* Posts by Fraggle

19 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Brussels to rule on cheap pub football sat decoders


A lesson in tautology?

"It said that if Euroview's practice was allowed to continue then whichever country had the cheapest access to a particular event would become the de-facto EU-wide broadcaster for it."

Erm....yes....it's called competition. I would have thought a sports body would be familiar with such a concept.

It seems Uefa think competition means only the broadcasters bidding for a place at Uefa's pinky ring.

At some point we're going to realise that the recognition of copyright is the granting of a monopoly and it should regulated accordingly.

Two convicted for refusal to decrypt data


And then....

I came across this


which claims to be able to set data to digitally self-destruct. Is that usable as a defense ("Sorry, the data has already expired, no-one can see it now, not even me")?


What about self-encryption?

ie codewords? Can you be imprisoned if you refuse to interpret? If not, how is it different?

HMG still does not get it. They're doing all the wrong things, because they're fighting the wrong enemy.


"It might satisfy the curiosity of your wives"

Surely you'd be in trouble for bigamy! ;)

Government ready to round up opinions on DNA database


An interesting statistic from the document

"Of these 200,000 proiles, approximately 8,500 proiles from some 6,290 individuals have been linked with crime scene proiles..."

So some people have multiple profiles which is an interesting, if darn confusing, snippet of information. Were there some people with multiple profiles where only one of the profiles matched but not the other(s)?

Very curious indeed.

McHaggis: "I don't agree that keeping a record of my DNA indicates that I'm guilty of anything."

The Home Office's use of statistics suggest that they *do* agree with that sentiment however, and their opinion is the one that matters.

Masked passwords must go


Someone should forward this article...

to the Cardspace folks or the Higgins folks. Maybe both. Then stick a cattle prod in them and tell them to hurry up because the lunatics are about to take over the asylum!

Sockpuppeting British politico resigns from Wikisupremecourt

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Wiki can be useful...

For Maths and Physics pretty much up to Undergraduate level, it's very handy indeed, cause it has all the equations linked to each other and some good explanations of the concepts. It also gives you the terminology for things so actually know what to search for.

A purely technical-oriented wiki could do quite well I think.

How the government uses dirty data to legislate morality


Article falls prey to its own argument

I once heard someone say that the issue that someone will speak loudest about is the issue with which they themselves feel guilty. I have no idea how true it is, but it crossed my mind while reading this.

By that I mean not that the author has some sort of 'deviant' tendencies that he wishes to justify, but that he seems unable to hold sources he accepts to the same standard of those he does not. Which is a shame, because for the most part his argument is sound.

"Kinsey came in for serious academic criticism on the grounds of sample selection (volunteers who came forward for interview were mainly self-selected) and sample bias (a high proportion of prison inmates and prostitutes). This in turn led critics to argue that both Kinsey’s focus and findings were coloured by his own interest in masochistic and promiscuous sex."

"However, a subsequent re-working of Kinsey’s data suggested that the sample bias had little effect and that in general, people’s sex lives were more colourful and more varied than conventional moralists liked to imagine."

Seeing as these methodological problems are the ammo which Ozimek fires at the subsequently cited research on various topics, you'd expect a better handling of the Kinsey report issues than just waving a "someone said it was okay so it's okay" sign at people. Not only is the last phrase entirely meaningless, I'd love to know how such a conclusion was reached, but that would require the statement to be actually *referenced*).

If someone, somewhere was to say "I've gone over the Poppy report and it's methodological issues don't affect it much", would the author expect us to take *them* seriously?

Obama says his new chopper is 'procurement gone amuck'


Tower Defense?

[quote]or do you have stupid non-subject matter one-liner turrets?[/quote]

I'm trying to imagine the sort of threats these turrets would protect you from?

If they're effective against bank/government grade 'talent', I'll take 28 please!

Conficker seizes city's hospital network

Gates Horns

Re: Patches? We don't need no stinking patches.

"HOWEVER - Conficker is a tricky beast. If someone logs onto an infected machine with Domain Admin rights then it's pretty much game over, even if you have the patches installed. You cannot rely on patching alone."

Erm... if that's the case, then in what way has this vuln actually been patched?.....

When poor people pollute - the Tata Nano and eco-crime

Black Helicopters

Politics dressed as counter-politics

"You may think it's a good idea to reduce population growth, but hasn't it occurred to you that the next generation will be raised by the people who disagree with you?"

Hence the movement's intense need for getting government control *now*. As has been demonstrated by Charles, the concern is mostly about who has control. Someone's gonna die, they say, we'd better make sure it's not us.

