* Posts by peterm3

105 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Dec 2009

Make Apple, er, America Great Again: iGiant to bring home profits, pay $38bn in repatriation tax

peterm3
Unhappy

I thought the tax cuts Trump has introduced will reduce the tax liablility for him and his family by $1 billion?

Wave Tata, Capita: You've lost mega-contract to rival outsourcer

peterm3
Pirate

Brands built on white boxes

It seems these days our money is managed by outsourced contractors. Perhaps it is relevant to ask "who have you outsourced your back office to" when thinking of who to bank with.

I've been with Nationwide for 20 years - I think they use Capita?

Coincidentally I had an Egg savings account 20 years ago back in the very early days of internet banking. Prudential managed to take the money from my current account but forgot to transfer it to my savings account at the other end. Egg no longer exists ...

Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

peterm3
Meh

Is Skype still the best way to call POTs overseas?

Before the EU roaming initiative I used Skype to phone landlines in the UK. But now I can just use my UK SIM for about 3 pence a minute, which is fine as I rarely make those calls.

The skype client on Android has become quite slow, and the Windows 10 (modern?) app has sound problems on my Lenovo Yoga. Strange when you think it is Microsoft software running on a factory-installed Microsoft OS. I think I just need a dual SIM smartphone and then no need for Skype. Most people are happy with whatsapp or Google Hangouts. Not sure what Google is trying to acieve with Duo or whatever its called. I'd be happy if Google introduced a POTs connection as they already have my credit card!

UK watchdog dishes out fines totaling £600k to four spam-spewers

peterm3
Mushroom

Yes, the fines are fairly small compared to the number of people involved. If each spent 5 seconds deleting them, that's a lot of wasted time. I think BT has been doing some good stuff on tracking down spam phone calls. I guess texts can be sent from outside the jurisdiction so are not per se illegal. I assume the UK companies were tracked down by someone replying to the message?

Uncle Sam's treatment of Huawei is world-class hypocrisy – consumers will pay the price

peterm3
Holmes

kettle calling the pot black

It does sound like protectionism, but who can blame them if the Chinese insist on joint ventures for Western companies. Apple and Amazon have to subcontract the running of their data centres to Chinese companies. Huawei is I suppose an innocent victim. If ZTE is state owned, then fair enough.

Back in 2012 I bought a Huawei Ascend G300 which was total crap, factory resetting itself all the time, I'm hoping they've improved as I'm in the market for a new phone, and their stuff looks quite good with 2 SIM slots.

Transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

peterm3
FAIL

Public transport is already self-driving

Good public transport would probably be more efficient and cheaper. Safer too. The UK doesn't seem to invest anything in public transport, just subsidises* a few private companies who don't invest much. Ironically some state-owned transport companies like RATP and Arriva Deutsche Bahn operate here. Thatcher must be rolling in her grave! Privatisation only to be bought up by foreign State-owned companies!

* Train companies get subsidies, local buses certainly, and I think bus companies even get a Diesel tax rebate

Huawei's Honor 9: The only mobe of its spec asking 'why blow £500?'

peterm3

Re: Only fly in the ointment is its older brother...

Good tip, although the performance seems to be about half as measured by Benchmark X on gsm arena.

At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

peterm3
Happy

@wolfetone

Erm, why not walk around the block rather than drive? Much more healthy and a smaller CO2 footprint. Cars use more fuel in the cold too.

Arecibo spared the axe: Iconic observatory vital to science lives on

peterm3
Black Helicopters

Is this the place James Bond visited?

BT boss: Yeah, making a business case for 5G is hard

peterm3
Headmaster

Carrier?

"Some sceptics have said that 5G is overhyped, and its uptake has been driven by carriers keen to flog more kit. "

What does carrier mean in this sentence? I though carrier was American for Mobile Network Operator e.g Verizon, here ee?

Do you mean telecoms equipment manufacturer, like Huawei?

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

peterm3
FAIL

This idea is banded about from different ends of the political spectrum. It could never work as those economically weaker, and with weaker skills who are currently excluded or exploited in the labour market, would similarly be exploited with the cash hand out system. The state would still need to provide social services to these groups who are unable to manage their money to buy the essentials.

So the poor person gets their handout, an unscrupulous landlord takes half of it, and the reast goes on products from the shopping channel. Food will then still be needed from food banks.

Much better to have the existing system, but start building council housing again. Get big companies to start paying tax again to pay for it. Simples.

TalkTalk sees red after chucking £75m on restructuring bonfire

peterm3
Go

TalkTalk is actually quite good

I was a TalkTalk customer for a good few years, the price was low, unlimited data and alltogether cheap and cheerful. The router they provided was pretty basic, but with the savings I could afford a really good Asus one.

I only changed at I found a deal for £1 a month for EE via MoneySavingExpert.

