* Posts by Warren

15 posts • joined 20 Mar 2008

Microsoft's idea of Family Protection? Block Google



Don't you realise the kind of filth your kids can find using Google?

Of course Live.com is allowed, you can't find anything with that.

G20 Summit: All the action caught on camera

Paris Hilton


The second picture needs a warning.

More to the point surely it should be Playmobil figures on the telly?

Paris, because she is too. NSFW that is not Playmobil.

G20 police demand ID as train staff ordered to spy on passengers


If I were going

to protest, I wouldn't take the train - might arrive too late to join in.

Seriously, though, have they forgotten our freedom of speech? And is it any concern of the train companies where their passengers are going? They don't care when I've got an important meeting that contributes to the UK economy....

Mine's the one with the logo on.

Emotional arguments do not make Street View illegal


One rule for them

I'm sorry, I have to disagree. Useful does not automatically equal good or legal. The ICO's job is to uphold the law surely.

I might find 10 people who would find a fast car useful. It doesn't mean we can go and nick one. But when it's our privacy, we are expected to think large-scale intrusion is normal, and everything normal is expected to be legal. We get the same thing all the time in other fields. (e.g. "We have to approve human cloning, it's the only way we can run science now"; "we have to allow torture of terror suspects, everyone else is doing it".) But this is backwards - the law should determine the norm!

Of course, if the police think you might be doing something a bit terrorist-like with a camera, you'll be going down the station, especially if you're not white-skinned. If you're a multinational corporation mapping the UK in a way obviously of some use to terrorists, but ostensibly for the aim of large-scale profit, carry on. Profit is good, after all. We'll make the laws fit.

Intent matters when you're Google. Intent matters when you're an individual too, but the police assume your intent is bad. The fact that one person's small photo album could not possibly be used for anything dodgy and can't be accessed by anyone else is irrelevant.

Now, let's assume their face and numberplate fuzzing fails 5% of the time (estimated from looking at their images). While a good score for the technology, this is in reality unacceptable. No one person has photographed more than 5% of the UK I would hazard, so no-one has done more than Google. Therefore no-one else should ever be told off for taking pictures. The fact you can have your image removed is utterly irrelevant. You won't find out about it being up there until everyone else does, and any damage is done.

Big biz & the gov think they run us. This is also backwards.

BTW I haven't been burned by GSV (as far as I can tell) or police stopping my photography. The stories I read of those who have are scary enough to make me write this.

Aussie firewall blocks Wikileaks



Dear Aussies

As soon as it moves beyond removing pages with illegal images on them, this is the online equivalent of banning books.

I hope you have found a way around this. I would link to one but fear my comment might be banned.

PS Don't give our crazy govt any ideas, they love anything that costs too much money and demonstrates no understanding of technology. How long before you would have to insert your ID card to access the internet?

'Talking' iPod Shuffle spills guts

Jobs Horns

"All the parts, laid bare"

I see they shoved a coin in there. Not very minimalist but probably the most valuable bit.

The good book: How to bet better online



"If a friend was foolish enough to offer you odds of 50-to-1 on Gordon Brown winning the next election and the same odds on his losing, then you should bet at once."

Forgot the option that he might not be entered. Then he couldn't lose or win. Also forgot the option that friend may go bankrupt, etc. In these tough times even bookies can go bust.

Good article otherwise. Can't believe the number of people who place bets on the lottery and similar. "If you're going to bet on anything, bet on a certainty." I don't know if anyone's said that before.

BT accused of 'sharp practice' on rolling contracts


It's not difficult

They sent me a letter at the point it was time to cancel if I wanted to. The letter spelt everything out. I've got no love for BT but everyone has contracts you have to cancel if you don't want them any more these days. Talktalk wanted to charge people for leaving when their service didn't work (ie [i]they[/i] were in breach of contract) I seem to remember.

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

Paris Hilton

Ready, aim, fire

Cue lots of anger from people who can't bear the idea that aspects of current scientific theory may not be 100% right, and that creationists may have something to add to science. It's always a bonus if you can call your detractors religious nuts, you don't have to look at what they're saying. Here's a clue: creation almost always gets an "ism" added to the end to make it look like something stupid people believe. Evolution is left without an "ism" as if it's fact.

Most teachers being pragmatic and talking about their subject in a way pupils want to talk about? Shock horror. Guess what, you can't actually separate out subjects and talk about them only when you want to, even if you do believe the current theory of evolution without mentioning its shortcomings, and detest all versions of creation with an irrational fear that makes you more religious than the people you disagree with!

Where's the Paris Hilton angle, anyway? She's clearly either an evolutionary step forward from her father or a creation to amuse us all!

The True Confessions of an Election Official


I hope

That UK elections are staffed with similarly brilliantly people. And in fact that those like Pete outnumber the prejudiced biddies in the US too.

And also that Pete can write more for El Reg!

Hitwise and Compete: the user data ISPs do sell



I'm amazed at how any company can think such identifiers are anonymous. My name above doesn't mean you can necessarily track me down, but it's still my name. An identifier assigned to you, be it IP address or anything else, IS yours and should not be given to anyone else or used for anything you don't agree to. If the law and common practice don't match this then I'm not surprised.

Ivan O'Toole? That's nothing, snorts Hugh Jass



Of course it's been 'shopped - the numbers aren't blocked out on the original....

OLPC sweet talks Microsoft

Paris Hilton

Here we go again

To start with it's all cheap, open, innovative and so on. Then the bigguns (usually Microsoft) notice that it's getting popular and think "We'd better get in on this." Finally, their version gets the marketing budget and before long everyone's using it.

You're left with something that's good but not quite as good as it would have been.

Paris, because she's as good as ever.

Ofcom says yes on more TV ads


Anonymous has a go at the BBC?!?!?!?

You've got to be kidding, they're the sane ones in this mess. If I could pay double TV licence to get the adverts off the other channels I could. Without the BBC as a bottom line for us to remember what life used to be like, everything in the entire world would have adverts almost constantly.

Also they can offer some less popular programs because of the funding difference, rather than lowest common denominator rubbish that quite frankly is worse than the adverts that fund it.

Perhaps... and this is just an idea... ALL channels should be on subscribe / adverts choice. (Not both like Sky do it!!!)

Yes as practical approach in the meanwhile I have a PVR but they're so darn good I'd have one anyway.


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