* Posts by Simon.W

51 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Aug 2007


DARPA calls Big Data boffins: Help us lock up everyone's privates

Big Brother

Turned up to 11

It seems there are no bounds to an American Government's paranoia. The simplest solution would be to retire IPv4 and replace every American's audio and visual senses with IPv6 addressable devices and feed them with government clensed data - no need for special algorithms.

Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'


Perry doesn't have a clue about the technologies involved

After listening to a recent radio 4 broadcast about the topic it is obvious that Clare Perry is ignorant about the technical complexities of achieving the goal of automatically blocking illegal content. And having her continually state "of course it can be done, I've been told!" indicates the high levels of incompetence she has in this field.

Illegal content should be blocked - no doubt about that. If the technology comes along that can succeed 99.999% of the time then it should be implemented in the end user router or on the computing device. But not in the network as this will bring internet access to its knees with the burden of processing all the traffic - having said that perhaps GCHQ could do the job ;-)

New flash RAM tech promises 99% energy drop

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Agree - HP say that the commercialised memristor should be available in 2013, which beats PCM's slated release

Almost entire EU now violating Brussels cookie privacy law


correct interpretation?

Stated in yesterday's Reg article;

In the case of data <embiggened><superbold>not</superbold> related to the service currently accessed by the user</embiggened>, the new rules require Member States to ensure users have given their consent before such data is stored or accessed

Today's Reg statement;

The European privacy law came into force this morning requiring websites within the EU to obtain a visitor's consent to install a cookie in their browser.

Which is corrrect? If the website being accessed by the user drops cookies solely to do with the service the website is providing then (reading the first statement) no consent is needed!?

However, today, it seems that all cookies require consent.

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss


Maude sack this geezer now

Anyone who makes statements like this, before they've even understood the entire ICT estate, shows what a know nothing bonzo they are. Most defintely got to the level he did by being promoted out of harms way. Unfortunately he's now been given a role where he can start doing harm again. OMG

DVLA says council snoopers are free to take the WEE


Hull Council Chief Carl Minns says ....

"It's absolute nonsense to suggest the council has been using DVLA data to spy on people"

Time for an FoI for <quote>an audit trail for inquiries</quote> from said council me thinks.

Greenland ice loss rates 'one-third' of what was thought


3 questions

1. Does CO2 in the atmosphere retain heat?

2. Does burning fossilised organic matter generate CO2?

3. Was fossilised organic matter being burnt at the same rate before people started digging it out of the ground to burn?

New hacker peril for older IE versions


IE6 the bane of my life...

but the darling of lazy internal developers and external vendors.

'fraid to say we have swathes of PCs that required to stick with IE6 because the web apps just don't work with anything else.

One would think that when the decision is made to use a particular architecture for web apps, such as Internet Explorer, then the developers would follow the life cycle. But oh no, it's not to be - who knows why, they've years to plan a change, probably that most of them catch up with sleep when in the office ;)

DVLA doubles annual IT spend


What kind of contract

has its terms and costs defined by the provider only to have the costs overturned further down the line? A government contract.

IBM should have had the foresight, as it is supposedly in the IT business, to define the costs better - it shouldn't be the recipient that pays for the supplier's error. Unless of course it's this government.

UK.gov hoovers up data on five-year-olds

Big Brother

The beginnings of the Pre-Crime database?

Any which way they can this stazi government tries to index us all - the amount of data they're collecting for this exercise is staggering.

<quote>On reflection I agree that this should have been clearer in the letter accompanying the questionnaire...</quote>

Lying bastards, they know exactly what they're attempting to do. Questionnaires like this, in local government, go through so many levels to make sure it complies with every bit of PC legislation the omission can only be deliberate.

And again the view that this government holds, that all parents are perverts and kiddyfiddlers, comes through loud and clear <quote>and even to own up to whether or not their child is upset when they (the parent) returns to a room</quote> And I bet there is no field for the context to be entered.

This is truly scary

Landmark ISP piracy case could kick thousands offline


Bloody ridiculous

If the ISPs are made responsbile for what goes on in the Internet then the UK's Highways Agency should be made responsible for every crime committed on the roads. Just because a company provides a facility they should not be held accountable for how it is used.

What's next? Car manufacturers being fined for people swerving back and forth along a road just for fun? Get rid of steering wheels now! Oh, hold on a minute...

