* Posts by Jim 40

29 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?

Jim 40

I use the Epic browser with it's built in proxy switched on, alongside several other browsers, to block/minimise tracking.

Checking it against the EFF's Panopticlick browser checker https://panopticlick.eff.org shows that the fingerprinting test is unable to run. It scores well on the Browser Leaks webite as well. https://browserleaks.com/

As best I can tell it is the quickest and easiest way to navigate the web without being tracked.

If I need more security/anonimity I run Tor in a VM via a VPN.

Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

Jim 40

Re: value of invoice and tim einterval

The UK small claims limit has been increased to GBP £10000.


BBC vans are coming for you

Jim 40
Big Brother

Re: I gues it's only fair

"Also, a lot of people complain why don't the BBC encrypt the iPlayer feed and offer it to people who can provide numbers that are printed and issued with TV licences. Again, I suspect this might strengthen the case for the Beeb becoming a subscription service, and thereby lose their guaranteed £3.7 billion / year income from the licence. I have come to see the BBC as a funding model with an entertainment and News/propaganda service tacked on as justification (allegedly). But then I am an old, jaded cynic."

Not a jaded cynic at all. You've hit the nail on the head.

The only bit I would take slight issue with is "...the BBC as a funding model with an entertainment and News/propaganda service tacked on as justification..." The BBC is the voice of the British Establishment.

It's purpose is to promote and propagate the views of the Establishment through all of it's output, even the "entertainment." The jingoism surrounding British sport used to make me puke.

Google kneecaps payday loan ads

Jim 40

DavCrav said:

"Capping fees at 18% (which is where a credit card is) would mean there wouldn't be a legal way for people with terrible credit to borrow money. Which just leaves the illegal one."

Absolutely right.

Former debt caseworker here.

The UK has one of the lightest regulated lending regimes in the world and one of the lowest incidence of illegal money lending. Germany and France have greater regulation and are estimated to have two and three times respectively, higher rates of illegal money lending. Source: Illegal Lending in the UK by The DTI. http://tinyurl.com/jmg5fxm

So long as a client had borrowed from a legal provider I had solutions available to offer them. On the rare occasions I had a client with an illegal money lender debt I only had the option of providing the client with contact details for the illegal money lending team. https://www.gov.uk/report-loan-shark Illegal money lenders do not recognise insolvency.

The few clients I saw who identified as having such a loan never took me up on reporting the matter even though they can do so anonymously.

In respect of APR's, as the pay day lenders correctly state, they are not an appropriate measure for short term lending. That would only be the case if they were constantly rolled over. I never saw a rollover occur more than twice.

Memory tells me that the highest debt I saw from a pay day lender was no more than 2.5k with most of them in the £500 to £1100 range. I don't recall any of the pay day lenders seeking to recover a debt via court claims. In practice this meant that if they did not recover the debt within about two years it would be effectively "written off." Sub prime lenders generally factor defaults into the business costs.

Pay day lending has all but ceased to exist since the FCA introduced stricter regulation in the UK. Several pay day firms went bust, some withdrew from the market altogether and those that remain are struggling. I don't know if this has lead to an increase in illegal money lending since I left the service.

UK's Universal Credit IT may go downhill soon, warns think tank report

Jim 40

Re: Rewriting all the rules isn't helping

"tl;dr Never underestimate the complexity of people's circumstances."

This is the key.

I'm retired from the advice sector now but the generalist level bible we had to use runs to 1740 pages and is updated annually. http://www.shop.cpag.org.uk/welfare-benefits-and-tax-credits-handbook-201617

Specialist level benefits advice is very complicated. I specialised in debt and housing so required a good working knowledge of the benefits sytem.

A mate of mine was a senior IT manager at the DWP in Longbenton prior to his retirement. He told me that no one knows all of the details of the various systems that have accumulated over the years some of which stretch back to the birth of IT in the early sixties and are still in use. The DWP was one of the very first users of large scale IT.

We knew that UC in the hands of the Tories was only ever about cutting welfare spending as much as politically possible, with the ultimate end game being the complete dismantling of the welfare state. UC provides the cover to do so.

