* Posts by Rabbers

43 posts • joined 29 Sep 2009

UK Information Commissioner OKs use of phone data to track coronavirus spread


The isolation chart

Heh - that sound's like a Stross Novel!

I presume that the folk that have been stuck in a house with virus-ridden loved ones for at least 7 days are presumed to have a superior immune response that means that they are presumed immune and can therefore go out.

I'm guessing here that if they then carry on as if nothing happened, and if they are nevertheless carrying the virus, then because they aren't suffering, they aren't launching droplets of it here there and everywhere and are therefore unlikely to become a seed for a new outbreak within their 7 days that they should be isolation.

Just a guess though - it kind of makes sense.

How do you like dem Windows, Apple? July opening for Microsoft's first store in Blighty



I'd gladly pay to have somebody merge all of my proliferation of Microsoft accounts into one for personal and one for business without losing anything valuable. Similarly I'd probably pay to have my lad's XBox gamer tag moved from a bogus email to a real email - both of these things it seems are currently impossible, which means that Microsoft currently have, and always will have the fluffiest clouds.

Rampant robot tries to rip my clothes off


My AI program read your article and it doesn't like the cut of your jib sonny boy!

NB) Only Joking ...

Putin's Russia outlaws ECHR judgments after mass surveillance case


Must be a big consitution

if the new law means that Russia can blanket ignore every judgement from the ECHR or anywhere else.

Seems to me that for this law to have any effect, it would have to directly collide with the Consitution.

Since ECHR is about human rights, and that the constitution is laid down in print as a contract with the people, it should take precedence, yes?

Class action launched against Facebook over biometric slurpage


Your face, your property

Isn't it the case that you can't use someones image without consent? Particularly famous people who'd sue if their image appeared to be endorsing someones product?

It's a shame that computer systems can't learn what people look like due to law. It's going to hold us all back in the end, but to be honest, either your face is your property, or it isn't.

I can now not conceive of a future in which your own standalone robot buddy who's data is potentially stored in a large company datacentre could function:

Buddy: "Hi, My names Buddy. I haven't met you before."

Buddy: "The law stipulates that I must now ask permission to store your face-print in my memory which may at some point be merged with my manufacturer and/or operator's datacentre."

Buddy: "Do I have your permission?"

Fellow: "No, that sound wierd, no!"

Buddy: "Hi, My names Buddy. I haven't met you before."

Buddy: "The law stipulates that I must now ask permission to store your face-print in my memory which may at some point be merged with my manufacturer and/or operator's datacentre."

Buddy: "Do I have your permission?"

Seems silly, but any AI system has to remember the Faceprint of the person that it's not allowed to remember.

Either this computer learning has to be an exception, or computer AI will never-ever be able to advance.

New EU security strategy: Sod cyber terrorism, BAN ENCRYPTION


Legitimate Encryption

Perhaps the assembled politicians would like to indicate how low-tech bad-guys are to be kept out of legitimate business communications. As it is at the moment 'dodgy Ken' with his Android can't get onto my Internet Banking by downloading an App, but without any encryption?

Why is this obvious to anyone AND obviously being ignored by the EU?

Make up your mind: Microsoft puts a bullet in Internet Explorer after all


So the award for programming kudos

Will go to the first person to wrap activeX controls in a Spartan JS extension.

The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY


If you emmigrate

Do you get to watch the Beeb for free? Just wondering like.

Joking aside, it's clear that creating british programmes is a cultural thing, so the only thing that galls me is that they call it a TV license.

In this day and age, if you want people to pay for your content, encrypt it, but don't enforce the notion that it's a license for using a TV or Radio - that is so very much outdated.

So it's a tax to support britush culture then, not a license to use a TV or Radio device that is capable of being used for so many different things other than consuming the output from the Beeb.

SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog


Don't content writers usually get a share of the ad revenue?

It's very cunning how Comodo put a positive spin on replacing ads that pay for content with ads that line their own pocket.This is massively underhanded.

Does anybody know if they *only* replace malicious ads, or do they replace them all?

Rise of the machines: Silicon Valley hardware store to deploy ROBOTS for customer service


Re: Boycott this hardware store and others like it!

I sort of agree with the sentiments in the 'Boycott this' line.

