* Posts by Paul Banacks

64 publicly visible posts • joined 15 May 2007


MS sees Windows 7 leap, but XP workhorse refuses to die

Paul Banacks

Your computer belongeth to us

Mandatory driver signing (costing $100's per driver) means I will not use or recommend Windows 7 to anybody. I should be able to decide what goes on my computer and I shouldn't need Microsoft's blessing to install anything. Heck, if I wanted that big-brother nanny-state hand-holding I'd buy Apple products.

My computer now runs Linux. Development is done with Python, wxWidgets and C/C++ and I'm just as productive - if not more so - than I used to be with Microsoft only tools.

RIM unveils free BlackBerry server

Paul Banacks

Too little, too late.

We got Blackberrys on our last contract because the executive thought they were great - In fact the first our department knew about it was when one of them came in and said "Jim connect these to email would ya." So off we went looking for the imap client or exchange client, like on a normal phone, only to discover there was none.

We eventually discovered that proprietary software was required which could either be Vodafone BIS (an externally hosted service) or a grands worth of server software.

All in all, when compared with other phones that just work Blackberry left us with a very sour "vendor lock in" type taste in the mouth and I certainly wouldn't choose them in the future because of it.

If they had had this "free" software then that might have made a difference - except that the effort required to sync emails, calendar, etc now requires a new server, learning new software, keeping it up to date, etc.

The only way I'll ever consider blackberry devices again is if they make a client on the phone which does emails/exchange natively.

Opera plays chicken with Apple iPhone police

Paul Banacks

Defective by Design

I won't buy iAnything.

Apple bans geo loco ads on iPhone, iPad*

Paul Banacks

Defective by Design


Regulator sniffs around stonking iPhone game bills

Paul Banacks

Where is the carrier option.

I don't *ever* want to make calls to premium rate numbers. Why can there not simply be a "disable all premium calls" option? Why should I not be able to take care of this risk by prevention rather than cure?

Trojan pr0n dialers make comeback on mobile phones

Paul Banacks

Ban premium

I never use "premium" rate telephone services as they are never good value.

So why can't I tell my carrier to block them all from my phone?

Firefox 3.7 to feel need for speed with multicore boost

Paul Banacks


IE - Microsoft. Enuff said.

Chrome - I trust it as much as I trust Google after their CEO said "Privacy is for those with something to hide."

Opera - Nice, but why pay for a browser? Perhaps so you can feel special or something, fuck knows. IMHO there are better things to waste $ on.

FF - Free. Standards compliant. Plenty fast enough.

My choice is obvious.

O2 grovels for London network failure

Paul Banacks

Congestion charging

"It's pretty standard these days for a service supplier to offer a service they can't provide and then give customers the option to pay more to get something closer to it."

Yeah, but this is London. Congestion charging is expected part of life.

Secret code protecting cellphone calls set loose

Paul Banacks


"Right, I'm sure they'd be running a rainbow-table based attack on something they can tap almost at will (results vary based on nearest government.)"

Perhaps... In their own countries.

Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

Paul Banacks

What's needed...

There are so many people who are willing to jump on the climate change bandwaggon simply because lots of people are screaming about it. There are also a significant number of people who are willing to jump on the deniers bandwaggon because lots of people are screaming about it.

The way I see it is that there's lots more screaming going on producing a religious-like devotion to one cause or the other than any real science. Everyone seems happy to quote this-and-that paper as if they wrote it. Frankly, I'm sick of it as the real science is lost in the sea of FUD.

Real science is conducted from a neutral POV and should stand up on its own. But it feels not like science but the same, tired old statistical manipulations played by govermnents all over the world for their own political gain.

US Supremes prod software patent law

Paul Banacks

@Michelle Knight


On another note, I believe state enforced monopolies are wrong. The entire patent system should be scrapped.

Crypto spares man who secretly video taped flatmates

Paul Banacks

@RIPA: That's not encrypted data...

... It's simply a file/partition/drive that I secure wiped using random data.

IE, Chrome, Safari duped by bogus PayPal SSL cert

Paul Banacks
Black Helicopters


"In other companies this would spark a firedrill and command their maximum attention until it was fixed."

I agree. Either Microsoft is completely incompetent or this vulnerability was put there on purpose.

A phone in every car gains hard-won GSMA support

Paul Banacks

EU wide road pricing anyone?

Aaah. GPS + GSM with IMEI tied to vehicle engine / registration numbers sold with the usual "Protection of the Public" message.

