* Posts by flokie

61 posts • joined 7 Feb 2014


Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?


Re: Duck Duck Go privates?

No comment on the 'topical' results, but yes DDG now implement geo-based results.

On the results page you'll see a couple of filters at the top: Safe search, filter by date - and the first one is geographic. You can switch it off, or change to another country. I think the default is on, and it will derive your country from your IP.

If you're serious about browser privacy, you should probably pass on Edge or Yandex, claims Dublin professor


Re: Is this relevant though?

I kind of agree, what would be useful is to know what settings can be changed in these browsers, either through the main settings, or via advanced options.

Can you have a separate search bar and disable search in the address bar? Disable search suggestions altogether? Is DuckDuckGo easily available as a default search engine or does it take manual steps? etc etc.

Glasgow extends middle finger to southern fairies as London ranks bottom in mobile signal top 10


Re: So...

"yous/youse" is plural.

I once had a conversation with a Texan couple, who were telling me people easily know where they're from due to their use of "y'all" and wondering why it's not more widespread:

"But how else do you make it obvious you mean the plural?"

Sure you'll guess what this Glaswegian replied.

Ah, this should totally reassure Euro workers: They'll get Brexit EU settled status app on iPhones from October


Re: Have they (EU nationals) not go the message yet ?

I use the e-gates whenever possible as border staff must have had new instructions in the last few years... Whereas I just used to show my passport, thank you, bye, last time I was asked by staff "Visiting for a holiday?" even though my passport shows my UK address. "No, back from the holiday and coming home now". I was waved through no problem but it jarred with me.

Usenet file-swapping was acceptable in the '80s – but not so much now: Pirate pair sent down for 66 months


Re: Still use it

Wow, have the spammers finally left? I probably haven't checked for >5 years, but last time I did all I saw was spam, and a lot of it.


Unfortunately most ISPs dropped Usenet at some point in the 00s. I think I kept subscribing through Claranet for a few years after my ISP did so. I'm not that old: only suffered 12-18 months of dialup access before I first got broadband, but my time on the internet then was mostly spent on Usenet and IRC.

Lots of fond memories from newsgroups, from starting trouble by crossposting to several alt.music.* newsgroups, to finding an unused group that became a haunt for me and a few pals, youksef! (I wouldn't be surprised if that is still active!), and of course discovering so much new music in a.b.s.m.indie. In retrospect, I have to apologise for only sharing back 160kbps mp3s, not even 192kbps, but I only had 128kbps upload (or was it 64kbps?).

I think the decline of usenet wasn't purely due to the rise of the www, and forums and messageboards and then social media, but that binaries indeed played a big part. Things were fine as long as binaries were jpegs and even mp3s, but once people started to have fast enough connections to share movies, the amount of data stored on news servers must have grown huge & therefore expensive for ISPs who then, one by one, either stopped offering any alt.binary.* newsgroup or cut off news: access altogether.

I'll raise a glass to the Usenet too, plus it's Friday.

UK taxman spent six times more with AWS last year than cloud firm paid in corporation tax


Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again


Re: How easy it is to get an international deal

French news were reporting on this last weekend, and surveyed random people on the streets for their thoughts.

"Obviously, everybody uses kilos. Well, except the English, but then they're not normal".

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s



This Frenchie here certainly didn't need reminded of Lagaf. Yes it was a joke, but one that stopped being funny after the first listen. 18 weeks at #1 you said? So it must have stayed about 6 months in the charts. 6 months of being constantly subjected to that atrocity on the radio.

Then he had another stupid hit single the year after, and one year later, it was Jordi's "Dur dur d'etre un bébé" that went on to be even more successful...

We probably got cable TV around that time, and seeing the UK and Euro single charts on MTV was such a relief compared to the French Top 50.


Re: If windows 95 starts and nobody hears it?....

I never understood why people paid for ringtones when indeed you could type them in.

I didn't copy mine from websites though, as they didn't really cater for my indie tastes, and instead used a cheap keyboard to work out some melody's notes and then put them into the ringtone composer with that weird syntax.

I'm no musician so similar result in that it was never quite exactly what I wanted (well I had the notes right, but timings probably not). I definitely wasn't the only one doing that, as I swapped a few ringtones created that way with friends.

You can look up the Nokia 3210 manual online for details of how the Composer worked if you're feeling nostalgic.

Boeing embraces Embraer to take off in regional jet market


Re: Size matters

There are some but they tend to split brands, ie. KLM (737s) and KLM CityHopper (E-195s), or Air France (Airbus 320-321s) and their subsidiary iHop (E-195s). In the UK I believe BA operate some Embraer jets, but that's only to serve LCY and its short runway.