If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

Jim 40

Yet more random musing

In thirty odd years of using and building PC's I've never had one fail on me. Obviously I've had the occasional hard drive die and I've had one PSU fail but no mobo's,CPU's, memory or graphics cards have kicked the bucket.

I always build my PC's so I know exactly what I'm getting and don't have to pay for crap I don't need, like DVD/BluRay players and 3d gaming graphics I don't require.

I have little or no use for laptops but would probably be looking at Ebay for Thinkpads if I needed to. I have an Acer laptop from 2005 vintage still working.

At work I've never seen any of the dozen or so servers fail. HP/Compaq Dell kit. I actually have a couple of old Compaqs next door. They still work but require so much power and make such a racket I don't actually use them. I really should get rid. Otherwise hundreds of Dell, HP and a bunch of Asus mobo based desktops have worked pretty much without issue

Apple don't make stuff I want or need. I did a price comparision of my last PC build to an "equivalent" Apple box. The price discrepancy was a little under £1000. The PC is an i7 4770k with 16GB memory a 250GB and 500GB SSD with a 1TB hard drive running W7. Storage is on another rock solid i7 based server with 7TB of HD and a 150GB SSD. My workstation cost £1200. Apples nearest equivalant was £2000. My workstation is fast, easy to upgrade and maintain.

Two 24inch Dell monitors are used to RDP the assortment of kit on the home network as well as viewing a number of VM's.

It's a piece of piss to build decent reliable PC's. Don't buy the cheapest tat. Quality brands provide value.

Router is an Ebay purchased Netgear DG834. These things never need a reboot up and carry on for years. Under £10 on Ebay. Can't get fibre so stuck with ADSL for the foreseeable.

I'd like to play with iOS to see what it's about but I'm blowed if I'm paying Apples prices for the privelage. I keep promising myself a Hackintosh but too much other stuff takes priority.

Video malvertising campaign lasted 12 hours? Try two months

Jim 40


"And if a site with exclusive content won't let you in unless you see an ad? Do you go without the exclusive content?"

Well duh!

That stock phrase alone, "exclusive content," is pretty much a guarentee that some snake oil salesdroid is trying to punt some worthless tat upon the gullible.

TalkTalk offers customer £30.20 'final settlement' after crims nick £3,500

Jim 40

Re: help..

"yea been reading all over their site. the so called email form doesn't exist! don't really want to post this off lol"

I always advised my clients to communicate via snail mail, keeping a copy and using recorded delivery.

That way the defendants could not claim they did not receive it. It was almost standard practice for a substantial number of companies to claim they did not receive correspondence which had been sent by methods for which proof of delivery could not be provided.

I used to work as an advice caseworker.


Jim 40

Re: Small claims court

The burden of proof in the civil courts is upon the "balance of probablities" not the "beyond reasonable doubt" requirement of criminal courts.

Therefore, the fact that TT have confessed to a breach of their IT systems would be sufficient for a District Judge to ask them what, precisely, they know about what was taken. If TT cannot, or will not, answer, a DJ would be within their right to view the claiments loss as one of TT's making on the "balance of probabalities."

Given all of the above, TT would be insane to risk this matter being exposed in a public court so would almost certainly be advised to settle out of court on a non-disclosure basis. I'll lay odds that this is the game they are playing.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Jim 40

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"

Jim 40

You talkin' to me?

Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs

Jim 40

EE - get your act together. Opt-out means OUT. No texts. None. Nada. Keiner. Aucun. Nessuno. Or do you like paying those Ofcom fines?

I complained about "magic number" txts from orange to OFCOM . Theu said it's not spam because it is informational! How the fuck OFCOM can think anything going by the name of "magic numbers" is anything but spam can only be due to either moron level IQ or corruption.

That was when I ditched EE for Giff Gaff. Best move I ever made. if you are in a decent O2 coverage area do yourself a favour and move to Giff Gaff.

Jim 40

Orange are the shitiest of the shit

I moved from Orange PAYG to GiffGaff about six years ago, mostly because of the Orange spam.

