# Posts by Condiment

351 posts • joined 24 Aug 2011

### DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

#### Re: Just goes to show...

I believe in personal responsibility and in paying your debts. I'm happy to just spend what is mine.

#### Re: power grid

> Either we have been improbably lucky, or the (by and large) lack of grid problems caused by CME suggest to me that the researchers are fluffing this risk up

You need to brush up on your maths. The odds of an event in any decade is 12% and there have been 15 decades since the last event. The chances of this occurring are (1-0.12)^15 = 0.15 or about 15% - roughly the same odds as rolling a six, not very improbable at all.

If we get to 2100 without one of these events occurring then you could consider it improbable as the probability of that occurring is less than 5%

#### Re: Just goes to show...

So long as I die with more money than all of you, everything's fine and who cares about the rest?

If I die with any money left then I will have failed. I want to die having just spent my last £ on myself.

### Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

#### Re: I have to defend the police here...

> Do the local bobbies also send little cards reminding everyone to do their car maintenance,

I have received, hand delivered, a letter from the police reminding me to check my car was locked as there had been reports of thefts from unlocked cars in the area. I have also received a letter reminding me to lock my front door as somebody had reported an intruder who walked in through an unlocked door (and promptly ran off when the householder confronted him). Any time there is an increase in a particular type of crime in my area the police inform us about it with recommendations on how to prevent it.

It is called crime prevention and it is also part of the police's job. It is better that they prevent the opportunistic crime, whether it is theft from cars , houses or WiFi than have to prosecute somebody for committing it.

Oh, and for the record, I do not live in a little village at the edge of nowhere were there is hardly any crime, I live in Liverpool.

#### who is known for obnoxiously flaunting the cross of St George

What a disgrace. Flying the cross of St George so soon after England were competing in the world cup.

Does this somehow make him a bad person? Is he implying that he must somehow be racist or xenophobic because of the flag? Would it be OK if he was Scottish and flew the Saltire, Welsh and flew the Y Ddraig Goch, French and flew the Tricolor, German and flew the Bundesflagge und Handelsflagge? Or is it only the English, of all the people in the world, who are not allowed to display their national emblem for fear of being accused of "obnoxiously flaunting" it or of racism, xenophobia, nationalism or any of the other labels the PC brigade are more than happy to call those who do not agree with them.

#### Re: I have to defend the police here...

> * Maybe a quick call to the local ISPs/Telcos to determine if any unusal activity had been recorded recently.. 10 minute call at most.

BT, Virgin Media, Sky, PlusNet, TalkTalk - and thats just the top 5. Do you seriously believe that it would only take a 10 minute call? Try a couple of hours at least just to find somebody within the organisation who might be able the get the last weeks worth of traffic data and analyse it. Even then what would you define as suspicious activity? Accessing tor network? Browsing the internet? Downloading porn? Apart from all that most ISPs will simply say fuck off and come back with a warrant.

> * Checking their own database for recent calls of the same nature, thereby establishing the possibility of a neighbourhood (local) hacker/hacker group. 10 minutes if you take your time

Using somebodies unsecured network is about as close as you can get to an undetectable (by the householder) crime. The very fact that they have it unsecured means they are technically clueless so there would be very little chance of the householder detecting it. The police are therefore unlikely to get any reports of this nature.

* Verifying if the neighbourhood uses the FON network or not.. ( Hint this one is quite important). The ISP or Telco could easilly have provided this information. 10 mins again if you take your time

This would tell them what? That nobody ever illegally uses an unsecured network when there is a FON network? I guess that since there is a FON network in my neighbourhood there is no need for me to secure my Wi-Fi because no hacker will ever connect to it now.

> Total 30 mins at most, including the tea-break and google search for local ISP/Telco number

The ISP calls would take days, they probably did check their own database, and the presence or lack of it of FON is irrelevant.

> But no, instead some clever bugger decided to type up a nice letter......which probably took 1/2 day + the added cost of paper, envelopes, printers, ink etc... and all to achieve nothing.

