* Posts by FoolD

66 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Apr 2008


Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies


Why would someone work for a pittance when they can live on the dole and be better off ?

If you invite unlimited numbers of people from poorer countries in that are happy to work for lower wages then it isn't surprising that local labour will take the easy and often more profitable option than to try and compete for the jobs.

British people are perfectly capable of doing the jobs - they just lack sufflicient incentive to do so. Whether you reduce the dole to force the slackers into work or reduce the drag on wages to make working worth while is the question.

I know which I think is more humane for society as a whole and to do so requires us to first leave the EU.


Re: Responsibility

What price our willingness to help others ?

If there was even the slightest indication the EU was genuinely reformable it might be worth a shot but even then .. What if it doesn't work ? What is plan B ?

The arguament here is to give up our abily to decide our own future and suborburnate our decrocracy in order to help others that consistently prove themselves not willing to listen - with no way out if it doesn't work (there is no chance of another referendum, short of civil insurrection forcing one). That's not so much wishful thinking as willful negligence. Doing a business merger with such uncertainty and no contractual way out would be unthinkable.

If the EU was truly democratic or stood a realistic chance of reforming and accepting our help then the referendum probably would not even of happened. Most leavers are not anti-Europe they are anti-EU and pro-democracy.

A leave result may well just push the rest Europe into rejecting the EU - making way for a better union and a better, more democratic Europe. A remain result will strengthen the anti-democtratic nature of the EU, emboldening it to ignore reform even more.

Who wants a smart meter to track'n'tax your car? Hello, Israel


Re: Not such a bad idea

Bearing in mind that the main reason for schemes like this has to be the long term reduction in traditional fossil based fuels being used (and so the tax revenue collected). Saying "fuel duty already does this" is missing the point.

This is a to replace duty lost when everyone is using battery powered electrical cars "refueled" via domestic electricity, for which they can't currently tax separately. I strongly suspect the push to fit all domestic supplies with smart meters is another possible way seen to solve this - your car will report the electricity used to charge it separately.

Of course a simpler solution would be to switch to using something like Hydrogen-powered cars. That way creation and supply of fuel, including duties could still be applied. That might explain why BBC's Top Gear was promoting hydrogen and deriding battery powered cars a couple of years ago.

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago


lost very little ?

> The simplest argument is: If it doesn't happen, we've lost very little by trying to prevent it; if it does, we're potentially screwed (although we probably will adapt) <

If the global warming solutions being offered were palatable enough then I'm sure most people would agree with that argument. The problem is that the response so far seems to be riding rough-shod over people's rights (see Agenda 21) and possibly even forced reduction of population (eugenics) in order to reduce levels of consumption. It is those which a great many people find unpalatable.

Given the debatable level of proof supporting AGW and the obvious scaremongering involved, the restrictions on rights and the loss of democratic checks and balances in forcing the response measures through is not seen to be in proportion, or indeed "very little", by many people.

Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today

Big Brother


Given that an awful lot objection to this would be overcome if they simply added proper oversight so that data could not be accessed without a proper warrant (even it it was still logged in real time) one wonders why they are so unwilling to implement such safe-guards.

Possible reasons:

1. It's cheaper to be able to access all the data all of the time rather have to setup check and balances to protect the data.

2. The plan is to use it to profile and actively seek out targets rather than react to reasonable suspicion.

3. Other parties also want to trawl this data - eg. Ad companies or even ISPs themselves and someone somewhere will profit $$$

4. The system is already in place and operational so this is a back-covering exercise to make current behavior legal.

None of these options appeal, but why else avoid perfectly reasonable oversight ?

UK net super-snooping clashes with Euro privacy law - expert

Black Helicopters

Re: Please...

It's a case of good cop / bad cop. It's just that who is playing good cop and who is playing bad cop changes quite often.

This happens because both Government and the EU want the same thing ; power. Unfortunately this is unpopular with the proles so in order to look 'good' one side always has to play the bad cop and do the dirty whilst the other side is the good cop and 'defends' our interests. Of course the good cop never actually wins out fully, else they wouldn't ever get anywhere.

