1385 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010
the end justifies the means ?
Heard that before somewhere
Vehicles supplied to recipients of the mobility component of the higher rate of DLA* are eligible for a 100% discount on VED for their primary vehicle. So the DVLA database works there.
However, not all cars with 100% VED exemption are driven by the person claiming the benefit. Like my wife, for example. Her eyesight is too poor to drive, so I am the driver.
Re: pip pip pip pip...
you joke, but back in 1984, I worked on a terminal emulator for a Spectrum, and borrowed an acoustic coupler to use in my digs with an old style payphone.
It worked too. I could log into the Uni PR1MEs at the breathtaking speed of 300 baud (look it up, youngsters). Although I was never sure why, since I couldn't actually do anything productive (I'm sure there's a point to make there somewhere).
Any followers I have (!) will now know why I mentioned the plethora of RS-232 connectors and cables ....
Virgin "Super" hub
the second I got it, I put it into modem mode, and used a real router. ISP provided routers are crippled and open to OTA "upgrades".
I call this "The Facebook Conundrum"
(although Facebook tends to be used with other C-words).
Despite the fact I have never been near Facebook, they know an awful lot about me. First off they know I don't have a profile. They know who my friends are. And were. They know when I make new friends. They know who I work for. Who I used to work for. They know what music I like. What films I like. My age. My marital status. Number of kids I have. Simply by cross-matching all the chatter from people who have my email address in their contacts list.
No one can be anonymous in a non-trivial dataset. The only crumb of comfort, is that the politicians too dumb to understand this now, will find out the hard way.
Premium rate phone numbers
why not make them opt in too ?
I suspect the answers to both are remarkably similar.
Out of interest ...
what are the sanctions or remedies in the inevitable cases where someone who has dotted i's crossed t's and done everything correctly, in order and in time to opt out, finds they *haven't* been opted out ?
If, as I suspect the answer to this question is measured on a scale from "fuck all" to a generic "we know how important etc etc" with no way to (a) unring the bell, and (b) gain any recompense, then you can't help but feel "what's the point ?".
We can only hope that as time rolls on, and more people realise how irrevocable a loss of personal data is, the clamour for proportionate punishments grows.
People like Max Moseley are a good example.
All you need to know in one line :
The key to this is a proprietary technology – Powatag – which is not NFC and about which Wagner will not reveal any details,
Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?
Where a nuclear explosion on the moon kicked it out of orbit, doomed to wander the universe in flared trousers and lapels ?
Re: The elephant in the room
You don't need to propose a cull on humanity. Nature will take care of that by itself. Just as the climate has changed in the past, so has the human population.
1348 anyone ?
"old men die"
what an astute observation ...
Showing my age ..
But RS-232, and it's spawn of 25-pin, 9-pin male/female variants, which meant you never had the right pairing ....
Does anyone still remember Data Circuit Equipment and Data Terminal Equiment ?
This from a government that makes you use IE6 ?
Worth reading the article
just to be reminded that Lycos existed ;)
Was the first search engine I used in 1994 !
Re: Why, just Why?
10 PRINT "Why, just Why?"
20 GOTO 10
From memory ... (CAK!)
"There's only one thing that unites us,
it's not colour creed or roots.
The only thing that unites us
Is Doctor Martens boots ...."
I would gladly sell my house
and all it's contents to pay for the BBC ...
How many sales of Windows Phone
have been driven by corporates (like mine) that have a "Windows Only" policy ?
Re: Hodge told Google that it was "immoral"
Whilst I take your point, it would only carry any weight if Ms Hodge *didn't* have a point. The fact that it does makes it all the more shameful.
How on earth can this happen ...
I actually feel well-disposed towards Ms Hodge !
One of the few bastions of democracy the UK has left - the ability of parliament* (in the form of select committees) to force people, companies, institutions - and occasionally countries - to account. In public.
Instead of whinging, companies should trumpet their engagement with such a process. Oh, and not do anything to be embarrassed about ....
*That's an elected parliament.
