996 posts • joined Thursday 15th March 2007 16:58 GMT
Some sense needed
A reasonable article, but few comments have addressed what this means to the UK.
As one person has pointed out, what happens to the claimed billions not spent on legal downloads? Other industries benefit of course, so while it may not be fair to those in the copyright industry, its hardly so bad UK-wide.
Secondly, what is this to local software and UK balance of trade? A large proportion of the complaints are from US companies (films, software) so if they had their way its just a bigger drain on our already poor balance of trade.
While not so good for UK film & music, I can't see software downloads of windows, photoshop, etc, having much negative impact on the UK creative software industry. As a LINUX fan I would be happy to see windows pirated copies being turned off and folk having to weigh up the costs and trade off there...
Ultimately there is a problem with assuming you can force high charges for easy-to-duplicate material and simply threaten your way to getting it. A more holistic approach to the market is needed, and while games have shown this, music has not.
Finally, has anyone assessed up how much of the 'disposable income' formally spent on music (e.g. when I were a lad) that is now going to mobile phone contracts, games, etc, in recent years?
Missing the point
(1) The proposed amendment was not a court driven one, it was a case of the courts weighing in if the ISP did not block on request. That was the critical flaw in my view, as the ISP would not risk the court cost of objecting even if the request was of doubtful merit.
(2) That ease of finding 'illegal' options mentioned in the article is partly a reflection on the lack of appealing 'legal' versions. A constant gripe all along has been copyright holders wanting absolute control like in the old days, and not a pragmatic one of working to provide what people now want and generally would pay for (ease of use, reasonable price).
Why is a legal download more or less the same cost as a physical disk? Do they think people won't feel ripped off when they know there are minimal distribution costs compared to physical manufacture, shipping, shop overheads, etc? Why make legals products suck with DRM, and more so with DRM that goes beyond copy prevention in to non-skipable adverts, warnings, etc?
Maybe you are right - why not compulsory insurance and chipping for children? After all they are often responsible for most vandalism and a lot of petty crime. Gets them on the state database nice & early as well.
Parents can't afford it or won't do it? Fine, take them away and if no one wants them in 7 days put them down...
"service providers would in every case be able to ensure that the decision as to whether a site should be blocked is made by the High Court"
No, the ISP will face the court costs if they dispute it and don't win. It says in section (4) (b):
"the owner of copyright before making the application made a written request to the service provider giving it a reasonable period of time to take measures to prevent its service being used to access the specified online location in the injunction, and no steps were taken, the Court shall order the service provider to pay the copyright owner's costs of the application unless there were exceptional circumstances justifying the service provider's failure to prevent access despite notification by the copyright owner."
So if they don't roll over and comply with the request, they face court costs. The BPI are lying here. What the amendment should have been was that the request must go to court first, and the costs are not to be bared by the ISP.
Another stupid suggestion
Typically the see the 'problem' as solved with a database and insurance. Why will this help? Those who are irresponsible will ignore it (just like fines for not clearing up after your dog) and those who suffer are the non-problem ones and, much more so, the large number of dog who will be abandoned if they become too expensive to keep.
In itself a sad reflection of human nature, but aggravated by morons pushing policies like this.
If someone is irresponsible, as they might be with a knife, then charge them with a crime. Why the need for insurance? Why the need for yet another compulsory database?
As already pointed out, it would no doubt end up a hugely over-priced and flake sinecure to one of the governments favourite IT balls-up merchants ,and another opportunity for ambulance-chasing lawyers.
@Now prepare for..
I think you will find Opera & FF import bookmarks just fine. As for "loosing their internet" just how hard is it to click on the icon you just asked to be installed?
Even if that takes a call to someone they know who knows, longer term less of the machine being shagged is a definite plus point.
Unless, of course, you think IE is actually a good browser?
Looks awfully like the Clanger's home 'planet', small, weak gravity and holes inside for the nut & bolt mine and the soup dragon's lair. They seem to have disguised the bin-lid covers well though...
Tux, because its the closest icon to a clanger.
"resources are never destroyed - they are typically dug up, used, then thrown away and buried again"
Material is, but stored energy is another matter altogether. Without an alternative source of a *lot* of energy, we can't reverse the entropy change associated with current usage. And currently we are pissing away key resources & fossil fuel without having a workable Plan B (and think of what we need for fertiliser for food).
Renewable energy is unlikely to cut it, e.g. do the simple math for wind versus a typical coal power plant, and add in the energy to build and maintain the wind turbines as well. Nuclear fission could, but longer term, that is both dirty and limited fuel supply. Short of working large scale fusion plants, we are buggered.
Stupid, stupid, stupid!
