864 posts • joined Friday 5th March 2010 16:20 GMT
And yet ...
there are at least 5 cats that prowl around my neighbourhood. So why do we still see rats ?
Copy protection ? Really ?
I'm struggling to recall the progam (yes kids, we called them "programs", not "apps") you could get which would copy "copy protected" disks. Had "II" in the name, "CopyIIPC" ? rings a bell.
In those days, copy protection usually involved bypassing the BIOS to get the disk controller to access track 41 ? If I could be bothered, I'd dig out my MS DOS 3.00 programmers guide (which cost about £60). I also had a schematic of the FDC subsystem, with codes.
Ah ... 1987
I found a copy of 1-2-3 that came bundled with one (of two) PCs my department of 60 had to mess around with. Given I was on a student placement, I was allowed to have a play. I pretty soon got our HP7475 plotter working with it, and within a day, had knocked some graphs up.
This piqued on guys interest. His job was to supply MI to various committees. Previously this involved using a teletype (yes !) to enter data to a Sperry 1100 (/60 IIRC) and waiting for a overnight batch job to turn it into binary. He then had to take a "Y" cable, and plug the HP7475 in between the teletype and RS232, and hope it would plot. 50% of the time it would, 50% of the time it would mess up. Another day gone.
He was literally speechless, when I produced a graph he needed in less than 3 minutes. It was a true efficiency booster.
When I left, they had 30 PCs, and more on order. I went to the Lotus exhibition at Earls Court (where I first saw a PS/2) , and kept bumping into people from my department ....
Re: Purely as a matter of intellectual curiosity .....
Mysteriously, the story is detail-lite. The investigation would have started with the complainants and the website, and worked backwards. Presumably, the cops found the one nexus of the trail of deception, and the real world. At that point it's just a question of monitoring the suspects with the power of technology.
Could they not have used BitCoins ?
Re: Proceeds of crime
POCA is being very sparing used, since that story a while back that the CPS spent something like £28 million, and recovered 2.5 pence, 3 drachma and an everton mint. There is a train of thought that says the present form of POCA could be considered to violate the ECHR - jailing people for not paying a debt is frowned upon.
Could this be translated into sales ?
In the same way *some* people are willing to pay a premium for "organic" food, could there be a group of users who would pay more for a product guaranteed to be made ethically ? Possibly by being built in the UK. Or US ?
Yes, I'm aware there's the provenance of the raw materials ...
Darwin in action ?
fewer sperm = fewer mouths to feed = more likely survival for the rest ?
IANAB, but I'm sure that population reduction in the face of adverse environmental factors is one valid strategy.
fascinated to read this, and it goes much deeper.
How can you know the actual CPU you are running on can be trusted ? How do you know there isn't some sneaky opcode which can be used to leverage an attack ?
To all those smug commentards who boasted about having the source code to a system: did you get a schematic of the CPU, and logic arrays ?
Not a joke though ...
Mrs Page has her hair cut by a mobile service. Manages to be *cheaper* than going to a store (and the hairdresser claims fuel back on expenses).
Re: To survive
None of which will happen ...
It's become a vicious spiral ...
fewer customers means less need to stock so much which means less stock which means less chance of any customer finding anything. The recent Page family experience of "going [clothes] shopping" is to find a nice whatever, then realise they don't have our size, go and ask to be told "if it's not on the rack, we have to order it". Or the even more annoying "Have you tried our [miles away] branch ?". As if we *want* to drive all over the place.
If they have to order it, we may have well ordered it online (remember folks DSR gives you 7 days to return) since we don't "go shopping" every week.
For those that like to pick their meat/veg, then we have found that online ordering of sundries leaves us *more* time to visit local farm shops and butchers. Win/win.
50+ posts ..
and no one has mentioned the best way to make something invisible ...
Cloak it in someone elses problem
(credit to Douglas Adams)
Where do you think they got it ?
Our ISO has stated that using any US connected service would put our data under scope of the the Patriot Act, and that as a company we would be liable to the data subject (i.e. could be sued) for any breach arising from that. End result - very cautious use of cloud.
Remember - it's not just about snooping. Patriot Act allows the FBI to shut down any server farm anywhere in the world if it's under a US companies control. So you might come to work one day and find all you data has done a MegaUpload and disappeared.
I'd be keen for my bank to send an SMS (or email) every time my account is accessed. I'd wager a system like this (with an opt out, for those that must) would reduce fraud by a considerable amount.
Re: Whose 'fault' ?
IANAL but from my viewpoint, it's the banks fault. They paid money to somebody who wasn't the rightful recipient. End of story. It makes no difference if the thieves cloned a phone, wore a false moustache, or just said "this is my account" while waving their hand. It's up to the BANK to verify the identity of the recipient. And it's up to the BANK to devise a system that does that.
The logical conclusion of any other way of looking at it (i.e. it's not the banks fault) means that if the banks computers were hacked, or stolen, or if their data centre when "boom", would be that all account holders would suddenly have no balance, and the bank would just say "oops".
Reasonable and sensible
are not mentioned anywhere in the US constitution.
Just life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
Re: Say it with me, Euro-weenies:
What about septics ? Although I believe when they found out about that, they tried calling themselves "Shermans" ...
Re: 2 years ? I'd have moved
I suspect from the tone of their reply MachDiamond is American. Which might explain it ....
Ofcom, not ATVOD
or whoever ?
2 years ? I'd have moved
Given how merkins love guns ...
my lad bought me a book last year "A history of the world according to facebook" which is pretty much that ...
Offshore working hours
Every offshore outfit I've dealt with makes a point that they will work whenever suits you - if you want them 9-5 GMT, they'll be there.
Personally I prefer to leave them do their own 9-5. Usually they are 4 hours behind, so you get the morning to inspect what they've done and have some peace & quiet, then after lunch you can liaise with them, and set them the next set of tasks to continue with after you go.
Now there's another mystery ...
How do CEX survive ? Their 2nd hand stuff is 95% the price of new, generally.
I once bought a SIMM from them, for £10. Paid cash. It was wrongly labelled so I took it back for a refund, which they point blank refused without "taking my details" which I wouldn't supply. even though they admitted it had been a cash transaction (so identity wasn't an issue).
In the end I couldn't work out a way to get the refund without giving over my details ... it was suggested I take them to court, but (a) that would have revealed my identity and (b) it was possible I wouldn't get costs.
US executions ...
The rejected the guillotine because they felt bodily integrity was important. And after the revolution they were desperate to come up with a method of execution which wasn't hanging - hanging being associated with the evil british overlords they had just dumped.
Personally it's harder to think of a more cruel and unusual punishment than the electric chair. But with the gas chamber and lethal injection someone managed it.
The irony is we managed to get hanging to a fine art - possible to get a prisoner from bed to dead in just under 10 seconds.
Re: The poor bastard has already lost
Also bears known to have unclean toilet habits, and Pope has catholic sympathies
A thought provoking argument
and one that should be required reading for anyone who thinks wind and solar power are going to save us.
Kinda reminded me of the part of "Apollo 13" where they have to find the power to fire up the Command Module ...
A lot of wasted effort in all these comments
at the end of the day, telcos need people to make calls to make money. They will not do anything which reduces the number of calls made.
Have DEFRA released their report on how to make turkeys vote for Christmas yet ?
Suddenly I feel good to be British ...
The original letter was priceless enough, but to get such a marvellous reply ...
We need the odd story like this - and I would say it's worth a tiny bit of my tax money to cheer everyone up a bit. Maybe this can be included in Camerons happiness index ?
Once again, a reminder
we have no idea what's in our own oceans. More people have been to the moon than to the deepest ocean floor.
My 2p worth
When our lad was choosing his GCSEs in 2009, we had an open evening at school, where local Universities turned up to encourage pupils to think about choices that would lead to higher education.
One particularly odious character told us of a recent graduate who worked as a "political economist" for a US bank, earning over £40,000 a year (in the US) . He really didn't like me very much, when I put my hand up, and asked if he could give us an example of a graduate who (a) was helping the UK economy and (b) was doing something useful - like medicine, or engineering AND earning £40,000.
Many years ago, a company I worked for had offices in a really out-of-town (nearest store 1mile) technology park.
One day we had a frantic phone call from the office manager. Thieves had broken into our offices, and then used our computers to break the windows into the office across the hall, and steal their computers.
Re: Torvalds insisted he was a mild-mannered man of peace
or someone with a wry sense of humour - clearly not American*
*Well, some of them ....
The day a site mandates using Facebook to log in
is the day I stop using it.
Ah, but Amazon ...
allow a debate on a review ... a neat feature which helps balance things out. I recently purchased a set of grab rails from an Amazon retailer. They were notably cheaper than anywhere else (anything intended for disabled people seems to attract a massive premium). There were a few 4/5 star reviews, and a couple of 0-star reviews. Reading the 0-star review it became clear the author was upset because the rails (which they admitted were "faultless" weren't supplied with rawl plugs and screws.
There were a few replies to that review, effectively saying "what a twat - you're saving £4 per rail, and you're niggling over 50p worth of screws".
every time theres a cert snafu, you get a rash of browser warnings which will (correctly) light up helpdesk switchboards for weeks. Then you have to explain to users it's OK to ignore the warning. And therefore weaken the point of the warning in the first place.
Maybe, just maybe ...
ISTM peeps here have missed the bit that polaroid are adding to the mix ... "phototenders" (which is too clunky to work) which you DON'T get at your local Boots/ASDA (also bear in mind this is a US story, and they have a completely different retail ethos).
Also remember that not everyone who owns a smartphone/digital camera is a tech whizz. If these "fotenders" (see, didn't take long !) can genuinely improve the pictures (and presumably subtly suggest the customer buys an extra copy, or has a mouse mat made from one) then it could be an interesting - if niche - service.
I think - irritatingly enough - that sociologists will become increasingly important in business ventures. The more we isolate ourselves with online services reducing our points of contact with our fellow man, the more chances there are that services that can engineer human contact will flourish. I already know a couple of people who despite online shopping for most things, still go to shopping centres just to have a coffee, meal, and "interact".
Maybe Polaroid could team up with Starbucks, and have in store coffee ?
what has happened or failed to happen to home automation?
One of the biggest wins for true home automation is reduction in fuel bills. Intelligent heating, coupled with presence detection and the ability to remote control (decide to pop to pub after work ? Put heating back 2 hours via phone*). This clearly steps of the feet of the companies that want to push massively subsidised wind farms down our throats, along with energy companies who (despite what government would have us believe) want to sell us more and more energy.
*Phone. Yes the system can be so depressingly low tech you can control it via SMS - no fancy smartphone needed.
Just a thought ...
is this *only* available to unemployed ? I have visions of employed people using it to snaffle the better jobs ....
Instagrams big idea ...
will be something like a package they can offer to corporates for dynamic marketing.
Let's take Starbucks as an example. Instagram sign them up to the "platinum" package. Everytime a photo is uploaded from a Starbucks, or featuring a Starbucks, Instagram will flag it, so that Starbucks can feature it in a dynamic ad. Maybe a picture on their website "The latest satisfied customer".
It would be a shame if inappropriate images were to get through though. Like somebody holding a banner saying STARBUCKS in big letters and "pay more tax" in little letters. But I am sure the system would be flawless.
Amazon user since 1997 here.
What can I say ? They are competitive. The way they have changed their site should be a lesson to all. Incremental upgrades. Useful features rather than flash. And the product descriptions, reviews and discussions all help to give you a feeling that you are empowered and informed. I've never had a problem with them - simple as that.
The nice feature of "people who looked at ..." and "people who bought..." and "Other things people bought ..." is incredibly useful to allow you to weigh up between different models and features.
The only improvement I can think of would be the ability to add an item to your wishlist from a search list, rather than having to click on it first.
Amazon is a shining example of how to do Web 2.0 incredibly well.
Re: Sorry, I call "bollocks"
The problem here is that you think the *state* is responsible for everyones welfare.
Sorry, I call "bollocks"
"at least they try and form evidence based policies and reverse previous decisions on the basis of new evidence."
I refer you to Mr Camerons recent pre-decision regarding cannabis. No matter what the evidence, he's made his mind up (I believe, using Gordon Browns turn of phrase, he's "minded").
MPs understanding the subject ...
shouldn't be a problem. They can afford to pay (with OUR money) for the very best expertise and advice in their fields.
The problem is when they get it, they promptly ignore it - look at drugs for a start, and energy policy for a finish.
I think they're trying to paint
a picture where you've bought a new PC (coz sales of them are rocketing) and when you turn it on for the first time, it's have a massive prompt saying "Are there children in the house ?" with a "YES" and "NO" button underneath it.
The silence from Microsoft and Apple (as Mac suppliers) speaks volumes. Where is this mysterious config screen going to go ? Where will the onus lie for providing it ? The retailer ? The OS supplier ? The hardware supplier ? The ISP ? How can an ISP put software on a clients machine ? Especially if that PC is running something which isn't Windows ?
Smart TVs ?
Oh well, at least the government gives us a good laugh when it tries to grapple with technical issues. They treat engineers with contempt and ignore them, and quite rightly get ridiculed when they try to live without them.
On a serious note, this could be an early indication of Camerons impending demise. Politicians usually have bullet-catchers who stop this sort of foot in mouth gaffe. Their mysterious absence, leaving their masters in the line of fire is a sure sign they've read the runes. Remember Jacqui "we'll force paedophiles to register their email" Smith ?
Real names are pretty irrelevant ...
Facebook/G+ don't give a toss who you are. They do care about who you know though. Because that's how they can slice and dice their data for the marketing guys.
But once your name
address, date of birth and NI number have gone, what can you do ? You can't change your date of birth. I really wouldn't recommend changing your NI number (HMRC fuck up enough when you keep the same one all your life, imagine the field day they'd have if you could change them). Changing address is more stressful than divorce. And changing your name is a bit of an imposition.
I would like to think we have a public think tank looking at the problem of re-securing identity after a breach like this, but I bet we haven't. Which means we'll be told how Facebook will solve the problem.
The only solution I can think of (this is my lunch break) is some sort of public registry, with individual records sealed by a PIN. Any organisation wishing to verify a persons ID submits the tokens (name, address, date of birth) and retrieves a token. The person claiming to be whoever they are then uses their PIN on the token. So when (not if) a public body sprays your data all over the interweb, you can change your PIN, effectively revoking the previous ID.
Or that search engine aggregator Copernic ?
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