Feeds

* Posts by David Pollard

861 posts • joined 29 May 2007

Page:

NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Description... Panopticlick

Here from the EFF is a test site. "How unique - and trackable - is your browser?"

https://panopticlick.eff.org/

5
0

Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Nominative determinism?

"The current record distance for the caliber is a 2.43km shot achieved in March 2002 by Corporal Rob Furlong ..."

8
0

Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

David Pollard
Bronze badge

How about dodgy "meds"?

I'd taken a look at this some weeks ago after being surprised to see a viagra sales link on an NHS page. A quick search with [site:nhs.uk paypal viagra] suggests that despite the NHS saying Google had been working with them on the problem of hacking by internet pharmaceutical vendors the dodgy dealers are still in there.

0
0

Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Bust-up

Catapult? Bus? Sounds like a job for Jeremy Clarkson.

1
0

Super-snoop bid: UK government hits panic button on EU data retention ruling

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Help! @Eponymous Cowherd

>> And then there's UKIP who want to rescue us from the EU and ECJ "interference" that is the only thing actually protecting us from the "Snooper's charter".

Maybe you could take a look at the EU treaties and check how Europol has been set up and what options it has been granted. From what I remember, 1993 or so, they were given a mandate to do more or less anything they want.

0
3

Search, done. Ads, done. What next for Google? Domain registration

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1361/

1
0

France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Steelie Neelie claims "public interest"

The benefits of increased competition, so often touted as a reason to support the European dream, are rather swiftly ignored as soon as there is even a mild threat to profits.

But would sales of wine really be affected by a change of domain name suffix? Do many people even notice what a site's URL when they have put [wine], or whatever, into Google Shopping? And wouldn't the serious producers be using .fr or .it etc., or .com, in any case, while the serious buyers would mostly be going on the basis of reputation.

1
0

Facial recognition tech convicts man in Chicago robbery case

David Pollard
Bronze badge

... helicopters?

They normally stay downwind of their prey, so you are probably safe for the time being.

0
0

Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Coat

This provides enlightenment as well as chat

http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/

0
0

Report pegs Apple for October smartwatch release

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1372/

1
0

iOS 8 to PROBE your GUTS and your HOME

David Pollard
Bronze badge

There's big money in home and health data

Sainsbury's are after a slice of this data too, using a somewhat different angle. At the pharmacies in their large stores they are offering free advice about prescriptions. As part of this service customers are asked to sign a consent form which allows Sainsbury's to contact their GP; and obviously they store the data.

There will be more ploys to persuade people to use facilities which allow harvesting of their personal health data in coming months and years.

2
0

Privacy International probes GCHQ's mouse fetish

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: This is very puzzling

"They can't all be so stupid, can they?"

I wonder that sometimes the problem is that those who aren't are bright enough to know when to keep quiet.

1
0

ET hunter: We will find SPACE ALIENS in 20 years

David Pollard
Bronze badge

"Are we being softened up for something...?"

Higher taxes and more frequent circulation of the collection plate.

3
0

Hunt's paperless future: NHS watches £60m vanish down plughole

David Pollard
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: pharmacyst - Used by Sainsbury's

It's perhaps worth noting that Sainsbury's now offer, or rather seem to press on customers using their pharmacy, an 'advice service'. They 'check' that the use of medicines is appropriate.

It looks as though the unwary will be encouraged to sign a consent form which, as far as I could see, would give them permission to discuss details of a prescription with the customer's GP. There wasn't any obvious limitation, so it's hard not to imagine that they may be intending to use this as implied consent to access medical records at any future date.

Despite offering advice, the pharmacy where I had gone could not provide information about interactions between two medicines, failed to access the manufacturer's data, and provided incorrect information about the appropriate timing of taking one of the medicines and eating

It looks as though they are using or perhaps working with the NHS promotion of the electronic prescription service to increase their share of this lucrative market, making it seem both normal for people to wish to share their medical information and convenient. I won't be signing up.

0
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

Medicines Act 1969

When there are multiple items on a prescription form the law currently requires that they must all be dispensed by the same pharmacy. Clearly this can cause problems when one of the items is out of stock and the patient will be in a different place the next day. It's necessary either to wait until the following day to collect both/all items from somewhere else, going without all the medications in the meantime, or make a return journey to the first pharmacy, which may be inconvenient.

Given that electronic prescriptions can now be sent direct from the doctor who authorises the script to a nominated pharmacy, it seems a bit absurd that the law has not been changed to allow pharmacies to forward the unfulfilled part of a script in the fairly rare circumstances when an item is not in stock and it's not easy for the patient to return to collect this from the same pharmacy which dispensed the other item(s).

The problem is well known to pharmacists and it would not be technically difficult to solve. Presumably all that would be needed on the legal front is a Statutory Instrument to modify the Act. But like much with the computerisation of health, the needs of the patient seem not to be given much attention.

