* Posts by Vimes

542 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

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Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Vimes

Connected cars - giving the term 'Blue screen of death' new meaning...

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Vimes

Suri cited healthcare as another field that needs critical real-time video performance – which requires low latency and low jitter – but multi-speed delivery is nevertheless verboten under some conceptions of “net neutrality”.

Surely then it's for the hospital to pay for a better connection? If I as a customer want to be able to download things quicker I pay more. Similarly if hospitals and others want a better QoS then they can equally pay for it.

What I have a problem is paying that extra amount - as I do already - and then being told that actually because the service provider on the other end hasn't given in to the financial blackmail my connection to them won't be able to function as well as it should.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Vimes

Re: jake

Most people who visit the site probably wouldn't bother commenting either way regardless of whether they like the changes or not, so the lack of an outcry isn't a good measure of how well the changes have been received. Neither are visitor numbers, since people come here for the articles and may well be willing to put up with a broken design to read the content (which admittedly is well written).

As I asked before how can you know that the visitor numbers are up because of the re-design rather than in spite of it?

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Vimes

Re: jake

Screw that noise. That's how you end up sleeping in a dumpster wondering why you can't afford a bag of rice.

I'm sure that's what the people in charge of developing Windows Vista thought after the success of XP, and look what it got them.

Not all change is good.

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Vimes

Re: Joseph Eoff

It's looking pretty good, to be honest. Thanks for reading.

Why not run a poll and see what the users of the website tell you?

Has it occurred to you that visitor numbers may be up in spite of the changes rather than because of them?

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Vimes

Re: Joseph Eoff

we work really hard to fill the site with quality techie but fun and entertaining copy, pick nice pics to go with it

Much of that hard work will be for nothing if the redesign is so poorly handled that it drives people away (no apparent attempt at asking readers what they'd like to see *beforehand* followed by apparently sticking fingers in your ears to block the sound of people complaining afterwards).

I may have missed something here, but I have yet to see a single positive comment about the large cover image on the front page in particular. If something is that unpopular why keep it?

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Vimes

Re: Joseph Eoff

Given the amount of negative comments here to do with the layout, I'm curious: did the process of re-designing the site include getting feedback from users before making these changes as to what they would actually want to see?

I might see the adverts as annoying personally, but at least they serve a purpose. These extra large headline image change amongst others seems to be almost universally reviled though.

I have to ask: why make such changes?

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Vimes

Re: Joseph Eoff

WTF???

Talk about irritating adverts - I click on the link to edit my previous post, and get something covering the entire screen!!!

https://patrick.seurre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ad.png

We really do need some sort of legitimate option to remove ads entirely - paid or otherwise. This isn't the first time your ad providers have screwed up. Far from it...

Edited to add: paid membership could perhaps also have other perks, like increased customisation of the layout. Users could, for example, choose whether the most recently commented topics is shown in the smaller right hand pane or the latest headlines - depending on how they want to use the site.

Incidentally, my silver badge seems to have gone? Have I not posted enough?

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Vimes

Re: Joseph Eoff

Speaking of adverts, I think I mentioned this some time ago and it hasn't been mentioned since: is there any possibility of a paid membership that allows the site to be viewed without the ads?

I'm getting increasingly tempted to install AdBlocker - the advert above the site banner can be irritating and it breaks up the layout for example - but all the same I would prefer to avoid stopping this website from getting its funding.

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TalkTalk 'fesses up to MEGA data breach

Vimes

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7174760.stm

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Vimes

If non-sensitive data can be abused to gain access to sensitive data, then how is the non-sensitive data not, in point of fact, sensitive in its own right?

Perhaps this says more about the marketing speak in use at Talk Talk rather than the scale of what has happened here?

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Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay

Vimes

@Smoking gun

I'm not sure about the NHS as a whole, but I certainly recall various ambulance services pop up in g-cloud purchase history spreadsheets put up by the government for cloud related services (most if not all involving US companies including Microsoft).

