31 posts • joined Friday 29th June 2007 15:56 GMT
If you REALLY want to be depressed....
It's the Privacy International Dec 1997 report on surveillance around the world.
Worst infringers of privacy (where data are available):
UK, US, Russia, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia,
while the best country in the world appears to be Greece. Anyone fancy partnering me in farming olives?
Latin = Dead, English = Alive
Living languages constantly change. Live with it.
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, circa 1580, The Miller's Tale:
Original (modern English version is below):
This Nicholas anon leet fle a fart,
As greet as it had been a thonder dentght
That with the strook he was almoost yblent.
And he was redy with his yren hoot,
And Nicholas amydde the ers he smoot.
Of gooth the skyn an hande-brede aboute
The hoote kultour brende so his toute
And for the smert he wende for to dye.
Converted to modern English:
Nicholas then let fly a fart
As great as if it had been a thunder clap,
That with the stroke Absolon was almost blinded;
But he was ready with his hot iron
And hit Nicholas right on the arse.
Off went about a hand's breadth of skin,
The hot coulter so burned his butt,
And he thought he would die of the pain.
Finding gems like this when studying O level Eng. Lit was great fun!
NOW tell gov.uk.....
.. how good you feel about:
The NHS Spine
Identity & Passport Service
Work and Pensions
and so on and so forth
In a sane world gov.uk would wind the clock back, dump internet transactions, and revert to hard copy snail mail*. The e-vermin are VERY smart, and the good guys are always playing catch-up.
I am not a Luddite. I probably grasped the internet before most readers of this post. But above all else a government's role in a democracy is to protect its citizens. Right now we are being exposed to fraud by inept (and probably overpaid) civil servants.
Enough is enough.
*Added Bonus: Post Offices saved.
The only way to come up with a memorable secure password is to think of a life-changing event and then take the first letter of each word, include numbers and non-alphabetic characters, and vary the case of the letters.
In Hazel Blears case, a good password would be:
The life-changing moment: "I truly fucked up on 17/06/08 when I down-loaded files from 10 Downing Street and thought a password would keep the contents safe!"
Use that password to access the files encrypted by TrueCrypt as others have already suggested. Job almost done. "Almost" - because it's still not perfect, but it's a lot better than trusting in Redmond.
And a thousand times better than trusting in gov.uk.
Virii ve Viruses and 10.5.x permissions
Virii = more than one virus. Trust me, I really am a microbiologist. Honestly!
Granted, languages change, and the origins of virii (Latin) are from a dead language, but the word is scientifically correct, even today.
Meanwhile, as a Mac user of some 20 plus years, and now having read Madra's comments, I am so pleased that I stuck to my guns of NEVER upgrading the Mac OS until at least x.x.3.
Thanks Madra! I will now stick to 10.4.11 until 10.5.4 is released, at the earliest.
Am I alone in thinking that Apple and Microsoft are as guilty as each other in pushing out new OSs with features that they deem to be great, but with insufficient market research / testing among their captive customer bases? Vista has been widely panned, and it seems, Leopard also. If it ain't broke don't fix it, especially if all you are offering is a clone of the competitor's product (yes, I am referring to Vista v 10.4.x) or more bells and whistles that nobody has actually asked for (yes, I am referring to 10.5.x).
For the benefit of the "I hate Mac Fanboyz" brigade, I also run 2 Windows XP Pro machines in addition to my 3 Macs. Both OSs have their pros and cons, but overall, and in my opinion, Mac wins hands down had I to choose a single OS.
Enigmatic patriots unite
XBITJF BWQKPQ! "F XRGODPS GIHS PTBDDB MZ SMUCQ VV RCVBQZ TBY TPSHQYN XCFNFRA EKD FVGJOCJPRZ."
CLUE 1: Download from here: http://www.xat.nl/enigma/
CLUE 2: REG
CLUE 3: F>U; C>K; W>I; T>S
Next, steal* a mobile phone and text the clues to fellow bad guy/girl. Dump phone in ocean / incinerator....
Next, steal another mobile phone and text the encrypted message. Dump as before.....
