* Posts by Adam

21 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Mar 2007

Microsoft: Vista desktop key to life fulfillment

Paris Hilton

@Mark McC

If you work somewhere that locks your desktop down that tight then yes, you will probably end up 'an empty flesh shell chained to a desk' :-(

Paris, a fine example of 'an empty flesh shell'

Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover


Bow Wow Wow

If the IWF (the principal of which I think is a good idea, but they have too much power for what they are) applied their rules consistently, they would have more credibility.

They have got it wrong in this case in so many ways:

1. Nudity IS NOT pornography, and this picture is obviously not meant to be sexually provocative.

2. A quick image search on Google for 'Virgin Killer' shows that plenty of other sites are hosting this image. Are they going to block them all?

3. Bow Wow Wow's page has not been blocked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_wow_wow#Controversy) (the girl in the picture is 15 years old)

4. Nirvana's Nevermind album has not been blocked, including the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevermind)

5. An image search for Nevermind returns far more hits than 'Virgin Killer', many of which are quite high resolution (much higher than the Virgin Killer images). They quite clearly show the baby's genitals and he would appear to have already been circumcised. Genital mutilation is a far more serious example of child abuse than the Virgin Killer album cover.

C'mon IWF - get a grip on what you are doing, pick on real examples of child porn or you risk losing any sense of credibility you may have.

BOFH: The all-clicking, all-whirring Roboboss


@Non-human Boss

You may have Mekon, but I had Mordac, Preventer of IT from Dilbert as a boss.

Thankfully, I've changed bosses, and Mordac now 'Works from home' but he still hinders all IT work with his demonic ITIL Chnage Management process (designed to prevent as much change as possible)

Boris Johnson bans boozing on London transport

Paris Hilton

You pay your money ...

... and you take your choice.

Just like the US got the president it deserved for the last 8 years, London's just got the Mayor it deserves.

If you voted for him, I hope you are happy. Me? I live in the Midlands, so I can sit back an laugh.

Paris - coz she's just as mad as Boris!

BOFH: The secret gentlemen's club


@Nicholas Ettel

Sorry, but I think you'll find even that's not worth it - her Grand Dad's changed his will to stop he getting her grubby little hands on the Hilton Empire. She'll probably always be rich, but not THAT rich!

BT pimped customer web data to advertisers last summer

Black Helicopters

There's little point in ...

... running your own DNS/Proxy etc, as all those requests still go through the ISP's routers on UPD port53/TCP Port 80 respectively and can be redirected/stored or whatever without you knowing anything about it.

Cookies? They'll be of no use for DNS traffic (coz it doesn't use cookies) and is unlikely to be of much use for HTTP traffic. Cookies are tied to a site, and unless you are sending a request to that site (either through your location bar, or via a web page downloading an advert from some third-party site) the cookie won't be sent.

I'm with Virgin at the moment (until I get Sky TV/Broadband installed next week - no more Virgin/Phorm, but probably a whole new set of problems!) and I know they use an 'transparent proxy'. This is a proxy that all HTTP traffic goes through without you having to set a proxy setting on your machine. You can tell it's there because if you create a web page that simply displays all the http headers it receives as part of a request from a browser, it shows the 'X-Forwarded-For:' header with my IP address. This is added by the proxy so the web site knows where the request originally came from. The IP Address the web server thinks the request came from (in this case - no reverse DNS lookup for this IP address) is the IP address of the transparent proxy.

I once asked NTL to turn this off. I was told to call back and speak to a higher-tier engineer who could do this for me. It sounded hopeful, so this is what I did. When I spoke to the engineer though, he proceeded to try to tell me how to remove proxy settings from IE (as if I'd use IE - yuck)! A bizarre conversation followed, while I tried to explain what I actually meant, including asking the engineer to go to the page displaying the headers, and him getting confused because he thought it was some sort of error page. Doesn't say much about NTL engineers. He eventually understood, and then said it couldn't be turned off for individual users.

The prospects of turning this Phorm tracking/logging off for individual users is also unlikely. That would require some major additional processing from some routers, and a system for controlling the config of said routers. As that would be expensive and entirely counter productive to what they are trying to achieve. I think they are more likely to rely on legal arguments to justify what they are doing. Unless they back down from sufficient negative publicity, the only way this is going to end is in court.

Exploding Flash catalogue rocks Dutch e-commerce site

Dead Vulture

Stop complaining

To all of you are are complaining about the page - stop looking at it if you don't like it, and stop making everyone else's lives miserable with your constant moaning.

If you like your web experience dull and boring, try this site: http://lynx.browser.org/ or http://www.dgate.org/~brg/bvtelnet80/.

Lester - will you be writing an article about all the Flash adverts (which aren't even entertaining) on this site?

Facebook checks for Cambridge applicants


@Dom & @Spanner

I think he's referring to this line in the article:

Cambridge's aspiring rival, the perfectly acceptable minor university at Oxford

Polish teen derails tram after hacking train network


@Duncan Watts

Traffic Lights - it's been thought of already. A company we used for penetrations tests had a job to try and crack the IP interface of some traffic lights and see what they could do with them. I don't know what they found though.

