431 posts • joined 17 Sep 2009
Only $300 million wasted? Pah! Rank amateurs.
Now that's how to waste public money.
Good to see that the UK can still beat the US at something.
Up to a point.
"They are prepared to bet reputation, goodwill and market share..."
Ok, I'll go along with you on most of what you say but not the quote above.
MS managed to destroy any reputation and goodwill long ago in pursuit of the market share bit.
The roll call of the companies Ms has screwed is long, Netscape, Novell, IBM, Digital Research etc.
The dubious practices used to ensure MS's dominance in the market, see:
Not to mention TIFKAM
All this and more has ensured that MS is held in contempt by many people in this business for the way in which they have abused the the trust in and reliance on Microsoft.
So yes, MS might have market share, but at what cost both to itself and all those relying on it.
Re: For security - consider BlackBerry
"...a summary of several instances of government pressure and varying degrees of caving."
What's speleology got to do with this?
If you are going to use a cliche, at least get it right.
It should be "... a summary of several instances of government pressure and varying degrees of caving in"
I should be so lucky!
"Nederkoorn has posted a video that first shows a Netflix stream running at 375kbps on what he says is his regular internet connection and configuration. He then connects through a VPN service and reloads the video, which promptly increases to speeds of up to 3,000kbps."
375kbps? Good God if I got that speed I'd think that I had died and gone to heaven.
Still we have that nice Mr. Cameron's word for it that most of the denizens of these sceptic isles will soon get "superfast" broadband of up to 2 Mbps.
The real world versus fiction
A humorous article with a joke poll but with a very serious point.
You are the enemy as far as the security services are concerned, we all are. It's just the way that the people drawn to this sort of organisation think.
Unfortunately James Bond is a fictional character so what he does does not matter. What GCHQ does, does matter and it matters a lot. They are for real and the peculiar mind-set means that whatever they can think up to subvert the security of your most personal and private conversations and other things you might want to keep private is acceptable. At least it is to them and their masters in Whitehall.
Sadly the vast majority of users of the internet have no interest in what is being done with their personal data, how else would the likes of Google and Facebook flourish otherwise? For those who do care, take all the steps you can to protect yourself. It may not be much but we must try and hang on to any vestiges of privacy that we have left.
"Thankfully, US President Obama recently suggested that the TPP's text will be released to the public in November."
Ah! a pointer to when the various negotiators think that the treaty will be signed. Before November.
Keep everything under wraps until it's too late to do anything about it, then release the treaty to the victims and claim that the negotiations were in good faith and that they are living up to the much vaunted "openness and transparency"
More like smoke and mirrors to me.
Greedy, unethical bastards, but then that's politicians and big business for you.
Dyke said "...will allow us to work together with Microsoft to deliver best value to the NHS".
The only way that will work is if the NHS persuades MS to help it migrate to Linux or another FOSS O/S, and that ain't going to happen.
So keep spending chaps, it's not your money you are wasting anyway!
With added Google?
If it's got anything to do with Google then I'm glad that my Mini is of the old school and relies on conventional instruments to tell me whats going on.
Using a proprietary application in a Linux based OS is not the way to go. OpenStreetMap might be a better way of finding out where you are.
The thought of Google tracking me, knowing what I'm doing and attempting to shove adverts down my throat whilst I'm driving just turns me off the whole idea.
"but LG's and Samsung's don't start shipping to the general public until early July"
The first are shipping in 3 days time..."
So that makes it until the 3rd July then. So what's that if it's not "early July"?
The Labour Party recently indicated that it was likely to resurrect the twice-shelved reworking of existing surveillance powers...
I'd never thought I'd say this but "Help us Nick Clegg, you're our only hope."
So if we vote Tory we get a "Snooper's Charter" and if we vote Labour we get a "Snooper's Charter." Looks like this piece of nonsense is a shoo in, so much for democracy. The Lib Dems are heading for a wipe-out, so not much hope of any salvation from them.
Re: It is what it is ...
"These are deceptions and baldfaced lies and anybody who expects promises made in an advertising sales pitch to actually be honored is seriously maladjusted."
Unfortunately for your theory there's the law of contracts getting in the way.
