* Posts by John 98

136 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2009


UK watchdog launches full probe of Motorola Solutions' cop-comms deals on Emergency Services Network

John 98

Will there still be 4g kit around when it does {or does not) launch?

UK tech supply chain in dark over Brexit preparations months ahead of final heave-ho

John 98

Re: The wings are coming off

Well, if the Japanese think we were trying to deceive them they will walk away never to return

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc

John 98

What's forgotten

The original idea of the eu domain was simple - it comes with a door Mr Plod can knock on (inside the EU obviously). Given that won't happen in Brexistan, the EU logic is broadly sound. The UK could offer to serve warrants, facilitate police activity..

Thanks for the happy memories, Micron – now beat it, says China: Court bans chip sales

John 98

Re: The world is upside down.

Of course. The Middle Kingdom is just saying two can play silly Bulgarians. The aim is to kick the orange peril in the electoral unmentionables to show him trade wars are a stupid idea.

... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales

John 98


particularly if they kill some poor kid whom we can posthumously pronounce a terrorist ...

UK Home Office hands Sopra Steria £91m digital visa contract

John 98


Just not right? You are possibly forgetting that our underfunded education system and poor planning has now left us with a minute skills base. So ther is probably nobody left to do the job here, certainly not in a rush. As to the vote on Brexit, the Leavers need reminding of their lies about cake and eat it etc. A large chunk of the 52% voted for that and not for the hard Brexit the fanatics are pushing. So the Remain vote was the largest and it's the only viable option anyway

UK rocket-botherers rattle SABRE, snaffle big bucks

John 98


Agreed you are carrying some extra engine up, but you've cut the oxidant load by at least 20%. I don't pretend to know much, but it sounds a good trade off. And if you only need one engine instead of three (one stage to orbit), I imagine that's good too (even if said engine is a complex beast).

That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it

John 98

If its anything like the UK it will take them ten years and cost several billion dollars

MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'

John 98

Re: Clueless on everything

Once we stop wasting money on free education, the little blighters won't need shoes.

John 98

Na - India's OK (bringing in talented people from around the world). But you can't recruit any Poles or Germans (taking back control). Do try and pay attention

John 98

Re: "what a hard brexit would mean - a study..the civil service..failed to undertake. "

Every senior civil servant has done his own Brexit assessment - it's a bad idea and implementing a damage limitation scheme will take a decade. All attempts to get the Brexiteers to face the facts have failed. Sir Humphry is feeling a bit demoralised because nobody has a clue how to avert a disaster

New UK aircraft carrier to be commissioned on Pearl Harbor anniversary

John 98

Re: Coffinships

On Pearl Harbour, I believe the Japanese wanted to launch 2nd sortie against the infrastructure. The admiral decided he couldn't take the risk of being bounced by the US carriers

Who's using 2FA? Sweet FA. Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication

John 98

Re: Not Surprised

Precisely why I have not gone 2FA on my personal Gmail. Stuffed without phone with signal. I do use a pwdman though

Royal Navy destroyer leaves Middle East due to propeller problems

John 98

Re: My guess

I doubt it's Bolivia - too near the ocean and less chance to screw the taxpayer.

John 98

Re: Less is more?

The radar on it was not low tech. The Swordfish was regularly sinking ships at night in 1941 - in 1942 the US navy had to admit it had no torpedo bomber which could sink anything in daylight, never mind at night.

National Audit Office: We'll be in a world of pain with '90s border tech post-Brexit

John 98

Re: 1990's - Paperwork

And there is more good news, this excellent system will only be needed at ports and Eurostar stations. After hard Brexit, all the airports will be closed and UK airlines won't be flying.

I've just thought, maybe this is the cunning plan to ensure the border force can cope with the demand

Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

John 98


Quite true that religion has had its worser moments, but so has atheism if one looks at Stalin, Pol Pot etc. And since different religions disagree, teaching and inspiring different things, you can't blame one for the fault of t'other. And people may say they don't believe anything, but they still have a working assumption. ... Often that God doesn't exist, but then he might ...

