* Posts by Douglas Yates

7 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Olympic cock-up knocks East London off Internet

Douglas Yates

Useless ISPs

I live in Dorset, but still lost my net access because of this. I'm with namesco/NDO who have 2 support lines. The premium rate one said that all systems were operating normally. The local rate one said that there was a problem with BT, and directed me to the website support page for updates.

Not a lot of point telling me to look up something on the web if I'm complaining that I can't see the web. Yes, I know that namesco have a dial-up 'backup' for their broadband customers, but all the details about it are on the website, which I can't see. Besides, who has a modem in their machine these days?

Thank you Reg for finally letting me know what's going on.

Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Douglas Yates

It Does Work on Linux

Two years ago I signed up with Parcelforce, and I've arranged the collection of several hundred parcels from my Linux machine. I simply changed the user agent string to read:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20061204 Firefox/ (actually running on Suse Linux 10.2)

The website worked perfectly after that.

Nintendo yanks Mario Party 8 - offensive language to blame?

Douglas Yates

Not Offensive in Region 1

Remember that 'spastic' isn't considered offensive in the US. It regularly turns up in US kids TV programs, leading me to have long conversations with my step-daughters about how they shouldn't say it at school to their friends, even if someone in Disneyland says it regularly.

Web users get a finger language class

Douglas Yates


They might promote more awareness if they fixed their bloody awful website.

Using Firefox, not exactly an obscure browser, I have to click through up to 30 authentication requests on each page I look at. Having done this and searched the bizarrely fomatted pages, I find that the finger lingo explanation is only available as a video, which I am unable to see. Pictures would have worked for me, or line drawings maybe, even descriptive text would have helped, but no, just video.

I was quite interested in "learning a new language in [my] lunch break" when I read your article. Unfortunately I've spent the whole of my lunch break wasting my time and am now too annoyed to think about learning anything.

One in four web merchants do not know web shopping laws

Douglas Yates

Yes, Postage Refunded

"more than half wrongly thought that they could withhold the cost of outward delivery when refunding shoppers"

"Is this true? I've never heard of anyone refunding the postage when you return the goods under the distance selling regs? Or is this in specific circumstances".

Yes, it's true, and no, there are no special circumstances.

The regulations state "On the cancellation of a contract ... the supplier shall reimburse any sum paid by or on behalf of the consumer under *or in relation to* the contract ..." (my emphasis). This means that outward postage, being related to the transaction, cannot be withheld by the supplier. On the other hand, the supplier is able to charge "a reasonable amount" for return postage, and they can also charge a "restocking fee" as long as it is mentioned in the small print when the customer buys.

Specsavers opens eyes to open source

Douglas Yates

MS Only Has Itself To Blame

I was in Specsavers recently talking to one of the guys about the move. He said that a significant factor in the choice of Open Source was the release of Windows Vista.

Specsavers had been mulling over a change for quite some time, but were stalling because of the cost of familiarising all their staff with a different operating system. Vista gave them the impetus to change because, had they adopted it, they would have had to re-train their staff anyway. Before Vista the choice was to either pay for re-training, or pay for new MS licences. Now the choice is pay for re-training, and either pay more for new Vista licenses, or get Open Source for free. Easy choice.

Space boffins fire up plasma engine

Douglas Yates

Cooling Issues Correction

Stu Reeves, prepare to be corrected.

Space isn't cold, it's empty. The reason that the temperature of space is often given as being close to absolute zero is that there isn't anything in space to hold any heat. This also means that there isn't anything in space to carry the heat away from a rocket engine. The heat can only escape as fast as the engine housing can radiate it, which is always slower than the exhaust can heat it up.


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