* Posts by Iggle Piggle

137 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


YouTube now sabotages ad-blocking apps that stream its vids

Iggle Piggle

While I'm no fan of all the Ads, I have to say that it is their network and, while I've seen many people complain about those adverts as somehow infringing their rights, so they have the right to insert whatever content they like into the stream a user is downloading from their site. If you don't like it, don't use their service, or pay for the premium service, or even setup your own service that offers advert free content for no monthly fee and see how long that lasts.

BTW I'm sure a bunch of you won't have noticed how the free site theregister.com has adverts all of its pages because you use an Ad blocker in your browser. I'd sooner the adverts than find the site is behind a pay wall.

What can be done to protect open source devs from next xz backdoor drama?

Iggle Piggle

I'm not saying that closed source is the solution but one advantage of closed source is that generally you know exactly who checked what changes in which means it is easier to point the finger of blame. Open source is a wonderful process as long as those contributing can be trusted and by and large that is the case. But if the one bad apple manages to sneak under the radar, it could be very bad news for a lot of people with minimal risk to the contributor who can often hide behind anonymity.

Tough luck, bosses, AI is coming for your job, too

Iggle Piggle

Many, many years ago when the "threat" was offshored work, I was hired software development help for a large multi-national company. A colleague who was more senior in the process and more focused on requirements gathering and user liaison mocked me a little and suggested that my job would be disappearing to a different continent. I pointed out that spreading development across the planet was hardly sensible and asked him to explain why such a large organization with offices on virtually every continent, should want to see development in Asia and requirements gathering in Europe. His face fell as it dawned on him that I could be right.

Society needs to address this outsourcing of jobs to AI because unless the employers are forced to compensate society, we will start to see a lot of people competing even for the menial low paid work and their bosses.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Iggle Piggle

Re: Beware of Windows clusters

Your comment reminds me of another instance and I think you might get to the punch line before the end. We installed a system for a client where two windows servers sat side by side. One was a fail over for the other and, the fail over was configured with some wonderful software that mirrored important data to the fail over machine's hard drive so that if the first machine stopped responding, the fail over would take over with the latest data.

So imagine our horror when the client called to say both machines had failed. We looked carefully at the first machine that had died and it turned out that a system log file had grown to the point where windows just ceased up. Well someone had decided that the windows log files should be mirrored, so naturally the fail over server started up and discovered it too had a log file that was full.

Iggle Piggle

I did share a room with a couple of guys and a server a long while ago. This is back in the day when the power button was a real push button switch. Well my colleague went over to the server and switched on the monitor, did some work and then pushed the button to turn the monitor power off. Only he didn't, he pushed the server power button but realised his mistake before letting go.

His job then became simply to stand there holding the button in while we went round to all the users of the server and get them to log out. Then we safely shut the server down via the keyboard and only then could he let go of the button.

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

Iggle Piggle

I was working for a company using Azure. We were developing on a trial account that required a credit card. When we ran out of credit the accounts would be locked out but there was no question of data being deleted (at least not in the short term) once the credit card holder was located he would enter the details and we'd be off again. It sounds really dodgy if they threaten to delete everything after 3 days, I use Google for my storage, I might need to read some fine print.

And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

Iggle Piggle

Are biometrics safe?

There are those that say biometrics are not safe because, while you can always change your password, you cannot change your fingerprints, retina, or facial features. In other words if the possibility exists to duplicate your biometric identity you can never get it back. It's a little like not only using the same password for several sites but also not being allowed to change the password once it is set.

That said I have a mobile phone with a fingerprint scanner on the unlock button and it is the simplest phone I've used ever.

Zombie PC herders issue commands from Tor hideout

Iggle Piggle

If my car is caught speeding doing 100mph on the M1 then I get the fine unless I can hand over the real perpetrators. Running TOR on my machine and then throwing my hands up in bewilderment when that network is used for illegal purposes seems like a very flimsy defence.

Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese

Iggle Piggle

Trevor, I love you

At last a soul mate that shares my dread, not especially of the language, but of the write once run anywhere concept. It sounds fine on the face of it to say that we can write the app once and it will run just dandy on any platform but that has never worked in reality.