Vetting database shows suspicion and spying are the new trust


OMG - someone shoot the entire cabinet

This is bloody typical of this government - any move by anyone to protect their right to privacy is immediately countered with things like <quote>if somebody didn’t want to be vetted "there must be suspicious reasons for that".</quote>

Suspicious - no, reasons, bloody damned right; I've done nothing wrong I do not need to be indexed, monitored, registered or sampled.

The more we hear from this government the more obvious is its need for control-freakery, dragging this country into the very worst excesses of the Communist regime back in the days of the USSR, where every minutiae was tagged, logged, watched and filed.

NuLabour do not know how to govern by consensus via parliament only how to dictate, belittle and crush any voice of dissention and all by forcing through legislation that is hardly debated because of the rules they brought in to curtail debate.


Reg readers in the dark over extreme porn



the statement that includes, "... and violence that is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts or genitals." will criminalize those absolutely pointless JackAss movies

DCSF reins in ContactPoint scope for police and A&E staff


let us not forget...

that in the Baby P case the social services had the information but made a deliberate decision not to take action.

With ContactPoint does this mean the social service will make the decision not to act that much faster, thus allowing such abuses to drop under the radar even quicker? I think this is a very good reason to scrap ContactPoint.

First self-inflicted identity donor cards to ship in late 2009



The peeps at www.no2id.net will know the answer, if you can't find it anywhere else.

Leicester nursery loses memory stick with children's details


And the government still...

announces that as of January 2009 ContactPoint db for kids will be up and running.

Why do they continue down this path of obsessive data collection? I've certainly got to believe, now, that Wacky Jaqui has an OCD focused around data collection.

The more data in one place the more the pertinent information gets obfuscated and the more siginificant the impact of data loss when it is made public through incompetent twats.

BBC clarifies location of England


Well... the BBC is

obviously up to speed with how well Labour are doing at dumbing down the UK education system.

How the fate of the US economy rests on a Dell workstation


Can't be modelled on a computer - not quite true

Quote from New Scientist article from 1997 <quote>But are the machines doing any better than the humans they are replacing? In terms of performance, the Global Bond Allocation Strategy is in the top quarter of investment management funds in the same market</quote>

This is about an AI/Expert system developed to model financial markets and the decisions real people would make.

The whole article can be found here:


Alternatively from that wonderful place TinyURL.com- http://tinyurl.com/3je5qm

US sky marshals submit to Heart of Gold randomware


Shoot me down in mid air if I'm wrong but...

surely the US Sky marshals are those cowboys who ride shotgun on those darned aero-me-thingies in the sky that have an aisle, or perhaps two? And this randomware <quote>can be used to make sure that security guards patrol unpredictably</quote>, up and down the one or two aisles? Right.

I take it they've not tried flicking a coin, I'm sure a quarter would be cost effective. But I suppose they'd have to nip into the toilet first to make sure no one can see them flicking the coin and exposing themselves - probably a big disadvantage.

R&D tax credits knocked out in Congressional punch-up

IT Angle

The greedy b'stards...

have got their comeupance at last, but the gits who doled out the dosh to get them there will still surely walk away with a great U.S. of A. pat on the back for a bad job extremely well done.

UK.gov IDs identity vendors



You cannot be serious. After all the failures, other government agencies threatening to sue. What the fcuk is going on here? OMG.

Someone in the labour party must be making a nice little earner out of this.

Get ready for tax hikes when it all goes titsup.com

Government told: Release secret Iraq documents


Do those documents still exist?

I seem to remember that the night before the FOI Act became live lots of civil servants got paid overtime to stay up late and create sh(r)ed loads of cat litter and hamster bedding.

Carpetbomb bug tarnishes Google Chrome


Not forgetting the spellchecker

No longer do I have to cut and paste between my word processor and the comments window. It checks it as you type. Fantastic.

However, I'm going to uninstall it now until the unprompted file download issue is fixed. That was scary.

Government kids database under fire, again

Dead Vulture

It is understood that shielding has already been put in place for the children of MPs.

And they're the ones who can afford personal security for themselves, if it's not already provided out of the taxpayers pockets.

This government is sick with it's OCD obsession on databases; ignoring their own commissioned reports and turning a deaf ear to people qualified to comment.

