* Posts by Columbus

82 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Oct 2007


Man cracks open floppy disk, inserts USB Flash drive



I have a syquest disk and a 2.5" usb powered remote hard drive - if only I could make sure it kept the same 'twang' noise when you put it down.

DARPA, NASA team on '100-Year Starship' project

Jobs Halo

Apple's $46 bn

The iSpaceShip

That is All

Mac Office 2011 allows only 'light edits' in Windows Web apps


sod office - bring back wordperfect

nuff said..

Pentagon Wikileaks probe reaches MIT

Big Brother

3 times?

Whilst I agree that bringing up De Menezes was inappropriate, I would like to clarify why he was shot. The armed police ran on to the tube train in order to 'stop' the suspect. De Menezes was sitting down, when the unarmed surveillance offices identified him as the suspect he stood up. He was grabbed, fell down and was shot 7 times in the head at point blank range. Nobody gave an order to shoot him, he was to be 'detained'.

Plain and simple it was a cock-up performed by stressed, under informed firearms officers with inept commanders together and a confused chain of command. A tragedy.

More importantly it was the 'cover-up' for the cock-up which was more of an issue, much like the a lot of the wikileaks information. Until the authorities openly admit accidents happen, but ruthlessly pursue wrongdoing be it negligence or intentional then leaks & conspiracy theories will continue. The spreading of FUD is wrong and childish at best, I am ashamed I cannot do more to change their attitudes, but I support wikileaks wholeheartedly in this situation.

Police force more suspects to give up crypto keys


make them prove its your account/password

Give the main user account a different name to yours, put at least a dozen different accounts on the computer ( all friends & family + dog) - can't be expected to provide password to all those


PARIS in hot glue gun action


wooden engine

I have seen a genuine wooden piston- which was working fine in a 1930's austin seven- apparently a piece of seasoned oak heartwood boiled in oil for hours and then machined was up to the task...

low compression, low volatility fuel flame obviously

Police complaints body gets a kicking for FOI law-breaking


lack of knowledge

Given that the staff in the FOI/ DPA department of the IPCC have no idea of the differences in the legislation, what constitutes personal data or even what day of the week it is( allegedly) I am astonished that anybody has even bothered to complain. The case management system is breathtakingly inefficient/ineffective/crap ( chose one or more depending upon your experience) From my experience I would surmise they didn't respond due to a arse/elbow misconfiguration issue.

I was asked for my original passport AND driving licence to be sent to them and was told that they probably didn't process any personal data as they only dealt with police complaints. I was told it would take a couple of months for them to check, They knew I should give them £10 quid though...

Epic Fail

UK's secret surveillance regime 'does not breach human rights'


@ chr0m4t1c

Not if you saw Malcolm Kennedy - even after doing a Hulk he would still only be the size of a munchkin...

How he could have done what he was accused would stretch even Littlejohn's powers of exaggeration

in the words of a superhero- Flame On!

Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Jobs Halo

Firewire 800

The firewire port is needed for one of the Macbooks party tricks - Target disk mode, also TCP/IP over IP can be really useful in some locations.

I'm not a fanboi but you do get what you pay for - comparing a MacBook to a plastic PC is like comparing a BMW to a Korean car- they may do the same job with the same features but which is the best one?

News archives can lose libel protection as stories change

Big Brother


As the novel 1984 shows so well, Authority likes to be the sole arbiter of truth.

Purely for balance I would like to point out the fact that the organisation that cleared the policeman was the organisation that had much to lose if he was found to guilty. In my experience most Police Professional Standards could not find 'proof' of a policeman's misconduct even if it was taped to their foreheads( unless of course it came from other police officers)

So now we have a new category of person - the 'unguilty'. Records to be changed, memories to be modified ( probably by taser or rack) so the glorious illusion of Authority is retained.

What is the difference between a Police national computer record and a newspaper archive record anyway ( apart from cost of access, apparently it costs £50 as a bung to get a PNC record). The Police are allowed to keep all records, however inaccurate, for as long as they want. They are allowed to pass those records on to whoever they want for any purpose.

Big Brother obviously, now I need I lie down because I think I have been channelling AMANFROMMARS.........

Home Office appoints ID czar


cough - new keyboard needed

“I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended.

I've been asked to swallow some bull in my time - but seriously, I bet he will be as about as effective as the Chief Surveillance Commissioner

( how many RIPA authorisations has he ruled against in the past few years - none....) and he still gets paid a wedge for just approving everything he is asked to.

Keyboard - cos there isn't a cynic icon.

