* Posts by Jimbo Gunn

15 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Apr 2008

Epic Fail: How the photographers won, while digital rights failed

Jimbo Gunn



My open letter to Andrew Orlowski

I've [almost] stopped reading The Register. It's always been quirky and rarely afraid to bite, but their continued assault on the Open Rights Group over their failure to stop the Digital Economy Bill has gone way too far.

Andrew Orlowski, editor at large and ORG critic-in-chief's latest rant offers all the answers to why the Open Rights Group failed to stop web censorship or disconnection powers whilst photographers succeeded in stopping clause 43 (orphaned works provisions) of the bill.

But Andrew failed to spot one prevalent issue. Conservative key voters. The Tories always knew they had limited capital to exert influence during the parliamentary wash-up. They chose their battle(s). Well one single battle really - and it wasn't clause 43. They wanted rid of the £6/year landline tax (from the finance bill) in order to appease a large and relatively untapped section of the electorate - pensioner power.

Many old people rely on the landline as their one method of communication, yet were unlikely to ever reap the benefits from faster net connections. The tax had to go to turn the purple-rinse vote blue.

Sources tell me the Conservatives were largely happy that the Digital Economy Act as it stood at third reading since it had no real bite until disconnection and censorship provisions are enacted, at the earliest 9 months from now (12 for disconnection). Possibly there was no use wasting their wash-up influence on two provisions of the bill that still had hoops to clear before they became law?

Orphaned works provisions stood a league apart from even controversial anti file-sharing measures. Problems with clause 43 were raised from all sides, and importantly very few vested interests were lobbying for this provision of the bill - especially after the concept was blown apart when someone finally spotted that that orphaned works measures apply not only to semi-ancient untraceable archive works but all contemporary works published [illegally - without credit, or accidentally - without credit] online.

So there you have it. What I believe is the dull, dull, boring reason why clause 43 failed but web censorship and disconnection remained. The Tories thought the grey vote was important but malcontent internet rabble-rousers were not. Nothing much at all to do with ORG tactics, yawn, belch.

And the Tories didn't see back then any real opposition from the Lib Dems so how could it harm them politically to align themselves with Labour on censorship and disconnection?

Sure, everyone made mistakes. Both sides in this created their own monsters. Orlowski's conclusion from an earlier piece is probably right - the only winners here are the Pirate Party, and possibly the Lib Dems, who opposed the Digital Economy Bill and are now calling for the repealing of the act.

But beating on the Open Rights Group is pointless.

Geek vendettas will only serve one purpose - stop people reading The Register.

Tories may scrap IR35 tax rules for contractors

Jimbo Gunn

Seriously, Tory Dudes...

If you want the Geek Vote scrapping IR35 only goes a 1/3rd of the way.

You've also got to COME OUT against the Digital Economy Bill as it stands and cave in to the Free Beer movement.


Jacqui's jihad on web extremism flops

Jimbo Gunn

Do you actuall WANT web censorhip?

Chris please don't encourage the dual-dwelling expense-hungry impetuous Miss Smith, the last thing the industry or the country needs is a censorship law.


"However one expert did dare to question the Home Secretary's grasp of information technology after her rabid insistence in January that she wants the entire internet censored so that evil websites promoting blogging by civil servants can be stamped out. The expert has since been arrested on suspicion of possessing articles known to be useful to terrorists and will appear before magistrates in camera next week."

Cuba crafts extra-communist Linux distro

Jimbo Gunn


Surely a better name should follow Cuba's success in the cigar industry and call it HabanOS

Quantum porn engine foiled by strawberries and muffins

Jimbo Gunn

Where IS the porn?

I tried using Cuil to find my favourite big beef curtain mature-on-mature action party and I couldn't find any porn for love nor money. I even turned the safe-search feature off.

Leeds thieves target Ford Focus chips

Jimbo Gunn

Here, take it. It's total CRAP

Being a F.F.F.Ford driver for a while I can say that each and every car stereo supplied by Ford is crap, so here, take it! A 6-CD changer that jams with the worst reception for any radio I ever had (including the handlebar tranny I used to have on my chopper - no that's not a transvestite sat on my crotch).

Maybe though I can use this rumour to sell crap ford stereos on eBay for vastly inflated margins. I may get 4.99 instead of 3.99 for the hunk of junk.

Apple's 3G iPhone to launch 11 July

Jimbo Gunn

iPhone a good buy...

According to this report, the iPhone continues to defy the laws of Physics and work miracles ;)

3G iPhone breaks petaflop barrier



Lords linger over extreme porn definition

Jimbo Gunn


Shouldn't the opening be:

"The camel-toe that is the UK Government’s answer to what it terms "extreme porn" lumbers onward."