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Vimes

@A/C

(I really wish they would bring back the timestamp to forum posts, rather than just display the relative age).

What Microsoft wants to do for its customers is irrelevant if it's being forced to hand over data anyway. If they fight the case and lose they'll still be an unsafe bet, no matter how much resistance they put up.

I'll believe that the Microsoft cloud can potentially be a safe place if they win the case *and* the laws are changed significantly as a result. Anything else is just paying lip service to user privacy IMO.

And wasn't there talk at one point of them deliberately allowing access to the US government to Skype conversations? That doesn't sound like the actions of a company interested in privacy to me. Those actions are far more revealing than any court fight they've conveniently mounted since then, as is their lack of any resistance until anybody found out about it.

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Vimes

@moiety And yet it's already happening

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240230372/Hague-reassures-MPs-on-Office-365-data-storage-as-Microsoft-ordered-to-hand-over-email-data

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Vimes

What about protection for any personal or private information that passes through public service systems?

There is basically none when exported to the Microsoft cloud thanks to the lack of any real rights for non-US citizens. And that applies even to servers abroad and data that never goes anywhere near the US.

I can understand Microsoft being forced to comply with US law, however unreasonable that law may be.

I would have thought though that the public authorities here can't simply abdicate any responsibility to keep data safe by using Microsoft services and passing the buck on to them. Surely it's the government's responsibility to comply with the Data Protection Act and any other laws that apply in the UK given the potentially sensitive nature of the information being dealt with?

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Britain needs more tech immigrants, quango tells UK.gov

Vimes

The race to the bottom...

...It never stops does it?

How are we going to increase the number of senior developers if we tell the junior ones that their future roles are going to be taken from them by people conveniently being parachuted in from abroad? And by employers keen to avoid any wage increase that a fall in supply normally causes?

Not only will this move not help with supply, it will end up making matters far worse in the long term when people start looking for jobs with better prospects, and the supply of 'senior developers' and others dries up even more.

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Don't use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp – Data protection MEP

Vimes

Re: Without even a hint of irony @sabroni

You're not equating drawing a picture of the prophet Mohammed with saying you feel like killing Jews are you?

Killing innocent people like that is never acceptable. That's obvious. As for the rest that's your assumption. Personally all I saw when I read that was a very poor attempt at humour (funnily enough like the very sort of distasteful stuff you'd find on the cover of Charlie Hebdo).

For me personally there was never any real threat on his part, which for me is also the crux of the issue: criminal proceedings should be reserved for crimes they can either prove have happened or will happen. Most of the rest is little better than trying to prosecute thought crime.

This link might also be of interest:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/14/days-hosting-massive-free-speech-march-france-arrests-comedian-facebook-comments/

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Vimes

Never mind data sharing, what about the more fundamental freedom of speech that several million people marched for over the weekend?

Without even a hint of irony, France manages to go and do this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11344192/Comedian-arrested-for-comment-on-Charlie-Hebdo-attacks.html

I'm not one of his supporters, and think that any anti-semitic speech is to be condemned, but surely if you really do support freedom of speech then you shouldn't be able to stop people from being anti-semitic through legal means any more than you should stop any anti-Islamic commentary?

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Privacy campaigner: Why I hope Microsoft loses court case against the NSA

Vimes

Privacy campaigner: Why I hope Microsoft loses court case against the NSA

Microsoft is currently fighting a legal battle against the US government over a warrant that requires it to hand over emails stored on a server in Dublin. This demand, made under the terms of the Stored Communications Act of 1986, is seemingly in violation of the Safe Harbor agreement, drawn up between the EU and the US in 2000 to allow the interchange of data despite differences in data protection laws. Under that agreement, US companies operating in the EU or processing or storing EU data must follow a set of privacy practices, such as informing individuals that their data is being collected and how it will be used.