Whether the threat was real or perceived, the letter contained useful advice to the community.

A final point. You seem to be assuming, like the reg reader, that the Police are working solely from the complaint arising from the reg readers use of a hot spot. How do you know they have not had other complaints or found other evidence?

#### Re: I have to defend the police here...

> They sent out letters without first establishing if there was indeed a case

The only thing they had to work on was the busybodies information. More than likely the busybody embellished both what he had seen and what he had been told. How should the police determine that the reg reader was using BT Fon? They don't know him and probably only have some vague description of him.

#### Re: I have to defend the police here...

> Sorry about the tone but the police should react on fact not on speculation.

Actually the police are required to act on speculation. Very little of what is brought to their attention is fact.

In your above example the police would have to determine the age of the naked child (anything from 0 to 14) and under what circumstances the neighbour saw the naked child. Was it a naked 2 year glimpsed through the window being chased around the living room or was it a 10 year performing a pole dancing routine for the fathers drunken mates? The police have a duty care to investigate.

Just the other day, a mother phoned the police claiming a man had tried to abduct her child from the garden. This was not fact, it was speculation. The police, rightly, sent every available resource to the area, immediately began an investigation and alerted the media with a description in case he tried it again. It turns out the child escaped from the garden and a male neighbour stopped her running into the road and brought the child back to the mother. Should the police have waited until they had the facts instead of just the speculation?

### UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

#### Re: Edit the sentence:

The last one I got was from The Department for International Development, had a .doc extension but seemed to be some form of propriety Apple Web Archive format. The document also had embedded within it a Microsoft Word 2010 document.

Needless to say, nothing I had could view the document but I was helpfully told that if I installed the Safari browser and MS Word 2010 I should have no problem viewing it.

### Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

#### Re: Bug?

It looks to be both a bug and a deliberate design decision.

The deliberate design decision was to change the system clock tick rate to 1ms when displaying flash content.

The bug was to not change it back when it stopped displaying flash content.

### Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

#### Re: It's funny

> Eh? You do get that they are both female don't you?

Yes, I do. You do get that no matter which female wins it will be touted as a victory for an oppressed female in a male dominated workplace?

#### Re: It's funny

This will either be touted as a female employee in a male dominated workplace being sexually harassed by her boss, or

A female boss in a male dominated workplace being accused of sexual impropriety because she has obtained a position of power.

Its a win-win.

### BT: Whew, we've been cleared of major privacy breach. Oh SNAP, another webmail blunder

By definition, a small company will only have a small number of users so even if a significant percentage of their users are affected it is still only a small number.

BT on the other hand has about 7 million broadband customers so if this impacted just 1.4% of them that would make it 100,000 customers affected. The article describes the number as "struck thousands of" which I would put in the range of 2,000 to 20,000. Any more than 20,000 and I would expect it to be described as "struck tens of thousands of". This means that, as a percentage of their user base, it struck between 0.03% and and 0.29% of customers. BT are correct and accurate in describing it as a minority.

### Forget the mobile patent wars – these web giants have patented your DATA CENTER

#### Re: Non-obviousness

> And if the patent offices grant rubbish patents (because they have been privatised, and are paid to grant patents with examination as a cost to be avoided)

Are you sure it is privatised? I thought it was now called the Intellectual Property Office and was part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. I know they looked at privatising it in the early 1990s but I don't think they actually did it. It is one the few government departments (if it isn't privatised) that actually makes a profit and that is because they are not penalised if they get it wrong.

#### Re: Non-obviousness

> Hint: hire better experts to work at patent offices. Reject obvious/overbroad patents.

Your an expert in some IT area. Are you going to:

a) Work in your field of expertise, improving your skillset, keeping up with the latest developments, earning the money your expertise deserves;

or

b) Work for the patent office as a bureaucrat.

You think you are an expert in some IT area. Are you going to:

a) Work in the field you believe you are expert in, finding out you are out of your depth;

or

b) Work for the patent office as a bureaucrat.