The UK isn't ditching Boeing defence kit any time soon

John 98

Shame about Brexit

Otherwise we could threaten to make life tough all across Europe for Boeing. As it is, the only thing we have to slap their wrist with is an imaginary wet lettuce

HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing

John 98


SA80? I imagine there is a development contract for a heavily modified brown bess musket, which is due to be ready in 2033 at a cost of 1 billion pounds. It will be then be found that the forged titanium ram rod is incompatible ...

M6 crowned crappiest motorway for 4G signal

John 98

Re: Hadecs 3 Cashcow, it's worth reading up on them to save yourself £200.

What is this rant? If you are so stupid that you need endless reminders to tell you motorways have a speed limit, perhaps you shouldn't be driving. And the limit is there for a reason - 70 is the design speed of the road for a start.

'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

John 98

A bit optimistic, methinks

Yes, the EU may catch a cold if the talks go nowhere (one imagines the most likely outcome as any number of lobbies in Europe will insist of this or that) but the only slight problem is that we will have a bad case of flu. Our only negotiating card is "If i commit suicide, you'll have a nasty mess on the floor to clear up".

US ATM fraud surges despite EMV

John 98


On the primitive island I live on, chip & pin transactions take a second or two at train stations and major stores. Even mom and pop with dial up usually get an answer pretty quick. EMV is not very difficult (for anyone) and stops a lot of crime - what is the problem over there? Not invented here, blocked by the mafia lobby? Or what?

GRAPHENE: £120m down, UK.gov finds it's still a long way from commercial potential

John 98

Generally it takes 30 - 40 years for scientific discovery to become commercial product. Look at gas lighting, electricity (Faraday, Maxwell to Tesla - 3 phase supply - and Edison - light bulb). Semi conductors etc. etc. So the government may be right but we need to persevere for another 10 -15 years. Meantime we are probably building up an expert community both on graphene and other 2d materials.

Sceptics should note UK has a long history of giving up on these things at the wrong moment - APT on the railways is now in service round the world (including here) courtesy of the Italians who got the technology off us for almost nothing.

John 98

historical perspective?

Generally it takes 30 - 40 years for scientific discovery to become commercial product. Look at gas lighting, electricity (Faraday, Maxwell to Tesla - 3 phase supply - and Edison - light bulb). Semi conductors etc. etc. So the government may be right but we need to persevere for another 10 -15 years. Meantime we are probably building up an expert community both on graphene and other 2d materials.

Sceptics should note UK has a long history of giving up on these things at the wrong moment - APT on the railways is now in service round the world (including here) courtesy of the Italians who got the technology off us for almost nothing.

EU announces common corporate tax plan

John 98

Benefit for both?

Don't quite see how allowing multinationals to continue fiddling their tax in UK is a Brexit benefit. Some of us might think rather the opposite.

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

John 98

Re: I don't get it.

The Irish government cut a deal with Apple which was and is illegal under Irish law. The executive overstepped the mark and is now being challenged in court. Poor Apple when they are paying no tax anywhere and were probably fully aware that their cosy deal was illegal? Come, sir!

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

John 98

Us citizens data in ireland

well - maybe. I'm no expert but the Germans have a big say and they are very touchy on government overreach, illegal surveillance etc, (aftermath of Hitler) and European law generally assumes rights apply to everyone, whereas US law is more rights are for citizens only. So you might be better protected in Europe - though it's worth noting in this case (as others on this thread have) that the Irish government was offering to help the FBI get a warrant through the Irish courts.

Israeli tech firms make their exits, stage rich

John 98


Kundly define terrorist. And be careful - you could find the USA, UK and many other states fit your definition better

Boffins boggle, baffled by blobs deep inside the Earth

John 98

Re: Something doesn't add up here

No it proves they are alien bases built by creatures from another universe.

ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

John 98

Re: And the US didn't

There was actually talk of ceasing to share ULTRA with the US. Churchill decided the political hit of doing so outweighed the risk of losing the data. So maybe little has changed?

Home Office staff: Over 100 of our work mobiles lost or pinched last year

John 98


I was the minion who dished out laptops and phones. In the end you find honest, competent valued people lose them and you have to accept it and plan round that. So I am not surprised or shocked that an outfit the this size has lost 100. I would welcome, though, some reassurance about what data was on them and how well it was protected

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

John 98

listening to lies?

Being old enough to remember the Suez Crisis, I can tell you we had already lost our national sovereignty by 1956. Wake up, smell the coffee

If the European Union is undemocratic, some simple research will reveal that the UK government has steadfastly blocked attempts to remedy things, much to the frustration of many in Brussels.

If we leave, we have no idea (nor negotiating cards, btw) what trade deals we will get with either US or EU. It is a leap in the dark. Watch Boris when the Yanks tell us to sign up for Schengen or starve

This is before the other stuff - 3 million odd British living in Europe, Scots wanting independence, pound already fallen 10%,

Non-police orgs merrily accessed PNC without authority, says HMIC

John 98

On the ownership issue, is this deliberate obfuscation? A wizard wheeze which guarantees it's impossible to pin down who is responsible for anything? Or am I just confusing conspiracy and cock up?

Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

John 98

A necessary evil?

The government collecting this data may be (even though the US investigation suggests not) a necessary evil, but even then it should be out in the open, as limited as possible and tightly controlled by judges - not bureaucrats or politicians.

The mere fact it exists, especially given the governments dire record on IT projects, means it will be misused by politicians and staff who are political fanatics, paedophiles, identity thieves, spies or terrorists (or have been blackmailed or bribed by same). It will also inevitably be hacked or tampered with ...

The condescending, nanny knows best, attempts by our politicians to have us ignore these obvious risks is deeply depressing and disturbing.

This is, of course, a good argument against Brexit - Brussels will probably torpedo this assault on our liberty, which our spineless parliament proposes to rubber-stamp.

UK.gov says it's letting 1,000 SMEs push digital wares at civil servants

John 98

Agile and flexible ?

When applied to the military, it meant not buying equipment for anything (it neatly answered the charge of preparing for the last war). Squaddy solution No.1 - nick it off the Yanks.

Where I worked (a nameless multinational) it meant not preparing for anything - any problem, however predictable, was greeted by the same panic. The firm has since been taken over ...

Management jargon of the worst kind, but great for the consultants who get hired with the money that should have been spent on decent kit.

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

John 98

Seems they have all missed something

The bottom line is that the European equivalent of the Supreme Court has ruled that the current systems breach folks' constitutional rights in Europe. Any agreement, whether the European and US executive branches or the companies like it or not, has to address that issue to succeed.

If the US government is saying the entire planet is, however, under American law, perhaps they should give about another seven billion people citizenship and a vote.

And the companies - their lawyers must have seen this coming years ago and they did nothing. I guess a billion dollars a day in fines will concentrate minds wonderfully on a restructure to cover the situation. Not very difficult, European subsidiary owns servers in Europe ...

Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

John 98

Does it apply to MPs?

I suggest requiring MPs (or candidates) to stand down should anything come up on their check ,,,

America to ITU: Sort out your spectrum policy

John 98

Negotiate - what's that?

Sounds like the US may end up out of step with the rest of the planet, and live to regret it. Maybe someone with greater knowledge can enlighten us? Is there any consensus elsewhere on how to use this spectrum - seems 5.9 and 600 are already spoken for?

Future Snowden hunt starts with audit of NSA spooks' privileges

John 98

Scary too

Sounds like sensible (and long overdue) overhaul needed because they have no idea of who is inputting data nor of who is copying and extracting it. In such a large outfit there must be staff open to bribery or blackmail. So what exactly have the Russians, Chinese, ISIS and the Mafia walked off with (or maybe inserted, deleted, changed)? If the incompetence is really so great, one need hardly bother with conspiracy theories to get seriously worried...

