2976 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008
By "council staff" they probably mean workers provided by a PFI contractor. It's probably the exact same staff in the building, but they get paid half as much whilst costing twice as much. Kerr-ching! The UK politicos do like to see their friends keeping those (almost tax free) profits rolling.
Re: Why the hell
I'm guessing it's historic with each council getting bespoke systems from suppliers, not realising that some other council was trying to solve the same problem. So the problem gets fixed at twice the cost, this is the way the suppliers like it and thus the way government wants it (gotta keep trousering all that tax revenue).
And once you have bespoke systems, you now need a bespoke solution to nail them all together.
Government funded contracts are paid for by the people. They should be owned by the people. This means they should be F/OSS (the only exception being for national security).
There is, of course, one major problem with F/OSS. Open code implies open data (or open formats at least). This will make much, much easier for interested people to audit their councils. Something the councils will not stand for. Open democracy in the UK? Pfft. Dream on.
Why not? Each council has (slightly different) itches to scratch but the same general goals (fix roads, get payments/bill out, track payments/bills in). Seems ripe for a bit of extreme F/OSS action if you ask me. Nothing wrong with a supplier acting as manager and be hired to provide bodies, but F/OSS would allow each council (and each contractor) to build on the work of others; thus driving down costs.
Heck, the public could even help.
Roll on the downvotes....
Re: @ The BigYin - @ The BigYin - MMC
"Saving the world from injustice, one [Chinese] recruitment poster at a time . . ."
Ah, I see the point has sailed right past you. I wasn't only commenting about the poster, I was rebutting your misogynistic viewpoint.
And I do excuse me for daring to consider that in the 21st century slavery and indentured servitude should be a thing of the past.
Re: @ The BigYin - MMC
"Your idea of hiring chaste men is, maybe, a bit blue eyed?"
I see the irony in my statement passed you by. But I still don't see how it is the fault of women if men can't keep their sex drive in check. I rather doubt this was even a problem and the poster is just the result of entrench gender-bias and discrimination.
"A solely female workforce is easier to control (in China), and, most likely, cheaper as well."
Equality of pay is an issue even in Europe; less pay for equal work shouldn't be tolerated. This is something the Chinese will need to address from the inside to a large extent, Europe shouldn't preach to others about something it can't get right itself.
"I'm not endorsing this attitude, but from a chinese sweatshop point of view this makes economic sense."
I see. So as long as we can get cheaper 'phones and t-shirts, we should tolerate it? I hear children are even cheaper, perhaps we should just go back to child labour?
Re: typical for android
Hello shill! I'm wondering if you are an Apple or MS sub-contractor,
Seeing as Foxconn et al make devices and parts for Apple etc, the "rampant intolerance and stupidity" plagues those ecosystems too. It wasn't that long ago there were threats of mass suicides at Foxconn due to the working conditions. And there are still concerns of health damage caused by working there. The fault is use demanding the latest thing for the cheapest price. Someone must pay and we genuinely don't care who it is, so long as it isn't us. Once China, India etc become affluent enough, we'll simply return to Africa for our slave labour.
"Scope"...sorry, what? Oh, are you saying the disabled shouldn't be allowed to comment on the Internet?
I see, MS sub-contractor it is then. Win8 has a terrific looking UI for a touch device; wouldn't have it if you paid me to. Android (and the device makers) may have faults, but it is currently the least-bad choice.
And men aren't carriers of Chlamydia or yeast? Or do you mean that the plant turned into some kind of giant lesbian orgy? If your theory was correct, why not advertise like this "Men wanted! Must be able to keep pecker in pants!"
As much as I want to see Apple getting a kick in the corporate conkers, this is just getting silly. The courts should just start rejecting USA patents out-of-hand and let people get on with their lives.
Oh, wait, what about the big corporates who rely on patents? (Let's face it, they don't protect the little guy as the little guy cannot afford the legal fees). Frankly, sod them. Sod them all.
Re: You are wrong: Correct me if I am wrong, please
@Franklin - I totally agree. Just like patents, it's not the DMCA or copyright per se that's the problem; it's the way it gets abused/extended/laws written all one-sided. The abuse devalues the whole system and simply leads people to disrespect it.
I hope you tag your images etc to make you life easier, and good on your for using Create-Commons!
Re: Copyright and malware
there is the responsibility issue.
What responsibility issue? The bad guys already know how to do it.
Re: You are wrong: Correct me if I am wrong, please
What I see is a bot war:
DMCABot: Takedown XYZ or face the wrath of lawyerz!
SiteBot: Asset right or license to enforce XYZ, please.
DMCABot: XYZ right under license from ABC Productions Inc. Our signed public key, our signed rights-license key, or signed site authority.
SiteBot: Accepted keys. We are asserting fair use under international copyright laws for review, critique or satirical purposes.
DMCABot: Please assert rights to fair use with signed keys, included all files included in such assertion, their duration, time of upload and incorporating author(s)
SiteBot: What...all of them?
DMCABot: Yes! All of them dammit!
SiteBot: Umm...this is a movie website; that's going to be a big list. A very big list.
DMCABot: No matter. You must comply. Comply!
SiteBot: Initiation 1TB metadata dump from TimeWarner, signed begins....
Repeat ad nauseum. The only people who will win here are the lawyers and vendors or "IP" protection. Not that "IP" really exists anyway; it's three rather separate systems and they should not be conflated like that.
I have no issue at all with rights holder asserting said rights. And I also accept that mistakes will happen. But the rights-holders must recompense for those mistakes and try to improve their detection. What is funny is that the more the rights-holders tighten their grip, the more it pushes people underground; never mind the exorbitant cost of such automated systems and the collateral damage they cause.
So to avoid the counter suits, penalties and jail time; I have a proposal. Simply stop taking the fucking piss.
See that DVD? I bought that DVD I did. I may wish to host it on my own media server for my own user (or transcode it or...). See that games CD? I bought it and would like to play the game without always needing the CD or an always-on connection. See that music CD? I bought that, I do not expect it to launch and attack on my PC. See that download? I bought it, why can't I copy it from one device to another? (Oh, and did you pay the artist the sales fee or the license fee? I bet you just paid the cheaper one, not the correct one.) See that recorded TV program? I pay for the sub to that channel, why can't I stream it to my PC? See that catch-up site? I pay the sub to the channel, why is it blocking content from me? See that Blu-ray? Well you can't because I don't own one for the simple reason your ass-hat restrictions make it hard for me to use. Not impossible, just more bother than it is worth.
All these are barriers to my use after I have given you my money. So what is a person to do? I see two options:
1) Do not consume. Only buy from people/place you respect your rights as a consumer and do not treat you like a criminal; and/or
2) Buy the legit copy/Subscribe to the legit service, but then use an infringing site because the standard of customer service is much better.
Yes, I have no doubt that if the restrictions were lifted that infringement would sky-rocket and many studios go to the wall. So what? The economy will simply re-normalise with a new market dynamic, fair prices being paid but probably less "big players" (boo-hoo, my heart bleeds). You can bet the scribes were pretty pissed when the printing press came along. Same thing now.
Having your sock-puppets pass laws so you can treat your paying customers like criminals and further entrench dying business models, create utter dross like "Total Recall" and hype it to death in a vain attempt to recoup the costs (because you know in a fair market it would die) is not the way to go at all. All it does is piss people off and look for ways around it because it prevents them making fair use of what they have bought.
In point of fact, you are causing your customers to criminalise themselves!
But, of course, it is much, much more serious than that. With the encroaching attempts to track people on-line and spy on what they are doing, you drive more onto the likes of the Darknet, TOR etc. You drive people to think of ways to completely obfuscate what they are up to. Tools that could be put to much more devious use by others with more malicious aims. Tools which only came about because you drove your customers into creating demand for them.
Correct me if I am wrong, please
But doesn't a DMCA take-down notice require the rights holder to attest under penalty of perjury that the request is legitimate? Seems to me that there is a case for the issuer to answer in the USA.
Been far too many cases of the bots mis-firing and all it does is make people disrespect the entire system.
