* Posts by William Old

114 publicly visible posts • joined 26 May 2008


Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

William Old

Re: I, as President, will not allow it to happen!

Rumour in the NSA is that, to meet his requirement for the technical capability to shut down all social media, the techs are making a box with a switch and a red light on it (containing a long-life battery to power the light... errrm, I mean loads of secret components...) to go with the Etch-A-Sketch (errrm, I mean nuclear launch command module) that he already has.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash

William Old

Re: Autopilot

You've probably read this already somewhere else, but... in future, advances in AI will mean that commercial airplanes will be completely autonomous, but there will still be a man and a dog in the cockpit.

The role of the man is to ensure that the dog has food and fresh water throughout the flight.

The role of the dog is to bite the man if at any time he tries to fiddle with the controls.

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt

William Old

He was unfortunate not to get away with it... others do!

It wasn't such a bad idea... there's a bloke(?) called "Skybeans" in a terraced house in a residential area of Swindon who registered him/herself with Nominet as a UK individual some years ago, and is making good money picking up orders from UK customers for cheap eyewear via a Web site at goggles4u.co.uk.

But he or she is committing criminal offences in breach of UK consumer protection legislation by pretending to be American Eye Vision Inc., an American eyewear company that runs an affiliation programme and sells eyewear through goggles4u.com - he/she just pockets the affiliation payments and, whenever a customer complains about late/missing/shoddy products, points them at the US company's complaints contacts. A trawl of consumer forums reveals many unhappy customers.

An additional requirement for VAT-registered entities is for the VAT number to be displayed - again, this information is missing, because of course a US-based trader doesn't charge VAT, but a UK customer is liable for VAT and duty if either or both is levied when the ordered eyewear arrives in the UK. It's no surprise that the goggles4u.co.uk site is almost identical to the real one, but carefully states in the "small print" that "Goggles4u Eyeglasses (www.Goggles4u.co.uk) has been acknowledged as American Eye Vision in 2010, registered in the state of California... The company itself has been operating since 2002-2003."

The important difference is, of course, that Skybeans is in Swindon, England, which - unless there has been a thermonuclear explosion in Wiltshire between this being posted and you reading it - is in England and thus subject to English law, and ought to be prosecuted and the domain closed down, but the registrar (123-Reg Ltd) says it's Nominet's responsibility. Nominet (you can see where this is going, can't you?) won't take any action because "it's not their responsibility" even though the registrant is breaking Nominet rules and... well, you get the idea.

So one might assume from the Snapchat result that in this case, Nominet's soporific sense of responsibility was awoken by a handsome payment from Snapchat for its assistance. Ordinary British people, even when being routinely hoodwinked by a "Third Millennium Del Boy", don't merit a similar standard of service...

Cheshire Police celebrates three-year migration to Oracle Fusion by lobbing out tender for system to replace it... one year later

William Old

So, no "paperless office" yet?

Actually, police HR is in many respects very, very different from non-police HR, starting off with the fact that in England and Wales (one legal jurisdiction) and in Scotland (another, separate and completely different legal jurisdiction) police officers are not employees - they are Crown servants.

But the payroll side of things is fairly standard, and there are opportunities to share the cost of (for example) payroll administration - that was actually the first thing that the MFSS was set up to do in 2012, but even then, there were problems: when I contacted the MFSS, using the details on my pay advice, to find out who the current pensions administrators were for Cheshire Police so I could request some details for a SA tax return, they didn't know.

As regards interfacing with critical systems, such those mentioned (duty management, force control, operational training), that's where it gets really, REALLY difficult, and quite probably impossible where the HR system serves more than one force.

Bags me a ringside seat to watch the fun...

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

William Old

Re: Look on the bright side

Of course it's illiterate... it has (wrongly) been using the word "font" instead of "typeface" for decades, a "font" being a typeface in one specific size.

And I prefer Linux, but you already guessed that...

William Old

US standards went out of the window when (almost) half of the population voted Trump* in as President.

Problems with grammar spelling aren't an issue - hey, anyone can make a mistake - but Trump as PRESIDENT????

Has anyone in the USA died from injecting disinfectant yet?

* In the UK, a "trump" is a fart...

William Old

Re: I chose "I don't care"

As long as Microsoft doesn't take away to option to change from the default, I don't mind.

If they do, I'm not going to buy another copy of Office ever again. I'll stick with the Office 97 that I already have.

