* Posts by Can't think of anything witty...

119 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Sep 2009


How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?

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You're changing the topic of conversation in an attempt to highlight one issue and by association prove your point, despite the fact that they are not really linked. Your new point is about scale, not the underlying structure.

The original proposal was that there is a democratic deficit in the EU that we do not have in the UK. I do not believe that to be the case, hence my post.

You are now saying that because there are more people in the EU than UK, that your opinion is diluted and that is the source of the problem. That's a different argument. That is about getting along with more people and having to get their agreement.

What you are missing is that this applies at all scales. You might as well argue that it's harder to get stuff done at westminster compared to your local parish council, because of all of those "other" people from the rest of the country. It's a matter of scale.

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not sure i follow your argument...

we can remove european council members in exactly the same way that we remove the PM or chancellor (in fact, this is EXACTLY the same way, as people are only in the council when they are part of the government).

You can also "get rid" or the european parliament by voting out MEPs at the elections... again, very similar to the way that we can change the composition of westminster parliament (different way of adding up the votes, but the gist of it is the same).

Like the civil service, the commission largely exists outside of those two areas.

So again, i'm afraid that I don't really see the difference.

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i think that the point is, that in Europe, the council (made up of the prime ministers of member states) set the direction (e.g. "we think that there should be legal protection against this...") the Commission write the laws (e.g. formally defining what "this" is) and then the parliament vote on the proposed law, passing it if they agree and amending if they don't.

In the UK, the government sets the direction, the civil service write the laws and then the government vote on it, passing it if they agree and amending if they don't. Then it goes to the appointed / non-elected second chamber (the lords) to be passed up the line and become law.

You can be pro or anti europe/brexit but to me, there is not a lot of difference between those two systems. i'm not sure why people get so hung up on the role of the commission.

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

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No it's not.

there are 3 main factors at work here:

1) the money that we owe the EU each week

2) The rebate that was negotiated

3) money coming directly back into the UK from EU schemes

there are also a bunch of other benefits which may/may not be benefits / costs - but lets look at the direct parts first.

the figure for 1) is 350 million (or it was - it actually varies due to the economic output of the country, but we can use it to start).

the rebate means that figure is reduced - i think by about 70.

IMPORTANTLY, it is not the case that we sent 350 and get 70 back - we only send 280.

we then get additional money back to spend on specific areas, as we pay into an EU budget for a program and then (sometimes) some of that money is spent in the UK. Estimates put this at about 50 (i think)

my basic understanding of how accounting works suggests that in fact, we would budget to spend the 280, not the 350. Counting like Boris does means that you are effectively spending that money twice.

To paraphrase Tim Harford:

"You walk into a shop to buy a TV with a price of £350. But there is a deal on at the moment, meaning that the TV is only £280 and you can get 50 of netflix vouchers. the "true" asking price may be £350, but you only need to spend £280 to get it. you then get an additional benefit of the netflix vouchers but have to spend that on netflix. You decide not to buy the TV and spend the money on something else. How much money do you have to spend on the other thing? Answer: £280, not 350".

Vodafone gets less flexible on flexible working Ts&Cs for own staff

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Re: Can someone explain to me the the issue around maternity leave?

i don't know, but i can guess that it is to do with collection from childcare.

If you have to drop your child off at a nursery which opens at 8 and closes at 6, and you live more than an hour away from the office, then it's going to be hard to resolve that. if however the nursery is 10 minutes from your house and you can work from home, then life is a lot easier...

Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

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Nokia and android...

So years ago when Nokia still made smartphones, there was much despair at their choice to go exclusively to Windows as an OS and not become one of the many other manufacturers releasing android phones. Some thought that they needed to differentiate from the other android makers and that WP was pretty good - others thought that WP had no apps or interest and all that was holding Nokia back was the software.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out with HMD now making android phones under the Nokia brand...

