* Posts by Claire Rand

102 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Sep 2007


Wheels come off O2's data network

Claire Rand

same here

Stoke-on-Trent and Barnsley both down, did wonder what was up. though I have to say, didn't exactly spend *long* wondering.

an irritant, but a minor one if its less than a day or so, if it starts to get to about a week I'd expect O2 to make a gesture of some sort, credit for extra SMS or calls maybe, something that won;t cost them much but is at least partly useful.

no SLA on this sort of account, but I'd assume business customers may be checking their contracts a bit more. but a good will gesture would be a reasonable expectation if this occurs too often or goes on too long.

but what would be seriously unexpected: a description of what the problem is, without any BS attached. if someone pulled a plug by accident *say so*, I'm more than happy to deal with a company that has occasional issues but is honest about it, and is willing to fix issues.

The day my iPhone loosing its data connection for a few hours or a couple of days is *critical* to me is the day I need to re-evaluate my life.

we managed without these things before, and until our dear leader mandates everyone must carry a mobile to allow us all to be tracked, i.e. until the day O2's network going down results in *me* being fined I'll cope.

Would you leave your child alone with a cabinet minister?

Claire Rand

but surely

if they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear?

set an example for once, have the check, make it public if they pass or fail (but not what on, they get the same privacy the rest of us should).

if they won;t go through it it just makes them and the whole process look shifty.

if ed balls especially had answered with "of course i;ve been checked" the story more or less ends there

Spooks' favourite IT firm tells Reg readers to grow up

Claire Rand


its not so much the collection I care about, let them snow themselves under if they want, though I do object to paying for it.

my issue is the fact people view the "database" as perfect, since to admit it has errors reduces its value, but it will get things wrong, but there tends to be no easy way to correct these mistakes.

oh and coupled with el'govs tendancy to make the victim responsible for any mistakes they make.

if these things are oh so useful *sell* the benefits properly, not with vauge staements ala ID cards, tell me what I get out of letting you have all this?

i'd love a 100% linked up database, the gov stores my address etc, then makes it illegal for companies to do so,

oh and since you have all my details i guess i;ll never need to apply for benefits, tax rebates etc, it will all be automatic right?

thought not

UK police chiefs mull regional cybercrime squads

Claire Rand

does this mean...

that if I reported for example, the fact that someone tried to:

- access my wifi without permission

- broke whatever spam law we currently have in place

- has a uk based website that doesn't meet the business regulations

- has a uk based website with fraudulent claims on it regarding a product

- signs my credit card up to a premium website i;ve never heard of


the plod will actually *do* something?

or is this going to be focussed on trying to find out who hacked an MP/Celeb/Local politico's email and sold the results...

if its the latter why should we care where its based, after all a call centre the other side of the world can spout "its a civil matter" or "its a grey area"

given the way plod react to crimes against the general public, and the fact they won't even accept reports of credit card fraud from the public I can;t see this making a huge difference to my every day life

That Digital Britain report in full

Claire Rand

radio gaga.

well my car radio hasn't been connected to the antenna in two years, mostly since I couldn't find an adaptor when I fitted it, and now can't be bothered to sort it.

not sure I'm missing much really, just plugged an SD card into it and away it goes.

the boradband tax is interesting, I dare say the date this will end isn;t noted anywhere and as such will simply carry on. I hope ISPs are not allowed to exclude this tax from the adverts, though I do hope its shown as a line item on the bill.

I also assume this is a 50p tax + VAT and not just a 50p tax this is something that has brown mucky prints on it.

there will be no requirement for 'evidence' since if the media co's had that they wouldn't need this sort of silliness. so it will be done on their word, and even if ZERO files were shared over the next year they would still have huge losses and demand more rules, so its basically a nice way of pushing that issue beyond the election, it will end up tied to the ID card system somehow.

not too bothered about a bit of the licence fee for propaganda getting spread further, I don't watch much telly anyway, apart my my other half wanting it I'd not bother with that either.

I guess as with most of these things the only people not consulted were the victims

Taking a first bite out of Wolfram Alpha

Claire Rand


tried it, apparently you need javascript active for it to work.

so I won't be going back.

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Claire Rand


point one, I won;t be using vista or win 7, i moved to a mac and don't plan to come back.

having said that:

point two: the virtul machine with a copy of XP is something many people have suggested. indeed once that way or working gets established how hard is it to sandbox certain programs into a virtual machine of their own (MSIE?) which may help with security

also once people are used to that way or working, or its seemless enough for people not to care... MS *can* alter the core of windows to anything, without most users noticing, this is a huge step forwards. or at least it could be

ISPs eye role in Jacqui's mass surveillance system

Claire Rand

define ISP?