I think that from my point of view, the Supermarket was where me and all my mates worked our way through college, and the first part of University. Clearly, we're not a thick bunch, but it's clear that a lot of people work full time at such places, because of lack of qualifications, ability to commute, or plain lack of aptitude or attention span for roles that would improve their earnings potential.

Now we have the automated checkouts, you can see that one trained Human, can manage issues on up to eight of these machines.

I take the point, that "Lost all faith" puts forward about the advances already made, but surely these robots will in time be able to perform every menial task.

The problem is that I don't think that this will result in Utopia for most people - I already find this all somewhat worrying. The people that I used to work with WILL NOT be able to reskill into jobs that require academic skills, or abstract thought.

So think of a low-end, minimum wage job, and suggest the ones that can't be undertaken by robots - retail jobs, bar work, warehousing, cleaning - all gone. Looks like driving's gone too - that's a good wage, but what about all the HGV and Taxi drivers, bus drivers etc.

Long story short, where do all the people work? There's not much point trying to solve the problems of the consumers if all the people are living in cardboard shanty towns outside of Manchester!


Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?


It's supposed to be silly

I’ve been watching Dr Who since Tom Baker, and also seen several older episodes since.

I reckon that everyone can see the faults, but all series have filler episodes that tread water until the good one-offs and the main story arc builders come in.

The main point for me is that it’s actually quite silly, sometimes childish and easy to absorb sci-fi.

As far as silly Sci-Fi story lines go, whilst Dr Who wasn’t being made, I had to make do with Lexx which again was mostly stupid, but had the odd cracking story lines.

Roll on Dr Who – if you take it seriously, you’re probably a bit silly though.

Apple coughs up 7 hours of profit to refund kids' $32.5m app spend spree


In game purchases

The issue in the article is annoying, and based upon Apple's desire to let users log in once and not have to log in each time. For some bloody stupid reason that Apple only knows about, their devices don't include the notion of identities, so it's not possible to log out of dad's phone and into the kids phone. That seems lacking to me, and would definitely sort out the continued purchase authority if an identity change logged you out of the purchase authority, which should be a given.

The other thing that annoys me is in game purchase games where they sell premium tokens and currencies at £79.99 - wtf?

I have no problem with a game that had no initial purchase cost, grabbing ten or fifteen quid per month from avid players (although it's a bloody expensive subscription), but to charge £30 quid more than a triple A title for a bit of virtual currency is scandalous.

There really should be some rules on how greedy developers can be. I'd much rather see a limited demo period followed by a "you've got to buy £1.50 credit per month to keep playing" vs. these patently stupid offers that trade on player addiction.



Google deletes Maps satellite photos of 14-year-old's unsolved murder


Bloody Press

Finding the picture is fine, telling Google, good - coverage of these kinds of issues, nice - telling the family first to get some kind of shock response, absolutely unforgivable.

BTW, the Basalisk gun is SCORPION STARE I think.

Swedish teen's sex video fine slashed: Unwilling co-star girlfriend furious


so what happens now that privacy is violated

The small size of the fine, or lack of jail time, are probably secondary to the issue that the video is now out there. Perhaps the judges feel that huge fines in these types of scenario actually indicate some form of wrong doing on the girls point of view.

Downgrading the existence of such videos to a "well shit happens" point of view is likely to be necessary in the coming years rather than stringent enforcement.

Now that this has happened, stringent and strong enforcement will need to come into force if e.g. a potential employer judges the girls (or boys) worth because of the existence of a video on the internet. That would be very bad indeed.

Neither participant in the video should feel any social stigma or shame for their part in the video, nor should our future society punish them for their participation in any way. It's only sex, we all do it!

The lad does sound like a bit of a bastard though!!!



Consumer Software

Let's face it, as soon as any part of the security configuration asks a consumer or hard worked employee "'I will steal your money.exe' wants to access your password file, do you want allow this, yes or no?"

Then it really doesn't matter how good the software of hardware is now does it?

Apple reveals payouts for parents of in-app purchase nippers


Ridiculous Fees

I can't work out why people would buy anything so pricey - the games that I've played have had £79.99 premium currency purchase. I just think - a "proper" game is only £40, these guys are having a laugh!