I love the move towards web based apps. It is almost done now, very seldom to we see job adds for desktop apps. However what is holding us back is that you cannot simply write a standard web app. Every web developer knows that the majority of his or her time is actually spent making sure it works on IE6 to the latest Chrome. So why do people imagine they can write one Java app and it will just work?

Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Iggle Piggle


:-) They'd be better dialling the European standard 112. However I'd quite like to see the device go a step further and report the last few minutes of driver behaviour. If you're found in a Ditch in a 50 zone and the car has already reported you were travelling at 90mph then perhaps your insurance can immediately revert to third party only leaving you to pick up the bill for the retrieval and repairs.

Yep, I know that's a spy in the cab, but let's face it lorry drivers have had that for years and it has modified their behaviour so why not ours too?

Ballmer welcomes Yammer to the Microsoft family

Iggle Piggle

Some translations for the identical sounding Dutch word 'jammer' (j sounds like y)

pity, unfortunate, regrettable

I wonder how the propose marketing their baby in the low countries?

Yahoo! and Facebook beg US court for more time

Iggle Piggle

Has! the! joke! finally! become! old! Bitch!?

And when are we going to stop suffixing Facebook posts with Bitch?

The Pirate Bay cries foul over Pirate Bay copycats

Iggle Piggle

Re: Ha, ha, ha, ha...

AC, I love the fact that you are getting so many thumbs downs. I seriously wonder how anyone can fail to see the irony that an outfit that is hell bent on ensuring the hard work of others is freely copied is now the victim of being copied.

Imitation, flattery and all that bull aside, clearly it is painful when you have put in days or years of work only for someone to come along and insist they should be able to rip it off.

Some of my time is spent as a photographer. Time after time I have to explain to people that if they want a copy of the photo then they can pay me or go and take their own photo. How is this a difficult concept? How is this being unfair?

TPB spent years earning a reputation and now they are being copied it is clearly unfair and unreasonable behaviour that I cannot condone. That said it is still hugely ironic and very funny.

Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

Iggle Piggle

Re: Lots of deleted posts here

I think we can assume that if El Reg censors a part of the web that's OK. If the government do it, that's bad. Where do we draw the line between good censorship and bad censorship really?

Iggle Piggle

Am I to assume

That everyone who thinks it is a shame to censor the web would also find it shameful to block child pornography sites, or sites promoting and sharing terrorist information, or sites dedicated to promoting violence against others?

If you do feel that the typical Internet user is a grown up capable of sticking to the rules of common decency then you are deluding yourself. TPD could have prevented this action by simply not promoting illegally pirated material and simply sticking to promoting copyright free material but decided to stand up to the man and has now found out that the man has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Their comment "music released and promoted exclusively here on TPB is currently in the brittish [sic] top charts" is all fine and good but it's not enough to simply have a few legal files amongst the illegal.

'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

Iggle Piggle

Where's the incentive to be creative?

Sure it is a pain in the backside to find your genes are patented and so is any cure. It's also arguably annoying that copying your favourite bands latest track across the internet is illegal if all you want to do is have a copy on your work machine. But why should creative people be penalised for being creative rather than having manual jobs? Once the return on creativity is zero who will bother being creative?

I'm not against open source, there are clearly merits to that, nor am I opposed to artists releasing material that is copyright free. But it should be the authors decision and not a bunch of people who are clearly cheesed off that their ideas are all patented by people who had those ideas sooner.

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

Iggle Piggle

Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

Convinced me years ago. I hate being treated like a criminal just for wanting to go on holiday there. I will now actively find reasons not to go there.

Iggle Piggle

Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

Fuzzy, arrest is not the same as conviction. Supposing your argument were true it would mean that they are handing out punishment before conviction. Surely even the US have some amount of presumed innocence in their justice system.

