* Posts by Art Hawkes

14 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Apr 2008

Prof: Save up fossil fuel reserves to fight the next ice age

Art Hawkes

Chris Gray

Err, it is summertime in Australia right now Chris! Every time I have visited i saw large areas (of New South Wales) where forest fires had cleared vast acreages. Last year NSW had the biggest floods for years. I don't deny climate change/global warming; just the unproven theory that somehow puny Man is somehow responsible. For the record, the Ice Age Theory is relatively recent. Prior to the theory gaining acceptance it was assumed that the evidence pointed to proof of the global Flood, recorded in the Bible. On a not entirely relevant point, doctors have returned to the use of leeches . . .

Art Hawkes

Ice Age scam

Several problems with the Ice Age scenario. Glaciers flow downhill - where are the high mountains close to the British Isles for glaciers to flow down? The huge snowfalls claimed for the Ice Ages requires a lot of heat to evaporate the seas. What phenomenon on Earth was able to deep freeze the mammoth, while evaporating tonnes of seawater,surely not excessive CO2? The present scam rarely mentions that CO2 comprises just 385 ppm/v of which 12ppm is man-made. There are other anomalies like a formerly ice free Siberia, 'evidence' of Ice Ages in places like Brasil, presently one of the warmer parts of the planet. I guess that many of us have seen the artist impressions of herds of mammoth trudging across a snowy wilderness. Presumably this was shortly before their extinction. With claims that the ice was kilometres thick, on what did these poor beasts feed? Answers on a postcard.

UK ISPs agree to menace their filesharing users

Art Hawkes

licence fee

Not sure whether the licence fee would apply only to those downloading music. I don't - i make my own music on a digital piano. Do I have to pay, too? Same situation with TV licence - i regularly get letters from Crapita telling me I don't have a licence. I know I don't; or a rod licence or a shotgun licence either. If government wants to help the ailing music [sic] industry, why did they ignore the shipbuilding, car, steel and fishing industries?

Brown's got his hands in our pockets again . . .

EU tells UK to deal with Phorm - or else

Art Hawkes

bad Phorm

On 17th July I posted about a letter to Viviane Reding. Today, 19th, I have a reply. Much of the letter is about fundamental rights covered by Articles 7 and 8 but two paragraphs might interest El Reg readers.

Member States are to ensure the confidentiality of communications and related traffic data through national legislation. They are required to prohibit interception or surveillance of [same] by persons other than the users without their consent. Traffic data may only be processed for certain defined purposes, e.g. billing and for a limited period. The subscriber must be informed about such processing. Additional processing requires anonymisation or prior consent of the subscriber or user.

The Commission is currently in contact with the UK authorities to clarify, in particular, the actions of the competent national authorities with regard to the users' complaints about trials of the Phorm technology by BT in 2006 and 2007, as well as the position of the UK authorities regarding the planned future deployment of the Phorm technology, in particular the way in which it is planned to obtain the users' consent. The Commission will continue to follow this case and take appropriate action, should the need arise, to ensure that the relevant EU law is effectively implemented by the UK authorities on this matter.

Fortunately, the letter was in English as my French isn't that good.

Art Hawkes

I have a dream

I wrote to Viviane Reding, in my best French, about Phorm pointing out that HMG and its various departments had done nothing. I suggested that she was our last hope of getting some action. Four weeks later I have no reply from her but if she sticks to this threat against the ragbag of ratbags impersonating a government then I forgive her.

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

Art Hawkes

Boudicca et al

Boudicca and her two daughters were raped by the Romans and in revenge she attacked, amongst other places, Colchester and London, successfully. According to extant Welsh records there were two Arthurs, sometimes spelt Athrwys, one active in the south the other in the north but several centuries apart. The Scots were from Ulster and entered south west Britain, around Glastonbury (very topical!). What we now call Scotland was then Caledonia.

V gwir y erbyn y byd - as Boudicca might have said.

Researcher: NebuAd forges Google data packets

Art Hawkes

Be warned

I recently moved to a new ISP largely over the Phorm debacle. Out of the blue and some six weeks after I moved, I received a demand from a debt recovery agent appointed by my former ISP. No prior request by telephone, email or plain old mail. I do not dispute that, if I was being charged in arrears, I may have an amount outstanding from the period of my last payment up to the final cancellation point. How do I check without an invoice? The matter is now with a solicitor but the amount claimed is so small compared with potential legal fees perhaps I should cut my losses and pay. Plus, I don't want to get into the position where the debt recovery agent can add huge weekly charges for 'late payment'. They are totally unregulated thanks to government non-intervention. In addition, it could impact on my credit history. I have omitted the name of the ISP for fairly obvious reasons.