* alternatively buy a cheap PAYG phone, paying with cash, and dispose of as above (100 fathoms or gas mark 200 is recommended).
Have fun with the Enigma simulator - it's excellent tip-ware. Meanwhile, despair at the ineptitude and knee-jerk reactions of the UK & US Governments.
If you cannot be arsed with the Enigma simulator, the encrypted quote is:
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
Building new verticals!
I have heard some corporate BS in my time, but this takes the biscuit. I presume that Quincy Smith has discovered that brown tongues are inferior to [STOP - CENSORED!]
Paris, because she really does know how to build new verticals.
@ Alexander Hanff
Good luck with the injunction; I think it's the only sensible way to stop this.
As for the No.10 petitions route, does any reader have a single example of this tactic working (i.e. our beloved leaders - past and present - actually taking any notice)?
You know, being democratic?
I thought so.
El Reg - keep it up.
Mac OS X Firewall
I am a Mac user, so I suppose that does make me a fanboy, but not a rabid one.
OS X does have its faults, as do all OSs and as many have already noted.
BUT, in an attempt to get some rationality into this debate, consider this:
1. Mac OS 10.5.2 comes, by default, with the Firewall switched off, as has been the case with all previous versions of OSX.
2. From the competitions web site:
[Question] Anonymous commented on 2008-03-27 @ 19:26
"Are the OS installs left in default configurations, or are some settings turned on or off by the organizers?"
[Answer] ZDI commented on 2008-03-27 @ 19:54
"All platforms are left in their default configuration, as if a normal desktop user were operating it."
3. (Miller) said he chose Apple over the other machines because "I thought of the three it was the easiest."
Well who wouldn't think that a machine with a disabled firewall was the easiest target for a remote telnet exploit!!? The easiest $10k possible, plus a free Airbook to boot!
4. Why in God's name Apple does not make the Firewall default "On" has always baffled me.
Meanwhile, it seems that the competition is fundamentally flawed, if the Vista and Linux machines have their firewalls on by default.
I had missed that irony, probably because I am weary of the BBC-sponsored eco warriors, but I defy any one to feel ashamed of the rubbish that washes ashore on any beach. That is pure vandalism.
Please, please visit this site ....
..... and only then comment.
We are all being hoodwinked, and charged additional taxes in the name of Green / Eco Science.
There are several links that will open your eyes, hopefully.
I am assuming that most El Reg readers have an inclination towards science (IT is sort of science) = prove it, Greenhouse Gas doomsters.
Thanks Tim. As one of the minority that believes it's nearly all a load of balls, but suits tax-grabbing governments, I wish there were gain-say articles like this being published in the mainstream media, instead of the apocalyptic clap-trap that their journalists relish putting into print. And the prize for GW claptrap reporting goes, once again to, the BBC.
A classic bad science snippet from the BBC Breakfast News this morning: An ice sheet is breaking up in Antarctica, due to global warming. However, viewers are re-assured that sea levels will not rise, as "the ice floats on top of the water". But the ice is thawing you moronic sub-editor! That's why the ice sheet is breaking up.
Interesting. The only reasons I have not upgraded from 10.4.11 are (a) I always wait until x.x.4 comes out, as I do not have time to trouble-shoot earlier releases, and (b) the issue regarding non-compatible apps.
The cost of upgrading to Leopard is not the OS purchase itself, rather the cost of Adobe CS4 when it comes out and, possibly, Office 2008, although Neo Office seems to be more than enough for my needs.
So I'll take a look at Pixelmator, but that still leaves me needing a replacement for InDesign. Any suggestions? Is iWork Pages 08 comparable? I've not tried it.
SSH & Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack Pro (and Airfoil, NiceCast)
From the Rogue Amoeba Knowledge Base:
Application Enhancer Technology
Several Rogue Amoeba products optionally make use of Application Enhancers technology, also known as APE, from Unsanity Software. The Instant Hijack component utilizes Application Enhancers to pull in audio from applications that are already running. By default, this component is not installed. If you attempt to hijack audio from a running application, you will be prompted to install the Instant Hijack component or relaunch the application. You can install or uninstall Instant Hijack from the Install Extras... window, under the application's main menu (the Audio Hijack Pro menu in Audio Hijack Pro).
