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Brits complained a bit less about connectivity when they were allowed to go outside and see people in the flesh
Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:30

HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 01:00:04 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/3c2eb01941970a46697e479b4045551ef08b5f77/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/aec273bc80dd0dc3a73edce687f7cdaa0e9ef0f5/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/aec273bc80dd0dc3a73edce687f7cdaa0e9ef0f5/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 01:00:04 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6afd4281795f5a91-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400, h3-28=":443"; ma=86400, h3-27=":443"; ma=86400 Brits complained less about connectivity as lockdown eased • The Register

Top of Ofcom's table for broadband whinges? It rhymes with BorkBork


TalkTalk has once again topped UK communications regulator Ofcom's complaint charts.

Ofcom has collated whinges from consumers about landline, fixed broadband, pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services.

The figures the regulator publishes are relative to the size of a provider's customer base and its latest set of numbers make for interesting reading since they cover the period (April to June 2021) during which the UK began to ease lockdown restrictions.

The timing is significant as fewer people had to press the home broadband into service to run a remote office, and the reopening of schools left fewer parents weeping into a keyboard over the latest Google Classroom (or alternative remote-learning tool) freeze.

However, while complaints have fallen to pre-COVID-19 levels (Virgin Media in particular had "significantly" reduced complaint volumes), grumblings persist.

TalkTalk topped the table (closely followed by Virgin Media) with 19 complaints per 100,000 customers. The industry average, according to Ofcom, was 12. It also topped the Landline list at 13 compared to an industry average of 7.

Other companies, such as BT-owned Plusnet, were also above the industry average while BT itself just squeaked in below at 10 and 6 for broadband and landline complaints respectively.

That said, BT's complaints did not include those related to the broadband universal service obligation (USO), which was launched on 20 March 2020. The USO gives customers the right to request an affordable (£46.40 per month) broadband connection of at least 10Mbit/s down from BT or KCOM in Hull.

However, even taking the USO into account, complaints have trended down to impressive levels, although broadband continued to generate the most unhappiness.

While its broadband service generated 17 complaints per 100,000, behind TalkTalk's 19, Virgin Media fared less well in Pay-TV, with the most complaints. Virgin Mobile was also leader of the pack in Pay-Monthly mobile complaints, ahead of Three and Vodafone.

Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: "Customer complaints spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers depended on a reliable internet connection but struggled to contact their providers when things went wrong."

You think?

However, Doku noted: "Complaints have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and are close to the record lows we saw before 'social distancing' entered our vocabulary."

While noting that it was reassuring that customers were generally satisfied with their broadband, Doku went on to say "Ofcom's report shows that more than four in 10 of all fixed broadband complaints were about faults, service and provisioning.

With many households still reliant on their internet connections for work, education and entertainment, it's clear that providers have to do more to prioritise these types of problems."

The Register contacted TalkTalk regarding its place in the report but we have yet to receive a response. ®

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vSphere 7 Update 3b has also disappeared. VMware's Knowledge Base page states it's been pulled "due to further complications with HA configuration post upgrade."

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This is according to GitHub' annual State of the Octoverse survey, based on telemetry from more than 4m repositories and thousands of developer polls.

While for many areas it was business as normal, with little change in the geographical locations of users, the survey highlights a shift in workplace as developers made the psychological move from hoping that things may revert to how they were to accepting the realities of the pandemic.

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Continue readingRIP Bernie Drummond: Celebrated ZX Spectrum artist and programmer on Batman, Head Over Heels, Match Day II 'He went from crazy doodler to craftsman instantly'

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The Batman franchise is huge now, but it wasn't when work on the game began in 1985. This was before Tim Burton's eponymous film (1989), Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's Batman: the Killing Joke (1988) or even Frank Miller's Batman: the Dark Knight Returns comics (1986). It was not an obvious choice for a game, but that's what Drummond suggested to programmer Jon Ritman, who asked Ocean Software to license the elderly comic character. The game's look is visibly influenced by the 1960s TV series starring Adam West.

Batman wasn't the first isometric 3D game on the Spectrum. The system had been implemented earlier by Ultimate for its Knight Lore. Arguably, though, Batman did it better – partly in its distinctive look, and partly via easier up-down-left-right controls as opposed to Knight Lore's turn-then-walk system, along with smooth animation and charming details such as the protagonist impatiently tapping his foot if left to stand for too long.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 01:00:04 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/3c2eb01941970a46697e479b4045551ef08b5f77/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/aec273bc80dd0dc3a73edce687f7cdaa0e9ef0f5/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/aec273bc80dd0dc3a73edce687f7cdaa0e9ef0f5/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 01:00:04 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6afd4281795f5a91-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400, h3-28=":443"; ma=86400, h3-27=":443"; ma=86400 Brits complained less about connectivity as lockdown eased • The Register

Top of Ofcom's table for broadband whinges? It rhymes with BorkBork


TalkTalk has once again topped UK communications regulator Ofcom's complaint charts.

Ofcom has collated whinges from consumers about landline, fixed broadband, pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services.