The people working for the patent office are bureaucrats who have to deal with thousands of patents across a multitude of disciplines so it is little wonder they can not identify the obvious.

It is the patent system itself that needs to change since it no longer fulfils its objective (at least in the IT sector) which is to promote and protect innovation. Patents are being used to stifle the opposition and hinder new entrants into established fields. Perhaps they should consider reducing the length of time a patent is applicable to something like 5 years, that way the cost of getting patents for the obvious would outweigh the possible return and if what you are patenting is truly innovative then a 5 year advantage in a sector that changes so rapidly should be ample.

### Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout

> The logos are plastered all over the place

Apple's logo is trademarked and there are are severe restrictions upon how you can use it and in what settings - even if you are selling their products.

This alone would give Apple the ability to shut down the clone store without the EU granting them a trademark on a store layout.

#### Re: step foot?

> a step involves a foot.

Tell Oscar Pistorius that.

### Panic like it's 1999: Microsoft Office macro viruses are BACK

I thought for a moment I had strayed into an amanfrommars comment.

### That 'wiped' Android phone you bought is stuffed with NAKED SELFIES – possibly

#### Re: "My information could well be of use to you, Stalker"

I have a drawer full of old, never to be used again HDD.

Every now and again, when I feel the need to destroy, I'll take one out of the drawer and pulverise it with hammers, chisels and blow torches. Other times, I will get out my set of speciality screwdrivers and completely dismantle one of them before destroying the platters and throwing everything away.

It's very therapeutic.

### Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab

#### Re: Is it just me.....

> But why do they need to confirm if it is viable smallpox?

Because it provides them with real life information on the viability of old viruses.

It is data that is of scientific value.

### Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

#### Re: Chris W @ Condiment

> Normally, you get the proof, then arrest.

Nope. The standard is reasonable suspicion (in the US it is probable cause) which is a fairly low standard.

Reasonable Suspicion: A reasonable person would have grounds to suspect that a crime had been committed and that the suspect might be responsible.

Probable Cause: A reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true

#### Re: Chris W Re: @ Condiment

> The crime had already been committed hence detected and could not be prevented neither.

Detecting also means investigating a crime or its perpetrators (clue: It is what Detectives do).

> If indeed you do need to be being investigated for terrorism or national security reasons for this law to apply

The forced disclosure of encryption keys is covered by Part III (sections 49 to 56) of RIPA 2000.

Those sections mention terrorism exactly 0 times. What they do say is that as long as the Intelligence Services, Police, SOCA, SCDEA, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs or anybody with the legal power to seize the stuff, legally obtained the encrypted material and as long as disclosure is:

(a) in the interests of national security;

(b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime; or

(c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

They can force disclosure.

National Security is mentioned, but in this case its the "for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime" that allowed them to demand the keys.

It is fairly wide ranging, especially the "anybody with the legal power to seize" as that gives an awful lot of people the right to seize stuff and then demand encryption keys.

### When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

#### Re: To what end?

> The right to be forgotten is NOT about inaccurate information; it is about out-dated FACTS.

Removing search results from google still leaves the original page with the original information findable by many different means.

FACT - a thing that is indisputably the case.

Facts are never out-dated since time never changes them.

#### Re: To what end?

> Have you bothered to do *any* research on the subject, or does talking out of your arse just makes you feel better?

Please point out the inaccuracies in my comment.

#### Re: To what end?

> Ah, so the law must conform to Google's interpretation of what is wise

No. The law itself should conform to reality.

Removing Googles search results does not get rid of the article - it is still there. It can still be found by searching Google for other keywords (try '"Merrill's mess" ghost christmas' and its about the second result). It can be found by going to the BBC site, using their search function and searching for Stan O'Neal. You can probably find it using Bing, Yahoo or some other search engine.

If the blog post is inaccurate or irrelevant then force the site hosting the post to correct or remove it.

### REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

> However, what you have repeatedly claimed is that there has been no change, that the principle of copyright law is exactly the same as it's always been.

What I have repeatedly claimed is that the onus has always been on the copyright holder to assert their rights, not on any third party to assert them for them. The DMCA has not changed this.

