* Posts by Ian

222 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2007


Anti-Eurofighter Downing Street e-petition started


Eurofighter go home!

We don't want any of those foreign aircraft types in our BNP, UKIP and English democrat back yards!

It'll steal our aircraft's jobs and rape our women.

Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament


"My vote doesn't matter"

To be fair, the my vote doesn't matter excuse is fair enough in local elections and general elections but not European elections.

Because we have the anti-democratic first past the post system we have this stupid situation where a party with only say 38% public support can have 100% of the power leaving 62% of the population's vote not matter, so the chances are in the UK when someone says they can't be arsed to vote because their vote doesn't matter they're more likely to be right, than wrong.

Until we get rid of first past the post and switch to proportional representation expect voter apathy to continue, because for most people, their vote really doesn't count. Of course, it wont change soon, Cameron knows he's got a free ride to the next general election and he supports first past the post, I mean why wouldn't he push for 100% of power even though he only deserves 38% of it based on public opinion.

Our country is fucked, and people don't even understand why. First past the post is at the core of everything that's wrong with politics in our country. At least in the European elections proportional representation means there's a fair share of representation of people's views so the likes of The Pirate Party get to have their say.

Hulu headed for subscription service scheme?


Good luck

""I don't see why over time that shouldn't happen," Daily Finance quoted him saying. "I don't think it's on the agenda for Monday [but] it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing.""

Yes, that's because you apparently don't understand the internet Mr Miller.

In your greed for more money you will just give people an excuse to resort to piracy and really that is what it comes down to, greed for greater profits.

The fact is the ad model provides enough money to cover costs and make a profit but there is indeed a cap on the profit that can be made using this method unless you increase your audience.

Changing to a revenue model has historically been an easy way to increase revenue greatly, but that assumes you can't get the content free elsewhere anyway which on the internet, with easy access to piracy, you can.

So by trying to increase profits and forcing people into a revenue model you'll leave people questioning why they should use your service at all and they'll go back to piracy. Right now people would rather use it to be legitimate, but start charging them and that's no longer incentive enough.

His advice to web companies to ween people off free stuff is idiotic, web companies have moved to that model because on the internet it's a model that works whilst subscription services simply do not.

Miller seems to be a guy with a business sense that hasn't kept pace with the world, he is effectively a relic who appears to have been unable to keep with the times. If they truly allow him free reign to do as he will you can guarantee Hulu will be another service like the remodelled Napster and so on condemned to the history books before it ever even really made it's way out of the US.

Hiding secret messages in internet traffic: a new how-to


What a load of turd.

"Researchers have demonstrated a new way to hide secret messages in internet traffic that can elude even vigilant network operators."

Maybe vigilant network operators who are sat manually watching packets. It wont cut it with firewalls very well though.

When a re-sent packet comes along with a completely different CRC from the first then it's quite obvious that something dodgy is up, particularly if it happens repeatedly. Any good firewall can deal with this. This "attack" is thus extremely trivial to prevent and is not even computationally expensive to deal with. It also relies on the idea that someone has a system within an organisation on which they have root access so their application can make use of raw sockets. It also assumes you have a system on the outside willing to drop the acknowledgement packets correctly too.

If you had that access you could probably just burn the data to DVD or memory stick or whatever instead. Even if physical security prevents that you'd have more success in just used obfuscated, encrypted datastream embedded into an allowed protocol such as HTTP sending to a customised HTTP server or simple web application on said server to accept that traffic and store it.

But really, again when dealing with a good firewall, I don't see what this achieves, you might as well just send the data you're trying to get out in the first place - it's not like the firewall is going to log and handle just the dropped packets and not the resends.

Really, is this all it takes to be a security researcher now? The only reason this hasn't been "discovered" before is because it's so utterly flawed and anyone with half a clue will see it's not worth "discovering" because it's both easily defeated and brings nothing to the proverbial security table.

I give this article and the paper an S, for Severe Fail.

Cameron wants techies to open up Parliament


Ah, David "Full of shit" Cameron.

Okay, before I begin, I detest Labour more than any other party on the planet, so to the weak minded - don't assume just because I'm attacking the Tories I'm a Labour fanboy, I'm not, I would quite happily see Labour as a party disbanded and every politician within it begging on the streets.

But anyway, David Cameron, the guy is full of shit.

Yesterday we were being told about how awesome he is because he wants to bring "power to the people", telling us that he had many initiatives to do this, yet the one single initiative that truly brings power to "the people" rather than a minority, proportional representation, he rejects outright. Why? Because he knows he's guaranteed power next election right now, and proportional representation would weaken his power. For those who don't know, the current system, first past the post, allows a party that say only 40% of the population want in power to be able to completely control parliament such that they can pass laws without challenge just as the current Labour government does, we've seen how well that works out. In contrast, proportional representation means that if only 40% of the population support a party, then that party only gets 40% of the power.

So effectively when Cameron says he wants power to the people, what he means is he wants power to some of the people, but not those that don't support him. He wants disproportionate power for the people that do support him.

So now, onto this story, suddenly he's telling us he wants to make the internet integral to our democracy which is absolutely fantastic.

Well, it would be, if it weren't for the fact he also supports 3 strikes without trial meaning you can effectively accuse someone of file sharing 3 times without having evidence that would stand up in court to get them band from taking advantage of these existing and proposed online services that are essential and integral to society and the political process.

Dear David,

Shut the fuck up, and come back when you've actually figured out what you really want. Don't go on about improving democracy when the reality is you're quite content with it staying as is or made worse. Don't go on about embracing technology when you simultaneously support policy that both holds it back and runs counter to improving democracy.

Really, at a time when parliament is in disrepute and some politicians are actually trying to make ammends Cameron should be ashamed at abusing the opportunity for business as usual - say one thing and mean another.

Proportional representation is the single most important change that British politics needs, it means parliament is made up proportionally by the people's feelings rather than a minority, it means an end to tactical voting as people's votes for their preferred party, even if a minority party, actually counts.

Cameron's argument against proportional representation is that it means hung parliaments and backroom deals - as if backroom deals aren't a problem with the current system? As for the hung parliament argument? Well, Canada has had a hung parliament for over 2 years and yet they're the fastest growing economy in the G8, they're also the country that has come by far the best out of the recession in the G8 and haven't had to bail out a single one of their banks, as such their banking sector is healthy and still lending supporting other sectors. They also have some of the most sane and balanced copyright laws on the planet. So why does a hung parliament actually mean an improvement? Because the only laws that get passed in a hung parliament are laws that everyone agrees are for the benefit of the country rather than laws that a minority think are for the benefit of the country as per with Labour right now and as per with the Conservatives under Cameron's proposals.

