* Posts by Andy Barker

76 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jul 2007


The content business wants Netflix out of Australia

Andy Barker

Re: Sony/Netflix contract

I agree with your HTTPS perspective. Also I'd say the wording reads more as "the content must be encrypted BEFORE sending over any connection". e.g. encrypted file sent over an unencrypted link would also match the definition.

Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Andy Barker

Re: Strange

Maybe some of the readers of this site, but not most people. I don't want to be responsible for doing these checks on all my family's pcs every month!

Amazon cloud threatens to SMASH the fundamental laws of PHYSICS

Andy Barker

Re: Note the free 5GB service has now gone

I asked Amazon about this when I was asking about the whole issue of not being able to NOT go on a trial above. Got the following email:

"I understand you'd like to know if you will still be able to send PDF files to your Kindle, without Cloud Drive plans.

Please be advised that Kindle Personal Docs no longer count against your Cloud Drive storage limits, so you’ll be able to access and send documents without a Cloud Drive plan."

Andy Barker

Re: How to cancel?

Got a reply to this question from Amazon via the online contac us forms. You have to move on to one of the trials. You can stop the auto renew, but you can't currently cancel the trial.

A bit daft, but at least there is an option (but one designed to get you to subscribe by accident?).

Quotes from their reply:

"If you don’t want to upgrade to an annual plan at the end of the trial, you can choose to opt out at any time during the trial period from the Manage Storage page"...

"If you turn off automatic renewal, you'll be able to continue using your free trial benefits until the end of the free trial period but will not be charged for or upgraded to an annual plan when the promotion ends.

Please know that at this time we don't have the option of canceling the trial. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused in this regard."

Andy Barker

How to cancel?

I got the email today telling me about the changes, and I don't like what I see.

They are stopping the free 5GB service, and I have to choose a 3 month trial of one of the two paid services.

I can't see a way to just cancel now. I signed up for the free trial to give it a go. Didn't like it, so not used it since (although it does seem to include my documents I've sent to Kindle). Don't see how to not use one of the their trials, and get out now.

EU VAT law could kill thousands of online businesses

Andy Barker

Nice to see someone responding with something other than problems. You have written what I was trying to dig up, but you look to have more credibility than me.

I do think that the information about this upcoming change wasn't well published. Everyone I've spoken to hadn't heard about it until I told them a few weeks ago.

Someone I know posted a table on Facebook describing some of the scenarios you also pointed out:


El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Andy Barker

Re: [this space intentionally blank]

I agree - the border / spacing around articles on the home page is too large. Makes it look like it is designed for large fingers on small screens. But then the toolbar works on mouse-over, and not click.

Can't see anything in the change that I personally like, and plenty that I don't.

Review mass-snoop laws regularly, says RIPA daddy Blunkett

Andy Barker

Re: Oh dear

Of course they will say that the reason you are more likely to get struck by lightning is BECAUSE of the crazy "anti-<insert your favourite topic here>" laws. Which of course can't be disproved.

Giving mobile users the applications they want is child's play

Andy Barker

Other options

As a lazy programmer, I recently started using Basic4Android to develop a small app for my own specific requirements. Language is similar to VB6, is translated to Java then compiled.

Works really well for my needs, may do for yours. The guy that wrote it started with a version for the old Windows Mobile, now does a version for Android and recently iOS.

GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

Andy Barker

Re: Subject data access request

I think it's a Data Protection Act issue - http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information

"You can ask the organisation you think is holding, using or sharing the personal information you want, to supply you with copies of both paper and computer records and related information."

Of course if the information is considered to be anonymised, then you may not get the result you want.

Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Andy Barker

Re: About recording calls.

UK law on recording calls is a bit vague. You can record a call without telling the other party, if that recording is not going to be given to a third party. Not sure how it works if you later want to give that recording to a solicitor, or produce it in court.


Behold our SPINNING DATA GRAVE: WD carts out 6.3TB cold storage drive

Andy Barker

Short warranty for Archive drive?

Sounds odd giving a 3 year warranty for a drive aimed at archiving. If they sold an archive drive with a 10+ year warranty, that'd be more like it.

Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices

Andy Barker

Same for me. When we moved into this house, was either 100 MBit VM, or 3 MBit ADSL. Guess which we chose.

Does flake out every few weeks for 5 minutes a time, but I can live with that.

When I had Sky broadband and phone at the previous place (fairly remote, 1.5-2.0 MBit), their customer support was pants. Like most companies, if your problem fits into their expected list of problems you can do well. I gave up calling to report failures on the line, and just waited for them to fix it after other people reported the fault.

