* Posts by Stu

38 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2007

Britain leads world in police state survey

Paris Hilton

@Eddie Edwards

Umm, because Scotland have different laws to England and Wales, you dumbass?

Paris, because you seem to have similar intelligence levels...

Police force eBay scammer to cough up ill-gotten gains



Surely if he's made money by ripping people off, then the people he ripped off should be getting all of their money back. So why are the police/magistrates getting any of his "ill-gotten gains"???

Airline websites forced to clean up



According to the Times today, Ryanair are going to only accept online check-in, and will charge you £5 for the privilege of checking in online.

I thought you weren't allowed to express air fares exclusive of "non-optional" charges any more, so what are they playing at here? Just make every damn flight £10 more expensive and be done with it, bloody charlatans...

Intel hit with largest ever EU fine



I think the point is that if AMD had been able to properly grow its market share over the past 10 years - without these practices getting in the way - they would have been able to improve their product even more than they already have done. That or Intel would have had to sell their chips at a more reasonable price in the first place in order to compete with AMD's prices.

Sure, at the top end, Intel are usually a step ahead. But I've used AMD for the past 10 years in my self-built home PCs because a) they're cheaper, and b) the performance has been more than good enough to do the job.

New non-volatile memory promises 'instant-on' computing


@TeeCee and Ivan Headache

Trademarks are held for particular "classes". Different companies can hold trademarks for the same name in sufficiently dissimilar classes, where brand confusion is unlikely to occur.

Filters != computing != football.

Also, Trademarks are country- or EU-wide. Ramtron might not hold the trademark in Finland. And I can't be arsed to check :-)

Microsoft dumped after India PM's emails go AWOL


Outlook EXPRESS???

Oh c'mon, Outlook *Express*? Please don't tell me that any businesses rely on that, let alone nations. Thunderbird beats it hands down as a POP/IMAP client, but I still wouldn't use it for business. If it was Outlook proper (you know, the one that talks to Exchange Server, the one that half the civilised world use), then the story would be "India's PM dumps MS", but actually the story is "India's PM's technical staff are fucking retarded".

Well that's what you get if you pay techies $5 an hour...

Microsoft protest organizer returns to code


Pretty naive...

Only 23 - he's barely out of short pants. Not that being young will stop M$ from getting pissed off with him, and probably "blacklisting" him in some way so that his contract doesn't get renewed in the future...

We had similar examples of economic naivity by most of the under-25s at my company - including the classic line "I won't get made redundant, I'm too pretty". 3 weeks later, she was out of the building, P45 in hand, along with several other under-25s who "totally didn't see it coming"...

In times like this, it's generally best NOT to give your employer reasons to want to get rid of you (including being a shit-stirring let's-form-a-union type) - head below the parapet and all that - I'm all for people resisting their employers taking the piss, but a 10% pay cut on contract rates in the current climate isn't really taking the piss, it's realistic...

DSA looks at 3D animated driving tests


@Ed Blackshaw

If doing the CBT improves your hazard perception, how do you explain the appalling driving by twattish 16 year olds on scooters...?

UK.gov to send your holidays to sunny Manchester



Right, bets on how long it'll have been open forwhen the first attempt to break in and remove the kit is made...?

Woman jailed for texting while driving


I hope that the prosecution appeals the sentence...

...and that an appeal court sentences the unremorseful bitch to the maximum 14 years.

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Torture, I say...

The only way her 21 month sentence could even approach a suitable punishment would be if she had to listen to the Nokia ringtone on constant for her entire jail term.

Judges = soft lefty-liberal wankers.

Fresh privacy fears over IE 8 Suggested Sites


2nd Rate University

Drivel from a 2nd Rate University researcher......

Nobody should rely solely on "security by obscurity" or any information submitted as part of a URL (including session id values) as a means of securing any kind of non-public data.

Don't go mouthing off about Microsoft being the problem when the people that cause the real problems are the morons who design inherently insecure websites that any kid with half a brain could hack.

Mayor Boris backs McKinnon in extradition fight


But surely...

...the point is that McKinnon has *never* been under US Jurisdiction, ergo can't have committed a crime "in the US" (because he was on UK soil at the time), and at the time what he did wasn't actually explicitly illegal under UK law.

So a) the US are trying to extradite him to try him for a "crime" he didn't commit in the US and b) we now think that the next best option is to try him over here when it's debatable whether or not he commited a "crime" here either?

