* Posts by M Mouse

114 posts • joined 20 Aug 2012


Nominet faces showdown with British internet industry: Extraordinary vote called to oust CEO, board members

M Mouse

Re: Too little, too late.

Over the years I've seen comments from volunteers in a multitude of charity shops explaining that the pricing has had to adapt in recent years, because of there being "entrepreneurs" (to be polite) who bought up goods in the shop and listed them at considerable personal profit on the likes of Ebay, etc.

No explanation for selling artwork to a dealer, unless they considered that at a higher price they'd likely end up staying on display, for months, and then be purchased at an even lower price, so getting a dealer involved would get them a faster conversion of goods into cash. They're "just" staff, often volunteers, and thus the final income involved is of limited concern to them - not the same as a business owner who may take care to charge a higher price, given the profit would be hers/his.

ACLU sues America's border cops: Tell us everything about these secret search teams targeting travelers

M Mouse

I'd expect more scrutiny...

I've been to the USA a few times (before 2000) but have limited enthusiasm to return, even to see friends.

However, regarding your flight in from Canada, I would have expected higher scrutiny (a) with fewer passengers and (b) as US security agencies consider Canada to be a soft touch and let in "all sorts" of people with fewer checks, so "via Canada" might be a reason for greater concern, IMHO.

Remember the millions of fake net neutrality comments? They weren't as kosher as the FCC made out

M Mouse

Re: Well Ahead of Red Hat

"A point made by one person is just as valid as one made by a million."

That's the scientific approach.

In government (I am in the UK so looking from outside a US perspective / knowledge), the fact there has been "so much feedback, most of it supporting our plans" is ideal for the body to use when responding to criticism or interviews by the media.

The media will perhaps still criticise but the general public, who will mostly remain ignorant of how fake support has been bought, might then be persuaded that the policy is an acceptable one, because the body, and many "interested parties" think it is a "good idea", even when we know it is complete garbage, and the "interested parties" are spoofed.

The public think of this as a vote "for" the proposition and if "public comment" is overwhelmingly supportive, then the policy (however good or bad - for them it was TL;DR) is "OK".

Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

M Mouse

Re: Cashless society

"I have an app for my bank that tells me if anyone is doing anything on my card, and specifically warns me immediately on big transactions."

being curious, which bank ? I am using HSBC and have seen nothing to suggest they'd tell me about every transaction (or even just large ones - but theirs is dumb in some ways)...

But at least for a transfer to some (random) sort code + account number (as might be entered by a hacker) it needs a security code to be entered from a credit-card size calculator style device...

"At the end of the day, I'm not reliant on the card to purchase anything THERE AND THEN." - not wanting to suggest any problem occurs but there are times when some airline shuts their doors unexpectedly, or a volcanic dust cloud grounds all flights, so there may be a time when a large and unexpected expense (several unscheduled days in what might be the last vacant room in a luxury hotel), so things can happen however much you usually plan.

"Do you people not use Direct Debit for your bills.... How is that any different?"

(a) they are either for fixed sums, or you need to be notified in advance, and (b) the DD Guarantee means you can get a refund quite quickly if something goes wrong, hopefully without any bank charges if you go overdrawn temporarily.

YMMV, and while cashless works for you, it seems like plenty of readers prefer to have use of both. I have no plans to move to Sweden which is mostly cashless - and may cause some tourists problems if they have even a temporary block on card use...

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

M Mouse

F vs C

For myself, just a few years older (60 last month), I can convert Centigrade / Celsius back to Fahrenheit and do, because while I can work as easily with metric equivalents, I still "think" in "old" measurements 99% of the time.

I really don't think of 5°C and do think 35°F (no, intentionally not a conversion), when considering weather or equipment, working conditions, etc.

I don't think C is any more "intuitive" especially when cooking directions show both. YMMV

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

M Mouse

Re: Quite an understandable mistake - except for the CEO

I was once responsible for some of the networking in the (academic) organisation where I worked.

We had BT's X.25 PSS service connected to one of our DEC VAX systems. Someone tried to 'hack in' and seeing it reported I made a quick 'in retaliation' connection to their server... There were a few well-known system s accounts on VAX, with default passwords. I logged in on the first attempt because they had not altered theirs (just lucky for me it was a VAX).

After noting they had a dozen or more systems, with names suggesting they were spread widely across Europe, I managed to find a mail list for the board members. I left a task in the queue to run a few weeks later, middle of the working day, middle of the week, telling them their security was poor if they still had default passwords on privileged accounts.

