* Posts by Colin Bull 1

129 posts • joined 15 Apr 2010


Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

Colin Bull 1

Other options ...

I had a spam telephone call today from a company promoting covid business claims. As I am on TPS I have registered a complaint with TPS.

But interestingly the company is a trading arm of a company of solicitors. As calling numbers registered on TPS is illegal I have also registered a complaint with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Wait with interest what their action wiil be.

As an aside, anyone any idea if a small claims court action will be worthwhile for the time take to record a TPS complaint, as they would also have to pay the court fee which is a worthwhile penalty.

UK data regulator fines American Express up to 0.021p per email after opted-out folk spammed 4.1 million times

Colin Bull 1

Re: Pathetic waste of time

"encourage individuals to take out civil action each time and then see what happens to UK originated spam"

I am thinking of doing this for spam calls. Butr will I be able to claim a worthwhile amount in the small claims court, or will the court fees be enough to put them off.

If its any consolation Trustpilot are just as bad as ICO and are a waste of space.

And the Turing Award for best compilation goes to... Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho

Colin Bull 1
Thumb Up

Re: Awkward

"And if you've ever used Awk, know that Aho created that with Peter Weinberger and Brian Kernighan in 1977"

The AWK book on my bookshelf is the most used and educational volume I have ever come across. My 3 heroes.

Clop ransomware gang leaks online what looks like stolen Bombardier blueprints of GlobalEye radar snoop jet

Colin Bull 1

Easy peasy

Yesterday I set up ftp from my Synology NAS to my 7 year old STB in 5 minutes with a GUI. Now it is set up it is pretty much drag and drop. Total hardware cosr £180, software cost nil.

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS

Colin Bull 1

Re: Further simplicity and ease of use...

"GIMP is that the name is offensive to many people"

When I first started in IT we had a colleague who was named Gay. At that time it did not have any other meaning. Times and preconceptions change. Nowadays that name would be offensive, the not at all.

Gimp was no more offensive than grep.

Colin Bull 1

Silliest naming

"The silliest naming, I think, is"

Not even close. Naming a railway company with a single digit number (one) is far more stupid. Especially when you think that now and again there might be announcements over the air of train times and platform numbers and other numeric info.

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent

Colin Bull 1

Re: Catch 22

I was volunteering at a vaccination centre yesterday. The blurb given out at the last knockings is you will receive a call for your second jab at some time in the future.

Presumably all 500+ had only booked first appointment.

Missing GOV.UK web link potentially cost taxpayers £50m as civil servants are forced to shuffle paper forms

Colin Bull 1

Ulteria motive

This might have been deliberate. Perhaps they want all these changes checked by a pair of eyes for security reasons. And it is not only government.

I have been frustrated recently by private orgs that required phone calls for mundane tasks.

AA Insurance - sorry because of covid you will have to sit in this phone queue for an hour to change your address - which could be done online in 10 seconds but we would not be able to try to upsell you. Tossers

Nationwide - I want to pay credit card automatically every month - easy peasy, just waste 20 mins of a help desk ops time to do something quite straightforward and make everyone wait longer for no other reason than we are incompetent.

I feel better now ...

'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

Colin Bull 1

Re: left the whole server arena about ten years ago

They people that were buying this type of processor were stipulating that it had to be commercially available and supported for 10 years. And these companies are not ones you would mess with -even if you were Intel.

Colin Bull 1

Re: mulii-core killed Itanic

My impression is that there was a lot of leverage applied by Intel to kill of the Alpha. That leverage could be inducements for HP to buy other intel processors cheaply or backhanders to senior execs.

The Alpha was superior at that time and had a large following.

Europe promises all-out assault on batteries to counter China’s lithium-ion domination

Colin Bull 1

Re: Hmmmm

"I can imagine there being a lot of protest at mining anything in Cornwall nowadays."

I think not. Cornwall has been mining for thousands of years. It is still seen here as a future source of jobs. We even had Rick Stein euologising about the china clay slag heaps a few weeks ago on TV. St Austell employs enough people in china clay for the local population to work with it. It will be the same with lithium.