> the DMCA makes life very easy for copyright infringers and much harder for copyright owners.

> The fact is, MMS didn't have to do this before, and now he does. And so do other authors.

Pre DMCA the copyright holder would have to go to a lawyer who then goes to a court and obtains a court order instructing the site to remove the offending material. The site could appeal and leave the material up while the appeal is heard. It was expensive, cumbersome and time consuming.

Post DMCA the author sends an email. The site must take down the content even if it appeals.

Hmm, I can see how the DMCA has made life so difficult.

> Google lobbied hard for the DMCA to be worded the way it is

Google was founded September 4, 1998 and the DMCA was passed October 12, 1998 which gave Google precisely 38 days to lobby. Prior to that it existed as a research project at Stanford University in California. I doubt they had either the time or resources to lobby for anything in 1998.

WTF does that have to do with anything?

Are you trying to say that Google is evil because a site called ebookr.com ripped off your favourite author and Google did nothing about it?

Are you trying to say that Google should have issued a take down notice on behalf of MMS?

Are you trying to say that an author having to send an email with details of the infringement is far to onerous a task for them to do?

> I suggest you talk to an author. They will be able to describe to you the massive pain in their arse that is now a regular feature of their life and barely existed pre-Google.

Google makes it easier for the author to publish their works and get it distributed. This ease of use also means the author might have to do more work in protecting his work. Swings and roundabouts. No gain without pain etc etc.

> If the market is a known den of illegal goods and the police come to suspect that the market owner knows about all the illegal activity and is not taking any measures to try to discourage it, or is even encouraging it, then yes, they will try to build a case against them and arrest them.

So you mean if the market owner didn't ban people who repeatedly offended, didn't provide ways of reporting the illegal activity and didn't have 99% of the other stall holders behaving perfectly legally then the police might try and build a case? Sounds like Google is in the clear then.

It has always been the case (even pre-internet) that it is up to the rights holders to enforce their rights. Even in the case of books. Content providers (eg. book publishers) have a duty to act upon infringement that is brought to their attention by the rights holders.

Lets pretend Adele has written a follow-on song called Barrelling In The Chasm (BITCH) and the notorious pirate Squander One Baddie (SOB) is going to pirate it.

Scenario 1: BITCH is released on DVD and SOB uploads it to YouTube. Adele can sue SOB. The contract with Google allows it since Adele has not yet granted Google the rights to host BITCH.

In all of the above it is Adele who pursues and protects her copyrights, not Google. All Google have done is provide her with the tools.

> Here's a thing. If I make a load of knock-off copies of OK Computer and sell them down the market, is it Radiohead's responsibility to find me and ask me to stop, or will the police arrest me if they see me?

Will the police arrest you or the owner of the market that you are using to sell the magazines?

Is you you, who copied it, or the owner of the market, who let you run a stall, who is infringing?

Should the owner of the market be required to inspect everything that the stall holders are selling before they sell it?

So you seriously believe that google should watch and listen to every video before its published? Do you have any idea on how much is published every day?

> "Oo, it's very inconvenient for us to obey the law because Internet, so you need to let us off."

They obey the law. If they are notified of copyright infringement they take it down.

> Imagine, for instance, that the BBC were to set up a system where you could upload your own videos and they'd be broadcast automatically on BBC3

Complete bollocks as an analogy as the BBC can broadcast, at most, 24 hours worth any given day whereas google can have hundreds of thousands of hours worth uploaded. Vetting 24 hours worth is trivial. Broadcast content also comes under different rules and regulations to internet content and this alone would prevent the BBC from doing this.

> These contracts, though, put the lie to even Google's pretence: it's clear that they love monetizing their own refusal to police their users:

Wanting to make money out of content and being required by law to vet the content are two entirely different things.