The figures the regulator publishes are relative to the size of a provider's customer base and its latest set of numbers make for interesting reading since they cover the period (April to June 2021) during which the UK began to ease lockdown restrictions.

The timing is significant as fewer people had to press the home broadband into service to run a remote office, and the reopening of schools left fewer parents weeping into a keyboard over the latest Google Classroom (or alternative remote-learning tool) freeze.

However, while complaints have fallen to pre-COVID-19 levels (Virgin Media in particular had "significantly" reduced complaint volumes), grumblings persist.

TalkTalk topped the table (closely followed by Virgin Media) with 19 complaints per 100,000 customers. The industry average, according to Ofcom, was 12. It also topped the Landline list at 13 compared to an industry average of 7.

Other companies, such as BT-owned Plusnet, were also above the industry average while BT itself just squeaked in below at 10 and 6 for broadband and landline complaints respectively.

That said, BT's complaints did not include those related to the broadband universal service obligation (USO), which was launched on 20 March 2020. The USO gives customers the right to request an affordable (£46.40 per month) broadband connection of at least 10Mbit/s down from BT or KCOM in Hull.

However, even taking the USO into account, complaints have trended down to impressive levels, although broadband continued to generate the most unhappiness.

While its broadband service generated 17 complaints per 100,000, behind TalkTalk's 19, Virgin Media fared less well in Pay-TV, with the most complaints. Virgin Mobile was also leader of the pack in Pay-Monthly mobile complaints, ahead of Three and Vodafone.

Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: "Customer complaints spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers depended on a reliable internet connection but struggled to contact their providers when things went wrong."

You think?

However, Doku noted: "Complaints have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and are close to the record lows we saw before 'social distancing' entered our vocabulary."

While noting that it was reassuring that customers were generally satisfied with their broadband, Doku went on to say "Ofcom's report shows that more than four in 10 of all fixed broadband complaints were about faults, service and provisioning.

With many households still reliant on their internet connections for work, education and entertainment, it's clear that providers have to do more to prioritise these types of problems."

The Register contacted TalkTalk regarding its place in the report but we have yet to receive a response. ®

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vSphere 7 Update 3b has also disappeared. VMware's Knowledge Base page states it's been pulled "due to further complications with HA configuration post upgrade."

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The shareholders, who together own a fraction of the gaming giant, also urged chairman Brian Kelly and lead independent director Robert Morgado to step down by the end of the year. In addition they urged the board to conduct an independent review of the "frat boy" culture at the company and to commit to "structural reform" of the corporation's governance system.

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On Wednesday the iBiz announced Self Service Repair, "which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools."

This may be something of a mixed blessing as Apple hardware is notoriously resistant to mend, due to the fact that special tools are often required, parts may be glued together, and components like Apple's TouchID sensor and T2 security chip can complicate getting devices to work again once reassembled.

Continue reading

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This is according to GitHub' annual State of the Octoverse survey, based on telemetry from more than 4m repositories and thousands of developer polls.

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Continue readingRIP Bernie Drummond: Celebrated ZX Spectrum artist and programmer on Batman, Head Over Heels, Match Day II 'He went from crazy doodler to craftsman instantly'

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The Batman franchise is huge now, but it wasn't when work on the game began in 1985. This was before Tim Burton's eponymous film (1989), Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's Batman: the Killing Joke (1988) or even Frank Miller's Batman: the Dark Knight Returns comics (1986). It was not an obvious choice for a game, but that's what Drummond suggested to programmer Jon Ritman, who asked Ocean Software to license the elderly comic character. The game's look is visibly influenced by the 1960s TV series starring Adam West.

Batman wasn't the first isometric 3D game on the Spectrum. The system had been implemented earlier by Ultimate for its Knight Lore. Arguably, though, Batman did it better – partly in its distinctive look, and partly via easier up-down-left-right controls as opposed to Knight Lore's turn-then-walk system, along with smooth animation and charming details such as the protagonist impatiently tapping his foot if left to stand for too long.

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According to a statement on its website:

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AppStream 2.0 has been running since late 2016 and enables users to stream GUI applications or entire desktops to a local PC either via a web browser or using a Windows client. Although running applications remotely has some drawbacks – such as latency, dependency on a strong internet connection, and potential snags accessing local resources like printers and storage – it also has advantages.

Benefits include isolation from the local PC and some security risks, the ability to run Windows applications from any OS, and full control of the remote environment. In the case of demanding applications that perform intensive data processing or need high-end GPUs, renting a PC from AWS may work out cheaper than buying the hardware, if usage is only occasional.

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The multi-tenant cloud service sits on Unit4's ERPx cloud platform, which in turn is hosted in Azure and aimed at mid-market organisations. Industry Mesh offers pre-built data flows between applications, data sources, and the industry ecosystem, according to Unit4.

This reduces the cost and increases the speed of integration at the same time as improving the data users can get into applications, Unit4 claimed. A company with 1,000 employees might lose $1.2m because of productivity lost through poor integration between ERP and ancillary systems, it added.

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Source: https://bit.ly/3qNYe9m