"the Court shall order the service provider to pay the copyright owner's costs of the application unless there were exceptional circumstances justifying the service provider's failure to prevent access despite notification by the copyright owner."
In other words, at the merest hint of a complaint ISPs will block access rather than face possible costs. Blocking access should only be done via a court order, as in most cases the block will impact on far more than one link/page/file that have been complained about.
There should also be a significant financial penalty for complaints that are unfounded, frivolous, or considered "fair use" of copyright.
But this is only part of the horrendous mess this bill is attempting to foist upon us.
The problem is software getting bloated. Often Windows, but also Firefox is guilty (a good "virtual memory stress tester") and worst of all AV products. Of course, that is a Windows problem at heart.
I had a w2k machine without AV and it was fine for 8 years until the motherboard died, so its not a real need. Don't know how the hardware reliability goes, typically faults will rise after a couple of years, and that is a pain if you have a faulty motherboard - and have to re-install cause windows cant cope with hardware changes, and then re-license, and re-install apps, etc...
Now use LINUX with a windows VM, solves most of the above!
Advantage of exFAT? Very little, but critically the ability to go over 4GB per file which video recorders need to do these days. FAT32 can go to at least 2TB volume size, but not individual files above 4GB.
No, I don't think there is much advantage.
FAT16/32 are not unplug safe!
ext2 is possibly less so, but ext3 journalling helps.
exFAT has the option for TFAT but that is still not going to make it hot-plug safe without proper unmounting (which solves all file system's removal problems in one go), see:
Hardly "cutting edge" IP!
Someone talking sense
Good for him - these secret talks are an affront to democracy and the whole '3 strikes' regime is unacceptable from 1st principles:
Basically, it makes the ISP subscriber liable for the abuse of their connection, so they are liable for flaws in, for example, WEP encryption should that be all their system supports, for compromise of their PC due to MS & Adobe's flaws, for routers that could be hijacked as the ISP had them supplied with default name & password, etc, etc.
Why should a 'end user' be held liable for things the suppliers wiggle out of by EULA and so on? If they are to be held liable for system security (not a bad thing in itself), then we need strong consumer protection laws to make suppliers liable for holes. Of course, to do so retrospectively as these proposed changes to the law won't include the age of hardware/software when asking a user if they are guilty.
Then we have the lack of due legal process, and the presumption of guilt (if accused, you have to prove your innocence), the lack of penalties for the copyright holders making mistakes and screwing around with innocent people's lives, etc.
Finally, why is no one asking the copyright holders why, a decade after they shut Napster, they have still failed to offer material at a cost and convenience that is acceptable? The Internet has changed content distribution and perceived value fundamentally, and they have missed the chances to adapt to this.
As El Reg has pointed out before, most folk would be willing to pay a few quid a month more for legal and easy access to what they want. Why not make file-sharing legal and add a 10% tax to be distributed to those who's material is shared? Illegal sharing solved, copyright holders better off than today, no mass surveillance, etc, needed!
On Ubuntu 9.10 found Opera 10.10 stable as well, but Firefox 3.5.7 died when running it. Thankfully I have noflash installed so restarting did not result in another crash as it restored the page.
Just reminds me of how crap Flash is, and how much I detest web monkeys that use it for everything.
"They cannot possibly be this stupid."
Yes, they could.
But your second point is not wrong, they are lobbying for this, the UK is bending over to take it, and there is the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations taking place that ARE trying to make ISPs do just what this trial was claiming right (i.e. disconnection without due legal process).
So its a small victory for sense, but winning a battle can still see the war being lost.
Wrong in two ways
First, the web succeeded due to free and open technology, and so on principle and from past experience, for HTML-5 to succeed it should be free and open - no patent restrictions.
Second, if they do want H.264 to be enabled in the standard, they should have waived royalties for end user decoding for *all time*, and then its up to web server operators to decide if they choose H.264 encoding and pay royalties later, or go down another patent-free / royalty-free route.
Strewth Bruce, they want your short & curlies
Why has Australia become the poster child of dumb governments wanting to monitor and control all aspects of communications? The UK has been going downhill badly under NuLabour but this is really taking the piss.
What have that government got to hide that they are so worried by anonymous comments?
Correct figure is around 99.9% from here:
(OK Apple fanbois have a smug snigger)
Can you name 10 such applications that are Windows-only? I guess a few CAD programs are, but for most users you can get most tasks done on Mac or LINUX just fine (thinks: web browsing, email, IM, photo editing, word processing). Have I missed some 'killer app' here?
Smug as usual
"No doubt it's also perplexed its share of users who for the life of them can't figure out how their PCs keep getting reinfected."
