* Posts by Doug Bird

24 publicly visible posts • joined 19 May 2007

US state bars sex offenders from 'social networking sites'

Doug Bird

Perhaps this is an obvious comment-bait article. But..

Sex offenders are not all child rapists. This law is a needless distraction to prevent children from being harmed by repeat child sex offenders.

Does the law make a distinction between those with sex offenses related to children? How can a ban against using facebook and myspace be helpful, let alone the whole rest of the web 2.0 sites that are covered under this law.

Yes, seems like a slam dunk this law will be wiped from the books before its able to be enforced.

NASA data shows 'dramatically' thinned Arctic ice

Doug Bird
Dead Vulture

what's the point of the vague statement at the end

trying to marginalize the compounding set of scientific findings regarding the nature of sea ice shrinkage? remote sensing collection and analysis might be new, but the ice being destroyed is not. this is a big deal and its unprecedented.

Google boffins unveil 'What's Up?' CAPTCHA

Doug Bird


Seems like a spin on the Neopets captcha system, geared toward those with limited literacy, which has been around for quite some time. As I remember it consisting of a sizable image including a fuzzed out neopets character, among many other items. The user is expected to click on a certain character.

'Infinitesimal magnetic tornadoes' set to ravage computing

Doug Bird
Dead Vulture

Why what?

Quaternary digits aren't really that silly and whimsical. Living organisms have persisted quite successfully in managing the equivalent of terabytes of information in their DNA, which is stored in quaternary format. Or: ATGC.

They could also be used in computing simply as multiple bits. Why would the computer need to know it bits were stored in quaternary format, so long as the data comes back whole?

The anti-science bias at the Reg is even worse than the US Republican Party.

Notice that The Reg is also a "Global Warming Skeptic". (Not to different from the anti-evolution/creationist/intelligent-design cousins)

Anti-white-space lobby enlists God, Dolly Parton

Doug Bird

Let me see if I understand:

They're protesting the legalizing of their devices, because, the illegality of their use makes them less susceptible to interference? I hope the FCC ignores their testimony, no matter what conclusion is ultimately drawn. The statements/testimony of the few who came forward might have technically had licenses, but in their argument that the use of wireless mics is very widespread (in their narrow type of venues) they never addressed that this is probably only because of illegal use.

VbyV password reset is childishly simple

Doug Bird
Thumb Up


About a year ago I was online shopping and the MC equiv to VbV screen came up, and I thought "oh shit, I forgot my password" (I had used it once before to "set" the password in the distant past). I remember fretting that resetting the password might involve a call to card services and a bunch of verification but was surprised/shocked the process was so damn easy (like the article said just some CC details, the same details someone would have if they stole your CC creds). And since then I have completely forgotten about it, until now. Thanks for publicizing this Reg.

eBay sues Craigslist as family squabble goes public

Doug Bird

The other two

The other two tax havens are Nevada and Wyoming (not Washington), but usually with smaller-time companies and nutty fools bother incorporating in those places. Serious corporations (especially public traded ones) don't risk dealing with a corporate law environment that is less well known and understood than Delaware's.

Utah boffins in terahertz spybeam infra-computing quest

Doug Bird


Horray for my University attempting to make history again having created the spawn (Bushnell) that went on to pioneer in sub-rate video games (even for their time) and rat infested (or mascot?) pizza arcades.

I wish my majors Anthropology and Geography could be the beneficiaries of this kind of money and enthusiasm.

Fasthosts' dedicated servers go titsup

Doug Bird


A recommendation for Chris Byers and anyone else: ServerBeach.com

I switched to them from 1and1 a little over a year ago, havn't had a single problem since, not even a small network blip, not one problem. Also, Gandi.net is offering an extremely promising virtual server hosting product, been using it since its launch. Cannot say enough good things about it, and not a hitch. Planning to migrate 100% to Gandi.net because of the vast price difference (without performance penalty)!

Google to open suspect Orkut albums to Brazil police

Doug Bird


What technology do they have to detect child porn images? It would need to have the ability to distinguish children, and human nakedness in the context of an image. Strange technology if it really exists. I heard an urban legend that BYU had implemented naked boob detecting image technology back in the early 2000s, to keep their internet network safe and clean (totally bogus of course).

And, what happens on false positives? Someone rooting through albums marked private? What's the point of having them marked as such.

Yahoo! to post Google ads on Yahoo!