LibreOffice debugs and buffs up to v.3.5

Iggle Piggle

Well clearly Google mail also thinks mail and task are part of the same package. I used to be an Outlook user and then found that getting Google to host my mail mean it integrated nicely with my phone and any desktop with a browser. Of course offline work is impossible but I really cannot remember when I last wanted to compose an mail while the internet was down, or for that matter remember when the internet was down.

Iggle Piggle

Thanks for all the hard work but

It does seem to be in vain. Not only are people not aware of all this free stuff that is available but it has been my experience that people prefer what they know. I've tried installing OpenOffice and suggesting people try it and it just gets left unused and they will revert back to MS Office.

I, too, run MS Office because everyone else at work does. I do not have to pay for it, my employer is happy to. So why would I want to take that leap into the unknown?

The very fact that this article is talking about libreoffice and not open office is another reason people do not want to go free! If I look back I cannot remember a time when MS Office did not exist (and I am no youngster) and yet already we are talking about changing from one piece of free software to another and another as the different projects become trendy and then fade into obscurity with in the FOSS community.

If the developers are not motivated to keep competing with MS, Lotus, or whatever other commercial project then the message that is sent to the users is that open source projects are relatively short lived and before long you will have to switch again. That's not only bad for the user's who have to learn new UI's (although heaven help us with that ribbon in MS office) but also for the admin guys who have to roll out new software and explain it all and make sure all the old documents still work.

Google plan to kill Javascript with Dart, fight off Apple

Iggle Piggle

Not sure if JQuery should or should not be in the browser. But what I am seeing here is that developers are doing what developers love doing and that is reinventing the wheel. OK it may be a better wheel at the end of the day and it will allow developers to achieve things they never thought possible. But I'll tell you right now it won't be good enough. Nothing is ever good enough to last and some developer somewhere will be hatching a plan to replace it while another group of developers will be saying what a rubbish idea that new idea will be and yet another group will be saying 'enough already what's wrong with what we've got?'.

I wonder if Google are thinking of writing their new language in JavaScript so that it can run in any existing browser? :-)

Microsoft previews new Visual Studio, .NET

Iggle Piggle

OS with built in browser

Are we now forgiving Microsoft for shipping IE built into the OS? Not that in my mind there was anything to seek forgiveness for. What we are now seeing is a new generation of OS's where the OS is a browser and yet not so long ago Microsoft were forced to ship with alternates for the sake of competition (curious how Chromium will do this).

Further more they are basing some app development on something called HTML5. Was that made a standard sometime yesterday? Well in a sense yes, because as soon as millions of machines start rendering according to whatever Microsoft decrees HTML5 is then it's going to be tough for everyone else to implement something different and call that HTML5.

I noticed that Silverlight is not shipped with W8 (ooh I've just noticed that if you write it like that you can read it as wait) which is a nuisance as I'm working on a Silverlight app. :-(

Pandora's mobile app transmits 'mass quantities' of user data

Iggle Piggle

It is not kind of obvious to everyone

To marketing people it may be obvious that the money must be coming from somewhere. To technical people it is obvious that this is all possible. But to the vast majority of the population it is no more obvious that an advert in a free app is spying on them than it is that time dilates near heavy bodies.

There are plenty of people who do not expect that their mobile phone is being used to spy on them and you can infer they are naive if you like but to me your second comment it more relevant. They should be explicitly telling us they are spying and not by including it in sub paragraph 20 on page 90 of the T&C's.

Now granted, when you install an Andoid app it does ask for permissions but it is often unclear why they want those permissions. For example Pandora might well say they they want to know your location. A user might assume they want to know so they can offer locally relevant music and not so that they can track your every move and tell advertisers.

Watchdog backs Top Gear in war with Mexico

Iggle Piggle

So the logic appears to be

that if you have a history of being offensive then it is OK to be offensive. To be honest I quite liked the joke but it was clearly at the expense of Mexicans.

However it seems strange to me to say that it is OK to offend people so long as you have a history of offending people. Are they really saying that if someone such as Jimmy Carr had told the same joke then they would have ruled against him because he is generally perceived as a nice bloke?

The message to any upcoming comedian surely has to be to work on their racist, sexist routine and slot nicely into the (sizeable) gap left by Bernard Manning.

