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* Posts by TimB

21 posts • joined 29 Mar 2007

Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE

TimB

Nothing wrong with the idea

It's the implementation and marketing that's poor. You can't just introduce built-in facial recognition as a standard feature and not expect a backlash.

The right way to do it would have been to ship the standard box without the camera, and have an add-on camera available for an extra £10 or so. Target it at families with selling points such as "Get suggestions that *you* want to watch, not your whole family", "Automatically block your kids from seeing adult content." and "Save energy by automatically powering off when you fall asleep in front of the TV"

Before long, you'll have parents wanting you to implement features that stop the TV from working when Little Johnny covers the camera, and casual users loving the extra convenience. When it's mainstream, you can quietly get bought out by Google without anyone batting an eyelid.

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YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month

TimB
Meh

Sounds reasonable

I currently have subscriptions to Netflix, NowTV, and Sky Sports TV on iPad. The article suggests that only certain content providers will be chargable. If my subscription gets me all those providers for $5/month, that seems fair to me if it motivates the providers to add more content. If I have to pay $5 for Fox, another $5 for HBO etc, then it won't work.

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APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us

TimB
FAIL

However it's worded

the meaning to the average non-tech user is exactly the same:

"Look, it's a Samsung. Oooh, it's half the price of the iPad too. We might as well just get that one, even Apple say it's the same thing"

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College sticks cloud into geothermal igloo data centre

TimB

@Tom 38

The implication is that it's 10Gb/sec, and £x/Gb. Presumably it's cheaper to ship a SAN out there than it is to pay for the bandwidth.

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Deleting 'innocent' DNA will cost £5m

TimB

SQL is only half the story

Sure, deleting the data is probably fairly trivial and cheap. The vast majority of the cost is likely to be getting rid of the physical DNA samples. This is biological waste, you can't just leave it out for the binmen. Add to that the fact that the samples need to be securely destroyed to make sure they don't accidentally end up on some health insurance database somewhere, and this doesn't seem like such a huge figure. For government spending, at least.

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Photo loss blogger to Flickr: You're f*cking kidding

TimB
Stop

Looks like he got it back

http://bindermichi.tumblr.com/post/3052877951/you-have-to-be-fucking-kidding-yahoo#comment-139025144

Yahoo have clearly been reading the comments, and finally figured out how to restore data.

Thread over.

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Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

TimB

this is actually more interesting than it looks

Had the uploaded footage been raw CCTV, the mall at least would probably be in serious trouble for not securing that data. However, the fact that we can hear the staff talking over it means that what got uploaded wasn't raw footage. Rather, I suspect someone filmed the playback on their phone, which they then uploaded.

The mall can very easily argue that their security staff need to be able to review footage, and there's no way they can reasonably stop someone from filming it on their phone. Sure, there's a good chance that the person who filmed it could be fired, but I don't see it going any further than that.

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Crooks 'too lazy' for crypto

TimB
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@Brian Morrisson

No you don't. You just say "The password? It's a long complex one. I have no idea exactly what it is, but it's on the post it note stuck to the bottom of the PC. What do you mean, 'what post-it note'? You confiscated the computer, you must have it"

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BOFH: Slab happy

TimB
Headmaster

@sir runcible spoon

Actually, I think you'll find that not getting involved in a land war in asia is slightly *more* well known than not going against a sicilian...when DEATH is on the line!

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T-Mobile coughs to data theft

TimB
Black Helicopters

So thats where they come from...

I started a new contract with T-Mobile about 2 months ago. Previously I'd been on O2, and in 5-6 years I'd never had a single cold call. Within a week of moving, I was getting cold calls from one particular number offering me an 'upgrade'.

At least now I know how they got my details.

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Extortionist targets jailbroken iPhones

TimB

@Annihilator

I just upgraded my firmware, and I thought the same - "I don't use any of the jailbroken stuff, so why bother?" After the upgrade, I remembered.

I jailbreak my iPod Touch because of the French. More specifically, because of their silly law that means the iPod ships with the volume limit enforced at 70% in the EU. I like my music loud, and I'm not going to let a frenchman stop me having it that way.

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The good book: How to bet better online

TimB
Go

@Nick Miles

Not anymore. As of September 2007 gambling acts are legally enforcable.