What the eco movement essentially claims is that human beings generally are too stupid to be in charge of their own lives, therefore 'us greater luminaries' must do their decision-making for them. While I'm sure people could find evidence to support that position, I can't help but think that when people believe that, they almost always end up being the stupidest out of all of us!

"The future belongs to those who show up for it."

That's going in my quotebook!

Tom Cruise Scientology vid leaks onto net


Just remember

Thou shalt not judge religion by Tom Cruise.....


Latest Vista SP1 tweak open to everyone with a week to spare

Paris Hilton

An hour of scary thoughts...

So what exactly is it doing in that hour? There is only one logical conclusion to take from this recommendation: MS do not fully understand SP1-RC1's install process. There's something happening that they can't predict, and so cannot delay the 'Installation finished' message to account for it.

This means that they've run a few tests, found the longest observed time that it takes for this 'thing' to occur (or at least, for evidence of it to appear), and then, if we're lucky, multiplied it by a random integer. Murphy's Law states that someone somewhere is going to be a statistical improbability. Sorry - correction. Murphy's Law states that *you* are going to be a statistical improbability.

Actually, I can think of one other logical conclusion: that MS is collecting some sort of data, but it absolutely positively cannot be stored on disk (evidence, obviously!), so you have to wait to make sure that it's had a chance of getting through to the MS servers....which surely means you'd need to wait longer than an hour, eh?

PH icon, as surely she's sifting through the data as we speak.

MS to bundle 'broken' random number tool in Vista SP1


Nothing to hide

""So, you don't have curtains then?" is my usual reply to that particular piece of nonsense."

The alternative, if you're in their house or otherwise have immediate access to their possessions, is to just start rifling through them on the spot, then when challenged, simply state that they have nothing to hide. It's even better if you can find something intensely personal like a journal/bank statement/love letter/copy of Britney Spears' latest album to hand.

Okay, I admit it, I haven't actually done this yet. Still waiting for someone to say it to me since I thought of it.

Surprise: Ohio's e-voting machines riddled with critical security flaws


E-voting trade secrets?!!!

"Does anyone else suspect that the real reason the software is closed-source is not to protect trade secrets..."

How *could* it be to protect trade secrets? What exactly is so secret about a program to count key/screenpresses? Someone somewhere needs to issue a challenge to the public to build a secure open-source e-voting machine.

The only non-trivial part of this is the secure storage/retrieval of the data, which is stupid to leave in proprietary hands anyway. The trivial parts (the counting and the screen interface) could be done by just about any code monkey, and be done better than it currently is.

Recording industry puts stake in ground with Jammie Thomas case


These aren't the £s they're looking for...

"If you feel sorry for the artists, then why not just send them a check directly for that CD you copied from your roommate, and bypass the distribution industry crooks in the process. And when you do, include a note explaining that they really don't need those guys anymore..."

'cause then you've hung yourself, by providing a confession, ready-made. The artist may be grateful but the record company will still nail you to the wall.

Think of the age-old question: Daddy or Chips? In all honesty, why have Chips when you can have Daddy who will buy you plenty of Chips?

Take note, *they don't want your money*. They want the total control that will enable them to rip whatever amount of money they want *later* right out of your hand.

Balls blames parents, computers for English literacy slide


Who'd be 733t in a NuLabour world?

"This study shows that our highest-achieving children are reading less, with children's busy days leaving less time for books at home."

Typical Labour claptrap. Quite laughable that the the blame for falling league table performance (ahhh....the double-edged sword strikes!) is the fault of the children who actually *can* read!

I think we need a new icon that represents government stupidity. A picture of John Prescott perhaps...

Inventor of revoked payment patent says UK system is a joke


I bet that up and down the country...

there are waiters/waitresses asking their boss "Why can't we just include a line on the bill for the tip?". Non-obvious indeed.

"To people in the hospitality industry, using a combined authorise and pay system would not have occurred," - the real incongruence of this statement is that merely expecting the hospitality industry to be the ones coming up with the idea undoes the concept that it's a patent regarding the technical aspects of the payment system. Hospitality people do hospitality, not electronic banking!

Met's de Menezes photo 'manipulated', says prosecution

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Just seen the pics on the BBC...

...and I don't see how anyone could mistake the two people, even using the Mets' version of the image. The only similarity appears to be the haircut, and that's about it - different ears, eyebrows, mouth, eyes. Not to mention the skin colour. When I first saw pictures of de Menenez, I remarked how he looked a bit like my brother. There'd be no chance of that comment about the other guy.

The Met really are clutching at straws, but I predict they'll get away with it.

Windows update brings down TV newscast


Mission-critical systems should also (3)

Not have maintenance performed just before being required to be available unless *absolutely necessary*.


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