It's not you, it's EE: UK mobile network goes titsup, blames gremlins

Andy Barker

Fine in Hertfordshire

I'm actually using my t-Mobile phone as a hotspot at home due to Virgin having a network outage around here... Guess we are both lucky and unlucky at the same time!

Big Blighty telcos ordered to block three BitTorrent search sites

Andy Barker

Re: All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

It specifically says "who have accounts" are infringing.

However I agree with your general direction - they are asserting that by having an account with the site you have infringed a copyright. Quite possibly true, but I could sign up and not use the account.

Researchers find not all EC2 instances are created equal

Andy Barker

Re: Anyone actually expect the hardware is the same?

Micro instances are the worst ones to compare, as their performance is not guaranteed ("up to 2 ECUs"). We sometimes end up with Micro instances where the % Stolen time is huge, and the instance seems all but dead for a while.

Asus: Ice Cream Sandwich Transformer Pad out in May

Andy Barker

Re: Difference from Prime?

OK, I skim read the engadget review. Difference seem to be:

1. Replaced aluminium shell with plastic (better chance of WiFi and GPS problems going away)

2. Slightly lower battery capacity

3. Slightly slower clock speed

Not a lot else I can see.

Andy Barker

Difference from Prime?

This article shows different specs to the original article, and this article seems to show identical specs to the Prime (except for the plastic strip on the case). So £100 cheaper than my Prime, and gets a bit of plastic.

Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headset

Andy Barker
Thumb Up

Re: Yay - decent stereo headset!

I totally agree. I've managed to find some reasonable stereo headsets over the years, but it has taken some trial and error by purchasing things rather than reading reviews (due to the lack of them).

I also find that a stereo headset for calls makes it much easier to hear the other person when in a noisy environment (wireless or wired). Also makes it nice to be able to wander around the office whilst on a call leaving the phone in the desk charger.

DreamHost nightmare attack sparks passwords reset

Andy Barker

Easy job

Same here. Had 8 password to reset for a variety of sites - no big deal.

Could be a pig if you had lots of sites.

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker

Andy Barker

Wrong picture

Shame that is a picture of the previous version Asus Transformer, and not the Transformer Prime

Amazon: The Microsoft of the cloud

Andy Barker

Not like a Microsoft, more like an IBM?

I would think the comparison would be better if it were made against a hardware manufacturer. AWS is IaaS - the key being Infrastructure, not SaaS or PaaS.

As such, the comparisons aren't the same any more. The accusations against Microsoft are that they force you to do things their way, use their software, and tie you into all things Windows. I would argue that AWS is more like there being one supplier of 90% of the PCs in the world - you can put all sorts of software on them, use them in a much more varied way.

Granted there is still a sort of lock-in, but the lock-in is only with the hardware that they are virtualising, and we are almost all using that in the non-cloud world.

The only companies they might put out of business are those that offer infrastructure related products. Amazon won't be writing Office type applications, but they will be offering more things that make it easier for people to build SaaS products on their service.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Andy Barker

Misread it first time

Dunno why, but at first glance of the title I though the article was about Assange!

Maybe it was the word "Revelations" that tricked my small brain. Or maybe I am hoping an assassin will relieve us of Assange.

Have a fun weekend

Got a non-iPad tablet? Weirdo

Andy Barker


"With tablets and smartphones providing similar benefits to customers and increasingly becoming the same size"

Not sure this makes any sense. The largest common smartphone size is under 4.5 inches, and I believe that the smallest regular tablet size is 7 inches. Quite a difference I'd say, even putting to one side the 9-10 inch tablets.

The "research" seems to be a load of twaddle.

Virgin Media to beef up mobile-data backhaul

Andy Barker


You say "compared to the 1-3Mb/s available on 3G" - isn't that low range generally because of the backhaul?

First look at Toshiba's Portégé Z830 Ultrabook

Andy Barker

USB 3.0?

Looks like the port on the side is USB 3.0, which is nice in a laptop.

Google: Go public on Profiles or we'll delete you

Andy Barker


I think they are saying that they will delete your profile if it is private, and not delete your account.

EU cloud data can be secretly accessed by US authorities

Andy Barker

Not cloud, US companies

Is more an issue of not using US owned companies surely?

FBI fat-thumbs data centre raid

Andy Barker

How would this work for S3?

I was wondering how this would work for something like S3 - being distributed and all that. I presume the FBI wanted a copy of stuff to search through, as opposed to taking a site down.

Apple pulls app after dev publishes users' PINs

Andy Barker

What is the PIN used for?

I would think that a lot of people use the PIN purely to reduce the chances of accidentally dialling someone (or doing some other such thing). If so, then 0000, 1234, etc. is fine.


Andy Barker

QR Code wrong

That QR code comes up with Winamp for Android!

