* Posts by M A Walters

40 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Nov 2007

Samsung Galaxy S9: Still the Lord of All Droids

M A Walters

Re: Upvote

Agreed with the items mentioned (my biggest problem with my S7 is battery life - have to carry 2 battery packs).

However, do not agree with the status comment. Any product is a status symbol to some extent - clothes, cars, houses (some would say wives/husbands!) and yes, phones also.

London Underground Wi-Fi pusher to be announced in spring

M A Walters

Yes, but...

All valid comments, however the tube is not nearly as packed as Moscow metro or Tokyo subway - if you've ever been on one of those during the morning rush hour, you'd know the true meaning of packed :-)

We like zombies… because we are zombies

M A Walters
Big Brother

So true...

Tom, you analysed the situation very correctly and succintly.

Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

M A Walters

Re Disabled fault?

That's missing the point. Is the time delay excessive or not?

Plus, your "RAC solution" won't work: you are legally obliged to stop after an accident, so it will take longer ;-)

M A Walters

Zebra crossings

Technically correct, although most drivers will stop before a pedestrian steps out and most pedestrians will wait till the driver stopped:

Highway Code Section 195

Zebra crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing

- look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop to let them cross

- you MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing

Note the "when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing"

Experts rubbish iPhone for health use

M A Walters

Re "And make coffe, while you're at it, no?"

Nah, that's what the trainee nurses are for. (Not just that, obviously...)

Cambridgeshire makes road charge last resort

M A Walters

Cyclists and "road tax"

@Gordon Ross - Yes, I suppose you are right. Especially the ones who can't cycle properly. Far too many of those at the moment. They will learn sooner or later (or become organ donors in the process).

@handle - I agree with your eco-car comment (especially in line with London's congestion charge), but that doesn't excuse such blatant misuse of road space as can be seen on the Hills Road bridge. Have you actually seen it??

M A Walters

It's all relative

Taken at face value, Cambs County councillors are actually doing the right thing, listening to their people, etc.

In reality, everything is being done as if to increase congestion in the city. Most recently, namely: re-timing the traffic lights at Hills Rd/Cherry Hinton Rd junction (a very busy junction during rush hours) and the removal of 2 lanes (1 each direction) off the Hills Rd bridge. Both done under the guise of cyclists' safety.

Don't get me wrong, cyclists are entitled to use the road notwithstanding them not paying road tax, but half the available road space? Come on - they are not tractors!!

GTA maker coughs up $20m for 'hot coffee' sex

M A Walters

Shareholder lawsuit

I don't get the point - this is like giving money using the right hand just to take it back with the left. Or am I missing something here? Did they not pay out enough dividends?

Archbishop condemns Facebook, email, footballers

M A Walters

Flat relationships

I think the bishop has a point, to some extent. The problem is not with social networking per se, but with the way how some people use it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with social networking, provided it's not a substitute for real relationships (which is what the bishop seems to imply). For instance, I use FB to keep in touch with my old friends whom I probably wouldn't contact as regularly (using the term loosely) otherwise.

The problem with FB is with flattening of social relationships/connections: everyone's a "friend", even though in real world, you have close friends, not-so-close friends, acquaintances and so forth. I suppose one could set up FB groups for them, but I never bothered. I share very little info on FB, just because I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable sharing pictures and comments (!) with just everyone on my FB friendlist.

And then, some people just add "friends" for... I don't know... numbers?

If someone starts treating these "friends" as proper friends, I can see a problem here. And hence the time bomb, or a grenade, I suppose.

T-Mobile UK starts shifting iPhones on the quiet

M A Walters

@J Ford

Actually, it's not too hard, thanks to international calls and roaming. I was working on one consultancy project a couple of years ago and my monthly bill (not paid by me, though) was ~£200. I know people whose bills are ~£800 but that's just silly.

Street View snooptrike stalks Siena

M A Walters


Good point - and a good one!!

iPhone crashing bug could lead to serious exploit

M A Walters

@AC 04:53

"Correct, he wasn't... It was his liver!"

Good one! :-)

Windows 7 RC downloads to end 15 August

M A Walters
Gates Horns


"From 1 July Microsoft said the beta would start to reboot every two hours"

May I be the first to say - what's the difference between that and the "normal" operation, then?

Surveillance response 'inadequate', say Lords

M A Walters

Sad time

It is a very sad time we live in, where we have to rely on unelected Lords to protect our freedoms yet again. I suppose because they are life peers and they cannot get kicked out of the House of Lords, they can vote with their conscience, as opposed to whipped MPs in Commons who need to protect their political career.

