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* Posts by Michael Nidd

27 posts • joined 7 Jul 2008

Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Michael Nidd

@dan1980

... take this e-mail as symbolic of the 99 other up-votes I would like to give this comment.

With a little effort, generating those 99 other up-votes would usefully demonstrate the value of electronic voting.

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Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20

Michael Nidd

Re: Mosaic

The main innovation over mosaic (that I remember) was that Netscape could display the text without waiting for all of the graphics to load. That made it massively more responsive. It seems like a simple idea (multiple simultaneous sockets and revise the layout as new objects are received) but that's why most people I know switched to Netscape. The main complaint was the unilateral extensions to HTML.

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Etsy security rule #1: Don't be a jerk to devs

Michael Nidd

Re: Bribe developers with tee-shorts

From the first time someone drives a golf ball off the tee that's built into the shorts, their motivational power will be crystal clear.

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Michael Nidd

Re: Prediction

That's where he's sacrificed speed for a genuine improvement on the programming approach. If you run a verified implementation of the algorithm, the output is disappointingly predictable; if you do it manually, the output becomes truly unpredictable. WIN!

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Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

Michael Nidd

Maybe the quotes need more context

I'm not sure I understand the various quotes about the FCC wanting to control the internet to benefit a few well-connected corporations. The argument sounds like it's in favour of preserving equal access by avoiding laws that require net neutrality.

Why aren't any of those right-wing individuals you quoted making the more standard argument: the person who owns the network hardware can decide how it is used, and if the customers don't like it they can go with a competitor? I know that assumes fair competition exists, and there are lots of arguments against it, but at least it makes some sort of sense.

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Michael Nidd

Pre-filter

I know it's not strictly polite to pre-filter survey results, but what would they look like if you threw out every set that had a wrong answer for "software?" Any of the 11% who thought it was comfy clothing have a long way to go before it makes any difference whether they know what USB and motherboard mean.

Alternatively, that 11% might also be the people who know a silly survey when they see one, and were really just going for the most entertaining answer each time. I wouldn't blame them, but their results should still be dropped.

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KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

Michael Nidd

Re: Where's the story?

Passwords should never be stored in plaintext anywhere. Not on a laptop with disk encryption, not on a server in a locked room behind two firewalls, not anywhere. It's not a question of how the list is protected; it just shouldn't exist.

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Google 'fesses up: Yup, we're KILLING OFF IE9 support for Gmail, Apps

Michael Nidd

OS upgrade easier than browser change?

"IE10 does not work with Widows Vista, so holdouts will need to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1."

Or they could just install Firefox or Chrome.

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RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Michael Nidd

Old Idea

Integrating a keyboard into the travel cover was shipped by IBM in 1984:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Portable_Personal_Computer

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Michael Nidd

Re: Informing of costs?

Suppose he did tell them immediately upon answering the phone that this call will cost 10p per minute, do you think they listen to anything you say during the first thirty seconds of one of those calls?

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Facebook's request to the flash industry: 'Make the worst flash possible'

Michael Nidd

@RedneckMother

"sorry, but I STILL miss Gilda Ratner."

Radner. Me too.

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Young blokes blinded by video-game addiction: THE FACTS

Michael Nidd
WTF?

Cause and effect?

"Appelbaum claimed that over time, gamers' ability to process visual stimuli becomes better and better."

Or people with good ability to process visual stimuli are better at video games, and people who are crap at video games tend to find other things to do. Without a "before" version of this study, it doesn't really say much, does it?

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We're not making this up: Apple trademarks the SHOP

Michael Nidd

Re: Prior art ?

> So, may or may not warrant a trademark, but what they're doing is definitely better than what everyone else is.

Actually, that would kill it. Something that gives a functional advantage cannot be trademarked. Patents are for useful innovations; trademarks are to distinguish something in the mind of customers. That's why the Coke bottle shape is a trademark, but an electric razor with three rotating heads is not (any more).

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NSW Information Commissioner sends email to wrong list

Michael Nidd
Stop

Re: Eh?

The mail was sent to undisclosed recipients. It seems unlikely that there was confidential content in an e-mail to their practitioners network, so I think the effort "to have the data retrieved and destroyed" is referring the list of recipients itself, and the only cleanup required (except the apology for a bit of time wasted) is the department that received the wrong list needs to erase their copy. It was a little mistake with no leaked personal information.

Is there an icon for "Move along. Nothing to see here." ?

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Files aren’t property, says US government

Michael Nidd

@Badvok

... when you stop paying for the storage, anything you leave in there can be disposed of by the storage company

I think this case is more like you paid for self-storage, and the self-storage company was closed down by the police for illegal activity involving some of the lockers. In those circumstances, the legitimate customers would expect to be able to collect their stuff.

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US climate-change skeptics LOSING SUPPORT

Michael Nidd
Unhappy

Who made those graphs?

The points are spaced 14, 5, 11, 6, 4, and 6 months apart, but plotted at regular intervals.

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Theresa May gets a smile out of Gary McKinnon at last

Michael Nidd
Facepalm

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

> There are countries inside the US?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

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Austrian village considers a F**king name change

Michael Nidd
Childcatcher

Re: So, er, what about selling the signs?

It's not political correctness. They aren't worried about offending anyone; it's the people who aren't offended but find it funny that are causing the problem.

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NASA halts 'naut flogging Apollo 13 notebook

Michael Nidd

I don't think this is about intellectual property. If he wants to sell photocopies or scanned images of the book, he's probably OK. From what I can see, the conflict is about the physical book. The statement refers to "items from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs." Who would get licensing royalties if images of the book are reprinted might be round two of the discussion.

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New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Michael Nidd
WTF?

I understand that one stick doesn't move when the other does, like in a Boeing, so they don't feel the actions of the other pilot; but why isn't there some sort of alarm when both are being moved at the same time, so they at least know about the conflict?

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Hideous orchid that just wants a one-night stand found

Michael Nidd
Thumb Up

One step closer

And the research behind building a genuine Terry Pratchett flower clock continues.

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Details of all internet traffic should be logged – MEP

Michael Nidd
Facepalm

Inexpensive?

Ok, let's pretend the solution is technically possible across all potential end systems, and fantasize that the privacy aspect can somehow be handled securely.

Does Tiziano Motti have a disk drive or tape manufacturing company based in his home town? Never mind explaining how the key can be stored by the user; who's storing all that traffic detail, on what, and who bought all that equipment? It might be inexpensive to operate (it wouldn't be really, but theoretically it could be), but what about to buy and install?

If the system were just going to store hashes, then I expect the sites they are worried about would install something to regularly modify their content enough to change the hash values. Somebody will need a permanent record of what the content actually looked like at the time of the download, so he's not just going to back up the internet, he's going to retain regular backup snapshots for months. Or did I miss a detail?

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Crap alchemist jailed for poo-into-gold experiment

Michael Nidd

As someone else once said

This research fills a much-needed gap in the literature.

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Oz Territory terrorized by MUTANT CANE TOADS!

Michael Nidd
Big Brother

Many-toed toads in literature

The article goes out of its way for puns, which is great, but I don't get the "Orwellian twist." I could understand William S. Burroughs, but how would a pent-a-toad fit into "Animal Farm?"

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Southampton Uni shows way to a truly open web

Michael Nidd

Literal content is important

Not just sure that it hasn't been altered, but also confident that all the people who read it have seen the same thing. If you are sending an invoice in Euros, you don't want to find out that one reader had his viewer configured to automatically convert that to Yen at the current exchange rate, because your quote is for Euros. I know that sort of configuration would count as a bug, but it's a lot less likely when you send a PDF. For some things, what you actually said is more important than what you meant, and fewer filters/conversions is better.

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Peruvian football team has really bad day

Michael Nidd

The robbers

How did the robbers fare? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Google's spycar revs up UK privacy fears

Michael Nidd

Prescribe v. Proscribe

I think people might be misreading a comment. To claim the laws are too "prescriptive" suggests that they try to handle privacy with a collection of very specific conditions, and should be amended to be more generally applicable (and therefore more useful as the underlying specifics evolve.)

To say that a category of laws should be less prescriptive does not mean that they should be "relaxed," but rather that they should convey their intent with minimal reference to the current technologies to which they are seen to apply.

Prescribe: to lay down a rule

Proscribe: to condemn or forbid as harmful

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