* Posts by Graham Wood

185 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Dec 2006


MSE releases revamped freebie malware scanner

Graham Wood
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Not another one.

I've changed AV software (free) multiple times now to get away from bloat.

I want my anti-virus to sit there quietly, and just stop me running any "bad code". I don't want it to take over my firewall (since I use an external linux one), I don't want it to prescan websites (since I'm unlikely to click on them, and it should protect me if I do anyway), and I certainly don't want it to require me to upgrade my hardware to keep the same performance.

Anyone know of a windows AV package that ISN'T going to go bloatware? :(

Intrepid Vulture 1 spaceplane pilot arrives at PARIS project

Graham Wood

What's his opinion

on the wings?

Vulture 1 sprouts wings and a tail

Graham Wood
Thumb Up


This (even if the plane spontaneously suffers an existance failure as the release mechanism catches fire, and turns the balloon int o a new hindenburg) has been a great source of enjoyment in a dull and humdrum world...

Cheers for the fun, and apologies if I've put a damper on it for anyone - certainly wasn't what I meant..

Also, as for flying, £5 says that it doesn't land immediately under where it is released, and therefore it will have flown :)

Graham Wood

I think I can see the cause of the difference of opinion...

From the pictures, it appears to me that the two wings were attached to each other, and not anchored "in the middle". Therefore the only physical contact between the wings and the fuselage would be where they entered - with nothing attached to them in the middle. This therefore means that the leve/fulcrum will merely cause internal stress within the struts going through the wings at the middle of the fuselage, with no impact on the fuselage itself - since there's nowhere for it to be transferred to.

Looking more closely (last image on page 7) the support for the "downwards force" is at the entry point into the fuselage, and although the wings are attached to each other, picture 2 on page 8 suggests there is nothing in the middle...

However, picture 3 appears to show something from the middle of the wings to the fuselage (something to do with the release mechanism) which is, I believe where any downwards force would be exerted.

Either way, support for downwards force at the entrance to the fuselage isn't right - unless it's been too long since I did any physics... :)

Graham Wood

Force from the wings

I think you are mistaken, unless we're talking at cross purposes...

During flight, the only uplift is coming from the wings. This therefore means that effectively the fuselage is hanging off the wings.

Therefore turn the wings are applying/extering an upwards force from the spars into the fuselage. If you want, you can show this quite easily with a pencil and a wedding ring (2 things I have to hand) at my desk - but anything long and thin (ooh-er) and then something to go around it will do.

To simulate pre/post flight - put the pencil through the ring, and either put it on the desk (landed), or hold the ring (suspended pre-launch by cable to fuselage). In both cases, the pencil will rest against the bottom of the ring, and your supports will do the job they are required to.

To simulate during flight, hold the pencil in the air - at which point it will push against the top of the ring (hanging from it), and the supports will only exert any force on the spars as a result of the glue... The majority of the pressure will be transferred straight to the top of the fuselage.

A couple of paper spars front<->back across the top of the fuselage (in contact with the wing struts) will give you a better contact area for the upwards force - but that may be unnecessary/overkill - the fuselage shouldn't be that heavy.

Graham Wood

Possible physics miss?

"We slapped in some extra uprights (indicated) under each spar to absorb the downward force created by the wings in flight:"

Surely, during flight, the wings are actually lifting the plane up? Pre-release, and after landing, the wings will indeed exert a pressure downwards (from their weight) - but during flight the wings are pushing up against the fuselage, since they are the source of lift?

German kiddies punted porn-projecting pens

Graham Wood

New competition prize?

So when is el-reg going to run a comp to win one of these pens?

iPhone users get more sex than Android fans

Graham Wood

More Popcorn!

I a 30ish android user and I can't remember what sex is! That's marriage and a young kid for you :(

Demon's Souls

Graham Wood

A different view


Not quite as positive :)

ISP condemns new BT backbone

Graham Wood

Thanks for proving the point for A&A

(Upfront - yes, I'm a customer)

The "plentiful capacity" that was failing was BT's network. A&A have been very public about the fact that a while back (can't remember exactly, but I think it was during the video peak before the world cup) their link to BT (the smallest pipe in their chain, I believe) was saturated. Although this was a "one off", they promptly arranged (as fast as they could) for this to be increased.