I have no way to know if it ran, and I probably wouldn't do it nowadays, but it seemed sensible to at least warn a few of the decision makers, hopefully in different countries, there was a security issue, possibly on more than 1 of their systems.

Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

M Mouse

Re: ...citing the Windrush scandal as justification.

@ Graham Cobb " fight the xenophobic little-Britain insularists."

I think you mix too many descriptions...

I am not intentionally xenophobic, but do see some non-English communities which seem to have no wish to integrate, follow British law, or leave certain hostilities etc behind.

I did vote Leave and want that to happen, if necessary, with a 'hard' Brexit.

I don't feel that makes me a "little-Britain" (Briton? - I never watched the TV series) or unduly "insularist" (as I know that for trade we need to have good relations worldwide, hopefully re-establishing strong ties with Commonwealth countries.

Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

M Mouse

"Swindon isn't very much west of Portsmouth"

Hove is around 50 miles east of Portsmouth.

Swindon is over 50 miles west of Southampton.

What actual locations were you thinking about?

It seemed quite reasonable to me to indicate such places as "near but not too near" as separate nodes for routing traffic another way if some disruption takes place. More awkward locations would be those such as Penzance where a single connection is most likely.

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses

M Mouse

Re: LoL!

piqued by the first 'whois' reference I wondered who registered hmrc-online.co.uk (ie correct spelling) and was a bit surprised to find it is demys.com which is an Edinburgh based Intellectual Property firm. Made me wonder how costly is the contract with them for "monitoring" such matters. I wonder if someone has the enthusiasm for an FoI enquiry ?

Made me wonder why the GOV.UK staff aren't doing this, along with fixing wrong phone numbers found via Google Maps (and others) where scumbags have used 084x and 087x numbers to give themselves some income at the expense of the public wanting to contact HMRC... (and no doubt other departments like DWP, DVLA, etc). A solicitor on behalf of HMRC confirmed they were going to sort out the numbers used for HMRC offices (as found on Google maps, Bing, and so on) but that I would need to contact other departments. Talk about un-joined up government when it's so clear one body within needs to look into all such scams, but they cannot get away from walling themselves off from others within Govt.

Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

M Mouse

"search, maps, perhaps gmail are useful services for which Google could probably get away with charging $5 / year."

but they're greedy, so just as YouTube Red had a fee of $9.99 initially (and was unavailable in many other countries), when it was renamed and launched as YouTube Premium it went up (and in the UK equates to about US$15), and it's a MONTHLY fee. OK, they have added 'play music' too, but I will cancel after my 3 months trial, and see if my other 7 Google accounts can still get 3 months free...

You don't really think Google would bundle all in your list for $5/ year, do you ?

User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

M Mouse

Re: Trackball can be worse....

$2 (wireless model) on Ebay! That includes delivery.

At that price, if it dies after 6 months, (or gets dropped and broken if your office doesn't have carpet, but tiled floor) cheaply replaced !

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

M Mouse

Re: Virgin Media

I don't have the option of VM here, so plan to move across the city where I may get Hyperoptic and for about 60 quid a month, have the option of 1000/1000.

I'd love to know whether anyone is able to comment on the speeds they are getting with it, although I expect most standard equipment will struggle to pull a full 1000 Mbps and similarly, what speed test service will provide that ?

M Mouse

Actually, NO, you don't necessarily have that choice.

Much as I might like to use their service, my road happens to be in the 30% of this postcode district which has no service and no prospect of it, but we get all their advertising blurb because it is deemed cheaper to cover everyone in this district than be selective to streets they serve.

M Mouse

"we should have grabbed the bull by the horns and gone straight for FTTP"

I can only imagine the downvotes were from some BT/Openreach guys...

Only way to get majority of the country set up with fibre is to scrap damn vanity project HS2 and use part of the money for this. I doubt it is practical to fibre to every property so consider wireless on top for some outlying rural farms etc, but for many FTTC works "OK" and for many, 20 to 50 Mbps is quite adequate.

M Mouse

Re: Yes

It may not just be their methodology, but the sample they have, because their results always favour ISPs like Zen (which, while undoubtedly popular, is well outside the "top 6", and hardly comes into comparisons unless you are looking for the more expensive end of services, at least for residential use).

