* Posts by Bigg Phill

36 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Nov 2012

Microsoft pledges to give Teams users multi-account sign-in then reels it back to one work and one personal

Bigg Phill

Re: Chocolate teapot

Teams personal is new. So new it's not on the desktop or web client yet.

If you look at them purely as chat / video tools then yes they're all the same but Teams personal brings much of the collaboration features that the work version has.

You can create a group (like other chat apps) but then you have shared resources such as calendar and tasks.

So if for example you have a large family and you're trying to organise day trips and other shared events, it makes life easier for you.

Also if you share a lot of media, it puts it in a single repository so you don't have to scroll through the messages to find that funny video you were sent 2 months ago (some phones allow you to do this in the gallery anyway)

It's more than just yet another chat app

Bigg Phill

Chocolate teapot

"I don't need this, therefore nobody needs this"

I have work and personal Teams accounts on my phone, meaning I sometimes get work messages in my free time.

I'd like my employer to return the courtesy and let me get personal messages on my computer during my work time.

So it would be very useful to me. YMMV

Oh, the humanity! Microsoft congratulates itself for Teams inflicted on 115m daily users

Bigg Phill

Teams Vs alternatives

At my workplace (for reasons I still don't understand/know) we bought Slack even though Teams was already in our 365 subscription.

They both have their plus points but what I find annoying about comparison style reviews is they always use Slack as the benchmark and judge Teams by how "Slacky" it is as if you're comparing different kitchen knives.

The reality is you're comparing a good kitchen knife with a kitchen that contains a comparable knife.

Teams does so much more and as another poster said, it's only when you go "all in" that you appreciate this.

The new team = new SharePoint site feature is particularly impressive and similar tricks are available with Stream and Planner/Tasks.

I do like Slack's "draw on the screen share" feature as it makes remote pair programming / mentoring much easier and why Teams can't hide a hyperlink like Slack and pretty much every other MS Office app does is something that regularly infuriates me.

Teams handles conversation threads much better than Slack and it annoys me that none of the support channels where I work use it (i.e. the places where multiple threads are of most use)

I think the next step for Teams should be to put Email in the sidebar and then there's no need to have Teams and Outlook open at the same time

Bigg Phill

Re: OK, I'll say it

Actually this does remind me of the one thing I find genuinely annoying about Teams: inconsistent UI experience.

To get all the extra tabs (including meeting notes as well as whiteboard) as well as the chat tab, I think you have to open the meeting you are in via the calendar in the sidebar (going from memory - day off)

If you open the chat tab within the call, you only see the chat

I've often had meetings where I've referred to the Whiteboard and nobody else can find it because it's not actually in the meeting window. So if it turns out you did have a whiteboard but didn't know it was there, it happens to all of us

Bigg Phill

Re: OK, I'll say it

There's a whiteboard tab in the meeting that is preserved after the session ends.

I presume you've tried and disregarded this?

Or it's something that isn't shipped in the education version (which is a baffling decision by MS if so)

Bigg Phill

Your computer?

When you say "your computer" are you sure you don't mean "my employer's computer" and when you say "installed itself" are you quite sure it wasn't your system administrator installing it?

GDPR: Four letters that put fear into firms' hearts in 2018

Bigg Phill


Yes, yes and thrice yes.

Been saying all year that most of the important stuff in GDPR was already in the DPA legislation. All they needed was to link the fines to turnover.

On the other hand I'm somewhat concerned that the much heralded portability rights will backfire.

Used to work for life assurance companies and your competitors could find out a lot about your products from the personal data you retain vs what you discard.

It'd probably result in you having to keep even more customer data to help mask the really useful stuff

Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Bigg Phill

They're completely against the same thing happening

... Unless it's in their favour

Cryptocurrencies kill people and may kill again, says Bill Gates

Bigg Phill

Re: Worst argument ever

Well done

Comparing an illegal cryptocurrency transaction with a legal cash one is indeed the "worst argument ever" so your title is correct.

Plus cash is pretty easy to trace to the criminal if it's in their possession when you arrest them or they leave their DNA on it. Have you seriously never heard of marked bills?

Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...

Bigg Phill

Re: Yet more contentless studies by academic hot air balloons?

"And it's a pretty well known fact that the way STEM subjects are generally taught from the earliest ages of childhood tend towards putting girls and women off."

If you mean that they contain STEM then yes, you're right.

Otherwise, please elaborate.

Oh and why does biology buck the trend?

Are the biology teachers less interested in putting off girls or do the girls (and I might be going way out on a limb here) tend to find the subject matter more interesting than other STEM subjects?

Hey, look who's rushing to weigh in on crypto-coins. Hello, United Nations and European Commission!

Bigg Phill

Re: Misinformation is Propaganda and Indicates Desperation

"What if cryptocurrencies are intelligently designed to work their magic marvellously outside of, and beyond the stifling command and control of established systems of mass population manipulation"

And what if they're a pyramid scheme designed to make their creator very rich?

