* Posts by Andy J

27 posts • joined 29 Feb 2008

Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

Andy J

Re: "Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism"

That's the Iberian peninsula; I don't think that modern day Portugese would be overly happy being called Hispanic, even though their nation was once part of the Roman territory of Hispania.

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US military's RAY-GUN truck BLASTS DRONES, mortars OUT OF THE SKY

Andy J

Why do cruise missiles pose a different kind of problem?

The article implies that this current technology wouldn't be much good against things like cruise missiles, because the latter do not follow a fixed trajectory and can change course. But since the radar acquisition and laser operate virtually instantaneously (at the speed of light anyway, which at these ranges amounts to much the same thing) even a highly manoeuvrable object would still be in roughly the same place when the laser fires as when the radar located it. Clearly some sort of active counter measures or stealth technology incorportated in the missile might bugger things somewhat, but that wasn't what the article implied.

A more likely problem with something as large as a cruise missile would be how to accurately point the relatively narrow beam of energy at the right part of the missile to do the maximum damage.

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The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ

Andy J

Re: two points i disagree on...

In the UK where a company owns the copyright in a work, the term of the copyright is still based on the lifetime of the employee who created it, so the problem you raised in your third paragraph would still be resolved.

In the US, so-called work-for-hire provisions mean that the employer is also the owner of the copyright in a work made by an employee, and currently the term is a fixed one, namely 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation, whichever is the shorter. This again would be amenable to your suggestion.

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Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Andy J

Not a danger to society, but a danger to the user.

I suspect the 'chunk of metal' incorporated in the original forms the chamber so that it can withstand the enormous force created when the ammunition is fired. Leave that out and the firer will probably lose both their hand and their eyesight if they are lucky, and possibly a lot more, if they're not. Real guns are made of metal for a reason (no, not so you can chrome plate them).

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Announcement of 'churnalism detector' gets furiously churned

Andy J

From the evidence given to the Leveson Inquiry, it appears that it was true that the NOTW had hacked into Millie Dowler's voicemail, but it could not be established if they or anyone else had deleted messages, or whether in fact the voicemail system itself might have caused this to happen after a pre-set period of time.

The recent IPCC report confirmed the hacking by NOTW but did not address the issue of the deletions, and the Guardian has acknowledged its mistake on this point: "There was no reference in the IPCC report to the separate issue of whether any of Milly's voicemails were deleted by the News of the World or anybody else – as had been originally but incorrectly reported by the Guardian." Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/24/police-dowler-phone-hacking

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Zuck on that! Instagram loses HALF its hipsters in a month

Andy J

3 things

For those who are criticising this government remember that the orphan works 'grab' first appeared as Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill under Labour. As someone already said, it is the civil service (the IPO) who are behind this.

Second it's the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (specifically, clauses 65 to 69) not the "Business And Enterprise Bill" as stated by Orlo.

And while this proposed legislation does worry me greatly, it is wildily inaccurate to say "Since most digital photographs don't have the creator's ID attached in the metadata, they're classified as "orphan works"." That kind of sloppy journalism does not help to win the argument. A more considered set of arguments can be found on the Stop 43 site: www.stop43.org.uk

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Overland patent broadside: Targeted firms vow to fight

Andy J
Headmaster

Design Patent

What the article fails to make clear is what is meant by a design patent (or patented design as it is referred to in the text). A design patent is the US equivalent of what most other countries refer to as a Registered Design and is all about the physical appearance and characteristics of the item, not how it functions. A utility patent covers the latter, and is generally seen as the more important form of intellectual property for technology companies, since the outside appearance of a product can easily be changed to avoid infringing, whereas re-designing the functionality so that it doesn't infringe may be either expensive or technologically impossible in the short term.

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ICO could smack Google Street View with fine after all

Andy J
Big Brother

Unintentional??

Given that someone had first to build and install the antennas and demodulation circuitry to capture the Wifi signals AND also connect said output to the data recording device used to store the GPS and image data, I would say it's stretching credulity somewhat to say that storing of the comms data was unintentional.

