* Posts by Ian Bremner

44 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding

Ian Bremner

So let me get this straight. In 'Murica, if you install an app you have to agree to a list of T&C's that are not actually presented to you but given as a link on a webserver that may not actually be online?

**By reading this comment you agree to the Terms and Conditions outlined in the document which can be found in the basement of your local Planning Department in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door reading "Beware of the leopard".

Please bring a torch as the lights aren't working (Neither are the stairs)

2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

Ian Bremner

It's going in circles.

This looks similar to the SCE O Level I started to do back in '87.

I saty started because3 halfway throught he 2 yer course it switched to the GCSE which, at the time, was pretty much "This is how to use a spreadsheet"

So I, for one, am glad to see it going back to teaching the fundamentals of how computers work and basic coding practices.

Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Ian Bremner

Re: I always feared the worst

It's already happened to us Thomson TiVo box owners.

Paid for a lifetime subscription only to have TiVo turn off the service when they announced they were jumping into bed with Virgin and the rest of us could get stuffed.

Extended the life a little bit thanks to the work of other TiVo enthusiasts who maintained a free service for it but I;ve eventually given up and replaced my trusty Tivo with an Asus Eee PC box running Kodi.

It's a pity because I miss the TiVo recording software that could be set to record specific genres and anything by my favourite directors or starring my favourite thespians.

US computer-science classes churn out cut-n-paste slackers – and yes, that's a bad thing

Ian Bremner

I remember taking the Computer Science SCE O' level back in the late 80's.

The first year consisted of basic concepts including processor architecture, binary arithmetic and basic programming skills.

Then in the second year the SCE O Level was replaced with the GCSE Standard Grade course and renamed Computer Studies. Everything we learned in the first year turned out to have no relevance anymore as the Standard Grade was all about how to use a Word Processor and Spreadsheet.

So in my experience (can't talk about the state of affairs now) the focus turned from basic concepts that grounded my knowledge in how computers work to how to use basic applications.

For someone who wanted to pursue a career in either software development or hardware design the original syllabus would have been ideal. Instead what I got was a course in how to be an office drone.

Windows 10 lags 7, 8 … and even Vista in the channel race

Ian Bremner

Not surprising

Given hat a number of companies have only jut migrated or are even still in the process of migrating to Windows 7, it will be a while yet before any IT Department wants to go through the horror that is testing if your legions of legacy applications will run in the Win 10 environment

Lonely this Xmas? Nerds, n00bs and no-hopers' guide to dating apps, Pt.1

Ian Bremner

Most are scams

I'm not proud to say I've signed up for a few dating sites in the past and the experience has been variable to say the least. Most sites will not let you post messages until you've paid cash

My method for signing up to a site is to just post a basic profile with no picture and wait for a week. If I'm inundated with posts from profiles of hot woman twenty years my junior desperate to hear from me and urging me to message them back then I unsubscribe immediately. There are too many sites that employ ringers whose sole purpose is tog et you to sign up in the vain hope that they are actually a) real and b) interested in you.

As soon as you part with the cash and sign up, you never hear from them again and the messages almost immediately stop and they are notoriously difficult to unsubscribe as well (have to phone up a premium rate number between the hours of 7am and 7.30am every alternate Wednesday on a leap year).

Manufacturers slam UK.gov: 'High speed broadband' rollout is too slow

Ian Bremner

yeah communication hasn't been there best suit.

I've been constantly monitoring the ADSL Checker ever since the FTTC box appeared next to the cabinet that the BT Checker says my line is connected to.

Last December it said available in March.

In March it changed to September

In September, the FTTC stats vanished completely and was replaced with "We can't provide a delivery date"

It was at this point I discovered there were two cabinets marked with the number my line is connected to. So it looks like BT has difficulty communicating with itself let alone us peons.

BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

Ian Bremner

Well I'm still stuck looking at a pretty fibre cabinet next to the phone cabinet with the same umber as the one I am supposedly connected to.

ADSL Checker told me that I would have FTTC availability at the end of March. When the end of March rolled around, lo and behold, it switched to the end of September.

this when I discovered that around the corner from the cabinet I am supposedly connected to is another cabinet with exactly the same number !

