* Posts by Brian Milner

45 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2007

Apple QuickTime backdoor creates code-execution peril

Brian Milner

Quicktime Alternative


ICO defends soft Street View probe

Brian Milner

The State doesn't like competition...

You know how many Competition Commissions there are?

Just the one: http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/our_role/what_is_cc/

UK almost tops international Google-snoop league

Brian Milner

Re: Brazilian authorities

Valid point seen elsewhere:

> Brazil has a large orkut userbase (I think about 200 of the takedowns related to this).

> So this skews Brazil's number. For an accurate comparison,

> Facebook should be included in the UK & US.

ICO finally gets new data protection penalty powers

Brian Milner

About time they got some teeth

I've been corresponding with the ICO for a while about Orange mobile. I signed up to the Telephone Preference service and when given a choice I ask not to be send SMS text adverts.

The ICO says each time you get a SMS text advert from a company you should be given the option to opt out. Orange send out SMS text adverts with no 'reply to' number, so you can't ask them to stop.

I've been on the phone with Orange many times, and they seem unable to prevent the SMS text adverts. Perhaps now the ICO will be able to persuade companies like Orange to take the regulations seriously, and PUNISH them until they GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

Met warns officers off photographers

Brian Milner

I've met the Met

and I've got the bruises to prove it.

- from a badge seen at the G20 protest.

The Times kills off blogger anonymity

Brian Milner

The traces remain

There are some entries in Google's cache, e.g.:

Imagine! Government to legislate against badness

Brian Milner

War on Inequality = War on the Rich

The problem isn't poverty, it's inequality.


We don't need a War on Poverty, we need a War on inequality.

i.e. a war on the rich.

US gov ordered to play ball in state secrets case

Brian Milner

> most unique

Qualifying a superlative. Ugh!

Gordon 'to sacky' Wacky Jacqui

Brian Milner

The end of Jacqui Smith

God be praised!

BBC botnet investigation turns hacks into hackers

Brian Milner
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Here comes the tidal wave

Let's say the BBC get away with this without significant punishment. What next?

Suppose some other broadcasters, newspapers and possibly Universities decide to educate people in the same manner, and they all try to set up botnets. The PCs that are fought over by more than one botnet experience a software problem which bricks thousands of home PCs.

Who's going to visit and fix them, one by one?

Brian Milner
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Extremely foolish

One can only hope the BBC doesn't use these questionable methods investigating other crimes.

"I'm a journalist"

should not be a valid defence.

Apple's latest patent brilliance: the iGlove

Brian Milner

I've had a pair of these for some years

Made by Barbour from neoprene, so they keep hands warm even if wet. The thumb, forefinger and middle finger can peel back and velcro tabs keep them there.

As used by the SAS!

I hope I don't owe Apple any money for this.

Microsoft issues emergency patch warning for IE

Brian Milner

Round and Round and Round

"IExplorer vulnerability. Let's switch to Firefox."

"We can't use Firefox, some of our web apps only run on IExplorer."

"Should we allow ourselves to get locked into one vendor? Our web apps should be compliant with web standards. Then we could use any browser we wanted."

... and back to the start.

Boris to give out Olympic 'BlackBerries'

Brian Milner

@ Wayland Sothcott

> [Boris was] responsible for getting rid of Sir Ian Blair

He denied responsibility this morning on Radio 4's Today Programme. He also said that journalists who believed his Deputy had claimed responsibility, were mistaken.

It's certainly not within his purview.

Washington and Microsoft declare war on scareware

Brian Milner

Wars on Concepts

There are so many wars on abstract concepts, Wikipedia has made a list of them:


Chrome-fed Googasm bares tech pundit futility

Brian Milner

Still in beta

> four years since GMail was released.

Just checked, and Gmail is still a beta release, BTW.

88% of IT admins would steal data if fired

Brian Milner

What were the survey questions?

Without seeing the survey questions, we have no idea how they came up with that result. Here's a lighthearted example of questions squewing poll results from 'Yes Minister'.


Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"

Bernard Woolley: "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."

Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."

Bernard Woolley: "Is that really what they do?"

Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."

Bernard Woolley: "How?"

Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"

Bernard Woolley: "Yes"

Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."

Mythbusters RFID episode axed after 'pressure' from credit card firms

Brian Milner

Damn the security ...

Think of the profits!!

I'm reminded of this quote from Robocop:

Dick Jones: "I had a guarantee military sale with ED 209. Renovation program. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it worked or not?"

Jacqui Smith un-downgrades cannabis

Brian Milner
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Destroying the legal system and corrupting the police system

"JACK NICHOLSON: My point of view, while extremely cogent, is unpopular.


JACK NICHOLSON: That the repressive nature of the legalities vis-a-vis drugs are destroying the legal system and corrupting the police system.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Let's talk about acting for a minute."