If one side gets too bad a name then the roles are reversed for a bit until the proles forget / forgive. This process is somewhat helped by the Government being booted out if they overstep the mark and a new lot with a clean(er) slate take their place.

Ultimately it's a game where the EU and Government are largely on the same side but play off each other to get unpopular legislation through whilst keeping a semblance of accountability to the people they 'serve'.

Or I might be getting jaded :roll eyes:

UK.gov to unveil reborn, renamed net-snoop plans in Queen's Speech


With the Queen's Assent ?

INAL but didn't the queen swear an oath to protect her subject's liberties during her coronation ?

Wouldn't announcing such an anti-libertarian law on live TV (and thereby giving her implied assent to it) be in direct contradiction to her Coronation Oath ?

It seems the Queen may need to be reminded that Liberty is not the same as Safety. Keeping us safe at the expense of our liberties is not what her subjects expect of Her or her Government. We should be striving for a balance between the those two things. Even then liberty without safety is far more preferable to safety without liberty - that is ultimately a prison.

As the final arbiter of Law in this land it is surely time that the Queen started to protect us from such unjust laws, not for her to be promoting them live on TV.

Office 365, Hotmail and SkyDrive hit by outage


Erm, Luddites had a point

- they warned that the machines would destroy jobs. They did.

A better analogy for using SAS for critical business system might be:

Why keep food in my cupboards, maintain a kitchen and cook myself (or indeed learn how to) when I can phone for a takeaway when I'm hungry ?

That's not to say there aren't good aspects, but you do need a backup plan if you don't want to starve when the takeaway burns down...

New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G


Tomorrow's World

The reason smart meters will be required is to cope with a future of energy shortage. When we no longer generate enough leccy to supply our needs we will need the ability to 'manage' overall usage to make the blackouts a safer shade of brown. Being able to make the best profit out of soaring leccy prices is going to be something of a bonus for the leccy companies, of course.

Personally I'm still waiting for the unlimited 'need to to even meter' free electricity we were promised on 'Tomorrow's World' all those years ago. It seems the peak of human aspiration and innovation is behind us now (largely curtailed by the green movement). 'Tomorrow's World' these days would probably be more depressing than even East Enders to watch...

Anonymous and LulzSec spew out largest ever police data dump


own goal ?

A lot of people would agree that organisations (esp gov) keeping too much data is bad - especially as they've shown time and time again they can't secure it.

However being dumb enough to endanger peoples lives by releasing such sensitive data both loses the sympathy of the public and gives the authorities 101 reasons to crack down on everyone using the internet - not just hackers.

Hacking the systems to release the data highlights the lack of security but even if the data collectors learn from this and secure the data better it means they will get better at hiding how much data they collect too.

If the aim was to protect privacy and keep data secure wouldn't it be better to persuade organisations not to collect / store the data in the 1st place ? Many people have pointed out that data is often kept at the behest beancounters - because it is profitable to.

There are surely better ways of making it less profitable to store data than releasing it...

Custard pie activist slams IPCC 'grey literature' habit

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Career Lobbyists

>> The global warming bandwagon is just the most recent of many.

Putting climate change to one side (there are many other examples - smoking, diet, etc) the crux of the issue - and it is especially prevelant in the EU system but also at a national level - is that NGOs that lobby the government can end up being funded by the very same government. This is a conflict of interest and often creates a cyclic dependency where the organisation pushes for more influence and control in order to get more funding, ad infinitum.

The fact that they use such blatant bad science and get away with it severely damages the reputation of science itself.

Adding a high level of transparency of the funding for these NGOs would go a long way to highlighting the problems. To fix them we need to start by breaking the government-funding cycle and have proper - independent - scientific analysis of their claims.

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade



There is no contradiction - although global temperatures were rising prior to 2000 (at the height of 'global warming' alarmism) the temperature hasn't risen much if at all, (in fact, observational evidence suggests a drop) since about 2000 onwards - much the the shagrin of climate scientists - and is the reason for much sceptism in man-made global warming (especially as CO2 levels have still been rising, not falling).

This graph clearly shows peak solar activity around 2000 - which actually correlates quite nicely with the sun being the main driving factor behind global temperature fluctuations, not man.