If I decide to run a mail server does this mean this somewhat idotic bunch of rules applies?

and where do I send the bill?

or will they simply 'decide' that larger ISPs can do this for the smaller ones, i.e. a nice way of shovelling cash at BT yes?

ignore for now how this won't work due to encryption of whatever, that will be taken as a sign of guilt. with RIPA we are bordering on:

1, state accusation

2, user provides key

3, state discovers whatever they thought was in file isn't

4, state demands second key

5, user states there isn't one

6, state indicates user must be guilty, after all they are obviously hiding something

7, ...

8, profit?

Website terms unenforceable due to unlimited right to amend

Claire Rand

credit cards...

Actually ever change my credit card company has made has been notified by post, and contains an option to retain the current T&C at a cost of the card 'locking', the old T&C applying during the time you pay the balance off, and no further changes being made.

I'm assuming that if these sharks don't think the idea of posting it on a website and basically saying 'tough' to anyone who didn't notice would fly, then it probably won't. *they* dare not run the risk of such contracts being rulled out by a court, so they make sure such a ruling would not effect them.

ISPs are a different kettle of aquatic swimming things, but banks seem to know which way it would go, I reckon the likes of ISPs assume no one would risk the costs going to court, and small claims courts don't set a precedence (I think), cheaper to have iffy T&C and settle when challenged, the majority just pay up.

its the same as civil parking 'fines', essentially unenforceable, but many people will pay up.

Also I hear a company that tries the "you can't sue us, because we said so" over here will fine the court disagrees and any penalties will be bigger.

Pirate Bay server becomes museum artefact

Claire Rand

would you...

use a machine that had been returned by plod?

without examining the hardware *very* closely to see what has been added...

not to mention the obvious requirement for new hard disks.

an auction or museum makes a good place for it

Summary care records - you might die, but they never will

Claire Rand

cross reference

so in effect they are saying that other systems will be cross referenced to this one, and can't handle the fact they may get what can be considered a NULL pointer?

wonder if they realise they have in effect just signed up to an ever growing storage requirement for a virtually unlimited amount of data?

pork anyone?

The Quick - and the Dead in the Water

Claire Rand


lets see now, so in around 28 days there will be a minor notice, not given much air time as to how all the people arrested have been released without charge, or without any serious charge.

this will be blamed, if anyone asks, on the 'irresponsible' media and no further comment will be made. no detailed evidence of what this plot is will be made public, and the vague statements made will quickly be shown to be rubbish.

cynical? moi?

iPhone 3.0 gossip lassos MMS, tethering, cut-and-paste...

Claire Rand


speacking as a reasonably happy iphone user...

>I've been ignoring the iPhone for so long now I'd forgotten all its glaring omissions.

>No cut-and-paste,

to be honest there has only been about two occasions i've missed this, my old phone had this feature, i think, never used it though. its a "nice to have" for sure though, so -1 to the iphone

>no tethering

not too bothered by this one actually, as an upgrade option on the contract not a bad idea though, more -1 to O2 here though

>, no MMS

never sent one so don't miss it, but its a valid point

>, one app open at a time.

it has a small screen, it would be hard to _use_ more than one at once, now background apps I'd be fine with, as long as the threads they run in get at most 25% of the CPU to keep whatever is at the front responsive. it would be nice but done badly its useless

>That's just primitive! BTW, >how's the Bluetooth stack looking these days? The last I heard it >stank, but that was a while ago.

the inability to move photographs off is irritating, not a 'killer' but it is a feature I miss,

>So can anybody tell me just why people like it so much? Is it the Jobsian Reality Distortion Field?

possibly, very possibly, but while there are definite limits what it does it does well, style over substance? maybe

>Having gotten used to all these features on *much* cheaper mid-range phones, it would irritate >the blazes out of me to suddenly have them taken away. That's why even a free-with-contract >offer didn't tempt me - I'd rather pay more for a supposedly inferior phone, such as the N85.

I've used feature packed phones as well, generally with interfaces that are annoying. my old K800i was ok, but i used maybe 10% of what it could do

>And I know it's probably childish, but I just don't like the way I can only do what Steve and his >marketroids tell me I can do. What features I "don't need".

