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Comment Re: My own ISP site! (Score 1) 136

IBMPCUG (IBM PC User Group) was one I liked.

I set up because I did not like the UKNet / Pipex duopoly that didn't seem to be to have even heard of customer service, and IIRC liked to claim copyright in all materials (eg USENET) that was routed via them... %-P

I imported and supplied Demon's first DNS server, a second-hand Sun workstation. I still remember carrying into their office and setting it up on a table for them. Cliff S was there I'm fairly sure...

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:Good times. (Score 1) 136

I used to be a big fan of Altavista, and as I was running UUCP nodes for mail and USENET ('exnet', 'exnet2') of the mapping project run by the same guy.

I also remember when some new company started jamming up all my HTTP server capacity (and my horribly expensive 64kpbs line to London Docklands for international live IP connectivity) presumably trying to overcome 'latency'. A little company beginning with 'G'. I sent a nice note to their engineers suggesting that they be a little more careful in their spidering, but to this day I still have to defend against them actually bringing my servers down by accident. What was it, ah yes, "Google" indeed!

Rgds

Damon

Oblig: http://www.exnet.com/springboa...

Comment My own ISP site! (Score 2) 136

Well, I ran one of the first UK ISPs, and here is our fossil 'start' page for users:

http://www.exnet.com/springboa...

Most of the links and graphics have now died!

But this was '95-ish and at uni some years earlier we had Mosaic and some very limited live access to the outside world, including isolated protocols such as FTP (ic.ac.uk was good) and Gopher... But Altavista in '95 really made a difference.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

Yes, UK bank.

Yes, I think its behaviour is poor customer service and in some aspects actually illegal, eg in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act. That's why I'm attempting to get the regulators to hold their feet to the fire on both counts.

Just because marketing/IT cannot be bothered to do the right thing doesn't make it right...

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:The worst was in Europe with a non-chip card (Score 1) 675

Yes, stroppy teenage shop assistants tearing up perfectly valid slips and saying that my money was no good and no I could not feed my family waiting in the restaurant (etc) was annoying. But a few precise and strongly worded complaints up the management chains coupled with a few long long chats with VISA and MC scheme HQs in the UK seems to have got the "do what the terminal tells you to" message across. Finally, mainly.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

My (old) bank would not promise to reimburse contactless payments even if I told them that I had not made them and would not make them. They refused to even confirm this is writing. They also refused to turn off contactless.

That bank no longer has me as a customer.

To me, especially for business transactions, I don't want any payment made that I have not explicitly authorised. My old bank would not listen to that simple requirement.

I have a formal complaint in, which I fully intend to escalate to the regulator when it is ignored. As an ex-banker I feel a little twinge of pleasure in pointing out their poor behaviour.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

I refuse to have a card with contactless / tap / NFC / PayWave for this reason, especially for business accounts.

I have had to move banks to avoid contactless, and have shopped one of my old banks to the regulator for claiming that it was *impossible* to issue a card without it. Unlike by personal and business banks. Duh. If a bank can't tell the difference between "won't" (or "don't want to") and "can't" then they shouldn't be in charge of other people's money IMHO.

The card schemes and banks do care about security in general, but this seems to me, in combination with some other features, an abdication of their fiduciary duties.

I think that the 'chip' element is good, the PIN (and the complete refusal to accept any responsibility for fraud when a PIN is enabled) less so.

I speak as the ex-CTO of a small credit card company.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:Gossip network (Score 4, Insightful) 106

Simply not true: I have some very fact-heavy exchanges with people who know what they are talking about, spiced with suitable links.

I find Twitter useful in the way that specialist parts of USENET used to be: people who know things sharing them concisely, without needing to have egos stroked.

I know that's not what everyone uses Twitter for, and the odd cat video *may* have snuck through my timeline, but...

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:Enron down under (Score 1) 269

If you have a problem with costs, fine, but that's new in this thread. You appeared to be complaining about energy losses, which as you see are not a problem per se.

So short of learning telepathy and clairvoyance to guess your next objection, what are you suggesting that I ought to be doing? I *am* fairly familiar with HVDC parameters. You appear to be flailing randomly to justify your explicitly stated ignorance.

Meanwhile please drop the rude tone and condescending attitude please.

Comment Re:Enron down under (Score 1) 269

Really, this is silly.

The facts are established and widely published (3%/1000km). I don't have any to find, and it's not my duty to Google them for you. It's you denying that they apply somehow, it seems.

The distances in Oz are not outlandish, eg compared to existing interconnectors, and really quite a lot of loss may be better than hitting the ceiling on MWh rates.

Rgds

Damon

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