* Posts by Glostermeteor

123 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Apr 2012


New GCHQ spymaster: US tech giants are 'command and control networks for terror'


Those that sow the wind, reap the whirlwind

If GCHQ and NSA hadn't conducted illegal activity and spied on every aspect of our lives without our consent and had then been found out, I suspect the public and the technology companies would be a lot more willing to cooperate. Until there is public accountability and proper due process for the access to our personal information I do not trust any government agency with my security. For all we know ISIS are THEIR creation?!???

Good grief! Have you seen BlackBerry's square smartphone?


Ewwwwww......someone actually designed that thing?

It looks horrible. Blackberry is screwed....

Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to hefty bills


Re: If they say yes...

Yep, lower corporation tax, while spending more on welfare, while funding free tuition fees, oh and while Alex Salmond is at it, set up a Sovereign Wealth fund as well as cutting Corporation tax. The Yes campaign IS bullshit from start to finish. They want to spend Scotland's money in 3 different ways at the same time, any 5 year old could do the Maths and tell you it doesn't add up.

Oh, and the cutting the of corporation tax will do absolutely nothing to attract businesses, unless Scotland is going to go toe to toe with Ireland and cut it below 12%. Why would a business set up in Scotland, when they can set up in Ireland at an even lower cost?

As for the cost of things being different, OF COURSE they will be, I am absolutely shocked that this is not obvious to most people. If Scotland becomes independent it's going to be like going from France to Germany and expecting the costs to be the same, of course there will be differences, and in a lot of cases the costs will be higher because Scotland purely by its geography is harder to ship to (in case noone's looked at a map Scotland has a hell of a lot of hills, lochs and valleys).

Uber alles... nein! Germany imposes nationwide ban on taxi app



There is a very simple solution to that, have a separate pickup and set down area for app ordered taxis, then the CUSTOMER (which all the taxi drivers seem to treat with contempt in this argument) can choose whether they want to take a standard taxi at the queue point or order an app taxi.

The existing system works great for the monopoly already in place, and works well for the taxi drivers but the people who are not considered in the current system are the customers, which is why I like systems like Uber. It's given the customer choice again.

I am not sure which country you are from, but here in London, my standard taxi usage dropped by about 70% over 5 years because the prices just kept going up and up and up, while my wages did not. At least with Uber I can afford to get a taxi, whereas the existing system is just for rich people now.


There needs to be a middle ground. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

As a London user of Uber, I think there needs to be a middle ground. The Uber system is a fantastically innovative idea that puts more power in the hands of the consumer rather than the cartels than have run the ingrained systems for so long. Uber has revolutionised the London taxi market. London Black cabs are insanely expensive, and as a result my usage of them has probably dropped by 70% in the last 5 years (i.e. even before Uber I had basically stopped using them because they are so expensive). Uber coming in has meant I now take cabs again, so if the ingrained Cartels woke up and embraced the new world, the authorities dropped some of the regulation around them, and allowed them to operate Uber style, then we would all be much better off all round, the taxis would get more custom and the customers would pay less. In London also, Uber drivers need to have a private hire license in order to operate, so there is already a background check on them and whether they have the relevant insurances. I also get the name, photograph and license plate of the driver picking me up, which I never got with a Black cab. The next stage of this system however, should be a completely free-market, i.e. you should not have Uber setting the prices, the customer should set the rate they are willing to pay and the system should match them up to a driver that is willing to do the journey for that rate.

Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'



In my view, it's actually totally irrelevant whether climate change actually exists or not. The solutions proposed for climate change are a good idea anyway, as it is all about consuming less and consuming in more efficient ways which will save us money irrespective of whether we are saving the planet. And on a slightly different tack, it would be great to be less reliant on fossil fuels from dictatorial regimes like Saudi Arabia and Russia, and green tech would make us less reliant on those countries for our energy!

Android ransomware demands 12x more cash, targets English-speakers


Backup, Backup Backup[

That is the way to protect yourself against this kind of stuff. I back up all my contacts, photos and emails to Google and OneDrive, if someone hijacks my phone I am more than happy to do a factory reset on it and wipe it all to kingdom come, I can always just restore.

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet


Re: Cost a government

Simple answer, the Swedes should pay the cost.

I don't see how this is our problem.

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law


You can be absolutely sure that it won't be the politicians paying for it. They really are one corrupt bunch, all of them.

Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge


Re: Money isn't everything,

Money isn't everything, but one thing I do admire greatly about your country is you put the consumer at the heart of everything that a business does. I don't see what is best for the consumer mentioned once in this argument, its all about the book sellers not the book buyers, and that is where the French are going wrong. Treating your customers badly but having laws to protect firms that treat their customers badly is bad for the economy and bad for business.

Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election


Re: Making it Pay

Use an encrypted VPN and they will have no data to sell. I already use VPNs on all public wifi systems as there is already evidence that they pass on your data to third party advertisers.



We'll just have to start using encrypted VPNs, just like they do in other countries with authoritarian regimes. As far as I am concerned, it has absolutely no democratic mandate so the people have every right to do everything they can to circumvent it.

New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'


Or another theory is that there was no plane in the first place, and that they are actually searching for something else, like a crashed UFO?


Re: Ughh... bad news

But they found wreckage after 4 days with the France flight. It's now been over 3 months. That's why I think what actually happened to flight is very different to what the authorities are telling us. There is a huge number of bits on an aircraft that are designed to float, and it would have hit the water at at least 200 miles per hour, if it had crashed there would be wreckage strewn all over the place that would have washed up somewhere by now. I think the plane was hyjacked and taken somewhere (either by terrorists or a foreign power). I think the search in the Indian ocean is a complete smokescreen

Microsoft ups OneDrive storage, slashes prices to match Google Drive


Re: 2Gb file?

No, but the tablet device makers (including Microsoft and Apple) are putting guns to peoples heads. The only reason they are getting away with only having 32-64GB of storage on their tablet devices is because they are also trying to push cloud and say you don't need local storage. My point is the cloud is useless unless you can actually put the files you need in the cloud. I now have movies that are way in excess of 2GB. I also, after the Snowden revelations and Heartbleed SSL bug don't put anything of value into the cloud unless it is in a Truecrypt or Bitlocker container, and those things can get very big. They either need to make the cloud useful, or they need to produce devices that have enough local internal storage. Or I will just stick with my PC and boycott both.


OneDrive is close to useless due to their 2gb file limit

Large amounts of cloud storage with OneDrive is nearly useless due to their 2gb limit on individual files. Only Drop box allows you to use your cloud allowance however you want.

EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches


Re: It is not that <insert company> is not paying enough tax

Totally agree, I will not vote for a political party going forward unless it has a proper plan to sort out tax avoidance. I actually have quite a neat solution, you scrap corporation tax on profits and instead create an additional sales tax paid by the company on its sales and not its profits (perhaps at a lower rate like 10%). Get rid of all the exemptions, all the allowances, make it illegal to offset loans and any other form of mitigation against that tax liability, and make it enforceable where the CUSTOMER is based, not where the firm is. That would sort out the problems overnight.

Revealed: GCHQ's beyond top secret Middle Eastern internet spy base


Re: No Need to Worry

Or its the other way around, we wait so long for a BT engineer because they are all off on GCHQ funded missions.


We have a right to know what is being done, but perhaps a little too much detail?

I absolutely support our right to know what is being done in our name. We are paying for all of this, they have absolutely no democratic legitimacy to do any of this kind of tapping they are doing, and they have lied to us time and time again for decades. Government is a law unto itself, and needs to be brought back under control by its shareholders (i.e. us).

HOWEVER, is it really necessary to publish the exact locations of these monitoring sites? Saying GCHQ has a listening station in Oman would have been enough without putting people at risk directly.

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook


It's about control

It's really about control, the reason why Android has more malware is because it is a more open architecture that allows people to do more things. It's exactly like Windows vs Mac, Apple shuts a lot of avenues down to modify and change things, and exerts a fascist control over the entire system.

It's all swings and roundabouts, if you want more flexibility then you have to put up with more incidents of people doing things they shouldn't be doing.

Personally, I think the security on Android is pretty good as long as you stick with apps from the Play store.

Samsung in a TIZZY: OH PLEASE make apps for our Tizen Z mobe


Looks great, can it run Android apps?

Because if not, what on earth am I supposed to do with the apps I have already paid for on my Android phone? (Samsung Android phone at that!).

There lies Samsung's problem in convincing people to switch.

NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on


Black cabs are extortionate

The cost of black cabs are absolutely extortionate, the more competition the better. If black cabs lowered their prices so that ordinary people could use them they wouldnt have to worry about private hire firms. Bring on the technology revolution!

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up


Still WAYYYYY too expensive

Surface is great for business, I have a Pro 2 for work and it is amazing/ But it will never compete with the iPad or laptops in the standard market because of the price.

The verdict is in: Samsung to pay Apple $120m chump change, but gets tiny rebate


The only winners.......