Bigg Phill

Congratulations, you're the proud owner of...

Some maths*

When buying at peak (bubble) value:

You have a place to live if you buy a house

You have a stake in a company if you bought shares

Even if you buy gold there's always the possibility that you can make something out of it

What can you do with a cryptocurrency that's too volatile to be used as an actual currency?

In regards to the EU (and the actual article), to say I'm not their biggest fan is a massive understatement but this reads like they want legislative parity with other forms of transactions, which seems perfectly reasonable.

What do you expect them to do?

* Math if you're American

Internet giants removing 70 per cent of reported hate speech, crows European Commission

Bigg Phill

The correct counter

"The correct counter for bad speech is more speech, not censorship"

Nailed it.

Permission to re-use this (a lot)?

How to secure MongoDB – because it isn't by default and thousands of DBs are being hacked

Bigg Phill

And when you're getting started...

I was thinking the same thing, it's like nobody commenting here has ever been subject to a release process.

Plus you would imagine the first install would be a POC / prototype on a dev machine.

You'd want to be able to quickly write code that talks to it with as few obstacles as possible in order to evaluate it.

Having said that, a MongoDB project I was involved with went live before the infrastructure team knew how to maintain it - they were used to RDBMS. Hopefully the enthusiastic developers who wanted to use the new shiny things switched it all on for them...

Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Bigg Phill

Try again but without the sarcasm

"'The single most significant factor was the introduction of blind auditions during the late 1970s, in which a screen obscured the musicians' age, gender and ethnicity from the panel of evaluators.'

You see, rather than expecting men to recognize their own inherent biases and prejudices and question them, the best solution is to leave them be and occasionally fool them. Don't worry, they won't mind if you don't do it too often."

I stopped reading a little after this as I got sick of the condescending tone.

A blind application process is a good way of removing any inherent bias by any person involved in the recruitment process. For example, studies have shown that people often assume that fat people are lazy.

The person you're so scathing of may well be making some stupid points from their lofty tower of privelege but yours are far worse.

Given the choice between hoping a human action will be self-corrected or eliminating it completely which option should an IT news site be advocating?!?

UK.gov is doing sod all to break £20bn of locked-in IT contracts

Bigg Phill

Is it really ludicrously high?

"Across the entire public sector the annual figure has been pegged at around £20bn. No one knows for sure.

As long as Whitehall's money is locked into costly long-term tech contracts, there's little hope of dramatically cutting its ludicrously high IT spend."

According to Wikipedia, the total government spend last year was £772bn


That puts the IT spend at 2.6% of total budget

According to this article, the average for businesses is 3.5%


By all means criticise the crony capitalism / corporatism that favours the big players and the lack of both clarity and transparency but the overall spend doesn't seem that big to me.

Although that doesn't mean it can't come down.

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Bigg Phill

Re: Also, the reverse would apply

"Norway has said it will veto us joining the EFTA"

Quite a lot of replies to this. What I was basically saying (with as few characters as possible) is it's looking like we're not going for the EFTA option.

One reason is the understandable concerns all the existing members would have about us dominating the group, most notably Norway.

However another reason is our own Chancellor of the Exchequer has ruled out single market membership (and therefore the EFTA).

Bigg Phill

Re: "Yes but it would most likely only apply to those companies who trade with the EU,"

"Business don't joint trading markets, countries do."

China and Iceland have an FTA. Do Chinese trading laws & standards apply to all Icelandic businesses and vice versa?

You presumably know the answer to all of this because you wouldn't want to write a patronising comment without knowing absolutely every first...

Bigg Phill

Rather than strictness, think relevance.

Bigg Phill

Re: Also, the reverse would apply

"If you join the free trade area"

Norway has said it will veto us joining the EFTA

Bigg Phill

"But outside the EU, single market membership also comes at the cost of accepting future regulations designed in the EU without UK input"

Yes but it would most likely only apply to those companies who trade with the EU, which is a perfectly reasonable situation - if you want to set up your stall in our market,you follow our rules.

At present every business in the UK has to comply with EU regulations whether they trade with other member states or not.

Also, the reverse would apply. Want to sell holidays in the UK? Follow our rules and register with ATOL

London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

Bigg Phill

Re: How is this a "thought crime unit"?

If you publish your phone number and home address on the internet then no, I suppose not...

... However most of us don't do that so when somebody receives a threat through the post it's deemed very serious as the person who made the threat knows where you live and so there's a reasonable chance they might follow up on the threat.

What Brexit means for you as a motorist

Bigg Phill

Re: Isn't the register meant to be about IT?!

I was wondering how many posts I would have to read before someone else asked this.

Brexit impact on the IT industry - valid

IT in the car industry - valid

Brexit impact on the car industry - do one

Microsoft to make Xamarin tools and code free and open source

Bigg Phill

Re: Pointless

"Because how else are you going to get their entire contact book, phone imei number, currently installed apps, bank details and location info?"