Re: I had a Lumia 800
I'm going to disagree. Win8 looks like it has a simply awesome UI for a phone/tablet. Better than what Android or iOS currently offer. Obviously Windows comes with baggage that may or may nor float your boat and it's going to be a bit applications light just now, but for ease of use on a touch device I think it's going to be hard to beat.
I'm not going to buy one (I don't want Windows, thank you) but we should not be afraid to acknowledge good design when we see it. We can now expect a response from the Android vendors and the UIs there will improve. Awesome.
Re: Not hard to get around...
@ABee - Nice in theory, does not work in practice unless further measures are also taken. Various log files and "Most recently used" lists could easily leave traces of secret volumes.
"We see that one of you most recent documents was 'E:\Plans\Evil\TakeOverTheWorld.docx'; where is that files now?"
Re: Not hard to get around...
@JDX - "you could NOT steal the stuff."
It's not stealing, it's license infringement. But your point still stands - don't do the crime unless you can do the time or pay the fine.
Maybe. But if enough TOR nodes are compromised, doesn't that make things traceable again?
Ummm....AIUI it's not the download they do you for, it's the upload. I would see the indirect monitoring as a way of profiling, gauging levels and marking IPs etc for a stricter check. So if one of their monitors can download even a portion of "Princess Sparkle and the Kingdom of the Fairies", then they have you bang-to-[copy]rights.
Of course, if you are uploading a Uwe Boll movie you should be tried for crimes against cinema. ;-)
I'm not a total innocent, I did torrent some stuff when I first got the Internet. All of which I have now purchased on DVD or deleted. I no longer do it because my attitude changed rather quickly to simply not consuming. I also have friends in the creative industries and rather than drunkenly argue about god, we argue about copyright. but anyway...with Demonoid falling I am actually awaiting the letter in the post; I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is, or if there even is one.
No, it is not illegal. Well, not if you have the law-makers in your pocket. Although in all seriousness they could try and use the defence of "Committing a smaller crime to prevent a bigger one."
I for one await Canonical and Red Hat's enforcement officers kicking my door down for torrenting their wares mercilessly. I'll make them a nice cup of tea, we'll have a chat and maybe they'll give me a few free stickers. :)
"if you wanted to pay for stuff online that might be illegal or you don't wnat to be found out then the untraceability is going to be handy"
Well, apart from the small fact that the trades are completely traceable due to the signing that goes on.
Re: Correct me if I am wrong, please
Exactly. And each user has an ID too. So you could ask someone why they used coin 1234 after it was known to be stolen. But maybe I misunderstand.
Correct me if I am wrong, please
24,000 Bitcoins were stolen. As soon as they get used, the Bitcoin markets will know and the culprits caught; no? I thought one of things about Bitcoin is that the transaction were signed by both parties and part of the system was for the various "miners" to verify those transactions.
So why no just sit tight and wait for the stolen Bitcoins to be used? Odds are that the first usage is either by the thief, or someone in receipt of stolen property.
I don't use Bitcoin, but from my (limited) understanding it seems to me like there would be a way to recover this loss.
...if the various VMs can be different OSs; or if it is more like Containers/Jails?
Time to RTFM I guess! :)
@Obviously - "Bugger you then, cut your nose off to spite your face if you want. Plenty of others out there that will happily."
Jolly good for them, butt I never discussed them. As for cutting my nose of; I support IE and test in IE but I do not use IE because (get ready for it) it does not do what I want or need. My other tools are cross-platform. I can sit an GNU/Linux, OS X or Windows and carry on quite happily bar a few filepath differences. Does IE even have some of the tools I depend on? No.
One of my major requirements - cross-platform. Does IE do that? No.
Does IE run even on all current versions of Windows? No.
So why should I bother to bring IE into the mix when it is only going to cause me grief?
Knowing when a tool is of no benefit is just as important as knowing when a new tool adds value. And, to me, IE of no benefit and negative value.
@hugh wanger - "Only children, and angry techies use add-ons. Soccer mom doesn't."
So what? I wasn't stating reasons why they should hate IE, I was stating reasons why I hate IE.
