* Posts by Gaz Davidson

34 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Sep 2007

UK cookie law compliance takes effect today

Gaz Davidson

Re: How this should have been done

Better than this, just mandate a cookie policy being listed on a privacy page and force people to support the x-do-not-track header. Anything else is already covered by the Data Protection Act.

Now every site in the UK is going to have these annoying popup bars and companies will just move their e-commerce elsewhere.

Twitter-control botnet mines Bitcoins

Gaz Davidson


No, you can't do that. If you controlled 100% of the hashing power then you still wouldn't be able to generate invalid blocks, that is, blocks that contain transactions that weren't signed by private key of the address where they reside.

If you owned the vast majority of the network's hashing power then you could perform double spend attacks by starting at block A, processing some fraudulent transaction in block B, chaining blocks C to G on the end to make it look trustworthy (most people accept after 6 blocks; an hour). Then you go back to block A and create a forked B,C,D,E,F,G,H chain that denies the transaction ever existed. The proof-of-work method would show your new fork as being the longest and therefore the most trustworthy, thus you can spend the coins a second time.

Bonus points for anyone who can calculate how many bots you'd need to perform a double-spend attack like this with a 95% success rate. I'm guessing it's a lot!

Google Docs is going mobile

Gaz Davidson

No Bluetooth keyboard?

Bluetooth HID profiles are in every custom ROM out there, it's a tiny change. Tablet manufacturers had better support them if they want to compete.

Vodafone pulls 360 trick on Froyo hungry users

Gaz Davidson

Root and remove

Obtain root access, remount your system filesystem in read-write mode and delete the offending APKs. This doesn't void your warranty unless you mess with your bootloader.

YouTube: Auto-captions for everyone

Gaz Davidson
Big Brother

It's not about the giving

All the people who correct the dodgy transcriptions will be callibrating Google's algorithms, which may eventually be used to transcribe every phone call.

Google Buzz leaves privacy concerns ringing in ears

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Up

I actually like it

Unlike Facebook who actually takes complete ownership of all data you pump into their system, this supports XFN and RSS and politely links back to the original posts. It moves the status of a social network from data owning monopoly to data whoring aggregator, which IMO is far better.

So Google can now tie my email account to my blog posts, tweets and YouTube videos, nothing new there. They know who my friends are, nothing new there either. Where we once had privacy by obscurity we now have none, but we gain a rich social layer to the public Internet which was not there before and will continue growing not just at Google HQ but throughout the semantic web.

I'd be quite happy for my profile here to have an XFN link back to my blog, so I can share this, and other interesting topics like it with my contacts without purposely spamming them.

UK government considers open source Ordnance Survey data

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Up

Experian QAS

I'm with the Anonymous Coward/Xmas/00:42, I bet Experian QAS and QuickAddress Pro cost the taxpayer more than 2M a year.

El Reg uncovers Tiger Woods tech angle

Gaz Davidson

Sidewiki Leaks

Try censoring metadata, fascists.

Google expands plan to run own internet

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Up


This competition means my ISP will be forced to remove the ad-spam if they want to collect my data. The same applies to OpenDNS, in order to compete with Google they'll have to provide a better service. This is a Good Thing.

Parents demand control over text messaging

Gaz Davidson


Maybe your parents/grandparents didn't have toilet paper and television, but if you'd have gone without would you have left school with any social skills?

The same applies to mobiles today.

Google Docs set for 'get rid of' Office moment

Gaz Davidson


Screw Google Docs, everyone get on EyeOS instead. Their docs are powered by OO.o, is free software and runs on your own server. Currently it's not so good, but with the power of enough hackers it could easily compete with Google or Microsoft.

Silverlight dances with Facebook wolves

Gaz Davidson
Gates Horns

Roll on HTML 5

HTML 5's canvas tag is going to remove the need for Flash and SilverLight anyway

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

Gaz Davidson

@Koala Brains

Mystic Mekon?

Top drug boffin renews criticism of cannabis policy

Gaz Davidson

Schizo here

As someone who has suffered from a drug induced paranoid meltdown and cannot partake in them anymore (apart from beer), I fully support the legalization of all drugs.

Apple Magic Mouse

Gaz Davidson


I would buy one of these if it had scale and rotate axes. It looks nice, but if you're going to pay £55 for a mouse it had better have plenty of wheels and buttons.

New police crime-mapping system crashes on first outing

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Up


Performance testing consultant here, this kind of high-profile failure is what pays my wages. Keep up the good work UK.gov

AT&T savages Google Voice

Gaz Davidson

Do no harm

@Andy 22

I agree, try using their search API in a new and interesting way and you'll find out how their "do no harm" policy doesn't extend to search bots. They aren't as evil as everyone else, but that doesn't mean they're not evil.

Trade body doubles efforts against pirate software

Gaz Davidson

Owning your brain

When you learn to use a piece of software your brain grows into its inverse, the end result is that you can't use that part of your brain without paying the license holders. If you learn to use some complicated piece of software illegally, then you're essentially handing your brain over rather than getting something for free. Choose open source for the sake of your own long-term freedom.

