* Posts by Hashem

12 posts • joined 29 Apr 2009

BT on site-blocking: Every case will need a court order


Censorship in the UK

At least we can learn from Chinese internet users how to circumvent that.

As an aside, newzbin2 already has a mirror as a secret service on the TOR anonymising network. How is that for efficient? I'm sure it sets a standard for all the similar sites out there for when BT is ordered to block access to them also.

So in effect that judge just compromised net neutrality in the UK for absolutely nothing.

Google accused of hard-coding own links in search


This is not anti-trust

I have no love for google, I like my privacy and I dislike being tracked. Having said that, there is no way this is anti-trust.

People use google as a search engine because... it turns up useful links in what is generally considered to be a good order. Or at least in a good enough order that it's useful to use google over any other search engine.

If people feel google is prioritising it's own search results (which it almost certainly is) and those links are irrelevant, or not what they wanted, then they certainly would use some other search engine which prioritises different links.

There is no problem of compatibility, a search engine is a search engine, it does the same thing no matter who is running it. The only difference is speed and relevance.

What it really boils down to is this: Google Search prioritises links to other google products. These products are integrated into google search (See the stocks chart without having to click on the link). If people think that the link presented isn't the most relevant one, nothing is locking them into using a google product. They CAN go elsewhere.

Frenchman cuffed for naughty lip-slip email to MEP



To all the people out there saying that if that were a law in the UK the streets would be empty...

Before we can show contempt towards public servants, we must first have public servants.

I don't remember when any politician actually served the public as opposed to their own interests.

Met launches net café spy operation


Forgive my ignorance...

But how will a non-arabic speaking internet cafe owner know what an arabic language website is about?

1. Muslim goes into internet cafe

2. Muslim navigates to perfectly reputable arabic language news site

3. Shop owner calls police

4. Police don't know what the page is about either

5. Muslim man is arrested


Home Secretary swats away calls for Mosquito ban


Indiscriminate and offensive

@Dr Dan H: I'm not in my twenties yet but I personally enjoy Frank Sinatra on occasion.

The whole idea of placing something in a public place to keep away 'young people' who may or may not be doing anything wrong at any point in time is absurd. I haven't seen too many of them around London, in fact, I've only ever heard one (that might be due to my ears having taken a beating at various clubs and concerts around the city though). I guess the problem might be more widespread elsewhere.

iPad pitch to the Wall Street Journal laid bare


Codec hell

I just wish apple would stop trying to push h264 as html5s standard video codec, and move to something more open source. I have no problem with h264 except that it isn't really feasible for a lot of browsers to support it considering licensing costs.

Flash is probably not going to die anytime soon, but I hope using flash for video playback is going to die with html5. Hopefully by then we can have a standard for video encoding as opposed to half using ogg theora and the other half using h264.

UK.gov uses booze to lure London kids into ID scheme


Why would you need one?

I don't know how to drive, never bothered to learn. I did get a provisional driver's license though so that I could get into clubs and so on. Seems to be accepted everywhere I've ever been. As for opening bank accounts, fair enough just take your passport, and your driver's license, I mean, how often do you open bank accounts anyway? Are you seriously going to lose your passport that one time?

There's absolutely no motivation for accepting this ID card.

As for an 18+ Oyster photocard, that doesn't work as ID anywhere as they don't print your date of birth on there. Yeah I know its an 18+ only card but no one ever takes it as ID.

Home Office appoints ID czar

Big Brother

A translation for you....

“I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended.

“In the early weeks and months as I work out how best to do the job I intend to listen to the people across the National Identity Service and to people outside the system with views about my new role.”


I am delighted to accept this post so that I can start screwing the public's privacy and identity rights at the earliest opportunity, as Parliament intended.

In the early weeks and months, as Gordon Brown personally trains me in the most effective ways to ruin the country I intent to listen to people across the National Identity Service, and ignore entirely any views that contradict Labour's.

Home Office coughs to larger data loss


PA Loses records, paid loads, allowed to work on national ID

.... Something is wrong with this picture:

The department paid PA £24.5m last year - up from £8.4m the year before - thanks to increased work on the National Identity Scam Scheme and the Interception Modernisation Programme.

Yeah! They have a great track record of keeping our data safe, we better give them more money to work on other highly sensitive contracts...

Not AC because if someone is going to give out my personal information, it might as well be me.

GCHQ: Mastering the Media


To borrow a quote from Firefly

"The government is a body of people, usually notably, ungoverned."

I can't say I'm particularly surprised at the steps being taken to erode our civil liberties. It's a dangerous path for the government to be taking us down, one that assumes everyone is guilty until proven innocent. But then, it also seems to be that no matter which government we have, it's always the same kind of story. This kind of thing has been going on for a very long time, and frankly the argument that if we're not being monitored we'll all be exploded by the latest big bad bomb threat is getting flimsy. So, I'm forced to wonder, just why does the government have such an interest in monitoring us anyway?

Not that I really care why, so long as they don't. Certainly the fact that MP's are claiming so much of tax payer's money for a 'second home allowance' during a period of economic decline gives me little hope for the integrity of the political system, so the fact that the home secretary (and I use that title with as much scorn I can muster, she acts more like a crazy old mother of two housewife constantly breathing down her children's necks) is just so keen to keep a close eye on our activity is frankly disturbing, just what does she want the data for?

Apple power brick sparks lawsuit


It's been my experience

That cable fraying tends to come from user negligence rather than engineering issues. The clip on the cable is provided precisely so that the cable does not get frayed. By using the clip, you can avoid placing the stress of the bent cable on the point where the cable meets the magnetic head which is the most likely cause for fraying. Also, I've never had experience with the cable even being slightly warm on the end where the cable attaches to the macbook, and I would suggest that if it were to get hot, particularly if it gets hot to the point of melting the cable that perhaps it's partly the heat from the laptop itself being transferred and you need better air circulation, perhaps a laptop stand, or something that would lift the back of the laptop slightly.

Phorm boss blogs from a dark, dark place


Since when is our government commited to protecting our privacy?

Recently scrapped plans for a centralised database for recording all communications data springs to mind? Supposedly scrapped due to privacy concerns, although it looks to me more like funding issues, since instead ISP's will be forced to record all that data anyway. And there were over half a million requests in 2007 for information from ISP's.

It is almost entirely impossible to expect even a basic level of privacy as it is, I'm not sure how Phorm can even phase us.


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