But yes, you're unlikely to get cheap fares with any of these.


Re: Size matters

The E195 has a 2+2 seating config for 100 pax or so.

IIRC they're the largest planes that can fly into London City airport and its short runway.

The one downside to the ERJ and E-Jets I can think of is that the overhead lockers are tiny indeed.

The last flight I took had two legs, one in a 737, the other in an E-195. I clicked on KLM's "learn more about your aircraft" link and was surprised to see the Embraer's cruising speed was marginally higher than the 737. Maybe I shouldn't have been, because yes, their engines seem to pack a punch!

Here in the UK regional routes are limited with LHR being such a hub - either Easyjet or Ryanair with their Airbus and Boeing craft, respectively. Or FlyBe, who if IIRC have a few Embraer planes, but mostly use propeller planes for their UK routes unfortunately.

Send printer ink, please. More again please, and fast. Now send it faster


Re: There are so many extarordinary stories

On Call has always been about those crazy users we have to support.

Simon's started "Who, me?" recently for the kind of tales you mention - on Mondays, latest is here:


Yes, people see straight through male displays of bling (they're only after a fling)


Clearly not me, I saw a very Flashy Dave the other day (actually, I heard his car more than I saw it) and the first thought that came to my mind was "tiny dick".

Jeff Bezos purple prose reveals Amazon Prime's passed 100m customers


How many signed up unwittingly?

I've always managed to find the very small hidden "Free delivery" or normal delivery options and avoided signing up for Prime, but they make it incredibly easy for people to sign up for Prime without realising.

An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive


Re: Better alternative


Must be the UK. The majority of sugary soft drinks now contain a mix of sugar and sweeteners. You can still buy diet/light drinks with zero calories, sweeteners only. But the non-diet versions now also include sweeteners. And that's the case with most of the major brands' soft drinks. The two main exceptions are Coke and Pepsi which have not changed recipes, and then there are the San Pellegrino fruity drinks, anything else will be from small brands with patch distribution.

Beer icon as that's still safe from sweetners, for now at least.

How machine-learning code turns a mirror on its sexist, racist masters


Re: Compiles and runs OK

A random text might be interesting, but I'd suggest you look into "Corpus linguistics" and download some corpora too.

BlackBerry Z10 'share-price pump' lawsuit is back from the dead


Re: Z10 Became Quite Good

My Q10 certainly didn't have the same issues as described here by Z10 owners, but BB10 was nowhere near ready at its launch either. Selecting text was near impossible to get right. This was sorted in an update, but maybe 3-6 months after I'd got my Q10. BB10 OS didn't support Android native apps then either. BB10 became very good - but only at least one year after the Z10 was launched.

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?


Re: Low productivity

Fruit picking is seasonal work and cost of living won't be much of an issue for migrant workers as they'll be housed in temporary accommodation on or near the farms. The devaluation of the pound is the reason many workers chose not to come back last year.


Re: Low productivity

I had a fairly similar example in mind - car washes. Go to France eg. and you'll only find automatic car washes with minimal staff. In the UK your car will probably get washed by a ZHC worker.

(Now that I think of it maybe not as good an example as yours with car washes in the UK probably reporting higher activity and productivity than they should: cash businesses not uncommonly used for money laundering)

Unemployment is indeed much lower in the UK but how many are stuck in such low productivity jobs? And people in such jobs won't have any more spending power than someone unemployed in France or Germany. It's also worth noting that the UK has the least generous unemployment compensation in Western Europe, which in turn drives people into low productivity jobs.

AI taught to beat Sudoku puzzles. Now how about a time machine to 2005?


Re: Been there done that

I think that's always been a matter of contention. If you need to hypothesize a number in a cell and then follow a chain that's 7-8 cells long, is that an acceptable logical way of solving things, or does this count as trial and error and therefore not such a logical way of getting to the solution?

Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads


Re: About time....

Not sure that's still the case nowadays, but a lot of ISP provided routers only had 100Mb Ethernet ports, not 1Gb. A bit slow for NAS especially if you intend to stream HD videos to your TV.

The issue now is more likely to be modems doing away with RJ45 entirely as wi-fi is now fast enough - but many NAS boxes will only offer wired connections.

Or maybe they had something else in mind entirely, as I now find that the SH3 has Gigabit ports!

But shared storage was the reason I purchased a Gigabit router years ago.

At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs


I never used the mail/news/bittorrent clients much - but outside of these there's still some Opera features that I miss.

