2979 posts • joined Monday 12th October 2009 20:43 GMT
RIP Blunkett, Blair & Brown - Authors of British Excess
At one point in time the British government was covert in it's data collection. Then along come Blunkett, Blair & Brown and force all manner of data collection down British throats with hardly a murmur of complaint from the public.
Finally the public is becoming aware of what it does to it's citizens.
Many countries have ID systems but very, very few fingerprint children, or include them on yet another BBB database.
There is one benefit from ID cards: good forgeries are frequently accepted by systems/people not using electronic verification.
Great service record, especially considering the traffic loads
It's only when you lose something, it's value becomes appreciated.
So it is with Skype, a good reliable service that provides so much for so little.
Is this guys name's name Jobs? If not only prior art filed by him is acceptable
Double clicking in 2002 is new art? Even Jobs was double clicking in the last century.
Perhaps the problem is the U.S. Patent Office has run out of REJECTED slips so they just issue a number as a way around it.
Maybe someone ought to do an article on the Patent Office, so the rest of us can see something so obvious can even be issued a number. Little wonder they can claim more patents are issued there than any where else in the world..
If we were to extrapolate your concept of 'standby' or emergency' service governments could save a fortune by killing off fire and sea rescue services on the grounds they are only needed every so often.
Perhaps you are unaware that many public works, including roads and the Thames Barrier (another waste of money using your criteria), are designed to survive any historical challengers that have occurred in the previous 50 or 100 years.
Another example of risk input into capital expenditures have occurred into response to recent rail/tube accidents. When 31 people were fried to death at Kings Cross on 1987 November 18 as the result of a fire on a wooden escalator, a subsequent report recommended all wooden escalators be replaced with metal treads. The recommendation was rejected after cost was considered including the cost of compensating for any deaths - figured at around 2-million pounds per body.
The present Heathrow has been at it's present location since New Years Day 1946, it was first Fairey’s Great West Aerodrome then RAF Northolt, and if BAA has it's way it will be there forever.
This means (1) BAA has to take into account historic conditions; (2) The level of service it proposes; (3) Capital investment needed to achieve these goals.
Even if an event occurs every 20 or 30 years BAA has to take it in to consideration. Notwithstanding BA's attempts to increase the accident count (2008 BA flight crash-landed) BAA still maintains a very expensive fire service that spend months, even years, waiting for the next crash.
The provisioning of this fire service, and even snow removal equipment, is based on historical demand, and proposed service levels. BAA claims Heathrow is a 'world class' airport, it doesn't claim any exceptions. Therefore it has failed in it's duty. It matters not an iota whether the interruption is caused by a humans or Nature exercising it's options.
Talking about 'whingers', you might want to canvas the opinion of those people sitting it out in the airport. They might have different opinions to yours.
The cost of capital equipment, amortised over 50 years or more, might look like a real bargain when stacked up against airline costs (including repositioning empty planes), BAA losses and added costs, passenger losses and added costs and losses to the general economy.
Only people with a myopic viewpoint can't see why BAA failed.
P.S. Where I am has a temperature of 35c, the sun is shining and the drinks are long and cool. But the BBC World Service TV makes us appreciate our luck!
BA and BAA - made for each other
BA is not/never was the world's favourite airline and serial mismanagement have reduced the airline to a shadow of it's former corporate entity. If BA was ordered to bring it's employees pension fund contributions up to date it would have declare bankruptcy.
This, of course, is not the case with Wee Wiily Walshes benefits package, unsurprisingly.
As for BAA Heathrow, allegedly Britain's 'gateway' airport, it is little less than a scandal.
The last weather that equalled this recent weather disturbance was 20 years ago, according to the Met Office, and Heathrow has precious little to show for what some of the highest airport fees in the world.
Photographs of the snow are ample evidence that it has failed. Airports such as Toronto or Montreal are used to dealing with metres of snow. Until recently, Montreal airport had more snow clearing equipment than the City of Montreal.
The government should terminate the BAA Heathrow 'for cause' and re-tender the contract, which should have all weather performance written in to the contract. This is not difficult to accomplish be it with equipment purchases or retainer agreements that guarantee snow clearance equipment is available.
In any event, I hope those stranded at airports make it to a home or hotel for Christmas.
