* Posts by Silas

46 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Mar 2007

En garde! 'Cyber-war has begun' – and France will hack first, its defence sec declares


Good job the important bits were in English, eh Gareth?

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Anyone seen similar in Win7

I have today done some Win7 updates and I've had data loss in ProgramData.

Samsung slaps swift patch over phone-wiping Galaxy S III vuln


Weirdly, this seems patched on my Vodafone S3

I say weirdly, as the firmware they're punting is about six iterations behind Samsung's latest. And because it identifies itself as being from Vodafone, I can't download any other version using the official methods.

I'm more concerned by my phone being singularly unable to see 2.4Ghz wi-fi connections meaning that if I'm in a building that doesn't get 3G reception but doesn't have a 5Ghz wi-fi, I have a phone that can't really be described as "smart" as its only use is for taking phone calls. This is due to the firmware I'm being forced to use by Vodafone no longer giving me the option to turn 2.4Ghz back on, and me being stupid enough to have set mine up to use the 5Ghz channel I have in my house when I still had the wi-fi option available to me.

Geeks make least selfish lovers: Official


Revenge of the Nerds

Isn't the outcome of this "study" just a confirmation of the film Revenge of the Nerds?

I mention this because there's a scene where Lewis (nerd) dresses in a costume identical to Stan (athlete) and makes love to Stan's girlfriend. Said girlfriend realises it's not Stan as Lewis is a much better - and more considerate - lover.

They could have saved themselves the expense of the survey by simply watching the film.

Pirate logo because I am a geek, so you should prepare for boarding.

MPs report back from internet's dark side


Doesn't work both ways

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML



Er, am I alone in wondering exactly how the watershed idea could ever work?

Oyster system failure causes travel misery

Black Helicopters

London Bridge

I went through London Bridge station at about 12.50 on Saturday lunchtime and they were making announcements then that you shouldn't, under any circumstances, touch your Oyster card in or out. The buses coming up towards Brixton from Croydon were still showing "Free Travel" notices on their Oyster card readers at about 6pm Saturday.

My first thoughts were "I wonder if the system has been hacked" followed by "I wonder if they've fucked the system trying to patch it from hacking". While the former would be funny, I suspect the latter may be more true.

Organised crime law crushes animal rights duo


Doesn't work both ways

I see from the Protection from Harassment act that,


12 National security, etc

(1) If the Secretary of State certifies that in his opinion anything done by a specified person on a specified occasion related to—

(a) national security,

(b) the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, or

(c) the prevention or detection of serious crime,

and was done on behalf of the Crown, the certificate is conclusive evidence that this Act does not apply to any conduct of that person on that occasion.


So the Government (or one of their agencies) can harass you as much as they like, claim it's a national security issue, and there's not a single thing anyone can do about it.

Yet if I, as a private citizen, send Gordon Brown repeated requests to resign, then I can be arrested and jailed for up to 5 years?


The one with my spare t-shirt in the pocket please, I'm attempting to fly from Heathrow.

Download al Qaeda manuals from the DoJ, go to prison?

Black Helicopters

Downloaded it

I am the Revolution & I want my country back.

The one where you were allowed to read stuff and not be classified as a terrorist. The one where habeas corpus was an important and relevant part of our legal system.

What I propose is treason, not terrorism. Overthrow the Government.

UK.gov solves pensioner crisis by wiring them up to the net


Simpler solution

Stop taxing people. Completely.

The money they save is their responsibility. If they don't use it effectively, tough.

Anyone who has already built up the requisite NI contributions gets them paid back as a lump sum plus interest.

I'm expecting to be dead long before I ever need to get into a nursing home, so I would use any money I saved in having a lavish booze and drug fuelled party to send me off in style.

If that's a bit harsh, remove the taxes on alcohol and cigarettes and let the problem sort itself out.

Penguin icon, as penguins push each other into water to see if there's any seals. Penguin comes back, no seal. Penguin doesn't come back, possible seal. Push another penguin in. Repeat.

Canadian man in Taser trouser inferno shocker


If his pants are on fire

Then he must be some kind of liar, liar.

Coat? Not for me thanks, I'm from Newcastle.

