* Posts by WhatWasThat?

115 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jan 2008


Anonymous web data can be personal data, claims expert



DHCP works on a lease time - the only way you "lose" your IP address is if you are disconnected for longer than 1/2 the lease time and someone else gets it, or the ISP runs out of available IP addresses while you are off/dropped for a minute or two and you catch as catch can. If you are connected (router/modem, not necessarily your computer - sorry), you keep the same IP. In ALL cases, the ISP *knows* who you are EXACTLY. How else could they claim to know when you exceed bandwidth limits, eh? And just because you "never bring attention" to yourself does *not* mean that they aren't tracking you as a matter of course.

Marketers: Your IP address does not identify one individual, but a collective of consumers of one or more tastes at a residence. We collect the browsing habits of the user(s) at the residence to better serve you, and reduce the flow of inapplicable ads you see.

RIAA/MPAA: Your IP address does identify one individual, and any file sharing activity of copyright works means that you are a criminal and owe us money.

YOU: Alright @ssholes, one way or the other. Either it does identify me, in which case make the collection illegal and put protections place (makes it harder for RIAA/MPAA to track you because of privacy protections, marketers increase cost / lose business), or It does not identify me (RIAA / MPAA have harder time pushing a legal case, marketer's perceived value decreases).

Really, I don't see the problem here either way, eh?

Apollo 11 moon mission reincarnated as website



We can only hope that the plaque will be for the 50th anniversary, eh?

Problem is, we may have to ask the Chinese to put it there for us...

China halts memory-wiping electric shocks for net addicts


Signs of the times

This is the kind of quakery that follows the logic, "Oi! The yoof just wanna be wired up!" So, wire up he does, in every way possible.

You would have thought this guy was from Texas...

Easter Island dirt may hold key to longer life


Better living through chemistry/medicine?

The problems we have as humans don't care how old you get to be. If I may:

1. Population. Not everyone deserves offspring; pure and simple. You don't have to plonk out 12 kids anymore because 11 of them will die before the age of 10 - we are even able to keep deformed and crippled alive and suffering well into their their twenties and beyond. The idea that any one person's genetics are special enough *and that they are automatically passed on to all your offspring* is egotistical genetic avarice. Anyone attempting to "ensure" it happens (designer genetics, IVF, Catholics) are simply trying to have the bigger, badder, shinier SUV in their utereus. Err... carpark.

2. Resources. It does not matter whether a minority (person) or majority (corporation, gubmint, etc.) controls the resources of an area. If you give each individual all the resources they are apportioned or that they "need", the majority of them will squander the share they are given and kick and scream that someone else still has any when they come up short. That's the curse of "human nature"; we never have "enough". In order to live "sustainably", we have to bring everyone _down_ to a common standard of living, and all the death, disease, and pain that it brings. Oddly enough, Americans in 1700/1800's were more apt to do this as a whole society than any other; the mass migrations out of the comfortable cities into the wilderness and death of the Louisiana Purchase and the West. (http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~fe2r/papers/essay.pdf) There are others; don't get your panties in a bunch - just not as a percentage of population (without cause of volcanoe, glacier, war or other "natural" disaster). Try telling the newly middle-class in India or Russia that they have to go back to "sustainable" levels - no cars, no unlimitied electricity (if any at all), all the food you eat you have to grow/raise yourself. Not many volunteers, eh?.

3. Religion. Religion has nothing against longevity. Judism (and by extension, Christianity and Islam) have published how our ancestors lived for hundreds of years. If you are _really_ bored, try calculating out the ages of everyone in "Numbers" for yourself. There is nothing inherently "righteous", noble, or grand about living a short life or a long one; its always about what you do with your life. If you are a rat b@stard who lives 200 years or 12 years, you are still a rat b@stard.

The problem is that we fear death, as life is all that we "know". The human race is still tribal; "my family and I have more right to X than anyone else's family", etc. and we still extend this thinking on macro levels of communities, state, countries, and continents. There are thoughts that this is inherent because of our evolution, and there are thoughts that if we weren't brought up in a world of "scarcity" we would not act this way (www.thevenusproject.com). Which is true? Well, if Muhammed wrote, "the Jew is thy brother", why is there a problem in the Middle East?

Mel Gibson to put hand up Jodie Foster's Beaver

Paris Hilton

Lack of Ideas in Hollywood

This just goes to show, eh?

How long has Midori Days been out?

Paris, "cos-playing" with her would be a real treat.

Police decline to reopen mobile phone hacking case


Bad precedent - No cookie!

