* Posts by Colin Bull 1

111 posts • joined 15 Apr 2010


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
Thumb Up

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

Ofcom: More spectrum for all the good boys and girls. Except you, EE. You've had your fill

Colin Bull 1

Tossers ftom Ofcom

These must be the frequencies that were being used by some Freeview channels that were just yanked without warning earlier in the year by Ofcom. And they will be back when...?

BBC 4HD, PBS amongst others

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

Colin Bull 1

Re: Recent Experience....

I am amazed to see crap like this on the Register. It will only take someone with IT knowledge to transform this system into something fit for purpose.

It is not dissimilar to the DVLA system. As soon as my car is MOTed it is on the system. PC plod knows it is MOTed or not. I do not have to walk 5 miles to the post office with a VC5, MOT certificate and f** knows what else to tax it as the system is connected and I can do it online in 2 minutes.

Get real. The removal of fax machines from NHS should have happened years ago. Emails between trusted partners is a piece of cake. I bet in twenty years time some places will still be paying for line rental for devices removed twenty years earlier because there are no systems in place to check requirements.

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport

Colin Bull 1

Re: And one requirement to use this is

I have had notification I might be involved. Last time I used any of these hotels was 2008!

Budget 2018: Landlords could be forced to grant access for full-fibre connections

Colin Bull 1

Fire risks

There is a block of flats in Ipswich where the leaseholders have just had a bill for £20k each for cladding replacement. The freeholders are pushing for a sprinkler system to be installed because a very large proportion of the properties have had their integrity compromised by tradesmen leaving gaps in between properties when maintaining services.

Would you trust a telco installer to do this properly?

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Colin Bull 1

cp can also be dangerous

After several years working in a DOS environment I got a job as project Manager / Sys admin on a Unix based customer site for a six month stint. On my second day I wanted to use a test system to learn the software more, so decided to copy the live order files to the test system.

Unfortunately I forgot the trailing full stop as it was not needed in DOS - so the live order index file over wrote the live data file. And the company only took orders for next day delivery so it wiped all current orders.

Luckily it printed a sales acknowledgement every time an order was placed so I escaped death and learned never miss the second parameter with cp command.

Contractors slam UK taxman's 'aggressive' IR35 tax reforms

Colin Bull 1
Thumb Down

"the real "common workers" on min wage & zero hours"

These statements are contradictory, if the common worker is on a zero hours contract then they are not on PAYE.

NOT TRUE. I would say that most zero hours worker ARE on PAYE. I certainly was for many years.

Your employer or employers all have a tax code for you. Often you overpay tax -but get it refunded.

Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

Colin Bull 1
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'So, the credit history and ID of the Cockney is worth about a tuppence. '

In another lifetime I was a customer of TalkTalk and had a line fault reported to them.

After this data was nicked I had no written notification from TalkTalk. I did have regular calls from them telling me my modem was showing faults and I needed to do Windows R to get them to fix it. (quoting my address and TT account no to prove it was TT) In the last week this has escalated to 2 calls a day. I know how much my details are now worth in India. Sweet FA.

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

Colin Bull 1


Coincidently I have just had 2 lots of insurance documentation from Sainsburys Bank date 2 minutes apart with expiry date quoted in different places as Midnight, 11.59 and 23.59.

Consistent ? - consistently crap.

Outage? No, phones are playing silly buggers, insists Sainsbury's Bank

Colin Bull 1

If their web site is anything to go by ...

Coincidently I tried to access my car insurance details online yesterday with Sainsburys bank. It says you need to reply to notification email. 2 tries at getting notification email and no emails received.

Phone up ( only 5 or 6 minute wait ) and I am told it must be a problem with my spam box. I have not got a spam box I say. Yes you have the call centre wonk tells me. Do you want me to change the email address and try again. Yes - gave him a different email address.

Same result.

Thought no problem, I will register as a new user. For the second time that day I encountered a web site that would not allow cut and paste of password. F**k this I thought, I have got better things to do with my time, but to be helpful I will let them know why I could not be arsed.

"Sorry our contact form is out of action at present"

What a way to run a railway!

IP freely? What a wind-up! If only Trevor Baylis had patent protections inventors enjoy today

Colin Bull 1

Re: Concerning Trademarks

However what commonly happens is that John Smith Widgets gets bought-out and the trademark is applied to stuff from China with no connection to the original company.

Hear , hear.