Surprisingly, perhaps, privacy campaigner Caspar Bowden (pictured) says he hopes that Microsoft will lose the case. His reasoning is that the US government can use other legal instruments, such as FISA 702 or Executive Order 12333, to brush aside such niceties as Safe Harbor or binding corporate rules (BCR) to get its hands on such data perfectly legally any time it likes, and as such the whole case is a smokescreen that actually suits both parties.

"Even if Microsoft wins that case, and I hope they don't because that'll just shore up the whole rotten system, it will make no difference to surveillance by the NSA under FISA 702 or Executive Order 12333 [see below]," he told Computing.

[...]

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/analysis/2389869/why-i-hope-microsoft-loses-court-case-against-the-nsa-privacy-campaigner

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FBI boss: Sony hack was DEFINITELY North Korea, haters gonna hate

Vimes

Re: Yeah...

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article5641188.html

No comment needed I think...

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Vimes

And it's not as if the authorities on that side of the pond would knowingly allow false evidence to make it's way through their legal system, is there?

Oh, wait...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/20/ferguson-prosecutor-says-he-knew-some-witnesses-were-clearly-not-telling-the-truth-they-testified-anyway/

...or ignore concerns about their own evidence?

Umm...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/justice-dept-fbi-to-review-use-of-forensic-evidence-in-thousands-of-cases/2012/07/10/gJQAT6DlbW_story.html

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Vimes

..."don't have the facts that I have."...

Then give them to us.

Funny how their attitude to accessing information changes when it's their own information that's under discussion...

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Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Vimes

Except that this isn't real change - it's superficial, and what's more Microsoft probably know this.

It's not just the companies that have to change but the legal framework that they operate in too. On our side of the pond as much as theirs. The idea that the US legal system can even get to the point it has managed to find itself in - regardless of whether Microsoft are appealing the decision or not - is a matter of some concern.

The likes of MLATs and the other agreements we have are meaningless if a US judge can decide to ignore them at will. At present we continue to pretend that the laws we have in our own countries are fit for purpose, but this isn't the case and Microsoft know that. They want to hold onto the current status quo where the legal arrangements are concerned.

Anything else would mean destroying any ability to do business outside the US unless the US itself substantially changed it's laws, which is in itself highly unlikely.

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Vimes

If Microsoft win then it means that they get to keep the illusion that our details really are protected, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

I never thought I would say this when it came to any organisation fighting for privacy, but I for one hope Microsoft lose this one.

Then perhaps people will finally come to realise how pointless our legal arrangements are when it involves a country that chooses to ignore them at will.

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Vimes

And in all the time *before* Snowden? Was privacy not worth fighting for then too?

Perhaps if Microsoft had spent more time standing up for users in that time rather than spend their efforts building in backdoors into their products (or as the FBI would have us say 'front doors') then perhaps they would have a bit more credibility now?

For anybody that needs a reminder on how Microsoft really view privacy:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/06/skypes-suspicious-absence-from-microsofts-anti-nsa-promises/

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/12/microsoft-nsa-collusion

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

Vimes

Re: Morlocks and the Eloi?

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1994-10-13/

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Vimes

Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

Presumably if they get to an accident more quickly then they can clear the road more quickly too.

Imagine the congestion that can occur from an accident on the likes of the M3 once the hard shoulder has been removed, or on a minor A road somewhere where an accident would mean the road being completely blocked...

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Vimes

Oh good - another bit of technology to go wrong.

Cue the false alerts where notifications of emergencies are sent even though none exist because something in the system isn't working.

Ambulances will get to these non-accidents more quickly, but take longer getting to those in real danger since by that point in time they're in the wrong place.

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Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues

Vimes

You could always email the MD. Sometimes the loyal peons working for him won't always let him know what the problems are after all.

*cough*ceoemail.com*cough*...

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Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

Vimes

Has everybody here forgotten the 'stealth' BT trials of Phorm and the way in which they even went as far as concealing the truth from their own customers? Even their own support people seemed to be in the dark.

