* Posts by fred base

30 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Under threat of judicial review, UK.gov agrees to consultation before extending Palantir's NHS role beyond pandemic

fred base


"...it cannot offer firms like Palantir a long-term NHS role without consulting the public and that it would not expand Palantir's work on the NHS datastore beyond COVID-19 without notifying the public"

After the contract was signed :/

When the guy in charge has such a "complicated" relationship with the truth and trust, that statement isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Google CEO tells US Congress Chocolate Factory will unleash Dragonfly in China

fred base

Political theater aside?!?

There is no other side - the whole circus is an exercise in grandstanding.

Facebook's CEO on his latest almighty Zuck-up: OK, we did try to smear critics, but I was too out-of-the-loop to know

fred base

It doesn't matter whether anyone loves or loathes FB - it's only a symptom of the problem, not a root cause.

Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market

fred base

We’ve been writing about "flagship fatigue" for three years now.

♫ "Boredom, boredom, boredom, b'dum b'dum" ♫

Rooting and modding a Windows Phone is now child's play

fred base

Re: Windows in the wild

"the 10 handsets in the wild I have seen"

There are 10 types of people - those who understand binary and those who don't....

Met thumbed through Oyster card data up to 22,000 times in 4 years

fred base

Only 22000?

To paraphrase Lord of War:

Only another 3 million requests to make then.

fred base


Unfortunately its just a matter of time...

Airport bomb Twitter joker in second fine appeal bid

fred base

@SP "...considered this to be a problem."

That's the whole point - it wasn't considered to be a problem.

Secondhand MP3 shop can keep trading during EMI trial

fred base

The same applies to ebooks.

The sooner people realize that big media is on a mission to wipe out the second hand market, the better.

If the resale value of an electronic product is zero, why would anyone in their right mind pay close to the same price as the physical version?


Microsoft teams up with US gov on double 'ard XP

fred base

@Head meet wall...

"And maybe, you muppet the software, they use doesn't run on it..."

Yeah, we have no choice but to use an insecure OS, otherwise our apps won't run. Bulletproof logic there.

"God there are some dicks out there...."

You got that in one.

UK.gov ditches multi-million spooknet project

fred base

Competetence? We've heard of it.

Anyone who thinks these clowns have a solution to the financial crisis only need look at their record in IT project management over the last decade.

Microsoft poised to unveil WorldWide Telescope?

fred base

Photosynth demo

Have a look here for the state of the technology 12 months ago:


May not be a M$ original idea but its certainly impressive.

@Dirk Vandenheuvel - that would be 3% and rising. And they're mostly technology pioneers who want to control their own PCs. For free.

Google cheers anti-Comcast legislation

fred base

@Paul M

There is documented evidence that Comcast wasn't throttling packets, it was cancelling them, which is totally different.

Companies choosing to prioritise interactive traffic at the expense of other data is one thing - throughput can be self adjusting, dependent on capacity. Cancelling traffic you don't like/want is totally unacceptable.

RealPlayer dinged by software watchdog group

fred base
Thumb Up

Linux alternative


Not only does mplayer work in Linux (and probably Windows), but kmplayer, kplayer and xine all do as well.

Virgin Media trashes patent infringement accusations

fred base


I've not yet found a TV guide that betters Digiguide, see http://www.mydigiguide.com/tv-guide/tv.dll?h=1&a=37&dt=479a2e50

Don't shed any tears for Pandora

fred base
Thumb Down

Carry on missing the point

Paul, apart from you & your music industry peers, Pandora in the UK will be greatly missed. It is an innovative cross platform service that gives people exactly what they want. Its an advertising site, just like radio (wireless or internet). And consumers don't pay for adverts (directly at least).

Until the music industry wakes up (and there's no sign of it yet) and realises that their business model needs to be based on vastly increased sales at vastly decreased prices, their revenues will only reduce.

Pandora is a major tool for increasing people's awareness of music they never knew existed (mainly due to the record industry's iron fisted control of distribution, until now). Try to kill the service shows the industry STILL hasn't learnt from Napster - and that was 8 years ago!

Ofcom urged to clamp down on broadband speed deceit

fred base

OFCOM - day late, dollar short

As usual.

Aren't these the people who were supposed to break BT's monopoly? 18 years ago?!?

I still have no alternative to using BT where I live. Even subscribing to another phone provider still requires me to pay BT's monthly standing charge.

OFCOM - as much use as the ASA. Chocolate teapots the lot of them.