Oh my! Did anyone else see what they did there?

By classing listening to someone else's stored voicemail *after the fact* as "interception", they raised the stakes for any type of access for voicemail or other stored communication, like email, web pages, etc. - even accidental access. Several times I have been in the presence of people that can't understand why other people's voicemail is in there system... and its because they entered the wrong phone number with the default password.

This access could now be prosecuted as illegal access even though it might be unintentional. What about that poor bloke from Blighty that's being extradited to the US for "hacking"? Could this now mean that he might now be classified as breaking UK law?

'Metal muscle' memory-alloy robot flapper bat shown off



Myomers were the polymer based, electro-resistive/reactive threads that served as "muscles" for the mecha.

The key here is that to be useful, they *DO NOT* need to be particularly durable, just be able to last about 30 days in harsh environments. By being based on plastic, they are expected to be cheap; easy to fabricate - and easy to replace. They are already available for student research:


Gyroscopes are easily procured or self-made (electric motor, magnets, Hall-effect componets, etc)

And, in the fiction and game, you can install ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and use simple manual controls for the mecha.

I think we are there, gentlemen. I hereby submit my request for funding!

IBM UK snuffs 'final salary' pensions


The Replacement Killers... err... Workers

The point is not that there will be no one to work at <insert company name here>, the point is that they _need_ the existing workforce to cycle through. That they have held on as long as they have is downright terrifying to the management!

By getting rid of the existing people, they can get cheaper local (or foreign) labor that will not have the expectations of the older workforce. They won't complain about not getting something they were never offered.

Uncertain times are a godsend to corporations; especially if the "uncertainty" is one of their own making. Does no one remember what happened in the 60's? In the 50's, a house cost one year's salary at "standard wage". The same house now costs 10 times a year's salary at "minimum wage". We should not be surprised that they are still doing the same thing 60 years later, people.

Spam tool developer faces six years in chokey


Diamonds and Guns

The crime he is being tried for is _not_ that he wrote software. The crime is _not_ that he wrote software that _might_ be used to violate the law. The crime is that he wrote software that he _marketed and sold with the intent to be used_ to violate the law. He then provided services to enable the software to circumvent anti-spam measures over time.


Note here that it is not that software _could_ be used for crime, but that it was provided _to_ be used for crime. If software developers were prosecuted for something that _might_ be used, then the developers of FBI's "Carnivore"/CALA/etc would (or should) already be in the dock, eh?

Trying to draw a correlation from this to encite prosecution against firearms manufacturers for making "guns that kill kids" that "sell their wares to the public", or automobile manufacturers for making "cars that kill kids" (teen speeding/joyrides) that "sell their wares to the public", or alcohol producers for making "distilled spirits that kill kids" (alcohol poisoning) that "sell their wares to the public", or whatever "cause" someone may be on is clearly looking to dodge personal responsibility for personal actions.

The point is that people are responsible for their actions and no amount of moral pleading for short-sighted legislative punishments can or should change that. If society feels that you are not old enough to be responsible for your actions, then the person who _is_ responsible for your actions better watch/know what you are doing, eh?! If you do something wrong, you should, and will probably, get punished.

Unless, of course, you make enough money to get out of it - like bankers, politicians, etc.

NASA fires up the 'interplanetary internet'


@P2P server(s) in orbit...

Like any good satellite constellation (system), you will need several to provide uniform coverage over the globe... Might I suggest:

Caroline (of course and thanks!), Sherman, Hillary, Rosen, Valenti, Glickman, Murren, Grey, Wagner, Plank, Lynton, Stringer, Lynne, and Eisner to start?

Microsoft promises no patent prosecution of open-source .NET

Gates Halo

@ AC 15:55 (RE: What's the problem?)

>why was .NET created in the first place?

.NET was created to create a Common Language Interface (CLI) across all MS supported languages. This included VB(.NET), C++, and C#. It allowed all of them to be compiled into the same "binary" file, which is essentially just an XML document that controls a Common Language Runtime. This would be able to run on all current and future versions of MS Windows without the fear of DLL Hell. In short, it was MS' way of crushing Java.

>What gap did it fill that was not already filled?

.NET resolved a large complaint from Win32 programmers - DLL Hell. By basing everything against a common library that supported previous implementations, a program written for Windows 2000 would work, drag-and-drop, with Windows Vista (or Windows 2052). This encountered hiccups (Framework 1, 1.1 to 2) but has steadied into something (amazingly) reliable with 2.0 - 3.5.

>What is its purpose?

