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* Posts by Paul 87

91 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

Paul 87

Given the preference for the use of a mobile phone or similar as a cheap remote detonation device, this thing will only guarentee to get your baggage seached at every single search

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Google's Nest halts sales of its fire alarm – because waving your hand switches it off

Paul 87

What I'd like manufacturers to understand is that we don't want all these devices to have automatic updates, what we want is form them to have been programmed correctly in the first place!

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Comprehensive security in the home

Paul 87

Maybe it's worth considering a combination solution? For Windows PC's, Microsoft Security Essentials plus regular scans from Malwarebytes will usually put paid to the most common threats, and for the phones there are several options available.

In combination with this, a secure router (e.g. http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-secure-wireless-router.htm) offers additional protection for the devices at home.

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Two million TERRIBLE PASSWORDS stolen by malware attackers

Paul 87

All I can say is this...

http://xkcd.com/936/

Randomness != secure

Length and non-biometric information is far more secure in the long run, and easier to remember

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Twitter fires up stronger, anti-snooping encryption for its millions of twits

Paul 87
Joke

Additional security on a service designed to publically broadcast information, that's paid for by said company reading the information sent to it and selling "appropriate" advertising alongside it.

You might as well send everything in plaintext!

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Oh please, PLEASE bring back Xbox One's hated DRM - say Xbox loyalists

Paul 87

I agree with part of the petition's sentiment, allow console owners the same market that Steam provides, with both the direct delivery and deep discounts that digital distribution allow, at the expense of not having a physical disc to trade or sell on.

The major flaw was that this was seen as mutually exclusive, so they could only support one or the other and not both. I suspect that many publishers would be happy to keep the funds flowing long after it becomes viable to produce more discs, and if you set it up so that the physical disc represented "first dibs", you can keep the bricks and mortar retails somewhere content to allow speedy gamers the ability to trade in when needed.

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Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market

Paul 87

The biggest flaw I can see with the scheme from Microsoft's perspective, is with games tied so closely to accounts, and with a product aimed at security unaware teenagers and young adults, there's going to be a vast rise in account "theft" between mates. Without some form of lending library mechanism built in, this will end up costing Microsoft a lot more in man-hours dealing with the complaints, or if they don't, from lost sales from bad press

Not to mention the jailbreakers are going to have a field day getting around the DRM restrictions and selling on their hacks.

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Who's a Siri boy, then? Apple hoards your voices for TWO years

Paul 87

A far more realistic answer is that they're admiting to retaining a tape archive of the data. Data older than 6 months is moved off the main storage array, and onto a pile of tapes, which after 2 years, are re-used.

When any organisation offers a "delete" function, they'll never consider going through archives and disaster recovery media to also remove the data, it just removes it from the "live" system.

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Veiny green 'scum' meteorite may be first visitor from Mercury

Paul 87

The deeply cynical part of me is going "hang on, they want funding for their Mercury mission and NOW suddenly discover a rock that must, almost totally definitely certainly come from there, but without this mission we'll never know"

Yeah.... not at all suspicious

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Paul 87

Then again, the number of people in this world who still don't understand modern technology is a fail on the part of the designers. Very very few IT literate people are capable of writing software that can be understood by someone without any relevant IT experience.

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Movie, TV ads annoying? You ain't seen nothin' yet

Paul 87

I'm frustrated and annoyed that advertisers are all focusing on "targeted" adverts, because they all rely on Orwellian levels of surveillance to be able to gather the information needed to target them in the first place. It's downright creepy and instrusive that not only am I expected to give a damn about whatever piece of consumerist crap that is being thrust upon me, they expect to know every single detail about my preferences, all harvested from spying on me.

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Review: HTC One

Paul 87

Sadly, you lost me at the point where it said "Blink Feed can be moved, but it can't be removed"

I'm already frustrated with the latest HTC updates for my One X, preventing me from blocking HTC Sense for Facebook, to have yet more privacy invading "smart" technology on my phone, is just frustrating.

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Paul 87

Personally, I favoured Textpad as it was the only application I could find which would happily cope with opening and editing multi-GB SQL backups. Yes, it'd be nice if our development team hadn't needed me to do this in the first place but hey, that's IT for ya.