The side effects might be beneficial: international patent standards?
The disparity between patent legislation world-wide is, IMO, what is driving this mess of litigation.
In the U.S. you can patent a wet dream whereas in other jurisdictions you physically need to demonstrate the patent actually working.
Apple recently patented some real old ideas: hotel and travel reservations screens which clearly have been in the public domain for years, if not decades - so all they can expect is litigation.
Another patent was placing AM, FM and entertainment satellite receiver inside a cell phone. Given that satellite frequencies dictate certain physical parameters and that integrated circuitry has about hit the buffers in size reduction, it will be hard to physically reproduce this without enlarging a cell phone case. Anyone who has a satellite entertainment receiver can attest to this poor reception in diminutive receivers, unless you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
One 'feature' was mapping the radio stations. Guess what, I have a older cell that does this already although it didn't use an InterNet-based database to obtain it's mapping. Stations can be input manually or automatically.
So what does this Apple patent bring to the table? Litigation, for a start. Almost all prior art.
Patents need a much shorter life span, too.
Then again, there is the disproportionate power exerted by the U.S., whose politics are driven by election funding. To get the votes needed for international agreement encompassing all it's views, as amply demonstrated in the Wikileaks cables, it would simply buy support, as it has in the past, even though it is technically bankrupt.
Perhaps the EU needs to establish a common patent standard with the rules enforced by a EU patent court. Then a single voice, with more bodies behind it, can talk on equal terms with the U.S.
The knowledge gap started when the Plods shed bicycles for cars
When young, our local Plod used to lazily cycle around his beat, in Buckinghamshire, carefully making mental notes of what he saw.
These days days Plod has wheels and as they whiz by, they miss so much. Criminal activity nears eyes to be detected.
Sharing information will only act as a guidepost for Plods to alert them to things that might otherwise be missed.
One international credit card scam gang was found only because a detective, on foot, noticed unusual ATM use.
Landlines have geographic rates; mobiles undesignated multi-rates?
It would nice to have a symbol appear when dialling a mobile that is geographically remote from the calling party so people can evaluate costs before the call connection is completed.
Messaging needs regulation given that it costs cellco's minimum amounts in terms of channel use - which is nil given SMS is interleaved in the control channel traffic.
The complications of Common and Napoleonic Law
Most of Europe uses Napoleonic law whilst Britain (guilty until proven innocent), and it's former colonies including Canada and America use Common law (not guilty until proven so). America has developed, or evolved, it's law so really it's Common law plus plus.
Unfortunately Canada is, metaphorically speaking, half-way between Britain and the States, say Common plus.
Britain's idea of justice has also evolved - double jeopardy, talk when arrested or lose out, etc. - which has not been carried across the Atlantic.
Australia and New Zealand produce interesting precedents.
ONE THING that both Canada and the U.S. agree on, legally, is if the cops suppress ANY evidence that is beneficial to the defence they must disclose. This applies to all levels of cases, misdemeanour (petty stuff) or felony (anything over 2 or 5 years penalty, roughly)..
The case law on this is long and settled law and Assange would be entitled to everything, but everything, good and bad which, I guess, is not what he has so far.
It's the American way of doing business - duplicity, cheating & shaft the shareholders
Today's U.S. business news is filled with the arrest of another 4 outstanding U.S. business men - free link: < http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023392558482006.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection > (and on the lower LH corner). This Novell deal is just as deceitful.
The fact MS and Apple are sleeping together on this deal reveals so much more about their true relationships than do stories about litigation between them.
So why blame Wikileaks? They were forced to move by Amazon
Possibly Spamhaus could arrange hosting services with a server farm acceptable to them.
Canadian 'David' slew the Microsoft 'Giant'
When the Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued the thieving Microsoft and scored $290-million and a cease shipping order on software.
Just proves little guys can win.
How can they charge for, or change, the aeronautical AM, VHF band?
The AM-VHF aeronautical band, with 25kHz spacing, is established as a world-wide standard so just what they think they can do with it?
They can't re-assign it's use as it would contravene the ITU convention the UK, and every other country, is signatory to?
I thought the Tories were putting these idiots out of business?
