552 posts • joined 29 May 2007
Well, as long as Bill keeps pushing some of his loot down 3rd world toilets & similar - it is better spent than on what some of the other rich boys do with theirs.
Can't we do it ourselves ?
Some time ago David Cameron made a good analogy of us having overspent on the country's credit card and having to live within our means. Since the UK does have the skills and companies to provide the services that are talked of being off-shored; a good analogy would be of a plumber getting in another plumber to fix his bathroom tap as the other plumber has a B&Q discount card & so can buy the washer more cheaply - the job still ends up costing the householder plumber more.
Is it really that hard ?
Re: "Encrypted them in a way he could not decrypt them"
If he encrypted them using someone else's public key, then that someone else could decrypt them but he could not.
Who really bought WhatsApp
So what you are really saying is that Facebook bought WhatsApp because the NSA could not be seen to be buying it themselves ? Ie Facebook is acting as a NSA proxy/agent ?
Nokia by itself maybe ...
but with the smell of Microsoft (including an NSA fragrance), the answer has to be 'no'. A shame, since I liked the Nokias that I had.
domain name explosion
We have a nice tree type heirarchical domain name system with only a few roots: .com, .org, .uk, ... this is now going to be turned into a bramble bush with roots all over the place. The only people who win out are the domain registrars as companies run to grab their name in multiple places. Everyone else gets confused.
Message to Rory Cellan-Jones
I think that the Year of code is a good idea in principle, but:
* why only one year ? It is a skill that will be needed by all kids from now on, forever.
* 'exclusive' ? Eh ? I see the main value of the year of code as giving people a clue as to how computers work; lift them up from the level of icon button pushers. This should make them more effective users since they will have some clue as to the limitations and strengths of computers. I don't expect many of them will want to become programmers. This insight is similar to the reason why history and geography are taught in school - education on matters that are important so that we understand our place in the world.
I was told that one large UK Gov't department has several values for gender: male, female, male was female, female was male & I think 'unknown' & a couple more where people had decided to revert to their original gender.
None of this is about preference of sexual partner - and is (or should be) of no interest in a corporate database.
I did not get a leaflet
I always look through the rubbish that comes through the letter box - just in case.
I had heard about this (here or on slashdot & friends emailed me) so I wrote to my GP, to be asked to fill in a form that contained the same information that I had given them in my letter. I had previously written to my GP to opt out of a similar scheme in 2010.
Lottie Dexter should be sacked
Would they appoint as head of the English Tourist Board someone who had never been to the country or even seen a map ? Of course not. However: the numpties who appointed her are so clueless that they could not understand that having some understanding and insight is necessary.
Re: How much?
Well, just slice something off government departments that do not really benefit mankind:
World wide military spending $1.7tn
NSA estimated $10.8 billion
USA armed forces 2011 $664.84 billion
GCHQ, MI5 & MI6 £1.9bn
Note that the above are annual budgets, a new collider would only be paid for once.
Re: Hand is up
If your application only works on machines of a particular endian - it is broken, full stop, no excuses.
It is not hard to make applications work on machines of different: endian or word lengths.
So - no tax payment then ?
Their accountants can probably use this to magic away any profit at all.
If the big companies need to do it ...
to be able to turn a profit, what hope us small, non multinational, businesses that don't have the ability (or desire) to evade tax by shuffling money around the world?
Politicians from different countries need to get together and agree ways of stopping this sort of thing, even if it does hurt donations^Wbribes for research^Wfavours.
I wish ...
these companies would compete by producing the best products rather than hitting each other with lawyers over trivia.
The real message is to small competitors: don't mess with us, we can afford more legal firepower than you can.
Re: Says it all really
Yesterday Iain Standen phoned me back after I called to complain about the fracas. He told me that the tours had been standardised and that 90 minutes was too long for visitors.
I said that visitors should be given the choice.
He seemed to know of the discussion on El Reg; I said that he should contact them to give his side of the story.
Phone them, tell them what you think
I just did (01908 640404), I had been asked to organise an outing there - but it will prob not happen, there now seems to be little point.
Re: Pope in believing in God shocker
and I always thought that it was Al Gore who invented the Internet!
He must be referring to the church itself, after all it is an expert organisation at convincing people that its mythology is true -- in the fact of facts and lack of evidence.
The violent agression is what they threaten will happen to you in a supposed after life if you don't do what they say.
Buy from different batches
All disk fail sooner or later. I always mirror disks in machines, so my main concern is if the 2 disks fail close together in time. That is why I try to install disks that are likely to not have the same lifetimes, so preferably made by different manufacturers or at least different batch numbers.
IBM should ask Watson itself
If it is as good as it is cracked up to be it will be able to tell its keepers how best to use it to earn $10bn per year :-)
Better to have him where you can see him
Remove him and the NSA will just put someone else into the standards group, but this time it won't be known who he is. Keep Kevin Igoe and at least we know to treat all his suggestions with a shovelfull of salt.
Spend the money on script writers
rather than on shoving more pixels at me.
Give me plot over special effects every time.
This seems like just an excuse to pursuade people to buy a new TV that they don't really need.
Tie in ?
As long as I don't need a particular sort of phone depending on what sort of car I have. That would be a nightmare!
Should we send them an Xmas prezzie ?
A truck load of nice, soft pillows - since they are now trying to do even less than they do now.
Re: It's sad
Try shooting those who he exposed as doing wrong -- not the messenger.
The real report ...
starts with 2 recommendations:
1) Don't get caught again
2) Make sure that we catch whistle blowers in time
Backup copies ?