Home Office shifts feet as vetting database looms

Big Brother

crystal ball time

If this takes off, I foresee ghettos - those who are 'approved' and those who are not. Given that it is now regarded as a sign of criminality if you protest or even complain about the State it will mean those who are 'approved' will fear anything which may affect their status. It can mean nothing but trouble ahead. Gattaca anyone?

Big Brother ....nuff said

'Ring-wing' robo-sub smart swarm lands £6m oil deal



I for one welcome our autonomous tasty potato based snack overlords

*can't work out why they don't go soggy in the water though*, Think I will have little lie down

Snow Leopard security - The good, the bad and the missing


@ Mr C Hill

Fully paid member of the Mac Fan club here..

Which wazzock installs a new operating system on the day of release on a computer which pays the bills?

Please do not winge about 'specialist' kit not working, my Devonthink OCR software is also broken under Snow Leopard so I will take a breath and wait for it to be fixed before I upgrade like all other mac users with a brain.

Adobe rubberstamps (only) CS4 for Snow Leopard


Adobe taking advantage

I'm sure it can't be so, not supporting recentish software on snow-leopard, despite it only being a cleaned up and very slightly tweaked version of leopard. I am sure they won't make any extra sales, and no IT mangers will take the opportunity to senior managers and say "got to upgrade now"

Oh, and I'm an onion

Pirates - cos that's what they arrr!

Boffins in 'let's create black holes in the lab' jape


waste paper basket

can I have one of these mini black hole things in my bin?

UK cops eye shotgun cartridge Taser


Steve Tuttle

As well as being named like a character out of Brazil...

Quote "~I'm not saying this is risk free: it will leave potential bruising and it could cause a contusion. But when you compare it to a traditional impact munition it will be significantly less likely to cause injury and much more accurate."

Police don't normally a shoot mouthy drunk git with a kebab, but give them this munition and lets see if Manchester Police can be the first Police force to get a kebab into orbit at the same time as giving someone the 20 second smoking perm treatment.....

Mines the one with the post taser hairstyle

Shop risks legal action for posting 'shoplifter' CCTV online

Big Brother

"the police have no concerns"

no - they wouldn't would they? As they already post such "unidentified" photos round the stores employees as part of the shopwatch initiative they are already doing it. I would strongly suspect TJ Morris's actions are done with the tacit approval and in probable partnership with police.

Anybody identified in the photographs fancy their chances in Civil Court against the might of the company with the Police backing them up?

For balance I would like to point out that professional shoplifters are scum and should be put in the stocks, as opposed to teenage twits who need some serious education with the instrument of your choice.

Big Brother - obviously

NASA: Extraterrestrial sample holds ingredient for alien life


Terrorist act

Deprtment of Homeland Securty in 'Merica have heard of this and have no issued guidelines in regards to aliens who have the building blocks for nitro based explosives. All astronauts will have to have a visa and a securty check involving rubber gloves and lubricant when they land at Edwards air base.

no wait...

Mines the being searched

Apple tried to quash Sunday Times' Jobs profile

Jobs Halo


Appleyard obviously can google - the gobble gobble story has been on www.folklore.org for years,

When ISPs hijack your rights to NXDOMAIN



am I the only one who thinks this article reads like one of amanfrommars's posts?

Earthquake-squelching, sonar-invisible 'active cloak' unfurled


Douglas Adams had the right idea

I vote they develop the Someone Else's Problem Field (SEP). Oh hang on, the Government already has, It is shielding Elephants in the room all over Whitehall.

Invisible man trying to find the sleeves on his invisible cloak ( see, they are green screening the effect for film so we can see it)

Info Tribunal appeals to split from January


and the result will be...

No change - just more delay, and more opportunity to strike out pesky complaints from the sheep who believe the ICO will actually do anything which either would help or adversely affect a data controller.

I have given up with the ICO and just use the provisions in section 7 of the 1998 Data Protection Act to go to court myself now.

Epic fail -the government has totally emasculated a not very effective organisation, It is cheaper for a company to just pay lipservice to the DPA Act and the miniscule chance of getting a fine than to abide by the spirit of the Act.

Collar the lot of us! The biometric delusion

Big Brother

SC clearance = RFID

Simple - what will happen is SC or Military people will have RFID chips, then Police, doctors etc, without the chip they don't work, other biometrics are set to high level of accuracy, people will then want the RFID to ease access to the NHS, or benefits, Prisoners have the chip automatically, removal of the chip is an imprisonable offence etc

Big Brother - of course

Two convicted for refusal to decrypt data


smug mac users

whilst I am a smug mac user, and accept filevault is not perfect, I am aware of maclockpick which is quite a useful bit of kit to get into most macs and any decent mac sysadmin could get into an ordinary mac in seconds. Luckily there is a dearth of mac people in the british police

The point for most people is that the police don't need to get into them anyway. The evidence is presented in such a way that "we have the computer, and therefore the evidence that you are a bad person so plead guilty." Remember Operation ORE...