.NET was always implicitly designed to run on other machines besides the desktop. This might have been officially limited to WinMobile or EmbeddedXP, but it has always been expected to run on other POSIX compliant operating systems. Yes, that's right. NT was POSIX compliant and so, too, are all NT kernel based WinOS's (2L, XP, etc). What are other examples of POSIX compliant operating systems? UNIX and Linux.

Is this for the OSS, FSF, or Linux communities? Heck NO! This is to allow the large user base of WinOS developers to drop WinOS apps into Linux and Unix environs with little or no code change, or even change in development style or language. I can imagine Bill laughing at the thought of all the WinOS cowboys frolicking in the Linux Wilds... and the terror in Torvalds and Stallman at the same thought.

Programmer charged with stealing Wall Street-ware


Prosecution over matter of transport

This guy was sending the code outside the company... overseas... over the Internet. All well and good, I suppose, if he did it properly:

1. Establish SSL link with server of choice, preferably through TOR, Anonymizer, et. al.

2. Cut-and-Paste text from coding window to browser window.

3. Send in suitable, bite size chunks.

And he sent it to Germany? Is this because he used RapidShare?

Of course, this probably wouldn't have been an issue if he did a simple scan from his camera phone into 3+Megapixel images, MMS/emailed to his home account, and OCR'ed them at his leisure.

That is assuming, of course, that GS IT prohibited simple USB keys, after all.

UK DVD sales plunge...



Indeed. The "mandatory reminders" are hilarious... especially if you have some DVDs from before DMCA, where minimum penalties were lower than today. Which is it, eh? Is it relavent when the punishments they are *so happy* to grind into us out of date?


O. M. G. It was bad enough when it was only in English... but my copy of IronMan(tm)(fu)(c)(r) (see what I did there?) comes with the warnings for FBI (1) and Interpol (2) in English, Spainish, French, Chinese, and Korean(?) - for a total of 10 warning screens, each displayed for 5 seconds. So there I am, getting madder with each one for nearly a minute! You have *got* to be kidding me.

Mrs Slocombe's pussy vanishes from Twitter

Thumb Up

Mr. Humpries, are you free?

Indeed. Oftimes being the first (and sometimes only) introduction to the homosexual community in the Redneck Midwest(tm) of the US, many nights were spent staying up watching Col. Peacock trying to maintain some semblence of order on the shop floor.

Good grief, forget Mrs. Slocombe's pussy (we didn't know that was a "bad word" then!) - we got our laughs as youg'ens when we saw the elementry teacher's face when we would talk about "Pee - cock". Oh my.

But, I truly admired (loved? perhaps too strong for someone you never physically met...) Wendy Richard (Miss Brahms). I cried like a baby when she died.

Marie Curie voted top female boffin



"The company's Grita Loebsack"...

If "loebsack" is the new bulgarian airbag, is a "grita" one particularly abrasive, or just the French wording of the standard measurement of abrasive materials?!

Yes, I know... Ms. Bee is sending me to be... abraided... appropriately. Unless she thinks I will like it too much. :) ... Hence the icon, eh?

China not demolishing Green Dam



Given the capabilities of Chinese distributors with the latest titles from Holly/Bollywood, what stops people from just using the hardware and reinstalling whatever OS they choose? Is this kind of thing monitored by the Great (Fire)Wall?

Rolling Stone allegedly DDoSed for negative story

Paris Hilton

'Tard, Indeed

The entire point of this story screams "Look at me!", yet he didn't think that someone might, you know... look at him?

All because he got caught exchanging some phrases of questionable morality with some he _thought_ was a girl... but didn't bother doing anything to confirm it.

Paris - because even if she is fake, she is still all woman.

Europe won't pay more for Windows 7. Really!


@what do you propose? for the average EU user??

> command line FTP is a ok if you know the addressess.. i'll look that up.. ermm..

1. Start -> Run

2. Type "cmd" and press [ENTER]

3. Type "ftp releases.mozilla.org" and press [ENTER]

4. Log in as "anonymous" and press [ENTER]

5. Enter your email address as your password.

6. Type "cd pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.5/win32/en-US" and press [ENTER]

7. Type "lcd c:\" and press [ENTER]

8. Type "get "Firefox Setup 3.5.exe"" (note double quotes) and press [ENTER]

9. Open "My Computer" on your machine and go to "C:" drive.

10. Run "Firefox Setup 3.5.exe"... Enjoy!

Note because of client firewall, I am unable to test this, but have used similar procedure to get my little foxy before on other client sites.

