* Posts by walatam

54 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Mar 2012


No extra bank holiday for 75th VE Day, but the pub will be open longer


I am pretty sure there will be a claim that not participating in celebrations linked to Europe was one of the things that was voted for back in 2016 as a justification for not having an extra bank holiday. /s


I suspect either a lack of thought from the UK gov or the acceptance that Scotland will be independent by then :)

Euro ISP club: Sure, weaken encryption. It'll only undermine security for everyone, morons


Re: Not a moment too soon

forcing Facebook to build a backdoor that the authorities can use

I'm not an expert but I guess if "the authorities" can use the backdoor, so can anyone else in time as a backdoor will become public at some stage - either maliciously leaked or because there are bugs in the backdoor.

J'accuse! Amazon's Rekognition reckons 1 in 5 Californian lawmakers are crims in ACLU test


I do not think the issue is so much with the surveillance, more with what the video could be used for.

There is an interesting paper at https://www.aclu.org/report/dawn-robot-surveillance that covers some of the worst case scenarios as well as explaining what can be done right now.

Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone


Re: "We all want to see hard proof of espionage. This is absolutely not it"

I'm not sure if there is sarcasm in your comment but, on the off-chance you are being serious, please read the article where it explains, in the first sentence, that 'A claimed "backdoor" in Huawei routers used in the core of Vodafone Italy's 3G network was, in fact, a routine implementation of Telnet.'

If we consider Telnet itself to be a backdoor then should we not just broaden the definition of a backdoor to anything that allows access to a resource on one system from any system?

Schneier: Don't expect Uncle Sam to guard your web privacy – it's Europe riding to the rescue


Re: When the Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth...

"sociological impact"

Part of my computing / IT degree dealt with ethics. Interestingly (or not) this was framed around how you felt about a decision or action with no regard to any societal impacts, whether they were obvious or not.

Head of Apple's insider trading program charged with… you guessed it... insider trading


Re: Why would you do this?

Just because he is wealthy, doesn't mean he isn't stupid (or greedy). More seriously, I could try to make a point about the rich feeling that the rules simply don't always apply ...

Introducing 'Happy Quit', where Chinese smokers are text-spammed into nicotine abstinence


Re: Zero percent, Bob.

"Quitting isn't fatal"

As someone who has recently quit (day 48 since last smoke) I can tell you that it has proved near fatal to a few people around me :) Especially the annoying gits who ask, smugly, whether I feel better yet / if everything tastes better etc

Brit airport pulls flight info system offline after attack by 'online crims'



Congrats to the IT and Business Recovery Team at Bristol Airport. They may not get a big pat on the back for pulling the plug but It's a lovely feeling when your recovery plans work :)

Fourth 'Fappening' celeb nude snap thief treated to 8 months in the clink


Re: @ Walatam "Someone stole someone else's property and published it"

Surely the person that got hold of the photo's could not argue they were entitled to have them? The pictures / videos were not made public by the owner of the content so it is still theft for me (yes, we could argue about whether the celebs unwittingly made the content "public" but their intent would seem to be for the content to remain private). Is the issue of whether you are entitled to have something not at the core of theft?

I am deliberately avoiding the question of whether the photo's should have been taken in the first place as that seems, to me, to be a wider issue around whether any of us truly understand what we sign up for when we use a digital service. I would argue you distrust first but I know an awful lot of people who feel that life is too short for such cynicism and they are in the majority in this case. Should we not be pushing for the majority to be better protected and informed (and it is not the IT community that is best placed to do the informing - we do not speak the right language and have skills in areas that make us better suited to IT than public information and "Marketing").


Re: I'm not a particularly draconian 'eye for an eye' person...

Your post forced me to look at these photos and videos for the first time, and I assure you she has nothing to feel embarrassed or humiliated about.

One, you weren't forced and, two, you are missing the point. Someone stole someone else's property and published it. Embarrassment is not the issue. Finally, you can not assume what a person will find humiliating - you thinking it is OK does not make it OK for those who got hacked.

