* Posts by BitTwister

253 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Sep 2007


UK to fly the flag for OOXML


@Does it matter

> Getting so sick of the whole 'it's MS so it must be evil' bullshit

And I'm thoroughly sick of those who think that this is all there is to it.

If you would care to READ Microsoft's "standard" definition you would find that it is full of gaping, undefined and proprietary holes - any of which would make this "standard" utterly impossible to implement.

It's not the company, it's the MESS proposed as a standard.

Royalties are the admission price, Microsoft tells freetards


@Adam Tustian

> I'm proud to be a Thatcher child

Hmm, that explains much.

Of laptops and US border searches


@Which user//

> Are they going to log on as? If I create a new user (no admin rights) and log on as that then its not going to give them much at all is it?

Ah, bless...

No logon is required at all to examine any disk physically.

Top security firm: Phorm is adware


@I don't really understand the business model

> [Adblock's] popularity should give Phorm an idea of the general feeling people have towards ads

Apparently Phorm doesn't care in the slightest - not when there are users to be exploited and money to be made.

As was said in one of their warm-n-fluffy pronouncements (I'm paraphrasing), this is an exciting service designed to help the poor befuddled user by providing ads. which Phorm claim would be of interest - and all at the simple and painless expense of tracking browsing habits using closed & proprietary software.

Naive or just plain ol' predatory - it's in there somewhere.

Why I downgraded from Vista to XP


@Your a minority

> I think you will find that the majority is the people who actually like it but are not on some forum or news blog trying to convince you its good.

Theoretically true, although it's strange that the forum-related majority are all reporting the same sort of problems with Vista and often with much information - as opposed to the 'it sux' type of nonsense (best ignored with any OS). Perhaps it's just a conspiracy, or all the posts I've seen in various places are written by one person...

> Your a minority, plain and simple.

ITYM "you're" - it's a contraction of "you are". The use of "your" would be in something like "Your installation of Vista is worthless", for example.

> Linux is not desktop ready for adverage joe. [they need to] learn how to run command line bullshit to install a piece of software, or compile it for their hardware, when they could just as easily click a file and have it install.

Oh dear. The usual rubbish trotted out by those who've not been near a Linux distribution in years. You really should look at KUbuntu, where several thousand free applications can be installed by clicking on an icon. Just like the other Linux distributions.


@Steven Hewittt

> Vista is a superior operating system to XP in nearly every single way

You keep banging this drum but it seems the majority is having a different experience. I suppose that must be their fault entirely. All of them...

> From 1st hand experience I can tell you with confidence that Vista will run smoothly on any desktop purchased in the last 3 years

Hmm - "any desktop", you say. Pity that didn't include a neighbour's machine which came with Vista pre-installed. Even though minimizing windows was reasonably quick (something under one second), for some reason nothing much else was possible until a few seconds had elapsed - irrespective of application. Starting and closing applications - even weedy things like Outlook - took an age; more than enough to make me think something had gone wrong until I got used to Vista's 'little ways'. This is how it was straight out the box.

So, from first-hand experience I can tell *you* with confidence that Vista ran absolutely appallingly on that desktop, which was purchased new less than a month ago. Rather strangely, this is depressingly similar to what I was told by someone else who was running it on a dual processor in 4GB of RAM - purchased from new within the last 6 months, and not pre-installed. He dumped it (along with the disk) and installed XP which - shock, horror - went like a rocket.

Microsoft admits big delay on Home Server bug fix


Translation for the cynical

> Fixing this issue is the Windows Home Server team's top priority and the team is making good progress on the fix

Crap! Someone *did* get hit by that bug - look busy!

> We understand the issue really well at this point – it is at an extremely low level of the operating system and it requires thorough testing to ensure that the fix addresses the issue.

Crap! We *still* have no idea what's wrong. Look busy!

Phorm launches data pimping fight back


@Ads You dont want em, no probs

> I use admuncher

Well good for you, but ads. are easily blocked by a number of techniques. However, they're not the problem - they're just the end result of the REAL problem. (or in Phorm-speak, the "service")


@William Morton

Or: "Phorm targeted advertising" = HTTP adage, overriding terms.


No, no and NO

Far too much spin, gloss and misdirection - even in the response from the Phorm tech guys who STILL miss answering the direct questions - along with the charmingly naive assumption common to all purveyors of this type of 'service' which assumes adverts are somehow useful to everyone - but of course the ability to provide this 'service' is of MUCH greater use to Phorm, which exists only because the web has exploitable users. (I believe the warm and friendly term used was "monetise")

When I browse a site it's for a specific purpose and if a site doesn't cough up what I'm looking for then I simply look at another - generally easily found with any search engine. This whole experience is made annoying by the visual noise of ANY form of advertising so as a result, they're ALL disabled here. I don't WANT to see advertising, PERIOD.