Glasgow unbans Life of Brian


Ah, childhood

I have to admit, this film holds a special place in my heart...

There it was, rented VHS on the telly. My Mom and Dad sitting beside me as my legs almost touched the floor while sitting on the sofa. We all laughed and laughed and laughed, just like other MP films we all enjoyed. Until...

Suddenly, FULL FRONTAL FEMALE NUDITY. My Mom gasped. My Dad gasped. I ogled. Eagerly.

I was then sent sailing over the back of the sofa as both hands of each parent slapped me about the face and head as they tried to sheild my tender eyes from the travesty of 70's nether region hair stylings. Since then I have been mentally scarred for life. But, a Brazilian is a small price to pay for functional mental health, eh?

Eurostar tunnels through UK border ring of steel


@oh noes the world is ending

Actually, the US is far from streamlined in its airport tracking. But, we willingly gave up any pretense on right to travel nearly 10 years ago, now.

With over 70% of commercial air travel within the US comprising of internal flights with _only_ US citizens, you can see why US Merikins missed the point of why mandatory checkpoints are _bad_. We eagerly scurry into them with our passports to get from Point A in the US to Point B... in the US?! Just give us a little scare and we will run to our master's formen and bend our backs willingly. Why can't the repressive Nanny State of Blighty get with the picture? It was because of that kind of control we seceded.

We don't have to worry about asylum seekers, because who would want to be in a country that tracks its citizens more than the former USSR? Isn't this the kind of treatment that our parents feared from the "Commies"?!

The Enemy(tm) is ourselves and the people we put in power over US. We have nothing to fear but the fear ... and the Enemy(tm).

Joke icon... because I wish it was...

Mitnick site targeted in DNS attack on webhost


Court Order

I can't blame Mitnick for not securing his own website or for farming out tasks to, um, the people he pays to do the job... according to his sentencing, if he attempts to use a computer (let alone secure it), he is in violation of his agreement with the DoJ... which under Patriot Act II, is treason.

"I hit the power button to turn it off, that's all!" - "Sorry, sir. Have to shoot you anyway. Rules and all that, eh?"... Bang.... Oops.

China bans virtual cash for real-world trade



>""All money is virtual, a concept that too few people understand." && "Each one is worth exactly the value that 'the market' is ready to give it." == nonsense

>As you so rightly said yourself: "Although having a private company issue their own currency is a whole new can of worms..."

>If it's != nonsense then your last sentence would not make sense. So which is it? Does it have an intrinsic value, or not? :)"

Uh... no, it is not nonsense - none of those quotes state that any money has an intrinisc value. In fact, all of them state or imply that there is no intrinsic value, which is _especially_ true of a "virtual" currency. So, what part of the last sentence does not make sense?

Physical money _can_ have an intrinsic value - I can fold my paper bills into airplanes or wipe my @ss, but the one using a $100 bill is worth as much as the one using a $1 bill, intrinsically. However, it is never in a central bank's (or gov'ment's) best interest for its currency to have any intrinsic value. WWI saw pennies worth more than a penny because of copper shortage, and the gov'ment lost true value. The "value" we place on physical or virtual money _is in exchange for goods or services_, and is based on the amount of money in the system (ie. fiat currency)... In a "market" controlled by the central banks.

We already have a can of worms as the central banks (ie. the Federal Reserve Bank) _is_ a private company... And we see all the time what happens when the sharks in the pond think someone else is getting any fish...

Cyber security minister ridiculed over s'kiddie hire plan


@mitnik would be useless in this role

... and besides the fact that it would be a Act of Treason (under Patriot II) to touch a keyboard, let alone secure his own website (looking at you zerofool2005)?

There are many things that are needed for the right personality for IT security, but it is not a "black science." It simply requires training, aptitude, and desire. Isn't that the kind of thing that GCSE tests, etc. are supposed to find, the better to lead the forming minds of Blighty to intellectual domination in the EU?

Pirate - because the desire for true privacy and freedom forms the desire that leads to training and aptitude.

Amazon.com dumps North Carolina affiliates


Interstate sales tax

It does appear that SSUTA is just not enough for some of our more ... income challenged members of the US. It is a sad, sad thing, but unsurprising that gov'ment would eventually come sniffing around for any way to keep up the ponzi scheme of gov'ment services, eh?

Pirate - do I really have to say why?

Steve Jobs finds part-time work


Replacement Liver

Is there any word yet on the [recently hired] Apple employee who was the donor? Are they back to work yet?

Stop ID cards, says Scottish minister


RE: £6bn over 30 years?