Nork nuke quite a lot less powerful than Hiroshima


@ AC, RE: Ryongchon

That was the theory for the last test but as Lewis quite rightly noted there are other giveaways such as atmospheric tests and such that can determine the type of detonation and last time it was confirmed to indeed by nuclear.

I don't think there's much question that NK is capable of nuclear detonations now, the real question is how much of a risk that is - would they really use them on SK? Can they really weaponise them or are they only able to detonate them with a massive amount of supporting equipment that you can't reasonably transport in a truck or boat?

We should also be asking how many they have, the suggestion was they only have enough weaponised materials for a handful of nukes, if they've now used 2 of those up then they may be running low depending on whether they have access to more or the materials to produce more.

It could be that NK realises with the sanctions they're pretty much at the limits of what they can do and so are just detonating them to look scary when perhaps their leadership is just fizzling out.

It's hard to know if Kim Jong-Il is even alive, he hasn't been seen for months and the last photos of him were proven to be photoshopped, it's almost certain he's at least incapacitated if not dead and these are effectively the actions of a headless chicken spending it's dying moments flapping like crazy, the question is whether it goes out with a bank or just collapses from the inside.



"Scientists using these numbers have said they indicate a range of 2 to 8 kilotons for the Nork explosion, with results centring around 4."


It's all very well attacking other media outlets and saying they're wrong, but really your article is nothing more than speculation as you haven't referenced any evidence backing up your claims.

You tell us the TNT equivalence but don't cite your sources, and The Register and it's bloggers are hardly a trustworthy enough source to just take their word for it.

Slate The Guardian, the BBC or whoever all you want, but at least they cite their sources, rather than disputing them like you do without actually providing any source to backup your counter-claims.

It's also worth pointing out North Korea doesn't need to get their nukes into a warhead, a short boat trip to Japan or a short drive to Seoul hidden amongst their 2 million strong army is really all they need. If it is of a similar yeild to Hiroshima then it's certainly nothing to just brush off, Seoul has a population of 24.5 million, or just over three times that of London. If North Korea did manage to force a nuke the short distance to Seoul amongst their absolutely massive military then there would be a hell of a death toll.

I'm not saying you're wrong Lewis, but you haven't actually provided any evidence to demonstrate that you're right, whilst The Guardian and the BBC have at very least provided a fairly reputable source for their claims. After all, Russia does border North Korea in the very North-East and that's also the area of the country the test was carried out, the Russians are perhaps better placed than anyone to know what kind of explosion went off due to them having both the equipment and the location. China is similarly placed, but may not have the equipment to accurately measure as well as Russia.

Would-be Jacqui whacker told to try his hand with the Met


The Met?

Which Met? Oh that Met, you mean Jacqui's Met, the one she carries round in her back pocket and tells to throw out court cases against Labour Lords selling votes for money due to lack of evidence when there is video evidence of them doing just that?

Or how about the Jacqui backed Phorm whom along with BT performed illegal interception and monitoring for which there is plenty of evidence but which the Met refused to investigate?

The same Met that at Jacqui's whim went and arrested opposition MPs and raided their offices Stalin style?

Yes, good luck with "The Met", I'm sure Jacqui will let your attempts to get her in trouble via her own pet police force get far.

US lawmakers put Canada, Spain on piracy 'watch list'



"The caucus claims digital technology "holds the promise of a golden age for movies, music, video games and other forms of entertainment" and are key to American economic growth."

And their in lies their response - why the fuck should they care about American economic growth at the expense of their own economic growth which is improved by allowing piracy due to people having free access to all the knowledge they require and the services that are created by helping provide access to that?

The only reason piracy upsets America is because it has more to lose and everyone else has plenty to gain from it - overall it's of net benefit to the world, the US is just scared shitless of not being able to unilaterally act in the world anymore.

Really, my heart bleeds.

Sims 3 leaked two weeks before release


This story is a lie

I mean seriously, how can this story be true?

Game developers worldwide have told us that DRM is there for our own good to protect us against counterfeit products, and although DRM may not stop hardcore pirates it at least protects a game in it's first few weeks of sales until it's cracked.

What else would DRM be for? Of course this is what it's for, EA and so on have told us themselves! Do you think it's there to try and prevent us having access to software we've purchased indefinitely so that they can sell us the same product multiple times when we want to play it for nostalgic value or to prevent second hand sales so that people have to all buy it first hand or something????

Oh wait...

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail


For what it's worth Ted...

... it's fuck all use to me as a mathematician either.

Whilst it does a lot of stuff Mathematica, Maple and Mathcad has always done it doesn't really seem to bring anything new to the table.

I tried searching for things like "How many non-isomorphic trees are there with 6 vertices" and it just didn't even stand a chance. I tried some other questions it's supposedly designed to be able to answer such as "How many species of giraffe are there", it answered but basically just spammed me information about giraffes and hoped I'd be able to pull the answer from it. Even asking it the melting point of steel chucked up errors and gave me a figure for a single specific composition of steel.

I compared everything I tried to Google and Google gave me answers every time, where Wolfram gave me answers, Google's were better and Google's answers were all within the first page, usually the very first search result.

Wolfram Alpha truly is completely and utterly useless to arguably any profession apart form for handling explicit mathematical functions which again, are already better served by specific software.

Some people have been asking it subjective questions which it explicitly states it can't answer and that's fair enough - you can't fault it for failing something it's known not to work for but try some non-subjective questions:

"On what date was Adolf Hitler born?" FAIL.

"What year are the next US presidential elections in" FAIL

"How many species of Melocactus are there?" FAIL

"On what date did the Falklands war commence?" FAIL

It's meant to make knowledge computable but it doesn't, I can't possibly garner any useful information from it when it just fails. Information on Google may well be harder to parse, but at least it's there to parse, and hence computable, where data from Wolfram simply isn't computable because it can't provide it in any form, let alone a computable form.

Firefox passive-aggressives adjudicate Nerd Law


To be fair I side with Adblock too

If people download a plugin to block ads they clearly want ads blocked, they don't want them blocked "only if it isn't so and so's site", they want ads blocked, period.