Your personal data just got permanently cached at the US border

Brian Milner

TrueCrypt: (Free open-source disk encryption software)


I saw a great answer to this problem on another forum:


from "Joe U"


1. There is no encrypted data, I just didn't format that partition yet.

2. There is no encrypted data, that file must be corrupt. What did you do to my computer?

3. Here's the encrypted data, it's a copy of my tax forms for 2006. There is no hidden partition.

Pick one.


Notice in 3) he gives them an encryption password, but conceals the presence of a hidden volume. This gives him "plausible deniability", increasing the chances of getting his data through customs.

Linux guru Hans Reiser convicted of first-degree murder

Brian Milner

Missing wife: Call her?

From another forum:

"He paid a $5,000 retainer to a criminal defense attorney just days after Nina disappeared, while the investigation was still a missing person's case. He didn't even bother to try calling her to find out if she was alive before he shelled out for the retainer."

Wouldn't you try calling your wife if she went missing?

American ISPs already sharing data with outside ad firms

Brian Milner
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When I was young my family went to a Shakespeare play. At one point someone in the audience shouted "MURDER!" very loudly. I asked Mum why, and she said they'd missed out or changed a line from the original script.

Let me leave it to the reader to percieve how my story applies to this article.

Et tu, Gmail? Simple hack defeats last barrier to decades-old attack

Brian Milner

Security is a compromise

Security is a compromise between denying access to those that should not have it, and allowing easy use for those who are authorised. It's interesting to hear about this attack vector, and we can hope that Google does something about it RSN.

However Gmail is an excellent service, and secure enough for many users. After all, locks only keep out honest people, and safes are rated by the amount of time it takes to crack them open.

Windows Service Pack refuseniks offered temporary respite

Brian Milner

@ the Linux fan

Linux is great, but you must realise that although it's easy to swap one PC from Windows to Linux, it's hugely difficult for businesses with lots and lots of PCs.

Fark attempts to trademark NSFW

Brian Milner

This reminds me

of the Games company that tried to trademark the word 'Nazi'.

They didn't succeed.

Absolute Poker probed for insider cheating

Brian Milner

2+2 Forum threads with more detail

These two threads have more detail about the scandal:



Hackers hit back at iPhone update

Brian Milner

I'm glad it's "heating up"

FTA "The war between Apple and the hackers is heating up"

Thank you so much for not saying 'hotting up'.

Windows XP repair disk kills automatic updates

Brian Milner

What about PCs that use WSUS?

Many PCs use WSUS. They won't get this update.

What does the update do, and why should some PCs but not others, need it?

Slave kids working UK cannabis farms

Brian Milner



My point of view, while extremely cogent,

is unpopular.


Which is?


That the repressive nature of the legalities

vis-a-vis drugs are destroying the legal

system and corrupting the police system.


Let's talk about acting for a minute.

Stolen satnav guides thieves to owner's home

Brian Milner

Re: It does not matter

Rick Berry posted: "All the thief has to do is pull out the vehicle registration and/or the insurance papers that the owner is required by law to keep in the vehicle."

Good news Rick! This page says that's not so: http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/28.htm

"Production of documents. You MUST be able to produce your driving licence and counterpart, a valid insurance certificate and (if appropriate) a valid MOT certificate, when requested by a police officer. If you cannot do this you may be asked to take them to a police station within seven days. Law RTA 1988 sects 164 & 165"


"Never leave vehicle documents in the car"

Pirated Simpsons movie traced to phone

Brian Milner

How did they trace it to his phone?

see heading

Europe's floods and fires snapped from space

Brian Milner

Brussels cost us our Flood Defences

Brussels withheld £350m of the money it owed Britan, as punishment for delaying the EU subsidy payments to English farmers. Gordon Brown told Defra the Treasury was not going to make up the shortfall. Defra looked for budget cuts to save £350m, and amongst these cuts were many flood defences and canal bank repairs.

The delay in paying the subsidy is generally held to be Defra's fault, as they ordered the RPA to use the most complicated option for distributing it. Johnston McNeill at the RPA handed the job to Accenture, who bolloxed it up. (Several farmers comitted suicide over debts.) So the flood defences budget cut could demonstrably be Defra's fault.

* Defra = Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

* RPA = Rural Payments Agency

The terrorists I party with

Brian Milner

The Power Of Nightmares

The press these days are more entertainment than informative. They want the largest possible readership, for their advertisers. The BBC don't have advertisers, but they still compare audience size with their competitors, and strive to maximise their readership.

When my Dad was young, he heard a radio news broadcast where the anchor announced "There was no news today, so instead here is some light music." This would be impossible nowadays.

Thanks Thomas C Greene, and thanks El Reg. Readers who like me felt there was something persuasive in Greene's arguement might enjoy Adam Curtis' documentary "The Power of Nightmares"


The first two minutes nicely summarise how fear may be employed to gain power.

