163 posts • joined 2 Feb 2010
Here's something El Reg readers can do...
You don't like bankers, gutting the economy and still getting their bonuses, or the consequences? Well, for starters, switch banks to the Co-Op.
OK their CEO still earns what I'd consider to be too much, but it's a damn sight less than the £1m pay/£2.33m bonus + a possible £4.3m in incentives subject to share prices handed out to the head of Lloyds. Yes, Lloyds. The Epic Fail of British banking, that had to be bailed out by tax payers.
So, that's a start to building a better Britain. If the concept of ethical commerce has always passed you by previously, you might want to start thinking about it, not as a one off, but as a way of life. There are ethical alternatives to most of the things we do. If you don't choose them, your money goes to less ethical places and less ethical people. Making less ethical and outright unethical companies bigger and more powerful will ensure that in due course, they will screw us. It benefits us to go with the good guys. Sometimes it takes a bit more effort and may cost a bit more, but in the long run, we all benefit.
As for senior financial folk threatening to leave Britain and take their snouts with them if their troughs are taken away. We should be chasing them out with claw hammers for what the fraudsters did to our economy, and got away with, scot free.
A (welcome) drop in the ocean.
There are three major issues with energy use: safe, sustainable energy creation without environmental damage, reducing use through the development of low power technologies and reducing waste. Waste is unnecessary usage (neon advertising crap/most flying/large % of car use). The human race are crap at all of them and do not seem to have any real intention of changing their behaviour in the fundamental ways that might make a difference. The free market economy is actually based on consumption, requiring increased waste to create increased consumption (built-in obsolescence: a new iToy every year). It will end in tears and we will deserve it. We can't even blame the government. It's our own laziness, arrogance and greed.
Have the balls to audit your own behaviour and reduce your use and waste of energy at home and at work. You'd kill to protect your kids but every day you poison their future, because it requires a bit of effort to change your ways.
The US has a lot of sunny, empty desert. Why aren't they covered with solar energy arrays? Why isn't every new house in the developed world built with solar panels, light wells, proper insulation and a small wind turbine? Most people I know don't give any thought at all to the consequences of going on yet another foreign holiday. It's pathetic. They can learn how to text or how to post on Facebook, but their part in the creation of pollution and its effects seems to be beyond their comprehension. For the most intelligent species on the planet, we are pretty dumb.
As FB messaging has become the new e-mail between friends...
...I'm surprised they haven't bought Skype.
There cannot be a problem. The British Govt. told us nuclear is safe.
British Govt. v reality. Obviously, British Govt. every time. Because you can always trust a politician.
I'm not a nuclear scientist, but building more than 50 nuclear power stations in the middle of an earthquake hot spot would seem to be one of those plans that you file under 'B' for bad. Maybe post-war Japan needed to concentrate on renewable energy tech instead of making electronic things really small and selling lots of consoles.
And yes, Britain has natural disasters including earthquakes, as well as unnatural disasters.
You should never build anything that you cannot simply turn off or have fail catastrophically, safely.
I'd rather they covered the entire country in giant wind turbines, every house having one (instead of the chimneys they all used to have) than turned to nuclear.
Burying the waste is also an epic fail waiting to happen. Groundwater, drinking water, land contamination... There are still farms in Britain affected by the consequences of Chernobyl.
'Burn the witch' is not an acceptable customer service policy.
Used to be great. Now just arrogant wankers.
Please don't buy their stuff. It just encourages them.
The House of Lords, aka Shady Pines.
It's hilarious until you realise that these doddering imbeciles are in a position of political authority.
They'll never find 'Silent Mode' on their Windows 3.1 laptops.
Now be fair...
All those things you heard about the Australian character, the self-sufficiency and mental toughness in a harsh land. It was all just PR for the tourists. Aussies are really delicate little snowflakes, teetotal and God-fearing. They need this sort of protection. They can't roll out official government censorship too soon down there for FB posts, forum posts and e-mail.
Just think of it as honest, trustworthy politicians giving you a nice big digital hug.
And it will be us next.
ITT Too many people missing the point.
