320 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007
What you need to understand about this article (although it is extremely well researched and well written), is that Andrew is determined to find examples of where the British government's approach to funding technology has failed.
Clearly this is one such example. However, the question which SCREAMS out of every paragraph of this article is "why did the inventor not go to the private sector in the first place?"
I guess we'll never know the answer to this question. What we do know is that a state funded technologist arrived at the same technology which was being explored by numerous different bodies at the same time, and that he ultimately failed to commercialise it.
Was this the fault of a quango? Only part 2 of this article will reveal.
Because you didn't read the article properly.
There are 2 issues:
 Zoom effects
As the article states (even including a MASSIVE screengrab, which you somehow missed), the accessibility option to minimise animation disables to parallax, but for some reason, the more intrusive and more visually disturbing zoom effects remain.
It should be clear to anybody that the zoom effects are more frequent and more intense, and the acessibility option should really be deactivation (or at least reducing the intensity of) this effect. But it isn't.
That what the ENTIRE ARTICLE WAS ABOUT. And somehow you missed it.
Nice to know I'm no the only one.
I've been boring people with this line of thinking for some time. It is nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks this.
My guess was that the "security specialists" knew this was a pointless exercise, but nonetheless one which they had been ordered to perform. As such they probably didn't particularly care which computers were destroyed, or whether they actually had copies of the data on, provided they could go back to base and say that they had witnessed the destruction of some computers and had directed their destruction in accordance with department guidelines/best practice.
This amounts to a form of subliminal advertising. As the video states, this is designed for tired commuters resting their heads on the glass, which means that the ads would be targetted at people in a drowsy, semi hypnotic or even unconscious state.
Images of War
Seems to me perfectly plausible that a 70's Japanese company might shy away from making a game which represented modern warfare (as opposed to a one on one cowboy shootout) - Hiroshima would still be in living memory for a lot of that generation of execs. I could understand why they might not have a desire to represent warfare even in a heavily pixellated form. They would also perhaps have the understandable and probably accurate fear that a lot of their domestic customers and customer's parents, might shun such a game.
Has nobody said "iInjury" yet?
I was already starting to dislike this guy by page 2 of the interview. Then I got to the bottom of page 3...
Re: Bad Firmware!
So you don't think it is a Samsung problem that their motherboards can be bricked by software running on the machine? Really?
I wonder how long it will be before we have our first UEFI motherboard bricking malware exploit...
"Guns protect our freedom"
Isn't it interesting that the US will happily limit freedom of expression if it means they get to keep their guns? So much for the second amendment securing the freedom of the people.
Pod Bay Doors
... missed opportunity.
Platform rage is funny. The majority of the comments in this thread are hilarious. And also depressing.
It is rather poignant to realise that one of the most significant impacts of the the arrival of the iPhone is to spread platform zealots from the desktop OS space into the mobile space. Isn't humanity wonderful? Now we can spend more of our time arguing over which mobile phone software is the anointed and righteous path. Fabulous.
Re: Gotta love it
I think we found our industry shill, folks.
 Lets not get into the question of blame here. the issue is RESPONSIBILITY. Specifically criminal responsibility. I would suggest that granting powers to an enforcement body exact substantial summary fines on minors (or the carers of minors) based upon their internet activity is at the very least highly questionable, at the worst, illiberal and chilling. and to allow said enforcement agency to perform confiscations of equipment, refusing to return said equipment on the basis of an alleged attempted commission of an offence by a minor? Are we talking about serious criminality here? No: we're talking about a child listening to a pop song.
 Whether this was the first time, 100th or the 1,000,000 time is immaterial. The fact is that this entire action took place on the basis of one alleged failed attempt to download a song. There doesn't even appear to be a suggestion that there was any intent involved here: just a child misunderstanding the illegality of the source and/or copyright law. Were this action to be based upon /pattern/ of behaviour, maybe there would be less of an outcry, but there is no such allegation here.