And the water temperature goes up another tenth of a degree ...
When will the frog die ?
OT:RSA algorithm ...
do I recall dimly that when the US ban on exporting encryption *software* was in place, you weren't allowed to export disks, but paper was fine ? So the guys who developed PGP just printed out the code, and scanned it in the other end ?
Is anyone surprised ?
Gosh, a story where laws intended to prevent "terrorism" are being misused.
This is so 2004.
(Waves across the pond) "Hello USA. Glad you could join us"
I was envisaging a device where the actual silicon gets blown.
but who destroyed the evidence ? Certainly not the suspect.
Here's another legal hypothetical ...
suppose a company devises a circuit which can't be read without the correct key being loaded into a register somewhere. Loading the wrong key causes the device to short and destroy the contents.
Police seize device. Ask for key. Suspect accidentally (!) gets a digit wrong. Police try key, and device bricks itself, and is completely unreadable.
Since the device no longer contains encrypted data (in fact it contains no data) what's the score under RIPA ?
As a rule, if changes in technology can cause a law to become invalid, then the law was probably a bad one to start with.
and another thing ...
How do they tell the difference between encrypted data, and a capture of a few seconds pink noise from a quiet part of the FM spectrum ?
Once more proof
that we have to rely on the baddies being marginally more stupid that the people tasked with catching them.
He should have used a TrueCrypt style encrypted container. Police unlock device, unaware there's a hidden file within.
As a matter of interest, since terrorists work in cells, what would the situation be if the password was broken into pieces and shared out with no single terrorist knowing the whole? If the police catch one, and he gives them *his* piece, but they can't decrypt because they haven't caught the others (or have killed them in apprehension) would he still be liable under RIPA ?
Why can't elections all be like this
a small minority vote against (say) a candidate in an election, so they don't get returned. Would work wonders for the UK government
Something in the Merkin psyche really distrusts anything vaguely socialist. Never understood it myself.
@obnoxiousGit - you undermine your own argument
Just to clarify this, this is a statement made by a man who brought an Apple device? Really? A man who joined a walled garden, and willingly handed over all his personal information to Apple, has some grounds to complain about companies not respecting personal privacy?
Just because I willingly buy a copy of The Times, doesn't mean it's OK for Murdoch to mug me, steal £1 and force a copy into my hands.
Is this the 21st Century equivalent
of counting how many angels can fit on the head of pin ?
For some reason ..
I have just had an image of someone with 2 phones, a scammer on each line, putting the handsets down with mouthpiece to earpiece, and walking away ....
68000 - 16 bit
The QL was released when I was in my first year at Uni - doing a course which had a large element of microprocessor design. Our lecturer commented that it was a bit of sharp practice described the 68000 (lovely processor btw) as 16 bit. I still recall his comment ...
"It's a bit like sending of five quid for a coat hanger and cigarette lighter, to receive a bent nail and a red headed match"
He *may* have once worked for Sir Clive ....
It's immaterial. Really.
Whatever the outcome. No one will be censured. No one will be blamed. No one will held accountable.
Life as a public servant means never having to say sorry.
Re: Amazon ?
Did you read my comment ?
Yes, anyone *can* place a review on Amazon. But Amazon tell you if that person actually *bought* the item they are reviewing.
Thus empowering you to make you own mind up.
I find it fascinating to see reviews for DVDs which have yet to be released, from the ignorati. There was one (which rightfully drew some cutting comments) for a comedians live DVD from someone who said "I don't like him on telly, so this will be pants".
Curious as to why people are so down on Amazon reviews - at least you can see if it's been certified as a genuine purchase (although, to be fair it's *Amazon* who certify it).
Desmond Bagley "Running Blind"
The premise of this book was an electronic thingamijig which the US & UK had fed information to the USSR about, claiming it was part of a revolutionary radar system which could see down to the ground, and over the horizon.
In reality, it was a circuit board with every single odd and anomalous electronic effect designed it. (At one point in the book the protagonist asks an engineer to examine it, and the engineer is baffled by it's behaviour).