Since then, all of their pipes have been less than full - therefore any drop in throughput is the responsability of another part of the chain.

Also, the £50 for 5GB doesn't sound right - I think you might want to go and look at their pricing again, it doesn't match any of their tarriffs.

Ubuntu 10.04 triumphs over GRUB bug

Graham Wood

YMMV of course.

I've used, since about 1999, Redhat (Including Fedora and CentOS since the split), Debian, Slackware, SuSE, Gentoo, and Ubuntu.

In those 11 years, I've had one system which I kept having to reboot - which was a known issue with the NIC drivers. For most people, this wouldn't have been visible - it happened roughly every 10 days, which was often enough to irritate me but wouldn't have been noticed by 99% of users.

That was a "flavour" agnostic issue - with very specific triggers. Other than that, I've not had stability issues on any version of linux - usage is much more important than distribution.

I use ubuntu because it's a good compromise (for me) between the stability of Debian, and the "bleeding edge" of Fedora. My experience of the forums is that the users are a lot more friendly to people "testing the water" than the other forums as well.

As the title says, your mileage may vary - if you have a version that "just works" because the release cycle happened to match your hardware nicely, you're going to be happier with that going forward.

Doctor Who game to transmat in on 5 June

Graham Wood

PC & Mac

I'm guessing they mean Windows & MacOS X?

Cash-strapped trolley dollies in nude calendar protest

Graham Wood

Lowest common denominator

As long it works, why should they use any other method?

This isn't a sign that they're no good for anything better, it's just a sign that we're too easily lead around, and I don't mean by our nose.

This is almost guaranteed press coverage for minimal effort, and therefore is pretty much their best option. Sounds like they're doing a pretty intelligent job of it to me.

Microsoft tests show no Win 7 battery flaw

Graham Wood

Wonder if I should check mine properly.

I've got an "oldish" laptop that W7 tells me has a dead battery - and within 5 minutes of shifting to battery it turns itself off. I'm pretty sure that XP would run for > half an hour...

Will try an ubuntu liveCD and see what happens.

Compulsory perv scanners upset everyone

Graham Wood

The math?


People scanned: Infinite

People found: 0.

OK, I've done the math - what was your point again?

(Hyperbole acknowledged)

Steel-woven wallet pledges to keep RFID credit cards safe

Graham Wood

This almost has a real use...

I've got 3 different RFID cards, and they interfere when trying to use them. This means that I've now got 2 different wallets that I carry, and wave the "correct" one at the reader when I need to - the third card (thankfully) doesn't interefere with the second.

If this could be produced with a flap in the middle to let you "unlock" one side, this would give me the ability to use 4 different RFID cards from a single wallet - completely changing my life, guv.

E.g. Card 1 on the outside of the "protection" on the left, card 2 inside on the left, card 3 inside on the right, and card 4 outside on the right. left down -> 1, open, flap to right -> 2, open, flap to left -> 3, right down -> 4.

Of course, hacking the cards apart and putting the coils on some sort of swtich device would work too - but would almost definitely break the card.

IWF chief: We don't need crusaders

Graham Wood
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@AC, 13:33

Speaking as a customer for one of the "Selfish ISPs", I think you're talking crap - complete crap.

ISPs have claimed (correctly or not) that their contract with the IWF prohibited them from providing a clearer error message - therefore either the ISP is being ingenious (polite way of saying lying), or the IWF ARE responsable for the message you get. Either way your desire to give the ISP more power is a bad idea.

The IWF is also not "ISP-run" in any way - they "subscribe" to it, and get given a solution... Very little (if any) feedback.

Yes, this interview does show the guy in charge in a good light - but that doesn't change the fundamental objection that so many people have to this system. There is NO oversight, NO independent control. If the IWF can get some generally accepted 3rd party to agree the URL list, then almost everyone that objects will shut up.