Cornwall, Nr England

Four cold calling marketing firms fined almost £500k by ICO

Colin Bull 1

I am surprised at this much progress

My current complaint through TPS received the following reply

It would appear that **** are misrepresented by a company using the same or similar trading name and/or spoofed their telephone number. However, we have not been able to positively identify the offending company. Please note that TPS does not have the facility to track or trace telephone calls that you have received.

I have replied with email received from them with headers that clearly show the company involved.

But to do this I had to convince them to send me an email.

Most of the Indian call centres used spoofed numbers and TPS are powerless to follow up. I get 1 to 2 calls every day, I string them out to waste their time and try to get them to send an email to get some evidence.

The government need to force carriers to use technology that can verify or track back numbers. This would also stop a high percentage of fraud carried out by telephone.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

Colin Bull 1

Not true

The writers of powershell have done an excellent job of ripping off most unix commands. Just write a unix shell script and get powershell to run it :-)

Colin Bull 1

Re: RE: doing things behind the curtain @buchan

"how many people really remember the concept of dedicated print backends set up using lpadmin (or earlier, by editing the lp scripts"

LP scripts were magic. You could use all the unix tools to look for certain data in the stream and do wonderful things like redirection, duplication, modification - insert barcode for non barcode aware software.

Those were the days. I must admit my only experience using a tutorial for systemd left me frustrated and in the end I gave up.

Negative Trustpilot review of law firm Summerfield Browne cost aggrieved Briton £28k

Colin Bull 1

Re: He's not alone

"We get a lot of that. Negative reviews from people we've never even worked with."

I am in discussion with Truspilot over reviews I have posted about Indian call centre calls on behalf of UK companies. How can I prove I had a unsolicited call from a spammer using a spoofed number. Well I have a crackly voice recording AND an email from them to a honeypot address. The default response is to deny any communication with you. Will wait and see if Trustpilot are neutral or on the side of the advertisers

What's that you got there, AMD? More Ryzen chips? Yeah, OK, we could do with some of those

Colin Bull 1

Re: Availability?

I got one (4500u) . BUT the specs were very limited. Soldered in RAM, only one storage device. But the NVMe goes like shit off a shovel. I have ordered a 256GB micro SD card to boost short term storage and the Wifi6 makes connecting to a NAS not too problematical. Biggest problem is cannot get Bluetooth mouse working at same time as WiFi under Ubuntu. Guess its an Intel driver problem.

The first point release for Linux 5.10 came out barely a day later because storage bugs broke RAID5* partitions

Colin Bull 1

Re: RAID 6 ... nor the Fs

I have seen RAID 5 fall over catastrophically so many times ..

This should be compulsory reading


Needs bringing up to date include the latest marketing wheezes

Subway email weirdness: Suspicion grows over apparent Trickbot trojan delivery campaign

Colin Bull 1

Trying too hard.

3 days ago when got up had missed 0845 call on mobile and landline. Checked no on Google and most sites stated spammers purporting to be Nationwide . Later that day had another call from same number. They stated they were Natiowide and to press 1 to continue. Pressed 1, said press 5. Pressed 5 . Message stated my year of birth and asked for day an month. I thought if they already know year not hard to get DM so I entered. Then got message telling me about late payment on Credit card. Hung up, went online and CC payment had been missed. (Not received first statement) .

Question. This would have taken a lot of programming to configure. Why not just send text or email as they have both on online account. Hundreds of people think this is not genuine and it is absolutely not neccessary.

Ticketmaster: We're not liable for credit card badness because the hack straddled GDPR day

Colin Bull 1

Re: Small Claims Court

As an aside .. The small claims system in Scotland is different to England and not as straight forward in my opinion. After my experience with Spark Energy I would avoid dealing with any company bases solely in Scotland if I could.