How on earth can BT or any BT-owned ISP be trusted now?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/17/bt_phorm_lies/

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Vodafone eyes up Liberty Global – report

Vimes

Re: retail communications

ceoemail.com is useful for this sort of thing. Make a note of any failures then ask the MD why he/she thinks that this is an acceptable response from their company.

In the case of VM:

http://www.ceoemail.com/s.php?id=9632

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Vimes

Given the legal situation in the US with regards to laws like FISAAA, would this mean that all Vodafone customers in the UK would also potentially be shafted by US as well as UK authorities?

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Vimes

Re: No thanks!

To be fair uninterested reps are fairly common across the board - most these days are just salesmen, and if you go in there for anything else you'll get the default 'call our phone number' response.

I had this problem when dealing with 3UK and filtering, as I wanted it removed and the website tells me that this can be done from within the shop (I see no reason to hand over additional credit card information just to prove my age - especially to stop something I never asked for). Even then they refused to help.

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Questionable ads

Vimes

Questionable ads

There is a McAfee video ad for one of their products that seems to play with sound enabled by default.

Unwanted video ads are already obnoxious enough already, but to play with sound turned on without asking first really is beyond acceptable. Please take a look into this and stop it from happening again.

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Schneier, Diffie, ex-MI5 bod, privacy advocates team up on Code Red

Vimes

Re: Long overdue

Except that in the case of Bruce Schneier, he didn't complain about such surveillance when it was his employer doing it.

I guess spying on people is OK if it's for profit and not for the government.

And as for Simon Davies, does anybody here remember the consultancy 80/20 Thinking that he set up and the apparent attempt to legitimise Phorm through the PIA released by his consultancy?

Personally I'd like to see what they actually get up to before deciding whether it's anything worth supporting.

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Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data

Vimes

@heyrick

You'd think so, but then you'd be forgetting the safe harbour (or harbor?) agreements that exist.

The safe harbour scheme been accepted by the EU commission as something that provides an acceptable level of protection for personal data belonging to EU citizens despite the likes of the PATRIOT act, FISAAA, and the Reagan-era executive order 12333 amongst others.

In reality though they provide even less protection for our information than the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties that the US government seems to think it ought to be able to ignore with impunity.

Oh, and the safe harbour scheme itself is overseen by the very people that want unquestioned access to all data. Everywhere.

Politicians on our side of the pond still wonder why some of us might have an issue with that.

There's talk about changing such arrangements of course, but at this point that all it is: talk.

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Vimes

@kmac499

Which major project was that?

According to the government's own G-cloud records there seems to be plenty of SaaS activity that involve US companies. Try looking up all those huddle licence records as one example - a range of different organisations use them, including the likes of the CPS and DWP. The following type of line seems quite common in the CSV based records too:

Software as a Service (SaaS),01/06/2012,1494.8,Health,Large,SharePoint Online (Plan 2),MICROSOFT IRELAND OPERATIONS LTD,West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

So the NHS also seems to be using Irish based services? There's also a number of references to EMERGN LTD elsewhere in the CSV file (filed under 'Specialist Cloud Services'), which seems to have a US presence and therefore would be presumably open to attack from the US legal system too. Such entries exist for Department for Work And Pensions & Ministry of Justice amongst others.

There's probably others, but personally I don't believe things are as strictly implemented as you have been lead to believe.

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Vimes

Remind me where the house of commons here has located its email systems? Oh, that's right: servers in Ireland.

Under Microsoft's control too.

You really couldn't make this stuff up, and what's even worse is that the likes of William Hague still seem to cling to the rather quaint belief that the US will stick to its international obligations, even after the blatant display that shows that the rules only hold up as long as US judges want them to.

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240230372/Hague-reassures-MPs-on-Office-365-data-storage-as-Microsoft-ordered-to-hand-over-email-data

It's just a pity that somebody in his position can't do better as a response than sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting 'LA-LA-LA!!!-I-can't-hear-you-LA-LA-LA!!!'