IMO society shouldn't even grant copyrights to binaries, they will be woth nothing when the copyright finally expires. If it isn't published with source code then it shouldn't be protected by copyright law.

Google Docs gets jiggy with folder sharing

Gaz Davidson

Goo > gle

Once OpenGoo becomes mature enough we'll be able to host our own docs rather than be stuck with the measily 100MB that Google offer.

In the future maybe eyeOS will replace all of Google's online services bar search, maybe allowing Google Wave as long as we can host it ourselves.

One cellphone for every ten lags in UK prisons

Gaz Davidson

RF Signals

How hard can it be to detect or block the signals?

MP urges Royal Mail rethink on postcode site takedown

Gaz Davidson

Free those postcodes!

Everyone, get on OpenStreetMap.org now, click the edit tab and attach a postcode tag to your road. Then go to freethepostcode.org and add your postcode to that map too.

Finally, if you own a business directory made by users, please get in touch with me. I'd like to extract those postcodes and inject them into OSM for the good of future generations.

gaz at bitplane dot net

Royal Mail lawyers demand closure of postcode lookup site

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Down


See database rights:


Gaz Davidson

Please help free the postcodes!

Does anyone here own a significant database of businesses, such as a business directory, which was created by users?

If so, if you could somehow give me access to your addresses (no business name or house number, just street name to postal code), I'll import this data into OpenStreetMap.org by matching the road names and tagging them with the correct postal code, then use the waypoint data to get the average GPS locations of the postal codes too, possibly even importing that back into Free The Postcode! (if they accept the CC license)

Your business will be cited as a source in OpenStreetMap's database, if that provides some incentive. Even if it's only a small database, it could be used as a proof of concept for a free import process.

If we all work together, we can free those postcodes. If you think you can help then please get in touch, you can contact me gaz at bitplane dot net.

IE, Chrome, Safari duped by bogus PayPal SSL cert

Gaz Davidson


Neal 5, I see you trollan. Stop this nonsense forthwith.

'Evil' Windows 7 campaign goes global

Gaz Davidson

Attempting to run before you can crawl

Rather than campaigning to replace the OS, FSF should just encourage businesses to plan for the future, take steps today that give the option of escaping Windows at some future date.

Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard — The poison taste test

Gaz Davidson

Xcode a fantastic IDE?!

Even the VC Express editions without a resource compiler or profiler urinate all over Xcode from a great height.

It is buggy, often needing a restart to update settings. It has a terrible GUI, taking a scroll and two clicks to see the reason why your build just failed, the icon metaphors are all broken, not something you'd expect from apple; it's as ugly a monster as Borland Builder. It has a naff editor which doesn't recognise preprocessor macros and sticks Mac line endings all over the place, wrecking your diffs. The debugger GUI is terrible, the documentation is fragmented, code completion is lacking and frustrating, the project tree is unintuitive. Its only saving grace is the multi-level, searchable settings dialog.

I agree with Charlie, it's on par with VC6 or Dev-C++, it's a decade behind VC9 or Eclipse, and a long way behind CodeBlocks.

Police decline to reopen mobile phone hacking case

Gaz Davidson

Hack this, tap that

I cringed every time the media call this unauthorized access phone hacking or tapping, stop this nonsense forthwith.

Logging in to someone's account with their password is not hacking. It's not breaking and entering if you have a key, it's trespass.

Listening to someone's messages is not phone tapping. Watching your home made porno isn't the same as secretly taping you having sex.

Google's trademark keyword sale kyboshed by Appeals Court

Gaz Davidson

Goodbye, Rescuecom

Anyone who complains should have their trademarks removed from Google's cache completely. That'll learn 'em

ITU plots third dimension

Gaz Davidson

Needs more contrast

Richness of image is equally as important as the resolution or number of dimensions, I think Dolby's IMLED technology would have as much wow factor as stereoscopic 3D or increased resolutions.

I suppose HDR is the next big thing they can force us to fork out for.

Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page

Gaz Davidson
Thumb Up

Oh wow

Can I please write an article for El Reg? I also support Ban This Sick Filth campaigns for the purpose of trolling

Yahoo! shares! hit! five! year! low!

Gaz Davidson


Perhaps Yahoo! should focus less on shareholder profits and more customer satisfaction.

Microsoft's Photosynth falls out of cloud

Gaz Davidson
Gates Halo


@James Butler

It does actually generate a rather impressive 3D point cloud from the 2D images, logical progression is to stitch the outsides of those into a convex hull and apply an average of the photographs as a texture. The hard problem is already solved.

Mac, Linux BBC iPlayers in the offing, says PM

Gaz Davidson


"...with many codecs available on the internet the correct licences aren't being paid at all and that is why they are free? Is this right?"

Yes it is. If the people who own the copyright on those codecs want them to be free, then it is. Last time I checked, software algorithms were explicitly not patentable under UK law.

O2 starts charging for calls to non-places

Gaz Davidson

OpenMoko to the rescue

In a few years when Nokia and friends are competing with OpenMoko based handsets, the phone operators will have to beg us to use their networks instead of free WiFi ones.

The monopoly ends here: