* Posts by Gordon Lawrie

25 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Mar 2008

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Gordon Lawrie

"...we proposed that rather than them paying us we pay them. This ensured they had the resources to scale their service to meet our needs. While that has imposed some additional costs, those costs were a fraction of what reCAPTCHA would have."

From: https://blog.cloudflare.com/moving-from-recaptcha-to-hcaptcha/

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Gordon Lawrie

Not to be pedantic but...

There is no such thing as a statutory EU 2 year minimum warranty. There is also no such thing as a statutory UK 6 year warranty, (or statutory 5 year warranty in Scotland.) These don't exist and haven't ever existed. Ever. Promise.

Directive 1999/44/EC where this myth originates says that where a country limits the length of time the seller of consumer goods is liable for lack of conformity with the contract, that period of liability where the seller can be pursued must be at least two years. That is not the same as saying there must be at least a 2 year warranty. Article 2 of the directive spells out what conformity means but essentially it means that the goods must be accurately described and fit for purpose. Article 3 then gives the consumer rights against the seller where goods do not conform at the point of delivery and Article 4 gives the seller rights against the next guy in the supply chain all the way to the original producer of the goods.

This is all a directive though, an instruction to E.U. member states to make sure that their consumer laws comply with this as a minimum standard. If a member state doesn't bother to comply Joe Citizen can't go to court citing the directive, there needs to be national legislation incorporating these minimum standards in law.

The UK has the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which exceeds the requirements of the directive, but it still doesn't magically create a 2, 5 or 6 year warranty for all consumer goods.

What the Consumer Rights Act 2015 DOES say is that goods must of satisfactory quality, fit for a particular purpose and as described. Fitness for purpose does incorporate factors such as durability. Specifically the reasonableness test is used, goods must meet the standard a reasonable person would consider satisfactory taking into account elements such as price. Realistically that means that a retailer is going to have a hard time claiming that a £1000 iPhone which develops an antenna fault after 13, 19 or even 26 months is of satisfactory quality regardless of what any warranty may or may not say. You may have to litigate to argue that point if the seller is intransigent though.

As for the 6 years, (5 in Scotland,) those are simply the times after which contract claims become time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980 or the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. They don't mean you get a warranty for that period. Frankly if you bowled up in court and tried to claim a £50 generic phone didn't conform to contract because it conked out after 4 years the judge would be likely to give you an earful and send you on your way. A £7.5K Vertu phone with the same issue at the same time on the other hand may be a very different matter.

Sick of Southern Rail? There's a crowdfunding site for that

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Political Slant - @Mark Dempster

"And any PLC has a legal duty to the shareholders to return as much profit as possible to the shareholders. The CEO could be jailed in extreme circumstances for not doing so."

This is patently untrue. Completely false. Utterly bollocks.

Chapter 2 of the 2006 Companies Act lays out EXACTLY what legal duties Directors have. There are 7 of them. Not one of them, not ONE is "to return as much profit as possible to the shareholders." Actually they have a duty to promote the success of the company, a duty to exercise independent judgement and a duty exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.

A director behaving as you suggest would simply be an asset stripper, extracting value from the company as they slowly strangled the life out of it. Maintaining good staff and customer relations by not absolutely shitting on them - that's promoting the success of the company. Telling a consultant to fuck off with their idea to make an extra 10% profit by making the product 15% shoddier, that's exercising independent judgement. Refusing shareholder demands to have a dividend right now in favour of investing money into R&D in order to have the company thrive in the future, well that would strike me as reasonable care in the discharge of their duties.

In Southern's case not pissing off all their commuters to the extent that politicians are roused to take action would probably be wise.

The Companies Act 2006 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/pdfs/ukpga_20060046_en.pdf

Google kneecaps payday loan ads

Gordon Lawrie

Re: So they won't allow AMEX adverts?

American Express offers charge cards as well as traditional credit cards. With those charge cards the entire balance must be repaid at the close of the month. This differs from your MBNA card which (presumable) allows you to carry a rolling balance at a rate of interest. That said, due to their nature American Express charge cards don't charge any interest, with American Express making their money entirely from annual cardmember fees and the discount rate charged to merchants instead.

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Depends on the rules...

I think you're thinking of Psychosprout.

Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Chrome cam

I was not aware of that. Thank you muchly.

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Chrome cam

What about Chromium? There isn't an installer and you would be responsible for updating yourself but it might do the job? Dragon Browser from Comodo is also based on the Chromium code base.



Barnes & Noble booked for running out of £29 Nooks

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Surely Fire Sales Are Always Limited?

"We shouldn't be wasting our hard earned tax wonga on this nonsense."

We don't. The ASA is funded through a voluntary levy on advertising spend. The levy is paid by many advertisers and agencies, largely because the existence of the ASA prevents the government from imposing a regulator that would do more than ban adverts and publicly shame non compliant advertisers.