I agree. I would think that the gov'ment bringing in revenues of £549.450,55 _PER DAY_ would be screaming, indeed. That's simply incredible.

Unless, of course, all that money is being spent on the relatives, club buddies, and companies the gov'ment officials own stock in... But surely this is for the betterment of Blighty, eh?

Warning: because its no longer a conspiracy; truth is sadder than fiction.

A Google monopoly today means packet snooping tomorrow


Potomac Myopia

As in all cases when intelligent people make their way to the hallowed halls of Those That Serve US, there is a kind of side-blinders that are handed out, particularly at those events of monetary policy making, the Congressional Hearing. These are known as "Hearings" because no one listens to anyone else, allowing all who participate to declare themselves, and their agendas, as "advancing for the common good of the people."

Alas, it is commonly known that the "common good of the people" is not the same as "the good of the common people." "The people" in the former sense are each a small group represented by one or more of the participants of the "Hearing."

This is simply another case of the same. The author attempted to bring some range into the discussions taking place, but the myopic tendancies of the very nature of the "Hearing" found himself falling into its effects; reduced to simply a check list of opposing viewpoints.

A good start, but ultimately only one exchange in one skirmish within one battle of the war.

Pirate - the last true bastion of personal freedom left?

Man+dog plunged into 'faecal lagoon'


@That thar dog

So hard... I tried so hard... But can't stop from commenting...

O. M. G.

That is all.

Toyota in 'real time brainwave driver control' success


Just the beginning

Of course they need to release this for "nursing home" and "elderly care". This would not be able to get into "real world" applications until this has been tested and vetted.

Why? Because the gov'ments don't trust everyday users to keep themselves sedate and controlled enough to manage this properly. What are you thinking (literally)?! The gov'ments cannot have a majority of the population in possession of multi-ton, fast-moving instruments of death, each with the equivelent of a bundle of TNT - the terrorists might get a hold of one.

Oh, wait... bugger!

Pirate Bay judge cleared of bias by Swedish appeal court


Substitute the crime in question...

Let's see if this works for _exactly_ the situation presented here:

1) A judge who believes that murder is bad should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of publishers of addresses of gun shops being charged with accessory to murder.

2) A judge who believes that CO2 contributes to global warming should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of advertisers for cars for violating the Kyoto Protocol.

3) A judge who believes that prostitution is bad should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of publishers of phone books for accessory to solicitation for sex.

If you do not see what the problem is here, you are confusing your own bias against others with factual law. It is not a crime, even under the draconian US DCMA, to post links to sites where you do not have control of the content, and where you trust the users of your site to update descriptions of what they found there to warn(!) others of what they found. This is considered "academic" review, like it or not.

On another note: by International Copyright Treaty (the one that INTERPOL is threatened against you with every DVD viewing), the infringement must be prosecuted in the country of incident... which would not be Sweden - it would have been the country of the people that downloaded the .torrent file that was _linked_ to by the Pirate Bay servers - if this was, in fract, a crime.

The only reason Sweden was chosen is because that was the country of residence of the accused. Proper legal procedure would have been to get judicial waivers of all the countries applicable that would have them agree (under the rules of the Treaties) that the judgement in Sweden, if prosecuted there, would be binding for their jurisdictions as well. Only then would they have been able to pursue a case against them there.

That did not happen.

Over the last several years, US conglomerate interests have been focusing down on automated systems that were put in place for completely legitimate reasons as "bastions of piracy" (Reading U. anyone?). That fact that it is the people that use the system that exploit it is conveniently left out because that makes it too hard, expensive, and a political grenade for the agencies and associations to pursue.

They know who is infringing on their copyright - it is their own consumers. But, no one makes any money if you keep thwapping your customer over the head when they buy from you, do they?

Web swoons as Jackson dies

Paris Hilton


First off, I have no doubt that "HPD" is a real psychiatric "condition". However, I would like to point out that one person's "serious illness" is another person's way of making a living - ever notice that "ADHD" didn't become "prevelent" until we had TV shows (with adverts) that cut from one thing to another quickly and computers that allowed you to do several things "at once"? If any common office worker could only do one thing at a time with email, IM, paper-shuffling, phones, etc. they would not be working very long...

But, hysteria was common in the 1700's... It affected mostly women, and could onset on a fairly weekly or bi-weekly basis. The common cure at the time was to let the woman (or man) have an orgasm, and eventually gave way to electric assistance in the 1800's.


The Paris Angle, because that's one angle I would continously volunteer to help "cure".