Given Windows has 99.9% of all known malware, the answer to that is so obvious to any reader of El Reg. The penguin, or a Mac, is a good start, and learning how to use the damned thing without admin privileges and without saying "yes" to every dumb web borne suggestion that oozes its way in to view...
Yes, I know a lot of folk have no option but windows, but then you can have a VM and if its gets stuffed, simple wipe and copy from a backup. Few minutes down (not hours or days of re-install, license, patch, configure, etc) and a fresh bit of Redmond meat for the viruses to start over again with.
"those where atmospheric absorption (water vapour) or excessive scatting are problems"
I presume you mean scattering? Though you are probably right if the missile had a 'bucket of sunshine' on course for you...
What a joker
"There is no evidence that moving from the latest fully patched versions of Internet Explorer to other browsers will make users more secure."
Perhaps he should gain the ability to research this, maybe just looking at this graphical display of the relative number of security holes in IE and other browsers:
UK gov + computers = Fail
Good thing no flash
Actually, the lack of flash on the successful Apple products is a good thing!
Firstly, flash (and other Adobe products like acrobat plug-in) have such a piss-poor security record that it can only help end users.
Secondly, it should encourage web designers and advertisers not to riddle their sites with flash for everything, hogging bandwidth and forcing users in to the piss-poor security of the flash player.
Thirdly, it might just get HTML-5 video and so one pushed forward leading to proper open standards for por..er video delivery and not relying on closed, questionable, 'Trojans' such as flash and silverlight.
Look are recent hacking contests, the common vector for falling Windows and MacOS (and likely LINUX as well) was a flash vulnerability. Of the sort that Adobe took 4 weeks to patch... Remember LINUX and MacOS users, even without any OS privileged escalation routes, a flash vulnerability still allows a single user's *own* account to be compromised!
one parent "complained about a child stumbling across definitions for 'oral sex'"
I assume that experience left a bad taste in the parents' mouths, though probably the mistake was simply a slip of the tongue.
But really, such things are easy to find on the internet and ignorance is a far more foolish thing than a child being able to look something up and find a factually correct explanation.
Paris, a lot of slipped tongue there...
All OK now?
Time to don the tinfoil hat and wonder if the 'blackout' was just the comms links and web site going down, or if some multi-tentacled pan-dimensional being slipped through and gave the staff an eye-watering probing they dare not remember, before slinking off to leave its inseminated stooges to front the worlds' news.
Of course, snow fall is another explanation...
Paris - eye-watering probing of course...
They can ask for 1 key for an encrypted volume because there is very good reason to assume there is *something* in there. They cannot demand a 2nd key without such reason.
However, with built in storage there is every chance that your OS will have recent references to drives/paths in its general detritus (swap file, 'recent documents' list, thumbnail image cache, etc) that cannot be located, which in turn could be used to suggest a 2nd volume existed.
External storage is more tricky, as references may be for USB sticks that have not been found, etc.
The real question here is have they made you liable for the use/abuse of your IP address?
How is this squared with the manufacturers of software and routers that are insecure by default, and have an EULA or similar saying they are not liable for it?
If you do nothing, since you have done nothing wrong other than use a device as supplied, and they cut you off in spite of *you* not doing the sharing, who do you sue for compensation?
If you have to use insecure WEP due to older computers not supporting new standards and it is regularly hacked, who should pay for it being fixed? The original supplier?
Could you simply write back to the media industry representative and invite them to come and fix your problems at their cost? If they don't act, can you do the same and after 3 letters have them de-listed as a competent body to issue notices?
Just a joke
Always been that way in the UK with the stereotype of Scot=mean, Irish=thick, English=arrogant, and we all laughed at the *joke* anyway, only the likes of the BNP retards actually believed them to be true. As a Scot, we also have regional variations where, for example, Aberdeen is seen as meaner than elsewhere and with a greater fondness for sheep.
Mine has the jar of mint sauce thanks...
As already pointed out, what use will this be when current USB-2 is faster than most USB flash drives are capable of? (see the recent el Reg review for the less than stellar performance of most)
I will also wait to see if its any less crap then other USB devices in performance, e.g. 400 Mbit/sec FireWire drives being faster than 480 Mbit/sec USB, so how will they compare to eSATA?
Can we assume yet another big organisation has f*cked up without all data (CDs, USB stick, backup tapes, etc) being encrypted and proper password management being in place?
The lack of reassurance on this point suggests they have...
"Making a tool doesn't give you a belief system - with all the cosmological and eschatological explanations that come with a belief system. All it means is that you can make a tool."
The act of *making* a tool shows that you have analysed a problem and identified some implement that can be made to help solve it, i.e. you can "looked forward" rather than simply react.