Dutch gov blows open standards raspberry at Microsoft

fred base

Never forget you have a choice.

Alternatives are available:


Darling plays wait and see on HMRC disc loss

fred base

ref Storm in a tea cup

@Ron Hughes - I'm glad you're not responsible for the protection of my personal data. You really don't appear to have any understanding of how serious the loss of the information is. Or how valuable it is.

People's lives and reputations can be ruined through identity theft. If you ended up being arrested under terrorist legislation because of some crime committed by someone calling themselves Ron Hughes, you might think twice before saying "its no big deal".

Some people (including governments and criminals) are rubbing their hands with glee at the easy availability of private information they could only previously dream about.

Eee PC: better with Windows?

fred base

Apart from anything else, the cost is?

You forgot to mention the cost of this exercise.

Presumably £100 is a realistic estimate? (£40 USB DVD reader + £60 XP license [minimum])

Google slightly less open than Interpol

fred base


In the US corporations are given similar rights as individuals (referred to as Corporate personhood). It could be argued that this gives them a responsibility to be held accountable in the way governmental organisations are. Either that or they should lose their priviliged status.

This bizarre law acts against the public interest (see http://www.thomhartmann.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=183&Itemid=38&mosmsg=Thanks%20for%20your%20vote!)

Nevertheless, even if Google was an unethical company, most of the planet would still use it. Yahoo's recent activity in cooperating with Chinese law didn't do it any real harm - there are many other American corporations actively 'collaborating' with the Chinese government to provide them the means to spy on their citizens (to who knows what end) that aren't hauled over the coals like Yahoo was.

P2P file-sharing recognizes no borders

fred base


Sounds like an ISP to name and shame - who is it?

UK gov bans 'terror' suspect from science class

fred base

@Matt Bryant

That must be like the US intelligence that has over 800,000 people on its watchlist! (see http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20071108/cm_thenation/15250079)

Proportionally, the UK would have 20% of that figure. Maybe we need more resources to deal with the threat - hey at that rate it could become a growth industry.

And then there's the paedo watchlist and no doubt there's a Daily Mail informers watchlist... Then there's a good few candidates on this forum...

Aaarrrrg the sky is falling in.

Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

fred base

@Steve Welsh

Yes you are being naive!

When the BBC is eventually sold off, who do you think will get shafted - the people who have funded the BBC for decades or the rights holders?

At that point the lawyers step in and state "the BBC doesn't actually have a contract with the taxpayer..."

Linux desktops grow and grow and grow

fred base


For anyone needing to run windows apps on their linux box and for whom Wine is not a suitable option, virtualisation is the way to go. Have a look at Virtualbox (http://www.virtualbox.org/). It sets up a completely independent area of your disk that can run alternative operating systems such as windows XP.

Or you could set it up on your windows box and run linux from within virtualbox.

I agree that some linux distros are harder than others to maintain, but the ends really do justify the means. http://www.distrowatch.com lists many of the alternatives - there's something for everyone. And you can also try out many of them without affecting your hard disk by booting from a "livecd" version of the distro you're interested in.

EC report warns governments on e-trust

fred base

re: Another day, another wonk

"Where do these people come from?"

Must be a thinky winky wonk tank.

My relationship with (local) govt these days seems to consist entirely of "peasant: do as we tell you/provide what we want" or we will fine you £1000. Pity they don't actually fine the people who fail to comply rather than intimidating everyone else. Trust. Yeah right. And thats in a pseudo-democracy.

And ref the constitution, why would we want one of those when there's a European one just round the corner?...

Datapocalypse Now

fred base

re: When...

Unfortunately, the Nationwide wasn't fined a cool million - their investors were the one who picked up the tab.

What a farce. And the lack of meaningful punishments in the latest data loss fiasco is being played out on the same day as a mother is going to prison for her child playing truant !?!?

Is "complete lack of common sense" a pre-requisite for being a public servant^H^H^H^H^H^H^H lawmaker these days?

Save the BBC - by setting it free

fred base

Family silver

As has been pointed out - the BBC is a real asset to the people who bought it, ie the UK taxpayers.

Isn't selling the family silver what you do when you're desperate?

If we're that much in need of money, how about stopping our contributions to the Common Agricultural Policy and/or to Europe, so we stop the madness of paying people to do nothing, and the fishermen to throw away their catches?

And BTW, the BBC is far more innovative that the other TV companies, whose sole objective is to get you to part with increasing sums of of your income.