Re: A lesson in big business
Here's a lesson on the Internet: Streisand effect. I wonder if A&B council is prepared for the amount of butt-hurt that is going to come their way.
3055 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008
Public participation in "democracy" is not permitted in the UK. Plus ca change!
So much for Cameron's "Big Society" because this is exactly the kind of thing the UK needs (Veg's blog, not the block or Cameron's empty pontifications). Still, having a 9 year-old showing you up as collection of money-pinching, selfish buggers has got to be a bit embarrassing.
A&B council is not unique - various councils up and down the UK do whatever they can to stifle any dissent or criticism.
Convicted monopolist to now become hardware vendor and sell products that will only run its OS (SecureBoot on ARM cannot be disabled on Win8 badge devices).
Unleash the regulators!
Oh, and before someone mentions Apple; I have a rather dim view of their lock-in as well and there is case to class them as a monopoly in the smartphone/tablet arena already.
@1st AC - A democracy does not try to ram laws through that permits state-snooping without judicial oversight.
We no longer live in a true democracy. We live in a plutocracy. You think most MPs are there based on merit? Pfft.
Just looks at the utter rot May is spouting about the new snoop laws. "We can't protect the privacy of paedos you know. PAEDOS PEOPLE! Think of the children!"
...for the war-mongering, religious nutbar.
Is there any room up there for T. Blair, A. Campbell and P. Mandelson heads too?
@AC - The big worry is that so few women are dustbin men.
I think you mean "multi-point materials collection operative"
There are more men than women in IT. For whatever reason, that's what we currently have.
So TV shows are written than reflect that situation, simply because that's what exists in the real world (I rather doubt it is a misogynistic cabal plotting to keep women subjugated, us blokes are really not that organised).
I put it to you that is there were more women in a given industry than men, TV shows would be written and represent that imbalance. Would people still complain?
Do all TV shows/films have to represent some platonic ideal of society that we should aspire to? Or should they, by and large, represent what we have?
Obviously if a TV show shows (say) all women as hormonally imbalanced harpies who can't reverse park or change a fuse; then unequivocally that show is either sexist or so absurd and over the top that you are simply missing the joke (because I bet all the men are shown as knuckle dragging lager louts hell-bent on rutting and rugby!)
And one final question - why can't a woman have a man as a role-model (or vice versa)? Can role models only come from the same sex, race, culture, religion, skin-type....?
bind9, dnsmasque or solution of choice.
Direct what you don't want to 127.0.0.1.
And I say 'simples' as, seeing how this is a tech site, I assume you have a modicum of technical competence.
Or AdBlock/GreaseMonkey. El Reg has to be one of the worst site for ads. Too big, too colourful, too bright. And then we having the branding changes...I mean really. Sometimes when on a different PC I think I've arrived at the wrong site! El Reg - is you identity worth so little to you?
@AOD - I think they were referring to Alexander Litvinenko
@AC - I work in a fairly well rated Senior School, a lot of the kids can barely change their passwords.
That's a good point. How much of this should we expect kids to pick up at home/in their own time? School can't teach everything. Parents and the child's own initiative have to play a part. Of course one needs to balance the amount of time the brats...err...little dears spend hanging out on IRC looking for teh-upl04d-codez and running around being noisy buggers...err...kids.
@Ian Yates - I always view with special characters on. Drives my colleagues nuts! And yes, I am forever fixing 20 spaces with a tab/ruler change.
@JDX - Clamouring for 'neutrality' has to mean you can't clamour for schools to use Linux because then that's just as partisan.
Huh? Linux is a kernel for many competing operating systems that exist in a vibrant eco system with actual competition and innovation. But I never mentioned Linux (or BSD or anything else). If you want to talk "neutrality", then I would say that any F/OSS software is light-years ahead of any proprietary stuff simply because the F/OSS coders have no real desire/need to deliberately create lock-in by designing/implementing inconsistent and incomplete 'standards'. Nor do the stuff the ballot of major standards bodies to try and give a veneer of credibility.
I just think the companies should be kept out of education as far as is possible (but obviously someone needs to print the books etc). So no fizzy-drink sponsored textbooks which are little more than adverts for fizzy-drinks. No junk-food companies running the canteen. Heck, we should keep the corporates out of various places. Why do our hospitals also host junk-food provenders FFS? It makes no sense.
