2936 posts • joined Wednesday 18th July 2007 13:08 GMT
How is it defamatory
If Lord McAlphine was trending (he was), and regardless of the truth of the allegation, everyone pretty much knew why, what's this particular tweet doing to defame him?
The person most likely to be killed by this things are the idiots firing them. Either because the thing blows up in their hands, or because they put it to their own heads. Next in the literal firing line would be their kids and family. Kids especially will no doubt be itching to try out daddy's new lego gun.
Way down the list would be people like burglars and rapists who would likely will spare the owner the trouble of fiddling to reload for a second shot after the first missed by stabbing or shooting them with their proper weapon.
Re: Well they need to do something about it
"If you look into the crown dependencies, you discover an interesting fact - they're not really under parliamentary control."
I didn't say they were, nor did I imply it being very specific about their relationship to the UK. But they can be leaned on.
e.g. the UK scrapped the Low Value Consignment Relief which was implemented so Jersey could export things like flowers to the UK but ended up allowing Amazon, Play.com et al to export goods out of the EU, into Jersey and then back into the UK to avoid VAT.
I'm sure there are various punitive measures and incentives that can be dangled in front of these places to change their minds about particular loopholes.
Well they need to do something about it
It's very easy to moralise about the big nasty corporation and their creative accounting practices, it's slightly harder yet more fruitful to stop them from doing it in the first place.
Labour need to say how they'd stop the practice.
Given that there are various crown dependencies and overseas territories which are notorious tax shelters (Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Jersey / Sark, Isle of Man etc.), maybe they should start turning the screws on those places and leaning on other countries to do likewise in their spheres of influence.
Re: Smart watches are still pretty dumb
A "dumb" watch runs for years between charges. Why should someone have compromise so severely on that or need yet another charging dock / stand just for a watch?
A screen that turns off is also huge problem. A "dumb" watch has an always on display. It does not need a free hand to turn it on which someone might not have if they are driving, hauling a bag, or talking on the phone (oh the irony). It's just inconvenient to have push a button to see the time.
The G-shock is the only one of the current crop of smart watches which I consider acceptable in either regard. The Pebble's display at least is always on, but approximates time to save power which is pretty crap.
I think once phones catch up to the tech that there may be something to say for smart watches. At the moment they're just clumsy power sapping gimmicks.
Smart watches are still pretty dumb
A watch that requires charging every week or even after a few days, powers off its display to save power, and will be obsolete in a few years is hardly a "smart" watch.
I think smart watches will justify their existence when they overcome these obstacles. The closest to that in the current batch of watches is the G-shock for using LCD and bluetooth 4.0 low power but it's ahead of its time since not many phones implement it.
Even when one considers what's so "smart" about these phones it usually boils down to it being a dumb remote display for text messages, or a heart beat monitor or something equally superfluous. I wonder where the market is for these things.
There is a WW2 shipwreck off the Isle of Sheppey, that contains 1500 tons of high explosives. It's marked as a hazard which is a good thing since if a ship were to hit it, or the wreck were to settle, the entire lot could explode triggering a massive explosion and a tsunami racing to either shore and up the Thames estuary. On the plus side, experts think the risk of explosion is "remote".
Re: JimmyPage : they can suspect all they want
""they can't *prove* it....." Yes they can. All they need is a surface level scan of the drive and a professional to stand up in court and say "
Then you wheel out your own expert who says how full of crap theirs is. That Truecrypt is a popular, free and ubiquitous tool that it's a considerable effort to set up a shadow volume, that they've offered no evidence that there is one, that the effort required to make one renders the presupposition highly questionable and that if there is a shadow volume it would be virtually impossible to test because of the way the software functions.
Then you get your defence to reiterate that the defendant has been completely forthcoming during the whole investigation and the only reason he initially refused to disclose his password was the highly personal nature of the "my genital wart pictorial diary" content on the volume which he subsequently relented to show and he knows nothing about the arms smuggling allegations the prosecution is on about.
Re: And then...
"If they suspect you of something and you're using Truecrypt, they will suspect the hidden volume is present."
They can suspect all they like. Convincing a judge is another matter, which is why it might be a good idea to make the fake volume as sensitive and personal as possible. Just not incriminating.