They have supped from the chalice of power and now they are totally insane; Nero-esque in fact - implementing policies designed to render this country impotent and unable to function, before they're voted out; like an adolescent who wrecks a room because they have not got their way.

It makes me so sick I want to vomit blood, and guts - and offal. And even my feet. Yeah - it's that bad I want to vomit myself inside out.

Top Jock cop calls for universal DNA database


Pig ignorant

nuff said

Citizens's panel demands policing for DNA database


And when your details are linked to the wrong DNA sample

what then Nothing to Fear, Nothing To Hide peeps? Prove yourself innocent, because until you do you are certainly guilty in the eyes of the db.

How much funding will it take to go through the legal system to sort that out?

How will your employer view you after being a suspect in a rape case; guilty or innocent, mud sticks.

In the end it is all data and data entered by people.

To err is human.

Reduce the risk of garbage data by reducing the data capture - let convicted criminals go on the db. FULL STOP.

Nothing to Fear, Nothing to Hide - what a bunch of ignorant idiots.

It's official: The Home Office is listening


The labour government is...

deafer than a deaf person without a head when it comes to listening

<quote attrib=ElReg>In between, there are large disingenuous stretches that can only be designed to mislead, as otherwise they would suggest such a poor grasp of technology that none of us could have any continuing confidence in the Government’s abilities to manage our data.</quote>

Really? I wonder whether this paragraph was really worth including El Reg. Everyone knows that my gold fish is more skilled in I.T. than any person in the Labour government, and Goldie’s dead.

<quote>As the Home Office quite rightly says, it will have no time for “fishing trips” or attempts to use information in new ways to deal with a new issue. Oh no. Data would only be used in this way where an “objective” need is identified.</quote>

Except they have already said they intend to do fishing trips (unless of course undiscovered links aren't fishing) -

<quote attrib=gvmnt>and creates new information only in the sense that undiscovered links will be revealed</quote>

New Criminal Information Quango sighted


Yet another personal data grab attempt.

It seems that every little bit of legislation that comes out of this poxy government includes statements that are designed to ensure every single UK citizen (forget the illegal ones- they’re below the radar) can have every bit of their personal data indexed into the government database.

I think, El Reg, you have massively understated this one, <quote>broad</quote> does go anywhere near describing what this can do.

I mean, I drive a car in Essex and <superbold ><quote>may be</quote></superbold > that fact alone might relate to a crime commissioned in the Shetlands; therefore pertinent to the <quote>investigation</quote>. Whoops there goes my data into that database.

However, the real question is; who in this government has promised that every UK citizen will be indexificated, so much so that even if it sounds the government's death knell they have to push ahead with it any way they possibly can? Which member of the labour government has sold us out? And to who, though I expect the answer to that is the U.S.

Justice Ministry opens ICO consultation


Surely this is blackmail or...

does the law change when it's the government/mps wanting to go their own way.

<quote>Meanwhile Labour MPs are threatening to block the Information Commissioner's pay rise in reaction to his insistence that they make public their expenses</quote>

Oh, I remember - the law changes meaning when the government wants to do something illegal.

EU accidentally orders ISPs to become copyright police


Does this mean....

that the UK Highways Agency will become responsible for all the crime roads facilitate, being the access provider between the proverbial A and B?

Culture of insecurity blamed for HMRC data loss

IT Angle

Ah! Those wonderful things called reports...

- aren't they the pieces of paper this government dutifully ignores?

This Labour government are pig ignorant when it comes to I.T. in any of its iterations, security or otherwise. I doubt that there will be anyone with enough nous to actually understand the contents of the Poynter report. But more likely it will be lost before it ever gets a chance to breach the doors at Number 10.

A quarter of UK adults to go on child protection database


How does this work for these scenarios?

Vetted school teachers decide to organise school trip to... Winston Churchill's house, for a history lesson. The curator agrees to be guide. The curator is now working with the children, but first the guide must be vetted??? YES?

School trip abroad - Disneyland, Florida, say, staff at Disneyland need to be vetted, for working with children - YES?

Paramedic arrives at the scene of a woman giving birth, is the paramedic working with a child - very possibly, but he'd not been vetted.

Simon Cowell on Britian's Got Talent (I only know he's a judge, honestly), but some of the acts are children acts, does he have to stop until he's been vetted? This is certainly working with children. How about the staff for dressing rooms in theatres?

The result of this legislation will be the removal of practical education for any child, at least in this country. And possibly a certain reduction in any children's programme that is hosted by adults that involves children.

This piece of completely thoughtless legislation is only enforceable in very limited circumstances and therefore completely meaningless.

Sheer lunacy.

Time to create a new political party for commonsence objectives, not governmental authoritarianism, it could be called the CONGA party.

USAF Colonel goes on the offensive with botnet destroyer plan


The solution is much more simple...

disconnect America from the Internet, watch spam levels drop by 70%-80%, at least, and allow af.mil to do whatever their paranoid arses want to do to their people; leaving rest of world+dog to get on with a sane life.

Lords defy Government by proposing criminalisation of data rogues


This crap government will do anything to...

stop this because they know they'll be the first against the wall when the legislation comes.

There are no practical reasons for stopping this legislation, I.T. and data about people have been around for over thirty years. It's time us "data subjects" had some protection; but because of this government's "self preservation first" policy we'll all continue to be exposed to data mismanagement until - well, who knows when.

I'm glad the Lords are still with us, but without a doubt we'll see Labour whipping out the parliament act once again. What a bunch of ar$e-covering, lillylivered arrogant f*ck wits stepping on us to protect themselves.

Harman hack horror has blog backing Boris

Paris Hilton

How many more times is this...

government going to show they know fcuk all about I.T.

I'm just waiting for the government to speak up about how they do know about I.T because all the school league tables are based around intelligence tests.

Paris; because she is 2**(lost ids) more aux fait with computering than Nu Labour

HMRC tax credit database takes the week off

IT Angle

Sounds to me like...

the HMRC signed off on a system where all variable inputs have been assigned within the source code.

BT, CapGemini and Aspire love a cash cow and of course the government's agencies just love throwing money away. Wasps to a honeypot.

Wanted: Gordon Brown's fingerprints, £1,000 reward

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A business proposition

I’m thinking of calling it Burke & Hare, Biometric and DNA recovery agents to the nefarious.

Anyone who doesn’t mind rummaging around the odd bin or two collecting various documents, old shoes, hairbrushes, spray cans and the like are more than welcome to join — probably a good sideline for those in the waste management industries.

The idea is to create off the shelve packs of virtual people catering to the infamous and nefarious no-good doers ranging from the cheapest @ £4.99 containing just a few strands of hair and perhaps a toe nail clipping to the full blown (getting away with it guaranteed, for quite a long time) packs for around £149.99, containing refurbished fingerprint stamps with associated DNA, various pieces of associated documentation, assorted swatches from torn clothing and used tissues.

With the roll out of the biometric database I’m sure the “re-implication” business is going to take off.

MIT plans to roll out 'folding' car

Paris Hilton

Am I missing something?

Although a fine idea in principal, in practice how would you drive off if another 5 cars had parked in front of you, a la supermarket trolley - do you get the shop to make an announcement of the tannoy.

Bing-bong; "Would the five drivers parked in front of the 6th driver's car please proceed to car-park to move them?"

Bing-bong; "Sorry, Would the now six drivers parked in front of the 7th driver's car please proceed to car-park to move them?"

Perhaps I'm missing something

Solicitors fined under Data Protection Act


Fine? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ha.

What a stupid, flimsy, meaningless, arsingly ridiculous, pointless, poxy, non-punitive, bollox, vestigial levy to fine those bloodsucking leeches. Any fine for professions of that ilk ought to start with a one and four zeros - anything less and they won't notice or care.

IPS sticks to fingerprint plan


I vote for....

"secure database" as governmental oxymoron of the year.

<quote>"By linking fingerprints to a secure database with strict rules outlining its use, the National Identity Scheme will allow individuals, business, and the state to prove identity more securely, conveniently and efficiently while protecting personal information from abuse," he said.</quote>

What a load of bollox - they had strict rules when the HMRC db was lost.

Oh yeah and how's the Id scheme going to stop illegal immigrants and terrorists, can't see them queuing up to be biometrificated.

Is there any way to get rid of this government now before any more money is wasted on this cloud cuckoo-land I.T white elephant?

UK gov scraps '£1bn' prisoner tracking system


So the government have admitted....

they can't do the prison population

and they still insist on the Id scheme???

