* Posts by Sean Hunter

32 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Feb 2009

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch flown to US for HPE fraud trial

Sean Hunter

If it smells like a rat....

For some reason everyone wants to make this story about the extradition treaty, but the facts seem pretty clear and he just seems to be trying anything to avoid facing the consequences of his actions. If he has some sort of evidence in his defence I'm sure he'll be acquitted, but the US has consistently proved better at trying fraud cases than the UK, so I can understand his attempt to avoid extradition.

Anyone who dealt with autonomy in the dotcom era has stories of things which seem sketchy. I remember being approached by them to buy their very expensive indexing thing. We didn't need it so I said no. They came back with this weird proposal where I buy some very expensive SAN disks (that I also didn't need) they would throw the indexing thing we didn't need in for free and I could write the disks off against tax. It just smelled dodgy so I refused. They tried to go around me via our CFO and I said in no uncertain terms that I wanted to go on record as having opposed the deal so they eventually went away.

Google Cloud Engine outage caused by 'large backlog of queued mutations'

Sean Hunter

Postmortem of the incident reveals...

It all started when the engineer making the change clicked "I'm feeling lucky"

Ex-VMware veep loses attempt to throw out his own $1.5m legal win

Sean Hunter

Lot of people don't know what Jams is

JAMS is the arbitration service. His counsel didn't join the opposing counsel, she joined JAMS, in the office of the arbitrator. It's not clear why your lawyer joining the arbitrating judge's office would make them biased against you, but that's what he was claiming. The real judge threw that out saying if he wanted to make that claim he would have had to object at the time rather than waiting to see the award and then making the objection.

Peeved bumpkins demand legally binding broadband promise from UK.gov

Sean Hunter

Look at what's happening in Africa

The reason for the cellphone explosion in Africa is that it's hard for people to get a decent fixed line telephone.

Population density is an issue. Laying cables etc incurs a high fixed cost, and where people are spread out the costs increase a lot. I expect that wireless will ultimately be the answer - specifically, once 4G LTE becomes ubiquitous people will just use that and forget about getting high-speed internet access from a wire.

Google delays Chrome OS, punts brandless beta netbook

Sean Hunter
Big Brother

Sooper Seekrit Google Biz Plan

They have it as a template so you just need to do search and replace:

Phase 1) Release X.

Phase 2) Use it to take people's data.

Phase 3) Sell them advertising

Phase 4) PROFIT!!!

They're like the underpants gnomes except not funny.

Olympians threaten ICANN with lawsuit

Sean Hunter

Unaccountable quangocrats

Unfortunately I'm not sure if I'm talking about the IOC or the ICANN there.

38 states grill Google on three-year Wi-Fi slurp

Sean Hunter
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RE: Ever used an Iphone with the GPS off

Actually an iPhone is using triangulation of mobile signals. I can't speak for an iPod.

Siphon Wars: Pressurist weighs into Gravitite boffin

Sean Hunter

A lack of thought experiment

1)Atmospheric conditions similar to earth cannot exist in the absence of atmosphere and there would be no atmosphere without gravity.

2)Without gravity there's nothing to keep the water in the bucket.

Twitter bomb joker found guilty

Sean Hunter

He's a muppet

...for using twitter at all. A fortiori is a muppet for using twitter to make this comment.

'Minimalist, whimsical' Google search given Bing-like overhaul

Sean Hunter

In a word


Google mystery server rooted in Apache

Sean Hunter
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Err, so?

It's only a webserver. What's the big deal? I can imagine the bafflement in the suuper seekrit GoogleBunker on receiving your request for an interview.

What do you think they're going to tell you? That it connects on port 81 because that's one better.

Google reveals nonexistent Chrome tablet

Sean Hunter

Lacking in ambition

Given that the thing doesn't have to actually exist, its surprising that they didn't make it more awesome.

My nonexistent hardware can:

1)wake me up in the morning with coffee and hot buttered toast

2)make me more attractive

3)Lay gold eggs

IBM bakes Lotus Notes for Android

Sean Hunter

What "Notes" needs...

is staking, not baking. It's like a vampire that just won't die no matter what you do.

Once it's in an organisation it's practically impossible to get rid of because to get it working you have to hire a cadre of Notes people who then hold all your email hostage and claim that any problems are down to either user error, or misconfiguration by the previous bunch of clowns.