I don't have any interest in TalkTalk, and the Dido lady sounded like a useless upper class idiot (now in the House of Lords?) but the company seems to be OK. Perhaps Three (Hutchison) could take it over?

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

peterm3
Headmaster

"in Deutsche" should be "auf Deutsch"

KRACK whacked, media playback holes packed, other bugs go splat in Android patch pact

peterm3
FAIL

My Samsung S5 has appropriately snough 1 April 2017 as the Android security level. Just searched for updates, nothing.

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

peterm3

Re: £50's

The ATMs at Canary Wharf have £50s, think most of the bankers there withdraw £500 before going out for the evening. Not everything a banker needs can be bought on card!

peterm3

Access to cash is pretty hard if you've lost your debit / cash machine card.

I think most of the supermarket chains let you get "cashback" which I used much more than ATMs in the UK.

Off-brand tablets look done, but big players are growing

peterm3
Go

Re: "and strengthening position of traditional PCs"

Apple has already bought it! http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37497807

El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

peterm3
Thumb Down

It pays to decide Nationwide

What about Nationwide? They have / used to have 10 million current account customers, many of whom must be using internet banking.

peterm3

Re: Santander

Yes Santander do seem to rely on stuff which could be keylogged to log in. To make transactions they send an SMS, which opens up another potential security loophole. A friend of mine had his mobile number ported without his permission.

Phab-u-lous, Mate: Huawei's business phabs go upmarket

peterm3
Happy

It would be great to see a buyers guide for what I would call midrange, £300 phones. Andrew Orlowski must see enough mobes coming through his letterbox to tell what's hot and what's not.

Would be great, just in time for Black Wednesday / January sales.

BAE confirms it is slashing 2,000 jobs

peterm3

Re: BS Meter Strikes and Spikes Again?

Hopefully those made redundant will receive more than the statutory minimum redundancy, which thanks to Thatcher is pitifully small in the UK. Another reason why downsizing takes place here before overseas branches.

Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos

peterm3

Re: Argos - back from the brink ?

Sainsbury bought them. About 15 years ago I bought a £5 bike lock from them which fell apart, they gave me a refund no questions asked, even though it was 9 months old.

MPs accuse Amazon and eBay of profiteering from VAT fraudsters

peterm3
Holmes

Re: Too simple ?

I think the problem is Amazon with marketplace see themselves as a broker, the sale contract is with the seller. This is how Uber works - the drivers are often below the VAT registration threshold. If Uber was the supplier they'd be over the threshold and have to charge VAT

peterm3

Re: Re peterm3: VAT lost to HMRC and lost to the UK

The seller sells at the market price, a market containing many participants who do pay VAT. The seller is not a charity, she will sell at the market price. So any VAT which would be due stays in the pocket of the seller.

peterm3
Facepalm

Re: VAT lost to HMRC and lost to the UK

Er no, its in the pockets of the sellers.

peterm3
Windows

Thatcher would have called it entrepreneurship

I think the UK has fairly soft-touch regulation. I think the EU complained we don't enforce VAT properly. It might be better to think that VAT could be only 15% if it was better enforced. Like the minimum wage, there's no point in having it unless it is properly enforced.

Being VAT registered should be compulsory to trade professionally. These are professional sellers who buy stock in just to sell it, not someone selling off the iphone they got as a birthday present!

Stealth, lightweight Android breaks cover

peterm3

I bought my Samsung S5 for £280 nearly 3 years ago. Its now getting slower and slower with every app update. There's lots of junk I don't want like "Peel smart remote" and all the Samsung health stuff. Updates don't come often enough for me.

Perhaps this or the OnePlus T3? I wish it was as simply as Apple!

The Telegraph has killed Prince Philip

peterm3
FAIL

It says more about the type of "journalism" the Telegraph has, if it just makes stuff up about palace sources before the event has even happened!

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos

peterm3

I think the future is not so dismal. Heathrow has two great terminals, 5 and 2.

So OK, BA doesn't give you a free finger roll and G&T any more, but for £5 you can buy a better sandwich and drink in Pret.

'Invisible Man' malware runs keylogger on your Android banking apps

peterm3
FAIL

Re: I'm confused

There are some online banking systems which use the phone as the Second Factor in 2FA. In Germany they have replaced Transaction Authorisation Numbers (TAN) with a pushTAN from an app on your phone. So a determined criminal who has managed to phish your online banking details "just" needs to get you to download some malware onto your phone too.

I'm not sure why more banks don't give customers hardware gizmos Like Nationwide BS or Barclays in the UK do. Can't cost more than a fiver and must pay for themselves with fraud prevention?

Brit voucher biz's signup page blabbed families' details via URL tweak

peterm3

Sounds like amateurs. Website should be taken down immediately until the bugs are fixed.

ICO has no teeth, just a talking shop.

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

peterm3
Pint

Re: Bread?? Stottie

There's a scene in Withnail and I featuring a full English and I think yolk dribbling. That film is fairly snobbish I think.