 Sure, they could have fought the recording industry with all its lawyers and vast budgets all the way through the courts. They could have done without the child's laptop for maybe another 2 years while they did so, and perhaps had not only this Christmas, but next Christmas and even each Christmas for the rest of their lives ruined by this, or they could have taken the expedient route which they chose, which was to roll over to powerful bullies behind this action.
 It is not a technical note. there is a significant difference in law between attempting or conspiring to commit an offence and actually committing it. That's before one gets into the issue of the age of criminal responsibility, or, for that matter, intent.
For the record: I am an ardent supporter of copyright and the right for copyright holder to be able to exploit their works however they see fit, and the be able to enforce that right in law. But THIS action was wrong. It actually makes me think twice about my entire position on the music industry and its right to perform copyright enforcement.
Re: The value of Free Software
"If you don't compare to a reference copy, how do you know that it is the proper GPL license and not one that has a "now we own your first born" clause?"
Because the package is distributed with the terms "this package is licensed under GPL2" or whatever. In other words it does not bundle it's own license copy, rather instead references a single common immutable document.
The right to withdraw a work
Creators have on occasion chosen to withdraw a work because of a change of heart about it. Maybe they don't feel it is up to their usual standard, or even in some cases they fell it to be morally or socially dubious.
Recording musicians often record works which they choose not to release for one reason or another.
Authors frequently bin works or work in progress for one reason or another.
Software houses invariably withdraw older versions of their work when a new version is released.
Copyright should continue to protect the owner's right to choose when and how to make their work available. It is fundamental to the principle of copyright.
Too balanced, that's the problem
These are the kind of comments I frequently see on social media:
"The BBC are a bunch of lefty pinko socialist commies. No balance at all SHUT DOWN THE BBC"
"The BBC aren't challenging the cuts at all, those horrible right wing sock puppets OCCUPY THE BBC"
"There's not enough women on this panel, misogynist scum! BOYCOTT THE BBC"
"The BBC is just a liberal lefty inclusivity box ticking exercise. PRIVATISE THE BBC"
....etc, etc. Seem some people aren't happy unless the channel they are watching is a constant 100% echo chamber for their own beliefs. This is why the world has news providers like Fox News and The Daily Mail: why challenge your beliefs when you can just pump your eyes and ears full of self validating claptrap?
There's a very good reason why other cars have buttons instead of a huge touchscreen.
Physical controls give tactile feedback, and can be operated by the driver by feel, without the user needing to look at the controls. This is why temperature knobs are better than digital buttons in climate control systems, for example: I can FEEL what temp I have just set, rather than having to look down to a readout.
Controlling the majority of in car systems using a touchscreen? Dangerous. Give me a switch, knob or toggle button, please.
Re: I will laugh so much...
Umm. That's already been done.
Re: A prediction
> We are talking here about a company making a profit from breaking the law and in the process prejudicing the rights of an individual under trial.
Ok, we have one or two assertions to deal with here:
"prejudicing the rights of an individual under trial" - I don't know how many times I have to say this before it sinks in: I have no problem at all with enforcing contempt of court legislation and seeking to do so on social media as well. But the realistic fact of the matter is that people WILL talk about public court cases, be it online or offline. The important principle in contempt of court legislation is to ensure that such discussion does not enter a realm where it becomes accepted as widespread fact, and thus prejudice due process. I'm not at all convinced that this is achieved by asking Facebook to remove all references to the case. In fact, I'm fairly certain that such a request is impossible to implement effectively.
> Your argument seems to be that breaking the local law is a-OK as long as the excuse is good enough.
No. My argument was simply that just because occasionally the needs of due process and the power of social media clash, it doesn't mean that we should routinely regulate and/or block social media. People talk about high profile court cases in the pub, but we don't routinely regulate that kind of speech. As has been pointed out elsewhere, it will be easier to keep jurors from seeing FB than to keep this kind of content off FB altogether.