The rise, fall, and rise (again) of Microsoft's killer People feature

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it was (and still is) an excellent feature on the phone, but i can see how it would work well on a PC too - for example, use it to collate all the contact from a colleague across email, IM, skype etc...

Also, as this will also roll out to phones as well, lets hope it makes it back there too...

Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

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Re: @ Pete4000uk - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Something a bit like Norway, with access to the market?

by the way, i agree with you the nuclear annihilation bit (just watching Deutchland 83 at the moment and it's hard to believe that world was in my lifetime...)

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@ Pete4000uk - Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

It's nice to hear someone give an honest reason (that you think that the EU has "gone too far").

My question to you is if you think that a full withdrawal is the answer to your concerns.

Your statement also suggests that at some point the EU had gone "just about far enough". Do you think that some middle ground would be a better solution (i.e. some version of stay in and fix our problems as opposed to leaving entirely)?

Not trying to change your mind, I'm just interested to understand other points of view.

Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

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"It's a [...] somewhat counter-factual official position"

Welcome to post Brexit, post fact, "We've had enough of experts" politics.

Brexit? No impact at all, chuckles reseller juggernaut

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Re: Get on with it!


OR trade deals are really hard and time consuming to negotiate.

i'm not picking on the Canadians here, but they have been talking to India since 2010 and still not got a deal arranged (http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/india-inde/index.aspx?lang=eng)

they spoke to Singapore for 8 years before reaching an impasse (http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/singapore-singapour/index.aspx?lang=eng)

and they have been speaking to Japan since 2012 to see if there is some way that they can work together (http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/japan-japon/index.aspx?lang=eng)

These are all countries that we would want to deal with.

Perhaps negotiating international trade deals is harder than it appears? Its a good job we have many skilled negotiators to call on and fight our corner, right?


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Re: Get on with it!

Would that be the same Canada-Europe trade deal that has taken about 7 years to negotiate and is currently being held up by Belgium?


I'm not convinced that leaving is a good idea, but what really worries me is that nothing will be sorted out within the 2 year period...

Who killed Cyanogen?

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So let me get this straight...

The VCs lost money because they believed that Google would "do no evil" and allow them to compete on a level playing field?


Do we laugh or cry at this one...?

Spinal Tap’s bass player sues former French sewer

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Re: A percentage of net?

i think that is the point on this. On the page linked to at the bottom, there is this statement:

"According to the complaint, Vivendi and its agents, including StudioCanal and Universal Music Group, wilfully manipulated certain accounting data, while ignoring contractually-obligated accounting and reporting processes, to deny Shearer and his fellow co-creators their rightful stake in the production’s profits. The action seeks US$125,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages."

so it looks as though it is exactly those shady accounting practices that he is targeting.

As far as i am concerned, i get that marketing and producing films is expensive and risky, and for each one that pays off there are probably dozens that get nowhere. But at the same time, Shearer has been told that global sales for the soundtrack only added up to $98 and that merchandising was another $81.

That don't sound right to me.

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

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Re: Will audio quality get better?

"I'd bet if they could prevent 3rd party earphones working, they would"

Now that the only wired connection into the phone is one that they specify and control they are entirely at liberty to do just that.

Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options

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overheard recently...

"I don't understand what all this fuss about Europe is. They said it would be awful, but we left back in June and everything has been ok since then"

Adblock Plus chalk talk takes stock: Facebook's gonna block our block of their block of our block? Let's rock

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Re: Not in the least bit surprised...

it's a problems of their own making.

From the front page of Facebook:

"It's free and always will be"

That is just incorrect. It is paid for by allowing adverts into your feed. you may not pay cash to them, but you are still trading something of value to them (time on your screen) for something of value to you (the content of a facebook feed).

Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

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Re: re: 1.8% over the line is not enough for the biggest change to this country in generations.

"ah, but would you say the same if it was YOUR 1.8% over the line?"

Actually, yes i would.

