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* Posts by Ian Emery

1690 posts • joined 9 Aug 2007

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

Ian Emery
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MESSEEEEEEEGE!!!

I remember the panicked looks on the faces of the security staff at Frankfurt airport when my phone went off as it was passing through the scanner.

Everyone started walking backwards, away from the machine; and you could see the knuckles whitening as they tightly gripped their machine pistols!!

Happy Days!!

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Crucial P1 minicard flash drive? Not if you grabbed Intel's 660p

Ian Emery
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It's good to see someone else agree with me about Seagate drives. With one exception, every other brand I had, had still been SMART = 100% when I threw it away for being too small (I still have a working 80GB HDD).

So that is ONE HDD failure since Win95 ruled (Fujitsu 3TB @ 8 years old)

As for Crucial, not had any experience with them, but I HAVE had two other SSD brands dies on me; both during normal low load instances, checking email, reading web etc; both 100% total loss.

One was 2 years old and one was 2 weeks old.

I dont trust any valuable data to them now; OS and Program files go on SSD, all data and documents go on spinning rust.

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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

Ian Emery
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Re: Not a good look here.

Back in the days of Win95/98, one of the recovery options was to reinstall Windows over the top of the existing Windows install; a great way to replace damaged or missing files and get the system up and running quickly.

However, without warning, it deleted the entire contents of every OS created "My" folder; so My Documents, My Music, My Videos etc.

So, like others, I have NEVER trusted my data to those folders since; they go in user created folders, preferable on an entirely different disk.

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

Ian Emery
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Re: nicotin story

I had to refurbish* an "Imperial Tobacco" tobacco tin filling machine many years ago. it had been in continuous service for about 30 years so layers of tobacco covering it, from fresh, down through layers of variously decomposing, to a thick dark oil.

Not even the smokers would sit near me in the canteen whilst I was working on it; and I got through a months worth of overalls in 2 days.

* Replace all the old human control electrics with a computer controlled system

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Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

Ian Emery
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We run our shop through a GG mobile sim connection, and didnt notice anything unusual; maybe it was only affecting 02 and not reseller ID'ed phones??

On the other hand, I didnt get around to finishing the new stock upload to the website, and this now gives me an excuse!!

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Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

Ian Emery
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The difference between a real bank and TSB

A REAL bank (in this case HSBC) fixed the issue within 2 hours of being notified.

TSB might get around to fixing it before NEXT pay day (or might not).

My personal experience of TSB suggests they couldnt find their own arse, using both hands, a mirror, and a map app.

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Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

Ian Emery
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Boffin

Re: ...and these are the bugs they know about....

If you get the Traveller version, remember to check for woodworm and dry rot.

ABS doesnt always work on snow, ice or mud properly, whereas locking the wheel has a chance of building up a ruck of snow/ice/mud in front of the wheel which will help slow the vehicle down.

Ditto traction control; had to push several Audi's off of an icy car park where other cars got out, because the TC had a sulk due to all 4 wheels slipping.

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You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Ian Emery
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Not sure what happened

So here is my suggestion again.

DONT BREAK THEM!!!

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Ian Emery
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Pithy, but to the point.

Dont break them.

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Ian Emery
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Holmes

Re: “were quoted a ridiculous price and told it would take four months”.

Still not sure if "screwed by the manglement" is a typo.

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Dead retailer's 'customer data' turns up on seized kit, unencrypted and very much for sale

Ian Emery
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I once bought some s/h computers from a famous college in London via a "refurbishing" company; the HDDs were chock full of student data.

(The drives were 95% full - the performance slow down is probably why the idiots sold them off).

As far as I could tell, "refurbishing" meant using a damp cloth to wipe the dust off of the cases; as they hadnt even done a basic reformat of the HDDs.

If I had been Dr Evil, I could have re-cooped my £40 per box many times over.

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Sealed with an XSS: IT pros urge Lloyds Group to avoid web cross talk

Ian Emery
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Re: Banks - Can't live with them / Can't live without them

First Direct dont recognise the difference between capitals and small letters in user names; greatly increasing the chances someone will be able to brute force the first security layer; and the same password "x" letter combos seem to be used for hours at a time, giving hackers plenty of time to try and gain access. I once had "1st, 2nd and last" as the prompt for several days.

Kind of reminds me of the near ATM apocalypse of the 1980's/90's; where only 3 pin numbers were being issued to all customers, and you had 3 chances to enter the PIN number............

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Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

Ian Emery
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OH NO!!

They have just RUINED hide and seek!!