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Help-desk hell

Paul 87
Facepalm

Oooeerrr Missus!

It's 17.25, we're about to make our way home, and the phone goes, it's one of our smaller customers and they're concerned that someone has hacked into their systems as the mouse is moving on it's own.

Hoping for a quick resolution, one of the younger girls on staff logs in and makes a note of the remote access user, so they can phone them up and ask if they're genuinely using the system. Whilst she's doing this, she's told that suddenly a gay porn website has opened up and is playing videos.

Anyway, between her and myself we trace back the user ID, it's the MD of our client, so we quickly phone his mobile, and hear a brief couple of seconds of audio from the same website. We innocently ask him if he's working from home tonight, and he replies yes.

Trying desperately not to laugh, my colleague says to him that he should be careful as we've had his office on the line saying someone's accessed the internet on the server and it's visible on the monitor. The MD apparently swears, and hangs up on her, leaving us in fits of laughter.

We phone back to the office and say that the situation is resolved, and we'd speak to the MD in the morning for them to give a full report.

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Software sucks these days - and just maybe it's all YOUR fault

Paul 87
Alert

I'd offer an explanation that it's the exponential growth of computing power that has made developers sloppier in their approaches. Whereas once upon a time, they had to watch every resource used closely, and not following best practice led to programs that failed to run entirely, now we're in a situation where "good enough" code runs and error handling routines pick up the slack.

Additionally, the comercial drive where companies have realised they can make money if they constantly sell to new customers, and care little about retaining or placating the old ones, then there's less financial pressure on the developers to fix anything other than the most critical of bugs, and instead they become focused on developing new features for the software instead that look good in a sales demo

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Draft UK libel law forces websites to axe mudslinging comments

Paul 87

Don't see what the fuss is, this seems like a sensible step to take to tidy up the already existing laws on libel and defamation of character. Admitedly, like many of the laws, it only benefits those who are rich enough to afford the time in court, but being able to force site holders to take down entries after they've been ruled to be illegal hardly seems like an erosion of free speech.

Incidentally, the UK *doesn't* and never has had the right to free speech, that's strictly part of the American (and possibly French) constitutions. We haven't needed an implicit right, because our legal system is based on the principle that everything is legal, providing it isn't illegal, whereas many other countries work on the presumption that everything is illegal unless there's a law or constitutional right allowing you to do it. Hence why you get a tonne of laws saying "You can't do/say this"

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 'a harmful drug', says Apple in ban bid fail

Paul 87
FAIL

I don't care which company is suing the other, the fault lies with neither company, but with the US legal system that makes this such a valid business tactic that companies are forced down this route to ensure that they remain competative.

Let's not forget that corporations are obliged, by law, to maximise the return of investment for their stock holders. They have no legal responsibility to be "nice" about it, and in fact, if it were found that those running the company deliberately avoided an oppertunity to make money, then they could face civil and criminal prosecution.

So stop bitching about who'se suing who, and start bitching to the US politicians who'se laws are responsible for the situation instead!

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Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth

Paul 87

I actually agree with the idea of an ISP based filtering service, providing that it's opt-in for customers (heck, why aren't the ISP's offering this as a chargeable add-on I'll never know). Not everyone in the world is technically literate, and anything that makes it easier for parents to make valid choices for their children is a good thing.

Unfortunately, this moderate middle ground is getting swamped by the "Censorship is evil" vs "Porn is evil" battle, and both sides are ignoring their chance to compromise.

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Congress warned that military systems may already be pwned

Paul 87

The policy is much more sound than trying to make things "more secure", for example watching your system more closely so you know what's supposed to go where in terms of traffic, and paying attention to file access times and patterns would be far more effective in terms of damage limitation than trying to keep "something" out.

It also conicendentally means paying a lot more people to sit there and just learn the system's behaviour on a normal day.

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Facebook denies poaching your text messages on Android

Paul 87

One of the reasons I haven't updated my Android app in *ages*, I don't want the new features, I just want to read my FB wall and post comments.