I actually made a fomal complaint to the then regulator about it but the reply was that the Orange "magic numbers" spam wasn't spam because it was an informational txt from my mobile provider! I'm sorry but if anyone believes that something calling itself "magic numbers" isn't spam then they deserve all the scorn that they get.

It wasn't till I'd been with GiffGaff for a month or two that I became aware the txt's never went missing nor were they delayed for up to several days at a time either. The GiffGaff service knocks seven colours of shit out of Orange's.

My day job means I deal with clients who may have issues with creditors. Orange do not top the polls for worst mobile provider for nothing. The best thing anyone unfortunate enough to have business with them can do is leave for another provider as fast as they can.


Ad networks promise to do something about the awful adverts you're all blocking, like, real soon

Jim 40

Re: I'll do them one better...

@RedneckMother said:

">Like most people, I dislike ads. But I also like free, quality content. So that's a quandary because ad revenue is a key part of such sites and I do want to support websites that I like and that are useful (or entertaining) to me."

Nope. Not for me.

I'm hardline about this. I've been on the net for twenty years, since before the adslingers were here. It's been downhill ever since. I've racked my brains but cannot think of anything I can do, or get, now which I couldn't all those years back.

The adslingers need to be told as loudly as possible that they are parasites. The internet is not theirs, and that if they are there at all it is by sufferance, so they better fucking well behave. It appears that some of this is just begining to permeate their neanderthal skulls but I'm not holding my breath.

The ad model of funding is broken.

Lots/Most of the best of the web is not ad funded anyway. Let's get the ads banned so attention can be focused on other ways of funding content.

Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Jim 40

Re: Sigh

<p>Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a free lunch</p>

Actually there was. I'm old enough to have been around during the early internet years before it become infested with advertising and before it was stolen from us by the corporatists.

<p>If you take to banning *all* adverts, then the content generators will have to find another means of generating revenue. Either that or the content will suffer or the content generators will go out of business. I'd rather have subtle adverts alongside my content that have to pay a subscription fee to use a service.</p>

With respect, what I see here I see here is the ad pimpers self serving spin being regurgitated.

To be clear, I could not give a fuck if the ad pimps fucked off and gave us back the internet. The sooner they bugger off the better I'll be pleased. Of course I understand that things like the Register may cease to exisit but it's a price more than worth paying as far as I'm concerned. There is nothing on the internet I can think of which is worth my time being wasted on ads or worth paying for.

I miss the user supported websites and newsgroups from back in the day where I could get excellent advice and a broad spectrum of views on items of interest. None of this moderated shit via websites trying to punt useless trinkets.

Burger-rage horse dumps on McDonald's: Rider saddled with fat fine

Jim 40

Re: Does anyone know

It might be thanks to Mark Thomas from way back.


An amusing video where Mark trys to buy stuff from McDonalds via a variety of transport modes.

Pair face £250k fines for spamming mobes with millions of texts

Jim 40

- Truecall alternative - application for raspberry pi?

>I've read about Truecall, seen it (and the cost to build it) on Dragons Den, and heard about the ongoing >post-sales costs to the unlucky punter.

You don't have to pay ongoing costs if you choose not to. You still have all of the functionailty but without the browser front end. I won't, and don't, pay ongoing charges.

Jim 40

all they need to do is go bankrupt

> - no fine to pay, and they get to keep their hard-won pile of dosh too. Simples :(

Fines are excluded from bankruptcy and any assets you have are taken. I work in debt advice in the charity sector and know that our local official receiver would never let someone retain known assets in bankruptcy.

On another note, since buying a Truecall device several years ago - http://www.truecall.co.uk/ - I've never received nuisance calls on my landline.

Megaupload case near collapse: report

Jim 40

Re: The New Justice[tm]

@ Tapeador

The problem is that the the MPAA/RIAA will not be happy until they have killed the internet as we know it. That's not my theory it's the basis for political parties http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party_%28Sweden%29 and is supported not only by many internet observers http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/20/twenty-fighters-open-internet but also by actions such as the crushing of Megaupload and Wikileaks beforehand.