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Ian Emery
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Re: Deja Vu

I was going to post exactly the same thing; reports the US voting machines had more holes than a colander have been reported for a decade at least; but nothing ever changes.

It is almost as if the Powers That Be want the old, insecure machines, because they know how to use them to cheat.

I mean, how many of those Trump supporters actually voted? Most of them struggle to sign "X" on the dotted line.

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First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

Ian Emery
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I never liked it.

Done a few hauls across Mongolia in a 777; they bounced up and down like a pogo stick; and the innards were twisting completely out of shape on the run in and run out of Beijing.

I did the same trip on a 747, A330 and a A380, and it was buttery smooth each time.

Just booked a flight out there for December; KLM are flying 787's, but there isnt a good word anywhere for the seats; so I booked China Southern A330 flights instead.

BTW, discount time for Long Haul flights over Christmas has started; got mine for £334 each; BHX to NNG via CDG/AMS and PEK.

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TV Licensing admits: We directed 25,000 people to send their bank details in the clear

Ian Emery
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Just had these wankers try it on with our shop; threatening us with enforcement officers for failing to reply to a previous letter - except we have never HAD a previous letter; and neither are we a house - as they seemed to believe we were.

Then they tried to make out we needed a license if a CUSTOMER watched anything BBC related that the customer had DOWNLOADED ONTO THEIR OWN DEVICE; regardless of where, when, or what that customers license status was.

Heated words were exchanged over the phone.

We havent actually watched any TV at home for over a year - and may now just ditch the license in protest- fuck-em.

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Brit airport pulls flight info system offline after attack by 'online crims'

Ian Emery
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Just because economy class passengers are required to help shoo the cows off the runway before take-off does NOT make them amateurs.

It IS scary to watch a plane coming in and VANISH, due to the curvature of the runway over the brow of the hill.

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New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

Ian Emery
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Re: RE. Re. aliens

Wallace and Gromits Grand Day Out??

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Ian Emery
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Went in to a new job at an old council run engineering building and noticed pretty quickly that there was a lot of elderly, power hungry kit around that broke down and was being replaced with equally power hungry, unreliable kit far too often.

My workload was rather light,. so I drew up a proposal to replace all of it with modern kit that was much more reliable and used so little power, the savings in electricity alone would cover the capital and installation costs in less than a year.

I spoke to several suppliers, got all the costs and replacement parts lists, average failure rate info, and more importantly, the differences in power usage; got it all typed up and presented it to my line manager.

He called me a smart arse, ripped the paperwork up and threw it in the bin.

Seems he had got conned sometime around 1975, signed a spares contract, and had a large store room full of replacements; enough for about another 200 years of this power hungry crap.

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Ian Emery
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The French - in one answer

Whilst skiing in the Alps, I noticed ALL of the French instructors were wearing Atomic skis; so I went to my French ski instructor and asked the question.

"When I was looking for my new skis, every review for Atomic skis was poor, with people regularly reporting they snapped in two, after a couple of runs down the piste; so why are all of you using them??"

"They are made in France."

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Card-stealing code that pwned British Airways, Ticketmaster pops up on more sites via hacked JS

Ian Emery
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Thing is; they give those orders verbally, not in writing (they arent quite THAT dumb).

When asked to do something insanely dangerous many years ago; I informed them it wasnt safe; when they insisted - I asked for the instruction in writing.

I was sent home and docked a days pay; but when it came to the disciplinary hearing; it was "for reading trash science fiction novels during my lunch break".

Since then, I dont bother asking for it in writing; I just quit on the spot.

EXAMPLE (I swear to God this is word for word real)

Asked to work in a dry well all day, rewiring a control panel.

Q/ Can I have a working gas meter please (Every meter in the shop was NFU)

A/ Just hold your breath.

BYE!!!

Dont ask the name of the company, I have been calling them "Bodgeit & Scarper" for so long, I cannot remember - they went bust a year later anyway.

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British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages

Ian Emery
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Only 7 external scripts?

I have been yelling at various companies (and posting warnings on public forums), about this for a few years; some of them take notice, others I dont do business with any longer.

The ones that REALLY wind me up are external scripts for FUCKING FANCY FONTS!!!! on a secure payment page, that make the payment fail if you dont allow them.

Please excuse the alliteration; but this practise is inexcusable.

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PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Ian Emery
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National? I dont know

But my local NHS Trust DOES have the capability to switch on CLI when making a call; remembering to do it is another matter entirely.

IMHO, there is no excuse for not using CLI.

Other the other hand, West Mercia Constabulary (hereafter referred to as "The Rozzers"), dont have a choice; all calls are stripped of CLI data.