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Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

Vimes

Re: Are you a slave?

Except that taxes don't stop you from working, nor do they limit your ability to communicate or associate (if anything they're used to make it easier - most state funded libraries in the UK have free internet access for example) so the analogy doesn't really work IMO.

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Vimes

Just curious. IANAL...

Wouldn't a tax that charges people for expressing themselves or associating with others (and thereby potentially hinder such association or speech as well as limit it to wealthier segments of society) go against the ECHR?

I'm thinking of articles 9,10 and 11 in particular.

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Apple KILLS SUPER MARIO. And Zelda. And Sonic

Vimes

Re: Nintendo

Never mind iOS - I'm still waiting for GBA/SNES titles to appear on Nintendo's own 3DS.

Their obsession with Wii/Wii U really needs to stop if they want to survive in the long term...

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Three UK fined £250,000 for customer complaints COCKUP

Vimes

If you have a problem...

...then take things higher up.

Personally I've always found ceoemail.com useful for finding the email addresses of those in charge of the company. You'd be surprised how quickly things can be fixed once they get involved...

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Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights

Vimes

Re: Here We Go Again. @Charles 9

Perhaps you haven't noticed that by simply making the haystack bigger they're not making it any easier to find the needle?

If memory serves one of the 7/7 bombers was under surveillance beforehand, and this had to stop because of lack of resources and a need to target what they had elsewhere.

Unless there is a vast increase in funding and manpower to mirror the increase in what they're gathering then surely they'll just end up making things more difficult for themselves? Rather than minimising the risk they'll end up making it bigger?

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Vimes

Re: Here We Go Again.

@tom dial:

One example is the nasty habit of the NSA sharing information gathered illegally on US citizens with the likes of the DEA and then having said agencies engage in 'parallel reconstruction' (i.e. lying) to hide the true origins of the information.

Then there's the freedom to run your business without hindrance. Industrial espionage has already been discussed as a result of the NSA programs.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/nsa-spying-brazil-oil-petrobras

One can only wonder how many things have been going on behind closed doors. The people within the NSA aren't above using their access for their own immoral purposes either (look up the term 'loveint' for one such example).

It's not just the five eyes countries you have to worry about either - the US has given access to data gathered to the Israeli government and for all we know other governments too. Do you trust all of them?

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Vimes

Re: Here We Go Again.

'Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

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Vimes

Re: Lest We Forget.

...but limited in application of course just among these Anti's, that would exempt them from any protections enabled by all such GCHQ and NSA careful electronic surveillance?...

As always, consider the source when they tell you anything about advantages...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/2/nsa-chief-figures-foiled-terror-plots-misleading/?page=all

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Vimes

Do MPs really care?

They already have their parliamentary web access 'filtered' thanks to Bluecoat (thereby copying in servers in the US in all requests made) and apparently last year moved their mail so that it would be hosted by Microsoft on servers in the Netherlands and Ireland (given recent stories regarding the US government, Microsoft and - funnily enough - Irish servers this seems like a particularly poor decision).

If they can't understand the sheer lunacy of not having complete control over their own IT then what hope is there for any of us?

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Why does it take 8 hours for my posts to be approved?

Vimes

Have you considered allowing contributors that have a good reputation in your view to serve as volunteer moderators here?

I'm not sure I would have the time to do this myself - or even if I would qualify in your eyes - but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the other regulars would be willing to serve such a role.

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Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Vimes

Re: Airlines are a poor analogy

A better analogy in any case IMO would be a little different.

It would involve paying Ryanair or BA for the flight and then having to pay again a second time - either in lost time or increased costs based on whose airspace they fly through.

And worse: not being able to know beforehand whether it will be slower or more expensive before you actually fly...

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iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? No. It is the Most Exquisite THING. EVER

Vimes

Re: Is it triple irony?

@Al Black

You can still drown...

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