Monty looks to Russia, China to stop Oracle's Sun buyout

Sean Hunter

Sad but true

1)The time to speak up was before he took the money.

2)MySQL was never that great to begin with. Even as far as free dbs go there are much better choices.

Discrimination warning over airport body scanners

Sean Hunter

Not tried to check in luggage

Look. This is ridiculously not suspicious. I travel a great deal. I never *ever* check in baggage if I can possibly help it. I went to NYC for four months using only hand luggage. It would be insane to profile people on the basis of whether or not they check in luggage.

Steve Wozniak, your time is up

Sean Hunter
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For calibration...

My 4yr-old daughter saw this over my shoulder and started mocking woz and the other segway polo-ists.

The scorn expressed in this article is what the Woz deserves.

US gov Photoshops bin Laden wanted pic

Sean Hunter

Too much hair

OK it's clearly Alan Yentob. His day gig as a BBC arts bigwig and Melvin Barg rival must just be to bring in the benjamins for his hobby as a terrorist supremo and scourge of the western world.

I did a positive ID when I saw him leaving the Sainsbury's local in Muswell Hill, and it's definitely him. However, in real life Botney/Laden is a little balder than that photoshop job.

Home Secretary unmoved by last-ditch McKinnon protests

Sean Hunter

Never has so much bollocks been talked about a treaty

Myth #1: It has not been ratified by the US

It was ratified by both sides in 2007 http://www.usembassy.org.uk/ukpapress48.html

Myth #2: It is easier for US prosecutors to meet the standard of proof required for an extradition to the US, than for a UK prosecutor to get someone extradited to the UK.

Not true. The US prosecutor is requried to show 'information which would justify the issue of a warrant for the arrest of a person' and the UK guy has to show "probable cause". These are a similar legal standard.

Myth #3: Gary McKinnon would not have been extradited under the old arrangements.

Not true. Under the old arrangements the US would have had to show prima facie evidence. His admission of guilt goes way way WAY beyond that requirement.

Myth #4: He cannot challenge the evidence.

His team have tried various challenges including this, but the evidence is easily enough to meet the standard for extradition. The proper forum for challenging any evidence now is in court (in the US). The fact that he's doing his best to avoid this tells a lot.

Myth #5: He was in the UK when his actions are alleged to have taken place, so should be tried in the UK.

If his actions are an offense under US law then he can be tried in the US. This is no different from if you were standing in Dover and shot someone in Calais. You would be tried in France.

Google betas Chrome for Mac, Linux

Sean Hunter

dns resolution a bit borked on 64 bit linux

I installed it on FC12 on a 64 bit desktop and a 32 bit netbook. On the netbook it works fine. On the 64-bit box the dns lookup fails about half of the time and I have to refresh to get the page to work.

Johnson refuses to intervene in McKinnon extradition

Sean Hunter
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The good thing about Alan Johnson

Is that he has managed to unite all sides of this debate. They all think he is a spineless, witless, self-serving douchebag.

I wouldn't hold out much hope for Alan Johnson saving McKinnon. Private eye recently documented another extradition case in his own constituency where he campaigned to stop extradition when he was just a regular MP, and washed his hands of the poor dude's fate when home sec. In that case the person had suffered torture, and then was sent back to almost certain death.

Apple cult leader emails outside world

Sean Hunter

What did you expect him to say?

"Go ahead. Use my trademark for your software."?

Commentators who are slating Jobs need to remember that he doesn't owe this small software author dick. He also knows that changing the name of a shareware app really is no big deal. It's not like shrinkwrap software where you have production and marketing costs.

German boffins produce sim of 'invisibility carpet' in action

Sean Hunter

It's worth pointing out

That if you put something under a real carpet or (for that matter) in a real shed, you can't see the thing. The point (if there is one) at which this device is useful is when not only is the thing you're hiding invisible, but the cloak/carpet/shed it's in is invisible also. And that means that it has to look like something else that really is there, because a big shiny old quasi-metallic ripply surface is what people in the concealment business would call A DEAD FUCKING GIVEAWAY.

That's not to say this research is a bad idea. Research of all kinds has always got applications noone could have thought of a-priori. Just don't think it's likely to end up with a star-trek stylee personal cloaking thingummybobber that's all.

Mozilla plots Firefox interface overhaul

Sean Hunter
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That is godawful.

Linux Foundation woos with lifetime linux.com handle

Sean Hunter
Gates Horns

I want

To register billg@linux.com. You know it makes sense.