Most of Google's services are automated. Web 2.0 stuff has to be. If someone has a problem, they complain, there are procedures and it may be taken down. That is the only workable way of doing stuff.
If this is regarded as insufficient in a country to the point where you can get successfully sued for it, then you cannot do Web 2.0 stuff in that country. OK, Google will be the first to be parted with their currency, but they will only be the first. Eventually even bloggers could be hit. If copyrighted material is posted as a comment, the blogger could be punished. If they are responsible for the poster's copyright infringement, then it follows they are responsible for the poster's acts of libel or posting of child porn.
Web 2.0 only works if you can operate with something akin to the ISP's conduit clause. You are not responsible for 3rd party content, but do have a duty to act responsibly if a complaint is made regarding material that appears on your service in breach of the law.
So however much you dislike Google, and however much you want them to be screwed for doing things they shouldn't have done (hoovering private WiFi data etc), be aware that justice and the legal system are usually two entirely different things. The Italian case is particularly disturbing. Vicarious atonement has no place in any legal system.
The next step down the road of being responsible for everything that appears on your website is being responsible for everything that goes down your wires. If someone hacks your WiFi connection at home, at a cafe or at a hotel, would you like to be held accountable for what they download?
How old is this article?
If your user requires more than an hour of normal use to transition comfortably from XP to 7 then you need to chat to your HR dept. about employing people with inadequate basic skill sets.
The 'eject' requirement for USB sticks and SD cards should have been designed out by now. Cumbersome, unintuitive and badly implemented.
"Restraint of trade is a common law doctrine relating to the enforceability of contractual restrictions on freedom to conduct business. In an old leading case of Mitchell v Reynolds (1711) Lord Smith LC said,
"it is the privilege of a trader in a free country, in all matters not contrary to law, to regulate his own mode of carrying it on according to his own discretion and choice. If the law has regulated or restrained his mode of doing this, the law must be obeyed. But no power short of the general law ought to restrain his free discretion."
Contractual obligations not to trade are illegal agreements on public policy grounds unless they are reasonable in the interests of both contracting parties and of the public at large. Restraint of trade mainly affects post-termination restrictive covenants in employment contracts, and restrictions on competition in contracts for the sale of businesses."
It's about time someone launched a 'super-complaint' regarding restraint of trade in the technology sector, and sorted all this out properly.
Assorted Apple activites, iPhone, Google Checkout on eBay and all the other ones.
The BBC will be sucking government cock for the forseeable future, running scared, fearing yet more cuts. The understandable ones, where they have gone way beyond their remit (garden/car shows) and the shameful ones that are just attacks on public service culture (hacking bits off the World Service).
Puritans are nasty people. They have serious hang-ups.
It's life, Jim.
So, will the bookies be paying out?
Beautiful shape. Ingenious tech. Design icon.
All that tech in so few chips. There was nothing quite like it at the time. Still got my original, with the ZX printer and a 3rd party wobble-free RAM pack.
Built up a large collection but it's all gone to a museum. Kept my Sinclairs though, including a couple of ZX81s in Fuller cases. Full-travel keys. U Jelly? Picked up the US version of the printer along the way too.
Have the Hi-Res software package somewhere. Maplin did a hardware version in the days when you could get any of half a dozen electronics magazines in WHS. We have lost a route into tech for the young courtesy of surface mount devices, patent laws, copyright and sealed boxes.
Did everyone start out with Toni Baker's intro?
There was a colour convertor, but I've never seen one working.
The ZX96 is worth a look.
Best Christmas present a small boy could have in 1981.
Happy birthday little guy.
Tunisia. Egypt. Libya.
Keep on pissing off your people. See where it gets you.
It never occurs to anyone to actually design out some of these issues?
Doing what the major online shareware and freeware sites do, checking software for malware before hosting them, but not censoring according to content and specific functionality the way Apple does.
At the same time you can design a mobile device that can indicate whether it is running only apps that have been checked for malware, or ones that have not been, offering the chance to flush the entire OS from a ROM core and rebuild if you choose to test a potentially dodgy app, re-installing the rest of your apps from an online account repository.
