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* Posts by John

7 posts • joined 5 Dec 2007

Little guy trampled in meaty WEEE overhaul

John
Flame

The problem small businesses have...

is that even the cheapest scheme that you can join to make the whole fiasco go away for a couple more years costs many hundreds of pounds. The result is that any business that sells hardware as an incidental part of their business (small consulting companies, IT support houses etc), get lumbered with costs that probably exceed their profits from the hardware sales - not to mention the incidental costs of taking key people of of productive work for "training" on how to throw something away. Often they can't just dump the hardware sales either since they are part of what drives other aspects of the business.

So, that combined with the typical UK gold plating of EU legislation results in a set of rules of Byzantine complexity that most small businesses deal with by exercising the ostrich algorithm (i.e. ignore it and wait and see if any one squeals!).

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French lead world in eating and sleeping

John
Happy

To paraphrase Douglas Adams

The Brits think themselves superior to the French because all they do is spend their time eating and sleeping. The French think themselves superior for the same reason.

(I think the French may have a point here!)

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Court rules airline secret security list is stupid

John
Alert

Never mind the assault rifle...

A little while ago one of our trials engineers was returning after completing some installation work in a gulf state. He was on a commercial airliner, but one which was mostly filled with military personnel. At the start of the flight a Sargent Major type stood at the front of the aircraft and explained that as was the legal requirement, he was going to pass round a bucket, into which the soldiers were expected to deposit anything that could be considered "dangerous" such as pen knives, nail clippers, ice picks etc. He also managed to keep a straight face while pointing out that this did not include their assault rifles, side arms, any ammunition or bayonets!

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2TB Caviar drive too good to be true?

John
Happy

Old news

I remember when 30MB was a *big* hard drive (early '80s) - and even then most manufacturers used million sized mega bytes rather than real ones.

It was often claimed at the time, that this was due to the drives not being error free, and the process of mapping out bad sectors (ah, the joys of ST506 interfaced drives) would lose some of the advertised capacity. By redefining mega to mean 10^6 freed the makers from claims of false advertising when their 20MB drive did not always give the full advertised capacity.

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Public support for ID cards dips to 55 per cent

John
Black Helicopters

Quick, chop off your fingers.

How do people keep falling for this "wont be compelled to carry the card" nonsense?

It must be remembered that the ID "Card" is not in reality a bit of plastic. Its sodding great database with your personal information, linked to you via your biometric information. Yes there is *also* a card, but it is not going to be needed to access your ID database record.

So unless you have a natty way to leave your biometric information at home in the drawer with the plastic card, you can be linked up with your records just as easily.

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UK shamed in world privacy league

John
Happy

Re: If you've got nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear

One of the benefits of the recent visibility of the ineptitude of the large organisations handling our private data, is to start to lay this oft repeated claim to rest. While superficially hard to refute it should be glaringly obvious to most by now that it is based on two fundamental fallacies: First, that the only things one may have desire to conceal are "bad things" about us, and secondly, that the people we entrust with our data are benign in intention, and competent in maintaining its secure.

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Grisoft acquires LinkScanner

John

@firewall

Your average firewall will indeed block access to ports from the outside world, however that is not what is being discussed here since your browser has already made a connection(or several) to a web site through the firewall. What the link scanner is doing is monitoring the high level content of the HTTP data stream scanning for known exploits against browser vulnerabilities. It also sounds like it is injecting its own HTML into the returning data from web servers so that it can add cues to search results. Some of this technology could be described as a sort of high level stateful inspection, but the rest goes beyond normal firewall behaviour.

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