Think of it this way. We are in a situation (in Europe) and some people want to change that. It is therefore up to them to build a convincing case to make that change which would/will be a big change if/when it happens. If they are unable to build that case and take the clear majority of people along with them, then they have failed and it doesn't justify the change.

If things are terrible, then it should be easy to get enough people to agree and vote for a change. But if in doubt, i think that it's better to maintain the status quo. Sure, the status quo may deteriorate and we end up in a worse place then we want to be, but then you look at the question again.

basically, you shouldn't need a mandate to keep things the same, but you should to change them.

so if we had voted 52 Remain and 48 leave, i think that shows us that it's pretty close and not enough people want a change to justify it.

If however, we were not in the EU (crikey, imagine that...) and we had a referendum to join, we would also need a 60:40 majority to make that change. If we were in economic turmoil and all thought that joining would help fix that, then we would presumably be prepared to take the risk.

the important point here is about making a change to the status quo and that would apply equally if we were voting to leave or to join.

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If the result had gone the other way...

...I'm sure that Farage and co. would have simply accept the results and move on quietly.


Oh no, maybe not then.

1.8% over the line is not enough for the biggest change to this country in generations.

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

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i really hope you are right.

i'm not sure you are,

but i hope you are.

'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

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Re: Wow...

i managed to kill GWX on a Windows 7 machine a while back... killed the process then uninstalled it in updates.. there are two or three updates that contain GWX, if you uninstall them and mark them never to be reinstalled, i think that keeps it at bay.

certainly not had any notifications pop up since.

90 days of Android sales almost beat 9 months' worth for all flavours of Win 10

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Re: sometimes I'm easily pleased

What are the issues with it?

IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

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Re: "inviting into Germany one million men of fighting and raping age"

"Staying in the EU increasingly takes power away from local people and hands it to unelected commissars - remember MEPs only vote to pass laws, they don't propose them."

Sorry - but i just don't see your logic.

The EU is made up of 7 institutions, but lets focus on the 4 main ones of the European council, the council of the EU, the EU parliament and the EU commission.

The european council is made up of the heads of state of each member country. our representitive here is David Cameron. He was elected by the UK public.

The council of the european union is made up of the relevant ministers of each member state and you voted for them too - although their position on the council is dependent upon them holding a cabinet position - so it is a little different, but basically they too were elected by the UK public and then put forward for the position by their party leader (so David Cameron picks George Osbourne as chancellor and as long as he is chancellor, then he is on the council of europe). He is an elected MP, the UK public voted for him.

The european parliament has directly elected members and the electoral system is different to the first past the post system that you see in westminster elections, but the MEPs are elected by the UK public. We typically have a very poor turn out in European elections, but just because you didn't vote for one doesn't mean that they were not fairly elected by the UK public.

Finally, you have the european commision. people are appointed to the commission by the leader fo their country (so in this case, David Cameron). As with many other things, when you elect someone to parliament, you effectively say that they represent you and you trust them to make decisions that you would (broadly) support. This is another one of those situations. The comissioners are not directly elected, but the person appointing them is.

couple of important points:

1) the councils provide general direction on what the EU wants to get done and represent the government view

2) the comission is full of technical people who come up with ways of doing what will support the general direction as set by the council

3) the parliament represent the people of Europe and vote on that legislation

People seem to have a problem with the comission, but i don't understand why. They are doing a very similar role the the Civil service in the UK, who are completely unelected.

That make anything clearer?

more information here: (Wikipedia)

Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

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Cameron is in trouble whichever way this goes.

If he looses, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence in him due to his inability to seal the deal that he has invested so much in.

If he wins, then there is a real possibility that there will be a large split in the conservative party and if that cannot be reconciled, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence.

In either case, he has a tough job ahead of him.

on the flipside, Boris has a great opportunity to exploit. if Cameron is booted out (for whatever reason) then he can either claim to represent the voice of the people (if we vote to leave) or the voice of the conservative party members who wanted to leave, but were ignored / hard done by / etc if we vote to stay. The conservative party has always been split on this issue and it's something that they have never really got to grips with. Boris knows that and wants the top job.