ISPs vs BBC iPlayer: Missing the point?

Dead Vulture

Death of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has already become another professor's "also ran" in lecture talks...

In the US, if you want to get the bandwidth to properly use a particular service, you have to pay (sometimes through the nose) to get that bandwidth. And yes, the more bandwidth you have, the more you pay, and the less the ISP will "throttle" your usage of certain services available on the Internet, public or private.

When you have a "normal" connection, it is throttled based on what you do and how you use it; all subject to extra fees and fines based on what they think you are doing.

As it relates to this story; the reason the US has "better facilities" is because we splurged during the DotCom bubble on laying wire and fiber... and the company that did it went out of business (MCI, anyone?), with its fresh assetts bought up on the cheap to be resold to our last mile consumers.

L'Oreal appeals eBay ruling


Corporate protectionism

Sorry, but there is no "Global Economy(r)" - all we have is vast opportunities for corporate protectionism.

Where "economic protectionism" is typically viewed as legal or cultural (boycotts, etc) barriers to trading goods from one country, company, or area to another country or area, "corporate protectionism" is what is practised by companies in a reverse way.

This means that goods or services manufactured or provided from one central area are priced differently when they finally "arrive" or are otherwise consumed in different areas. Services here include web-based "products" from a central server location.

I agree that there _is nothing wrong_ with a company doing this on their own. But when it becomes "illegal" to conduct trade by _legally_ purchasing goods in one (sudden, artificially created) "market" and _personally_ resale in another, paying all applicible taxes, etc., then there is something seriously wrong. At that point, the company is showing its contempt for their customers, both in simple grace and intelligence.

US IT outfits slice 34,800 jobs


@33% unemployment rate

Are you _kidding_?!

What makes you think that being over 65 means that you don't have to work? Over 50% of "yoof" over age of work (16 in most states) do "have jobs", even if they are 5-10 hours a week at McDon@ld's. Likewise, even those over 65 have found that Social Security simply will not pay a living stipend for all the money invested in it over the years. And with 401K's wiped out, there is little alternative to continue working.

Remember, all that money did not instamagically "disappear" - the reason those funds lost money was because it had to be paid to someone... The question is, who got all the money if it wasn't the banks, eh?

Opiate-crazed wallabies create crop circles

Black Helicopters

Taliban Opium production

Actually, opium production in Afghanistan dropped under the Taliban - it is against the religion, after all (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/13/world/taliban-s-eradication-of-poppies-is-convulsing-opium-market.html).

Those that survived have flourished under UN control; providing 90% of the "illegal" heroin inside the US in 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/01/AR2006120101654.html).

UK.gov decides best form of cyber defence is attack

Black Helicopters

Internet Task Force

It is all well and good to say, "Look, these people know what they are doing. They have the tools, the talent, and the desire." But will they have the authority? If everything is dependent on Home Secretary or PM approval, this could once again be relegated to a (albeit high-tech) truncheon selectively used under political will.

I agree that this is a _perfect_ excuse to implement the various interception plans revealed here previously by El Reg. And skimming off the top of the various agencies' talent and budget pools allows them to discretely amass the wherewithal to put it together without (even!) MP oversight. All this wrapped up in the cozy blanket of Mum's Love(tm).

At least Blighty has the decency to let the public think they are notified about what's going on - in the US, everything always seems after the fact, unless some poor soul sloughs across the (literal!) mountains of documents that pass through the workings of our government. It is not a very well concealed fact that the majority of these are to hide what really happens.

Spanish court in favour of topless celebs


American "English" Slang

Wow. Being offered the illustrious Sarah Bee's biscuit. I feel jealousy rising up like a _heavily_ modifed Robin (Top Gear ref. FTW).

I, like most males, prefer a nice pint (Imperial or English - who cares?!) with my biscuit(s), please!

Femto cells with big ideas

Black Helicopters

Power Licensing

The biggest deal with femtocells here in the States (Colonies) is that cells tend to latch on to the _strongest_ signal. Some phones have preferential selection for type of network, but very near the femtocells I have seen demonstrated here (within 20-25ft / 7-8m), the femtocell effectively BLOCKS OFF connection to any other signal nearby for cell reception.

That means if you use one in an apartment complex, you will probably have the neighbors' cells on your femtocell, similar to the way they slurp off your wifi now.

This makes is amazingly easy for fraud, etc. because tweaking your own "cell tower" does not reveal the phone number, but does show the ESN or other phone identifier and network ID, which can then be used for man-in-the-middle attacks for using other's network charges or close off cell access completely for those "late night visitors" that don't want to wait for you to leave before stopping by.

