638 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010
And the lesson we learn is...
if an iPad owner dies, don't tell Apple, just forge a letter from the deceased requesting that they send unlock codes to Mr XXX.
Or in fact why wait for the owner to die? Just send a forged letter anyway.
Re: The DG speaks
To be fair, the BBC seem to produce a hell of a lot more quality material (even ignoring BBC3) for £3.6bn than say, Sky do with a turnover of £7.2bn
Seems amazingly cheap
At that sort of price they could probably get it funded on Kickstarter.
Time to start again?
There are times when a system is so badly screwed up that you have to give up trying to patch it and just have to shut it down and design something new that works.
The USian 'security' services seem to have reached that point. The NSA, CIA etc are so totally corrupt and broken that they need to be immediately wound up and a new, properly controlled and appropriate security service built up from scratch, with no staff transferred from the old ones (who can be shipped to Gitmo for a few years). Yes it will hurt in the short term, but it's the only long term solution.
Re: Tail wagging the dog.
"These people need to be whipped
back into line and told in no uncertain terms that they are the servants and not the masters."
Fixed that for you
Re: Got to love Putin.....
If Putin wants to show how macho he is why can't he just follow the traditional route and get himself 50 concubines and father hordes of bastards? Much cheaper (and more fun) than demonstrating that he's all man and not-at-all-in-any-way-a-gay-icon by invading the neighbours.
IWF are a bit out of date...
Have they only just discovered that naughty people have been hacking small business websites to host their junk? e.g. viagra ads etc. They've been doing it for years - just look at the links in any spam e-mail. Half the time they go to a deep directory in www.my-little-dog-groomers.de or similar.
And interestingly about half of the hacked sites seem to be running wordpress...
4000 times the 'safe' level?
If you read the original article it says that last October levels were 4000% the safe level, not 4000 times. Slight difference (two orders of magnitude)
at 4000 times the safe level you could cut chunks out of the atmosphere with a knife!
Always the unnecessary hi-tech solution
What's wrong with the traditional way of stalking? You sneak up to the stalkees home at night, fill their bedroom with sleepy-gas of some sort, then while they're unconscious you get your tame struck-off-alcoholic-doctor to operate to insert a small radio device under their skin (where they won't notice) and then you can track them for months (or until the battery goes flat).
Who needs leaky software? And this method works without getting the stalkee to use a 'dating app' (whatever one of those is)
Not totally unreasonable...
The first point mentioned, about "if you're unhappy, tell us first" seems perfectly reasonable and sensible, so long as they actually try and sort things out. And banning class actions? Well, class actions seem to be something devised by the American legal system to ensure that lawyers get very rich (sorry, that should be "even richer than they already are"), and generally have nothing to do with getting 'justice' for the plaintiffs. Arbitration? Fundamentally a good idea - but a bit limited geographically.
Time for a Sting?
Couldn't some nice people buy some old copper from BT and tout it round all the scrappies in an area and see who is willing to pay cash?
Good excuse to close my account
It's pretty pointless anyway, so [**censored**] LinkedIn
Why just major cities?
Re: What a load of old pony
Alberts? = Albert Memorials? = Editorials?
The world would be a better place
if the stock exchanges banned high-frequency trading ('gambling') - it serves no real-world purpose, i.e. the companies whose stock is being traded, and the 'real' investors in those companies derive no benefit ( the only reason for having stock exchanges in the first place).
One fundamental flaw...
When I use username+pw (ideally with 2 factor) then this says that the authorised user of the account (whoever DodgyDavidCameron27 is) is requesting access. It says nothing about who the authorised user actually is. Once you start getting into fingerprints, retina scans etc it becomes a matter of saying that Mr Anthony Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam, NI number AB 123456A, DOB 12/5/1924, member of the Royal Marine Commando Club etc is asking for access to the account. Bye-bye anonymity.
The plan must have been dreamed up by NSAGCHQ...