Personally, i don't really like Cameron, but i give him credit for taking this on and i would rather have him than Boris as PM. I'm fairly certain that Cameron wasn't expecting to win the general election in 2015 quite as conclusively as he did and he might have included this referendum as something to get the vote out in the short term and that he could bargain away to the lib dems if they had to form another coalition. No thaving it would be something else that they could blame on the Lib Dems. Unfortunately for him, they were too good at that last time around meaning that all the current lib dem MPs can get to westminster in a small minibus...

Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper

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Re: Oh dear, how sad, never mind!

i think that you might have it wrong. My understanding is that you can get on the whitelist in one of two ways, either by adhering to the acceptable advert policy, or by paying a chunk of money. I'm actually ok with the first of those, but the second makes me feel a little uneasy. i would think that if the only way to get whitelisted was to pay, then it would be a lot easier to accuse them of taking an unfair advantage.

As for the whitelist, i've been using ABP for ages and it appears that i have had the Whitelist on (to show those adverts) and yet i cannot remember the last one i saw... so i don't really have a problem with that.

We tested the latest pre-flight build of Windows 10 Mobile. It's buggy but promising

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Re: Depressed at the state of the market...

Absolutely agree...

i like my current Windows Phone (830 on 8.1) but i'm feeling really nervous aobut going to 10 as it has had a lot of mixed reviews...

and yet.

i still don't want to go for either an android or iPhone, broadly for the reasons that you outline (i'm sure that you have seen the news item today about how the most popular version of Android is now 16 months old, despite newer versions being available...).

Feeling a bit stuck at this point, i guess i'll have to sit it out with the 830 until they finally sort WP10...

BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

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Actually sounds fair to me...

i mean, i pay £6/month for netflix, which has a lot of great content and a much cheaper distribution model. The licence fee works out at about £12/month and the BBC generates a load of great content across the web, radio, internet and HD Digital tv.

£12/month with no adverts and some great content (Yeah, some great content and some stuff i don't care about, but hey, it's a bus not a taxi) still sounds pretty good to me...

Continuum gets some Qualcomm mid-range support

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Re: Daft

i think that you might have missed exactly what continuum is. It's not just a case of putting a phone display on to big screen and giving you a keyboard to type emails with. It reconfigures the whole interface so that what is seen is a lot more like a regular laptop.

The technology to do this is on the phone itself and the point is that the phone becomes aware of what it is connected to and then works differently in that context. Phone interfaces are fine for phone screens, but i don't think that many people are interested in replicating that on a monitor - in fact, didn't motorola try outputting the phone screen to a monitor a few years ago? never really caught on...

999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?

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Re: Ideology

so to be clear, you are saying that you need as many people to run the system as it took to build it?

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Re: Ideology

Sorry, but i'm not sure i agree with that. I'm not particularly in favour of a "small" or "big" government, but it doesn't always make sense to do these things in-house. it depends entirely on how many times you are planning to build a system like this and how you want to attract the staff to work on it in the firstplace and what you plan to do for them at the end of the project.

In fairness to the police, their job is use the system, not build it themselves. It's a big technical thing that they need and the amount of expertise required is significant - if they had to recruit all those people to build it there would be a huge lead time in finding and setting up those teams followed by all the same problems in providing the right specification (which yes, is crucial). Then you need to get rid of most of those people once the thing is built (because you need more people to build it than maintain it) - the admin alone would be monstrous.

So unless the government want to set up an IT infrastructure building business (which they could do, but would probably still have to compete with the capitas of the world) does it really make sense to try and do this directly, when it's not the Met's area of expertise and it is only an infrequent requirement?

Att: Windows Phone owners: Win 10 Mobile has been spotted and it wants your phone

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Re: Really?

In fairness, Andrew has generally been positive of Windows Mobile, though less so on 10. Personally, i'm planning to wait a while, but i'm glad that there are at least some people out there using it and getting on ok...