If the NoScript guy's site is setup so it doesn't work unless ads can get through then he's at fault - it's not hard to make a page that works without ads and unless Adblock blocked the entire website, which I doubt is the case then it's clearly NoScript guy's fault - presumably this is why Mozilla found in Adblock's favour?

I know it's easy to say talk it out and this is probably my preferred method, but what if NoScript guy just refuses to let people access his site unless he displays the ads? Should Adblock bend over and offer a plugin that only blocks ads on sites where the owner isn't a stubborn dick or should they make their program do what it's supposed to do and block ads and if the site in question fails without ads it's the owners problem?

Hunt for MPs' expenses leaker hots up


Maybe the person is actually intelligent?

Seriously, if they're the ones who've been busy comitting character assassination against Jacqui Smith and as they're now showing MPs for being the bunch of fraudsters they are this person seems generally quite good.

Maybe the reason they didn't contact The Daily Mail is because they also know it's an idiot publication? I guess the fact they went to The Sun kind of dampens that theory a bit but who knows?

They've certainly done the country a massive bunch of favours in defaming Jacqui Smith and showing up MPs for what they are so they can't be too stupid.

Eurofighter Tranche 3: Oh please, God, no



"They wanted to convert the jet from a highly specialist air-to-air fighter (some these days with an "austere" bolt-on capability to drop smart bombs) into a multirole deep strike/electronic warfare plane, able to blast and jam its way deep into a powerful enemy air-defence network of the sort seen in Syria and (perhaps soon) Iran."

Yes Lewis, because I mean, Syria's high tech. defence network was so hard for Israel to penetrate with just a bunch of decades old F15s and F16s wasn't it? They took out Syria's nuclear programme without so much as a locked on warning tone.

So as we're no longer in Iraq and nor will the US be soon, as the US is pushing Afghanistan hard now, almost certainly with the same effect and as it's pushed Pakistan to start hitting the militants hard such that there's little need for British ground involvement for more than another few years there please, tell me, when the next biggest threats are Iran, North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela or perhaps even a stand-off with Russia in the baltic then please, tell me what you expect us to do when these nations have proper airforces? Do we rely on the yanks airpower knowing full well how good it is at hitting our own troops? Do we just say "Sorry can't help, all we've got is a bunch of heavily armed men and no air support".

You don't kit out your armed forces for a battle that's going on right now, if not only because of the procurement time - whatever you buy will be useless by the time you get it, you keep it well kitted out in every area, just in case. That's what the Eurofighter is, it's a tool for potential future threats just like Trident.

Seeing as we've got the second biggest military budget in the world and hence better kitted soldiers than almost anyone else other than the yanks I'm not sure what more you think we can do short of pushing ourselves to the point where half our GDP is spent on military kit?

UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust



He just doesn't get it does he?

No one in the US cares, because no one in the US is as stupid as him.

Similarly, it was made as a place where governments can't reach, and so governments can't reach it Mr Burnham, so give up, and, well, fuck off!

You could legislate and ban the whole internet but people will still find ways access it via satellite or so.

Otellini questions EU logic


To be fair...

Whilst I think what Intel did was wrong, I'm not convinced the fine is in any way a good thing.

The fact is, AMD kit is inferior, and if this in any way increases AMD's market share simply because they're cheaper it means we're going to end up with a lot crapper hardware on the market in general.

With Intel, yeah they're always a little more expensive but you're getting much better hardware, in general it's less power hungry, runs less hot, and runs faster. They also tend to get better additional instruction sets in their chips earlier, such as the latest SIMD technologies.

Intel should've worked harder on the fact it offered in general (there are some cases where AMD has shown them up, but it's very infrequent nowadays) a superior product. It's only got itself to blame for getting caught, however the punishment is imo much too harsh and does indeed risk harming the consumer more as AMD peddles more of their inferior chips onto consumers.

It's a good publicity win for the EU and it's good that Intel has been shown their are limits, but ultimately it will harm consumers and business consumers of computing equipment, including European consumers. As AMD has struggled to produce more efficient chips in recent years, it'll also not in the long term help European attempts to cut carbon emissions.

OpenOffice 3.1 ready to lick Microsoft's suite?


No, it's not ready to lick Micrososft's suite.

Because it still uses the tired old interface that was designed 2 decades ago and is only that way because of the limitations of computing resources at the time.

Microsoft realised this with Office 2007 and whilst many luddites who fear change whine about the idea of a new interface, the reality is that it does offer massive productivity increases, partly due to the interface, partly due simply to innovative new ways of doing things.

What Microsoft did took guts because of the whines of those who fear change, but it was absolutely the right thing to do simply because it really does allow people to be more productive.

The fact is the open office team need to accept that they too need to consider a change to their application's UI, in 20 years technology has increased massively, and UI research has moved along well, yet we still have the likes of Open Office (and even some of Microsoft's apps) using these age old interfaces.

Many will say the good old saying of if it aint broke don't fix it, but the reality is that it is broken, we can do things so much better and faster than these old interfaces allow us to and if the only excuse for not creating such improvements is "Well it's easier to code the old style interfaces than think up something new and better" then that product is doomed to get left behind.

US Forces 'black' budget = 2nd biggest military on Earth


British defence budget

If people are wondering what the British defence budget is spent on apart from the obvious such as the wars we're fighting, the billions being spent on new warships, our nuclear deterrent, our state of the art spy satellites, our new aircraft (Chinooks, Eurofighters, Super lynxes, the new Nimrods etc.) then I can tell you.

It's spent defending our overseas territories such as the Falklands, the South Georgian islands, our Indian ocean islands and so on. If we did not maintain a prescience on the Falklands the Argentinians would've tried again by now and it's arguable if we just let the Falklands slip then places like Spain might think we don't care anymore and try and seize places like Gibraltar.

Britain has influence across the world thanks to it's overseas territories, and it's arguable that our military influence is all we have left allowing us to remain a major world player. Without it we'd be a piddly excuse for a country with no world standing, although some might argue that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Is it worth it? well, from a financial point of view yes, £60bn spent on the military each year puts us in a position where we can make far more than that back due to getting beneficial deals across the world both militarily (loaning islands like Diego Garcia to the US) and commercially in that we get favourable deals for helping foreign nations fight their evils whether it's piracy, drug runners or whatever. It also allows us to get favourable deals through force however, see Iraq for example.