When it comes to 5G kit security, you can go your Huawei, EU tells member nations

William Old

Re: Yes - and another thing...

Whilst Huawei's focus on business is understandable, it's also worth bearing in mind that it doesn't provide any end-user support whatsoever (in the UK, at least). I bought one of their 4G routers and wanted to check that it had the latest firmware: bearing in mind the obvious risks of obtaining firmware from anywhere but the manufacturer (ironic, I know, given the thrust of this thread!!) I contacted Huawei UK.

Surprise, surprise!! Their customer support (Ha!) advised me that "we do not offer firmware for download on our website and any third party websites offering these firmwares actually void the warranty of your device if they are installed".

In short, "You are f*cked if you need firmware for any reason" - which ties in with the vulnerability count listed above.

Small UK firms laying fibre put BT's Openreach to shame – report

William Old

Re: Slow and steady wins the race

"... shallow unducted rural networks..."

You mean, like Openreach when they lay a 50-pair replacement (copper) cable after years of complaints about noisy exchange lines, only a couple of miles from the exchange?

Their "engineers" (ha!) had an interesting installation methodology... lay the cable along the side of the road for a few miles, leave it lying there for a couple of months, then pay a bloke with a tractor to cut a 12" deep slot along the grass verge to push the cable into... © Openreach Limited

PS - They still had the required skill to bork our ADSL broadband (yup, the original 8Mbps sort that was made obsolete years ago, that's all that's available to most rural customers in our part of the UK) when changing over from the old cable...

William Old

Re: Comparing like with like?

"... don't try and insinuate BT are in any way shape or form good, in a true competitive landscape, BT would be dead and buried in less than 6 months."

Here's to a true competitive landscape then.

Well over a year since Openreach Limited was incorporated, the best that BT can do to update the Openreach web site is to stick on the disclaimer "We've endeavoured to update the documents on this site to reflect the Openreach ownership and identity. Any anomalies will be rectified as soon as possible."

The "anomalies" include the failure to include the information required by law (Companies Act 2006) about the company's name, registered office address (which changed in December last year), company number, and where in the UK it was registered - a criminal offence, but nothing that worries anyone at BT.

Don't hold your breath.

NHS Digital to probe live-stream spillage of confidential patient info – after El Reg tipoff

William Old

UK National Health Service

There isn't one.

There's one in Scotland, and one in England, and although they were (originally) both set up in the same year, i.e. 1948, they're wholly different and quite separate organisations.

I'll bet that many people out there not only know that Scotland has it's own quite separate civil and criminal justice legal systems, but also that the drink/drive limit in Scotland is just over half of that in England and Wales. "Even" the BBC weren't aware of that when they produced an hour-long programme with multiple references to the "UK drink/drive limit" throughout... :-(

BT agrees to legal separation of Openreach

William Old

Six months later, and "Openreach Limited", company number 10690039, with its registered office at 81 Newgate Street, London, EC1A 7AJ (same as BT), still carries BT branding, claims to be "copyright British Telecommunications PLC, and doesn't carry display the information required by the Companies Act 2006 on either its Web site or its business e-mails.

Unfortunately, this is a criminal offence contrary to Regulation 28 of The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015, made under Sections 82 to 85 of the Companies Act 2006, and this offence is committed by the company and by each of its officers in default. BT is listed on Companies House records as a "person with significant control", and Companies House warned BT about its legal obligations in respect of trading disclosures in May - it (almost) beggars belief that BT and Openreach have simply ignored Companies House and continue to commit this offence. BT's bullying and arrogant belief that it's so big, it doesn't need to comply with the law is at least consistent - The Register has carried a number of sorry tales about its corporate offending.

Is it any surprise that its share price has almost halved?

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

William Old

Re: The encryption horse is free

Well said. Unfortunately, with police (officer) numbers down 16,000 over the last few years, and still plummetting (Google "Laura Beal" if you don't recognise the name), and a round a quarter of police forces in England and Wales struggling to respond promptly to 999 calls, it's probably now too late. I think we might now have passed the tipping point.

William Old

Re: Politicians - technically ignorant at best.

Why, pray tell, did the Plod go calling AFTER the event? Other jurisdictions go a-calling on a regular basis just to let their potential clients know they are under observation.

