* Posts by Mark

126 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2007


The mobile phone as self-inflicted surveillance



"...public trust in the essential reasonableness of UK police... will continue to be essential."

Well, that's that blown out of the water then.

'I don't blame pilot', says San Diego jet crash father


Scratch n sniff

The odour's so strong you can almost taste the "armchair military expert and REAL patriot" grade testosterone on this comments page. Makes you real proud to be anything other than A Merkin.

Mines the one with "The Impetious Imperialist" in the pocket

El Reg seeks top net neologism



May not fit the bill, and indeed precedes the net, but it remains the funniest word ever as well as being a top pastime.

Ofcom slaps down Phones4U



Also have a nasty reputation for setting the "bloke with a radio" on you should you happen to include their clip joints in a photo. Weird people.

German court curbs data collection law


Ich bin ein Berliner

Well, I wish I was. This just emphasises that we need a proper written constitution here too. As opposed to the mish mash of bits we currently have, which seems to require the divination of experts to understand, appears to protect no-one but the government, and allows c***ts like Jackboot Smith to claim virtually whatever they want, irrespective of it's voracity, simply because no-one knows if it's actually true or not.

A little real democracy would go a long way on this currently benighted island.

Schneier sticks it to surveillance


That's made my morning

I just can't imagine a more pointless, bleak and morbidly depressing world than the one painted in this article. The "right to die" legal actions will soon start coming from those with nothing more wrong with them than a surfeit of reading articles like this.

Man threatens lawsuit after negative eBay feedback



So he sends an item different to that advertised, in a condition not as stated, then, after fulfilling his obligations to refund the money, expects positive feedback - having wasted the punters time. If there's a growing malaise with british businesses of all sizes these days, it's that clearing up after your own slipshod work qualifies as customer service worthy of praise. Try providing a decent service in the first place before whining when someone has the temerity to moan.

Public ID card support holds steady - says gov report


Led by the nose

As ever, ask the right questions in the right way, and you'll get the numbers you want - I would be astonished if the governments poll didn't show support. If the entire population turned up at number 10 for a week long protest, they'd still claim support and bring it in anyway.

Civil servants' pro-Labour memo reignites child data controversy


"A 'universal' system ... is much less stigmatising."

Clearly this is a philosophy dear to the heart of NotLab. They could ( and appear to) apply it in broadly the same way to the machinery of the war on terror/crime/drugs - by assuming we're all guilty, no one demographic gets stigmatised. Hence the line from the filth while feeing my collar for photographing water; "we can't make assumptions about who is and isn't a terrorist". Indeed.

Grim news at Dixons


What confidence?

"Consumer confidence has significantly deteriorated across Europe"

Well confidence in Dixons has certainly been on a steep downward slope since the late 70's.

I tried to buy a DVD burner from PCworld "Business" local store. Not in stock at the shop and 10 quid for delivery if I bought online. So I asked the store to order me one and I'd pick it up. Also 10 quid delivery charge I was told. So the customer is now expected to pay a separate charge for PCW to deliver their products to their own stores. Even the sales muppet was embarrassed.

I wonder why results were down.

Govt ponders proof-of-ID law for future phone purchases


Funnily enough

I was having a conversation just last night in which we wondered how long this would take to come along. Funny you wait ages for a stupid, repressive piece of legislation to come along, and then several hundred arrive at once!

Another nice piece of logic to help the "should we have ID cards" so-called 'debate' along.

I doubt this will stop Jihadi 'A', owner of an East Ham mobile phone shop, selling Jihadi 'B' a phone/sim not in his name. Only now, they may have yet another use for stolen ID documents, so that Mrs Ethel Jones, the 87 year old retired dinner lady, gets her brains spread over the living room wall by Pigs with Guns.

Why do the government hate us so much?

As usual, we pay, they play.

Ofcom confirms three Freeview HD channels 'by end of next year'


ITV in HD?

Really, why bother wasting electricity.

Scotland Mountain Rescue turns on Ofcom

Paris Hilton

Inverted values

How typical of Ofcom to price the crap out of spectrum so others 'appreciate it's value', while failing entirely to appreciate the value such rescue services offer the country. The nation is getting very valuable services for close to nothing and making spectrum available to them at no cost would seem like a very small gesture in return.

By their own light, Ofcom fail miserably as does most of this dreadful government. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Paris, cos doubtless she talks a lot of shit too.

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics


More grist to the NuLab mill

Somewhere in the bowels of Whitehall, one of Gordo's minions will spot this and wonder why we haven't got it over here. Plenty of fodder here for the Daily Mail tendency to get into a lather over.

LIcking? Yes, I sniggered too.

