* Posts by William Old

95 posts • joined 26 May 2008

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

William Old

Great article, Kelly... and no doubt that you also spotted that the mighty BBC (British Bumbling Corporation) was proclaiming the same thing yesterday evening on terrestrial and satellite TV, captioning Sir Tim as the "Inventor of the Internet" on every appearance and describing him as such late last night on BBC Radio.

Sigh.

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William Old

Re: www = internet

Ah... I was going to ask if, by "SEN teacher", you meant a teacher of SEN pupils, or [laugh...!] a teacher with special educational needs.

Then I worked out the answer, from your post...

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Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

William Old

Re: Shooting themselves in the foot? - yes, by releasing Win 8.

I must have imagined the viruses that exist for Mac, Linux and Unix.

You did imagine them... none exist. Are you as confused as Jay about the concept of self-replication, the unique characteristic that defines a virus?

Because if you can find or even name any self-replicating malware for any of those OSs, you will be the first ever to do so.

Hint: there are no mechanisms within these for self-replication. And please don't start slabbering on about ELF viruses, ELF files are executable code and still need someone to run them, with or without root privileges... that doesn't constitute "self-replication".

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William Old
Linux

Re: Shooting themselves in the foot? - yes, by releasing Win 8.

"The main reason that Windows has the major share of the problem when it comes to viruses and malware is that, it is the most prevalent software on users computers."

There's little point in pointing out (yet again) that this is urban myth, because it is evidence that Jay doesn't actually understand the fundamental difference between a virus (specifically) and malware (generally).

Jay, once you have grasped the concept of self-replication - not possible in a Linux system, because there are no mechanisms by which this can occur - come back and re-join the technical debate, with the understanding why there are no Linux viruses.

And please don't mention the "Linux anti-virus software" peddled by the snake oil salesmen or (guffaw) mention Clam AV... only noobs don't realise that Clam AV is a (pretty good) open source Linux package for detecting and quarantining Windows malware from mail passing through Linux mail servers...

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IBM begs Britain's new top cops: C'mon, set up pre-crime units

William Old
FAIL

Re: Vote ME for Commissioner

No! The UK comprises Scotland and Northern Ireland in addition to England and Wales, but it's only the latter two countries that are sleep-walking into this mad waste of money.

Have a read over at Inspector Gadget's blog for a thought-provoking analysis of it all... including the fact that the poor saps are being set up to take the flak when the whole system collapses and the finger-pointing starts.

20% cuts are bringing policing to its knees, and Theresa May's famous statement (29 June 2010, a few weeks after becoming Home Secretary) that the mission of the Police Service is "... to cut crime, no more and no less" rather seems to indicate that anyone seeking assistance and help with missing kids and elderly people, road traffic collisions, sudden deaths, the mentally-ill, crowd control at sporting events, etc., etc., etc., are going to have to get on with it on their own or (more likely) pay a private sector company a sizeable fee to come and assist instead.

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Number-plate spycams riddled with flaws, top cop admits

William Old
Megaphone

Re: Ken, with the greatest possible respect

Nice rant, but it's based on bollocks.

"The police are legally required to display ID when they are on duty." No, they aren't. Care to post exact details of the legislation that enacts this alleged requirement? I will give you a clue... don't waste your time looking. If an officer of constable or sergeant rank doesn't display their "FIN"- force identification number (in the Met, their District number) - then it's likely to be a disciplinary matter, depending on the circumstances. But there's no law requiring it.

Officers above the rank of sergeant don't have numbers as part of their uniform badges of rank, but some might have a badge that display their FIN. And if the officers comprise a Police Support Unit (PSU), then their Force Standing Orders will probably make different requirements... but again, the law is silent on this.

Another armchair expert. Sigh.

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William Old
Flame

Re: all this and...

Crap.

On many housing estates in the North East, around two-thirds of all cars were uninsured before the changes to the Road Traffic Act 1998 were made by S.22 Road Safety Act 2006.

It was only because Northumbria Police started their own initiative against uninsured cars despite there being a lack of clarity about the lawfulness of seizing such vehicles that the Home Office was forced to introduce specific powers using S.152 of the Serious Organised Crime And Police Act 2005 to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 - introducing new sections 165A and 165B.