Forget Aspergers, this is law gone mad, in the same vein as the "tell us your encryption passwords or we'll jail you for 2 years" - "what encyrption passwords?" "SLAM".

That said, good work Boris.

BT price rises go down well



Sky have been great with me - first I had Sky just for TV, then moved over to Max Broadband and Unlimited calls as well - and then just before Christmas they rang me and said "why don't you move your line rental over to us, it's only £10 a month instead of BT's £11.50, and anyway BT are putting it up to £12.50 in the new year - the money's better in your pocket than BT's" - no brainer.

You can get the full Sky TV package, 16Mbps Broadband, Unlimited calls to UK and several useful foreign countries (US, Spain etc...), and Line Rental for £61 a month, with only a £5 up-front installation charge (free box), if you order online...

Azure new future for Microsoft's Muglia



No programmer worth their salt would choose to use VB.NET when C# is a much cleaner, more syntactically powerful language to program in.

Add to that the fact that any half-decent programmer could write code to emulate the old-school Classic VB file operations, or more probably find someone else has already done it and put aforementioned code online.

Don't embarrass yourself by posting such garbage.

Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW all-in-one wireless printer

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"Cheap to Run"

Where do Epson get their figures from? The two inkjets I've owned from them both went through a set of cartridges a month, with pretty light usage...

I'll never buy Epson again.

Exam board to hear appeal over format cockup



Surely if they left hyperlinks to documents on the school's servers, they should just be failed, as they clearly know less than nothing about IT...?

Open source fanciers finger Beeb's Win 7 'sales presentation'

Jobs Horns


How is this any worse than the incessant hype surrounding this release of the Jesus Phone that the BBC sustained for days on end? Nothing ever happened about that, despite hundreds of people complaining that it was free advertising for Apple selling a shit phone lacking in features available in many other phones...?

Silverlight has serious side, says Microsoft


Silverlight is what Flash should be

Flash is pure evil. Trying to actually do anything "functional" in it is a bloody nightmare. Silverlight, by comparison, is a doddle to anyone who's done anything with .NET. Which is a hell of a lot of developers these days... Not to mention the potential for code reuse.

I would hope, in my little naive mind, that Silverlight is eventually (i.e. within a year or so) made available to 99% of computer users, and gets adopted as the "Flash killer" it truly has the potential to be.

Autopilot blamed for Qantas plunge



Most FBW systems in modern aircraft have software written multiple times (3 usually, I believe) by different development teams - sometimes different companies - all working out the answer to the same question, given the same inputs. There is then some "voting logic" which takes the majority decision and applies that to the actuators. But even then, you can take 3 independent teams of genius programmers, and they'll still miss something. Failsafe programming is very very difficult...

Defrauded punter says 'catflaps' to PayPal marketing stunt



PayPal and eBay are scum of the earth. Sadly there aren't (m)any free payment gateways knocking about, so if you run a website/e-business with low turnover and low profit margins, you've not got much of a choice.

It seems like they've both got monopolies on their relevant market sectors, which is a big shame. As my wife says, eBay is only good for cheap stuff - buying/selling 2nd hand baby clothes, for example. They just don't have the security levels (nor do they care) to prevent fraud on higher value transactions.

Report: UK physics 'damaged' by budget blunder bloodbath



You clearly don't know the facts, or the full story behind the decision at the time it was made. And before you say anything, I've worked at both Daresbury and RAL, and lived in both Cheshire and Oxfordshire. And perhaps there weren't any budget "overruns", only because the budget and timescale were both extended significantly from the original plan. It's an overrun by any other definition.

If you'd read the actual article, you'd see that the point was that large projects - of which Diamond is quoted as an example - costing more than anticipated was the cause of budget cuts elsewhere, leading to a brain-drain. Perhaps instead of attacking the good staff of Daresbury (did I attack the staff of RAL? No, I attacked the government.) you could come back with something resembling a sensible argument, instead of spouting dismissive tripe.


Diamond Synchrotron

The massive budget overrun of the Diamond Synchrotron wasn't STFC's fault, it was ultimately the fault of Tony Blair and partially down to Lord Sainsbury and the Wellcome Trust. It was the latter two that pushed for the machine to be built in Oxfordshire, rather than at Daresbury in Cheshire - which is where it was designed to be built. Blair personally made the final call as to where it was built.