Having said that, taking a very small sample graph from a known maxima to known minima and extrapolatiing that to still lower activity is not a sensible thing to do though either; it's just as scaremongering and disingenuous as anything the IPCC ever came up with!

I would love to see a proper plot with at least 10 cycle's data to see just how out of the ordinary the current trend really is.

Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'


Re: Detector sensitivity

One has to wonder how much energy would be required to push such particles far enough in time and yet still be detectable to be useful, ie more than a few nanoseconds. Enough to do some serious damage I expect.

Whilst the ability to communicate a few nanoseconds into the past might be enough for some fancy parallel computing (as others have pointed out) it isn't far enough to affect your grandad or even get that magical lottery win. I suppose you could cascade messages further and further back in time if you had billions of atom smashers to work with (and enough energy to power them).

Maybe that is the purpose of the universe .. to remind god that he left his gas on.

WebGL: Interwebs 3D tech emerges from puberty


Windows machines rarely ship with OpenGL ... eh ?

All windows desktop OSes (XP and above) do ship with OpenGL - all-be-it using a software renderer (GDI generic implementation) until a proper graphics driver is installed. Windows server OS don't ; but they're not exactly the norm for web surfers.

If you mean rarely ship with a full OpenGL 2.0 implementation then you may be correct (as the generic software renderer is only 1.1 compliant). Even then though the basic OpenGL calls should work, just not post 1.1 extensions (which should degrade gracefully if coded correctly).

If the PC ships with proprietary drivers (which many do) then it will most likely have full hardware accellerated OpenGL (upto 3.x) ready to go out of the box...

UK opposes EU plans for '28th regime' for contract law


What ever next .. Common Laws for all ?

Whilst I agree that consulting consumers (ie. the electorate) would be a very good thing and also that differences in contract law between EU states is a PITA and, in general, a bad thing I also agree with the government that throwing the baby out with the bath water isn't necessarily the best solution.

Who says that replacing - or even worse compounding our existing laws - with typical one-size-fits-all EU laws will be better off for the either UK businesses or UK consumers ? It is the UK governments job to assess such implications - and they are right to do so. Harmonisation to the lowest common deniminator would not be a positive step forwards for the UK.

INL but I suspect a major problem is contract law is very close to the heart of UK common law - any changes would constitutionally rock the boat far too much for the conservative leadership to condone .. at least for now.

Microsoft to hire 4,000 in UK

Gates Horns

The Devil is in the detail

One could argue that stacking shelves, flogging tat and flipping burgers is more useful to society than diversity co-ordinators, surplus middle-managment drones and all the other public sector non-jobs created under the last government.

The real test is whether or not it is those workers that are the ones finding themselves being out of a job and retrained or if it is skilled front-line workers that are (effectively wasting the valuable training and experience they have).

Txt tax would wipe out half UK deficit, claims union baron


Borrow from Peter to pay Paul is the best Policy ?

>> the government expects to operate into perpetuity and therefore has little motivation to pay off debt in a pure financial perspective. As long as the debt collectors don't come around with a baseball bat, there isn't much reason to pay debt.

The government has the same incentive as everyone else not to run up too much debt; interest payments. As an individual the amount of debt you can sustain is tied to the amount of interest you can pay without compromising your ability to support yourself in other ways. Less interest = more to spend on yourself / others.

As a country, how much of our current spending is going to just paying off interest on our debts ? We cannot avoid that spending and no cuts, alone, will ever reduce it by a penny. The only way to reduce interest payments is to pay the debt off (or by generating hyper inflation to reduce the effective debt amount, but that is somewhat akin to chopping off your arm to lose weight...).

Of course, as an individual, you could get more and more credit cards and run up more credit (and therefore more interest) paying one off against the other but - at an individual level - this will eventually fail as you run of of creditors willing to lend to you. Also, the longer it goes on the worse the aftermath will be. Your offspring or relatives may even be hounded to pay off your debts after your demise.

At a governmental/country/world level this may work but only if *all* other countries are doing the same. However not all countries are. I wonder what China will do with all its stockpiled gold that we sold off cheap to feed our spending ? Keep lending it back to us ? Maybe, maybe not. I'd rather not risk finding out, personally.

