* Posts by Ben Raynes

34 posts • joined 23 Apr 2007

Samsung Galaxy S

Ben Raynes
Happy

Past history

I considered one of these, as it does look nice and the screen is fantastic, but my past history with Samsung really put me off. I was an unfortunate owner of the first i7500 Galaxy phone, and it was terrible. Added to the unhelpfulness of Samsung in terms of support really put me off.

The inconsistencies with this phone bother me too - as noted, why a good camera lens+sensor arrangement, but no flash? Cameras on phones are rarely anything other than ok, but they're handy to have for those occasions where you just need to take a quick snap. Even a poxy LED flash would mean that you could get acceptable pictures in non-optimum lighting conditions. I assume this is why you've not bothered posting any low-light shots from this thing?

As mentioned, for a premium 'Hero'-class device, the build quailty feels a touch lacking. I played with one in a Vodaphone shop, and it does feel like they could have tried a bit harder with some materials and what-have-you. Compare it to a HTC Desire and it does feel a bit shoddy.

Still, as with anything, all you can do is have a fiddle with one and see if it suits you. If one works for you, congratulations, you've got a nice shiny bit of tech!

UK.gov pledges licence fee 'rethink' over heavy catch-up use

Ben Raynes
Grenade

re:

It was a joke fella. I thought the icon made it abundantly clear.

As it is I only bothered to c'n'p the bit of the quote that made the joke worthwhile. The rest of it does invalidate the point.

Ben Raynes
Joke

I wonder...

<quote>If that device is plugged into the mains electricity then the premises must have a licence or the viewer is committing an offence, the TV Licensing Authority has previously said.</quote>

So does that mean if I unplug my laptop before I start streaming, I don't need the licence then?

Bonza! More cash to spend on a faster net connection to watch even more stuff!

iPhone 4G blingmobe: Yours for £13k

Ben Raynes
Go

*ahem*

"There is no finer, purer, or rarer gem than the diamond"...

Except for tanzanite.

Or white sapphires.

Or anything else on this (http://www.curiousnotions.com/gemstones/) list.

Although pure red diamonds seem to be exceedingly rare. They're not on this phone though.

New 3D displays use falling water drops as 'voxels'

Ben Raynes
Joke

<obscure reference>

... no, not really.

Der-dun derrrrr derder der der der derrr de do derr derr da da daaaaaaa.....

(Ok, my phonetic representation of music is terrible!)

Although the real question should be how much power does the display use? Is it, in fact, one-point-twenty-one jigawatts?

RAC prof: Road charges can end the ripoff of motorists

Ben Raynes

Problem:

"Or they could also upgrade the railway links and put all that damn freight on trains.

The road I live on has pretty much doubled in usage over the last 5 years, and $deity help me if I wake up in the night - the sound of thundering lorries drives me MAD. I have road rage before I even get up in the morning."

Sounds like a brilliant idea - only problem is that since we had all our branch lines, sidings, track bed and whatever else ripped up and sold off after the Beeching Report in the 60s, we've not only got nowhere to put all these masses of freight trains, but nowhere to offload them that's convenient. The few places we do have would then require that freight was put onto lorries and moved from yard to destination by road anyway, most likely through city and town centres. It saves a bit on the motorways, but not much.

The other problem then comes with oversized freight - these big boiler components and what-not you see being moved around with the abnormal load convoy. Can't easily get them on a train because of tunnel and bridge clearances and what-not. Admittedly, there aren't many of these though.

It's not a bad idea per se, it's just not practical any more.

Oh, and FYI, the one that pisses me off is when you see (and I *have* seen this) rail carriages and locomotives being moved around... on big 'kin trucks on the motorway!

Really, guys? Seriously? Your thought process was "Let's move this 300ton locomotive from A to B... BY ROAD."???

Ben Raynes
Stop

Money

Most of the £46 billion quoted ALREADY comes from fuel duty. The %age from VED is (relatively) low. I suspect that a significant proportion of the money from VED goes in paying for the DVLA in the first place. Fuel duty is the big revenue earner.

Remember also that VED in addition to all the social engineering that they now try to use it for is a simple way of making sure you're MOT'd/insured. Until we get insurance discs and MOT discs, it needs to stay. That doesn't mean it couldn't be made a notional sum, say £50, for the privilege of them checking you're complying with the law...

And given how much my insurance companies seemingly wants to charge me this year, the insurance disc would, as someone else pointed out, probably just be another way for them to take you for a ride...

Verizon leads race for (the real) iPhone 4G

Ben Raynes
Thumb Up

He's right

I was going to write something here, but then I realised I couldn't say this any better myself.

I'll just add that I had VC capable phones for about 3 years until recently getting my HTC Desire, and in all that time I only ever used the facility 3 or 4 times, mostly for the novelty because I could, or to show it to someone else, or even just to see if it worked.

It turned out to be shit because the codec was so terrible and the bandwidth so low. Plus, I looked ridiculous walking round with the phone held in front of my face.

BT to retain more control over fibre networks

Ben Raynes
Megaphone

As I recall...

.. the big complaint over LLU of the phone network was that BT had gotten they equipment and network from the GPO back in the day. They'd not paid for it, had effectively been handed a monopoly over telecoms in this country, and hence were made to share.

This is fine - but this is completely different to BT investing their own money and profits into a new network. They paid for it, it's theirs. This is why, presumably, if the EU told VM to unbundle their network and let others use it, VM would tell them to 'eff off in no uncertain terms.

Now, if BT are getting massive grants and tax breaks from UKGov to put this network in, that's a different situation. Anyone know anything about that? The article suggests BT are investing £2.5bn of their own money, which isn't pocket change. Are they getting additional funding from elsewhere?

Blunkett threatens to sue for £30 ID card refund

Ben Raynes

I've got nothing better to do...

... so I'm going to actual field some responses here. Yes, it's a Friday!

@Alfred - "What, exactly, is the difference in faff between holding a passport in your hand, and holding a card in your hand? Is the size and weight difference really that much of an issue for you?"

The difference is nothing more than convenience - the fact that I can put the thing in my wallet and always have it on me, rather than having to scrat around trying to locate my passport is a modest benefit, as is being able to do same and not have to hide the thing away somewhere in a hotel in a foreign land.

I never claimed it was a *big* benefit.

@gerryg - "Please try obtaining some context. Read the back story here and elsewhere.

The point about Labour's ID card was that the plan were for you to need it to walk down the street not leave the country."

I know the back story and the context. My stated position (elsewhere) has always been "It makes little difference, as if the country is that curious about your habits, they can find it out already." An extra card wouldn't have made the slightest difference.

And yes, I agree that the walking down the street part of it was completely ridiculous - although you'll note I haven't actually included it in my musings on potential minor benefits in the original post. In some countries however - I know for a fact it used to be the case in Germany - this has been implemented for a long time.

Oh, and with the bank accounts, Labour only changed it so photo ID was required, rather than preferred. You still needed to tip up with four or five bits of paper to prove your ID and address because of money laundering laws. Nothing else really changed there - I remember opening a joint-account a few years ago for paying bills with my flatmate being a bit of an affair.

@Richard 39 - "Internal flights - Driving License perhaps?

Bank account - Driving License perhaps?

and the icing on the cake

"easier to carry ... than having to carry your passport" etc."

I'm not sure if your photocard licence is suitable for internal flights (within the UK) - it's been a long long time since I had to take one. It's certainly not accepted for flights to elsewhere in the EU. Your point about the bank account is valid, although counterproductive as if you're happy to carry a photo drivers licence, why not another bit of plastic with a slightly different function? Especially as the photo drivers licence actually means nothing without the counterpart paper.

As for the entry visa to the US, well, they have a labyrinthine system at the best of times. Nothing the UKGov can do about that. In this case, you'd only replace the card with the actual paper passport, so you're not INCREASING the number at all, you're just not DECREASING it.

@Campbelltonian - I see at least one person sees my point. Thanks!

@CynicalObserver - "In all those countries that stamp a visa on a PAGE in your passport. (Or as in Turkey, they affix a nice paper stamp - not dissimilar to a postage stamp, and then cancel that)

Where does that go on the plastic card?"

You OBVIOUSLY (or, perhaps, deliberately) missed the part of my post where i said "internal and EU" flights. But don't let that get in the way of a perfectly irrelevent comment.

I'm also going to refer you back to the part where I said the biometric nonsense was completely unneccessary as well, just for good measure, and the part where I suggested if it just got issued as PART of your passport instead of a replacement for everything etc. etc.

Sometimes, and in some jobs, it's handy to have Government backed ID such as this and the driver's licence. Sometimes, you might need more than one bit of ID. The associated National Identity Database and what-have-you was the part of it that had people up in arms.

Ben Raynes
Flame

I think...

... he was probably joking!

Anyway, I've got to say, while I was against a lot of this biometric data being stored on our ID cards, I don't think an ID card as a whole is a bad idea.

Having a little bit of plastic that has a verifiable identity on it would certainly be easier to carry round for internal flights and EU flights and what-not than having to carry your passport. Handy for if you need to open a bank account and such as well, or for when you get accosted by the constabulary for taking photos of, well, anything really.

Most European countries have a COMPULSORY ID card scheme - although they don't have to pay for them - and have for many years. My other half (who is Slovak) has an ID card and uses it when she flies home - no faffing with passports for a start!

If it hadn't been for the insistence on all this advanced biometric malarky, and the card was just issued as a plastic passport whenever you applied for or renewed, much like the placky drivers licence and the A4 counterpart, it would have been a decent idea.

That would probably have been too simple though.

Dell to release first MID on 7 June

Ben Raynes
WTF?

Yes, but...

... can you use it as a phone?

If so, then great - it's a big-ish mobile phone.

If not, then it's a bigger and less easy-to-pocket version of my HTC Desire that I can't use to make calls on, meaning I'd have to carry 2 devices round with me for no net gain except a *slightly* bigger screen.

If the market is for use 'at home' as an alternative 'net browser - i've got a 17" laptop that boots in 45 seconds to a web browser, and a desktop machine that's about the same speed. That's before I get as far as the Wii hooked up to my telly if I want to check something on IMDB quickly. Why would I use this? ESPECIALLY as i've always got my phone in my pocket, which is likely to be quicker to get to than anything else.

I suspect the only market for this will be people who have a bog-standard 'only makes calls' phone. But then, if they've only got one of those phones, odds are they don't give a toss about mobile internet...

Just like the iPad, I struggle to see the point.

Ed Vaizey takes charge of Digital Economy Act

Ben Raynes
FAIL

Funny you should mention this...

... I wrote to my MP about this too. Told her I thought it was a bad bill, poorly written, wouldn't actually help them sort out any of the things they were trying to sort etc. and that I was extremely concerned about the lack of scrutiny it had undergone.

Got a letter back from her explaining that she would, under no circumstances, vote for a bill that hadn't been sufficiently debated.

"Great," thinks I, "I've exercised my democratic rights. Huzzah."

Day of the vote, I find out that not only has she voted for it, but she POSTED me a letter dated 2 days BEFORE the day of the vote explaining why she'd voted for it.

Glad she's out of a job now. The dole office is just down the road love.

Bill Gates backs ball-busting ultrasound

Ben Raynes
FAIL

Ultrasound, painless...?

... my arse!

Having previously had ultrasound as a treatment option, I can confirm that the old ultrasound on soft tissue isn't what you'd call painless.

I'm thinking that this on your "gentleman's area" isn't going o be as fun as you'd think! It's entirely possibly that the '6-month contraception' will take the form of you being in such excruciating pain for 6 months you won't be able to!