I hope that all of those many TB of data are mirrored in a couple of protected data centers a looong way away from London. Then nightly rsync to keep them up to date. Probably not very expensive considering what these copies are protecting.
Re: Lots of dead trees
given how hardware and software changes over the years, it seems to me the only real way to make sure all this stuff is archived for future generations is to print it.
That is why the UK government should madate the use of a properly specified document format such as .odt (Open Document Format). The use of proprietary or poorly documented formats such as that various changing Microsoft .doc/.docx should be outlawed (they are not properly documented in spite of Microsoft committing fraud by buying enough ISO voting countries to be awarded is ISO number).
The same should be applied to other storage mechanisms, eg: CAD & GIS - proprietary formats abound and the major vendors frequently change them so that users constantly need to buy new versions to be able to read what people send them.
A one-stop-shop will be a bad thing ...
for lawyers, there will be less demand for their over-priced and under-delivered services if people can do it themselves.
If they allow copyright on APIs ...
then they should also make the following sorts of things proprietary and charge people a fee for building compatible parts: anything that uses a nut/bolt type thread; anything that uses an AAA battery; anything that uses a 3 pin plug; readers of books published in a new font; ...
The EU courts wisely say that APIs cannot be copyrighted. Hopefully the USA judges will take note.
Brilliant appropriate technology
I hope that they do well.
How far in advance ?
2 minutes ? Or something equally slim to avoid changes before it becomes law.
Back taxes ?
So will Amazon have to pay back taxes ? They might claim that they should not because they did not collect them from the consumer in the first place - but the tax man could deem that 10% (or whatever) of what was paid WAS sales tax so please hand it over (correction: they would not use the word 'please').
That might be an interesting tussle.
Good: I have too many old chargers from all sorts of things. The lack of a charger will save the environment and a few pounds. This is exactly why the EU mandated that all 'phones have the same USB connection.
Message to mobile operators
Just don't sign the Apple contracts. Apple need you more than you need them.
When a new iphone comes out put a message on your web site saying: we cannot sell you an iphone as we refuse to agree to Apple's outrageous demands.
If the meme catches on with several mobile carriers, they will not lose out to their competition and Apple will have some incensive to behave properly.
The sun growing up ?
Maybe the sun has finally stopped being a teenager and all these disfiguring spots will be a thing of the past.
Oh no - more monkeys!
Good for sorting out problems where they can be given a simple procedure to follow. Hopeless when there is something unusual.
How much is El Reg being paid to push Who ?
OK: I do like the show but it is just a bit of fun ... will readers of this site make a significant change to viewing figures ?
Ood as foes ?
The Ood are more victims of other various baddies. If they have acted against the Dr it is because they were compelled to.
The title is wrong, rather than 'foes' put 'species' or 'characters' or something.
What about the direct feed to Cupertino ?
Forget malware, what about these things being tied to the Apple HQ? All the settings and other stuff that Apple ''helpfully backs up'' and so sucks down to its data centers. The NSA will have a copy of that! iWhatevers belonging to MPs, civil servants and industry top brass are going to be of special interest.
I have been yelling at my (Tory) MP about this since he got elected, the message has still only got partly there :-(
Re: alain williams IPV4 best for the general public
Wow! It is not just your head that is in the sand.
Dual stacking by adding IPv6 is not hard, I cannot see why you are afraid to do it. Google and Akamai (to name but two) support IPv6, they would not do so if there was little point. I respectfully sugest that they know more about it than either you or me.
Do not make excuses for inaction.
Your suggested solution of adding another couple of octets to the IPv4 4 octets would be just as disruptive as the move to IPv6 with not as much of the gains.
Re: IPV4 best for the general public
Sticking your head in the sand will only result in you getting sea water up your nose when the tide comes in. You might be fortunate that most of the web sites that you want to go to have IPv4 addresses, in the West we got allocated lots of IPv4 addresses, that is not true for, eg China. It will change.
BTW: Pinset Masons is reporting old news, that report has 2012 written all over it!
El Reg not IPv6
Indeed. My own external servers went IPv6 4 years ago; I went IPv6 at home a couple of years ago. It is not hard. Unfortunately I did need to change ISP - my old one did not know what IPv6 meant.
May I use this comment to offer my services to help El Reg implement IPv6.
Daily incremental backups
What is so hard about it ?
OK: I know that many do not do it, but no serious computer user can pretend that they have not been told to do it.
Having said that: it took an arson attack next door to their offices to get some customers to agree to my nagging to install a backup server.
Computer misue act ?
I thought that attempting to crack/access/... someone else's computer was an offense under the computer misue act ? Does doing it while working for the government make it OK ?
This is different from going to war and killing people while you do it. (Murder is against the law innit ?). The point is that sending troops to somewhere is very publically visible and needs a debate in parliament. The trouble with ''cyber troops'' going on the offensive is that I can see this being authorised by some minion, or perhaps a government minister, - but without oversight. I can see this being used many, many times a year to attack ''obvious bad 'uns'' ... but ''obvious'' to who ?
I can see this being abused/misued.
Bang the car, short the battery
It looks as if a tiny prang would bend it, short the battery and in no time at all the car will not move.
Who is the NHS contracting to store this info ?
Because if it is a USA company (or has ties to the USA) then it will be grabbed by the NSA using the Patriot Act. I don't have any embarassing diseases, but I still don't want the USA gov't noseing around in my privates.
Do they know what ''science'' means ?
''The 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences''
Economics is not a science, the closest that it gets is to be a branch of psychology. In spite of what the egg head bean counters want you to think - you can only make vague predictions and forget the notion of rigorous repeatability.
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