* Posts by Paul

14 posts • joined 24 Sep 2007

Opera screeches at Mozilla over security disclosure

Paul
Go

What choice did Mozilla have?

It seems like Moz had little choice really. They needed to fix the bug ASAP, and once fixed the source code of the fix would be public anyway, and thus so would the vulnerability.

Mozilla typically fix security issues within a few days of them being discovered. If Opera can't keep up with then, too bad. The choice for Mozilla was either give Opera as long as they need to fix the bug (i.e. wait indefinitely) and leave their own browser vulnerable, or fix and publish.

They made the right decision.

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Virgin Media dishes out free bandwidth boost

Paul
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Thanks but...

While I welcome the speed bump in principal, look what happened when the 20meg service came in - previously reliable, unlimited connections became laggy, slow and throttled connections. The network cannot cope with the current load, so this is only going to make things worse.

The problem is no ISP is really interested in high speed unlimited broadband, which is what countries like Japan, France and Korea have. They are only interested in a marketing numbers game, staying one step ahead of the competition. Instead of looking at building a network that will provide new (chargeable) services and last decades (at least), they just want to do the minimum possible to compete. Hence, "free" speed upgrades when they know that the network can't take it.

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'100% accurate' face recognition algorithm announced

Paul
Black Helicopters

Blatant lies

Claiming 100% accuracy is clearly rubbish.

CCTV quality images are rarely very clear, and humans often find it difficult to tell who is who. Even if you have the best cameras available, what are the chances someone will look right at one and give you a nice full on head-shot?

This sounds exactly like the lies initially spouted about DNA being 100% unique and infallible.

Some people wear makeup. Some people grow beards or change their hair style/colour. Plastic surgery is pretty popular these days.

Lets say there are two identical twins. The maximum accuracy would then be 50%. 0.2% of the population are identical twins.

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100Mbit/s sewer broadband rollout coming your way

Paul
Go

To the moaners

If you can't figure out why having 100mb or more internet access is a good thing, let me give you some hints.

Imagine you live in a household with four people (2+2 family). With 100mb, there is enough bandwidth for everyone - BitTorrent, YouTube, VOIP, BBC iPlayer, Slingbox etc can all run at the same time. You can reliably stream HD on-demand TV and movies, something Satellite and even Cable providers find next to impossible due to limits on shared bandwidth.

It's the difference between having to wait a few days/weeks to rent a HD movie online, and being able to stream it instantly and reliably. It could solve the Freeview HD problem too.

H2O are planning not just to become a high speed ISP, but to become a big player in the media market. BB, Phone, TV, on-demand/rentals, and since no-one else seems interested in or capable of reaching the kind of bandwidth they will have they will have zero competition.

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Do we need computer competence tests?

Paul

Tests for those in charge of data

Testing the average Joe seems fairly pointless. What is important is testing those who are in charge of sensitive data about many people. For example, secretaries who deal with patient data, or the IT staff who set up computers in libraries. These people could easily be provided with extra training in how to prevent machines being infected and how to encrypt data. Truecrypt is free, FFS.

One very simple thing that most Japanese internet cafes do to prevent viruses infecting their machines is to install a £5 card which prevents permanent alteration of the PCs HDD. Users can run applications and save to the HDD normally, but as soon as the PC is rebooted all changes are discarded and it returns to it's prior state. Even if the system becomes riddled with viruses, one reboot later and they are gone.

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Smith says answer to knife crime is through the arch window

Paul
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Treat kids like criminals...

If you treat kids like criminals, showing them absolutely no respect or trust, don't be surprised when they start acting like criminals. Putting in metal detectors is basically saying "we think you are knife wielding criminals".

Maybe a better approach would be to try and cure the causes of this type of crime, rather than trying to make it harder. Making it difficult to get knives in to schools won't stop people carrying them outside of school.

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Epson Stylus D120 colour inkjet printer

Paul
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Another vote for colour lasers

The problem with inkjets, and Epsons in particular, is that if they are not used regularly they tend to block. You then waste more ink "cleaning" the print heads.

Colour lasers will print fine even if not used for a year.

The only reason to get an inkjet used to be for printing photos, but these days it's cheaper and easier to just order prints online or go into Boots. For everything else, colour lasers are fine.

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Apple to charge $20 for iPod Touch update

Paul
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I think Apple hates me

Not only charging for what most companies consider a free update, but charging more to UK customers than US ones?

It's bullshit like this that made me vow never to buy another Apple product after my 3G iPod.

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Home Sec: Tasers could become standard police kit

Paul
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Time for body armour

I imagine protesters, scared of police brutality, will start wearing body armour to protect themselves. At which point the police will stop aiming for the chest and aim for their 'nads.

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Ofcom and EU face off for high speed broadband row

Paul

Go EU

Until people like Timms stop lying and admit something drastic needs to be done, there will be no real solution.

I hope the EU does get it's way. It's clear that, despite the government in principal wanting to improve things, thanks to OFCOM and BT the chances of it actually happening are slim. The EU will not be afraid of upsetting BT or other big players.

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UK gov superfast broadband summit decides... erm... nothing

Paul
Go

Symetrical

Virgin's 50MB is a bit of a joke really. Current projections are a pathetic 1.5MB upload speed, which if you do the maths you will realise is not actually enough to achieve 50MB down in any kind of realistic situation.

At least the minister is talking about BB being more symmetrical. It seems like he has at least realised that symmetrical connections capable of supporting apps like the Slingbox, P2P etc are the way forward. Fibre is the only solution to this so rather than wasting time with BT and the like he might as well just get on with laying it and leasing it out to ISPs. BB could become a basic service, like water or electricity, but publicly owned. It's not like the money isn't available now ID cards look to be dead.

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TV heavyweights build on-demand supersite

Paul

Yawn

It will have DRM, so it will be pointless. I'd rather just use a PVR or download via P2P, so I can watch the recording on my TV and keep it for as long as I like (just like VHS!)

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ISP bosses told to get real on broadband speeds

Paul

Things will only get worse

The best solution would be for ISPs to be required to post independantly measured average peek time speeds, both in Mb/sec and ms latency. It would require sampling random people's connections at random times during the month, but could probably be done easily with a download for participants.

The real problem is not so much the lies that ISP tell, it's the lack of a solution. Virgin bumped everyone to 20meg to compete with Sky and Be, before their network was ready. As a result, stable 10meg connections now have traffic throttling, terrible latency and poor speeds during peek times. Just wait until 50meg arrives. The situation is even worse for other ISPs, who are reliant on BT's creaking old copper network which means either "up to" 8meg or try your luck with LLU "up to" 24 meg. The technology simply doesn't go any faster.

Either someone with vision wakes up and rolls out fibre (Govt., new company, BT maybe) or Britain has no way past the copper. Fibre roll out began 8 years ago in Japan. I can't see it happening in the next five years here.

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BT prepares for superfast broadband investment chinwag

Paul

Lack of vision

What really holds this country back when it comes to faster BB is a lack of vision. BT could put themselves at the front of the pack with FTTH. They could offer high speed internet, infinite TV channels, HDTV, VOD, movie rentals, downloadable DVDs, phone/VOIP, infinite radio stations and a lot more. What's more they could do it for the long term, because the internet isn't going anywhere. In the next 10-20 years eveything will become IP based, and fibre should easily be good for at least 50 years, probably a lot longer.

Instead they worry about their shareholders report for this year. Last thing they need is a big black hole long term investment.

Considering the costs involved, the government could roll out fibre to every home. They could then sell access on like BT does with ADSL. If you want to drag the UK kicking and screaming into the 21st century, that's the way to do it.

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