Labour shock pledge: 16.8-meg broadband for ALL by 2012!

Ben Raynes
Black Helicopters

@AC 21:39

why stop at 1 in 5? just shoot the fucking lot of them for being a bunch of lying weasels who spout bullshit and generally fuck up everything in sight. and let it be a slow painful death. we could even auction off who gets to pull the trigger. that would raise a good few quid towards paying off the national debt.

Dammit! You robbed my idea!! I was talking abuot just such a thing with my mates when we went to the cinema the other day!

Big Brother indeed! You OBVIOUSLY work for Labour, the level of your knowledge of others private lives being far too in-depth otherwise!! ;-)

A user's timetable to the Digital Economy Act

Ben Raynes
Coat

on May 6th...

... probably at your local primary school or church hall.

Ben Raynes
Thumb Up

Agreed...

... completely. However, you're also forgetting the convenience factor as well. Simple example - you're working away from home and you've got your laptop. A lot easier (I know, because I've done it!) to chuck a load of files on the laptop HDD, or even on a pen-drive, than it is to carry around a load of DVDs.

Most media providers are stuck completely in the past, with very rigid pricing structures. "We want you to pay this, and so you shall." In a TRUE free-market economy, people will pay what they think something is worth - what the market will tolerate. If something is good, people (ok, ok, MOST people. Some freetards are beyond help) don't mind paying for it. If it's terrible, people won't touch it whatever the price.

As proof, I'd like to direct you to 'Big Brother' and the variety of horrors the await you, lurking in the bottom of the bargains section in your local DVD sales establishment!

Ben Raynes
Big Brother

It's still ridiculous

I'm still waiting for some to qualitatively (or quantitively) define the difference between downloading a series of, say, Stargate Universe or House, from BitTorrent and keeping it on your PC as compared to simply hitting SeriesLink on Sky+ and automatically recording each episode that you can then keep forever. Or putting a blank DVD in a recorder and making a perfect digital copy. Or even a videotape for f**ks sake!

That's just in terms of copyright in relation to possession.

A similar question arises with regard to the 'sharing' of copyright materials. What about if I tape/DVD an episode of 'Blue Planet' or 'Doctor Who' - something I've already paid for through the licence fee mind! - and then lend the recording to a mate who missed it? Does that make me a distributor? After all, it's functionally the same thing as putting a digital copy of it online for him to download from my FTP server.

Should my gran be getting worried once precedent is set because she tapes 'Coronation Street' every night to watch the next day in bed?

Ridiculous.

Anyone know where I can download some network traffic encryption software? Lets see how many nightmares we can give OFCOM and GCHQ trying to crack who-knows how many millions of 256 or 512-bit encryption streams.

Free download, of course. I'm not going to PAY for it!! ;-)

(Note to the comedically challenged - the last statement was a joke!)

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

Ben Raynes
Joke

In VB script!

Dim IsMandelsonDead as Boolean

Dim HeadAttached as Boolean

Dim Stab as Integer

Dim Decapitate as Integer

Do Until IsMandelsonDead = True

If HeadAttached = False Then

Stab = Stab + 1

Debug.Print "Die die die!"

Else

Debug.Print "Sever the head, or destroy the brain... the second one won't work!"

Decapitate = 1

HeadAttached = False

End If

Loop

Royal Navy starts work on new, pointless frigates

Ben Raynes
Black Helicopters

Seems about right

(Note to Royal Navy: please don't just rip this off and chuck it in a procurement document. But, if you do, please preserve the wording for comedy purposes.)

Proper delineation of ship size and class.

8-12 corvettes, of a size of approx 1500long tons displacement. Make sure they're stealthy, such as the Turkish Milgam class, or the Swedish Visby class - hell, we could just buy them direct off-the-shelf! Put on about as much armament as is proposed for this new frigate, but less Harpoons and more guns - a couple of 4" guns will be fine, with some 50mm rapid-fire cannons and a single central AA battery. Use 'em for taking out drug-runners (sorry, sorry, recreational pharmaceutical transportation specialists) and pirates.