Maybe I'm crazy but I liked "ask me each time" when encountering new cookies - prompting a pop-up with site-level settings and i'd usually set primary: allow, or session-only, and third party:block or session-only. And I miss the wonderful right-click "Block content" option. So for all the sites I visited regularly settings were saved, but whenever I went somewhere new I could really customise things to my liking, and enable/disable what I wanted. None of the defaults in modern browsers allow me to do that so easily.

Having said that, I agree with the general sentiment of your post.

Vivaldi also manages things I didn't think were possible with the Chrome engine, such as tiling tabs, and brings new features we didn't have with old Opera (and usually executes them well too) such as screen capture.

So yes, as much as I'd have liked to see the Presto engine moving forward, I'm grateful the Vivaldi team are delivering such a good browser.

To the previous poster - what are you using then? Other than Vivaldi, I still use Firefox, but it's certainly not improving. I don't see Pale Moon as a viable alternative - new websites won't support it just as they won't support Opera 12.* . Edge? Chrome?

Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea


Re: "paying out the nose"

Not sure whether that's an American thing or the NFL getting focus from the UK. Thinking of the NBA, getting virtually ignored here, but go to France and it's a big deal. I have no idea what's actually the most popular in the US. Baseball - which is the one with the all American "World Series" IIRC - certainly doesn't seem to get much following from Europe.

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'


Fake nails

I wore fake nails once in my life, and that was for a Halloween party on a Sat night. Cue panic on Sunday afternoon as I realised I didn't have anything to take them off, and I couldn't type with them. I did find some remover in a local shop thankfully so no issue turning up at work the next day.

Not sure how I brought it up with my (very girlie) team leader later that week, but I told her jokingly - "I thought I may have to call in sick on Monday as I had nothing to take off the fake nails I wore on Sat. night!"

Her deadly serious reply "oh yes, they make them so long, I always have to trim mine off".

Somehow, even after being given the secret to how to wear fake nails, I never felt like sticking some on again.

Hi! I’m Foxy! It looks like you want to run Flash. Do you need help?


Re: The problem are not 'web' developers.

Upgrades include security fixes too...

I'd suggest "downgrading" to the ESR release - currently 45.9, so that should buy some months at least before it catches up on the auto-disable-plugins releases.

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show


Re: Customer satisfaction measurements?

I stuck with them then.. The 2-for-1 cinema tickets were good! Customer service became good again after a while, they went back to UK call centers. I had a Deezer mobile sub with my contract, which was good value (esp. as usage didn't eat into my data allowance.). I always managed to get the phone I wanted + a decent deal when renewing contracts by talking to the cancellation department.

Then EE came. No more 2-for-1 cinema tickets. 4G appeared and prices were extortionate and I stayed on 3G even with a 4G phone. Then suddenly my contract no longer included any Extras such as Deezer. That's when I said bye.

Did webcam 'performer' offer support chap payment in kind?


A trophy for hypocrisy

...goes to a former colleague when I was working in a post sales call center. We had some test servers, and there were network shares that most of us had forgotten about. Until on a quiet day a workmate was having a peek around, and found that the #1 weirdo in the team was using the shares to store plenty of personal files.

Not overly surprisingly, there were a few GBs of porn in several folders. Which would have been fairly unremarkable, if there hadn't been another folder with hundreds of .doc files. Most of the files contained lyrics to Christian hymns! My personal favourite though was sexshop.doc: a copy of a letter he and his missus sent to the city council, protesting against the proposed opening of a sexshop in town, as this went against all good Christian values etc..

We didn't grass him up. I certainly didn't like the guy, but he never went out of his way to be a nuisance to me or the other colleagues. If he had, then he would have found out we knew about his porn stash.

If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report


Re: is anyone surprised?

Thanks everyone for the replies. Glad it wasn't an entirely daft question!

It certainly sounds like Virgin trains have some of the least mobile phone friendly train carriages.


Re: is anyone surprised?

This could be a totally stupid question but could train design have an effect?

Anecdotal evidence, and this was before I had a 4G phone, but I travelled from Edinburgh to Newcastle a few years back, and 3G coverage was mostly OK on my way there in an East Coast train. For the return, Virgin CrossCountry - I couldn't catch a signal most of the way. Same route same tracks.

Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think



The actual word is in fact even worse than simply 'shampoo', since it's 'shampoing'. An 'o' has been dropped, and the pronunciation has nothing to do with English & rhymes with the french 'point'.

reconnoitre does exist although it's archaic and has an î circonflexe, just like the modern form reconnaître.


This reminded me of that time I bought a Reading festival ticket + coach travel from Paris from a French company many moons ago. We arrived a few hours late, but talking to others on a coach, it turned out to be an improvement on the previous year, when there was even more of a delay after the driver took the wrong motorway exit and got lost in London suburbs.