Because this Government has slashed their numbers by 16,000 and cut probationer pay by over £4,000/year in the last few years. In many forces a probationer police officer earns less than the manager of a branch of McDonalds yet (with respect to all McDonalds managers) the former is hugely more demanding. Dialled 999 for police in an emergency recently? Just how long did you have to wait for someone to arrive? Ever wondered why?

About 10 years ago, Home Office ministers in England and Wales set up the "Senior Careers Advisory Service" because they were concerned that the brightest police officers in the superintending ranks weren't applying for Chief Offer posts and they wanted to know why not. It didn't occur to them that those very officers were the ones who could plainly see that political interference with policing made those roles far less attractive than being Captain on the Titanic, and they were voting with their feet. Now, the situation is desperate, and so few serving officers are interested in trying to run a half-decent policing service with nearly half of the revenue budget of ten years ago - but with huge increases in policig demands - that Chief Officer posts are being advertised overseas to poor sods who don't know any better and might be daft enough to apply.

The technical term for such HR policies is "desperation".

Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

William Old

Re: Yet ANOTHER Trump story?


The problem is that all the Trump stories lately carry a strong slant against him, even a dismissive tone that borders on calculated insult for insult's sake.

I don't calculate my anti-Trump insults, I just fling them raw... he really is the most moronic buffoon I have clapped eyes on for some time, and the fact that he has swindled thousands of small business contractors by taking corporate bankrupcy FOUR times really positions him as being disqualified from winning Citizen Of The Month for quite some time...

And, whilst I'm on, why have I never seen any reference to the fact that, here in the UK, "trump" is a children's euphemism for "fart"? President Fart... sounds about right... :-)

Extension to blue light services' Airwave network is on the cards

William Old

Errmmm... no.

And will a commercial network ever have coverage into all the nooks and crannies around the country where emeregency services need to operate?

No. We have a home on Skye* where there is no 3G or 4G mobile coverage at all, just a very thin scattering of 2G masts near population centres (and 14 TETRA masts for Airwave) but most of the island has no coverage whatsoever.

But a mobile phone is still useful... after all, you have to throw something at the seagulls when they try to nick your sandwiches...

* This inept fantasy "solution" to the Airwave switch-off, dreamed up by the Home Office, is being foisted on to 44 forces, including Police Scotland, although the Scottish Government is going to have to foot part of the cost.

Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

William Old

This isn't such a bad thing... our company bought a replacement iPad via Amazon, an Air 2 32GB costing £398, and the credit card was debited by Amazon. But the seller didn't provide the requested VAT receipt, and on making enquiries, didn't exist... the company name used was one that was dissolved two years previously, and there was no response to three enquiries via Amazon for details of the trader behind the Amazon advertisement.

Amazingly, a request to Amazon for assistance produced the response that it was nothing to do with them(!), so - as you have probably guessed by now - we formally requested the credit card company to chargeback the entire amount, on the basis not only that VAT couldn't be reclaimed, but that the iPad was worthless as our contract of sale was with the unidentified seller, not with Apple as the manufacturer. The chargeback was initiated, the £398 was clawed back from Amazon via its merchant account, and after being "suspended" for two months awaiting the proof from Amazon of the trader's identity, the card company made the refund and closed the dispute file.

No loss by the company, iPad still works, one stung dodgy trader...

UK digital minister asks for input on strategy, lauds 'sharing economy' biz success

William Old

Re: Kill it with fire

Vaizey said that over the previous five years "digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London, and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘Tech Nation’."

More of a wet fart than an explosion, given that it didn't get very far into more rural communities, many of which still don't get digital connections much faster than a few Mbps on ADSLMax, and not a few of whom get no broadband connection whatsoever. Even where BT is rolling out its "superfast fibre broadband" (errmmm... where the fibre stops at a street cabinet, so not really fibre broadband at all...), no-one will get the EU-defined "superfast broadband" of 30Mbps or faster if they live more than a mile from the cabinet. So it most certainly has NOT "spread to every part of the country", and the UK will never truly be a "Tech Nation" for as long as much of BT's so-called technology runs on electic Meccano.

What are these fsck-wits smoking? I'm off to the FTTH Conference in Luxembourg in two weeks, and one of my (admittedly, hopelessly pointless) luxuries will be a tour of a Post Luxembourg FTTH facility just to remind me how it should REALLY be done. And I will yet again be able to crack the joke that is not only the shortest joke in the world, but is also instantly understandable by speakers of many languages, and guaranteed to render them helpless with laughter... it goes like this:


VirusTotal invites Apple fans to play in updated Mac malware sandpit

William Old

Re: At least the clean up is simple

Out of interest, what malware did she have on her machine, and any idea how it got there?