Vindictive Crown Prosecution Service
Given the disproportionately high bail, together with other conditions, Assange was practically guaranteed to walk today - obviously an attempt by a vindictive Crown pissed off at losing the decision and wanting to drive Assange's costs higher.
Now that we know who forced this failed gearing, when is the Anonymous group going to test the UK government's cyber defences?
Ideal for long distance cross-country skiers
Cross country skiers will find these useful, particularly the hardy souls who don't follow the beaten trail,
Might even prove useful for Canadians living in the north when they check their trap lines.
Amazon really knocked cloud services when it knee-capped Wikileaks
The high-handed treatment of Wikileaks by Amazon highlighted a weakness of cloud services.
These services are very alike to communications, they provide carriage/storage of data.
They should be run on the principles relied upon by telephone companies and ISPs - they are bot responsible for content. Amazon's intervention was little less than political censorship. If every carrier in the InterNet had this attitude nothing would get through.
Another matter that needs clarification is where the cloud servers are based. Geographic location is very pertinent given that the U.S. government has laws permitting it to access any computer, without warrant, on U.S. territory.
How many organisations want THEM trawling through corporate data, not to mention the cloud operators?
"are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo for revenue growth"
She has been criticized for having a poor relationship with the management of Alibaba, of which Yahoo! owns almost 40% of the China-based firm. Some have speculated that this stake may be worth USD$10-billion and argue Yahoo! should sell it.
Bartz could have sold a few of these shares and given 600 people a happier Christmas.
Back in October Carol Bartz was supposed to be fired this week, this month, or later this year, according to a number of media outlets. Maybe this her move for job preservation - hers?
Just passing judgement on it's literary value?
Another possible use would in the outside 'loo. As back up.
Sweden blowing a lot of political capital and goodwill: not good for Assange
The fact that Sweden is using up a lot of goodwill in persecuting Assange means it is painting itself in to a corner where it will have to have a trial to justify all this show-boating in London. After all this posturing, they still only 'want him for 'questioning' rather than to stand trial.
It looks more and more political than just a sexual assault.
Let's hope he is out for Christmas.
Stunningly sane, obvious decision: saves money too
The money wasted by the military on communications is enormous. Then when a choice has been made, there is the small matter of interoperability between members of different forces.
The Royal Signals alone has a stunning number of systems: PERSONAL ROLE RADIO (PRR),
PTARMIGAN, TRIFFID, EUROMUX, CORMORANT, FALCON and PROMINA almost all of them replaceable with cell/Wimax/LTE technology.
Now we have to persuade the police to dump all their old technologies and get with the money saving idea.
Guess that Thales/Racal, BAE and Siemens Plessey won't be too happy though!
The whole bloody lot are incestuous fraud artists
The on-line res systems, GDS - Global Distribution Systems, evolved from airline based res systems into multi-carrier or universal systems.
Simply put, a travel agent, or vendor. inputs an inquiry and the res system kicks out a choice of slights. Due to their affiliations these flight presentations were skewed in favour of the airline owner - in the case of Sabre, now independent Sabre Holdings, it was American Airlines - then the U.S. government stepped in because of this bias and flights were listed by time of departure.
This why air carriers always list their morning departures at impossible times, even before the airport allows flights to begin, to get early positions in the screen listings.
The res systems made their money when a seat was "sold", the air carriers account was debited with a handling charge and the travel agents account was credited with a small piece of the action whilst the res system grabbed the most.
If a seat sale was cancelled the process was reversed - which all seemed fine. The res systems were, in fact, doing the accounting for all three parties in the deal.
Airlines can't, under IATA rules, mess with discounts, etc. To get around this restriction air carriers introduced 'contracts' where they provided seats at a discount to a travel vendor based on 'production' or ethnic origin. (This why it is often best to buy overseas flights from a travel agent ethnically affiliated with your destination)
On occasion the res systems had technical problems where their accounting systems screwed up and either the carriers or the travel agents lost out, monetarily.
SURPRISE, no one bitched, no one noticed they were getting gyped by the res systems. These 'incidents' continued for years with everyone, except the GDS, losing a small percentage.
Then some airline accountant got smart. Instead of accepting the GDS accounting as gospel, he decided to audit their returns with actual seats sold. Big problems for the GDS, but another opportunity for IT - automatic seat sales/GDS reconciliation.