On a serious note, what's the F_ point of this act anyway? Will all this wankery by parliament and the cost of hauling people through the courts make the society any better?

Virgin Media distances itself from Phorm 'adoption' claims

Jimbo Gunn
Black Helicopters

Have any of the campaigners made...

Have any of the campaigners made a compendium of Phorm spin?

So far I've heard Privacy International endorse the system, Dr Richard Clayton praises Phorm's privacy measures, We cannot know who you are, choice is an important issue, The Guardian have not dropped Phorm, opt-in/opt-out is a red herring, Google are evil, Kent is not the prince of darkness, only a small number of people are against the system, it's good for the internet, a revolution in privacy, extensive legal advice, phorm is legal, phorm is good, Phorm definately did not spark the Rwandan genocide, it can save millions, feed the starving, find Bin Laden, end the surveillance society culture, cure Leukemia, cure Aids, help Tony Blair become the first EU president, deliver a lightening bolt to Mugabe and bring back the Zimbabwean crops, end the conflict in the Congo and Sudan too, free tibet and Australia with it, end the warlord domination of columbia and reduce opium supply from the far east and break up Coldplay.

Information Commissioner: Phorm must be opt-in only

Jimbo Gunn


I am not a lawyer and I don't have much of a phucking clue about this but...

Hasn't the ICO totally missed the point about Phorm?

"Even if Phorm is not processing personal data..."

They're watching your whole internet connection. "We can see everything" is their sales pitch. I throw down a challenge - send me a month's worth of browsing history and I'll tell you:

1.) Who you are

2.) The town you live in

3.) The type or pron you like

4.) Which banks you use

5.) The newspapers you read and your political persuasion

6.) Your religious interests, if any

7.) The names of your best online friends

8.) Your best friends partners names

9.) If you have any pets

10.) Everything you buy online

11.) Your employer

12.) Your next employer

13.) Your proficiany in spelling

14.) The state of your physical and mental health

15.) If you're over weight

16.) What your foot size is

BT hands top job to Retail chief

Jimbo Gunn

BT have done an excellent job...

BT have done an excellent job... pandering to the whims of the Home Secretary to implement an infrastructure Hu Jintao himself would be proud of. Phorget what you think I'm about to say - it's impressive what has already been achieved through data retention laws and installation of passive taps and blocking technology in the name of anti-terrorism and child protection.

If any successive governments should decide on "protecting" its citizens from online content there is now a rigorous means to achieve this, as there is to monitor ALL digital communications.

Arise, Sir Ben. Job well done.

UK.gov will force paedophiles to register email addresses

Jimbo Gunn

But not everyone on The Register is a paedo!

Small flaw in the plan.

As per a previous commenter, The Register as I understand it is diluted because it contains not just hardcore pervs, but also a Nottingham man who was convicted of "groping" a co-worker in a pub after work and some doggers.

So these people should also be banned from FaceSpace and BoPeep too?

Absolute plonkers, Rodney.

BT and Phorm secretly tracked 18,000 customers in 2006

Jimbo Gunn

What BT have just done...

And I'm being serious now - is, by coming out fighting, without acknowledgement of customers' concerns, just alienated the customers who felt uneasy about this and enraged those who are baying for blood.

Well done Emma Sanderson of BT, my hat off to you. You have just made things much much better, honest.

Jimbo Gunn

Dear HMG Home Office

Dear HMG Home Office,

I recently received details of your new initiative to create new legitimate business opportunities in the hi-tech sector, namely in the Data Raping arena, and I'd like to register my company's interest in the scheme.

I own a conglomerate of small enterprises specialising in niche revenue opportunities. By profiling anonymous individuals we can identify those of high net worth whom we can target our product at. Out main product being simple letters offering our services, our main service being NOT writing to the press about profiles showing interest in our sister business selling a large range of man-on-man video materials.

We also have ties to a large network of software developers who are keen to install 3rd party "applications" on our data-raping hardware. Many of these are enterprising individuals whom I'm sure will find great ways to increase revenue once we have total control over users data streams.

Thank you for your interest,

Frances James "Jimbo" Gunn

Writer, TheSpoof.com


Link spammers go on social networking rampage

Jimbo Gunn

Let me see - how would I go about mas-hijacking of FaceSpace acounts?

Hmmm, well I'd need to steal a load of sign-on cookies, so I could sit in a few internet cafes snooping and hope I can catch a few...

Or even better, could I find some way to plant malware actually inside an ISP so I can harvest cookies of millions of FaceSpace accounts, in order to accountjack? That would be tough, because the routers used by ISPs are quite hardy boxes...

... If only someone would install a piece of hardware inside the ISP that I could get a chance of pwning. But that would never happen, right.