Doug Bird

What! happened!

to the exclamation points after! every! word! in the headline? A fine reg tradition if you ask me. :(

That Wi-Fi network you thought was secure? It ain't

Doug Bird

Never has been

Breaking a 256 bit key is not child's play, so long as there are not exploits in the algorithm. According to wikipedia "one would need a device consuming at a minimum 10 gigawatts (about the equivalent of eight large, dedicated nuclear reactors) running continuously for 100 years" to brute force a 128 bit key.

Doug Bird

Used it

It is used at the university I attend, and I suspect many Universities, Colleges, etc use it because it has the ability kick users off once they are no longer students or staff. This instead of a shared WPA passcode that can only be changed by disrupting every node. Smart businesses would use it so that they can control access to their network without having to change a WPA passcode every time an employee quits or is fired.

I might be guilty of removing validation of certificates, as I remember having configuration problems at first. Now I have to check; not that I have much at stake in it.

Google officially quashes PageRank passing

Doug Bird

Doesn't make it non html-compliant

The tag in question, is really an attribute is (rel="nofollow")

The tag in question does not cause the HTML on your page to become invalid HTML, even according to the anal w3c verifier.

Would you prefer to continue the wild-west search atmosphere. Is it fair and quality to have folks buying their way into natural search?

I've seen Cutts speak in person many times, and he's been preaching this same idea for over 2 years.

US judge debenched for jailing entire courtroom

Doug Bird

Bad Physics

>"Radio waves cannot travel through anything that conducts electricity" :

um. ever use an antenna?

Sysadmin admits planting 'logic bomb' in drug firm database

Doug Bird

as a general rule

As a general rule, white collar non-violent crime gets punished far less than violent crime (here in the USA). Especially when the defendants have lighter-colored skin. Obviously, its doubtful the judge will apply the maximum sentence of 10 years.

I feel white-collar crime is not punished often and consistently enough in the US when you consider the amount of damage to society and poverty it causes. Poverty being a definite correlate to VIOLENT crimes. In theory, this real money damage caused by this guy (as explained by earlier comments) could have been used for any number of things, such as researching new drugs or lowering the cost of drugs.

eBay goes after itself

Doug Bird


I have laughed aloud for a strait 5 minutes thanks to this Pepe Le Pue comment, and the general idea what ebay is doing. I am in sad shape.

MS Patch Tuesday to include trio of 'critical' fixes

Doug Bird

Why is MS overpriced?

Why do I hear people throw out that Windows is overpriced? As I recall, MS made its inroads in all the places it has near-monopoly power by offering software at deep discounts compared to competitors. This was the case for Windows, and Office as I recall. Granted, Office isn't the cheapest anymore. But what is cheaper than Windows?

Mac OS X and their constant parade of pricey feline upgrades dont seem any cheaper. If you can use only Linux on your desktop and not rip out your hair on a near daily basis (and still be in contact with the outside world).. that's just lovely and I'd love to meet you to learn the secrets. I tried it for 3 years and finally went back to windows. Boy have I spent much less time downloading upgrades and strange "packages" for various distros of Linux, and actually USING my computer.

Boffins go dotty over quantum teleportation

Doug Bird

simple diagnosis

mr. mars is the whole "the CIA is beaming radio signals into my brain" typical of a schizophrenic. in cultures where we dont have such technology talk common, a guy with an ailment similar to mr mars might refer to sorcerers, witches, and gargoyles. everyone needs a platform!

AT&T sued by poor man's Formula 1

Doug Bird

Well it really is


But I'm a full blooded, born-raised, and bred Missouri native.

NASCAR continues conjure up images of trashyness.

The title of this article describes it well. And the kind of squabbles described here make me think of the police getting called to intervene in a domestic violence dispute at a trailer park.

The bread and butter events of NASCAR are mostly in small marginal US cities, and most popular in the South. Oh, I guess there's Las Vegas, but that's a pretty tacky place. Sure it might reflect it being a more "accessible" motorsport. But that's the point!

Spammer faces 11 years in prison

Doug Bird


We see a punishment to fit the crime! Spamming is a serious theft of services, and causes universal damage. 11 years is a serious sentence indeed. Too bad most white collar crimes aren't treated the same way in america.

Strange spoofing technique evades anti-phishing filters

Doug Bird


Its too bad the only solution, time and time again, to being certain about web browsing security is using a less commonly used web browser (like firefox), and less commonly used OS like Linux. Wouldn't phishers target strange fishing techniques to these environments if they were more popular?

Skype worm leaps onto MSN

Doug Bird

No, its not

Why would a pif file infect non-windows machines?

Indian dealers are squealers over Microsoft piracy raids

Doug Bird


When did Windows become the industry equiv. to a Ferrari??