Truth, anonymity and the Wikipedia Way


@What else is there on the internet?

@Anonymous Coward

I hope you are kidding and your comments have an underlying tongue in cheek touch of irony, because if not you would be one of those people whom my gold fishes IQ would beat hands down; and it's dead!

Try Google Scholar.

Daring Register raid snatches key government URL

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Only as good as your weakest link

and the government have dared to affiliate themselves with the word "expertise" and tell everyone how they should sell themselves when they haven't a clue about IT.

This is just designed to level the playing field by tarring everyone with the "know nothing bonzo" IT approach that the ministers, secretaries and senior civil servants love to promote as their gold standard for IT delivery.

Well here it begins; the spin to make out that the IT illiterate UK Gov. has something worth having (barring everyone else’s data of course, which they also don't have now).

Well done El Reg for this pre-emptive strike against UK.gov spin and disinformation.

And I agree with Phil Launchbury, point all the URLs at your articles on the fiasco that has been the UK government approach to data security.

Brown knew data loss was disaster waiting to happen


We'll at least there is something this government is good at,

Data loss. It's surely their SOP.

In a Beeb article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7138408.stm it seems the DVLA has lost 2 discs as well. Only 7,000 records though.

However, I do wonder whether it's important any longer as the scope of the data the HMRC lost on their discs near enough covered everything.

Probably a good idea to sign up to this campaign http://www.no2id.net,

if there's any chance whatsoever of obviating the inevitable distribution of all information that makes us, *us* within the systems we rely upon day in, day out.

Ex-HMRC boss gets shiny new civil service post

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Is anyone surprised by this?

Because I'm certainly not. This is typically the government's standard operating procedure; if it doesn't work keep it on but redeploy to new department (EDS anyone?).

This begs the question; how many departments can you shaft before changing tack or getting the culprit to change their name and hoping no-one will notice.

Andersen Consulting = Accenture

Mr Paul Gray = ?

I wonder whether the civil servant that will be formerly known as, Mr. Gray, is hoping that all the problems and his association with them will drift into the mists of time as everyone recovers from the Christmas break and he continues in his roll under a new contract, new name, and best of all, new identity (lucky bastard) in the New Year?

Info chief renews call for data breach crime penalties


News just in...

It’s now been confirmed that the Storm worm has crossed the man-machine divide.

The affects of the infection render the human liable to expose the data of private individuals by distributing it via CD or any other mechanism.

The source of the outbreak was identified as a building in the North of England though secondary reports of similar infections are now coming from Canada. See http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gXw0XtAiJejlZVkiOaVZMZpWvhGQ for further information.

World leaders are hoping the infection can be restricted to the commonwealth.

Ariane 5 is go: Skynet 5B military chat-sat on the way


I am reading this correctly...

in order for Paradigm to get paid it is absolutely essential that war and conflict continues anywhere in the world and the British Military have to be involved.

Is Paradigm an American corp perchance?

Could it be that other companies are using this business model and this could be one of the many reasons that conflicts go on and on?

15 year life span huh? I guess we know how much longer Iraq’s going to last.

Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet


What a tosser

...that Clarke is.

I thought I'd just get that one in before I was biometrificated (did Bush call it that?) and had my post deleted before I'd even hit the submit key only to be disturbed by three suits (NSA, CIA, FBI) all with shades holding out a nice orange boiler suit for me.

And with BillG backing the conference; he's obviously finding it tough to sustain the trustworthy computing initiative: I suppose if he closed the internet he could pocket the money he's spending on decent(er) coding!

Top judge: put everyone in UK on the DNA database


Mr "The ANTHB (anti-nothing-to-hide-brigade) are really starting to annoy me now..."

Why did you post anonymously? I'll say one thing - least you had the choice.

And somehow you believe that your DNA in the National DNA database won't be associated with other identity information? Fool and you say work in IT - probably the a government department going by your comments.

And to all those "I have Nothing to Hide" posters who posted anonymously - Eh? Subconsciously you're already using the rights that the ANTHB are arguing for.

Are you keeping your identity secret because you don't know anyone from Adam on this forum - damned right you are; I like your hypocrisy

Republicans hammer Brit artist's Bush


Absolutely bloody disgusting. How dare...

that artist do this.

I hope the body part owners litigate the hell out of Jonathan Yeo for associating them with such an image.