Say someone from the head of Amnesty International - give them the list to review, and get them to sign the list they do see so that it can't be changed after they've agreed it. If the URL count is as low as the IWF claim, then that's not actually going to be that big an overhead - since it is unilkely it changes /that/ often.

In the meantime, I'm off back to a "Real ISP" that offers me an unfiltered ("Real") internet connection.

@Paul Gomme:

As much as anything, people don't want to get a rep for being paedophile friendly. Despite how pointless the IWF's filtering is, there's still that fear - and we all know how easy it is to lead a mob by fear.

Shuttle offers Linux-loaded all-in-one Atom desktop

Graham Wood

@Adam C 1

Depends on whether it's based around the nVidia ION chipset, or something a little more mundane...

With the graphics acceleration from the nVidia platform, I think atoms are more than capable of doing HD playback.

Microsoft confirms IIS bug gives complete server control

Graham Wood



If you're running a proper system, then the events (as they happen) are shipped elsewhere. If you've got a public facing FTP server, then (unless it's getting the throughput of something like sourceforge) you should have all commands sent to a machine that has no other link to the system in question, and have automated processes monitoring this constantly.

I believe (although I only looked in passing, I'm not using IIS) that the bug is triggered by accessing a specific named directory - therefore looking for that name in the logs will find the attempt.

No, this is not a good solution, since it detects it after it has been attempted - however, anyone that has this setup can now look back to make sure that they have not been hacked already.

Other than that, you're faced with just assuming that your machine has been hacked, and if anyo of your systems are vulnerable doing a full reinstall.

@AC, 07:26

Not everyone is in the same situation. For some companies, anonymous FTP is how they receive bug reports (including things like core files that are too big to be HTTP uploaded through most business proxies). Therefore there are a lot of very "clever" admins out there that have still got anon FTP enabled. Obviously, they tend not to be running IIS for this, but it's still something to be aware of.

Average UK broadband just over half advertised speed

Graham Wood

Half the story

Whilst the headline figures are important, OFCOM (and, it seems, El-Reg's coverage of it) misses probably the most important factor of the connection speed.

Even if you get an 8.7Mb/s connection to the ISP, if they've over-sold their upstream bandwidth you aren't going to get that. I know people on Virgin that are lucky to get the equivalent of 200Kb/s rather than 8Mb/s. Their "link speed" is still stupidly high, it's just that Virgin's internal network can't handle it.

BT have a similar problem (as reported on here) with the iPlayer specifically - access is capped.

Therefore, OFCOM really should look at something like the samknows checks instead of just the pretty numbers.... And to make it worse, they were involved!


Facebook knuckle-raps Intel, AMD

Graham Wood


Aitor: Good for you - no-one is saying that this isn't happening, just that it isn't happening for this (and lots of other) load scenarios. Also, there's a difference in scale between what most people are doing and what facebook are putting through their books.

Steven W. Scott: Don't, just don't. One of our grid engineers heard that you could do this, and thought that he could run 3000 grid (CPU bound) instances on the Z series. He seriously thought this would work, and give massive performance benefits!

Ira Downing: Almost definitely "crap". The cool threads stuff is really slow on single thread execution, so they'd need to run containers (or the like) and scale horizontally within the box. All in all, not really a good solution

Finally - @Facebook. Go talk to IBM - they ARE doing custom hardware with as many/few I/O systems as the customer likes. From what I've heard they are non standard racks (15" or something) to give space for cooling. If you want a system that's just CPU, network card, memory and console (of some sort) they will probably make you one.

All in all - fail all round ;) (And yes, I've probably failed to notice something too)

W3C launches appeal to scupper Apple patent

Graham Wood

Do I owe apple money?

An application I wrote in approximately 1997 would check a network location for a version string, and if it was higher than the internal one would download a new version of itself from that location.

Given that this is after 1995, I can't use it to help the W3C - so do I just owe apple money for doing something f***ing obvious instead?