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BBC uses lifted Iraq war photo to depict Syrian slaughter

Andy J
Facepalm

Not the most accurate bit of comment

I would dispute a couple of bits of comment in the article. Firstly using tinyeye or Google image search etc does not make the revelation of the parents of an orphan work "Technology can find the long-lost parents of orphan works". It merely finds other examples of the same or similar images. If they equally have no identifying EXIF or watermarks, then you are no closer to finding the true owner of the copyright. Since many photographers deliberately put robots.txt tags on their online galleries, the software described will not always find the true source of the images.

Secondly the article implies that the government has kicked the small claims track into the long grass. Not so. A consultation and call for evidence was concluded in Feb 2012 (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/hargreaves-enforce-c4e-pcc-response.pdf) and plans are in hand to launch the small claims system, within the soon-to-be renamed PCC by the end of the year. Realistically this probably means sometime in 2013, but at least things are moving forward and not stagnating as Andrew suggests. Details of an interesting recent 'small claims' case here: http://www.thefetishistas.com/index.php?menu=7&sub=47&display=697

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Zuck's sister leaves Facebook to start new venture

Andy J
Headmaster

WTF is mentorship??

Perhaps her next venture could involve instructing people in the correct use of the English language instead of just making up words for the sake of it. Mentor as a verb works just like teach, tutor or instruct: the noun for the activity is formed by -ing: mentoring, teaching, tutoring, instructing etc FFS.

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Japan seeks unheard-of new uses for cell location data

Andy J
Big Brother

Mobiles do continue to poll when switched off

Yes, the only way to ensure that you position is not being tracked is to remove the battery.

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Government plans cyberweapons programme

Andy J

General staff

Not quite correct. Officers of field rank (ie up to Lt Col) wear the cap badge of their corps or regiment, but members of the general staff (full colonele and above) wear the general staff badge. Many senior officers will continue to wear the beret of their previous regiment (eg maroon for the paras, sand coloured for the SAS etc). The only example of deviation from this dress code was, famously, Field Marshal Montgomery who wore the general staff badge and his tank corps badge together: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e4/Bernard_Law_Montgomery.jpg/250px-Bernard_Law_Montgomery.jpg

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Who's nicked Vaz's fondleslab?

Andy J
Headmaster

Scotland Yard

In fact the Norman Shaw buildiing - old home of the Metropolitan Police - was known as just plain 'Scotland Yard'. New Scotland Yard is the building the MPS now occupies on Broadway, just off Victoria Street.

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Ofcom okays Derren Brown psychic-baiting

Andy J
Joke

If the past is another country, what is the future?

Look, you guys who want to criticise this psychic, you have to realise that making predictions is not easy, especially where the future is concerned.

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Honda US cops to vast data snaffle from marketing firm

Andy J
Headmaster

@Billy Bob Gascan

If you remember this is a British site, then checking with a proper dictionary might help: http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0785210#m_en_gb0785210

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ISPs mark disapproval of the Digital Economy Bill

Andy J
WTF?

Lord Clement-Jones??

Not sure why they thought Lord Clement-Jones was worthy of being nominated as a villain. He was one of the most vociferous opponents of the Bill in the Lords and proposed a stack of wrecking amendments

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Business guru tries to silence bloggers over 'misleading' mailshot

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Bletchley Park archives to be digitised, put online

Andy J
Headmaster

Pedantry alert

Strictly speaking Enigma wasn't a code but an electro-mechanical encipherment system, and since BP had several replica Enigma machines, the cracking involved trying to get the day's key settings which should have been extraordinarily difficult by a brute force attack. But the process was assisted by the Germans sending routine formated messages like weather repotrts at the same time each day, and by laziness on the part of the radio operators who often didn't input the additional security steps they were supposed to do. All the "tips" - that is the methods of finding the day's settings- came from highly intelligent humans. That was the difficult bit. The bombes, and not colossus, were used to reverse engineer the actual rotor settings once a guess had been made at the likely plaintext. Colossus was used on the much more sophisticated Fish encipherment system, which used a different version of the Enigma machine with an additional rotor.