Dear Google and Facebook: You don't want Skype

Andy Barker


Not driving I hope?

US spooks to build 60 megawatt data center

Andy Barker

60 Megawatts = 10 x 6 Megawatts

You are assuming it is a single system. Perhaps they are building a "cloud" of super computers.

Also does the rating of the top 500 include cooling, personnel power requirements, etc?

Amazon cloud sinks, smothers Web 2.0 darlings

Andy Barker

Whole region is having problems

As Campbeltonian says, a whole Region pretty much went titsup! People's multi-AZ setups are having problems in that Region.

Makes you wonder how the heck this could have happened.... then again on occasions we have whole chunks of the UK dropping off the internet supposedly due to a single router / exchange failure.

BT wholesale kit crash silences thousands of customers

Andy Barker


Same question gets asked every time someone has an outage, and never noticed a definitive answer other than a faulty router config being sent out to lots of routers.

O2 boots up boobies blocker

Andy Barker

T-Mobile had it for years

I un-barred mine a few years ago, as I couldn't get to the national lottery website without unblocking. Easy to do, minor inconvenience at the time.

For anyone to use this as an argument for having the same on home broadband is bonkers, given the broad brush they used for site restrictions for mobile networks.

Perhaps they deliberately filtered silly things to show how hard it would be to filter broadband connections?

Ford punts prang-prompted auto cops-calling kit

Andy Barker

Something missing here?

"Microsoft Windows Embedded.... and your smartphone - assuming it’s running iOS, Android or BlackBerry."

Why won't a MS Windows car integrate with a MS Windows smartphone?

Electric cars not as 'green' as advertised

Andy Barker

Not perfect, but a step in the right direction

Hybrids and all electric vehicles have a number of negative points, such as their use of resources in the building of them. Their use does generate CO2, just the location changes. However I think they are a step in the right direction.

Some people used to talk about how horrible diesel engined cars were, but now they are all the rage. The technology improved, so their acceptability improved. I think similar will happen with Hybrids / all electric.

Watson? Commercial – not super – computer

Andy Barker
Thumb Up


It would conclude that it is all noise!

Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites

Andy Barker

3% out

OK, they were out by a little under 3%. Surely it doesn't make it a FAIL?

Fifa, Uefa lose free-to-view footie challenge

Andy Barker

flame on...

I'd prefer it if they were only available on premium channels, that way they would be kept off the channels I tend to watch!

Starbucks' iPhone barcode app easily scammed by screengrab

Andy Barker

Assumes you like the same drink

Googling the app, seems it is a 2d barcode which also includes the drink you want. So this scam only works if you like the same kind of coffee as the person who's screen you grabbed.

Texting teenager plunges to his death

Andy Barker

Augmented reality?

Based on ability to spell, it could assume you are drunk or stupid... either way it could turn on the camera and show you what is in front of you as a background to the texting app?

I think it should be call iSee.

Archos 101 8GB Android tablet

Andy Barker

SD / Micro SD

I use a Micro SD in a SD adapter in my camera for this very reason. Take Micro SD card out of adapter, and plug into variety of devices to upload.

CSC cost-cutting spreads to Europe

Andy Barker

Don't get it

How does taking 5 days off help the finances? Aren't they paid for holidays?

China plans city 'twice the size of Wales'

Andy Barker

Ratios of Reg Units

I'm curious - over all the stories where both the unit of Wales and Linguine are used (if any), is the ratio consistent?

That would be amazing (and the ratio would require a name of its own of course).

T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

Andy Barker

perhaps this is the reason?

Maybe because 3 are making their caps unlimited is why T-Mobile are having to cut theirs?

When one oligopoly screws another

Andy Barker

Transport costs?

Seems odd to quote transport costs, when a lot of those items would be built in a country that is much closer to Australia than the USA!

If they wanted to really save costs, they wouldn't ship them to the USA and then to Australia.

Whilst quantities can make a difference, IF the product is identical then the only difference seems to be the shipping address.

Police reject Labour MP's call for Bristol-wide DNA test

Andy Barker

Stupid idea!

So, they assume the guy lives in the area.

Then they assume he hasn't moved away already.

Then they assume he won't move away as soon as the public request for DNA is made.

And they assume he would gladly give his DNA when asked nicely.

Sounds like an MP looking for a little press coverage.

Amazon expands cloud services support

Andy Barker

Named Contacts

According to the Amazon site, Named Contacts are people at the customer's end of the equation and not at Amazon's end.

"Your Named Contacts

Add names to your company's account so that more people can contact us...instead of asking their questions through you."

So the 1, 2, 4, unlimited figures you quote seem to be how many people at your company that can contact their support department.