* Posts by Paul McClure

39 posts • joined 1 Jul 2008

US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

Paul McClure

Stupid cops

They go after the library for adding a service to their community? Maybe cops should ask for the road/transit to be shut down because someone might be criminal. Maybe they should close grocery stores, banks, and every other piece of modern society because criminals might on the off chance use their services. Cops have been without supervision for too long. Maybe the public should have a chat with the cops about getting back to work and stop bothering everybody who might get struck by lightning. It won't hurt to review staffing levels as it seems they have too many and not enough work.

NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

Paul McClure

Playing the party line

NASA mismanaged space transport, Shuttle EOL with no viable replacement, and the Russians were nice enough to come to the rescue. All for multiple carriers in a future robust space transportation market. Still it's poor form to dump on the Russians just because the US State department is having a spat. Some time ago there was an article about the contenders and pricing, it was mentioned that the Russians were the low cost carrier of the three. With the drop in ruble wouldn't that make their bid, in a fair open competition, even more attractive. The two US contenders appreciate the subsidy and game rigging.

First Congress, now top govt watchdog digs into ICANN's internet grab

Paul McClure


In an earlier time the US government feared that turning over the Panama canal to the locals would be a risk. The transition occurred and live moved on. Strangely, the new managers used the same economic opportunities and constraints to make the same decisions. Much the same can and likely will happen to the internet. Not expecting a rash of duplicate names or addresses with a non US administrator.

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

Paul McClure


Apple had the same issue. Bleeding edge wows but sometimes it's not engineered correctly on the first go. The difference between Apple and Boeing is that Boeing has only one competitor.

ICANN boss: 'Russia and China will NOT take over interwebs'

Paul McClure

The flap exposes an interesting world view

People have different world views. For some the world consists of three nations and the majority of the planet, well doesn't have a voice. Many holding such a view seem to prefer the US to cold war foes of Russia and China. Never mind that such a view has little utility in a multi polar world. The world is a more complicated place and leaders should be expressing that fact. If leaders won't then media could and should 'fact check' their simplifications or wishful thinking.

Is no browser safe? Security bods poke holes in Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox and earn $1m

Paul McClure

Thanks for the concern. Not really concerned about popularity, or instigating anything. Just using the forum to voice an opinion, obviously one of many.

Security relates to administrators, vendors, crooks, and spooks as well as the public using the web for their interests. Better security is helped by better, more robust, software and hardware as well as better design. Design is a standards thing as changes come with a price tag. Better product is better product. Crooks get plenty of attention and are regularly hunted, and periodically shut down. Spooks could use more attention then previous, maybe the Snowden spotlight is a bit much, but ignoring them is not a good thing. Ideally those charged with oversight would step up to the task. Maybe this happens in the UK.

Paul McClure

This sounds like an outstanding way to fix stuff, and close loopholes the NSA and associates would like to keep open. Given it has touched many OS's and products the cost seems minimal. Kudos for the in house staff for doing their part to build better product. With any finite staff there are limits to what they can test and correct. The bounty process is wonderful.

Latest Snowden reveal: It was GCHQ that hacked Belgian telco giant

Paul McClure

Isn't hacking a crime?

Isn't hacking supposed to be bad? Recall a number of people going to jail or being burdened with defending against charges. In this crime the culprits are known and come complete with addresses. Waiting for the obligatory charges and jail. If the government needs an investigation then it should justify a warrant and get all the cooperation they need to proceed. Anything less is crime.

Not just telcos, THOUSANDS of companies share data with US spies

Paul McClure

Many states are not up to the task.

What they fear more than terrorists, or bombs is loss of budget that results from the light of day. The US military in general with a budget many times it's nearest 'enemy' needs to be pruned and managed. The apparently well funded intelligence community also needs to lose much of it's budget. If by estimates we spend 30 - 60 B to quell on average 2 incidents a year we are badly overcharged on our 'terrorism' insurance. I'm thinking that saving Billions and reapplying the funds into polishing the ogre image the US has earned, social improvements to turn down the heat of discontent, and demilitarizing the police would help.

Some states are trying desperately to create a Christian fascist institution to rival the Taliban in thuggery. Other states are teetering on bankruptcy and can ill afford not receiving that federal check. The states are clearly entities different from the federal beast but that doesn't automatically make them capable of self control or working in the public interest. As unlikely as it seems, Congress needs to be fixed. Given the number of Senators falling over themselves to support secrecy and status quo I'm thinking the spy industry is not sweating.

Google says it can predict movie box office with 94% accuracy

Paul McClure

Selling ads?

it follows that more interest yields more box office. Still, this seems more of a marketing ploy for Google to sell ads. Like Nate said it's after the fact info that can't be used to improve the product or box office. Amusing but pointless.

Google research chief: 'Emergent artificial intelligence? Hogwash!'

Paul McClure

For what it's worth humans don't always respond well or properly to new situations. Machines will have the same limitations at best. Mean while machines are considered competent or even excellent at more things every day. As we turn over, properly, more and more of our life and economy it 'frees' us for other activities. This has been going on for a very long time. It may be an academic problem for software to meet some definition, but in the real world the machines initiative is unstoppable.