So commercially, having the military we have is certainly not a bad thing financially even though the £60bn sounds bad up front, it's not when you consider the amount it nets us in return - our GDP for 2008 was about £1,800 billion, £60 bn pales in comparison really.

The only real question then is if it's morally a good idea, should we really be using force to get a strong economy and a strong position in the international community? Germany is a good example of a country that doesn't really make much use of force nowadays to be strong, so it's certainly possible.

One things for sure though, the £60 bn certainly isn't wasted, it's quite a good investment.

Pilots plot air raid on Jacqui over ID cards


@ Christoph

Well it's obvious, they're doing this for us remember? They're willing to sacrifice their security so we can gain the benefits first!

Well, that's what they'll tell you anyway.

Any new law should only ever be allowed to be passed if it fills the criteria that MPs would also allow it to effect them equally and hence agree to the counter that effects them also. Here's some examples:

Proposed law: The government should be able to monitor every citizen's e-mails, texts and phones

Check of validity: The government should allow citizens to monitor all MPs e-mails, texts and phone calls.

Proposed law: All citizens should have their data stored on a government held DNA database

Check of validity: All MPs should have their data stored on a publicly accessible DNA database

Proposed law: The government should be able to define what citizens can and can't do in the bedroom in private

Check of validity: Citizens should be able to define what MPs can and can't do in the bedroom in private

You see how that works? It's called fairness. Any MP that can't accept the counter should also not vote for the former. Any MP that votes for the former but wont accept the counter should be removed from office due to the fact it means they are unable to do their job objectively.

Apple hooks Microsoft Xbox tactician


Not sure why this is news

He was only the marketing guy in Europe, and frankly whilst I love the XBox, the European marketing has been utter crap.

There hasn't been any of the promotions that the US gets that let you win MS points, none of the competitions to win stuff etc. Compared to US marketing the EU marketing of the 360 really has been utterly awful.

Quite why Apple or anyone is making news of this I don't know, effectively they seem to be gloating about taking on someone who is pretty worthless as an employee as they've done a crap job in their old position at MS. It's not like when EA managed to take Peter Moore from MS.

What next, Apple saying "Hey we're awesome we stole Microsoft's Kazakhstan Zune office janitor lololol!"?

If this is Apple's beginning of a push into the games business then it's already failed. Apple already have the best marketing machine on the planet, that's how they sell their overhyped crap. Quite why they think someone this dire is going to help them in the games business who knows - maybe Apple really are helpless without Jobs?

Meet Phorm's PR genius


Something phishy about phorm.

Does anyone else not think there's something odd about the whole Phorm thing, Something that goes beyond just a bunch of greedy twats wanting to steal our data for money? The fact the home office colluded with them, the fact the police refuse to investigate them, the fact they have people in various government departments and so on?

For a company that to anyone with any idea about technology appears doomed to fail because of the inherent invasion of privacy it creates it seems to have a lot of support from a lot of people in the right circles.

I can't help but wonder if perhaps Phorm is actually backed by perhaps Jacqui Smith and her ilk or perhaps even people in the security services as a way to snoop on people without arousing suspicion.

Even the music industry, despite having vastly more resources struggles to get the kind of political and police support that Phorm has despite the music industry having a potential future if it changes it's ways, unlike Phorm that has a very short lived future.

UK.gov to spend £2bn on ISP tracking



...at least we know why the budget had to drop the £15bn in public sector expenditure savings down to £9bn now.

Jacqui Smith wanted a few more billion to spend on spying on citizens, whilst real criminals just encrypt their communications or use different communication measures altogether.

How can this government even justify spending £2bn on something like this when we don't have £2bn to spend, in fact, not only do we not have £2bn to spend, this government is putting us 100s of billions of pounds in debt?

The citizens don't want this, opposition parties don't want this, there is no money for this, so why is it going ahead? I'm beginning to wonder if Labour is not only incompetent, but outright malicious too in that they want to fuck people over as much as possible. They know they have zero chance of being elected now for at least the next decade so figure they'll do everything they can to support their friends in the police, MI5, the music/movie industry, the financial sector and so on no matter what the harm and cost to the country or population in it.

Go, Brown, go!


Wait.... did I just read correctly?

There are still people defending Labour?? What?? I didn't realise our country was plagued by a level of idiocy quite so severe. I mean, I knew things were bad - after all, Labour got in in the last election post Iraq invasion but I didn't know things were quite this bad in that 4 years of severe governmental raping of this country and it's citizens and they're still getting support.

If people are still defending Labour now, I can only think that our country is in terminal decline and there's possibly no hope to prevent that because a noticable percentage of our population are stupid enough to support a party that has literally turned our country from a top 5 world leader by most important measures into a mid-30s and falling state.

Still, I suppose about 30% of Americans supported Bush to the end so maybe every country has a disturbingly high percentage of painfully stupid people and at least as politicians go, they have someone at least relatively competent now, so perhaps there is some hope.


I can't sign this.

Sorry, but Brown is a massive failure, and people can see that. If it was asking for the Labour party as a whole to go then I'd go for it but removing just Brown is bad, why?

Because then we'll get Milliband and although he's just as atrocious, he has a lot of charisma and look how easily the British public have been fooled by Cameron's charisma.

No, better to just let them play out their time and keep shooting themselves in the foot so that we don't have to deal with them again any time in the next decade or so than risk them having a leader who is at least charismatic enough to win people over even if not good enough on the competence and policy front.

Let them keep a leader who is neither charismatic or competent, the short term pain will be worth it when it leaves Labour well and truly crushed to the point of no return.

Pirate Bay judge and pro-copyright lobbyist accused of bias


It was obvious something like this had happened.

There's no way in hell a guilty verdict would've been chosen if the judge was in any way unbiased, not because The Pirate Bay was inherently in the right, but because the prosecution outright failed to prove their case and you can't have a guilty verdict when the prosecution failed to actually prove any wrong doing.

The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from that was that the judge was either incompetent, or corrupt. Apparently it's the latter.

Darling points at silver lining, floats investment in broadband



"Most of the "big ideas" were pre-leaked in order not to spook the markets. These include finding £15bn in savings from government budgets , subsidies for new cars if an old vehicle is scrapped, help for the housing market and £90bn in public borrowing."

