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* Posts by The Mole

158 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

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Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch

The Mole

Re: I don't get the moaning

The moaning is simple. A patant should be for something novel and non-obvious to someone skilled in the art. Companies should only apply for patents if they believe this is true and the patent office should only grant patents if they believe this is true.

Unfortunately what the patent office thinks is novel and non-obvious appears to differ wildly from those who consider themselves skilled in the subject matter at hand. The moaning comes from observing companies appearing to take advantage of the discrepancy and with the money to be able to afford to do so.

Pebble (for instance) probably wouldn't have spent vital start up money patenting something that isn't novel or non-obvious - putting more advanced electronics into smaller form factors and talking to your wrist is something talked about in both fiction and non-fiction for decades.

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

The Mole

Re: Price isn't based on cost

But supply should be based on cost, and if there is a large differential between cost and price then supply should go up, driving down cost until they balance out.

Unfortunately we don't have a pure market and it is artificially distorted - one of the most significant being the restrictions on 'grey market' imports.

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Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

The Mole

As a cable company with a paid for license does that mean they get the rights to start 'regionalized' adverts into their broadcasts (which previously they couldn't do as they would have been infringing the copyright)? If so they may actually be able to recoup at least some of the costs from the advertising

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Vid shows how to easily hack 'anti-spy' webmail (sorry, ProtonMail)

The Mole

Being too generous

I think El Reg is being way too generous on protonmail. How and where the email is composed and encrypted is irrelevant. The web based client shouldn't be trusting what is sent to it and should have been written from the ground up to be secure against malicious input.

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Lords try shoehorning law against REVENGE SMUT into justice bill

The Mole

Re: Stick

And as a counter post I'd point out Paul Chambers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_Joke_Trial) who got convicted of sending menacing emails for a joke on twitter. It was eventually overturned on the THIRD appeal but it is cases like that why the majority of the El Reg readership wants laws that don't require sensible people to selectively enforce them.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

The Mole

Re: What about those black-box locator pings?

News just in: things don't always perform to specification.

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

The Mole

But how long? Building a wall the same height as the comcast tower may be simple if it is also the same width as the comcast tower, start building a wall multiple miles long and I'm sure complexities start to happen (roads, wildlife and existing buildings for a start).

The maths on a "mere" $160 million per mill also don't stack up particularly well, just 10 miles is 1.6 billion, three 33.3 mile stretches are 16 billion, (see comparison to costs of tornadoes here http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/damage$.htm).

Perhaps if they built more houses out of bricks not sticks then the hurricanes wouldn't blow them all down? This is likely to be far far cheaper and have many health and other positive benefits to the poor in those areas as well!

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Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

The Mole

What adwords

The interesting question is what adwords are shown alongside the results on google.com. If they are adwords were sold by a European based division of Google then the EU will probably conclude that the results on the google page are still in the remit of the EU (as per the original judgement). If they are not then whether google.com has to be impacted is more difficult to call - though the Canadians have ruled that the answer is yes (probably fairly given how much geolocation adjustments google do).

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

The Mole

To me the issue isn't that the Yo app was created (the inventor obviously has a far better understanding of the market than me to predict that such a simple and limited app can be sufficiently valued for people to download and use. And I don't disagree that there is some level of value there for some people individually - though very limited value to society as a whole.

The issue is that some venture capitalists believe that value can be realised into tangible hard currency..That they believe that that inspiration and 8 hours work is worth investing $1 million dollars and that somehow they expect significant returns to justify that gamble. Perhaps the inventor is really a genius as I (and most reg comentards) fail to see a business model which could possibly come close to doing that (given the barriers to entry is 8 hours work if not less). The company is therefore perceived as being blatantly over valued in a dot com 2.0 bubble. That million dollars is likely to be spent on operations such as marketing which add little value.