El Reg celebrates 10th birthday


I presume

It was too expensive to fly Bill Ray down from the Scottish Highlands for a drinking session? Or did they just not sell enough cask ale for him to bother turning up?

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


Function Creep

I tells ya, they'll be using RIPA for even more petty crap next. How Poole Council can justify this is beyond me. Couldn't they have just looked at the family's council tax bills of the previous three years and worked out from there where they'd lived? Rather than waste an inordinate amount of money doing covert surveillance?

Where will this madness end? We - the population of this country - need to get the political classes out of power by any means necessary. It's gone beyond a joke.

I am the revolution and I'd like my fucking country back.

PS - I think you mean Codes of Practice, rather than "Practise"

MPs get £2k home cinema on taxpayers



Seeing how all of these are tax free for the bastards, how about, for a laugh, we all just stop paying tax?

Refuse to pay Council Tax, avoid wherever possible to file an income tax return and start using bartering as a method for getting goods and services so they don't get VAT.

There isn't enough prison space for them to put everyone in.

I am the revolution.

Malaysian woman jailed for worshipping teapot


@ Luther Blisset

Treason isn't a capital offence in the UK. I'm sure it is in many places around the planet, but not here dear chap.

Are you related to the many Luther Blisset's involved in some rioting in Italy many years ago? Or an entirely different branch?

After reading this, I do fancy a nice cup of tea...

Minister defends National ID Register security

Black Helicopters

Question at the back

Er, how can both of these statements be true?

"fewer than 100 people will have access to the National Identity Database,"

Hillier said that the number of institutions were "too many to list" in response to "which bodies would be allowed access"

Enraged vegan spitroasts Reg hack

Paris Hilton

Her poor children

Nice of her to impose her views on what her children should be eating onto them. I doubt they got the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they wanted to be vegan having weighed up all the evidence for and against.

My girlfriend is a vegetarian, and it's not because she likes animals - she'd quite happily shoot a seal in the face - it's just she doesn't like the texture of meat when she chews (doesn't eat mushrooms because of this either). I don't eat fruit for exactly the same reason, so we don't have the "but not all meat/fruit have the same texture" argument.

If people want to be vegan/vegetarian/omnivore, let them. But in the same way as religion shouldn't be forced onto people, there's really no need to force people to eat or not eat something. Prices and availability will be a determining factor in many people's choice. We in the West are just fortunate there's a lot to choose from.

Paris, as I'm sure I've seen a video where she's eating something meaty....

US spooks won't get UK census access


Worrying, obviously

Especially so, given that all it would take is for one Lockheed Martin employee to take some "test data" back to the US on his/her laptop and then have the US Customs rip all the data off of it.

Which they do seem remarkably keen to do to *any* electronic device that carries data. Phones, mp3 players, and of course, laptops.


Is it just me, or has this Government (and the opposition parties, come to that) gone quite mad?

Email trail from navy man to London 'terror' site goes fuzzy


Avoiding extradition

Babar Ahmad has some hope of avoiding legal extradition, however, the US stated in the Court of Appeal in December that they consider kidnapping people from UK soil who are suspected of a crime in against the USA to be perfectly legal under US law: because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The lawyer for the American Government in the case mentioned in the below link, claims that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said.

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2982640.ece for more information.

Brown quizzed on gov IT failures


There's more gone missing!

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/7141195.stm for more info, but the DWP have lost 800 loan applications from the already financially disadvantaged. The applications included "applicants' names, addresses, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and bank details".

Like buses, innit?

Paris Hilton

No-one's lost any money...Yet

Given the lost HMRC disks contained information about children and parents, then the potential losses may not be seen for a few years yet. Although the costs of the operation to find the disks should really be taken into account as it is the taxpayers of the UK who will inevitably be paying for it.

With regard to Libra - the system used to ensure £15 per criminal is paid as a "victims' surcharge" fee - The Register mentioned in February the fact it was still not fully implemented after NINE years (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/05/libra_completion_date/) but I'm not sure it can ever be worth the cost.

Funnily enough Brown wasn't grilled on El Reg's purchasing of the ICT Strategy URL, which shows a spectacular level of incompetence at even the most basic IT level.

ID Cards cost cut to £5.6bn

Paris Hilton

So they don't think

That people aren't renewing their passports because they don't want the biometric version and the ID card? Or that they're shocked they might have to go to a centre and be grilled by an official to prove that they are who they say they are?