Why that person chose to travel again with them the next year beggars belief, as they had afterwards sent a complaint and asked for compensation, and got an apology with this immortal line "Ca peut arriver a tout le monde de se perdre dans une impasse": "Getting lost in a cul-de-sac can happen to anybody".

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning


Re: Aspartame

And sweeteners are even to be found in non "Diet" versions of everything nowadays. Fanta, Schweppes tonic, 7up, Robinsons' squash etc spring to mind.


Re: increasing the proportion of gin

Interesting, I have a couple of cans of Lidl "Indian tonic water" in the fridge, planning to mix a G+T later, but ingredients list seems fine. Made with sugar - no added sweeteners, hear that Schweppes? - and it has quinine too. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be overly sweet.

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could


Re: Welcome ta Scotland...

I can understand why you'd say with that kind of thing being bandied about by the London centric media.

But there's a massive hint that the council isn't led by the SNP in the Scotsman story: no political party is mentioned.

Actually the majority of councils in Scotland are not controlled the SNP - again something that some might find surprising in a "one party state"...

As it turns out, East Lothian council is led by a Labour/tory/independent coalition: http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/695/council_information_performance_and_statistics/625/who_runs_the_council

That type of arrangement is actually far from uncommon.

Brit brewer opensources entire recipe archive


Call me a killjoy, but I for one finds their 'marketing for punks' really rather annoying.I know it's Friday but everyone here seems so enthusiastic and I can't fathom why.

I was quite disappointed the last couple of times I had their beers. A Punk IPA that tasted like flat fruit juice. And their draught lager is really just a plain boring lager. If you want to try a nice lager from a Scottish brewery, Harviestoun's Schiehallion is a much better choice. The Williams Brothers lager isn't bad either.

Then there's also this in the news today:



That recipe book is cool though - I'll definitely pass it on to some people I know do home brewing.

Facebook one-ups Google with open hardware release


Re: It's very big!

It certainly looks like 4U.

I'm curious as to what the CPUs are. 2x E5-2600 v3 CPUs would only provide 80 PCI-e lanes, so surely this has to be a 4 socket box?

'Legacy' Wordpress blog site of The Independent serving malware


Re: Independent mobile site

Their BB10 app was pretty good, and I don't recall distracting ads. "Was" because it stopped fetching up to date news item about two months ago, and it hasn't been fixed since...

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!


Re: Do people still use Yahoo?

Back in 1999/2000 (?) I found that if I sent an HTML email to my Yahoo account,and if that included a style tag linking to a CSS, then that style would be applied to the full Yahoo webmail page, not just the email. Cue laughs sending emails to pals and replacing the fonts of their Yahoo inbox to pink Comic Sans.

I don't think I used Yahoo email much longer afterwards...

UK competition watchdog provisionally clears BT's £12.5bn EE gobble


Best thing EE did for me:

was to make it easy to leave after the contract had finished. The agent in the retention service promptly understood there was no point trying to keep me as a customer after I gave her 3 or 4 reasons why I was leaving and wanted my PAC code. I'd expected they would try a bit harder.

With giffgaff now.. not for the faint hearted, but at least it's cheap and 4G is included.

As for BT, I left them many years ago, pretty much as soon as I was able to. Had I waited a bit longer, this would only have been one more reason to give to the EE retention service.

Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10


It definitely launched too late, in an unfinished state, and the lack of budget phones hurt them too. I really like my Q10 (which I got free with a 24mth £20 contract inc.a Deezer sub - I still think Orange messed that one up and 'sold' it as if it were a Curve! ) but yes, BB10 was a real pain to work with initially, I really missed the trackpoint as precise text selection was next to impossible.

After the OS upgrades it is now a great phone. It's still very snappy two years on, the original problems have been smoothed out. I thought of upgrading to the Classic, but I no longer miss the physical buttons, and the hardware specs are otherwise similar to the Q10.

I really hate to think there may be no further BB10 devices and having to go to either Apple (yikes!) or Androis (yikes!) for my next phone.. Thankfully the Q10 has got life left in it.

BlackBerry's tactical capitulation to Google buys time – and possibly a future


Re: App Availability

Very disappointed with the Amazon thing too. I don't mind having the App Store to get Android apps, and it's not too bad for permissions. But what's the point of the Amazon Store app? Why does it need all these permissions and why can't I remove it?

If you've opened it by mistake and given it permissions, it's still possible to reset it to its default state and delete data by using the ccleaner app (yes, from the Amazon app store..).

Music curation site This Is My Jam to be marmaladed next month


Re: Amazing!

This was never a commercial website - it's possible one of the companies you mention could find a way to monetize it, but they're probably more interested in directing users to their own walled gardens.