> You can help someone in an oppressive regime but you must accept that that WILL be illegal, and you WILL face penalties for it.
Agreed. I don't see how this equates to an argument for increasing controls on social media. Precisely the opposite, in fact. Why should we all be seeking to emulate those oppressive regimes? Shouldn't we be broadly welcoming to free and open discourse online?
So basically what you're saying is that democracy and accountability is a top-down process from government through law to the people, that rather than a process of empowering the people to speak up with social media, etc, etc, we should instead keep them quiet, and trust that government regulates the licensed press appropriately?
You know what I think? Those MSM institutions are kept far more honest by everyday people who fact-check their stories and publish blogs about them, by the Fleet Street insiders who report on what's really going on via Twitter and blogs. By collective action empowered by social media.
But feel free to go back to your 20th century press barons if you like. Just don't spoil my century with them, please.
Re: A prediction
If I understand your argument correctly, I think you are saying that Syria, Libya, Egypt government were right and justified to seek to block Blackberry, social media, etc when the people rose up against their oppressive regimes.
And, presumably that China is right to block certain website which discuss ideas which it does not like its people to know about, or which tell a different narrative to the official line.
I'm guessing that's what you're saying. Or are you saying it is only OK if Western governments do it?
Re: A prediction
> The UK has the laws in place to do the blocking already...
Note for ordinary everyday speech, it doesn't. Only for sites who can be proven to exists for the primary purpose of facilitating or committing an offence.
> Going into a cinema and shouting bomb or something like that needs to be illegal. Publishing lies and abuse about someone should be illegal.
And they are.
> Both could be claimed to be 'freedom of speech'...
No they couldn't. Inciting a public order problem, defamation and harassment are not forms of protected speech under any human rights legislation. Nor should they be. Ditto contempt of court / prejudicial publication.
> The point is, the line between protected speech and disallowed speech is drawn in a different place in different countries - who are you to disagree with the line drawn by this part of AU?
I guess it is no more my business that my concern over the great firewall of China, or free speech limitation in Iran, etc. I can be concerned, but it is ultimately up to citizens of the country to take the lead in fighting such measures.
What surprises me is your willingness to be regulated. You seem to be starry eyed by the idea the social media in Australia could be effectively shut down in your country by legislation. You WANT it to happen. That is tragic.
You say that as the UK is awaiting the report of an investigation into routine corruption, abuse of power and interference with government and law and order by the mainstream media. Activities which were largely exposed by whistleblowers.
May I humbly submit that puttiing the power of publication in more people's hands is ultimately going to prove preferable to allowing to remain the hands of only the Rupert Murdochs of this world.
Re: A prediction
Interesting. First time I've heard such unqualified support for government control over speech.
Of course, this particular case is slightly different to normal, as we're discussing contempt of court / prejudicial publication, which is not, and should not be a form of protected speech.
But the notion that we should happily wave through government "regulation" of what people normally say ona days to day basis online? Really? You might be happier in China or Iran. I can't say I would be.
So Ameranth have been granted a patent for the generation and display of a list of items and hierarchy of documents in a flowed fashion on a variety of devices a different screen resolutions? Seriously???
This has GOT to stop. This basically a description of the WWW. The only thing that makes this even remotely unique is the fact that their patent only applies to lists of food items. Insane
Re: Get out clause for paedophiles
Precisely the kind of knee Dail Fail reader idiocy that I was referring to in my comment above. Thanks for illustrating rather eloquently why such draconian legislation has come into existence.
A shame, shameful prosecution
I don't know how CPS can possibly have concluded that prosecuting this case was in the public interest.
I don't know all that much about this case, but I'd suspect the reason the man was convicted is because this is probably tried as a "strict liability" offence, in that his intent is not a factor in his conviction. This is an indicator of why pandering to the kneejerk Daily Mail style sex offender obsession has led to some truly awful, awful legislation.
More worryingly, although it isn't mentioned in any of the reports I've seen, the accused has probably ended up on the sex offender's register, which is an effective life sentence.