US gov asked Twitter to stay up for Iran protests

Graham Wood


There was an interesting shift recently in the coverage by the BBC on News 24. The emphasis changed from 'this is a valid protest, the election was wrong' to 'this is the protest of a lot of people that claim the election was wrong'.

The initial attitude of the BBC was definitely biased in a really obvious way - and I must admit it lowered my (already) damaged opinion of them. They seem to be going a lot more for the sensational rather than the "objective facts" that I grew up thinking I was getting... Maybe they've always been this bad, and I'm just noticing it more?

Pirate Bay judge and pro-copyright lobbyist accused of bias

Graham Wood

@10:44 AC

Last time I checked, neighbourhood watch schemes weren't lobbying for anything.

There's a difference between being a member of an organization that's trying to help reduce crime, and one that's trying to get the laws about a subject changed. Pretty important difference, especially in this case.

Having said that, I'd also agree with the other comments - the judge needs to appear unbiased as well as actually being unbiased. To use the trite phrase 'justice needs to be seen to be done'.

Next-gen SQL injection opens server door

Graham Wood

I call fud.

The fact that you can use SQL injection techniques to attack the DB as well as the data is nothing new.

Any "opening" can then be used to carry out all the possible attacks at the next layer. The fact that you can get a shell instead of pulling out credit card details is like saying that someone coming out with a new car that's purple instead of red is doing something new...

Brit porn filter censors 13 years of net history

Graham Wood


> If that hapen't happened, would you have even noticed the IWF's existance? Right.

Thanks for proving my point for me.

If it weren't for the complete mess they made of Wikipedia, most people would not have been aware of the limits that the IWF filters are placing on their internet. I like to think I'm tech savy (since it's my job), but I wasn't aware that my old ISP had added it - and they put it in while I was a member, but just didn't advertise it.

Did I know it was there? No. Did it affect my browsing? I DON'T KNOW!

The biggest problem with this list is that the IWF provides a list that cannot get any form of peer review. I get 404s when browsing (normally from google searches resulting in stuff that is offline due to being old) - and how many of them are actually the IWF (via my old ISP) deciding that something is "wrong" for me to see?

They want to block child porn, and THAT IS ALL - so get some independant people to review the list and any changes. Do background checks on them or something, and then get them to generate an SHA signature of the list they see. That can then be checked with the SHA of the list provided to the ISPs to guarantee that nothing unrelated is blocked.

Most people on here would accept that. No, we don't like the idea of censorship, but if there is independant review, and oversight, to make sure that this list is not "abused", then the problem is a lot less than it is now. I agree with the aim of reducing child abuse (although I don't think this is going to make any difference) so would accept that in order to "think of the children".

Who would I accept as a valid person to review it? I'd suggest a judge (since they can also give an independant view of the legality/not of the items on the list), and then someone like a senior member of Amnesty International - that way it's someone that has an interest in "free press" and also is unrelated to the government. They don't need to be technical, since they can be given software to do all the work for them.

Graham Wood


Couple of disagreements:

> 3. All UK ISP's use some form of filter, although not all use Cleanfeed

Please tell me what AAISP use. They claim not to filter at all, and I've got my account with them for that reason (as well as a few others). This sort of FUD is part of the problem.

> it's both specific and considered extremely good

Evidence of this? The whole reason so many people (me included) are up in arms at this is the secretive way that it's carried out. Any block list that blocks a text article BUT NOT THE IMAGE THAT IS THE PROBLEM is not "extremely good"

> based purely on the ISP's descision, not the IWF's.

Apart from the fact that the IWF strongly recommends that ISPs use the 404 to prevent people working out that they've been blocked.

> 6. The IWF have been running for 12 years. 12 years, people!

The Chinese government (and the NSA) have been running for longer than that. What's your point?

> do some research before you spout off, please?

Yes, please do.

Graham Wood

@Lee Dowling

You seem to be comparing apples & oranges, but the point is sort of valid ;)

The colo prices are indeed very high - and my colo box is elsewhere where it's a lot cheaper. I don't need the uptime/service that AAISP offers for my machine, so I don't pay for it. My connection home is (however) more important to me. Since not having access for 2 hours in the evening is more of an impact than my colo box dropping off for that long.

