* Posts by ScottAS2

109 posts • joined 28 Feb 2011

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IEEE's prescription for med-tech crowd: preventing hacks is better than a cure

ScottAS2

Re: No incentive

Presumably we need the medical device certification authorities to issue some smackdown and require these standards: that will soon provide the incentive. The certification process for medical equipment is pretty tortuous already (and I would be surprised if it ignored the software entirely); it just needs to include security, too.

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Law changed to allow GCHQ hacking ... just as GCHQ hauled into court for hacking

ScottAS2

Enjoy it while it lasts

Retroactively criminalising acts (or even increasing the punishment for them) is another thing that's outlawed by the Human Rights Act/ECHR: Article 7 specifically deals with it.

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

ScottAS2

Except for viewers in Scotland

Bear in mind that in Scotland the Crown in Parliament does not have unlimited sovereignty - this was referred to by the Lord President of the Court of Session as "a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law" in the result of MacCormick v Lord Advocate.

This isn't to say that Westminster couldn't legislate to repeal the HRA in Scotland, but it could result in a constitutional crisis or two if the Scottish Parliament dig their heels in and try to assert that they better represent the considered will of the people of Scotland (which is widely asserted, but has never been proved, to be sovereign in Scotland) than Westminster.

Those of us (in Scotland at least) live in interesting times.

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Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament

ScottAS2

Zero-hour is an arbitrary limit

Labour are only going to ban exploitative zero-hour contracts. They want you to think that means that all zero-hour contracts are exploitative, so they'll be banned. Of course, what it actually means is that they'll only ban the ones they have deemed to be exploitative - which certainly won't include any connected to a Labour politician, or donor for that matter.

If I'm honest I'd much rather we focussed on the exploitative bit, rather than an arbitrary number of hours. If a zero-hour contract is exploitative, surely a one-hour contract is almost as exploitative? I was on one during my student days, and although the flexibility suited me well, I can see how it could easily have been abused by a less-scrupulous employer, especially if had been a job whose income I needed, rather than like to have.

Rather than some vague aspirational soundbite, how about some concrete measures? I'd think if we had protection against detriment from refusing overtime, and the requirement that sick and holiday pay be based on the average hours actually worked over some period (perhaps the 17 weeks employers should already be monitoring for the 48-hour week) then we could keep zero hour contracts and the "flexibility" that business claims is so important, while also improving the lot of employees on all contracts, not just zero-hour ones.

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ScottAS2

No coalition required

If there's a hung parliament, we won't necessarily get a coalition - where two parties agree a joint programme for government, and share out ministerial positions between them. It's entirely possible we'll get a minority government with one or more other parties in a "confidence and supply" agreement, where they agree to support the government in confidence motions and pass their budget - the bare minimum. Everything else would need have support gathered on a case-by-case basis, which, if approached in the right spirit by the politicians, can lead to some nice consensus politics.

The SNP did this fairly successfully in the third Scottish parliament, although it showed both the good and the bad sides of it: while the Tories engaged fairly constructively, Labour stuck rigidly to the Bain Principle, and flounced around generally seeming upset that they weren't being allowed to run the country. Of course, the result of the election to the current parliament* shows how well that went down.

*One of the requirements for the Scottish electoral system when it was designed is widely acknowledged to have been to make it difficult for any party, and especially the SNP, to get a majority.

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That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

ScottAS2

Re: Meamwhile in the UK

Yes. Several, in fact.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

ScottAS2
Stop

Re: What a bunch of ****ing moaners

When we had a turtle in primary school, we were given strict instructions never to do left or right anything other than exactly 90. Guess what the first thing we did was? I believe the only way the teachers could find to abort our "right 99999999999999999" was to take the batteries out.

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Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

ScottAS2

SLA: 24 hours, one day a year

Surely endurance racing is a much better place for IT people? The cars there are self-jacking, so no need to leave the servers unguarded.

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Crap employers banned from enforcing backdoor crim records checks

ScottAS2

Re: And how many people...

This is one reason for being a member of a trade union. No-one needs to put their head above the parapet: the rep just goes to management and says "our members tell us that...".

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HOLY SEA SNAILS! Their TEETH are strong enough to build a plane

ScottAS2
Alien

The big question

Are these strong enough to make a space elevator cable out of?

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SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

ScottAS2

Re: Hmm something fishy about Sturgeon

Wheras as the Wee Ginger Dug points out, any Spaniard who actually has a Scottish friend will introduce them as mi amigo escocés-no-le-llames-inglés-porque-le-cabrea.

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Dissidents and dealers rejoice! Droid app hides your stash in plain sight

ScottAS2
Paris Hilton

Re: Secret data would be encrypted

If they don't know there's a password to ask you for, you're in the clear.

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Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

ScottAS2
Alien

Was it that the impact on landing was too high, and caused the ram pack to wobble?

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Hang on a second – Time Lords have added one to 2015

ScottAS2
Go

Surely if the Earth's rotation is slowing down, the International Earth Rotation Service need to work a bit harder at rotating Earth internationally?

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

ScottAS2

Re: Funny sizes?

The metric sizes being odd is quite simple: they're just the (largely pre-existing) Imperial calibres expressed in millimetres: 7.62mm is 0.3in and 12.7mm is 0.5in, for example.

As to why the original Imperial measurements were so, I have as much idea as you, although I suspect the same "we've always done it this way" is in play.

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

ScottAS2

Re: Pretty feeble compared with Phalanx

Matchlock muskets looked pretty feeble compared to pikes, too. Expensive to make, took ages between shots, didn't like bad weather either. I take it you'll be using a pike next time you go to war?

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

ScottAS2

Re: However in the UK he is a guilty criminal

If there was the will, I'm sure some sort of extraterritoriality could be negotiated between Sweden, the UK and, if necessary, Ecuador that would satisfy everyone's legal systems - c.f. the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

ScottAS2

If only I could have written this in pink to appeal to girls

At least the books aren't a complete write-off: they'll be re-issued as "Middle-Management Barbie" next week.

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UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

ScottAS2

Re: Poor policy approach

You're under the quaint and old-fashioned impression that the people at the Job Centre are there to get people jobs. They're not: they're there to get people off benefits. This sounds like it ought to be the same in practice, but since it's a lot easier to sanction someone - thus getting them off benefits and chalking up a "success" - than it is to find them a job, guess what the system has become geared up to do.

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Tick-tock, Jock: Dock schlock for mock-stock in ad-hoc shop squawk

ScottAS2

Re: redacted

Hey! He's been on Beyoncé's diet lately (yes, really), and is down to six.

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ScottAS2

Re: Debate worthy of a playground

Worry no more. Only once since the present electoral system was introduced (1948) have Scottish votes altered what would have been a Conservative government into a Labour one. A couple of times they've given Labour a majority or denied the Conservatives one, but in both cases coalitions were entered into anyway which would negate this. (Source)

Thus, the rest of the UK is quite capable of electing a Labour government when they choose to and, indeed, pretty much have to if the UK as a whole is to get one.

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Ericsson and Kodiak in Europe WALKIE-TALKIE-style push-to-talk push

ScottAS2

Re: “don’t shoot”

This is why ICAO (i.e. aviation) English uses "affirm" and "negative".

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SOLAR SECRETS of WSC winner team Nuon

ScottAS2
Stop

"just as F1 gave the world disk brakes"

No, sports car racing gave us modern disk brakes. Specifically, the Jaguar C-Type, although the idea had been used on Lanchesters half a century earlier.

So now you know.

Stop, because that's what disk brakes are for.

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'Wacky' Spanish VoD squad launches people-picked online vid service in UK

ScottAS2
Trollface

Que?

Catalunya no és Espanya.

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Ultralight party balloons in WEEK-LONG marathon flight

ScottAS2

Re: Is it me

Get a tech writer: our tame ones seem to actually like doing it: http://www.techaddiction.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/techwriting_presentation.pdf

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Hacktivists torch C4's Jon Snow's web diary, reveal 'nuke strike' on Syria

ScottAS2
Paris Hilton

Is your wife's name B*** by any chance?

Gosh. Your in-laws have some unconventional attitudes to naming.

Paris, because they named a hotel after her.

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Police probe IDIOTIC Twitter bomb threats slung at journalists

ScottAS2

Re: a lack of understanding of the Internet

Although equally, if it isn't a crime to send it by letter, it shouldn't be a crime to send it by Twitter.

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ISPs: Relax. Blocking smut online WON'T really work

ScottAS2

Re: So by "active choice" call-me-Dave meant *his* choice to opt everyone *in* by default.

The people of Britain do not have a choice. We will only get to decide whether we want red or blue Tories. The people of Scotland, thankfully, do have a choice. Vote Yes in 2014!

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The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

ScottAS2
Mushroom

The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

Since El Reg can't be arsed to start a topic on this themselves, here is one.

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D'OH! Use Tumblr on iPhone or iPad, give your password to the WORLD

ScottAS2
Facepalm

Re: Tumblr is a website, right?

I suspect they're mainly doing it because some marketing drone has heard that it's the "in" thing to have an app.

Inevitable XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1174/

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US Navy robot stealth fighter in first unmanned carrier landings

ScottAS2

Re: fuel/explosives?

On Sea Harriers, they had to, at least if it was a warm day. They didn't have enough engine power to hover with more than a light weapon load. Search Lewis' other articles for "running jump jet" if you want the full details.