I had a subscription to Which? for 20 years but when they found they had forgotten to increase the price and wanted something ridiculous, I cancelled, as their comparisons seem to cycle every three years and some of their results are not comparable with any other sampling/ comparison sites.

Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

M Mouse

Hmmm, those pen pushers messing about again...

Nominet makes my head explode whenever I come up against their burocracy.

Just trying to disentangle myself from a domain registered in the late 90s with my name as registrant, but I don't know what e-mail address was used (and the registered user's e-mail has never been publicly shown). The domain was registered obo a relative who has since sold the business, so I and the relative are now nothing to do with this domain, but to get it transferred to the new business owner will take £20 +VAT thanks to Nominet's damn "security" measures.

I spoke to someone there who explained how I first have to get back access via my old e-mail address and writing them a letter... and paying money... and can then change registrant, after I pay more money. I did ask the hypothetical "what if I was dead" and was told they'd need proof of it...

I wonder how much they spend on management flying back and forth to USA since they now have an office over there, given this is a "not for profit" organisation they must have lots of spending to wipe out their profits, or do they just hike up everyone's salary well in excess of 50K a year, 250K plus expenses and first class flights for top level execs?

I have nothing good to say about them, and the fewer .uk domains I have to have contact with in future, the better. I like that they will hide all contact info, because there were lots of instances where a domain used for business had its details *incorrectly* redacted and Nominet couldn't give a flying fig about it.

Forget any .uk domains from now on, and go hassle free with something else, is all I can recommend to my clients.

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

M Mouse

Re: I'm an European citizen and I hate Brexit and its perpetrators, ...

OK - Martin-73

Feel free to call me vile then, as I certainly felt happy when I placed my "leave" vote.

I had a banner (tied to my trees) torn down by some person(s), who felt that I was not allowed to have an opinion different to them, and that's about as democratic as the way the EU handles some things.

I would have no hesitation to vote the same way again.

M Mouse

"Is this a F-off move?"

I'd say so, and good luck to them (I doubt any bargaining will make the burocrats alter their decision).

I am rather surprised if the figure is as high as 300,000 and can imagine quite a few registrants being annoyed, both in being forced to lose the domain (when it happens) and because they are unlikely to have expected a "leave" result.

I have only a marginal academic interest in knowing whether registrants bother to renew before their potential banishment from .EU registration, and would appreciate a link to anywhere which tracks the count of registrations, so as to see each "end of month" figure over the next 12-15 months...

Those whose renewal is due within 3-6 months might simply renew, hoping there will be a delay before withdrawing their right to registration during the "transition period" while those in months 7 to 12 might be resigned to the fact that if the registration is simply cancelled, over 50% of what they paid will have been wasted, had they bothered to renew...

To find they have been in use for 10+ years has been a bit of a shock to me as I have yet to see one in use.

M Mouse

"exotic but genuine EU locations like Buggerru ..."

I wouldn't waste my money but I can see how the idea may appeal to some.

Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers

M Mouse

Re: I Think I'm Going To Throw Up

"You train the people who will be doing presentations so they have done it all before in front of a friendly audience,..."

Wow, what luxury! Many years ago my manager "volunteered" me to present to about 100 industry peers concerning some technology we had developed (where I was a minion, coding about 30% of the software). We were at none other than Oxford University and I was pretty terrified.

On the day, it went quite well, but no rehearsal, nor friendly audience beforehand.

UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

M Mouse

inadequate fine...

and I wonder whether he was paid with cash in an envelope or whether HMRC could investigate for undisclosed earnings...

They (HMRC) can make people bankrupt (and do, as I know to my cost, with plucked out of the air figures) and probably have more investigatory powers than ICO against individuals...

Oi, force Microsoft to cough up emails on Irish servers to the Feds, US states urge Supremes

M Mouse
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sort of confused... No. VERY confused.

"from the Irish government?"

No, I think you mean ask "in an Irish Court" (and give sufficient evidence for the warrant to be issued).

The Irish Government likely doesn't have the messages, nor care, unless we are about to see a US "we can grab WTF we want" (which seems to be a fairly standard approach for law enforcement and other security-related matters). I think the "screw you" attitude has been extended much further in recent years and President Trump might be at the front of that parade now...

M Mouse

re HMG

"Does HMG really believe that if the Feds won this one that the US would reciprocate"

There's been little or no proof of it happening in the past, and I believe the "traffic" (of "wanted" bodies) has usually, if not exclusively, been towards the US, even if the evidence seems relatively flimsy... and over there, the penalties sometimes seem extreme (do they have a preferred order of states in which to try cases to provide for maximum penalties being applied? It certainly seems possible that if they can get a stiffer sentence, they go for it!)

