* Posts by Richard C.

40 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Mar 2009

You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

Richard C.

Re: When life imitates art...

This is where servers with speakers and CD/DVD-drives are useful... "We know it is in the server room somewhere and we have remote access it it - eject the drive and listen/watch": I've had to do this more than once....

I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

Richard C.

Re: Unprofessional

I would say no - you haven't got a duty. If you had (and routinely checked machines) but missed a very well hidden image, allegations could then be put to you that you deliberately ignored it and purposely let them get away with it.

Whereas if you make it a policy to just "treat it all as data" and ignore the contents, then I would imagine (I am not a lawyer yadda yadda), you'll have a deniability aspect there. Of course, if the backup software lists the file paths and there are quite a few files in "Totally illegal stuff/Keep hidden" then it gets a nice grey area (ditto if you temporarily back up files - making you have possession of illegal materials)...

Man hauled before beak for using drone to film Premiership matches

Richard C.

What is a drone?

I must admit I'm not sure what actually classifies as a "drone"? Is it just "quad-copters", but what about RC model airplanes and helicopters which have been around for decades? What makes one different from another? Or is "drones" just the new buzzword catch-all term for "remote controlled flying thing" (and then what happens when they aren't RCed but AI controlled)?

Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

Richard C.

Property companies

I expected Property Companies (such as the Bermuda based company which the inland revenue sold 600 buildings to) to be avoiding more tax than tech companies.

UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Richard C.

Who are you actually paying?

I believe that when you pay Google for advertising, you are paying "Google Ireland" and when you order from Amazon, you are ordering from "Amazon Luxembourg" - who then pay/subcontract to "Amazon UK" to actually fulfil your order. So in neither of these cases are "diverted profits" going to apply as you are actually paying non-UK entities. Yes, you can probably try and "fine" Amazon UK or Google UK (which, IIRC, provides support and/or "marketing recommendations/introduction to Ireland sales reps"), but they don't actually "make" money or receive payments from UK people - so that won't work..

Another lot of bluster to make it actually look like they are doing something in the run up to the election...

Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Richard C.

Illegal site

Perhaps someone can tell me which web sites, under UK law, are classed as illegal? Some content on some sites may be, but a whole site being "illegal"? I'd like to see details...

Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media

Richard C.

Re: copyright is for creative works

IIRC, this did come up some years ago (in relation of satellite rebroadcasts or similar) and it basically came down to "It's the on-screen graphics which are copyrighted" - leaving them open to "if you can rebroadcast it without the graphics or pitchside sponsor logos, then you /may/ be clear"

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

Richard C.

Administration knightmare

Okay, so now we can't provide pricing to European citizens without knowing which country they are in - and then knowing the VAT rates of that country and when they change and what VAT band that country deems product/service X to be in...

It'll just be easier for all the countries to have the same VAT rules.

Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

Richard C.


I'd be tempted to write back to Barclays and saying you, as a contractor, are increasing your rates by 200% with a minimum of 3 month break clause and that you will assume they accept these terms unless they write back to you in X days. After all, if assumption is good enough for them.... I'm actually tempted to write to them that I'll become their CEO in 28 days and assume they accept that unless I hear back by the end of the week.

Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

Richard C.

Purchasing MS Office

Perhaps the UK Government should purchase x thousands of copies of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows to run it on. And the way they should pay for it, the same way the government should pay for all purchases IMHO, is by giving the company that amount of discount off their corporation tax bill (not reducing it below zero: after all, surely the government isn't their only customer?).

What do you mean Microsoft may not be so much in favour of that now? Anything to do with them not paying corporation tax?

Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

Richard C.

Re: Completely unnecessary in the UK.

And this is why I would *love* it if banks (especially on Business Bank accounts) gave you two account numbers - one for in-bound payments and one for outbound (okay, the outbound one will probably also need to allow inbound payments in case of bounced payments/refunds). If they could allow you to allocate X inbound/outbound ones for different purposes, it'll be brilliant.

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Richard C.

Or upload a multipart zip/rar to a newsgroup in multiple posting but let your source know that file 6 out of 14 is actually the encrypted data. The receiver (with the decryption key) could be any one: the source will have to protect their sending details though.

Harley allows Apple to use 'Lightning' brand on 'playthings'

Richard C.

Common Term Restriction

If only the Patent Office made a rule that if a word appears (defined) in the previous year's Oxford English Dictionary then it is deem to be "in common usage" and can not be trademarked on its own. So "Microsoft Windows" would be allowed as a trademark, but they couldn't stop any one else from calling things "X Windows" or "Windows Y" as that would be trying to enforce a trademark on a common term

Freesat downs own website after Downton quickie

Richard C.