So, the requirement for users is to be at least of average intelligence in their use of tech, not doing stupid things. Children, and those who don't understand what they are doing but can press a button, should be directed to Apple, where the walls are padded and everyone smiles all the time.
And like desktop OSs, mobile OSs should be illegal to sell without built-in, free anti-virus, maintained by the originator. It is a more fundamental aspect of operation than all the gimmicks and skins.
This industry seems to be taking a long time to pass puberty and mature. Too many kids with venture capital. Not enough grown-ups minding the store.
Government by arsehole.
If it was a perk for small firms, why didn't they define the 'small' bit in the legislation?
And if you want a diverse highstreet, they are going to have to link commercial council tax to profitability. Banks and chains pay more. Slightly mad but rather lovely independent shops that make your town centre a nice place even if they don't make much money, pay a lot less. The alternative is loads of boarded-up shops and a selection of charity shops.
So humanity can put a man on the moon...
...but can't develop a workable rapid response solution that makes it impossible for criminal filth doing this sort of thing to pull money from credit cards and get away with it?
The publishers' last stand.
Most publishers are still living in the late 20thC. Most didn't even manage to transfer to print on demand (PoD) before ebooks became established. They don't control any of this new stuff and they are running scared.
Late to PoD means that all sorts of Johnny Foreigners created start-ups to flog books off the back of Google Books and nick some of their trade. New publishers also started up beginning with a PoD model (like Lulu.com).
And publishers are well behind on ebooks too. By the time they had worked out what they are, Kindle had taken the market. Amazon own Kindle and have already become the default global distributor of books (slaughtering the national divvy-up, published in US, published in the UK etc, to boot).
So publishers who once controlled the market are now the farmers to Amazon's Tesco.
Expect many of them to go the way bookshop chains have gone (and farmers).
They were just very slow to change, never quite understood that they had an entirely new form of competition, and couldn't get the hang of the new marketplace. Their best responses were a series of mergers and an eNBA.
This is their last stand and they will lose it.
...when you finally delete your e-mails, do Google delete them from those back-up tapes?
Children .... 16 and 17yos.
Spot the deliberate mistake. If I saw a small group of 16 and 17yo "children", I'd cross the road for my own personal safety. How vulnerable are they again?
Amused vegan is amused.
You don't like the idea of breast milk ice cream, but you're happy to consume the stuff that comes from the same bit of a farm animal?
Is she allowed out to buy food?
Or is that one of those coy US death sentences, like Megan's Law?
Nick data: local paper.
Stick hard drive down your knickers: global infamy.
Not that the world's media are shallow or anything.
Corporate seriousness chart.
2. Wage level.
3. Company car.
5. Executive drinks cabinet security.
134. Infrastructure security.
135. Customer satisfaction.
As a back-up, get a POTS phone that doesn't need mains or a wireless connection. No frills. Under a tenner.
The simpler stuff is, the more reliable it is.
Never trust or rely on technology. Never trust or rely on those who provide technology or tech services. Alway back-up your data. Always have a plan B for when the tech fails (which it will).
Better green solution...
Don't buy a new phone until your old one is unusable. Wasting money on the new, annual release of the next iToy fashion accessory is bad for the environment. And no, you aren't going to watch the latest blockbuster on an iPhone. You are just wasting the environment to show off. Given how much we know about the environmental effects of conspicuous consumption, that sits at the pathetic end of the spectrum of human behaviour.
The tech industry is one of the worst offenders for built-in obsolesence, landfill and waste. Tech owners and early adopters are some of the most arrogant when it comes to not giving a stuff about the environment that their kids will inherit.
Probably good for the economy that the concept of shame has passed out of currency, given the sheer laziness and ignorance of those who continue to unthinkingly pollute at the drop of a hat, and the complete dependency upon consumer addiction of our flawed and unsustainable economic system
It will end badly, but you needn't worry, eh. It's your kids and grandchildren that will suffer the most, not you.
That Leonardo DaVinci cartoon...I don't see the joke!