And, in the case of claimed "viruses" for OSX, what was the self-replication mechanism, the sole unique attribute of a virus, as opposed to any other sort of malware?

Google App Engine Java sandbox is leaking, say researchers

William Old

Re: The biter bit.

People still write stuff in Java?! Jeeez. Horribly insecure mess since day one, and for most uses outperformed by alternatives like .Net.

Ah, yes, from that famous software company that sells a bloated, horribly-broken consumer-grade OS to millions of suckers, one that repeatedly warns said suckers when they haven't installed someone else's software product that attempts to mitigate - not cure - the horribly-broken stuff?

Great, I will have some of that... from where can I download a version for my well-written Open Source multi-user OS?


Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

William Old

Re: You want WHAT?

> Am I the only person left in the word who doesn't have a farcebook account?

No. I'm here. Laughing at those that do...

Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

William Old

Great article, Kelly... and no doubt that you also spotted that the mighty BBC (British Bumbling Corporation) was proclaiming the same thing yesterday evening on terrestrial and satellite TV, captioning Sir Tim as the "Inventor of the Internet" on every appearance and describing him as such late last night on BBC Radio.


William Old

Re: www = internet

Ah... I was going to ask if, by "SEN teacher", you meant a teacher of SEN pupils, or [laugh...!] a teacher with special educational needs.

Then I worked out the answer, from your post...

IBM begs Britain's new top cops: C'mon, set up pre-crime units

William Old

Re: Vote ME for Commissioner

No! The UK comprises Scotland and Northern Ireland in addition to England and Wales, but it's only the latter two countries that are sleep-walking into this mad waste of money.

Have a read over at Inspector Gadget's blog for a thought-provoking analysis of it all... including the fact that the poor saps are being set up to take the flak when the whole system collapses and the finger-pointing starts.

20% cuts are bringing policing to its knees, and Theresa May's famous statement (29 June 2010, a few weeks after becoming Home Secretary) that the mission of the Police Service is "... to cut crime, no more and no less" rather seems to indicate that anyone seeking assistance and help with missing kids and elderly people, road traffic collisions, sudden deaths, the mentally-ill, crowd control at sporting events, etc., etc., etc., are going to have to get on with it on their own or (more likely) pay a private sector company a sizeable fee to come and assist instead.

Number-plate spycams riddled with flaws, top cop admits

William Old

Re: Ken, with the greatest possible respect

Nice rant, but it's based on bollocks.

"The police are legally required to display ID when they are on duty." No, they aren't. Care to post exact details of the legislation that enacts this alleged requirement? I will give you a clue... don't waste your time looking. If an officer of constable or sergeant rank doesn't display their "FIN"- force identification number (in the Met, their District number) - then it's likely to be a disciplinary matter, depending on the circumstances. But there's no law requiring it.

Officers above the rank of sergeant don't have numbers as part of their uniform badges of rank, but some might have a badge that display their FIN. And if the officers comprise a Police Support Unit (PSU), then their Force Standing Orders will probably make different requirements... but again, the law is silent on this.

Another armchair expert. Sigh.

William Old

Re: all this and...


On many housing estates in the North East, around two-thirds of all cars were uninsured before the changes to the Road Traffic Act 1998 were made by S.22 Road Safety Act 2006.

It was only because Northumbria Police started their own initiative against uninsured cars despite there being a lack of clarity about the lawfulness of seizing such vehicles that the Home Office was forced to introduce specific powers using S.152 of the Serious Organised Crime And Police Act 2005 to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 - introducing new sections 165A and 165B.

And your post, despite your complete lack of knowledge of the subject, is typical of the attitude of many other posters on here who fire from the hip without even bothering to find out anything about the subject on which they have become instant experts... sigh.

William Old

Re: all this and...

The very first officially-sanctioned cross-matching of public databases that was sanctioned by the Data Protection Registrar was undertaken by the Audit Commission and saved millions of pounds. All they did was compare records of people in receipt of Housing Benefit and death records!

Information is provided to the Audit Commission under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 and the data matching is perfectly legal... it doesn't actually need the DPR's permission but of course there is close cooperation between the DPR and the Commission about the conduct of data matching programmes.

William Old

Re: You can't equate...

