* Posts by Larry F54

571 posts • joined 13 Sep 2011

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Larry F54
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Re: Jury Nullification

Likely they took the view that the public and parliament had a right not to be lied to, and that "public interest" was not necessarily and only whatever the executive said it was. And possibly that it was for them, the jury, to decide guilt, not the judge.

Such acquittals are however sadly rare.

That's because (in both the USA and the UK) prosecutors, judges, and the gov't go to a lot of trouble to prevent people from being educated about their right to jury nullification. I think it should be a required part of the school curriculum.

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Larry F54
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Re: Wouldn't a legal and fair trial find him guilty?

Regardless of whether you agree with the things he revealed, revealing them was illegal.

jury nullification

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Larry F54
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Meh

Samsung/Motorola

Some Android Lollipop handhelds ... are simply not automatically encrypting their files by default. That includes the second-generation Moto E and the Samsung Galaxy S6, according to Ars.

I'm not surprised about Samsung, one of the worst crapware installers. I am surprised about Motorola, though.

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Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Larry F54
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"1st amendment" bunk

Freedom of speech is about the exchange of ideas. Advertising is not worthy of protection as free speech.

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Larry F54
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sure, we can trust the FBI

After all, they would never go after peaceful protesters like Martin Luther King, opponents of the Vietnam War, trade unionists, etc., would they?

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

Larry F54
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Re: The problem starts with punters and prices

In the end, it's all about what people are prepared to pay for a PC and the battle for the cheap end of the market.

Well, it's also about deliberately keeping the masses badly informed and unequipped and dumping on the public competion on price without regard for quality.

Long-term solution: if you pay for an OS, even indirectly, the supplier should be legally required to give you the media to do a full format and reinstallation without crapware.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Larry F54
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Re: And yet not one mention of LyX

"That'll probably be because LyX is quite emphatic about the difference between presentation and content, so people think it's *hard*?"

I prefer to edit LaTeX in emacs, but I'm giving you a thumbs-up on principle.

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Larry F54
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Re: "Stross is a long-time Linux user...."

"Surely any long time Linux user would have used Word for Windows running under Wine?"

LaTeX, surely!

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Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Larry F54
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Re: The Android OS is utterly crippled by poor permission handling

The apps can do exactly what the permissions would allow them to. Those permissions are transparent for you to see what they can do, they are also there for you to make sure they won't do anything beyond that.

What legitimate reason does a game have for access to my SMS messages? (That's a common example on Android apps, BTW.) None. Therefore, I should be able to selectively disable permissions and see if the app still works. That's what Google "accidentally" gave users in 4.3 and stole back from us in 4.4.

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Larry F54
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Re: Scrabble babble

Yeah! How dare they give you a game for free that has add in it. /s

Downloading ads on wi-fi and showing still ads are OK. Seizing up your phone to show videos is wrong. Downloading ads on cellular data is wrong.

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CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Larry F54
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rule 163

If they are programmed to comply with Highway Code rule 163, they will be an improvement over many driverful cars.

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California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

Larry F54
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They would say that, wouldn't they?

"Google's advisory panel on privacy recommends rolling back 160 years of UK common law, say legal experts, with Google itself creating new interpretations of well-established legal principles. The consequence would be that Google usurps the courts' role in guarding individual privacy, which critics say would be like the fox ruling the hen house."

No surprise there.

But where's the evidence for the subtitle "And 'privacy campaign' groups actually support this madness"?

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

Larry F54
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could be good

Will this have a proper, granular permission control system, unlike Android 4.4?

Will phone owners have root without having to void the warranty?

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Larry F54
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Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

Larry F54
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Re: The big problem is

If you want a darker example, how about the benign practice of asking for religious affiliation on census forms in the early 20C which came in handy when the Nazi party took control of the data.

It's especially important to bear in mind that that happened in what was, at the time of the census (ca. 1930), the least anti-semitic country in Europe. Dutch Jews had nothing to worry about from their government. But even if you trust the current government or management of Google to not "be evil", you don't know who will take over and get the data. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, they found the comprehensive database of Jews and used it to carry out a more effective extermination than in any of their other territories.

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Larry F54
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Ideological note

The inherent desirability of "the efficient working of a market" assumes you agree with a particular ideology. I don't think there's anything inherently good about the free market --- it works well for many things, but not for everything. It should be applied where it gets good results, of course, but chucked out without a care where it's harmful.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

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Re: More neutral language please

The comparison with Ryanair is just silly. In fact, Aldi does a good job of providing decent, inexpensive fresh produce (good for public health).

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LICKED: Behold my TOAD-PROOF ERECTION, boasts Aussie boffin

Larry F54
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Sorta funny they brought them in to address the Sugar Cane Beetle problem, well, they licked that allright, and continued to eat everything else and multiply.

They didn't even fix the beetle problem!

However, the toad was generally unsuccessful in reducing the targeted grey-backed beetles, in part because the cane fields provided insufficient shelter for the predators during the day,[73] in part because the beetles live at the tops of sugar cane - and cane toads are not good climbers.[69]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_toad#Australia

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

Larry F54
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bad idea

In a democracy, you have to let everyone vote; that doesn't mean you should encourage everyone to do so. We'd all be better off if uninformed people, stupid people, and tabloid readers (I realise there's a bit of overlap) didn't vote.

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Abuse of health data deserves JAIL, thunders ethics body

Larry F54
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Ethics

I'd be less opposed to care.data and similar projects if the gov't guaranteed that my data would be used for the public good only, and not for private profit.

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Larry F54
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Mushroom

Add unlimited fines to the companies involved and you might start to get somewhere.

No, it needs to be jail for the directors, not fines after the directors have been paid.

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Larry F54
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Re: I had a true WTF moment this afternoon

The scariest part of all this is any misinformation that gets into the system, stays there and then spreads. Such as some idiot mistakenly puts someone else's info in your file.

Just ask Harry Buttle & his wife (who got to keep the receipt for her husband, I guess).

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Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov

Larry F54
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I don't get how 95% coverage would mean they could switch entirely to internet, that still leaves a pretty sizeable population who won't be able to use it

Simple: "I've got mine, screw you!"

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Google Now now SLURPS data from third party apps so YOU don't have to

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Re: Sigh!

It does seem a little disingenuous for el reg to criticize apps for sending information to Google when the page containing such criticism is running Google Analytics.

True, but at least I can run ghostery in my desktop browser.

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Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Larry F54
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Re: unstable platform

Some phones are as stable as most PCs.

Installation at the owner's control is the real issue. I can reformat a computer and install a typical GNU/Linux OS and copy the user data onto the hard drive --- successfully --- in a couple of hours.

But try doing that with an Androidy phone? It's hit-and-miss.

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Larry F54
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'take Android away from Google'

Good. Android could be a great thing, an open-source system for phones, but Google keeps screwing it up with things like taking out in 4.4 the proper permission control that they "accidentally" put in 4.3.

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

Larry F54
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Re: the solution is simple

Ideally they [telcos] should be jointly and severally liable for such things (as with Visa)

Exactly. When the scam^W premium rate system was first introduced, that should have been imposed as a statutory requirement.

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Larry F54
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the solution is simple

There's a simple solution to suppressing premium-rate scamming, but our gov't and the so-called regulator wouldn't be interested.

Give every telco customer the right to repudiate any premium-rate item (call or SMS, including reverse-billed) on the bill. The telco has to give a refund, and has the right to charge the upstream telco for the refund plus admin costs. That telco has the right to charge on upstream, and so on, until either the originating telco punishes the scammer, or the chain leads out of the country. You can bet the telcos would get their acts together.

Unfortunately, the regulator's "job" is to promote competition, even in the premium-rate business, rather than to protect consumers.

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Larry F54
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Re: permissions

Ah, but dialling isn't one of them - instead, iOS always requires user permission for a call precisely because abuse gets picked up too late

Good!

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Larry F54
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permissions

iOS apps can “auto-dial” but the user should have to click "OK" to proceed. Android apps, by contrast, ask for permission up front.

At least on iOS, you can (out of the box) deny specific permissions to apps. On Android, unless you root it (voiding the warranty) and get AppOps working, you have to accept a bucketload of unjustifiable permissions to install many apps.

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'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...

Larry F54
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"Copyright ...was always an individual right designed to protector the creator against The Man."

For "always" read "originally". In the absence of copyright, which (let's not forget) is a privilege (not a right) that the state can grant to promote the public good, everyone had a natural right to copy anything. In the old days, that natural right was not useful for most people, because printing required expensive equipment and specialist skills. Copyright did in fact benefit authors at the expense of printers and publishers.

In recent times, however, the practical ability to copy has been democratised, but in response to that, Big Media have bribed^W lobbied governments to create Big Copyright to the detriment of the general public. What do we, the public, get in exchange for extensions of copyright durations on existing works? Nothing. What do we get in exchange for the legal enforcement of DRM? Nothing.

Sure, a proper system of copyright would protect individual artists from The Man. But the system we have now does nothing of the sort.

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Larry F54
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"however you can still track the use of your content and issue a take down request if you want"

I wonder if they handle take-down requests from ordinary people and from Big Media in exactly the same way.

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Larry F54
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Re: The BBC missing a trick?

That might lead to some funny cognitive dissonance columns ... Google vs BBC --- which does AO hate more?

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NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

Larry F54
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nothing to hide

If the police have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear!

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Brits need chutzpah to copy Israeli cyberspies' tech creche – ex-spooks

Larry F54
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Re: hmm

"Perhaps you prefer the British/American model of using airstrikes"

Why can't they get Murdoch?

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Larry F54
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Nuisance calls

Has anyone here tried the trick of putting the "out of service" tones at the beginning of your outgoing answering machine message (in order to trick robodiallers into marking your number off their list)?

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Larry F54
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Re: Comsumers make choices based on careful analysis of all options

"Took me about 10 minutes after I'd rooted the phone."

I tried that, then installed a CyanogenMod build for the specific model. The phone network (modem) never worked again, and the amount of help I got on the xda forum was (wait for it) zero --- an interesting contrast to the encouragement I'd received when asking for advice before I did it.

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Larry F54
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Mushroom

Re: Comsumers make choices based on careful analysis of all options

My first (and previous) smartphone was a Samsung, because that's what the phone company offered me as a free upgrade from my dumphone. I would NEVER take another Samsung without a written guarantee that all the crapware apps could be removed by the user. Samsung has a terrible reputation for preloading rubbish onto its phones and deserves to fail fail fail until it fixes that problem. (I see now that one of Motorola's selling points is "we don't preload crap on the phones", with an implied "like you-know-who".)

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Nope. That's not our FAKE BOMB say Oz spooks and cops

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Re: This is why

You'd think with all the snooping already going on, the TLAs would at least be able to keep track of their own bombs.

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Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

Larry F54
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a few facts

Let's get a few things straight.

The Pirate Party has never opposed *reasonable* copyright laws, balanced for the best public good. It rightly opposes "Big Copyright".

Copyright is *not* a right but a privilege, which the state may grant (but is not obligated to grant) in order to promote the public good. Copyrights are in fact a restriction imposed on the public's natural right to copy, granted in order to get more material into the public domain in the long run. The primary criterion for judging a system of copyright law should be "Are we getting more and better stuff in the public domain than we would be otherwise?"

Extending the durations of copyrights on existing materials is obviously wrong because it reduces the public's natural rights without any public gain.

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EU copyright law: Is the Pirate Party's MEP in FAVOUR of it?

Larry F54
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Re: Double edged sword

"Free market."

It's not a free market where the state grants legal monopolies, and that's just what copyrights and patents are.

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Larry F54
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eh?

The Pirate Party has never been opposed to copyright set up for the best public good.

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Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

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Competition

"the UK benefits from a fiercely competitive market"

That's hilarious. I can have cable or I can be forced to pay for a BT landline. Outside of the cities, there is no choice.

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Apple wants your fingerprints in the cloud

Larry F54
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Re: "Apple wants to collect and store your fingerprints..."

On 27 March 2013 (!!!) someone else and I raised the question of whether El Reg stores passwords properly (salted and hashed) and why the login page is still http (not https). Still no answer, and no fix for the second problem.

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Uber reveals fresh passenger data spaff – and city officials are OK with this

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What could possibly go wrong?

see also Wide Open Data: NYC taxi dump catches strip club Johns

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Euro security agency says MORE crypto needed in gov policy

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UKIPpers take note

Another case -- as with DNA retention from people arrested but not convicted "in case they offend again" -- where the big bad EU is trying to protect "our great British liberties" from our national government.

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The Wi-Fi Alliance wants to get you off Wi-Fi

Larry F54
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"Note: Unless I have no choice, I will never own an IoT lightbulb."

I don't want any IoT Ts.

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Larry F54
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will allow devices to send and receive small packets of data with user information and location

"will allow devices to send and receive small packets of data [to/from unknown parties' devices] with user information and location"

What could possibly go wrong?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Larry F54
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Re: The only thing I'd really like to see is.....

Hey thanks! It would be even better without the photos tying up width so more summaries would fit in the screen.

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Larry F54
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Re: Jamie Jones

Perhaps they shouldn't appear on every article until we've either got a dedicated picture desk or they should be made smaller, or both.

Make them a lot smaller and put them to one side so they don't reduce the amount of text on the screen.

I don't make these decisions.

Sorry to see you've been stuck out here taking the flak.

There were worries that the previous design was looking like Ceefax.

I liked the old design!

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