What I learned from a dumb terminal

Art Hawkes

easy mistake to make

Not sure this is relevant but moons ago I played piano in a pickup band. One time we had a gig with a Vibraphone player. For the first hour, I thought Wow! he's playing some really way out stuff. In the beer break, he was complaining about the piano being out of tune until we looked at the vibraphone. The keys came in two sets, one for the 'white' notes, the other for the 'black notes', the keys being linked on two wires. He hadn't spotted that the top, 'black' set was placed a full tone to the right! Les Dawson would have loved it.

Virgin Media collects customer banking details on CD, then loses it

Art Hawkes

lost laptops

The Wayne Madsen Report in the USA, available only on subscription, is compiling a list of all the instances of lost data, CDs and laptops in the US. The problem there is huge, with thousands of people having their data taken. Madsen suggests that this is a government scheme to populate their database of citizens surreptitiously. Looks as if the same method is being used here in the UK.

Not coincidentally, I suspect that Phorm will be used to spy on us for the same reason. Forget targeted advertising; that's a red herring. Lots of commentators point out the flaws with targeting where several people use the same PC.

Phorm failed to mention 'illegal' trials at Home Office meeting in 2007

Art Hawkes

and what about Article 8 of ECHR?

I wrote to viviane Reding about Phorm about a week ago - no reply yet. But to quote: Compatibility with the fundamental right to respect for private life (Article 8 of the ECHR).

H. whereas any interception of communications represents serious interference with an individual’s exercise of the right to privacy; whereas Article 8 of the ECHR, which guarantees respect for private life, permits interference with the exercise of that right only in the interests of national security, in so far as this is in accordance with domestic law and the provisions in question are generally accessible and lay down under what circumstances, and subject to what conditions, the state may undertake such interference; whereas interference must be proportionate, so that competing interests need to be weighed up and, under the terms of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, it is not enough that the interference should merely be useful or desirable,

Phorm opponents to picket BT shareholders

Art Hawkes

Jacqui Smith perPhorming a non-U turn?

Finally had a reply from my MP, a photocopy of a letter to him from Jacqui Smith explaining why no government department could or would take any action against Phorm. Although not stated in her letter, the reason is now clear. The government wants to snoop all our browsing and emails and has enacted legislation to oblige all ISPs to hand over all our information. I have always assumed that my online activity was intercepted and filtered for trigger words. I suspect that any self-respecting turrist group would assume the same and proceed accordingly.

Beware of pickpockets!

Deadly Oz snake bites tourist's todger

Art Hawkes

snakes alive

According to Australian wildlife websites, the toxicity of snakes is based on the time it takes for their venom to kill a mouse. Unless trodden on or pee-ed upon, Oz snakes are timid creatures and invariably get out of your way. After thrashing about in the bush on many occasions, I have yet to encounter a snake, deadly or otherwise. I have collected several leeches, which in turn have collected my blood. Advice from those running camping and trekking sites - make a noise when you move through the bush and you will rarely if ever encounter a snake, even where they are numerous.

Activist coders aim to deafen Phorm with white noise

Art Hawkes

MPs true to Phorm

Despite an offer of a fiver off broadband and free evening and weekend calls, I have left Virgin purely due to Phorm. Four weeks ago I emailed my MP through the they-work-for-you website about Phorm-Webwise. An assistant replied that the MP would take up the matter with Ofcom. Since when, zilch. Nada. Zero. Sweet Fanny Adams. I emailed him on two other matters and, no surprise, no reply! A look at his profile on the website shows that he always votes with the government and rarely asks questions. It is going to take a lot longer to change MP than ISP.

Data pimping catches ISP on the hop

Art Hawkes

Phorm and VirginMedia

VM is, temporarily, my ISP and I emailed them on 26th April asking for their position on Phorm as I had seen no comment on their web pages. They are obviously off the fence now because their reply confirms that they will be using Phorm-Webwise to enhance my browsing experience and keep me safer on the Internet unquote. They posted a link www.virginmedia.com/customers/webwise.php that I have not looked at yet. Next, I telephoned them to obtain my MAC code and was told that, due to an upgrade presently going on in my area (Norwich, Norfolk) they could not access my account details. Seems a letter was sent 'last week sometime' advising the nature of this upgrade. I can only assume it will have details of Webwise with new Terms and Conditions for me to accept. I have emailed for my MAC code since.