I was marginally worried about this, but frankly its not something I worry about, its a device not a lifestyle

>What network I can use. What apps I >can use, and where I can buy them.

people buy applications? I've downloaded a few free ones, but not seen anything for sale i've wanted enough to buy it. the lack of choice could I suppose be an issue here, but theres a lot of rubbish out there trying to trick people into forking out cash.

>Making me pay twice for the same song if I want to use it as >a ring-tone, or, potentially, make me pay extra to send bytes to my laptop.

I could see this as irritating, if mine wasn't on silent most of the time.

all in all it could certainly be better, but i'm happy with mine, its costing me a whole fiver more than my previous contract phone, per month its true, but thats the base contract, my bill tends to be about the same so the cost is a non issue for me

overall I'm happy enough, rating? maybe 60-70%

BBC zombie caper slammed by security pros

Claire Rand


does it matter if they broke the law or not?

I mean seriously?

what exactly is the chance of them being nicked even if they have?

it will just go in the "too difficult" pile.

now if an individual did it thats different.


Last day for anti-snooping petition

Claire Rand


no protection other than whats already in law, given that the law isn't currently being enforced, and the bods in charge are going out of their way to avoid either enforcing it or explain why they won't thats not exactly got teeth then

need a system whereby a popular website could hammer these systems into the ground, or simply block anything handled via the redirects etc.

a browser that allows the user to block the temp redirects? could a firefox plugin see the redirect code and warn the user?

I'm assuming the likes of google *may* be waiting quietly, to spring the lawyers on these clowns for copyright violations. after all its not yet been addressed that *both* parties need to 'opt in' to this not just the poor ISP user

Hollywood to totally recall Total Recall

Claire Rand

cash in...

on LOTR by making dragonlance

ringworld would be good, if done right, but footfall may be better, and has the advantage of allowing them to reuse the 'asteroid hitting the earth' bit as a trailer

mote in gods eye would be nice but i;d bet they would change the name to avoid 'offence', the sequel would be better but you would have to do the first one first

the heir to the empire triology would be excellent as well, if done right (i.e. letter the badies loose as opposed to the goodies win)

there are a lot of good stories out there, i guess the remakes are seen as 'safe' somehow

New attacks on IE7 go wild

Claire Rand

firefox corp edition...

would be a supremely good idea. or provide a seperate management tool for use on a network, so admins can lock down plugins etc.

Wacky Jacqui Smith says whole country crusading against CCTV

Claire Rand

walk a mile...

the day shes prepared to walk through central London, or any other major city or large town, at night, alone and I mean alone. protected only by CCTV, no extra plod on standby etc. then and only then can she claim that CCTV makes town centres safer.

given street crime seems more or less unchanged its not doing a huge amount of good is it?

apart from possibly directing traffic wardens (and I doubt they even do that with it properly) and fro crowd observation at events does it actually _do_ anything?

Brother MFC-5890CN inkjet all-in-one A3 printer

Claire Rand


already a mactard.. and my epson rx640 still wanted to install a load of useless programming rubbish. I don't use it, and don't run it.

oh yes and out of the box the driver only supported maximum ink mode, can download a better one but out of the box useless.

N0 7. was aimed at Olivetti, where I have installed one of thier lumps of junk fro a relative, set up as a shared printer under windows.

peep 'a' prints on the laptop, to the printer on a desktop being used by peep 'b', peep 'b' can't work due to the full screen popup, still not worked that one out, surely its a background service?

frankly if a printer review doesn't include info on the refillability of the cartridges its a pointless review, since the running costs are a key statistic.

and for 'networkable' still trying to get round a wifi printer, where connecting to that means you loose the net. umm yeah cus thats useful.

Claire Rand
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important questions left unanswered:

1, will is scan when its run out of yellow ink?

2, will it print in B&W when its run out of yellow ink?

3, can you refill the cartridges?

4, do the cartridges report they are "empty" based on a page count and not on the actual amount of ink left?

5, does the printer driver insist on installing 150meg of "status monitoring application"?

6, does the driver for some ill defined reason need an internet connection?

7, does printing require a near full screen window to open showing a picture of a printer, making the machine borderline unusable while printing?

8, are the printer cartridges twice the price as for another model from the same company?

9, does it do a head clean each time you power up, meaning the colour cartridges run out before the black _even if you never print in colour_?

i.e. is it different to just about every other inkjet out there?

What's next for Microsoft's Flight Sim partners?