First they spy on everyone on our little blue planet, now they've got their CCTV cameras monitoring alien planets as well. Is nowhere safe from their intrusion? Next they'll be bugging Opportunity and Curiosity's e-mail to check they aren't consorting with little green trrrrrsts.
"If you put something into a basket with an online shop without completing the purchase and then walk into retail branch they will spot that you are the same customer"
and exactly why do they think this is a good thing? And why on earth would the customer (you and me) think this is a good thing?
Sales assistant (in loud voice): "Ah, good afternoon Mother Theresa, welcome to Boots, would you like to pick up that bulk pack of pregnancy testing kits you put in your online basket yesterday?"
Bad investment opportunity
Even if (god forbid) Zuck is right, there is still a big hole in their economic model.
FB is currently valued at $131 Billion - insane money (from insane investors). If the company lasts for another decade then it needs to pay out $13 billion in dividends every year to compensate for it being worrthless in 10 years. So far it hasn't paid out any dividends. Earnings per share are less than 1% of the valuation. Can they increase earnings ten-fold?
I think FB is now a touchstone for financial advice. If you meet a financial advisor who owns or recommends buying FB shares, run away very fast.
How on earth...
do they spend £100million before discovering it doesn't work?
A project like this would be pretty costly, but mainly in the sheer grunt work of digitising decades of material and creating the metadata, and the cost of the hardware. Building a digital media library is not a fundamentally complicated concept. Surely one does a pilot/proof of concept then build it up to a full system and only then do you buy hardware and start digitising.
So how in heaven's name can they spend £100 million?
Re: Dear Banks
I think that customers have a right to demand far more robustness from Bank (and other vital institutions) IT systems than there currently is.
I don't entirely agree - a large proportion of personal customers in the UK don't actually pay for a current account (okay, charges for overdrafts etc) but basic banking is free. Once this was funded by the fact that they didn't pay interest on current accounts, but with interest rates at zero they don't have any income to pay for the services. It's a bit like Google - you can't really complain or have expectations about something you're getting for nowt.
But yes, on the whole bankers are overpaid parasitic scum who should be condemned to twenty years chained to an oar in the bottom level of the slave galleys.
Been there, done that...martyr to major back problems (thanks to years of sitting badly in front of computers)
The short term solution for many years was the odd visit to various very helpful chiropractors, who usually managed to sort things out temporarily, but it always came back as it was a posture problem.
Finally someone recommended Alexander Technique, which aims to teach you how to re-train your whole posture. Found a wonderful local teacher. It took a while and quite a few quid, but worth every penny and then some. No more back problems. A few years ago I couldn't stand, sit or walk comfortably for more than fifteen minutes, now I can stand all day.
I really, really recommend finding a good Alexander Teacher - and possibly then add on some technical gadgetry like this to help keep you on the straight and narrow once you really understand the principles of good posture.
I believe that jail is rarely the appropriate punishment for one-off and non-violent crime, but we do need something simple and easy to deal with utter dickheads - surely a few days in the pillory getting pelted with rotten tomatoes would be more appropriate?
Sometimes the old ways are the best ways...(okay, perhaps not trial by combat or chucking witches into ponds, but sometimes...)
What would be very interesting...
is if FB published real data of active users/new signups etc for the last 5 years or so. Then we'd see what the curve was like. Can't see it happening though...
Re: How about...
I agree, but t's not quite that simple. You have to allow companies to offset legitimate expenses against income, and that opens the loopholes. Salaries - obviously okay. Materials purchased to make the product - okay again. Software licences e.g. Windows desktops? Yep. How about using software and computer services at a 'partner company' overseas? Reasonable, but who sets the charges? Ditto with intellectual and trademark rights - who decides how much Starbucks UK pays to use the Starbucks name?
Re: "without contributing to its upkeep"
they do contribute by providing jobs, which contributes not only to tax revenue but also to the economy.
As do thousands of small, medium and large UK businesses who also provide jobs, but also somehow manage to pay a fair share of corporation tax without going broke.
