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* Posts by Steve

16 posts • joined 17 May 2007

eBay employee 'torpedos' fraud trial

Steve
Boffin

Re: For D.A. - NI NOT in UK

Nope, wrong!

Northern Ireland is not in Great Britain (which consists of Scotland, England and Wales).

Northern Ireland is in the United Kingdom.

The full title of the UK is "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

(government) web page explaining it : http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Gtgl1/GuideToGovernment/AboutBritain/DG_10012517

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Windows XP repair disk kills automatic updates

Steve

Disappointing article

Dan,

I'm disappointed with this article, because usually your articles are of a high quality (and better than most of the other Reg writers)

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"red herrings about stealth updates" : they weren't red herrings, based on the first half of your article!

I quote : "the end user who should ultimately decide what software runs on it"

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"But it's inconsistent for critics to take Microsoft to task for pushing an update that was necessary for the continued smooth running of Windows Update and then gripe when the update gets undone by a repair disk"

There is no inconsistency. There are two problems, being articulated by the same people. The first one is the user controlling what is installed on their PC (see earlier in your article). The second one is an update (whether pushed by MS or pulled by myselves) breaking vital functionality. Two separate complaints about two separate problems. It is not inconsistent to complain about both of them.

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French court says non to pre-loaded Windows on Acer laptop

Steve

Thank you 3x2

The most useful and relevant comment posted so far.

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Chemical-weapons hysteria causes cholera

Steve

re; Nice subject

Thorin is correct.

The title should read "Chemical-weapons hysteria causes cholera to spread"

Chris, re-read your logic. Your final statement says that the final effect (after all those causes) is "cholera in water is allowed to reproduce and spread".

i.e. you have confirmed that Thorin is correct (see my amended title), at the same time as saying that he should get a reality check.

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Legal threat to 'Green nuke' consultation

Steve

Nuclear power is (un)economical?

@James Anderson

In the current situation, nuclear power is uneconomical.

There are five main costs :

Build (this is very expensive compared to most other alternatives)

Running costs (this is comparable to other renewable options and very cheap in comparison to fossil fuels)

De-commisssioning (this is very expensive compared to every other alternative)

Getting rid of nuclear waste (this is currently very expensive, no-one has found a politically and publicly acceptable way of doing it yet)

Insurance (this is currently impossibly expensive unless under-written by the government)

The first one is a big problem, as you need a big money commitment from a company to get started, they need to know that they will recoup their money back at some point.

The fourth one may or may not make nuclear power uneconomical, depending on your views on future technology and future political and public acceptability.

But the biggest problem is the fifth one, and this is the one that definitely makes nuclear power uneconomical compared to the alternatives. You CANNOT buy insurance at a reasonable price, so the government has to pay for the insurance. If you crash a 747 into a nuclear plant it costs tens of billions to fix. Do that to a coal plant and it costs tens of millions.

Of course, imposing a carbon tax may change the economics, depending on the details and it's severity.

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Quantum computing spectre looms over ecommerce

Steve

Why this is important

@Cryptography :

For common crypto algorithms, it takes a cheap computer to create the encrypted messages and a very powerful (and expensive) computer to break them.

So everyone can create them but only governments can easily crack them.

As computing power gets cheaper, you increase the key length, to keep this state of affairs. If you increase the key length too much so that governments can't crack them, then Joe Public's low powered computer takes too long to create the messages. Hence the compromise.

Now, if you have cheap quantum computers, then it will be as cheap to create and break the algorithms, increasing key length, the same money will do both. And increasing key length no longer keeps the breaking out of reach, unless you make the creating out of reach too.

@cold fusion 2.0

Because, based on this articles (and lots of others), creating a useful quantum computer is now an "engineering problem" i.e. we know the theory and have a proof of concept, we just have to figure out how to build it at a reasonable price. And based on history, throw enough resources at it and these type of problems get solved.

Whereas cold fusion is a "theoretical problem" i.e. it can't be reliably duplicated and we don't know the theory behind it yet.

So quantum computing is several steps further on than cold fusion. And quantum computing will have lots of resources thrown at it, because crypto is (creating and breaking) very important to people with money, as is lots of other problems it can solve (e.g. weather forecasting, logistics)

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Another investigation into Pirate Bay child porn

Steve

Taking down links

Please note that the links are NOT to kiddie porn, the links are to SUSPECTED kiddie porn. Pirate Bay are making it clear that they will not remove links just because someone (the police in this case) say that it links to something illegal. They need actual proof, or a court order.

And as has been mentioned before Swedish law SPECIFICALLY BANS Pirate Bay from checking the links. It is ILLEGAL in Sweden to follow a link that says it is not kiddie porn (which these links do) but you suspect is (which the police do) to check.

Please do not insist on Pirate Bay breaking the law, as some of the above posters are doing.

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SexSearch.com gets off on user's underage romp

Steve

More info

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070829-but-her-profile-said-she-was-18-jail-cell-judge-rules.html

They met, had sex, went their separate ways. It was a month later before the police went to his house and arrested him (probably because she told someone what happened?)

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UniquePhone answers sceptics with video

Steve

Re: Why so sceptical?

Because UniquePhones is asking for money and the other guy isn't.

Because the other guy gives step by step instructions, and UniquePhones just says "trust us".

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Gentoo cuts key parts of itself from net for its own good

Steve

Re: OpenBSD

Banks use whatever OS they feel happy with i.e. all of them (although note the lack of OpenBSD in this list).

From netcraft, a few banks I could think of before I got bored :

HSBC : Linux, unknown

Barclays : Solaris, AIX

Llyodstsb : Win 2003, NT 4

Abbey : Win 2000, Win 2003, unknown

RBS : Win 2000, NT 4, unknown

BoS : AIX, unknown

Halifax : Win 2000

Natwest : Win 2000

MBNA : Linux, Solaris

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Betfair tears up all bets on Polish tennis championship game

Steve

Re: irregular?

No it wouldn't. Betfair is setup to make money from every transaction, regardless of which way the punter bets. By voiding bets they stand to lose money, no matter what the bets were.

Betfair collects transaction fees from punters betting against each other, a normal bookie collects (or loses) money wagered on losing (or winning) bets bet against that bookie (and could make or lose money by voiding bets, depending on the situation)

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Oz cans porn filtering trial

Steve

Re: I wonder

Based on the article, not enough to make a business case. The ISPs didn't play ball, which means they calculated it would cost them more to maintain the filter than they would make from selling the service.

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Steve

Background

Lester, you really need to provide for links for background!

The trial was designed so that ISPs would offer users two services :

1. Uncensored internet

2. Internet without the porn or "extreme violence", for which the user would pay an extra fee of about $2.50

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/parents-trial-internet-porn-ban/2006/04/11/1144521340635.html

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Power outage knocks out major websites

Steve

Re: Bunch of arse...

To captain kangaroo :

Read the article mentioned by Fazal Majid

The power went down at 2pm, other sources mention 1.45, it was back by 4pm, 365 Main had about two hours with no power.

However, the sites dependant on 365 Main all failed shortly before 2pm.

Now, from a press release in March of this year :

To ensure uptime for all its tenants, each of 365 Main’s data centers features modern power and cooling infrastructure. The company’s San Francisco facility, for example, includes two complete back-up systems for electrical power to protect against a power loss. In the unlikely event of a cut to a primary power feed, the state-of-the-art electrical system instantly switches to live back-up generators to keep the data center continuously running and shield tenants from costly downtime.

In other words, they explicitly state that the power to them could be cut off and they will say running. Which was a lie, because they failed at the same time as their power supply failed. Fazal's comment was correct, they didn't test their equipment properly.

I work in a company that employs 12000 staff and 1000s of servers in our data center, the UPS should cut in immediately, with no downtime at all. The backup generators should cut in after a few minutes, and then continue running the data center for a few hours. It is incompetence on the part of 365 Main that this did not happen.

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YouTube - uTube showdown stays alive in federal court

Steve

to Rick

A mis-understanding in your post :

utube.com was registered in 1996 and youtube was founded in 2005, a long time after, so they are not cyber-squatting.

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Half of stored files will never be accessed

Steve

988 billion gigabytes

The whole world. According to the IDC report it's currently at 161 exabytes, and by 2010 will be at 988 exabytes (i.e. 988 billion gigabytes)

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