Applications that use the optional Instant Hijack component:
Audio Hijack Pro
Maybe it's Unsanity's problem, not Rogue Amoeba's?
BTW, the older (original) Audio Hijack does not have instant hijack, only the Pro version (current release). As I have the legacy version, I will now install the patches.
@ Man Outraged & Iain
Thanks very much, but not what I wanted to read!
Lewis is pretty pissed off as well......
A Question .......
..... for the experts.
Will browsing via TOR, using one of the unholy trinity of ISPs, prevent Phorm from Pharming my Phucking private data?
Equally, will Firefox, with cookies denied, AdBlock Plus and NoScript do the job? I ask because the really clever bits of browser coding are way beyond this surfer.
If the answer to either is yes, then my current broadband provider keeps my business. If not, then they can Phuck Orph.
I wouldn't pay for Ultimate, but Home Premium is good value... considering Apple manage to charge shedloads for a service pack, I mean.
Apple has never charged a penny for any update, ever. Upgrades, yes. Updates, never.
What I believe that the entire industry is missing, is that enough is enough. Whether we are on Windows or OSX, there is vastly more functionality than most people can handle, let alone, understand. Simply throwing more and more features at any OS does not hack it any longer.
"OOOh look at that!" The window spins!"
"Oh man! That is sOO yesterday! Where's my Evian water, and Burberry condom?"
In terms of a GUI, OS 10.5 still beats Vista, yet as a lifelong Mac user I will neither be upgrading to 10.5.x, nor switching boxes. As far as I am concerned I have exactly what I want: a stable platform. a suite of (expensive) applications, and a small but valuable host of very satisfied clients serviced by my 10.4.x. box, if you will pardon the expression.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Leopard offers this die-hard Mac user nothing other than cost of upgrade, grief in getting early releases to work properly, and expensive upgrades to several applications to get them to work on 10.5, only to discover they work just like they did before. And what is the benefit to my customers?
Four fifths of five eighths of FA as far as I can see.
Apart from spinning windows, when I demo a new marketing campaign. I can anticipate the yawns right now.
Client: "Wow! The window spins! Cool! Now how does this solve my problem?"
Cut to scene 2:
Vista?: Exactly the same.
And the French version?
Since the French outlawed the bundling of iPhone with a single (monopoly) carrier, what's the implication of a French iPhone user installing the update, if indeed this is yet another attempt by Apple to reverse unlocking?
Please add a pair of Steve Jobs icons a la Gates
And your homework today is
Compare and contrast this statement (extracted from the story you have just read):
"The PC runs on Windows Vista, Ultimate edition of course"
with this earlier El Reg posting:
Submit your essay on the back of a MacDonalds napkin and gain points towards your MacDegree. You may even get an Hons double-whopper.
All entries should be sent to:
The First Lord of the Treasury, London.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be
I had a very similar Phillips machine. I think it had a massive 128Mb RAM, but no c:\ drive. Hooked up to a daisywheel printer it got me going as a self-employed consultant back in 1991 using CalcStar and WordStar.
It's portability probably caused the dropped shoulder I still have today!
So, no different to CB Radio back in the early 80s....
.. when cretinous school kids totally killed CB radio's usefulness for professional drivers when in suburban areas. Maybe you, dear reader, were one of them?
OK - How do I volunteer?
Much as I despise this government, this actually sounds like a good plan. I'd like to be involved. But, how?
Who feels their Nat ID data will be safe now?
I'd like to write "un-effing-believable", but sadly it is totally believable. Someone remind me how much has been spent so far. Is it £20bn, or am I confusing that spend with the other white elephant - the NHS spine - to which many GPs are refusing to upload patient files, for fear of data loss / breach of confidentiality.
Coded Messages - Colin Jackson take note
.-- .... .- - / - .... . / ..-. ..- -.-. -.- / -.. --- . ... / - .... .- - / -- . .- -. --..-- / .- .-. ... . .... --- .-.. . ..--..
The above may be freely translated using a copy and paste at
Can anyone translate Colin's post, please?