Amnesty slaps Google amid crippled censored China search claims


Re: Not sure what choice Google has, with China

Google has a choice and that is to not modify their code and therefore not be allowed back in to China. As others have pointed out, commercial considerations have taken precedence over corporate "vaules" ("Do the right thing" is sufficiently nebulous to allow any number of actions, including doing the right thing to increase profit).

London's top cop isn't expecting facial recog tech to result in 'lots of arrests'


So, the technology is not very good and you have little faith in it producing any real volume of high quality results. Yeah, I can see the sense in continuing with it.

Dob in naughty data slurps to top EU court, privacy groups urge


Re: Potential Terrorism/Mafia/Illegal Activists

"Give us access to the politicians/ministers/governing persons private phone calls, whereabouts and all online/offline activity in order that we too may make judgement on activities performed."

I understand what you are saying but rather than broadening the data capture, we should fight for it to be narrowed as much as possible and have expert, unbiased scrutiny on the claims that data slurping has protected us from X, Y and Z.

There are, however, some serious problems with our MP's being able to vote on restricting how they are affected by data and privacy laws (granted, they should have some exemptions for some of their activities but they should not be able to pass that law by themselves).

GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…


Re: And once again...

"But what about the data retention law, from that very same EU?"

If you mean Directive 2006/24/EC, that was annulled in 2014 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Retention_Directive)

With regard to right to be forgotten requests, if the data subjects rights outweigh yours then you have to delete it. If you have a statutory or legal obligation to keep the data, you can keep it (see https://gdpr-info.eu/art-17-gdpr/)

GDPR is a pita but it is trying to put people back in control of their data and for that, I applaud it.

Amazon staffers protest giant's 'support of the surveillance state'


Re: Hmmmmm

Leave. Make the world a better place by your actions

If everyone who disagrees does this then you end up with a monoculture and no organisation wants that, surely? Staying (and "bleating") means you help diversity and, directly, help the organisation become resistant to the problems of a homogeneous workforce (being wiped out by a single event / disease / competitor etc). In other words, you change the world by pushing against it.

This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank


Simple question

If it is likely that the product you have been sent is going to be released to the general public then yes, it should be reviewed, if not, there appears to be no real reason to publish a review.

Facebook puts 1.5bn users on a boat from Ireland to California


privacy protections

"applies the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland."

Yes, I am sure they do this. They are not saying that they will provide strong protections and they will continue to apply the protections that are right for Facebook. If the end user benefits then that is a side-effect, nothing more.

Facebook tried to access and match medical data – report


Last month we decided that we should pause these discussions

No acceptance from FB that it is a bad idea. Just a "pause" (of indeterminate length). It will happen, just not yet *sigh*

That long-awaited Mark Zuckerberg response: Everything's fine! Mostly fixed! Facebook's great! All good in the hoodie!


"I'm serious about doing what it takes to protect our community."

Yeah, sure. I think he should define what he means by "community" - the shareholders, the developers, the ad slingers, the data miners, the end users? I have a feeling that the end user is not at the centre of FB's concerns and won't be until there is a significant drop in user numbers or there is a big enough cost to FB as a result of their practices.

NHS Digital heads accused of being 'suppliers', not 'custodians' of UK patient data


Patient data is a national asset

That jumped out at me too. Sadly, I suspect the extension of this will be someone will suggest that we need to fund the NHS by allowing some ever-so-carefully selected companies access to this "national asset". And those organisations will never ever use it for anything nefarious (but it will be profitable) and then someone will come along and decide that we should have "monetised" the data within the NHS ourselves.

Privacy-focused search engine DeepSearch slinks out of hiding


Seems to be a search engine for Wikipedia at the moment

I ran a few queries and the results all seemed to be Wikipedia articles (I searched for "deep search" and that pointed me to Wikipedia)

A bit more work to do before this site becomes useful I think.

Google's macho memo man fired, say reports


"Political correctness gone mad, as usual."