Yes, an advert might be "an invitation to treat" and the vendor can impose other conditions if you want to buy; when the vendor takes your money then that's a contract and they can't unilaterally go back on the content of that contract. Imagine if you decided not to pay the rent on a property after having signed a contract, the law would come down on you for breach of that contract and this is no different. It also doesn't matter whether the contract was agreed verbally, in writing or a "click through" It's still a contract. They have taken your money and must live up to the terms agreed to.
Just because it involves two, dominant players in the sector does not mean that they are above the law. It does mean that you might have a fight on your hands given that they probably have a lot more money to buy good lawyers. A class action might even things up if one can be arranged.
"You can tell them from the Met by their hats: Met have the famous blue chequer pattern. CoLP have the same pattern, but in red."
And if you look very closely you might notice that their buttons and badges etc. are gold not silver.
Sorry, just getting my anorak.
... and added that he wanted to "draw a line under the past"
I bet he does.
"Nothing to see here, move along."
Then when no-one is looking, bam,
"Psst.. want some nice juicy patient data, going cheap!"
The NHS run by accountants, who'd a thunk it?
"Gussie Fink-Nottle, after whom you no doubt have taken your nom de plume, was a nice character. I suggest you change your online name to 'Spode'".
Yeah, stick to the newts and leave thinking to others better equipped for it.
No, to the average US punter the world outside the US is a big, scary place full of foreigners and their non-American ways. Having your stuff hosted in the US is, for them, like a security blanket. It might not be of any practical use but it keeps the bogeyman at bay.
For the rest of the world NOT having your stuff hosted in the US is a plus, probably as equally illusory, as who knows what the "security services" have got their fangs into?
Although having said that having a host located in Brazil is probably as good as it gets just now. Ask Dilma Rouseff why that should be.
"Have you seen the "new" Mini Countryman? I've seen smaller Jeeps."
Yes I have. That's why I posted that my "original" Mini is small. I wasn't talking about the "new" one, those great lumps dwarf my car.
"There is 1,120kg to haul around, which is par for the small car course."
Small? My Mini Cooper S (original type) weighs 715 kg kerbside, now that's small.
That Citroen is like all the other "small" cars presently produced. A big fat dumpling.
Nope, Linux is the kernel. The rest is just support often provided by the GNU project , hence Gnu/Linux. Usually wrapped up in a distro.
So strictly speaking, with Android running the kernel that it does, it IS Linux, it's the other stuff that is different.
" Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, reliability, availability or timeliness..."
Sounds pretty much to me the description of everything that Microsoft throws our way.
Re: @ obnoxiousGit
"Going back to the subject of what GCHQ has asked the Gruaniad to destroy, it may just be nothing more than them being over zealous and ordering the destruction of *anything* that might have cached even part of the data."
That reminds me of a story I heard about the actions of some people when electricity was replacing gas used for lighting. I was told that some people kept dead light bulbs in the sockets, "To stop the electricity leaking out". Seems to be on a par with this latest nonsense.
Re: This is very puzzling
Now we know that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
I know that the NHS is short of beds mental health beds so why don't they just change the signs at GCHQ and re-label it as a hospital? That is where most of the lunatics seem to be.
This is a pathetic demonstration of rigid following of "procedures" without any thought getting in the way. As has been said here, most of these components have no storage or processing capability, or if they do, were probably put there by the likes of GCHQ at the behest of NSA.
No, this is a power play to let everyone know who is in charge here. In this case GCHQ. Who knows, maybe the people supposed to be in charge . i.e. the democratically elected government, were keep in the dark about this, in the interest of "security" of course. They can't all be so stupid, can they?
Re: Anybody who is 'sophisticated' enough to use this ...
I agree that PGP is within the grasp of most people on this site but that's missing the point. This looks like it is aimed at those who regard computers as a tool and want the quickest and easiest way of getting their job done. If this encourages the widespread uptake of this technology we will be approaching a state of "herd immunity"
Definition from Wordnik:
n. The protection given to a community against an epidemic of a contagious disease when a sufficient number of the population are immunised or otherwise develop immunity to it.
I think that we can all agree that the threat posed by the activities of NSA and GCHQ comes close to a definition of "contagious disease" So anything that helps us fight off such threats is to be welcomed and this development is giving us the chance to keep such threats at bay.
The price is right.
Now I'm a tight-fisted bastard and need a lot of persuading that paying for something IT is justified but this looks like it might just prise open my wallet.
If this proves to be what it claims to be then paying such a paltry amount to stick it to the man is money well spent. As soon as they re-open the site I'm going to have a look.
"On investor-state dispute provisions, it states that countries can still pass their own legislation: “at most, it can lead to compensation being paid”"
Looks to me like this might be the chance the multinationals have been after. A looters charter. The right to get their way no matter what the people want. Why the hell should we have to pay these organisations for the right to decide what we want in our own countries? Is this why it's all kept so secret?
This only gives a hostage to people who don't give a damn and are only interested in lining their own pockets. They have no national interest just self-interest.
The real mystery is why our representatives are so keen on all this. Do they honestly believe that it is in the interest of the people? Or are they really only interested in what they, personally, can get out if such a treaty. Either one is deeply worrying, on one hand naivety, on the other greed and cynicism.
A bad idea and one we should oppose with everything we have.
A false economy.
"kindergarten through to twelfth grade – the economics are so great"
That's looking at the monetary cost and forgetting Google's raison d'etre; skimming off your private details to sell them to the highest bidder. Do you really want your children's private information going to such a amoral company. I certainly wouldn't.
And anyway, looking at the specs and what the thing can do a Chromebook is merely a netbook with added intrusion. At least it looks that way to me.
Buy one by all means, then root it and stick a lightweight Linux distro on it. That way you are reasonably certain that anything you don't want bought and sold like a tin of beans is kept well away from the likes of Google.
Re: Any downsides to not supporting DRM?
You'll find that your browser stops displaying loads of shit content.
There, fixed that for you.
Re: @Keith While people moan about "Net Neutrality"...
"And you know what? If that's the deal - OK, fine."
No, it's not fine. It's illegal. It's called breaking copyright and that is an offence.
If you don't like the terms offered by the vendor then refuse to accept them and walk away, but you say" I can't live without the ability to watch X." so conclude that breaking the law is acceptable. It won't kill you if you can't watch the blasted programme, so just get on with your life and do something else.
Oh, and before anyone accuses me of being a RIAA or MPAA shill, I'm not. I detest their activities as much as the next person but two wrongs don't make a right.
Note to all the copyright nutters out there. The act of breaking copyright is *NOT* theft, it's copyright violation. One definition of theft is: "..., theft is the taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it." It seems however that the pursuit of money blinds these organisations to such nuances of the English language and they will push their agenda as far as they can without any regard to the truth. RIAA and MPAA are not having their property removed from them, just the opportunity to fleece their "customers" as hard as they can, but that still does not justify breaking the law.
Laugh? I nearly did.
"You can avoid metro basically entirely now."
Use what you want but it does give me a little schadenfreude to see the hoops that MS is making people jump through just to use that O/S.
And they said Linux was hard to set up.
" ... ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners, and the parliamentary intelligence and security committee."
None of which ever sees the light of day or if it does is kept very quiet.
Paying lip-service to transparency and accountability is no substitute for the real thing of course, it is however good enough to keep these toothless watchdogs quiet.
Note to GCHQ:
Give it a rest, you are starting to sound like a broken record. A waste of your breath and our time and patience.
"... the woman who erected Cupertino's wall of silence has left after 18 years at Apple."
Who told you that?
"Does anybody here feel as mystified as I do that Android apps regularly get permission to fully hack into my phone and tablet and slurp up any and all data--"
No, this after all something developed and propagated by "The Vampire Squid" aka Goldman Sachs, of the IT world.
Come on, this is Google we're talking about. What did you expect? That the app devs wouldn't take their cue from the developer of the OS?
Sauce for the goose etc.
Now we know that Oculus is really "hard core" big business.
Got a dispute about something?
Need to get things straight with a competitor?
Don't like what the other guy is up to?
Don't talk, don't negotiate like reasonable human beings.
No! Call in the lawyers!
After all, we have more money than we know what to do with, and cutting prices is a sign of weakness. So, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!
Obviously, there are two different worlds to live in. One for big business and the other for the poor saps who provide all that lovely cash.
Easy when you know how.
" ...when Police try to access data stored in the cloud it will likely be harder to collar the bad guys as the nations involved try to figure out jurisdictional issues."
Not if you are the USA it isn't.
As in the recent case where Microsoft has been ordered by a US Judge to hand over data stored in Dublin. I think that the US authorities have already side-stepped this issue and have decided to treat the rest of the world as if US law was supreme.
Just impose the law of the US on everyone and bingo! Problem solved.
Not sure how well this will be received in other jurisdictions though. For some reason a lot of people seem to dislike this idea.
Just a warning.
"Apple has been contacted for comment."
Don't hold your breath.
"Security by obscurity", maybe Apple should seek a patent on the concept. After all they are the chief exponents.
"...just wondering who you would like to replace the 'Spivs' with?"
Aye, there's the rub.
I suppose we could ask that nice Mr. Farage to have a go.
After all UKIP has no record of governance or really anything else except shouting so might not yet be in bed with big business. Though who knows?
Then there are the Greens.
I reckon that they might be the one party immune from "corporate hospitality"
On second thoughts, maybe "none of the above" should be on the ballot paper. Then at least there would be one choice acceptable to a lot of people.
When the government say that the country is open for business, they really mean it.
By that I mean that they seem prepared to allow any old business to paw through our personal records, but that when it comes to things like negotiations on treaties like TAFTA (Tranatlantic Free Trade Area) aka TTIP, then the doors are locked tight and the public kept well away. Then it's big business only. Still I suppose that the politicians must do their paymasters a few favours in return for all the largess they receive.
Is there nothing that they won't sell? I mean they gave the Postcode Address File as a sweetner to ensure that the sell-off of the Post Office succeeded. They have plans to give our most sensitive and personal details to the highest bidder with the sale of our medical records and now this little earner.
I used to think that Parliament was filled with lawyers, now I'm not so sure. It looks like accountants have seized the reins, you know, those characters who know the price of everything and the value of none.
The sooner this bunch of spivs is booted out the better.
One thing does occur to me, will MPs arrange that their data is left off these lists?
Re: I made a mistake
"Many, many years ago I switched from being an archaeologist to working in the wonderful world of technology..."
Funnily enough so did I.
As for archaeology, there's no future in it.
Re: Genius Bar
"Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else."
Possibly so, but how about the concept of customer service and people skills? Not so much, I think.
The system has worked so well over the past few years, why change it?
I see no reduction in the bonuses being paid out to the bankers or any perceptible will to change.
So, business as usual, oh and big bonuses all round. (For those inside the magic circle only.)
The rest of you, just keep paying up.
One wonders what the bankers want all that money for. After all, you can only buy so many fancy cars/houses/yachts etc.
Is it greed or is it just because they can?
As someone who had their small business go under because of the refusal of the banks to give me a business loan I wonder what bankers and their cronies are really for.
Re: Read between the lines
"I think their prime duty is to act within the law, which a lot of them seem to forget."
No, the real problem is which country's law applies.
In this case it would appear that those responsible forgot that they were dealing with a work-force based in the UK and treated them as if they were in the US.
A common mistake made by many Americans, they seem unable to realise that laws differ and that laws of the USA are not universal.
Re: Windows 8 was built for one reason only
I think that Canonical have more or less beaten you to it on that idea.
Just take a look at the Distrowatch hit page rankings to see how well that has worked out.
Remember, Ubuntu was *the* most popular distro until that Unity nonsense was rolled out.
Lead balloons, both MS and Canonical have managed to launch one of these.
"...an independent group [that] will include representatives from Microsoft Open Technologies and Redmond's .Net development team, along with Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza".
Doesn't look very independent to me.
A company representative, a company representative and a MS shill.
Nope, just a blind to fool the naive and unwary.
At least de Icaza had the courtesy to use a Mac and not a Linux box to demonstrate his latest Trojan Horse.
As the old saying goes: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."
Nice to see that our money is being spent wisely. Not
If anyone had shown this level of inertia, sloth and general incompetence in the private sector they would rightly be out on their ear.
What is it that insulates the civil servants of this country from the consequences of their (in)action?
Of course, the government is ultimately responsible, but these clowns are supposed to be there to give "expert" advice.