Assuming that's a reply to my comment

I think you're confusing developer intent with consumer choice. Why do consumers prefer native apps if HTML 5 is so finger likkin good?

The answer's because it isn't obviously but so many developers and (more importantly) project stakeholders don't see this and keep wasting money on one size fits all solutions for applications aimed at a long term user base.

Nobody cares about UX for a price comparison site if it gives them a good deal after 10 minutes use in a year.

An enterprise application with a 1000+ users punching data 7 hours a day on the other hand...

Bigg Phill

Re: Pointless

If HTML5 is so awesome then why do consumers of web based applications such as Facebook almost always install the native application for their phone?

How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

Bigg Phill

Re: For the love of god you lot, never dispense relationship advice...

"At least we KNOW what the Status Quo looks like"

Absolutely, the EU has in no way changed in the last decade or so and will remain exactly as it is at present for eternity.

I'm utterly sick of people claiming that remaining in the EU is a static option

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

Bigg Phill

Re: The main reason I'm voting 'In'...

Which is why she's a vocal part of the leave campaign?

Oh, hang on..

Dell, Google dangle Chromebooks over IT bosses sick of Windows

Bigg Phill

Google Exchange/Outlook replacement

Genuine question:

What is it that Exchange/Outlook does (from an end user perspective) that you don't think Google's applications do? (Mail, Calendar etc.)

I interchange between the two for work/personal use and don't see much in the way of features that you can do with Microsoft's kit but not with Google's

But maybe there are features MS offers that Google doesn't that I'm unaware of?

... In fairness, I've never had a need to set up an out of office notification in GMail as I'm never in an office for that account

Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

Bigg Phill

Yes, heaven forbid Apple might give the consumer some choice in this matter

Bigg Phill

Re: It'll settle the debate

"Similarly, if I want a Android device with a screen smaller than 4.3 inches (that isn't decidedly mid-spec) then I'm also out of luck."

Wait until next month when the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact comes out. The first "mini" premium phone that has no features downgraded - apart from the somewhat unavoidable screen size & resolution and battery capacity.

Incidentally premium Android phones used to have screens smaller than 4.3 inches (The Z1C is almost exactly the same size as the then-premium Xperia S from 2 years ago) but they grew as that was the direction the market went. If the smaller screened phones outsold the bigger ones, the manufacturers would focus on smaller screened phones.

... Before anyone retorts, I'm not Sony obsessed but I have the S and was looking at upgrading to something that's pretty much the same so have had my eye on the Z1C since CES). I own/use consumer electronics from pretty much every major manufacturer including Apple.

British Bebo founder buys back social network for $849m profit

Bigg Phill
Big Brother

Re: Local shop, for local people

"Based on my understanding of British libel and obscenity laws, I think I'd rather host a social networking site in the NSA's server room..."

Yes because nobody in the UK has been prosecuted by those laws for posting on an American based service like Facebook or Twitter have they...

Seven all-in-ones that aren't the Apple iMac - and one that is

Bigg Phill

Re: All fugly except the mac

In terms of style this isn't really a fair comparison as half of them are from publicity shots that favour a "look at me" diagonal view whereas the other half were snapped by the review head on.

I'd be interested to see how the Acer model (for example) would look with a like for like studio quality "pose"

Gates and Allen reshoot historic 1981 Microsoft photo

Bigg Phill

I better now and then shot would've been...

... Brand new computers with windows 8 touchscreen monitors - would've doubled as a marketing opportunity too.

Surely by the "then" picture being them as they were with the computers of the day then the same should be true of the "now"?

... I appreciate they were in a museum of old tech at the time and there was an opportunity to try and recreate it but generally "now" and "then" photos aren't "now with bits of then" and "then with all of then".

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Bigg Phill

No camera button?

I bought an Xperia S about a year ago - my first Sony phone.

As an owner of a digital SLR, I really appreciated the fact that it had a two stage button to enable you to focus first then capture the picture. Plus you could actually hold it with two hands like a real camera, dramatically improving the picture quality.

This one doesn't seem to have a camera button so (by my reckoning) that makes it inferior to the model it is supposed to replace.

Doesn't really matter as I took out a 2 year contract so I wasn't going to buy it anyway - I just wonder why Sony think they can't have more than one USP (Waterproofing being the new one) per device? They're competing with Samsung not the rest of their own range.

Oprah Winfrey too late to save Microsoft's Windows 8

Bigg Phill

I couldn't agree more.

Windows 7 is simply too new to warrant replacing and as the hardware advances have slowed considerably compared to 10-15 years ago, why would you want to buy a brand new machine if you replaced your old one less than three years ago?

Most people upgrade when they have to, not because they want to.

Apple engineers 'pay no attention to anyone's patents', court told

Bigg Phill

Software patents have to go

As a US judge pointed out, patents work in pharmaceuticals when the odds of someone coming up with the same molecular formula are huge.

However patenting software might as well be patenting maths. It's pointless and does nothing for either the industry or the consumer. It does keep a lot of lawyers in jobs though