* Posts by Wayland Sothcott

423 posts • joined 22 Feb 2008


O2 says 128Kb/s is all its 3G customers need

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

@ Andy Worth

It has always seemed odd to me that the most obvious 3G device, the iPhone does not have 3G. Also odd that it is limited to O2 for no decernable technical reason. Even stranger that O2 would promote a device with WiFi. And now this, an admission that their 3G can't cope. It becomes clear!

If the iPhone had 3.5G then people would definately want to run them on Orange at 800kbps for a cheeper tarrif.

Phorm admits 'over zealous' editing of Wikipedia article

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I love Wikipedia

I am sorry, I have always loved Wikipedia. It's sort of like Ask The Audience on Who wants to me a Millionaire, it's the best lifeline.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Re: No going back


What an uplifting comment. Sometimes I feel you are right. Well lets say I am fighting to make sure you are right. However we have seen so many ridiculasly wrong things done by coorporations and governments inspite of well informed protests that I worry.

We must stay latched onto Phorm like a mastif on a postmans buttocks until they finnally give up reading our mail and run away (appolgise to any postmen or mastifs reading this).

I emailed my MP with a letter about Jaquie Smiths stupid peodo email plan and the Phorm thing. He nolonger writes back because I am a nutter.

E-passport security flaw allows remote ID of nationality

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Re: such as broadcasting a person's private details

Well then it would mean no RFID, where would the fun and profit come from. RFID is so cool we should put it in everything. Combine RFID with IPv6 and have RFID readers everywhere then you have a proper fully connected world. Google Earth you could zoom in to someones passport or shopping basket or home webcam. Imagine that.

Demo shows how web attack threatens fabric of the universe

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Gates Horns


If you can mess with DNS then you can probably bypass or replace the SPF DNS record in order that your spammy IP address looks like a proper SMPT sender listed in the SPF record.

Someone said once that todays spam is of a higher technical standard of correctness than most peoples email setups. So in order to get through spam is starting to look too clean.

UPnP is an amazing thing. Who would have thought it was a good idea to have a service to automatically punch holes through a firewall from an active x control? Evil gates, that's who.

UK child database is 'not fit for purpose'

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IT Angle

Centralized micromanagement

I am sure a lot of us have come across these sorts of database applications. Maybe even had to work on them. The specification is thick and comprehensive and completely out of touch with the users and probably does not even folow management policy. The fact it makes staff using the system work harder is of no concern to management as long as they gain more control.

Staff will find ways of skipping through the screens faster. They will most probably create their own paper forms and employ data entry personel to enter these into the system If they get really smart they may write their own application in MS Access and have this feed the governments forms or backend database.

Anything done purely top down will look clean but function badly since it will not take account of the day to day realities of life. It's quite common for the bosses to dictate one thing whilst the staff get on and do it in a way that works. If it's a success then the boss thinks his system is working. I have discovered this sort of thing when gathering information for a specification. I struck a deal with the staff that I would do the system they wanted as long as they told the boss it was working well and would come to me with any problems. The boss was very pleased because it gave the outcome he wanted.

FIPR: ICO gives BT 'green light for law breaking' with Phorm

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re: Dressing up - Flash Mob?

T5 had a Flash Mob. A load of people turned up with something on their T-Shirts, flashed them then dispersed. It used to happen a lot, but then the Anti-Globalist demos used to happen a lot. Or maybe they still do but it's not reported. Only when you actually get close to grabbing the Olympic Torch does anyone notice.

I think meeting at an Exhibition in London and then going for a pint might be good. Do you think it would be OK if I wore a 911 Inside Job T-Shirt ;-)

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Re: @AC @Me


You have done an excellent impersonation of the Sheeple.

I know exactly what you are saying and how it feels. We are all Sheeple about something. Afterall we can't care about everyting, it gets too stressful and we have to get on with our lives. One of the problems is that with not enough people making a fuss about this then those that do have to work harder.

