* Posts by Pete

14 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2007

Ofcom grabs reins on premium rate scams


Timbo falls at the last fence

I agreed with everything but the last idea concerning freephone...

00 is the international dialling code for this country (and a lot of others)

Why not have it that:

01 Regular phone numbers

02 London phone numbers

03-06 Reserved for expansion

07 Mobile Numbers

08 Freephone

09 Premium Rate

Since the 0870 and 0845 are just disguising the true costs, using this new scheme forces them to be more transparent.

Man wrongly detained for 50 days has ISP to thank


@Anonymous Coward

except loss of liberty, your DNA being added to a database with no recourse for removal, loss of property, men with flashlights crawling up your arse...

ICANN tweaks root DNS server


"DNS is fairly robust"

or indeed, as many will know: "How hard can it be?"

Finger-chopping jihadis derail MPs scanner system, claims MoS


@ Mark Webster

Re: binary explosives

They do exist, but not in any of the forms Airport security is searching for. Wikipedia lists Tannerite and ANFO. TATP is another (technically trinary, [acetone, peroxide, and sulfuric acid]) but they all have somethg in common: at least one of the individual ingredients would arose the suspicion of even the dimmest wand-waver.

Tannerite, one component is a white, crystalline powder. The other is a liquid that smells of bleach.

"Yes officer, that's just washing powder, and Toilet Duck. I'm one of those obsessive hygenists"

Have you EVER seen a customs official find powder and then NOT taste it? It's worth taking a small bag of washing powder with you just for the faces they make.

ANFO, fertilizer and fuel oil.

"It's for my business... I'm a...landscape gardener, so I need 40lbs of fertilizer and the fuel is for my ride on lawnmower. Certainly I'll follow you. Do I get a phone call?"

TATP, nail polish, a bag of indutrial hair bleach, and a cannister of battery acid.

"No, I was just going to do my nails, my hair and my....erm. No, the cuffs aren't too tight."

The only semi-reasonable argument given was the a deoderant canister could be used a flamethrower. But they can't confiscate matches or lighters, despite the No Smoking on planes.

So the airport confiscates your alcohol, perfume, deoderant. And then you can buy the EXACT SAME ITEMS at the Duty Free counter.

Meanwhile, customs guys get to take their [s]booty[/s] confiscated items home with them.

L'Oreal sues eBay over counterfeit goods



"We think eBay is perfectly capable of policing its site, but they offer to take action only after the fact. They refuse to act pre-emptively," Unifab chairman Marc Antoine Jamet told Reuters last year. "We think they have the IT to manage their sites, to track bank accounts and ownership"

And what you THINK matters because...?

Feds tell (other) feds to kill net neutrality


What Net Neutrality really is

A lot of people seem to be taking this phrase and using it on the wrong arguements about Internet access.

A 'Neutral' network is simply one that treats all data packets equally. A 'biased' network prioritises the packets based on the content or service being delivered.

This isn't as Orwellian as it seems. VoIP, Streaming media, and the like are flagged as 'time sensitive' in a biased network, meaning that they take precedence over things like web pages, p2p and ftp.

p2p in particular is one that causes problems because it can choke a network, drastically slowing every other connection (try web browsing when your housemate is p2p'ing half a dozen large video files). With a tiered system, High priority is on time sensitive packets, normal on http and ftp, and low on p2p.

The tiered system is not a bad idea, and is currently the only solution being discussed on how to deliver this content. The issue is on who pays for it. The telcos don't want to, and the content providers don't want to, and the customers (general public) don't want to.

Customers and Providers argue that they are just using the bandwidth they have paid for. Telcos say it was never meant to be used in this way. And both sides are right.

But the telco can't go and start charging premiums on the existing contracts for certain data types now. Hate to break it to them, but the telcos got the shaft on this one, and will just have to grin and bear it until renewal time comes around. And once it does, you can bet that there will be clauses relating to the data types that are being sent.

So what if the telcos laid down extra pipes for the high priority content, and then charged for the traffic on it? Kind of like an Internet Toll Road. Only certain traffic would be allowed on, it would cost more than using the existing Internet, but the traffic would be delivered on time.

What they can't do is mark a proportion of their existing networks as Toll Road Only, because that would reduce the bandwidth for the existing contracts, which they have to maintain.

Large databases are not safe enough, says stats boffin


on flaming trolls...

Fatter trolls burn more. Maybe troll candles are the way The Reg plans to cut spending on lightbulbs?

"The question is, how can data be made useful for research purposes without compromising the confidentiality of those who provided the data?"