I think that premium currency purchase costs should be limited by Apple and co. The model is completely wrong at the moment.

Perhaps people should pay for new content, or even a monthly subscription for extended play, but when it could cost hundreds to play through the material in the "standard game"? ...

BSkyB-owned BE slams into traffic pile-up over 'unlimited' broadband lie


More Proactive

Surely, things should now be changed so that the ASA now says "If anybody wants to use the word 'unlimited'" in any advertising, they have to run it by us first (and we charge for that).

New I-hate-my-neighbour stickers to protect Brits' packages


Another Sticker?

When's the "Don't deliver to my wife" sticker coming out?

Facebook sued by Chinese firm over Timeline


Old Tech

I had a set of Encyclopedias bought for me when I was a kid. They were printed in 1973, and had several timelines covering several subjects "in print".

Can lawyers be sued for advising pointless legal action?

Million-plus IOPS: Kaminario smashes IBM in DRAM decimation


Cost per TB can change

What about when they make 282TB DRAM-based storage clusters for under $3m?

I think that it is correct to have the differing technologies on the same benchmark, although maybe the benchmark could weight cost per TB more than it does now which could level the playing field somewhat.

ISPs facing global clamp down on piracy


When should client connections be severed?

In this case, AFACT seems to have seen illegal downloads occurring over the iiNet network, but I don't think that iiNet's suggestion that the infringements should be passed on to police is inaction on their part.

Consider the wider implication where a company has a contract with their client to provide connectivity or web hosting. Shouldn't each country that has anti-copyright laws featuring ISP take-downs as a penalty also supply an agency that accepts complaints and produces legal takedown orders for ISPs so that they don't all get embroiled in expensive legal challenges.

To reiterate, shouldn't a takedown be a black and white thing from a national enforcement agency rather than a 3 way argument between copyright holder, ISP and ISP consumer/client?

Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown


Re: Is Java free, though?

I would presume that Google would suggest that Oracle's interpretation is counter to the intention of the original license. I always thought that the SE license was to stop developers from trying to use SE on weak mobile devices because Mobile edition was available for these classes of device. I'm sure that the original designers never considered that mobile devices like phones could ever run the SE variant as well as they do.

Facebook accused of 'wanton' use of Canadian woman's pics


It needs to be like this for the little guy!

It all seems nasty and underhanded when a big company like Facebook has these legal terms in place, but what If anybody wanted to launch a great new social network thingy?

Basically, if risk of copyright infringement, liable, plagerism etc. can't be reduced at the outset in this way, then nobody but a big-bully-boy-company with deep pockets will ever be able to lauch a website again!

I think that any court has to consider the impact of judging contract terms to be unfair in the context of any company of any size, not just in the case of the big boys.


Microsoft: No next-gen Xbox in 2012


RAM Packs!

Presumably, Microsoft want to do something to get the XBOX 360 to be able to use more textures, and play more complex games (that can only be played on PC).

In the good ol' days you could get a 32K RAM pack for the trusty VIC 20 - perhaps a 32G RAM pack for the XBOX 360 would be the way to go here :)

List-makers battle to keep football fixture lists protection


Public Domain

What's that thing about things being published as news going into public domain? Surely publication of the fixtures in "Newspapers" and the fact that these items are of interest to the public as information or "News", surely once they are first published, it's a free for all.

Why is this so different?

BT's onshoring call centres scheme continues


I'm sure that Protectionism is a dirty word,

but the Government should implement some sort of subsidy so that such roles can be staffed as cost effectively in the UK as outside the UK! There are probably so many other things that just can't be done in the UK because they are just too expensive.

Paul Allen launches patent broadside on world+dog



Surely *Surely* there's something precluding companies from making patent claims on patents that have been allowed to become commonplace due to not being keenly protected in the past, isn't there?

Perhaps needs some thought that one!

Oz greenies rattle politico cage with robocalls


I'm sure I just read a similar article

Just the other day about commercial lobbying groups swamping MPs with spammy email.

Surely we're at the very cusp of a veritable revolution where nobody can communicate with anybody anywhere because the recipient has spam in their email, spam in their fax machine, spam on their telephones and their voicemail boxes and spam in their SMS inbox. Not to mention spam on their Twitter/Facebook or whatever else they use, and spam in their postbox.