I assume that you really meant IYLISMWDYGLT... and that you are therefore only a *little* bit dyslexic... :)

And you clearly know nothing about what constitutes a police state. But your arrogance in referring to such a well-drafted comment as "idiocy" would not last very long in one... in fact, I guess you'd quickly be screaming for the police (the British type) to protect you. Such delicious irony.

William Old

Re: In Aus they are mobile

<blockquote>A car can be driven without insurance. I can drive a car I don't own and am covered for doing so. The owner of that car may not have insurance in their own name but that doesn't make mine any less valid.</blockquote>

No, you are confused - if you drive a car that you don't own, and you are "covered" for doing so by your own policy, then you ARE insured. But - and here's the rub - the car still doesn't meet the insurance requirements of Section 144A Road Traffic Act 1988 (added by Section 22 Road Safety Act 2006, which requires the car's registered keeper to have insurance identifying that car by its VRM or to declare it as being kept off-road by a Statutory Off-Road Notification - "SORN") - and if you don't have your own original certificate of insurance with you, the officer who stops you WILL exercise his powers under S.165A RTA 1988 to seize the vehicle and take it away... and you will be walking.

You will have no comeback whatsoever, and the only bonus will be that, if you later produce your certificate of insurance within 7 days at a police station nominated by you at the time the car was seized, you won't be prosecuted under S.143 for "no insurance".

William Old

Re: It is just plain illegal and shoud be stopped

Of course you have a right to privacy... but not in a public place. I can assure you that there is not a single ANPR camera inside your residence!

I challenge you to stop puffing about something that you have clearly never read, and identify exactly which part of the Convention (or that part of the domestic legislation that implements the Convention Rights in your particular EC state - in the UK it's the Human Rights Act 2000) prohibits the use of these cameras?

At least you are obviously not a lawyer... that much goes to your credit... but of course, your admission to being a Californian resident does explain a lot... :)

William Old

The editor's "Bootnote" is just plain completely WRONG!

I don't know where he or she got his information, but it's complete tosh - no ANPR system in use in the UK uses induction loops - maybe they've become confused with the triggers for unmanned speed cameras??

For an IT-focussed site, it's an incredible display of complete ignorance about the subject, and appears to have been grandstanding for no real reason.

And the original reporting (although it hardly merits being described as "reporting") is just as shoddy... the phrase "riddled with flaws" seems to be a sub-editors fantasy... the actual "flaw", according to all of the original submissions, is simply that there is no national strategy for their location so there are not enough in the right places. Hardly "riddled with flaws". But the situation can easily be sorted by central funding for more cameras, and a national strategy for identifying sites for the new ones... :)

Bill Gates, Harry Evans and the smearing of a computer legend

William Old

Where would we be now?

Running something looking like a PC, but running very much more reliably, with a proper formal security model, true multi-tasking, no memory leakage, and in a world where use of the phrase "anti-virus software" would cause everyone present to frown in puzzlement...

Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot

William Old

Re: Clam down people

"The surface is based on the same OS as WinPhone. Why are they panicking? No one is going to buy the thing anyway."

I'm not so sure, given the excruciating embarrassment of its worldwide launch, when it locked up completely... after all, given the increasing unpredictability of the weather, millions of people will need something to wedge their doors open with in a high wind...

Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

William Old

Another Microsoft "achievement"...

"Microsoft executives are racking their brains for a new word to sum up the controversial user interface."

Something not too dissimilar to "Metro", yet one that reflects Microsoft style, brand quality, and technical achievement...?

Got it!

Let's hear it for... MERDE!

Microsoft hands out tools to sneak Skype onto new PCs

William Old

Re: install skype and surrender your bandwidth


As useful as paying £5-£6 for a small bar of chocolate from the mini-bar fridge in the same hotels, you mean?

MS bought Skype because they are natural partners... so now you can get crappy, unreliable, non-standards-compliant cruddy Skype software from a criminally-convicted, near-monopolist supplier of crappy, unreliable, non-standards-compliant cruddy operating systems.

'Nuff said.

Criminal Records Bureau checks to go online

William Old

Better hurry up, then...

"The Home Office also announced that the government will maintain the current arrangements for holding criminal records on the police national computer, while ensuring the controls on accessing those records are sufficiently strong."

Errmmm... but the "current arrangements" are that the National Policing Improvement Agency runs the Police National Computer at the Hendon Data Centre...

... and the NPIA will cease to exist in less than a year's time...

... and other than the functions that will transfer to the new National Crime Agency, nothing has yet been done to find a home for the rest of the NPIA's responsibilities, including national higher police training, the National Specialist Law Enforcement Centre (inclues all cybercrime training) at Wyboston Lakes, etc., etc., etc., and...

... the Police National Computer - or PND (Police National Database), as it will become.


Google hands Britain’s eTown award to Scunthorpe

William Old

We dream about ANY internet connection, far less 4G mobile coverage...

"none of the 20 areas named were in Scotland"

Of course not... the recently-leaked BT five-year plan for FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) and FTTP (fibre to the premises) showed that there are NO PLANS WHATSOEVER for eithe of these in any IV postcode... nothing.

That's a huge part of Scotland, roughly everything North of a like drawn from the southernmost tip of the Isle of Skye north-east to Banff.

There's little point in using AdWords when an ADSL broadband connection - if you can get one - averages under 1Mbps...

Why are Android anti-virus firms so slow to react on Carrier IQ?

William Old

Anti-virus software for Android???

You mean, like phlogiston meters and left-handed screwdrivers?

It demonstrates the average user's (non-)understanding of what a virus is, if they are queuing up to buy such crap. (1) When did the Carrier IQ firmware become self-replicating? (2) At what rate is it spreading from Android device to Android device by itself?

Answers: (1) It didn't; (2) Zero. So it isn't a virus. Sigh. Anyone want to buy Tower Bridge? I'm the owner...

RIM invites BlackBerry users into MS Office cloud beta

William Old


"It's also going to get more important once Windows Phone starts finding its way into offices, which surely can't be far off."

The only way that Windows Phone will be "finding its way into offices" soon will be if those offices have street-facing windows very near to places where disappointed purchasers of WinCrap phones are standing, at exactly the moment when the awful truth dawns on them that they should've bought something running Android....

Microsoft updates Hotmail to deal with grey spam

William Old

Hotmail - the Genesis planet for spammers...

"Microsoft appears to be the only big player that has really been serious about fighting the spammers."

Are you KIDDING me? FIGHTING the spammers??? Hotmail FEEDS the spammers! Try this simple experiment:

(a) Set up a Hotmail account such as nd945vj895h32fdq@hotmail.com using a browser on an (uncompromised!) PC;

(b) Don't actually use the account or even give the address to anyone;

(c) See how long it takes for spam e-mail to start to fill it up;

(d) errmmm... that's it.

My guess is either that Microsoft's systems are even more broken than Windows itself, or that selling lists of customers' e-mail addresses provides a useful end-of-month bonus for lowly underpaid MS IT staffers.

The ONLY step that I've known Hotmail to take in order (allegedly) to address spam was when they suddenly decided unilaterally to reduce MAX_RCPT on their SMTP mail servers to 10 from 100 without telling anyone (or even admitting it), despite 100 being the minimum according to IETF standards... see here:


Oh, and if you access that link, note that Hotmail admitted that 90% of their inbound mail was spam... 4.5 billion messages out of 5 billion! No wonder, if some insider is flogging off address lists...


* This doesn't actually affect us, as we run our own mail servers and block** all e-mail from the Hotmail and Live domains.

** In this part of the known Universe, senders using such accounts should of course get the polite "550 rejected" message from us explaining why. But as Microsoft ignores all open standards in favour of their own home-brew versions, it looks as though MS doesn't bother delivering these... :(

Why grill Google over web dominance? It has none

William Old


You can't use Wikipedia if you are searching for FACTS... but it's ideal if you are searching for OPINIONS, verified or otherwise, right or wrong, sensible or looney-tunes...

Core facts: Windows 8 truthiness dissected, Mango sliced

William Old

Windows Mobile phone bought in Truro - flagship MS phone OS sales doubles...

"... and how Microsoft's really betting on Tango to bring Windows Mobile to a mass market of smart-phone hold outs."

CONGRATULATIONS! It's extremely rare to see the phrases "Windows Mobile" and "mass market" in a single sentence... :)

UK police crime map website: Who's the victim here?

William Old

Possibly, but...

... it's much more likely that your village was never actually successful in getting one of the Welsh forces to save up enough money to send a police officer to find out any details of what crime really is happing there.

