* Posts by Godwin Stewart

16 posts • joined 20 Apr 2006

Make vendors liable for exploits

Godwin Stewart

ISPs cleaning up their act?

Are they about to break the deadlock that I described in this article a while back?


I'll believe it when I see it.

Cynically yours,

BT pimped customer web data to advertisers last summer

Godwin Stewart

@Justin White

"Personally, I find it easier to maintain my own DNS cache using BIND9 on a small Linux box I maintain. No need to use the ISP DNS crap in the first place!"

Indeed, I've been doing just that ever since Verisign broke DNS with their "sitefinder" stunt:




The "delegation only" feature works like a charm :)

Thirsty Koreans fight duff whisky with mobiles

Godwin Stewart

Other means of fraud

Okay, so dodgy outlets (offies, bars etc.) can drink the pukka stuff, fill the bottles up with piss and sell them off at a huge profit. But what about the producers? If RFID chips are as cheap as mentioned in the article (15p), what's to stop a dodgy producer from buying a good bottle, reading its RFID tag and programming those on his own bottles with the same data?

BT matches analysts' forecasts

Godwin Stewart

@ David Leeming

"I have a consistent 14mbps at home through Be* and very happy with it."


The local loop is unlikely ever to be unbundled in this town, but I don't really care since I now have 23 mbits/s coming down a France Telecom line from an alternative ISP.

The remark I made about connections hardly ever being faster than 4 mbps concerns non-unbundled lines.

DHS working on pocket puke-ray

Godwin Stewart

Sick sticks?

Looks like Philip K. Dick had some real insight in Minority Report!

How can you possibly test modern software fully?

Godwin Stewart

5 x 8 x 3 = 140?

Before talking about complex stuff like software validation, maybe you should start with your multiplication tables?

Novell opens office for SMBs

Godwin Stewart

Office software?

Why do SMBs have to pay Novell loads of cash for a solution comprising software they can download themselves for free?

Hint: http://www.openoffice.org

Dell deploys overclocked, liquid-cooled gaming PC

Godwin Stewart


Hmm... Who's going to foot the bill if the overclocked CPU and/or RAM go poof? Their respective manufacturers certainly won't. Is Dell so confident that the cooling system is good enough?

BT slammed in broadband cut off battle

Godwin Stewart

Re: Time to Change our DR Plan?

``So now I can remove all those dual connected systems for mission critical services and replace them with two words the DR plan - "Sue BT". I'm sure that will be a wonderful comfort if something goes wrong...''

Indeed. Any company that entrusts mission-critical infrastructure to a mere broadband Internet connection deserves everything it gets. While I'm no fan of the tactics sometimes employed by state-incumbent telcos (think BT, France Telecom/Wanadoo/Orange etc.), I have to sympathise with BT this time.

Microsoft debuts Windows for the Poor

Godwin Stewart

Re: decisions

Chad H. writes:

:So, for $3 in a poor country, you could:

:A) buy a legitamate, if crippled version of the old windows

:B) buy a pirated, but full, version of the new OS, with all the bells and whistles, and cash to spare.

You're forgetting:

C) feed your family for a week.

People are still forgetting that the primary concern of most people in the parts of the world targetted by this is where their next meal is going to come from. If they're starving, they're still not going to spend $3 on a crippled O/S, they're going to spend their money on food.

Mobile operators giveth and taketh away

Godwin Stewart

They really do think we're morons

"mobile operators [...] will increase the wholesale prices they charge non-European operators [...] to compensate for the loss of revenues resulting from the new European price caps."

Have people forgotten the sudden threefold increase in price back in 2000 or threabouts?

Being based in France, I'm a user of a French mobile. I travel occasionally to the UK and thus find myself subject to roaming charges.

I remember being charged approx 2.00FF/minute (that was 20p give or take - remember, this is before the euro became currency over here) to make calls within the UK. The next year I was there, I made a 40-minute call for which I was expecting to pay about 80FF. I ended up with a 240FF item on my bill because the cost calls made while roaming had been increased to 6.00FF/minute. Nowadays it's 1.00€/minute to place calls and about 0.30€/minute to receive them.

So, what could have been behind that massive increase in roaming charges 6 or 7 years ago? Was it justified in terms other than greed?

I doubt it. Why? Because I gave the cellco hell when I got the bill, and they reimbursed me 200FF. They would have refused to give me the money back if the price was driven purely by real cost.

Orange punts two year lock-in

Godwin Stewart

Re: He chose... poorly...

Aubry Thonon writes: "It can be worth it to fork out for a decent handset and then tighten the screw on the provider to get a better deal on your rates"

That isn't always possible.

As a resident in France for the past 24 years, I've come to accept that the French way of doing business is radically different from the UK (or Aussie, although I don't know how things work down under) way. In the UK, a business feels to a certain extent that its customers are what keeps it alive and that they should be treated with a minimum of respect. Over here, customers should be eternally grateful that companies, for whom they are but parasites, deign to serve them. There's *NO WAY* you're going to get a discount on the contract over here, even if you supply your own handset. Forget it!

Not only that, but as far as Orange France is concerned anyway, the only page of their WAP portal that they guarantee will render correctly on a phone not bought from them is the home page. Indeed, I have a Nokia 6280 bought SIM-free last year, and there are a few pages that generate errors instead of displaying because the phone isn't one that's been Orange-branded and therefore had its firmware modified.

Microsoft 'wait-and-see' on Vista BIOS hack

Godwin Stewart

Re: law-abiders punished

If Microsoft priced their products reasonably then the benefits and therefore the attraction of piracy would be far smaller. I know that I could no longer *afford* to use Microsoft software even if I wanted to, which is one of the reasons I became a 100% Open Source shop many years ago.

Microsoft zero-days said to target Office and Windows

Godwin Stewart

This isn't really news any more

"new zero-day exploits, some that appear to allow the commandeering of a PC"


What's new? Spam botnets have been in existence for ages.

Fatman iTube amplifier

Godwin Stewart

It *is* perfectly simple

Even FLAC - or any form of 16-bit digital audio for that matter - won't sound as good as a well-kept vinyl LP.

A well-produced LP with a good pickup can offer a dynamic range in excess of 120dB over the standard 20Hz-20KHz frequency range. With 16-bit digital audio, the dynamic range - ie: the amplitude of the largest possible signal divided by that of the smallest possible signal - is 65.536, or 96dB [20×log(65536)]. This mathematically inevitable difference *is* perceptible to the human ear.

While a CDDA beats the socks off a vinyl record for durability, which is why it's so popular nowadays, the vinyl LP can puree a CD (or any other form of 16-bit digital audio) as far as sound quality is concerned.

Of course, the SACD and DVD-A are a whole new kettle of fish but that's no longer 16-bit audio sampled at 44.1KHz.

Firefox under fire from multiple security bugs

Godwin Stewart

Re: The thing is, Firefox is being _sold_ as invulnerable

First of all, firefox isn't being "sold" at all. It's freely available.

Secondly, it isn't being presented as "invulnerable", but as "far less vulnerable". There's a big difference.

Thirdly, when vulns are discovered (not if, when) they're fixed far quicker than they would be in the closed-source, proprietary software world.


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