Penguins in spa-a-a-ce! ISS dumps Windows for Linux on laptops

Paul McClure

Re: 140 laptops onboard

I agree a hundred laptops is very poor IT design. Maybe some one calculated that infinite laptops make a great heating system for the station. Sun to solar panels to electricity to laptops to comfy quarters. What gets me is that they weren't refreshed with a dozen 'current' systems to save power, space, and maybe add some features. They must have some real clowns working their IT. Yep, old Bessie is still working, we just can't figure why our electric bill is still so high.

Securing the Internet of Things - or how light bulbs can spy on you

Paul McClure

Pre internet access

In days of yore we had homes with walls and doors. In addition to keeping the elements out it would limit access to people in the proximity. In addition to standard security why can't devices have a proximity 'sensor'. If the communication is more than x hops disallow. Add a guard/controller within the radius that the external can communicate with the appropriate enhanced security.

Senators propose permanent ban on internet sales and access tax

Paul McClure

Internet taxes

The internet doesn't exist in a vacuum. Internet commerce should be taxed to pay for the infrastructure that supports. Just like brick and mortar establishments. That said, it's much easier to say than do. Brick and mortar can simply send to their local/state tax agency. The internet doesn't have that simplicity, never mind that communities can create local tax authorities for their soon to be shinny thing to make the community proud.

There needs to be a tax clearing house, like Visa/Master card to track the existence and particulars of the many overlapping tax authorities. It's more a matter of doing it rather than new tech requirements. The post office has been tracking the public's moves and changes and has been directing mail to it's proper destination for many decades. I hear the US post office is concerned about it's business model, maybe they could use another revenue stream.

Happy birthday, Lisa: Apple's slow but heavy workhorse turns 30

Paul McClure
Thumb Up


It's nice looking back to see today's processors many hundreds of times faster, communication speeds a thousand times faster, and storage 100 thousand times more vast. Sweet.

Report: US government plans legal assault on foreign hackers

Paul McClure


Having a 'white hat' organization to protect infrastructure, government systems seems prudent. Using the same to boost about protecting IP seems like a reach. It would be nice if the Justice department could train staff to actually proceed with copious war crimes, fraud and sleight of hand relating the the economic downturn, etc. It's stunning to hear that the odd IP download is the nations biggest problem.

Dutch army digs in on spare spectrum rest of Europe could use

Paul McClure

If the bands have value, add a fee to their use/allocation and buy out the Dutch equipment with less conflicting kit. Does each NATO member use different comm gear? How does that make defense better?

Hacker sentenced to six years – WITH NO INTERNET

Paul McClure

New world.

When did Anonymous change to announce to everybody that your a member? Isn't the point to remain anonymous?

The parole officer will get tired of him listing everything that runs on electricity plus vehicles as having internet access. The judge needs to come up to speed on reality.

USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission

Paul McClure


I thought these large ships were to project power against other large and advanced forces. Pirates are a Coast guard problem since slow moving essentially unarmed ships should pose no problem for destroyers plus helicopters. Anything as large as a missile cruiser is wasted money.

I recall the UK went bankrupt by holding on to it's empire. The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses. It's a good thing that China has been so willing to buy our country on the cheap to finance our foolishness.

Sony turned off by CEA's 'Ultra HD' TV label

Paul McClure

Repeating history.

S-HD like the S-VHS upgrade for VHS long ago. Hold off on the 8K until there is a ghost of a chance anybody will be broadcasting with it.

Astroboffins to search for mega-massive alien power plants

Paul McClure

Re: We are

I like your analysis as far as it goes. I think a different culture might be harder to recognize then we give credit. If we were ants, puffed up on our ability to bring down larger insects/animals, engineer, and farm, would we recognize creatures who use sound instead of chemicals to communicate. Would we recognize land use zones and their land ownership.

It's not wrong to look and search, but much that we take for granted today would be missed entirely by someone from a few hundred years ago. Just saying we might be looking in the wrong places for the wrong things.

US said to designate Assange 'enemy' of the state

Paul McClure

Feeling guilty?

Since much of the previous dump was boring, except for the state department stuff. One wonders what the military is so fearful of exposing? Clearly they need to be investigated and the likely multiple culprits tried and jailed. Recently a general was charged with rapes, which could be unusual if rape wasn't so common for the military. Probably not so dramatic, maybe just the usual fleecing of the public with broken weapons and deployment.

Anonymous hunts down Voldemort for hacking hungry kids' charity

Paul McClure

Re: Glad to see...

Anon has shown restraint and judgement before and will probably will continue in the future. Note they outed the person to authorities, anonymous tip? It's up to the authorities to charge or not and apply penalties as needed. Anon was just acting as a citizen would act. Actually Anon giving the person an option to undo is more considerate than most.

Minister blows away plans for more turbines

Paul McClure

Sounds reasonable.

So there needs to be an energy storage mechanism that can bank power to be distributed later. Not so different from hydro which banks power, water, and generates on demand. I understand there are such things with large solar installations that can distribute power at night..

Thai Police shutter 5,000+ sites insulting royals

Paul McClure

Way too much time on their hands

It's proper for the government to fear it's people. The proper response is to listen and do the public's will. Making up laws for make work government staff is a poor solution at best.

Make room, internet, there's another 5 million domains to fit in

Paul McClure

Just another utility in our modern world.

We are dependent on many utilities and supply chains, think fuel and food. The internet as useful as it can be is just another piece of societies fabric. Be thankful for the many it employs.

US military debated hacking Libyan air defenses

Paul McClure

A little late, why not 6 months ago when they were shooting at us. Clue.

The news is saying the loyalist are down to one neighborhood and key family members have been collected. This show is over. Now for the real messy part of getting many tribes to behave as one government. That will be entertaining thought probably not for the residents. Who knows they might even get a government before the Egyptians.

New DVD discs claim 1,000 year life

Paul McClure

Nothing like hype to sell a product.

"Although the discs could last 1,000 years, if Millenniata's modelling is right, whether DVD drives will still be around then is another question. Excuse me, but I have a stack of punch cards. Does anyone have a punch card reader...?"


I recall the purveyors of DVD and Bluray describing a life span greater than five years. Were they hyping like this company? I think I have a few DVD's older than that.

Anonymous and LulzSec spew out largest ever police data dump

Paul McClure

Maybe we should build a better internet

Many of the targets deserve all the fame they are getting. That said an insecure internet isn't a benefit. The community of clever folk should design a better framework and implement some version. It wouldn't kill us if Microsoft, etc. close the 'security' back doors while we are at it.

Not long ago Firefox allowed any widgets. Seeing the flaw in that plan, they test/filter widgets. Maybe web software test service could be cobbled for sites to verify that they meet some standard. Though setting standards will not protect against clever/government hackers it 's a start.

Apple squashes location tracking 'bugs' with iOS update

Paul McClure

Apple reacts

It's good that Apple has addressed some of the issues of it's very popular product. It's telling that Apple didn't have the interests of the customers in mind during development. Without a moral /ethical compass how can they hope to get ahead of the curve.

Management failure.

US gov says it can't build an interstellar starship

Paul McClure

Fantasy on a budget

Never mind the US is broke on misadventures and mismanagement lets go to another star.

We have not explored and occupied any of our solar system save home planet. We seem to be having difficulty keeping a presence in low orbit. Sort of like Erickson's Greenland 400 years before Columbus. Rather than jumping to the next star just because with no reward other than a flag planting video, maybe we could cover the basics that we haven't mastered.

Suggest we use the business model or government expansion model, without the killing of locals, develop in the neighborhood we know and grow a series of successful products, colonization/mining, until the base is sufficiently large to attempt the big jump and be able to do something with it. Master getting up/down from orbit, processing local materials and generally thrive on newly tilled soil.

Mozilla plans four Firefoxes in 2011

Paul McClure

Frequent updates, sometimes too many

Excluding bug fixes and security updates they should limit major releases to one to two a year. It's unlikely a delay of a couple of months for the new shinny thing would bother many. Stick with stable releases and don't hoist the bugs on customers. There are enough bugs left to fix after careful editing.

If you must change your operation do it to a plan rather than knee jerk response to a 'competitor'.

Naturist club objects to erection of five storey tower block

Paul McClure

Room with a view

Just have the building have no windows facing. Beach condos often face the beach and not face the parking lot/road. Shouldn't be a problem, as they will need to get permits for their design anyway.

Microsoft cries foul on Yahoo!-Google Japan deal

Paul McClure

Poor Micro$oft

Microsoft with dominance in the worlds desktops is complaining. Airlines have dominance in air travel. Search companies have dominance in search. It's unfortunate that Microsoft is unhappy with it's monopoly and wants more. Search filled a need and grew. In time some cleaver people, probably not Microsoft, will create a better interface than search and grow. Be happy with your Billions.

Futurologist defends 'malevolent dust' warning

Paul McClure
Black Helicopters

future tech

I'm sure that future tech will take some effort to design and build. Cell phone tech has a signature and counters, jamming, exist to restrict. Future tech will have signatures and counters would be available for those who care about such things.

The impression that future tech will operate free of counters or awareness by the victims is true but will pass as media exposes capabilities. Just as bot nets, worms/viruses, etc. catch somebody before they are eventually shut down future tech will do the same. It's not permanent.

NZ government makes software 'unpatentable' (for now)

Paul McClure
Thumb Up

Thumbs up.

Patents are good for decades and the drug industry has shown that with a little reworking many decades. What software is so special that it's not replaced every couple of years? Even the venerable IP schemes have morphed over time. Good call.

Oregon profs plan giant robotic space cockroach warriors

Paul McClure
IT Angle


I thought the point of walking on two legs was that it freed up the hands for tool use ... shooting stuff. It's well established that four legs is faster than two and ignoring scale, big jump, 6 or 8 is faster still.

Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Paul McClure

ISP function

I thought that ISP's were to provide access to the Internet not their version. Is this why I get a US flag on theregister.co.uk web pages and several other non US news web sites?

Japanese military shamed by USB device

Paul McClure


People are supposed to protect the items they are tasked. But this is a peace time training exercise. Who cares. Train to your hearts content.


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