In the big scheme of things Phorm is just some illegal spying supported by big communications companys and our government. I am sure the people who don't want to be spied on will encrypt and the people who do like it will just love the extra security it brings them.

I am not really that bothered about Tibet. It's just a peaceful country run by monks who have been invaded by the worlds biggest nation. Putting out the Olympic Torch looks like a laugh and I am glad the hypocrits who carry the thing are having problems. But do I look bovered?

Now back to Phorm. This is our fight, one we are winning morally but losing in practice. It's gonna take some people dressed as spiderman to get this really noticed.

By the way, remember that other major battle that we the sheeple one a few years ago? They one where they had to paint the speed cameras bright yellow? Guess what, they don't have to do that any more.

This will be the same. Fight them on a legal basis and win, then they just change the law so you lose later. The house of lords has been hollowed out so they can do this.

Don't dispare, fighting is good. Enjoy the fight and feel angry about losing.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Phorm Emma Sanderson emailed me


I have placed this on my website for you to read rather than waste space here. We need a spin Icon.

When you're a big organisation you learn to lie in a smart way. I am also in a battle with United Biscuits because the last packet of penguins I bought tested foul. I asked various people to try them and they spat them out. UB wrote back "The samples you forwarded to us have been tasted by several colleagues in our office and also by our taste panel, and it has been confirmed that product was to specification and nothing wrong with the sample could be found".

I know perfectly well that this is ab blatent lie. But note the wording, she did not say she enjoyed them. What's that plausable deniability or something?

Have you noticed that recently the powerful men always get the powerful woman to tell the lies?

Toxic symbol.

Australia to restrict laser-pointers - Minister

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I like the Charlton Heston quote

There are instructions on YouTube to bring the power of these green laser up to 'ludicras power', they will burn paper and pop balloons. Nasty if you get one in the eye.

Wanted: Gordon Brown's fingerprints, £1,000 reward

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Hopefully illegal

If it is illegal to copy someones finger prints without permission then that would mean we don't have to give our fingerprints to National ID.

BT: 'We did not let anyone down over Phorm... it was not illegal'

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Paris Hilton

ICO statement

I just followed the link posted earlier to the Information Commissioners Office.


They have picked up on a couple of our points but seem fixated by the Phorm ideas;

1. that it enhances the users experience

2. that not posting adverts on opt-out is the same as not spying on traffic

3. that not holding personal data on their server is the same as not identifying the user from their Phorm cookie

I tend to find that women love it when a big firm take charge like BT or Phorm and yield to it.

Paris because she likes a big firm take charge kinda guy.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Phorm Phizzy Drinks Company

We at the Phorm Phizzy Drinks Co have conducted a small scale trial where some of our bottles contain a substance with calming health benefits that's completely harmeless. Durning the trial no one knew this was happening and there is no way to know who drank the special bottles.

Those lucky few who did drink the health improved bottle would have noticed that they were less stressed and more relaxed.

We are now in talks with the major water companys and health authorities to sell this as a benificial water treatment additive. We also have the backing of the police who feel that on a large enough scale the calming affect could reduce road rage and murder.

Child wellfair groups are demanding that this should happen quickly because if it saves one childs life it will be worth it.

Microsoft lines up with the good guys on identity tech

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Digital Wallet

In the '90's there was and idea called the digital wallet. It contained digital money that could be traded directly with another digital wallet without passing through the bank. Obviously it worked by some very clever prime numbers or something but it was effectively like having silver coins. There was no need to know the idenitity of the people in the untracable transaction.

Clearly this would never work, or if it did work then it would be illegal. All this having to prove who you are is surely unnessasary. Possesion is 9 thens of the law? If you want to top up your electricity meter then surely any form of payment is OK as long as it feeds your meter and not someone elses. The meter does not need to be linked to you, that's just spying. Your car runs on whatever petrol you buy, no need to link it to you or your car. Oh I forgot, it stops terrorists.

I dunno about the government talking to MS about ID cards, seems like three bad things in one box.