The likelihood is that this poor man will be unable to successfully appeal his conviction because in this case, the law is indeed an ass. This CPS decision to prosecute arguably needs to be subject to judicial review.
Appalling abuse by the CPS here. Keir Starmer really needs to sort out his office.
New York Daily writes:
"Grimm, a Republican who is under investigation by the FBI for alleged campaign finance violations, claims he’s the victim of a Watergate-style break-in that targeted polling data and other information on his computers.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/teenager-arrested-vandalizing-congressman-michael-grimm-office-article-1.1168006#ixzz27k4aCoXe"
...so Grimm is under investigation by the FBI over his campaign finances, and one of his staffers somehow "inadvertently" overwrites the disks on his campaign HQ computers? Well gosh.
Not wishing to put 2+2 together and get 5, but when I do wonder how anybody could accidentally reformat and install Ubuntu on not one, but SEVERAL machines. Hmm....
Ok. I'm biting.
The fact that it is a small (undepowered?) cheap computer is precisely WHY it is notable for being built in the UK. UK plants can do big, powerful and expensive no problem at all (ask Roll Royce Aerospace or MacLaren) - they haven't been able to do small and cheap for some time.
And yet the final destination for any user input still has to be a hosted web site on a routable domain.
Thus, this technique achieves precisely NOTHING in its supposed aim of avoiding the need for a hosted component to the attack.
I think you rather missed the (aha) point here
" the method may include using a detector to record a series of images of an environment and detecting a predetermined motion by comparing two or more images in a series.”
This is NOT a description of an aid for the visually impaired as you imply, but a method for capturing gestural inputs without the need for dedicated surface against which to perform them. Kind of an optical mouse built into the finger.
Have I missed something?
A touch optimised OS on a device with no screen?
If an O2, GiffGaff, or Tesco users visits wap.o2.co.uk from a 3G network, they will be automatically logged into their account, and be able to see billing details, etc.
If looks to me that O2 are using a combination of the 'x-up-calling-line-id' and the incoming user IP to authenticate users into their accounts on the wap.o2.co.uk website.
I'm going to speculate here
... and guess that the user in question had accidentally locked his phone with a pin which he could not recall (or perhaps didn't properly understand), and therefore the only thing he could get it to do was to make an emergency call.
This being the case, it may well be that the user didn't fully appreciate that his phone was calling the emergency services. He may in fact have thought that the "Emergency Call" button on his lock screen was making a support call, and was perhaps too drunk to realise his mistake after the first couple of attempts.
This might not be as clear cut as it at first appears.
This is definitely the best article I have read on ElReg for some time. Maybe I'm just getting too used to using Twitter as my primary source of news.
So long and good luck
Thanks for the laughs and the put downs. ;)
Not Mr and Mrs Smith
They should have got suspicious when one of Little Bobby Tables' relatives booked in under his full name.
Information can't set someone free; it is inanimate
”He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future."
Orwell, amongst other political commentators, observed that the control of information allows the few to control the many. It is undeniable that freedom of communication (and therefore information) makes it increasingly difficult for a powerful individual or a state to filter that information in order to influence people.
Whilst a state can use the flow of information to profile its population, this isn't much use if a large proportion of your population is gaining access to precisely the kind of information which you dan't want them to have.
Ultimately, the increasing freedom of access to information, opinion and likeminded individuals will always be a force of good.
"Simply disable hot linking"
Umm... HOW exactly? Its pretty trivial to fake a referrer header.
No. What's needs is for the CND to verify the credentials of the user requesting the image and their rights to do so, by means of the facebook session token, porbably (as suggested above) a random one time session based hash.
Disabling hotlinking is so trivially easy to bypass; it would be futile.
sponsored by Volvo
I can't help but enjoy the irony of this article being sponsored by Volvo.
Was that deliberate, El Reg?