I also dislike intensely the assumption that I'm a retard who requires "targeted advertising" <spits> because plainly, I am incapable of just looking about and deciding for myself. It's far too much like that sodding MS Office paper clip popping up and asking if I want help with writing a letter. Sure, go right ahead: write the whole damn thing for me...

It's completely arrogant and plain WRONG to be opted-in to this 'service' as the default choice: how dare you assume that I'll find useful what you provide, without even bothering to ask me first (and no; undocumented analysis of MY data doesn't count). As others have pointed out, to remain opted out I'd be REQUIRED to keep the Phorm cookie. No, not good enough; this is just shabby thinking. Further, since users who have opted in to this 'service' are helping Phorm make money it only seems fair that these users are paid for the data Phorm is harvesting. But of course it HAS to be opted-in as a default: who would (effectively) tick a box marked 'yes please - pester me with more adverts I've not asked for. The stuff I see on the streets, transport, TV and in newspapers just isn't enough'. The only acceptable form of default action is that my browsing habits are examined by nothing and no-one - unless I request it specifically. (law enforcement actions with the ISP and gubbinment snooping excepted...)

The privacy implications are legion and no amount of smooth talk will convince me that it's anything other than targeted snooping of hog-tied users' data with the sole purpose of making money. And thanks, but no thanks - I've been around long enough to recognize a phishing attempt whether it's in a mail or on a site. It's not exactly rocket science, is it...

The only difference between spam and "targeted advertising" is that spam tries to sell snake-oil or fakes and a site visit would likely attempt to infect Windows with something nasty, and "targeted advertising" tries to sell something legal from a trusted site.

Curiously, while it's well accepted that addresses used for spam are gathered by underhand or nefarious hoovering techniques, we're expected to accept that because Phorm announce it would hoover details sufficient to achieve exactly the same thing as spam (unsolicited information) - it's now supposed to be a Good Thing.

In either case any advertising received is still going to be an unrequested, hit-n-miss opportunistic attempt at getting me to part with my money.

Has your shifty foreign neighbour got 16 mobes?


@But what else can you do?

> What else could you do to actually find the people who are acting suspiciously from those that are doing something innocent

Nothing; absolutely nothing - or at at least not without making someone innocent suffer at the hands of our overzealous secret plods. Ask David Mery. Unfortunately you won't be able to ask Jean-Charles Demenez. In any case, your definition of "suspicious" is likely very different to mine which makes the whole "shop a suspect today!" thing even more stupid.

> when you're faced with people who are willing to lay down their lives (...) what else can you do but become vigiliant to the point of paranoia.

Ignore them. Why on earth would anyone want to become voluntarily paranoid, FFS? The logical extension to this so-called vigilance is to have everyone *else* on the train/plane taken out and strip-searched because I'm only certain *I* won't be the one with the bomb.

Most spam comes from just six botnets



> trying to connect to the machines 65k sockets and if you get an answer test if it's a botnet socket.

Connect how? And get an answer to what, exactly - there are plenty of valid things a machine could be doing which require an open socket or two. How would any of this differentiate between 'good' and 'bad' (botnet) machines? How would this work with a machine which is part of a Windows botnet located behind a firewall running on a different OS?

> Can *this* be done smarter?

Yes. Fix the damned OS responsible for making it so easy to create botnets.



> This [various functionality-limiting proposals] is fairly easy to implement for ISPs, yet they choose not to do it.

The problem exists at the scale it's reached because the "world's most 'popular' OS" is very easily compromised and is very poorly supported. This is not something ISPs should have to deal with, so they don't - and your 'solutions' are typical of those viewing all aspects of a problem as a single nail in that there's only one tool available: a large hammer.

Perhaps it would prove more beneficial to complain to the manufacturer of the OS responsible, *demanding* that they drop the BS & face-saving spin and take responsibility for the mess they've created - and continue to assist with so-called "ease of use" and silly sugar-coated GUIs, all implemented at the expense of effective operation and system security.


@George Schultz

> OK so maybe they [Linux/Unix] don't spam but they do seem to host an awful lot of phishers.

Well which is it? And who are "they" and what's "an awful lot"? And is the phishing stuff merely coming through a *nix box or is it actually being generated by one? There's a huge difference. I wonder how any of this, if it's actually real, compares to the *thousands* of Windows botnets?