About the same number of frigates, upto 2750long tons ish. Heavier armour and armament, focus them on sub-hunting and carrier screening. Above all, make 'em cheap! They should be able to carry two proper size helicopters, and be able to withstand a sensible amount of air assault for their size. Make these ships unpleasant enough that if one pitches up on your coastline, you take note of it!

Above them, have say 6 or so destroyer/cruiser size vessels (heavy destroyer?). Make 'em relatively big, but base them on the same design as the frigates - just add in another couple of hull frames and be done with it. Make sure they've got at least 2 half-decent sized (read: not poxy bloody 5" waste of space) multi-barrel turrets on them so they can actually do meaningful shore bombardment with cheap dumb shells instead of £1m Tomahawks. Put a decent number of tomahawks and harpoons on them as well, for good measure and precision strikes.

Take all the money you save by consolidating designs, using similar equipment rather than bespoke overpriced garbage, and using as much off-the-shelf componentry as you can, and put bloody reactors and steam catapults on our new carriers!

Then, use the money you save on buying F35As rather than the less-mission-capable and much more expensive VTOL F35s, and buy the bloody Army some decent guns! Alternatively, use the savings to buy another couple of destroyers and frigates, make THEM nuclear so we have a high-speed, non-resource dependent task force, and go nuts with the railguns baby!

Note: Care should be taken to properly read any contracts drawn up with suppliers to ensure that the MoD isn't paying for 18ct toilet seats in the corporate HQ etc. etc. Make sure you have proper time constraints and pain-gain mechanisms. Don't move the bloody goalposts after they start! Decide what you want and get them to build it!

Oh, and please stop designing things by committee. It doesn't work.

Apple's draconian developer docs revealed

Ben Raynes
FAIL

For one reason only

"And even this unprecedented degree of control isn't enough for Apple. As we reported a year ago, Apple has told the US Copyright Office that jailbreaking an iPhone should be illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). According to Apple, the EFF's petition that jailbreaking should be exempt from the DMCA is "an attack on Apple's particular business choices with respect to the design of the iPhone mobile computing platform and the strategy for delivering applications software for the iPhone through the iPhone App Store"."

So you buy a product, and you can't do what you want with it, including voiding the warranty if you so wish?

Fine, jailbreaking voids the warranty. Fine, jailbreaking means no more updates. Fine, jailbreaking means no more AppStore and no more iTunes. Fine, jailbreaking might even mean that if you have a problem somewhere down the line, Apple might snort and laugh at you before charging you through the nose for repairs.

But trying to get you arrested for doing it? Fuck off.

That's tantamount to buying a washing machine and being told that you can only wash Calvin Klein underpants in it, and that washing any other brand of underpants is an attack on the business practices and strategic alliances Zanussi have made with respect to the design of the washer... my machine, I'll do whatever I want with it, thanks.

Employers call for end to Mickey Mouse degrees

Ben Raynes
FAIL

Opinions are wonderful things.

Sadly, this is nonsense. There are any number of jobs that require an educational base before you can start any serious on-the-job training - engineering and medicine to name but two.

Imagine an engineer starting work straight after school, and being useless for the first few years because he doesn't even understand the principles behind the basics, let alone actually know the equations required or whatever. He'd start out doing nothing but making the teas, and stay that way forever because noone would have time to teach him anything.

But hey - if you want to go to a hospital where doctors don't have the educational base in biology or biochemistry and physiology and everything else they need, and where they just have to wing it with every diagnosis, you go for it!

Ben Raynes

Decide...

... is pure maths "mickey mouse" or "fulfilling a shortage"?

It's only a suggestion - the actual degrees on the list will vary from time to time. But how many times have you heard the Government or professional body complaining abuot shortages of xxx? And how many times have you seen newspaper stories about "xxx being brought in from abroad"?

And while university research is a bloody good thing, without the eventual production of the grimey byproduct undergraduates, then who continues the research once the current lot kark it?

I'm just trying to say there must be a better way of doing things with a bit more segregation (naughty word in this day and age I know!) and granularity, rather than applying a broad-brush approach and making a mess of the entire system.

Ben Raynes
Megaphone

Compromise?

Surely there must be some sort of compromise here - you go to University for free/at a drastically reduced cost IF you're doing a worthwhile degree to fulfill a shortage in the country (ie, Nursing) AND you take a job in this country for a period of no less than xx number of years (ie, you work for the NHS for 5 years after graduation).

That way we get people not doing Mickey Mouse degrees, and working at their trained job in this country. They get a Uni education of high quality and it doesn't cost them much. Admittedly, needs fine-tuning to ensure people aren't pissing off just as they finish the on-the-job training....

Even just some sort of scale of fees, where the %age subsidy increases as the usefulness of the course increases. Anyone doing a pure science, engineering, medical or teacher training degree pays next to nothing... anyone doing politics, art history or sociology pays the full price plus a fee for wasting the Universities time!

Brown promises Budget in a fortnight

Ben Raynes

For "Bump in the Trade Deficit" ...

... read "The UK doesn't manufacture anything anymore, so has to rely on the banks to create wealth by jiggling columns of numbers around."

Also - a budget before the Election? What a pointless idea - just means the first year of new Government has an excuse to do sod all because "there's no room in the existing Budget put forward by our predecessors."

Just another chance for them to take more money out of our pockets for no easily discernable reason. Petrol/Diesel will go up. Booze and fags will go up. Car tax will go up. Spending won't come down where it needs to, or indeed anywhere. Tax credits will increase by a couple of pence, but income tax or NI will increase.

Woo.

New inside out hover-magnet fusion reactor debuts at MIT

Ben Raynes
Megaphone

That's all well and good, but...

Paul 70 - What is wrong with wanting more energy?

Vladimir Plouzhnikov - Fusion still seems as the only viable long-term solution to ever increasing energy demands and should be pursued regardless of capital required today. So, yes, please do invest. :-)

While I agree fusion is probably the way forward for the world, the bigger problem with your points I quoted above are that the increased availability of cheap clean energy means that we can basically carry on as we are doing now - the planet is already overpopulated and the trend is increasing exponentially. Also, saving a bit of energy now might give us a bit more time to sort out this fusion lark before the fossil fuels run out.

Once we sort out power generation, and can stop making this ridiculous whining utterances about 'carbon footprints' because of fusion-powered everything, a whole new set of problems arise as a result of the overpopulation - overcrowding, housing shortages, food supply etc. These are less easy to solve.

Sadly, we need to start thinking of ways to limit the population growth worldwide, and to keep it at a more sustainable level for the future.

And no - I'm not some wild-eyed environmentalist veg-head. I drive a V6 and pay the ridiculous, pointless, petrol and road tax increment. I don't recycle as much as I could, 'cos I can't be arsed. I quite happily leave the hot water tap on when I could turn it off, and my heating has been on since October.

My point is that just because you ndon't agree fully with the nut-job environmentalist clap-trap doesn't mean you should carry on wasting energy just for the sake. If nothing else, it'll save you a bit of money.

Man Utd imposes social networking ban

Ben Raynes

It's only a matter of time...

... before they're TweetBook(tm)-ing and MyFace-ing from the pitch, during the game!

@RyanGiggs - bollox. didnt mean to sky that one. need to run to help right-back now.

Germans unveil robots 'controlled by chaos itself'

Ben Raynes
Alien

Is it just me...

... or do these things bear a striking resemblance to the Replicators from 'Stargate SG-1'?

World braces for Lindsay Lohan sex tape

Ben Raynes
Happy

Please please please...

... tell me this was an intentional pun!!

"Sometimes you just have to face the hard things and suck it up. "

'Stop NASA bombing the Moon!'

Ben Raynes
Go

URGENT APPEAL

Dearest Surrealist, Lunatic, Werewolf, Pagan, Psychic, UFO Groupie (or other beloved weirdo).

Please Join: Amnesty for Soup Dragons

In these troubled celestial times, now more than ever, your help is needed in fighting the evil capitalist, space-colonisers. Everyday, "Amnesty for Soup Dragons" representatives are fighting, all over the cosmos, to protect our beloved Lunar Creatures and the delicate ecosystems within which they struggle to survive. We would ask only that you give what you can to help....

We are in desperate need of your used:

Auras

Dreams (day dreams are fine but no erotic ones please)

Old or tired imaginary friends

Religious deities

Magnetic bracelets, Rabbits feet, Horseshoes, etc

If you have received a cerebral-carrier-bag, please fill it with whatever you can and leave it in your thoughts where one of our agents will be able to collect it.

Otherwise, please send all you can to:

Moonbase Alpha

Just to the left and up a bit from:

Sea Of Tranquility

The MOON

May pixie dust and moonbeams fill your days.

Yours in faith,

The Right Reverend L. Ron. Cupboard

First Samsung Android phone out next week

Ben Raynes
FAIL

Release dates are a myth!

I've been after this phone for a couple of weeks. Was told by O2 CS on the phone that it was due out w/c 10th August. Phoned them every day this week to see, nothing. Called into the local retailer, and was told it was meant to be in-store by the 17th, so it would probably come in on the delivery today. This was later confirmed by someone from O2 on the phone saying that the release had been pushed back w/c 17th.

Just got back, after having been told that there is "a problem with the software" that the stores have had a memo about, and that the release has been pushed back with no projected date.

Not sure what the "software" problem supposedly is, especially as this phone is ALREADY out, and has been for a month or so, on O2 in Germany...

By Christ O2 are useless.

Virgin Media taps Microsoft in lengthy email outage

Ben Raynes
Boffin

Telewest - how we miss thee

I'm a long-standing Telewest/Virgin Media customer, and the service has just been going down and down for years. Telewest themselves were useless at the end. It all started, for me at least, around the time of the NTL merger. Probably no surprises there for anyone who was on NTHell before...

I even remember the days of Telewest using OWA for webmail, and all MS-hating, Linux-loving nonsense aside, OWA used to work perfectly quickly and perfectly well. I was working away at the time, and used it every day with no fuss whatsoever. These days, whenever I try to use webmail from work, it logs in fine, but then it claims to time out almost instantly whenever I try to open an email, or delete something, or move emails into folders... I'm not a fan, put it that way.

If the new MS Exchange software goes some way to fixing these issues and speeding up the download of email to my Outlook client at home, I'm all for it.

Maybe we could wait and see what the service is like before we all start complaining?

Oh... and it is of course also possible that the reason they have MS engineers in is because a support contract with MS is cheaper than having their own technical staff dealing with it, isn't it? Especially if it's bundled in with the MS software?

Goggles, to protect me from the enevitable flaming for suggesting we wait and see.

Congestion charge dodgers register Bentleys as minicabs

Ben Raynes
Go

@Peter Tynan

Remember that that total fee is mostly one-off. After the initial spend, it's only the renewal fees for the drivers every year.

Also, bear in mind that £25 per day = £9,125 per year, so it's a £6,700 saving before you start, and that's per person! If three people club together for example...

O2 offers incentives to end phone upgrade insanity

Ben Raynes

Half-life of mobile phones

This is all well and good. Admirable in fact. Someone is actually trying something. There is one flaw however, and it's not O2s fault - the half-life of your avaerage phone isn't much more than about 18 months.

One can only hope that O2s idea has some sort of 'get out' clause that allows you to change your phone if it dies completely through no fault of your own (in a bucket of water, down the toilet, etc.)

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