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* Posts by Adam 52

42 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Police mistake reveals plan for Assange's Embassy capture

Adam 52

Re: @ Adam 52

Let me try to put this in geek terms. There are five of you running a helpdesk for 200,000 users. You are getting aroubd 200 calls per hour. One user's copy of Word has crashed but they won't use the document recovery feature, they insist on you coming down in person to clone their hard drive (which won't help restore the file).

Meanwhile one of the net connections has died, and whilst you do have a backup it's overloaded and thousands of users are getting partial network access.

Do you come in on your day off to help the first user?

To address the points raised:

1. You don't know the priorities. It only takes one vulnerable 90 year old to go missing to divert an entire shift. Vulnerable people go missng a lot (think about your grandparents if you're old enough) and if out overnight they almost invariably die. That's just one example.

Your friend was safe, he'd escaped. He is no longer a priority. Catching criminals is lower priority than preventing deaths or injury.

2. Assault is not a particularly serious crime. It usually isn't even prosecuted, so why waste time. You can argue the government, CPS and court priorities are wrong, but that's not a police issue.

3. CCTV, other than very expensive town centre style operator controlled CCTV is usually next to useless at identifying criminals. And it *has* to be backed up with a statement or it is useless in court. If you want to prosecute you need evidence.

4. Unfortunately social workers work 10 to 4, and don't do potentially violent situations or confrontation; taking a child into care is confrontational.

5. Society doesn't accept closed roads for long periods of time. It also doesn't like decomposing body parts scattered around.

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Adam 52

Even if your CCTV was useful, which in all probablility it wasn't, it needs to be written to DVD and backed up with a statement by the CCTV operator to be usable as evidence.

As for the 3 days, it's possible that the officer, or her boss, felt that one of the 50 other cases on her books was more deserving of her time (maybe they were trying to explain to the 8 year old why she was being taken into care and would never see her parents or siblings again, or maybe picking up pieces of the motorbiker scattered along the local roads). Or even that she may have been on leave or on a night shift - you know police officers do have to take time off occasionally and some even have to sleep. I note you didn't care enough to prevent it being wiped.

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No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Adam 52

Disclosure

That's not really fair on the police/CPS. Yes, there is a tendency to looks for evidence to convict the accused, but any evidence that is found during the investigation is disclosed. Usually.

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Minister hints that libel reform will create privacy law

Adam 52

Not libel

Max didn't sue for libel - although many thought he could have. He sued for breach of privacy, and won.

He also did the court case relatively cheaply using a small firm of lawyers and yet the costs were still way out of reach of the average person.

In the next issue after the decision, the NoTW ran an similar article about a friend of mine that destroyed their career. The current law is clearly no deterrent.

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UK.gov's phone and net snooping hits record high

Adam 52

title

Last time I checked, caller ID didn't give an address.

The red-tape you mention is about 5 keystrokes - flash call log to control rooms Inspector - and a quick note. That's why RIPA allows an Inspector to authorise.

Don't underestimate the number of calls a 999 operator will get from people who aren't thinking clearly. If my experience is typical, I reckon at least 80% will fit this category.

I suspect the next biggest is a scan of the local drug dealer's confiscated mobile phones.

You need to look a long way beyond the headline figure to get to anything controversial.

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Adam 52

Not intercepts

I say this every time this report comes out. These are not intercepts, they're data requests.

If the 999 operator gets a call that suddenly goes quiet before they've got an address you'll get a hit here, because someone has to go and find out if the call was a genuine emergency.

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TalkTalk-Tiscali merger proves fraught

Adam 52

@Michael Jennings

Good luck if you do decide to leave. Then you'll find out why everyone hates Tiscali so much - it's six months since I left and despite three complaints to the ISPA and a win at arbitration they're still sending round the bully-boy debt collectors.

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Scotland Yard criticised over raid on Parliament

Adam 52

@Peter 45, @AC

If it isn't true, it is a very widely held belief amongst constables.

Similarly because PACE allows a search of the home of someone arrested, constables believe that the desire for of a search satisfies the necessity criteria for an arrest.

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West Midlands cops to roll out Mitsubishi EVs

Adam 52

Ever seen a police station car park?

Good luck anyone trying to get this to the charging point.

Other than that, eminently sensible idea. Most police work consists of running about in a limited area ferrying forms to different locations.

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Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

Adam 52

@Defence?

Yes, you may resist unlawful arrest. However you'll discover that the Met can *and will* bring more force to bear than you can. The advice from the Courts is, therefore, to sue.

You'll also find that the Met nearly always wins the cases that go to court, even the ones that look hopeless. If you do the analysis you'll note that there is one particular judge that takes almost all of the cases involving the Met., and he always finds in their favour (although sometime overturned on appeal).

I suspect if David had gone to court then he would have lost.

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Baroness Scotland fined for failing to follow own law

Adam 52

@Unfortunately

You're spot on. She's managed to do a deal with the border agency to avoid being prosecuted.

In other words she's committed a crime (one she herself created) and she's bought her way out of a prosecution. A bargain for her really because a criminal conviction, which she should have, would have ruined her career.

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Arms biz: Your taxes mainly go on our fat salaries! Ha ha!

Adam 52

Pay comparison

Some research has put (possibly outdated) numbers against those army benefits.

A private with no qualifications on minimum salary gets £1390/month [source: The Telegraph]. Housing subsidy worth £300/month [source:BBC]. PHI/life insurance worth £100/month [what I pay]. Pension contribution worth £350/month [source: army.mod.uk + Scottish Widows]. Whilst on tour add £300/month [source: The Telegraph].

Works out to an equivalent salary of £27,500 assuming 6 month tour, ignoring specialist pay, retention bonus etc.

By contrast starting pay (post-training) for a constable is £25,000 [source: policeoracle.com]

Starting pay for an arms worker £24000 + pension + healthcare [source: BAE systems]

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Adam 52

@Fixing aaaaall the misconceptions

1. Armed forces staff get houses at substantially below the market rate. It might not be free, but it's worth about £300/month.

2. A constable is also a 24/7 position, the duty is absolute even when not "on duty". They also face mandatory retirement, and have to contribute much more pay into their own pension scheme, death in service insurance, legal cover etc. They also don't get a pay rise for every training course attended.

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US music publishers sue online lyrics sites

Adam 52

Hope this gets defended properly

Think of the consequences if the record companies with this. Newspapers won't be allowed to quote anyone for a start.

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US women protest for the right to bare

Adam 52

@david 63

Don't believe everything Ian Flemming tells you.

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No more Eurofighters for RAF, despite 232-jet pact

Adam 52

air-to-air fighter, but such combat is very rare

I'm not convinced by that. I suspect the QRA aircraft see a fair bit of action at the moment.

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Scientists unlock DIY DNA

Adam 52

previous article

Hasn't The Register published a piece before on fabricating the indicators that a DNA profile is based on? I can't find it by searching, maybe I'm remembering incorrectly.

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GM Volt to deliver three-figure fuel economy

Adam 52

Not mpg

It's not really an mpg figure, US or UK, it's a fudge based around a notional value for each kWh of electricity.

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Increase in comms snooping? You ain't seen nothing yet

Adam 52

@Inside Track

You seem to be misinformed. As an example, o2 do not provide subscriber details except in response to a RIPA request. http://www.o2.com/cr/resource2006/call_monitoring.asp

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Adam 52

More detail

He does break it down a little more in the report, he estimates over 80% of the headline number is just a request for subscriber data. There's nothing sinister in that, happens regularly when a 999 caller can't/won't give their details (as I've posted before). I suspect you'll also find that in that 80%, there are only about a thousand actual people being targeted - the serial 999 fake callers - plus the mobile left in a pocket and a few genuine emergencies.

I think a breakdown would be useful, it'd help inform debate and stop scaremongering headlines like the Lib Dems are generating.

Report available at http://www.statewatch.org/news/2009/aug/uk-interception-of-communications-2008.pdf

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Met amends journo photo guidance to prevent interference

Adam 52

This is the Met

They also have guidelines about not shooting people or beating them up, but it doesn't have any effect.

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Copyright cops raid Filesoup admin

Adam 52

FACT

Reading his account, it looks like someone at Avon and Somerset has been taken for a ride by FACT and the arresting officer didn't have a clue.

Even so, this bit

"the seized items have been handed by police to FACT for computer forensics investigation"

is madness.

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UK teens bullied into sending sex texts

Adam 52

Statistics

"Beatbullying said that in many cases girls, in particular, are bullied into making and distributing explicit pictures of themselves"

So what they're actually saying is the sexting is common, but bullying around it is so rare that it doesn't show up in the statistics?

You'll notice their other point:

"These statistics support Beatbullying’s work by providing further evidence to highlight that peer to peer anti-social/predatory behaviour is one of the biggest threats"

They do no such thing, they just provide evidence that it happens and is common; no evidence of a threat there.

Horny teenagers have always been fooling around. You could argue that doing it by mobile phone is safer, since there's no opportunity for it to get out of hand.

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Johnson signs off ID card for UK citizenry

Adam 52

@AC 15:41, @Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

Suggest you read the Act, or previous Reg coverage. Until identity cards become compulsory it's illegal to demand one as a prerequisite to anything.

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Vote now to name El Reg space plane

Adam 52

First past the post

A prime example of how to fix an election by dividing the vote.

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Startup crafts DVD-Rs for the 31st century

Adam 52

BBC doomsday

The BBC doomsday project is always trotted out as an example of digital obsolescence, but it's not a very good one.

The whole project could easily be moved onto some other hardware and the original hardware emulated. The reason it hasn't been is not technical, it's legal and financial. Copyright in all that data was never assigned to the project and rests with the contributors.

http://www.si.umich.edu/CAMILEON/domesday/ipr.html

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Council punished over theft of laptops from locked room

Adam 52

Post it

All that will happen is that the laptops will be encrypted (BTW, this is Microsoft's big seller for Vista Ultimate into government at the moment) and the password will be stuck to the lid.

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Too-tall terror snapper stopped by cops again

Adam 52

A title is required.

@Catkins

- He made a complaint last time. That'll get him a "complaint against police" PNC marker, so it'll come up first when they do a person check (possibly before the "carries firearms" marker).

@Skymonrie

- Those days are long gone, these days a copper who wears his uniform home if likely to find it firebombed overnight. Unfortunately it's a positive feedback loop.

Someone needs to send ACC Thomas back to school, the Home Office guidelines clearly say that failure to answer questions can't be treated as suspicious.

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Tasered Oz man bursts into flames

Adam 52

@Chris W

The "running at the police" angle is on the BBC website.

The Police spokesman comment "The only other choice they would have had is to use a police-issue firearm" is worrying. Lots of other options, including keeping a safe distance or using the not-a-source-of-ignition baton.

A good reason for not replacing PAVA with Taser.

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Auditors slam MoD over failure to keep track of radios

Adam 52

beancounters

So, in summary, soldiers are too busy attempting to stay alive to fill in the correct forms.

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Riot police raid birthday barbecue for 'all-night' Facebook tag

Adam 52

freedom of assembly

We do have a right to freedom of assembly - Article 11 of the ECHR. We just don't have courts prepared to enforce our laws.

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Builder blacklist boss hit with £5,000 fine

Adam 52

@lee

We still have criminal libel, at least until the Coroners and Justice Bill finally gets implemented.

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Virgin Media sets throttle on hardcore hogs

Adam 52

packages do not have ... download limits

They quite clearly do, some quick sums put it at roughly 63GB/day for the 10Mbit package.

Always surprises me that that's not enough for some people.

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Microsoft invests $1m in IT girls

Adam 52

@carrie

You weren't one of the original IT girls. ICL had mixed teams in the 70s, I think the team that wrote their first X25 implementation was 30% female - I know two of them.

As for the glass ceiling - there are plenty of men who don't get promoted beyond the stage they reached at age 28 and they don't blame it on their gender.

If you want success you have to work for it, have a lot of luck, take a few risks and stomp on a few rivals.

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Moderatrix to gain even more sinister powers

Adam 52

Libel

I wonder how ReputationShare are going to prove everything they pass on is truthful?

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Toyota preps plug-in Prius for mass production

Adam 52

@what's the point?

The point is that range would allow me, and the majority of UK commuters, to do our daily commute on batteries alone whilst still having the engine option for longer trips.

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Gamer embezzles virtual cash to settle real debts

Adam 52

@Steve Roper

You seem to forget it's a game. Would you also refuse to hire anyone who's ever played monopoly on the grounds that they're likely to spend company money recklessly and go bankrupt?

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Trading Standards calls for online knife sale ban

Adam 52

Knives and forks

"Metal cutlery that is not spoon or fork must not be carried outdoors"

The legislation also bans pointed objects, so you can't have a fork either.

"Banning online knife sales, and presumably the sale of all sharp implements"

Again the legislation bans blades, not sharp objects. So it's illegal to carry a blunt blade, even plastic safety scissors (that's the CPS view, confirmed by the courts) unless it's a screwdriver (the courts have exempted screwdrivers).

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Girls Aloud net obscenity case falls at first hurdle

Adam 52

@Constructive dismissal?

Lots of reasons for him to be fired. When he was arrested he won't have turned up for work for one. Although given that he was a civil servant his employer was responsible for him not turning up.

At the end of the day though, we have a legal system that allows people to assume guilty on arrest.

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Humberside koi carp rustlers trawl Google Earth

Adam 52

No increase in risk?

"Google Earth creates no appreciable increase in security risks, given the wide commercial availability of high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery"

Absolute rubbish. What used to cost hundreds of pounds to those who knew where to ask is now available to the whole world, effectively anonymously and for free. A speculative search would cost even more.

Not saying that's a bad thing mind.

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New green and quiet jet-engine test results announced

Adam 52

@Brutus

A turboprop has a few relatively heavy and securely attached blades, a turbofan has lots of lightweight slot-in blades.

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Adam 52

If it breaks

This open rotor stuff - how do the engine manufacturers propose to contain a shedded blade within the engine casing (an airworthiness requirement)?

P&W's plan has the advantage that when the gears do fail, they're less likely to hit the passenger in seat 8A.

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