Opera man muscles into Apple mobile ad kingdom

Iggle Piggle

Clearly it's big business but

the only time I ever make use of an advert on my smart phone is when I accidentally touch one.

It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones

Iggle Piggle


I've been quite a fan of Microsoft over the years having based my career around them and their OSs. However this really smacks of desperation on the part of Nokia. A once innovative company has been reduced to making allegiances with the also ran of the smart phone world.

What a shame.

Facebook's position on real names not negotiable for dissidents

Iggle Piggle

I hate to agree with Facebook

but I like the idea that in theory everyone is going by their real name. I do understand why a dissidents might find it awkward to use Facebook to organise peaceful protests, sit ins, riots, or anything else. But that was never the purpose of Facebook. If you want anonymity then Facebook is not the place post your deepest thoughts.

On the other hand not everyone with a pseudonym has something to hide. You won't find me on Facebook as IgglePiggle but I really do not want hassle from someone who might take one of my comments to heart.

Oz road safety strategy moots mobile phone ban

Iggle Piggle

Mine's built into the dashboard but

the principle is the same. I understand what you mean but I have discovered that driving with a sat nav actually helps me concentrate on the road more. Rather than constantly looking out for signs for the exit I need from the motorway or the side road I need to take I am now concentrating on following the verbal instructions I am given while looking at the road users ahead of me.

However I will agree that when the thing leads me astray due to an out of date map then it can be a little distracting trying to find a convenient moment to turn around but really that probably happens less than the old fashioned paper map based way.

Disconsolate Spanish smokers driven out into blizzard

Iggle Piggle
Thumb Up

Ahhh diddums are the smokers feeling persecuted?

Well welcome to our world. For years us non-smokers have had to stand outside if we want fresh air and not to arrive home stinking of their vile emissions.

App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

Iggle Piggle

The fat lady

You cannot help but wonder how Opera will react if Safari is the only offering of browser. Yes, you may be free to download and install a different browser, a different word processor, a different photo gallery and so on. But if the defaults are determined by the app store then those excluded from that store will surely have the same right to justice as Opera did with the Microsoft IE feud.

Personally I don't think Opera should have been given 5 seconds in court but given that they were and that the won I'd say surely it must be Apple next.

IP address-tracing software breached data protection law

Iggle Piggle

If I'm reading this correctly

The judge is saying that gathering IP addresses is illegal as it is personal information. I know it was asked before but does that mean that my gathering statistics for visitors to my web site is also illegal? I use software that breaks down the visitor not only by which country they (probably) visited from and also what browser they were (probably) using.

Sometimes I notice that some of those visitors try to get access to suspicious URL's that suggest they are trying to hack into my system. In some cases I then inform their ISP. Is this illegal (in Switzerland)?

The article does not say that they looked up the home address (well the first line is a little vague on that). It simply says they gathered IP addresses of networks offering illegal content. Now suppose I was a little anal about cars driving too fast in my neighbourhood and sat by the road measuring their speed. Each time one goes past driving too quickly I write down the number plate. I then use this to try to take action. I can understand the judge throwing it out because they say you have no real proof, but saying that it is illegal to write down number plates seems a little strong.

Microsoft hangs head, makes apology for US cloud bust

Iggle Piggle

Hold on a moment

"I can assure you that we are investing the time and resources required to ensure we are living up to your – and our own – expectations for a quality service experience every day.”

Isn't this the same sort of promise that has been made time and time again by cloud service providers. I am sure they really do want to have a near 100% reliable service that does not leak valuable data like a sieve. But it seems to me that putting all your eggs in one basket is still not quite as reliable as one would hope.

Coca-Cola and Facebook get touchy with Israeli teens

Iggle Piggle


It's a fizzy drink.

Apple demonstrates how to do touchscreen desktops

Iggle Piggle

Another patent?

Go to Google, click on images, and search for "touch screen cash register" and you will find dozens of examples of tiltable and touchable screens. Of course they do not look quite as pretty as the fruity offerings mentioned here but then they will probably stand a damn site more wear and tear too.