It's just a shame leaks were wrong. It was leaked that government borrowing was £160bn, and £15bn efficiency costs would be made. The actual figures were borrowing of £175bn and only £9bn in efficiency costs to be made. That means we're £18bn worse off as a nation than the leaks suggested. That's no small amount, although it could be made up easily by say, scrapping the ID card scheme and ContactPoint databases, unfortunately Labour actually wants more of these illegal databases which is probably why there's an extra £25bn of borrowing expected.

"The limit for ISAs has also been increased from £7,200 to £10,200."

Yes, if you're over 50 (i.e. those who are already well off because they're old enough to have paid off their mortgage and already acquired large savings). The rest of us have to wait until next year.

Darling's communications investment is £10million, the proposed Fibre to the home rollout would cost £25bn. Let's just put those figures next to each other to see how far out and how utterly useless Darling's Broadband investments are shall we?:

Amount given for broadband:


Amount required:


See that? Let's just seem them again, this time next to each other shall we?:



Yes, Darling's offer for broadband help is around 2500 times too small, or about 530 times to small for fibre to the cabinet. The offered amount may just be enough to get fibre to Gordon Brown's house, but that's about it.

This budget, like the Labour government in general can only be described in one way


Blu-ray to boom despite downturn



Anyone who has been to the cinema and seen the latest 3D films will understand why no one cares about HD. HD is pretty at first, but then it gets dull and you realise it adds nothing.

3D as in the cinemas on new films are where it's at because that really is a big step forward in visualisation. Just wait until it hits consumer hardware.

Oh, and Mark, stfu idiot. He demonstrated scepticism because the source was known to be biased. I know you're the biggest most ignorant fanboy on earth, but I hoped even you could understand that if the source is biased, the story must be treated with caution. Apparently you can't though, because that's how ignorant you fanboys are and to you inflated statistics from biased source = truth if it suits your own fanboyist bias, but is the ultimate crime if a competitor does it going against your fanboy bias resulting in the ultimate troll and violent anger as you explode from the inside due to the level of idiocy and ignorance in your head reaching such critically dangerous levels.

Pirate Bay convictions are legally insignificant outside Sweden


Flawed analysis.

One of the key points in the trial was that the music industry failed to prove that the majority of content shared on The Pirate Bay was illegal. They outright admitted that they couldn't state either way how much of the content was illegal, only that some of it was.

Therefore the premise in the article, that other search engines such as Google only index a minority rather than a majority of illegal content is flawed, and hence the conclusion that Google et al. are safe is also flawed.

Recession takes chunk out of game sales


I think the difference is...

That although there have been a couple of good games this Easter, that's it, just a couple and pretty much no other games at all, not even the crappy ones.

Last year I remember having an awful lot more games arriving through my door than the measly three that have come through since Christmas. I must've bought around 20 or more games by this time last year.

In fact, there's really no games due out this year worth buying until the Christmas flood begins in about October except maybe Splinter Cell: Conviction. Although it usually is quiet from post-Christmas until October of the next year this year really has been slow for games, exceptionally slow.

Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines



In a way before the trial I figured they probably would lose, because they'd been so arrogant about it all.

When the trial went ahead however and we saw how utterly incompetent the prosecution was, how they failed to prove anything, how they shouted down the judge, how they broke the rules of the court by introducing evidence that wasn't submitted previously and wasn't hence eligible to be used, how they couldn't get hold of their key witnesses I changed my opinion.

The fact the prosecution won despite showing an immense amount of ineptitude and an inability to prove anything suggests that this is almost certainly a case of political meddling or simple bribery.

I fail to see how the prosecution could've won this case with the level of ineptitude they showed and the fact they didn't actually manage to prove their point in court. Effectively they won the case based purely on their accusation, because they never actually managed to prove their accusation, it seems in the Swedish court system an accusation is enough for declaration of guilt by the court.

I'd care less if the prosecution had won by demonstrating that what TPB had actually done was in some way more illegal than when Google references torrent files and copyrighted material but they haven't done this, they've won purely on their accusation alone with no burden of proof.

UK dons dunce hat on copyright law


God no.

If the government has given up on their reform in light of the Gower's report please, don't try and push them to revive it!!!!

The government reform in light of the Gower's report outright ignored most of the recommendations. One recommendation was copyright term length suggesting it should be lowered or at worst left as is, but the government in it's reform decided to up it to 75 or 95 years instead of 50.

If the government has given up it's for the best. Yes it's bad now, but if you push them to change it they'll make it even worse. Let's wait until we replace Labour and have a slightly more competent government in and push them instead please?

No charges for terror arrest Tory


Police = Lazy?

Don't take my subject the wrong way, I think this is the right outcome. I'm just surprised the police didn't take it further because I thought they were fully in Labour's back pocket.

But now I realise perhaps I'm wrong, that in fact, the police didn't act on the likes of Phorm or the Lord's accepting money to change laws scandal not because they are in the pockets of politicians, but because they're simply lazy and can't actually be bothered to pursue anything anymore.

Certainly in the Phorm and Lord's scandal it was clear cut, the police could've easily pursued it and obtained convictions and I assumed because they didn't it was because the political masters like Jacqui Smith had told them not too (even though the police claim to be independent) but now as in this case, where if it was their political overseers decision they would've pursued it I wonder if that's not the case at all and again, as I say, the police just can't be bothered to get involved with anything whether it's a clear cut case as in the Lord's scandal or not as in this case.

ZuneHD en-route to Blighty?


To clear up some misconceptions.

The HD playback is more about being able to playback to an external TV. Indeed it's not that great to be able to have HD support on a small screen but it is nice to know you can plug it in and have full HD playback on a large screen.

The games stuff will be to do with XNA game studio. The latest versions of XNA can create games that deploy on the PC, 360 and Zune from a single code base. As someone pointed out up above the games it's referring to will likely be the likes of Geometry Wars, N+, Braid and that sort of thing but possibly also classic XBox games.

As for the Zune being listed as discontinued well, yes, the original iPhone is discontinued too as is the Playstation 1. That's what happens when new products come out. If an old product is discontinued it doesn't mean the entire product line is discontinued, there is a distinct difference between one product in a line and the whole line being discontinued. As Microsoft is releasing a new version of the Zune it seems pretty clear that it's only the old model that's discontinued and not the full line.