The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood.
Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.
FFS everybody, calm down.
This is Sweden we are talking about. Not Turkey. Not Iran. Not the US. Sweden.
It's not like the British judicial system is anything to write home about. As for extradition to the US, he is probably safer in Sweden as the official British ministerial position re: the US Government is on its knees with its butt cheeks parted.
It's an accusation of a couple of sex crimes. Bog standard consequence of this is for the accused to be shipped back home if they want to put him on trial.
Very few trials that hinge on he said/she said consent get very far or result in guilty verdicts, regardless of guilt or innocence.
His status in Sweden is pretty much the same as it is here.
Assange is not Wikileaks. Wikileaks is not Assange. It would be better for Wikileaks if Assange got his trial over and done with. It is publicity, but not all publicity is good publicity.
The extradition is unlikely to bother Anonymous, whatever Assange, his legal team or his giant ego hint at.
And if he skips bail, big deal. The British government are two hundred grand up. They could use it to keep open a few of those libraries they are closing.
Incompetent private companies with their snouts in the trough and the govt. playing politics with tech and making a mess of it. We pay for it, get a crap service and lose out.
As to who you wouldn't want to see your data. In many cases, your friends, your enemies, your stalkers, your family, your neighbours, prospective partners, abusive partners, ex-partners, their divorce solicitors and ultimately world+dog when the stuff gets leaked to the web and distributed as a torrent.
Nobody wants the world to know that they lost a baby, suffer from depression, have herpes, got raped, got abused, had an abortion, have a dodgy ticker or only have a few years left. Unlike the bullshit about what you bought on the iTunes store, this stuff really needs to stay private.
So keeping data like this secure is a plan. Secure means your GP sees it or a doctor treating you in an emergency sees it. Not the nosy temp on the reception desk who lives four doors down from you or the guys in tech support who should have real data on their screens replaced by gibberish when they are maintaining the system.
Politicians are involved, so expect it to all go pear-shaped.
Oh, and if you apply for health insurance or any form of health-related benefit, expect to lose your privacy in this area. The temps who process your data will find out everything about you. And it all goes on their databases. You have been warned.
Disable the 'Facebook Platform' in your privacy options...
...which means no using or sharing data with apps. Sorted.
You can never be sure about them, so best avoid them all. The site is perfectly usable without ever touching an app.
Someone get that quango an internet connection and teach them to use Wikipedia.
Maybe a degree in law would help too.
It's not all product placement.
OK, maybe it is in Hollywood, but some authors and screenwriters help define their characters by choosing the stuff they use with care. That is why the decision to allow PP in TV drama in the UK is such a pain in the arse. Viewers will assume that everything is just paid-for placement.
Another victory for commerce over art. :-(
ITT: Much inserting of heads in the sand.
I love it when science geeks ignore science because they don't like the results.
It would be a surprise if close proximity to EMR didn't affect brain function.
You want to use the things a lot, you go right ahead. They might even make you more intelligent, although judging by the some of the chavs you see with their phones permanently attached to their ears, I doubt it.
Well, what would you do?
If you ran Facebook? It's an American corporate with a tonne of money in its locker, based within a nation that has more lawyers than anywhere else on Earth and shedloads of right-wing, loony, homophobic, misogynist, repressed, low-IQ evangelical nutcases who want to censor every square inch of the internet on behalf of their own, personal, make-believe deity.
Remember the Superbowl tit flash? Half a million dollar fine and a whole new round of censorship. Land of the free my arse. And this, from the country with one of the largest porn industries on the planet.
So how would you square that circle without spending the rest of your life in court handing out lumps of money to Government suits and religious nutters, fearing the prospect of bending-over-in-the-shower time at a state pen for violating some anti-tit legislation in a two-cow town run by the local TV evangelists?
They are erring on the side of caution, have a 'no tits' policy by default and will reverse it when cases like this come up.
Answer? If you are a grown-up, in pretty much the same way they have done, at least if you want to continue to be employed there.
And they sell users' data to pay their bills and make a profit. That's how these internet things works. Because they are not a charity. Lrn2capitalism.