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Ian Emery
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Black Helicopters

The tweetbot has no sense of humour.

Twitter recently blocked my account for making a PPI claims joke.

I got it unlocked again, but now they have my mobile number, which is always bad news.

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No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

Ian Emery
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Re: 'misinformation' and 'divisive content'

Yes, they appear to have been doctored!!

On the 2nd photo, you can quite clearly see part of the original time stamp!!!

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Do I hear two million dollars? Apple-1 fossil goes on the block, cassettes included

Ian Emery
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Re: Sad Days

Ah, the 380Z, our computer club raised £3,500 to buy ours for the school, with the local Education department stumping up the other £3,500.

32KB and twin floppy drives WOW. I can still remember coding my first database on it.

Mind you, I also remember "Carrier Landing" on the ZX81, and working with the ZX80 (computer, not the chip) when I started work.

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Ian Emery
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Re: On the bright side...

Are you sure? I was just about to ask that question.

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Everybody dance now: Watch this AI code fool friends into thinking you can cut a rug like a pro

Ian Emery
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Alert

OLD NEWS

This "tech" has been used to create fake porn videos, starring "whoever the hell you like", for at least several months.

I read the news on another tech forum nearly 2 months ago.

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Facebook brings banhammer down on over 650 pro-Iranian 'fake news' accounts

Ian Emery
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I dont beleive it.

From my own experiences of trying to open my first FarceBook account last week, how many of those closed accounts are genuine people??

TimeLine

Tuesday 14th August: 10:30AM BST.

Under pressure from family and friends I bite the bullet, hold my nose and create a FarceBook account

Tuesday 14 August 10:35AM BST.

Before even having a chance to upload a profile photo, my account is "locked for suspicious activity". I am prompted to upload a photo showing who I am, which I do................................................

How are they going to know its me when I never even had a chance to add a profile photo??

Thursday 16 August, 2PM BST

After checking every few hours, I find my account is now unlocked, so proceed to upload 3 photos, add a like to my daughters dance studio, and send friend requests to family members.

Thursday 16 August 2:30PM BST

My account is locked "for suspicious activity", and I am prompted to give my mobile phone number, so a verification code can be sent; I due so, enter the code and ...............................................

Tuesday 21st August 10AM BST

My account is now apparently permanently locked, but I AM getting targeted spam adverts on the mobile I gave them.

Rinse and repeat another FIVE TIMES, using real names, made up names, genuine email accounts, freshly created accounts. None last more than 1 hour, and one was blocked the SECOND I entered the email verification code.

Go figure.

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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Ian Emery
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Gimp

Lower tech than email spoofing, but.....

Many years ago, working at a large warehouse/office complex, some of us got very irritated with our useless boss call diverting all his calls to our phone.

Several plans of revenge were put into motion, but the one with the biggest impact occurred one night; while dodging the security doing rounds, we managed to access about 70-80% of all the phones in the complex and diverted them to our bosses phone. (The system wouldnt allow a diverted call to be diverted a second time).

I understand he is still trying to stop Readers Digest, Everest, CO-OP Funeral Services and a few other companies from sending him sale reps though.

(Spent another night filling in packs of Rep request cards from a trade show)

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Ian Emery
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Re: 3rd party

In the last 5-6 years I have twice dealt with government websites (one local, one national), where the ONLY way to get them to work correctly was with obsolete versions of Internet Explorer.

The local government one wouldnt work with anything beyond IE6, the National one was slightly more advanced and could cope with IE 7,8, or 9.

However the latter was the biggest PITA, because it didnt fail until the VERY LAST entry in the form I was submitting, and then failed silently with no error message beyond a technical fault had occurred.

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Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

Ian Emery
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Re: @Ian Emery

VbV was an early example; and to this day doesnt add any security to your purchase - despite what they say.

No, as I said, I have encountered a number of scripts, some for 3rd party payment systems, some for cosmetic effects, and more than one script that doesnt appear until the transaction has supposedly finished and you are supposed to be sent to the order summery page with an order reference number.

The VERY worst was encountered in the payment system for "The Book People"; it has since been fixed, but was so bad I wouldnt use them for a whole year until it was fixed - and I highlighted the issue on several consumer forums after they failed to reply to my complaints about how insecure it was.

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Ian Emery
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Re: intent to cause harm or recklessness

What? You mean like a bank with a horse setting business's up to fail, then profiting from the seizure and selling of its assets??

Hasnt that just been through the courts??

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Ian Emery
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Re: "the scanning is done with Javascript running locally"

"Take it half a step further: the login page may not work without JS, but it is probably irrelevant for non-customers."