BT lab domain grab – 17 years after cheeky chap swiped 'em

M Mouse

Hate domain squatters...

1) client of mine wanted to use .audio domain for their business


but name.audio was blocked initially because of some domain technicality... then Cayman Island squatter firm bought it, sale price $45K... now available at £120 or thereabouts following increase in cost of .audio and several other gTLDs

2) a client forgot to renew a .co.uk domain so a UK squatter (and domain firm with Nominet tag, and London "mailbox" address) registered it and wants £1000 for it... luckily the .uk is not held by greedy squatter!

3) same client a few years ago had lawyers letter wanting them to hand over domains they had registered... something like


so clearly to do with imports + exports but Intel has/had deep pockets and not worth court battle, or paying anything for arbitration.

Didn't hand over domains, just cancelled them...

Wish it had been fought to show how Intel and others (no names but EasyArt ring a bell?) can be shown up as bullies when there is no risk to their own business.

HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

M Mouse

All very nicely reported...

But did no-one at El Reg notice there was a phone launch in London yesterday, for the Razer (or did the 'double the cost' pricing at £699 (or US$ 699) and launch date of 17.11 just not "hit the spot" ?

I'm not a gamer as such but the price (with 8 GB RAM) is rather attractive to me, saving a bit compared with some other new 'flagship' phones, for sure.

'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport

M Mouse

Re: Maybe they should try the Singaporean MRT

"the train door and barrier door align."

In both Ottawa (for bus stops in the central area) and underground (in one station, at least... it was quite a while ago, in May 1979) in Leningrad, there were sets of doors aligning with the doors on the transport.

Excellent in Leningrad (though I had to just count the number of stops, as the names were rather awkward to memorize ... and fare was 2p flat rate)... though you were forbidden from taking photos inside the underground stations (presumably as the images might be used to determine how many people could shelter if there was bombing going on at the surface)...

In Ottawa it was a little more hit and miss, as it depended on the driver. One "nice touch" for Ottawa, however, was that there were separate roadways (with traffic light intersections with normal street traffic) to allow the buses non-stop routes independent of other road usage, and perhaps safer during icy and snowy weather.

Openreach: Comms providers 'welcome' our full-fibre 'ambition'

M Mouse

Re: Sit on Hands, became show hands slightly, BT still act like the drunk blocking the Pub doorway.

Being very nosy, but who offers you the one-off fee for such an upgrade ?

Being very, very, nosy, what are you paying right now ?

Asking because my current home is limited to an "up to 38 Mbps" service though I can see a fibre cabinet from one of the bedroom windows and the takeaway across the main road has an estimate of double the speed available for me... Also, while Virgin Media offers service in this postcode area, the few strets around me are definitely not getting any service from VM now, nor is any service expected to come to fruition from VM during my lifetime.

He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

M Mouse

Re: Does this included "Unlimited" usage....

@ Lost all faith...

You at least need to name names...

Who is offering such dismal service ?

Name them and shame them, else there's no point writing something

(even worse, if it isn't actually factually true.)

Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Comcast etc? Small ISPs fight back

M Mouse

Makes me appreciate the fact I have a choice of 10, 20, 50 ISPs via my POTS line, and if I move to another part of the city, up to 1000 Mbps (each way) for GBP 60/month (about $75 I guess right now) for pure internet service, a small (GBP 3 / US$ 5) addition for a landline number (VOIP) is an option. With a POTS line, then most are probably with one of the big 5/6/7 (depending on who one includes as major UK ISPs), but the smaller ISPs offer services - probably at higher cost and perhaps some better customer service, or are niche and only serve businesses, but we have over 100 ISPs (see ISPreview.co.uk)

Now although some consider TV aerials rather ugly, with row after row of them in UK towns and cities, fact is our FTA services are enough to entertain in most areas (unless you are stuck in a valley and a local relay offers only say 15 stations not the regular 80+ and several HD). Choose Now TV and you can get several of the entertainment channels via the internet, some live, plenty of catch-up and box sets, or their movies deal, at pretty low cost (GBP 8/month for entertainment, and another 8/month for movies, I think), while Sky satellite will cost anything up to 100 GBP depending on features (HD is extra, multiple rooms extra, etc). Virgin Media doesn't serve my road so don't know or follow their charges

Guess who's hiking their prices again? Come on, it's as easy as 123 Reg

M Mouse

Re: The Prophecy!