The big companies may be legal but only through incredibly contrived and convoluted arrangements that are dreamt up by regiments of highly paid consultants. The government need to massively simplify the tax legislation so there are far fewer loopholes to exploit.
Re: You can fix that bug...
No more puzzling than the habit of Japanese businesses to choose a random English word and print it all over their products in big letters.
possibly some shit sherlock
People have been using the old 'Is the Pope a Catholic?', 'Do bears shit in the woods?' to imply a certain obvious answer, but the answers aren't in fact as obvious as some people might believe. It's not cut-and-dried...
Let's consider papal catholicity: There have been 266 occupants of the see of Rome (give or take a few anti-popes), and arguably all of these have been Roman Catholics. BUT we mustn't forget the other Popes - the Coptic Orthodox popes of Alexandria - all 118 of them. The Coptic Papacy was established before the Roman one. Clearly they aren't Roman Catholics, but they are Catholics, as in 'One holy, catholic and apostolic church' where Catholic = Universal.
So, averaged over the last 2000 years, we can say that approx 60% of popes were Roman Catholic, and at any given time at least 50% of the popes are Roman Catholic (but e.g. early 15th century when there were two anti-popes at the same time, then that rises to 75% were roman catholic or Avignon catholic), but yes all popes are Catholic, even if not Roman Catholic. BUT again...if Catholic is being used in the sense of universal, clearly as there are many churches claiming to be universal then in fact none of them are actually universal or catholic, so we can actually say none of the present popes are catholic.
See, I said it wasn't simple!
And when we turn to bears' lavatorial habits - what about polar bears?
But, but, but...
Surely under US law it's perfectly legal to hack foreigners computers? And therefore vice-versa, so no case to answer.
No. You misunderstand the principle. Innocent until PROVEN guilty. And potentially faulty breathalysers and blood tests are not proof of guilt until a court says so.
It's true they publish the details of people charged but they must be accurately described i.e. alleged drink drivers. This is an open-and-shut case - the hashtag states they are drink drivers, which they are not. I'd sue.
Perhaps they should also tweet the details of every Staffs plod who is the subject of a complaint (394 in 2011) and tag them #crookedcoppers (obviously they aren't all crooks and many of the complaints won't be upheld, but when has the truth got in the way of a good hashtag?)
Re: Stunning photo
Nah, up close it wouldn't look nearly so good.
Avoid the Google Borg collective
I do quite like google. Gmail is excellent and a convenient way of handling all my email addresses from one place. The Calendar is handy, and the Drive is useful. The problem is their attempt to integrate everything. I have work use and personal use - and I want to keep them apart.
Recently I needed to upload some videos for clients to youtube, so I needed to create a youtube channel, but I didn't want to do it as 'me'. Simples - new Firefox private window, create a new minimalist google a/c and go from there (and as it's a private window the cookies don't get confused with my real google a/c that's already open) - just remember to write the a/c details down somewhere safe so I don't forget them. Did same thing when I needed to create some G+ pages for clients.
Basic principle works for other things as well - I don't do Facebook as 'me' but I have several accounts that I use for testing, work etc - again, just use a private window and it's no hassle.
But in the case of the NSA it's more gamekeeper turned poacher. Presumably the agency was set up with (moderately) good intentions and they've now gone rogue.
Dodgy call centres?
And will he do anything to increase the overall quality by shutting down the assorted criminal call centres who phone you up and claim to be from Windows support and want to help you remove the virus on your PC?
Re: Worthless stats
And if that $78.5 billion was turned into dollar bills, it would cover an area of 811 sq. km, or 1.13 Angleseys.
You can handle most of their other scenarios by making multiple copies and storing them at different locations - and if one of the locations is Pluto then it should even cope with the sun becoming a red giant. Simples.
Sad, sad, sad...
In 1972 I was doing A-levels, and I asked for (and got) a set of 7-figure log tables for Xmas. Man, was I a rebel! They're still around somewhere.
Then went to Uni in 1974 and got a Sinclair Scientific (the log tables were easier to use...)