1
0

Boffins debunk red wine miracle antioxidant myth

David Pollard
Bronze badge

It' s obvious really

Given the puzzling and sometimes contradictory results we must conclude that further research is required in order to resolve the anomalies that have been discovered by the present work.

5
0

Boffins say hot air makes Antarctica COLDER

David Pollard
Bronze badge
IT Angle

Whence come the trolls?

Given that El Reg is about IT and stuff it might be expected that readers will generally have at least some basic knowledge of electronics even if they never studied science or mathematics. It's surprising that quite a few seem incapable of understanding the notion of feedback loops.

4
2

Get BENT: Flexy supercapacitor breaks records

David Pollard
Bronze badge

How big?

6.3 uWh per mm^3 is 6.3 kWh per m^3, if I'm doing the sums right. So for running a car, which to be useful needs something like 25 kWh capacity, this would take up about four cubic metres plus connections and case etc.. It looks as though there is still some way to go, though it might be on target for regenerative braking, power tools and similar applications.

1
1

Fix capitalism with floating cities on Venus says Charles Stross

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Scientology?

Didn't L. Ron Hubbard spend quite a bit of time on Venus and head off there when he became immortal?

6
0

Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Sugar-infused fluff?

The sugar is probably the least of our worries. Take a look with your favourite search engine at the various emulsifiers, extenders and so-called improvers that are added to industrial bread.

It's small wonder that increasing numbers of people suffer from coeliac disease and gastrointestinal disorders.

1
2

Up to 500 GP practices to test plans to share patient data

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Healthwatch.co.uk

Healthwatch was set up not so long ago to provide feedback from the public on health matters. Whether they really do this or are there simply to act as a buffer and keep complaints at bay I don't know, but if enough people contact them and make representations to their local offices then it might have some effect.

1
0

UK.gov data sell-off row: HMRC denies claims it'll flog YOUR private info

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Semantic shuffle

It looks as though they will be selling access to the data rather than the data itself.

Sir Humphrey 1, public and common sense 0

6
0

Vulture 2 rocket motor heater a non-sizzling success

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Mangle an old electric toothbrush

They charge the battery via a transformer in the base, and it should be possible to get two or three watts through this with reasonably efficiency. Such toothbrushes lift off their stand easily enough.

To measure the temperature a non-contact thermostat can be rigged up with an LED/photodetector pair and a small mirror on a bi-metal strip, perhaps also using a couple of lengths of fibre-optic to allow the electronic bits to stay inside where it's warm.

0
0

Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: yeah, well

"The bits of debris are nothing to do directly with the Big Bang"

If the causal connection can't be established, then how can we know with any certainty that the big bang occurred?

1
13
David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: er ... wot?

Wanderers? Wasn't that the other planets?

1
0

Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Who at Microsoft is making up the names... and why do they still have a job?

Windows Reloaded

Windows Revolutions

5
0

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

David Pollard
Bronze badge

If the NSA knew ...

In just the same way that there isn't any obvious trace when a miscreant uses this method to try to collect data from a site, maybe the NSA had silently monitored selected sites to capture details of attackers who were exploiting the security hole. By allowing the leak of relatively non-critical data through what would in effect be a set of giant honeypots they could have been compiling details of their enemies.

As to the costs, a) it wouldn't be their money; and b) this would go to show just how important their work really is.

2
0

Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Bovine Flatulence?

Obligatory xkcd:

http://xkcd.com/1338/

3
0

The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Pint

Redo Backup

Provided that any data is on a separate partition, or otherwise safe, wipe and reinstall is the way to go for many users. The only problem is how to make the re-install process easy. Redo Backup seems to fit the bill.

http://redobackup.org/

0
0

123-reg shrugs off customer complaints over stealth domain transfer charges

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Domain registration *should be* loss-leading

123-reg and Heart Internet are both listed as brands of Host Europe Group.

www.heg.com

0
0
David Pollard
Bronze badge

Small Claims

IANAL but it does look as though they changed their terms without proper notification and without agreement. Whether it will be possible to reclaim all or part of prepaid hosting charges on the basis that the existing contract is thus cancelled I don't know. But Mayne Design's blog, mentioned in the article, is definitely useful as it has a screen copy of 123-reg's "We don't rip you off ... No hidden charges to transfer away".

For anyone unfamiliar with the Small Claims procedure, the Trading Standards Office at the local council can be quite helpful. And if there's no response or no success in response to an initial formal letter asking for refund and the promised free transfer the court procedure is fairly straightforward.

2
0

Life support turned off: NHS Direct dies silent, undignified death

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Shut down quack medicine too

My own experience with NHS Direct was a bit dismal, so I won't mourn its closure. It's a pity though that a whole host of bogus and quack medicine sites can't be closed as well.