Finally, regarding DRM, those comments are rather stupid. I hate DRM as much as the next guy but the Zune has been relatively DRM free compared to the likes of the iPhone and in fact all of Apples products. Even Google's android phones implement a level of DRM arguably worse than that of the existing Zune. It's hard to see how the new Zune could be any more restrictive than any of Apple's products, the new DSi, the PSP or many other mobile products out there that are DRM'd to hell. Yeah DRM is likely, but it's not going to be any worse than most other products out there.

Interweb Chuck Norris infiltrates Netflix, Tivo



"While his exploits amount to little more than pranks, they point to the very sobering realization that the net isn't a very secure place."

Hi Dan,

Welcome to 1995, the year when everyone else already figured this out.

By sobering realization I can only assume you mean you've been too drunk to notice the net is inherently insecure for the last 14 years.

Advertising watchdog okays 'gaming equals early grave' ad


I guess the ASA has a shortage of logical thought then?

If the advert is just about "doing nothing" and has nothing to do with computer games then why is the kid holding a console controller? Clearly the kid on the ad is not "doing nothing" because he is holding a controller and hence doing something. It's false advertising or misrepresentation of the facts either way.

But then, we're talking about a body that has to justify it's existence and what better way than coming up with unresearch, unsubstantiated claims and building ad campaigns around them? I guess we have to keep the terminally incompetent employed somehow and there are worse ways than creating non-jobs. It's just a shame these non-jobs are funded by the tax payer and we get nothing actually useful out of them, just FUD.

Brit nuke subs exposed on Google Earth


A title is required.

Why does the SAS HQ have crop circles in the field next to it?

Is this part of their training? Anyone who can crawl into a farmers field without leaving a trail then making a pattern in the middle of the field and exit again without leaving an exit trail either is in?

Dell profits dive 48% in Q4


It's funny

It's funny because Dell is probably the most prominent company when financial times were strong to cut costs (i.e. decent customer support) to improve profits.

The result was to go from one of the best customer focussed companies to one of the worst in the whole IT industry. Their outsourcing turned them around from having extremely high quality kit with some of the best tech. support around to cheap, tacky, commonly failing hardware with the worst tech. support on the planet.

So whilst they cut costs to improve profits, they also lost much profit as customers dissapeared in droves.

So I might ask, now Dell has killed off a massive portion of it's customer base, and now it's already cut it's costs by rediculous amounts in a rage of greed over common sense, quite how the fuck does it intend to cut it's costs more now that financial times are bad? It's not like it can outsource or anything is it, it's not like it can lower hardware quality.

Dell is fucked, and as a customer who purchased just before they went shit and got shafted having to deal with them at work after they'd gone shit I have to lol quite hard that they've got what's long been coming to them.

El Reg suffers identity crisis


RE: Explain please

"Why there are no comments permitted alongside the highly dubious "if you use the pirate bay you are supporting a Neo-Nazi" article?"

Because it's an Andrew Orlowski article and he's always wrong but doesn't like to hear it so doesn't have comments enabled on his articles. If you check most of his controversial articles you'll find the same. This is undoubtedly where the Wikipedians comment about The Register being a click-whoring troll site comes from because he does produce an awful lot of trolls and then prevent people pointing out how factually incorrect he nearly always is. I mean, this is a guy that thinks that 3 out of 5 selected Japanese scientists = nationwide consensus. His comment policy is in contrast to say Lewis Page, who is still nearly always wrong, but credit to the guy he at least gives you chance to point out why in the comments.

But anyway, your post distracted me from what I was going to point out here. The Daily Mail comment is perhaps more telling than many may think. The Register itself has been guilty of slagging off the Daily Mail but in recent years it's become so similar in style it's no suprise the Daily Mail has praised it.

I think the Daily Mail praising The Register says more about what it's become than it is a compliment, it's effectively official recognition by the Daily Mail itself that The Register has become as shit as it is.

Still, The Register has one thing going for it- it does at least break some stories, it's just a shame that when it does it doesn't break them in a manner that's useful reading. It at least gives you an overview of the breaking news though even if the substance is like a big steamy pile of horse turd though.

If only there was some care at The Register to return back towards it's roots, the distinction between it and a collection of personal blogs of clueless trolling teenagers is shrinking daily.

UK censors revolt against 'pornalone' ordeal


Thus why the BBFC needs to be changed or removed.

This quote from the article:

The "examiners", however, say that "films that are refused an R18 certificate often include scenes that many find disturbing, including sadomasochism and sexual violence", adding that "viewing pornographic content alone will increase the chances of being sexually aroused by the material".

So effectively, what the folks at the BBFC who perform these classifications are saying is that they're inherently biased towards censorship because they don't like some things that other find quite acceptable.

If the classifiers can't approach an S&M porn film with the same objectivity that they would face the latest my little pony film then they're not fit to classify. Classification must be performed by people who can tell the difference between acceptable and unacceptable on a national scale, not by people who have an inherent distaste for certain classes of film.

This is presumably why then there is a problem with computer games classification, because the type of people who are offended by porn are almost certainly the time who are stuck in decades past and think that computer games aren't a valid form of entertainment and as my grandma would've put it, will make your eyes go square.

So if anything this protest is quite telling of why the BBFC is an extremely bad entity to be classifying anything- because the staff that work there lack objectivity and in the case of these protests are actively admitting they have a problem with some kinds of content that many millions of people do not. There is content that almost everyone agrees is bad i.e. child porn, and then there is content like this that millions don't think is bad and if they're approaching this content from the view of those who are prudish rather than from an objective view then they are as the government would say, not fit for purpose.

Ruling: Gov reports into ID scheme must be disclosed


Why is the government so persistent with ID cards?

Most governments would give up when the entire opposition, their entire citizen base are against them and when the economic situation is so harsh there's just no money to spare and when they're proven to be problematic and unworkable.

What is it about ID cards that makes the government feel they have to pursue them so hard? I mean they've given up other things in the past but on this one they seem to be not willing to give up on the idea no matter what the cost.

It is for that reason I think their motives for ID cards really do run much deeper than they suggest, whether it's backhanders from companies they'll award the contract to or something even more sinister that has me concerned about ID cards over anything else.

I've never seen a government department fight quite this hard to keep up a scheme in spite of so much opposition and so many problems.