That would make price-per-mile Road Pricing lots easier wouldn't it.


New web filter laws questioned by top child abuse cop

Paul Banacks

Bad Bad Bad

Right now we have the ability to identify and track these disgusting people. Policies like this will push them onto networks like Tor or other encrypted p2p style networks where their actions and even the identity of their servers will be completely untraceable.

Furthermore, any list of censorship should be published by each and every ISP that implements it. If not, then we have no assurance whatsoever that it's only being used for the intended purpose. No government can be trusted with this.

Sadly, such a list in this case would be a directory of child porn and would make it easier for these filthy people to exercise their desires. Thus the only logical answer is that you simply can't have such a list.

We're stuck with personality politics and the ever present pressure to be seen to do things - even if those things are completely wrong.

IIS bug gives attackers complete server control

Paul Banacks


"A third vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Google's Chrome browser and could be used in some cases by malicious websites to track web users."

Except its Google so that should probably start off, "A third feature disclosed Monday..."

Woman charged with cyberbullying teen on Craigslist

Paul Banacks

@Why new laws?

It seems odd that those creating new laws don't know of existing laws.

It seems odd that those prosecuting offences don't use existing laws to do it - instead they complain that the law isn't strong enough.

How standards have fallen.

Publishing giant hits delete on internal IT staff

Paul Banacks


"Thank goodness NuLabour and Comrade Browne have a plan to get us all out of this mess."

I imagine it involves sending another few hundred milion pounds of our tax as"aid" to India. It clearly would be better spent at home.

Bring on the revolution!

EchoStar stumped in Tivo patent prosecution

Paul Banacks

And the loser....

The consumer.

Thanks Patents once again.

Brits build e-car friendly solar parking bay

Paul Banacks

@Tamer Shafik

It may be worth more than that if inefficiencies in "petrol -> useful work done" vs "leccy -> useful work done" are taken into account!

Radiohead and chums demand copyright 'fair play'

Paul Banacks


If anything it should go the other way.

Copyright on music should be no more than 10 years.

Skinny, curvy Asus Eee inspired by MacBook Air

Paul Banacks

All appstores?

Is everyone making an "app store" type application nowadays?

Microsoft claims Firefox- and Chrome-whopping IE8 speeds

Paul Banacks

@(IE 8 sounds good.) AC

Anonymous Troll!

I use Firefox every day and I can't remember the last time it crashed.

Paul Banacks
Gates Horns


"I wonder why they didn't compare it against Safari beta 4 or Opera?"

1) They compared against shipping versions so beta's don't qualify

2) Or Linx, or "insert your webbrowser here..." - Do your own test!

The real issue for me is who really gives a f* about 0.2 seconds of difference in loading a page!

btw. If you do watch that video - it's only a 47MB download - which is mostly text and a simple tune!

Social networking and blogs more popular than email

Paul Banacks


More people eat apples than pears... c'mon. Any more useless comparisons!

G.hn-ing for gigabit

Paul Banacks

@Tony Smith, Notches

On the face of it, notches sound like a good idea but it's really just a convenient word. In their current form they only cover ham radio and even that is not perfect.

The shortwave band is used for many other things, including broadcast radio, and if all the required notches were in place (http://www.mikeandsniffy.co.uk/UKQRM/if.htm) then there's not sufficient bandwidth remaining!

The current thinking seems to be that because PLT equipment is not classed as a radio transmitter, it can get around all sorts of regulations. IMHO it's only a matter of time before it is realised that these devices are in fact simply radio transceivers which use mains wiring for their transmission medium.

In any case, it has been demonstrated time and time again (see articles in RadCom, RSGB for example) that these devices all fail against current standards regarding EMC so I don't understand why they are on the market.

The regulator should do their job and enforce the standards, even if that means admitting failure to do so in the first instance. It's not their job to decide what's in the public greater interest.

Paul Banacks


If they have not overcome the current problem of interference to shortwave radio services. (http://www.ukqrm.org/) then I hope the powerline versions of these devices never reach the market.

Brits and Yanks struck with embarasment embarrassment

Paul Banacks

Nineteen eighty four?

Didn't Orwell call this kind of simplification "Newspeak?"

'Interfering' BT Vision attracts campaigner glares

Paul Banacks


I suspect you're just trolling. However:

"That said, what if there *isn't* a short wave user residing within range? Why should I have to stop just on the presumption that there's somebody there."

Given that you *know* that these devices almost certainly emit harmful interference, that's disgustingly selfish. You are not able to make such a presumption now and certainly not in the future.