Captial is finite, there is an opportunity cost of that million dollars being invested in company A rather than company B. Both may produce value but in a rational market if company A produced less long term value than company B then company B should get the money not A. The professors argument would seem to be that there are far better businesses that have the potential to provide far more value not only to the end users, investors but also externalities benefiting society as a whole.

At some point this dot com bubble will burst (valuations are clearly excessive compared to projected income and a business plan of make big losses and then be brought at an overinflated price isn't sustainable). When the bubble bursts investors will loose money meaning they can't invest in other stuff, or get hesitant and invest in 'less risky' markets. In both cases firms producing products with real tangible long term value are also going to suffer and fail to get the necessary investment to bring that value to fruition.

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Coulson GUILTY of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006

The Mole

Re: Brooks is FOUND innocent

"Brooks has not been found innocent. She IS innocent. It sticks in my craw to say it, especially after the witch hunts against innocent people that occured under her watch. But the principle must stand that it is the job of the prosecution to prove guilt, rather than the defence to prove innocence. Hence innocent unless proven guilty."

She has been found NOT GUILTY (beyond reasonable doubt) and therefore must be presumed innocent. Whether she is truly innocent or not we can't say; not if they want to avoid a libel suit anyway but interestingly if that happened I believe they would only have to prove that she was guilty on the balance of probabilities not beyond reasonable doubt.

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Snowden defends mega spy blab: 'Public affairs have to be known by the public'

The Mole

Re: Snowden is neither a whistleblower or hero

"Snowden revealed what most people believed anyway so he wasn't a whistleblower. A whistleblower discloses what you don't know and cannot guess for example that the tobacco industry knew in the 50s that cigarettes killed people."

Interesting definition, but I'm clueless as where you got it from.

"A person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity." (Oxford English Dictionary:)

"a person who tells police, reporters, etc., about something (such as a crime) that has been kept secret" (Merriam Webster)

"a person who informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing." (dictionary.com)

In none of these definitions does it come close to adding criteria that it is something that you "cannot guess". Suspecting what the NSA/CIA/GCHQ were up to is meaningless, I can guess at lots of things they were doing, some of them would have been right, some of them wrong, what Snowdon provided was whistle-blowing evidence as to which of the guesses were on the mark. Before the relevations most guesses would just have been dismissed as conspiracy theories and couldn't have been printed seriously in reputable sources such as newspapers or academic papers (editors like a level of proof).

As for your other comments, I'd need a whistle-blower to confirm it but I'd assume both China and Russia already knew all the details of what the US and UK were up to, they have decent intelligence agencies after all doing much of the same stuff (probably even more in reality) I doubt anything that Snowden revealed is news to them. The only people who didn't know is the public who payed for it and are violated by it. It would be fantastic if we got visibility of what the other countries are also doing but lack of that visibility shouldn't mean that we don't know about what our own governments are doing.

As to damaging the national security, I agree the national security has been damaged, the people who allowed such broad unrestricted spying, particularly the reciprocal relationships designed purely to get round the letter of the law should be brought to justice for breaking those laws, not the person who reveals the wrong doing.

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If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

The Mole

Flawed article

The premise "Google is violating this right to be forgotten in order to remember who it has been asked to forget" is overlooking the fact that this isn't about the right to be forgotten. The judgement was made under the data protection direction that a person has a right to have accurate and up to date information being processed about them. They are therefore allowed to store the fact that a person has requested to be removed (it's essential to process the request and it is valid data anyway).

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

The Mole

Bubble.

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FBI arrests claims NullCrew hacker in Tennessee takedown

The Mole

But are they going to prosecute those hackers in the NSA/CIA/GCHQ who steal (sorry 'lawfully' intercept) private business and personal information?

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

The Mole

Any scientist who knows that they are only working with (competing) theories and not proofs would use the words "I believe" as a shorthand of saying "Based on the evidence I have observed, the analysis and reports of experiments that other scientists have reported and that I have read, my judgement on the quality of those scientists, experiments and analysis, and my own mental ability the conclusions I personally have tentatively reached as to the implications and meaning of that works is the following.."