Hacker pokes new hole in secure sockets layer


@ Ken Hagan

Hi Ken,

Not sure if you posted without reading my previous comments but with regards to your comment:

"A fully encrypted internet would be safe from Wacky's censorship, Phorms pharming, and various ISPs' "traffic shaping". Will it now happen?"

I'm afraid that's simply not true, ISPs are one of the few entities that can easily perform man in the middle attacks on the internet. The only thing preventing them snooping encrypted internet access is fear of legal repercussions, they can quite easily if they wished break and observe or even modify encrypted connections if they so wished.

The problem is though as I see it, even the legal repercussions aren't a long term safeguard. I do not believe it would take long, should everyone start encrypting everything for our current Labour government to nullify any protection these laws might give citizens. I am pretty convinced Labour would be more than willing to allow ISPs to perform MITM attacks on users encrypted connections under the guise of "counter-terrorism" whilst simultaneously allowing them to use that facility for their own business purposes- i.e. traffic shaping and phorm.

Do not be confused by the common misunderstanding that encrypted connections are a be all and end all solution. They're only safe as long as we can be sure no one will perform MITM attacks on them and your ISP, BT and the various other service providers that handle any kind of routing and transit across the internet of your traffic are the ones we are depending on here.

The best we have right now is to hope that ISPs snooping encrypted traffic by forging keys/certs remains a major taboo and in that situation encrypted traffic is indeed safe, it's not guaranteed to be forever though and one might wonder if some ISPs with their ignorance of data protection laws (I'm looking at you BT- Phorm) are already using this kind of attack anyway.

Me? I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get a new government in that is a bit more concious of privacy rights before Labour can enact laws that will open the door for ISPs legally being able to snoop on data sent via encrypted connections. Personal I'll vote Lib Dem, not perfect for sure, but the only party other than the greens that truly seems interested in civil liberties to the point they'd reverse some of the damage Labour has done. If they can at least get enough votes to hold the balance of power it's enough to prevent a further slide- I'm not convinced the Conservatives as a whole would really be any better than Labour sadly even though they have one or two individual MPs like David Davis who does seem to care.


Largely irrelevant

Man in the middle attacks have been the bane of encrypted connections where the encryption session is set up purely over the vulnerable connection since their creation. This is just a slightly new twist on a long known problem. It doesn't make it any easier to break into encrypted connections though than existing methods.

The only way we can have somewhat secure encrypted connections is if the keys used to setup the encrypted link are passed separately. One potential method would be to send the required encryption keys via mobile phone in a text message. This is still vulnerable if a hacker can intercept your text messages from your mobile connection as well as your internet connection but of course protects you from internet based man in the middle attacks at least.

This is why you should never use Tor for personal stuff, you see the problem with Tor is that it anonymises you- it's near impossible to tell where data is coming from, but it isn't a security boost. People can grab your data and perform MITM attacks over Tor easily so if you're using it to access information it's no big deal if someone steals your HTTP requests and the the HTTP responses from Wikipedia or whatever, but if you start accessing your bank, or Paypal over Tor you're actually less secure than not using it because any old joe using Tor may be able to grab it including who you are due to your login details whilst at least a direct connection via your ISP is somewhat trusted. Anyone using Tor for security is an idiot, because if anything it decreases security.

Also, this is why people shouting "encrypted connections!!!!" as a solution to packet shaping and such are utterly naive because your ISP is one of the few entities that can actually peform MITM attacks on you to break that encryption. This would likely be a legal grey area for them but as the law has in recent years swayed strongly towards allowing maximum snooping and ensuring minimum privacy I would not be suprised if the courts or the government were to decide that ISPs can in fact break your encrypted links to see what's in there.

If we're going to have truly secure encryption for P2P and such we'd need to start working outside of the net- passing encryption keys via text message to mobile phones and such but of course if anyone can intercept net connections AND mobile phone texts then it's the police.

Moral of the story? If you want truly secure data connections across the net, make sure you setup a secure tunnel where keys are passed to each other in person and that no one else may gain access to them.

As it stands, SSL is good enough for banking and online shopping for as long as our ISPs and the underlying internet backbones on which we rely to access these services remain trustworthy. It is however not in anyway anything other than an illusion of security if you want to ensure that no one at all can access your communications.

Abba star slates 'lazy, stingy' Pirate Bay fans


Bjoern fail

"But anything they steal was once one person's idea, a single little person. They don't want to talk about that,"

Playing musical instruments was once one persons idea so I assume Bjoern, by your very own logic, you're lazy and stingy?

Mamma Mia supposedly sold enough copies such that 25% of UK households have a copy, this guy is whining that he made enough money in one production to setup probably 10 or 20 people for life with cash and is complaining that if copyrights aren't upheld he may not be able to make any more cash?

Of course, Mamma Mia is an exception in terms of how well it's done (despite what an utter pile of turd it is) and smaller movies don't make that much, they might only make enough for their creators to set just one person up for life.

My heart bleeds, really it does. Just like that songwriter interview here the other day, these people are proving nothing more than they are scared to death of having to hold down a proper job like most other people on the planet.

Royal Navy to be first running-jump-jet force



"This trick is already used when taking off. Harriers are properly speaking not VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft, but STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing)."

Sorry Lewis but this is wrong, it absolutely is VTOL because it is capable of vertical take off and landing even if vertical take offs are uncommon because of the fuel they burn. STOVL implies it can ONLY do short take offs which simply isn't true. So "properly" speaking VTOL or V/STOL as you mention is correct, the latter implies it's capable of both so is indeed still the most correct, but your comments imply that STOVL = V/STOL, in terms of proper correctness, this isn't true. See here for an example of a Sea harrier doing a vertical take off:


As you can see, a short take off is quite different, it's well, a normal take off, but shorter:


One would think as an ex-navy man and a journalist you'd know that your comment was incorrect or at least badly phrased (perhaps you meant operationally it's used in a STOVL role?)! The term STOVL should correctly be reserved for aircraft that cannot generate the vertical lift to gain height but can at least generate the vertical lift to descend slowly enough to land safely. The Harrier doesn't fit into this category as it's capable of both Vertical and Short take offs even if these are not used operationally.

Landmark copyright trial against Pirate Bay gets underway

Dead Vulture

RE: I suspect they will have the book

"Copyright infringement is wrong, we have fair use, but just blatantly taking the fruits of another person's endeavours is just wrong."

