* Posts by Steve Browne

209 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Apr 2007


Info Commissioner tears into Google's 'call us journalists' trial defence

Steve Browne

Re: Both sides are wrong here

Erm, Thompson and Venables WERE given the right to be forgotten by the trial judge, when he placed a lifetime injunction on their new identities being revealed.

Google reveals Edge bug that Microsoft has had trouble fixing

Steve Browne

Re: Another Viewpoint

The man who builds the bomb, without it the other two are redundant.

Comms-slurping public bodies in UK need crash course in copy 'n' paste

Steve Browne

Nothing to hide ....

In another post the good old "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mantra was rolled out, I do hope he reads this and realises just how wrong he is. I am firmly of the opinion that privacy is extremely important and that investigative spying and surveillance ought to be restricted with serious oversight to ensure that people are properly protected from over zealous investigators.

Arresting innocent people for serious offences would be an unpleasant experience for the victim.

Google may face grilling by MPs over 'immoral' tax avoidance

Steve Browne

Re: I think it is about time

IR35 is a piece of spiteful legislation brought in by a chancellor who was unhappy with ordinary people earning a reasonable amount of cash.

The shame really is that the same rule is not applied to senior civil service (or BBC) staff where it really is disguised employment.

BT missing from Pirate Bay High Court slap-down

Steve Browne

Ho hum

I wonder if they really will see any increase in sales as a result.

Danes ditch Microsoft, take ODF road - at last

Steve Browne

It's the cold, the cold

It is so damn cold there that they have to keep the brain cells working harder so as not to freeze up.

ISPs slam Digital Economy Bill's multi-million pound price tag

Steve Browne

I dream of winning the lottery too ...

Quite where these numbers come from is a mystery to me. Does it presume that each copied file is an actual sale lost, that if the copier could not get a copy on line that they would head down to the local HMV (oh, they closed down) and buy one. Whereas, my view is that if you you do not wish to pay, you either find a free one or go without. If this is closer to the truth (or am I really that exceptional?) then the lost sales figure is approaching a 100% error, ie there are no lost sales at all, and if the file was not available for copying then those wishing to copy it would go without.

I suppose there is some balance to be achieved here. BUT, surely it must be the responsibility of the music industry to sort out it's own affairs as to how it markets it's products. Clearly, there is huge demand for their product, so why not take advantage of this demand and make sales to people who want to pay? It would be a far better use of resources than attempting to prevent customers from buying their product!

As a final point, Mandelson does not care at all about the music industry, his legislation is intended to get monitoring equipment installed so that New Labour can continue its expansion of the State into our private lives. He was unable to do it through the front door, now he is trying alternative entrances, nothing new there then I suppose.

Plod to retain personal data from DNA innocents

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Point #2

(2) Biggest winner rules

Should read

(2) Biggest loser rules

Unused phone lines to be taxed for rural broadband

Steve Browne

Maybe it is time to change

I have a landline used solely for internet, and 0800 numbers. Generally, I make no calls as I have more than enough minutes on my mobile contract. Maybe it is time to look at mobile internet services and dump the landline altogether.

US told to keep its beak out of European decisions

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Such a refreshing change

The one thing I would really like to see is the EU standing up to America. It is just so debilitating having the British poodle rolling over every time America asks, what we really need is someone to stand up for us, and Nellie Kroes does that admirably.

Govt promises unemployed free laptops, net access, websites

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Being unemployed ...

I am quite horrified at some of the remarks about unemployed people. I have been unemployed since February and have now applied for 1520 jobs via Jobserve and some others from agencies that have contacted me direct. I come second at interviews, I wish it wern't so, but that is how it is.

Coping with the constant rejection is difficult, especially as some positions I have been interviewed for have seemed to be my ideal job, somewhere I think I could really thrive and get some seriously interesting work to do.

I have been turned down for minimum wage jobs, because, they say, I will leave at the first available opportunity. Of course, no opportunity arises, so I wonder which one they are talking about. No matter, I still have my £64.30 to look forward to.