Surely if more people are going on last minute holidays and discover at the last minute they've got to renew their passport, they're still going to have to renew their passport?

And if having a photo driving licence is meaning that less people need a passport as a form of ID, why exactly are the Government pushing ahead with ID cards?

/me reinforces tin foil on hat.

Royal Navy presses IT Crowd for nuclear missile 'servers'


So if you're a terrorist

Just get yourself into the Navy - who will no doubt be delighted to have increased their percentage of non-white recruits - and then look for the nicely signed "Server switch", turn it off at the required time, replace with a switch wired the other way round, and wait to be boarded?


Lords debate airline liquids ban


I was stopped at Stanstead

On my way to Copenhagen with some Marmite in my carry on luggage.

The bloke says "that's a liquid and technically you're not allowed to carry it on board", I replied "okay, if it's a liquid, try drinking it then". Bloke looks unimpressed, I then continue with "and technically, isn't it an interstitial solid?"

At which point, he spots me for being the PITA I am and gives me the Marmite back

Government warns parents of food-colouring danger


To quote the BBC's Magazine Monitor

Wouldn't this be considered as one of the things we knew last week?

I mean, come on, who exactly is supposed to be surprised by this? Haven't the links between food colourings and instability in the consumers been proven previously?

Oh wait, yes it was http://www.fabresearch.org/view_item.aspx?item_id=529

Microsoft and Nokia team up for Windows Live



Fame at last. I knew I'd get my name in an El Reg story one day! Thanks Bill!

Broadbandit nabbed in Wi-Fi bust



*Having* an unsecured Wi-Fi network should be the offence, not pointing it out to someone by using it.

Paper calls for local ID cards


Not sure how this is "local"

Seeing this "They could also enable councils to better share information between departments and be extended to services such as NHS trusts and police forces" made it sound remarkably like it was national. As the N in NHS does still stand for National, doesn't it?

The other problem with locally issued cards is that any person with access to the information held on the database - so pretty much all local council officials - are more likely to know the people in the database and use the information held in an inappropriate manner.

I've seen the quality of staff who work for local councils and I'd be quite happy if they didn't know a single thing about me, let alone everything that the Government wanted to know.

This sounds like a national ID card scheme being brought in via the path of least resistance. Or I could just be paranoid.

Cadbury bows to 'bring back Wispa' net campaign


And after the launch in the North East

They withdrew it - claiming it was too difficult to manufacture and get to the shops without them all breaking inside the packaging - and only relaunched it after a campaign by the public.

This all seems very familiar...

Police want DNA collection superpowers


It's not the Police I'm worried about

While the police having full access to a DNA database of every person in the country would mean that they'd be able to clear up crimes pretty quickly (although obviously there'd be questions of cross-contamination and a surge in ABC suit sales to criminals), I'm more worried about who else would have access to the database itself.

For example, who checks the police use? Who decides who can and who can't legitimately look at the database? How many outside organisations will be allowed into the database? How many checks do those outside firms - Prison Service for example - have to make on their own staff before they can use it?

And, all these new criminals that get captured, where are we going to put them? AFAIK the prisons we have are already full.

Oh, and who in their right minds would trust ANY Government not to use and abuse a database containing full information on all of their political rivals, their illegitimate offspring and/or people who just happened to disagree with them?

Rant over. Thanks.

The terrorists I party with


Why is this not mainstream?

I too applaud the discussion pieces posted over the past week, but I'm concerned that it's only on tech sites that this (and the excellent piece about the crap bomb makers) is being published.

If it wasn't because I think conspiracies are too difficult to operate, I might just consider that a possibility. Every media organisation in the UK needs to look at the way they're reporting the potential terrorist threats and actually start questioning the Government claims in the same way that Bremner, Bird & Fortune (and previously Mark Thomas) are doing. Similarly it's only "The Daily Show" in the US that seems to question anything coming out of the White House.

Excellent series of articles, though, and I shall be linking to them as often as I can.

Gmail: a short, sharp rant



Dude, if your emails are as overly long as your "short rant" then I can probably work out how you've filled up your allocation.