Seems like someone should do something about it really.

Mozy insists: It's not a bug...

Thumb Down

I have to say that...

when companies state that "customers could have read about this in Knowledge base article 77000+" they are skating on thin ice. This knowledge base idea thingy just doesn't work! Who's gonna be aware of the content of over 70K documents featuring errata, bug fixes, workarounds and other associated bollocks?

Final Fantasy XIII ate my Playstation


Games developers

generally try to get the most performance out of a console that they can.

Presumably, if there were not express limits on how much work should be optimised to go through the kit, then Sony can't blame Square Enix for writing a game that pushes the envelope.

Besides, when I used to write games, Sony used to put games through rigorous testing that included hefty runtimes - I would imagine that they'll have to accept responsibility for this f*** up.

Regent Street blocked by iPad fanboi swarm


It Really can't be *that* good!

'Nuff said!

Microsoft launches patent suit at Salesforce cloud


Forgive my lack of legal knowledge,

But when do registered patents actually expire? As noted by others, all this stuff is as old as the hills.

Maybe a quick fix to the patent system that wouldn't cost millions of dollars would be to limit software patents to five years - enough time to get a marketing lead, but not enough time to troll.

LimeWire knackered by US courts


Taking this to it's natural conclusion

the American courts will likely in the future find that FTP server software should be banned, and Web Server software should be banned, because somebody within the manufacturing companies are aware that there are FTP and Web sites where you can download stuff. Then we'd all be stuffed!

High Court: Moderate user comments and you're liable


Automated Complaints may not work either

Frymaster assumes that automated complaints as sent by forum users would still be allowable, but it appears to me that if a forum is frequented by associates of a company or group, in such a way that they can be said to be closely associated with the webmaster that has ultimate authority, then somebody within the company or group could still damage the protection described in the article.

I would imagine that this could be pretty likely if the Webmaster's boss made a complaint to the webmaster about the content of the forum, where it could be assumed that the boss has then destroyed the protection from this article 19 thingy, because the boss has in effect caused the company to post-vet the forum.

So we appear to have ended up with a completely absurd situation in which any user that has a vested interest in the correctness and visual appeal of a web forum (who only reads content on an adhoc basis) could completely remove any legal protection that the company has by spotting a spelling mistake and reporting it to the webmaster that he pays to make these changes!

Have I got that right?

Obviously, completely anonymous complaints are the answer, but I would imagine that audit trails on user generated content (including complaints) will have to become law to ensure that all that troublesome forensic evidence exists.

Imagine the trouble in future:

Boss: "That subject line on the home page literally says we're a bunch of tossers, get it shifted!"

Webmaster: "As soon as somebody that isn't associated with our company complains about it, we'll be able to remove it."

Boss: "Can we remove the latest blogs feature from the home page then?"

Webmaster: "Only if you can prove that you're not doing it because the forum says that we are tossers!"

Weak passwords stored in browsers make hackers happy


This is understandable

Obviously everybody just wants to get on with their life, having to remember the password you made up just two days ago just isn't in keeping with that.

In general though, and in a far-flung utopian universe, wouldn't it be nice if hackers actually got caught far more regularly than they do now?

Here's a story about why this doesn't happen:

My company has recently been told that our merchant bank no longer offers us Credit card facilities, not because we have had charge backs - in fact we have a perfect record. This has actually happened because the bank has chosen not to offer merchant facilities to companies that sell hosting!

They've done this because the card scheme would require them to investigate when suspected wrong-doing occurs where they have a relationship with the host. If they don't have a direct relationship with a host then they don't have to act. i.e. wrong doing doesn't get investigated because banks (or one specific bank) are free to turn a blind eye to it to save money!

Sorry for the rant but it's very annoying!

Google, Facebook cop for preposterous patent potshot


I keep reading these patent claims...

And I think, surely there should be some automatic system in place that nullifies any patent that becomes either common knowledge or de-facto standard, or the norm or whatever prior to the patent holder being able to or wishing to enforce their claim.

In other words, if you want to protect your patent, you do it from day one, not when everybody else has already independently stumbled upon the same scenario or solution.

