* Posts by daldred

32 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Aug 2010

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more


Verification and spam

I set up a website recently - for COVID-related reasons, to manage reduced capacity in a series of venues by taking advance booking.

Sign-up results in a verification email being sent. A significant number of those emails go into the spam trap. Not because they are phrased in any spammy way - online checkers confirm that they are not - but apparently because they don't like new email addresses with confirmation links in them.

It's all very well asking people to check their spam folders, but many less experienced Internet users (and COIVD has made a lot of people use the Net in new ways) don't actually know what that means, or how to do it. Email providers hide what they judge to be spam away, for good reasons.

So I have to send a reminder/offer of help out to a sizeable batch of people weekly, and manually confirm a lot of accounts when they respond. It's a pain.

Perhaps the email giants could come up with a better system!

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one


Re: Really?

> Charging stations:- There are now over 1000 more EV charging locations than petrol stations in the UK

The pure number isn't actually helpful.

It takes under ten minutes or so with my car standing at a petrol pump (including paying) to get 560 miles worth of fuel into my current car. From what I've seen when researching what to replace it with, it takes at least a couple of hours at most charging points to get 280-ish miles of power into an EV, So for the same mileage, I'd need a charging point available for four hours - 240 minutes again ten.

So to provide the same actual capacity of pump time, you'd need 24 times as many charging outlets as petrol pumps.

Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray


Three slots?

Hang on, that bit about the flight missing three slots really doesn't sound right.

Every time I've seen anyone caught with something they shouldn't have in their carry-on luggage, the problem has been resolved in minutes: it goes in the bin. I've been in one airport in which you can ask them nicely and pay for an envelope and stamp, and they'll let you post it to someone, but that doesn't take long.

He was presumably at the airport the standard three hours before departure, given the time he had to get up, so how on earth did he manage to be still arguing with security over a nail cutter when his flight was due out?

And how come it didn't just go without him? That's the usual sanction if you bugger about with security: OK, mate, we can talk about this while your flight goes, or you can play the game according to the rules. And, as the charming, but somehow utterly convincing recorded voice on the Schipol announcements system says in impeccable English, "Your luggage *will* be removed from the aircraft".

(They seem to have a lot of late check-ins at Schipol,so that announcement becomes familiar during a few-hour layover).

Was the delay actually caused by slipping into a bar to get over the sad binning of the nail cutter, and missing the flight announcements in the resulting haze?

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers


Re: Really?

I was at home, then on my way to work, via a convenient ballot box, then at work, then at home again.

The second part of your question falls as a result.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so


Re: .UK or .GB??

..at least until the UK no longer contains Northern Ireland. With things going the way they are, we might need that .gb within a few years.

Though actually be then we'll probably be arguing over what to use for England and Wales, since the Scots are quite likely to have gone too.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs


Re: Really?

Actually, paper does have a function at times.

Comparing the provisions listed on three different pages of a massive document is a lot easier if you can spread them out on a desk than if you have to keep jumping back and forward on an reader. Have your read the WA? It's constantly making references to other sections and other documents.

Admittedly a fully bound copy doesn't' help with this. A ring-bound version, now, might be useful.

Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week


Re: Really?

> Can someone explain how it is that they've blown through $1.5 billion?

Over five years? Well, you can see how much they spend and on what in their financial accounts, of course. Try https://assets.mozilla.net/annualreport/2016/2016_Mozilla_Audited_Financial_Statement.pdf

Want to keep in contact with friends and family without having to sell your personal data?


Re: Really?

Actually, it's more than that - Granny probably doesn't have internet at all. Before this turned up, why would she - at her age and with her health, even learning how to use a new-ish TV was a real trial, so learning to use a PC or even a tablet wasn't feasible.

Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'


Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"...you were actually making a reasonable comment about employing more right wing christian conservatives..."

Er, no, actually - the suggestion was "I think Google needs to hire more political conservatives, more Christians, more right-wingers, more Trump supporters, and more Republicans.".

You've put that into a subsubset of right wing Christian conservatives. On very many issues, Christians are usually more left-leaning than average; on others they may tend to align with the right.

Admittedly that's sort of implied by the collection of groups listed - but the identification of 'christian' and 'right wing' is exactly the sort of lazy stereotyping which calls forth may of the over-simplistic approaches to diversity in the first place.

Europe to splash €120m on free WiFi for ~8,000 villages and cities


Of course not. Everyone knows that we never benefit from anything the EU does. Or at least 51.9% of the voters know that. Don't upset them with the idea that EU membership could actually do them some good.

Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?


The reliability issue

I've been using Google Docs for ages; Office 365 is far more recent.

The experience of using Google solutions for years, though, does bring up one reason why I'd not use Google Drive as my main business solution. It's Google's nasty habit of providing something really useful, then removing it.

