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* Posts by Ken Hagan

4288 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence

Ken Hagan
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Re: IT angle?

" I've never heard of anyone promoting the idea of dividing Germany again though, have you?"

They aren't very loud, but they certainly exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe

Prior to the nuclear stalemate, re-arranging European boundaries every 50 years or so was pretty much de rigeur. At the present time, the excuses for centralisation (financial and defence) are pretty much covered by the ECB and NATO. (Obviously one of these insitutions is currently working rather better than the other, but the official line is that both are here to stay.) That leaves the way wide open for the larger nation states to fragment in line with regional preferences. We have Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia as examples so far. (Ukraine is a work in progress.)

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Microsoft splurges 2½ INSTAGRAMS buying Minecraft maker Mojang

Ken Hagan
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Re: WTF?

"If MS shift it to .NET and make a free plugin for VS Express, they have just captured pretty much the entire next generation of application developers."

That would imply that the next generation of developers are currently owned by Oracle, since Minecraft is all in Java. Oracle might like to think that, but I don't believe it is a fair statement.

It also implies that a plug-in API would be easy. It might, but all the existing mods are version-specific and Mojang have never published an API.

It also implies that forcing the entire Minecraft community onto Windows isn't going to fragment that community. It certainly will.

To cut a long story short, I find it hard to see how MS-Minecraft can be any more profitable than Mojang-Minecraft, and we know that the latter struggles. I think MS paid about $2.5 billion too much.

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spɹɐʍʞɔɐB writing is spammers' new mail filter avoidance trick

Ken Hagan
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Re: Odd...

I fail to see why rendering HTML in an email client is any more stupid than rendering HTML in a web browser. Given a sane rendering engine, both are safe. Given a reckless rendering engine, neither is safe.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Ken Hagan
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Re: It will be business as usual.

"...all three main parties will have no choice but to make a manifesto commitment against..."

...which, after the election, would turn out to be no more binding than the commitments that all three parties have made at the last *few* elections to reform the House of Lords.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: What’s in a name?

"Liz isn't going to be happy if she is booted out as Scottish head of state and forced to sell Balmoral!"

I thought the SNP's current plan was to retain Liz as Queen of Scotland (which, historically, is correct because she's descended from James IV) and, I presume, to remain part of the Commonwealth. This may not be their long-term plan, but they were at pains to separate the monarchy from the sovereignty because Scots hate English Tories much more than they hate "English" monarchs.

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Ken Hagan
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Re: If MS loses

"There will be this brand new country with no treaties"

IANAL but I suspect (*) that simply isn't true. A company can't walk away from a contract it doesn't like by transferring ownership to someone who didn't sign on the dotted line. Equally, I suspect that Scotland is under all the treaty obligations of the rUK and will enjoy all the benefits of those treaties as well until and unless all parties to the original treaties agree differently. Anything else would just be a get-out-of-jail-free card for a sovereign state that wanted to be shot of its own history. (There are several debt-ridden countries who'd like that, but as Argentina are demonstrating on a daily basis, the rest of the world isn't so keen.)

(*) Of course, if this were a sane referendum, voters would actually know the answers to these questions before they voted. But that's getting a little off-topic...

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Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

Ken Hagan
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"Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it."

That is not a setting that you should trust Mr Z to provide. Your browser authors will have provided such a setting and they can probably be trusted to keep it working each time they update the code.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

Ken Hagan
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Re: Would the US risk a diplomatic incident?

"It is realistic to assume a risk of US interference (unlike Assange)"

Not if he travels in a diplomatic bag. I feel fairly sure that he could be delivered to the Russian embassy in Berne if Mr Putin felt that it served his purposes.

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SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

Ken Hagan
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"was carried out personally by Richard Feynman"

Feynman's own essay on the subject is quite clear that he was tipped off by someone else and merely provided the media presence necessary to put the evidence into the public domain. I'll stick my neck out here and say he'd be a little upset at the way popular culture has deified him. He enjoyed the limelight, but he'd have hated the thought that personalities might be bigger than either evidence or a decent bit of research by a competent nobody.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Ken Hagan
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Unless its orbital period is some convenient multiple of 1 year, we have nothing to worry about even if it precisely crosses our orbit next time around. We won't be there.

The real concern surely comes from the occurence of two near misses within 50 cross-sections within 18 months.

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Shitty what? Almost half of MPs have never heard of Tech City

Ken Hagan
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Ah but if you read the quote from the spokesdroid at the end of the article you'd know that it operates everywhere in the UK, so they were probably just "out" when you were there.

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

Ken Hagan
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Re: @lurker

"He invented movable type which made things easier and cheaper. Someone else would have come up with the same idea sooner or later."

Probably. The Disc of Phaistos is generally reckoned to have used movable type. It predates Gutenberg by about 3 millenia.

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Twitter: La la la, we haven't heard of NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES

Ken Hagan
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Re: mass hack?

The victims are celebs with media reputations to protect, so it is likely that at least some of them are lying when they say the pictures are fake. The victims are also celebs rather than techies, so it is likely that at least some of them are making false statements (about deletion, for example) without even being aware of it.

With all due respect to the celebs concerned, I don't think we can believe a word they say.

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Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Ken Hagan
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Re: Why is Win 8 and Win 8.1 seperated?

"because they are considered totally separate Operating Systems as far as patching goes"

and yet MS also consider them to be the same OS for lifecycle purposes. (Win8 dies in a year or so.)

It is odd, though, that all the growth in Win8.x is happenning for x=1. Win8.0 is basically flatlining, with a hard code who were happy to jump into Metroland but not willing to adopt the almost imperceptible changes that came in the latest service pack.

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Ken Hagan
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Re: "Coding" may not result...

"Oddly enough , teenagers can and do do more than just chase the opposite sex. "

Frequently using one activity as cover for another.

Just like adults.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: The kid I saw on the BBC News this morning...

HTML may not be programming but CSS certainly is and by the time you've added SVG and JavaScript I think you are well past what you could expect junior school kids to cope with.

Based on most of the web-sites that I encounter, you are well past what the average "web developer" can cope with. (Web-devs who actually have a clue must really hate the average member of their profession.)

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Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

Ken Hagan
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Thumb Up

"Valve have breached Australian Consumer Law by telling Australian consumers that they do not have a right that the law expressly grants them."

A big thumbs up to a legal system that prohibits this. In my experience, *most* EULAs and similar "agreements" are worded along the lines of "Your local law may override some of the following terms and conditions, but we aren't going to tell you which. Agree now, or else the deal's off.". This makes the EULA as a whole more an act of bullying rather than an agreement.

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Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds

Ken Hagan
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Another dumb question

Why don't all router manufacturers use one of the several FOSS firmwares? This would mean they have more features and security updates for free. (They'd still have to contribute drivers for any bleeding edge hardware they used, but they must develop that anyway for their own purposes.

None of them actually sell the software, or enhanced add-ons. I can't see the economic argument for spending extra cash to produce a shoddier product.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: WPS stands for... (Jen Barber version)

"What doesn't it stand for..."

Wireless Protected Setup, it would appear.

(Seriously, guys? Hard-coding zero as the key? I assume that the WPS specification actually forbids this, so is there a case to be made that the vendor in question made a dishonest claim when they said they supported WPS?)

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

Ken Hagan
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Re: Slow learners

Indeed. I think El Reg's advice is very misguided...

"Vulture South recommends readers lock down or delete their explicit photos whenever possible"

Whereas *I* simply recommend that you don't take them in the first place. My policy is so simple that even a celeb ought to be able to manage it. El Reg's advice presumably requires some expertise in IT security, and even the NSA doesn't seem to be able to manage it, so how the hell are celebs supposed to?

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Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

Ken Hagan
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"I spend a lot of time on client locations and systems, and very few offer me the option to use my own laptop on their network."

Fair enough, although it cost us bugger all to provide a separate free WiFi on site for visitors. However, have you priced up mobile broadband recently. Unless you spend a lot of time on site watching videos, your usage will be fairly light and so quite cheap. Also, if you spend a lot of time on client locations, you probably spend a fair amount of time travelling, too.

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

Ken Hagan
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Merde!

Passwords should only be seen by the person who created them. The fact that Virgin cares about profane passwords (though only English profanities) suggests they are storing them in the clear for the use of their own support staff.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Ken Hagan
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Abolishing the green belt would hurt

The problem lies with all those people whose houses adjoin the green belt. Since, under current law, they are immune to some jerk building an eyesore on the other side of the fence, these properties have a higher market value than others. Since the laws have been around for donkeys, it is almost certain that the properties' current owners have paid that higher value when they bought it. If you simply abolish the planning laws at a stroke, you wipe that out at a stroke. Abolition is an attempt to transfer thousands of pounds from the pockets of voters into the pockets of developers.

I say "attempt", since this is almost certain to face a legal challenge, just as the proposed HS2 route did. HS2, however, affected relatively small numbers of people along a single route. Green belt abolition would affect far more.

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'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

Ken Hagan
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Re: So they asked her

" So they asked her to take the same stance any reasonable business or organisation would take"

Except that I presume she wasn't being offered the big fat compensation package that any reasonable business might offer.

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Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media

Ken Hagan
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Re: Do not piss off fans

I think it is more like "Do not make copyright law the subject of mainstream pub talk, or else the whole show is over.".

Let's be honest here, most *normal* folks tolerate copyright law and most probably reckon it serves a useful purpose in allowing artists to make a crust. However, if it stops them enjoying their footy with their mates then IT SUCKS AND MUST GO IMMEDIATELY REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES.

This may be where the Premier League's gravy train hits the buffers, a bit like the music industry.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: IANALBIPOOTI

IANAL But I Poke One Of Them Intimately?

So, you aren't one yourself, but you are fairly knowledgable because your other half is?

Only joking, but I'd be genuinely grateful for an explanation, since I haven't seen this one before.

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Ken Hagan
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Re: Thoughts from a mere user ...

This is getting silly.

Maybe we're pampered here in the UK, but I have half a dozen routers collecting dust on a shelf nearby, some going back over a decade, none costing more than a few tens of pounds and *none* of them have no firewall. So, just to illuminate the discussion, can someone please name a router (not a modem with a single port, which you'd have to plug into a PC, which all have firewalls these days and have had for about a decade), which is IPv6-capable, which doesn't have a firewall?

Sorry, but since the firewall is just software, and routers all run Linux, where the firewalling capability is free, and since IPv4 routers even at the cheapest end of the market have had proper firewalls since forever, and since IPv6 support is going to require a slight tweaking of the vendors preferred Linux image anyway, and since failing to include a firewall *might* be grounds for a case of negligence against the provider, I just can't imagine anyone producing an IPv6 router without one. So I'm rather minded to say "put up (examples) or shut up".

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Please refrain from NAT66

" but requires updating all your hardware and software and relying on a daemon on one box correctly informing everything else it needs to be updated."

Every desktop OS has been able to do this for donkeys years, and apps couldn't re-implement the network stack even if they wanted to. So for your PCs the hardware upgrade is going to cost you nothing. The OS upgrade will cost the same and the rest of your software will be half as much again.

There may be some devices that will require an IPv4-capable LAN, but I doubt that many of them need to talk to the internet, so a dual stack LAN and IPv6-only WAN is now perfectly viable and has been for many years.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: We need IP6

Ah, yes! The famous compatibility between IP versions. We wouldn't want to lose that.

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Ken Hagan
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"NAT, itself, however, evolved into a critical part of networking and much is built around it, not least the idea of a central device controlling access in and out of a network."

Firewalls and routing rules predate NAT by several years and both clearly involve the idea of a central device controlling access in and out of a network. I respectfully suggest that you present a fresh argument.

"The problem is that those pushing IPv6 view NAT purely as a work-around - a band-aid covering a problem of limited public IP addresses."

