* Posts by Sean O'Connor

19 posts • joined 13 Jun 2007

Google boffins unveil 'What's Up?' CAPTCHA

Sean O'Connor

Image v Question

> At a web site that I help manage, image-based CAPTCHA was recently implemented

> to replace text-based CAPTCHA which had been cracked by spam bots for a long time.

I used to get about 5 porn-spam-bots a day on my phpBB forums once they had figured out the built in image CAPTCHA system. I switched to a simple question based system which asks a random question like "What colour is the sky?" and I've not had one bot sign up for the last two years. Sure, it's not a multi-lingual system but if that's not a problem for you it really seems to work.

Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines

Sean O'Connor

Excellent news

If all Bit Torrent sites were shut down and there was a way to prevent apps from being easily copied between computers I'd sell my Windows games for $4 instead of $20 - like I do on the iPhone. I hope they go to jail and lose all the ad money they've made off the back of honest developers.

Copyright lawyers accuse 25,000 UK videogame filesharers

Sean O'Connor


> So, how does that FACT fit in with the theory that all copies equal a lost sale? Tell me!

It's irrelevant whether copying reduces the number of sales a developer makes or not. Why can't you understand that it's not up to you what you do with my copyrighted material? If I write a game it's up to me what the price is, it's up to me how it's sold and it's up to me how it's used. If you don't like that then just don't buy it.

Old ships' logs show temporary global warming in 1730s

Sean O'Connor

Environmentalists to blame

"We now know that the decline in the mid 20th Century is more linked to the huge aerosol emissions associated with the rapid industrialisation of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in North America, the USSR and China, much of which was driven by high sulphur coal. As these economies gradually switched to cleaner coal and increasingly to oil and gas; and began to limit industrial emissions, the skies cleared and temperatures began to rise."

So Global Warming is actually caused by environmentalists then? If they hadn't insisted on us switching to cleaner coal etc... we wouldn't have rising global temperatures. When can we expect an apology from them for destroying our planet?

NZ judge saves girl from bloody silly name

Sean O'Connor

New law?

Maybe there should be a law that allowed you to swap names with one of your parents when you got to 16? I'd love to see the look on that girl's mum's face when she realised that her name from now on was Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. Or Dad's name from now on was Fat Boy.

How to beat AVG's fake traffic spew

Sean O'Connor

Off by default

Why don't they just make Link Scanner off by default? I left it on for my father-in-law because he's new to computers but everybody in the office here has disabled the Add On in their browser to remove it.

Cambridge congestion charge plans shelved

Sean O'Connor

Stop building more houses

As there's a problem with traffic in Cambridge why are thousands more houses being built on the outskirts (eg Arbury Park and Northstowe) ? Just a wild guess, but isn't that going to make the problem even worse?

Pirate Bay bitchslaps Swedish law with SSL

Sean O'Connor
Thumb Down

@Anonymous Coward

> I love this lot!

You wouldn't if you'd spent the last few years writing some software and then you saw it being downloaded for free on a Bit Torrent site.

Browser makers throw up drive-by download barriers

Sean O'Connor

Easy to disable

Just click on Tools | Add-ons and then disable AVG Safe Search

Russian serfs paid $3 a day to break CAPTCHAs

Sean O'Connor


Just from my own experience I used to use CAPTCHAs on my phpBB forums and I'd get about 5 spammers registering a day. I changed to using a simple question system which asked a random question like "what is five plus two? or, what colour is the sky?" and I haven't had a single spam registration for nearly a year now.

Amazon pooh-poohs (ingenious) New York net tax plan

Sean O'Connor

Scrap it still

Because VAT and company tax is so complicated I end up spending £1,000 a year on an accountant so I can avoid paying slightly more than that in tax. If it was all made simple I'd sort it out myself and then even if taxes were put up I could afford to pay that grand to a teacher or a nurse.

I can understand luxury taxes on booze and fags etc... but wouldn't life be so much simpler (and cheaper) for businesses if most of them didn't have to employ an army of accountants to figure out VAT?