At this moment, I doubt I can get anywhere now before January, but I still have to produce my job search record, to show the nits at the job centre what I am doing. They told me, at my six monthly review, that they were completely useless for people like me and could offer no help whatsoever.

I ask about retraining, no help whatsoever. In fact, if you do try to retrain yourself, they will remove your benefits, as you are no longer available for work. So, you must sit and do nothing to improve yourself, but you must look for work or else.

It would be far better to help those who want it. Help them to retrain into something different, should they desire and support them in getting themselves into work. Spending money on laptops for everyone is not going to do anything worthwhile. I watched someone attempting to sell a stolen laptop and couldn't get anyone to pay £25 for it. (Well, it was an IBM Thinkpad!).

Good luck to those in jobs, I wish I was there with you, but be a bit kinder to those who have no work, it is not so easy to get a job these days. Now I am off to bed, I have an interview 40 miles away at 9:30 and it is 01:52 now.

'World's largest' BitTorrent tracker Mininova kneecapped

Steve Browne

Wouldn't it be easier

Technology marches forever onwards, new materials are discovered, new uses for old materials are discovered, new methods are devised, new machines are invented and so it goes. Anyone resisting such change is doomed to fail.

So, why does the media industry insist on flogging the same old dead horse. Companies, like Sony, make money out of selling the kit to copy their CDs, then whine when it is used.

There is absolutely no point in their pursuing file sharers. I can go rent a DVD, make a copy of it if I like it, or just leave it on my hard disk.

Many people want to pick and choose what they watch or listen to, why not let them. Distribution, production and related costs are virtually zero, so, charge a sensible price taking into account that the customers are providing all of their own kit to download and produce a disk and away they go with a revenue stream that works for them all day every day.

They really ought to take up the offer being made to them, license their back catalogues, stuff the whole lot on a server and charge a subscription or a reasonable price and watch the cash come in. They cant sue everybody, and cluttering up the courts or forcing others to do the policing for them is not going to work.

UK jails schizophrenic for refusal to decrypt files

Steve Browne

No we see it laid bare

RIPA is a gross intrusion into ordinary life. The powers granted to the police, who abuse them with the flimsiest of excuses, supported by politicians and now the reality is laid bare for all to see.

This shows how the powers granted by our totalitarian masters to our oppressive police force are to be used against us to force conformity. New Labour has been an extremely dangerous experiment, and re electing them will bring about ever more draconian powers to be deployed by an ever more politicised police force to suppress the rights and liberties of the individual.

I have always thought Stalin would have been proud of the rules invented by New Labour, and as this case clearly demonstrates, we haver no recourse to the protection of the courts against excessive state power.

These laws, including all of the intrusive legislation of this government ought to be repealed until the police are curbed in their excesses and the courts are restored to require guilt to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

O/S bloat: What's the cure?

Steve Browne

Deja vu

Why dont they just take at look at what IBM did with VM (and it's successors). A single copy of executable code available to all users on a system. I just don't understand why MS have so much of a problem with memory management.

Perhaps it is a result of using that bastardised language (C or the ++ variant), whereas IBM's language family (starting with PL/1) put out 2 CSECTs one for code and one for data, meant the code was read only and was protected by the hardware. (a CSECT is a Control Section and is a basic building block for the link editor (or loader) to work with).

The result, in a virtualised environment, meant that each user (or guest OS) had a shared copy of executable code and its own private storage for its data.

Executable code sharing did not just stop with other operating systems, it could also be used for sharing large quantities of data, obviously low volatility data, but it was possible to have just one copy of data shared between many processes.

UK Supremes question vetting scheme

Steve Browne
Big Brother

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear

I have long criticised those sprouting the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mantra as deluded. Permitting state agencies, such as the police, to retain innuendo and downright lies is a gross abuse of power.

This government has trampled over OUR liberties, protecting our children and preventing terrorism since the day it won power. Legislation of which Stalin would have been proud became the order of the day. Then it became more intrusive, and now the early effects are beginning to show.

We MUST begin to protect our rights and liberties, yes, even for those whom we despise. We must protect the innocent and make the police remove lies and innuendo from their records, make them remove innocent people from the PNC and force them to obey the law themselves.

I shall hope that the next government starts to unravel the intrusive and unfair legislation enacted by NuLabour, that surveillance and monitoring will be removed from our lives and that Britain can be reconstructed into the once moral leader of the world.

Aussie firewall nears death

Steve Browne
Big Brother

Trust a politician?

I really enjoyed the comment about monitoring to catch paedophiles, 100% Nu Labour rhetoric for spying on everyone. Didn't he read the long list of articles and comments on Phorm and BT monitoring web access?

History tells us that politicians wish to monitor the population to further their own interests and to stamp out opposition. The reasoning behind their imposition of spying is always the "fear of the day", but their desire is always the same, elimination of the opposition.

Consequently, these sort of rules are met with weak parliamentary opposition, after all the opposition parties are politicians too, weak public opposition as the public want their "fear of the day" assuaged and onto the statute book they creep. In implementation, the people find out the beginnings of what they have done. THE "fear of the day" law is now used inappropriately by a heavy handed police force.

Now normal activities are banned, or strictly controlled, whilst the perpetrators of "fear of the day" are left unchallenged to go about their business.

For "fear of the day" substitute any political reason.

UK.gov won't drop 50p high speed broadband tax plans - yet

Steve Browne

Hypothecated levies are wrong

I have a basic view that it is users of a service that ought to pay for it. If BT wish to enhance their network to provide new services, that is a matter for BT, it is their shareholders who will benefit and it is their shareholders who should stump up the cash.

Customers should not be forced to pay for services they do not use.

Perhaps it ought to be more correctly placed as a monthly charge against ISP accounts,then only those who might benefit will be forced to pay for it.

If it is a national investment for the "good of the country" then it ought to be funded from tax, which is what tax is all about and not just for funding duck houses in MP's ornamental lakes.

Company wins US patent for podcasting

Steve Browne

How can they?

I mean, this sounds so ridiculous, it could only happen in America.

Episodic data has been transmitted for decades, all those reruns on BBC1 and Friends on E4 for instance, there are even directories stating when they will be available for download (TV Times is one). Plus, some channels even retransmit with a time delay (E4+1) just in case you miss it the "first" time.

I have written systems that episodically connected to other machines, they didn't have servers then, to distribute whatever information had become available since the previous episode. It was possible to request a retransmission if one of those pesky bits didn't quite make it correctly. This was 25 years ago.

Or, have I completely missed the point? (Probably!)

IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?

Steve Browne

Stop whining

Opera won in court, their complaint was upheld and a remedy is now in place. Now users haver a choice of what to install and IE is part of that choice. I fail to see quite what they are whining about now. They got what they asked for, perhaps they should try to be more careful about what they wish for, they seem to have got it and are still unhappy.

Cops and ISP in paedophile data mix up

Steve Browne

Zulu Time

We already have this, it's called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and forms the base from which other time zones are calculated.

DRAM patent holder sues Big Blue

Steve Browne

Hope they have large pockets

I would have thought they would have learnt from SCO that to tackle IBM is a major and expensive project.

I would also be wary of tackling IBM on patents, as they have more than anyone else, not to mention prior art from their research labs. Though, IBM does tend to use it's patent portfolio to cross license technology rather than monetary gain.

This one could run and run ...

Visa dings teen for $23-quadrillion restaurant charge

Steve Browne

Code error

This looks like a COBOL problem of clearing a structure by assigning spaces to the 01 level name. No type checking is performed (!) and spaces are assigned to the entire structure as though it were a string.

Don't these people realise that all code should be passed by the junior programmer, as he or she will spot errors like this, before making it live. Proper testing would help too. Then again, it is a bank, using other people's money, so who would give a shit?

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

Steve Browne


There has been a requirement for any vehicle, including cycles, to warn of their presence. Horns are installed into cars for a reason, and it isn't so lazy taxi drivers can call their customers.

Cycles are required to have a bell for this purpose, ratfox.

Profs: Sex with oldies or youngsters will give you the clap

Steve Browne

Oh dear

My partner is 26 years younger than me, should I be concerned? or just happy?

Will Big Blue mainframes run Windows?

Steve Browne


Why would anyone want this?

As an academic or research exercise, fine, nothing like taxing the grey stuff a bit, but as a serious end user product it makes little sense. why have the expense of an IBM mainframe, just to calculate where the mouse pointer should be on however many user desktops?

Maybe, it is to show that TSO isn't so bad after all!

Rogue international ‘M&A advisors’ target Brit ISP customers

Steve Browne

Hang up?

I don't even answer my phone, just in case it is someone trying to trick me out of my hard earned! So, no need to hang up.

CPW's Dunstone admits 'dread' over state of the economy

Steve Browne

All the bank's fault?

I think there was a bit more to it than just blaming the banks. While the banks may have been the high profile and public display of the current difficulties, it was government policy that fuelled it all. This government has encouraged people into a debt fuelled spending binge based on ever increasing house prices and nothing else.

Even the "fix" being made involves borrowing staggering amounts of money and selling future taxpayers down the shute with spiralling debts to be repaid out of future taxation, all to bolster Gordon's ego. Couple this with the largesse shown to teh banks, and now being offered to all passing by and it will be many years before the effects of this economic catastrophe (that is NuLabour) are fully felt.

Perhaps if CEOs actually knew something worthwhile, instead of just how to shift blame for their own failings or how to bleat to NewLabour ministers about how they will get their party funding or directorship when they are voted out of office, they may actually be able to justify their salaries. Instead, people who actually need the incomes from these shite companies have to suffer, because people like Dunstone failed.

Outsource to India if you like, I am sure Satyam could use the revenue ... oh, are they crooks too.

Judge throws out case against journo bugged by police

Steve Browne
Black Helicopters

Those who have nothing to fear - revisited

I have said many times that he laws enacted to protect us from the most vile in society were being enacted to permit the state and it's Stasi to threaten us all. But no, it was never believed, after all it is to protect the children or save us from Islam.

Now it is laid bare. The anti terror legislation is to allow the government to enforce it's will upon Icelandic banks, opposition Members of Parliament and journalists. It enables council's to look through our trash, it enables the police to make up laws covering photography in a public place.

I now just hope that those who think having nothing to hide means nothing to fear will wake up and beg the forgiveness of us all for supporting this fascist, authoritarian and totalitarian government for destroying OUR country.

These laws MUST be repealed, habeus corpus MUST be reinstated. The rights of the individual are paramount, no matter of what they are accused, put JUSTICE back into society, not fear and repression.

IPS dismissed 14 over data protection

Steve Browne

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear

Does anyone still believe this?

UK.gov plans 'consensus' on PAYG phone registry

Steve Browne

More spying

What is it with NuLabour that they continually wish to spy on people. Stalin and the STASI woudl have been proud of laws like this, which have no place in a free society.

RIPA ruling closes encryption key loophole

Steve Browne

Will the tories restore civil liberties

I recall writing about abuse of this very act, was told to leave the country as those who had nothing to hide had nothing to fear. I wonder if anyone still believes that now? Especially when terrorism charges are trumped up to unlawfully seize assets. Do they now realise that the laws apply to everyone and not just terrorists.

Stalin would be proud.

Mosley asks Europe to change UK privacy laws

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Enforceable rights

So much as I could care less about Max Mosley, I do find myself in agreement with him here. If we are to have rights we MUST be able to enforce them so they are respected. No matter which business he runs, he is still entitled to the same right of privacy, and whatever his likes and dislikes are his own business. He is not setting standards by which others must live (MPs) or enforcing those standards (police, judges and magistrates) and should have every expectation that his private life is precisely that, private.