That said, the ASA is very good at acting on a single complaint and recently ruled that many of the claims on the Society of Homeopaths website were utter bobbins, a fact which was picked up and reported on by the mainstream media.

Non-compliance can also lead to no mainstream media outlet touching your ads so they are not quite as toothless as some may claim.

Apple will swap fanbois' killer phoney phone chargers for legit adapters

Gordon Lawrie

Re: A good opportunity to sell stock at cost and look big'n'caring

Google Nexus 4 16GB - £279. iPhone 5 16GB £529.

Thanks for playing though.

Apple builds flagship store on top of PLAGUE HOSPITAL

Gordon Lawrie

Re: World War Z

Destroying the brain may be struggle.

Judge nixes Microsoft SkyDrive name in BSkyB court ruling

Gordon Lawrie

Re: This time I feel sorry for Microsoft

"OneDrive (to bait Sky One and BBC One)" - Canonical has a similar product called Ubuntu One.

"StratoDrive (sounds powerful)" German hosting firm and Deutsche Telekom subsidiary STRATO AG has a similar product called HiDrive.

Microsoft links Skype to Lync

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Not going to happen!

There has been no revenue sharing on the 0845 range for some time now.

Naked intruder cracks one off in Florida rampage drama

Gordon Lawrie

@ Anonymouse Coward

Have you been on the roads recently? Tests and licensing in no way prevent idiots from getting access to deadly machines and proceeding to act like feckless morons with them, be those guns or cars.

BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog

Gordon Lawrie

Re: @Gordon Lawrie, Three's products

I take your point regarding some websites not having mobile versions, however that doesn't change the fact that broadly speaking the usage patterns of someone who wishes to tether will vary from those of someone who only consumes data browsing on their phone. There may be the odd anomaly such as the example you gave however I am willing to bet that averaged across the entire customer base data use is going to be significantly higher amongst those customers who tether.

Three deserves kudos for leading the market in abandoning sneaky fair use policies on their data products and as long as they continue to be honest and upfront about the limitations I don't see a problem with them differentiating their tariff features.

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Three's products

This isn't actually unreasonable. Three have simply decided to have two different types of unlimited data tariff, one solely for use on a single mobile device, and one which can be shared across multiple devices. Both allow you to use as much data as you want without caps or threats of extra charges. Let's face it, someone loading the full fat version of a webpage on a tethered laptop uses data than someone loading the mobile version of the same site on their phone.

A reasonable analogy is an all you can eat buffet. Whilst you are free to eat as much food as you want, you would expect the restaurant to charge more if you decided you wanted to share a plate with a buddy or take a doggy bag home.

The mobile spectrum is a shared resource and Three has decided that they want more revenue from users who are likely to have heavier data usage patterns than other users. That's fine, and as long as they are upfront and honest about the differences between the two products that is totally their prerogative. Equally if you are not happy with the terms and conditions or price of their products it is your prerogative to take your business elsewhere.

Ofcom looks at contract opt-outs as users rage over price hikes

Gordon Lawrie

Re: Yuck, 2 year contracts

It's actually remarkably easy, and in fact in many cases can be significantly cheaper than a standard loan. Simply apply for one of the many credit cards offering 12+ months interest free on purchases, buy your device, set up a direct debit to pay enough each month to clear it before the interest free period is done and at the end cancel the card so you can apply again to that company as a new customer a year or so later. If you want to be really clever you could engage in a wee bit of arbitrage by just paying the minimum each month and shoveling the rest into an interest bearing savings account until it's time to clear the card.

I have not only done this with phones, but with PCs and even my car. It's the cheapest finance you will ever get.

Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link

Gordon Lawrie
Thumb Up

Re: Humph!


Virgin Media flogs off UKTV stake for £339m

Gordon Lawrie

At one point all of UKTV's channels started with the prefix "UK".

G.O.L.D. used to be called UK Gold. It had a sister channel which was called UK Gold 2 which showed different content. Eventually UK Gold was renamed to just G.O.L.D. and UK Gold 2 was renamed to Dave.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Gordon Lawrie


That's Dixie Kong you're thinking of.

New owner slips into unwitting BoJo's domain

Gordon Lawrie

May I offer an alternative?

As the current registrant of buffoonish.com, I would be more than happy to lend it as an alternative and highly memorable/apt URL.

Free voice and video firm plans April 1 UK launch

Gordon Lawrie
Thumb Up

I tried this earlier...

...and was able to make a voice call and a video call to my mobile, all be it after watching a stupid advert for Silverjet. That said, now when I try again it just tells me that it launches April 1st.

Looks like you're going to get 15 minutes to a landline, 2 minutes to a mobile and 1 minute of video calling per ad, and it does look like it's real.