* Posts by scott

65 posts • joined 17 Dec 2007


You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID

Thumb Down

Ban everything!

Surely it makes sense to ban alcohol, tobacco, driving, and anything that could be considered vaguely dangerous (including a paper-round) to those over 65?

Lets stop all this scope-creep, and make the age of adult responsibility the same as the age of retirement. Basically, you get your "adult" card along with your bus-pass.

I am *so* glad I left the UK a few years ago - the place is a joke.

What's next for Microsoft's Flight Sim partners?


Ya boo

I'm a student PPL pilot. One of the reasons I never gave up my dream (25 years) was Flight Sim.

Sure, there were much more fun titles out there (like F22ADF, and more recently IL2) - but FS8,9 and X kept that flame alive. The "deluxe" edition books with FS8 and FS9 explained principles of flight pretty well, and the interactive lessons are easier to follow than the standard textbooks. Practising instrument navigation is pretty much as real as it gets.

I doubt anyone else but MS would have went to the trouble of including better and better functionality. Hi end professional sims used to cost a fortune, and had a 10th of the functionality of Flight Sim. Sure, you can't do part of yourFAA certification on FSX (you can with X-Plane and suitable hardware) - but Flight Sim *did* consistently raise the bar for others.

FSX had things missing, but I'm sure the next release would have addressed a number of them (like realistic ATC).

Oh, and like many others - the main reason I ran Windows at home was for Flight Sim.Hey ho!

Scotland's porn laws: Can we talk about this like grown-ups?


Scotland is a different country


"Last I looked, Scotland was part of the UK, France was not....

Unless of course you still belive you are your own little country, in your own little world..."

I don't live in Scotland, but they do have their own legal system - have had for a *very long time*.

And if you look at Wikipedia (or constitutional documents starting from the Act of Union) you'll see references to things like this: "The United Kingdom is a unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales."

Note the word "countries". The even have, like the French (or Welsh) a different language in some parts of their country.

If it was just one country with one set of laws - then places like Gretna wouldn't be so famous today. For over 200 years you had English couples eloping to Scotland (a different country with different laws) to get married.

Why oh why oh why is so difficult for some (almost always English) to stop peddling the myth that the UK is one country? It's 1 Kingdom (or unitary State) made up of 4 countries. Voila, how hard is that?

Microsoft gives XP another four months to live


Thankyou MS

I was part of the Vista rollout team for one of the world's largest corporations - the small team whose job it was to evaluate and implement the thing. We had some of Redmond's finest in our midst, and there are features in Vista that are appealing to large corporates.

However, at home I thought I'd give it a bash - as a genuine bog standard user.

After 1 month (of a trial Ultimate version), I decided to move almost all my home desktop operations to my neglected Mac Mini. For the cost of one Ultimate license - I had the hardware *and* OS. That was 2 years ago, not looked back since! I do use XP on a laptop for some things - but my main desktop is an almost silent 4 yr old itty bitty white box with PowerPC technology, 512MB RAM and does a great job.

So, well done Redmond - Vista"switched" me to Mac!

NASA developing brain-monitor hats for airline pilots


Oh come on, the answer is simple! Otto!!


Honda whips out fuel-cell sci-fi style sportster


Is that the socket at the back?

It certainly looks like a massive 2-pin setup!

Home Office to hand out more Tasers to police

Thumb Down


Some models of tazer already have the video recording feature.

The issue is this:

Plod pulls someone over for xyz. Citizen\Subject hasn't *actually* done anything wrong - but plod A: doesn't like having his "authirteeeh" questioned and B: is a pr1ck just looking for an excuse to zapp mouthy civil liberty types. Plod starts making unreasonable demands, screaming and shouting, maybe even some physical pushing and shoving - citizen\subject gets caught up in the emotions and shouts back.

Plod has his queue.He pulls tazer out. *video starts*. Video captures angry citizen\subject then *zapp*, he's on the ground. According to his report and video evidence, the "bad guy" had it coming.

Not exactly the situation above, but close:


Just having video in the tazer gives massive benefit of the doubt to cops. Better they have *always on* plodcams (as I said earlier).

Black Helicopters

I know I'm a bore, but

Every plod, plastic plod and "civil enforcement" 3rd removed plod-lite should have "always on" plodcams - with the data retained by an independent civil liberties office.

It's the only way to ensure that the growing army of armed and trigger (or even fine) happy "officials" can be held to account when (not if) they decide to frazzle some law abiding subject going about their business but unfortunate enough to know their rights.

I have friends who are cops, and my father was one (military and civil) for over 40 years. They have a hard job, and taking down a psychotic meth-head with a syringe full of aids infected blood is never going to be a pretty sight; at least with a tazer chances are all concerned will come out less injured.

It's the f*ckwit Dirty Harry wannabe power-drunk micro phallus'd imbeciles who still end up in uniform who frighten me. The ones who will undoubtedly abuse the device, just as they've been abused in the US and Canada.

Mouthy student breaking no laws, but annoying plod when he'd rather be in the staff canteen? F*ck him, zapp.

Disoriented individual with mental health issues? F*ck him, zapp.

Heckler at Labour Party conference?? "Hey dude, you don't need to hgnnnnaaargh!!!"

Protesting about a new coal power station\nuke\arms fair etc? Ooh, zappity zapp zap all round (after some "agent provocateur" action of course).

What I've seen on YouTube re: tazer often appears to be lazy or intellectually challenged cops resorting to the use of "human cattle prods" to ensure compliance when they neither had the right or necessity to use it.

If they hadn't had the tazer, would they have used a firearm? No.

Nightstick\baton\CS Spray? Usually not - as often the tazer was used merely to shut someone up or get them to "comply" rather than tackle a clearly violent individual. I remember the video of the guy pulled over for speeding. He was shot in the back, inches from a busy road, for not "complying instantly" with a pr1ck of a cop's aggressive and unreasonable demands. The only advantage has been in the US\Canada - some of these abuses *have* been recorded and *have* ended up on YouTube.