Crooks social-engineer GoDaddy staff into handing over control of crypto-biz domain names

Colin Bull 1

Not so cheap

A charity I was involved in signed up for Godaddy. They did not realise the package only came with one email address. Each additional email address costs more than I am paying for unlimited. All the committee members received everyone elses emails. What a shit show

Ordnance Survey recruits AR developer to build 'geolocated quests' to help get Brit couch potatoes exercising outdoors

Colin Bull 1

Re: Thank you, Ordnance Survey

A someone above mentioned, geocaching is one solution. This was a follow up to a decades old pastime called Dartmoor Letterboxing. And there are/were several of these in pubs - The Plume of feathers at Princetown in particular. So a good excuse for a pub crawl

Linux Foundation, IBM, Cisco and others back ‘Inclusive Naming Initiative’ to change nasty tech terms

Colin Bull 1

Re: What are we going to do about the embedded devices?

"These changes are typically invisible to the end users anyway, so why are you so resistive to this?"

Because these are changes that are not needed and are just about some prats with nothing better to do with their time.

Black and white are colours and their use to describe good or bad things has nothibg to do with skin colour but to do with night and day , light and dark.

Why should anyone be offended by the use of master slave to describe a relationship of some kind. Who can be offended? Hundreds of years ago african traders were capturing people off of the coast of Devon and Cornwall and enslaving them. I do not see why their ancestors would be offended by this term.

Uber allowed to continue operating in English capital after winning appeal against Transport for London

Colin Bull 1

Re: They're a shower

For clarification -

The Uber app is taking the booking, so Uber must have an operator's licence.

The licence is registered where the company is based but generally can operate any where in the UK.

There is an anomoly that if a driver works for two companies in separate authorities they must hold a PH licence for both authoriies regardless of where they live.

So a company based in Birmingham can operate in Nottingham with a Birmingham Op licence and cannot be regulated by Nottingham authorities as long as bookings and admin are done in Birmingham. I think London is a separate issue entirely and is not in line with rest of UK.

Would be far better to have central licensing and standard rules but not likely to happen.

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology

Colin Bull 1

numerous devices sold without Windows

I followed through on this link to Lenovo and could see no way to exclude Windows and reduce price. Help an old man and show a link with reduced price without windows

What's the Arm? First Apple laptop to ditch Intel will be 13.3" MacBook Pro, proclaims reliable soothsayer

Colin Bull 1
Paris Hilton

3 1/2 inches makes all the difference ..

Am I missing something ? 21.5 to 24 inch is 2 1/2 inches in my neck of the woods. Not worth bragging about.

India allows half of IT services workers back to the office next week

Colin Bull 1

Look forward to daily chats

Looks like I can look forward to my almost daily calls telling me I am getting a new leccy meter and they will save me £100 a month on fuel bills. Still nothing better to do as self isolating.

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?

Colin Bull 1

Re: Contractor Testing

You: "oh , well id have a multi step plan thus:

1) make a plan

2) do the plan"

and in the real world

3) Lessons learned

If only 3 in 100,000 cyber-crimes are prosecuted, why not train cops to bring these crooks to justice once and for all, suggests think-tank veep

Colin Bull 1

Reactive and not proactive

I have had 3 phone calls this week for the National Grid Agency who want to change my meter. Sadly they have the details of the previous user of the landline number. Why cannot we have a bank account number of email address to give the scammers that can activate an alert. Why can we not have a reverse 1471 system that you can dial to alert the phone company that the previous call was from fraudsters and track the number back to source?

My only ray of comfort is that the last one was on the phone 32 minutes, and even 4 minutes after I gave my email address as scam @ googlemail.com

Retired of Tunbridge Wells

Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures

Colin Bull 1

IT - we have heard of it

My belief is that all middle management at RM have come up through the ranks. The are knowledgeable about postal system but completely ignorant about IT.

The postcode system has not been fit for purpose for 20 years. A house number and postcode should give a unique address, ie primary key. It does not. If 25 Station Road and 25 Station Court have same postcode the sorting machines will put them together. And after years and years of getting post for Station Court the bloke at Station Road will end up binning it. I have been there.

When Fujitsu were asked by RM middle management if there could be a problem with system they would not have a clue how the system worked and what checks should have been in place.

And once one or two prosecutions have happened it would be very difficult to back track and accept there is a problem And at this point top floor mandarins would put pressure on them not accept the possibility of a problem.

Poor, poor mobile networks. UK's comms watchdog plans to stop 'em selling locked-down handsets

Colin Bull 1

Re: Vodaphone

Hopefully in 6 months time you wont accidently find a black mark on your credit rating because your scum carrier thought it would be a good idea.

Xbox Series X: Gee thanks, Microsoft! Just what we wanted for Xmas 2020 – a Gateway tower PC

Colin Bull 1


"Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Head of Xbox, described the Series X as "our fastest, most powerful Xbox".

Well I never saw that coming. Would be an anticlimax if it was not as fast as previous models.

Can't you hear me knocking? But I installed a smart knocker

Colin Bull 1

Re: The joys of automation...

Bought a 3 year old car a year ago with keyless ignition. But it only had one key. So her indoors has been wittering ever since about getting another one. Only £300 + at the local Citroen dealer. So when shopping a couple of weeks ago Timpsons advertise replacement keys for 95% of cars. Check them out, no problem - cost between £190 and £220 so went ahead. They have to send of to Citoen for coad to program new key so tols to come back week later.

So .. on way to Timpsons got to local Ferry queue, pressed button to turn of engine. Message "Key fob not present. Long press to turn of engine". So like an idiot I gave it a long press. So ferry came in, queue moved, went to start car - "Key fob not present". This on the way to get new key!

After looking in manual and extracting hidden key in fob and trying to work out if it was any use, put fob back in and l and behold it started. Ferry refused me carriage in case I broke down on ferry, so 30 mile long way round to Timpsons. They cut new key, and programmed it but could not program central locking and could not clear errors in ECU.

Went to local garage, 3 pages of errors - could not clone central locking either.

I do believe in conspiracy theories - Any one know how I can find out if Citroen have nobbled my car remotely?

Fancy yourself as a bit of a Ramblin' Man or Woman? Maybe brush up on your cartography

Colin Bull 1
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Re: Undocumented feature

'Might as well use Google Maps. Or even Apple Maps.'

I have always found Locus maps with OSMand data to be excellent for walking anywhere in the world.

Forget Brexit, ignore Trump, write off today: BT's gonna make us all 'realise the potential of tomorrow'

Colin Bull 1

BT not fighting hard enough

AC wrote ...BT should have point blank refused to allow other companies into its exchanges back in the 'mercury' days. They didn't.

If Ofcom did not allow LLU in the early 2000s we would be back in the realms of £700 install for broadband and £70 a month for 1MB as we were then.

If Ofcom had any gumption and not staffed with ex BT bods they would have separated the infrastructure and got rid of the last mile of copper 10 years ago and we would be paying £10 per month for broadband with a version of VOIP for nothing.

HPE's Eng Lim Goh on spaceborne computers, NASA medals – and AI at the final frontier

Colin Bull 1

Re: Impressive!

By not removing the shrinkwrap they could prove they had not read the EULA

Plusnet is doing us proud again with early Christmas present for customers: Price hikes

Colin Bull 1


My monthly bill with UNO is £23 odd including 50GB peak broadband, line and calls

Thanks to all those tax dollars, humans can now hear the faint sounds of earthquakes on Mars

Colin Bull 1

Not likely

More likely to be the baby soup dragon in the volcanic soup well

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines

Colin Bull 1

VOIP services

As I hope to be moving in a few weeks, any recommendations for VOIP providers that I can port my existing landline numer to?

UK.gov's smart meter cost-benefit analysis for 2019 goes big on cost, easy on the benefits

Colin Bull 1

Re: No accurate bills

This is not the only reason. By estimating your bill, they do not raise a VAT invoice and you are paying them the VAT element that they are not passing on to HMRC ( until a proper VAT invoice is raised, usually once a year). If they are getting a meter reading and still charging based on estimate I would call this defrauding HMRC. But HMRC are too stupid to care.

We asked for your Fitbit horror stories and, oh wow, did you deliver: Readers sync their teeth into 'junk' gizmos

Colin Bull 1

Re: Pebble

A hundred years ago when PCs first came out you would play a cassette and pray the volume / treble / vodoo were in sync and your program loaded. No feedback even if you had forgotten to plug cassette into PC. Then the Sinclair Spectrum came along which had black and yellow lines flashing on screen that showed data was being transferred and lo and behold feedback had been invented.

