* Posts by Tim Nicholls

10 posts • joined 3 Jan 2008

Virgin Media broadband goes titsup for 3 hours

Tim Nicholls
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Hello, Virgin Media...

...have you tried turning it off and on again?

GCHQ code-breaking challenge cracked by Google search

Tim Nicholls

I'm willing to bet...

...that very few people capable of 'cracking it' the hard way will be interested in a £25-35K a year job with GCHQ. Especially when I know for sure that there are contract staff that are coming up to their 7th year at the doughnut on £600-700 a day.

Top cop calls for tougher sentencing of cybercrooks

Tim Nicholls

Top Cop? Nope.

When did the rank of Detective Superintendent become 'top cop'? A Superintendent is a rank and file police officer, 2 promotions away from the lowest 'Chief Officer' rank. Senior police officer: yes, 'top cop': no.

Report: Hacking forum is a cybercrime academy

Tim Nicholls

Hackers use the Internet - SHOCKER!

Company that makes money from security risks publishes a report that scaremongers about security risks - ANOTHER SHOCKER!

Provider: Anti-piracy ruling has 'killed Usenet'

Tim Nicholls
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Copyright trumps child pornography then?

Back in 1999, Felix Somm, the head of Compuserve Germany won an appeal against a conviction for distributing child pornography and nazi propaganda. He'd done nothing wrong himself, but the German courts had previously held him liable on 13 counts, for child pornography being distributed via Usenet (and stored on Compuserve's news servers).

The appeal ruled that Compuserve (and Somm himself) could not be held responsible for content distributed via a global flood-routing system like Usenet. This ruling was used as a precedent in numerous cases afterwards and offered some protection for news service providers.

It seems that copyright trumps everything lately.

Advent 4213 HSDPA 3G-enabled netbook

Tim Nicholls
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After a month of using one of these...

...I'm really happy with it. I swore I'd never buy another Windows machine but so far, this little machine seems to be pretty stable and does what i need when I'm out and about. I'm spending up to 8 hrs a day using the built-in HSDPA and it's just about glitch free.

Real world battery life with HDSPA on and the screen a couple of notches below full brightness is around 3.5 hrs and it's about the same with wi-fi on and HSDPA off. Upping the RAM to 2Gb cost me £23 and made a big difference when switching between 3 or 4 apps but the machine ran perfectly well with 1Gb.

I'm feeling pretty guilty about leaving my 17" Macbook Pro at home every day but for coffee shop and motorway services us, the 4213 is a winner.

Son of 419 victim contacts El Reg

Tim Nicholls


"...even if this particular missive isn't kosher..."


BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike

Tim Nicholls

They tried to improve my service once...

...it ended up costing me £1600!

I was an ISDN customer and pre-registered for ADSL. On the day the engineer came to fit it, he noticed that my ISDN router wasn't plugged into the wall and kindly reconnected it for me.

Trouble is, I had unplugged it deliberately because I'd given BT a months notice and didn't want to clock up any call charges. I used my ADSL connection for the next month without realising that every time I used it, my ISDN line dialled out too.

The result: a £1600 final bill from BT.

3 months of letters and they decided to cut my phone off, even though the phone bills were all paid. The result of an 18 month investigation by OFTEL? Nothing they could do. I moved to NTL (now Virgin media) - makes me hate BT even more for forcing me to deal with those morons!

OFT mulls Egg probe

Tim Nicholls

It's not just card accounts they can't manage...

About 18 months ago I had a problem with a very slow paying customer and I ended up in a position where I was short of cash, despite having over £21K in outstanding invoices with this client. They eventually paid up and I stuck the cheque in the bank.

I had (still have) an egg Loan and I called them up to let them know that my payment would be late that month because I was waiting for a cheque to clear.

That's all I said.

Their response?

They immediately cancelled all interest on the account (set the APR to 0%) and reduced my monthly payment from £188 to £50. I told them that this was only a temporary problem and that the cheque would clear in 4 days time. They weren't interested in anything I had to say and my loan account still shows an APR of 0%. I've paid off a lot more than the £50/month they asked for and there's nothing on my credit reports to show anything amiss - in fact, the payment history is flawless!

They didn't send me any confirmation of a 'special arrangement' or anything else - just the usual statement with an APR of 0%.

No idea why they chose to sacrifice £1000's in interest but I've certainly benefitted from their overreaction!

UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban

Tim Nicholls

So every Linux distribution I possess...

...that comes with tcpdump will be illegal?



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