Day 2: Millions of HSBC customers still locked out of online banking

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Re: Really?

For me, the FD website was pretty weak. Yes, it did most of the things that i wanted it to, but to me the interface felt clunky and poorly thought out. i left them a while back now so i'm struggling to remember all the things that bothered me and there wan't much but it certainly wasn't a great interface.

nagging issues included:

-Always trying to open in a new window as opposed to just in a new tab

-poor website scaling so that when i forced it to open in a new tab it looked cramped and dark (ok - i accept that this is slightly my own fault!)

-When you log in (or pay, i cannot remember now), you have to click through a screen to select your account, even when you only have one account with them. so you have to select one option from a list of one, waiting for the page to load each time. tedious.

-the PIN-Sentry thing was a pain.. and you only had limited functionality without it.

That, combined with some good switch offers from competitors made me swap accounts (which was very simple and easy to do)

That said, you are correct, i don't recall any connectivity problems. But although their phone service is second to none, i would much rather get things done online as phoning anyone (even the best people) always felt like effort i couldn't be bothered with.

Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

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Re: late to the party

So maybe Windows Phone will never be a big part of the market.

Windows 10 on the other hand....

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Re: Range

Terry 6: Have you looked at the 830? A little older perhaps (been out for about a year i think) but quite a step up from the 635 in most areas and you can get one sim-free for under £250 now.

Just an idea...

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Does anyone think this is a good thing?

So i am a fan of Windows Phone (i have it, use it, like it, you may not and that is ok) but i'm really not sure that having Android (or any one system for that matter) with that much of the market is a good thing... it puts a lot of control in that company's hands - does anyone think that is a good idea?

You may not like MS (or Apple or Google for that matter) but surely choice is a good thing?

Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

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Re: These Days...

"...you don't need to go to the terminal for much"

But i think that is often still too much. I've dabbled a little in Linux over the years and i'm really impressed with the live disc operating systems (if you need to rescue a pc with a dodgy disk, Knoppix is excellent). Incredible to think that you can just boot from a CD and have a usable system in a few minutes.

but i've never switched over fully. just feels like too much effort, plus i do want support for a few old games that i might get to play again some day. whenever i did try linux, i would always get to some point where the thing that i wanted to do required me to use the command window... and it's hard to go along with that. either i blindly trust the command as written on the net (not least, that i know what it does and that it does what i expect it to) or i have to learn a whole language just ot set a folder permission or something. That's my experience of desktop linux. great up to the point where you need to type "sudo", but that point will always come.

in fairness to MS, i think that the windows 7 install process was impressive... load the disc, put in some info (like username, product key and WiFi / network access etc.) then just leave it for about an hour, come back and it was done. I'm sure it isn' that simple every time, but the last few times i have re-installed 7 it was very simple.

and i never had to resort to a command window. so that's why i still use windows.

just my opinion.. and i'm putting off going back to work on a sunny friday afternoon... :)

Hands On with Windows 10 Mobile build 10572

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Re: Books

i'm far from an expert on this, but weren't MS working on some technology to allow you to port apps easily from iOS / Android to WP? i had the impression that although it wan'y quite a tickbox exercise, it was significnatly easier than trying to re-create them from scratch.

As a WP user (maybe the WP user...? :P ) what really frustrates me is this chicken and egg scenario on apps. popular belief is that "WP has no apps" so people are put off the phones and developers see that "no-one buys WP" so don't make the apps. It's reasonable for both parties in isolation, but together it really puts the brakes on.

It's infuriating because as far as i can tell it's got all the funcitonality of android / iOS (basically - i am sure there are differences) and certainly there are not really any technical barriers to writing those apps... the store infrastructure is there and so on, but getting the process started just seems to be too hard.

it doesn't of course help that MS seemto be hopeless at marketing WP devices....

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

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What will be interesting is the corrective action...