Seriously. Nobody forces you to use FB. They are not good. They are not evil. They are just a social networking site working the way all the sites that offer free functionality in return for data do.
ITT: Geeks making prats of themselves.
Outside the geek bubble, ordinary people, civilians we'll call them, don't have any idea what FTP, usenet or even an OS is. FB represents the absolute limit of their abilities online and when they manage to use it on a mobile device too, they're in heaven. Many people simply don't have the capacity, time or desire to develop their knowledge beyond that point. If FB is a workable solution, then it is sensible for them to use it.
I forget what age children are supposed to start to realise that not everyone thinks the same way as they do. I guess it comes later for geeks.
FB is useful up to a point. Because it is so large, they want to mechanise as much of it as possible. To do this they will simplify their procedures. They will have a hard time doing this, not least because Americans will sue the arse off anyone at the slightest provocation. Expect issues like this to become one of the few spectator sports you don't have to pay to view.
Eventually, they may implement an 18+ zone for some content (the equivalent of the .xxx TLD). If they had set the joining-up age at 18 rather than 13, they would have had less of a problem.
I suspect most wealthy, young and arrogant tech CEOs regard their users as 'dumb fucks'.
An important genealogical and historical tool.
You won't protect the environment or cut down on the waste you produce, you won't drive less and you won't stop flying. Just for once, stop being so selfish and make an effort to do something for future generations. It won't kill you.
Whilst I appreciate that there are serious issues with the government knowing everything about you (because you are right, they cannot be trusted), the value of the census goes way beyond contemporary issues. So in this instance, the privacy folk might like to make an exception, take their tin foil hats off and do the right thing, urging everyone to fill it out accurately.
The one change they could make is to hive it off from the government and set it up as an independent not-for-profit, public service agency.
Anyone who has examined the state of AI at any time in the last three decades (or ever used OCR software) will know that it is considerably more effective to pay people to do this, than use software.
Better plan. Sack the worthless morons who devise this sort of thing and use the money to make better stuff that people will actually like. Then they'll post nice comments about you for free. Yes, for free.
And perhaps start behaving like business folk again, making ever better stuff to make more money, instead of behaving like third rate politicians, trying to manage customers, manipulate your image and control the world using copyright legislation, lock-ins, 30% platform taxes and lawyers.
If you try too hard to be like a politician, you'll only succeed, because it isn't that difficult. Then you'll look like a prick and everybody will hate you. And you will lose sales.
Paying people or software to say nice things about you. What does that really say about you?
I use FB. I block the crap and the apps and turn the privacy settings up to full. It's useful and keeps me in touch with friends. The messaging tends to be more reliable than e-mail. I get no spam from it and post nothing on it that may cause any issues for me if it escaped on to the net, because I'm not an idiot. I don't trust FB because no sane person trusts a large corporate. I don't rely on it, because no tech can be relied upon.
If you don't like it, don't use it. How hard is that?
If FB causes you stress then either you aren't doing it right or you need to spend some time in anger management, because it's just a website.
A bit of self-deception goes a long way.
It's trendy to dislike Facepalm but it does keep you in touch with family and friends. That is a good thing.
Oh, and people might hate speed cameras, although perhaps not new enough for the survey, but out of all the most recent tech, they are probably the only one that might have saved their lives without them even knowing about it.
And no, I'm not trolling.
The USG pissing on their own constitution (again).
They are not the good guys and you cannot trust them.
I hope the inevitable EU anti-perv legislation states that when they find cheese pizza they block THE IMAGE not the website, host, ISP, and DNS service.
Come on guys. Don't stoop to the level of the USG. That would be embarrassing.
This is a mess.
Sony could and should have developed a working authentication system to block cheats from the PSN a long time ago. That is do-able.
Once the cheats and hacks started appearing, they could have set up a second alt-PSN, with no checks, that allowed those running cheats to play against each other. Happy Sony, happy users.
Killing the Other OS option was taking something away from people that they had paid for and invested time in, and was out of order.
The masterkey hack only took place in response to Sony pulling the Other OS option.
Their legal response smacks of extreme control-freakery and bullying. It won't work and it stinks that they use the legal system in that way. The genie is out of the bottle. Ruining lives because you're rich and pissed off is not an acceptable response. It just makes people hate you, and in business, that is really dumb, however rich you are.
Sony should have the balls to offer a partition hack, allowing users to flip between an up-to-date, clean PS3 and whatever modding they've done. Again, the clean boot will allow access to the PSN, the modded one can only be used on the alt-PSN.
In many markets, selling below cost is illegal. This should be enforced in the printer and console markets. It is a bad business plan and encourages dirty little fixes and shameful lock-ins.
Sony, your users are not your enemies, they aren't simply an unthinking revenue stream and they matter. They pay your wages. Start behaving like intelligent people who want to make money in a tech-savvy environment, not like politicians.
Bullshit paid for out of public money.
So come on, how much public money was handed to Detica in a brown envelope to come up with this rubbish?
Detica. Owned by BAE Systems. Who have lost money through the Govt. defence contract cuts, but can make it up writing fiction like this, which their chums in Govt. pay for with public money, and then use to justify more draconian legislation.
I'm a sceptic...
But that isn't a bad idea, and there's no technical reason why it shouldn't work.
You can demo it on half a dozen Linux boxes-most if not all of the software already exists. Then just shift it to a plug computer with a drive.
Downside: P2P is inherently fragile as ISPs can spot it and throttle.
I can imagine Facepalm bods looking to buy up patents to block it.
...the Aussie govt. need to take $1bn out of the education budget and give it to the music and movie industry, so that justice can be done.
Statistics: The easy way to tell lies. If they punt a few thousand my way, I can cook up an even higher figure.
I hummed a tune on a bus yesterday. Everybody heard. Passive piracy. Come at me, bro.
> a burglar snatched thousands of pounds from the tearooms...
What is so bizarre about that?
If you are going to drag the Reg down into the tabloid gutter, at least make an effort and do it properly. This is weak even by Bun and Fail standards.
Fock! Arse! Drink! Girls!
No, it's just not the same. High culture simply does not translate well.
Are all Reg education articles written by trolls?
"very few forced into teaching".
Yeah. Forcing people into a job always makes them shine with inspiration.
You don't think very highly of non-scientific subjects? Stop watching TV, DVDs and films right now. Because the folk who write them, direct them and perform in them get their qualifications from non-science subjects. Consuming (and enjoying) what they produce without respecting their abilities makes you a hypocrite.
Waste of prison space.
10 years for a financial crime? How many violent assaults and rapes lead to much shorter stays in prison? Take his money and give him a taste of prison. Keep the limited prison space for people you need to keep away from society because they are violent and have physically and psychologically damaged people.
His victims didn't even notice.
So which is cheaper?
1. Paying Google to go top.
2. Paying 3rd world unfortunates to manually block your competitors.
3. Paying for botnet time to auto-block your competitors.
And do you still have to pay Google if your promoted link would have appeared, before it was blocked?
Looks like the LOIC is going to need extra functionality to handle this in v.2.0.
Google results of searches for:
Nothing suspicious about that at all. Oh no.
Seems like a lot of fuss, noise and money to break your ISP cap.
TV & DVD-R works. DVDs are fine for TV or the PC. YouTube on the PC.
There is nothing audio visual out there that merits further exertion or expense.
And that's why you regularly back-up.
Because Sony will not rest until they have restored the PS3's virginity. D'Oh.
The lawyers do this to make money. Why Sony are doing it, spending pots of money on anti-advertising, is anyone's guess. There is no win scenario here. What part of that don't they understand?
Free advice for Sony, because I'm feeling generous.
1. Employ this guy. More like him and your next product may be on time.
2. You will piss money away on 3D TV. Just let it go.
3. Sack some lawyers. The world will be a better place and you will reduce your wage bill.
4. Pissing on the little guy is bad publicity. Invest in some good advice.
5. Lawyers do not give good advice. They are only thinking of their wage packets.
7. All of the above.
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