I wish it were profitable for developers to make these kind of applications far more modular in nature, letting us pick and chose the functionality we want, instead of having their latest idea shoved down our throats

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Whitehall hopes to shave 'conservative' £100m off PC bill

Paul 87

So, we can save £100M huh.... but only if you pay me £110M for my consultancy services :P

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Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor

Paul 87

Looks like a promising idea, being able to use the same core for both a smartphone, tablet and a TV trims down the expense, though I'd imagine not by a lot given that screens comprise approximately 50% of the cost of a device, and you still need to include some basic processing power to recieve and authenticate the connection.

What I would be interested to find out is the effect on battery life; particularly as each component presumably carries their own power supply.

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2012: The year when smartphones become smart?

Paul 87

I don't want "smart", I want reliable, non-instrusive and controllable technology. Why on earth would I want some developer sitting in an office on the other side of the Atlantic deciding what I really want to be doing now is waking up, because I woke up at this time three days running.

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Official: The smartphones that suck much more than others

Paul 87

There's an alternative conclusion to draw, that people who are drawn to most heavily using the Internet prefer iPhones or HTC phones, and also prefer the newer technology. Much more likely than the phones themselves being responsible for the increase in the use of data.

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Fuel taxes don't hurt the world's poor - they don't have cars

Paul 87

This guy is an idiot, petrol taxes in the developed world hit the poor far harder than the rich. The rich can afford to purchase the latest, fuel efficient vehicles, keep them maintained better and also pay far less % on traveling costs.

In fact, you could go so far as to argue that petrol taxes are one of the factors that reduce social mobility, if you can't afford to travel in a cost effective manner, you can't seek out new employment opportunities outside your local geographical area. Even if you get a job interview thanks to the Internet, it often proves impractical to get there, or to relocate if you can't afford to drive.

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Punters hate copyright, says Steelie Neelie

Paul 87

The "freetard" idea has been around since the internet was young, a great example of this is shareware. You got the software, complete with DRM, but a lot of the time people went out of their way to bypass it.

Take Winzip/Winrar as an example, both pieces of software are widely used, both commercially and privately, but only a fraction of those users have paid for the software, why? Because they didn't have to.

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Hackers can spring Death Row crims from cells

Paul 87

Of course, all it takes is a couple of key controlled, mechanical switches in place and you can cut these vulnerabilities right down.

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Insulin pump hack delivers fatal dosage over the air

Paul 87

@cornz1

This is so right! There was never a need to include this kind of connectivity but lazyness won out. First came remote monitoring, so medical professionals didn't have to go near the patient to read the device, then came small changes to allow limited control and now we're here.

If people had accepted that sometimes, you have to get off your arse, this wouldn't be possible

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Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

Paul 87

Ok, so another study shows that there's been a gradual change in average temperate over a period of time, but have reached no firm conclusions as to the cause of the problem.

My pet theory has always be simple thermodynamics, more people, all burning off more energy to run all the myriad of gadgets, machines etc that form part of modern life, means a higher average temperate.

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Worm spreads via RDP

Paul 87

hmmm

You know, this sounds like a BOFH tool for catching out the idiots who bypass the password policies

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DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks

Paul 87

Sounds like...

... someone's punting a proof of concept device to sell to the CIA, assuming they haven't already got drones that do this :)

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Are you slaving away on the wrong projects?

Paul 87

IT Directors

Well, it's one thing to say "this is the director's job", it's another to communicate the information effectively. I'd argue that this is the main strength of using a software based solution, the ability to get the information out the heads of one or two people, and make it available to the customer facing roles.

Working on a support desk for an in-development piece of software, I'm often faced with issues where it needs a fix from the developers, but have absolutely no way to estimate their workloads without bothering them and taking them away from their current work.

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AT&T: 'Eat too much data and we'll strangle you'

Paul 87

So they'll always throttle the top 5%

Ok, so what happens in a situation where everyone is abiding by a sensible amount of data usage? The way the article is written implies that they'll still throttle the top 5%, even if they reduce their data usage....

In effect, if you're in this demographic, you might as well keep sucking down as much as you can because unless you stop using the service entirely, you're gonna keep getting capped.

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UK data watchdog 'looking into' Google+ mission creep

Paul 87

I predict that...