DHS ponders microwave raygun missile defences at airports

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Tested at Heathrow in January

If you notice no surface to air missiles hit the Boeng 777 and the plane was not too badly affected by microwaves. So it must be effective.


You may have spotted that recently there have been several incidences of jet planes suffering fuel problems and loss of power. All sizes and makes of jet plane have been affected. Some have been grounded, some have crash landed and a small one crashed into a house earlier this week in a huge fireball of death. In all cases they could not be sure of the cause of the problem except lack of power. OK maybe Chemtrails http://www.rense.com/general48/vent.htm perhaps they put something in the fuel to make pretty lines in the sky.

I would not be happy if these microwave weapons were routinely installed at airports. They are automatic and if left armed (which they would have to be in order to catch a surprize attack) they could start shooting microwaves all over the place, disrupting communications and computers.

Part of me thinks that they won't ever deploy these but the companies would like the money to develop one.

UK.gov will force paedophiles to register email addresses

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Black Helicopters

Criminalize and distry privicy

Some people spotted that Paedos will be forced to use differnt addresses hence easy to convict and imprison for 5 years.

Other people spotted that the addresses will be great targets for perv spam.

If you run a social networking site that children might use then the police will send you the sex offenders addresses. So are they going to require you get a licence to run a social networking site? Expect that as the next announcement.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Another one for Phorm

Obviously demanding that all email address are registered will clearly not work.

This is another one where the government will find Phorm useful. Phorm spys on all your traffic. Paedos seem to be subject to laws which the rest of us are not subject to. Simply tell Phorm who the paedos are and they can report on the all the email addresses used.

Because it's paedos people won't object, they will DEMAND that this is implemented. It's then available to track suspected terrorists and organised crime.

I believe that because Phorm will be useful paedo tracking technolgy, they will be allowed to coninue with their evil plans. Once Phorm get good at targeting adverts at known paedophiles it should be a simple matter to spot undetected paedos, terrorists, etc. This would be a massive saving for the government who prefer to get companies and individuals to do their policing for free rather than do it themselves.

Blue Dasher seeks customers for street-level photographs

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Put a camera in your car

and record all your journeys. Terrabyte hard drives, why not? Opportunistic WiFi router in the car (dd-wrt) which uploads to your Internet server or Google Earth. People can then follow your route. Maybe using that 3D modling thing the picture can be viewed from all angles. With enough people doing this then the virtual world can be updated from the real world in realtime.

Creative climbs down over home brew Vista drivers

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Open Source

The resources out in the world can match those within Creative and for free!

Maybe Creative could release drivers as Open Source and allow their software developers to work with other Open Source programmers. All Creative have to do is manage the software projects and sell the hardware.

Microsoft gives XP an extra two years to live (kinda)

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Onwards and Upwards

We could freeze all hardware right where it is and the computer industry would still produce faster computers. Software would slim down and speed up. With Vista, Microsoft is using software to drive the hardware market which does not seem to want to follow.

You can always download a new Linux distro that will be up to date and it supports most hardware. It is a shame that hardware makers don't stick a penguin on things that work on linux. It is very strange that Creative did not even want their sound cards to work on Vista. Definately something odd going on.

Naomi Campbell cuffed in Heathrow Terminal 5

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Mobile phones are getting bigger

Mobile phones got really small but if they keep getting bigger Naomi could become even more dangerous. If she switches to a laptop such as a Panasonic Tough Book she could be lethal.


Being clumped on the head with that would be bad.

DHS reckons US cops' access to sat-surveillance is go

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Black Helicopters

@More money for the Feds

The new level of cooperation between various authorities be they police and army, government and businesses country to country is quite staggering. They are being let into each others databases, they see each others customers and citizens. If they want someone pulled it happens. The process is still a bit shakey but most of the TV and newsprint media cooperate. The ISPs are slowly falling into line. Tools such as NetNanny are already cooperating. The banks are one the lookout for business activities breaking the £10k threshold, they are not just looking at ten grand cheques but activity that might reach 10k in a year to the same person.

