* Posts by Mark Ruit

11 posts • joined 2 May 2008

British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

Mark Ruit

Cui bono?

Slightly odd charity BPAS. It doesn''t (AFAIK) go in for chugging, street-bombing for DDs, or tin-rattling. IIRC it is essentially funded by the private clinics.

That is not any sort of accusation of misfeasance, let alone malfeasance. Their work as a counter to religious zealotry is probably very valuable. (And note that I only 'clause' that because I have no yardstick for it, never having come anywhere near its services.)

But somehow I don't think BPAS is necessarily wanting for competent management or trustees

DP is about atitudes and for too many the attitudes are that it is unimportant.

BTW - if the record was only of those wanting a call-back, and assuning that separate, more secure, systems were in use to hold the data of those who actually became "clients", then the record itself, by its very existence and never mind the lack of security, contravened several of the 'eight principles'.


BT demands end to Ofcom wholesale broadband subsidies for BSkyB, TalkTalk

Mark Ruit

Market distortions

I'm not sure I have this exactly right, but I believe that BT scooped an extra bit of sugar when they got title to all the ducts and cableways. As I understand it, none of that legacy infrastructure is liable for NNDR* on the grounds that it wan't liable for NNDR at the point of acquisition as it had been owned by HMG. That "point of acquisition" was not the privatisation, but a few months before, since BT had to exist before it could be sold.

However new duct/cableway infrastucture installed by a Telco, including anything installed - but not simply repaired/replaced - by BT post-privatisation, is liable.for NNDR as it is physical business real estate. Mobile networks similarly pay NNDR on their mast sites. Athough it may only be pennies per Km of duct or per manhole, it still adds up to a lot. Presumably Virgin are being hit by that.

Anyone know anything about this aspect?

*"National Non Domestic Rates", the business equivalent of Council Tax. It is collected by Local Authoriries but is all paid over to the Treasury.


Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese

Mark Ruit

Splash slurp

The software majors complained (directly to POTUS IIRC) that the NSA was pissing in their soup. Those outside the US would chose non-US hosting, routeing, and software to escape the NSA's polite attention, they said.

This sounds a bit like Dropbox is pissing in its own soup. (Just as GCHQ is pissing in the UK industry's Brown Windsor.)


Java or .NET bod in the Midlands? Congrats - you've got a DOUBLE DIGIT payrise

Mark Ruit

Re: Bah!

Going to the dogs? That must be Crufts then, but the srvice is anything but crufty.

If going to the dogs means timetable speed ups, track and ride improvements, bottleneck reductions and improved on-board faciliries, then perhaps the LIRR needs to go the same way?.


PayPal row heats up as eBay chair calls Icahn claims 'false and misleading'

Mark Ruit

Re: Dear Carl

As an optimist, I would like to think that Icahn has bitten off more tha he can chew with Apple and now eBay/PayPal.

His loudly touted "victory" at Apple gained him only a tiny fraction of what he was asking. Yes that's a well known trick - ask for a lot, settle for a little; but it soon gets callibrated, as then does the response.

Instead of "Icahn", I'm hopeful his nickname may become "Ican't" (or in the context of Apple, perhaos with a different vowel?)


Microsoft teams up with Feds, Europol in ZeroAccess botnet zombie hunt

Mark Ruit

Eggs? Omlettes?

There is always going to be a balnnce between the benefit for the many and the damage to the few in operations such as these. That those adversely affected may themselves be working on the same benefits only makes striking that balance more difficult.

It will always be those who have lost something in that balance who will shout the loudest; and it will always be the less-principled end of the media that finds that take on the story the most newsworthy.

Whether the balance was right this time I don't know, and I suspect never will. No-one will agree where it should be anyway. Only time will eventually provide any sort of perspective.


Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe

Mark Ruit

Re: $35 + Cost of a tablet remote

What's the point of the extra dongle? What's the pint of TV? I've managed withoud that particular opiate for the last 40-odd years...


Danube sludge peril: Brown trouser time or not?

Mark Ruit


Re the Greenpeace "analysis of the analysis",

IIRC a footnote pointed out that the silicon dioxide was "present as complex calcium and sodium aluminium silicates". The former of those is - roughly speaking - clay. My garden is full of it. Round here they dig it up and make it into bricks and tiles. Others turn it into useful items like (serially reusable) plates bowls and cups. Good Greenpeace-lovable stuff in fact. Okay, dried powdered clay is harmful to the lungs in a working or living environment, but only at well-detectable concentrations and over extended periods. Silica it ain't and silicosis it does not cause.

Nil points for the Greenpeace and nil points for the BBC. I am usually sympathetic to the general direction of Greenpeace, but much like my children they piss me off when they do really stupid things. Like that table.

As for neutralisation, there are several options around - what about flue gas desulfurisation? A very long way from being simple, but a local source.

And I am surprised at there being only one person who has asked about the earth dam failure; it looks very like the same mode as the levee failure in New Orleans during Katrina, and that same failure is just waiting to happen in places on the Thames, downstream of the barrier.

Lead in glass? Glass is very stable physically; bury a piece in the ground and it will look identical if you dig it up in 100 years. The aforesaid garden has yielded pieces of glass which seen to be that sort of age (fragments of Cod's bottles, instance). And BTW once-useful pieces of baked clay turn up as well, some datable by their design to ~150 years old.

The chemical stability of glass is another matter - not my field but leaching of lead from old lead glass sounds eminently probable to me.

Mine's the one with the Chemistry degree certificate in the pocket.


Ryanair agrees website clarifications with OFT

Mark Ruit

Civil-itic servants

"The Department for Transport is currently progressing the implementation of the relevant UK legislation, which will introduce sanctions for non compliance but it is unclear when it will come into effect," said the OFT spokesman"

This sort of Regulation doesn't appear from nowhere - the process takes anything up to two years; but like other areas of regulation -- where I work - the idle, secure-job, inept, final-salary-pension, wasters don't even start to think about the enforcing regulations until the Euro Regulationas are a fact.

RottenAir has at least another 18 months to go on scamming then.

A RottenAir ticket isn't even good enough to make a paper aeroplane, and much too scratchy for the only purpose it could be put to.

[Pingu - because like me he doesn't fly either]


MS misses restart button on desktop auto-updates

Mark Ruit

How many?

In crude orders of magnitude, MS are currently holding back updates for about a billion users of Windows, in order to to protect 38,000 installs of their PoS. That's probably fewer than the number of XP/Vista machines running inside MS...

And what fantastic market penetration that PoS has! How many Point-of-Sale systems in small businesses world-wide? 380K? 3.8M? That admission must have hurt.