An incredibly large number of John Smith's will invade Google+ over time. Try catching *that* in an auto-filter without getting too many false positives

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ITV eyes micropayments for Corrie specials

Paul 87

Micropayments

It doesn't necessarily mean processing the credit card payment each time you want to watch something. Chances are, it'll be an account balance you top up (minimum £5 - £10) that you eat up on the various services.

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Toyota tech to steer cars round jaywalkers

Paul 87

It can't be a good idea

Any system that over-rides a driver's ability to crash their car willingly will only end up causing an accident eventually.

A car should always be in the driver's full control and these systems are far too excessive! Warnings, yes, automatically taking control of the vehicle no!

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Rescue privacy before it vanishes forever

Paul 87

Unfortunately...

.. there's money to be made in selling our details to advertisers. As long as advertisers are willing to pay per impression, instead of per actual click, then these businesses will continue profiting from making us take part.

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Marketer taps browser flaw to see if you're pregnant

Paul 87

Ok, so if it grabs your browsing history...

... deleting your history, cookies and all other files reguarly works too right?

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Key internet address server sees spike in traffic

Paul 87

Well it is a World of Warcraft patch day

... all it'd take is one poorly programed query in the initial updater and suddenly you've got a few million people all hunting for addresses that don't actually exist!

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dabs.com says sorry for delivery debacle

Paul 87

It's the problem with a software changeover

No matter how much planning and testing you do, switching this kind of software will always be painful. You've got to retrain your entire staff, work out the best way to use the new features, learn how to adapt your business processes to the way the software expects it to run and so on.

Working for a company that sells this kind of software, it's *never* as smooth as you'd like it to be, but the improvements are seen in the long term, usually 12-18 months down the line.

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Man says he lost $500,000 in virtual currency heist

Paul 87

Odd

This story sounds exactly like something created to undermine the idea of bitcoins and happens just days after they're publised for the first time.

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Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

Paul 87

Maybe they should stop and think

... instead of denying that figures are dropping, stop and consider that perhaps their ever excessive feature creep, combined with repeated attempts at forcing users to take on their latest privacy busting "improvements" without their consent or knowledge are costing them money.

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Cabinet Office talks to Facebook & co about new ID system

Paul 87

so let me get this straight

They want to let us associate our official identity with our online persona's, thus giving cyber ctiminals even *more* reasons to steal them. Combined with the fact that these private companies are outside UK control or sovereignity and we have a receipe for disaster!

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Codemasters pulls website after hackers pwn customer database

Paul 87

What's slightly more of a pain

If you're someone who uses a dozen or so different passwords, actually remembering which one you used on that site without being able to check exactly *which* one you used.

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Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default

Paul 87

It's not the only recent feature creep

Did anyone else know that Groups no longer send out an invite, instead your friends can automatically add you to any group they choose and it automatically posts this information to your wall as if *you* chose to join the group.

What's worse, it automatically signs you up to receive emails from the group

http://www.facebook.com/help/new/?faq=147058305366686

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3D-printed bikini goes on sale

Paul 87

Hmmm..

... does offer some interesting possibilities regarding scanning a woman to produce a totally contoured set of lingerie though, particularly if you can design an algorithm to give the best possible profile

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El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Paul 87

I have no idea what the engineers were thinking

Who on earth thought that your mobile phone is the place to put this technology? Where's the advantage over a contactless credit or debit card?

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Designer punts ultimate customisable keyboard

Paul 87

Not convinced

Sure, nifty idea, but without a proper feedback from each key it's less than ideal.

If it were me, I'd have stick on "keys" that can still register a contact with the touchpad underneath, don't have to be massive and if they're transparent you can still get the benefit of the customisation underneath.

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Google sprays customers with cash in AdWords cockup

Paul 87

Sounds like ....

... someone seriously cocked up their exchange rates! Maybe they replaced the US Dollar with the Zimbabwe dollar :)

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App Store not invited to web's date with destiny

Paul 87

The author's missed a trick

You can use a 3D barcode link for an app inside an article and thus share the link in exactly the same way as having to type the URL manually. That's where the app stores still offer shareability, all that's missing is a handy little "about" screen inside the app to bring up said barcode so you can display it on screen and let a friend automatically download the content by scanning it.

Soon as app developers get that sorted, it's all rainbows and unicorns!

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