I had a call, like you, out of the blue, and was asked something like whether I was happy. I said that the price increase was unwelcome and I'd be moving my domains away as a result. If I had seen this article beforehand, I'd have gone ballistic.

Now I know about it, they can whistle for anything else financially from me!

M Mouse

Re: I have a couple with them

I've used plenty of other firms, including CrazyDomains (HQ is in Australia, but service is OK), and HostGator. If you look at domcomp.com you can find a number of other registrars but

(a) watch out for "too good to be true" pricing (most of the firms mentioned are in USA and some do USA-only low prices, such as 1and1 - which launched its server farm business in N America with free hosting for 3 years but you had to have a US phone number to be eligible).... and

(b) one or two US firms want to charge a transfer fee, or a transfer fee and then renewal (if the renewal date is say more than 3 months in the future). I have a half dozen .uk domains at 123-Reg which will be moved before renewal becomes due in 2018.

I mention the comparison site as it may be of interest to those not wanting to be tied to .uk any more (!) The majority of the domains I manage are not .uk thank $deity.

Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

M Mouse

Re: £1,149

I thought I read somewhere that if you plug in a USB (or whatever the latest Apple connection standard is) the phone locks again and won't talk, so sucking out all the stored data just won't work that easily.

That's bound to piss off someone in the back room when an unlocked phone is brought to the office and it locks up again as soon as they plan to suck out the data...

T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

M Mouse

Re: Remove the SIM card, oh yeah sure.

It was only a comment, for general information, and I read it as being unrelated to this case, but a valid observation (and as someone points out below your comment, if there's a problem with your 'home' network which the SIM is tied to, then it makes perfect sense, in my view, to do this).

Was there anything to imply the poster expected the babysitter to do this, in his post?

M Mouse
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Re: not the first time for T-Mobile

Although my landlines are generally reliable, I had 3 weeks when one was down for a week, then the other for a week, then the first (again for a whole week). Voice and data.

I have several mobiles, some PAYG, so could probably have reached 999, but the point is that whether wired or wireless, few of these services are guaranteed for 100% uptime.

I have most sympathy for the babysitter, who no doubt went into panic and may not have tried landline if she was by child's cot on her mobile... I suspect mother and lawyer are trying to milk T-Mobile "because they can" and few will speak out about it being the wrong attitude and action, because the tragic death weighs heavily, and any argument against compensation may have "heartless attitude" used to describe it.

A landline may help, but in the past we have heard from Fire Service and Police that they could not reach our (urban Lx xXX) address as their satnav units don't show it (development was only finished in 1993!!!).

Under 60% of homes have a landline in USA, I believe, so tragedies may become more common, unfortunately.

The award for worst ISP goes to... it starts with Talk and ends with Talk

M Mouse

Good to see Origin mentioned...

I have been using PlusNet off and on (house moves, etc) for over 13 years. While unlucky for some, I've been very happy with service and though their CS offering for residential users has suffered in the last 2 years, business users still get 24h service.

However, to add resilience (as I work from home and had my Post Office connection {supplied by TalkTalk} go down twice in a year, with no compensation payments) I plan to get a low cost FTTC service from Origin in the near future.

(I did ask Zen a while ago, for FTTC connection, but they couldn't / wouldn't, so f*** them, I say).

No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

M Mouse

Re: @David Lawton

maybe it's because I'm closer to retirement than most, but " that takes care you do enough movement " is the part which is enough to deter me from ever touching an Apple watch (oh, and the rip-off pricing for all Apple products, let's not forget).

Don't get me wrong, I have several used iMacs and even used (at work) the original Apple Mac, back in the 80s, and like them. I now even have an iPhone 5S (as a hand-me-down from a relative for my last birthday) and will have my own (free for users) App developed for Android, Windows, and iOS, in future, but buying anything from Apple, brand new online, or in store, will be reserved for when hell freezes over.

SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

M Mouse

Re: 400 Gb on your little fingernail....

ICL 1904A where I worked had 4 tape decks, 128 kB of RAM, and a number of EDS 8 and EDS 60 ( 8 MB and 60 MB disks). For someone not wanting to search on Google, a disc pack was like a stack of vinyl LPs, in a "cake cover" as Mage described it.