I disagree. Google are a profit-making entity and will make decisions based on things that affect that ability. This person had, imho, deplorable views but they were sacked because those views potentially adversely affected Google, not because of "political correctness".

Apple chief on Chinese VPN app ban: We always toe the line with other nations' laws



When Tim Cook says "We strongly believe that participating in markets and bringing benefits to customers is in the best interest of the folks there and in other countries as well" he must think we are all daft. Apple took a pragmatic decision to remove VPN's in China because failure to do so would have affected their bottom line - China may have taken more destructive action if Apple did not comply.

I do not know which is more deplorable - China's repressive regime or Apple's "only doing it for the customer" bullsh*t. I suppose China is slightly more open about being a sh*t.

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC


Re: So ...

"I'd have immediately brought the place to its knees"

"All were fired on the spot."

Wow. I'd really like to come and work at your place. Sounds like a nice, collaborative, enlightened and peaceful place to be. I'd bet that everyone really wants to work there and really, really thinks the IT team and sysadmins are ace, just ace.

Uneasy rest the buttocks on the iron throne. Profits plunge 14% at Sky UK and Ireland



"[...] a new tenure-based loyalty programme [...]"

This phrase alone is enough to make me never want to take a f'ing Sky product.

The lady (or man) vanishes: The thorny issue of GDPR coding


re:'Personally identfiable information'

I think the guidance runs along the lines of "any piece of data that you hold that could identify an individual or could be combined with something else that you hold or could reasonably expect to have or gather that identifies an individual.

The data just has to be descriptive so saying "the ginger bloke that works in IT at XYZ company" could potentially identify an individual if there is no other ginger bloke in IT at that company. Under GDPR, this extends to things like IP addresses (called "online identifiers" I believe).

GDPR is going to be a bit of a nightmare for some, a pain for most and a cash-cow for others

Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe


A possible solution?

Dear Sky,

Rather than expend your energy complaining about BT, why not build something to compete against them? I appreciate that BT are particularly annoying because they have the clout to compete with you in your traditional areas too but, you know, just get on with the job of doing something better than them and making people realise that you are better.


The Free Market

App to manage Android app permissions


Re: Anyone see a price anywhere?

@Gary Miliefsky

"...it's $1.29 per month. If you don't think that is fair, go to privacyrights.org and tell me what your identity protection is worth to you?"

Bit of a low shot there? My privacy is worth a lot more than that but I do not necessarily think I should have to pay to protect it (the quote above made me think of being made an offer I shouldn't refuse or being asked how much I would pay for air). I may be incredibly naive but should we not be rooting out the source of the problem rather than putting band aids over the sores? (I know that is hopelessly utopian )

And please don't shout. It does not strengthen your case. You should definitely not shout about the thing that appears to be making people mad - it makes it look like you are advertising. I won't be a customer, sorry

'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!


Re: Insight.

"And to think that just a few days ago the Reg advanced Marissa Mayer as a candidate for Steve Ballmer's job."

She is just showing 'strong leadership', just like Steve Jobs did (iirc the Jobsian version of all events that upset Apple users was "I am right ..."). Seems to be a popular leadership model in the IT world these days.

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail


Re: brought to you by the same people who want a "porn filter"

"You just don't understand technology do you politicians ..."

No, but they do understand the value of symbolic gestures and I bet they hoped they would get "good press" from this.

Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster


Re: Disproportionate

@a/c 6th August 2013, 06:27

"So there could also be a correlation between this and the Political Left here in the UK, as they too tend to shout the loudest, have a nastiness and are less forgiving."

Is that you Mr Limbaugh?

Left wing bias in the media? Ah, you must mean The Telegraph and The Sun and those of that ilk. Far too left wing for your liking are they?

I will, not wishing to reinforce your stereotype, refrain from shouting as I point out the complete lack of irony in your complaint about immature trolls. Please do not take offence. I am not accusing you of being immature.

Fitbit Flex wristband: What to wear out when wearing yourself out


Re: I'm guessing the software is not the point to this device.