Science is made up of beliefs, good science is when scientists will change their beliefs when new data arrives. Bad science is when scientists through pride, funding concerns, vested interests, snobbery or group think refuse to change their beliefs in the face of new evidence.

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Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

The Mole

Capitalism 101 assumes a perfect market place with perfect knowledge. Whilst you are right to a degree on the power that independents have on the supply side you are forgetting that Youtube has large control of the demand side - the large proportion of people who use Youtube to browse and view music they know of and then stumble across music they don't. The music they know will predominantly be from the major labels and music they don't know is the music they won't stumble across so won't know they are missing out on so won't go looking on other music services*.

Don't forget the major labels may only be 20% of the workforce but a much larger proportion of the market viewings.

* some will of course, but the majority won't

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Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

The Mole

Next case

Looks like his next case should be a libel case against the DMA then? If the judge had thrown the case out they probably could get away with claiming that, but given a judge has already rules his case has merit I think they'd struggle to justify calling him a troll.

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Women found just TWO out of every HUNDRED US tech startups

The Mole

"Aidis points to educational efforts to encourage female students to take an interest in and pursue STEM fields as having the potential to change the business climate and change the business climate and make the startup space more viable for women."

The whole article talks about the fact there are less woman managing startups, it just gives the numbers providing no evidence of why there may be such a disparity, then at the end implies that it is the business environment which is the reason (somehow it is unviable). Even the quote saying this seems to give the reason that (rightly or wrongly) woman aren't generally as interested in STEM fields or potentially the risky endeavor of starting a startup.

Perhaps their are valid reasons - maybe banks/investors are less likely to lend to female entrepreneurs? Or perhaps it is just that woman and men don't always (on average) want the same things?

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

The Mole

Re: @ Rustident Spaceniak

> Raise taxes on the very rich and spend them on what? Well, if the whole point of the exercise is to reduce wealth inequality, then it would surely be politically toxic to spend them on anything other than wealth redistribution. So the result of that is to give more welfare to the people who, as you say, are essentially dependent on welfare. If their dependence on welfare is the problem, how does that solve it?

Training for the unemployed? Childcare vouchers for those in work. Tax breaks for low income earners. Low skill labour intensive projects that guarantee anybody who wants to work can get a job in a location they can get to.

These are just some ways (some better than others) that wealth distribution can be done whilst meaning people aren't percieved as scrounging on welfare, and hopefully give them the ability to gain skills and experience to get better jobs and require less welfare in the long run. The big challenges is structuring things in a way so that it is financially worthwhile to transition from being on welfare to just being off welfare - at the moment arbitary transition points means earning more can result in less takehome pay.

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The Mole

Re: Politics of Envy

> In 1997 the top 1% of earners contributed 20% of all income tax received by the treasury. In 2007 it was 24.4% and now it is 29.8. Tax loopholes are getting harder to exploit, not easier.

If the disparity between the top 1% earners and the median earners is going up significantly then the proportion of the total earnings that those top 1% make would also go up wouldn't it? Which means the amount they contribute goes up even if they are paying a smaller percentage of their individual earnings. This would be the case if the graph of earnings was more of an exponential curve going up steeply as you get to the top 1%, rather than a straight line even distribution.

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Google: Grab our TOOL if you want your search query quashed

The Mole

Public interest

The decision clearly makes is clear there is a valid public interest defense, hence google saying

"as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information - for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials."

Ultimately Google have the right to refuse to comply to the nicely committed request in the form for whatever reason they wish, the requester can then take them to court to get a judge to decide what is in the public interest. Of course that relies on the human (?) at google realizing that their might be a public interest and caring enough to reject the request - it would be interesting to see whether this happens or not in reality.

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MH370 'pings' dismissed as false positives

The Mole

Re: Surprise!!!