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Proof of age system moves net ID a step closer

TimB
Black Helicopters

Control?

"the government now needs to seriously consider whether filtering software has reached the point where some elements of internet policing may safely be placed back in the hands of parents"

When exactly was it taken out of the hands of parents? Or does the government just assume control regardless?

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Devil dog laughs in the face of Taser

TimB

@AC

You realise that the police have their own dog control units, right? With flashy blue lights and everything?

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TimB
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@Bruce Sinton

Well no one even needed a trip to A&E for a tetanus jab, so clearly "mauled" is a little OTT.

As has been said above, if they had time to wait for armed officers, they had time to wait for a dog handler.

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AVG fake traffic spares Google AdWords

TimB
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Security Risk

When I tried it, I purposely attempted to visit an infected site to see what would happen. First, the bad sites were immediately flagged as bad in Google results - the good sites took a few seconds to be checked. This would indicate that the bad sites get added to a database and then ignored for a bit, while the good sites have to suffer continuous scans.

Then, when I clicked a link to a bad site, I saw an AVG page warning me that, if I attempted to visit the site without adequate security software, "Such as AVG", then I was leaving myself at risk of infection. Umm...hang on. Clearly I *have* adequate security software - that's what's warning me, after all. So where's the benefit of pre-scanning?

Since we all accept that visiting certain websites can be a security risk, how exactly is my security helped when the very software that's supposed to be protecting me is visiting all these sites on my behalf?

If a vulnerability in the scanning engine were discovered, a user wouldn't even need to visit an affected site to be infected. From their site: "AVG scans every Web link you come across, whether in e-mails, documents or instant messages, no matter the source, before you open them to ensure you are protected in advance 100% of the time." - so it would be enough for someone to send you a link in email or IM for you to be attacked.

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AVG scanner blasts internet with fake traffic

TimB

Not just search results...

From their blurb: AVG scans every Web link you come across, whether in e-mails, documents or instant messages, no matter the source, before you open them to ensure you are protected in advance 100% of the time.

So it seems like it's more than just your search results that get scanned. You just only get told about it when it's search results.

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TimB

@pctechxp

Actually, my company requires all home users to have a static IP so that they can access our network. If they're not accessing from their home connection, they're denied access to the VPN. I'm sure we're not alone in this.

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TimB
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The bad guys seem to get a break...

Not wanting to criticise without trying, I've downloaded this and done a little checking. Sure enough, on a typical google search, you get a little AJAX-looking progress circle next to each link - these gradually turn to green ticks after a few seconds, and yes, this also happens on sponsored links.

However, do a search for the stuff that's likely to host malware - in my case, i chose the word "warez" - and only a few entries show the AJAX progress circle. All the bad ones immediately have a big red cross next to them. Combined with the fact that, during installation, AVG asks for permission to update Grisoft with information about the threat levels of sites you visit, and the logical conclusion is that Grisoft are maintaining a database of known bad sites, and is using its userbase to do the data mining for them.

Unfortunately, it seems that while they gave the bad guys a bandwidth break by blacklisting them for some unknown period of time, the good guys get scanned every time. Which seems to me like a very poor scenario indeed.

My approach to dealing with this is to cancel my Adwords account, and advise Google of my reasons for doing so. If enough advertisers hit Google in the pocket, I suspect they'll look at addressing this on behalf of *their* customers.

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TimB

On the plus side

I run a small site, and this could be useful to give me an idea of what search strings my site is making the front page for, without getting clicks. OK, it might change my web analytics as I use it now, but I can adapt.

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Games firm pursues 500 pinball 'pirates' through UK courts

TimB

My response to their 'letter'

"In relation to your claim that your computer was hacked into, we regret that the security of your computer is not our concern. It is your responsibility to ensure that your computer is protected at all times."

I appreciate that the security of my computer is not your concern. Irresponsible though it may be, it is not unlawful to have an (unpatched computer/open wifi network/insert excuse here). I am able to provide evidence to back up my situation, and I am confident that, on the balance of probabilities (the level of proof required for civil cases), I can show that the actions you suggest were not carried out by me, and that I have no liability to your client.

In answer to your request for compensation, I refer you to the case of Arkell v Pressdram.

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