You state that an affected user can contact OFCOM for help. Did it occur to you that an affected user may simply think their radio doesn't work any more? That they are unable to attribute it to your deliberate interference? Not everyone reads TheRegister. Your deliberate interference will cost those users countless hours trying to rectify a situation that they ultimately can't fix for themselves. They may not know that OFCOM can/will help and they may very well just give up. And that's all thanks to you.

Long as you're ok, eh?

p.s. I stopped using my PLT's immediately upon discovery of this issue. I have not yet implemented an alternative.

Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Paul Banacks

The problem is the law

The law as written is just an example in a long list of badly written legislation from Labour in their ever ending quest to be seen to be "doing something." This has done a HUGE amount of damage to our legal system. I would like to see a re-debate of ALL laws passed under this Labour government with a view to writing them properly.

No-one would argue that child pornography is a bad thing but this image is not child pornography yet it comes under this law because it is not written properly. No-one would argue that children need protecting from exploitation but most would argue that this should not be at the expense of existing freedoms. Such freedoms are just as important. This is what makes writing good legislation difficult.

Electronic votes mysteriously vanish in Ohio election

Paul Banacks

How hard can it be?

How difficult can it possibly be to securely collect the answers to a few multiple choice questionnaires cheaply?

It's ridiculous that these "projects" which could be built by a solitary geek in his garage take millions of dollars to create by a company using the latest "technologies" only to find that they fail their most basic task!

If anyone wants to pay me to make a set of e-voting machines + counting in a non-secretive professional manor then I'll happily take on that task!

DfT rounds up Road-Pricing 2.0 contractors

Paul Banacks

No money for roads?

Well... we're taxed like crazy for using them so just where exactly is all this money going?

Bring on the revolution.

Vehicle spy-cam data to be held for five years

Paul Banacks

Give them an inch...

... they'll take a mile.

We need to say NO from the outset. Why can "they" have even two years of surveillance data? In fact, why can "they" build a surveillance network? Did you agree to that? Did I agree to that?

Bring on the revolution.

Emirates takes delivery of its first A380 super jumbo

Paul Banacks

One down, 57 to go


Dutch boffins clone Oyster card

Paul Banacks

DoS and 24 hour limit...

DoS of a radio system presumably is quite easy... just get a sufficiently powerful transmitter on the right frequency and block out the airwaves.

DDoS is subtle though and comes from the 24 hour claim. If you managed to clone and use 100 cards in one day by skimming the details from peoples pockets, not only would you get free travel but when the LUL scan for discrepancies happens it would presumably lock out all 100 of those cards!

Boris backs weed for pain relief

Paul Banacks


"Brown seems likely to ignore the advice..."

Indeed, that sums up the entire Labour party and their Labour mayor. Time has come for change!

Ban using mobiles while crossing street, says US legislator

Paul Banacks

"It's no different than the driver talking to a passenger."

“It's no different than if I'm walking with a friend and talking".

Actually, that argument didn't work out when used for mobile phones in cars...

"It's no different than the driver talking to a passenger."

It is *very* different.

The bottom line is this. Using a road is an inherently risky task. Inattention greatly increases this risk. It makes perfect sense that rules of the road apply to all road users and those include pedestrians crossing the street.

DHS ponders microwave raygun missile defences at airports

Paul Banacks

What nonsense

Hmm... some immediately obvious points:

1) Why would a microwave burst affect a guidance system of a missile but not that of an aircraft. A missile is after all an aircraft with a bomb on the front.

2) Why would a terrorist need to use a missile containing a sophisticated guidance system? With suitable thought and practice, one imagines a bog standard rocket containing no guidance system whatsoever launched down the flight-path would be able to hit an aircraft with relative ease. And the microwave disruptor would be completely ineffective.

3) Assuming our hypothetical terrorist actually has such a sophisticated missile, why would he need to launch it near an airport? Why not, for example, do it a few miles out where the flight path is still well known in advance, the aircraft is still low in the sky and it would be well out of range of these electronic countermeasures.

The government will buy any old crap in the name of security if someone wants to sell it to them! I should get into the security business!

Patent Office loses software not a patent case

Paul Banacks

Down with IP

We don't need intellectual property. It's only purpose is to promote greed - we developers will still get paid to develop without the prospect of patent monopolies and copyright for precisely one reason: Theres plenty of problems to be solved and plenty of people willing to pay for a solution.

IP is a thing of the past, created by greedy people who made something cool and wanted to retire early.