Most (all?) police forces are having to search down the back of the sofa for lost coins just to pay the electricity bill these days... if you are a supplier, I'd warn you against offering any of them 30-day credit... :(

Visa approves wireless payment chip

William Old

Sooner than you think...

All cards coming from MBNA (and that includes affinity cards such as Amazon Card, AA Card, etc.) are now RFID enabled, under the Mastercard PayPass system (technically identical to Visa PayWave).

Mine now resides in its own little cooking foil pouch in my wallet. Durable, easy to make, cheap to replace, and no sucker is going to vacuum up my card details in a walk-by RFID scan through it.

Although I'm sure the kiosk staff at my local petrol station think I'm crackers... the hat made out of the same stuff to protect me from other folks' mobile phones might be a factor... :-)

Police back ends must be slimmed, says Home Sec

William Old

They did...

... but the Home Office made forces close all the workshops and make the mechanics redundant because "... it will be cheaper to use local garages instead..."!

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” - George Santayana

Judges reject Operation Ore appeal

William Old


You can disguise your (real) IP address by accessing something via the (real) IP address of an anonymising proxy server, which is what Dr Sharples meant when he said "disguise". However, you cannot hide your (real) IP address by accessing something via a device that uses a (mock) IP address.... the routing would simply fail because the remote service could never respond to device attempting to set up an IP session. It's like trying to con a bank into sending you cash by telling them to post it to you at a non-existent address. Even if they post it, you will wait a long time at your real address for it to come through the letterbox!!

Microsoft badmouths Google over fed contract win

William Old

This would be funny if it wasn't so serious

"Google can't avoid the fact that often times they cannot meet basic requirements," reads a blog post from Tom Rizzo, senior director of Microsoft Online Services.

HAHAHAHAHAHA...!!!! This, from the company that honestly believes that its products are fit for purpose for providing a grown-up platform for 24x7 business-critical services, yet it can't even keep an e-mail platform running for any length of time, can't (or won't) observe the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFCs so essential for the smooth running of the Internet, and just manufactures "standards" at the whim of its "experience" managers and other esoteric cuckoo-land hangers-on, much to the despair of their in-house IT security professionals??

God help us... the sooner this convicted predatory criminal monopolist goes bust, the better for all of us...

Google sues US gov for picking Microsoft

William Old
Gates Horns

UK Govt owned by MS...

The trouble is, MS has already rooted UK government... look at the (Microsoft) Government Gateway, that was produced by MS for the UK Government at a cost of tens of millions of pounds, then the intellectual property rights in it were given away - completely free - so that MS could flog it elsewhere for profit.

And it doesn't even observe open standards! Because it was based on GovTalk, the government version of MS BizTalk, it can't ever conform to RFC2822, and therefore thousands of UK citizens can't sign up for online services that use the Gateway because their (perfectly legal) e-mail addresses are rejected by the Gateway as "illegal addresses"... duh!

It's bad enough that the same MS security vulnerability (deeply embedded in MS systems and unfixable without a complete Windows re-write) prevents people using some commercial Web sites based on MS software, but at least then citizens can vote with their wallets... if such a site rejects my e-mail address, I just buy elsewhere. But with the Gateway, and its growing monopoly on online public sector services, I don't have that choice.

Even taking the complaint up to Cabinet Office level (because the problem breaches the Cabinet Office eGIF standards) didn't help... basically, "tough shit, that's the system and that's it".

And folks are surprised because schools are made to buy Office? Ha!

Spam blacklist snafu prompts global gnashing of teeth

William Old

A BT shareholder talks about spam prevention...

... I've reverted to receiving all of my BT share dividend information by post on real paper because I gave up trying to explain to Shareview that sending their e-mails from a non-existent e-mail address meant that it is never accepted by my SMTP mail server, which (by choice) uses sender callout verification.

They just don't get it.

And, whilst I'm having a rant, e-mails to me from all of the financial institutions that have now been subsumed into Santander (Alliance & Leicester, Abbey, et al) don't get delivered either, for exactly the same reason... their SMTP mail servers are all sending from the pre-Santander domain addresses but the new servers don't accept mail to those addresses (not even to postmaster, in direct contravention of RFC2822) so in the end I've referred them to the Financial Services Ombudsman as it's costing me money in lost interest.

And did you know that the FSO charges financial institutions £400 per case (after the first three cases each year) for disputes referred to them for resolution? Even if the customer's complaint is not upheld? Handy to know when you are arguing about unfair bank charges, etc.!