Perhaps they were around when the NAT RFC was published, and read it. I'm afraid that NAT *is* just a band-aid around limited public addresses.

Furthermore, not a lot of the coverage here is bothering to mention *why* the number of global routes has now passed 512K, so I'll let you into a secret. It is caused by people buying up small allocations of IPv4 one corner of the globe and using them in another. The address space has become horribly fragmented and the IPv4 internet is going down like a 99%-full hard disc using the FAT file system. And of course the reason everyone is still on IPv4 is because NAT has allowed them to punt this problem into the long grass for almost 2 decades. Well done NAT.

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Ken Hagan
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Re: Red Plenty...

That tendency to deadlock indecisively might have been partly inspired by Stalin's own well-known methods of dealing with people who decided wrongly.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?

"Another robotic task?"

There would always be "connoiseurs" who claimed to be able to tell the difference between a robot and the real thing. More darkly, there would always be some who did it for reasons of power over another rather than the physiological response.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: "Mega Corp" proves command and control can work!

"Command and Control DOES work. BP, HSBC, Ford etc all perform over decades, and typically out perform."

That's partly because you've just chosen the ones that haven't gone bankrupt yet, and partly because they aren't a complete society. The comparison just doesn't stand up.

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Awooga: August Patch Tuesday incoming – with two remote-code exec bugs in IE, Windows

Ken Hagan
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Re: Pro

The actual bulletin (link in the article) certainly suggests that several consumer editions are not affected.

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Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Ken Hagan
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Re: Fix the installer first

"My perfectly legal Windows 7 VM is stuck on IE 9 because Microsoft wants to install some kind of spyware to let me use IE 10 or IE 11."

Get over it, dude. If you use a computer with a non open source OS, you handed over the keys to the kingdom on the day you installed the OS. Since we're talking Windows, MS could have built in spyware in the original release, or they could have slipped some in as a security fix under Windows Update (if you've applied *any* updates since installation, which I hope you have). Whatever *named* package you are worrying about, if it is from Microsoft then it doesn't increase your risk of being spied on, even if it says "Microsoft Shafter for Windows" on the tin.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Of everything

"IE is the underdog we have to pitty,"

I'd rather target a recent IE than an older webkit. The problem is not IE, per se. The problem is that Microsoft don't make their recent improvements to IE available on OSes that they claim to still support. I don't suppose it is even the fault of the IE product managers or developers. I'd be amazed if these decisions were not handed down from Stevie B, in a desparate and demonstrably self-destructive attempt to wring a few more upgrades out of "customers".

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Product to Service

"Google gives away Android ..."

...because most of it was originally free.

And in any case, one of the frequent gripes about Android is that they *don't* give it away free. Instead, you are frequently left with the version that your product shipped with, bugs and all.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Product to Service

"Believe it or not, once upon a time that you might charge money for that was absurd."

Ah yes, the good old days when total vendor lock-in was just taken for granted as the only conceivable business model, if only because no-one except the original vendor had adequate documentation to write programs.

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Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Ken Hagan
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Re: but not Vista?

I'm puzzled too, but for a different reason.

" Only IE8 and later will get it, and then only when they're running on Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.x."

What sequence of dodgy upgrades do you have to dance to end up with IE8 on Win7sp1?

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Ken Hagan
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Re: So the monkey owns the copyright

"And if I record a movie with a camcorder or a concert with my phone, then I own the copyright?"

Yes, you do. Come back after you've googled "derivative work".

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Ken Hagan
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Re: The debate reveals that Copyrights are unnatural.

"but often they just happen to be in the right place at the right time"

In the case under consideration, the right place was a remote part of Borneo and the right time required a fairly prolonged stay. I'd call that fairly heavy investment, but maybe you spend months lurking in tropical rain forests as part of your day job.

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Ken Hagan
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"For example, if I photocopy an A4 page using a normal photocopier in the normal way, do I own copyright in the photocopy? Probably not."