Plusnet don't (unless things have changed since I was a customer of theirs) offer support for load balanced lines, IP ranges (if you can justify them enough for RIPE to be happy), native IPv6, and people with a clue at the end of the phone...

Finally - plusnet include IWF filtering.

Graham Wood

Not BeThere, unfortunately - but I would recommend AAISP

Be* do use the IWF filter, and gave me some b******t about it being a legal requirement when I pulled them up for false advertising (since they claim they provide "unlimited" access)...

Which is a shame, since the connection I had with them was pretty good until recently - although since O2 have taken over the customer services seems to have deteriated.

I jumped ship to Andrews & Arnold (www.aaisp.net), and although I'm back to having a bandwidth cap (rather than some fake 'fair use policy') it's preferable. The connection is as fast (if not faster) than Be in reality in the evening - the link speed is lower, but data transfer is faster.

What price freedom? For me, a couple of quid a month, and a usage cap that I don't get anywhere near anyway.

iPlayer chief pushes tiered charging for ISPs

Graham Wood

Advertising rather than reality...

A lot of people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick here.

Yes, you've been told that this is a "5GB/s unlimited" connection - but that's because, when they started selling it, people used so little bandwidth per month that it was "safe" for them to do so (as well as that being the way that BT wholesale sold them to the ISPs). Now that people are using the connections more (Even a few years ago, streaming video was a pipedream), the "misrepresentation" is coming home to roost.

With that out of the way (so that people don't think I'm defending the current state of affairs):

1) You're not actually paying for an unlimited connection. What you're paying for is a link which may (or may not) work well (or indeed at all), and the speed quoted is literally just what you get between your modem and the exchange - beyond that is a totally different state of affairs. If you want a proper "unlimited" connection to the "internet" then there are companies that will give it to you - for about 20 or 30 times the cost of your ADSL.

2) BT used to sell "unlimited connection at speed <x>" to the ISPs, then moved to "as fast as the connection will run, but you pay per MB transmitted" - meaning that the ISPs started to get billed differently.

That second point is very important. Someone watching TV on their PC via their ADSL (on a BT line) is costing their ISP additional money per minute.

Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page

Graham Wood

I don't agreee.

Blocking the text of an article which includes a discussion as to the validity of the picture itself is probably the wrong way to go about this - but that's not the main thing that has caused the uproar.

A much bigger part of the problem is the way that this list is managed - the ISPs are effectively being forced to use the whole list without any form of "oversight" being possible, and there's no public scrutiny as to whether the pages that are being blocked are "reasonable".

There has also been a block placed on the very wikipedia page that includes a discussion as to the IWF ban: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer_Controversy

If any other country did this (blocked 'A', and then blocked access to a discussion of the blocking of 'A') then there would be screams from all over the land about how the regime was as bad as communist China.

Logitech Digital Video Security System

Graham Wood

Sounds like a cut down version of Zoneminder...


It's free (although Linux instead of windows) - and supports sending out the alerts as videos as well as automatically sending them to a remote server.

I've used it with a load of 55GBP wireless cameras, and it's working quite nicely for the small company that's using it.

Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Graham Wood

Corporate boot time VS personal boot time.

My work PC is a quad core machine with 2GB RAM. On boot the only thing it starts are Microsoft Communicator and all the services that the corporate I work for requires:

- Anti Virus

- Help utility (god knows what this actually does, clicking on it doesn't offer any help)

- Marketing video player (e.g. a video on demand player that runs on boot and cannot be killed).

I've got XP still, and time from power on to login prompt is already about 2 minutes. Once I've logged in, it's about another 90 seconds before I've got my desktop visible. Starting outlook (which I tend to do first) I've timed at 4 minutes. That's 7.5 minutes to get into my email - and that's on one of the highest spec machines in the building running XP.

Considering how slow my laptop at home is to start vista (probably about 3 minutes from login to that pointless system info box appearing in the middle), adding vista into the boot sequence could easily get to 15 minutes at work.