I never said that crows have a planed system of beliefs to the level of complexity (and stupidity) that humans have, what I said was it is no surprise that they could have something, e.g. a death ritual, or some other capability to contemplate the fate of the other bird.
What gives us this, and why so you think it is unique my cowardly friend?
Why should we change? After all, we operate with what is basically 'local solar time' which was the whole point of time zones (well, OK, they at least gave a uniform time for a whole area around mean solar time).
The argument about business hours is bogus, as some countries (e.g. Spain) have long lunch breaks and work later in to the evening. And of course with 24h e-business what is the problem?
The argument about schools is another straw man: why no do something about road use in general? Why not consider different school hours or maybe educating children to take more care?
Really, it is incredibly stupid of humans to assume that only they have emotions or belief system of any sort.
After all, crows have been observed *making* tools, something that a lot of our monkey cousins don't appear to be able to manage, so why not extend that forward thinking to the other areas of life (and death)?
No "monkey boy Balmer" icon, so BillyG had to do.
Windows 7 party?
Is this one where you all sit round your shiny new DVD and read the EULA and once you all fully understand what you are signing up for, then install the OS. Then reboot and "activate" it, then patch, then reboot again?
Sounds like a fun evening for sure :(
Penguin, because you can safely search for "speciality entertainment" on t'Internet
"British Telecom still displays some of the faults of a monopoly state supplier, as it hasn't been properly broken up in the way that the commercial giant AT&T was in the USA."
Would this be the AT&T that has been allowed to re-morph in to one huge oligopoly like the 2nd generation Terminator in recent years?
The same AT&T that wants to impose internet filtering, network priority for its own money-making services, etc?
OK for now...
The interview suggests they are acting sensibly, and that the current chief has his head screwed on right. But there are two worrying aspects:
The first is who will follow him? Will they be appointed to do the stated job, or as a political post? Recent history of this gov is not encouraging.
The second is the more fundamental issue of who watches them. No doubt there is horrible stuff out there, and baning that is justifiable in most people's minds. But what the scorpions album showed, and what the leaked Australian list showed, is this can be "corrupted" by either an over-zealous interpretation of the law (or maybe a dumb writing of it?), or the more insidious creep of political/religious/etc blocking that is not in the original remit.
I personally do not want to be checking the list, as I suspect a lot of it is nasty, but there needs to be some degree of outside monitoring of this so we can sleep easily knowing that they do what it said on the tin.
The counting style of valve, along with the massive thyratron switches used in the old high power pulsed radar, are not vaccum "filled" but have a low pressure gas (hydrogen, argon, mercury vapour, etc). Once conducting, they stay on until the current drops to a low level, which is useful for some jobs such as digital counters.
Fergal is not a bad guy by a long stretch, and really his views are much more sensible than the majority of the music industry so far, so generally I would support him.
But as it has been pointed out more than once, what the "big" players needed to do (and missed by a decade or more) is to have a legal version of allofMP3: all labels, choice of formats, no DRM, prices that are commensurate with the 'no physical shipment' nature of downloads.
Yes, fretards will still download form other sources, but move 60% to paying and that is a hell of a lot more than they have done so far!
"Communications watchdog Ofcom would, under the Digital Britain proposals, be granted powers to step in..."
Why can't they step in to help those being over-sold "unlimited" deals? Or piss-poor service from their suppliers?
Why do you get the feeling this is all stitched up to suit wealthy political donors?
"It's also fairly clear that the purpose of the patent system has been forgotten. The reason it was invented was to give a short term monopoly so that inventors and developers could recover and profit from large investments in research and development."
Er, no. It was originally created to have disclosure of 'secrets' in return for short-term monopoly so that long term progress could be made.
Of course, it quickly was subverted by commercial pressures even in the 15th century with non-novel 'inventions' being granted.
The only valid argument now is to allow return on large investment for developing new products, but the practical result is often piss-poor changes being awarded to extend lucrative product types, and complex systems being a legal nightmare to the the shere number and vaugness of patent awards (with no sensible cost pie-slice rule to stop trolls abusing trivial stuff).
Pirate icon because most patents are no better morally than 'IP theft'
More likely a video driver / hardware issue in some cards that crashes things *that* badly.
But his point is good - flash is an endless source of cross-platform vulnerabilities.
Ain't seen nothin' yet
Just wait for those batteries scaled up in capacity to power cars...
Thinks: $79.99 for windows, has product activiation, various spy-ware like features, and remains the worlds #1 virus and malware target.
Ubuntu, free or $54.99 for years support. No product activation, can do as I please with it, and marginal target for malware.
I'll take the penguin thanks. Does all that most folk need: web, email, photos, music (though the lack of iTunes is a pain), CD/DVD play & write, file share, etc...