Re: Incumbent get more cash from incumbent fund
"As BT inherited it's infrastructure, it also inherited large swaves of the country that will never get BB no matter what the Gov say."
Should be swathes.
Not even sure it's the right word.
swathe (swŏþ, swôþ, swāþ)
v. To wrap or bind with or as if with bandages.
v. To enfold or constrict.
n. A wrapping, binding, or bandage.
Re: well personally
"I am certain you use Linux as you are clearly out of touch with the reality of the real world"
Well all I can say is that if Windows 8 represents the real world, then you are welcome to it.
Too little too late.
1) "... to ensure data protection and enable trade through increased transparency, effective enforcement and legal certainty when data is transferred for commercial purposes,"
This should have been done in the first place, and it is a bit too late to start thinking about such things now.
2) Given that the UK is part of the EU and thus comes under the regulations, the fact that Tempora and other programmes have been run surely points out the fact that the security organisations don't give a damn about what is legal and what is not. The only thing that matters to them is whether they can do it without being caught.
3) With all of the revelations from Snowden would you really trust any of these characters do abide by any agreement made? If it didn't work the first time why should it work now?
No, this is just another attempt to pull the wool over our eyes with meaningless and worthless promises.
"There, there, it's all better now."
Return of the Jedi.
This is what we need to fight back against all those who consider your data fair game for their own purposes. A pity this won't affect the likes of Facebook though.
I was praying that the smart people outside the security organisations would be as angry as a lot of people here on El Reg and started to push back. And now it has started.
I do have a worry though. Will the likes of NSA and GCHQ etc. be content to let this happen? Possibly not, and any researchers in this field would be wise to watch their back closely. We are of course up against organisation whose raison d'etre is to secretly manipulate and interfere with what they perceive as threats, often not to the country which they are supposed to be protecting, but themselves.
Still it's a start.
Re: The way these people think.
"And is any top-flight IT bod any different?"
No, probably not. I certainly wasn't when I was doing desktop support. The difference being when I was doing a visit I was all too aware that my problem solving had a human element to it, usually an irate manager or process working glaring at me asking when they could get back to work.
These analysts on the other hand seem to see their "targets" as abstract entities with no human association. Thus my description of them as "sociopaths", this being one of the defining characteristics of such a personality.
Puzzle solving is one thing. Focus on that alone with no appreciation of any consequences to the other party, quite another. But as they are probably not "US persons" it might not matter even if they did think about the human being on the receiving end of their efforts. Let's face it, anyone not such a "US person" is, as far as the US Government is concerned, not blessed with the human rights they alone are entitled to.
The biggest problem you highlight is oversight. I agree with you there, the authorities are failing miserably. It could be that they are unaware of just what is going on or they don't care so long as they get what they want from such organisations.
The way these people think.
Reading through the original document:
A thought strikes me.
The way that the writer describes how he managed to break into the Kenyan sysadmin's account reads like a "walkthrough" in a computer game. With no apparent concept of the ethical consequences for this, all the writer seems to be interested in is solving the puzzle. They seem to have no appreciation that this is *NOT* a game but real life.
This got me thinking about the mind-set of the people involved in this. They seem to be divorced from the real world in as much as they do not regard the people they are targeting as actual human beings, no, all these targets are is "a means to an end". They are focused on puzzle solving to the exclusion of everything else, in other words, the end justifies the means. And where have we heard that before? They seem to enjoy working with "sooper sekrit stuff" and regard having this access as a sign that they are better than outsiders. They are arrogant and have a high self-regard.
Finally, thinking about all this, I wondered how the people working at NSA, GCHQ etc. could be described.
All I could come up with was "sociopath".
This post is already too long so I will include a couple of the sites I checked to see if what I thought sociopath meant was the proper one.
Personally I think the second sums up my impression of these characters pretty well.
One final quote from the leaked document.
"We can't collect everything all the time."
Oh, but I bet that they wish that they could.
The truth at last?
“My end target is the extremist/terrorist or government official..."
So perhaps now we know who the security apparat really regard as their enemies.
Either group could potentially threaten their cosy little world. One by blowing things up, the other by finding what is really going on at the likes of NSA or GCHQ.
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