Judge backs Halifax in Chip and PIN clone case

M A Walters
Gates Horns

Burden of proof

Without knowing specifics about the case and its evidence, it's difficult to make an informed judgement. The question is, who has the burden of proof, Halifax or its customer. If it's the petitioner (ie the customer), then the question is why Halifax destroyed the evidence. If it's the respondent (ie Halifax), then the ruling makes no sense at all.

Basically, Halifax cannot prove that the customer made the transaction, nor can they prove that he didn't. The customer cannot prove that he didn't either, though. I am wondering if anyone actually bothered checking CCTV in the store where the card (or its clone) was used, surely we have enough of those in this country...

Dutch cat skinner publishes critics' personal details

M A Walters

Matters of taste

While I may think that kitty bag is a quite tasteless, probably because I could never do something like that to my pet (albeit as Sarah said above, the bag is quite stylish), she's done nothing wrong in the eyes of law. All these environMENTALists need to get a life. Sometimes I think they would rather kill people but not animals - where's the logic there? Something in their head is messed up.

While perhaps some things I consider tasteless, amoral, sick, whatever, one cannot (and should not) legislate morality. Otherwise, we are back in the dark ages. And this vigilantism )or wannabe vigilantism) ought to be punished severely.

Huntingdon Life Sciences springs to memory somehow.

Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

M A Walters

Re Not strictly "innocent" by AC@09:30

That depends. Has the person concerned been convicted of a crime by a court of law? The answer in the example you've given is no. So, no, there is no legitimate reason to keep that person's DNA.

As a country with the rule of law, we don't tolerate vigilantes (for example) regardless of how right their actions may be. Same applies here. Perhaps sometimes our perception of law and justice differs, but that can be resolved by ensuring CPS decide prosecutions on merit, not by "innocent UNTIL proven guilty", but "innocent UNLESS proven guilty". ... By the court of law, not a politician.

Top e-crime cop to plead for more cash

M A Walters

@Andy ORourke

Half the problem is that "they" often don't even know what is classified as an eCrime. It's all about appearances and PR these days.

Michigan man jailed for humping car wash vacuum

M A Walters

Stating the obvious

I don't think it was his nose that he was keeping clean...

DNA database includes nipper and nonagenarian

M A Walters
Thumb Down

@AC - 14:47

If the sample was there for elimination, why is it still there?

UK should follow the US in the treatment of elimination samples: they can be used only for elimination purposes and not entered into any database.

A recent (~3 yrs ago) case in the States showed that elimination samples erroneously stored onto the database (I think it was CODIS, but may have been a state database) cannot be admitted as lawfully collected and as such cannot be used for prosecutions of unconnected crimes.

ECHR ruling seems to suggest a similar approach.

Government wastes £4.6m on mobile telly nonsense

M A Walters
Paris Hilton

What PR?

Mostly @Random Noise

What PR? If no one's heard of the campaign, like the article says, PR was not that great.

That is, of course, discounting the fact that the yoofs (or is that yobs) that the campaign is aimed that wouldn't bother watching it to begin with and even if you were to hand them out with a personalised DVD they will just stick it in where the sun don't shine.

Sounds like waste of public money... Yet again!

Qualcomm UK engineers under threat

M A Walters

All about Qualcomm

I was at the Cafe Networking in Cambridge a couple of days ago and the room was full of Qualcomm (and Kodak) people.

I must say the meet was quite depressing for me, even as an employer.

Iowa: How the vote was won

M A Walters

@AC re Not a Democracy!!!

That's all good, as long as 1 person does not end up telling 80 out of the same 100 what is "good for them". At least something like that seems to be happening here in the UK.

Reminds me of "The Greater Good" out of Hot Fuzz (the movie).

PS The AC comment @ 10th November 2008 16:04 GMT is mine, not sure why it got AC'd. Must be the case of twitchy fingers.

Apple unsheathes Jesus Phone 2.1

M A Walters
Thumb Up

Solved lots of issues for me

I've had an iphone for 2 months now and the app crash that developed after 2.0.2 was driving me mad. 2.1 sorted it out. Yes, it's not the solution to all problems but at least I can now play solitaire on it. :-)

McKinnon supporters plan Home Office demo

M A Walters


Your article has a very common mistake of referring to "US Marshals Service" as "US Marshall service".