And your post, despite your complete lack of knowledge of the subject, is typical of the attitude of many other posters on here who fire from the hip without even bothering to find out anything about the subject on which they have become instant experts... sigh.

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William Old
Holmes

Re: all this and...

The very first officially-sanctioned cross-matching of public databases that was sanctioned by the Data Protection Registrar was undertaken by the Audit Commission and saved millions of pounds. All they did was compare records of people in receipt of Housing Benefit and death records!

Information is provided to the Audit Commission under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 and the data matching is perfectly legal... it doesn't actually need the DPR's permission but of course there is close cooperation between the DPR and the Commission about the conduct of data matching programmes.

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William Old
Mushroom

Re: You can't equate...

I assume that you really meant IYLISMWDYGLT... and that you are therefore only a *little* bit dyslexic... :)

And you clearly know nothing about what constitutes a police state. But your arrogance in referring to such a well-drafted comment as "idiocy" would not last very long in one... in fact, I guess you'd quickly be screaming for the police (the British type) to protect you. Such delicious irony.

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William Old
Mushroom

Re: In Aus they are mobile

<blockquote>A car can be driven without insurance. I can drive a car I don't own and am covered for doing so. The owner of that car may not have insurance in their own name but that doesn't make mine any less valid.</blockquote>

No, you are confused - if you drive a car that you don't own, and you are "covered" for doing so by your own policy, then you ARE insured. But - and here's the rub - the car still doesn't meet the insurance requirements of Section 144A Road Traffic Act 1988 (added by Section 22 Road Safety Act 2006, which requires the car's registered keeper to have insurance identifying that car by its VRM or to declare it as being kept off-road by a Statutory Off-Road Notification - "SORN") - and if you don't have your own original certificate of insurance with you, the officer who stops you WILL exercise his powers under S.165A RTA 1988 to seize the vehicle and take it away... and you will be walking.

You will have no comeback whatsoever, and the only bonus will be that, if you later produce your certificate of insurance within 7 days at a police station nominated by you at the time the car was seized, you won't be prosecuted under S.143 for "no insurance".

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William Old
WTF?

Re: It is just plain illegal and shoud be stopped

Of course you have a right to privacy... but not in a public place. I can assure you that there is not a single ANPR camera inside your residence!

I challenge you to stop puffing about something that you have clearly never read, and identify exactly which part of the Convention (or that part of the domestic legislation that implements the Convention Rights in your particular EC state - in the UK it's the Human Rights Act 2000) prohibits the use of these cameras?

At least you are obviously not a lawyer... that much goes to your credit... but of course, your admission to being a Californian resident does explain a lot... :)

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William Old
FAIL

The editor's "Bootnote" is just plain completely WRONG!

I don't know where he or she got his information, but it's complete tosh - no ANPR system in use in the UK uses induction loops - maybe they've become confused with the triggers for unmanned speed cameras??

For an IT-focussed site, it's an incredible display of complete ignorance about the subject, and appears to have been grandstanding for no real reason.

And the original reporting (although it hardly merits being described as "reporting") is just as shoddy... the phrase "riddled with flaws" seems to be a sub-editors fantasy... the actual "flaw", according to all of the original submissions, is simply that there is no national strategy for their location so there are not enough in the right places. Hardly "riddled with flaws". But the situation can easily be sorted by central funding for more cameras, and a national strategy for identifying sites for the new ones... :)

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Bill Gates, Harry Evans and the smearing of a computer legend

William Old
Facepalm

Where would we be now?

Running something looking like a PC, but running very much more reliably, with a proper formal security model, true multi-tasking, no memory leakage, and in a world where use of the phrase "anti-virus software" would cause everyone present to frown in puzzlement...

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Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot

William Old
Happy

Re: Clam down people

"The surface is based on the same OS as WinPhone. Why are they panicking? No one is going to buy the thing anyway."

I'm not so sure, given the excruciating embarrassment of its worldwide launch, when it locked up completely... after all, given the increasing unpredictability of the weather, millions of people will need something to wedge their doors open with in a high wind...