What i'm still not clear on is what VW are going to do to fix this. the way i see it, either they leave cars as they are and get a big fine from governments for polluting OR they fix the software so that cars run in the cleaner mode all the time.

but surely, if they do that, then the performance will be reduced (or else that would be the engine mode by default). so then customers end up with cars that do not give the power that they were told they have and VW get sued by them for false advertising and no-one wants to buy a VW any more.

either way they have a massive problem.

if they then cannot return to Business as usual afterwards as their strategy was based on this approach, (See AC comment in Worstall Mode above) then it is even more of a problem....

i didn't think that VW would collapse over this, but now it seems like a possibility...

Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

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Re: Now you need a TV license, a SKY sub, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT, etc ad-bleedin-nauseum

Absolutely agree.

If it was being done in the interest of the consumer, then the leagues would not be allowed to sell exclusive rights and would have to have each match available to more than one broadcaster. That way, viewers would be able to choose between the services they want - so things like other bundled content, the quality of the coverage, frequency of adverts, pundits etc. would allow an effective choice.

unfortunately, this would significantly reduce the cost to the viewer, meaning that the leagues would get less money and for that reason i cannot see it happening - particularly as long as people are still prepared to pay the current, higher fees to multiple broadcasters. The only way to force the issue is to stop subscribing, and i can't see people doing that either.

Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

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Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

I got a new work laptop in January this year and have not installed flash on it - despite the fact that i use it quite a bit for non-work (mostly out of office hours... ... mostly).

Can honestly say that i really don't miss flash to any significant amount. the only website that still seems to need it is the BBC with some of their content and generally, i don't feel like i'm missing out on anything as i prefer to read the news stories (not watch them) and i have the iPlayer app on my phone and xbox if i do need catch up.

As soon as they get rid of it, it will be a distant memory and i cannot wait.

Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

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Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.


But eventually it will die. And as much as you can remember how you used to run across the green fields together and have fun in a simpler time you also have to move on because you cannot really live in the past forever.

the only claim that you have on "fairness" is the question of lifespan. Was 14 years a good life span for your dog "WIN-XP"?

I had a cat called WIN-98SE who died aged 3 in 2002...

Microsoft rushes out latest Windows 10 build. 300 fixes? Pff, whatever

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Re: Dear Microsoft

Users ahead of Windows 8:

"Microsoft developed this in their ivory tower and never let us even see the new version until we had already bought it. WE HATE IT."

Users ahead of Windows 10

"Microsoft is just using us as beta testers and they are shipping out half-finished software. WE HATE IT."

When you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't, maybe you should just do what you think is best...

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

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Re: Anyone else wonder...

"I don't remember voting for it"

Hate to break it to you, but you don't get a vote on most things...

That isn't how our system (or any that i know of) works.

You vote for a representative to go to parliament and look at all the legislation that is going on and decide if it is a good idea or not to enact it. They look at the evidence, pros and cons and make the best decision that they can (or at least, that is the theory).

Thing is, there is a huge amount of legislation going through Westminster all the time. here is a handy list of some of the more recently enabled acts, most of which i confess i have never heard of:


aside from the fact that it would be incredibly difficult to understand all of those acts to a level where you can judge if it is a good or bad thing, can you imagine the logistics of trying to elicit a vote from everyone on all of them? I cannot see how it would work.

if there is one thing that is really important for you, then write to your MP about it and get him/her to do something. But you are never going to get a vote on every last thing going through Westminster and to be honest i don't think that you would want that anyway.

If you do want to be involved, become an MP. i believe there are currently about 630 vacancies looking ot be filled in the next week or so...

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Re: Anyone else wonder...

Q - "Is this a free trade issue?"

A - Yes.

If Germany decide that they want this system implemented by law then all cars sold in Germany need to meet that law. Because you can sell products across borders without restriction (in theory) that means that any car for sale in Europe must meet the German standard.