They are seeking the help of the ordinary nosey parkers; radio advert on XFM "How do you know if somene is just waiting around or is a terrorist? You don't have to know, just call the confidentail terrorist hotline 0800 789321". Seriously!

We now have to watch out for blond radicalized muslims, we are told that there could be 1500 ordinary brits who have joined Al Quada. Paintball is potentailly terror training, paintball clubs are being vigelant to the potential terrorists in training and will call the terror hotline if they are concerned. An ideal target for the spy sats.

I don't think anyone is making charges for these anti-terror services. People are only too pleased to chip in to help the war on terror.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

re Enemy of the State

We have a spy helecopter but we need a spy sat.

The satelittes that they would be using would most probably be low orbit ones whizzing round the whole globe. Unlike geo-stationary they need not focus just on merkins. Expect a similar arrangement to be used in the UK and other countries cooperating with 'Global Warming' to use a euphemism.

James Bond menaced by red hot Chilean

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Carlos - you da man

Defend your country. Nice protest. However I expect they won't want to make films in your town again.

Oh look I see they're leaving.

Coming up: the fingerprint-grabbing keylogger

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IT Angle

revoking them if they get stolen...

"The biggest issue with biometrics is that of revoking them if they get stolen..."

There are several ways to steal fingerprints. The most obvious must be a fingerprint scanner. "Scan here please"

There is a good way of revoking a fingerprint, cut the finger off. Theves may also cut off your thumb if it's needed to steal your car.

In the film Minority Report the rogue police officer had his eyeballs surgically replaced with different eyeballs. It helpled when he traveled on the Tube. He kept his original eyeballs to re-enter the pre-crime facility. Lack of proper security meant that they had not revoked his right to enter the building. (The same movie where he steals a car by climbing onto the car production line and it is built around him, then drives off)

I think RFID implants are the way to go. You can have these surgically removed and replaced with different ones. Heck I expect you could re-flash the ID number with a handheld device.

Hutton: UK must become world No 1 in nuclear power

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Iran has some nuclear scientists

We need a radio active symbol.

OK, so for years Global Warming was not happening and we closed the UK coal mines because of sulpher polition and acid rain and had the dash to gas.

Now we are replacing Trident and using Global Warming for our desparate need for nuclear power. Quick, we must go nuclear before the world ends. Except Iran.

BTW, Iran will soon be given Nukes by America. They will most probably be delivered by Tomohauk from warships in the Gulf. And not soon enough is what I say, the whole place is run by mad mullas... sorry encitement to violence and racial hatered...I will get my orange jump suit and pack my waterbaord.

UK.gov demands 999 ads on social networking sites

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Government not stupid

Obviously putting 999 on a social website as the number to call to report abuse is a completely stupid idea.

However I am contiuning my mind game of assuming the government are not stupid. OK, now please join me in this, if the government are not stupid what could be the explaination for this suggestion perported to be from the government?

Here are some of my suggestions, please add your own.

1. The government never suggested this, the media made up the lie so the government look stupid.

2. The government have targeted this at stupid people who will think it's an excellent idea.

3. They really are going to make the websites do it and every ISP will have to install Phorm so that when the site is used in the UK or USA the correct number shows up 999 or 911

4. They want to give the 999 people something to complain about. "the number of hoax calls we are getting has escalated"

So I really think they are sofening us up for something. The ISP will complain that they can't carry out the government instructions to make the Internet safe because they break RIPA and other laws. The government will then clear the laws to allow Phorm to profile childrens social networking to identify valnerable people. This list will then be made availalble to the peidophiles in Social Services who can then take the kids into care and move them to Jersey.

This will make everyone safer so if you object then you are a terrorist.

Remember the government are not stupid, therefore they must be very smart and very evil.


Official: OOXML approved as international standard

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The way forward

OK so do we all support OOXML and support Open Source versions of drivers?

If it's based on XML then it could probably incorporate ODF.

It ought to be possible to take the initiative and write add on open source drivers for MS Office all versions especialy 2003 which is a good MS Office version.