Are the lawyers. What a ridiculous pointless court case. The judge should fine both companies 100% of 1 years worldwide revenue for being such a ridiculous waste of resources and wasting court time, that would stop them bringing any more ridiculous cases again. Neither of them invented any of the ideas in question with these patents, they both stood on the shoulders of giants before them, so they both deserve nothing.

Microsoft: The MORE Surfaces it sells, the MORE money it loses


Surface rocks

I have a Surface Pro 2 for work and it rocks. It is an awesome bit of kit.

The problem is the price, I would not buy one for home because they are so crazily expensive. If MS drops the price it would sell many more of them, because the concept is amazing.

Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS


Someone's got to pay for all those lawsuits

A good reason why not to buy an iPhone.

Your files held hostage by CryptoDefense? Don't pay up! The decryption key is on your hard drive


These people need to be hunted down and shot, its that simple

Title says it all.

New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset


Both companies should be threatened with fines unless they drop it

All the patent wars just hamper innovation, this is not about invention or coming up with new ideas, this is about who's got the biggest lawyers. Both firms should be threatened with fines that would threaten their very existence (perhaps 5-10 times 1 years worldwide revenue) unless they drop this and focus on the market rather than the courtroom. All the patent claims whether apples or Samsungs, I could show you examples of their so called 'innovations' that predate their devices. For example I have a now 10 year old Palm device that has a slide to Un

Lock feature, and Samsung's FRAND claims are ridiculous since the original inventors of those technologies were the US military and universities world wide. These patent wars just stop new players coming on the the market since you need more of a budget for lawyers than actually making phones.

Apple says sayonara to Samsung's ninjas: iPad, iPhone don't infringe comms patents – report


The courts need to stop this ridiculous saga now. These court battles are just hindering innovation, and preventing the next iteration of technology from being developed, because the message is being sent that you should not bother to invent new things unless you have a huge wallet to defend yourself in court, no small inventor would have a chance at bringing out their own products in this environment. Judges should refuse on-mass to take these cases on, or fine both companies 100% of a years worldwide revenue if they try and lodge another case like this again, that will stop them in their tracks pretty quickly given how much these companies earn

Turkey's farcical Twitter ban leads to SPIKE in tweets


Even the President of Turkey thinks it's a bad idea

I love it how even the President of Turkey took to Twitter saying the ban was ridiculous. The widespread use of VPNs makes blocking any website impossible. UAE bans Skype for example, so I just set up a VPN on my phone before I go there (Hotspot Shield is a great example) and hey presto I have Skype. The West is doing the same thing though, with the blocking of Pirate Bay and other sites like it. That ban is also completely ineffective.

Google's Drive SLASH, secret 'big upgrade': Coincidence? Hardly


Still not buying the Cloud as a primary storage mechanism

I'm afraid I am still very skeptical about the cloud being a primary storage mechanism. I still go to many places with flaky internet or data connections that it makes downloading anything beyond a photo a complete pain. Also, since the Snowden revelations I simply do not trust any of these providers to keep my data secure. I use Google Drive as a backup mechanism only, i.e. I primarily use local storage but back my data up to Google Drive (within encrypted TrueCrypt containers of course to keep out any nosy people trying to look at my data).

What do you mean there are no Surface Pros? HAND 'EM OVER, yell Microsoft resellers


The biggest issue with surface is price. I would love to replace our 3 year old work laptops with surface devices, but I cannot justify it when an equivalent spec touch screen laptop is 40% cheaper. Until prices significantly come down to match that of laptops they will not take off.

UK spies on MILLIONS of Yahoo! webcams, ogles sex vids - report


Just put masking tape over all my front facing cameras. I don't use them anyway. I am also deleting all my info off Facebook, and withdrawing my files from Google Drive. GCHQ and NSA have single handedly cost the American and British tech industry billions of dollars. I hope they withdraw their HQs from those countries and teach the politicians a lesson!

Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'


Nokia were complete idiots for dumping Symbian. Symbian was the first truly multi-tasking mobile OS, and invented the concept of an App store long before the iPhone was even a twinkle in Apple's eye. Nokia dumping Symbian was the reason I switched from Nokia to Samsung. I had been a loyal Nokia customer for over 10 years. The latest and last Symbian phone was actually very cool, if they had carried on with that line they would be in charge of their own destiny. Switching to Android now makes sense but it is far too little too late.

The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7


Re: What the hell did they expect?