Suit blows £105k in London bar

Brian Milner

Re: What the heck was in the Pinot Grigio?

Peter Kay said:

"expensive bottle at the start of the evening when your palate can properly appreciate it, then something cheaper as you become less discriminating."

Peter reminds me of the miracle at Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine.

"Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." (John 2:10)

Unfortunately some folk evidently view lavish spending like this as impressive, rather than laughable.

Burned by a MacBook

Brian Milner

Recipe for you

If life gives you lemons (or turkeys) ...


Smoked Lemon Turkey

1 (14- to 16- pound) turkey

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon thyme

1/2 tablespoon ginger

1/2 tablespoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper

Very small dash of garlic powder

Take about 3 cups of mesquite or hickory chips and soak in water for about an hour. When you cook a larger bird such as a turkey you need to use a water pan circled by hot coals and wood chips. Get your coals all fired up and spread them in a circle around pan filled with water and some citrus juice of your choice. The trick to using wood chips and chunks is to bring the chips to smoke by placing them on hot coals and when smoke appears move to a cooler spot in the grill before adding your meat.

Rub the turkey down with some olive oil and lemon then spread spice mixture over the bird. (I suggest that you do this the night before you cook, but if time does not permit, then just do it while your charcoal is getting ready.) Place turkey breast side up on the center of the grill directly above the pan of water and juice. Place a meat thermometer in the turkey without touching a bone. Cook to an internal temp of 175 degrees. It could take up to 6 hours depending on the size of your bird and the temperature of the coals.

Police deploy thin Bluetooth line

Brian Milner

Simpsons Bluetooth security barb

A recent episode (S18E21) of the Simpsons showed Bart and Lisa playing '24'.

Bart: "Are you on a secure line?"

Lisa: "Yes, but you're on a Bluetooth headset, the most

vulnerable device known to man."

Yahoo! fixes bug that gave free rein to user accounts

Brian Milner

Yahoo! group sends me email: How to stop it ?

Some time ago I joined the Yahoo group [3510i_accesories]. When posting to the group, it tells me I am not subscribed.

I have tried to unsubscribe and resubscribe, but cannot get either to work. I emailed the group owner a couple of times, but they never replied.

I would like to leave the group. Does anyone know how I can contact Yahoo! to get this enacted?

2012 Olympics logo debuts to whalesong

Brian Milner

Brand? What brand?

It's rather scary they way they constantly refer to the affair as a 'brand'.

Paris and Lara share a cell with rude speeder

Brian Milner

Nested Comments Please

Being able to comment on the stories is great. Nice one, elReg. Next, please allow us to comment on the comments.

It's much clearer when you respond to a post, to place it on the page immediately below that post. At the moment, comments on previous comments appear somewhere down the page, depending on how many others have posted in the meantime.

Biofuels are the 'next environmental danger'

Brian Milner

Biofuel = monoculture

There's a big problem with biofuels. To supply our cars with petrol we'd have to grow field and fields of whatever crop we pick to turn into a biofuel.

Huge monocultures are bad for the soil and the environment generally, for lots of reasons.

Littlewoods bombards man by phone. Big mistake

Brian Milner

£150 is an insignificant amount

£150 doesn't seem very much after all the trouble he had to go to to make Littlewoods abide by the law.

Doohan's last landing party missing in mountains

Brian Milner

Local knowledge needed

"I know these mountains like the back of my ..." *BONK*

Dell reinvents the cardboard box

Brian Milner

Viglen do this better

Viglen now send PCs out in reusable plastic boxes. Which saves even more cardboard.

Digg buried by users in piracy face-down

Brian Milner

People power

Putting aside for a moment the legalities of DRM and DMCA, there's great joy to be had here witnessing who has the power when it comes to Web 2.0 .

Digg represented themselves as a site for the users and against the corporations. They obeyed the DMCA takedown notice(s) from the MPAA, and chose at first not to explain what was happening to their users. Faced with vanishing articles and user accounts, the user base revolted.

The 16-hex-pairs number became a symbol of the userbase uniting against the corporations, and against the Digg admins. Astonishing creativity went into transforming the number into many different forms, even including a rather catchy song.

Flickr recently decided to lock out any users who wouldn't change to using a Yahoo ID, even paid subscribers. Fark just revamped their web page template without any warning, and one admin scorned the horrified users posting "You'll get used to it." In this case I thing Digg got all they deserved.

Mexican drug gangs slug it out on YouTube

Brian Milner

End prohibition - end drug gang violence?

Those blood spattered bodies were eerily reminiscent of gunned down gangsters from prohibition era news photos. Perhaps production and distribution of currently illegal drugs should be brought under legal control? Certainly, this behaviour is no longer seen in the alcohol trade.

This is the position held by 'The Economist' magazine:


and 'Law Enforcement Against Prohibition'


amongst many others.

As Dr Strangelove said "all that is required is ze vill to do it."