I'm no economist, but surely a more responsible attitude is to use credit when you need it (or for convenience) but pay it off asap to avoid paying too much interest - balancing defecit and surplus over the long term. We might then, as a country, be able to afford to pay for the basics of a what modern society needs.

China-inspired charity aims to sex-down society


More self-righteous puritanicals ahoy!

Children are their parent's responsibility. A good parent should not allow childen to have unsupervised access to the internet or even unrestricted access to mobile phones. Such access is a privilage that should be earnt with trust. Government's role should be to encourage good parenting - no more.

As for adults watching porn - that is down to the individual. Warnings won't stop anyone that wants to from doing so. Anyone that thinks the government stance should be more like the Chinese on these issues (and think things like individual's rights are so outdated) should think about applying to emmigrate there instead. The rest of us could even start up a fund to buy their tickets...

It unclear from the article what exactly the gov attitude is towards these people - I'm getting a hint of "slightly dismissive". If so then good job ! keep it up. Maybe try for "completely dismissive" next time...

Cyber cops crush plod-snapper site following Millbank riot


@ AC 12:12 GMT

>> It is _not_ up to the host to decide if the site is legal or not

It's not up to plod either ; it's up to a judge. If the law states a court order is required then it is required - otherwise the site was unlawfully taken down.

Plod does not constitute a legal authority by themselves - they are there to *uphold* the law, not *be* the law. Therein lies a very slippery slope.

No hiding place - facial biometrics will ID you, RSN


False negatives ?

It would seem the ratio of false positives to false negatives is rather important here.

A layered search would help quickly filter out the false positives .. but what about the false negatives ? If the algorithm has already (incorrectly) discarded the correct match you will waste quite a lot of time filtering down to zero.

Then you would then have to start again using your slower, more accurate algorithms on the complete dataset...

Government abandons benefit-cheat lie detectors


... and the cost in human terms ?

So why is your local authority using technology that doesn't work ? If you want to know whether to investigate someone (or not) tossing a coin would seem to be as effective - and probably fairer.

How many stressed out people have had their rightful benefits delayed because of a false-positive from your system ? How many cheats have got away with it because "the computer says ok" ?


US comms watchdog probes Google Street View Wi-Fi slurp


Pass the indigestion tablets pls...

>> We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward

Erm, how about select file(s) -> delete. There - not too hard was it. If google really meant the "sorry" then they shouldn't be messing around like this.

Stalling tactics will only make google look more guilty...

Content producers should chip in for mobile internet costs


Promise only what you can deliver

>> If consumers alone are paying for the data there is no incentive on content providers to use networks efficiently

That would depend how much you charge to provide for the bandwidth to download that content.

If your pricing is fixed fee for "unlimited" data then no - there is no incentive. If however you charge per Mb or have a reasonably capped limit then there is an incentive - users won't use content providers that cost them a fortune or use up all their cap inefficiently.

That aside if, like all internet providers should, O2 ploughed more of the profits back into the infrastructure this wouldn't be such an issue. If that isn't feasible then they should market their bandwidth & charge their customers appropriately for the network capabilities.

Steelie Neelie calls for 'every vehicle digital'


Sure-fire way to put people off Electric cars

Making all electric cars self-drive is a sure-fire way of making sure a good percentage of people that would otherwise of considered going electric won't touch the tech with a barge pole - for a variety of reasons - privacy, lack of trust in the "safety" of the autopilot etc.

This is surprising, considering the EU's normal modus operandi is slowly-slowly-catchy-monkey.

One has to wonder whether is this just a numpty stepping out of line (one too many tech junkets?) or whether the need to track, monitor and charge per mile (to replace petrol duty) is so important it needs shoe-horning in there to start with...

Wales loses 'dot-cum' domain to tax haven


A parliament too far ?

@Ian Ferguson

I think many eurosceptics don't - fundamentally - have a problem with European co-operation and many even have a strong sense of European identity. They just don't see the EU (in it's current form) as the best solution for a strong Europe.

The scepticism often comes from the underhanded way the EU operates and the seeming unaccountability of it. The way to win the sceptics over would seem to be to address those concerns rather than ignore/belittle them.