BitTorrent crackdown cops fail to pay music copyright fees

Steve Browne
Thumb Down


Is it not time for the police to obey the law too?

Lead by example, not by dictat or continue to lose public respect and support if they have nay left.

Police drop BT-Phorm probe

Steve Browne

Falling crime statistics

Well, why should something like this be any different. In Bedford, we have falling crime, but this is chiefly because there are no police in the station to take a complaint, so reported crime falls. Is anything or anyone any safer? No, only the criminals who have even less chance of being caught.

Carphone goes bargain hunting in Tiscali sell-off

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Why buy a bust ISP

Why not just offer a deal to their customers and take them?

Danish court jails six in terror T-shirts case

Steve Browne

Thank you

Thank for fixing the weather, it was so much more pleasant today, I shall continue my subscription and wish you all a letter day tomorrow, good night.

Bury council carries can over spycam binmen

Steve Browne

Nothing to hide

If people really had nothing to hide, then why is it in their bin? and why do the council have such an interest in your bin contents?

I always said these powers would be abused, same as powers are always abused. How soon will the rest of NuLabour's odious legislation begins to be used.

Bit like 1930's Germany really.

Before allowing this dreadful government to eliminate any more of our freedom, please go and stand in the Genocide Museum in Lithuania, go and see for yourself what this state intrusion will become. Go and walk through the cells, see for yourself what interrogation means, stand in the execution chamber and cry for those who gave their lives so that Lithuania and the other Baltic states could be free from the communist yoke.

Then, go find Blunkett, Straw, Clarke, Blair and Brown and put them where they belong.

Electoral officers oppose edited register

Steve Browne

Opt out

There should be no need to opt in or opt out. Information extracted under threat of prison should not be sold on to anyone, including credit reference agencies. What is so special about them? They are private companies offering to sell me my data back after gaining it unlawfully in the first place.

Perhaps the data protection act needs to be revised. For instance,data gatherers state what it is used for when harvesting information in a catch all type statement. Perhaps it is time that data subjects were permitted to decide to which uses their data can be put. The implementation of real penalties for data misuse would be a step in the right direction, accompany that with a more assertive ICO and we might actually begin to get somewhere.

'Child protection' database slammed as plod data mine

Steve Browne

More mission creep

Nice to know that all this innuendo will be around to haunt you for years afterwards.

Bit like anti terror laws being used to stop people taking photographs in public. Only used in exceptional circumstances like plod getting his picture taken.

Will someone rid us of this dreadful government and restore our liberty?

IT pay jumps as skills gap widens

Steve Browne

Nice to see the CBI involved

I wonder whom the CBI think is doing the offshoring, so dissuading people from considering a career in IT.

CBI members off course. So, having dumped these jobs overseas, they now complain that no one wants to do them any more. Maybe, just maybe, if the CBI membership treated their staff as having some worth, then perhaps these problems would not have happened in the first place.

Physician, heal thyself!

Legal experts wary of MySpace hacking charges

Steve Browne


Sad as I am to hear of the untimely, and presumably unpleasant, death of a young girl, I am appalled that, once again, the "internet" is blamed. Perhaps parents may like to take a bit more attention of their kids use of the internet.

There is a whole raft of legislation covering law of contract, which is what actually applies to make terms of use enforceable. Breaching a EULA or conditions of any service is not generally considered a criminal offence. This is a superb example of the spread of the nanny state and an excellent example of the abuse of powers by misapplying legislation to attain an unwanted side effect which will have draconian consequences.

I really do hope that the "Nothing to fear, nothing to hide" realise that their stance is just plain stupid now. Here is someone who has not broken any law, being prosecuted. Yes, her behaviour was reprehensible, but without any laws being broken she is free to do as she pleases.

There can be no real hope whatsoever of a conviction. As changes to the law of this magnitude usually require the appropriate legislature to vote on it. Of course, this is the NuLabour path being followed here, with ordinary behaviour being criminalised and the micro management of what people do in their own homes. This disease seems to be spreading and it is time to call a halt to it.