After opening the drive and carefully lowering the pack vertically, screwing it onto the spindle, the lid was closed, the vacuum inside established and then the delicate arms could be seen sliding between the discs.

While I don't want to claim things were any better then, I think those of us who saw and used the older technology perhaps appreciate the massive changes over the past ~40 years just that little bit more than some of the younger generations.

Just found a photo... (for those who need one)


M Mouse

a bit more ancient, perhaps !

Around the same time, after assisting a GP Surgery with their transfer of data from an IBM 286 (I think - the model escapes me right now) to their new multi-terminal Linux based system, provided by a drugs firm (in return for anonymous patient data), I ended up with

Dual floppy (5.25", 360 kB) drive IBM PC, with 192 kB RAM

+ mono Hercules (green) monitor

+ Tallgrass storage unit (12 MB hard drive + tape backup unit)

The initial PC system and software had cost them dearly... the Tallgrass Technology add-on was over 1000 GBP alone, and the unit was the same size as the desk model IBM PC. An initial 6 months "support" was provided by the Fareham based supplier, but they couldn't actually fix problems!

Patient data for ~ 8000 patients had been typed in by their young secretary (max 20 procedures/ problems per patient to limit storage requirement) and I provided them with support to fix the BASIC software written by a Hampshire GP (for example, none of his patients was over 100, so the array for a histogram had an out of bounds index when their patient data was used, crashing the software and giving them no output)

A response to ponga claiming they're "ancient" :)

ISPs must ensure half of punters get advertised max speeds

M Mouse

Re: Money talks

"but because I choose to live in the arse-end of nowhere on the end of 3.8km of thin overhead wire I get 3-4Mbit/s on a good day. "

It equally affects those who would choose not to live there, but cannot afford to move, but I totally agree with your point. Most if not all ISPs have a "speed estimate" check before the customer signs up and while those aren't perfect, they generally point out what speed one might get (barring the worst technical issues). Smoothing out the pricing is common and yet very few ISPs offer a lower price when Openreach is forced to charge less (where there is lots of competition... Plus.Net passes on the reduction, which makes rural pricing look even less fair, despite it being the hidden Openreach rental charges that have an effect on the price). Openreach is often the culprit with delays and problems but the ISPs get the blame and cretins demand their pound of flesh, from the ISPs!

When I moved to a village on the edge of a town in north Wales, my initial line speed was a little more than bonded ISDN at 160 kbps. There was also a bad hum on the line (and the b'stard Openreach engineer told me I'd have to live with it, and even put in a report that internal wiring was at fault so I was landed with a call out fee about 3 months later, which I disputed and was cancelled). However, after 6 months of grotty speeds and complete loss of voice and internet for several days at a time (*), a young engineer one Saturday morning spotted the problem - perished insulation on the drop wire from the gutter to the hall. He was up his ladder inspecting the cable before I got down to the front door, and installed a new master socket in the computer room upstairs.

My 2.5 / 3 Mbps went down to about 1.5 Mbps when ADSL 2+ went live at the exchange, because it had a benefit for those close by (but I was 6km away as the copper ran around the villages). If I had stayed there I'd now be enjoying 70+ Mbps on FTTC as the cabinet was a few metres from the house, but having moved away, and ended up in a street in an urban area that has a cabinet some 700m away and 250 flats served as well, the highest estimate for FTTC is the 'up to 38 Mbps' variety, while the cabinet visible at 10 metres from my back window serves properties the other side of the main road, and the chippie, could get up to 76 Mbps!

(*) whenever there was rain... Using a pulse dial phone, I could sometimes restore life for voice calls but not the internet.. I guess the pulses evaporated a little of the water...

'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

M Mouse

Re: Bias Much?

I think I would start a $ 10,000 and work up, in $ 5,000, until an ISP got bored with one offer a week, and told me how much they wanted.

Of course, the best target would be the family home because the likelihood is that someone will tip off the politician, and they will soon see that their whole family are under scrutiny, not like it, and perhaps after a family argument over what may be revealed, understand why privacy needs protecting!

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

M Mouse

Re: I could save a few pence a month

Worth looking at dual SIM phones if one has to visit on a relatively frequent basis (though I don't know what "PAYG" options exist in N America - been a while since I visited Canada or USA).

M Mouse

Re: Does it take into account

I suppose it depends on starting point, but many people spend a minimum of say a tenner a month.

That gets me 4 GB of data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.