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Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

William Old
Linux

Another Microsoft "achievement"...

"Microsoft executives are racking their brains for a new word to sum up the controversial user interface."

Something not too dissimilar to "Metro", yet one that reflects Microsoft style, brand quality, and technical achievement...?

Got it!

Let's hear it for... MERDE!

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Microsoft hands out tools to sneak Skype onto new PCs

William Old
Megaphone

Re: install skype and surrender your bandwidth

"Useful"?

As useful as paying £5-£6 for a small bar of chocolate from the mini-bar fridge in the same hotels, you mean?

MS bought Skype because they are natural partners... so now you can get crappy, unreliable, non-standards-compliant cruddy Skype software from a criminally-convicted, near-monopolist supplier of crappy, unreliable, non-standards-compliant cruddy operating systems.

'Nuff said.

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Criminal Records Bureau checks to go online

William Old
FAIL

Better hurry up, then...

"The Home Office also announced that the government will maintain the current arrangements for holding criminal records on the police national computer, while ensuring the controls on accessing those records are sufficiently strong."

Errmmm... but the "current arrangements" are that the National Policing Improvement Agency runs the Police National Computer at the Hendon Data Centre...

... and the NPIA will cease to exist in less than a year's time...

... and other than the functions that will transfer to the new National Crime Agency, nothing has yet been done to find a home for the rest of the NPIA's responsibilities, including national higher police training, the National Specialist Law Enforcement Centre (inclues all cybercrime training) at Wyboston Lakes, etc., etc., etc., and...

... the Police National Computer - or PND (Police National Database), as it will become.

Ahem.

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Google hands Britain’s eTown award to Scunthorpe

William Old
FAIL

We dream about ANY internet connection, far less 4G mobile coverage...

"none of the 20 areas named were in Scotland"

Of course not... the recently-leaked BT five-year plan for FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) and FTTP (fibre to the premises) showed that there are NO PLANS WHATSOEVER for eithe of these in any IV postcode... nothing.

That's a huge part of Scotland, roughly everything North of a like drawn from the southernmost tip of the Isle of Skye north-east to Banff.

There's little point in using AdWords when an ADSL broadband connection - if you can get one - averages under 1Mbps...

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Why are Android anti-virus firms so slow to react on Carrier IQ?

William Old
FAIL

Anti-virus software for Android???

You mean, like phlogiston meters and left-handed screwdrivers?

It demonstrates the average user's (non-)understanding of what a virus is, if they are queuing up to buy such crap. (1) When did the Carrier IQ firmware become self-replicating? (2) At what rate is it spreading from Android device to Android device by itself?

Answers: (1) It didn't; (2) Zero. So it isn't a virus. Sigh. Anyone want to buy Tower Bridge? I'm the owner...

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RIM invites BlackBerry users into MS Office cloud beta

William Old
Trollface

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

"It's also going to get more important once Windows Phone starts finding its way into offices, which surely can't be far off."

The only way that Windows Phone will be "finding its way into offices" soon will be if those offices have street-facing windows very near to places where disappointed purchasers of WinCrap phones are standing, at exactly the moment when the awful truth dawns on them that they should've bought something running Android....

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Microsoft updates Hotmail to deal with grey spam

William Old
WTF?

Hotmail - the Genesis planet for spammers...

"Microsoft appears to be the only big player that has really been serious about fighting the spammers."

Are you KIDDING me? FIGHTING the spammers??? Hotmail FEEDS the spammers! Try this simple experiment:

(a) Set up a Hotmail account such as nd945vj895h32fdq@hotmail.com using a browser on an (uncompromised!) PC;

(b) Don't actually use the account or even give the address to anyone;

(c) See how long it takes for spam e-mail to start to fill it up;

(d) errmmm... that's it.

My guess is either that Microsoft's systems are even more broken than Windows itself, or that selling lists of customers' e-mail addresses provides a useful end-of-month bonus for lowly underpaid MS IT staffers.

