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Comment Cookies for session only (Score 1) 65

As an experiment, I recently tried setting Chrome to keep cookies only for each session (ie delete everything when I close the browser). So far I have not noticed any substantial difference to my browsing experience - all the sites I go to still seem to work normally. It seems like a good compromise - if cookies are disabled completely, lots of sites do not work properly, and do not report why they are not working, and maintaining a manual exception list is a pain.

Comment Re:It's the future... (Score 1) 418

Our 2006 Macbook had a battery replaced under Applecare cover in about 2009. The second battery is now more or less had it. Of course, it is now old enough that the Applecare has run out, and I suspect an Apple store would not be interested in doing anything with it even if I was paying, for such an old (sorry, "vintage") machine. But other than the battery it still works fine, and I suspect will do so for some time yet.

Fortunately this machine was from the time when batteries were user-replaceable.

Comment No snacks, but full meals (Score 1) 172

I work at a university, and we don't get snacks, but do get a full cooked lunch for free from the dining hall. I find this incredibly generous, yet many staff do not take advantage of it, and others also complain that you cannot instead get a free sandwich from the coffee shop to take back to the office! Amazing.

Comment Could be popular (Score 1) 74

For better or worse, I could see this being liked by the general public. At present, government sites all require you to have a "Government Gateway" username and password. The password strength requirements are understandably quite strict, but what is really annoying is the usernames are automatically generated and completely unmemorable (mine is something like F093KHV894JMNB - I made that up, but you get the idea). If it was a site I access every day then I might remember, but once a year for to do my tax return, no chance. They even almost admit they are unmemorable, because they used to issue credit-card-sized pieces of paper with the usernames printed on them (which I would usually lose...)

The procedure for requesting new login details also involves phoning a call centre and waiting for details to come in snail mail.

For all the privacy concerns, I can actually remember my Paypal login, so chances are I would use this feature rather than go through all this once a year. In fact it would probably be easier to request a paper tax return.

Comment Re:I'm not British (Score 4, Interesting) 160

I personally think it is not that the technology of Ceefax has finished, it is more the content. Digital Terrestrial TV services in the UK also offer various text-based services in a much more modern interface, however, there is just not the same quantity of content that Ceefax carried. Ceefax was a bit like a condensed newspaper, whereas the current "Red button" services are more like just the front page of a newspaper. But then again, if you are receiving BBC digital transmissions you also have access to far more channels than when Ceefax was launched, including a 24-hour news channel, so maybe it is not necessary. But for me what is more telling is the BBC have not thought it necessary to completely migrate the Ceefax levels of content onto the digital "red button" services. There was nothing on there that nowadays could not be found on the internet, after all.

Comment Re:TV vs. Monitor (Score 1) 183

See my comment earlier. No licence is required to own a television (with any sort of tuner in it) so long as it is not used to receive broadcast television.

Which therefore makes the enforcement of it ridiculous. We do not have a licence, and just to avoid arguments with the TV licencing stazi, the only TV we have in the house is disconnected from the aerial, all the channel presets de-tuned, and wrapped up in a bag where it cannot be used. But if I did have a set for watching DVDs etc, how can they possibly tell whether I use it for live TV or not?

TV Licencing do go round with "TV detector" vans, but I genuinely have no idea whether they really can detect TVs in operation or if it is just a deterrent.

It would be a lot simpler if there were some kind of technical means to stop non-licenced households watching TV - ie encryption with an access card, PIN code or something. I do not really understand why this is not done.

It also seems madness that I can completely legally listen to ad-free BBC radio, which is funded from the TV licence as well.

Comment Excessive packaging (Score 1) 639

A couple of weeks ago I bought an OSX Lion USB stick from Apple online. I was staggered when I received a large-ish (A4-sized) jiffy bag, which when I opened it, contained another jiffy bag, about half the size. Then I opened this up and found my USB stick, attached to a piece of pretty white cardboard with a plastic blister. Yet the USB stick itself is one of the smallest I have ever seen. I wondered if they cut down on this a bit, they could perhaps bring the GBP£55 price down a bit...

Comment Re:That is cool, but... (Score 1) 194

oh, but they do have that but it's a bit hidden and it's only available via Apps for hosted domains. (even free apps has it).
The way to set this up is to host your domain (or at least the mail receiving functions of it) with Google Apps and then you can set up the email service to accept wildcard emails, *@your-domain-hosted-on-google-apps_dot_anything.

Now whenever you give out an address just invent one on the spot @your domain and it will be valid. I do this and i got into the habit of throwing a date stamp and the name of whoever it is for into the email address itself so that if i start receiving spam for that address i know who leaked it and when they were assigned that address. Such an address usually looks like: mail-for-my-name-from-slashdot-org-20120524@example.com

And since my domain is set up at Gmail with a wildcard catch-all address, that will be routed to my actual mailbox (only if it passes Gmail spam filtering tests).

I do that, but it is limited in its usefulness because there is not a simple way of then killing off one of those addresses that you have made up on the spot. Eventually if spam to all these made up addresses becomes a problem, you have to turn off the catch-all address to stop the spam coming through. Which then means you have to actually set up another account or group in Google Apps each time you want an extra address, which is a lot less quick and easy.

Comment Re:I'm waiting for transaction-specific codes (Score 1) 239

The biggest problem is that in Europe, tipping is not expected or required. In the US, you can write the tip and walk away without the waitress watching you. If they go to table-top POS terminals like I saw in Canada, then you need to tip in front of your server. As an American, it was not very comfortable, although I suppose it is more profitable for the waitstaff.

In the UK many of the card terminals also allow the user to add a tip onto the amount deducted from the credit card, as the user enters their PIN. Particularly at chain restaurants, I doubt the individual waiters get the tips - though I guess even tipping in cash it might be pooled.

Comment Re:If Opera implemented other things right,I'd use (Score 1) 301

Not trolling, I'm trying to figure out what practical benefit Opera has for its users.

For me personally, for fairly normal browsing requirements on a 2004-vintage Windows PC:

IE7/8: far too slow. Takes about 5 seconds just to open a new blank tab.

Firefox: faster than IE, but still really struggles with lots of tabs are open. Especially annoying that if one tab is slow to load, it slows down everything.

Chrome: Much better performance than either of the above. However, seems to crash rather a lot, and seems to have a bug that means it intermittently does not respond to Windows' "Tile Windows Horizontally" / "Tile Windows Vertically" commands (right-click on the taskbar.) As I use this feature rather a lot, it is really annoying to have to reposition

Opera: Similar performance to Chrome, but doesn't crash and doesn't have the windowing bug.

So I use Opera as my normal browser, with IE or Firefox waiting in the wings if I find a site doesn't work nicely with it.

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