2
0

Boffins power wearable tech with body static

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: Micro-patterned polydimethylsiloxane

And the boffins get paid for this research?

0
0

Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Was Cecilia from the PR department at Chambers?

Perhaps Jonathon Green's three volume dictionary of slang isn't selling quite so well these days in the face of urbandictionary.com. So an agent has been sending provocative emails in the hope of getting editorial mention that it is available online to subscribers and that there is also an abridged single volume edition in addition to his seminal work, 'Crooked Talk: Five Hundred Years of the Language of Crime.'

0
0

Research bods told: Try to ID anonymised data subjects? No more CASH for you

David Pollard
Bronze badge

How about prison sentences for the directors ...

This seems to be a completely effective deterrent in the cases of misdeeds committed by journalists, MPs, bent coppers ...

1
0

US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Just in case it wasn't already clear ...

This might help to illustrate how inconvenient it can be when the gas is turned off.

3
0

Facebook flashes its One Tool To Rule Them All in security threat analysis

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Does this mean ...

... that I can keep XP?

1
0

British trolls to face 'tougher penalties' over online abuse

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Tuff? When I were a lad ...

... there were a lass on't Reg forum by't name a Sarah Bee. She'd sort 'em an' noa mistake.

13
0

MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

David Pollard
Bronze badge

What did HMRC have to gain?

Why did they let Goldman Sachs off? Is it a bit like local councils and favourable planning permission decisions, where non-executive directorships are said to be handed out as post-retirement rewards?

13
0

The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Portable Apps

It may be worth getting a bunch of programs from portableapps.com and putting collections of different types onto usb sticks, just in case they are needed.

1
0

How to Poo on a Date wins odd book title of the year

David Pollard
Bronze badge
Joke

the person who nominates ... gets a bottle of semi-decent claret

It's a neat trick that, to nominate the book themselves. When the accountant/taxman enquires about crates of claret appearing as expenses it's, "Oh yes. Prizes in our competitions. They generate quite a lot of publicity, you know... Just look at the press cuttings..."

0
0

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Henry Doubleday heritage seed swaps

Here's a link to the Henry Doubleday seed bank:

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/hsl/

A few years ago, numerous heritage plants and vegetables were threatened by EU legislation which introduced mandatory registration for each and every variety of seed that is sold. Because this is an expensive overhead, seed merchants had been going to drop a slew of the less popular varieties. The Henry Doubleday Association came to the rescue with a creative solution, by setting up a seed swap club which has preserved this valuable asset.

Nil carborundum chaps. Bureaucrats and gauleiters can be beaten.

7
2

EXPOSED: bizarre quantum sibling LOVE TRIANGLE

David Pollard
Bronze badge

"transferring information faster than the speed of light"?

The correlation that occurs with entanglement is instantaneous and does not depend on temporal or spatial separation, but that isn't quite the same as information transfer. Any data transmission is still limited by the velocity of light.

At least that was the case the last time I could understand it.

3
0

Google flu-finding service diagnosed with 'big data hubris'

David Pollard
Bronze badge

They need a man-cold de-dupe program

If the urban myth is correct, then perhaps they should de-rate accounts that come from men. And those that are written on Mondays and Fridays.

1
0

FORCE gov.uk suppliers to stick to 'open data principles' – MPs

David Pollard
Bronze badge

The groundwater flooding database

"Beginning in April 2014, targets should be set for the release of totally new government datasets "

Presently the Environment Agency's data on groundwater flooding isn't readily available. River and coastal flooding risk is mapped on their internet site, but they don't release any data for groundwater. National flood advice sites recommend that householders should purchase a survey, costing £24 and up. The groundwater database was compiled by local authorities and the EA at taxpayers expense and seems to have been turned into a nice little earner for one or two companies who have access to it.

Given that insurance companies are refusing to pay out on some of the claims for recent flooding, free and open publication of the EA's information might well be a good start for the open data proposals.

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/money/Consumer/article1384264.ece

4
0

Apple pedometer patent filing cranks up the iWatch rumor mill

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: A retrograde step for personalised medical treatment?

Here's a neat example of medical use:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319103612.htm

0
0

Don't stare: SHRUNKEN Mercury lost 7km, but only 'cos it's COOLING

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: I give it one week

When diets have an annual turnover in the US of $58 billion it's important that no one comes up with one which does work.

0
0

Boffins propose brainwave privacy standard

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Like data the NHS holds, you mean?

1
0

Samsung puts ultrasonic echolocation cover on a smartphone for the blind

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Let's hope ...

... that Apple don't try to block this with patents.

4
2

Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

David Pollard
Bronze badge

Re: I find that nappies

At last, a vampire who cares.

2
0

Page: