.... They want a human with more armour and guns
61 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007
Phorm might be right in saying other companies are already doing naughty things with our data, but there's one key difference... choice.
I *choose* to use Google's services because they're pretty good, I know it's making money by selling information about me even if I don't know the how. If it really started worrying me, I could easily stop using Google's services and use alternatives.
If Phorm becomes widespread inthe UK, that choice will be gone, I simply cannot see how any company that offers a "personalised" service, can claim to be anonymous and private! It has to know who you are to personalise things.
At the end of the day it´s hardly surprising that this kind of thing is common place. After all, most of us own a computer, and a fair few of us think we "get" computers, especially when it comes to data management. How many companies out there use software in ways that the developers didn´t originally expect?
For example, I mistreat Excel horribly at work, I have it performing basic database roles, I even force the program to give me forms that convert the end output into MySQL ready to import into the webserver. It clearly wasn´t intended to do this, but it still does it. I don´t have to know why, or even much of the how, just how to trace through the start to finish to check it´s working as intended.
I think that the MP's do have a right to privacy, as much as any other person does, however it does go to show how ineffeciant this government has been. They introduce the Freedom of Information act that says "look, ask us anything and we have to tell you" and then have to shove in a tonne of extra clauses to various Acts of Parlement to cover things they didn't think of.
I bet if the entire bunch of MP's disappeared one day the country will still run perfectly fine!
... is the result of the bad press. They're hoping that just like Phorm, people will get upset and then after a while, will give up because BT says nothing.
Whoever is running this company should be bought to task for their blatant disregard of customer privacy. Between their rolling contract schemes, to Phorm and now onto this it's disgraceful.
It's hardly surprising no one wants to touch the Tiscali network, it's a mess and has been since they went on a spending spree to aquire all the smaller ISP's networks. Anyone who'se had to talk to their technical support staff, whether the "Definately Not India, no way" call centre, or the local ones that are still running know that none of the sub-companies have the access they need to do their job.
All in all, unless Tiscali decided to completely gut and remodel the company, anything more than a fiver is too much.
I actually work in the key and security industry for one of the larger distributors in the UK, and whilst the software seems incredibly threatening, I'm betting it's not quite as reliable as the researchers make out. For example, there's machines already on the market that copy a key from a completely blank piece of metal, but they only work about 75-80% of the time.
If you're really worried about this, I hope to god you don't find out about things like cylinder snappers, bump keys and the like which are all far easier ways of gaining entry to a house. The biggest threat from this is being able to gain access covertly and thus not being able to make an insurance claim.
Oh and @AC it's not "Yale" locks that are vulnerable to slipping with a drinks bottle, it's only old fashioned "Traditional Night Latches", which are pretty rare these days.
To me, this guy sounds like he's just trying to get out of being properly punished for commiting a crime...
Sure, hacking might not be the world's worst crime, but it's still wrong and the little weasel should have the decency to stop mucking around, admit that he did it and say sorry. If he'd done this instead of all the legal wrangling he's done, chances are half his sentance would have been done with by now!
To be fair, all the "innovation" we see as home users is a bit of a myth anyway. Apart from computer games and synthetic benchmarks, when did you last see a performance increase in an application??
I am kinda surprised they're switching to a central unit but I'm guessing where it says "we will use one circuit board to do this job" it really means "this one board will do this job, we'll also install 2 spares just in case"
Still, with all these upgrades, I wonder if they'll have the budget left over for cable tidying and those all important CCFL tubes?
... Let's face it, the internet is full of dodgy material, you typically only come across it because a) you're looking for it on purpose or b) you've ended up with some malware on your PC.
Ergo, all the "terrorists" have to do is deliberately infect themselves with malware and they've got plausible deniability :)
"Sadly the law is not retroactive, so the long list of government departments which have lost or endangered our data in recent months will not be fined."
What on earth would the point be of one government department fining another government department? Sure, I can see the point of the government fining corporations, provides an incentive for them to do things right.
You know, this is kinda pointless, you'll still get drinking on public transport, and the ones that are drinking will still mostly be offensive, agressive and generally annoying.
Thing with making new laws is, anti-social idiots don't care anyway! The definition is kinda implied in the name... All that'll happen is the few people who decide to carry some booze around will get cracked down on and given silly fines, a few coppers and TfL staff will get stabbed or beaten or ridiculed and we'll be back where we started... except we'll have a lot more people in front of the courts and people crying out against the rising figures of alchohol convictions.
... even something as simple as a National Lottery terminal frequently struggles to recognise marks on a piece of paper, why on earth would you consider using the same technology in something as important as an election?
Or is it that all the terminals are rigged to let a certain candidate to win?
They've only specified how the data is to be preserved, they've not specified WHAT data is to be kept. That's for the next group of experts to decide with another few million in R&D costs....
.... to decide that plain text is best with several large manuals explaining exactly what a plain text file is! :)
The entire concept that advertising on the internet should make people money has been entrenched for *years*. Ever since you got people selling the concept that ad's are a good thing online our rights to privacy have been erroded.
Up until now, it's been possible for a concientious, technically minded user to avoid them but now it's reached the point where even we can't keep our information secure.
As an interesting test, I blocked the most common root domains for advertising sites with my firewall. After just a week I had over 3,000 blocked connections logged and that's after a few hours surfing and most pages I visted had a clear "this site has been blocked" segment somewhere on them.
However, I can't see it ever ended, companies make money off joe public, the same people who keep spam going either by forwarding "joke" emails, or responding to viagria ad's. There's *always* going to be someone dumb enough to respond to an advertisment, just because it's there and unless we kill that behaviour it'll never get any better.
As an aside, I play on an MMORPG that's annouced it'll soon be included adverts in game. Unlike systems like Phorm, this has been well recieved because it included an up front statement about what it'll be harvesting and included a clear opt-out procedure that removed the textures from the game. I can live with this kind of advertising, in the same way I can tolerate a simple banner ad, because all it does is record that a unique view took place.
Got a response back in less than a week, also showing me a letter he sent to the Secritary (sic!) for the Department for Business, Employment and Regulatory Reform asking why this system was being allowed to go ahead.
Don't think I'll get a reply mind you, but at least they've started something.
before they start developing a Phorm-type system to monitor your television viewing and deliver "targeted ad's"
Don't they realise that advertising is loosing it's effect, for example those stupid 118 118 ad's, whilst memorable, make me deliberately NOT use their service?
Brand awareness isn't a good thing in all cases!
You have to ask yourself, what's better for us? The fact that the intelligence services wont have to ask nicely before they get key data on us, or the fact that they're unable to do their job sometimes because it's a pain in the arse getting the data they need.
Both of these things are potential threats, on the one hand you have the fact that your right to privacy is being eroded. After all, your friends or neighbours could get hold of the information if it's accessable and discover that you like looking at pictures of naked grannies on the internet and traveled to Soho last month.
On the other hand, you have people who are killed because a terrorist's was unable to be properly tracked when he got onto the London Underground.
You could also take the missing third hand and just make do with what we've got at the moment. Which of course leads you to being paralysed with fear over your course of action and a government that just takes fat pay cheques for doing nothing.
Personally I ask for only one thing, the right to privacy inside my own home. Once I shut that door, as long as they have no reason to suspect that I'm up to something illegal, I don't expect to be monitored by the government or a private company. I can tolerate the idea that my Oyster card movements can be tracked if needs be.
If you want a laugh, go to Tottenham Court Road and take the "free stress test" offered by the CoS (just a short walk from Goodge Street station)
Within minutes they're giving you a speech about how stresed you are and how the book they have large piles off sitting around will help you become unstressed....
I've been half tempted to sign up to their brand of crazy simply to find out how screwed up they really are...
You know, that little tech explanation from the Anonymous Coward (how very fitting!) does nothing to reassure me.
You say it's a random number, is that truely random, or psuedorandom garbage that develops patterns over time? Also, if it's in a cookie, a website can easily be scripted to read it's contents, put a request into Phorm's system and pull out my browsing history. From there, it'd be possible to script a very personalised phising attack, giving the number of dodgy sites hiding in Google's ad system already why will your system be immune?
On top of that, how can you guarentee your system will be "instantaneous", every god damn computer program takes some time to run, and unless you're putting a supercomputer in every exchange, there's gonna be some lag. Look at MMORPG's, during peak times servers fall over, but they're not upgraded because they're acceptable 99% of the time. Do I really think Phorm cares about us enough to pay for computers for that 1% of the time? I think not!
Let's face it, you can never win public acceptance from this and I damn well hope you get sued for this stupidity.
Personally I'm writing to OFCOM about BT's changing the T&C without good cause, cancelling my contract with them and moving to an ISP that hasn't sold out. If it gets really bad, sod it, I'll pay for 3G broadband...
Ok, there's a lot of people here taking the mickey. Why though? What else could you do to actually find the people who are acting suspiciously from those that are doing something innocent other than getting the police to actually do their job.
It's like trying to spot dodgy credit card transactions amongst the thousands upon thousands of genuine ones. Yes the police will make mistakes, and yes the system isn't perfect but when you're faced with people who are willing to lay down their lives to achieve their ends and aren't afraid of the consequences of their actions, what else can you do but become vigiliant to the point of paranoia.
It seems that every day there's another gormless corporation that wants to tap into "new money" and make a profit where there's nothing really to sell out but people's security.
It wouldn't be so bad if you could really be assured that it's just marketing information being gathered but how can you trust a company that has a history of spamming?
I realise that it's part of the "modern" world that everyone wants to make money from nothing, but it's getting beyond of joke. Our lives are already dictated by people who gamble on a ficticious value of what a company or commidity is worth, but to sell something as nebulous as information is just crazy...
... MMORPG's really, they release a new one, it gets a few thousand (or tens of thousands) of subscribers who play around with it for a while. A few people get avidly hooked, the rest drift in and out and eventually give up.
What they got wrong was that they didn't think to charge for their service in the first place!
At the end of the day, Jedi, Scientology, Christian etc. are all just a label used to try and describe what someone believes in a general context. Whilst in this day and age, it's become very popular to ridicule all religions, actually having a belief and living to a better moral code is nothing to be ashamed of.
They're not actively trying to turn others to their beliefs, nor do they seem to be trying to con people out of their money. All in all, rather benign and not worth worrying about!
... the government would actually use this idea to simplify things. You know, get rid of passport, driving license, birth certificate, tax records etc with one large database that had one fee attached to it.
Instead all they're doing is adding another layer of complexity which is entirely unrequired!
Stories like this make for popular news but they don't ever report any real facts. Tabloid "journalism" like this is there to wind people up and make them feel their opinion matters.
Of course the government spies on people, part of the point of having a "higher" authority, however human it is, is to try and safeguard us. It's not perfect and it'd be great if it wasn't needed, but unfortunately it is! All these stories do is make it harder for people to do their jobs because as soon as something becomes seen as "political" it gets meddled with.
If you think the NHS is bad, wait till you see the end result of all these news stories on the police and internal security forces!
You have to admit, the idea of technology that can take payment without your consent is dangerous. Take the Oyster card, that's a good implmentation because the readers are so low powered, they fail to register the card about 1 time in 10 :) It's also a closed system, so the worst someone could do is send a fake station signal deducting extra money from your card.
I think the banks have missed a trick with this idea, the system shouldn't rely on a £10 limit to make fraud pointless, it should be the customer that sets the amount of money that's available on the Paynwave section and the screens should have flashed up the remaining balance at the end. If someone wanted to opt out, they simply leave that balance at £0.
This isn't a particularly new problem, I remember nearly 10 years ago, signing up to AOL when I was only 16. They didn't believe that I was 16 with a "credit" card (in reality my Visa Electron) and said they could enforce their contract (which at the time didn't mean a lot to me). It wasn't until I got a letter from my mum's lawyer along with my birth certificate proved I couldn't sign a contract under the age of 18....
This is not particularly a new problem and quite frankly the government has bigger things to worry about than a few thousand kids getting drunk...
I don't know about the throttling issues, as my only experience of Pipex is at work, but we have had terrible issues in the last few months with our Exchange server that occured soon after Tiscali's take over.
The long and short of it, over half our e-mails were getting killed by a Tiscali spam filter after our Pipex smtp smarthost passed it over.
Yes, that's right, the Tiscali network wasn't setup to trust Pipex's systems!
On top of that, once they finally sorted that issue, they've now implimented some form of filtering on the smarthost itself, so despite the mail originating from our static IP address, it STILL refuses e-mails every now and again...
Just goes to show that Tiscali are indeed the world's worst ISP!!
I think that many of you are missing the point, TV and radio advertising has to be censored to a much higher degree than other media because you can be unwillingly exposed to it. Think about it, you don't choose what adverts you want to watch, someone else does that for you, and because of that if an advert is likely to cause offense, or glorify a concept that we don't want happening in the real world, the censors have to err on the side of caution.
With other forms of media, even TV programs, you have scheduling information and warnings to make an active choice to turn the TV off if you think someone is coming on soon that you don't want to expose your kids to. Same with the computer games themselves, you have a choice whether or not you purchase a copy of the game.
In short, the ASA was doing it's job sensibly, and doesn't deserve the comments some of you are making,
Is why on earth they keep copying ALL of the data to portable devices like laptops. I can understand if someone needs to go home and do some work on the information, but surely their IT department should be producing them a slice of the database containing the information they need.
If they want more, at least make them dial into a server connected to the Internet, sure you can't make an internet server 100% secure, but it's gotta be safer than these copy's on laptops...
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