It can also be seen in the extension of copyright to 70 years after the death of the creator! How is that reasonable, fair or just? I've no objection to content creators being reasonably remunerated but the current system has no sensible rationale that I can detect.

It's like watching the Luddite movement in reverse. In the face of a new technology an old system seeks to retain its power and control. If so called capitalist systems really believed in the tosh they spout they'd leave the market to decide the matter but no, they want to use force just like any other totalitarian regime.

It's really not too dramatic to say that this is a war for who controls the Internet, us or them.

Jim 40

Re: The New Justice[tm]

The way to subvert the MPAA/RIAA thuggery is to encourage and support file sharing as much as possible. Take away the financial lifeblood from the parasites. That's what their nightmares are made of and we have the power to bring that about.

John Lewis Broadband - genius or foolhardy?

Jim 40

It's more expensive than Zen.

It's more expensive than Zen. http://www.zen.co.uk/home-office/

Zen give you 100GB of completely unthrottled, non-trafic shaped usage for £25.50 per month with their proven customer support. There's no long term lock in contract, and I get 18Mbps down and 0.9Mbps up all day every day with rock solid reliability. They provide a free widget which lets me check consumption and email when I've passed the 50% 75% and 90% usage points.

I'm always suprised when I hear customers from other ISP's complain about their ISP's. The reason they are so crap is because they are so cheap. if you want a decent ISP you have to pay for it.

I've been with Zen for four years having suffered with AOL and BT previously. Prestel were initially very good untill they were taken over by some other bunch of wankers. The rot set in with Prestel when Gary Hough left, he currently works for Zen.

Zen win more awards for best ISP than any other broadband supplier, and it shows.

On the specs provided John Lewis are way behind the current market leader.

'Do Not Track' standard edges towards daylight

Jim 40

@ Steven Roper

Typically overweening sense of entitlement from someone who labours under the misapprehension they own everything.

In the vanishngly unlikely event I'd be on your site how are you going to stop me? You need the internet infinitely more than it needs you.

You have no choice but to suck it up, now get over yourself.

Jim 40

Double wrongo

You come on to my internet, which I am paying for, then you abide by my rules. Which means if I choose to use flashblock and adblock then you can either like it or lump it. If you don't like it you can go set up your own internet.

By way of analogy, how would you feel if I came to your house and statrted telling you how your funiture should be arranged and how your home entertainment system should be set up? You'd rightly tell me to fuck off in short order.

I refuse on principle to let the internet be stolen off those of us who have been paying for it since before commercial parasites tried to claim it as their own. The internet was a much better place before the spivs and whores gatecrashed it.

Just to be crystal clear, I do not care if you threaten to leave the internet, go now please, and shut the door behind you. We know of course that you won't, in which case you'll just have to abide by what the internets users and owners, who pay for it, want.

'Hippy' energy kingpin's electric Noddy-car in epic FAIL

Jim 40

Le agree

...and by that impressively qualified energy expert Lewis Page as well!

Barclays online banking takes a dive

Jim 40

@Jonathon White - Re: Smile

Jonathan I think you will find the Britannia/Smile situation is the opposite of what you said. It is the Coop which has taken over Britannia.

The bottom of Britannia's web site contains the following.


Britannia is a trading name used by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c., part of The Co-operative Financial Services.

The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. Registered office: P.O. Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EP. Registered in England and Wales No. 990937.

The Co-operative Bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (No. 121885), subscribes to the Banking Code, is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service and is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (No. 006110).


© 2009 The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. trading as Britannia


Jim 40


All banks are dreadful but some are less bad than others.

I use Smile and have had no problems with them in ten years.

The one phantom withdrawal on my account was dealt with without a problem.

Having to deal with banks as a part of my job I find Smile more responsive than any of the others.

People just not that into Blu-ray

Jim 40

Content rules

I posted here months back that consumers were disinterested in Blu Ray.

Content rules and no amount of heavily applied make-up can overcome the dull turgid content HD formats are mostly associated with. Production costs become skewed away from the creative skills to the technical skills. These costs are then foisted on to the punters and so everyone is a loser.

Dump HD. Bring back creativity.


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