A shame really
The new HTC looks stunning. Perhaps too stunning since it costs an arm and a leg to go with it.
Re: And then...
"On certain police investigations - if you can't provide the key to an apparently encrypted file then it's a criminal offence. "
Certain crypto products like TrueCrypt provide a measure of deniability by offering a shadow volume functionality. Basically two keys work on the same data, one leading to the real data and one to the fake data. Providing your data is sufficiently "sensitive" but not incriminating you can disclose that key and the cops and CPS would be hard pressed to convince a judge you had not complied. e.g. fill the phony volume with pictures of your knob, suicidal thoughts, scans of your bank statements or anything else someone might wish to keep secret but of no relevance to the investigation and give it up when requested.
I doubt it would be easy to do in the context of a realtime conversation on a phone though. The device would have to generate and throw away the session keys so it was utterly impossible for someone to give them up even under duress. Additionally perhaps the app itself could make "phantom" connections between nodes mimicking real traffic, or act as a proxy between other nodes (a la freenet) as another form of deniability.
Shades of clipper
A smart phone is more than capable of running an app that offers end to end encryption as well as hiding which two devices a conversation or data transfer was occuring between. Security services might be able to glean some information about the call with traffic analysis but not the actual content.
Seems like little gain for such an odious law. A law which is bound to encounter serious domestic opposition and one that foreign companies and open source projects would actively circumvent.
It also reminds a bit of the clipper chip, an encryption chip that used a weak cipher and a key stored in escrow so security services could conduct surveillance of voice traffic. That particular plan fell on its backside after widespread opposition and I hope the latest efforts do too.
I doubt very much if Mr Page cares about the science. If he did he wouldn't continuously cherry pick (and usually distort or embellish) findings and ignore the rest.
Sounds like a good idea
The problem I see with this invention is not fraud but vindictiveness. Instead of card skimmers, you have people inserting their chewing gum into the moving parts or crims gluing them shut to discourage the design.
Since the point wasn't spelt out or even implied, I chose to address the technical aspect. Also, it's not like there was an open standard for plugins in other browsers. Netscape's NPAPI is as proprietary in its own way as ActiveX.
And maybe Google are forcing it, which is why it's more important than ever that there be an open standard equivalent to it in terms of capability and performance.
Re: NaCl <> asm.js converter
The asm.js FAQ suggests it could reduce the 5x overhead of running code over JS down to 2x compared to native execution. Sounds like a worthy thing to do for the likes of emscripten. The bottleneck is still the need to convert to JS, even a subset.
PNaCl is different than ActiveX. First, programs are expressed in an intermediate format called LLVM bitcode so they either run in a VM, or they can be laced with memory & security checks as they are turned into native code. So the program would essentially have its own address space, heap, stack and file storage space separate from other apps or the OS. Second, the APIs that they can use are restricted and implemented by the browser host which can do additional security checks. Thirdly apps are only hosted through the Chrome Webstore which IMO limits the tech's usefulness but does allow them be tested for malicious behaviour and removed if necessary.
An ActiveX component is just a native DLL or EXE. It can literally do anything it likes, OS security permitting. So if it was registered as as safe for scripting, and was exploitable, any malicious website could instantiate it, exploit it and own you.
None of this means that PNaCl is going to be bug free but that's an implementation issue which can be fixed rather than a flaw in the concept itself.
I wish other browsers would implement something similar but browser agnostic. Emscripten is a project that allows C to run in a browser by compiling it to LLVM bitcode and compiling that into JS which is what gets run. Performance is naturally horrible. Running the bitcode directly would be much faster, potentially near native.
Re: Buy an ultrabook
"All things being equal, why would anyone prefer a clamshell?"
Because not all things are equal. The Surface Pro (perhaps living up to its name) has a larger surface footprint than an equivalent size ultrabook. The high center of gravity and lack of stiff hinge means it has a kickstand at the back to support it at a fixed angle and the keyboard is flimsier so it needs to fully rest on something too. Balancing it on your knees in bed or a chair is an extremely precarious proposition.