@Gordon Pryra

as fat people are generally lazy... Until we legislate against the fat people then they will always be there ...

Nice bit of work there. I suppose the flip-side is that all thin people are generally "energetic" (sorry, I Googled that antonym cos I was too lazy to come up with my own - must be because I am fat)

I am "fat". I also eat a lot (which requires a fair bit of effort, you would be hard pushed to call me lazy when it comes to my dietary habits). I go to the gym too, which is a bit of an odd one isn't it? Perhaps I should be legislated against for not fitting in to the stereotype you seem to be pushing there.

I have a friend who is thin. He also eats a lot (a lot more than me in fact). He does not go to the gym. I do not understand it.

Oh well. Time to start thinking about me dinner.

NSA: We COULD track you by your phone ... if we WANTED to


The NSA program in question is not collecting cell phone location information


the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the NSA program in question (my emphasis) doesn't collect "any cell phone locational information [...]"


Accuse me of paranoia if you will but I really like that the Director of National Intelligence gave a quote that did not say "we do not collect or use cell phone location information", only that the program in question was not doing that. It will, of course, turn out to be a completely different program (or sub-program) that is doing that.

You have to love words and the way "higher-ups" use them.

Ofcom probes BT over fibre pricing after repeated gripes from TalkTalk


Re: The problem with British companies is

@Kenno - "Hell look at Witherspoons they pay £17 in taxes and charges for every £1 profit they make."

I am reading that as they lose £16 for every £1 they make. Are you sure that is right - any business doing that would have to be web based ... no other company could sustain such losses and still exist (I remember the initial web bubble well)

If, however, you are saying that it costs them £17 to make £1 profit (so they make £18 for every £17 spent) then that would be a different story entirely - there is always a cost to produce something (if production cost nothing we would all be billionaires. And equally worthless).

BT scores £146 meellion more UK.gov cash to fibre up Balamory


Re: Alternative?

"Have you thought for a moment that the strength of BT is actually why the competition sucks? after all, BT has cables to most homes, Virgin doesn't and rolling out fibre to every home would be prohibitively expensive."

I think the argument you put forward misses a very important point and that is that Virgin do not help themselves or make the most of the opportunities there are.

I moved into a new build house (brownfield site) 10 years ago and Virgin had cable running less than 75 metres from the site. BT only offered dial-up (we were over 5km from the nearest exchange) and there were a few examples of shared phone lines (we subsequently found out that we were sharing a physical line with a neighbour). Virgin should have cabled the site when it was being put together and would have had at least 10 customers immediately (there are 26 houses on the estate).

I have a friend who moved into a new build a couple of years ago and while one side of the street has cable the other does not. Virgin, for some reason, missed the opportunity to put cable in when the site was being built and failed to capitalise on the extremely poor broadband provision (BT service regularly falls below half a meg). Virgin have since said they will put cable through to the other side of the street at a cost of £10k, to be paid for by the consumers.

Both of these sites are 3/4 bedroom houses so you would expect families with kids and a call for decent broadband. If Virgin had got their act together then they would have had a lot of captive customers.

Eric Schmidt trousers his monstrous package at Google


Re: Let's hear it you labor-voting lefties...


"Yes, you are avoiding tax - according to the hypocrite lefties around here that think, just because you're financially successful you should somehow be subject to a different set of tax laws."

No. We should all be subject to the same tax laws and be subject to the same levels of tax as defined by those laws regardless of our wealth / privilege etc. This is the key point - some people can afford to avoid tax. The majority can not.


Re: Let's hear it you labor-voting lefties...

"I moved to a new country to pay less tax. Is that avoidance?"



Re: Let's hear it you labor-voting lefties...

"There's nothing to stop you paying more if you want to, but then, I'd guess you too only pay the legal amount as well."

Something winding you up dear?

I think you are missing a very important point - some people get upset at the inequality of such situations. Is it right that having money / position / privilege should open up ways for you to reduce your tax bill? Can I, with my massively lower wealth, do what others are able to regarding tax?