Really? Sigh. Really? Apple's lawsuit against Google is REVIVED

Ian Bremner

One last thing....

we are proud to introduce a new addition to our lineup.

The Apple iLawsuit.

With this great product, we don't have to spend a fortune on R&D, Production and distribution.

No, we just patent a lot of vague assertions and the fire off iLawsuits to all the other manufacturers.

That's right. the other companies design and build things, then we sue the arses off of them.

(Note: Only available in the US)

MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin in old wallets

Ian Bremner

So they're basically doing the IT equivalent of searching for loose change down the back of the sofa?

Dammit internet... you promised naked videos of my Facebook friends

Ian Bremner

If I ever got a message offering nude pics and videos of any of my facebook friends I'd want to stock up on brain bleach first.

Apple files foul-up-fixing patent for fumbling slab-fondling flubbers

Ian Bremner


So if ti detects weaving movement does it go into drunk mode by opening up the map apps and trying to direct you to the nearest kebab shop? (Which will probably result in you in the nearest river given Crapple Maps)

Apple iPhone factory workers imprisoned in virtual slavery – report

Ian Bremner

Nepal? Are you sure he wasn't from Yorkshire?

Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

Ian Bremner

My favourite anecdote about this was my boss at my old job got a call form one of these claiming to be from Virgin about the virus they detected on his computer.

He strung them along for a bit bifore:

Boss: Sorry, what was your name again?

Scammer: it is Daniel sir.

Boss: And you work for Virgin and give remote support for end users?

Scammer: that is right sir.

Boss: that's odd, I don't have a Daniel on my team.

Scammer: Excuse me sir?

Boss; Sorry, did I forget to mention I am the manger for Virgin Digital Home Support technicians? how about you put me through to your supervisor and he and I have a little chat about you illegally misrepresenting yourself?

The fun thing was, he did actually get through to someone claiming to be a supervisor and proceeded to rip several strips off of him

TiVo dives into pile of cash, steely eyed investors don't blink

Ian Bremner

An opportunity squandered

I loved my original TiVo a lot, it was easy to use, it caught a lot of films and TV progs I may have missed and was very good at handling wishlists and so on.

I extended the life of the unit by installing a beefier hard drive (40Gb ont he original units was a bit small), installed a network card to do updates over broadband rather than dial up and when Sky closed the EPG updates, switched to AltEPG so that it is still useful today.

What finally drove the nail intot he coffin was the requirement for an external freeview box that it could control over the IR wands and the lack of HD support. so I;ve now switched to a Pi running XBMC as my DVR of choice although it doesn't have the excellent wishlist capability that TiVo had.

If TiVo had the sense to release an updated box with HD support, network capability built in and a Freeview option I would snap it up. Instead they've tied themselves to a Virgin exclusive contract leaving all of us in non cabled areas out in the cold.

Apple files 'Bonk to Gift' near field communication patent application

Ian Bremner

Re: DRM is key

Correst me if I'm worng, but Microsoft's ill-fated Zune did something very similar albeit ver wi-fi rather than NFC.

You could transfer a song to another Zune and it could be available to the other user for a set period of time before requiring the recipient to either delete the file or pay for it. A kind of try-before-you-buy deal that I thought was actually quite a good idea.

So this was a method for transmitting a DRM'ed file across a wireless network.

Microsoft to fund Blake's 7 return as Xbox Live exclusive

Ian Bremner

Re: Tit for ..er... tat?

What? You mean like this?


Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Ian Bremner

Might get my attention more if Netflix in the UK actually had any decent content on it.

US Marine Corps misses target, finds and bombs Nemo

Ian Bremner

Re: But why the Great Barrier Reef?

Or Detroit. let's face it, I doubt anyone would notice the difference.

Corporates! Bring in all-purpose filler for IT skills gap, thunders Steelie Neelie

Ian Bremner

If they bothered to pay a decent wage for these 'thousands of vacancies' they'd get more applicants.

When the economy took it's nose dive the first thigns a lot of companies did was to gut their IT Departments as these departments 'Didn't make any money and ran at a loss". Case in point, the Company I worked for, a company heavily engaged in telecommunications, downsized it's IT Dept from 5 techs providing 24/7 support, a web designer and a web developer to 1 IT guy (not me fortunately) to provide 24/7 support and a web designer.(Yep, they got rid of the developer and kept the designer). But at least they managed to hire three new salespeople to sell a product they couldn't hope to support.

