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Tracey Cooper

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Ofcom to clamp down on 'unfair' charges

Telecoms firms must stop lumping "unfair" charges onto consumers' bills, according to new proposals put forward by Ofcom. The UK regulator said penalties for paying by cash and cheque rather than direct debit, ending contracts early, or paying bills late should only reflect the charge to the operator rather than a way to get …
Tracey Cooper, 29 Feb 2008
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Oz watchdog accuses Google of misleading public

The Australian competition watchdog has accused Google of "misleading and deceptive conduct". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against Google Inc, Google Ireland Limited, and Google Australia Pty Ltd in the Federal Court, Sydney, saying Google has breached the Trade Practices Act by …
Tracey Cooper, 12 Jul 2007
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Orange doles out an IOU to Christian pareidolians

Letters Iran, the US of A, and WMDs. If there are any subjects guaranteed to garner a response from you lot, they'd be up there. This time, it was the flame of the week that got you fired up: I really shouldn't respond to a FoTW, but: "As I watch England turn into a quivering pile of dung, like their marines and sailors are supposed to …
Tracey Cooper, 01 May 2007
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The Kremlin uses kryptonite to silence Sheryl Crow

Letters Wi-Fi is responsible for kids behaving badly, teachers complaining about their jobs, and probably global warming, if you believe the recent hype: What a load of old bollocks. There are any number of studies that disprove the 'magnetic fields/power lines give you x/y/z', and you'll note that the only teachers that have spoken …
Tracey Cooper, 24 Apr 2007
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Blu-Ray disks hacked by sweet talking teenagers

Letters Fury swept the blogosphere today with accusations over how police and university authorities dealt with the shooting of 32 students at Virginia Tech University yesterday morning: Mis-directed anger and frustration... Gotta blame someone and the killer is dead, so blame the university and cops. Perhaps they could have responded …
Tracey Cooper, 17 Apr 2007
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Scouts use lie detectors to undermine DRM

Letters Easter's been and gone, and to help you recover from the sickly sweetness of it all, we thought we'd jump straight in with something a bit sour - namely, the UK government's sinister plans to deploy lie detectors in the hope of catching benefit fraudsters: Umm, hasn't the UK, like just about everywhere but the USA, dissallow ' …
Tracey Cooper, 10 Apr 2007
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Blunkett mobilises sheep army to fight global warming

Letters There's a virtual buffet of letters this fine Tuesday, so we've selected a few choice cuts to tickle your taste buds: For starters, broadband's not unlimited if there's a download limit you say, fairly, likening the sorry scenario to an eating establishment: OK, let's say I run a restaurant. Let's say I have in a group of lads …
Tracey Cooper, 27 Mar 2007
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GSK runs out of juice over Ribena claims

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of iconic English thirst-quencher Ribena, has been squeezed before an Auckland (NZ) court for misleading consumers about the levels of vitamin C in the local version of its blackcurrant drink. The company admitted to the Auckland District Court that it misled customers about the vitamin C …
Tracey Cooper, 27 Mar 2007
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Elton John blags counterfeit Windows

Letters Computer games continued down the bad press highway this week with the news that car racing games tend to make men more dangerous drivers in the real world. Or they could. Or maybe not. Unfortunately the study of "Racing games increase real world crashes" is somewhat flawed by the testing being done by giving the participants …
Tracey Cooper, 20 Mar 2007
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Demonic car takes out TelecityRedbus

Letters What? Keep the lights on? Forget global warming, it's all about budget allocation? Hello: That kind of reminds me of this one place I worked at where there were three guys working on a shift. One quit, leaving things seriously shorthanded. However, the administration refused to hire another person saying it "wasn't in the …
Tracey Cooper, 13 Mar 2007
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Borat scares foreigners with text messages

Letters Before we kick off this week's musings, a couple more thoughts on the UK's plans to scrap the mooted ID card for youths. "It seems that the UK's IT folks doesn't have the MacGyver-like skills that it takes to survive a simple US helpdesk position, much less design and build systems on time and under budget. Tony" Easy there …
Tracey Cooper, 09 Mar 2007
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Bruce Willis ousts Deep Purple for Eurovision title

Letters It's always good to know you take us seriously, and this reader's practical application of the recent ban on the word solution made all hacks at Vulture Central sit back and sigh with a collective 'Aw, bless'. I have followed your proposed banning of the word "solution" with some amusement recently... Although amusing, I hadn't …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Mar 2007
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US trawls Second Life funny money