Then again, I have odd views when it comes to companies and sponsorship. For example - at the Olympics I would only serve the athletes McDonalds. Why? Well McDonalds was allowed to be a sponsor of a sporting event, so they must be selling the best food for athletes. It's not like some suits will just have accepted a wodge of money and paid no attention to the message they are sending, is it?
"Redmond-backed ICT GCSE with-real-actual-programming"
So the school will be pressured into making the kids will learn Visual Basic, maybe C# and some ASP? Or will they be taught some actual real skills in a vendor neutral manner?
I am not sure how much the new GCSE is "Redmond-backed" and how much is just ElReg spin. But the taint of MS should be kept out of education wherever possible.
Be that music, film, literature, painting, sculpture etc; only gains value when it is shared. And by "shared" I really do mean person-to-person, the grease in the gears of human culture not industrial scale stuff or the likes of TPB. I will happily join the queue of the people wishing to kick the seller of hooky DVDs/rip-off toys square in the nuts.
The increasing vice like grip of increasingly draconian copyright laws gets in the way of this and reduces the value. These meeja-morons are going to legislate themselves out of a job.
And artists having second jobs? Well boo-fucking-hoo. Many of us work one job so we have the funds to pursue our passion. Or should we venerate artists above the hoi polloi?
Oh, and one final thing, if the art industry is now worth 7 times more than though; this will be used to claim the infringement is seven times worse and we need laws seven time as tough with fines seven times the size.
If a site does that, the answer is simple; stop using them.
Or only use them via a puppet server/VM.
That fact the people are willing to give away so much to the likes of Facebook and Google saddens me quite frankly. I detest people who host their code on Google and will only allow its download if I absolutely have to (which is very rarely).
Tracking, marketing etc should always require an explicit opt-in from the user/recipient. And I don't me a pre-selected check box that the user/recipient has to untick, or a list of check boxes (some ticked, some not) which ask for consent to market/share data in contradictory manners. I mean simple, clear and concise questions:
Can we track you on our site? [ ]
Can we track you across the Internet? [ ]
Can we sell the data we collect about you to third parties? [ ]
Can we allow others to track you on our site? [ ]
Only a dribbling moron would tick more than the first one (and even the first one is optional). Note: I am not talking about session cookies etc that are required to make stuff work, I am talking about the nefarious, not technologically required bullshit.
Of course people should still run ad-blockers, cookie killers and consider splatting the privacy intrusion services in their DNS cache.
@AC "Always keep copies of your passports, visas, etc on you. I kept copies stored in my email, in my money wallet and at my grandparents place... backups don't apply just to computers. Having those available even as duplicates speeds up getting replacements."
I'd almost agree to that, but if travelling with someone else I would swap the copies. If one person gets robbed, the other(s) act as a back-up.
Also, never carry credit cards in the same wallet as money and other common sense precautions.
I'll agree on the tone, but not on the punishment. Being robbed is a total shit.
No matter what you may think for RMS or his ethos, being robbed is not amusing and not something I would wish on anyone.
I hope he gets a replacement netbook (or other device) and I hope he does not suffer from losing his meds etc. Actually, I hope they find his property and the thief! Or the thief just turns everything back in.
But a salient lesson to one and all:
1) Backup, backup, backup!
2) Keep important documents in a secure place (e.g. hotel safe, concealed pocket, money wallet)
3) Secure bags where possible (e.g. lock and chain, Pacsafe, trusted person/location)
Shock-proof? With spinning platters? Should have a 128gb SDD. More than enough for any GNU/Linux.
@Yet Another - well Canada censors government funded scientists who don't toe the party line, so I'm hardly surprised.
The "slippery slope" is not a good argument, and neither is the petulant "I wanna download stuff for no charge. Waah!"
What is a good argument is "The current copyright terms are too one-sded and do not balance the cost to society against the cost of the original creator [or however you wish to phrase it] and my alternative is [insert brilliant idea here]".
Let me be clear, I do not like the extensions to copyright, the official rubber-stamping of cartels (RIAA et al), DRM, region-locking and other barriers to free-trade. But If ones doesn't base one's argument on a credible base, it will soon be undermined.
Let's be honest about it? OK. TPB is mostly used for copyright infringement. Yes the technology is benign and has lots of uses (e.g. distributing GNU/Linux iso files and other FOSS/CreativeCommons stuff) but what level of use does it get for that, compared to grabbing copyrighted material for nowt?