> Often the duffus running the system (often for BANKS!) would not have changed a root password - and most often in was a UNIX system.

Hmm - "often" followed by another two, and all sounding rather like vague meanderings masquerading as fact. Convincing... But this assertion doesn't really make much sense because there is no default root password, and one Unix/Linux installation isn't necessarily anything like another installation. In any case if a system *had* been compromised then the root password would be irrelevant - changed or not.



> So, come on ISP's.....you'll be doing us all a favour if you stop this stuff coming via your systems...

This is rather like expecting the electricity company to do something about crap programs on TV. Just because spam comes via the pipes provided by an ISP doesn't make it something they should take control of - it's your machine, your OS, your inbox - so why not do yourself a favour and take control of it?

Microsoft cuts Vista price


@Dick Emery

> You WILL have to install it (Or have a PC with it preinstalled) at some stage in the future.

Pfft - oh no I won't. I dumped Microsoft's crap years ago and haven't looked back since.

It's revealing that the only thing you raised as the 'must have' reason for Vista is games. Well, great; that's just what people with more serious needs require from an OS - that it's good at games. Duh.



> Now XP is the new standard. Inevitably, Vista will be the next one.

Sadly, that's probably going to turn out to be the case - Microsoft knows no other way of operating. But isn't it incredibly wrong (not to mention incredibly damaging) that it will become a 'standard' not because of any real improvement, merit, user desire, discussion or comparison - but just because Microsoft will make *certain* it becomes a 'standard' by muscle-flexing alone. No-one ever chooses to purchase a machine because it has Windows installed - that decision is already made.

How Phorm plans to tap your internet connection


@Charity Worker

> Is it possible that this system will allow BT to see (...) email addresses of vulnerable children (...) and other highly confidential data?

Even without this system BT or any other ISP would be able to look at or monitor your web connections if it was so minded - an ISP is always the 'middle man' in *all* your net traffic. Obviously snooping this would make a mockery of any ethical or privacy considerations but with BT linking up with Phorm, it apparently now thinks this sort of tomfoolery is a Good Thing.

Nokia starts tagging photos


@Oh please!

> I just wish REAL cameras had it. [GPS coordinate logging in images]

The Nikon D3 has it once a bolt-on is er, bolted on. Unfortunately this stuff tends to come only at REAL (read as: eye-watering) prices...

I've written software which will incorporate GPS coordinates into the image file's EXIF data area. It relies on the output from a GPS data logger (< £100, about the size of a small mobile: http://gpsforless.co.uk/product_details.php?id=9863) which I switch on when starting a roaming photography session. It's relatively easy to then have software match (+/- a fiddle factor) the existing date/time fields in an image's EXIF data with the date/time/location fields in the output file from the data logger and extract the coordinates.

Swedes demand return of heraldic lion's todger


@This is what the world is coming to

> But on the other hand, does the lack of a Petter Niklas (Swedish cousin of "John Thomas") indicate a vagina... now that would be sexist too...?!?!

Oh it's much worse than that, because the poor beast still has a mane so is definitely male. Apparently now singing soprano.


@Heraldic Info Sought

> I'd love to know what the heraldic description of the coat of arms (with the, er, affected part) would be :-)

Probably something like "with Lion rampant" - he's just not quite so happy about it now. Well who would be, after the unkindest cut of all...

Broadband big boys waiting on data pimping



Brian, my thoughts too. Seems that all the noise is being caused by the new 'meja' kids on the block - the ones only interested in what they can harvest through being an ISP instead of just providing a reliable pipe with minimal control-freakery, period, like Demon do - and always have.

EC jacks up Microsoft fine by €899m


My previous post

...should have been titled '@@AC'. (damn these remembered entry fields)


@AC (re. Ben Franklin quote)

> the 'getting my coat' icon belays the obvious lack of humour in your comments.

But it does rather look like someone reaching for their wallet/money, doesn't it? Still looks like humour to me.


@Andrew Willett

> Microsoft should not have to pander to every single request from any competitor wanting a slice of their market share

Quite - but that's not what this is about at all.

It's about a company holding a monopoly on a desktop OS which is being deliberately skewed against competition by not fairly documenting certain protocols/procedures (nothing whatever to do with 'giving away code') which would allow fair - or indeed, any - competition.

While there's nothing wrong with a monopoly, as such, there's *plenty* wrong with one which actively works to make life difficult/impossible for any would-be competition.

This is known elsewhere as 'dictatorship' - perhaps that makes it a little clearer for you...

BT pimped customer web data to advertisers last summer


@BT Wholesale + LLU

> does it include BT Wholesale customers (...) broadband is supplied by resellers.

Unlikely, I would hope, since BT would be treading all over their agreement with the reseller and that should certainly raise interesting legal issues (beyond those already raised!). Since this seems so far to be BT acting directly as the ISP (plus some resellers who have decided to play along), I think it would only affect BT customers who pay BT directly as their ISP. Unfortunately, more resellers may also join in after being approached by BT.

ICO tells Cabinet Office to release Iraq docs


@Tony Bliar is a trator and should face war crimes

Spot-on, Chris. Every word.

Gilligan's bomb: Is it time to panic yet?


@AC (re. Ben Franklin quote)

> Just because Benjamin Franklin said it, it doesn't necessarily make it true.

Well no (although it's a damn good indicator: he was clearly no fool) - but irrespective of who said it, it's still completely true. Or would you care to enlighten us of an instance or two where it isn't?



> This is the world you wanted.

Jeez, what idiotic nonsense. You may have read the article but clearly not one word of it registered.

HMRC pays criminal for 'tax dodger' discs


@Gerrit Tijhof

> Law is for everyone

...except HMRC it seems, which is happy to pay a criminal for stolen data. Maybe some storm troopers should have been recruited to stun-grenade the bank, so the details could have been stolen directly?

Florida cops taser naked old timer



> The 6 year old had been handcuffed to provide a startle to the kid.

Ah, right. So *that's* OK then. Presumably the extra-naughty 6 year-olds are tasered since they'd obviously require a greater "startle", although I have to wonder at which point the clubbing or shooting would start. Maybe instead they should just be shackled to their school-chairs.

Sergey Brin: 'Microhoo! makes me nervous'



> Andy Poulton, I presume you meant Pedants Dictionary?

Or more pedantically - surely "Pedant's Dictionary"?

<fetches precisely-made coat>

Vista SP1 kills and maims security apps, utilities



> there is no way that all those things can be true with a machine in regular use.

Meh - in *your* experience, maybe. However in my experience over 10 years of running machines 24/7 (and apart from a couple of unrelated HDD & PSU 'infant mortality' failures) I'd have to fully agree with AC of "The bitter truth of being a Mac user" - and although I'm not using Windows /or/ a Mac, the primary benefit lies in the choice of OS. Some of them simply don't behave very well, you know...

Web browsers on the front line of exploitation


@What we need is ...

> A War on Malware (TM).

Yes indeed. Maybe someone should speak to Microsoft about that since it's entirely responsible for providing malware with the oxygen required to live.

5,000 NHS records vanish with latest lost laptop



Absolutely spot-on. The information should not have been taken off-site in the first place.

Armed police swoop on MP3-packing mechanic



> I think one man, inconvenienced for an hour or so, is a small price to pay

A small price to pay for what, exactly - making it even easier to unjustifiably arrest someone & have DNA samples taken and stored? And how unlike that other example at Stockwell of being "inconvenienced" through similar bogus data. That man got "inconvenienced" for ever and this one could easily have ended in the same way.

HMRC self-assessment online gets awards nod



...this would be a webshite award?

How believable are government claims on ID cards?


@Oli Wright

> might want to rethink the word "innocent".

It seems pretty clear to me - he was questioned then released without charge by the UK police, but then banged up (several years ago - still no charge though) by request of the USA - where his alleged associates have already been questioned and released without charge. These requests from the USA are terribly convenient for them because no supporting evidence needs to be provided for our lame puppets to validate - they just meekly obey.

Microsoft ready to play with PlayReady



> DRM is not so bad, so long as it's not restrictive.

Hmm - but the "rights" being managed are always 'theirs' and never 'yours'.

Microsoft takes a back seat as Orange goes for the eyes



> What have they [MS] done that is a "major innovation" ?

Created a novel method of printing money by selling the same uniquely flawed OS to the gullible - year in, year out. That's about it.

EU investigates Microsoft's OOXML campaign


@Mark Rendle

> Maybe if ODF wasn't entirely controlled by $un Micro$y$tem$

It's not - it's an entirely open ISO standard and anyone can contribute to it and use it - even Microsoft.

> lightweight format that doesn't even come close to handling everything Office 2007 needs to store.

It's hardly lightweight, but no one system could handle absolutely everything in one go - which of course is why ODF has several mechanisms to allow for extensions that *would* handle manufacturers' specific requirements.

> See the Burton Group report for more info.

Discredited as utter tosh - see article published by ElReg within the last couple of months, IIRC.

> Microsoft spend a fortune designing an open, interoperable format

Open??!! Interoperable??!! Oh puleeze, that has to be a joke - or wait; maybe you can provide us with an answer to one thing Microsoft somehow 'forgot' to define (amongst *many* others) in their "standard" - which is supposed to contain everything anyone would need to implement it, including competitors. So - what does "autoSpaceLikeWord95" actually *mean*?

Surely with your gushing support for OOXML you'll know exactly what that refers to and astonishingly, you'll be able to implement the unimplementable. Maybe you can also help out with defining all the other proprietary crap included in Microsoft's "open standard" and who knows - with *another* 6,000 pages it may even become open and interoperable. Huh, fat chance. This is Microsoft...

> submit it to the independent standards groups for ratification

Along with certain er, 'assistance' to people who previously showed no interest in ISO ratification just to er, 'help' them make the 'right decision' and give OOXML the nod-through without a considered reading or thought for the *mess* they'd be passing.

In other words, Microsoft simply attempted to do what it normally does everywhere else: coerce users into adopting its proprietary technology at the cost of interoperability with *real* open standards.

FBI sought approval to use spyware against terror suspects


@Joe Cooper

> [make Ubuntu spyware] It's not hard, though a lot of people who spend their time explaining why it's impossible would never guess how.

Ok, so why don't you enlighten us all?

Brits split on ID cards


@Charles Manning

> While people bitch about having an ID card safely tucked in their wallet where nobody can read it, [number plates can still be read]

It's not an ID card, as such, which most people are objecting to - we already carry plenty of stuff which would identify us. It's the shifting, unfounded and rather silly reasons "why" we need one (AKA "lies") and the insidious purposes behind the accompanying ID & DNA database which causes the worry. Well it worries the crap out of me, anyway. The criminally poor record of just about *any* aspect of IT involving the government doesn't exactly add confidence either.

Straw: Police can bug MPs without asking Cabinet


@Ron Hughes

> And why shouldn't our security forces bug a suspected Terrorist?

Because a *suspect* is guilty of nothing, that's why.

But since any one of us could potentially make some sort of bomb and cause damage with it, presumably therefore you wouldn't mind having your telephone calls recorded. Well, you never know; you can't be too careful; they're lurking under every bed - and even *you* might suddenly come over all subversive! (see Daily Mail etc. for similar idiocy)

Hamster-in-rain emergency prompts 999 call


@Chris Matchett

> Putting a hamster out in the rain is animal cruelty.

So you think that in the wild they have little wellies, plastic macs and sou'westers?

All blue-eyed people share one common ancestor



> My right eye is brown and my left eye is split blue/brown down the middle. What does that make me?


Hey - that must mean you're related to Ivy!

IT problems force HMRC to extend tax deadline



> It shows once again that IT folk are numbskulls

ITYM "...that the IT folk from the likes of EDS and Crapita are numbskulls yet they will be used time and again by NuLabour"

Line up for full-windscreen satnav


@Mr Chris

> learn to read a f*cking map, you twits.

And presumably also learn how to pluck feathers from swans so accounts can be written up in ink on parchment, instead of using a spreadsheet.

I can map read perfectly well but not while driving, for obvious reasons, and having a SatNav chatting (or projecting) at me instead is very useful. Rather like how a spreadsheet is very useful for doing accounts - but neither is a substitute for an understanding the basic principles.

How to speed up Windows Vista: official and unofficial tips



I've always found repartitioning and reformatting to be the ultimate Windows speedup measure. So nice to see that nothing's really changed.

@ Don Mitchell

> you're better off with a more advanced OS like Windows.

Er - so advanced that users are recommended to restart regularly and run fewer concurrent programs? Yeah, right.

> [security] Windows and Linux have always been about the same.

Only when resorting to simplistic vulnerability counts and ignoring any detail.

> if LInux on the desktop ever gets big enough for anyone to care, hackers will have a field day with it.

Balls. The source code is and always has been freely available so it ought to have been hacked to bits by now. Quite unlike the closed-source Windows model which <kof> remains as secure as it ever was.

MPs slam costly war-tech projects at MoD



> It's not the current enemy, but the future ones that we have to develop the equipment to deal with.

With logic like that, any amount of spending on anything whatever is perfectly Ok.

Hmm - that's more or less the argument NuLabour uses for its latest liberty/privacy restrictions - every damn week, it seems.

Then again, it seems to work Ok for them. Worrying...