1170 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010
A twist on the "Yes Minister" story
about "Open Government". The Minister tells his staff he wants to know everything that happens in his department. Obligingly the civil servants ensure he has it. Receipts for pencils. Memos about tea rosters. They drown him in information. In the end he has to give in, and asks just to have the data he needs.
"But Minister, how do we know what you need to know ?" purrs Sir Humphrey.
By drowning the press in data, (and let's think here. What is the capacity of the press to handle data ? x Gb/day ?) the government will ensure they can hide anything in plain sight ... just pump out >x Gb/day.
Don't take their phone away - take their car.
If I could issue tickets for people using their phone when driving, I could solve the deficit in a week.
I don't know why this particular action manages to infuriate me so much. But there is something galling about seeing someone in a £40,000 car who didn't have the brains to buy a bluetooth - or get one bundled with their phone (like wot I did). Everyone knows the ban was for safetys sake - so these selfish cunts (thanks AC@13:21) are basically saying to the world "I couldn't give a toss about anyone elses safety."
Members of hacker collective Anonymous have stopped supporting Wikileaks after the site put up a paywall, saying that Wikileaks is more bothered about Julian Assange™ than getting information to the public.
is that the sound of a penny dropping ?
Why aren't premium-rate numbers an "opt-in" feature ?
Funny, all the talk from government about making 18+ content on t'web opt-in, but no-one has ever had the balls to call for these phone lines to be an opt in feature.
Personally I resent having to *pay* per month to block premium numbers. But we had to when our son started trying to call the premium numbers some games companies have.
Are we reaching the PC event horizon ?
(with apologies to Douglas Adams).
I think it's simply market saturation. Here at Page towers, we have:
2x2008 model Dell machines with Win7+Office. One for the lad and one for the Mrs.
1x2009 model Dell server running Ubuntu - media, download, and security server.
1xHP laptop - my work machine
plus 1xWin7 phone, 1xAndroid phone.
All doing exactly what we need (and more relevantly , what we WANT). So why would we upgrade. That's the domestic market gone. Meanwhile, at work, they are going down a Citrix route, so no new desktops needed there either.
why not sell people 568ml when they ask for "a pint" ?
If I could upvote you x1000000
James Burke is simply a god. Even if you argue with his idiosyncratic presentation of history, you have to admit that he basically forsaw "the internet" long before anyone could articulate such a beast. Watch the last part of Connections, if you need convincing.
If I had my way, both "Connections" and "The Day The Universe Changed" would be required viewing for schools, about age 12. They are incredibly powerful insights into how knowledge - and it's sharing and specialisation - really works.
There's a great rhetorical question in TDTUC episode "In The Light of Above"* where JB points out that as learning deepened, so did our distance from knowledge, to the state we are today, where NO ONE can know EVERYTHING. A point he proves with a disarming simple question:
"When was the last time you made anything - including the tools to do it with ?"
*Low bandwidth connection, so can't YouTube it, sorry
I think it's more akin to being worried by a dead sheep.
Re: Downloading anonymously
Unless I move in the wrong circles, I can't think of any hotel that won't need a credit card for breakages ....
Web apps on desktop/mobile ?
Sorry, I can't agree with Scott that web apps are better suited to mobiles ... my experience is the reverse. Even at home, connected to my WiFi, I find web apps clunky and slow, whereas on my permanently-connected desktop they aren't *too* bad.
Let's not start about when I'm out and about and on 3G.
time flies ...
does anyone remember Tomorrows World reporting on CDs ? Was it jam they smeared over it ?
no Windows Phone version - 7 *or* 8.
encryption really should go without saying. However, "data security" isn't just about controlling access to the data. It's also about ensuring the data is there when you need it. It's no comfort to you, if you have clouded your HR and payroll (for example) and then discover your provider has gone bust, not paid their bills, and your data is now so much dead electrons.
We live in interesting times. IT is finally living up to it's name of *Information* technology, and provision of resources for IT is starting to be viewed in the same way as physical infrastructure - roads, water, electricity - where companies just hook up and go.
IT - the great leveller ?
Good to see enthusiastic amateurs still have a place in science.
So being poor is a defence to criminal behaviour ?
Nothing new under the sun
this is just the blank cassette levy, under a different guise. Although, with advancing years, I'm starting to think they were right: home taping *did* kill music.
Why I stuck at 10.04. Does all I want
It would need to be an amazing offer ...
if I were to use eBuyer again. Last year, I ordered a disk on the Wednesday before Good Friday, as I was travelling to see the 'rents and they wanted an upgrade. I splurged out the extra £ for "guaranteed" next day delivery.
Next day - nada.
Of course, this meant I didn't get drive for Easter Weekend. It was actually delivered Wednesday. Yes. A next-day-delivery that took six days.
Unfortunately for eBuyer I had contacted ParcelFarce before speaking to eBuyer. So their attempt to blame it on Parcelforce was the final straw. PF said the item in question had been put into their system as a normal delivery - and they had the audit trail from eBuyer showing it was because eBuyer had wanted it that way. Of course the upshot of this was a wasted weekend when I *did* have the disk drive.
re: Cake or death
A downvote ? Seriously ? Can someone explain why this delicious echo of Lord Izzard of Cheam is downvoted ?
Hang on ...
Surely the hardware doing all of this is going to have a thread-per-call scheduling ? So crashing one call wouldn't bring the whole system down ?
Well, if the thing was written properly to start with.
VM - experts at crippling kit
They have done the same to the TiVo. Probably because of copyright issues etc. And with the hubs, they are terrified that people will clone them and get free cable ....
I had the other new hub from VM end of last year, and sent it back after 10 minutes, when I discovered I couldn't set the IP address to be what *I* wanted. Had a right old ding-dong on the phone when customer services told me it was illegal to change an IP address. In the end they sent me the superhub so I could put it into modem-only mode, and carry on with my old router. The non-superhub didn't have a modem-only mode, just a DMZ mode, which wouldn't allow you to change the IP address.
That said, with my setup, I am blazing. Can download 1gb in 2 minutes.
Nice to end Friday with a smile
When I had to google Amanda Palmer, and discover (according to Wiki) she is also known as "Amanda Fucking Palmer".
Life ain't so bad after all.
Not even a hard-hat ?
Sorry, massive fail for *basic* safety.
Instead of reacting to hand gestures ...
why not get it to lip-read ?
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"
Didn't there used to be a Rise Of The Machines icon ?
Re: Reason for Apples success....
Indeed ... I consider it a duty to quote Mencken as often as possible ...
"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights."
"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy"
"Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner."
Options for the boss
2) On time
3) On budget
pick any two.
I think it's pretty obvious the LibDems left their principles by the door in 2010. I honestly can't seen any sign that they have in anyway managed to dent the increasingly loopy direction the Tories are lurching in.
Leaving us with no credible choice at all.
Note to USians .... seems like you're catching up with the UK .... having absolutely no one worth voting for,.
NASA - missing a trick here !
How much do you think they could charge, to write a company logo, name, or marketing slogan on Mars ?
Enough to fund the manned mission ?
Ah, evidence-based policy making. Not the way we do things in the UK, old bean.
Re: Not hard to get around...
ISTR there is a defence to a password request, if you can demonstrate good reason why you can't provide the key - after all, your emails are probably encrypted by your employer in their exchange database. *You* wouldn't be expected to know they key. This is why the smart alecs who send "Oh, send Jack Straw an encrypted email and get him locked up for not knowing the password" were wrong.
Regarding repeated jailing for the "same" offence ... well Scotland managed to keep the naked rambler locked up for over a year, on repeated "contempt of court" charges. So I imagine, yes, if you get 2 years, and then come out of jail and refuse to hand the password over, it'll be 2 more years for you. Pour encourage les autres and all that.
The REAL scandal about RIPA (as previously highlighted) is that it gives the authorities access to EVERYTHING, including what used to be privileged. Under RIPA, any correspondence between you, your lawyer, your MP, your doctor, is completely fair game.
Re: Not hard to get around...
They are. The Law Lords (as were) ruled that privileged communication does fall under RIPA. There was a court case in Northern Ireland a few years back.
I've won a few pints on that one.
Re: Not hard to get around...
If they ask you for a password to your storage say "no its got all my personal information in their, like homemade porno's, some sexy pics of my wife and a load of my passwords in files. im not letting you see that.." or "shit i forgot it..."
One word: RIPA. Two years in chokey for you.
The problem is you can only go so far before juries start getting nervous about convicting. Which is why, despite apparent public approval, we don't get the draconian punishments for death by dangerous driving we could have - juries simply stop convicting.
It's one of the reasons the death penalty got abolished.
Not that I don't agree with the sentiment (yours that is, not about the DP which I am opposed to).
Re: Strange, the article
What do you think a WP7 owner is going to do, if he discovers that WP7 is obsolete ?
I would humbly suggest they would not consider WP8, making it a moot point.
So the UK never got a look in ?
Bit of a rum do, eh ?
Re: Times are changing
You should have stopped writing *before*
"in their day -to-day work in pursuing criminals"
And another problem ...
all of this technology (with it's associated eye-watering price tag) is only as effective as the database it sits on. I challenge anyone here, to tell me they can believe a non-trivial database can be anything more than 95% accurate at any given time. And that's before you start to look at people who *deliberately* salt it with duff data.
An ex copper I knew explained some of the tricks the more pikey among us use to evade the law using a round-robin of address changes mainly. End result - the car looks legal, but you would never find the owner.
On a related note, I wonder if they have done any sanity analysis on the data ? I would be curious to know what (if anything) would happen if the same vehicle was clocked in Glasgow and Penzance in the same hour ? Also, in arrangements, where all traffic has to pass in and out of an area via ANPR, do they have any orphaned records, where a car went in, but never came out ?
I have always wanted to have a number plate changer, and drive past the first SPECS camera with one, and the second with another ...
I know it seems incredible to us now
but Britain in the early 1980s was a world leader in IT teaching.
Re: or ...
Maybe it's an anagram ? No reason to believe Microsoft are any good at them either ?
Re: How to solve the Assange problem
Given the public assurance given by the Ecuadoran ambassador that they will not smuggle him out of the UK, why bother with *any* police presence ? Save the money. I suspect that the second he leaves the embassy, Ecuador will suddenly not want him back again.
I read on another forum an interesting observation that given the Ecuadoran ambassador is quite foxy, and Assange is notoriously permanently on heat, and the embassy is a small flat, the situation might be resolved quicker than we think ....
Re: Straw man
IANAL but I believe you can extradite for capital offences, as long as the prosecuting authority (State or Federal) give undertakings not to seek the death penalty. Understandably, prosecutors intensely dislike this (as do the US public) as it highlights the fact that the US is one of the few "civilised" countries in the world that executes people.
I believe there have been a few cases where suspects have fled to Canada, who also will not extradite if the death penalty is a possibility.
There was a guy wanted in the US for child porn offences that the UK refused to extradite recently, as the state prosecutor refused to give assurances he wouldn't be put on some sort of "program" which the ECHR had determined was a cruel and unusual punishment.
On a wider note
this is what happens when governments start to meddle in "social policy". It will invariably end up with people with influence regulating other peoples behaviour. Unfortunately, in the UK "people with influence" tends to be a small minority of a small minority.
If you stopped and realised how many laws there are that criminalise harmless behaviour, in the name of morality, you would question the statement the UK is a free country.
Re: Thorium rocks
To be more specific, the biggest roadblock to nuclear is the oil industry.
Re: Won't anyone think of the Police ?
But the police don't seem to know.
Re: Vehicle Security
You'll need an environmental impact assessment. And an equal opportunities policy.
Thank you sir! (Or madam) - Clearly I am in the upper bracket of El Reg commentards, as I remember when IBM held this crown, and various articles pointing out that they were in effect richer than several countries by miles ... this was in the 70s. I was surprised I had to read so many comments before it was mentioned.
Contemporary fanbois might do well to ponder this, and look where IBM is today.
Re: I don't understand
Question: Why haven't the US authorities tried to pick him up in the UK? Our government is even more likely than the Swedes to bend over for the Americans.
I really wish people would stop pointing this out, since it brings the entire Assange circus crashing to the ground. Can't somebody at least try to pretend the US have asked ?
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