The only IT jobs that were available paid stupidly bad wages

"OK, the job is you support the end users, handling ANY IT related issue they can think of, we want you to take telephone calls AND handle ten remote desktops simultaneously. Your shift pattern is 8 1/2 hours a day 5 days out of seven including weekends between 8am and midnight, there are no public holidays (Yes, you do have to work Xmas day and New Years) you get a half hour for lunch and for all that we will pay you the princely sum of £14,500 per annum"

I do not recommend ANYONE to consider a career in IT at this time.

Torvalds asks 'Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?'

Ian Bremner

Re: Chromebook is doing what Surface was supposed to do...

Ok Eadon, just show us on the doll where Microsoft touched you.

Now even MORE 'interns' make iPhones - Chinese labour watchdog

Ian Bremner

Because :

a) MacDonalds will generally be paying you a 'fair' wage for your work.

b) Your are not REQUIRED to work at MacDonalds to pass your degree.

First Google wants to know all about you, now it wants a RING on your finger

Ian Bremner

Re: You have got to be kidding

yeah, that's not going to make a lot of difference to me then.





I'm soooooo lonely

Help-desk hell

Ian Bremner

Space: The Final Front Ear

Talking to a draughtsman on the phone, trying to figure out why AutoCAD coudldn't pick up a licence from our licence server.

Me: Ok, if you click 'Start', then 'Run'

Him: OK.

Me: In the box type 'cmd', that's 'C' for Charlie, 'M'. for Mike and 'D' for Delta, then press the Enter key

Him : Ok, I have a black window open up now.

Me: Ok, in that window can you type Ping, that's 'P' for Peter, 'I' for India, 'N' for November, 'G' for Golf and then a space.

Him: What kind of space?

The guy who was doing on-the-job traiing with me swore my face changed colour.

I have also had calls where I have spent upwards of 15 minutes trying to help someone find the Enter key.

UK iPad Mini FRENZY: Queues stretch SEVERAL FEET from till

Ian Bremner

Wrong street

Looks like your picture is of West Nile Street in Glasgow.

Apples store and main entrance is one block over on Buchanan Street

Global action takes down tech support scam

Ian Bremner

Re: What exactly is the crime?

the issue is that they don't actually say the work is chargeable until after they are done installing free software (And malware sometimes too) then they try to hit you for charges in the £100's of pounds. I have had to deal with the aftereffects of these people myself. they are also misrepresenting themselves by saying they are calling on behalf of Microsoft\Virgin etc.

Best laugh I got was when one of these numpties called my boss to say he was calling on behalf of Virgin. He was a bit taken aback when he found out he was calling the manager of one fo Virgins tech support teams who proceeded to rip him a new waste orifice.

AI game bot HUNTS DOWN ENEMIES, passes Turing Test

Ian Bremner

Make it even more human like

have the bot tea-bag downed opponents and sxreech obscenities in a girlie voice over the chat

Rolling robot avatar trumps telecommuting

Ian Bremner


Didn't this appear on The Big Bang Theory?

Judge rejects Apple's calls for Samsung censure

Ian Bremner

Re: @Craigness

In what topsy turvy bizarro world do you live in where a salesman tries to get you to buy something cheaper?

iPhone 4S: Our *hit list

Ian Bremner

GlaDOSiri is already here


iPhone 4S pre-orders obliterate sales records

Ian Bremner

iPhones are like string

Every yo-yo wants one

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56

Ian Bremner
Paris Hilton


let me say this.

I hate Apple products.

I hate the legions of drooling fanbois who camp for days to get their latest iCrap product.

I hate Apples business practices of trying to stifle the opposition with patent lawsuits.

Having said all that.

RIP Steve, although I didn't care for your company or it's products, a lot of other people did and you brought that to them. 56 is a young age to go at and my condolences to your friends and famiy.

Pairs, cos she's sad too.

Dev's iPhone cable melts after iOS 5 upgrade

Ian Bremner

From St. Jobs

Don't charge it that way.

No big deal.