That has (probably) already been found: http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Overview/AEhypothesis.html

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

The Mole

Re: Platoooooo0n - HALT!

This is a prototype not an end product..

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The Mole

Re: Platoooooo0n - HALT!

Taxis are expensive, especially wheelchair equipped taxis, require planning to use, have limited flexibility (how long will your shop take), and require depending upon a total stranger (will they actually turn up and pick you up at the requested time?). Having their own pod available when they need will greatly improve the lives of many disabled people.

If they are calling a pod rather than owning it then some of those arguments go, but again the reliability is likely to be greater and the psychological view of it different as well.

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The Mole

FUD

This is probably one of the worst pieces of FUD I've ever seen on The Register.

Most of the arguments boil down to saying the technology isn't fully developed and if someone does something stupid/doesn't think things through properly then it will do stupid stuff. The suggestion that Google doesn't have highway simulators and traffic experts is farcical.

You could argue that the cars will probably be travelling at the fastest speed that is safe in the given road conditions - I much more trust the sensors and reaction times of the car than human drivers. Given this if any cars are coming up faster behind them it could be considered a good thing for safety that they are forced to slow down.

The traffic light logic is also dubious - assuming cars get through at a constant rate is nonsense - most human drivers take in the region of up to a second (or more) to realise that the lights have changed and to start accelerating so it an (initial) enforced 1 second delay to make sure the junction is clear is unlikely to be anywhere near as significant as portrayed - and in time it may get reduced/adjusted anyway.

I agree that driverless cars doesn't automatically mean less traffic on the roads (and may mean more). Traffic isn't the same as congestion though. Most congestion is caused by bad driving such as sharp breaking causing ripple effects, and/or inefficient changing of lanes/merging traffic etc. If the majority/all vehicles were driverless and the technology sufficiently advanced then this type of congestion would be significantly reduced.

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Rich bitch sorority girls actually more likely to put out than low-class 'sluts': Study

The Mole

Re: Misogynist bilge from the Reg

The article is about rich woman who go about calling other woman sluts. Bitch seems a more than appropriate colloquialism to describe a woman who bullies and slags off other woman (just because they are perceived by that woman as being lower class and inferior) and is actually being more than hypocritical when doing so.

The Register isn't saying all rich woman are bitches, just that scientific (ok sociological) research has identified a class of them who are malicious hypocritical bitches.

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SpaceX billionaire claims Air Force official 'likely' made job-for-spy-sat-contract deal

The Mole

Re: great, back to the "same old same old"

"Innovate until the competition has not choice" only works if it is a competition. If the game is being rigged through bribes or law breaking then the choices are either to do your own bribery and law breaking, or attempt to expose the suspected bribery and law breaking to get back to a more even field where your innovation can beat the competitions innovation. I'm glad Musk appears to be trying to get the laws stuck too - even if the exposure is self serving.

I'm still confused as to how a letter from a government department saying we don't want to consider something as illegal is enough to get a judge to overturn a decision, surely the judge should judge based on the letter of the law whether it is legal (which presumably is what they did the first time?)

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Microsoft boffins: Now even LAWYERS can grok Bing code's privacy compliance

The Mole

Re: no wonder bing sucks

Even if we give the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are refering to 20% of the components (dll/jar/whatever) changing rather than individual lines of code I still can't imagine what thousands of programmers could actually be doing on Bing. If there really were that many programmers working on it it would either be absolutely amazing and feature rich, or perhaps a complete and utter failing mess as no one could have an overview or architectural view of what was happening on it.

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Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

The Mole

Yes.The audio identification service facebook are using may also be given access to it as well.

And what makes you think it hasn't been seen by anybody else before? It may not have been broadcast before (hence it being a premier) but its fairly normal for reviewers to be given pre-screening, as well as rating bodies, internal company executives, quality checkers, advertising placers (to ensure all the legal requirements of advert placement are met etc) etc. It isn't a live event so the audio is available for weeks or months before.