BTW - with respect to shutting the machine down - if the company has a policy requiring the PC be switched off at the end of the night, it's possible that the staff (we're likely to be talking about poorly paid bottom of the pile staff here anyway) will get penalised some amount of salary for leaving their machine on. So you HAVE to wait for the shutdown to complete before you can go home.

I'm not agreeing that it's vista's fault - it's just a contributing factor - but the timescales and issues listed are certainly possible in a large corporate network. And I would also agree with the people posting earlier that you just get in early/leave later - it's no different to getting your first cup of coffee, or taking your coat off... And I don't expect the company to pay me for that either.

All Android apps are not made equal

Graham Wood

If it's unsafe, why can Marketplace do it?

Surely if something is unsafe, then it's unsafe.

Anything that Google do to make marketplace safe can be done by third parties as well.

Brussels bounces BT-Phorm quiz back to UK.gov

Graham Wood

@Ashley Stevens

We have a national police "force", cannot remember its old name, but the new improved version is "SOCA":


Maybe we should get them involved given the fact that the breaches are "serious", were certainly "organised", and definitely "criminal".

Dell UK releases Ubuntu netbook but favours Windows

Graham Wood


That's the whole point of the comment - unless the 16GB is almost the same price as the 8GB, the chances are that Microsoft are almost giving XP away.

Given that the SCC market is the ideal place for linux to get a good headwind (it's a relatively new market, so there's less inertia to fight against) - Microsoft probably feel that it's worth the drop in profits to start with. It worked really well with the standard PC market (back in the mists of time), so it'll probably work again.

Brits happy to hand over password details for £5 gift voucher

Graham Wood

5GBP for a password? Here - have 10.

I use my local train station as one password: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

I use my favourite colour as another: Five.

I use my favourite football team as a third: Gordon Brown.

Spot the pattern yet? If you offer me a voucher for 5 quid, I'll tell you a load of random passwords... And may even throw in a random username too.

(Bet I'm not the only one that's making this point - but none visible yet)

Police drop BT-Phorm probe

Graham Wood

"Lack of criminal intent"????

They intentionally intercepted communication. Since that is the offence, and they intended to do it, WTF are they smoking?

I really do wish that I'd been surprised by their decision - you know, had actually done anything. Whilst this is certainly not what any of us would consider a sensible response - is anyone REALLY surprised?

I was promised a call back by my local police force when the computer crime department made up their minds - that's going to be an interesting call.

BT's secret Phorm trials: UK.gov responds

Graham Wood

@Chris Williams

> The FOI request is in.

Any chance of sticking the email/letter somewhere so that the rest of us can submit the same request?


Amazon to sell one OLPC laptop for the price of two

Graham Wood
Thumb Down


No, you're totally missing the whole point of this.

You pay amazon for 2 PCs, and you get sent 1. The other is sent (I assume without ever going near Amazon) by OLPC to where the OLPC project feel it should go.

So the title/content are correct.

UK spooks forced to hand Gitmo files to suspect's lawyers

Graham Wood

Err - oops.

That should of course have been "protect" not "reject".

Graham Wood

@why do we care so much?


Standing by and staying quiet while another human being is treated this badly is wrong(tm) - and in the longer term, self defeating.

Uncle Sam and some of the less nice groups (on behalf of someone, possibly the government) seem to be stretching their muscles as a 'world police' again. That's not good for anyone, especially when they flagrantly ignore the laws they are supposed to reject.

Not anonymous, since there's absolutely no point these days ;)

Mystery Fedora disruption prompts security fears

Graham Wood

Redhat Errata released

I imagine that Fedora's problems are related.


"Last week Red Hat detected an intrusion on certain of its computer systems

and took immediate action. "

"In connection with the incident, the intruder was able to sign a small

number of OpenSSH packages relating only to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

(i386 and x86_64 architectures only) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86_64

architecture only). "

BBC iPlayer upgrade prompts new ISP complaints

Graham Wood

Re: BBC Local Radio

Unfortunately "local" in this case refers to network links rather than physical location.