'Govt will not pass laws to ban encryption' – Baroness Shields

John 98

They are linked but...

I have worked in a polling station and yes, they are linked. However, it needs a court order (which can only be given if there is reasonable suspicion of fraud) to get the linking paper unsealed and everybody involved is personally responsible if anything naughty comes to light. After that, you are not searching a database, you are trawling through a mound of paper. Obviously there is the "What if Hitler gets in?" issue but, on t'other hand, it does mean there is evidence to lock people up for fraud.

FBI boss: No encryption backdoor law (but give us backdoors anyway)

John 98

Re: Idiots or traitors

It won't only be be Uncle Sam demanding a backdoor - there will soon be 200+ plus other governments saying use of same software without their backdoor too is illegal. Then, soon after, it will be illegal to use it with any other government's backdoor open. Happy travelling ....

Silicon Valley fights European Court of Justice ruling with small print

John 98

Re: Lot of nonsense

Apple tried messing with a European court a year or two back and finally realised they were getting themselves into very deep, brown, sticky stuff. One doubts the court would consider your T & Cs valid. Just maybe if your client is a sophisticated, international organisation, but not with the average consumer. Try the same stunt on a US court, and see how far you get.

EU, China promise 5G cooperation, seek an understanding on standards

John 98

Surely you are forgetting Panama and Puerto Rico.

How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

John 98

What the Chinese did with it?

One imagines that the Chinese have used all this data to quietly log in to a multitude of systems using the accounts of users with little technical knowledge, or concern for security, with easliy guessed passwords. They may well have reams of other background information, plus of course the abilty to cause chaos whenever they wish. And an amusing thought, they may have known for quite a while all about what the NSA and CIA have been up to round the world. Maybe more than Snowdon? And maybe been allowing some misleading "hacks" into their own systems for good measure?

Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code

John 98

And their small competitors?

Let's hear it for the little guy, who faces unfair competition from multi-nationals paying no tax anywhere. There is an argument for ensuring these companies pay tax, since government is unfortunately a necessary evil and has to be paid for.

One can look at their global profits (a number they have reasons for declaring and maximising) and tax them on a percentage thereof, the percentage of global sales in your country. Seems to me a treaty along such lines would give each government a fair share and the multinational pays taxes like everyone else. The actual rate - and permissible write offs for R & D etc. - on its home share would be a matter for each government, while the company can of course simply stop business in a state which sets a stupid rate.

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

John 98

Front brakes are dangerous!

Or so the "experts" used to say in the twenties - they would only encourage reckless driving. Every safety improvement on cars draws a lunatic response. Furthermore, why shouldn't cars have a black box - aren't the rest of us entitled to know whether a potentially lethal piece of kit was being operated safely in a public space?


John 98

Re: In California? Maybe

I think you need to demonstrate that the wreck is far enough from the islands to be outside US territory to get the pedant's prize. And, maybe the Navy wanted it in territorial waters where they could easily deny access should the need arise.

Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

John 98

lamposts = 30 unless too tall

The old rule, I believe still in force, was that lampposts generally imply a 30 limit (unless over 7 meters tall). Parliament in its infinite wisdom apprently thought the average driver could easily tell ...

John 98

Failed test - progress minus in the jargon

The examiner in effect considers whether he would find it frustrating following somebody so slow. Obviously though, there is a problem if a sign is missing - perhaps another argument for having a camera on board so you can appeal the verdict. BTW, on the examiner's own test to get the job, you need to drive as fast as is safely and legally possible. So, on the motorway 65= Fail, 75= Fail, unless the tester agrees the conditions require it.

Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

John 98

US company's Europen subsidiary

IF the US company (GM, Ford) uses a local subsidiary, that company is bound by EU law. The US can order the US owner to deliver, but the local staff and board will have a legal duty to refuse.The end ...