Remember ALL THESE TRANSACTIONS were ORIGINATED by the independent TRAVEL AGENT. In order to actually sell a ticket and accept money on behalf of airlines, travel vendors have to be IATA approved. Individual airlines made travel vendors 'authorised' by issuing a 'plate' which would be inserted in the manual ticket machine so the right codes, and discounts, were applied.. This 'plate' data was later held by the GDS so they automatically printed the data on tickets.
Many of the discrepancies were sorted out between the GDS and the airlines but many airlines didn't have the clout to deal with the GDS so they came up with a new idea -screw the weakest link. These 'charge backs', aka Debit Notes, are made for everything: agent booking errors (including GDS errors), credit card refusals, etc.
Then some travel agents decided to check out their GDS accounts and they found that their sale 'credits' were 'short'.
This has happened with Sabre and, at least, Galileo - I know as I was sued by both (and they both lost) for warning travel agents through a web site, that I am one moderator of, of these losses.
To demonstrate exactly how amoral GDS are consider: they are travel agent suppliers, they collect all passenger identification and contact info, they know all about travel agent customers, as well as travel agents.
In normal businesses suppliers don't sell against their customers. But travel is not a 'normal' business. Sabre set up Travelocity so it can retail against travel agents (Travelocity has to use real travel agents in some locations to issue tickets because of law). In other words Sabre gets the transaction handling charge and the discount through the 'contracts' it holds through Travelocity.
So today we have all these incestuous crooks complaining because an honest broker, Google, wants in and that all their little deals, that rip off passengers, will be exposed.
Tough luck, I say, the retail travelling public deserves transparency and these 'friends' in the travel trade should face true competition!
P.S. To get the best, and safest, deals:
1. Pick a reliable travel agent who will appreciate you and your business;
2. Only buy from IATA approved travel agents;
3. Make sure your travel agent can be contacted out of hours by e-mail for emergencies;
4. Make sure your travel agent is bonded - often through a trade organisation;
5. Note that buying travel from the company organising the travel/package means NO insurance!
6. Not one of the members of FairSearch.org will provide all of these passenger friendly benefits. Most are not insured to protect their customers, either.
Guess what someone's doing for Christmas?
In many jurisdictions judges like to keep docket bare over the Christmas period so they, and the lawyers, can escape to the ski slopes or beaches.
I'm sure the plaintiff's lawyers can read the message.
"famous "detector vans" should remain shrouded in mystery"
The only mystery is how the BBC has never been charged with extortion or fraud, harassing seniors who don't even have televisions.
Given today's solid state screens, built to low radiation requirements, another mystery is just what are these mysterious vans detecting? Guilty consciences? Or are they using the Israeli voice lie detectors?
Maybe Wikileaks has a new challenge?
iVersion 4 is inimitable
Lemon 4 is like no other phone as was duff when it hit the streets and Jobs swept the problem under the carpet and lied saying all was well.
The respected U.S. Consumer Reports condemned the thing, too>
Still, Versions 1-3 are even good enough to make calls.
(iPhans click the red button below)
All welcome, unless ....
your name is Wikileaks.
Maybe it's time for the 'Info Bomb File' to be opened?
What many seem to be overlooking, whilst worrying about all the 'outing' of names of informers or American operatives, are the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people MURDERED by U.S. forces or their allies.
Maybe these people don't count because they are citizens of a country in conflict / not my relative / different colour / don't speak English.
What about the plain simple, unadorned murder of Reuters reporters by U.S. airborne troops?
What about Canadian and British troops killed by 'friendly fire' by U.S. forces?
Time to open the file, Assange and Wikileaks, the 'collateral damage' will be minimal compared to what the U.S. has done in the pursuit of oil under the guise of 'human rights' and 'democracy'!
"how relatively unimportant and easily replaceable a part Julian Assange and Wikileaks ..."
If this is true the U.S. government sure is wound up about like few other individuals have achieved before and has caused a number of different governments to change plans.
Give credit where credit is due - and not forgetting the imprisoned soldier Manning.
South Korea joining China, North Korea, VietNam, etc?
South Korea isn't the first Far Eastern country to reject Facebook for various reasons including privacy or cultural reasons.