Mid 80s got a Casio fx451 (the one that could handle Hex) and it's still in my desk drawer and still works.
Re: all that money on doing nice things for people
Bet the church gifts work too: "Here, let us help you build a new well next to your mosque - oh yes, and here's a crate of Bibles as a bonus gift".
Perhaps if they don't want to accept the kind gifts then the best thing to do is just walk away and leave them to it? Spending trillions on bombs is really not an answer. And I still believe that if they spent as much on focussed development aid as they do on bombs and guns, and didn't try to use it as a way to bribe and buy politicians, then they might get a more positive result. Yes, there are nutters with guns out there, but they aren't the majority.
US development aid budget is approx $20 billion p.a. ($3 billion goes to Israel),
Estimated private donations to overseas aid approx $10 billion p.a.
US declared military budget is about $600 billion,
Department of Homeland Fear and Paranoia budget approx $60 billion,
cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approx $6 trillion to date (that's $6000 billion)
If the US had been giving foreign aid at the current rate since the country was established in 1776, it still wouldn't haqve spent as much as it has on the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Makes you think, doesn't it? Or I hope it does.
Re: Any chance...
And if they spent all that money on doing nice things for people (building schools, hospitals, water pumps, training teachers and nurses etc) then they wouldn't need all these hi-tech ways to kill all those terrorist children in the first place.
It's a conspiracy I tell you...
It was bad enough when NASA faked the moon landings, but it was only to be expected that the Chinese would follow up with dodgy film taken on a film set in Shanghai. But for NASA to join in by backing up their charade...shame on them all!
Anyway, everyone knows that the moon is too small and far away for anything to reach it - and the Clangers have an excellent anti-invasion missile shield anyway.
It's time for the EU to retaliate. If it's legal under US law to do anything you like to a foreigner's IT equipment then we do the same - make it legal for any European to do anything they like to an American's IT equipment - no more Gary McKinnon cases then.
And at the same time make it illegal for anyone to break into European IT networks, and make the employer of any person doing it subject to the same penalties, with an option for seizure of any assets owned by the employer (e.g. US Government) in compensation. And allow for trials in absentia and make it a strict liability offence. Oh yes, and allow for civil prosecutions as well (lower burden of proof)
But will the wimps in the Council of Ministers do anything practical like this? I suspect not...
Where do they find these judges?
Escapees from the local funny farm?
But seriously though...
The more I read about the good uses that Gates is finding for his billions, the less angry I get about the money I've paid Micro$oft over the years.
@AC Re: TL;DR
I agree we have a duty to look after the vulnerable in society, but I'm not sure that closing all the food shops is the best way to tackle the problem of neglected kids who don't have enough to eat . Same with censorship
"We are trusted partners of America"
Trusted by whom, exactly?
I love science!
I get regularly depressed reading about the latest ways that big corporations and governments spend billions to kill and maim people in more inventive ways, but whenever I'm down suddenly something like this comes along and restores my faith that there loads of GOOD boffins out there who want to make the world a better place.
Recycled drinks bottles for heaven's sake - could it get any neater? A cure for diabetes made out of sweet wrappers?
Re: Note if you wanted to deployed an aircraft in the atmosphere of Mars this is the tech you need
I think the main thing need to deploy an aircraft in the atmosphere of Mars is rather more atmosphere. Wings don't get a lot of lift in an atmospheric pressure equivalent to an altitude of about 150,000 feet on Earth.
Could it be adapted to have a small amount of battery storage so that instead of having to lift the weight every half hour the owner could just pull hard/turn a handle for five minutes to generate enough power to run several LEDs for several hours at a time? Would that increase the cost too much? And tack on a small solar panel to charge the battery during the day?
Or is that all getting too complicated?
Re: So NSA officials say it's not illegal?
...and the guys who went into the local bank with a shotgun and demanded all the cash said that wasn't illegal either. And Tony Bliar said invading Iraq wasn't illegal.
Is anything illegal these days?
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