Remember custom styling in Google Docs? Spend many hours setting up your standard document look and feel as you want ti; then they pull the functionality, and replace it with.... nothing.

Used Picassa for a while, and built up your lists of people in pictures, all carefully tagged? Switch to Google Photos, and its AI kindly decides that that pair of twins is all one person. And there is still no way of manually tagging people in Photos.

Uploaded building plans to Maps, so that your user can find individual rooms? Never mind - just a few months later, Google decides you didn't really want that information visible after all.

Now mucking about like that may be OK for a free service aimed at the personal market - you just upset individuals. But for businesses it may be a very costly dealbreaker.

Microsoft is at least considerably less cavalier with the requirements of its users.

New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability


I'm quite possibly missing something here - but isn't this saying (in long and convoluted language) that if a vehicle is insured with an insurer, the insurer is responsible for the insured losses?

What's actually new?

Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost


Re: Does it take into account

Did anyone mention a tariff including only free minutes on the same network? I think two of us mentioned a tariff including free minutes on the same network - but not *only* on the same network. And the example you gave (Giffgaff) is the one I use.


Do the sums, properly.

5.8 Bn would be £90+ per person, per year, if every single resident of the UK (including the babes in arms and the very elderly) are included.

That's more than I spend annually on mobile phone charges.

They say 3.5M people haven't switched in the last three years, and the average saving if you switch is £176. So if all those people switch, and make that average saving, they save a total of £616M - but USwitch's calculator seems to make that nine times as much. I don't think I'd want to trust a switching site using that sort of arithmetic!

And a lot of those non-switching people, like me, don't even pay that much, so they won't need to switch. Or they will live somewhere (again like me) where outside any operation will do, but the location of the local tower serving several networks is such that indoors I have no coverage on most operators.

Typical hyped-up crap statistics.

And where's all that 'overpayment' going? Is it all to profits distributed by the companies? Or is it actually supporting investment in he networks, and covering the running costs? If even some of it is not clear profit (and I doubt that all that much of it is), then the only effect of everyone switching is that base prices have to go up - or people go out of business, and networks steadily deteriorate - which isn't good for anyone. It's a fundamentally flawed, short-termist position.

Not that people shouldn't switch when it suits them - but this insistence on switching as a Universally Good Thing is only of benefit to the switching site owners. How much are we overpaying *them*, I wonder, on the commission they get from each switcher?


Re: Does it take into account

I don't use very many minutes at all - but my wife has long conversations regularly with other family members. To increase the bundled minutes to cover all those calls, she'd need a lot more minutes - and that means a more expensive package.

Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons


Re: Really?

I can envisage - indeed know - areas where I'd be far more nervous about pulling my phone out at every junction than about getting a discrete buzz pattern on the wrist telling me I need to make a left or a right turn.

Not that you need Apple prices for that. But then you don't need to pay Apple prices for any of the actual useful functionality Apple provide....

British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015


"Only three of the 63 clauses still stand in law? The rest have been repealed. What stands is: freedom the English church;" - um, no. this is often repeated, but it's not true.

Henry VIII overthrew the freedom of the English Church, and its elections (which are specifically mentioned in Magna Carta) are subject to Parliament.

NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'


Re: Really?

Rouge employees? The ones with red faces?

iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?


Re: Really?

Samsung's $14Bn marketing budget is for its whole product range - there's probably a significant chunk there for smartphones and tablets, but there's also going to be considerable spend on marketing TVs, dishwashers, memory cards, cookers.

And so is its profit: the article is simply incorrect in saying the $6.1Bn profit comes from smartphones. It's the whole reported corporate profit, so obviously stated after advertising costs. $4.4Bn came from their 'Internet and Mobile' division, which would include mobiles.

And the advertising budget is annual. The $6.1Bn profit figure is for the second quarter of 2014: you can't just multiply by four, of course, but approximating that way would indicate a profit for a year of about $24-25Bn. Annual revenue for 12013 was around 30Tn Korean Won, which is $218Bn. On that turnover, a $14Bn marketing budget is not unreasonable, in a sector that competitive.

Source: . http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/investor_relations/financial_information/financial_highlights.html

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED


Um, when was there four years of inaction by the Conservatives?

The current Secretary of State for Education is infamous for meddling, usually at about three weeks notice.

11m Chinese engulfed by 'Airpocalypse' at 4000% of safe pollution levels


Re: Really?

Sad story. But it does occur to me - instead of cruising through the rubbish, fending it off with a pole, then asking for someone else to clean it up when they gt home, why aren't these operators netting as much as they can tow each time, and taking it inshore?

Sure it would (environmentally) cost loads in fuel to run a special operation to clean it up - but the marginal fuel cost if journeys are being made anyway is surely more manageable.