The ONLY step that I've known Hotmail to take in order (allegedly) to address spam was when they suddenly decided unilaterally to reduce MAX_RCPT on their SMTP mail servers to 10 from 100 without telling anyone (or even admitting it), despite 100 being the minimum according to IETF standards... see here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/09/limits_on_hotmail/

Oh, and if you access that link, note that Hotmail admitted that 90% of their inbound mail was spam... 4.5 billion messages out of 5 billion! No wonder, if some insider is flogging off address lists...

:(

* This doesn't actually affect us, as we run our own mail servers and block** all e-mail from the Hotmail and Live domains.

** In this part of the known Universe, senders using such accounts should of course get the polite "550 rejected" message from us explaining why. But as Microsoft ignores all open standards in favour of their own home-brew versions, it looks as though MS doesn't bother delivering these... :(

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Why grill Google over web dominance? It has none

William Old
WTF?

Eh????

You can't use Wikipedia if you are searching for FACTS... but it's ideal if you are searching for OPINIONS, verified or otherwise, right or wrong, sensible or looney-tunes...

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Core facts: Windows 8 truthiness dissected, Mango sliced

William Old
Mushroom

Windows Mobile phone bought in Truro - flagship MS phone OS sales doubles...

"... and how Microsoft's really betting on Tango to bring Windows Mobile to a mass market of smart-phone hold outs."

CONGRATULATIONS! It's extremely rare to see the phrases "Windows Mobile" and "mass market" in a single sentence... :)

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UK police crime map website: Who's the victim here?

William Old
Megaphone

Possibly, but...

... it's much more likely that your village was never actually successful in getting one of the Welsh forces to save up enough money to send a police officer to find out any details of what crime really is happing there.

Most (all?) police forces are having to search down the back of the sofa for lost coins just to pay the electricity bill these days... if you are a supplier, I'd warn you against offering any of them 30-day credit... :(

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Visa approves wireless payment chip

William Old
Boffin

Sooner than you think...

All cards coming from MBNA (and that includes affinity cards such as Amazon Card, AA Card, etc.) are now RFID enabled, under the Mastercard PayPass system (technically identical to Visa PayWave).

Mine now resides in its own little cooking foil pouch in my wallet. Durable, easy to make, cheap to replace, and no sucker is going to vacuum up my card details in a walk-by RFID scan through it.

Although I'm sure the kiosk staff at my local petrol station think I'm crackers... the hat made out of the same stuff to protect me from other folks' mobile phones might be a factor... :-)

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Police back ends must be slimmed, says Home Sec

William Old
Flame

They did...

... but the Home Office made forces close all the workshops and make the mechanics redundant because "... it will be cheaper to use local garages instead..."!

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” - George Santayana

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Judges reject Operation Ore appeal

William Old
Boffin

Explanation

You can disguise your (real) IP address by accessing something via the (real) IP address of an anonymising proxy server, which is what Dr Sharples meant when he said "disguise". However, you cannot hide your (real) IP address by accessing something via a device that uses a (mock) IP address.... the routing would simply fail because the remote service could never respond to device attempting to set up an IP session. It's like trying to con a bank into sending you cash by telling them to post it to you at a non-existent address. Even if they post it, you will wait a long time at your real address for it to come through the letterbox!!

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Microsoft badmouths Google over fed contract win

William Old
WTF?

This would be funny if it wasn't so serious

"Google can't avoid the fact that often times they cannot meet basic requirements," reads a blog post from Tom Rizzo, senior director of Microsoft Online Services.

HAHAHAHAHAHA...!!!! This, from the company that honestly believes that its products are fit for purpose for providing a grown-up platform for 24x7 business-critical services, yet it can't even keep an e-mail platform running for any length of time, can't (or won't) observe the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFCs so essential for the smooth running of the Internet, and just manufactures "standards" at the whim of its "experience" managers and other esoteric cuckoo-land hangers-on, much to the despair of their in-house IT security professionals??

God help us... the sooner this convicted predatory criminal monopolist goes bust, the better for all of us...

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Google sues US gov for picking Microsoft

William Old
Gates Horns

UK Govt owned by MS...

The trouble is, MS has already rooted UK government... look at the (Microsoft) Government Gateway, that was produced by MS for the UK Government at a cost of tens of millions of pounds, then the intellectual property rights in it were given away - completely free - so that MS could flog it elsewhere for profit.