Of course, in many regards these criticisms can also be levelled at the UK parliament as well - which may explain many Welsh/Scots and even English people's growing desire to be separate from that too...

BA slams stupid security checks

Big Brother


> However, I suspect that some people are going to start pushing hard for "everyone gets perv-scanned".

They say one thing that implies understanding (and even common sense) but in reality do the opposite.

To some, airport secutiry was never about catching terrorists. Rather it's about control - and conditioning the population to accept more of it. The more demeaning the better, so to these people perv scanning is perfect.


Cameron cocks up UK's defences - and betrays Afghan troops


You sure?

>> The banking sector caused this whole mess, so how is it fair that I have to pay for it? And why do they insist on repeating "the biggest deficit shit"? The deficit is CAUSED by the greedy bankers, and our need to prop them up

And the deficit is still getting bigger because the bankers are still causing a mess is it ? (the cuts so far will only slow down the increase in deficit, not reduce it).

The deficit is big because public spending was / still is out of control - in all areas. G.Brown printing money to bail out the bankers just made it worse - it did not, in itself, the CAUSE the deficit.


As an English Man

> As a Scot...

I think you're lucky to get your own Parliament - we don't.

The EU pulls the budget from under the British parliament and the British parliament pass that along the chain...

Choo choo, all aboard the money^HHHHHH gravy train...


Shhh .. don't mention Gilbraltar

>> Argentina is now a friendly democratic state, we get on with them as well as we do Spain

So that would be not very well then...

Google open sources JPEG assassin


Hasty commentarding?

@Bilgepipe & James Hughes 1

I suspect he was referring to people using the command line app mentioned in the article to convert existing JPGs to this new format ; in which case the already lossy pictures will lose even more detail.

ie. think twice before converting your JPG pr0n collection to this new format, just to save space...

Miliband retains Labour line on DNA and CCTV

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Expect more casualties

So their removal of liberties was not 'wrong' or 'unjustified' then - just 'casual'.

If labour ever get back into power we can expect more of the same, just in a less 'casual' manner then... maybe even more systematic perhapse ?

*face* *palm*

Think tank rages at NHS' £700 bill for fertility clinic porn


Self-righteous puritan ahoy!

After reading her article it is clear that this woman is living in her own puritanical world and trying to force that vision upon the rest us, like it or not.

She see's no distinction between soft porn and obscene publications and so thinks all porn should be illegal. She has no problem classifying the sample rooms as a "workplace" and thinks it should be treated the same as a cafe or ward - ignoring the fact that they will be empty except for the male producing a sample.

Her next step would probably be to ban the simple physical act of masterbating in the "workplace" altogether and go for a more sterile, invasive approach to obtaining samples - probably peformed by robots so as not to adversely affect the 'dignity' of any female nurses nearby by exposing them to nudity.

The fact that such a self-righteous puritan as this is in such a well placed think-tank in the 1st place should be a dire warning to us all...

Think-tanks .. quangos .. lobbyists .. shelters for busy bodies and loons. Those are what should be outlawed.

Apple, Google, NASA, and the Rainbow connection


Actions speak louder than words

Maybe I'm just jaded, but the discussion titles translated through my doublespeak translator as:

"This house believes that in the future the benefits of openness will outweigh those of privacy."

There is too much profit in ignoring people's rights to privacy to stop us doing it.

"This house believes that Nationalism is an Infantile Disease."

We don't believe in national countries so we don't see why we should have to pay them taxes.

I suspect I'm not alone, so don't be too surprised if all the talk of doing good and improving the world is taken at face value - people are tired of being lied to.

Time will tell...

Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents



maybe they can just see past a bit of eye candy and a few sticky plasters tacked over the worst of the Vista codebase and understand that those changes don't make Win7 significantly different.

Its not necessarily a bad thing - Win2000 to XP was only a minor version change too, but still a big step forward in moving the NT codebase forward.


Call a spade a spade

ROFL - riiiiiiiiiiiiiight ;-)

The reason Win7 is so 'compatible' with Vista might be that, fundamentally, not much changed...

ID card scheme barely broke 13,000 mark, minister confirms


National vs Personal Identity

Silly white flag with a red cross - You mean St George's cross, the emblem of England ?