Get the governments to pay by the tonne for 'captured' waste, and offset additional fuel costs for operators, and you have a viable system for cleaning up, with the governments whose ports carry most shipping paying the most. logically enough.

Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived



Re OTG: it's provide in hardware, but there's an issue with the software at present. See http://nexususb.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/android-4.html

'Online sex abuse of children is growing trend', warn Brit net cops


Re: Really?

ISPs providing content blocks tend to require evidence of age to remove blocks - a passport or driving licence, for example, with details matching those of the account holder.

What's not clear is how this sort of blocking would prevent the access via instant messaging (the Reg mentions only BBM, presumably being unaware that these new-fangled smartphones also do Skype, MSN, WhatsApp etc etc) - that sort of thing is not usually covered in any ISP level blocks -and , yes, blocks at phone level are usually only too removable by anyone.

Vatican shrugs off apocalypse, fiddles with accounts dept



Was that the sound of the point about hype and Google results going so far over the Reg's head that they fell over backwards looking for it?

One in four don't clean their stinky old browsers - especially Firefoxers


Re: Really?

I'm find that I get warnings from time to time that i'm not running the latest Chrome at home, usually from Google stuff. This is probably strictly accurate, since I'm running Chromium under Linux, not Chrome.

I wonder whether these statistics are treating me (and all other Chromium users) as 'not up to date'?

Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'


Re: Sir

"The fancy name for black coffee isn't black coffee, it's an Americano. Which isn't just black coffee (filter) because it's made with espresso."

I suspect I'm not the only one who gets really really pissed off by repeatedly having to answer the question 'do you want milk in it' when I've asked for an Americano.

Which is rather than point here, isn't it? The Italian / pseudo-Italian terms are misused and misunderstood (even by those making the coffees) Perhaps Debenhams are right: let's have some plain coffees.

I just wish I could be confident that they'd be made well - as well as they are in Rome rather than as well as they are in Starbucks....

UK.gov works on YET ANOTHER open-source push


And then there's the tender rules....

One other issue which needs resolving is the formal process for tender which is required where a contract value of over £125k (or thereabouts - I can't remember exactly) is to be awarded.

Taking an unrealistically simple example to illustrate the point: say you were equipping a 1000-PC unit with software and think it's likely to cost you £150 per machine, or thereabouts. Then because anticipated contract value is over £125k, you have to enter a formal tendering process - which is rightly designed to get competitive quotes and so make sure you get the best value.

But the Open Source alternative has a purchase cost of nil, and no-one's making money out of it - so no-one looks for the tendering opportunities and puts in bids. So there's no Open Source response to the advertised opportunity, so Open Source not only isn't, but at this stage can't be considered.

That is simplistic - and presumably there'd also be support as a contract element, so an OS-based company might well have an interest in tendering - but the process of putting in a bid is often complex and costly, so there's a big disincentive to anyone not making big profits out of supplying things. And that biasses the whole process in favour of the big, and generally closed-source, companies.

Microsoft COO: Our greatest enemy is old Windows


Yeah, business...

So's Canonical; but Ubuntu updates are free.

Yes, M$ makes a lot more money, but it does it by loading up-front fees on software (so by the time you need any service you've already paid for software with problems). They could, of course, use a model under which they charged for support instead,a dn used support feedback to improve the product. Oh, wait, they do that as well, don't they -or at least the charging bit.

If Old Windows is really the big problem, make an upgrade/licence for the latest version available at a low cost, and in the course of that legitimise any versions people are already running, Then you can pursue a proper security and upgrade model from then on.

M$ has to decide whether it's going to act as a responsible body which, due to its own practices, has effectvie control of a large proportion of a market in which there are serious security and compatability problems, or continue simply chasing the dollar until everyone gradually gives up on them. It's their call, and the market's eventual decision.

iPhone owners get walked through confessional


Even more reason to regard Register hacks with suspicion...

As someone else pointed out (using longer words), that part of the report is simply untrue; Catholics can talk directly to God whenever they want to (unlike those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on).

The Register hack who wrote this bit is presumably a bit short in the religious knowledge department - but I'm sure s/he can find somewhere to confess to that....

And confession's free, so there's no money involved. Funny the ideas anonymous cowards can get in their heads, isn't it?

Hmm. Wonder if they've put in a quetion about worshipping false idols, like shiny iphones....

Scottish iSchool goes 100% iPad



BenR - it's not a Catholic school.

Oh, but the rest of your post shows you're just off on an anti-Catholic rant, so why bother letting the facts get in the way?

Gmail inbox experiment auto sorts 'important' messages


Not just Google Apps

Your report seems to say that this is only for Apps users - in fact Google's blog entry says it's for all GMail users - "Priority Inbox will be rolling out to all Gmail users, including those of you who use Google Apps, over the next week or so".