I'm known for ranting, but frankly I really can't see what you're getting so het up about.

Orange goes green for festival phone-fuelling



A J Stiles; not wishing to sound like I'm down wiv ver kids, but these new mobile things are so small and light, you can wear them around your neck on a lanyard. With the added benefit that you can take photos of the people you get naked with. And publish them on t'interweb or do live streaming.

Ben; how can I get one if I'm not intending to go to Glastonbury but to the much more divine Roskilde one instead? I can't see anything on your site about how to get one!


Please tell me

1. When can I get one of those?

2. How much it will be?

3. Why you're telling me about things I can't buy yet?

855,000 new phones end up in the bog


My phone

Is so old and pikey that people often shout after me if I leave it in a pub.

"Oi mate, you've left your shit phone!"

Creationists open biblical history museum



When's the Flying Spaghetti Monster going to get his noodly tendrils into a museum then?

About that TV service, Mr Branson...



Totally agree with this. Unfortunately I also agree that you may well be better railing against the stars.

Spent an interesting year with Telewest watching the download speeds falling to the point where I was getting about 44kbps between 6pm & midnight. Rang and complained about this. Was told I had a problem at my end. Laughed. Rang back. Was told there was a contention issue on ubr03. Rang back to see if it was fixed/timescale for fix and was told there wasn't a contention issue on ubr03.

Rang back, cancelled subscription. Rang back and asked for refund of monies they continued to take. Rang back and asked for another refund as they were still taking money for a service I wasn't being provided with.

The losing of Sky and the subsequent drop in subscribers masks the people who were already intending to leave the Telewest Broadband service but had to wait the 30 days before they could do so.


Oh and I forgot to mention

The reason why I cancelled was that I was told that there was a problem on enfi.ubr03 but that it was "too expensive" to repair. Which stunned me at the time, but having read the other article about Virgin Media today, makes a great deal more sense in retrospect.

Telewest are, I would agree, only doing the minimum possible work to maintain *any* kind of service. The headline speeds that they sell the service on are only achievable in some very specific circumstances (like at 4am on a Tuesday morning). But until a majority of their users complain and move their service away I can't see them actually doing anything about it.

Jesus appears in Samsung Flash memory chip


If you look at it upside down

It looks like Ross Noble being fed to a shredder.

Fifa's 'wranking cock' shown red card


Full fat cock?

Or Diet Cock? Or what about pop-your-Cherry Cock?

I'll stop now.

Orange becomes more like bank: launches overdraft facility


Weird symbiosis

As banks will accept a mobile phone bill as proof you live somewhere, and mobile phone companies require something like a bank statement in order to sign you up on a monthly contract.

It's like they only really trust each other.

And when John Reid's masterplan for fingerprint operated phones comes into effect, there'll be the blueprint for fingerprint banking!

The future's bleak, the future's Orwellian

Home Secretary bigs up fingerprint-activated iPods


Glad to see

Glad to see Mr Reid isn't considering anything bonkers like increasing policing levels at street level, or look into the causes of crime like this - such as drug related theft or the huge disparity between the well off and the poor - or even consider how the "it's been stolen" upgrade/insurance scam screws the data.

No, no, it's got to be the fingerprinting route. Which you may, for your own security reasons - obviously, rather than some other masterplan - want to give to the Government to store on a database so that they can give you back any equipment you may have had stolen by a hoodie.

PI firm nicked for pretexting


I'm surprised they used the DWP

Seeing as they could have just contacted the DVLA pretending to be private landowners and got the address details of any car owned by the people they were searching for.

Worrying that the DWP also falls for the oldest piece of social engineering in the book, though not really a surprise.

Yet the Government say that the NIR won't be compromised in this exact same way. Hence I'm not going to be on the NIR.

Ukrainian woman smuggled dope in vibrator


What if

Instead of carrying it in her bag, she'd had it secreted in her person? That would have been a pretty thorough search to discover it, with the added advantage of her looking thoroughly relaxed while walking through the airport.

Topless roadsigns tackle Danish speeding menace


How is this news?

Not wishing to seem like a spoilsport, but this story is quite old. The BBC were reporting it last year.


And I didn't really believe it then either.

Vigilante attack sheep guard British village


Torn limb from limb?

Limb from lamb, surely?