All in all, just means that the average Joe will have the same capability as the Feds have had for decades now. All in the greater good, eh?

Super Micro stuffs super node into pizza box


Standard Interfaces

I also like the idea of using standard PCI-E interconnects for adding on GPU daughterboards. Odd though, I used to think of them as "graphics cards"... Hmmm...

Of course, having anything that would conform allows for upgrading along the curve, as well as substituting "lesser" boards for on-the-cheap(?!) release versions for the masses (hopefully?).

Punters 'confuse' netbooks with notebooks

Paris Hilton

Coming to Terms

I think we need a good terminology to clear this up:

Lappy - [Fends off the Moderator Beat Stick(c)] True laptop computer you can use on your... well... lap. If European, this usually means you have enough lap for 17" screen, etc. And the CPU core in the upper left hand corner of the machine keeps your crouisants tasty.

Handy - Smaller "laptop" or "handtop" computer you can use on your lap or hold one-handed. If Merikin, the usually means that it will fit on what's left of your lap or perch on the "beer holder" plateau of your belly. Sorry - no cup holder on these models.

Yes, I am from the Midwest US. If you can't laugh at yourself, you can't laugh at others.

Paris - because no consumer would EVER confuse her terminology of "lappy" and "handy", eh?!

Apple won't let Commodore onto its baby


@DZ-Jay; Re: What about programmable calculator emulators then?

Thus spake DZ-Jay: "I understand if you did not bother to read the terms of the iPhone's SDK, but did you even read this article? Quoted within it was the relevant bit:"

"... However, the developer decided to include an open-ended platform which allows the download and execution of external content, and even ad-hoc BASIC programs. This is clearly a violation of the terms."

Exactly. Entering code that is executed by the "emulator" is verboten... Which is what the "programmable" calculator emulators allow. This is, presumably, why Vladan Dugaric brought it up - not because he didn't "bother ... yada yada"

And before anyone screams, "You can't download and execute...", note that the "relevant bit" includes the term "otherwise", which includes hand-typing in through the keyboard, ya'll.

Underwear obligatory for Florida city workers


@ QR 2024

Anime fans around the globe are now waiting eargerly for the result of what QR 2501 is....

Boffins: Gigantic crustacean sperm is 'viable strategy'


@Luther Blissett

... Then obviously you can tell if your navel lint is 20x larger than normal size, 'natch!

EC calls for one world internet governance


US Dept of Commerce Mandate

OK... so ICANN is in place at the behest and authorization of the US Dept of Commerce, who "inherited" the DARPA WAN that became the "Internet".

However, the "Internet" is not controlled by the US. Each and every network is owned and controlled by a corporation or academic institution. Such US-Controlled interests as France Telecom (Orange), BT, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, and China's government owned networks. Hmmm...

Does it actually control the day to day operations? Like registration of new domains, approval of MX records in DNS, etc.? Well, no... That is done by other corporations, like Verisign (virtual monopoly, actually, but only for a & j root servers) and various international registrars. Well, darn...

Does it create the standards used by all participating in the Internet? Well.... no. That would be the IETF and W3.

Hmmm... What *does* ICANN do? According to the website http://www.icann.org/tr/english.html, they give out IP addresses for domains, say how gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) and ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) should be managed, and say how root DNS should be managed. So they are the boffins that figure out the impact of changes, how to best implement them, and recommend best practices. A buffer group for the IETF, then? All the true work was "sub contracted" out to private telecoms or dedicated-use companies *at international request* in the mid-1990's, remember?

When the Joint Project Agreement expires, the options are to renew with ICANN, or the US Gov/ment can *take back* the responsibilities and work again. If it took it back, then the US Commerce Dept has the option to lease out the responsibility to another company. This works on a continually renewing basis as the *permanent* relationship between Ofcom and BT, for example, with Ofcom responsible for regulating how things should go (in name only, perhaps for this case) and BT doing the work.

So wait a minute, you may be thinking... That's right - the US Gov'ment ultimately controls the management recommendations (not the ownership) of the telecommunications infrastructure it funded and created *within the US*. The only reason this has expanded beyond the US is because no one else had the gumption to do it themselves. And money, of course.

The "segregation of the Internet" that some claim would occur if ICANN picked up its toys and went home is already here - each country can close themselves off at will (Iran, anyone?) without word or recourse from any other country. Governments already have back-ups lines separate from the "public" Internet and would not be troubled by its working or not. The only thing that keeps it up and running in an *internconnected* fasion for you and me is the money-grubbing companies that use it for their data and the paltry (comparatively) sums paid out by me and you.

US city demands FaceSpaceGooHoo log-ins from job seekers


Long Gone, Me Mateys

Avast! It seems the steely grey eye o' Ree Ality took the mainmast of USS Bozeman under its keel... Arr... was hopin' to get some Montana booty this day...

'Specially whens I see city fishals get fine wenches as part of the comps package... Aye...

Microsoft kills Visual Studio's Oracle data connection


@AWeirdoNamedPhil ; @Mosh Jahan

If I may...

Data is not the application. It is the slick, juicy bits of data that flow through the application and make it worthwhile for the user to... well... use.

So, I propose that data is the fuel for the application CAR.NET.

The database would be the fuel tank, pump, etc, where the fuel (data) is stored and transported. The database driver, then, would be the fuel injector, where the fuel (data) in squirted into the engine (app engine) for use.

So, MS is saying that there will be no 4.0 barrel Oracle injector. All existing Oracle injectors will still work, they will still service them if someone takes a screwdriver at 'em, but nothing new will come out for them.

Now, that doesn't stop you from then searching for another after-market or competing OEM manufacturer's part... But that assumes that the OEM's specs are out to work with, eh?

Che Guevara's granddaughter poses for PETA


Che would be proud

Let's take it all into account:

1. Finely toned body from (recent, obviously) gurellia training amongst the (veggie) killing fields.

2. Note the fine, fresh layer of dust and dirt from scrounging (rabbit-like) to get her own carrot ammunition herself.

3. The long, flowing hair - obviously enriched from plant extracts because she doesn't get the proper nutrients in her diet.

4. Those clear, blue eyes... So indicative of a native Argentinian (Is that true?), with none of the yellowy glaze so common in true, hardcore veggie supremacists.

And there you have it. Proof Positive that her being a vegetarian for any significant length of time before PETA approached her with loads of dosh is a Double Negative.

Of course, I am sure any carrot (say... mine) against that body would be just as crisp and stiff as those in the bandileers, eh?!

Israeli robo-kamikaze selling like hot exploding cakes


Why are they even bothering with this?

If the Brits (or US for that matter) want a true, loiter-capable weapons systems, they need to have a stealth material covered airship, approximately 50ft long and 20ft wide (at 5K ft). The interior would house a number of downward-facing drones/missles/maneurable bombs/whatever in a rack. The electronics would scan and respond to radar or other select band communications and direct commands to launch. Using ducted fan propulsion, the heat signature would be very low and this should be able to waif around at high altitude for much longer than any prop or jet based system. Additionally, it could/would be:

1. Autonomous (its no longer cool to say "automatic") function or direct control.

2. Deployable from air - pull the helium inflator cord and push it out the C-130.

3. Deployable from ground - should fit (deflated) on the back of a Hummer like a medical module.

4. As its an airship (zepplin) design, even a USAF/RAF pilot could fly it without crashing.

Good lord, let's face it - I could build the frame and perform flight tests (even legally!) here in the Midwest US for less than $100,000 out of my basement. Seriously - I have experience with R/C and dirigible tech. Anyone want to give me a grant, seriously, and I will be happy to licence to BAe/MoD/DoD/etc. all day long. Patents pending on all this, of course.

Spanish bar invites customer abuse


Merkin Reminder

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today, Fri Jun 19 09:02:32 2009.


This Travel Warning warns American citizens about the locally accepted custom of insulting serving staff at certain public houses in the country of Spain.

American citizens who choose to visit Saudi Arabia are strongly urged to remember that Spainish as spoken in Spain IS NOT the same as Mexican spoken in the southern states or in the country of Mexico. Inadvertently insulting a Spainard in Mexican in Spain has been known to cause serious injury to the American citizen involved, or even in the general vicinity.

U.S. citizens who require emergency services may telephone the Embassy in Serrano 75; telephone (34) (91) 587-2200, and fax (34) (91) 587-2303 or the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34) (93) 280-2227 and fax (34) (93) 205-5206.

US record industry wins $1.92m from file sharer


Copyright violation

Unfortuneately, she was in court at all. Fortunately, she got off light. The potential is $250.000 *per violation*, which would be $6m. Likewise, up to 10 years *per*, which would be 240 years in a federal pokey.

It is very, very sad that this is actually *showing* compassion on the part of RIAA.

And don't forget, kiddies - This is *international* law by treaty, INTERPOL and all that. That's why the warning is "en Francais aussi."