"doing all the techie things techies do - and I'm doing my job just fine without a single add-in. Amazing but true"
So you are probing/hacking client-side JS in IE10 to test a website? Or a-blocking? Or tracker-blocking? Or agent spoofing? Or.... All without an addons? Why do I not believe you.
IE10 works for you? Great, have at it. But the above is stuff I need/want to do and that is why, for me, IE is sub-standard. I can't speak for others.
I dislike IE (versions 6 thru 9, never used 10). Here are some reasons:
- It only runs on Windows, so I can't use it across my systems like I can with FF etc.;
- There are no proper addons, they are all just useless media clap-trap;
- Dev tools suck donkey-balls. Sweaty donkey-balls. (i.e. there is no FireBug equiv etc);
- It cannot be removed from Windows (I don't use it, so why have it?)
After so much pain with IE over the years, I have now found a toolchain that works really well. A toolchain that is still supported. Why should I bother lowering my productivity just to suffer IE?
Now some people will say "Duh, typical freetard. Why should MS make software for other OSs? Go back to Leenuks you tool." Well, why shouldn't they? Apple do. Google does. If I could run IE on OS X and GNU/Linux I might be prepared to look at it. But why should I bother my ass to learn one tool just for Windows when the likes of FF work well and I can sync my addons/settings etc? Simple answer: I shouldn't.
IE can go play with itself. Actually, that's all it can do!
"Standards arise when someone chooses not to assert their intellectual property rights, but much more frequently when parties mutually agree to honour them."
MPG4, OOXML. Two patent infected "standards". I'm all for standards, the 'net would be nowhere without them, but to expect a standard to be adopted globally and for purposes unknown whilst infected with patents is....naive at best.
That's not to say patents are bad - we're back to patent abuse. Again.
Conlfating two issues
1) Patents - good;
2) Patent System - bad (certainly in the USA).
Patents are a "Good Thing"(tm), people do need them. But when they are open to abuse through a pathetic system like the USPTO, it just devalues them. The same issue exists with copyright and the idiotic terms.
This abuse results in a societal cost through innovation and derivative works at negates, or even outweighs, the benefits that patents and copyright brings. I am not anti-patent or anti-copyight. I am anti-abuse. Big difference.
@AC 12:50 Perhpaps. But if something is not available in a format I want, you know what I do? Don't consume. I don't agree to a license, but it and then moan after the fact.
If enough folks did that, basic market forces would solve the problem. Some places already play fair (e.g. wo.do, Jamendo, Magnatune), so why can't the big-boys?
Best option - buy the CD/DVD and rip/convert it yourself.
If I download a movie, can I pass that copy on to my progeny? Will Mr. Willis happily give up his share of the re-purchase price of the digital media in perpetuity?
The digital download scam, whilst convenient, is just that; a scam. Buy the original media and DIY.
You miss the point entirely. Once the system is in place, it will abused. Period. End of discussion. Game over. And good night.
I am quite aware of the potential for intercept ops and the various logs that ISPs keep. Quite aware. And I am not angry at the tools, or even the rozzers (a more depressed bunch who wish the pencil-necks would get out of their way you could not wish to meet; everyone member of the force I have had dealings with has been quite reasonable). It's the politicos and suits who think more technomagickery is going to somehow fix fundamentals problems.
It wont. It can't.
I've said it before and aI'll say it again - lead by example. But this takes greater courage and gumption than any of our tax-dodging, money-laundering, scheming "betters" could ever do.
So we have the arms race. And it's a race they cannot win.
@Wize - this is not a real name site, how could your employers possibly know who you are?
As to trolls? Non anon would just help identify those accounts.
Would the downvoter(s) care to explain why allowing anon is a "Good Thing"(tm)?
My comment was, of course, not meant in seriousness (although there are various rumours about NSA/GCHQ intercept operations) but the general point holds. Monitoring all email etc to catch a few bad apples is just the same as monitoring all the roads and recording everyone's movement to catch a few bad apples.
Expensive and a massive attack on freedoms for very little gain.
