so centimeters across. I doubt anyone would be able to see a 40cm object half a nautical mile away if you are traveling and 150+MPH.

Yes there are idiots out there flying like twonks, and they deserve to be caught. But a 2m wide drone is not the sort of thing you can buy off the shelf at Maplins, so either the pilots are mistaken, or if it really was a drone, it's most likely commercial or military, not a hobbyist.

Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

Gavin Chester
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And I'll swear the Llamas know exactly where people go to take photos and photobomb them deliberately, I've got a very similar image at home on the wall from when the wife and I went to Machu Pichu...

First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

Gavin Chester

Let me fix that last line...

For the lazy or time-constrained, the kit could bought through UK retailers Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and WH Smith but all the kits have now all been bought up and are being sold on Ebay for inflated prices.