With any luck people will love the super Open Source version of OOXML and MS will switch to using that. Also us as techies can help our customers chose the most apropriate file formats. When we set up MS Office we can set DOC format as default, or install ODF drivers or Open Office.

My smaller customers always ask how they get MS Office on their new computer. I always suggest Open Office. I usually make their donation for them out of my fee. For some customers MS Office is their best option because of MS Access or because of their business environment. I only know one person who likes MS Office 2007 but then he likes anything Microsoft do.

I don't think OOXML is going to be a good idea unless it has a 2nd source in the Open Source world.

Fixing the UK's DAB disaster

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Power to the People

That's what DAB does not deliver and the Internet does and to a limited extent what Pirate FM delivers. The success of the Internet has a great deal to do with the simlicity, cheapness and effectiveness of the protocols such as HTML and TCP/IP.

There is no entry level for DAB. You can't get started with £400 worth of gear like you can with Internet Radio or Pirate Radio.

You have to have lots of money and a business plan and adhere to lots of regulations. It has to make money too.

DAB is based on an outmoded ideal of the previous century.

Landmine charity: Ban the killer robots before it's too late!

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Would they be American robots?

Would they be friendly robots firing at people?

In Robocop the Part Man Part Robot was far more effective than the pure machine. Except for the criminal Man Robot cop with a drug adiction, he was worse than the pure machine.

But then who would put criminals in positions of authority in real life?

How an app called WarmTouch nailed a grenade-stockpiling cyber extortionist

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Phorm service?

Phorm would probably install this on their server. I would then get all the Barbra Windsor and AK-47 adverts come up.

BT and Phorm secretly tracked 18,000 customers in 2006

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@Alexander Hanff

I like the idea of those petitions. They give a real feel of democracy. However they are only one of the things we have to do. Clearly it will take a lot of persistance to get BT arrested.

The problem we have is that BT is now part of the 'government'. Their data snooping plans fit in well with the governments law enforcement policy. You may have noitced how the law seems to be enforced on you by your suppliers or your boss at work. Think of the smoking ban, it's not the police who tell you to smoke outside, it's your pub land lord and your boss. Similarly with parking, it will be NCP who fine you for not parking in their car park (see Brighton).

Phorm is an ideal system to enforce DRM. Currently they don't track your IP address for advertising, but when the ISP's, think Virgin, start looking for people violating copyright they will use Phorm. I am not talking copyright vilations where someone steals your artwork from your website to use in their movie. It will be when you download the movie where they stole your artwork.

BT and Phorm are on the side of the government so you can't expect the government to arrest them with the same zeal as they would arrest an ordinary person found breaking the same laws.

I do believe that if we manage to win this one it may slow them down abit.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Distorting the truth

When you view a web page, the web server sends you the data it wants you to see. 18,000 people viewed web pages that had been distorted by Javascript secretly inserted by BT Phrom.

Secretly intercepting and altering communications, changing the message, as it passes from sender to reciever is not exactly novel or difficult. Quite easy for the carriers of the data since it's sent unencypted.

The fact is we *trust* the data carriers not to peek at the data and not to alter it.

In the case of BT, the biggest carrier of data, THAT TRUST HAS GONE!!

The only way a website can be sure that their page arrives at their customers computer without been peeked at or altered is to encrypt it. HTTPS for all websites.

Exec sounds death knell for games consoles

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My Original PlayStation is dead

It died at about 10 years old so the prediction is correct but hardly surprising. But people will by new hardware.

I think the concept of the games console is a device that can play games branded for it. There are several brands.

The PC on the other hand allows programs of all types to play on it. Anyone is allowed to write programs for the PC and the PC runs anyones programs.

The games console has one excellent advantage in that it is very simple to use. There is no reason why an open 'games console' could not be published. It would be just like any of the others only anyone could make them and anyone could write for them.

I think the hardware is mature enough that the only inovations required would be in software and peripherals. If hardware never got faster for 10 years we would probably see some real improvements in computing.