It is not, for me, about envy, it is about equality (or the lack of it).

By the way, I am a higher rate taxpayer and consider it my duty to pay the "full" amount. To find creative ways to avoid paying tax, while not necessarily illegal, strikes me as immoral - I do believe there is such a thing as "community".

I remember the 1970's in the UK. We had a Labour government, at least for part of the time, and we knew how to spell it.

We're not making this up: Apple trademarks the SHOP


This has to be simple vanity, right?

I can't believe that there is any other purpose to this. Is this really going to stop knock-off stores popping up? Will it be possible to prove that there were no other stores with this layout prior to the application being filed / apple being spewed forth onto the world (I used to like Apple, honest).

Does this mean I need to cancel my bake sale? (I appear to have rectangular tables with chairs underneath that are parallel to a wall, OCD you see, and a twat, which would be me, offering advice and being sneery).

Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list


Re: "Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list"

"Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list"

How the fuck did they ever get there in the first place?

That, my friend, is the joy of Marketing and Brand Awareness. All you need to do is convince people that you are good, you do not have to be good.

Victims of 'revenge pr0n' sue GoDaddy, smut site


Re: Hmmmmmm. morality and lawyers.

"<Sigh> Why is it that some people have to assume anyone that disagrees with their point of view must be raging? Is it easier for you to cope with disagreement if you can dress it up as rage? Gorw up."

I did not suggest that you were raging - I said that there seemed to be a lot of anger in your post, particularly the part where you take the role of defense lawyer (btw, shouting and putting things in quotes does not help the tone of your post).


Re: Hmmmmmm. morality and lawyers.

The paragraph that starts "As for the targets of the revenge postings, ..."

Wow. Seems to be a lot of anger coming through here.

I'd argue that those who were posted about had an expectation of privacy and they should be in control of what is shared about them in such a public manner. It's got little to do about whether they denied the acts.

It is not about people gossiping, it is about people being demeaned.

Which qualifications are worthwhile?


Do things that show initiative

IMHO candidates who can talk knowledgeably about their subject and show a willingness to learn are better than those who have the qualifications and no passion for the job. You have taught yourself some useful stuff so use that to demonstrate your competence in an interview.

Look at where you want to work and figure out what you need to get a job there. Different company's will require different levels of qualification.

Look at MOOC's (openlearning.com, coursera.org and so on) and see what you can find in the field of computing. Read books to extend your knowledge. Build a network at home (not just a Windows one, either).

I'd be less worried about getting courses under your belt and more about working somewhere that you can claim real life experience.

Feeling poor? WHO took all your money? NOT capitalist bastards?

IT Angle

A couple of points

"As you can see, the workforce's share of the nation's economic output has been falling. Clearly a bad case of the capitalist bastards watering the workers' beer."

The author appears to be claiming that capitalists do not work and that the workforce can not be capitalists (yes I'm being literal but he started with the massive over-simplifications)

I think wage distribution might explain part of the problem too. If wages at all levels increased at the same rate then the comparisons the author makes might be worthy of a bit more scrutiny. It is quite amazing what you can do with a set of figures, a couple of charts and an agenda.

It pays to study the habits of your email users



I use RAFT

read it and then decide to

action it <-- if it needs something from me and is quick I do it there and then otherwise schedule some time and mark it for follow-up

file it <-- needs no action but is useful, use auto-filing to put things where they should be

trash it <-- more than 90% goes here

Copying Wikipedia's lies is not just for hacks, right Lord Leveson?


The first rule of the Internet ...

Wow. Much used information source is not accurate / has been corrupted / does not tell the truth. Just like us human beings really, only on a much, much larger scale.

Wow again. Document contains factual inaccuracy.

Double wow. Researcher does not check every "fact".

Does this mistake in the report materially affect the main points being made? If it does for you then I humbly suggest that you may be missing the point of the whole debate.

Slideshow: A History of Horror in 20 Scary Games


You missed

Diablo, 1997 (?)