Britain already has 24/7 State surveillance. Time that the "on duty" actions of Britain's "officers of the law" were monitored in full as well. If they say they need human cattle prods, then lets have the video evidence - and that evidence held independently and available under FOI.

Scots vote out ID cards

Thumb Down

Aye, right

Don't think the Scots Parliament is some last bastion of libertarian enlightenment.

Last I heard, they were pushing ahead with a ban on under-21s buying bevvie in off-licenses and supermarkets.

As much as I'd love otherwise, my mother country is run mostly by petty low talent chancers. Wee Eck is a smart cookie for sure, but he's leagues above the vast majority of retarded jam-hunters.

BTW - on a personal note, I wrote to John Reid as my local MP when he was "the man". I objected to ID cards being tied to passport renewal. His reply shocked me. He said a passport was not a right, but a privilege - and as the Govt promised ID cards in their manifesto they could do what they wanted. Bit like the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty\EU Constitution manifesto promise...

Mobile shields man from death bullet


alternate history!

"Bloody hell Hardy - if it wasn't for my Communicator, I'd be a gonner!"

"Dear Lord, thanks for recommending I keep my Blackberry in that over-the-shoulder poser-phone holder. Yours, Richard I".

"And this just in from Dallas, Texas. President John F Kennedy escaped with minor bruising and a busted Thuraya satphone after what appears to have been an assassination attempt. A spokesman for the President claims Mr Kennedy is furious, as it's a nightmare trying to replacement handsets."

British pilots ramp up opposition to ID cards

Black Helicopters

Flight crews are sick to the back teeth

I know a few commercial pilots, and reading the appropriate forums it's easy to see that *now* is not the time to p1ss pilots off with additional "security".

They already have to put up with British airport security banning them from taking contact lens cleaner on board, having their pen refills binned for being "offensive weapons" - when there's a fire axe in the cockpit, not allowed to take on their own food and drink etc.

Which is ironic when all your typical pilot needs to crash a plane is his two hands, Newton, and his co-pilot to go to the toilet.

French record labels sue, um, SourceForge

Paris Hilton


France is the country that has (had?) a law which *forces* radio stations to play French music. To "protect" their Gallic culture, they are obliged to broadcast a certain percentage of indigenous music.You'd think they'd be begging people to listen to the stuff for free, not sue them!

p.s - the only french artiste I like is Olivia Ruiz (got the CDs). Nolwenn was *hot*, but her post-Star Ac stuff has been pants.

Paris, cos being inside that version would be infinitely more fun than Département 45.

Music royalties group pooh-poohs Belgian P2P appeal reports


Scr3w them

Actually - in Belgium they want to make copyright infringement a criminal offence, including trying to circumvent paying the AUVIBEL levy on recordable media. If they had their way they'd genuinely have Customs set up checkpoints at the border and search cars to see if you were trying to smuggle blank CDs into the country.

They already regularly get the cops to march in their dozens into computer fayres to bust importers who don't charge the levy (remember - the levy is paid to same cartel who've been caught lying in court, breaking EU competition law, support the lifestyle of drug addled homophobes etc).

Police collar kid for Wi-Fi pinching

Paris Hilton

Poor lad

Teenage lad - laptop of his own. Oh, I wouldn't want that laptop sent to forensics if I was him....

...and I assume the forensics bods will be wearing latex gloves...

Paris, cos she's almost definitely in the lad's IE cache....

Government negotiating on tax credit refund

Paris Hilton

OCG? Come on....

I'm knee deep studying for the Prince2 exam at the moment. The OGC created Prince2, and it's the darling child of Project Management across Europe. I.e - try getting a senior IT architect job without at least the Foundation exam.

Why oh why oh why - if it's such a good method, that *every* British Govt IT project is an abysmal disaster? And why can't the Govt ever see that EDS etc just bend them over and give it to them rough screaming "whose ya Daddy".

Paris, cos even she knows when she's being taken for a cheap ride.

No2ID shakes fist at plod print scanner plan


mixed emotions

If this was used intelligently - then I can see the benefit. Unfortunately British cops have had their intelligence sacrificed on the great public alters of Political Correctness, League Tables and Performance Reports.

Before anyone shoots me down (I left my table leg and Oyster card at home) - there used to be a time where your average beat bobby knew exactly who the 8 or 10 little scumbags in his area were, and generally left everyone else alone unless they were doing something stupid. Even if you were caught for a High Crime, such as missing the bin with 1 errant chip, he'd probably just ask you to pick it up. No arrest, no DNA taken, no £100 fine and criminal record for attempting to defend yourself in court (e.g "the street lamp hasn't worked for 2 months - I didn't see I'd missed the bin").

Anyway - I'd be for these scanners if the cops *did* use such a device to take back control of the streets from "untouchable" little scumbags who know fine well it's too much effort for the cops to arrest them, take them down the nick etc to confirm their identity.

Alas - I suspect the "Papers, Citizen" poster has got the right end of the stick.

Which is why I'll say it again - every cop, plastic plod, for-profit "enforcement" muppet should have "always-on" copper-cams when they're on duty. End of every day - the whole lot is downloaded into a big database, and this DB is put under the custody of an independent civil liberties group. Citizen A (actually, it would be Subject A in the UK) complains about rozzer1 being a prick and tazing her for legitimately questioning why she was being detained/forced to give fingerprints unreasonably - then at least the conversations would be recorded, and be made available to SubjectA on a FoI request. Subject A could then sue Rozzer1 for harassment, unlawful detention, assault etc.

Of course, the bad cops out there would squeal like pigs (er...) about their "civil liberties" - but f*ck em. We are all monitored 24/7 now. Emails/Comms, ANPR, Oyster, CCTV,financial transactions blah blah. It's about re-balancing the equation.

I know it will never happen, but it's nice to dream :)

p.s - I'd also want the gits at British airport security on camera as well. Try being a lying obnoxious little Hitler if Customer A could complain and have the interaction reviewed independently when he comes back! Especially the cow who threatened to have me arrested "because she could".

Mine's the one with the serious chip on the shoulder ;)

Man threatens lawsuit after negative eBay feedback


At least the seller *can* sue...

Right - can the "sellers are disadvantaged" muppets please explain to me how it would even have been possible for a buyer to sue a seller for *anything*??

I tried - and failed.

eBay and PayPal refused to give me the name and address of a seller who hadn't delivered my goods after 3 months, refused to give me a refund and refused every attempt at contact. All I wanted was the seller's details so I - the one who had forked out money and had no goods - could raise a Small Claims Court action through the English courts (where the buyer resided).

The seller always has the full contact details of the buyer. The buyer has to rely of eBay and Paypal if there's a problem. I fell victim to their 45/60 day "hand washing" cutoff. I'd tried to be patient with the seller - and then I discovered how shit eBay and Paypal really are at the point where it was "too late". Eh? Sending something even within Western Europe can take 1 month if something goes wrong with the post - add a few days for investigation either side, and voila - you're over the 45 day cutoff.

I threatened eBay and Paypal with criminal action, they hid behind the fact that the transactions actually happen in Luxembourg. It took me about 3 weeks even to get that out of the fuckers. All throughout they kept saying "it's against our policy to hand out seller's details" and "keep communicating with seller to try and reach an amicable settlement".

Err...how exactly *do* you reach a settlement with a party who refuse to acknowledge your ebay/emails, and when ebay/email is the only means of communication?

After 4 months, and completely by surprise, I eventually got my goods. However, as the transaction was long "closed", I couldn't even *leave* a negative feedback. I probably wasted about 30 hours of my life chasing the seller, eBay and PayPal.

So - dear eBay sellers - whilst you might think you're hard done by, at least you *can* sue the buyer.

Flanders demands its own top-level domain



If the do allow it, the Brussels should get .bru

First dibs on irn.bru

BTW, the article is wrong - 50% of Flemish don't want independence. It's about 10%.

Mine's is the one with a bottle of Duvel in it.

Government tied in knots by bondage protest

Black Helicopters

Sorry Adrian - I'm still confused

You said Wednesday 22nd October 2008 12:24 GMT

Boxing and martial arts doesn't involve sex (mostly).

Here's the thing. Surely a lot of BDSM doesn't involve sex either.

Pulling hair, slapping, choking, impact to the genital area - that could either be cage fighting, or S&M.

My question is - making/possessing video of cage fighting (MMA style) it is legal. The same type of activity (infact - much less violent) , but call it S&M is to become illegal?? All because the S&M has sexual connotations?

So, if someone makes a video of himself and his wife dressed in bondage gear, and engage in some mutual slap n tickle - but *don't* have sex on tape, then it's OK?

You must forgive me, I left the UK a number of years ago - so what might be obvious to those still there isn't to an expat like me. I try to keep up with the news, but this one has me stumped.

Black Helicopters

I am seriously confused

I've vaguely followed this on El Reg. One thing that baffles me is this:

"There was no intention to attack conduct, so long as it was legal and did not cause harm to the individuals participating in it."

I do remember reading somewhere else that it is illegal to do harm, even if it's consenting. Where the f*ck does that leave boxing and all but the fluffiest of martial arts??

Those giving and receiving the damage in boxing and martial arts are consenting. Is it the fact they aren't perceived to be getting sexual gratification out of it mean it's OK - but if it was BDSM it would be illegal?

Or is it purely the making of pictures and video of said violence (and jacking off to it) that's illegal?

Does watching a rerun of the Lewis/Tyson fight and getting aroused now break the law?? (Not that it does for me - but I'm sure there are those out there who would; it's a big world etc..).

Surely we're into the "thought crime" realm yet again?

Das überdatabase: Inside Wacky Jacqui's motherbrain


@By The Other Steve

So,all fine and well. GCHQ can tackle PGPd and steg'd comms. My analysis says they wouldn't have a chance if a small percentage of all comms were crypto'd. They just don't have the power (captain) - otherwise they'd have had the computational power to have solved the whole stable fusion power conundrum; or at least the current financial crisis.

Even if they did - how *does* it get around the problem of doing your sensitive comms via neighbourhood cracked wifi?? Can't profile input that's not traceable to you ,my friend.


They're at it again today!!

"Link between child porn and Muslim terrorists discovered in police raids

Paedophile websites are being used to pass information between terrorists"

Today's Times -


So my comment earlier about steg pictures - they're rolling it out today.

Want to lay bets that tomorrow's shocker is about "network security audit tools used by Terrrists" - and a call to execute anyone who even thinks about downloading a packet sniffer.

X-ray glasses, as it appears mine have been upgraded with "see into the future" functionality

Black Helicopters

They don't like it up em!

How do they plan to filter out MPs comms?

Remember that not too long ago one of them went apeshit and it was headline news as he was accidentally recorded in jail speaking to a convicted terrorist (sorry, "constituent").

Questions in Parliament, outrage, Wilson doctrine blah blah.

The plods involved most certainly felt the wrath of Kahn (member for Tooting), as did the rest of the country in listening to the vertigo inducing hypocrisy of modern politicians.

They - and only they - have the *right* to private communications. They rest of us, well - if we have nothing to hide etc.

Well, fuck them - and the EU too. I have a web spider script which I'll leave on 24/7. It won't take me long to find IRC and Usenet equivalents. I'll set up a few skype accounts and route them through anonymous proxies. Let them try and find out my *real* comms in that lot. And I'd like to see them drop trojans on linux live boxes.

Lets face facts here. If Al Terrrist wants to communicate, he will. He can send 1000 snailmail adverts for his camel cleaning service, and for one of them - the text means something a bit different.

Or, the old steganography and web picture service.

Or, stegged spam via bots.

Or bounced via various anonymous proxies


Lets face it. Your average 14 yr old can hack his neighbours wifi (if it's even secured).

Drive-by connections are the perfect "one hit" input channel.

There are literally millions of blogs, chatrooms, usenet groups where another drive-by recipient can pick messages up. Add the concept of one-time pads to this. Voila, perfectly anonymous *technical* comms. The slip-up will always be the human tho.

BTW, I wonder how many functioning helicopters, hercules, IED-proof vehicles 12bn would buy?? Or how about basic things like body armour and housing that wasn't condemned as unfit for human habitation for those *really* out there fighting??

MoD admits data loss bigger than thought


Who will doing 20 years for this??

I just commented on the "Home Secretary rejects McKinnon anti-extradition plea", referring to exactly this scenario.

A guy can be threatened with spending most of his life in prison for removing *no* sensitive military data - but no EDS executive will *ever* get prison time for losing gigabytes of sensitive military data.

The amount of "damage" McKinnon did was no more than what Microsoft do every 2nd Tuesday of the month, or when some 1st level tech installs SQL /IIS without patching and hardening.

The servers McKinnon browsed were unsecured and unencrypted. The EDS data should have been encrypted, and shouldn't have been put onto removable storage.

Seems to me like the EDS data loss is substantially more.

Why isn't the British Govt raising extradition warrants against the executives of EDS or HP?? Due to their employees' criminal incompetence, the lives of thousands of active or former military personnel are in danger.

Or, will they wait for some IRA/Balkan nutjob/Al Kiddie to knock off a few retired generals *before* deciding to not press charges and not extradite anyone??

Jacqui Smith resurrects 42-days after Lords rejection


42 days later

Danny Boyle could have a field day with this one.

Our hero - Jacqui - is the sole survivor in Westminster. Picture the scene. She's walking across Westminster bridge, the tatters of her bill blowing in the wind. She's shaking her head woefully. "Oh, if only they'd listened to me"

From over the horizon - she sees a mass of dark bodies, although they seem eerily to move as one. Everyone except her have turned into flesh eating, bearded terrrists! Aaaargh - run for your life, Jacqui! Run for your life!!!

She tries taking refuge in the Commons. No good, they've breeched the security by taking jobs as cleaners. Up to the Lords she goes. The House is filled with slow moving pseudo corpses, drooling with their hands outstretched.

"Phew, they haven't got up here. The old dears are still the same as ever".

Alas, Jacqui fails to notice that in any great zombie movie, the safest place is...in the pub.

Jaqcui gets ripped apart by the fogeys. Fade out, The End

Roll credits.

Home Secretary rejects McKinnon anti-extradition plea


Damage Multiplier

It does annoy me immensely that Govts and companies can lose much more sensitive data on a weekly basis, and nobody gets even remotely threatened with "being fried" or banged up for 20 years.

During our current "Times of War" (tm Bush Cheney Corp), surely leaving in the pub an unencrypted hard disk with the personal details of every serving and retired British serviceman is an act of gross misconduct which should be construed as giving aid to the enemy? You don't need much of an imagination to know what kidnapping/assassinating a gaggle of former generals & their families would do for the enemy's cause...

If during WWII or Cold War, a War Ministry official had "accidentally" left a file with highly sensitive names and addresses on it; there would a good chance he'd either be swinging from the gallows - or at least doing life. Yet now, data losses on a massive scale hardly even merit 2 column inches buried near the TV section of the newspapers.

Oh, and lets not bother mentioning the billions of physical dollars (as well as tons of military hardware) that have fallen into the hands of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan due to sheer negligence and staggering incompetence of "Allied" personnel or their lackey contractors. Nobody is "being fried" or doing 20 in the pokey for that. Now, surely one would imagine that handing "terrrists" the monetary or physical means to substantially enhance their offensive capabilities would be considered more serious than a UFO geek taking a virtual wander around unsecured servers?? Do we see those responsible being locked up by the truckload??

So, to those obviously braindead and brainwashed "he's guilty - send him to jail" brigade; who more rightly deserves extradition/long jail sentences?? The hacker who didn't remove a byte of sensitive data and only did as much "damage" as Patch Tuesday causes? Or the civil/military personnel who lose gigabytes on a regular basis?

If that's too close to call for you, don't you think those who've given billions of hard currency and tons of hardware to known insurgents should be in line to go to jail *before* the guy who didn't remove a byte of sensitive data?? Or, taking the argument wider - how about raising extradition warrants on the members of a certain arab royal family who have been caught numerous times funding terrorist organisations and are known to visit the UK/Europe on shopping trips??

"You can take a man to the pool of knowledge, but you can't make him think".

It's cases like this that make me realise the planet really is controlled by idiots and for idiots.

Kentucky commandeers world's most popular gambling sites


Goodo, I'll be applying for the takedown of all Rep. websites!

If a US Judge can steal the property of foreign companies - I want to steal the property of the US Republican party. I *demand* all Rep. party websites are handed over to me *now* !!!!

It's mostly their members who have caused the Credit Crunch - and in doing so me losing my job in a bank a couple of months ago. I've suffered real and significant losses. I am morally *outraged*. Can I have those websites *already*??!!

Their party members were the architects and cheer-leaders of the Iraq war - now that *is* about invading someone's home.

On second thoughts, maybe the Iraqis should get control of the Rep websites....

...although I guess the Saudis and Chinese might object, since they already materially own most of America.

*BTW, what is the latest on the EU complaint to the WTO about all this??

Top Jock cop calls for universal DNA database


Anyone seen Dexter?

Of course, Plod *always* has an excuse for leaving their DNA at the scene of a crime.Anyone seen Dexter??

I saw that in SassenachLand the PlodAssociation refuse to allow their members DNA to be profiled/handed over to private companies for 'research purposes', but it's OK for everyone else's to be.

I wonder if the Scottish Federation feels the same way?? I guess so.

Britain really has turned into a 'them v us' Authoritarian State. Sure, it doesn't have the jackboots - but in some ways that makes it worse. Glad I left a few years ago.

BTW - a retired Scots cop told me all the senior cops are now known as "Eternal Flames"; i.e like the flames you see at war memorials...as in 'never been out'.

So even the rank and file think their top bosses are useless politicians!

Think tank slams paedophile paranoia culture


Britain is no longer a society - just a place where people live

I left the UK in 2001. I can't see myself living here ever again, unless it's in a remote part of Scotland (although I'd make sure I didn't take photos of the sheep incase I was reported for being a flossiephile).

@Mike Crawshaw - I learned martial arts at 14; I went through a rough patch at that age getting mugged/beaten up every other week. I was an easy target, small, very skinny etc. Martial arts not only taught me how to defend myself - but gave me a lot of self-confidence. I stopped being a victim mostly cos I stopped thinking and acting like a victim. I still had a few scraps, but at least I gave a good account of myself.

I even went onto become an instructor. I was always reluctant to teach anyone under 12, but did on occasion. Not because of the thought of being branded a kiddie-fiddler (their mums were usually in the class as well), but because they weren't mature enough for the rather demanding stuff I taught.

Now, I wouldn't teach anyone under 16. No way. Which is a real shame, but that's the way it is now.

Britain really is so morally clueless it's on the whole just become a place to live, not a society anymore.I remember the 70s. My early years were spent on a Council housing estate. People genuinely looked out for each other. There was a strong sense of "community", with the Police and the local "council" seen as forces for good . When kids got up to mischief, the local battle-axes would be round to their mothers' doors with the kids by the scruff of their necks. The kids would then be frog-marched back to the scene of the crime (i.e kicking stones onto the path or other high crime) and didn't leave until things were back in order.

Now, the same council estate looks like a prison. The 60s hippy-styled "no gates/fences/we're all equal neighbours" theme is gone. 8 ft spikey-topped fences surround the estate. CCTV cameras on 20ft baffled poles all over the place. I know some retired cops - and they lay the blame squarely on the social workers of the late 70s and 80s, who basically taught 2 generations of fuckwits they had "rights" to this,that and the other - and actively encouraged the concept they had no "responsibilities" to go along with those "rights". Maybe the destruction of all the local heavy industries caused it. Personally, I reckon it was all the wartime battle-axes dying off. Even the cops wouldn't go near a granny on a rampage with a broom back then!

Gov claims 'password protection' OK for sensitive docs


Dumb terminals?

Since that shower of incompetents have proven time and time again they can't be trusted with anything more technical than a digital watch - take all the PCs from them and give them Thin Clients. The ones which *don't* have USB or any other way to get data off of them.

I'll happily do their Citrix rollout for ooohh - 250 million??

Brown pledges annual commons debate on surveillance



"The prime minister argued that terrorism was the “most dramatic new threat” facing the UK in the 21st century, with organized crime, drug trafficking and illegal immigration all close behind."

So, 650 fuel truckers bringing the country to a near standstill isn't a threat then??

Glad to know that climate change, energy security, the massive increase in commodity prices/Inflation/recession are all knocked way down the list.

Phew, I was getting worried.

Mines is the one that's gone up in price 25% in the past 6 months, but as inflation is only 3% I'm all right....

Foldable sports plane gives Everyman a chance at crashing


Stop, I'm laughing so hard it hurts!

Reading IT geeks comment on something the have absolutely no clue about - priceless! It's like watching an accountant tell an AD admin how FSMO/PDC emulators works. I'm glad some fellow wingnuts came along a bit later :)

Lets see:

Kit flying machines which can go on the water - nothing new, move along..

Retractable gear in this weight class - done already.Multiple times.

Retractable gear on an amphibian in this weight class - http://www.sea-plane.com (they already fly these things in the Bahamas, and it costs about 50k USD)

Folding wings in this class - done already. Try typing "kit plane folding wings" into google - it's not difficult....

Nowhere to fly in the UK? Tosh - you can get instruction and fly in Scotland.

My personal favourite origami plastic fantastic is the Silence Aircraft "Twister". A German kitplane modelled on the Spitfire (oh, the irony...). Fast for it's class, retractable gear, looks great and has detachable wings and trolly system that makes the wings mountable with only one person (just as well, since it's only got 1 seat..). Ballistic Recovery System in case things do wrong of course. Some nice piccies and technical details:


Thing is, the "3 axis ultralight" thing that the US are now calling LSA has been led mostly by European designers and manufacturers for years. I'm not knocking my American cousins - with them now getting into the market (and the weakness of the dollar) things are looking good for "fun" aviation!

UK to outlaw cartoons of child sexual abuse


Compulsory competence tests required

I passionately believe that politicians should have to sit regular competency tests.

Just about every area of modern life is regulated. If you as an employer let an untrained employee loose with a bit of heavy machinery - you'd get your @rse sued off and potentially go to prison.

Your local kebab shop employee has to prove their competency more than your local MP.

I remember a wisened old cop saying in the old days they had the "fresher rule". Would an arrest get past a 1st law student? If so, then there was the chance the arrest could lead to conviction.

However, just because you put on a red or blue rosetta, and kiss the right fat @rses qualifies you to propse in laws so badly thought out that a bunch of nerds on a website can blow holes in it?? If they're so bad at proposing new laws - they're unfit to be anywhere near the statute books.

I could argue the downsides of a meritocracy - but right now the upside in having administrators who are even moderately intellectually competent outweighs anything I can think of...

Viacom suit is Net killer, Google claims


Pointless in the extreme

Thunk, thunk, thunk. My heads beats wearily against the proverbial monitor.

No offence to the Reg and Out-Law, but the pointlessness of the whole argument depresses me.

Firstly, it’s Merikan v Merikan. We in Europe are legendary for having no say in what Merikans decide in copyright law. In fact, we have highly paid European Commissioners who constantly turn a blind eye to the blatant price disparity between here and Merika.

Secondly, it’s Judas v Judas. They’re both guilty of exploitation. The media groups are guilty of exploiting the “free” internet as much as the likes of Google are. Shove your so-called viral marketing up your arse Viacom. Take all *your* content off the internet if you’re so concerned. See whose sitting pretty then.

Thirdly, these arguments are so stratospheric as to be pointless. So what if Viacom or Google wins. It changes nothing for the likes of us. It’s not like you can go onto YouTube and download an entire movie. “Internet changing” things have already happened with the closure of Napster, DirectConnect and other P2P/distributed (illegal) content. We still have the web. People who insist on not paying still find a way. I’d argue technology has again been bent out of shape to protect an unhealthy oligopoly – but they do have a government that’s more than happy to bomb and assassinate at the drop of a hat to protect their interest so…who am I to argue?

Garage sale genius juices software-hawking eBayers

Gates Horns

EULAs are fluff

I'm an application packager/repackager, and worked for some of the biggest corporations on the planet.

As a repackager I'll take an original vendor's setup and take bits out, put bits in (including serial numbers), change bits etc. I'll take something that was designed for XP and stick it on Server2003/Citrix etc.

Every EULA I've looked at explicitly says that such b*ggering around with their shiny app is PROHIBITED.

Even worse, I have multiple copies of very expensive software all over the place. I'll maybe have multiple VMs on the go, and copies of different packages in dev,test and prod environments.

Of course, my employers are legally obliged to make sure they are licensed correctly. Reality is, under the letter of the law - every large enterprise on the planet is breaking copyright law.

Undercover teachers to track gang members online


"Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

A cynic would suggest that this is to acclimatise the young to the 24/7 prying of the State in their private lives.

Of course, since your average 14yr old is infinitely more tech-savy than his teachers - I can envisage fun things like booby-trapped links like "me and da gang scoring some" or "Miss Simmons from English dept getting off with Mr Thomson in the boys changing room", which take the unsuspecting Teech to a rotten.com or worse...

I keep thinking "one day soon, this Authoritarian destruction of the right to privacy must end". Of course, it's just getting worse and worse.

Anyone for a rendition of a certain Pink Floyd song???

UK.gov plans central database for all your communications

Black Helicopters

We're all crims

It's about crime *and* terrorism, but the sheeple are led to concentrate on the terrorism thing. To me it's about crime. Drug barons sure, but they already have the powers and infrastructure in place to go after "big" criminals. This must be something with a much wider net, aimed at the general population. Tax maybe? Slightly overstuffed bins, disability badges the wrong way round or other high crimes?

They say it won’t hold the comms content – but that’s like saying a big company’s online telephone book doesn’t hold content. Of course, having the name, location etc make wonderful keys for an index….

So, they decide I might be an environmental criminal, like leaving the metal lid on a glass jar in the glass recycling bin . They crack open my comms as they think they’re onto Mr Big.

They will discover from my email I must be a massive consumer of "hot chick pr0n, v1agra and fake Rolex" – fair cop there.

What I'm worried about is they'll genuinely believe I'm the sole heir to a fortune (ONE MILLION NINE HUNDRED and THIRTY TWO DOLLARS!!); and assign spies to follow me around, waiting for me to meet with that kind gentleman from Nigeria with slightly dodgy English to finalise the transaction, and grab the inheritance tax I’m obviously avoiding.

Retailers risk libel nightmare over 'no-work' database


Good for the serf, good for the pigopolists

Good for the serf, good for the pigopolists – that’s what I say. As I’ve said about similar things (like local f*cktard council workers having the ability to spy on us), it’s the asymmetry that’s the problem.

Other’s have mentioned it already – but a national DB with all companies and associated managers who’ve ever been accused of doing something dodgy should be set up.

My personal bugbears are:

Theft of employees time. Unpaid overtime nets UK companies *billions* per year. It’s theft, even if the employee signed his rights away.

Breach of contract. Dropping heavy hints or actually promising things that don’t materialise due to “new management” or “changes in the market” or whatever.

Underpaying. Getting employees at a lower pay rate to take on responsibilities of a higher scale in non-emergency situations. Classics being taking on management tasks whilst the boss is on hols (and getting a vague “this is good for your visibility” reward instead of 2 weeks of a pay rise to management levels).

Non-disclosure. Knowing in advance that there is a high percentage chance your job will be outsourced/rationalised, and not notifying you that it’s in the pipeline – hence stealing your opportunity of arranging your life accordingly (e.g maybe not buying that car as in 6 months time you’ll be on the dole for example.Yes, happened to me).

How ComScore can track your mouse clicks


Bureaucrats , How to Annoy Them - redux

Here’s an idea – why not “get even” in a similar way to the antics of the early 80s book “Bureaucrats , How to Annoy Them”? I envisage thousands of civil liberty geeks setting this cr@p up on a clean and zoned VM, with a bot which *only* does annoying things like once per hour going to their webpage and reading the T’s and C’s, clicks on banner ads that costs their major customers money, and types things like “STOP SPYING ON ME YOU FREAKS!!!”. The idea would be to skew their data enough to have your “profile” flagged as useless, or at least annoying enough it wastes a lot of storage on their side…

Then of course people with a bit of spare cash could once per month demand FOI information from them, screenshot per screenshot and mouseclick by mouseclick.