Claire Rand

flight sim v x-plane

when running windows I has FS2002 pro & FS2004, seriously nice programs, no really, even upgraded my viso card just so i could crank the res up.

missed it when i switched to a mac, about all I did miss really.

eventually got x-plane. its good, don't gte me wrong, but it lacks a certain something. not too sure what.

I prefer the ATC in the FS series, how the thing flies is pretty good (for both) its just that FS feels more polished, x-plane has a quirky (on the mac) interface. FS appears to be designed to support numpties who don't know what they are doing actually using it pretty fast. x-plane has an interface that is scary, but more powerful.

overall: FS maybe 9 out of ten, x-plane 8.

I can see why MS would drop this over the zune though, MS are not a games company, odd that it wasn't spun off as a going company though

Kids' sites 'must register moderators'

Claire Rand

tick box politics

every site, even the cbeebies website, will have a tick box stating the user is 18+ to enter, job done.

until they decide that the users need to be ID certified, after all once the national ID database is up and running everyone will be able to validate against the copy on wikileaks anyway.

more rules written by people with no clue, fir people with no clue, to be enforced by people with no clue, that will only effect people with no clue in any meaningful way.

but it gets a "for the children" headline, and thats the main point

dare say it will be enforced very selectively (anto guv political stuff mostly I'd guess) can't end up picking on someone who could fight it and get a court ruling against it after all.

seriously though. we need four new "laws"

1, no law may be introduced to make illegal, that which is already illegal under a different law (i.e. no duplication)

2, laws must focus on one subject, and one subject only i.e. must be focussed on a specific goal

3, laws must be no more than five of six sides of 10pt times roman text, and the intepretation of said laws will be left to the jury, i.e. must be understandable to "the common man"

4, must not ammend a current law, they can *replace* one. i.e.

this may help, but given the current system is a hjobs creation scheme by and for the legal profession no chance.

love the idea of DBSM forum moderator having to be approved because some nit decides the forum members are vunerable adults...

btw do MPs have to be CRB checked? if not why not?

Windows Vista stuck on single digit enterprise adoption

Claire Rand

key selling point?

unless i get outsourced computers under a lease deal, hence vista will cost me nothing extra as and when machines are replaced (ongoing training is a cost anyway)

what exactly is the reason for moving from XP again?

Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Claire Rand

Good luck to em

as the title says, theres more to the world that the US & western europe. who knows while we tie ourselves in H&S knots someone else can get the spirit of exploration going again.

whats that it could be used as a missile? tell me again where the US & soviet space programmes came from?

besides it could be good to get Iran armed well enough to give people pause for thought before doing anything daft.

and if *they* do anything too daft, and too traceable they know what will happen anyway

that guy may look like Simon Cowel, but hes probably got lesser dreams of world domination

UK.gov 'to create anti-net piracy agency'

Claire Rand


keep in mind that they can draft all the laws they want, they still need to get them past a court and possibly a jury.

hence this will be something that doesn't cut the $RevenueSource (user) off, otherwise they can't be caught again, and again.

no it will be akin to a fixed penalty notice, where its basically up to you to prove innocence (its hardly going to be worded so they have to prove guilt since thats a non starter, otherwise they would currently be pushing that through the civil courts without the beyond reasonable doubt clause)

no it will be a fine, maybe £30 per 'offence', but maybe £300 if you challenge it, so people will just pay up. enforcement will be privatised, and will end up with the ISPs themselves getting half the fine as 'payment' the rest going to some gov agency, in theory to hand out to the media companies, but in practice kept by the treasury.

worst of all worlds really. media companies get *nothing* and the users get shafted on flimsy 'evidence' thats not possible to disprove since *you* won't be able to get access to the required logs from them.

the only other way is a mandatory license, and thats a huge can of worms as well, especially since then you can download, and upload anything, can't see the yanks liking that much.

either way it has to be something that can't be circumvented by simply using some encryption, hence has to be akin to the tv tax. you pay a 'tax' on your internet connection (probably with a seriously complex scheme behind it to justify $crapita getting the contract to run it) that gives you some sort of vague rights, but not too many.

he gov then sit on the cash, give some to "good causes" and keep the rest for admin costs, and tell the media companies to go swivel.

once the media types brought the dragon of legislation in they must have realised they would never get the lions share.

the law will also be very badly worded, won't catch the serious file sharers, but will result in a lot of fines being sent to laser printers and people without internet connections.

personally waiting to see if a valid defence will be "my connection was too slow to have commited the alleged download in the times indicated"

doubt the ISPs will want *any* part in this unless they get to enforce it and keep the cash, or a large part of it for admin & investigation, why would they?

