* Posts by g lane

20 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Apr 2007

Next generation BBC iPlayer gets MS man on board

g lane

iPhone/iPlayer Support

I wonder if the beeb is going to support the iPhone/iPlayer?

The problem with only supporting one major platform is sometimes the market is going in a different direction.

NetApp sues Sun over ZFS claims

g lane

ZFS is open.

As ZFS source is open, NetApp will have no problems at all pointing to the parts of the code that violate their patents. NetApp will also be able to indicate the parts of the independent BSD and Linux implementations that are covered.

As with SCO, put up or shut up.

Top judge: put everyone in UK on the DNA database

g lane

DNA and fingerprints

Neither fingerprints nor dna are as good as you might guess from watching

programs like CSI.

With fingerprints, despite being used for over 100 years, there has

never been a large scale research project that demonstrates that they are

actually unique. While there are only 2 or 3 million sets of prints held by

the police the chances of a false match are low. If the database held 60

million or more sets of prints, false matches would be far more frequent and

all would have to be examined and eliminated before trial.

The same is true to a lesser extent for DNA. The database doesn't contain

the full DNA of a person, just a small number of representitive markers.

Bad processing of a sample might shift the markers and identify the wrong

person. The more samples in the database the better the chance of a false


BioShockers delivered from DRM hell

g lane

Treat your customers like criminals?

A small percentage of the customers will misbehave so the company feels justified in treating ALL customers as thieves.

Not only does it annoy the honest customer, DRM doesn't even stop the dishonest ones from misbehaving.

Sun boots workstation roots in favor of JAVA ticker

g lane

First thing to do...

...kill the entire marketing division of Sun.

They make the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation look professional.

Paper calls for local ID cards

g lane

Why not just use credit cards?

Why not just use credit cards?

Why on earth set up an entire system to administer ID cards (local or national) when the banks have already done so?

OK, you have to do something for people who don't or can't have credit cards, but at least government doesn't have to fund and administer the system.

Plus you get widespread electronic voting booths for free (aka cash machines :-)

SCO 'disappointed' as shares plunge 70 per cent

g lane

The tiger has pearly teeth.

The SCO Group can't stop fighting. They climbed onto the back of the tiger and if they try to get off, the tiger will eat them. Their rapidly falling stock value will surely trigger legal action from those who foolishly believed that everything claimed by Darl was true. This might get the US SEC involved.

However, what may happen first is The SCO Group will look for a white knight who likes a good scrap in court.

Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC

g lane

Welcome to the wonderful world of DRM

There are many platform neutral methods to move the data. This Microsoft deal is a problem because of DRM. The Beeb wants a supported off the shelf DRM that works on most PCs. To them this is a no brainer. But what about the future? In six months time the iPhone will be released in Europe and that (plus other similar products from other phone companies) will be a major platform for downloaded TV. How are the BBC going to support those platforms having got into bed with Microsoft?

Of course, DRM is only a problem for honest people. It is trivially worked around. If you can see and/or hear it, the DRM is already broken and all that remains is security through obscurity.

BBC iPlayer launches, but with limited viewer reach

g lane

If you can view it, DRM is already broken.

Moving the bits is trivial - they could set up an ftp or bittorrent servers and a trivial Windows GUI and it would work. The problem is, the beeb has sold its soul to the fantasy world of DRM where everybody pretends that you can stop professional "pirates" by kicking your loyal viewers in the face.

EC wants to suppress internet bomb-making guides

g lane

When are the book burnings planned?

It may come as a surprise, but there are these off-network things called libraries that are full of all kinds of nasty information. From the formula for CocaCola to the DIY guide to building fusion bombs - it's all there for anybody with a library card.

'Effete' Europe useless in GWOT, says bin Laden man

g lane

You fight bad ideas with better ideas

The problems with execution are

a/ you might just have the wrong person and as yet we don't know how to reliably reanimate the dead even when later found to be innocent,

b/ you create martyrs which doesn't do anything for the side of the good guys,

c/ a pretty good percentage of the insane criminals who want to drop a nuke on New York don't care about dying in the furtherance of their delusions,

d/ we are better than they are, why should we reduce our morality to that of a feudal medieval state which still hasn't broken out of the witch-burning stage of society.

You fight bad ideas with better ideas. The "war on terror" is a pointless activity because there will be an endless sequence of revenge. If any state _really_ wants to change another, be a generous, if critical, friend.

I saw aliens at Roswell, claims dead PR man

g lane

Pull the other one.

Hear that humming?

Yep, it's PR spin from the grave.

Gartner reaps iPhone backlash after making business case

g lane

What is the iPhone

The iPhone is Apples iPod killer!

Apple knows that MP3 player hardwaee, while still a money maker, is a business that is rapidly becoming a low margin one dominated by non-name companies from Asia.

So what to do?

Obviously you create something that is an iPod plus a cellphone. At the very worst it means one less box to carry around; at best it's a brand new market where you can sell a new unit to everybody who already has an iPod and wasn't thinking of upgrading in the next couple of years.

The fact that it will probably means the death of Zune is a fortunate side effect.

Microsoft strips Office from charity PC scheme

g lane

Microsoft in need of a few pennies?

Is Microsoft so hard up that they can't afford to keep old hardware running which would otherwise be junked and cause problems with safe disposal?

Open sourcers rattle EU sabre at BBC on demand player

g lane

Should be a no-brainer

As all the open formats are playable on Windows, yet few if any of the Windows DRM'ed formats are playable on other operating systems surely the correct thing to do is go for an open format.

If the deciding factor is not availability, usability etc but DRM, then the BBC is foolishly running down a blind alley.

Is there any evidence that tape or PVRs are resulting in a significant problem for the BBC? Are people who criminally keep their old VHS tapes of programs that are not available by any other means taking any money at all out of the copyright owners pockets?

Minister: ID cards 'another Great British Institution'

g lane

Usless politicians

Looks like they still don't have a real use for ID cards. Same old justifications that have been demonstrated to be false many times before.

Identity is no indication of intention.

Exams, contracts, and nuclear research: stupid, stupid, stupid

g lane

Educated by TV..

As most people these days seem to have been educated by TV, the answer to the mine question is obviously 47 minutes 20 seconds.

On TV all problems are solved before the end of the hour and allowing for adverts, the rescued miners will reach the surface in around 47 minutes. Except of course for poor George. It was Georges last day down the mine. After 35 years he was retiring. But when the support broke, George held up the beam while the others escaped to safety. As the last man entered the lift Georges strength failed and he was buried under a million tons of rock.

Crypto boffins urge Belgium to withdraw early ePassports

g lane

Here we go again

Why is there this huge desire for contact-less data transfer from passports? The banking industry seem to have no problems with credit and debit cards using physical contacts and the cards and readers have a much harder life than passports.

Sickly NHS provider still seeking saviour

g lane

planning, we've heard of it

Let's see. We are going to spend 10 or 20 billion quid on a new computer for the NHS so where do we go to buy the software. IBM? Microsoft? EDS? CA? No, let's buy the software from some unheard of company that is already on very shakey financial ground.

It must be fun buying computer stuff for the government. Doesn't matter if it works of not; doesn't matter if billions are wasted; nobody ever gets fired.

ID card will be needed to vote, says UK election watchdog

g lane

bullet, foot, bang, ouch

So how does that work with voting via mail, or cell phones and whatever trendy pointless schemes that may be in fashion over the years?

As for the general idea, rearrange the following words to create well known phrase that strikes fear and loathing within politicans...

Tax, Pole