* Posts by John Wilson

71 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Apr 2007


Connecting Gmail to Google+ is SENSELESS, says Digg founder

John Wilson

Re: Not seeing the problem here

Bully for you, as we say round my parts. I have email addresses that are most decidedly not public, and that are only given to people I know personally; much like my home phone number, and my mobile number. Just because you can't see a problem (presumably because you're far too stupid to see the several blindingly obvious ones), doesn't mean there is one.

Campaign to kick NSA man from crypto standards group fails

John Wilson
Big Brother

In a dark room somewhere

Lars Eggert wakes up in a dark room somewhere. He's in a chair. In front of him, on a table, is a large dossier marked "Eggert. NSA".

A man enters the room. The silhoute looks suspiciously like Kevin Igoe.

"Any question?"

The man leaves the room. Eggert turns the pages of the dossier.

He does't have any questions.

Apple asks judge to axe ebook price-fixing watchdog

John Wilson

Re: Dear Apple .......

"Apple process the transactions, pay the bank/credit card charges, provide and support the infrastructure. 30% is nothing and equally fair"

About 1-2% covers the bank/credit card charges. You're seriously suggesting the other 28-29% of *in-app purchases* covers the infrastructure? They've already taken a chunk out of the app price. They're double-dipping into other people's money. And let's add into this that with the App store, you *must* use their payment system, or your app is rejected. There's plenty of developers who do the payment systems much, much cheaper than 30%.

And seriously, 30% is nothing? It's a third of every in-app transaction! So no, it's not "nothing", and it's not "equally fair".

Fandroids at pranksters' mercy: Android remote password reset now live

John Wilson

Re: Did I understand this right?

"Why log in at work to gmail or google+ ? Isn't that why you've got a phone or tablet in the first place? To access your stuff when not at home?"

Because I have bigger monitors attached to my work computer than on my phone. It also has a better keyboard.

Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

John Wilson

Re: Not Steve Jobs then...

ENQUIRE was written on the Norsk. The WWW was developed on NextOS, hence the Apple connection

Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

John Wilson
Thumb Down

Nice theory...

...shame about the reality. The fact is that the likes of gmail (just to look at email clients) became popular in a free market competing against mail providers that you pay for. The free market favoured ad-supported sites that were free to use. Any economic theory that ignores this reality is nonsense.

Bill & Jobs' excellent adventure: Steve's tech looked better than mine

John Wilson

Re: Microsoft spent years trying to shoehorn a desktop OS onto a tablet form-factor


Ofcom to UK: Really - you're using the same password for everything?

John Wilson

Re: True but misleading

"because the websites shouldn't even have one in the first place"

So. Much. This.

Far, far too many websites now are demanding e-mail addresses and passwords for the most basic of transactions and one-off purchases. "Create an account to complete your purchase of this little bauble when you'll never buy from us again but we'll keep your email and password in perpetuity". Those kind of sites need to die.

Microsoft follows Apple into the dock over warranty terms in China

John Wilson

Re: @ LarsG A great opportunity

Or companies could make devices that don't break down after a year? A warranty, after all, is simply an expression of the confidence the manufacturer has that their product won't fall apart. Asking for a computer to actually not break within 2 years of purchase is hardly asking a lot.

Judge: Facebook must see Timelines Inc in court over trademark

John Wilson

Re: Prior art?

What's prior art got to do with trademark? You're thinking of patents.

Next from Microsoft: 'Blue', the Windows 8 they hope you don't hate

John Wilson

Re: Think I'll wait for Windows 9

I'm that rare breed that actually likes Windows 8, and also thinks the Surface is a perfectly good tablet. But let's be honest, the mouse does not work perfectly in Windows 8, especially in the Metro interface.

Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

John Wilson

No, it's not - it really isn't! I'm playing with Sublime now, and I'm a long-time Vi user: sublime let's you put multiple cursors literally anywhere. Not sure it's enough to convert me to Sublime, but it's a very cool feature.

Brit firm PinPlus flogs another password 'n' PIN killer

John Wilson

Five words

Man in the middle attack.