Microsoft eyes metered-PC boondoggle

Claire Rand

cost v benefit

this is actually not such a bad idea, but not at the prices they are indicating. if 'reasonable' usage of said machine comes to say around £400 for maybe two years its worth it vs a £400 machine, *if* this allows you to run any programme you need (paying for when you use it).

the cost v benefit calc needs to include the assumption people will duel boot, so basically they are getting the machine for free and paying for the applications.

i.e. a decent machine (probably several levels, cheap, average and 'gaming') you can download to any additional drive space you include, and using that space is *not* limited. but the core drive is a EEPROM or something designed to run a fixed version of windows that can see applications drives hosted elsewhere. then pay per view, sorry hour works. you have access to *every* program MS makes as and when you need it, if you want to seriously use it.. buy it outright and install to a local drive.

it could actually work, and work well. a basic machine with only ram based storage & the chip with the OS for people ehom thats enough for (e.g. browsing, though that would have to be less than 80p per hour, possibly a flat rental that includes web browsing, all as part of the ISP contract, email etc - they can finally tie most people to MSIE & outlook...) the extras are pay as you go.

the gaming machine allows you to play pretty much any game thats on the network, with again maybe a monthly charge for settings storage etc.

it needs to be low enough cost people can't be bothered to seriously crack it.

machines are getting to the point they are cheap enough to make this work.

they key *needs* to be allowing the end user to upgrade the machine with a hard drive & dvd player (the base would need neither) and use them if they want. but otherwise its a nice small box with a few USB ports & a network connection to a router. end user supplies a HD telly or monitor of thier choice.

so the box is pretty basic, and presumably reasonably cheap even with a semi decent graphics & sound chip and enough ram to make it usable. gaming rig gets a bit more.

the only thing that will kill it are the ISPs throttling it into the ground and probably the software servie providers screwing every last penny from crap.

but make it reasonably open and its there, even if it only connects to the MS "store" and they manage all programs you can run remotely (the link provided by the chip) its usable.

of course people can download and install their own stores but most won't

it works more or less on the iphone after all.

it won't happen, MS will overcharge, the ISPs will overcharge and the decet software & games needed won't be possible either.

almost a pity.

Ariane 5 greenlights fat pipe net satellite

Claire Rand


ok not so good for games, passable for IM, though obviously not ideal, but for stuff like p2p, or anything like email or general web surfing its probably fine.

depends on the price they charge. if they offer it as "unfiltered, limited only by bandwidth" i.e. no specific throttling but when its full it slows down. it may fly.

especially if the link kit to upload/download is a black box on an ethernet wire (or wifi) thats easy to set up. make it need a phone line for the uplink and its dead in the water. if you have a phone line you don't need it.

it comes down to price. slow but cheap? or no bandwidth caps but slow? or seriously fast, cheap but limited and they may have a chance.

limit it in any serious way, or have the connection kit seriously expensive and its dead.

if i coudl sign up as follows:

- I buy the kit, then a per month sub (no contract other than 30 day) for a reasonable price - tick

- you supply the kit free, with a tweleve month sub for a reasonable price - maybe, but I'll let someone else try it first)

I'd look at the price for a years usage at my expected bandwidth (sub 2GB/month)

Speaker distances himself from police raids on MP

Claire Rand


so the plod have his computer...

wonder if they will "discover" anything, or maybe decide that password protected zip file he has somewhere needs "further investigation". and suggest he make no further mention or they may have to investigate.

still its always good to see the weasels back peddling, would be funny if not for the fact we are paying for this fiasco.

_how_ many plod? and dis anyone in the westminster area try to report a burglary around the time of the raids and be told "they were too busy to respond" and they would be round when they had the time.

obvious where the priorities are really.

follow the money

Prosecutors gather evidence on secret BT-Phorm trials

Claire Rand

reality check

this case will be looked at until europe closes its books, then quietly dropped.

there is too much at stake to allow the idea of this sort of spying to be killed, this way the gov can have all web traffic spied on (and with a few rule tweaks on the quiet stored) without the cost. the ISPs getting to use the data as they see fit as the carrot.

amazing to see all this government & BT backed effort to push people towards encryption. law of unintended consequencies strikes again?

PlusNet customer invited to opt-in to BT's Phorm trial

Claire Rand

config error?

what was the error:

1, that his system _could_ be seen by phorm?