Ubuntu quietly breaks off Sparc affair

Iggle Piggle
Gates Halo


you pointed this out to prove that case sensitive OS's are better? :-)

Apple eyes kill switch for jailbroken iPhones

Iggle Piggle

We never learn

I was just browsing the internet with the latest "stable" Firefox release when it crashed, again. After reviving it and being told how embarrassing it was that it crashed I thought I'd pop into my favourite IT web site only to read how the Apple haters (I count myself amongst your numbers) seem to be outweighing the fanbois. My HTC desire has been upgraded to 2.2 of Android only to become less stable and now has a feature that can tell Google exactly what I sound like.

It seems all the big IT companies push us to the point where we have to turn against them. Microsoft must be quite delighted that nobody even bothers to ridicule their efforts any longer.

Schmidt: Erase your identity to escape Google shame

Iggle Piggle

Roll on names reunited

Schmidt seems to be ignoring the fact that facial recognition means that while you may decide to take a new identity it will be short lived unless you couple it with plastic surgery. I use Facebook but never publish anything I'd be unhappy have my mother read (which is just as well because she is also on Facebook).

Android app secretly uploads GPS data, warns Symantec

Iggle Piggle


I am not for the iPhone approach of pulling anything that does not meet exacting standards (or whose developer has cheesed some fruity judge off somehow). However I do think the Android app store should have some controls such as a vetted for Android logo. I also think it would be sensible to at the very least place warnings against applications know to have suspicious behaviour.

Android gets talk-tastic Froyo upgrade

Iggle Piggle

I own an HTC Desire

So my comments are not hearsay. I have no doubt that it does what it says on the tin. What I am complaining about is the idea that we have to agree to sell out to Google (or any other app provider) before the application will work.

I believe that the voice command processing is done by Google on their servers. So now they not only know where you are, what sites you like to visit, who your contact are, they also know what you sound like.

Iggle Piggle
Thumb Down

Where did I hear it?

I heard it, or rather read it when I went to install Voice Search. Which is not standard BTW. But this is part of my point, people simply do not read what is presented to them or assume that because it's Google of course they are not out to get me. Talk to the russians who trusted the premium rate dialler trojan and see if they would trust such an application again. Talk to the owners of WiFi that was open. Talk to anyone who has ever used Google and ask them just how much Google knows about them.

Why would I install an application that requires network access and access to all my personal details. Why is it so unbelievable that Google might just "accidentally" harvest your data (again) and use it to market things to you.

By the way what are the android equivalent of fan bois?

Iggle Piggle


If you are tempted to install the application then take a quick look at the list of rights the application demands. On there you will find "Services that cost you money", "Your personal information", "your location", "Your messages", "Your accounts" and much more. Remember this is brought to you buy the company that effectively said "If you value your privacy then don't use us".

I understand why the voice control application might need all these rights but there is absolutely nothing that says that they will not misuse the rights. I am belatedly beginning to think that buying a phone from the "Do not evil" empire was a mistake no matter how lovely it is.

Attack reads smudges to retrieve Android password patterns

Iggle Piggle
Thumb Down

Complex patterns

I am not shocked to hear about this. From day one of owning a desire I noticed that the smudges were fairly obvious. What is even worse is that you cannot reuse a point on the grid, so ultimately the pattern forms a line and you can either follow the line in one direction or the other and you have cracked it.

It they allowed you to reuse a point then at least you might find you have to double back to a previous point for the gesture and so smudge your own trail.

First SMS Trojan for Android is in the wild

Iggle Piggle

Linux eh!

Just yesterday I upgraded to 2.2 on my HTC Desire. Great device an a vast improvement over my Windows Mobile 6.1 device. However the upgrade did not go smoothly. Firstly after several minutes of the first attempt it told me I did not have enough RAM free and was forced to delete a load of old apps. Then after the install it had chosen to reset my language to the local language, changed my lock the device to 5 minutes when it was previously 0 and then added a load of extra bookmarks and changed the default home page.