Stick health warnings on gays, says Stock Exchange chaplain


A bit hypocritical...

...since a penchant for small boys seems to go with the cassock.

Phorm losses shoot up by half



Bit of a financial white knuckle ride for Kent and his fellow pond life then. Six more months at that rate of spending and we can all break out the beers.

BT's third Phorm trial starts tomorrow


re: Phorm Site Visit Confirmations

>In fact not just visited but pretty much ever page spidered!!!!

Perhaps this is their workaround for opted out sites? URLs requested for pages on opted out sites are profiled from a cache of the page held by phorm, which perhaps sticks to the letter of the opt out, but not the spirit. Obviously such pages might change over time, but I suppose they could have a 'third party' scan the pages and use them for profiling, or simply produce pre-canned profiles.

Since phorm have demonstrated such a great fondness for twisting words/outright lies, it would seem a solution they would be comfortable with.

Gates Horns

re: website-exclusion@webwise.com - NO, NO, NO!!!

Think people!! Sorry, but I don't think any website owners should be using this to opt out of having their sites phormed. If you use this as a method of avoiding phorm, you are simply doing their work for them and reducing the collective case we all have for for copyright infringement.

There are established methods of letting bots know (politely) that they are unwanted; i.e. robots.txt. Why should we bend over backwards to let them know by email FFS. What happens when every ISP decided to pimp their client base? Are you going to meekly go cap uin had and email every single data pimp and ask them nicely not to visit? It's up to THEM to ask permission/establish consent, NOT the other way round.

Ban the IP ranges and set a custom error page, or use them to flag a notice for customers of those ranges letting them know what their ISP is up to, bugger their cookies - whatever, but lets stick together and not play the game the way THEY wish it to be played on their terms. If users do opt in because they dont understand then WE need to educate them through our sites - after all we are in the best position to do so by far.

A decent branded "anti phorm" banner/logo/notice that is standard across all sites that object to this being done. This gets both the message and the scale of the opposition across as users see it on site after site. Link it to a well worded clear and concise explanation of what is being done and why it is wrong, couched in laymans terms, pointing out the "Daily Mail" aspects, you know; kids consent, multiple users, Russian malware writers, illegal interception, babies on pitchforks (OK, OK) etc etc

Phorm has used PR extensively, hammering home a consistent, simple corporate message - every time they are asked it is unwavering. We need to stop acting like a bunch of individuals and work together using the same kind of tactics - but tactics we and not phorm dictate.

Stick together and we can make phorm like behaviour unsellable and unacceptable; run around like headless chickens as we are now and DPI ad-targeting will be the norm in 12 months.

Don't blink!!

Devil Bill, cos he would if he could.


Full disclosure

The interstitial is not exactly forthcoming about what phorm ar about to do to your privacy, is it? So much for the idea of 'fully informed consent' that gets bandied around from time to time. Time to fire up the ban of BT's network to my sites.

Secret Service camera bought on eBay

Paris Hilton


Don't talk to the media = please don't make us look like idiots for the 432nd time this month.

Whatever happened to the public pat on the back that used to be handed out to public spirited and vigilant citizens?

Or perhaps the guy that handed the camera in was the wrong colour or grovelled to the wrong deity. These days, the truly public spirited thing to do is hand such material to the press - the only thing civil servants seem to comprehend is a media spit-roasting.

Paris, cos she's more savvy than most coppers.

Is Hitwise in the Phorm biz?



It's back to tin cans and string for me.

Royal Navy won't fight pirates 'in case they claim asylum'


Shoot them all

It's hard to beg for asylum when your brains are floating some distance from your body. I'm sympathetic with the idea of human rights, but once you start depriving others of their human rights through piracy, you should be in forfeit of your own.

Phorm mulls incentives for ad targeting wiretaps


Try as you might...

... you can't polish a turd.

Police drop BT-Phorm probe


The wrong PR

The so-called police are great at swinging into action if it involves 'getting tough' on some NuLab PR idiocy or Janet Street Porter swears at her neighbour. But not apparently when a large company flouts the law - thats totally different of course. The message to the public is very reassuring; drop a fag butt and you'll have armed coppers desecrating your Koran but don't complain to us if some powerful kleptocrat gives you a rogering.

Why do we pay for such utter morons?

Sockpuppeting civil servant Wikifiddles himself

Paris Hilton


The outlet may make this very web 2.0, but the idea of a cross dressing civil servant having some seriously weird pastimes that may or may not stem from odd experiences at public school is about as traditionally British as it comes. All that's missing is the bowler hat.

paris cos she's probably just another baxter alter ego

BT's secret Phorm trials: UK.gov responds


More weasly ambiguity

From the statement:

# Users will be presented with an unavoidable statement about the product and asked to exercise a choice about whether to be involved.