Letters Now and again, we at Vulture Towers feel it is our honour bound duty to purge the English language of offending little dittys that get up your noses. And so you have spoken. That nasty little scrubber "solution" has been duly banished to the place where bad words go. Reg archives are being cleansed as we speak. Why? Read on …
Tracey Cooper, 23 Feb 2007
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NHS barcodes cause daylight saving havoc

Letters Who would have thought that time would tick you off so much? Daylight saving - do we like it? No we don't! Bryan, you wrote: "It wouldn't be the first time that servers have got their clocks out of step, either. After all, the US and Europe only managed to synchronise their shift to DST a few years ago, after decades of being a …
Tracey Cooper, 20 Feb 2007

Turkish hacker strikes Down Under

Legendary Turkish hacker iskorpitx has turned his attention Down Under with an attack that grounded the websites of nearly 600 Kiwi businesses and about 300 international sites hosted by the same US-based web server. As reports, "in each case the content of a site's homepage was replaced with an animated medieval …
Tracey Cooper, 15 Feb 2007
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Road pricing petition saved by Super SIM

Letters Surprisingly, not much has been troubling you this week, but the trawl of the mailbag did uncover one topic that's driven you right round the bend - Tony Blair's latest online petitions website, which this week chalked up more than one million signatories protesting against the mooted introduction of road pricing. Pull over, …
Tracey Cooper, 14 Feb 2007
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PlusNet forums blown wide open by a letter bomb

Letters It's a full to bursting letters bag this week, set to explode like a letter bomb. And boy, oh boy, the UK government was certainly top of the hit-list - whether ID cards, IT systems, or fingerprinting kids, you had a LOT to say about our incumbents. Take cover. Low flying missiles to follow: First up, the news that managing …
Tracey Cooper, 09 Feb 2007
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Giant babies kill the floppy disk

Letters Sad news this week as California coastguards were forced to call off the search for Microsoft researcher Jim Gray who has been missing since setting out in his yacht last Sunday. A respected IT personality and database developer, Google chipped in with an offer to use its high resolution satellite imagery to aid the search: …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Feb 2007
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vista sends PC prices sky high

Vista only hit the shelves yesterday, but Microsoft's new operating system has already sent shockwaves through the PC retail industry. Want to get your hands on an Acer desktop bundled with a copy of "Genuine MS Windows Vista Premium"? Get prepared to fork out a wallet-thrashing £9,999 for the pleasure, if prices down at PC …
Tracey Cooper, 31 Jan 2007
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China net purification efforts shot down by Silent Guardian

Letters We all love to complain about the state of the railways, so when last week's weather chaos brought services to a standstill, we all had a bit of a moan. Things got even worse in the aftermath when one rail bigwig came out and said packed commuter trains are safer. Cue outrage. You lot were very vocal on this issue (see here), …
Tracey Cooper, 26 Jan 2007
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Packed trains crash through the Beeb's download plans

Letters After last week's storms crashed not only train networks, but rail websites as well, you'd think the sympathetic bosses of the UK's national rail network would be keen to keep out of the news. Not so. Today, they came out with the astounding suggestion that packed trains are "safer" for commuters. This certainly derailed many …
Tracey Cooper, 23 Jan 2007
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Flatulence forces US plane out of the sky

A woman's attempt to cover up the nasty smell of her own flatulence caused an aircraft en route between Washington DC and Dallas to make an emergency landing, the BBC reports. Passengers kicked up a stink when they caught a whiff of sulphur from burning matches and alerted cabin crew. The American Airlines plane was forced to …
Tracey Cooper, 07 Dec 2006
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AWOL satnav system leads to ambulance joyride

Two ambulance drivers' unswerving obedience to their satnav system ended up turning a 30 minute hospital transfer into an eight hour, 430 mile wild goose chase. The crew were supposed to be moving a male mental patient from King George hospital in Ilford to Mascalls Park hospital near Brentwood, a 12 mile journey, but a faulty …
Tracey Cooper, 05 Dec 2006
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Surveillance society turns citizens into iso-dopes

Letters If there's one subject that's bound to divide opinion, it's the surveillance society, and Clive Longbottom's analysis of the database state certainly did just that: Can we have one of these next Monday called 'Quocirca "Analysis": Is wasting two pages' worth of your readers' time a good idea?' Seriously, I'm not sure what I'm …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Dec 2006

Vista - hot or not?

Letters The people have spoken. Vista seems to be a success, of sorts. While some of you are experiencing teething problems, the majority agree it is very pretty. Which is nice. This reader was particularly flattering… I read one of your articles "Vista creeps over the Horizon" where you asked for emails from people who have …
Tracey Cooper, 30 Nov 2006