Profits plunge 40% as BT coughs up £225m to avoid court battle

peterm3

As a shareholder I'm dissapointed with BT. However they are up against Murdoch who has his hooks into Government and the regulator.

peterm3

Re: BT

I think customers get bored after a while. These promotions are a good way of getting a cheap deal if you can be bothered with all the fiddling around. At least these days ISPs don't provide Email addresses so you don't need to stay just to keep your emial address. I've had deals for unlimited broadband and line rental for less than 10 a month, after cashback.

Nationwide’s online banking goes down again

peterm3
Go

Re: Some people...

Many bank branches in Germany have precisely those opening hours, although close completely on Friday afternoons. Possibly more efficient as when they are open the staff are more awake and know what they're doing.

Three Microsoft Outlook patches unpatched, users left to DIY

peterm3
Angel

I thought Microsoft had fixed this, for Outlook 2010 at least? KB3015545

Media mogul Murdoch's 'Sky dataset' swallow poses 'grave threat'

peterm3

Murdoch is getting a bargain after his newpaper titles pushed for Brexit. Now the Pound is cheap he can get his bargain. Those who don't think Murdoch has political power should wonder why he was present when Gove interviewed Trump!

Nationwide banking suffers its own Black Wednesday

peterm3
Windows

Windows

They are a mainly Windows shop for the front end at least? Or were.

I don't find the internet banking that unreliable, although up to now I've had paper statements.

The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

peterm3

Good article

More redistribution of wealth would help, as would better access to free education. Uneducated people also fuel extremist views as they don't have the tools to gain a greater understanding.

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

peterm3
Go

BBC radio free worldwide

Interested to read "requires presence in the UK" for a BBC radio broadcast, as I have always found them to be free. It seems to work from Germany, so I think I'm right?

Teenagers think Doritos are cooler than Apple

peterm3

Re: Doritos

Triangular chips?

EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

peterm3

"The Commission will go as far as reducing VAT problems when selling across borders – right now you have a clumsy process of reverse charging, where the seller takes a copy of the transaction and the authorities then collect the VAT from the buyer directly, rather than in the price of the goods."

The VAT system in Europe is quite simple and well organised IMHO - when I order from Amazon UK to an address in Germany, I'm charge 19% VAT (Geramny rate) rather than 20% in the UK. So what exactly is changing? I have never had a VAT bill come later from "the authorities".

Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap

peterm3

It would be great to have a round up of phones for £250. Or last year's model which are now that price.

TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

peterm3

I think the answer is to buy relatively cheap tellies. My Sony 42" I bought 2.5 years ago for £500 should work for 5 years. It doesn't do H.265 which is a pain as Germany just switched over to that last month. My telly can do DVB-T2 but not with H.265 aka HEVC.

The quality of the LCD technology does improve over time too, its not just the electronics which change.

Buy shares in electronics companies too. Perhaps enough so that the dividends cover the cost of buying a new telly every 5 years!

Speaking in Tech: Google vs your privacy... part 73(4)iii(b)

peterm3
FAIL

The web-player is not very functional. I can't skip to the bit I want to hear!

Not auf wiedersehen – yet! The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech

peterm3

Munich seems to have local offices of Google, Amazon, Apple. Also companies like Siemens, Airbus, BMW and Munich Re. Public transport is great, except the trams which are so quite they are risky for pedestriany, cyclist and motorists alike.

Healthcare system is another world compared to the NHS - comparable with private cover in the UK. No waiting times!

TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

peterm3

I was a TalkTalk customer until December 2015. I think I would be reluctant to go back unless they were much cheaper, they have an attitude problem. UK data protection regulations are so weak, so I'm not sure anyone in Government cares (especially with Dido's position). Dido says her typical customer lives in a tower block so I guess they're likely to be poor and don't matter.

Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

peterm3

Your view that public service television would somehow be better or cheaper if it relied upon a simplistic market model is flawed. Just like with healthcare, it is cheaper to fund such public services collectively. As you say, Germany has a better model. High quality public service broadcasting using the latest technology, including HbbTV which is a better platform for video on demand than the mix of standards we have.

Not sure I'd want to live in a country like the US where only the wealthy have access to intelligent TV. Television helps bind society together, rather than a completely individualistic consumerist "I'm alright Jack" society.

Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

peterm3

handing the future to Murdoch

Abolishing the licence fee would mean handing the future to Murdoch or other foreign-owned media. British culture would be seriously damaged. Public Service Television should remain just that, a public service accessible to all. Politicians in the pocket to powerful media interests (in the lead-up to an election where Murdoch's newspaper support is vital) making these decisions is really depressing and short-sighted.

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

peterm3

ASUS make great wifi stuff

I am very impressed with my dual band ASUS DSL-N55U, so reliable and really well built. Not sure why they aren't as well known for their wifi kit, they should be. Their USB wifi adaptors are also the most reliable I've used.