Teacher's head explodes due to Wi-Fi, mobe radiation

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IT Angle

RFID chip

Maybe he was trying to burn out the RFID chip in his head?

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Think of the poor children

who had to whitness such a traumtizing spectical.

The fact that one of the children thought it was 'Cool' shows how desensitized they have become from playing constant violent video games.


If banning everything saves one innocent life then I will happily stick my head in a microwave.

Creative threatens developer over home-brewed Vista drivers

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Gates Horns

Could there be a good reason?

Let's say that Creative have not fucked up and everything is going to plan.

That means their Vista drivers are crap on purpose.

Of course they don't want anyone to fix them, they are supposed to be crap.

BUT WHY? What possible motive?

Is it to keep vista from gettting better? Surely someone else will have a sound card which works well in Vista.

Perhaps they have a fantastic new product in development which is really almost the same product but with better drivers? Now that would be money for old rope.

On the other hand maybe they are trying to devalue the company ready for a takeover.

Someone once said never attribute to malace what can be explained by incompetance. That is how most people think. I have started to attribute malace where once I saw incompetance. It seems to explain a lot these days.

MPs pile pressure on ISPs over Phorm

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Phorm is a great benefit to consumers

BT have broken the RIPA laws and admitted it. However the government is in favor of spying as long as it's done by responsible large organizations on individuals. This means a small retrospective change will be made to RIPA to allow these beneficial services.

We will need a substantially larger level of outrage to actually get BT prosecuted and put a stop to Phorm. Anything large enough to actually make a difference would most probably be against anti-terror laws. We are ignored to an unbelievable extent. Then we are appeased by some tough sounding but ultimately lame actions. In two years time this will all be forgotten and ISPs will routinely spy on all traffic, by law.

Finally we will hear how a rouge employee of Phorm has been harvesting credit cards and identities. It will always be an individual, not a corporate policy by Phorm. Someone has to be the patsy.

There are ways round this, Tor for instance and encryption. But these will be outlawed and made inconvenient for mainstream websites. They won't be used by the majority of Sheeple.

Ofcom wins pirate radio components case

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One rule one one...

anther rule for another.

"The components failed to meet the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) regulations"

They look like pretty good components to me. Exceed FCC specs and are acceptable to Ofcom for licensed radio stations. These same components are substandard when used by pirate radio stations, well take it up with the pirates then.

This maybe a smart move by Ofcom but it's hardly legal.

There are plenty of designs for radio transmitters that you can buy components and solder them together yourself. Will Maplin be checking what I am using the BC108 transistors for?

Pirate radio stations don't have the support of the authorities. Therefore they police themselves. If there is a channel dispute then they destroy the competitors equipment. They may also beat up the people and occasionally shoot them. It is in their own interests of safety to have a strong team and not to piss off other stations unless they can take the backlash.

@Supporting free speech

Put your name to your words, don't be a coward. Yes Ofcom do want to clamp down on pirate radio and it's not because of interference. You are right it is to control free speech. In the USA people have traditionally been allowed to run free public TV stations. These are also being shut down but in a different way. I have joined a HAM radio club and hope to gain a license. I am dreading the time that they start clamping down on HAM.

Adobe to remove Photoshop pic pimping clause

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Use of 'freetard'

I think in this article freetard means a fool who thinks they are using Free software because it's free of charge. Real Free software does not come with a stack of clauses which steal your rights and your ownership of your content.

This service is not free, it's expensive.

US state outlaws RFID data theft

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@James O'Brien

I am afraid the beer has gone downhill quite a bit. Good bottled beer is very expensive. Canned beer burns my throat. Pubs are empty because of the smoking ban and the drink drive paranoia. They never have more than one draft beer and the other beers are ice cold and full of nitrogen so you can't taste how disgusting they are. Better brew your own beer or see if you have some good microbrewerys near you.

A metal wallet would be a good idea.