2, that _he_ saw his system could be seen by phorm?

personally i'd not trust anything to do with phorm, as soon as the word is mentioned the organisation concerned looses the benefit of the doubt for even being in bed with them.

since lets face it, it all that stands between you and phorm is a config file error, well how long before a config error results in you being scanned and profiled but somehow the opt out never quite working.?

Firefox hits 20% share as testers tickle 'pr0n mode'

Claire Rand

@ Oninoshiko

thats why you only store the stuff encrypted in ram, its only stored decoded directly on screen. ok you can't "copy & paste" etc, but thats by design

Claire Rand


how hard would it be for them to, when in "secure" mode simply grab a chunk of ram and use that as a virtual disc for the cache. obviously this would have to be encrypted. since it will probably end up being written to virtual memory. but since the same program will read and write, and you don't want it to be able to remember the previous session you make the "key" random at program start each time.

obviously its utterly pointless when your employer/isp spys on you directly.

would also be worth adding built in TOR support. as well as an ability to view encrypted web pages (which could be only marginally more advanced than ROT-13) simply to spoof filters. (with a suitable apache mod to handle that end maybe) poor mans SSL if you will.

to me a "secure" mode is only useful at home, and then only if you simply don't want traces on *your* machine, and then only if it never writes to the disc.

easy way? probably an old pc with a decent amount of ram, and no fixed disc booting from a cd rom.

otherwise I'm not totally sure what they think they are actually hiding?

Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab

Claire Rand

"Can't Wait"

well its very true, people can't wait.


You won't be allowed to wait, there will be penalties for those who try

so in one way it is true to say people can't wait. since that will be against the rules.

these prints need to be made into latex gloves. so everyone can share the same prints ;-)

Porn breath tests for PCs heralds 'stop and scan'

Claire Rand

bootable CD?

so say for example you have a laptop without a cd/dvd drive? or one thats set not to boot from it?

obviously if its a setting they can just be a typical pain, but if the machine hasn't got one (macbook air?) what then? do they outlaw them?

since then only outlaws will have macbook airs.

or will it be viewed like having encryption software as a sign of guilt int he eyes of the law?

E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states

Claire Rand

time saving

because you know it makes sense to use these machine so the balot is counted quicker. I mean we don't want to keep the lawyers waiting, they have cases to file to argue the result after all..

won't someone please think of the lawyers?

RIPA ruling closes encryption key loophole

Claire Rand

proof of encryption...

its not up to them to prove there is encrypted data, its up to you to prove there isn't.

or convince the court that you have genuinely forgotten the passphrase, all they have to do is find a file they cannot read, claim its encrypted and force you to decode it for them.

note I'm assuming that if you do decode the file, and its not what they expected its now up to you to prove there isn't anything else in there as well.

wonderful law. guilty until proven innocent, and proven to a standard thats a moving target.

Internet security suites fail to block exploits

Claire Rand

unix etc...

is not the solution, you need to look at *why* windows suffers the most, and I don't mean cus its the only one people dumb enough to fall for the scams use either (joke).

unix is more secure (as is OS X etc) because _you don't need super user access for day to day tasks_ read that again. the day windows can be run by mr average as a limited user is the day half this crap stops.

specifically the ability to install programs (for a single user) but not to effect the core system. e.g. program 'x' _cannot_ alter network settings or other system wide settings.

personally I like a feature KDE has, where the root account looks horrible to use as a way of making the point don't use it.

the problem isn't so much windows as the way it gets used.

MS *need* to make it a requirement for the next version of windows, you want the logo or sticker you work in limited user mode. this applies to games as well.

there is no need for a user space program to require root access, unless the user wants to install it for everyone.

Blackswift hypersonic plane cancelled

Claire Rand
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didn't the EE lightning manage supercruise a while back?

ok it had the range of a dead kipper but it managed it.

Vista scrabbles for X Factor

Claire Rand

still waiting

for someone to tell me exactly why I _need_ vista? ok forget my main machine being a mac, I do have an XP machine as well. thing is assume I install vista over xp MCE... what exactly will it now _do_ that it can't presently?

hi def video? not interested really, don't have a high def video source and not interested in downloading. but what else does it actually do?

and why is it worth reasonbly scare money these days exactly?

not an anti MS rant, I've not upgraded the mac to 10.5 either, 10.4 "works well enough" here.

assume I'm not into games but the machine should be able to run vista... but whats in it for me exactly?

and the other question I'm still waiting an answer for.. this online phone home thingy. how well does that cope with an internet link that is no "always on"?