"@Fibbles - he has a point"
He? Why did I say "he"? Apologies to you tleaf100 if you are in fact a she or otherwise gendered. It was a slip of the fingers, not a continuation of the misogynist cabal or anything. :)
Maybe we should have a government system that monitors everyone's emails and can automatically issue penalties or raise the alert with plod. This would easily catch all these trolling abusing people; wouldn't it?
And I know how much you just love state surveillance systems.
@Fibbles - he has a point.
This is not a "real name" site (thank goodness), so any name will do. What stopping the anon posting would allow people to do is trace what a poster has said in the past and help spot the shills/trolls/idiots.
I have never understood any El Reg has Anon. Doesn't make sense really.
BYOD can only work...
...if the companies writing the software work to clearly defined (and published!) standards. For example, GoTo Meeting has no GNU/Linux client. Fine, maybe they don't see a big enough market. But what they should do if publicly publish details on how their Mac and Windows clients do their comms, this would let the GNU/Linux communities write their own clients and the GTM people don't need to bother supporting it.
Now maybe a PC really isn't what is meant by "BYOD" (although it would be a boon for telecommuters) but the same problem holds true about smartphones and tablets; there's just so chuffin' many!
But what about security? Simple. Obscurity is not security. There should be no harm in any software corporation providing exacting detail on how their security operates. The whole point being that even when you can see how it all works, it is still secure.
The big issue I can see with BYOD is end-users not keeping their systems fully-patched to prevent attacks through known exploits.
Re: Had to happen
"I reckon there's at least a chmod +x required"
Almost certainly - which is why it is a trorjan and not a virus or a worm. Clue is in the name.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
"I am sodding grateful for my rights here."
So am I, which is why I don't want to see them eroded.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
@Psyx - Apples Vs Oranges
"Giving our troops weapons could be a very useful tool for gunning down protesters."
Interesting you should have this as your first point. We haven't done it in a while (although we do have form), but recently we have provided support to regimes in the Middle East where it does happen. We also sell (or turn a blind eye to selling) weapons to regimes which use them on their own populace. So our current government already has form for supporting the violent suppression of democracy; and you want to give them more powers?
"Giving our police tasers could be a very useful tool for torturing prisoners."
If the police (for whatever reason) got it into their heads to torture someone, they already have enough implements at their disposal. The office station cupboard has many items that could be put to potential use. Not that I think the police force would actually go that far; the stories you do read about where prisoners have come to harm/died tend to be through ignorance/negligence rather than conspiracy.
"Giving our judges the power to instruct juries could be a very useful tool in subverting the entire legal process."
This might be true if such actions were not a matter of public record.
"See: Any change in the way our system works can be portrayed as a gross infringement on rights."
Umm...no. Any change that directly impedes me (as a law abiding citizen) is a gross infringement on rights. That includes (but is not limited to) mass surveillance and Internet censorship.
"I'm as much about civil rights and personal freedom as the next person... more so, in fact. But this... this is just a measure to nick pikey bastards who are skipping on paying the tax that you and I have to."
Umm...no. This is treating me like a criminal. It will also cost untold millions (even billions?) and we have no guarantee that it would work - all it will do is start an evasions arms race. Take those millions and spend them on rehabilitation, outreach, training, whatever and don't impede my freedom.
"Make me put a GPS linked to a government database and live tracking system and I might think about taking it to the streets"
Err...you do know that idea has been proposed, don't you? It was kicking around a few years ago as road-pricing; then it was EVSC and now it's ISA (a GPS unit that enforces/monitors speed, and it does talk back to mother so you can be fined/charged for use).
"The police have neither time, inclination, nor budget to be chasing down you and I"
The police won't be chasing me as I've done nothing wrong. But that is not the point as I am not really worried about the police per se; I am worried about that state-machine. The heartless, souless, life-crushing beast that is governmental bureaucracy. Being in charge of such a system is a civil servant's wet-dream, and they love their little power bases. Not that the public will actually run it, it'll be outsourced and we all know what a great job the companies our government employ make of things (Olympic security, "Working Links", trains...). G4S running the road-network observation system and keeping all that data secure. You seriously telling me that that doesn't give you nightmares?