That interpretation of the covenant not to sue clause is simply wrong. The covenant exists for the term of the contract, not forever. They only agree not to sue users for infringing rights that they have already granted to google. Google will also make their content identification system available to them,

> refuse to allow any videos labelled "NEW ROLLING IN THE DEEP VIDEO WITH LYRICS"

Why should they refuse it? There are numerous videos on google with "Rolling in the Deep" in the title that are parodies of Adele's version. Why should google block these artists from publishing their own work just because it is a parody of Adele's song? Why should Adele get priority over these artists?

Google are not required by law to hunt down copyright infringement and block it, it is up to the copyright holders to protect their copyrights.

A publisher like Harper Collins will have at least one person read a book before it is published. Google do not have that luxury so if somebody posts a song by "Adele" google does not know if it is a 3 year singing "Happy Birthday To You"* or Adele singing "Rolling in the Deep". If Adele, or the owner of Ian Flemmings copyrights, bring the infringement to the attention of Google, or Harper Collins, then they have to take action. It is the rights holders responsibility to protect their rights.

* The 3 year old would be infringing copyright since the copyright on "Happy Birthday To You" does not expire until 2030 in the USA and 2017 in the EU even though it first appeared in print over 100 years ago.

> try asking Harper Collins to publish Casino Royale under your name and see how far you get.

Completely different. Casino Royale is a well known work so Harper Collins wont publish it.

Try instead digging out an obscure book that sold ten copies and ask Harper Collins to publish it. Or try including a couple pages from Casino Royale in your book. They will not search through the millions of works in print to see if it is a copy, instead they will publish it. It doesn't even have to be obscure, it only has to be a book the Harper Collins editors/proof readers, involved in your book, are not familiar with. They will make the assumption that you have the appropriate rights to the material.

### You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

> (given the barriers to entry is 8 hours work if not less)

No. The barrier to entry is the idea plus the work. The quantity of work is largely irrelevant (unless it runs into years), it is the quality* of the idea that creates the barrier to entry.

* Yes, I do think the idea behind Yo is crap but if I knew a good idea when I saw it then I wouldn't be commentating here, I would be enjoying the fruits of my investments on a beach in the Cayman Islands.

### VMware seeks patent for IM chats between servers and sysadmins

#### Re: Security

Using IP addresses when you just have a couple of servers doesn't cause many problems but when you have 100s of servers it can be an issue.

I've had to re-IP networks/servers in the past and when everything uses private DNS servers it is relatively easy although you often find at least one server running some obscure undocumented application with a hard-coded IP.

One of the issues with using DNS is, of course, that everything now depends on it running smoothly but there are steps you can take to mitigate the DNS servers failing.

#### Security

This sounds like the server will initiate connections to a chat server and allow "authorised" users to run privileged applications on the server. Does anybody else see a problem with this?

It is bad enough locking down a server, with all the crap that a supposed minimal system install ends up installing. Now the damned server itself will connect to the outside world and invite people to do things ("Hey Dave, I have a problem. Want to restart some services or maybe start some that have been disabled?"). You also have the problem that a bit of DNS poisoning or hijacking of a chat server could result in your system being compromised.

### #YO_NO! Messaging app 'Yo' gets hit by hackers

#### Re: VC....

The clue is in the name Venture Capitalist

Venture - undertake a risky or daring journey or course of action.

VCs will risk their money based on the possible return. Many of their ventures will fail and they will lose all or part of their money, some will barely succeed and very rarely you get something like Facebook or Twitter.

Of course everybody would like to win the lottery and bankroll something like Facebook but the reality is that most new start-ups fail and the VC's know this when they invest.

### Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

#### Re: Humbug

> The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

> Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

Even when the Army Act 1955 was in force it still did not prevent you from wearing the medals your Father earned. If you are given the authority to wear the medals then you can wear them.

It is highly unlikely that an organisation such as The Royal British Legion would actively promote breaking the law by encouraging you to wear a relatives decorations. I suspect that the authority to allow a person to wear another’s medals has been delegated to the Royal British Legion.

#### Re: Humbug

> You may not like it, but the law is unequivocal. Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

You may not like it but the Army Act 1955 was superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no such provision.