I am sorry but these problems are global. Much of the bad stuff is tested first in the UK then exported. It makes no difference if the technology does not perform it's stated objective since that's just a cover for the real objective which will be against you, the law abiding individual.

Arguing that something is a bad idea because it does not help with your freedom and liberty is rather opposite to the point. If it makes these things worse then it's likely to be approved. See the doublethink and spot what's coming next.

No point in getting my coat and leaving "you always take the weather with you".

Hannaford cc data thieves planted malware on 300 servers

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Thumb Down


That magnetic strip was always asking to be hacked. Shear arrogance of the designers in thinking that it was too difficult for people to hack!

Chip and Pin takes more effort but why tout it as uncrackable unless you are laying down a challenge.

In this case they don't even bother with Chip'n'Pin.

A target this big is obviously going to attract challengers. The bigger your organization the better defended it needs to be. Windows has to be better written than Linux because it's a bigger target. If you wanted to make yourself a smaller target then you would use Linux. It might help but would not totally solve the problem. The other thing might be to split the organization into Franchises or a federation. The world seems to be going the other way with organizations and countries growing bigger and more integrated. It give the people at the top massive power. This makes the internal problems bigger and harder to fix.

Microsoft makes final heroic grab for OOXML votes

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Thumb Down

Microsoft bought the vote

This is what I understand from previous reading on the subject.

Microsoft gave donations to Microsoft Certified small companies to sign up to vote. Some countries have canceled their vote when they discovered Microsoft had bought the vote.

The spec is so complex that only Microsoft products will conform to it. OK so some companies could code to the spec better but then that would be like Opera Verses Internet Explorer. Your program would have to work like MS Office rather than to OOXML spec.

I expect MS will have to add ODF to MS Office whilst everyone else ignores OOXML making it an orphan.

Attackers hose down Microsoft's Jet DB Engine

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Access is useful and powerful

The JET engine is used for the registry I believe. I expect it's used internally for all sorts of OS data storeage.

One of the reasons for microsofts success has been the lack of security. Having everything really easy to get started means you are likely to do more things. However Microsoft products although powerful and easy to get started with they get harder the more you use them rather than easier.

The JET engine works really well and usually out performs oracle in single user applications. Unfortunatley this leads you in to developing some very serious business critical applications which by the time you have finished have become both indespensible and a support liability. Over a network with say 30 users the .MDB file will keep corrupting on a random basis. Easy to fix but it will keep an Access developer in work for a decade ;-)

One of the smart things about the JET engine is it's ability to parse SQL and VB. About 9 years ago we wrote a B2B website for suppliers to collect their orders. Each logged in with their account number and password. However by simply entering code such as '=password' in the password box on the login page, the JET engine would parse the SQL as 'if password=password then let them in'. (psudeo code not real syntax here)

All that Microsoft power and flexibility can have unforseen consequences, well at lest for our programming knowledge at the time.

Religious MPs get free vote on hybrid embryos

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Science can't explain everything

but it should at least have a go.

However just because something is not explained by science does not mean we are powerless to make sensible and moral decisions.

Science can only explain things in a very strict and limited sense. We may understand every part of something but fail to understand the whole, at least scientifically. And yet we are able to function and make use of what we do know and use faith for that we don't know.

Many cruel but useful experiments have been carried out by scientists. This stem cell stuff is undoubtedly useful, growing new cells to replace damaged ones, that's fundamental to healing. However creating (or at least allowing) life to develop has the potential to be very cruel.

Every human can tell if something is alive or dead. Doctors with specilist knowledge can look for the signs and are better at it. However no scientist can actually create life and no computer has a mind, for heavens sake they are not even that good at text recognition. (Please correct me if I am wrong) Science is derterministic, this causes this then causes this. Ok then heads or tails?

It's correct that religion has a say in this as it is organised faith. If the scientists knew everything then they would not need to carry out these experiments. Faith and belief are nessasary here as well.

UK CCTV numbers 'may be overstated'

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

@bobbles31 - Bobbies on the beat

I have a theory which has been touched upon by others on this thread.

1. Government goal - more police powers.

2. Method - get the police and public to demand the powers

3. Strategy - keep the police busy indoors so the street crime builds up.

I have spoken to some very ordinary people with some very violent and extreme views. They have told me the police don't ever do anything but someone should beat the living shit out of hoodies (hood and hat hides face from cameras). They realise that they don't have the power but think the police should be given more power.

The people with the violent answers to street crime are victims of the crime or know victims. They don't see the bigger picture.

I was talking to one person who attended a parish council meeting about crime, the police were invited but failed to attend. Which aparently is typical. One of the parishoners spotted the police sitting in their car operating a speed trap on the edge of the village.

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

TIA 'under construction'

Clearly they would like to achieve the "Orwellian infrastructure". They have identified council cameras as their first target stating that an electronic police feed would mean the data "met evidential standards". Turn this around and it means that police evidence from the same camera is of higher value in court than your own copy.

Clearly ACPO want better regulation of CCTV. Their next target is business CCTV, with the promis of police response and 'evedential standard' data.

Eventually in order to have a licence to operate a camera you will require a feed to the police. This will be via a 3rd party such as the supplier of the cameras, who would operate a server with a police feed to make things easier.

The insurance firms will also make it a requiement. You may even need them in your home but at this stage the sheeple will oppose it.

Traffic is policed with cameras, pedestrians are too, soon they will be policing inside shops via cameras.

If you drive south over the QE2 bridge you meet a new breed of cameras. They used to just watch traffic from far away, only making out the flow. Now they are big yellow and in your face. Taking your face and your number plate. They call it Average Speed monitoring, but with face recognition it will do more than nick speeders.

It's a good job the police never use Photo Shop to fake evidence. Especially if their evidence trumps your own evidence under the law.

Mozilla CEO blasts Apple for putting security of the internet at risk

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Geeks are from Mars

Users are from Venus.

A simple thing like a tickbox on by default serves two purposes.

1. It gives you choice (if you're a Geek)

2. It forces the choice (if you're a User)

The vast majority of people will end up with Safari on their PC's.

Interestingly as a Windows Geek when I go to use Safari on a customers Apple (in order to look like I am familiar with Apple) they say 'no no, don't use that one, use Firefox it's much better'. This is not just one customer but four different ones.

ICO queries Heathrow T5's huge fingerprint scam scan

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

Why finger 'prints'?

Hands have a back and a front. The thing about a print is that you leave them on things you touch. Which means that they are used for catching theves.

The back of your hand cannot be used for catching theves, maybe the scanners could use that as ID? Similarly for retinal scan. However facial scan could get you nicked because you leave an image of your face at a crime scene on camera and in peoples memorys.

So if you're not a criminal why the worry about fingerprints?

We are all criminals, it's just we have not been caught. So many things are illegal these days that we all break the laws. However so far the practical test is the "Norman Stanlely Fletcher" if they don't catch you then you an't done nofin' wrong. They want to build Titan prisons to hold all the newly caught criminals.

I am sure in the near future the police will argue that a feed from these machines will be "an indispensable investigative tool".

Vista SP1 downloaders bite back

Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

Global downgrade

First Microsoft annoyed the hardware makers so they are slow to produce drivers. Then they annoy the developers, tech support and users.

Most of the control panels and tweeks are still there but are hidden under a layer of unhelpful wizards. Getting Wireless to work is now even more confusing with three places to switch the WiFi on to make it work. Poor hardware and software integration even with drivers that work.

Windows is too important to the worlds computing to get it this wrong. If computers are important then they have just been globally downgraded. They have set computing back by 5 years.

Vista works but is it honestly an improvement over XP?

XP is a mature and usable opeating system but can be difficult and time consuming to get everything to work.

Linux tends to install with ease with no driver problems. Occasionally you have to try a different Linux to get the best result.

Most people buy a computer with the OS already installed and only ever do upgrades via the automatic upgrade. It will be interesting to see if automatic upgrades break preinstalled Vista computers.



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