Interesting and tempting - but it says "Broadband required": but does it need cabling into your router or can it work via wifi (or does it need plugging directly into the phone socket which will, technically, give it a broadband signal but if it hasn't got *DSL equipment built in....)

Forstall ousted from Apple after refusing to apologise for Maps

Richard C.

Re: Guess the fairness of it depends on the situation

The more I read about it, the more I feel this may be the case. Cook wanted to release the new iOS without Google Maps (whose contract he wasn't willing to renew: my assumption), but then was told Apple Maps wasn't ready (I have heard they only started recruiting staff a few months before launch). When it failed, Cook tried to blame Forstall who said it wasn't ready and Forstall basically said "I said it wasn't ready for launch, I'm not apologising for you deciding to launch something against my advice" (something I've done myself in the past: luckily, I keep email copies ;) ). Cook then decided that Forstall wasn't going to jump hoops at his command and got rid of him.

Be very interesting if there is an employment tribunal, but IIRC, California is a "right-to-work" state and doesn't have this sort of employee protection (could be wrong though).

Newsweek succumbs to ad slippage, will kill print pub

Richard C.

Technology and printing

I used to work for one of Newsweek's printing companies in the early 2000s before that printing company went bust: Newsweek was an "interesting" publication to print as they insisted on the own inbound connection (they couldn't use the 16x2Mbps lines we had in, but wanted their own) which then had to be hooked into their own VLAN to their own equipment (not just routers, but PCs as well) and then to their own VLAN again before joining the rest of the printing company's network.

I suspect their print costs just got too high due to the printing companies saying "Welll, we can handle this case but it's going to cost ya".

Web hosting

Richard C.


I recommend memset.com - UK hosting and support, dedicated services and VPS accounts: so they'll be something to fit your budget. I've been with them for over 5 years now (at the moment, I have 1 dedicated and 2 miniservers/VPS with them, but at one point I also also administering 4 web heads with 8Gb RAMbehind a load balancer and 2 database servers with 16Gb RAM each: along with the 3 other boxen), so I've got experience of how good they can be.

Sage Pay card stroker goes titsup for NINE hours

Richard C.

Not just SagePay

OptimalPayments/Netbanx/Firepay/Neteller (whatever they are calling themselves this week) had an identical payment-processing issue at the same time. However, since I know that both of them promote Evalon for merchant accounts and therefore the vast majority of their clients /probably/ use Evalon, it may have been a problem there.

The Facebook job test: Now interviewers want your logins

Richard C.

Breach of terms of service

Isn't it against Facebook's terms of service to allow a third party access to your account? (I'm 99.99% certain, but can't check as the link to the Terms is at the bottom of the Facebook "endless scroll" page so I can't actually reach it). If so, a good question back to them is "No - as I tend to follow contracts I agreed to - such as Facebook's TOS. Do you want to employ somebody who breaks agreements on a whim, if so can I ask if you've got any 'no-physical violence' sections in the contract?" Also ask if you can check _their_ Facebook profiles (and the CEO's) so you know what sort of people you will be working for.

I've found a couple of (past) employers being impressed when they've been "stood up to" (hey, this guy has ethics/understands things).

Samsung seeks bans on the iPhone 4S

Richard C.

Dual core ARM processors on a phone: Yep, my Samsung Galaxy SII already has this. Apple has just announced theirs.

Voice recognition (speech to action and text to speech for navigation and others): Ditto

8MP camera: Ditto

I'm sure Samsung has a case there.

Slack bank practice creates opportunity for phone phishing scams

Richard C.

Not just banks

"RevK" of AAISP had a very similar issue with Sky earlier this week - the mp3 recording of it is quite funny: http://revk.www.me.uk/2011/05/sky-being-pain.html . Sky called him up, asked for him by name and then asked him to confirm his name and his phone number(!) It went downhill rapidly from there...

Cameroonians cleared in 'surreal' dyed banknote scam

Richard C.

The police should help

The police should help him prosecute them - after they've charged him with illegal money laundering: after all, he did try to "assist" these people by "smuggling" funds into the country.

Heathrow Express treats iPhones as tickets

Richard C.

Lufthansa offer mobile boarding passes too!

Lufthansa have been offering mobile boarding passes for at least the last 5 years by my experience: http://www.lufthansa.com/uk/en/Mobile-Boarding-Pass-available-on-many-routes-worldwide

Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

Richard C.