@NIC3 - Some warrants are properly considered, others are sheer fishing trips requests in front of a magistrate, and others are simply arrests on spurious reason then searches conducted under PACE

X-51 ordinary-fuel scramjet to fly in December


at Mach 6

I would still be late for work

according to Wolfram Alpha-

@5000ft =

2006 m/s or

7223 km/h

sensible comment, as the scramjet has no moving parts, could they use zip fuels?

TMS wins flash bragging crown with 100TB monster


Microsoft office

Sign me up, I am thinking of upgrading to the next version of Office...

BOFH: Hammer time!


splutter cough

Coca Cola - keyboard

nuff said

Think tank rumbles over gov data-hogging

Big Brother

"open standards"

British Government - open standards

isn't that an oxymoron?

DARPA: Can we have a one-cabinet petaflop supercomputer?


Crysis - high quality..

Nuff said

Safari 4: Apple's crash-happy shipper

Jobs Halo

too fast for the web

running safari 4 on a variety of machines- no problems with stability but rendering is a bit hit &miss. I think it uses a crystal ball given the speed it makes the render attempt though.

Possibly the Apple programmers have manged to code in the "jobsian reality distortion field" he he

Microsoft's Bing feeds you, tries to keep you captive


Italian American search engine..


Jobs sighted, reality distortion field primed for WWDC?


disabled parking spaces

if you check out www.folklore.org or the pirates of silicon valley you will find that he previously used to always park in the handicapped spaces - enter every joke in the book....

Like most self made egotistical geniuses the rules for normal people don't apply to him :)

Scientists: Tasers work, but we don't know how

Black Helicopters

Use of force

Any use of force is fraught with danger, it is the number of times it is used that leads to fatalities, just think of Tomlinson. Authorities should be concentrating on reducing conflict & confrontation between the public and the official. There are officers who are 'up for it' and enjoy using force, which is very sad & alarming.

It would be nice if we used intelligence rather than brute force & techno toys to maintain 'law'* & order.

* I use 'law' in an ironic sense as it is becoming a joke.

Government rejects Lords' surveillance criticism


The IPT - don't make me laugh

As the IPT have never upheld a complaint in their history so I find that to be an insulting statement by the Government. If you are being surveilled (with or without RIPA authorisation) it is impossible to get evidence of it, the Authority can provide 'evidence', which you are not privy to, to justify their actions, which you cannot counter.

Local plod here do not use RIPA authorisations when they collect Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) reports, so they can deny any wrongdoing if it is not warranted. If the reports are needed for Court they just provide a document from a senior officer saying- yes it was authorised , legal and above board.

Can we have a black camera logo please?

Taking a first bite out of Wolfram Alpha

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chained results

more impressive for me are the chained results, keep up the good work boys

I for one will be keeping in my bookmarks. Its a bit like those specialised tools you can buy, useful for one job, but it saves you hours. I tried some searches on wolfram & google, if Wolfram got an answer it was better than Google, but you could refine the Google query better.

Bates: Cops to defy courts over return of indecent material


Who is going to arrest the Chief Constable?

Remember the Chief Constable is the law. No one has more seniority than him in his area, if the Police Authority still recognise him as CC then he can countermand any lawful order in his jurisdiction. Then it would be a constables personal decison, the same as any citizen, to arrest the CC, if there was a reasonable belief etc etc.(not going to happen..)

The Judge can order it, but there is nothing to compel an officer to comply. Look at the Babar Ahmad case, officers refused to attend, the Judge could do nothing if the CC did not order it.

Like it or not the Police have the power now, with the ACPO corporation (TM) and the Police Federation making a new power structure unaccountable to the People.

The only thing between us and a proper Police state is the armed forces.

Mines the one with the "where do we go now?" badge

Organised crime cops seek international hacking powers


remote searches

After sending an email from my server in 2005 to a named person in the government about some information I had come across accidentally ( but most definitely was quite incendiary), I experienced a sustained hack from a British location. Running Snort(amongst other things) on my OSX servers I watched the hack unfold.

They went through my firewall like it wasn't there, as the firewall logs didn't show much out of the ordinary.