Exactly. And that is why is was (in all futility) blocked.
We can argue about how stupid the current copyright terms are (and I personally think they are very stupid), how draconian the new laws will be and how how much of an asshole the RIAA, BPI etc are all being; but none of this changes the fact the main purpose of TPB is copyright infringement.
If your biggest problem is that in now takes you 30 seconds longer to download a copy of "Avengers Assemble" for nothing - then you are very, very lucking indeed.
To call it "censorship" is, quite frankly, disgusting moral relativism that diminishes the suffering of those under the heel of actual censorship. So get off your moral high-horse.
@Tom 13 - Oh, there's a few urban foxes I'd love to take an M16 to. And a few neighbours who feed these mangy vermin.
@Phil Endecott Your flawed logic is staggering. The tool (unless it is single purpose, like an M16) is not at fault. It's the human that puts that tool to use who is at fault. Baseball bats can kill people. Hammers can kill people. CDs and be used to kill people. Any chemist with time on their hand can choose to kill lots of people. Are you trying to suggest that all knowledge/items should be tagged with "Don't do bad things, m-kay?"
And even if they were - do you really think someone who had murderous/lethal intent is going to give two figs about your petty little license? "In the interest of national security, you opinions can GTF" is the response I believe.
Just about anything you do, for anyone at any time could potentially be turned around and used for something you don't like. So does this mean you contribute nothing?
My, you must be a real joy to live with.
@AC - oh, don't start me on how poorly GPG et al hang together at times. But when they work, they work great. Which, of course, is why one would hire a consultant to sort it all out.
But my main point remains, if these are truly important documents then encryption and digital signatures are better than a fax.
By fax....? Really? o_0
Install GPG, pinentry and Enigmail (or similar).
Generate a public/private key (if you don't already have one)
Get your recipient's public key (and signing is just another excuse for a party)
Encrypt and send in peace and (relative) security.
This. Is. Nuts.
I disagree with the staggering length of copyright (and the various abuses of due process and free trade my the media cartels) but I agree 100% with the idea of copyright. When used correctly is allows a lone creator to keep control of their work and stop a company with more lawyers than the creator has probably had hot dinners stealing it.
Oh, wait; now I see why this law is being passed.
Add to that all those wonderful folks who release their hard work as "CC BY NC" (Creative commons, by attribution, non-commercial". They are going to get royally screwed. Maybe not in a monetary sense but in a "It's my work, I'll decide how it is released" sense.
Just imagine the email exchange:
"Dear MegaCo, You are using my image for your new, multi-billion pound campaign. This is against my licensing terms. Kindly stop."
"Dear Pleb, Your image was lifted from a random website. There was no indication of license. We complied fully with a reasonable search as per law and had it declared orphan."
"Dear MegaCo, But it's not orphan; here I am."
"Dear Pleb, The law declares it orphan and we are free to use it. You are clearly deluded or trying to commit a fraud. We have called the police who will shortly arrest you for bothering us. Enjoy prison."
As for Digimarc....nice idea, but I'd like to see a published standard so that other competitors can enter the market and keep the price down (and keep each other honest). And heck, if there is a published standard that means we can get a F/OSS solution so that it's not just rich Westerners who can protect their assets.
...then buy the apps in a bargain bin for 30% off.
@AC - how do you think a lot of geo-location works?
Clue: It's not all satellites in space, y'know.
@hplasm - Exactly.
If the other people wrote that information down and then used it to commit a fraud against you...then you'd have recourse. But just for overhearing or record "Dude on the train said this totally unbelievable thing..."? No.
@ed2020 - No, because that's theft (although their insurance company may argue negligence).
Nice way to conflate to completely separate issues.
As much as I dislike Google spying on our emails, documents* etc....if you are monumentally stupid enough to blast your information unencrypted over the air, then you deserve what you get. Why broadcast in the clear unless you want man+dog to listen in? Seriously, just how thick do you have to be?
If Google turn round and do something illegal with that data, then we can talk. In the mean time, encrypt your WiFi.
Cue the downvotes - I can take it.
*I do use gmail, but hopefully not for much longer. I refuse to use Google drive, apps or docs due to privacy concerns and I block Google as much as possible.
Embrace: "We love your penguins. Bring them to us!"