But that is the point with NS, you run what scripts YOU want. My bank allows various tracker scripts to run on the log in page - very bad practice, but since I auto block those trackers, Google* knows very little about me.

The single active script needed to log in is still allowed, so log in works.

I get VERY grumpy at etailers that try to introduce 3rd party scripts at the final stage of a payment process; the result is nearly always the payment failing, and my order being screwed up for hours (or days), before they clear the issue.

Sometimes it is for something eminently STUPID, like using a special font from an external source; bugger off, do it in Times or Arial, I'm not letting some unknown 3rd party into my secure session just to make the page look pretty!!!

*(Ooops)

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Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Ian Emery
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Re: Nothing wrong with a netbook

Another Asus owner here, in this case a 901 with upgraded SSD.

Yeah, it is a bit slow, but it does things using Windows 7 that are VERY difficult to replicate in Android - and a PITA in Linux; which is why I keep it around, and take it with me when I travel abroad.

That, and the fact I have a HUGE laptop bag I can stuff with goodies and avoid the weigh-in drama of having 17KG of hand luggage.

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Build your own NASA space rover: Here are the DIY JPL blueprints

Ian Emery
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Re: Space rover

I look forwards to seeing someone riding a suitably upscaled version to work one morning.

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BT boosted by punters and sport – as it preps to squeeze subs harder

Ian Emery
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Pirate

BT results boosted by consumer unit as it preps to squeeze it harder

Switching from a 9 month to an 8 month year for the "annual" price rise??

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ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

Ian Emery
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I still have the 50+ disk FLOPPY install for Win95.

Doubt if they still work, but I do still have a floppy drive in my spares box - just no mobo with a suitable port.

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All that dust on Mars is coming from one weird giant alien structure

Ian Emery
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Did we all have the same thought??

Waits to see how may other Dyson posts get shown..

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Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

Ian Emery
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The NHS isnt alone

Our local Education Authority refuses to join the 21st Century as well; until we sold up 2 years ago, we had to keep a fax machine online 24/7 as it was the ONLY way they would send voucher payment details to us for 2, 3, and 4 year old funding..

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East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

Ian Emery
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Three Mistakes

Obviously chose a cheap ISP; went cheaper still by paying for a consumer package, and ignored all the evidence telling him OR only talk to the ISP's; makes you wonder how good he is at his job.

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TalkTalk, UK2 sitting in a tree, not T-A-L-K-I-N-G: Hosting biz cut off after ISP broadband upgrade

Ian Emery
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Windows

Disbelief

TT still have customers???

I am assuming that by this stage, they are all mouth breathers, as anyone with as much as a single active brain cell jumped ship a long time ago - probably ti an equally shite ISP like Plusnet.

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The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought

Ian Emery
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Re: More non-Western models here, please

You have just described my last three Xiaomi phones!!! (the fourth had a removable battery, a spare for which cost me (GASP!!) £2.50).

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So... where's the rest? Xiaomi walks away from IPO with less than hoped

Ian Emery
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The hardware is great, but they ignore firmware bugs for far too long, are not listening enough to what their loyal users want, and have been pissing away the brand value on tat.

The loss of wifi mentioned above is a classic example; not a word from Xiaomi, it was left to customers to figure out what they had buggered up with the OTA; ditto the USB MFT issue earlier this year.

Yeah, I own THREE Xiaomi phones.

No, I dont own a Xiaomi unmbrella.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Ian Emery
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Re: HSBC

It never used to be that way, 10 years ago, HSBC used to be the BEST for using your card overseas, but now; not only do the stiff you with TWO card fees (one of them a "foreign currency" fee), but they also use their own crappy exchange rate, which is worse than the rate you get at the Airport Travelex.

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

Ian Emery
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MICROGIT

I have been calling it MicroGit since the day the take over was announced.

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UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

Ian Emery
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Re: Berxit Or Not

I have been trying to get them to take notice of the fact that my HMRC account is corrupted since January; I have now asked if I can send my 2016/17 returns on paper, as they seem unable to even answer me, let alone fix the issue.

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Koh YEAH! Apple, Samsung finally settle iPhone patent crusade

Ian Emery
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But, but.....

But how are the lawyers going to keep their babies in Gucci disposable nappies ($12,000 each) now??

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Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

Ian Emery
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Nothing new here

I found that out years and years ago; multiple online translation programs converted English "bread and water" in to Russian "bad food".

Completely flummoxed my then Russian girlfriend.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Ian Emery
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Re: Rama

We have plenty of time; they do everything in three's.

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