Lo and behold, not only did they have to dig much, much deeper foundations in Oxfordshire before hitting solid rock, than they would have had to do at Daresbury - they also found a load of archeological rubbish which further delayed construction and increased cost. Add to this the fact that most of the UK's Synchrotron expertise was already based at Daresbury, and a lot of them decided they didn't want to move to Oxfordshire, and either took more lucrative jobs abroad, retired, or quit science altogether - and that's the biggest crime against UK Physics.

Police drop BT-Phorm probe


See if the MP will help...

Well, I've sent an e-mail to my MP, pleading that he pushes for a Judicial Review. Have to wait and see what he says...

Are today's developers more creative?

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Shift in the "problem solving" requirements?

Simple - developers now have more time to be creative - less time spent waiting on slow hardware to compile our code, less time spent doing boring but highly necessary grunt-work, more time to solve the real problems thrown our way, and to come up with creative, elegant solutions.

Microsoft Silverlight: 10 reasons to love it, 10 reasons to hate it


@Blain Hamon

"do you think they'd have a full-fledged SilverLight on a 2-300Mhz mobile device? I highly doubt it.

So that'd mean all mobiles will be unable to run SilverLight full, not just the iPhone"

Well, as Silverlight uses a subset of the .NET Framework, and your 2-300MHz Windows Mobile devices are more than capable of running .NET Compact Framework (another more weighty subset of the .NET Framework) applications, I suspect they won't have anywhere near the problem you're suggesting...

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I love it

At work, we use .NET for all our internal systems. It's so much easier to make (and lock down) a rich web application using Silverlight than it is with HTML/JS. We can reuse our existing .NET libraries, easily connect up to our existing Web Services, and we don't have to worry about users buggering about with their browsers which might affect the "flow" of the application. It's allowed us to rapidly (like, in a matter of weeks) provide some of our partners with functionality to connect to our systems in a controlled manner, without the development team having to cope with the learning curve of Flash, and without us having to incur the cost of professional Flash development software.

I've got nothing against Flash, but IMO it's not designed for "applications" - more for games, video, and simple tools. Silverlight wins hands down in this space as far as existing .NET houses are concerned, and that's where it will start to dominate. I *hope* that MS look to properly support Mac and Linux, and suspect that they will (eventually) do so. They'll be shooting themselves in the foot big-time otherwise.

Barclays to scrap 1,800 UK tech jobs

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Oh come on, this is the company that outsourced its entire Project Services division to Accshiteure - they're clearly used to substandard projects, delivered badly (as was the case when I was working there in the PMO - half of the PMs didn't know arse from elbow, and had clearly just been on a 3 day Prince2 course - yeah THAT qualifies you to be a successful PM...) - so if they can get substandard projects, delivered badly, even cheaper (by offshoring), why wouldn't they? Normally the standard argument against offshoring is quality control issues, but they managed to get rid of that in the UK 4 years ago when Accshiteure got involved......

Manchester's congestion charge: pay-to-leave


Labour all over...

Yet another scheme unwanted by the public, introduced by people who don't know what they're doing...

They talk about turning e.g. Altrincham into an "interchange" - maybe that'd work if there was anywhere near the station to park, or if there was more than one train every half hour from Altrincham into Cheshire, or if bus services were remotely useful. They're just not.

Facebook checks for Cambridge applicants



Only last year, Oxford used pictures posted on Facebook of a finallist that had finished her exams and had been covered in detritus* as evidence to haul the poor girl in front of a tribunal, and fine her for misconduct.

Seems it's "appropriate" for the University to use Facebook in that context, but not in the context of applications.

*it happens to every finallist as a matter of course, trust me - anything ranging from champagne and glitter, thru eggs and flour (messy), to buckets of offal (yuk). The University has been trying for years to crack down on it, with very limited success (until they started taking the Facebook approach). Quite how it's the person covered in crap's fault that they're covered in crap is beyond me - I'd love a law finallist to graduate, then sue the University for the fine + costs...

Drivers on the phone face the slammer



So, generally law-abiding people who occasionally use the phone in their car are going to be jailed, whereas the little scrotes who nick cars, drive them without a licence, MOT, or insurance, will - as they currently are - be given a suspended sentence, some community service, and a "driving ban" (which given they didn't have a licence in the first place is completely pointless).

Get some bloody perspective... Sure, if someone on a mobile actually kills someone, then death by dangerous driving should be a potential charge. But how about ridding the roads of people driving who shouldn't be first? Surely that'd make the roads a much safer place for starters...