India and Belgium decry Chinese cyber attacks



Maybe the Chinese spent 10 months *looking* for the Belgian Government, along with *everyone else*. Or, they’ve gotten confused by *which* Government; last time I counted I’m paying for 5 of them (well, 6 whilst I was subsidising the old lot in caretaker mode at the same time paying for the “in waiting” lot)

And to answer Danny; the 3 communities get on a lot better than the media portrays. The bollox you read last year was pure politicking by the right-wing Flemish separatists and predictable over-reaction by the far-left. A bit like the Daily Mail claiming all the Scots want to declare independence etc; a little bit of loaded propaganda can go a long way…

Mine's is the one with the bottle of Leffe

No-fly list grounds US Air Marshals

Black Helicopters

Nothing new here, move along, move along...

Nothing new here, move along, move along...

About 15 yrs ago I had a very early wakeup call by two of Strathclyde Police finest. They asked if the address was correct (kinda obvious, since they were in front of my door), then my surname – I responded ‘twas correct also. They said they had a warrant for my arrest and would I mind accompanying them to the local plodshop.

Certainly worked better than a bowl of Crunch Nut Cornflakes and a hot shower to clear the hangover that one…

Must have been in the more civilised time when a suspect still had “rights”. I kindly asked to see the warrant, and voila – twas someone else’s first name (and different DOB). Given I have the most common surname around, and in student flats there’s a pretty large turnover – it wasn’t a statistical miracle. However, no tazers, handcuffs, firearms or dragging off in PJs to sit in a cell for 12 hours before being released sans apology/lift back home were required. They were quite polite and apologetic, although I think they did have a bit of a giggle scaring the cr@p out of a hapless hung-over student.

OK – maybe the difference is back then they only had the national plod DB to correct, and local council spies didn’t have access….

Men could have kids with chimpanzees - gov must act


Spank the Monkey

As anyone with an understanding of Scots history will know, all the female chimps were Cleared from the Highlands by that b@stard General Wade in the early 18th Century. Like all those forcibly expatriated, some ended up in Oz (hence Murdoch and John Howard). Others ended up the US, hence Dubya and Robin Williams (anyone that hairy must be related to chimps!).

The aforementioned Elder is purely trying to ensure that additional mistakes don’t happen again.


I wouldn't park there, mate - Honda adds sat nav warnings

Black Helicopters

You can't reach perfection, but you can try...

Had a Triumph Acclaim – Honda engineering with all the bad parts of Triumph bodywork. Incredibly reliable. It sat outside (battery removed obviously) over a winter which reached -17oC, and started first turn of the key after sitting for about 5 months. A complete joy to work on as an amateur restorer. A couple of local 14yr old scrotes *did* try and steal it, successfully hotwiring it but failing to notice I’d left the steering lock *off* (old trick).

They weren’t to know I hadn’t got round to reconnecting the brakes – oh how did I laugh as I watched 2 panicking 14 yr olds pump the brake pedal and pull the handbrake to no avail as the car rolled downhill towards a wall. They bailed out of the car; falling on their arses in total panic (I stuck it in 5th gear and stalled it before impact). They got caught; and 14yr old #1 was a veritable little crimewave. He admitted to stealing 50+ cars, but due to being a “juve” they kept letting him out to do it again.

Moral of the story? Maybe Honda in Europe and US should *let* the little scrotes steal the cars, and report realtime where the car is so the cops can pick them up (if they can be bothered). Oh yeah, there have been systems like that for about 15 years already…

Mines is the whirley - cos I'd rather be in a HondaJet than a Cessna VLJ

Music biz proposes 'iPod tax' in return for format-shift freedom


We need more levies



1. I want to see a software levy. Lots more software gets illegally copied than Garth Brooks.

2. I want to see a news levy. Lots of people read the news online, robbing the news industry of revenue.

Lets get some things straight.The UK is actually one of the few places in Europe which doesn’t have a levy.There is pressure to make *not* charging a levy, and attempting to circumvent it, a *criminal* offence across Europe. Be sure of one thing– it will come to the UK.

In sunny Belgium, where I reside, I pay 2.20 euro per month on my cable connection as “levy” for just having the infrastructure which would allow me to illegally copy content. With that levy, I have no additional rights – i.e I still have to buy a CD or DVD, and downloading off of BitTorrent could well see fully armed cops breaking down my door and hauling me off to jail

I also pay about 60 cents levy – separate from the 21% VAT – for a blank single sided DVD; yes – that’s a lot more than the manufacturing cost of a DVD. Hence I don’t buy blank DVDs in Belgium. Note – it is illegal for me to order blank media from the UK for instance without paying the levy.

For 2006, the levy netted Auvibel about 25 million Euros. Remember, that’s just Belgium.

I hate the music industry, and have done the vast majority of my adult life. I don’t buy CDs, or download (legally or otherwise) music. My hatred of the music industry is so strong, I don’t actually *listen* to much music (that and there’s next to no modern music I like). I will on occasion go to a live concert.

Yet, the audio/video industry has successfully managed to gouge about 10% of the pre-tax cost of my internet connection. So, gun toting, homophobic, drug taking, child molesting no-talent “stars” and their fat cat media conglomerates can rest easy – the gravy train is gonna keep on rollin….

Personally, I’d rather have a “news” levy. I’ve stopped buying newspapers as I get my daily fix from the free online versions. The newspapers have clearly suffered as I now get for free content I used to have to pay for. And as the “press” is a cornerstone of democracy – it makes infinitely more sense than a levy on recordable media.

Oh, and as an IT professional – I want to see a code levy. Shed loads of software gets illegally copied; more than music/video by unit cost I’d say. In 50 years time, when I’m in my rocking chair – I want to see the money rolling in for that one-hit wonder code I wrote back in the 90s!

Local council uses snooping laws to spy on three-year-old

Thumb Down

Bad taste

“Killed him twice? He got out, performed CPR on the kid, managed to resuscitate him, then got back in his car and drove back over him? That's commitment to getting in the Daily Heil, that is.”

Yes – sentence was obviously badly composed, due to being between early morning coffees. Still – not quite as bad as making exceedingly bad taste comments about a kid getting killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The dead child story could have come from the Daily Heil, Torygraph, Grunian, or even Fortean Times – doesn’t really change the fact that in a modern democratic society it now appears acceptable to employ 2 weeks of covert surveillance on the suspicion of trying to get a kid into the same school as his siblings, on the say-so of someone who wasn’t even competent enough to get a real job and went for the cushy “public sector” number instead.

When you give Police powers to muppets, you get comedy moments like these. If it was really a criminal matter – it should have been up to the Police or the security services to investigate. They’re the ones the vast majority of us accept have such powers, not Joe Halfwit from the local council who probably got 1 GCSE in embroidery and a job in the town hall cos his auntie worked there and put a good word in for him. The person doing the spying *may* have been trained; but he was sent out on the say-so of the people we entrust to empty the bins and organise meals-on-wheels.

Black Helicopters

The Govt is Mother, the Govt is Father

Shocking story of the day #1 – Serial criminal runs down and kills 4 yr old boy *twice*, drives off and doesn’t even get jail time for it.

Shocking story of the day #2 – Councils using RIPA to spy on family for 2 whole weeks on the chance they’re trying to get their youngest child into the same school as their other kids, and are totally unrepentant about doing it.

On their own, each is shocking. Together – it clearly shows what is wrong with our “modern” world today. We are the point where our petty local officials can justify 2 weeks of covert surveillance over a school seat. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have covert spying on the likes of the scumbag driver? Gather enough evidence to stop him, and those like him, killing innocents. Surely *that* has more benefit to society?

Orwell - how disappointingly right was he??

Black Helicoptor, goes without saying reall

Gates teases bankers with Windows 7 dates


why bother

As an enterprise desktop, XP is good enough. Vista has some good features for enterprise laptop users – but nothing that Checkpoint etc weren’t offering already.

So, for all those VLEs in the midst of looking at Vista – why bother? Cancel the projects and sit on your XP install base for another couple of years. Enterprise support for XP is there until 2010.

On the humorous side – do you think W7 will have inbuilt features such at Temporal Machine and WindowSpaces? Former will be a snazzy backup app and the latter will be a new virtualised desktop.

Get your German interior minister's fingerprint here

Thumb Up


A big thumbs up to the German magazine for doing this.

As anyone with even the vaguest interest in technology would know – spoofing prints is as old as the Bond movie 40 years ago…

A more robust - and currently available - solution is 3D imaging of the veins/capillaries in the fingers or hand. You’re not going to be leaving *that* attached to pint glasses etc. Yes, someone could spoof it – but it’s by an order of several magnitudes more complicated.

Sure, it doesn’t get round the obvious problems like cracking the chip etc – but *prints* are so, errr, 19th Century dudes!

Then again – nothing really new with authoritarian governments purporting that the “end is nigh” – unless we do what they say, and politicians with doe-eyed belief in the wonders of technology either.

UK CCTV numbers 'may be overstated'



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I want to see every cop and plastic plod (Blunketts bobbies) with “always on” bodycams/headcams/helmetcams ; especially now more and more are turning into weaponized enforcement/compliance platforms. CS Spray, batons, tazers, firearms, body armour – all topped off with a “you *will* do what your told, peon - don’t question my authoritehhh” attitude.

As for CCTV; compared to anywhere else in Europe – the place does feel like “Her Maj’s Open Prison, Britian.”

Not that I’m really for CCTV, but if nothing else – CCTV has shown the cobwebbed old cronies in the courts what “assault” actually looks like. It’s not the rolled up sleeved gentlemanly fisticuffs they seemed to think it was a few years ago, but feral and vicious – and *never* a “square go” one on one, but usually 4 or 5 against one, and continuing with kicks to/jumping on the heads of unconscious victims.

CBI calls for major overhaul to UK tax


Politicians are like cheese..

...the more you have cheese the more you have holes.The more you have holes - the less you have cheese....

I really honestly don’t understand why the UK doesn’t follow the lead of Switzerland. It has one of the highest overall standards of living, and one of the lowest tax burdens.

It’s no surprise they effectively have competition between Cantons for tax.

It works something like this:

Federal tax – the base level everyone has to pay

Regional tax – a small bit in the middle

Local tax – up to the individual Cantons\cities to decide.

Some Cantons have higher levels of tax, others have regressive tax to encourage companies and people to come, settle and pay tax (like Zug). Yes, some people scam the system – like claiming to be resident in one Canton, but are shacked up with their other half in a more expensive place. Companies do the same – like having their “HQ” in Zug, but do most of their business in Zurich.

Oh yeah, I forgot – all the EU bullsh1t dictates a large percentage of tax regulation these days. Long gone are the days where any national Chancellor could *actually decide* on overall fiscal policy. So, we have a race to the tax and regulation “high water mark” – and all the inherent corruption/incompetence/bureaucratic scamming - instead of encouraging a more democratic and dynamic business and personal fiscal environment.

BTW, I’m *not* a neo-Thatcherite – I’m actually quite left-wing. Having lived in Switzerland – I saw that local communities can decide for themselves whether they want/need higher or lower tax. Just like they can have referenda on making or revoking laws. Quite democratic and socially just. A cynic would claim we’ll *never* have that in Europe as it would be the undoing of the Grand Experiment…



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020