Matthew, Matthew, Matthew. The possibilities and applications for of HTML 5 have sailed right over you head haven't they?
This is about HTML5 APPLICATIONS - not static websites - lots of client side rich UI, local caching of data, local databases, etc, etc. Performance is quite important here, you see. It means you can do stuff like offline rich document editing, spreadsheets, databases, games.
Maybe "tech nerds" are the only ones who care about how the performance is delivered, but end users will appreciate the functionality that it brings with it.
This all makes UK.gov's response to the "stop using IE6" petition all the more embarrassing:
OK then. What about age discrimination?
How do you fancy paying as the same amount for your car insurance (minus no claims) as a 19 year old male?
As for the general priniciple of providing targetted services for different class / education / gender /ethnic / age groups based up statistical analysis of historical data... I'm starting to wonder why we're bothering with a national census AT ALL in this country if this kind of idea is fundamentally bad.
I walked into that one
Oh I just KNEW somebody would post something like that!
Do insurance companies package products based on ethnic background as well? (I don't think they do in car insurance, maybe they do in life insurance?)
That's very dodgy territory, as we that can have social implications beyond just that particular field, if we're actively researching statistics which categorise and subdivide areas of ethnicity by behaviour and life expectancy, etc. That all starts to sound a bit morally questionable.
But I can't see what benefit is to be had from refusing to acknowledge established statistical patterns WRT gender. This seems like pure and simple denial, which just isn't healthy for any society.
Am I missing something?
this sounds like stupidest ruling in the history of stupid rulings.
Insurance companies have determined that statistically speaking, men are more likely to crash cars and cause damage / injury than women, and that women are statistically likely to live longer. However, they are not allowed to offer products which are tailored to the peculiarities of those groups of people. Instead, they must deny completely that any such differences exist.
In other words, the court is asking insurance companies to behave as if black == white and 2+2=5?
Well, I can see how this will be of HUGE benefit to society...
So the conclusion of this research seems to be that all smartphones suffer from signal loss problems when held in the wrong way.
I seem to remember Apple posting this exact same conclusion last year, with demonstrations on a number of phones...
Not sure how you've managed to spin this story into a criticism of Apple antenna design, given that it reaches exactly the same conclusion that they did.
Restraint of Trade
I woud have thought this Apple subs T&C's requirement for prices on the App store be the same as elsewhere is a clear cut and dried case of price fixing and restraint of trade?
I for one defend their right to charge as much of a percentage as they like. Whatever they think they can get away with: that's how free market economics works. But attempting to fix the supplier price and eliminating price competition? That's not how it works.
I am confident that Apple will have to remove at least the pricing restriction, if not the in-app linking to external web based marketplaces restriction. They really must be on an extremely dodgy legal footing here.
Before I get pelted with abuse. I am very much locked into Apple's world at the moment. I have a double digit number of Macs and iThingys... but this recent development is making me wonder whether Apple has finally jumped the shark this time, and I'm actively researching alternatives.
Or indeed this
In this video, and the one previously posted, the guitars actually sound rather good amped up.
And witg that, m'lud, I rest my case.
well, sort of....
The most important factor in the sonic qualities of a solid body electric guitar is the rigidity and resonance (or lack thereof) of the whole. In fact, a more dense and rigid, less resonant guitar will tend to have more sustain because of the knock on effect of not absorbing too much of the string's energy, and not trasnmitting any of the vibration to the pickups, where such vibration would compromise the electromagnetic process of picking up the strings note.
This is why carbon fibre, through neck guitars such as the tiny cricket bat shaped Steinberger guitars tend to sound closer to a big chunky Les Paul, for example. And why big body semis actually have quite a boxy, reedy sound by comparison.
If the construction techniques and rigidity of the materials in this guitar are suitable, the actual size and shape of the thing doesn't mean a damn.
I for one am more than a litle curious.
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
- Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
- Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
- AMD demos 'Berlin' Opteron, world's first heterogeneous system architecture server chip