* Posts by Ashley Ward

14 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2007

It's official: India bans Facebook's Free Basics

Ashley Ward
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I don't see the problem

I had a look at the terms for the Free Basics programme. It seemed the only conditions were understandable technical ones (i.e. size of images, etc.). There didn't seem to be any political stance to it - if your site met the technical constraints then it would be included.

So surely people who care about getting content available to poorer people who maybe can't otherwise afford an internet connection should be embracing it and updating existing, or creating new, services which meet those technical criteria and getting them into the program rather than just throwing their toys out the pram because it doesn't fit into some net-neutrality utopia.

It might be that the content available already is biased towards Facebook's goals (they are funding it after all), but the solution to that is surely to get more content onto it rather than just getting it banned. It's not perfect but surely it's better than banning it outright?

Of course I may have just got the wrong end of the stick...

Ofcom spins out Wi-Fi checker app just in time for Christmas

Ashley Ward

Re: Offcom

Interestingly, I had the BT engineer round yesterday as my broadband (FTTC) was suffering from occasional drops out. He was seeing a couple of hundred FEC errors per second on his test equipment (apparently an unusual amount) and suggested that it might be something plugged in interfering with it. Lo and behold I switched off my TP-Link HomePlug adaptor and the error rate dropped to virtually zero. He said that faulty power supplies are often the cause of weird DSL problems.

So far so good as I haven't seen any dropouts since, and I've got another 2Mbps on my download rate :)

The Register IBM Bluemix programming challenge: The winner!

Ashley Ward

For 3 it says...

Your program should write a solution for each pair of equations, each on a line by itself and each of the form:

x=P and y=Q

Then later it says...

Sample Output

x=3 y=4

x=1 y=1

Something doesn't quite add up there...

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

Ashley Ward

"The offshore company would provide the rest of the outstanding money (contract value) to the contractor as an interest-free loan."

How was that ever considered legal by anyone? Surely an interest free loan is a benefit in kind, and therefore should be taxable (i.e. you should pay income tax on whatever the interest should have been at market rates).

Seriously, the whole things sounds pretty dodgy so you must have had the thought in the back of your mind that it might come back and bite you at some point in the future.

Five data centres you can't live without

Ashley Ward

My guess is that humid air has a higher heat capacity, and in cold climates air can be really dry indeed.

Kickstarter folk pay $8 MEELLION for joys of EXPLODING KITTENS

Ashley Ward

It doesn't. Turnover is $8m. Some of that will be used to produce the game, pay staff and suppliers, etc. The rest is profit, just as with any normal retail outlets. And why shouldn't they make a profit?

Facebook: Hey guys, come share all your securo-blunders with us!

Ashley Ward

It's worth noting that UK Gov as already set up a similar service for UK corporations which has been going for a couple of years now: https://www.cert.gov.uk/cisp/

U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Ashley Ward

Re: venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte

Venti is a Starbucks measurement isn't it (meaning 20 fl.oz. or something)? So, being Starbucks, it's not posh coffee then...

STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants

Ashley Ward

Re: Fresh hemp is just another plant material

Does this mean the the sheep will be fine, but whoever cooks up a nice bit of roast lamb will be in for a surprise?

DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

Ashley Ward

It doesn't seem to be any more onerous than the already existing requirement of having to buy insurance for the car you've just bought.

You can tax the car online or on a 24hr phone line using a number off the new keeper supplement (so you can do that immediately) and, assuming the car was already insured, then even if the MID is a bit tardy at being updated it should still go through fine.

I may have misunderstood the new process somewhere though.

And as for the part-month thing, seriously - you're losing a few quid when you sell a car (which is probably only average about every 3 years) - it's not really a big deal.

Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

Ashley Ward

Re: A question and a comment.

Blue lights are actually fine and legal in the UK (hence why the chav are left alone with their blue washer jets). But apparently it is illegal to display a red light to the front of the car (sensibly enough). This info is about 10 years out of date though...

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

Ashley Ward

To supply power to the heater in the rocket a couple of pads would do on the base of the rocket contacting some pads on the truss (a bit like a cordless phone sitting in a charging unit). It wouldn't matter if it gets jostled about and loses contact momentarily as it's only a heater.

Alternatively perhaps (since we're all IT types) an RJ45 connector with the little tab broken off? They come disconnected easily.

Queues start a day ahead of UK iPhone arrival

Ashley Ward
Paris Hilton

Student Type...

I sincerely hope that he fails the credit check and goes home empty handed - that'll teach him!

Fancy an invisible dog that dances on stilts?

Ashley Ward

Even more astounding...

Even more astounding than the ability to become invisible is that 13 people have bought this tripe!