TIMJ let you pick any song off Youtube/Soundcloud/HypeM etc and accepted direct links or you could upload an MP3. The idea being that you just need a browser to listen to songs other have shared and no specific subscription/application.

Looking at their blog, the time they had to spend keeping the code linking to various platforms up to date is one of the reasons why they're shutting down.

I'll miss the site, it was a cool idea and I've discovered a few songs and artists over the years through it.

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence


Nope, A clearly isn't willing to listen to B. And you're only showing your own bias with this post.

Of course 2+2=4 in the decimal system, using 0123456789.

But maybe in B's reference system (still using decimal) the numbers are 01245G?789. And 2+2=5.

The numbers themselves, and the decimal system are only arbitrary human conventions.

In a ternary system using 012, 2+2 = 11.

It's a bit like the fundamentalists arguing their reading of the Bible is the only correct belief system, and the only reference system you should view the world through.

Having said that, I personally wouldn't entirely rule out humans and dinosaurs coexisting. Clearly, all scientific evidence makes this extremely unlikely in this universe. But considering there's still so much we don't know and/or understand, we can't rule out parallel universes.

So yeah I might end up agreeing with the Creationists - should they agree with parallel universes.

Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP


Re: Still have

I think I installed Mandrake a few times but never stuck with it. I kept a CD handy for quite a while though, Mandrake 9 IIRC, as the installer partitioning tool allowed to resize Windows partitions, providing a nice alternative to Disk Magic.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig


Re: The only bit I liked

My grandfather fought in WW1 and had a few 'kitchen' related anecdotes. The grub was horrible, but one time he was sent to fetch the food for his troop, the cook was proud to share a rat he had caught. This turned out to be possibly the nicest meal he had in the trenches.

I'm not very fussy when it comes to meat, but I'd definitely consider guinea pig ahead of rat. Although squashing the whole thing keeping the teeth visible isn't the most appetising way of presenting I could think of.

Reminds me of a thought that crossed my mind the other day as seagulls were flying about... Do seagulls get eaten anywhere? Or is there not enough meat on them? Or do they taste horrible?

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape


Have you really tried?

Indeed, it's not widespread yet, but there are many bands/websites/record companies out there that do provide lossless audio.

I really like Bandcamp - a lot of indie and alternatives bands and independent record labels on there. You can buy digital only from the website, or buy the physical release, and once you've done so can immediately download the digital versions in a variety of formats - including FLAC, I can't remember whether they do WAV files. I usually download a FLAC copy from the home setup and OGG for phone/portable. I've also bought a few LPs in shops to find a Bandcamp voucher inside to get the digital copy - once again meaning a wide choice of formats for download.

Some record labels still provide CD copies with LPs rather than digital vouchers. I recall buying Shellac's"1000 Hurts" back in 2000 and that's the first LP I bought that also included the CD. I don't think I even hard a turntable at the time! And then the no-vinyl 00s happened and it was a while since I saw that again. Electronic music label Kompakt are amongst several that still do so (or did last time I purchased an LP from one of their artists).

Domino Records LPs include digital vouchers - letting you pick between HQ MP3 or WAV. They're one of the biggest indies.

On a case by case basis, My Bloody Valentine fully embraced all formats with their third album - the LP came with the CD and a digital voucher - download formats included 24bit 96K WAV. Once I got a download voucher and found 192kbps MP3s. I expressed my disappointment to the (very small) indie label, and got a copy in WAV.

But really most LPs I buy nowadays come either with a CD and/or a voucher allowing me to download a lossless copy.

So I'm not sure how come you've never encountered lossless audio out there? I'll admit I'm not well versed in major labels digital releases, but if that's all you ever listen to, then I would question your commitment to music to start with. I'm guessing either that or you haven't tried and yet use the argument as a reason why not to purchase music.

EE springs Wi-Fi phone calls on not-spot sufferers, Tube riders


I miss UMA

I had a BB 9780 on Orange, and yes there was some geo-locking - but that only happened after 1 week outside the UK.

I miss it on the Q10, which should now have wifi calling capabilities but obviously the carrier network needs to support them too.Will it work with VoLTE? Not sure, but then if BT buy out EE indeed, then there's definitely no way I will still be with them by the time they support it.

BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live


Re: And Radio 3 needs to be kicked off FM

6 music is fab, and it's not competing with Radio 3. Kick Radio 2 off FM if you like, not 3.

The following may not be valid if you mostly listen to BBC6 daytime through the week, but if you're into the more weird and wonderful on 6, chances are you will find plenty to like in Radio 3's Late Junction.



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