Canadian runs up $85,000 mobe bill


Credit Limits

Having inadvertently run up a £300 phone bill in the first month I had a smart phone (didn't realise that it was costing me 10p every time I checked my e-mail - bloody IMAP over HTTPS...) I have some sympathy with the guy. These companies should be mandated to send you a text whenever you go over a "more than expected usage" limit, be it texts, calls, data, whatever, and should allow you to set a hard "credit limit" that you can only remove on a month-by-month basis when you actually hit it.

The story carried on the BBC website explains that the guy in question claims that in the past the same provider had temporarily cut him off for going over $100 spend in a month - as a measure to prevent him from overspending. So in that case I think he has reasonable grounds to expect them to do the same again, which they clearly didn't. Good luck to him. Mobile data's too restrictive, and too expensive.

McLaren fined $100m for spying


The danger of e-mail rears its ugly head

Having just read the FIA's press release detailing the reasoning behind finding McLaren guilty, it seems like an open-and-shut case really - Alonso/De la Rosa were e-mailing each other and the contact in McLaren for confidential Ferrari data, he was getting it from his mate at Ferrari, and passing it back to the drivers (note golden-boy Hamilton stayed out of all of this!).

Surely this must be the largest non-Microsoft IT-related fine ever? And although the FIA can't touch Alonso or De la Rosa, surely McLaren have nothing to lose (now that they can't get any more constructors points) by sacking them both for gross misconduct?

L'Oreal sues eBay over counterfeit goods


Bunch of charlatans

Oh come on, we're talking about eBay here, the bunch of losers who still don't (as far as I'm aware):

Check that you enter a valid postcode on registration

Validate a phone number on registration (e.g. by text/voice SMS)

Meaning that all kinds of nefarious characters can still try to rip you off. They really don't try half as hard as they should to keep their marketplace "safe". So much so that I've stopped using them altogether.

Duty of care, anyone...?

Microsoft serves light fare on Patch Tuesday


2000 users - techies?

I think not. My wife's employer (who have one of the most ridiculous IT policies I've ever heard) still runs Windows 2000 on all desktop PCs. Their "policy" is not to upgrade until a new version with a service pack is out, and only then to upgrade to the version before that, i.e. when Vista SP1 comes out they'll finally upgrade to XPSP2 (or SP3?). I'm all for not paying MS to beta-test their software, but XPSP2 has been "stable" for years now...

Orange mounts sneaky Freeserve accounts purge


Orange Customer Service = -1

Don't worry, this was probably just another in a long line of crap decisions made by one of their many technically unqualified staff.

Do they employ anyone in the UK with more than 2 braincells? I've actually had better luck getting information and assistance from people in their offshore call centres than their UK-based ones, which I have to say is a first in my experience...

Tiscali coughs to spam blacklisting after a week without email


Is there a good ISP? - yes, there is

Zen Internet. Yes, £25 a month might seem pricey compared with some of the "big names", but you get what you pay for - technical support people that know what they're talking about for starters.

And I can wholeheartedly back up Tim Abel's suggestion - I've been using fastmail.fm for 3 years now, and my account has been down for a paltry 1 hour over 3 years - and they were giving status updates (including brief technical information regarding the cause of the problem) every 10-15 minutes during the outage, and after an hour failed-over to a redundant server. 99.996% uptime is pretty good over a 3 year period.

Gone phishing with eBay


eBay sucks

I'm not surprised at all...

A few months ago someone tried to buy my brand new spare mobile phone. He'd registered that day, and had zero feedback, so I was a bit suspicious.

On checking the guy's details, his postcode didn't exist. I complained to eBay about this, and they refused to cancel his account and bid, leaving me in limbo for 7 days before I could file a "non payment" report. Then, they insisted I try ringing the bidder, using a mechanism built into the site that revealed both the buyer and seller's registered phone numbers to both parties. The phone number was a fake also. The buyer's account was never cancelled by eBay.

eBay are threatening me with court action for not paying their listing fees. I say, bring it on. Talk about not fulfilling their duty of care in the prevention of fraud...

Why could a big corporation such as eBay not make the following checks mandatory on all new accounts:

1. VALID postcode for the country in question, that matches the specified address.

2. Text message verification of the primary phone number entered - given that if you text a UK landline, Tom Baker will read the text for you anyway!?