The main issue I have with Windows 8 is the flipping between desktop and tile mode. It would make much more sense to be able to switch on and off tile and desktop mode (i.e. if you are working on a tablet have it so everything lives in tiles vs if you are working on a desktop PC, switching off tiles and just living in desktop). On the tablet devices all the icons and text on the desktop are far too small so the tile interface makes sense (My mother who has bad eyesight refused to buy a Surface when she realised how small the text on the desktop looked), whereas the tile interface just gets in the way on a PC.The current system is just a mish mash that does not work very well, Microsoft should give users the option of which UI they want, and give you a setting to live in one or the other rather than forcing both on you at once.

REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE


Dont buy your phone from an operator

The simple message is here, don't buy your phone from an operator. I bought my phone direct from Amazon and then got a sim only deal from an operator. It means that I not only saved a huge amount of money but it means I am on a 30 day rolling contract and not a 24 month one. The contracts from operators are now so expensive especially when they give you a 'free' phone that its often cheaper to go DIY

Jury: Samsung must cough $290m of $379m Apple wanted - NOT in 5 cent pieces


How sad

I just feel really sorry for Apple. They are obviously finding it tough to compete in the market place so they are having to resort to legal battles instead. Just shows weakness, not strength.

Samsung v Apple: Titans await jury verdict on damages of MILLIONS


Re: I know this'll bring on a world of hurt but ..

That's because the touch screen technology to do the pinch to zoom just wasnt there until the late 2000s. The release of the iPhone just coincided with the invention of capacitive touch technology. And Apple certainly didn't invent that.


Re: I know this'll bring on a world of hurt but ..

Sorry to burst the Apple bubble, but lets get back to reality for a second. Apple's products were not revolutionary in their design at all, in fact I have an old touch screen device in my bedroom that does not look that dissimilar from an iPhone that I bought back in 2002, it's called a Palm (yeah remember those guys?). It's got a touch screen with rounded corners, not that dis-similar from the devices of today. So Apple just took that design made it better and put some clever marketing around it to make it sell, it wasn't revolutionary at all.

Personally I think the judge should just throw out all patent claims whether they are made by Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft or whoever, since they are all based on patents filed and invented by other people, none of them deserve to have a monopoly on those ideas.

And lets not get on to the fact that none of these companies would be in existence if it wasn't for inventions made by governments, militaries and universities around the world. Apple and Google should be thanking their lucky stars that Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Wide Web away for free or they would not be in business.

Time for a bit of corporate humility me thinks.....

Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong


Some rules do need to be tightened

I fly within the UK fairly often, mostly between London and Edinburgh, and I was actually pretty shocked that no identification of any kind was required to board a flight. No Passport, Driving License......nothing. While some people may say why do you need ID to go from one part of the UK to another especially when you can go on a train without ID. I think flying is fundamentally different, you are basically flying on board something that can be used as a massive bomb. If you want to hijack a plane, hijacking a domestic flight is probably what you would go and do (its what the 9/11 hijackers did in the US). A plane flying into a building doesn't care whether its a domestic flight or not, the result is the same. So I think for domestic flights you should have to present some ID even if its a driving license rather than a passport.

I do however disagree with these new immigration checks for landlords, its onerous and pointless. Ultimately why is it the landlords problem if someone is there illegally?

IT'S patent WAR: Apple, Microsoft vs Google, Samsung, Huawei


Re: Sad, sad people

I think even FRAND patents should be disallowed. If your company did not invent the technology at issue why should you have the right to charge other people to use it?

The vast majority of these companies would not be in existence in the first place without technologies that were invented and given out for the public good. The biggest example of this is the World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners Lee, if he had patented the World Wide Web it is extremely doubtful that Google, Apple and Microsoft would have got anywhere near the size they are currently (and you could argue that the former 2 would not be in existence). Similarly a lot of the technology in phones and tablets themselves were originally invented by the US and UK military in combination with Universities around the world. They gave this technology out for free, so why on earth should these companies be allowed to charge people to use them?


Sad, sad people

Am I the only one finding all these patent battles totally pathetic? These companies don't seem to have the guts or the brains to fight fairly in the market place so they have to resort to suing each other over patents that they themselves did not invent or take out. A judge needs to strike down all the ridiculous patents or make it so the patent becomes invalid if the original owner is either bought or goes out of business. These patent wars are bad for consumers and also bad for innovation, because it discourages smaller players into the market.

Apple: SCREW YOU, BRITS ... no unlocked iPhones for you


Just buy an unlocked phone from Europe then

The simple solution is to buy the unlocked iphone from Europe directly. Under EU law you are perfectly untitled to buy goods from other EU countries without penalty. You don't have to pay custom charges or import duty when buying from another EU state.