Sent From My Asbestos coated iPhone

Dell's faulty PC legal woes worsen (again)

Ian Bremner

From an ex-Dell tech

I worked the Optiplex support desk when the 270's were still being sold. When you got a call in and the machine was either GX/SX270 or 280 you knew it would be bad caps, the most common symptom was a green power light, no video and no diagnostic lights on the back.

Dell knew it was a BIG problem but you weren;t allowed to say it. You had to get the cusotmer to open the machine and visually identify the swollen caps before you were allowed to book a replacement. Some big companies and organizations (eg the NHS) got a project booked to replace every single motherboard.

it was so bad that a big order for Microsoft got cancelled due to this and they ended up using the machines earmrked for Microsoft to fit out the Glasgow call centre instead.

To give Dell their due they did extend the standard 3 year warranty out by an extra two years if you could confirm the presence of faulty caps on the board but it certainly kept us phone monkeys busy.

Dell tech flashes woman with (her own) jubblies

Ian Bremner

Re: jack is one of our best

Oddly enough when I worked at Dell a bunch of us techs started looking up names on the company directory and there is a jack bauer working for Dell.

there are also three Clark kents, but the best one is that in the Dell Enterprise department, there is a Jean Luc Picard (I shit you not).

Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Ian Bremner

@ By Gordon is not a Moron

The title you're looking for is "The Curse of Fenric" one of the better Sylvester McCoy stories.

GVood thing "Silly Nemesis" isn;t in there.

Mine's the one with the sonic screwdriver in thepocket.

Kate Moss kills Kills cuts

Ian Bremner

Silly question

"No word yet on the make of the laptop - but hey, you've got an IT angle, what more do you want?"


Mines the one with the copy of 'Razzle' in the pocket.

Dell parks itself in PC superstores across Europe

Ian Bremner

Dell support

As someone who works for Dell Tech Support it is amusing to read these comments from bitter know-it-alls. While I can;t speak for my Indian colleagues, here in the Business support section we are currently orunning on a customer satisfaction level of nearly 90%.

@Dan - "I would like to see what percent your staff are telling people to re-build thier PCs to get a fix."

It is a fact that a great deal of PC problems are caused by (l)users installing something they shouldn't or spyware infested systems. In my experience more than 50% hardware faults turn out to be misconfigured or incompatible software, corrupt profiles and disk read errors caused by someone improperly shutting a system down. But trying to tell a self described tech-god this can be an exercise in futility.

The only time I have used DGSI techs is when I had an ID10T moment and bought the wrong motherboard. It was swapped over in minutes and I was on my way wih no fuss.

Firms fear disgruntled staff: report

Ian Bremner

A simple solution

Maybe they can find some way of re-gruntling employees. Some sort of mechanis at the front door that sprays a gruntling solution on them as they pass through?

Or maybe I should just get me coat.

Scottish? You're drinking too much

Ian Bremner
Dead Vulture

That'sh a load of, thingy, erm. RUBBISH <hic>

I mashelf am Scottish and I do not drink excessitively. I enjoy the odd tipple every now and then, but oI am cutting down by only having a half bottle at breakfast.

Yer ma best mate yraway

me an you apl! me an you against the WURRRRLD!!!

Martian south pole: water, not dry ice

Ian Bremner

IT angle


US teacher fired for non-literal bible reading

Ian Bremner

Re: Shouldn't the college have asked for an appropriate biblical punishment

Only if he actually said "Jehovah"



Aussie gov anti-porn filter 'useless', says teen

Ian Bremner

To quote the great Doctor Cox

If we took all the porn off the internet, we'd be left with one website. And it would be called "Bring back the Porn!!"

Burned by a MacBook

Ian Bremner

Somethings aren't Apple's fault, some are.

On one level I can sympathize with Apple. I work in Tech Support for a big company whose name rhymes with Hell. On at least two occasions I've tried to have a courier replace a battery, onlyfor the courier to attend outwith the promised time. Not the fault of the tech, but of the outsourced courier.

But in the case of the smoke coming out of the machine and the burns to the author of this peice, If I or anyone at this office had taken that call, it would have been immediately escalated to Level 3 and a brand new system sent out as that one would have been deemed a safety hazard. Here, if a customer mentions large amounts of smoke coming from the system, electrical arcing or mentioning being injured by the system, it is immediately flagged for replacement.


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