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Press exposure of Federal data security hole leads to legal threats

ScottAS2
Facepalm

But you use wget on the command line! Command line == hacking. Have you learned nothing from Hollywood movies?

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London Olympics site to become digital mega-hub

ScottAS2

Re: boris

"Boris Johnson, people always ask me the same question, they say, 'Is Boris a very very clever man pretending to be an idiot?' And I always say, 'No.'" - Ian Hislop

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FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

ScottAS2
Thumb Up

Re: Yeah

As the standard response to someone worried about flying in an old aircraft goes: "How do you think it got to be so old?"

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RAF graduates first class of new groundbased 'pilots'

ScottAS2

Joined up thinking at its best

The RAF's pilots who don't fly will be a perfect match for the Royal Navy's carriers without any aircraft.

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HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

ScottAS2
FAIL

Re: Not Related?

*Ahem* Did you not read the bit about them coming from completely different directions?

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Samsung: Demand for mobes forced 16hr days on factory slaves

ScottAS2
Trollface

Who had the patent?

So that's another Apple thing that Samsung are actually just as good at?

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A tweet too far: UK contempt law reform push begins

ScottAS2
Facepalm

*ahem*

I think you mean "England and Wales' contempt law reform push begins".

Where's the FTFY icon?

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Scotland Yard arrests female computer hacking suspect

ScottAS2
Unhappy

Re: Rebekah Wade / Brooks is about 45, isn't she?

Brooks is 44, more's the pity. On the bright side, she has already been arrested by Operations Weeting and Elveden.

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NYPD: iPhone thefts rising ten times rate of other crimes

ScottAS2
FAIL

Re: Why bother?

For reasons best known to themselves US operators don't use the IMEI blacklist, so your nicked iPhone is fully-functional in the 'States. Except for the Maps, of course.

To be fair, I believe they are just about to start enforcing the blacklist, like operators in most of the world have been doing for years.

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Swiss railways ticked off at iOS clock knock-off

ScottAS2
Trollface

Re: Next step...

Apple will countersue with their design patent on parallel lines.

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ScottAS2
Stop

Do the SBB set new clocks by looking at the timetable?

I love the way the second hand *doesn't* move continuously. Or at least, it does move continuously for fifty-eight and a half seconds, then it *stops*, and clicks up to the twelve o'clock position as the minute hand moves from one minute to another. If I had found a replica that duplicated that feature when I was in Switzerland, I'd have got it. As others have noted, you can buy souvenir SBB clocks all over the place, but they're usually just a cheap (by Swiss standards) movement with a ticking second hand.

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Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish

ScottAS2
Big Brother

Re: Probably not such a great idea

The other advantage of the taxed bag system no-one seems to have picked up on is that it neatly sidesteps the whole creepiness of having to present ID to throw stuff out. I don't know how the Dutch do it, but if UK.gov implemented this, you can bet they'd want everything logged and made available to the authorities for fishing trips.

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Video shows armed assault on Kim Dotcom family home

ScottAS2
FAIL

Re: There used to be a time

A rapid and dynamic entry that took thirteen minutes to find the guy?

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So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down

ScottAS2

Re: There is a trust option,...

bcsthecharteredinstituteforit is not a union. Prospect, on the other hand, is. Not sure why you think all IT people couldn't join it.

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Apple desperate to prevent nightmare scenario of iPad in Iranian hands

ScottAS2

This bit isn't required, though

I was going to suggest what Apple's response (at least to El Reg) would be, but the forum software said "The post is required, and must contain letters".

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SETI experiment succeeds: fails to find aliens

ScottAS2
Coat

Re: Knowing humanity's rotten luck...

I think it's more likely that the message would be notification that the plans for the new hyperspace bypass are available for viewing at our local library.

Mine's the one with the towel.

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Does Britain really need a space port?

ScottAS2

Two Arthur C. Clarke quotes for the price of one

"We cannot predict the new forces, powers, and discoveries that will be disclosed to us when we reach the other planets and set up new laboratories in space. They are as much beyond our vision today as fire or electricity would be beyond the imagination of a fish."

"If man survives for as long as the least successful of the dinosaurs - those creatures whom we often deride as nature's failures - then we may be certain of this: for all but a vanishingly brief instant near the dawn of history, the word 'ship' will mean - 'spaceship.'"

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Grab your L-plates, flying cars of sci-fi dreams have landed

ScottAS2
Black Helicopters

This title fell down and died, too

"This will actually fall down and you will fall and probably die"

Such a shame that this ringing endorsement of the flying car's safety credentials arrives just too late for Quote of the Week...

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Glider pilot 'swallowed camera memory' say plunge tragedy cops

ScottAS2
Joke

Re: As a paraglider pilot...

Is being called Neil mandatory?

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