North Korean citizens told: Socialist haircuts are a thing... go get some

John Wilson

Re: Daily Mail

That BBC article is from 2005. So either way, this can be safely filed under "not news".

Amazon ditches 'neo-Nazi' security firm over alleged harassment of workers

John Wilson

Re: beware

You appear to be expecting rational thinking from racist neo-nazi thugs.

Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard

John Wilson

Re: Nexus 7

I'm seeing the same thing. Have SwiftKey working fine on my HTC One X, but the update to the tablet version on my Nexus 7 is showing as 'incompatible with this device'. Given that the Nexus is practically a reference platform, seems an odd oversight.

Google, Amazon, Starbucks are 'immoral' and 'ridiculous' over UK tax

John Wilson

Re: what do you expect them to do

Taken in order:

1) Taxes are a requirement for the running of a country that is not in a state of anarchy, it is simply a question of who pays, and how much. That the requirement of paying taxes sometimes requires the force of the state (usually via the courts) is simply to ensure that everyone who owes tax, pays it. Incidentally, those courts also require people and corporations to pay taxes in order to function.

2) Avoiding tax doesn't mean tax ultimately does not get collected, it just means that the distribution of taxation shifts. Avoiding several billions of pounds collectively in corporation tax ultimately means the less well-off pay more tax relative to their income, meaning they have less money; avoiding tax can therefore quite easily be described as an immoral act.

3) Your solution to "stop tax avoidance" appears to be "don't charge tax". This is stupid, please don't do the stupid.

4) We have sales tax, it's called Value Added Tax. Again, please don't do the stupid.

Man, 19, cuffed after burning Remembrance poppy pic is Facebooked

John Wilson

Re: Free speech? @AC

And the ignorance and paranoia of some on the right never ceases to amaze me.

You were called a "red-neck, witch burning, tar and feathering ignorant lynch mob", but you weren't told you didn't have a right to be heard. It was descriptive, not proscriptive.,

Prosecutor seeks sports-bodies guidance on troll-hunting rulebook

John Wilson

Re: Erm..

Erm, actually I do, because it has been successfully used in precisely that fashion in Scotland only recently.

And thanks for your input on a subject it is quite frightening you know nothing about.

John Wilson


If you're a police officer, why are you using a communications act to prosecute harassment that would normally fall under breach of the peace (in Scotland) or Protection from Harassment (in England and Wales). You're subverting an Act to prosecute crimes which already have more appropriate laws as discussed by the relevant assemblies. So no, that is not the right use of it at all.

Australia sanguine on Assange-to-Ecuador, would fight US extradition

John Wilson

Re: @John Wilson

Nope. What Sweden considers rape is what the UK considers rape, and what any half-decent human being would consider rape. I'd love to know where this whole "it's not rape" BS came from, but it is just that: utter BS. And the rape apologists crawling out of the wood work make my skin crawl.

Assagne is accused of rape and serious sexual assault. And it is utterly disgusting to see people defending Assagne not on the basis that he is innocent unless proven guilty (which would be difficult to defend, seeing how he refuses to face a court) but on the basis of "he did it, but it ain't rape".

John Wilson

Re: question

I'm the last person to defend Assagne, I don't think he is remotely worthy of the attention given to him; people have been leaking documents for as long as there have been documents worthy of leaking, but most people who report on those documents protect their sources far better than WikiLeaks has done.

But. On the question of political activist, you're really asking the wrong question: for the purposes of extradition, extradition won't be granted if the alleged crime is of a political nature. I doubt the person has to be an activist in order to accused of a crime that is political in nature. (that is espionage, not the rape allegations)

It's worth noting, incidentally, that the 'political nature' defense against extradition is almost universal. It's not unique to Ecuador.

John Wilson

Re: Rather obvious, all that.

"Moreover, extraditing someone over allegation (without charge) of a minor civil offense"

He's accused of rape and serious sexual assault.

Details. http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2011/02/assange-eaw-sexual-sweden

And enough of the conspiracy mongering nonsense. You do know the UK has a US-friendly extradition process too, yes?

Motorola Mobility loses to Microsoft in German patent battle

John Wilson

Re: MS will be forced to refund extorted fees

Erm, no, they're not. Their obliged to maximize their profits (in the US), and some use patent law (as one judge has clearly pointed out) as a negotiating element in order to do that, but they are in no way obliged by law to defend their patents. Indeed, one of the ways companies have been trying to make money recently is by deliberately failing to defend their patents until they've become industry standard, and then selectively enforcing the patent with companies they need business leverage over (again, as the last paragraph in the article highlights).

Now, in fairness it's possible you're mistaking patents for trademarks (this kind of thing happens when people use the nebulous term 'IP' outside of networking protocol discussions), where a company is obliged to defend their trademark or risk losing it. The same does not apply to patents, which can be selectively enforced, or not enforced at all, but the patent holder will continue to hold the patent.

HTC phones held up at US ports after Apple patent ban

John Wilson

Re: I said it before...

If morality in industry stops you buying goods for your house, I suspect you have a very bare house indeed. Well, either that or you have a very full house, and a highly myopic view of industry and the morality of companies that aren't Apple.

Busted in the US? 'Drop your trousers, sir'

John Wilson

He didn't do drugs

Erm.. all your post highlights is that not only is the American penal system FUBAR, but some people are perfectly happy with this state of affairs. Not that one needs to venture far on the internet to see Americans delighting in their "PMITA" form of prison, never considering that degradation of detainees could be harmful to both the detainee and the prison system as a whole.

The fact, incidentally, that the SCOTUS has declared that one has no rights with regards to strip searches while in jail, does not imply that SCOTUS is right, and that one *should not* have such rights.

Kids should be making software, not just using it - Gove

John Wilson


I think you underestimate teachers. Have a look at the MIT Scratch environment that it seems Gove is endorsing. It's not my cup of tea, and wouldn't be my choice for teaching kids, but it is a relatively basic environment that appears to teach the basic principles. I'd imagine teachers would be able to pick it up quickly enough, assuming the resources are there to train them.
John Wilson
Black Helicopters


Yeah, that must be it! Microsoft is engaged in a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY to eradicate computer programmers from the market who may, theoretically, challenge their monopoly, and in doing so Microsoft want to increase the scarcity of programmers, thus driving up their production costs!!!11one! It's a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY! (Has anyone got some coloured biros I could use to decorate this reply?)

Software bug fingered as cause of Aussie A330 plunge

John Wilson


You see all these downvotes you're getting for each and every one of your posts on this subject? I'm sure you think it's because we're all "pro-Airbus" on your imaginary "pro-Airbus or pro-Boeing" false dichotomy. It's not. It really isn't.

It's because you're boring, repetitive and wrong.

John Wilson

Not a factually-supported commentary.

That's a truly dreadful article. On the one hand it's complaining that Fly-By-Wire means the pilot can't feel when it's over-stressing the aircraft, and on the other complaining that the pilot can't over-stress the aircraft. It then gives an example of a Boeing plane being manually operated beyond it's control limits, saving the plane whilst causing damage, and then mentioning that the Airbus FBW software doesn't allow that. But the Boeing plane was under *manual* control at the time, and the Boeing software puts *exactly the same* limits on pilot input. An Airbus plane under those circumstances - under manual control - permits *exactly the same thing*. It's a nonsense example. Apples and Oranges.

I note at the bottom of that page that "William John Cox authored the Policy Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department". Clearly an expert in avionics then... </sarcasm>

John Wilson


Assuming the "French Airshow" crash you mention is Flight 296, that was pilot error.

I can find no reference whatsoever to an Airbus crash "in Australian Mountains"

I can find one reference to an Airbus crash in Russia, Flight 967. This was caused by pilot error, extreme stress, and an ill-trained pilot.

I can find no reference whatsoever to an Airbus crash "in China", although Flight 780 suffered a double engine failure on approach to Hong Kong

I can find two references to Airbus crashes in Nepal (Flight 331 and Flight 268). The first was caused by pilot disorientation, the second by the pilots very carefully guiding their plane in to the side of a mountain they didn't know was there.

Or, to put it another way: You're making it up.

PETA riled by Mario's raccoon skin suit

John Wilson


There is such an animal as a Tanuki. And yes, they really are skinned for their fur.

Assange brings down British justice system

John Wilson

On what planet, do you spend most of your life?

Huh? Julian Assagne has done nothing particularly noteworthy, or are you under the somewhat deluded impression that people haven't been leaking sensitive material to the press for as long as there has existed sensitive material and a press? The only difference with Assange is the means which he claimed to be able to use to protect informants and the absolute assurance of anonymity he gave; means which, in the case of Manning, failed spectacularly.

Even if were the case that in respect to receiving and publishing classified documents, Assange was the open-government-exposing-secrets genius boy he likes to claim to be, this does not change the fact that he is charged with rape and sexual assault in Sweden, and it is to Sweden he must be eventually extradited to face those charges. I'd personally think a man so clean to air other people's dirty laundry would delight and welcome the opportunity to clear his name in open court. To try to pretend that, rather than this being about serious criminal charges being laid in Sweden, this is instead some US government conspiracy to extradite him to the States is nothing short of a fantasists delusion.

For the record: If the US wanted to extradite him, it is far simpler for them to do it while he is in England than it is for them to do it if he's extradited to the US.

Facebook security profiling doesn't like African log-ins

John Wilson


"So this is profiling: the same as airport security guards choosing to search an Arab man rather than a white woman, or cops in Brixton searching a disproportionate number of black male teenagers – but in this case it was on the verge of costing a man his job."

The type of profiling you're describing is racial profiling and is illiberal, racist, pointless and stupid. It's the type of profiling that leads to "driving while black". It is profiling a person based upon the colour of their skin.

The profiling going on with Facebook security is not racial profiling: it's geographic profiling. It's a sensible precaution based on remarkably unusual activity on an account. Not even remotely the same thing.

Hacking scandal starts to spread beyond News Corp

John Wilson

Where we're going, we don't need facts.

"In other news the Daily Mail insisted it did not need to carry out an internal review to know that it had never run stories based on phone hacking."

Surprisingly believable statement from the Daily Mail. You don't need to hack phones to find facts, if you never bother to base your "news" on facts...

Alleged LulzSec hacker still inside

John Wilson

Erm. No.

"Is the real crime the fact that the Senate, CIA and FBI sites were hacked, or the fact that the sites were hacked and the hackers told everyone that these sites, set up by highly paid professionals, have been hacked?"

The crime is someone breaking in to a computer system. I don't care whether the root password was "flibble", the crime was bypassing the security of that system. Simple as that, and there is no other reasonable way of looking at it. If you work in IT, you should surely be aware of one very simple constant law of IT: Every system is vulnerable. Every single one. And anyone with sufficient motivation, and sufficient information can break in to a system. This is hardly news. It is not a crime to have your system broken in to by criminals.

The crime is to break in to a computer system just "for lulz". The crime is to steal data off of those computer systems "for lulz" - just because you can. We used to call this "hackers" "script kiddies" and criminals. When did that change? Why now are people - who apparently work with IT systems, and are apparently aware of the inherent fragile battle between security and systems compromise now lauding these script kiddie criminals, and blaming the victim of crime?

Should Sony have stored their data more securely? Yes, they should. And yes, that will come out in the wash. But think: why are people angry that Sony stored passwords insecurely: Because all systems are vulnerable!

Met arrest alleged Lulz hacker

John Wilson

Not necessarialy

Doesn't mean the guy's not associated with Lulzsec, just that someone with access to the lulzsec Twitter account hasn't been arrested. And seriously, lulzsec is a criminal organisation. I'm really not going to take their Twitter feed announcements at face-value.

Elite UK police agency website downed by Lulzsec

John Wilson

Breaking and entering

Going in to an unlocked building and stealing someone's property is a crime, no matter how "plainly stupid" an unlocked door is. But this is not what lulzsec are doing: they're breaking in to a house which is locked simply because lulzsec know about a flaw in the lock that the house owner does not know about.

I know enough about locks to break in to garages, and houses: that doesn't mean that I feel the need to do so.