Brussels bounces BT-Phorm quiz back to UK.gov

Claire Rand


keep in mind what phorm sees phorm can change, they are already phorging content with the cookie monster.

so when the next such scheme evolves how long before pages mentioning things BT etc don't like simply vanish to be replaced with 404 errors? and site specific 404 errors as well, returned by simply asking for a made up URL and returning that in place of the page asked for.

the _only_ reason phorm/webwise hasn't been rolled out is because of the fuss already made, it wouldn't suprise me if the tril is going ahead, but the reason no one has seen the opt-in page is due to a "technical issue" that BT are "unaware of" so there will be no criminal intent here either...

BT's Phorm small print: It's all your fault

Claire Rand

how long before...

the filtering system 'accidentall' corrupts pages "at random".

which will totally by random remove any banners they add to a list to warn people whats happening.

oh and anti-phorm sites get the 'phish filter' treatment?

Phorm losses shoot up by half

Claire Rand

new users...

how much are people betting that the "trial" users will be new signups? i.e. people they hope won't have a clue what this is and will just view the signup page as something _else_ they have to agree to?

also tried to signout my website, apparently they need to "check" with the sites registered owner by email. well thats me, still waiting for the email. but they *have* been inphormed that they don't have consent.

so no implied consent there then. need to find something to validate this now, and install it. and then find the number of that new high tech crime unit, and see if I can get a crime ref number out of them. bets?

Kentucky commandeers world's most popular gambling sites

Claire Rand

servers located where?

on the assumption the servers are located outside the US, since they would one assumes have been shut down if they were.

I take it the numeric IP will still work just fine (i.e. cut out the DNS lookup)?

if this is indeed the case, what exactly happens if a few people start using the numeric IP? could this become possible?

given you tend to visit once then bookmark it won't be that hard, it also avoids misleading names, since they are all misleading to an equal degree... ahhh yeah ok that needs work.

and what about people with local DNS servers who just decide to roll back certain sites?

surely this will only effect the US based DNS servers, and if DNS servers outside the US start to maintain a list of .com addresses that don't reflect changes??

could cause some confusion but would avoid this mess.

but there could well be a benefit to sites publishing their IP address on the home page with a 'bookmark me' link?

mines the coat with the judge wearing it

Adobe yanks speech exposing critical 'clickjacking' vulns

Claire Rand

standards... & javascript

I guess the reason disabling javascript can play havok with some sites is a half hearted desire to make people keep javascript turned on.. e.g. doing hyperlinks with javascript as opposed to the anchor tag (looking right at you BBC with that recent rubbish you tried).

fine for 'information' sites, i guess, we can always look elsewhere the site owner doesn't loose much. but for retail sites??? putting a limit up means I go elsewhere, to me your site tis broken.

*this* defect will be something to do with how acrobat likes to take over the page, so noscript etc won't work, since it will be acrobat doing its thing.

solution? don't view pdf files?

or heavens above adobe could make some nice options, like making it very clear where a link will go, and allowing links to be turned off/replaced with the url etc.

they need someone _seriously_ evil working at microsoft & adobe etc, someone who gets a nice bonus for every evil trick they find to redirect someone. so the tricks can be blocked.

BT's secret Phorm trials: UK.gov responds

Claire Rand


so if they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear....

sorry this is NuUK, they must be guilty, after all a complaint has been made, don't they now have to prove they are innocent?

surely one of the millions of cameras must have recorded the meetings?

don't know why they don't just come out and say "you have no expectation or right to privacy" and be done with it

DfT rounds up Road-Pricing 2.0 contractors

Claire Rand


if they wanted to reduce congestion, to save the planet, they would gove companies tax breaks to allow people to work from home, not the plebs cuz if the company gains little they say no.

this is about money, just like everything else. but not money from us to the guv, this is about money from the guv to the companies the guv want to end up on the board of.

pork anyone?

Hadron boffins: Our meddling will not destroy universe

Claire Rand

what does it actually do?

who knows?

whats the betting they press the big red button, there is a low hum, kind of like the deathstar warming up, then a little light comes on to much cheering.

a few days later some impressive computer 'simulation' images are published along with some impressive sounding long words

the the boffins who thought of this use the other 99% of the budget to live a life of luxury in their underground bunker safe behind signs that the H&S bods dare not go past, or allow anyone else to go past.

lets face it, if this does nothing *but* light a little lamp, probably with "please do not press this button again" on it, and say its worked perfectly... who they hell is going to be able to prove it?

after all these are clever people, certainly more clever than the people signing the checks, would you sneeze at all that cash and the chance to build an underground bunker?

