* Posts by Gav

682 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2007


Epic fail, Facebook: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed


These things cascade

But it goes further than that. By "hiding" your friends' news, your friend doesn't know that you did not see it. So they are now wondering why you didn't "like" or comment on their new arrival/exam pass/engagement. Or are disappointed that you have nothing comforting to say about grandpa dying/their divorce/redundancy/horrible car accident.

So they were also messing with their victims' friends' minds, and their relationships, too. You'd think that if facebook wanted to become a key means of staying in touch with people, they'd ensure that these things didn't get "lost".

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good


Your handy translation

"This research was conducted for a single week in 2012 and none of the data used was associated with a specific person’s Facebook account."

We're not telling anyone who we messed with. Including them. So that's ok.

"We do research to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. A big part of this is understanding how people respond to different types of content, whether it’s positive or negative in tone, news from friends, or information from pages they follow. "

This is an important step in determining how to make our cattle happy and most likely to click the adverts provider by our users. The cattle will eat whatever they're fed.

"We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process."

We consider carefully if the research is in our interests and if there's money to be made. No, we're not sharing how we decided. We're very comfortable about this, so what's the problem?

There is no unnecessary collection of people’s data in connection with these research initiatives "

We decide what's necessary.

"and all data is stored securely."

It's our data, isn't it? So you can bet it's secure. The sooner you get this into your thick heads the quicker this discussion will be over.

Black hole three-way: Supermassive trio are 'rippling' space


Not wizzing

The speed of a planet around a star is not, by definition, interstellar. And the orbital speed of Earth is very modest, on a interstellar scale.

However, your comparison does still make a whole lot more sense than measurement by speed of sound.

Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM


Bad Source

Since when is it acceptable to use the Daily Mail as a source for tech news?

Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog


Re: Humbug

"Similarly, it is unlikely that Tom Hanks (or more likely a staffer) was aware that posting the image would fall foul of copyright law."

Tom Hanks is a highly experienced operator in Hollywood. His staff are running a high-profile website. It's not credible that they are happily oblivious of copyright law. But, as I said, I think it's more likely that the culprit here is whosay, a publishing outfit that should certainly know copyright law.

The practices (not laws) regarding wearing medals are far more arcane and a photographer has no particular need to know them.


As the article notes, it was most likely the whosay website that added the copyright. Notice that they also splatted their logo onto the bottom right corner. Hanks didn't add that.

This is typical tactics on many websites. Lift content from elsewhere, add your own watermark.

When will Microsoft next run out of US IPv4 addresses for Azure?


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

"that doesn't mean you lose the legal protections that come with having your server on US soil"

This would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad that most people reading it will believe it makes a real difference. I have no idea about Brazil, but US data protect laws are a joke.

Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'


He's an actor

The Reg Team, as IT Journos, have an issue with web-based muggles commenting on things that are in their domain. Fry gets it in the neck because he's generally seen as a very clever man with lots of followers happy to believe what he says. Even when he's wrong.

He is a very clever man, but he's not a IT specialists. It's to be expected he gets some things wrong. But I wouldn't be betting all upset about it. No-one is relying on him to configure their domain and no-one is relying on him to deliver IT consultancy.

GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking


Expensive & pointless

"one of which could well be your next TV…"

Sure. Just drop 4k into my bank account first and I'll nip down the shops.

Also; they look nice, but ultimately the curved screens are a pointless gimmick. If they are any benefit at all, it's to only one person, directly positioned in front of the tv at the optimal distance. Everyone else gets a distorted image that's actually worse than a flat screen.

Japanese finally produce a ROBOT which isn't DEAD INSIDE


Does not compute

Recognising emotions != understanding emotions != having emotions.

This robot has no heart.

Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods


song and dance

Or it could simply be that Windows 7 doesn't need these patches, or need to call these functions in as many places. It's not impossible that Windows 8 had a security hole that needed fixed that Windows 7 didn't.

There are dozens of perfectly rational explanations more likely than this simplistic "count then speculate" song and dance.

I spy publicity stunt.

YOU - NASA. Enough with the ROBOTS, get some PEOPLE to MARS


Re: Humans > robots?

"What can a human do on Mars that a robot can't?"

Move faster than 0.18 km/h.

China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'


Re: If the government hates it

Which is very different from the US Government; "Microsoft *can* spy on our people, we've outsourced the job."

Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and wins piles of cash


Easy Target

Yes. This seems to be an exercise in punishing a mostly responsible and legit company, while doing nothing to discourage the more flagrant abuse from criminals, conmen, counterfeiters and general scum that are the real problem. I suppose John Lewis was an easy target.

'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'


Re: Poor policing there...

And how do you know events happened in that sequence? You're dealing with a series of still photographs that can be viewed in any order.


Re: Taggart

Wrong side of that side of the border. This is Edinburgh, not Glasgow.

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook


Not Always Good

An upgrade on your OS is not always a good thing.

There's nothing more annoying than finding that the latest update has been designed for newer models, and your phone now crawls because it's not fast enough or doesn't have the memory.

The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'


Re: Athlon XP 2400 PC

This is the dilemma of all old kit. It still works fine. It cost a fortune at the time. But now, five years later, it's out of date and everything you could use it for can be done faster/cheaper/quieter/more efficiently by something new, occupying a fraction of the space.

But it still seems such a shame and a waste to throw it out. Hence, my attic....

Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the worst


Re: The Disabled, Sitting at Home

"To be fair, the whole article is a crock"

The whole article is a near perfect example of straw man construction.

The author doesn't know how driverless cars work, doesn't know what research has been done and doesn't know what scenarios have been tackled. But that doesn't stop him guessing how they work, assuming no research has been done, and inventing scenarios like no-one else is smart enough to have already thought of them.

And then having constructed his strawmen, he destroys them.


A Useful Summary

This opinion piece summarised;

"I don't know how this works or whether these things have been considered. So I'm just going to take a few guesses, assume the worse in every scenario, and wildly extrapolate from it."




Err... what?

Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM


Re: I have this strange urge to go into Daily Mail mode....

Hanging is too good for them. I want heads on spikes at the very minimum!

Welcome to Heathrow Terminal, er, Samsung Galaxy S5


"Named for" does not tell you the name, it just tells you how it came about it. So if a company want to pay you millions to name a structure "Fred", that would still be naming it *for* them. But if a company wants you to name to a structure with their name, then you are naming it *after* them.

No-one thinks these things are named in memorial of a company. Things get named after companies either because they built it, they own it, or they paid for the privilege.


"What about that hideous ArcelorMittal Orbit thing in the Olympic Park, named for the steel and mining company?"

Why does this ugly Americanism appear in an article about London?

It's named *after* the steel and mining company.

Latest Snowden leak claims NSA bugged ALL mobile calls in the Bahamas


You do appreciate the difference between "they're spying on you" and "here's proof they're spying on you"? Whether you consider the proof obvious or not, it is still proof. Despite the abundance of opinion, speculation and hysteria you can find on the interwebs, proof still has a value that far outweighs the lot.

Speaking of which; you have proof that Snowdon is selling secrets to Putin?

You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers


"Wouldn't use them myself" <> scam

Your problem is you are labelling something as a scam, simply because you see no value in it, and wouldn't use it personally. These can be legitimate services that some people may wish to pay for. Some people hate, or are bad at, form filling. Some people have literacy problems, or do not feel comfortably fluent enough in any applicable language. Some people are just lazy/busy. All may want "an expert" to do it for them and are happy to pay for that.

The example you give looks to me to be quite upfront about what they are doing, and what you can get for free elsewhere. It may "fool" some people into thinking they have to pay and are doing it through official channels, but only if those people don't read what's in front of them in plain language. And maybe those are exactly the people who maybe can't be trusted to fill in the form themselves.

However you are correct, there are other far shadier outfits doing this, or similar, that do amount to scams.

Facebook preps ad network to TARGET YOU WHERE YOU LIVE


Re: What's the point of that?

If you have FB installed on your android phone then you already have allowed it access to your GPS. Thanks to Google's pathetic permission management within Android you have no option to refuse it.

FB's list of required permissions has increased with each update. The only option is to remove FB from your phone, which I have.

Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)


Wrong comparison

Hate to interrupt the Dell pile on... but just wanted to observe that comparing the simple steps needed to change settings on a booted, fully functioning Windows box, with that of a brand new machine that hasn't been through initial set up, isn't even plugged in, never mind booted, and only has a standard image pre-loaded, is pretty dumb.

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM


Someone vomited hashtags all over impossible.com

Just a hint for users of this terrible impossible.com website.

#if #you put #hashtag before #every other #word, #it becomes #unreadable and the #whole #purpose of the #hashtags is #lost.

Hashtags are to help denote the keywords for searching/indexing. If practically every word is a keyword, then no word is any more key than any other. The hashes are therefore pointless and you may as well index every word.

Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data


Is there a problem with that?

It's quite simple. If you don't agree on the extent of the interception, you are not being reasonable*, and your regard of what is significant* is irrelevant.

* We decide what is reasonable and what is significant.

Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'


Re: well personally

And where is this magic setup application? Any installation of an FTP server would require configuration of your router. Your mythical "for dummies" setup isn't going to do that for you.

WTF: Twitter bug temporarily kills THAT Oscar selfie


Retweet: OMG

And I'm literally going to re-comment it. John G Imrie

I'm literally going to write OMG in a comment about twitter on another web site's comment system.

Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?


Re: Surely India has bigger problems...

Education is an answer to all these things. Anything that improves education is to be encouraged.

Telling a country to "have a hard look at itself" doesn't really accomplish anything.

Turkey's farcical Twitter ban leads to SPIKE in tweets


"The volume of messages sent Turkish Twitter users"

"The volume of messages sent Turkish Twitter users..."

Lead sentence is missing a "by"

Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told


Wrong way around

The owner of the Hotmail account was the blogger, not the Microsoft employee.

Probably not a good idea to receive Microsoft secrets in a hotmail account, but the Microsoft employee wasn't "accessing" hotmail to send them.


I think there is a very effective measure that can prevent someone awaiting trail not fleeing.

It's called not granting bail. It is quite common and straight-forward.



I have no idea what you are talking about, or how it is in any way relevant.

Either this is someone's idea of satire, or it's just a long series of names being dropped. If the former - it's impenetrable, if the latter - it's not credible.

GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture


Comparison - how they work

"are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound?"

God how I hate this dishonest discussion tactic. Rife on the interwebs, of course.

Let me explain how comparisons work. You take too things (say A and B) that are similar in a few key ways, and you explain this. In doing this you hope that the point you are wanting to get across is easier to understand in B, than it may be in A.

This is not the same as saying that A = B. If A = B in all things, then B would be A and any comparison would be totally pointless. What is meant is that in certain limited and relevant aspects you can draw parallels between the two.

Extrapolating this out, by implying that what was intended was all features of B apply to A, is a shoddy debating trick that third rate politicians and other scoundrels employ.

Google slams Play Store password window shut after sueball hits


Re: The App Store Con

Everyone is to blame here.

The app makers, for following a nasty business model that is specifically designed to get children hooked on a free game, then charging for buying necessary "extras". It's a model copied directly from "the first hit is free" drug pushers.

The parents, for leaving their children with access to web accounts connected directly to their credit card.

Google, for allowing it all to happen.

Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers


Re: Wan side access to the router

What I can't fathom is why any home router would ever have a need to provide admin access over WAN.

What possible circumstances would anyone have where they need to reconfigure their home router remotely?

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


Re: Sort of like...

Most people who use email use it from a browser; i.e. the web

And the ones who use email most aren't people, they're spambots.

Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge


Re: Are they blonde?

Wrong. What is against the software licence is charging for distribution.

Installing it on a computer is exactly what Mozilla want people to do. Deciding that their licence forbids people to install it is exactly what they do not want. What they don't want is people selling Firefox, either on its own or as part of some package. Charging someone to install the application is neither of these.

Movies and open source/free software are two entirely different things licensed in entirely different ways. Their distribution cannot be compared in any sensible manner.


Are they a business?

Installation <> Distribution.

If I was charging you to download Firefox from my website, then that would be distribution.

Going through the process of installing it on your computer is not distribution.

Whether the cost they charge for their installation is excessive or not is a matter for the customer to decide. If they don't feel they are getting work worth that, then they are free to go elsewhere. Certainly I wouldn't pay them a penny for doing this. But maybe some would.

Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!


And insert bugs in your code. They certainly weren't there when you wrote it!


Re: Wow this new monitor is the coolest

See. Took a woman to invent it. No wonder she's delighted with herself.


Speaking as one of the few

What's the best way to encourage people into an industry? How about insulting all those already there?

"ICT is no longer for the geeky few – it is cool, and it is the future!"

Newsweek knocks on door of dad-of-six, tells him he invented Bitcoin



He's got $400M in bitcoins and any attempt to convert that to dollars or property would almost certainly reveal his identity.

He may value his privacy/security higher than that. Some people aren't cash driven.

German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign


Re: "Merely...make money"

"a breach of copyright as you are creating a derivative work of the page"

So if I rip a newspaper page in two, I've breached copyright? Or if I clip an article out of a magazine, for my own use, I've breached copyright?

How about if I take a black marker and score out the bits in a newspaper I don't want to read ? Or how about if I hold my hand over those bits so I don't see them?

You've got a fair point regarding ads, but the "breach of copyright" angle just isn't going to fly.

How a Facebook post by blabbermouth daughter cost her parents $80,000


Re: Something doesn't add up here...

Yup. The point here is that he would probably have been fine if he'd told his daughter, and told her to keep her mouth shut. He also didn't need to tell his daughter any actual figures or details.

But he didn't. He told her, and most importantly forgot to impress on her about it being a secret. And she then went and broadcast it to many of the people the school explicitly did not want to know (other pupils, parents, teachers).

It sucks, but totally his fault. Should have been more careful.

Two in five Brits cough up for CryptoLocker ransomware's demands


Re: Bad Headline Writer! Bad! Down boy!

"Around two in five who were willing to admit it, from a sample of 48 people who fell victim, have coughed up to CryptoLocker ransomware's demands"