And it doesn't even observe open standards! Because it was based on GovTalk, the government version of MS BizTalk, it can't ever conform to RFC2822, and therefore thousands of UK citizens can't sign up for online services that use the Gateway because their (perfectly legal) e-mail addresses are rejected by the Gateway as "illegal addresses"... duh!

It's bad enough that the same MS security vulnerability (deeply embedded in MS systems and unfixable without a complete Windows re-write) prevents people using some commercial Web sites based on MS software, but at least then citizens can vote with their wallets... if such a site rejects my e-mail address, I just buy elsewhere. But with the Gateway, and its growing monopoly on online public sector services, I don't have that choice.

Even taking the complaint up to Cabinet Office level (because the problem breaches the Cabinet Office eGIF standards) didn't help... basically, "tough shit, that's the system and that's it".

And folks are surprised because schools are made to buy Office? Ha!

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Spam blacklist snafu prompts global gnashing of teeth

William Old
Megaphone

A BT shareholder talks about spam prevention...

... I've reverted to receiving all of my BT share dividend information by post on real paper because I gave up trying to explain to Shareview that sending their e-mails from a non-existent e-mail address meant that it is never accepted by my SMTP mail server, which (by choice) uses sender callout verification.

They just don't get it.

And, whilst I'm having a rant, e-mails to me from all of the financial institutions that have now been subsumed into Santander (Alliance & Leicester, Abbey, et al) don't get delivered either, for exactly the same reason... their SMTP mail servers are all sending from the pre-Santander domain addresses but the new servers don't accept mail to those addresses (not even to postmaster, in direct contravention of RFC2822) so in the end I've referred them to the Financial Services Ombudsman as it's costing me money in lost interest.

And did you know that the FSO charges financial institutions £400 per case (after the first three cases each year) for disputes referred to them for resolution? Even if the customer's complaint is not upheld? Handy to know when you are arguing about unfair bank charges, etc.!

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Kindle users get Zorked out

William Old
Pint

OK, can't beat a PDP11, but...

... the DEC MicroVax that was installed at the machine halls at the James Clark Maxwell Building (University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings) was only regarded as fully SAT-tested once everyone had made sure Adventure was working properly on it...

:-)

You have been eaten by a grue.

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Police IT quango chief to quit

William Old
Megaphone

It's worse than that...

... it gets "grossed-up", so that the balancing payment - after tax - provides the net amount to cover the original tax liability. Otherwise he'd pay tax on the repayment of tax, on which he would pay tax on the repayment of tax... you get the idea.

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Faster BT broadband on starting blocks for Olympics - maybe

William Old
FAIL

HM Gov still can't make their systems standards-compliant... :-(

This is just so much hot air... the Government is paying only lip service to REAL progress with its "Digital Britain" White Paper.

For example, the page http://www.culture.gov.uk/what_we_do/broadcasting/6216.aspx contains a link to a copy of the final version of the "Digital Britain" report that is in a closed, proprietary format that I can't access (MS Word), but the links to a Rich Text Format version and a Portable Document Format version are dead. Is this part of the ongoing support by HM Government of Microsoft's predatory and criminal monopolistic practices, or might there one day be some way that I can access a *readable* copy of the report?

And when I tried to use the DFCM&S "contact us" page to ask how I could access a copy that I can actually read using Linux, I was wrongly given the message "Please enter a valid e-mail address" when I tried to submit this with the perfectly valid address with the local part "dfcm&s" - because the ampersand is perfectly acceptable within an e-mail address - see RFC2822.

Of course, if you are a Government department, and your Web site is horribly broken due to being hosted on a Microsoft platform with huge security holes that make it vulnerable to content using the ampersand ("&") character, then there's no hope of conplying with Internet technical standards. I wonder when HMG are going to get their web sites fixed to make them accessible to taxpayers other than those who also paying the Microsoft Tax (Windows)?

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Teardown team open-sources gadget repair guides

William Old
FAIL

Falls at the first hurdle...

Numerous parts of the site don't work at all when accessed with FireFox.

So, I tried to use the site to sign up to find out how to access the service with FireFox, and...

[Wooosh! Disappears in an infinitely-recursing loop...]