#### Re: Humbug

> Taken from Veterans Affairs Canada

He is British, not Canadian. He will be wearing the medals in the UK, not Canada. The medals were awarded by the UK Armed Forces not the Canadian Armed Forces.

This means he can even wear the medals in Canada since the Canadian law only applies to medals awarded by Canada and not to medals awarded by any other country.

#### Re: Humbug

> It's unlikely the photographer would be aware that wearing his dad's medals does not conform with the letter of the law.

But it does conform with the letter of the law. It is not breaking any act of Parliament or any local ordinance.

#### Re: Humbug

> The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

The official position is that your wear the medals you have earned on your left side. If you are wearing somebody else's medals then you wear them on your right side.

He has every right to wear his Fathers medals.

### L337 crackrz use dumb passwords too

> and interestingly, when he had to resort to brute force, in all cases the passwords were six characters or fewer.

Thats because he will have completely exhausted the 1 to 6 character search space but might still be searching the 7+ address space.

It all depends upon how efficient his brute force attack is. If it is pathetically slow and only manages 100,000 attempts per second it will take him about 3 months to exhaustively search* the 6 character password space and nearly 25 years to do the same with the 7 character address space.

* This assumes each character is one of the 96 printable ASCII characters. If he uses the reduced character set in the article then it would take 10 days to exhaustively search the 6 character address space and over 20 months to search the 7 character one.

### Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

FFS. I was showing how Fry effectively claimed there was infinite IPv4 not claiming it myself. That is why the "generate new IP numbers" is in quotes - it is his claim not mine.

> but could someone point out exactly where in Fry's post he says IP numbers aren't finite (or are infinite)?

'All these generate new IP numbers which so far show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use.'

The maximum length of the uk sub domain is 63 octets which, for convenience, I'll assume only consists of the characters a-z,0-9 and '-' and '_' making a total of 38 characters. This gives a possible 38^63 different domain names or about 3000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 different domains.

Since each of these "generate new IP numbers" this gives you at least this many IP numbers which is more than enough for every atom in the Universe to have its own IP address.

This is effectively infinite.

### Mobe-orists, beware: Stroking while driving could land you a £4k fine

> What's the going daily rate for an anarchist outside of the M25?

Whatever the dole will pay you.

### Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

#### Re: @naughtyhorse. pish and pshwar!

> err, there a fucking enormous markers every few miles, they say stuff like 'London 127 miles' so I know my Croydon turn off is not going to show up anytime soon.

err that 'London 127 miles' is the distance to central London not the distance to your turn-off. The sign announcing the junction is usually 1 mile before it. Starting an overtaking manoeuvre before the 1 mile marker is perfectly acceptable. If it wasn't then they would have a marker before that or they would lengthen the lane marking and shorten the gap between the markings to indicate a hazard.

### 'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

#### Re: Poor policing there...

... and when the car turns the corner he hits him over the head again.

#### Re: Shame on...

The police see images of a bloke lying on the floor and somebody standing over him with a pickaxe handle. They would be negligent if they did not investigate it.

It sounds to me like they handled it proportionately. No large scale investigation, no CSI techs collecting evidence, no door to door enquiries, no closing down roads to preserve the crime scene - just a couple of uniformed coppers calling in to check everything was ok.

### Supreme Court nixes idea of 'indirect' patent infringement

#### The patent

Here is the abstract for the patent:

The present invention is a network architecture or framework that supports hosting and content distribution on a truly global scale. The inventive framework allows a Content Provider to replicate and serve its most popular content at an unlimited number of points throughout the world. The inventive framework comprises a set of servers operating in a distributed manner. The actual content to be served is preferably supported on a set of hosting servers (sometimes referred to as ghost servers). This content comprises HTML page objects that, conventionally, are served from a Content Provider site. In accordance with the invention, however, a base HTML document portion of a Web page is served from the Content Provider's site while one or more embedded objects for the page are served from the hosting servers, preferably, those hosting servers near the client machine. By serving the base HTML document from the Content Provider's site, the Content Provider maintains control over the content.