# Users will be able to easily access information on how to change their mind at any point and are free to opt in or out of the scheme

Not exactly waving the flag for a guaranteed opt-in approach with no interception if you say F*** off, are they? I don't want to exercise a choice at all, in fact I don't want to think about it. I simply want nothing to do with it unless I actively seek it out.



So uk.gov claim to be 'transparent', but won't release their findings. That must be another word like 'debate', which they call for regularly as a prelude to telling us what they're going to do. Still there's an election coming soon (not soon enough), then we can all 'move on' to the next ten years of depressing idiocy.

In the meantime, I'll have to continue my 'zero tolerance' approach to ISPs who refuse to rule out phorm.

UK.gov told not to subsidise superfast broadband


@Geoff Johnson

>Why should anyone believe the government will pay any attention to this report?

Because while spending government money on IT projects they DO want (more databases) is OK, spending it on something they've already decided is unnecessary (i.e. has no security/war on terror angle) is not OK and the decision should be down to those good old investors.

They are admirably consistent in only listening to those reports that fit in with what they, in their infinite benevolence and wisdom, have already decided they are going to do.

Police quiz BT on secret Phorm trials

Paris Hilton

Nice cup of tea?

I imagine the interview was less rigorous than most of us would wish for; more a nice cosy chat about the impertinence of the public disagreeing with the decisions of business.

I'll start taking the official interest seriously when I see some greasy wanker from BT/phorm defending the indefensible in court.

Nothing less than some phucker getting banged up will do.

Paris, 'cos she's au fait with invaded privacy and getting banged up.

Massive expansion planned for 'no-work' database


Privatised justice

So now the private sector is apparently Judge, jury and executioner. Treating people like shit really is one of the areas where the British are the worlds most innovative,

UK.gov pushes £50,000 fine for online copyright infringement



And the chances of any fine being levelled against a PLC on behalf of small or one man businesses remains about zero or less.

Been there, done that.

Research firm emails 20,000 addresses in the clear


Yeah right

Let's hope they're not "sensible and responsible" pump 'n' dump scammers.

Snoop more, share less - Home Office spurns EU advice


They all had the chicken

I wonder if there would be any adverse consequences to everyone on a given flight ordering Halal meals?

American man too fat for execution


More bizarre

Not as weird as the guy a couple of years ago. He tried to beat the executioner by topping himself a couple of days before his date with destiny, but failed. The authorities insisted on waiting till he got better before executing him.

How twisted can you get.

It's official: The Home Office is listening


Getting very bored

Of stories that come down to "government finds another innovative way to chip (hack?) away at your privacy, civil liberties and chances of getting to sixty without getting a criminal record".

Trying to find endless technological ways to find us all guilty of something or other is just simply wrong and has to stop. I'm at the point I'd vote for that fuckwit Cameron if I thought for a second it would help, which of course it won't.

Austrian official fuels Skype backdoor rumours


Could it be a case of

Ve haf vays of hearing you talk!

Free for all on London Underground


re: Another approach

Try Brussels. It's so cheap it's scarcely worth dodging the fare. The price of LU makes me think of Denis Healy's "Squeeze the pips till they squeak".

Congress accuses American Phorm of 'beating consumers'


The L word

"It's a legitimate desire on the part of [ISPs] to increase the amount of ad dollars they receive to help fund the internet,"

The minute they start wheeling out 'legitimate', beloved of suited wankers everywhere, you just know they're on the defensive.

Phorm protestors picket BT AGM


re: no simple fix

This point should be banged home a lot more often. Switching ISPs might sound all consumer empowering and democratic, but once the principal of opt out intrusive privacy buggering is accepted, every ISP will be lapping it up. We'll be left with the same 'choice' as we have about not buying food in supermarkets, i.e. very, very little. It needs to be stopped now, or we just become lab rats designing our own mazes, unrecompensed, for someone else's profit.

While I find the targetted ads, profiling of my browsing and interception of my communicatiions offensive, the thing that really, really makes me spit blood is the simple, arrogant assumption that my private activity is some natural resource freely available to be harnessed, rather than my own property to be dispensed with (or not) as I see fit.

All else is, frankly, smoke and mirrors.


"cuntpuffins". Award winning, you've made my day.

Home Office unveils tagtastic immigrant control plans



The Tories 'even tougher' riposte will probably be tags welded to the genitals that detonate spectacularly should the said illegal miss his plane by 12 hours.

That'll learn 'em.

Criminal record checks could hit over 14 million people


More madness

Once again the actions of this government leave me utterly speechless and send a cold shiver up my spine. It's hard to see where this madness will end, but that it will be very, very ugly with a trail of broken and lost lives in it's wake seems inevitable.