The idea was to let the Russkies "intercept" the component when a jealous UK had supposedly stolen it from the yanks. And then waste many man-years of their expertise trying to examine it.
There are still some around. I order from a home brew store, and it's delivered by a woman in a saloon car. My first thought was it was an employee or relative (the shop turned out to be 15 miles away from me, although I didn't know it when I ordered). But then the same woman delivered something else (at 7pm) for the wife ... I think it was vitamins or something.
Re: Imagine how much better it could be
The courier companies have missed the boat. Big Time.
Our regular supermarket (Sainsburys Tamworth) has a locker system outside. Collect your goods at your convenience.
And I'm guessing it won't be long before they integrate online shopping with Amazon et al, so your Amazon order comes with your groceries. For a price.
Would these analysts ..
be the ones telling farriers back in the 1900s that "things will look up".
Or telling sail manufacturers "we're through the worst of it" in the 1800s.
There has been a paradigm shift in the computing landscape. Take my missis (oo err !) as an exemplar. We bought (actually acquired box through work. I've never bought a PC) a PC in 2009 specifically for her. She used it daily. Emails, surfing, and forums, with a little media playing (mainly YouTube).
I got her a nice 10" android tablet in December. She hasn't used the PC since.
Re: After the General Election
Well I for one, who is one of these types who always votes, will not consider any of the big 3 parties. My current thinking is to vote Green. I can't say I agree with their energy policy, but life's full of compromises anyway.
My sincere hope is we get no majority party at the next election AND no way for any two parties to achieve a majority. Maybe then we'll see some consensus politics.
Has El Reg teamed up with "Viz" ?
just asking ?
surely the reflected ones will have picked up some dirt from the wall ?
are you sure it was *laser* surgery ? I was under the impression the Russians devised the technique using conventional surgery (against a chorus of scepticism from the medical community). They used to do it on board ships they sailed around the world (for hard currency).
It was the west which refined it using lasers ... at which point it became Big Business.
A timely reminder to all
to check EVERY SINGLE element of their business infrastructure.
A few years ago, the clowns that hosted our web site and database had a power failure. When I asked why this had taken our website offline for 2 hours, they replied it was because the primary and backup servers were on the same circuit. Which they thought (in writing !!!!) was a perfectly acceptable setup, and they had never had any complaints before.
plus ca change ....
back in the 80s, people used to advise that "FORMAT C:\" was the magic command, and many "lulz" ensued.
Of course everyone got wise to that.
And then people started circulating "hacks" to speed your machine up. They were suitably impressive. You had to run DEBUG, and then issue an "OUT" command. Which proceeded to call your hard card (remember them ?) low-level format routine ...
Am I alone in having no sympathy for someone who blindly follows something from the internet ? It's almost Darwinian .....
Of course if people did just use Bitcoins to avoid transaction fees, and for cross-border payments, then it's volatility is less of an issue. You just but whatever value of bitcoins you need for the transaction (say £50 worth) and then transact. It's immaterial whether that £50 bought 1 or 0.00001 bitcoins.
Which is exactly what the banks *don't* want.
I wonder if part of the hype surrounding bitcoins is pushed by a shadowy cabal of bankers hoping there will be a bubble-burst which will put people off digital currencies ?
That's if you convert it to cash
I have just spent my Bitcoins to buy stuff. No conversion needed. How can UK plc prevent people buying stuff with bitcoins ? Wait till people on eBasy start using them. Remember Virgin Galactic recently accepted $200,000 worth of Bitcoins.
sorry to downvote you, but criminals already start off being less bright than the average bear. There are many documented cases of fibre cables being stolen because the thickie crims think they're copper.
The best way to clamp down on metal theft is to ensure scrap merchants are required to take proper ID from anyone selling scrap metal - even someone bringing in an old saucepan.
Also, given they aren't likely to smelt the copper down (although I have heard they burn the insulation off) I wonder if it's possible to mechanically mark the cables (maybe an imperceptible notch every so often) to aid detection.