It will be in the programme producers and broadcasters interest to provide this to facebook as mentions on facebook are likely to encourage friends to remember it is on and tune in/watch the catchup, and is good evidence as to the value of advertising slots. In fact unlike most of the current marketing ideas (getting 'Likes' etc) there may actually be a small amount of benefit to them.

Of course a big flaw of it is the assumption that the person on facebook in the room is the person watching the TV, I can imagine that 'Peppa Pig' and other childrens programmes may get mentioned as much as real views.

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Chip and SKIM: How dodgy crypto can leave shoppers open to fraud

The Mole

I don't know why the Register article reported this in the context of just ATMs but reading the original post this appears to be a vulnerability of any Chip and Pin authenticated transaction.

Acquiring access to a remote chip and pin terminal in a restaurant, modifying it and intercepting the communication back to base is not likely to be beyond the means of many criminal gangs and frausters.

As for Mr Ross Anderson reading his blogs I believe his big problems is the fact that banks will routinely lie to customers and claim that chip and pin is infallible (and therefore it is up to the customer to prove that its not their fault) even though there is concrete proof that there are ways to defeat it and therefore the onus should be on the bank to prove that the customer is lying.

if the banks admitted that it isn't perfectly secure and took on the costs of refunding customers when the security is breached then that would be acceptable. At the moment they claim it is secure when they know it isn't, then pass on the costs to the customer who has been defrauded. Because the costs are being externalized to the customer the bank then don't have any benefit to improving the system - until research like this allows their statements to be challenged in court as effectively being fraudulent.

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Adobe blames 'maintenance failure' for 27-hour outage

The Mole

Re: On the other hand...

I don't have it so can't say for sure but I'd assume it would depend on how the service failed as to whether people were impacted.

Presumably the software attempts to connect every time it is started (to ensure you are always at the start of your 7 days no internet period). If it manages to connect to the authorization server but that server is sending a authorization denied for everybody then that would stop everybody from working. I'd further assume even if you then disconnect your network cable the software would have remembered that your last attempt was denied and still not let you log in.

You are probably right if it was unable to phone home for the entire period (or if the authorization server was actually non-responsive) it would have kept working, but for most people it would have been phoning home.and based on the outcry I assume it was returning a not authorized response.

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Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

The Mole

Re: The problem is

My understanding of the judgement is that serving a page found by date in that newspaper article wouldn't count as processing the data on that page, you are merely presenting it. Providing search functionality to search for someones name in that newspaper archive would count as processing personal information and so come under the DPA.

If the newspaper archive were served with the request presumably to comply with it they would have to show the search engine no longer processes/indexes the personal information (the text in the search index has the persons name redacted) but could still display the archive record as long as it wasn't found through processing that persons information.

Whether this makes sense and is the correct balance I'm not sure. Whether lower courts will interpret this that way also is in debate.

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Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

The Mole

Why do they need permission?

My understanding of how ground stations work is that they are basically a fixed antennas, super accurate gps receiver and most importantly precise knowledge of where you really are. With some maths you work out the error between where you really are and where the satellites say you are. This allows you to provide corrections based on errors introduced by atmospheric conditions, wobbles in the earths rotation and the sats orbit etc.

Unless the ground stations are actually broadcasting on radio what permission does the US need to provide? Can't the Russians just subcontract this out to any comms tower operator and/or shove it on the roofs of their embassies?

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Scientists warn of FOUR-FOOT sea level rise from GLACIER melt

The Mole

Re: Hard to cope with?

I don't believe I said that Bangladeshis "just need to deal with it". What I said is that the world can easily deal with it (particularly if we put resources into mitigating the problems rather than wasting it on pointless counterproductive subsidies). However even the people of Bangladesh (with all its poverty) are in many ways less impoverished compared to the people 1000 years ago when dykes were first being constructed. They are significantly better able to cope, have access to better technology, skills and knowledge and could mitigate much of the problems at a local level if necessary even if the world fails to act (which realistically may be the case until after a few disasters). The high population density actually provides a benefit with regards to manpower per km of coastline.