We really are the land of the doomed.

NebuAd plays cat and mouse with data pimping opt-out



>Wouldn't it be nice to only see ads for products you might actually buy?

I doubt I'm alone in that I don't ever buy through internet advertising. Ever. Too many years of ever more intrusive, flashing, popping up, singing, dancing rubbish being pushed into my face and I flatly refuse to see any net advert as good, whether or not I want the product. There is a limit to how pushy, intrusive and deceptive advertising can be without simply antagonising users, and that line was crossed a very long time ago. If that's the only way to get this so-called free content, I can live without it - the stuff plastered with the very worst advertising isn't worth it in any case.

So ad block plus or similar stays installed until the unlikely future when sanity returns.

Jodrell Bank spared the chop


The ubiquitous visitor centre

It's a depressing testament to the UKs national sense of priorities that anything that doesn't explicitly make a profit has to have a visitor 'experience' attached to it, presenting a dumbed down version of what it does to bored and disinterested children on a wet holiday afternoon. It seems to be the modern incarnation of the hair shirt or dunces cap for institutions; a sign that, unlike Tesco, BT and the Jesus phone they are tolerated rather than revered and considered more of a national embarrassment than an asset.

Still, the visitor experience does give work to goatee sporting designers and the manufacturers of translucent coloured plastics, so it's really worthwhile after all, I suppose.

UK.gov serves up GM food as price hike fix


GM lobbying

It might be possible to give this some consideration, if Brown and cronies sounded less like they were barking from the end of a GM corporate leash. The idea of sticking global food output at the whims of shareholding types appeals not at all.

Population is far more of an issue than GM.

Observers criticise London e-count


Taxpayer value

Why not just pay a private company to roll a dice (in a sealed room) on our behalf, then let us know the result? The system used here seems so lacking in transparency and accountability that we'd be little worse off democratically, but presumably the price would drop by a couple of million to deliver a bit more of the ever-popular "Taxpayer value".

What we have has only a cosmetic resemblance to democracy.

So, what can you photograph?


Officialdom making life easy for themselves

I imagine the reason behind the registry office ban is simply the conjunction of modern, obstructive officialdom and old rules. As others have suggested, it's not permitted to shoot real pages of the marriage register as others on the same page could be identified, breaching their privacy. More and more people use better and better cameras and post their stuff to Flickr etc, so I reckon the registry office people had enough of explaining that the 'real' page could not be used 300 times a day to pre-fueled guests with potential attitude problems.

As usual in the UK, it's considered easier just to stop people doing something that is largely harmless 99 percent of the time, than try to explain the rules the other 1 percent. I'm sure this applies equally to places like Canary Wharf, where the "hassle anyone with a camera that is big and black" rule applies.

I've photographed election counts on several occasions over the years, and the only stipulation of the returning officer was that the text on individual ballot slips should be impossible to read.

Liberty director threatens to sue Burnham over 'tawdry smear'


Who cares?

I can't really see much wrong with the remarks, but then who cares? If it entails dragging an especially offensive NuLabour wallah through the courts for a touch of humble pie consumption, let that trusty sword of British justice smite where it may.

It gets scary when a tory's view on civil liberties sounds attractive.

Phorm failed to mention 'illegal' trials at Home Office meeting in 2007


Just change the law

I read somewhere recently that the gov are going to replace RIPA, I think in the next parliament. Whats the betting it turns out to be even more repugnant than it's predecessor? Or perhaps adds a bit that retrospectively allows Phorm/BTs shennanigans.

Perhaps that was a component of the phorm/ home office discussions, a promise to the effect of: "Just keep your noses clean and grit your teeth, and you'll get a shoo-in next year" After all, there's nothing uk.gov hates more than it citizens, and nothing it likes more than business. It's open season on privacy in the UK.

Skull and crossbones 'cos this government is pure poison.

Tory trash talk fails to halt bin bugging plans

Paris Hilton

re: Use your neighbours bin!

My neighbours are already practicing for this. Where I live 6 flats share a common bin area with a bin each. We use about a third of our bin capacity over a week. Two of the neighbouring flats seem to have a serious fetish for heavily packaged consumer goods and use all bins for their crap. All 6 bins are usually overflowing with 3 days to go before collection. My East London council couldn't give a rats arse about this or the attendant health issues, and will doubtless similarly not care when they charge me for my neighbours 'fly tipped' crap.

Paris, 'cos anywhere on earth is better than Newham

UK culture sec wants a public service web


When it comes to technology pronouncements...

... why do ministers insist on doing the intellectual equivalent of walking into a room full of people dressed only in your wife's panties?