Freephone numbers

Oh OFCOM, how could you get your own telephone numbers wrong. The whole "080" range is free phone (not just 0800). http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/oftel/ind_info/numbering/numbering_bulletins/nb40.htm#08%20Sub-Ranges%20for%20New%20NTS%20Arrangements

O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed

Richard C.

Looks not that accurate

I was at Bosworth Hall Hotel in Leicestershire over the weekend (CV13 0LP - it's the site on the curvy road on the right of Park Street in the Bing map) and nobody in our party (mixed networks) of 20 had any indoor coverage and very limited out door coverage. o2's map says excellent coverage.. :(

Xbox Kinect costs just £35 to build

Richard C.

Import duty

I know once you've accounted for import duty and VAT you wonder why you bother. I import various items from China at around 15GBP each (including the delivery cost: I order bulk tho ;) ), but by the time I've added on the import duty, VAT and Paypal/Credit card fees, the cost is more like 40GBP+shipping to the customer :(

Virgin Media introduces P2P throttling

Richard C.

Router recommendation

Try a Draytek, we've got the Vigor 2820n (offers loadbalancing over ADSL, Cable/other Cat5 and mobile) which has got limiting per IP address (and even per Wireless connection: it supports 5).

Independent bigs up the 'Wanky Balls festival'

Richard C.

Citable source?

Can Wikipedia now include the Indy's article as a citable source and therefore reinclude the "Wanky Balls" mention, after all, a major newspaper did state it...

Seoul police crack down on Holy Water filter prof

Richard C.

Let the science speak

Find somebody with a mass spectrometer or whatever you need to make a comparison between the two different waters. If they come out the same, then he's succeed and then it's just the "medical claims" he can be done on (but then it'll apply to the Lourdes water as well). Alas, due to difference in water supplies, they won't be able to come out identical as even a 0.001% difference would be enough for the believers to say "See - see that 0.001% that's the magic of Lourdes!"

Reg reader applauds World's Crappiest phish

Richard C.

Bet they still get some responses

I bet there are still some fools which would fall for that. I pity those fools.

Sure Signal not so sure

Richard C.


Why not just get a VoIP account with VoIPFone or Gradwell and then set the "divert if unavailable/divert on failover" number to your mobile. Then set your mobile's "divert if unavailable" number to your landline.

At the computer - VoIP softphone rings and can answer, somewhere else then your mobile rings and if mobile is unavailable then landline. People can a single number to call you (either a 056 VoIP number, 08xx non-geographical or an 01/02/03 number if you want) and you get the best of all worlds (except if the VoIP provider goes titsup).

UK government rebuffs cries for free postcode database

Richard C.


Looks like we need to keep contributing to http://www.freethepostcode.org/ then... (@Martin Owens this is the OpenStreetMap for postcodes). Just wonder if RM will start shouting "it's still our data, even though its independently compiled."

I'll agree the postcode database costs money to compile (although it was mostly compiled before RM became a PLC), but it is not being compiled to make money - it's being compiled and updated to help RM reduce their costs by helping their postmen and women and the routing of mail. That's why they produce the data - to save them money: so how does it cost them so much to burn a CD every so often for distribution?...

PM: UK airports to get perv scanners next week

Richard C.

Will "all" passengers be scanned?

Will all passengers be scanned by these machines (which have proven to be ineffective- if you haven't seen/read any of the previous reports, at least look at the recent German TV interview where the scanner picked up the persons microphone and pen: but missed all the chemicals etc), or will first-class passengers and VIPs such as MPs/Celebs mysteriously have a "free pass" past them?

Google: Do no evil, pay no tax

Richard C.

Pay no tax?

They "pay no tax" or "only pay tax on the money from interest"? Well, I think that's is definitely wrong. Wrong in the fact that they will pay the employers tax for their staff salaries for the people employed in the UK (and if the average pay is 90,000 that's quite a bit of tax), will have to pay their employers National Insurance contributions as well (ok, not technically a tax, but..), and will have to pay VAT when they buy stuff in the UK (I can't recall if office rental comes under this) [if they don't, they'll be paying VAT at the Irish rate of 19% - bit higher than the UKs!]

Google is asking the UK taxpayer for nothing, but is at least contributing something (ok, their staff /might/ be pulling tax credits - but that will be on the employee basis and will have very little to do with Google). And they will be paying tax in Ireland and the USA. I suspect that many other multinationals (from banks and energy companies all the way down to footballers and their "offshore" holding companies and even certain MPs) avoid paying "UK Tax" by using companies in other countries.