Also, if Germany wants to introduce this kind of law, then it is not unreasonable to think that other countries would want to do something similar. if they all develop their own national standards then you will duplicate a lot of work and probably end up with functionally similar but technically slightly incompatible systems.

all of which need to be covered off in a new car design.

which makes it more complicated for the manufacturer.

which makes it more expensive for the consumer.

So yeah, it makes perfect sense for Europe to collaborate on this.

Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

Can't think of anything witty...

Re: Meanwhile, in the real world...

i was thinking that.

But how about this instead.

The BBC sells TV licences to anyone in Europe (or the world for that matter) who wants one. Pay the same fee as in the UK and get worldwide access to the content. You wouldn't need to sell a lot of licences to recoup the cost of managing it and i think that the market would be huge. Same for Sky.

Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

Can't think of anything witty...

@Colin Miller - Re: Fantastic

I know that you are writing off getting 1W from the solar panel on the screen, but i think that it would still be useful.

I found this paper from a couple of years ago (https://www.usenix.org/legacy/event/usenix10/tech/full_papers/Carroll.pdf). Suggests that in their setup a phone used approximately 270mW when idle with the backlight off and only went over 1W when making a call via GSM.

Granted, the phones in the test were a couple of years old and therefore probably clock a lot lower than current ones, but i suspect that may have been offset to some degree by more effiecient processors and even a three-fold increase in idle consumption still leaves change...

Would you recognise the Vans shoes logo? Neither would Euro trademark bods

Can't think of anything witty...

Re: Me neither.

Ah, right. from that description, i think that they are trying to register the squiggle that is down the side of many of their shoes as opposed to the "Vans" word / square-root tick combination.

the squiggle is common on a lot of their shoes, but it isn't as distinctive as the Swoosh or Addias' three stripes, so i think they might be on to a looser here...

How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

Can't think of anything witty...

Re: Bad, but could be good

I think that you are wrong with regard to roaming. I'm in the UK and my network lets me use my included minutes, texts and data* when i travel to some European countries** for no extra cost***

The network that I am on was the first to do this, but as i understand it, it is actually piece of EU legislation which is pushing all of them to stop charging stupid amounts of cash because you are suddenly 50 miles south east of Dover.

when i went to Italy earlier this year, it made a real difference. Other people in the group spent a significant amount of time looking for free WiFi and worrying aobut call charges. I just used my phone and had a good time...

anyway, i digress. Sure, being able to swap sims to get a cheap local deal might be good, but just being able to use your bundled miutes/texts/data when you are away is so much better (particularly if you are just going for a week or two).

* OK - so my unlimited data plan was restricted to 1GB for the week that i was out there.

**OK - not all european countries, but quite a few with more being added and a few outside the EU as well (such as the US).

*** Nope - no extra at all. and i didn't pick some expensive tariff with roaming options, I'm on a rolling 1-month SIM only deal for £14/month

Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

Can't think of anything witty...

Not all the same...

Well, just going from the prices announced the other day, an iPhone 6 (16GB) costs £539 in the UK (Inc. VAT).

Looking on expansys (probably not the cheapest site) and you can find other high-end phones for quite a bit less.Granted, they have been out a little while, but i think that they are still current:

Galaxy S5 (16GB) £425

HTC One M8 (16GB) £450

Lumia 930 (32GB) £430

however you look at it, iPhones are really expensive. When most other companies are selling theirs for aorund £440 and Apple are selling theirs for nearer £540, you can really see the difference. If that extra £100 buys you something that you value, then good for you, but it seems pretty steep to me.

Applelutely fappulous: Fashionistas bow down before the JESUS PHONE

Can't think of anything witty...

@R69 - Identity

"People often use brands as a means of acquiring an identity for themselves. Personally i think its bollocks and I choose what I buy on the basis of quality"

And by doing that, you are also expressing your identity. Whereas others create the identity of "using apple iProducts", you create the identity of "Using quality products" (for your current definition of "quality").

Both are identities and there is nothing wrong with either, but it's not fair to say that you are not expressing your identity, you just do not do it in the same way as some other people.