Probably. You could argue that it was a derivative work and that others should not be allowed to copy your copy without your permission. They'd have to go back to the original. However, none of this sophistry would exempt them and you from obtaining the permission of the original creator if the page you copied was itself a copyrighted work.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Good article.

"Personally, I think that the monkey has a good case for ownership of this picture. Inasmuch as the photographer must prove that the photo is his creation, he clearly can't. Therefore, he cannot claim copyright over it."

If I use the time delay feature that has been standard in cameras for decades, the camera takes the picture (usually with me in it), but I set it up. No-one in the last few decades has seriously attempted to claim that I don't have copyright in that picture.

So if I give the camera to a monkey, hoping that the monkey will take a selfie, I've set up that picture too. Why shouldn't I have the copyright? If the monkey is too stupid to have any legal standing, why should it be smart enough to trump my IP rights? Where do you draw the line, and are you trying to stand with one leg on either side of it?

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HTTP-Yes! Google boosts SSL-encrypted sites in search results

Ken Hagan
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Re: $10/yr is the tip of the iceberg

"Browser's hoot when they see a new self signed certificate because there's no trust involved. Anyone could have made that certificate."

Nit-pick: the *next* time you see that certificate you are assured that you are talking to the same person as last time, and with a certificate signed by a CA you are not assured that the person you are talking to is trustworthy, merely that they were prepared to splash the cash for that certificate.

If this is the first time you have visited the site and the certificate claims that it is owned by a big-name brand (and so the CA has a reasonable chance of detecting fraudulent registrations), then the conventional wisdom holds. Otherwise, it's more complicated.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: On balance...

I'm wary, too, and I expect Google to announce next month that they are setting up as a CA, but you are right about encouraging people to use SSL and I agree that this would be a good thing.

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Google's 'right to be forgotten': One rule for celebs, another for plebs

Ken Hagan
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Re: No tax breaks without representation

"2) Google's search index/results for a person is considered to be data regarding that person."

...and that's the mistake, right there. Once you start shooting messengers, messengers learn that the only safe option is just to stop delivering the news. Today's story is that Google now check your location before deciding what to say. It is only a matter of time before they start choosing whether to say anything at all. After all, their core business is a bunch of datacenters in the US. If they were to stop doing business in the EU (ie, start forcing advertisers to do business in the US, in dollars), they'd be pretty much untouchable in a European court. And even if they stopped serving search results to RIPE addresses, the European multinationals would still do business with them.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Slebometer

"In a letter to Europe’s committee of data protection authorities the search giant revealed that any [sic] search query involving a name will trigger the “some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe” notification - whether requests to take down results have been received or not."

Demonstrably not true, as big_D and I have just discovered.

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Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

Ken Hagan
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Re: Inefficiency is irrelevant

"For example it's generally reckoned that all the TVs we leave on standby require a whole major power station all by themselves. If we banned the power button on TV remotes we could close that station down."

My telly uses about 1W on standby and I don't think it is particularly frugal. Unless you are talking about "we" as in humanity or a fairly small power station, the maths doesn't add up. However, when "standby" was invented about 40 years ago, tellys ran on valves and standby achieved its effects by keeping the valves warm. Maybe that's where this myth came from.

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Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Ken Hagan
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Re: For those that missed it in the article....

"Why the fuck is it possible for a word processing document to reach that deeply into the registry and affect those changes?"

Because the luser in question has loaded that document from their admin account, like everything else that they do. Sane Windows users will probably find that they are immune because the malware authors didn't bother to include a privilege escalation attack in the WORD payload.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: "a tool Microsoft uses to hide its source code from being copied"

"Certainly flat text files are LESS resilent than a database with transaction logging and commit / rollback like the Registry. Better in that they can be sometimes human readable maybe. Inferior in pretty much any other respect."

/etc on UNIX systems is often kept under some kind of revision control system.

A similar system could be written for the registry, but I'm not aware of one.

Registry hives can be mounted on other systems if you want to read or recover them offline.

The registry's pre-parsed content is more efficient than plain text, but harder to include comments.

But GUIDs everywhere are just plain evil.

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