How does supporting your country makes you a twonk ? Is that just a sweeping generalisation designed to link anyone with any national pride left with being a labour supporting idiot (oh the irony) ?

Admittedly, having 6 or more of them on your car does point to a slightly unbalanced mind however.

It makes one wonder why Englanders must be made to hate their national identity so much ...

Milkman skewers Google Street View over garage break-in


Re. Garage Door Poster

Aint laughed so much for a long time, cheers.

I want one!

Skewing statistics: Booze, money and sex


Personal responsibility ?

Thankyou for making the authors point for him.

QUOTE: "but that's not the same as "enjoyment""

Maybe, maybe not, but thats not the point. The enjoyment is subjective - it's in the 'addicts' mind, not yours or the governments. Whether it's based upon an addiction doesn't make it any less real - or the denial of it any less painful, as you alude to.

QUOTE: "Raising cigarette prices forces addicts to re-evaluate"

Does it ? I'd like to see some *independant* proof of that. From here is looks like fixed / rigged pricing is used primarily to generate tax revenue and just encourages black-market trading.

It is this holier-than-thou attitude demonstrated in your post, combined with a disregard for personal choice and the devious manner that legislation is inched forwards, that the author, and many others, object to.

Taking all arguaments of health consequences and financial drain aside a question remains: is it governments job to be policing people's personal choices or an individuals ?

Does nanny know best ?

Games console 'killer' powers Avatar 3D power package



I would image they care about the upload because, in the case of Mayer/Autodesk use, if they are going to render a scene for you then you must first upload all of the geometry and textures so they can render it. Granted, this would not have to be done every frame, but could still be a large amount of data, especially if you are making lots of changes to the scene.

Have Autodesk thought how this would affect 3rd party plugin developers for their platforms - how would the licensing for those work when the application (and so the plugin) have to be installed 'in the cloud' ?

Sounds good from a developer DRM / proprietary-lockin perspective, but in the real world there are a few other factors than latency to be worked out.

Darling confirms telephone line tax


Information Highway

I don't think too many people would object to the principle of a temporary tax to pay for the roll out of fibre - but people need to see firm commitments to abolish the tax once the stated goal is acheived (without mission-creep).

As it stands it looks very much like the thin edge of a 'road fund' style tax, which even if well-meant to start with will probably end up the same way - the amount taken creeping up and up but the money diverted further and further away from the originally intended goals.

One can almost hear the $$$ go ker-ching in the minds of the tax collectors when they finally realised how they could tax the "information highway" - just think of fibre as roads and information as cars. Just get ready for the hike in 'petrol' tax...

Heathrow security man cops perv scanner eyeful


Security Farce

There are a couple of major issues that stand out, taking the Sun's story at face value (yes, dodgy I know):

I thought the operator was supposed to be in a remote location without the ability to see the actual person entering the device ? If this is the case, how did Mr Laker know it was his colleage - or does he leer at anyone one entering it ? The Sun article makes it sound like she was in the same proximity to him (he spoke to her whilst doing it) - is 'remote' defined as a small partition 6 ft away these days ?

The fact that Mr Laker thought it would be funny or that he could get away with to leering at anybody inside the device shows that the airport isn't screening and/or monitoring the staff using the devices very well at all. There should be a review into screening of staff appointed to use these devices at the very least.

I suppose we should thank Mr Laker and Jo for highlighting the (mis)use of these scanners, athough how many times the public have been abused in the same way we will probably never know.

Bloggers spring 'baccy happy landlord from slammer


Beers all round

Personally I like smoke-free pubs - but am also aware that the lack of customers is endangering the existence of many of them.

In this case it looks very much like the landlord was "made an example of" to deter others and bully them being enforcers for the State. Whether or not you agree with the smoking ban, the blogoshpere has sent a clear message to the State - such treatment is unacceptable.

A lot of Europe (which is where the smoke-free legislation orignated) have comprimise systems that work (or they just blatently ignore it). There are options that are proven to work that would give people the freedom to choose smoke-free or not. Why not let people decide for themselves ?

@Simon Bacon in the case of the people that used to frequent pubs *regularly*, I suspect that non-smokers were the minority. Now smokers have stopped going we see the result - empty pubs.

Climategate hits Westminster: MPs spring a surprise



Would that be because the analytical minds that tend to be found around here parts are, in general, fairly sceptical by nature ?

Being sceptical is a fundamental requirement for the evolution of science, engineering and IT; assumptions and theories should always be challenged, or else past mistakes would prevent further advances from being made correctly.

Critising people for being sceptical is neither big nor clever.

Experts reboot list of 25 most dangerous coding errors


Blame >>= 4

Web design = coding ? Bleh

Most of those 'vulnerabilities' could/should be fixed at a lower level so sloppy coders can't break anything. Try pestering the language/platform makers to be more secure in the 1st place - not the poor saps trying to make the best of insecure tools available to them.

The rest is a matter of you get what you pay for - hire experienced staff and train them properly. You won't get the contract if you do though - the sweat shop next door will undercut you.

In other news: Software vendors agree a contract to stop night following day [small print: or shift the blame when it does]

EU damns scanners, Facebook, MySpace and Phorm

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Blimey .. will it last though ?

It is great that the EU seems to be learning common sense, and at the same time sad that we need the EU to protect us from our own UK polititians and companies.

All we need now is the ability to directly elect those with such power at the EU - if only so we can show our support and vote for the ones that show common sense like this.

In the meantime, polititians of the UK - wake up and smell the coffee!

File-sharing Bill could give Government control of the internet


Joined up thinking...

"What you can't do is require an ISP to look at the traffic going over its network and find certain content. But if an ISP is asked to block an IP address they can do that," he said. "Blocking is not monitoring."

How long will it be before the DPI monitoring of "illegal file sharing" levels will be allowed as the basis for blocking a users traffic ? Once that happens the blocking will be directly caused by the monitoring.

Even wiithout the link between monitoring and blocking, if the EU E-Commerce directives prohibit laws that force an ISP to monitor traffic, how come that is exactly what the monitoring clauses of the Digital Ecomony Bill do ... ?

More overbearing laws designed to instill fear and obedience into the electorate...

GO .. please just go

Virgin Media to trial filesharing monitoring system

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I may stand corrected, but RIPA does have a clause that would allow this; but only if it is necessary and unavoidable in the normal cause of duties for an ISP.

The spin here is that the ISP claims DPI is necessary in order to meet the requirements of both the upcoming EU three strikes policy and the monitoring requirements of the Digital Economy Bill. This is quite probably justifiable in principle. Whether it works or not is irrelevent - once DPI is in place it's other uses will far outweigh any concern over it's ability to correctly identify illegal filesharing.

In order to defeat this latest attempt at mass surveillance I suspect you would either have to argue that it is not necessary/proportional to the requirement of the EU/DEB or (trickier) prevent those directives/bill becoming law.

There is always switching ISPs, but eventually the new laws will be used as an excuse to require all ISPs to do this once it's proven to 'work'.

UK gets final warning over Phorm trials



At least we can vote out the UK government. How does one go about voting out the EU commission ? In this case the EU is onside, but thats only because Phorm wasn't farsighted enough to lobby the EU first. That will happen - what then ?

What we need is a government that is more accountable to the people of the UK - not less so.

Tiny typo blamed for massive IE security fail


Untrusted Data?

"write potentially untrusted data"

Does it really matter if the data was trusted or not - it was being written to the wrong bleedin place!

Very worrying that a) Microsoft's programmers can't tell the difference between an array variable and the contents of an array and b) such a bug got past any type of testing - the code must surely of never worked. One can only assume it was in a conditional branch that was rarely hit.

Proof that the new 'secure' CRT functions will never work - so long as the pointer to a buffer and the buffer length are not intrinsically tied together it will always be possible to make a simple typo and pass garbage the functions.

This could be achieved by use of simple classes to control access to memory most of the time (a built-in Buffer class to replace malloc would be a good start) but I can't see people like Microsoft going back and re-writing all of their legacy code to use them.

A better solution might be to move memory management into hardware - in such a way that raw pointers know, or can get to, the length of the data they point to. I can't see software ever being 100% safe until this is done. One could then just raise an exception if data is written out of bounds in hardware, 'fixing' 99% of current code, including CRT functions.

/one can dream