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HMRC calls for more care with tax log-in details

William Old
Gates Horns

I can't even use the online filing...

... because their systems are Microsoft systems that are horribly broken, and don't comply with RFC2822 - so as the local part of my e-mail address as used for HMR&C correspondence is, yes, you've guessed "hmr&c" (perfectly legal as defined by RFC2822 but declare an "illegal e-mail address" by Microsoft's electric Meccano), I can't register or log in.

Of course, the HMR&C tech support droids couldn't appreciate the irony of the long exchange of e-mails about this issue to exactly that e-mail address, with (of course) no difficulties on either side whatsoever... :-(

Their position is that "this is as specified in the GovTalk standard in the UK", GovTalk being not a "standard" at all, but a Microsoft specification for public sector systems to protect their amateurishly-written operating systems, to allow for the gaping security vulnerabilities in Windows arising from use of the ampersand (&) character.

I don't see the issue, Microsoft could just produce a (much more secure and reliable) Linux-hosted system... :-)

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Silverlight and open-source Java love has its day

William Old
Gates Horns

Meanwhile, in other news...

... Microsoft attempts to crush Linux by suing TomTom for alleged patent violations by the GPL code it uses in its sat nav devices...

"Embedded Windows"... :-) As in, embedded in the bottom of the river, where it ends up after users have had enough of the crashes, viruses, and the shoddy "user experience" that is the inevitable consequence of using Microsoft's fifth-rate software offerings...

Yech....

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MS coughs to hokey-cokey IE8 option in Windows 7

William Old
Unhappy

Great...

So now you get all of the vulnerabilities, without any of the functionality...

I suppose that's progress... :-(

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NAO calls for better crown court IT

William Old
Jobs Horns

One reason why Xhibit is so unreliable...

... is that it only works with Microsoft Explorer, it's not eGIF (eGovernment Interoperability Framework) compliant, a standard that requires browser independence.

It was a major embarrassment for HMG when Xhibit was brought out and it was discovered (too late!) that many of the intended users couldn't use it... CJIT (Criminal Justice IT) had just assumed that everyone was a public sector employee using MS IE (duh!) but this was a mistake. For example, the Witness Service is provided by Victim Support, a charity, under contract to the Home Office, and many of their staff use FireFox, for all of the usual reasons - better security, more reliable, yada, yada, yada...

So much for Government denials that they are joined at the hip with Microsoft and have lots of warm and fuzzy feelings about Open Source... :-(

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Armed cops contain Wild West Leicestershire toy gun menace

William Old
Flame

@AC "plod stikes for once"

Not true... not even remotely true... anyone involved in dealing with a surrendered unlicensed firearm is not, repeat not, going to deal with this situation as described, because he/she knows full well that in a very short space of time, the said firearm will travel down the administrative chain towards its destruction and reach someone who might not agree with such a liberal response to the person handing it in... irrespective of whether it has copper piping hammered on to the barrel, or not.

And if you are such a numpty that you can't spot your typo in the title of your posting, why would we believe you anyway?

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Superworm seizes 9m PCs, 'stunned' researchers say

William Old
Gates Horns

@Mike and Andy Worth...

> I've heard it all before and it's a common misconception that you "can't" get a virus on a Linux machine.

No, it's not. There are no Linux viruses, and never will be. However, shedloads of malware exist for all platforms, including Linux - trojans, worms, miscellaneous security vulnerabilities... the list is long.

The problem is caused by the likes of Sophos, who will admit (in direct correspondence) that there is no such thing as a virus (executable malware that propagates through self-replication without user intervention) for Linux, but will then explain that, for marketing reasons (because they are selling their products mostly to non-techies) they now use the word "virus" instead of "malware" because (as is the way of the world) they sacrifice accuracy for the need to "dumb down" in talking to their customers. Presumably, such users are too stupid to understand the word "malware", but comprehension dawns if "virus" is used instead. Sigh.

Language is designed to convey meaning, and so accuracy in the use of language (including the use of correct spelling and grammar) is important. Hence this post.

So, in summary - lots of malware exists for all distributions of Linux. But there are no viruses for Linux. If you think you've found/invented one, use it to attack a properly-configured machine run by Eddie Bleasedale at NetProject, and thereby claim the prize of (whatever) thousands of pounds that he's been offering for years for this impressive task.

And don't bother to post if you find advertisements for the "Linux anti-virus software" that actually runs on Linux to remove Windows viruses passing through in e-mail messages and attachments, and think that this proves the converse.

Sigh. Again.

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EU says Microsoft violated law with IE on Windows

William Old
Gates Horns

Paranoia rules...

Hey, El Reg... has anyone checked the originating IP addresses of the suspiciously-high number of AC comments bleating pro-MS propaganda? Almost without exception they obfuscate the hard issues: failure of IE to comply with open standards, MS continuing (illegally)to abuse its (legal) monopoly by continuing with its embrace/extend/extinguish strategy, MS deliberately failing to comply with Court of First Instance determinations or to pay the mega-millions of Euros fines for its unlawful practices, etc.

Thanks Wayne, André, RW et al for concise, clear posts... and Sarah Bee, stay in there, we love you - don't let the MStards grind you down... ;-)

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NFC sees future disappear in a Tag

William Old

Microsoft and "standards"...

So...... there is an ISO standard, in the form of QR Code, and now Microsoft wants to replace the open standard with its own proprietary "standard", for its own commercial purposes rather than for philanthropy or for the good of Mankind?

I see.

What goes around, comes around - when the ISO standard ODF (Open Document Format) became a target for Microsoft, who wanted to supplant it by bludgeoning key standards organisations into supporting its own "standard" (ha!) OpenXML, who would have believed that they would manage to pull this stunt off?

Still, anyone's support is guaranteed if you pay them enough... :-(

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Revenue pledges data security...by 2011

William Old
Gates Horns

Impossible without standards...

... and HMRC can't even meet basic open standards, e.g. RFC2822 for e-mail.

Just try entering a perfectly legal e-mail address containing an ampersand (&) in the local part into one of their systems, and see what happens... you can happily swap e-mails with HMRC using that address (isn't the Internet kind?), but (Microsoft) GovTalk bans them. They're frightened that their Windows systems will fall over with fright at the thought of entering such heinous data into HMRC records as your e-mail address... :-(

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Apple anti-virus advice was nothing new

William Old
Flame

Sophos and their disreputable marketing scam

I was very, very disappointed to see a respected company such as Sophos being a party to the promotion of continued misunderstanding of key concepts in computer security.

Whilst precise technical definitions are not necessarily important for end-users, that is not an excuse for the use of imprecise language when discussing specific security issues, and I note that Cluley's article (hotlinked from this story) is very careful to avoid stating that Mac viruses do or do not exist - he refers to Mac "malware" and Mac "threats", but keeps referring to "anti-virus software" to address these. No. It's bad enough that the uninformed seize upon the existence of ClamAV and the like to bleat that "there must be Linux viruses because anti-virus software exists for Linux" (we can't stop people from demonstrating the extent of their ignorance), but it's shameful that he is attempting to promote Sophos anti-virus and anti-malware products by leveraging that ignorance.

By all means he can promote his company's security products for the Mac, and there's no objection to them calling it "anti-malware" and/or "anti-spyware" software. But it's not "anti-virus" software unless, like ClamAV, it's software for dealing with Windows viruses that happen to reside for whatever reason on a Mac platform, in the same way that my Linux servers deal with Windows viruses being sent through my Exim MTA, destined for Windows-using end users.

Quite frankly, it's about time that Trading Standards officers or the Advertising Standards Authority prosecuted Sophos for misleading anyone who buys "Sophos anti-virus for Linux" in consequence of the belief that Linux can be infected by a virus. Or have they successfully claimed the cash prize offered by Eddie Bleasedale's NetProject Limited to anyone who can successfully infect one of their properly-configured Linux boxes with a virus - i.e. malware that is self-replicating, the key criterion for software to be classified as a virus?

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Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 planned for 2009

William Old
Flame

order(cart, horse) -> reality

"We want them to test their sites and services with IE 8, make any changes they feel are necessary for the best possible customer experience using IE8, and report any critical issues (e.g., issues impacting robustness, security, backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned standards work)."

No.

Change to...

"We want them to test their sites and services against open standards, make any changes they feel are necessary for the best possible customer experience, and report any critical issues (e.g., issues impacting robustness, security, backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned standards work) so that IE8 can be made standards-compliant."

There. Much better.

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Scots vote out ID cards

William Old
Happy

@Lee

> The real point, which annoys many of us in England, is that when it comes to things that affect only Scotland generally only Scottish MPs (MPs represent Scottish Constituencies) get to vote on it, whereas when it comes to things that affect only England Scottish MPs also get to vote on it.

That's because you have the UK Parliament in London, not the English Parliament, but the Scottish Government has already been established. I see no problem. Scotland is (well, for the time being) part of the UK, and its MPs participate and vote in the UK Parliament. If you don't have an English Parliament, and have to use the UK Parliament as a proxy to determine your home affairs, whose fault is that?

Remember that the Scottish Act of Union (1707) was signed some distance from the Scottish Parliament of the day, because an angry mob was trying to burn it down to stop it being enacted. Daniel Defoe, at the time the Chancellor of the English Exchequer, made records of the payments made (in gold) to each Scottish landowner to buy their vote - you had to be a landowner to vote in those days. So now that Scotland has nearly righted that wrong, why not take the opportunity to regain control of your country's affairs in the same way...? :-)

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BNP leaked list claims first victims

William Old
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@Mark and @Martin

@Mark:

> Actually, police officers are not able to be members of any political party, be they Labour, Tory, BNP, UKIP, MRLP.

Oh yes, they are... Schedule 1 (relating to Regulation 6) of the Police Regulations 2003 states:

"1. A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics."

That doesn't stop them joining a political party. However, the Police (Amendment) Regulations 2004 replaced this in its entirety with:

"1. — (1) A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere.

(2) A member of a police force shall in particular–

(a) not take any active part in politics;

(b) not belong to any organisation specified or described in a determination of the Secretary of State."

So, at the Home Secretary's whim, any political party can become proscribed for police officers, and yes, the Conservative Party is next on the list... :-)

@Martin

> It seems clear to me, as Martin Burns points out, that the member of the police should not keep their job as a simple matter of breach of his or her contract of employment. If the employee wants to claim that the term is not lawful then the correct venue is an employment tribunal. In the meantime the correct behaviour by the police is to terminate the employment.

Martin, police officers are Crown servants, they have no contract of employment. That's why they're fed up being sh*t on by the Home Office and are looking for increased industrial rights.

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Astronaut space dump pong-bomb frag shower today

William Old
Stop

@Nick

> Even in orbit the gravitational force is still significant, it's just balanced by the centripetal force.

No.

In this particular case, the gravitational pull of the Earth *is* the centripetal force that acts on said orbiting object. Imagine that gravity suddenly failed... no centripetal force, so said object carries on in a straight line, i.e. at a tangent to the previous circular orbit.

What you mean is that the gravitational acceleration of the object for that particular orbit is equal to the value for centripetal acceleration (the rate of change of tangential velocity) that keeps the object's distance from the Earth constant: the radial rate of descent is zero.

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Police collar kid for Wi-Fi pinching

William Old
Flame

@Steve Roper

Steve, either you have a bad memory, or you are making it up.

Tespass is a civil tort, not a criminal offence, and there's simply no way that it would ever get within a mile of a Magistrates' Court, unless the County Court happened to be built that near, because if you did decide to sue someone for damages for trespass, that's where the claim would be dealt with - and in a Small Claims arbitration by a District Judge, if the claim was under £5,000.

The only other possibility is that you are posting from the United States, but I've never heard of an American magistrate before...?

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Hi-tech cops lose their website

William Old
Thumb Up

Re: but remember

This AC has got it spot on... there's no way that a .org is appropriate now, it ranks with (for example) http://www.surreypolice.co.uk, which used to belong to someone who had bought up all the www.[nameofforce]police.co.uk domains for reasons that were associated with a personal crusade.

Let it lapse, and replace it with something more meaningful. SOCA is not a police force, so it would need to be a .gov.uk domain anyway.

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