Camouflaged code threatens security apps



"If, for example, you consider ONLY files of 4MB in size. There are 2^25 possible such files. A 128-bit hash has 2^7 possible values. Therefore, on average, each hash value can be derived from 2^18 different files."

Really? I don't think so. 2^7 possible values - that's only 128 values. A 128 bit hash has 2^128 possible values. That's over 3.4 X 10^38. As the sun has a mass of approx 1.9 X 10^30. That's 17 million times the mass of the sun in kilos. Or, in file sizes, a single file of 3.4 X 10^14 terrabytes. One file of this size would be needed to generate all the possible combinations.

That's (for current computers) not a space that can brute-forced.



There are 10 types of people in this world:

Those who understand binary,

Those who don't and

Those who start counting at 0

Amnesty calls for internet rights for all


Nice idea, unlikely to happen

While Edward Pearson above has a point, if we don't aim high, we are never going to achieve universal human rights.

However, asking for this is effectively asking all governments to allow complete political freedom. You can't have it just on the internet and not in real politics, the press etc. The Internet is just one method of delivering those freedoms - it doesn't exist in isolation.

Consequently, this initiative is bound to fail. Amnesty should just campaign for general political freedoms (along with everything else it campaigns for) - Internet freedoms will (if it succeeds) just follow on naturally.

Big ISP's maybe able to do a little, but as the China Google charade shows, big 'free' web sites just get blocked in countries where they threaten the status quo. ISP's in the countries trying to oppress people just get closed down. There is only so much they can do.

BOFH: The bastard wants to know


I got the blue pill ....

and it tasted Goooood!

BOFH: You think you know a guy...


Oh dear

I'd better keep that old BBC Model B I have at home well hidden!

NY probes Facebook over pedophile controls


What's the problem?

Pedophile - isn't that someone who has a thing about feet?


Ped - Latin for 'foot'

Philos - Greek for Loving

Now, if we were talking about paedophiles, that would be another matter entirely!

Swiss deploy glass airliner


Obviously works on planes too

It's the secret of invisiblity - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/11/invisible_stilt_dancing_dog/

If you look carefully, you'll also see a dog on stilts and a man with a squirrel in his pocket!

Do you have a licence for that sporran, sir?


National Anthem

Perhaps it's just a way of softening the Scots up a bit, before this verse is reinstated into the National Anthem:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,

May by thy mighty aid,

Victory bring.

May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,

Rebellious Scots to crush,

God save the King.


UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins


Block religious schools, not religious teaching

Andrew Wood - I didn't actually say don't teach religion at all - it has (and still does) affected most peoples lives all around the world, in one way or another whether or not you follow a particular belief.

However, religion should be taught in a balanced way, with just the facts about a religion and its belief system being taught - without the beliefs of a particular religion being taught as fact. Furthermore, no religion should be promoted above another, as does happen in faith schools.

A balance, of course, has to be struck here. It is not possible to teach '*all* possibilities' as suggested somewhere above, which means some religions won't get taught at all. However, to start with the 3 monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism & Islam) and add in the more widely supported of the others - Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism (and perhaps something like Humanism for balance) etc would I think give kids a better understanding of what most people believe, and would hopefully improve tolerance between followers of different beliefs - something sadly missing in today's world.


Some sense from Government

A good, clear decision from the Government.

Now they should take it to the next logical step, and remove religious schools from the state system. State funds should not be used to promote one religion over another. If parents want that, they can pay for it themselves in a private school.

Google wants to really get to know you


RE: Can't you just lie?

Can you lie all the time when you are searching? Wouldn't that mean searching for stuff you are not interested in? If you are ill, searching for information on a different disease?

Not all data is asked for explicitly through a nice form where you can choose what you put. After a while, if you use Gmail, use a personalised Google search page and so on, they will collect lots of valid information about you and, depending on how clever they are, work out who you really are, whatever you put when you sign up.

Net does its part to bring down American Idol


American Idol and American President

"Trust me, the "winner" is determined long before the series goes on the air."

"Conclusion: Yanks are useless at sticking up for themselves."

We know this already - twice they've allowed George Dubbya to be appointed President, and have just sat back and accepted it.

Seems like the "American Idol" and "American President" voting systems have much more in common than just the poor quality of the candidates!

French succumb to Franglais


What are they complaining about?

English has, over the years, absorbed thousands and thousands of loan words from other languages - especially French.

In England, French was the language of government and royalty for 300 years following William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066 until Henry IV had himself crowned in English and his son Henry V decided that all his royal correspondence should be in English.

Since then English has absorbed Latin (especially after the bible was officially translated into English by King James) and loan words from a host of other languages including Indian, native American, US English, native Australian and Aussie English, Arabic and more.

Has English suffered from this onslaught? No - its ability to adapt is one of the prime reason for its success. Compare it to German - the language that started English when the Angles, Saxons & Jutes invaded after the Romans left. German is a very fixed language and, partly as a consequence, has very little use outside of Germany and its immediate neighbours.

If the French want their language to thrive and be taken seriously as an international language, they should let go a bit, and let the language develop naturally, instead of trying to control its direction.