Pedantically yours,

Sig goes here

PS It's all good to say pay for the crime, but what if it's hugely disproportionate to the crime committed?

Filesharing teen gets damages reduced in ignorance claim

M A Walters

Re Punishment

Errr no... What you are describing is punitive damages (or exemplary damages over here) - basically they are there to make an example of you to deter others. However, law (even the US law) prohibits their use except in specially defined cases (if I remember my law correctly, it applies to things like gross negligence, profiteering etc).

M A Walters
Black Helicopters

Right against self-incrimination

> Could that happen this side of the pond?

Ignorance of (criminal) law is no defence, however, this is a copyright infringement lawsuit, so damages are assessed differently.

As for the right against self-incrimination on this side of the pond, it's actually worse than over there. Just think of the speed camera appeal that got rejected by the Lords - points cannot be assessed on those kind of violations in North America (yes, both USA and Canada) unless the photo can positively identify the person who was actually driving (ie clear photograph).

Apple confesses MobileMe vanishing contact bug

M A Walters
Jobs Horns


I can't believe Apple cannot get this right. I got iPhone 3G (for the "unlimited" 3G data transfer, rather than the phone itself - although I am starting to like it) and decided to try out the MobileMe app.

It's the most ridiculous piece of software AND a poor service. I ended up getting a hosted Exchange account and syncing it that way - works *a lot* better. Errr... actually it works the way it's supposed to.

Now I hope they dont charge me after my MMe "trial" ends, because using it was, indeed, a trial. Subscription cancelled.

Blank robbers swipe 3,000 'fraud-proof' UK passports

M A Walters

Re Simon C

> But lets face it travel is only one of the uses of a passport. After all its a guaranteed form of ID for many places, of which I would expect 99.9% do not have the technology used to verify a passports legitimacy.

I am surprised not many people picked up on this one. I thought the same when I first saw the article. After all, these blank passports *will* be blocked at the border. Even our inept government can do that.

However, go to the bank or steal someone's identity - that's where the real market for these things is. After all, who would question an authentic (!) British passport - we all know how it looks like, and their copy (or rather 3000 copies) is not a fake.

SOCA denies ditching crime boss hunt

M A Walters


SOCA's biggest problem is funding. When it was set up, the bright idea was to make it the UK's FBI. A quick look at the funding tells a different story.

With entry level salary for an "agent" barely above £20k and supervisory agents being paid £35k, it's a big joke. You cannot solve serious crime without serious funding. Both in terms of "investing in people" and technology.

Many decent people from National High Tech squad had to leave because they were offered pay cuts when joining SOCA. This is just the continuation of an agency doomed to instant failure.

Naomi Campbell banned from BA flights

M A Walters

Re Icon for Naomi?

That's a good idea. Perhaps her with a mobile phone??

That's what she is famous for, after all...

US census ditches handhelds for clipboards

M A Walters

Re: Re: AC


>Do iPhones have GPS?

No, but my [O2] XDA Orbit does! (It's got a rather slow processor, but can do a few things) and that thing can hardly cost more than a couple of hundred ££.

Wanted: Gordon Brown's fingerprints, £1,000 reward

M A Walters

@Rapid prototyping

It's been there for a while now. Not instant, but not bad. All you need is some kind of a base and a polymer-based ribbon printer.

The online funeral

M A Walters


Cambridge (UK) crematorium was probably the first to offer this - about a month ago. Made the local news, that's for sure (it was just one password that the organiser would give out).

HMRC pays criminal for 'tax dodger' discs

M A Walters


This guy could have made a lot more money by blackmailing the people on the list. This is a very silly move, both for the seller and the buyer.

London PR outfit in sex-on-desk email shocker

M A Walters
Thumb Up

Re From: Mark XXXX

Well, at least the surname explains why he is looking through CCTV footage.

Laughing Squid squirts ink at Best Buy

M A Walters


You mean there is a dress code for IT technicians? I suppose you mean some kind of a t-shirt with a motto like "Do not disturb, I am disturbed already" (worn by a friend of mine on an occasion)?

IT Manager that does not impose a dress code

Click here for the UK's worst-paid IT job

M A Walters

Aren't we forgetting Mr Darling?

By the time the Chancellor goes through this, there won't be much left even for rice!

Police fight to retain 30 year old petty crime records

M A Walters

It's about precedent

The police/security services are not really concerned about these specific cases, but more about setting a "dangerous" (for them) precedent.

If they comply with this order, how long will it take the IC to order removal of DNA of innocent citizens from the DNA database?