Are you sure about that? I mean, you've been taught to believe it just like some muslims have been taught to believe blowing themselves up amongst innocent civilians is right but that doesn't mean it is a fundamentally correct belief.

I'm not commenting either way on whether I think it's right or wrong, but your wording is the type of wording the RIAA/MPAA loves- "taking the fruits", well no, that's not true, you're "copying" them. While you've been taught to believe that the copyright system is correct and that copying a song someone else made is wrong, just stop and look at the bigger picture- how many meals do you cook that are from recipes that were created by someone else before you?

You see this is the fundamental battle here, historically it's been too hard to prevent someone copying the recipe for jacket potato, or fish and chips so it's always been seen as foolish to try and do so. Historically it was quite hard to copy movies, and music that was produced on physical media and so a business was built around the fact people couldn't copy it. But then it became possible to copy it and it's become easier and easier to do so. The music industry is trying to hold on to a philosophy that with the prevalence of ease of copying is about as possible as someone inventing a new combination of pizza topping with run of the mill products from the supermarket then banning anyone else from making it such that they can only buy it from him.

The fact is, music, movies and software are anomalies when it comes to protection by copyright law, they're anomalies that have been allowed to exist because the facility wasn't previously commonplace to allow easily breaching these rights. Recipes, house designs, flower arrangements as random examples off the top of my head amongst many other things all easily copied and hence realised that it's foolish to try and make it illegal to do so. On the other hand, something like car design is illegal to copy simply because it's too hard for the masses to copy such a thing. What we're seeing here is a business that was built on that premise entering an era where suddenly that premise has been whipped away. We're seeing the fallout of something moving from controlled distribution to easy distribution by the masses and those who previously held that control are lost and confused by the transition. It's going to happen, they have no choice in it, the cats out the bag, it's already too late. It's just sad that people like those running the TPB making this point in a rather subtle manner have to suffer in the process of moving towards the inevitable.

One final point is that this hasn't just been brewing recently, it's been brewing since people could copy casette tapes, it's just become ever more prominent and ever easier to do since then and the music/movie industry have become ever more desparate as their entire business model slips from under them. They have a choice of changing their business model and adapting or they have a choice of struggling until their very demise, so far, they're simply choosing the latter and losing even the battle for hearts and minds in the process.

Sony plans movie+game dual-media Blu-ray Discs



No doubt this idea will be as successful as the dual CD/DVDs, 17gb DVDs, dual HD-DVD/Bluray discs, dual DVD/HD-DVD Bluray discs and other such genius optical ideas that never actually succeded in reality.

RE: "Whats the hidden agenda?"

I laugh at you. The Reg was since the PS3's release so horribly biased towards the PS3. Now that even The Register has realised the PS3 has lost the fight there are still people like you hanging on? Sucks for you. The PS3 is dead, live with it.

Regarding those mentioning the Wii, yes it's way ahead, but I think the Reg was just comparing the two comparable consoles. Most people I know with either a 360 or a PS3 have a Wii as well so I think it's just taken for granted nowadays that yes, the Wii is hands down the winner this round and the only real battle that remains is between the 360 and the PS3 but even that's clear cut in favour of the 360 now that it's 8million units ahead and still increasing it's lead further whilst simultaneously selling more games and profiting off XBox live subscriptions too!!

Kids online: Parents need to regulate, says Ofcom


Here's my answer

To the question:

"However, she had more success in splitting the panel with a slightly trickier question. She asked: Was there a single reason they could advance as to why all new PCs should not come with optional porn filters on as default? Answers on a postcard, please"

Yes I can advance a reason, because someone has to pay for such a filter directly or indirectly, and I'm not paying for something I don't even want.

Software body slams uk.gov's 'special treatment' of music biz


@ AC no. 2

Actually, there is some hope. Ironically, Labour's minister in charge of IP actually gets it, see here:


David Lammy is his name. How ironic then that the one person in charge of intellectual property issues in the country is the one in parliament that gets it, whilst everyone else ignores him anyway.

This suggests quite strongly and quite rightly that if someone actually works with IP issues from a neutral standpoint they come to realise the whole situation of protecting the IP of broken business models is doomed to fail. Other ministers that don't understand the issue though are much easier bought into stupid and unworkable ideas for the very fact they don't understand the issues.

If only Labour would listen to, you know, the guy who they actually put in charge of the problem.

Beeb borrows copyrighted Flickr image


@ Lars

WTF? Last time I checked TV and books hadn't yet become one with the internet so your comment is outright irrelevant.

The problem I have is nowadays you can't even link to an image, there are plenty of methods to prevent linking to an image (i.e. checking the referrer and that sort of thing) and yet people don't use them but at the same time whine and complain that someone has linked to it. If it's such a big deal you can do something about it.

As has been pointed out there are plenty of techniques like watermarking and so on that can be used if it really is a big deal that you want credit.

It's unreasonable to assume everything is copyrighted for exactly this reason, there's no way to trace the original source of the image and verify it's copyright status. I have plenty of images I've taken on the web and don't give a damn if someone wants to use them yet for some reason copyright is the default and if people are to know they can use them I have to put up a notice rather than have them assume because there's nothing to say otherwise, they can use it which is what I want and which is how it historically was on the internet before judges with no clue how linking and web pages and so on worked as well as the technological measures available to protect stuff to remain private worked got their hands on it.

It is because of greedy people like this who want their images protected but on the same note chuck them out there with zero protection or sign that they're to be protected that we have such messed up and broken copyright laws. The BBC should've told him to f off and put his money where his mouth is and challenge their accidental mistake in court if he's really interested in protecting his work or to see whether he just wants the opportune to whine like a bitch as it sounds with his "I'm still not happy", "Oh wait now I am, thanks for the £75" remark.



The real story here is that people are posting stuff in the big wide open public world then whining when people dare make use of it.

The whole reason the internet was created was for information sharing. It's getting tiresome seeing idiots like this destroying that and turning the whole web into a copyright minefield where you can look but don't touch.

The fact you can't use an external image as a reference for how something looks (i.e. an animal, a plant etc.) anymore even without running risk of someone crying to their lawyers is a pathetic state of affairs, idiots like this only reinforce the problem.

If something is accessible on the net without any explicit requirement for authentication or authorisation to access it in the first place it should be classed as fair game to use. If people are so worried about having their stuff used they should either not make it available, or ensure people have to authenticate and accept terms to access it.