Perhaps the government should entirely stop this - but then they'll be paying more tax as they "sold" the HMRC's physical offices to an offshore company to save paying tax... What's good for the goose...

UK banks 'not doing enough' on internet fraud

Richard C.

Timesouts and logouts

[[ The Which? Computing study also criticises some banks - including Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, HSBC and Halifax - for not logging out clients when surfers move on to browse at other sites, an approach that leaves accounts potentially vulnerable if accessed on a shared computer. ]]

I personally prefer to stay logging in when I'm checking other pages: because I could be consolidating my statement against my third party credit card online bill etc, doing VAT conversions to double check pricing etc. The sites do have a "logout" button for a reason - perhaps shard computer users should use that if they want to protect their own data (plus most sites have a timeout facility: I know HSBC's tends to be a little on the shortside for me and times out after just a few minutes).

HSBC may also not require transfer authentications: but you do need a keyfob to log in - and I prefer a single keyfob authentication then having to use my Nationwide "card calculator" device to authenticate a whole batch of transfers individually (punch pin into device, enter 8 digit code into device, enter amount into device, try and read 8 digit code and enter into website - repeat for next 6 transfers: even through I've sent transfers to the same accounts every month for the last year!).

Music downloads greener than buying CDs

Richard C.

KCW reported on this last month

"Hosting queen-pin" Kate Craig-Wood of Memset.com covered this on her site last month http://www.katescomment.com/carbon-cost-download-vs-cd/ with a break down of server and PCs costs compared to production and delivery of CDs.

O2 unveils small biz landline to mobile link

Richard C.

Already in place

@Steve X: The numbering scheme is to enable end users to know, roughly, how much the call will cost.

I've had this setup running with Gradwell for a while - I've got 2 geographical numbers (0116) which are redirecting to my o2 mobile. Callers pay for a standard landline (01/02) call, Gradwell charge me around 10p per minute for the redirection (plus around 3 pound per month per number) - plus I can also redirect it "at will" from Gradwell's site, send directly to voicemail (via email), or to an IVR system.

BT Wholesale cuts off Prodigy Internet

Richard C.

@Mike Gravgaard

I'm another ex-Demon user: around 10 years with them (from the KA9Q days on dial-up on the "tenner a month" plan, all the way to Business Broadband), but I eventually left them because of the Fair Usage Policy kicking in continually. I now pay Enta.net (available through many resellers such as ukfsn.org ) for a "known bandwidth" allowance of 90Gb per month (Demon wouldn't even offer me anything like that - even though I was willing to pay double what I was paying! -, but like you, they handed over the MAC code as soon as I asked). I

Google jacks up fees for Checkout service

Richard C.
Thumb Down

So why should we use Google Checkout?

The advantages for offering Google checkout used to be clear: lower transaction fees and you could offset any fees against Google Adwords. This made up for the fact you had to spend longer on integration, had less flexibility, had to purchase an SSL certificate (Paypal you don't) and you split payments across multiple processors.

Now the pricing is the same as Paypal (and, taking into account cross-border fees, is actually more expensive then Paypal! Bad luck for any UK sellers selling to Europe or Eire!), there appears to be absolutely no benefit to offer Google Checkout: in fact, if you drop it and just offer Paypal (which has a larger market penetration, easier to use and offers a variety of integration methods), you can then take into account Paypal's discount fees (which Google have exactly matched).

Some people have expressed on my blog at http://blog.rac.me.uk/2009/03/11/google-checkout-same-fees-as-paypal-what-advantages/ the fact they think Google is trying to "kill off checkout": it hasn't been a huge success, hasn't launched in all countries, and it appears to have no benefits over other services now.

UK IT should 'fire men first', says Kate Craig-Wood

Richard C.

Grow up 'El Reg Commenters

Ok, so El Reg did make the article a bit more inflammatory than it was (you can read Kate's original posting on her blog at http://www.katescomment.com/fire-men-first/ ), but it is true us blokes do tend to get paid more for doing the same work as our female counterparts (I've even encountered the situation where we get paid significantly more: even thought the woman in question did more hours of more complicated and difficult work).

I do think companies should have an "open pay rates" policy so that everybody knows how much everybody else gets paid and why: therefore making pay discrimination very difficult to maintain (why should a company make it a "gross misconduct" offence to discuss wages/bonuses with other members of staff?).

Kate's just really after *proper* equality in the workplace, and the fact she went through a major-major operation a few years ago should have absolutely nothing to do with it: and the comments such as "I'll hit it/I'll do her" just helps reinforce her point that sometimes women are just wanted for their looks and not their intellect or what they can contribute.