There are deals around, but just needs someone to look every few months (the one I am on is a rolling monthly contract, not tied in forever!)

"HUKD" and "SIM only deals" should find a few sites giving useful info, alongside MSE (MoneySavingExpert).

M Mouse

Re: Does it take into account

Quite a few MVNOs to choose from - that may offer better bundles.. but may have data speed slightly reduced (rumours - I have no proof)

EE - Asda, Plusnet

O2 - Tesco, GiffGaff

Three - FreedomPop, iD (CarphoneWarehouse)

Vodafone - Sainsburys

UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

M Mouse

Re: Not new for me

Might have been credit check service they use. I'd at least ask for that info in case some other business also turns you down in future... At least until you have lived back in UK for 1 year.

M Mouse

Re: Probably won't opt in

re Three cancelling legacy, unlimited, accounts... Great offer at £15 from July 2013 to January 2014, by which time I guess some were hitting hundreds of GB usage every month.

There were rumours (and action taken) from November 2014, at which time I took out a different contract. If Three suggests I need to pay more I will get my PAC and move number to "other"...

£15 on Three gives..... £15 on "other" gives

Unlimited data ............. 6 GB

2000 minutes .............. unlimited minutes

5000 SMS ................... unlimited SMS

unlimited tethering

5000 main 3-to-3

I opted for capped bill on Three so I am safe from premium rate numbers, short code subscription services, international calls, if phone stolen.

WTF? Been seeing a lot of recommendations for Mint Linux to newcomers, why?

M Mouse

Can I suggest ...

... starting a fresh topic rather than dragging up an old one (albeit, moderately interesting), because I have little doubt a thread "Warning - Linux Mint may not handle your latest device" might well get the message across to Mint users (and potential users) in a far more direct way than a discussion which inevitably gets into a 'version vs version vs version' comparison.

Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

M Mouse

Re: the problem with drones...

drones flying close enough to viably peer in windows are (currently) loud enough to be definitively not-surreptitious, making the Peeping Tom law inapplicable.

However, you can surely see that someone could fly a drone, land it, and not be needing the hover capability (say viewing from the roof of a building across the street into the target property).

Also, with the latest battery/ power technology, where a previous 20 minute flight may have been possible, fuel cell retailers are expecting 2-3 hours, so if the R/C device only needs to receive the radio for a couple of hours (having landed the drone in a position from which to view the target), the drone could sit with minimal power consumption, waiting for a radio signal, at which point the camera will be activated, start streaming, and the roof where it is located might be in complete darkness.

So long as the "Peeping Tom" remembers to turn off the camera before running the battery too low, and taking off, to be able to recover the drone, there may be only the noise of the drone at two times - once to position and land it, and the second, possibly under cover of darkness, to take off and land (not necessarily near the drone owner's home).

Who knows how far it will be flown before collection, and in the first place, from whence it came... (in other words, the PT drives to a park within range of the target property, having spotted a suitable target building + person, and taken note of some landmarks... goes back after dark, watches whatever they can, flies the drone back towards the park (and by means of their own hazard lights and headlights, can get visual clues about which direction to fly once near the park).

NB I am in UK, not sure if any similar 'Peeping Tom' law exists, and don't drive.

Spotify mulls Swift change of policy – we can stream Taylor, but we'll charge

M Mouse

Re: One day the millenials will ...

@FatGerman - I'm not sure if you are in the UK since you mention subscription services, but my main gripe with many US-based services is still the pound to dollar exchange rate...

Google Play Music may be $10 for some but £10 is way more than $10 + 20% VAT

I've not looked at Spotify charges recently - I use TuneIn Radio for free to user services (and tend to ignore services like Jazz.com and DI which won't allow streaming apart from via their own Apps).

Back to the US v UK / EU pricing, only the other day did I notice a site with $30 monthly fee and of course the "to be expected" rip off £30 UK fee. Sure, it was a porn site, but just a further example of why some services will never get my business (it's not as if the US funds the undersea connections either - costs for traffic is paid for by countries at remote end of link, passed down to ISPs, and then us users).

Hello? HELLO? Major Skype outage hits folk WORLDWIDE

M Mouse

Re: Linphone

SIP is probably recognised by anyone reading ElReg, so links and comments like this could prompt some to assume (A) it may be the author, hoping for publicity or (B) it could include malware.

Not claiming this is case A or B but to perhaps explain why I, and I assume many others, rarely visit such sites.



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