"unless we are either the road-tax dodgers or have already broken the law in a far more extreme manner."
In which case, do as they do now; chase down those persons with good-old-fashioned policing. There is still no need to impinge on my freedoms.
@Dave 15 - That's not an argument for no SPECS at roadworks, that's an argument for SPECS at a site where you can prove the risk. Speak to your councillor, ask the council for the accident stats, contact local road safety groups (if any).
You'll hear no argument form me on badly sited cameras, but I think roadworks are good place to have them. And maybe near school. And junctions with a history of speed related accidents. And...you get the idea.
I also think that after the camera has been there for a while, analysis should be done (allowing for regression to the mean) to check it is actually providing any benefit. If not, time to remove it and figure out something else.
@Ian Johnston - aye, it was more an administrative type-approval thing. It wasn't that the cameras couldn't do it, it was just that it couldn't be enforced when they did. A few bits of paperwork later, and they can still get you.
Seeing as how SPECS tend to be sensibly deployed (e.g. at roadworks) I don't mind them. There are one or two roads littered with them and one has to wonder why.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
@Psyx - "You can't equate a number plate storage system to a police state"
It could, however, be a very useful tool of a police state. I don't see why we should risk giving them that tool.
Re: Do they think crims are stupid?
RFID are now standard fitment in the UK I believe (my latest plate had one - "had" being the operative word) and if not, they are certainly being rolled out.
You can get show plates and guess what - not road legal. Lucky for you that there are very few traffic plod left to spot it.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
@NightFox - The problem is, once you have such a system in place you have to trust that the current administration will not abuse it and every administration that follows.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
To add to my previous - has anyone analysed same-cost alternatives?
Cost of total observation: £X billions
Savings per year (if any): £Y billions
Actual cost: X - Y = £Z billions
What else could Z be used for? What are the effects of Z being spent on (say) flesh-and-blood traffic plod? Or outreach projects? Or bringing back playing fields? Or community initiatives? Or improving the services prisons can provide (to cut recidivism)? Or any number of other thing.
Before we spunk £Z billions at this problem, I'd like to know we are spurting it n the correct direction.
Re: Nevermind the gaps.
@Ken Hagan - I put it to you that the potential societal cost of a police state where the rule of law is applied absolutely and without humanity, far outweighs the cost of the very small number of toe-rags we have.
We seem hell-bent on sacrificing our own freedoms to catch (relatively) minor criminals, yet let big league criminals get away with it (money launderers, tax evaders etc). Maybe that's because those criminal operate in old-boy stratosphere where us peasants are meaningless trifles who should not have the temerity to object to our servitude?
If we store the data it will leak and it will be abused.
Changing lanes - are you thinking of the myth around SPECS? Got some bad news for you on that one...
Do they think crims are stupid?
Well, obviously some are. The ones who get caught. The smart criminals are either living free or in banking and politics. :)
Anyway, obscuring your plate by cutting in front of another vehicle is unlikely to work, due to the RFID chip embedded in the plates. One the RFID equipment is widespread, it'll just read that instead. You could, of course, just break the RFID chip, but that leads to a further complication.
The criminally minded could simply stick on fake plates (matching make and model if they have any sense). This would mean them having a plate that does not match its RFID, or has know RFID (due to it being broken). Either one would be a red flag (assuming the false positive level isn't high).
So what do the crims do? Well, they just fake-up the RFID into their fake plate and all is right with their world. Except it isn't. The police could know that a car cannot get from (say) Manchester to the City of London in 5 minutes. Odds are one of them is a "clone" and possibly up to no good.
But how would the police know all this? Simple. Monitor everyone. Only then will they know about cars jumping locations, plates with no RFID hwne they should have one etc etc.
I am all for catching crims, but not at the expense of my own freedom. The only way ANPR can work is mass, constant surveillance. Effectively treating everyone like a criminal until they prove their innocence.
Re: Down to the parents....
@Glen 1 - Closed questions like that are common and should render the consultation null-and-void. It's a travesty that it is so easy for government to manipulate democracy in this manner.
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