Walfamstow Cockney cash machine daffy ducked

Sean Hunter
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The septics are struggling to keep up

I'm heading off for a few Britney's. Who's with me?

Helium hole hiccup halts Hadron

Sean Hunter

Get on with it!

I wish these guys would just get on with destroying the earth. All these delays are becoming tedious.

Wikipedia's Gallery guy hung up to dry?

Sean Hunter

don't forget jimbo

Can't they give Jimbo Wales a hard kick in the nads too, for...

Well, for being Jimbo Wales.

Government defeats Tories in 'McKinnon' extradition vote

Sean Hunter


The treaty is balanced. To extradite from the US you have to show "probable cause", which is the equivalent standard to the one you have to show to extradite from here (reasonable grounds to believe an offense has been committed). They're never going to be exactly the same because the whole system of law in the two countries are different, but to get an arrest warrant in the states a copper has to show probable cause and to get an arrest warrant here you have to have reasonable grounds. That's the purpose of the treaty. To say, if you would get arrested here for something then you can be extradited from the States for doing that thing, and vice versa.

Now, setting aside the question of balance and the treaty and looking at the facts of the extradition, and why his team are fighting this so hard in the media. They are fighting in the media because they have absolutely no legal case whatsoever. He has admitted the offense and his mitigation "looking for ufos" is not a legal mitigation. The pub lawyer argument of "He's never been to the states so his crime must have been committed here" fails as a matter of settled law. The usual law-school argument is something like this. Say I stand on one side of the border between countries A and B and shoot someone on the other side. Where has the crime been committed? As a matter of settled law where the *effect* takes place (not where I am) is where the crime has been committed.

As to whether or not he has Asperger's, that is something which should properly be introduced in mitigation of sentence at his trial in the US.

US extradition could push McKinnon 'towards suicide'

Sean Hunter

Caution, this post may contain traces of actual facts

Misinformation about the nature of our extradition treaty with the US was started by the NatWest 3 and is being kept up by his legal team, and this idea of the "lop-sided" extradition treaty really needs to be addressed with some actual facts. If you actually read the treaty you will find that the standard required to extradite someone from the US is "probable cause"- the same standard of evidence required for a copper to stop you in the US when you are driving funny. It's not a high standard. The standard required to extradite someone from the UK is "information or evidence sufficient to lead to the granting of a UK arrest warrant". So the standard is really about the same but if anything septics actually need to provide more evidence than we do. For the hard of thinking if anything it's lop-sided in our favour.

Secondly people frequently post that the treaty has not been ratified. That's just false. The treaty was incorporated into UK law in the Extradition act and was ratified by the US senate in 2007.

Finally, there is the question of his actual extradition. Here the treaty debate is just a side show. He has admitted guilt, so there is a prima facie case, which would have lead to his extradition before we signed this treaty. Additionally, there is every reason (in spite of hyperbolic claims by his legal team) to think that he will be treated fairly and (if found guilty) receive a light sentence, not go to what is colloquially known as federal "pound-me-in-the-ass" prison. If genuine, his psychological condition will be considered in mitigation of sentence. Remember that it was his decision (despite admitting guilt) not to accept the plea bargain offered by the US prosecution. That will count against him.

It suits people's prejudices to make out that other countries have legal systems and prisons which are unspeakably backward and barbaric, but really that's just a load of nonsense designed to whip up public outrage and deflect from the facts of the case.

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Sean Hunter

Ted, A new kind of douchebag

What's the difference between computation and search? Clearly the author of this article doesn't know.

Ask.com rehires butler Jeeves

Sean Hunter
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The butler (or not) has never been the problem

The problem is that they are a useless search engine. And google have quite a good search engine.

McKinnon's UK trial bid rejected by DPP

Sean Hunter

Prima Facie Evidence

It seems strange that his lawyer is protesting about the lack of prima facie evidence when he made a signed confession. Much, much less than this would constitute a Prima Facie case for extradition. There is little question that if prima facie evidence was required, when presented with a signed confession the judge would sign the order anyway.

His lawyers are mounting the OJ Simpson defence, exploiting a general sense of unfairness in order to distract from the facts of the case, which are overwhelmingly against them. Since neither the facts, nor the law are on their side, they are simply banging on the table. He should stop whinging and go and serve the 6 months minimum security he will get when he is convicted.