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Today is not New Year's Eve - or the end of the decade

Andy J
Headmaster

Less 'not so simple' than you think

"1st of January 1600 was the new year up North.

Must have been a bit confusing for the King, sitting on his throne in London Town, receiving a letter from Edinburgh.

My Lord you have received a letter from the plebs in your other kingdom, it seems they don't know what year it is."

Well in1600 the person sitting on the throne in London was actually a Queen (Elizabeth I). And of course Scotland wasn't 'her other kingdom'. It wasn't until 24 March 1603 (conveniently one day before the end on the year in England) that King James became king of both Scotland and England. As he had been king of Sotland for 36 years before he came to the English throne, he would have understood the strange Caledonian practices. And since he was James i in England and James VI in Scotland I don't think a little mental arithmetic when it came to dates was going to worry him,

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Agincourt: The sensational truth

Andy J
FAIL

Don't want to piss on your parade but...

I have to doubt the historical accuracy of your report. Tea did not come to Europe until the seventeenth century, two hundred years after Agincourt so the English couldn't have been on a tea break. Based on past experience, I would say this story came from a press release issued by the Home Office to distract attention from the deranged drugs advisor story.http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

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So what we do when ID Cards 1.0 finally dies?

Andy J
Go

Do try to keep up...

Ha, the author of the article and many of commenters here aren't too smart. The Govt's ID Card will contain magic stuff that will render all future terrorism useless, eliminate virtually all criminal activity, remove all undesirable aliens from our country (except those from the EU of course) and improve the delivery of government services, and most important of all, banish fear. So where in the article does he give us all those excellent benefits? You just have to trust the politicians on this....

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Sweden: IP numbers are personal...unless you're a pirate

Andy J
Pirate

Meanwhile elsewhere in the EU...

http://torrentfreak.com/court-rules-that-ip-address-alone-insufficient-to-identify-infringer-090615/

Looks like a nice little earner for the lawyers arguing the toss on this one.

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Extreme porn law used on beastly Chinese DVD pirates

Andy J
Paris Hilton

OPA vs Extreme Porn Act

One of the major distinctions between the Obscene Publications Acts (there are 2 of them) and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (aka extreme porn act) is that the CPA targets the publishers and distributors of obscene material, whereas the exteme porn act is mainly targets the possession of extreme porn by anyone, including the privacy of one's own video camera, with no intention of sharing the output with Youtube, Readers Wives etc.

Paris because she's happy to share her porn with anyone.

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Pressure group demands UK apes China net filter plan

Andy J

Sexual Deviancy

A fair chunk of the world's population probably think that homosexuality is 'deviant' so I wonder where he enlightened souls at Mediamarch stand on that? Don't expect Mandelson's support if you get the answer wrong.

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Ofcom to clamp down on 'unfair' charges

Andy J

Contracts

to Oliver Jones and others, contract law already protects you to the extent that if one party to a contract wants to change the terms, this must be agreed to by the other party, ie effectively what happens now when a teleco (and others) informs you of a change to the t&cs that is your opportunity to disagree. If you don't, you are deemed to have agreed by default. Unfortunately by disagreeing to the changes you are effectively ending the contract. For those locked into a 12 or 18month contract this is a Godsend as it allows you out without penalty. In theory you could take the teleco to court to try and enforce the original contract, ie keep your contract on the original t&cs but although it wouldn't necessarily cost you as you can represent yourself rather than get Michael Mansfield in, the teleco would probably win a). because it can hire a high priced legal team, and b). because it could argue that if every customer had their own individual contract with the company, it would be impossible for the teleco to operate its business (do I hear sobbing in the background?)

So yes Oliver, in practice you are right, but the same principles apply to any contract between David and Goliath.

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