It is a pity Fitbit could not licence this bit of technology so there was some means of tracing progress when syncing. It is not hard, but beyond Fitbit's technical ability even though their support staff spend most of their time with sync problems.

Of course this ignores completely the elephant in the room. The fitbit is only a watch that can tell you the time if it can connect to home and update time and Fitbit have not borked the app.

Never ever buy a Fitbit is my advice.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

Colin Bull 1

Re: Novell netware on Win95

The Index manual for Novell was a brilliant way to cure insomnia

France says 'non merci' to Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency

Colin Bull 1

Re: Monetary Sovereignty?

And by having a fluctuating currency that is shared by all eurozone countries Germany is effectively pimping of the countries with a weaker economy. Germany dictate european policy because of this. All power to the 4th reich

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh

Colin Bull 1

Re: monthly readings not appearing on accounts

They probably include a VAT element in your bill, but as it is an estimate they do not pay any VAT to HMRC. If HMRC had any clue, they would stop this fraud.

This weekend you better read those ebooks you bought from Microsoft – because they'll be dead come early July

Colin Bull 1

Re: DRM removal and calibre

I have a Kindle, the other half a Kobo. I buy DRM'd books from both. They are both loaded into Calibre which allows unlocking and transfer to the other device. It is a bit of a faff, but I find it worthwhile.

Kindle books must be downloaded to a PC. Then Calibre has no trouble with them.

Kobo books are de-drmed with a Kobo plugin called Obok de-drm.

I find calibre is a major benefit for ebooks and I donate regularly as it is a free install and updates are made every couple of weeks.

Microsoft have form on this issue I once foolishly downloaded some films that needed MS DRM servers and they just shut them down with no warning and this was about 10 years ago.

This is grim, Vim and Neovim: Opening this crafty file in your editor may pwn your box. Patch now if not already

Colin Bull 1

Re: Smug

I cannot get use to nano. When i hit the J key to cursor down it enters a j instead. What moron programmed that?

Praise the lard! Police hook up with Microsoft to school us on National Phish and Chip Day

Colin Bull 1

Re: better still


The choice of beer was Tavey Porter 5.2%, Longman Long Blond or Bass 4.5% all at £3 a pint.

** SATNAV WARNING** You may be directed over a ford which is impassable at high tides.

You should also be comfortable reversing long distances because all roads are single track for long distances.

Colin Bull 1

better still

Out in the sticks in rural Cornwall there are not many chippies. But better still the St John Inn have a fish and chip night with beer as well as batter. You cant get batterern that :-) Just leaving now.

What first attracted Ofcom boss Sharon White to the near-£1m salary offered by John Lewis Partnership?

Colin Bull 1

Re: Meanwhile...

I take exception to the term inaction used here. Ofcom have succesfully changed the spectrum in this neck of the woods so that we cannot receive many of the Freeview channels that we once had. Without out any warning or publicity. Wankers all.

Boeing admits 737 Max sims didn't accurately reproduce what flying without MCAS was like

Colin Bull 1

As was proved by the Lion Air flight PRIOR to the fatal Lion Air crash and the fatal Lion Air crash up until the pilot gave control to the first officer who did not follow the example of the pilot. (The pilot kept level flight for 22 sequences of MCAS if my memory is correct.) This proves the situation was recoverable if the right sequences were followed. Whether these crews had the training or experience to do this is another matter. Never the less Boeing created a potential disaster through its stupid decisions not to make pilots well aware of the changed characteristics in the MAX.

HSBC suggests it might have found a... use for blockchain?

Colin Bull 1

Re: Just to be clear

"These things are of interest to techies like the people who read this website, but not really that important in the overall scheme of things."

I think the following paragraph might create a step change in the financial system.

"It transforms the process around intra-company foreign exchange activity, automating several manual procedures and reducing reliance on external settlement networks."

At present credit and debit cards are an effective duopoly of Visa and Mastercard, both charging exhorbitant fees. This could eliminate these parties skimming every transaction



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