ISP reporting network to pierce bandwidth smokescreens

Steve Browne

Decent ISP

UK Online gives me a business package, including static IP, 20:1 contention ratio and a "up to" 8Mbps, which syncs at 5.5Mbps. A fair use policy exists if you download more than 500GB in a month. All for £19.99 per month.

Couple of other bits, like free domain name and some web space.

Microsoft walks away from Yahoo!

Steve Browne
Thumb Up

Spot of irony there

I like Ballmer's comment about Google being able to put their prices up at will ! I know another company that does that too, pots kettles and black spring to mind so quickly when Stevie is gobbing off.

DoJ beats up tech firm for H-1B only job ads

Steve Browne

Former H1B holder

I found out pretty quickly what H1B really meant to US employers. Within seconds of finding the company representative sent to meet me at the airport. I also worked on a project which was managed by a team (of Indians) over 1,000 miles away who demanded a 45 hour minimum working week. I took this up with my own company management and was told to get on with it.

Following 11/9/2001, I was laid off. All the job adverts specifically excluded H1B, and those "helpful" people that would do anything to get me there in the first place, all refused to leave and informed me I had 10 days to leave the country, and no, they weren't going to help. In fact, my employer even told me they would be informing the INS that as I was no longer working for them, they could cancel my visa. Now, they wont reply to my requests for information concerning the 401k plan to which I contributed. Which, I believe is illegal, and amply demonstrates the "care" american companies have for their slaves.

I lost £20,000+ through it all.

H1B is 20th/21st century version of slavery.

Home Office defends 'dangerously misleading' Phorm thumbs-up

Steve Browne


I would have thought that BT would have given up by now instead of sticking with their stubborn ways. Perhaps if web sites were to insert a script to check the domain of their visitors and refuse to serve pages to BT customers. This would destroy BT retail as an ISP and serve as a lesson to malware providers that people are not prepared to be spied upon for someone else's commercial advantage.

I doubt it would take very much to turn VM into scrap paper either. Certainly companies like Tiscali are in financial difficulty and would disappear when their users can no longer access web sites.

Word of advice for BT et al, when you are in a hole, stop digging!

eBay software faker jailed for ten months

Steve Browne

Great sub title

Gave a great chuckle to the end of my day.

Fake software? well, it was Microsoft and Symantec products, nuff said.

UK consumers lose £6.6bn a year to unfair treatment

Steve Browne

Ho hum

Another government quango getting in on stating the bleeding obvious.

Unlimited internet, with a 5GB allowance, yeah right.

So, why don't the OFT actually do something about it, after all, it is their job.

Harvard bitch seeks to strip Zuckerberg's Facebook trademark

Steve Browne


More boring merkins arguing in public over nothing.

Don't you just wish they would get a life instead of looking for someone to sue?

Yahoo! Flickr video play sparks online revolt

Steve Browne

You can please some of the people ...

I thought Web 2 was a collection of bits you could put together yourself to tailor it to what you want. So, I can't really see what the problem is. Perhaps Web 2 is really about people who have nothing else to interest them and lead really vacuous lives. Personally, I could care less what Yahoo! do, they offer a service, use whichever bits are of interest if you want, ignore it too if that makes you happy, but try to get a life before its too late.

Brown ignores scientists and pushes pot reclassification

Steve Browne

Rise in psychosis

When did this rise actually occur? Was it over the last 10 years or so? In which case it is more likely attributable to NuLabour than anything else.

More sinister, why is ACPO involved so much in pressing for more illegality? The police are (allegedly) there to uphold the law. So far as I am concerned upholding and making are quite different. ACPO is hardly a representative or trustworthy organisation. The police have shown repeatedly that they cannot be trusted.

I have said many times, the rise of the police state needs to be reversed. Those who think they have nothing to fear, have been hiding for too long! They will find a way to criminalise you too. The sooner people seriously object to the continuing criminalisation of everything in their lives, the sooner we may be able to hold our heads up and feel proud to be British again.