If your ISP is done through BT's wholesale service, then all of your data goes through their main network centres. In theory this means that if the show is "hosted" 10 feet away, the data is quite likely to travel a good few hundred miles to get to it.

This is something that customers on Be, Sky (I think), and other "LLU" ISPs are not going to suffer from in the same way - you have to deal with their network instead of BTs.

Windows XP crashes out of Olympics?

Graham Wood


The point is that Microsoft have a big publicity budget, and from a purely commercial point of view, this would be a "gold mine".

One of the main things that Linux is "sold" on is its stability (I'm not commenting on reality, just marketing) - so if Microsoft can show a high profile case of it not being stable, this is good for them.

Of COURSE they'd push it if they could - it would be stupid not to, and regardless of your opinion of their programming ability, their PR bandwagon is one of the more focused ones... Most of the time.

Please note, I'm not commenting on the relative stability here, or anything else real - just marketing/sales/commercialism.

Phorm secretly tracked Americans too

Graham Wood

Using a free access point

Isn't it common sense to assume that any free access point is most definitely unfriendly?

Targeted ads seem to be the least of your problems, and I think I'd assume that anything I sent was going to be snooped in some way - the same as I would at a BlackHat conference, regardless of what the organisers say.

UK.gov misses deadline on EU Phorm probe

Graham Wood

Met Police are apparently investigating at present...

I was bounced between the Home Office and ICO multiple times, before one of them finally admitted that the CPS would have to instigate any proceedings...

From here I checked the CPS website, and then ended up deciding to go via my local police force (since I couldn't see anywhere on the CPS site to contact them for this sort of thing).

Got a call back from a nice policewoman stating that I was not the first person to raise this concern, and that it had been forwarded to the Metropolitan Police Computer Crimes department - who were already investigating multiple other complaints.

They're apparently due to decide what to do about this by mid September... So please, if you have the time/inclination - contact your local police force and get some more names behind the investigation...

Also, don't let this be buried. The time it's taking to get an answer is allowing the majority of people to forget about this issue - which is possibly part of the plan </tinfoil hat>

(Thanks for the update, Chris)

Phoenix lander sucks up water on Mars

Graham Wood

@Rob Foster

Quite apart from your dismissal of the problems of getting a man to mars as "higher risk and cost", rather than "as yet, not proved to be possible with the technology we have available", you seem to have missed another fundamental point.

The devices that get sent to Mars aren't built in 24 hours. The design is done exhaustively, and then reviewed exhaustively, as well as being modeled and redesigned. This design is then built, painstakingly, with stupid attention to detail, very slowly - since every stage is tested extensively as well.

In the end, the stuff that gets shipped up probably WAS designed 5 years before it was shipped up there - explaining the "pedestrian" development.

Considering the turnaround involved (probably in the order of 10 years from starting to design the device to it actually being on the surface of Mars - is it really fair to compare it to any sort of research on Earth that takes minutes or even days to do?

I work in IT. Some things take 5 minutes to test - these I develop quickly. However, one of the things I'm working on takes 1.5 hours to "run", and therefore development on that takes a LOT longer - and that's just a moment compared to what these guys have to deal with.

Nokia E66 smartphone

Graham Wood

Correction, about the E65

"you had to remove the battery on the E65." is incorrect. Remove the back cover, and the MicroSD slides out to the side - nowhere near the battery.

You need to remove the battery to take the SIM out, but I don't think that's really a problem...

The return of Killer Chlorine

Graham Wood


Imagine that the question were 'Are spurs supporters more likely to commit murder than Arsenal supporters?'.

Now, go find 1 million people - and ask if they are Spurs or Arsenal supporters, and say you get 10 of each.

Then you ask if they are murderers - and you get two Spurs supporter and one Arsenal supporter.

Now, does that mean that you have a sample size of 1,000,000 people to say that Spurs supporters are twice as likely to commit murder than Arsenal supporters?


When you're looking at the affects of <x> on <y>, your sample size is the people that <y> applies to, not everyone that you could have asked.