Am I right?

Some of this stuff, although slightly inventive ten years ago, is so old hat now, it's unbelievable!

Men at Work appeal Down Under plagiarism ruling


Copyright and Patent stuff

if taken to it's natural conclusion, surely leads to headlines such as:

"Millions were stopped from attending work today!", with the explanation that many of their jobs included aspects that were quoted as being "ever so slightly similar to something that somebody's grandad once did in the past at some point".

Note to self... Must patent something.

YouTube's IE6 support dies on March 13



Allowing IE6 users to continue to play YouTube video is an enormous cop-out

Given that the entire site's audience goes there to watch video, Google's banner should say "Yep! we're gonna continue to support you IE6 guys, relax! Oooh look at these 5 lovely icons, I wouldn't pay much attention to those!"

Adobe heats up iPad Flash bash


So what's going on behind the scenes?

Presumeably Apple are fully aware that Adobe Flash is the de-facto standard for videos and interactive animations etc. Surely therefore Apple would want to include Flash in their browser package for their users.

Likely scenarios are that Apple either:

1) Apple wants control over version roll-out and QA, and would like to write and distribute their own flash player - which would be good because the same package could contain their own audio video stuff in one neat package. In this case, the stopper would be Adobe wanting shed-loads of Dosh for the source code, licenses, royalties etc.

2) Apple recognises that if their platform is huge, then Adobe should pay money to Apple to make sure that their format still runs everywhere. In this scenario, Apple is probably wanting shed-loads of Dosh to allow distribution.

Simple, Two big players want to make some money off of one another! or am I missing something?

Verified by Visa bitchslapped by Cambridge researchers


Someone Mentioned PCI Compliancy being a good thing?

I note that most smaller vendors are running websites on shared hosting that is not PCI DSS compliant. But the servers and routers are configured so that the security sweep is passed.

Unfortunately, My reading of the PCI DSS spec leads me to believe that a Merchant is not actually verifying that they are compliant by passing the security sweep.

Indeed it is my belief that should fraud be committed via your site, the bank could throw the book at you due to all the procedural issues not to mention technical issues that are covered by the spec, but are not proved to be safe via the security sweep.

Indeed, in my opinion, this entire system is designed so that banks can once again blame merchants, because they have signed on the dotted line, assuring said banks that their systems are secure.

My advice to my clients is to use a payment service that does all the payment magic on their network (not on their shared hosting), and that the service is PCI LEVEL 1 compliant. That way, you can self certify with all confidence (then if the bank blames you, you can blame your PSP).

Is my reading correct in this? I'd love to know!

Mandy declares 'three strikes' war on illegal file sharers


"Consumers need to be educated"

I think that's a fair point.

I take it as read that thieves will always be thieves and will acquire pirate content with flagrant disregard with respect to the law. There are however people that think that they are gaining content "for free" and do not actually know that what they are doing is illegal.

Given that there should be a clamp down on illegal downloads, it also follows that the ill informed are armed with enough knowledge to choose not to break the law.

The point made about heavy and unfair pricing in the UK is a fair one, however an organised boycott of all such products is legal whereas enjoying them free of charge is illegal. Imagine how much damage would be done to a market leading company if an entire industry upon which they depend didn't buy their software until they were the same price as in the US.

Also note that using such market-leading software illegally, still entrenches it as a defacto standard, damaging fair competition where other cheaper solutions really should prevail. So using such software illegally is not as damaging to a market-leading company as not using it at all, go figure.

Tories would scrap 50p broadband tax


It seems to me that

not all business has to be operated in a city centre environment, and that a first class communication network across the entirety of the UK would allow small businesses to grow and flourish in smaller towns and villages that aren't currently on BTs network.

Besides, it would be nice to live in the Countryside or Seaside at some point in future when I've got some money tucked away, and I would still want all my Internet luxuries to work in twenty years or so at my Country manse.

In a way, taxing everybody now to bring benefits to rich twits that live in the country side in the future should very much be a Tory strategy, yes? no?

Nation's moral guardians snap over 'shag bands'


So let me get this straight

A member of parliament for Wakefield is advocating a ban on selling plastic bracelets for kids?

Am i missing something?


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