Maybe Zuck-man will, true to his old character, just tell them to not to bother him.
Spare Spectrum? Don't do what the U.S. did!
The U.S. FCC hired contractors to do a spectrum use survey to get an updated picture.
Out they went and after months of surveying they compiled a report that showed well under 50% of the assigned (licenced use) frequencies were actually being used.
An old RF hand in the FCC spot checked some of the report findings and he found that the 'unused' frequencies were actually the mobile transmit frequencies - the surveyors had used an antenna with low elevation which was great for receiving the 'base station' frequencies radiated from high atop tall masts.
The 'mobile' transmitters had lower elevation, naturally, and as a result the surveyors had failed to detect their use!
Colour the report a failure!
Given that most Chinese women are slight of build ....
just how many iThings will fit in a A or B size bra cup?
Maybe MaCau would have been a better choice for crossing the border, a ferry trip from HongKong, as most destined for MaCau are after the casinos.
They had to move, to maintain a foothold
The pace of developement in this technology was in danger of leaving Mastercard and Visa as also rans.
By introducing this sad compromise is technologically flawed and uses the SD slot that is meant for other, more frequent uses.
This is a privacy stretch!
Just why can't parents take pictures of school activities their children participate in? I attended a school activity with my niece a few years ago and some prune of a teacher said I couldn't take photo's of HER child as I wasn't a parent.
So she used my camera and took numerous photo's of her child, as well as the other children, with my camera - so I guess a paedophile could do that, too.
Signs of Desperation?
One Walmart I see when I visit the States doesn't have many greeters.
Last time I dropped in the single old guy on the door said Walmart has trouble hiring pensioners as greeters as the pay is so poor it hardly pays for his transportation - he did it because it was a social thing, he got out of the house and met people!
On guard for thee, indeed!
E-ordering and payment escrow/trust equally important
The ability to place E-orders - with assured signatures for those with credit facilities with a supplier - is equally important.
For those placing occasional orders, or for people without established credit facilities, a payment trust / escrow account system is key to doing business. As the last few days have demonstrated, neither the major credit card players, nor the payment facilitators such as PayPal, or even a major Swiss financial player can be trusted.
Any escrow system must be able to payout providing, at the time the deposit was MADE, both parties to a transaction weren't on any ban list.
'Loony' is the name of the Canadian $1 coin ...
which feature a Canadian Loon (bird) image.
Canadian $2 coins are called, unimaginatively, Toonies.
In case of risk of Tasering risk get new clothes!
There are several commercial products available now to neutralise Tasers, and their ilk, from spray on high-conductivity sprays (like anti-static or anti-stain sprays).
For those participants in G20 or education fee hikes, more effective tailored clothing might prove effective. See: < http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/safety/taser+proof-gear-is-great-for-students-political-activists-criminals-318169.php >, < http://catmanslitterbox.blogspot.com/2009/08/defeating-tasers-and-other-non-lethal.html >, < http://www.thorshield.com/prod01.htm >.
Question: How come Plod doesn't order / use the lanyard / tether option - or are they just too cheap?
Just a Pentagon War Game to check out their new toys.
Within weeks of forming a 'cyber war' group, the Pentagon is likely working overtime to check out it's tactics for the next U.S. inspired go-around.
Sort of proves they have a lot to learn, yet, as they have with keeping their secrets locked down.
A more mature outlook but they are still spying on you!
This Microsoft decision is certainly more mature, not to mention resource prioritising, than that exhibited by a certain California fruit garden. Does this mean MS recognises that you have actually paid for their services?
Still, once again, MS has revealed that spying on customers, and who knows WHAT ELSE, continues unabated by a company that has certainly shown that it is government-spying friendly before.
Does this mean that all WinFone7 user activity will be easily ascertained by accessing a database?
Another dumb bugger who doesn't tether his laptop ... or make back-ups.
Hasn't this AD MAN seen the ADVERTISEMENTS that recommend you lock your goodies in your car boot / trunk?
I have hauled laptops and assorted high value electronic test gear around the world for decades and have yet to lose one to a thief. My trusty Kingston security tether (don't use the Belkin as they are useless) is ALWAYS attached when out of my home or office.
At airports or other transportation termini I thread the tether through my baggage handles. On commuter trains I either secure the tether through my trousers belt or around my wrist. Once I travelled on the Chiltern line and noticed all the dozing business men who carelessly entrusted their laptops to the overhead rack. On arrival at Princes Risborough there was a cry of anguish as one of these sleeping beauties had discovered his toy had been taken for a walk.
P.S. Do yourselves a favour, cut off any labelling on the carry cases that suggest the contents have a high value!
Financial systems own goals: credibility down the drain
Financial institutions depend on trust, whatever there is left after the Wall Street frauds, where a person trusts a financial agent to perform a duty without fear or favour and transmit money to a second party.
By claiming Assange / Wikileaks / whomever has broken a law - no U.S. laws have been infringed by Wikileaks - and refusing to perform their advertised service, the financial institutions are simply destroying their credibility, particularly since they still perform services to people infringing the law in other matters.
I frequently use 'ethnic' money transfer services, which are not banks and were declared to be 'aiding terrorism' by Bush, as I can transfer any amount of money - as in thousands of dollars - to a different country knowing it will be DELIVERED to the payee, as in to their door, the next day, 7 days a week.
Never been cheated, never been refused and never had to discuss the 'lawfulness' of my payee.
Smart move: Quality not Quantity
The oft quoted App totals, even those passed by the Thought Control police, had, and have, little meaning to smartphone users who use their devices for business.
Many App library descriptions don't accurately describe Apps, either, making selection difficult.
Perhaps the design contest rules signal RIM will adopt tighter parameters when they open their App library.
Regional bird accents
As someone who has travelled worldwide, I have noticed chickens and owls have distinctive regional calls.
Some owls in, at least, Western Greece making a 'bopping' cry as opposed to the 'twit-twoooo' of the English owl.
The 'morning call' of cockerels, which seem to have no or little relationship to sun-rise are even more distinctly more varied, even to the untrained ear. Having listened to such calls for years in Buckinghamshire, the damn multiple cocks within earshot of my small place on the Greek isle of Kithnos are extremely different both in timing and tone, and seem to start around 04.00H and carry on throughout the day!
My favourite bird call is the plaintiff call of the Canadian Loon < http://www.junglewalk.com/sound/loon-sounds.htm >.
P.S. When travelling, take time to study the night-sky filled with stars - and how it changes from place to place.
Another clash of culture?
In North America, where the telephone was invented on picturesque Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, the early telephone 'companies' were formed by farmers getting together and erecting telephone lines that terminated on a manual switchboard somewhere in the centre, geographically.
The operator, often a housewife, would connect the calls on her cord board. The whole system was financed by occasional payments whilst the individual calls were 'free'.
Later lines were installed that interconnected individual farmers groups systems together, the use of which was subject to charge.
Elsewhere in the world per call charges were used.
Rarely have 'consumption' charges been used in North America since the InterNet became more ubiquitous. Generous limits were imposed but few hit this jackpot, at first.
Now Europe wants to reintroduce it's metering schema.
Several things aren't too obvious to the casual user. The BBC, for instance, maintains servers in White Plains, New York State to service North America.
Google also owns InterNet pipelines around the world that terminate in many countries for which they pay the freight. Other heavy consumers, such as Facebook, do not, relying on regular carriers.
So before people go bad mouthing the usual suspects, just investigate who the real free-loaders are.
Brave guy, this Icelander, and right on the mark
Assange and Wikileaks have broken no laws with respect to the 'leaks'.
The leaks occurred solely because of the failure of American authorities to properly secure the data. Any claims by these usurious credit card companies to the contrary are plain and simply lies.
These companies should recognise that American law does not apply to Europe and therefore the EU should their feet to the fire and get this sorted out.
PayPal - no credibility, not trustworthy1
The PayPal wanna-be-a-bank outfit has a history of freezing accounts for unfounded reasons. Did it for Cryptome, too.
Not only this, they also sell on customer data to other potential vendors.
Totally unworthy and unreliable. Never, ever give them a credit card number, either!
All potential contracts should be advertised with a ...
period to allow expressions of interest, followed by proposals / RFQ's and a public opening of bids.
This will force tenderers to sharpen their pencils and for competitors to tweak / optomise their quotations.
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