More entertaining was the standard playbook of windows exploits attempted despite the fact my servers clearly identifying themselves as Apple/BSD. After many hours they were starting more entertaining hacks so I swapped in an empty Honeypot, but they never cracked it (as far as I was aware).

A couple of days later I was raided by the police on a totally unrelated (& bogus) matter, Whilst I was 'assisting' plod, someone had a good look at my kit, photographs etc and tried to log on.

I was (naively) trying to get the information to some who would take action (ha ha)

So the moral of this tale is - The Authorities do whatever they like whether or not they have the legal right, so why do we have the illusion that there are rules?

Malware infested MPs' PCs inflate leak risk


an Apple a day keeps the virii away?

Being a Mac user and having the superior intellect necessary to rise above the Windows dross would probably preclude you from standing as a MP. ( And you may have the morals not to try & diddle the taxpayer out of their hard earned)

let the flames begin....

On a completely different note, is John Hemming MP is the only programmer in Parliament at present?

Police want new remote hard drive search powers

Thumb Up

police procedure

whilst ACPO issues 'guidelines' about proper procedure, a number of local police forces routinely ignore it. Judges routinely allow the police to use unimaged drives , original CCTV media etc etc as evidence. As for the continuity of evidence you might as well forget it.

I will stick with my macs, they haven't got anyone to analyse them..... Filevault isn't perfect but it certainly slows them down a bit, particularly with the standard of Muppet working for the computer forensics teams.

What would Gene Hunt do?

Number 10 doubles as 'House of Flying Nokias'


ColorLaserjet 5m

I think it would have to be a color printer - need the red for the treasury printouts....

If he could push a 5M off the desk then I for one would welcome our superstrong overlord

Criminal Records Bureau launches e-disclosure service

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police response time...

You may be able to apply to the CRB in bulk but the police response for enhanced CRB's is likely to be less than brilliant when the cash cuts hit home. Did you know there is no obligation on the Police to respond to the CRB and no enforced time limits? They have targets, but that does not apply to background checks they don't want to or can't fufill.

Police, Cameras, Inaction!

Black Helicopters

Cameras to protect you from the police

After making a complaint about some officers, I suffered from a little too much police attention.... I have 9 cameras over two adjacent properties to provide an alternative version to the 'official' police one.

Apart from a bolshy PCSO pushing his way into the house and demanding they be taken down immediately as they were a breach of council planning regulations & the Data Protection Act it has been much quieter here now.

Mines the one with the remote camera in it

UK.gov delays new data breach powers

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watchdog with teeth?? It'll never happen... or the government will neuter it immediately.

Who snapped first?


remember hillsborough

The Sun have a bit of a rep for supporting police who may be in a bit of bother - Hilsborough springs to mind....

Watch the IPCC do a fearless job of investigating this tragic event, just like De Menezes, Babar Ahmad, Harry Stanley, Christopher Alder, Roger Slyvester and so on.

My favourite bit will be when the IPCC ignore the video evidence as the witnesses are too subjective unlike the 'professional' police who at this point are colluding/conferring to write their identical statements

Mines the one with the standard "procedures will be changed & lessons have been learnt" B***s**t logo.

G20 police demand ID as train staff ordered to spy on passengers


@How can the police use a law which does not exist

Northamptonshire police are helping out - they are masters at " its law coz I say it is.."

mines the one being illegally searched after only being 'detained to confirm I haven't committed any crimes'

UK's privacy watchdog not very bitey


can we have a most toothless competion?

My vote is the IPCC,( Independent Police Complaints Commission) at least the Data commissioner sometimes yaps.... Although the GSCC ( General Social Care Council ) I think has manged to locate an invisiblity cloak as nothing has been heard from them in years

NHS study produces ejector-seat ambulance design


please please ...design it for the police

Thus leading to the obvious headline if you actually see one in your street after you report a burglary ...

Judges: Don't know the law? It's understandable


read the riot act

"Our sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King."

The punishments for ignoring the Act were severe - penal servitude for not less than three years, or imprisonment with hard labour for up to two years.

They don't make em like they used to...

Unfortunately when the riot act was read then you then had an hour to disperse, amazing what you could burn in that time.

25 years of Mac - the good, the bad, and the cheese grater


Powerbook G4 - Pah!

not bad analysis, but seriously, the Powerbook G4 over the G3 Pismo? a classic case of form over function.

From a support point of view both the Quicksilver G4 and Powerbook G4 are the most unreliable macs of recent times.

I must agree that the 4400 was the most horrendous mac ever- based on a standard PC of the time. I would very much doubt if any are still running, and I am sure nobody has affection for it.