Extend: "We love your penguins long time. Install these super-power add-ons for extra Azure lurve. Make sure all your apps and databases are directly accessing the add-ons to get super-powers! Here's how to hard-wire everything..."
Extinguish: "All super-power add-on support is being dropped. Windows contains a backwards compatible API, the transition is seamless. Your business now depends on Azure. Suckers."
If a company wants to leverage the power of GNU/Linux...why the hell would they place such a rock-solid system on to of a Windows platform? It should be penguins, penguins all the way down.
Release a decent Android tablet at a decent price (maybe even cost?) and then simply bludgeon Win8 into submission. I am sure if HTC spoke to Google, there'd be some help forthcoming.
The only issue I see is that Metro might actually be quite good on a touch device (I've only used it on a desktop and it is bloody awful there).
LastPass has a checking page and whilst it's probably safe enough to use, you should change your password just to be safe.
But the best thing about this page is to play "Guess the dumb password". And yes "password" is one of them.
Really...I would have thought Linkedin would have attracted users with some level of sense. Seems not.
In fact I have. I have attempted to make use of the various consumer, dev and beta previews.
And I really do mean "attempted" because Metro is an absolute fluster-cuck of a desktop GUI (I could see it being good on a phone) and the dumbed down traditional desktop is, well, dumbed down.
The average punter who just wants to surf, Facebook and write the odd letter - single tasking is fine. And this is what Metro just about lets you do (yes I know about the screen-split, don't start me).
But for someone you actually wants to use the computer (be they a coder, sys admin, graphic designer, CAD user or whatever) will want multiple windows to do their day job.
So having used Win8 my personal opinion of it is that it is a steaming turd.
Personally my main concern at the moment is which DE do I use next to get some work done. Unity and Gnome Shell suffer from many of the limitations of Win8 (geared towards single-tasking, just nowhere hear as bad) and whilst Unity may have HUD, I think KDE has to be the weapon of choice for a graphic-rich DE.
If I have to suffer Win8 in my day-to-day (likely), it will in a VM where I have to touch it as little as possible.
Have they seen Windows 8?
People will take one look, vomit over the shop floor and run out screaming.
Arms waving in the air, optional.
No, the moral is do buy clapped out drives off eBay in the hope of getting some juicy info you can sell to the press.
In "the public interest" of course.
@MJI - they are all equally important.
The cleaners make sure you don't catch whatever the poor sod next door has.
The nurses make sure nothing bad happens to you and that treatment is administered.
The doctors figure out what that treatment is.
The managers make sure the kit is available for you to be treated.
What should not happen (and you are quite right about) is for a pen-pusher to be mah-hoos-ively overpaid.
If fact, regardless of industry, the people at the top getting paid orders of magnitude more than those at the bottom (who do the actual work) is a serious issue in or society.
Doctors are already highly paid (and rightly so). It's nurses and cleaners you want to worry about.
In buckets. Either they lied or did not properly investigate. Either one I would call gross professional negligence. Heads must roll (with no golden goodbye, pension protection or anything).
Out on the street, just like anyone else.
But this is government luvvie duvvies we are talking about. Just watch, those at the centre will pop-up again as "experts", "thought leaders" or with some other vacuous title.
@LarsG - the drives were taken away by a private contractor under form mad PGI-type scheme which allows the NHS trust to show greater openness and a willingness to be wallet-raped by the private sector (as is government policy). This will all be wrapped-up in a bollocks-speak press briefing and contract.
The contractor will be the lowest bidder with the thinnest margins and thus keen to get any profits anywhere they can, which means flogging stuff on eBay.
One other thing you can bet is that the conrtact will be so one-sided that even if the trust ejects the contractor for such flagrant negligence, they will need to pay compensation for loss of profits (a common clause in PFI deals which is why we have to spunk so much money at our badly run rail system).
I do agree with one thing, fining the NHS is stupid. You fine the contractor and you fire the managers.
So this friend-of-a-friend...are you trying to tell us you are super-chums with Rebecca Brooks?
Because in the glorious people's China, censorship whacks you!
@Ross K That's what I love about religion, from the Iranian viewpoint it's the USA who are the godless.
The world would be such a better place without the sky-fairies.
Of course it does, how else can the rich nations (and primarily the rich within said nations) gouge the poor and vulnerable?
@Mark 121 Thanks for that, have an upvote.
I now consider myself slightly more edified in the matter.