* Posts by Andrew

12 posts • joined 15 Jan 2008

'Lunatic' Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians


final nail in the coffin

With the greatest of respect to my local pharmacist, the idea that she may be the eventual arbiter of which fingerprints get associated with which "real name" is surely the last nail in the coffin of David Blunket's mythical "clean database". If ID cards are to be issued on the strength of showing up with a passport, surely there will be about as many fake ID cards in circulation as there are fake passports. What IS the point?

Given that last thing we heard, the cost of fingerprint *readers* hadn't even been put in a budget - still less their production and deployment put out to tender - the value of getting yours recorded on a card must be ... limited: and the over-all cost savings from cancelling the project will be much higher than these ("£1bn from £5bn") government figures suggest,

UK fines for IP infringement to rocket

Thumb Down

aw c'mon

"Someone engaged in the piracy of physical goods for commercial gain can face 10 years in jail. "

Piracy of physical goods? That's what those Somalian chaps do. Whatever crime this copying may or may not be, it isn't piracy.

It's time we had a root-and-branch reform of IP law - balancing the rights of the customers with those of the "creators" and their agents. Right now the balance is all wrong, looks set to get worse, and doesn't even get discussed properly thanks to words like "piracy".

Reding 'didn't go far enough' on data roaming



I hate the price of roaming data. It is an incredible rip-off. But I also feel for the operators: having been encouraged by governments to pay exorbitant amounts to bid for 3G licences, they have to make money somehow.

It seems as if the high cost of roaming is effectively due to a non-tax tax. Or am i wrong?

Ofcom: Where's the broadband beef?



I realise that not even in HMG's wilder fantasies can they control overseas companies making overseas calls. But I would have thought that it ought to be possible to bring to bear the Telephone Preference Service on UK companies which happen to use overseas call centres to peddle their cold-calling nonsense.

Software update nobbles Sky+ boxes



I've never checked the small print on the agreement, but the idea that Sky can b*gger the box that belongs to ME, via an over-the-air firmware update is ... interesting. They must be liable. It's destruction of property, isn't it?

If they'd sent a technician round, who'd jammed a screwdriver into the case then wandered off, they'd have to fix my equipment damn quick, or answer to a court. How is it different if they do it with software?

Still sending naked email? Get your protection here



One of the reasons for slow up-take of email encryption is the mess of competing standards. PGP/GPG has proliferated plenty, but most major vendors support S/MIME. That gets no mention here ...

ISP boss pledges to undermine Great Aussie Firewall


This is Australia, right?

This is the country where they put the pr0n mags right next to the till, in newsagents?

I'll never forget the day I was queuing to buy something and looked down to see a copy of SWANK in front of me. There was a price tag obscuring the first letter of the title...

UK's 'secure' child protection database will be open to one million


@AC 19.30

AC's comments suggest it's actually well-designed. Why doesn't someone IT-savvy in Govt. PR get the full design documentation published, then? That way, most fears could be laid to rest (since we all know that good security does not rely on obscure unpublished details).

PlusNet customer invited to opt-in to BT's Phorm trial


PN works for me

I kind-of doubt that any ISP is perfect. PN being owned by BT makes me nervous, but this is a tiny isolated incident.

I've been with PN for 6+ years, and find them to be technically very competent. Any business I've been with for that long who've never sent me a piece of paper (nor me them), and to whom I've never had occasion to speak on the phone must be doing something right.

Is the internet going down down under?



"That said, Stephen Conroy should be publicly whipped for his monumental stupidity in even suggesting this nonsense."

... but without photos appearing on the internet, presumably.

MP calls for Jezza Clarkson's head



Clarkson abuses nearly everyone. If causing offence to someone were a sacking offence at the BBC, they wouldn't have many staff left, especially in light entertainment.

Brighton professor bans Google


The interweb isn't going away

Why do people imagine you can construct educational tasks as if the web is a passing phenomenon. We will be using Google or its successors for the rest of our lives. To attempt to educate people to live without it is simply daft.

Sure, students need to develop critical skills - they shouldn't simply believe everything written in textbooks, either. But the lecturer's job is to nurture those skills, not to train students to live in an alternative universe without certain valuable information sources.

I declare an interest: I write as a lecturer...


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