Now I'm quite technically savvy and was not too flustered by this, but had this been my Mum I suspect she might well have been a little cheesed off.

The security model where you can give a specific application permissions to perform specific tasks is great but on Android I bet the majority of users are not aware what permissions they are giving. You cannot blame the users, it is the product that is wrong for the users and not the users that are wrong for the product. As others have said, what you need is to prompt the user the first time an application wants to perform a task that will cost a premium and allow the user to grant the permission one time only, that day only, or always or never.

I am not in favour of the jobsian totalitarian concept but I really think google need to be more proactive in preventing their product getting the same reputation as Microsoft.

How an ancient printer can spill your most intimate secrets

Iggle Piggle

Alternate print heads

Instead of messing around with microphones and DM printers how about creating a replacement print cartridge for ink jet printers with memory built in. If you can get close enough to place a microphone then you can get close enough to replace the cartridge of the printer with one that records every dot printed.

Getting hold of the memory could either be done wirelessly or by going through the trash.

SSD tools crack passwords 100 times faster

Iggle Piggle


spreading the work across 10x 8GB machines (each with 1/10th of the table) would also have given an improved speed.

I am curious. Could someone give me a simple explanation as to what Unix does that is so much stronger?

UK pol touts canine chip implants

Iggle Piggle

I agree but

while the insurance idea is nuts because it will be ignored by the people who actually own dangerous dogs illegally. Actually I am making an assumption that training a dog to attack is illegal. If it is not then it should be.

The compulsory database for dogs makes a great deal of sense. As a responsible dog owner we lost our dog once or twice. He was no trouble and spent a brief time behind bars at the local police station until we could be located to come and collect him. However if his tag had broken off or we had simply abandoned him then it would have made it far easier to track him back. With the same database I could have been contacted if an outbreak of canine diseases occurred in the area. The authorities could enforce compulsory worming programmes and possibly these could be used to ensure the welfare of the animal.

As to the idea that people abandon an animal on the grounds of cost and this would be an extra cost, well perhaps you are right. The trouble is that pet ownership is not cheap. A good pet owner will have vets bills, food, possibly bedding and various pet accessories. As I said, insurance makes no sense but licensing does. That could go towards a fund for victims, local provisions for dog owners in parks such as dog toilets and perhaps someone with the unenviable clean up job.

Iggle Piggle

The thugs that are the target of this law will not comply

There is no way that some drug dealing thug is going to comply with getting insurance. Simply bring back the license fee then you have a state held pot of money that a victim can claim against. I know the thug is unlikely to buy a licence either but do you really imagine that the thug is going to stick around and give his insurance policy details to his victim anyway?

A requirement of the license should indeed be chipping, worming and, possibly for animals likely to attack, a DNA register. The penalty for holding an unregistered dog should include removal of the animal and possibly a brief custodial sentence. This at least gives plod something to nick the drug deal for even if they do not have any drugs on them at the time.

Finally any dog that attacks (and I speak as someone who owned and grew up with dogs quite safely) should automatically be destroyed unless there is some element of provocation involved in the attack. I realise that this is not a compassionate view but frankly anyone that thinks that it is reasonable to allow an animal that rips a child's face off to live is also showing a lack of compassion.

Anti-binge drinking ads add to binge drinking

Iggle Piggle


That DVD piracy thing is annoying. Indeed I wouldn't and haven't stolen a DVD either but I'm still having to sit though this anti piracy announcement rather than watching the movie I paid for.

Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'

Iggle Piggle

I'm old enough to remember

the same prediction in the mid 1990's.

Sure the internet in a hell of a lot faster now and we don't have to wait up all night just to see half a woman. However I still think that highly publicised cloud outages, hacks, and a general mistrust of big corporation man will still prevent enough people wanting to dump all their private information onto a server run by someone else.

A step back in time to the day when computing meant a connection to a central mainframe has already occurred with the likes of Citrix. I have never worked anywhere where people say, ooh good it's a Citrix environment. Usually the response is a dull moan followed by synchronised visits to the coffee machine when it all goes wrong.