"...further user-specific restrictions on the use of information in databases would go some way to solving the problem"

So what you mean to say, is that the confidential information stored should only be viewable by the people who need it for legitimate purposes?

Covered already by our Data Protection Act.

The real issue that people have with privacy could easily be solved with a big group unbunching-of-panties. We already have Big Government departments that have excessive, often incorrect information about us stored. It can be expensive (overdue council tax bill for house you moved out of, resulting in a CCJ because you didn't get the mail) and dangerous (allergy to penicillin omitted from medical record) but it's something that we seem to have quickly just taken as the normal condition.

I would welcome a single, coherent, accurate database that could be used by all Government departments, if I felt certain it would be planned, implemented and maintained with some degree of competence.

Guess what? It's not possible to feel that way given the current state of this country. Every IT project in the news is overbudget, badly run, and often just dead-in-the-water after millions/billions of pounds have been blown.

ID cards are not necessary, we already carry enough information like that. It's probably wrong (I know that most provisional driving licences have the wrong address on them, given the number of calls I used to field whilst on a DSA contract) but it's the same information that would be collected.

Cops seek 179mph net vid biker


Befuddled Americans

Yes, they do believe that dollars are used in every country.

I even met one that asked me (after commenting on my English accent) "so, what do the English do for Thanksgiving?"

"...We don't do anything. It's not an English holiday."

"Huh. Well what do the French do?"

Microsoft Windows patent will spy for advertisers


For those who hate DVD ads...

...just put the DVD in your computer, and run VLC player. Choose Open DVD. It goes straight to the menu page, without seeing the whole "You wouldn't steal a car.." crap.

Don't even bother with WMP any more, since it will BSOD when certain codecs are run.

Put simply, if they ship Vista's successor with this, no-one with any knowledge will buy it. Companies will stick with XP (as the majority are doing for the forseeable future), home users will stick with either XP or Vista (the poor souls) and the only people who will buy the new OS will be the ones that grab an off-the-shelf computer from PC World or Dell.

And it will serve them right.

Google tells TV execs where they've gone wrong


Forget targeted ads...

...just for God's sake volume level the things. I purposely avoid ad breaks because the program is broadcast at a lower volume than the adverts and the annoying little tits that talk over the credits of programs. Is the idea that even if everyone walks into the kitchen THEY CAN STILL HEAR ABOUT NEW IMPROVED WASHING POWDER?

Downloaded TV isn't just free, it's annoyance free. Plus the bright side for everyone in the UK is that US programs are out way before terrestrial viewers see them. It's still stupid that while movies can have simultaneous release dates, the smaller tv programs are treated like lent out video cassettes:

US: "Here, I've finished watching this, give it a try"

UK: "Sure, should I let France have it when I'm done?"

US: "No problem, pass it around"

Olympic planners left IT out of the budget


How a government contract is (probably) won

Government: We need you to give us a budget for this project

Contractor: Well can we have some specifications?

Government: No, we can't let you have access to confidential information until you win the contract

Contractor: I can't give you an accurate figure without that information

Government: I can't give you the information without a figure

(Repeat for 5 hours)

Contractor: FINE!! £2bn, project complete in three years

Government: Accepted, here's the information

Contractor: ...But this will cost £6bn and take five years

Government: Don't worry, everyone expects this kind of thing

BOFH: Computer room deluge


Brilliant Broadcasting Corporation

The main control centre in one of their offices - the one which is responsible for all the local tv and radio broadcasts - is on the first floor.

The canteen - with the sinks, dishwashers etc - is on the second.

Guess what has happened the week I am there on a contract?

Video download site ordered to spy on users


Surely that is self-incrimination?

Torrentspy are arguing that they don't break the law, right? So surely they can't be forced to do anything unless they are shown to be breaking a law?

Gathering data is the job of law enforcement agents, not site owners. Torrentspy have the right to refuse to change their policies until they are shown to be outside the law. Anything else is just bullying and pressuring from the MPAA.

Endemol in 'win a kidney' TV show rumpus


Five years max

Then you WILL see a reality tv show where people get killed.

Using death row inmates, who have been shipped to an oil rig in international waters, viewers will phone in to see who gets the chair.

One inmate will win a cash prize, and a commuted sentence.

And people will watch it by the millions.

Season two will include a member of the public, the twist being he has to be more popular than the killers and rapists he is against. Otherwise, Bzzzrrttttt, sizzle, etc.

Public gets what it wants, because that is what sells.