LulzSec are criminals. Nothing more, nothing less.

Linux kernel runs inside web browser

John Wilson

"Why did you climb the mountain?" "Because it was there"

Not everything is done because it is useful. Somethings are done just because someone looked and said "I wonder...", others are done because someone was bored, some because it looked interesting.

Someone got a Linux emulator running in JavaScript. If you can't just look at that and say "wow, that's freaking COOL", and find that to be enough, you're kind of missing the point.

Shifty scripts on Santander site prompt security fears

John Wilson


'worries to the contrary were "unfounded".'

This suggests an incomplete understanding of the English language. The security risk may not have been realised or exploited, but fears of a security risk were most certainly well founded.

Anonymous hacks Sony PS3 sites

John Wilson


It's even worse than that; Sony can now claim - with some legitimacy - that the hackers were not acting alone or for fun, but were conceivably part of a larger conspiracy to defraud Sony.

Anonymous should have stuck to protest signs outside Scientology; all they've done here is commit a blatant criminal act that will do nothing to help the people they're claiming to act for.

Croatian brainboxes deploy calculus-based CAPTCHA

John Wilson

Only 300? Young'uns

Calculus may be 300 years old, but arithmetic is much, much older. Not knowing calculus is hardly the same as "can't add up" A person who can't distinguish between arithmetic and calculus is in no position to lecture on comparisons with "can't read".

Exposed: leaked body scans published online

John Wilson
Thumb Down

Primary screening only

Erm "If something is seen, the picture has to be kept - otherwise they have no proof. Without proof, there can be no due course."

You mean they couldn't possibly pull a suspicious individual out of the line and call them in for 'additional screening', could they. There's no possible way for the security team to say "excuse me sir, is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to be posing naked"?

Of course they don't have to keep the image. The image isn't proof of anything. Don't be so daft.

John Lewis pitches 80-quid colour e-book reader

John Wilson
Paris Hilton


Let me know when there's an e-ink colour e-book reader, and a slew of books that require a colour screen, then I may be interested. Until then, i can't help but think, "Why?!".

Texan smut baron spanked over UK schoolgirl snap

John Wilson

Commercial purposes?

If your not using the image for commercial purposes, then why didn't you just set up an account, and send the photographer a message? Would almost certainly been cheaper than getting a Getty license, and you wouldn't be infringing on the photographer's copyright rights. I've got a couple of photos of athletes on Flickr who wanted to use them for their own use. They wrote to me, and I said "Sure! In fact, give me an e-mail address and I'll send you a higher resolution image. And come to think of it, I've got a couple more of you if you want them". (Naturally, with the added proviso that I still retain full copyright on my images, and I'm granting them a specific license for their own use)

The fact that you're not exploiting it for commercial purposes is utterly irrelevant: if the image is copyright, and is not specifically licensed for non-commercial uses, your use is still infringing.

(Fail because, seriously, you couldn't even be bothered to send the photographer a message, or let them know you liked their image?!)

Steve Jobs in iPhone bitchslap to creationists, Tea Party

John Wilson

You're kidding?

You are either joking, or my sarcasm detector is faulty. Overlooking observed speciation, evolution within a species = variation. Variation over time + selection = speciation = the origin of species.


(WTF, because, really, I have no idea what you're trying to say).

USB stick with anti-terror training found outside police station

John Wilson

Wait? Wut?

You'd prefer police "personal data" in the hands of the Daily Star? Yikes.

Liberal Google, Yahoo!, Apple hurting America claims Reagan

John Wilson

USSR? China?

"Yeah. Socialism totally works. Lets ask the USSR how to do it"

Socialism has a meaning. Please learn it.

Council urges army drinkers to break the law

John Wilson

Obliged to carry it?

I hope no-one's obliged by law to carry a driving license when going to a pub for a drink or few...

Romford coppers try to stopper young snapper

John Wilson


Nope. Permission is never needed to take a photograph of anyone in a public space.

*However*. If you take a picture of an identifiable person as a journalist, you may have been advised to get permission if you wish to publish the story/photograph abroad.