More importantly we are currently spending billions on ineffectual methods to stop climate change which have a negative impact on world GDP (I accept some of the millions spent will be on useful programs as well). If we spent the next 50 years investing that money in impoverished nations instead the net benefits would almost certainly be vastly greater and we'd (and more importantly Bangladesh) would be in a far better position to cope with the changes in the climate (man made or not).

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The Mole

Hard to cope with?

So a massive 4 feet over 2 centuries is considered hard to cope with?

The biggest problem with the whole climate change debate is people over-hyping the severity.

In 200 years of a gradually changing average sea levels I'm sure any nation, or even local community could easily cope with this change. There will probably be some localized flooding from winter storms etc but we would had the technology to handle things like this for over 1000 years (The Westfriese Omringdijk Dyke was finished in 1250AD). So if medieval men with shovels could manage it I really doubt it will cause any long term problems with modern technology (let alone what will be developed in the next 200 years).

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Don't let hackers know Mandiant founder checks his email on an iPad. Oh.

The Mole

Re: Just wondering ...

For all we know the compromised server was storing the credit card numbers on an encrypted hard drive or encrypted database store. However if the data was extracted whilst the system was running this provides little protection against getting the unencypted view of that data. Afterall if the application needs access to the credit card numbers to function then encryption is only a minor hurdle - if the app has the key can decrypt them then so can attackers.

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SCOTUS asked to overturn patent-troll's charter

The Mole

Re: I thought

Agreed, not least because SCOTUS is rather cryptic as to what it stands for particularly when the abbreviation isn't actually defined or the words used in that order!

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Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

The Mole

Re: you may not starve as much as you think @Neil Barnes

But remember a portion of potatoes weighs far more than a portion of dry rice so comparing them gram to gram really isn't a good way to do it. (Which is why the IAMS cat food adverts really annoy me - of course gram for gram dry food is better, you aren't weighing the water or feeding the same weight in food).

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Amazon veep: We tweak our cloud code every 16 seconds – and you?

The Mole

It's also not clear if that means they are producing new builds every 16 seconds, or just that because they have so many servers deploying the latest build means every 16 seconds a new server is updated from the previous version.

Of course there is also a fact that Amazon doesn't have 'a software' it is a very large infrastructure of probably hundreds of different applications and components developed by thousands of engineers. Each component probably has its own independent cycles, if there were 200 components that would mean each one is deployed every 2 days or so. With continuous deployment and lots of resources for automation testing that is not quite such a fast rate - though still pretty scary in terms of reproducibility of issues.

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LulzSec's Sabu hacked foreign gov sites while under FBI control – NYT

The Mole

Re: So what?

Yes the FBI encouraging people and giving support to people to commit a crime is morally wrong if the drug smugglers are currently only 'wanna-be' not actual criminals - if the FBI didn't give them advice in your scenario would those people ever actually break the law?

More importantly in this case the FBI are knowingly and deliberately acquiring and analysing information that has been obtained illegally, that again is morally, and probably legally wrong

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Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN

The Mole

Re: how much time did you give them to put their house in order?

Bank's really aren't much better. I recently had to call various of my banks for travelling but had forgotten half my password information but that wasn't a question as long as I answered a set of security questions, all of which could easily be answered by anybody who had got possession of my wallet (containing cards+drivers license), a couple of the slightly 'better' ones would also have required them to have stolen my Wife's purse at the same time. Given that often both wallets will be together (possibly in the same handbag) this really the sort of security to be comparing to.

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IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels

The Mole

Sunken Gardens

Look like you missed out on your tour the Sunken Gardens with it's fish pond contaiing massive Koi Carp and beautiful surroundings - a place of tranquility few offices can provide.