Apple sued over iPhone caller ID

Paul Banacks

Patent reform

Patents, and other forms of so called "Intellectual Property" need to be scrapped altogether. With the billions of people in the world, it cannot be fair to grant monopolies on ideas to just the few.

Patents were invented long ago to encourage invention. I suspect that, in the majority of cases they have the opposite effect. Nowhere is this more clear than when you look at software patents.

Information is free, as in freedom so why do we tolerate those small minded fools who impose arbitrary restrictions to encourage greed like the above.

Taliban demand night-time cell tower shutdown

Paul Banacks


Even with the cell sites off line, there's nothing stopping NATO forces from using their own mobile "cells" with directional antennae...

... So if true, there's possibly more to this than meets the eye.

Porsche to challenge London CO2 penalty in court

Paul Banacks


We need to get rid of Mayor "I hate cars" Ken.

Congestion is caused by having far too many traffic lights which stay RED on all exits and dividing the roads up into bus lanes. Then he smugly taxes us for it.

There is an alternative.


Secret printer ID codes may breach EU privacy laws

Paul Banacks
Black Helicopters

@Anonymous Coward [Easily Sorted]

"To be honest this is only a serious concern if you've registered your printer & serial number..."

1) Government has document they want to trace. They extract the serial number + date / time information.

2) They present the serial number to the manufacturer who tells them which supplier bought the printer.

3) Government contacts supplier with serial number to find out where it was sold.

4) Repeat 3 as required until at end of chain.

5) Your "unregistered" printer is now traced.

In practice, this won't take very long at all as all suppliers track inventory with the serial number. Oh, and in the future imagine if you have to present your ID card to buy a colour laser printer. In which case, they'll record the S/N on the central government database.

"*and* you're printing stuff that you might not want traced back to you."

Maybe when you bought the printer you had a government that wasn't so control-freakishly oppressive that you wouldn't... but nowadays?

p.s. Surely, the answer is to print on yellow paper?! :P

London Congestion Charge becomes CO2 tax

Paul Banacks

Congestion Charge?

Come on.... Congestion *charge* has always really been Congestion *tax*.

US spooks won't get UK census access

Paul Banacks

Shoddy advice

"Eagle told MPs there was no evidence the Patriot Act has been used against non-US based companies. Eagle said: "We've received legal advice that there is no risk that that would happen." UK firms are expected to carry out the actual census."

What kind of advice is that? Even a molecule of common sense can see that "no risk" is nonsense. All a US official has to do is phone up his mate and ask them to send it in the post on a couple of CD-R's in exchange for a couple of grand and secrecy. How naive are these advisers?

And why does everything IT related need an expensive contract involving foreign companies? There's nothing particularly difficult about databases! You could easily give the census project to undergraduate university departments as a competition and pick out the best solution and use it for a 10/th of the cost..

DHS official moots Real ID rules for buying cold medicine

Paul Banacks

@ Nick Palmer

"Gordy's merry men are already doing it."

And why the f* aren't we stopping them? I pledge to refuse ID card related interviews. Do you?

More remote workers squatting next door's broadband

Paul Banacks

@ Illegal in the UK...

That doesn't surprise me. If we don't get rid of this bloody government then at the rate they're making laws it will soon be illegal to breath without a license!

Trial for T5 mandatory biometrics kicks off at Heathrow

Paul Banacks

@Why do we always over-complicate everything?

Indeed. Why do we?

Someone has to fund these IT companies selling "security solutions" to government officials with cloth between their ears!

Pirate Bay hits ten million peers, one million torrents

Paul Banacks

Intellectual Property...

I often wonder if the world would be a better place without so called "Intellectual Property." I have come of the opinion that the very idea that you can own something intellectual is grossly offensive and not one argument for IP stands up to even the most cursory level of scrutiny...

... yet, in a world of Billions of people, we keep the the crazy idea that you can own something "Intellectual."

Utter nonsense.

Bank turns London man into RFID-enabled guinea pig

Paul Banacks


"RFID is shit because: It only proves that the card was somewhere near an RFID reader."

Yes. And not necessarily the reader intended...

Alice is walking down the street, followed closely but covertly by Eve. Inside Eve's pocket is a RFID reader linked to a radio transmitter. Trudy has a receiver linked to a cut-up RFID card in her wallet and is about to pay for something in the shop.

Trudy walks out with the goods and meets up with Eve to share. Alice, keeps on walking, completely unaware that she has just paid for Trudy and Eve's lunch.