Sean O'Connor

Scrap it

VAT/Sales tax is surely going to get more and more unworkable the more global our economies get. I'd vote for scrapping it completely worldwide and make up the difference with a small increase in income tax. Does anyone know why this bizarrely complicated tax is a good idea?

Windows random number generator is so not random

Sean O'Connor

Why use it then?

If this is such an issue for generating SSL keys then why don't those programs use their own random number generators instead of using Windows' one?

Personally I've found it a godsend that the random number generator routine has stayed the same all through every 32 bit Windows. That way you can use it in games to create random maps for example that will be the same on any version of Windows if you use the same seed number.

Don't blame MS if you're using their simple random number routine when you need something a bit more sophisticated. Get off your arse and write your own.

Plants will make greenhouse effect flooding worse

Sean O'Connor

My 2008 prediction

Here's my prediction for next year:

Whatever the weather is next year (dry, cold, hot, wet, windy, whatever) some "scientist" will come up with an explanation of why it was all caused by CO2 emissions, regardless of whether that contradicts some other "scientist"'s explanations for the year before.

It's not science if you just come up with excuses after the event. It's science if you can predict what's going to happen next. How many climate "scientists" predicted 2006 would be very warm and dry here and 2007 would be very wet? Any?

Sweden may block Pirate Bay over child porn

Sean O'Connor

Shut Pirate Bay down asap

> More, it seems, than they have to redistribute to honest artists, which, incidentally, is supposed to be their actual purpose.

I don't want the MPAA to reimburse me for any of my work that appears on Pirate Bay, I just want them to shut them down. And I'm an honest artist. Thanks for your concern though.

And if Pirate Bay can remove any links to child porn, why can't they remove links to our copyright material?

TorrentSpy filters pirated videos

Sean O'Connor

re: Great idea...

"The problem is in the payment structures - I don't want to buy a Transit van, but I might rent one for a day when I need it. I doubt Sean offers me the chance to rent his software on an hourly rate."

But it isn't up to you how I charge for my work, it's up to me. If you don't like how I do it then like I say, just don't buy my games.

Using your analogy, could you walk to a Ford dealerships and say "I want to rent a van!" and when they say "no sir, we sell vans we don't rent them" you could just get in the van and drive off screaming "but that's what I want, that's what I want, waaa! waaa!"

How can you not see that it is up to us as the seller to decide our price and how we sell something and it is up to you the customer if you choose to buy or not?

Sean O'Connor

Great idea

This is a great idea and I'm signing up for it straight away. I've spent over 10 years developing my Windows games independently and it's my only source of income for my family.

If you don't like my games then just don't buy them. I can't understand why some people think it's OK to take something for free because in their opinion it's too expensive.

Perhaps you'd like to come round to my house and explain to my daughter how we could have gone on holiday this summer if the people who "shared" my games had bought instead? Yeah, maybe that's a bit of a sob story but it would be nice if the stupid people who keep whining on about industry "fat cats" etc... would realise that there are thousands of small independent authors out here too who are struggling to make a living from selling software.

Sony apologies over virtual cathedral firefight

Sean O'Connor

Stop the violence

Maybe if the church is so against promoting violence they could get rid of all those statues and pictures of that bloke being brutally tortured to death on a cross? Bit hypocritical to get all upset about a simple computer game I reckon.

Video download site ordered to spy on users

Sean O'Connor

Stop being such an idiot

""W" is all about big business and anytime they cry foul he bows to there every whim and gives them all they need to go after hard working people."

I write games for a living as an independent author and it's the only income I get to feed my family and pay the bills. How do you think I feel when I see my games on some torrent?

Stop being such an idiot. It's not just "big business" that's affected it's anybody who writes anything digitally - big companies and hard working "little guys" like me alike.

How would you feel if I could choose to torrent a bit of your salary at the end of every month? If I could choose to take as much of it as I thought was fair by my own reckoning?


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