You can get cornish Doom Bar any where in the country but it is mostly brewed in Burton on Trent because Sharps brewery were bought out by Coors.

Just a ploy to use the icon !

'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

Colin Bull 1

Re: Re "putting the phone down is almost always the right thing to do."

Oh no it's not.

I used to get one every month, but not had any for about a year. Think it is because the TalkTalk data list is past its sell by date.


BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Colin Bull 1

Re: So what about the customers?

"Perhaps there'll be a ten year gradual changeover period like DTV?"

This is an ongoing ballsup. Every year or so Ofcom fuck it up. Why did I lose BBC4HD signal with no warning 3 weeks ago. Because Ofcom can piss about without a thought for the end users.

Please take the wankers out the back and shoot them. If it is a problem for me and I am IT literate, what about the millions of other punters who cannot use Google properly.

It's baaack – WannaCry nasty soars through Boeing's computers

Colin Bull 1

It is not only Windows

My fairly recent Garmin satnav gives a commendable warning not to interact with it when driving when booting up.

Then just as you get to a large french town centre it splats a full screen warning, that the SD card is deteriorating due to over use and will not get back to its primary function of navigating until you acknowledge the warning.

You could not make it up.

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Colin Bull 1

My Sidekick agrees too..

That was the ultimate TSR program. I do not think there has ever been anything to better it. It was always your best friend on a boot floppy. And it was free with an AST 6 pack.

Fancy a viaduct? We have a wrought Victorian iron marvel to sell you

Colin Bull 1

Cornish 2 for 1

Cornwall has 2 of its own favourite relics next to each other. Both still in working order!

Trago mills - Cornwall's favourite place to shop and the St Pinnock viaduct.

From Wikipedia - Milepost 269.5, 1.25 miles (2.0 km) west of Doublebois above the Trago Mills out-of-town shopping complex. (50.453064°N 4.568532°W)

A Class B viaduct 151 feet (46 m) high and 633 feet (193 m) long on 9 piers. It was rebuilt by raising the piers and replacing the timber with iron girders in 1882. This is the tallest viaduct on the Cornwall Railway. The line was singled over this viaduct on 24 May 1964 to reduce the load on the structure.[43] This was listed Grade II in 1985.[44]

Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Colin Bull 1

Fitbit - lost the plot

My view of Fitbit is that it has quality and support issues. The Blaze has not been supported for over a year. Users are crying out for new watch faces - even just tweaks to the colours. Fitbit has not found it worth 10 minutes of developers time to put out minor mods.

My Charge 2 developed a screen fault and I upgrade to a Blaze. The battery level indicator is a joke. It is just possible to see it when fully charged, after a day you need a magnifying glass. Pebble had a thousand and one screens to highlight what you wanted to see. Pebble was light years ahead.

Fitbit are pissing off their user base to concentrate on the latest model.

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Colin Bull 1

Human element

As I was driving in and out of Poole yesterday I had a deja vu moment. Bridge support roadworks, just like they had a year ago. But this time with a twist. Alternating between inside line closed signs with use both lane signs. How could anyone think this was sane. How many police have driven by and not questioned the stupidity. As it happens the inside lane closed was correct.

How would a autonomous vehicle cope - switch in and out and in and out and in and out - this is what logically should be done if no vehicles overtaking

Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready

Colin Bull 1

Re: I love my Pebble

I have been in IT for 30 years and yet find it incredible how difficult it can be to sync recent Fitbit devices (Charge 2 & Blaze x 2). They have to have access to the cloud or will not sync to mobile.

If the blaze does not sync it loses the time and for me does not fulfil its main purpose. My Blaze lasts under 3 days on a full charge and I do not sync mails or texts or anything else.

The Blaze is effectively unsupported since the Ionic was released. On their forums users are begging for a battery level indicator that is legible. It is a small blob in a corner. They do not care. When the battery is almost flat the level indicator goes red but is useless unless you actually look at the screen. The pebble has thousands of clockfaces with almost anything you could wish for on them. Blaze users cannot even get a change of one colour to make the clockface viewable.

I will be looking towards China for my next wearable.

Perhaps it is me, but I feel the poor follow up support for this type of device is endemic. My recent Garmin had VG specs but the first time I tried to update the maps after one 20 mile round trip I got the message Device Memory is full. The support wonks answer was to reset the device and loose any setup or POIs that were on it. It is my own fault because I have not got a Windows machine to run their crappy software on. FTP has been around for about 100 years and these tossers cannot use it.



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