Finally! How to make Android USABLE: Install BlackBerry OS 10.2


And why would I want to run Blackberry on a perfectly smooth and slick Android Jelly Bean??

Locked into fixed-term mobile contract with variable prices? Not on our watch – Ofcom


I dumped O2 precisely because of this problem, fixing for 2 years was not really a fix, it was a con because they could just raise prices anyway. I now refuse to sign any contract longer than 12 months, and I have actually found its cheaper to avoid the usual contracts and buy the phone separately to the plan itself. I bought my latest phone SIM free from Amazon and signed up to a 30 day SIM-only deal. It saved me around £100 over the life of the contract they tried to offer me. I now have the flexibility to both move providers and buy another phone if I so choose.

It's the '90s all over again: Apple repeats mistakes as low-cost tablets pile up


Re: iPads are expensive?

I agree with you that iPads are very high quality kit. The problem I have with them (and I use both Android tablets and iPads) is what you can actually do with them (or not as the case may be). The iPad misses some hugely basic pieces of functionality, such as being able to hook up USB devices and having a ridiculous file system whereby no app is able to store files in a central place. The latter causes huge issues, as if like me you want to be able to do fairly simple things like send an email to a client with multiple PDF attachments, on the iPad there just does not seem to be a way of doing it, you can only push files out from one app at a time to the Mail client, and that opens up separate emails. On my Androids all I have to do is hit the Attachments button and add all the files I need to the email.

Another huge missing piece on an iPad is the ability to easy transfer files and file types from one system to another. If you want to put music or video on your pad the only way currently is through iTunes, or use a cloud storage system which takes an AGE to actually do. The other week I went on a business trip and I wanted to put a movie on my iPad for the flight. On my Android devices its just a case of plugging in a usb stick or a microSD card and away I go, on the iPad it literally took me 2 hours to put 1 movie on the device, I first had to boot up my PC, convert the AVI file into MPEG4 (which took the bulk of the time, import the MPEG4 into iTunes and then upload it to the iPad (4 steps on the iPad vs just 1 on the Android).

The big piece that apple is missing is the fact that the world is shifting to a place whereby you will want to have ONE device that does everything, i.e. a tablet that also functions as your computer. It's ok charging £400+ for a device if it is your main device but it's a pretty hard sell to convince someone they should buy an iPad when in reality they will also need a laptop or desktop as well to do what they need to do. With the latest incarnations of the Surface and Asus Transformer devices you dont need a PC anymore. I dumped my PC last year when I got my Asus Transformer and I haven't looked back since. There is hardly anything I cannot do on my Transformer that I could not do on a PC, whereas the iPad just is not in the zone to actually become a standalone device. Apple might be doing well for now but I think they will start to die a slow death unless they either become more open OR they drop their prices significantly so that people can still justify having 2 devices and 2 platforms.

Apple ban win: Now you can't buy Samsung gear no one was buying


Definitely puts an end to the fantasy that America is a free market

One rule for American companies another for foreigners. At least they're being open about their protectionism.

Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2


Re: WAYYYYY too expensive

There are actually quite a few laptops out there at that price point. I just bought a laptop at work for one of my new starters, a Dell Inspiron 15R, with 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and HD touchscreen for almost exactly £600. We've been debating at work whether to eventually replace laptops with Surface devices but at the current price point its totally unviable. The prices would have to come down to near laptop levels for it to be worth doing. I might be willing to pay a bit of a premium, say 700, maybe 800 tops, but not more than that.


WAYYYYY too expensive

Surface is starting to look more promising as an offering, but it is wayyyyyy too expensive. I need a minimum of 256gb of storage space to replace my laptop, but why would I pay over 1000 gbp for a surface when I can get a kick ass laptop with touchscreen for 600? Thats the question that Microsoft needs to answer. Until the prices fall 30% or more I wont be buying one.

In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows


MS is not dead yet

I actually think Microsoft could have a second wind with their Surface devices, they just need to increase the specs and lower the prices. I work in financial software and I am starting to see people seriously think about replacing their laptops and desktops with tablet hybrids, and only Microsoft really has the ability to create devices that are fully compatible with their corporate infrastructure. An iPad might be beautiful and lovely (I have one) but you can't do a whole lot with it beyond surf and write emails. The problem is currently specs and price, why would I pay over £1000+ for a high spec surface when I can get a top of the line laptop for 30-40% less? If they can close the gap between laptops and surface tablets spec and price wise MS will be back in the game, and Apple will be in real trouble. The future will not be people having a computer and a tablet as they do now, it will be wanting to have ONE device that is your computer AND a tablet.