How to stop worrying and enjoy paying for incoming calls

Claire Rand


posted this elsewhere without response but anyway.

ok consider yo (the phone company) want me to pay for incoming and outgoing calls, at the same rate, I'm going to want the following:

1, no such thing as a 'premium rate' incoming call or SMS they *all* come from my plan, or the same as an outgoing call would for PAYG

2, all 'premium rate' numbers must be *clearly* identifiable as such, and by premium rate I mean anything other than what would be included in a monthly plan. e.g. calls starting 0910 are 10p a min, 0920 are 20p a min up to 0998 for 98p a min (no 0999 for obvious reasons)

3, anything starting 08 is free to call (from anywhere in the uk, from any device)

4, 01 & 02 for landlines, other prefixes for other devices, e.g. fax machines and adsl lines with no phone as such attached.

5, the 'cost' of my plan will obviously drop, or more probably my included minutes will double (at least) since the termination charge has now gone

6, an end to 'the caller withheld their number', I either see the number of the phone calling me, *or* the number of the registered owner of that number, which they can route to a call centre, this number *must not* be premium rate

the last one applies to everyone, international calls must be highlighted as such, even if there is no number to display.

the point being you will charge me to answer the phone I will *always* know the number calling me.

a 'value added' service I may be willing to pay for is for you (the telco) to send me the name of the person calling, or the company name alongside the caller id number, this I'd seriously pay a couple of squid a month for, as long as withheld numbers are barred.

not objecting to the idea of paying for incoming calls, since *obviously* point 5 means the price to me hasn't really changed, unless I never dial out obviously in which case it has.

this saves the telcos the trouble of playing with wooden money between themselves, and may actually improve service to customers, as a side benefit it may make phishing calls by phones much, much harder since you always see the incoming number, even without the name you can store the number your bank presents. no fool proof but better than now.

*but* it would need a regulator with teeth to enforce it, and *no* opt outs of providing the caller id number for gov agencies or the police.. wtf do they need to hide the number for? programme the exchange to give out the front desk number ffs.

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out

Claire Rand


not so much tin foil hat, well not for me, just to a degree I don't care how good this is, unless its say 10% better than FF or safari I see no need to change, at least not yet, maybe for V2 but not for V1, and certainly not for beta.

I just can't somehow see google going hell for leather to make something that people can write a version of 'adblock' for, I'd not see the sense from their point of view, and if they do one that includes adblock, for everything that google doesn't own... well I'd not trust that either.

yes this is probably a mistake in terms of words, but probably not in terms of intentions.

like I said, a few years ago maybe, but now nah.

I also don't think this is aimed at msie, its two pronged, one to avoid the adblocking in FF and other browsers, secondly a shot over at ms to show what google could do if they tried and as a warning not to fight them.

give it a few years, google will have the net, ms will have the desktop, and while it won't be formal they won't seriously challenge each other in terms of b2c stuff. b2b is ms space and will stay so for a while yet

linux? to 'open' to hard for commercial companies to lock the users actions down (not companies, just to easy for people to remove stuff they don't like). apple? a minority on the desktop (as now).

the battle on the web is more or less over, the battle now is access to the web (i.e your isp decided what you can and can't do, not ms or google) and in the mobile application arena, which still needs a 'killer' app other than sms and phone calls.

no idea what will be the mobile killer but something will. maybe when we can have a short range high bandwidth comms to allow wireless monitors or something.. dunno

tin foil hat & coat, but tastefully done

Claire Rand

ownership, ads & tracking

wouldn't be to surprised if this isn't an attempt at something ala phorm, but at the browser end feeding to the mothership to enable ads that are somewhat harder to block (though won't be impossible).

the argument being that the user consents to the spying via the eula, and the site owner consents (sticking point for phorm) via allowing the browser id string.

too many people block that string wanna bet the site page rank takes a hit, a small one but will hit ad funded sites.. who don't play ball.

it will get scaled back but only so far

given google make money from ads I can't see adblocking software being all that useful here, given frequent updates will probably keep hobbling it, a side effect naturally.

so what does this offer that other browsers don't exactly?

time for this was two years ago, now its a tad late, windows users get msie, unless they can be bothered to change it (and corp users typically don't get a choice), mac users get safari, again unless they can be bothered. linux users get dazzled by the array of choice, but are generally 'bothered' to find something they like.

for anyone else the eula is more or less a non issue, people will stick with the default unless a change helps them, typically adblocking