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Belkin patches WeMo bug

The Mole

Re: Home Automation - Security

You'll probably find on the web precise instructions of where to drill to disable the deadlock and/or how to pick the lock - potentially with little but a few scratch marks to detect someone has done it. You'll probably also find how easy it is to remove the glass from many type of double glazing units from the outside, and other ways for people to get into your house.

Just because you don't think about your deadlock doesn't mean it is inherently secure. That said home security does have the advantage that somebody actually has to be physically there to be breaking in which greatly increases the risk to them - which is the real deterrent not the actual lock.

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California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

The Mole

Re: Article appears to be misleading

The part you have quoted is only about disabling the technology ("The rightful owner of an advanced mobile communications device may affirmatively elect to disable the technological solution after sale")

Ergo your ergo is bogus and you haven't proved your point at all.

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Yahoo! Mail! users! change! your! passwords! NOW!

The Mole

Re: the change password dialogue

Hover over the cog on the right hand side | Settings | Change Password.

Just make sure you type it right - for some reason they don't make your confirm what you typed (though do let you show everybody your password if you want.

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Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

The Mole

Teachers actually find the erasable green biro's very useful - it looks very bad when you've written in the wrong child's book and many school mandate that they have to write in green! (Pencil is too hard to distinguish from what the kid has written, and apparently red may harm the child's self confidence or something! But I agree for the general person a pencil is sufficient - if they are actually writing anything by hand anymore.

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Security 101 fail: 3G/4G modems expose control panels to hackers

The Mole

The web browsers are partly to blame here as well. At least one of my desktop browsers (Opera I think) displays a warning if an external web page attempts to redirect you to an internal IP address. If they all did this (and for ajax calls as well of course) then this would at least make this type of attack harder to pull off purely with remote code. Of course this doesn't remove the responsibility of the device designers to actually think and prevent this type of attack as well.

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Murdoch's BSkyB stares down Microsoft: Redmond renames SkyDrive to OneDrive

The Mole

I'm not sure what the Americans have to do with it given that the legal case was all in the UK, it was up to Microsoft whether they just re-branded in the UK or worldwide (or indeed just remove the service from sale in the UK).

Given 'Sky' is the trading name of BSkyB and is the way all there advertising and customers refers to there TV service, Sky Broadband' is the name of the ISP service, and 'Sky Go' is the name for there web TV service, it is understandable that people would assume 'Sky Drive' would be the name of their online storage solution and doesn't seem dense at all. I imagine that 90% of the customers would take a while to remember that BSkyB is the actually company name.

As to your question regarding DirectTV, my guess is they don't own trademarks relating to general PC software, the markets aren't the same so any confusion doesn't matter and most importantly the general name people know DirectTV as is DirectTV and not 'Direct', BSkyB on the other hand has trademarks in providing Web based services, could sensibly launch an online storage solution (and may well in the future if they want to allow people to watch their recordings anywhere) and most importantly are generally known as 'Sky' by the general public.

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Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

The Mole

Generally in UK law the last bill passed takes precedence and implicitly amends the previous bill - the basic principle is that parliament can't be bound by decisions of past parliaments.

There's a couple of exceptions such as the Human Rights Act which explicitly has wording in that says it can't be implicitly amended instead parliament have to explicitly state that they are amending it in the later passed legislation (which they can do - although that may then be violating treaty obligations which could cause other political but not actually legal issues).

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The Mole

Regardless of the morality or ethicity of the law, a barrister (as this is the UK) doesn't have any (strong) grounds to contest the law as it has been passed into law by both houses of parliament including a declaration from the home secretary stating that it complies with the human right act.

There's always the option of going to the European Courts of Justice to get them to declare that actually it doesn't comply with the human rights act but that will take more than 4 months and a convicted terrorist probably isn't the best poster child for that campaign

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