Chances are if you need an i5 it's no big deal to have a clamshell. And if you don't need an i5, there are more appropriate and cheaper devices for the tablet form factor (some of which come with keyboard docks with stiff hinges).
Buy an ultrabook
These Surface Pros are slabs thanks to the i5 and its increased power consumption and heat disappation demands. Throw in the keyboard attachment and you may as well be buying an ultrabook.
The Atom based tablets are a far more sensible choice for the form factor - cheaper, longer battery, thinner, less heat and performance which is more than adequate for the sort of apps people run on tablets.
Re: Got off lightly
"LulzSec hacked Sony, which required Sony to bring down PSN, and fix PSN's codebase so that it was fit for purpose. What proportion of the $20m total cost are you assigning to Sony for being incompetent, and to LulzSec for exposing their incompetence in a criminal manner?"
Oh I see Lulzsec were just doing them a favour! It all makes sense now.
And if I kick in your door, smear faeces all over your bed and walls, and steal your home sex tapes and bank account records and release them on the web I'd be doing you a favour too for not having a stronger door. You'd thank me for it. Right?
Re: Got off lightly
"Nonsense. Even the quoted "damage" cost was not more than the equivalent of a class 4 felony criminal damage to property,"
Which article are you reading?
One accused was making $2500 a month from running a botnet of 100,000 computers and charged with 6 offences. Please tell me how much it would cost to clean a botnet up? How much loss would you put on each of those PCs in terms of its degraded performance and denial of service to the people who owned them?
How much total would you put on a rampant spree of attacks that went on for nearly two years, stealing information from various sites and the consequent harm both financially and reputationally to various companies?
Just Sony alone claimed they lost $20 million which is not unreasonable given how long PSN was down, the loss of reputation, the loss of revenues and the theft of 24 million account details.
Go do $100,000 aggravated property damage over and see what sentence you get. The simple fact is these people got off extremely lightly.
Got off lightly
Given the cost to the businesses they attacked and the cost of investigating the attacks, these sentences amount to little more than a slap on the wrist. A person driving a bulldozer into the foyer of a single business, causing 1/10th of the damage would get a longer sentence than that.
Re: As a contractor...
When I first contracted I went into a scheme where money was paid by employers into an account on the Isle of Man through an umbrella company and then accessed through an international account. As far as I'm aware it was legal but god was it a pain in the arse to use and expensive to administer and I still had to file tax returns which meant paying for an accountant.
So as soon as the contract was up I just found a contracting firm to do it - all the billing, processing, tax returns, expenses etc. for a flat fee. Much easier.
Not uncommon for this kind of nonsense
Services like Entropay are so anally retentive about security that if you don't use your account frequently enough for their satisfaction that they'll suspend the account and you'll have to screw around supplying documentation to reactivate it (and usually 3 or 4 rounds of argumentation to random customer service drones trying to explain you've supplied it multiple times already).
Some businesses just have a stick up their backsides about fraud and / or security that they force customers to jump through hoops. I've given up using Entropay because of this. I can't be bothered to deal with a service which treats customers like criminals the whole time.
The whole purpose of a nappy
Is to absorb the piss and draw it away from the baby's skin. Most nappies can cope with 1 or 2 such wees before they reach their limits so changing a baby every 2 or 3 hours is quite sufficient without being tweeted.
Anyway for new parents, the best thing they can do is not buy Huggies, Pampers or any other branded nappies. Supermarket nappies are quite capable of performing the same task for less money (and you get through them so fast it pays to experiment). LIDL nappies in particular are regarded one of the best nappies on the market despite costing far less.
No way it would cost that much to disinfect
There is obviously some cost and time to reformatting and reimaging a PC. But if they couldn't contract it out for a cost of $150 per machine (representing the perhaps 1/2 day it might cost a contractor to fix it), there is something wrong with them.
Re: How do they manage to make a loss?
"The eyebrow pluckers need to be paid at least minimum wage, and the rent and council tax needs to be paid on their premises. "
Well quite and that's still less that a similar sized premise which cooks food or sells a physical product which is a cost to the bottom line that cannot be discounted away. That's the point. The eyebrow pluckers can pull some figure out of their backsides, e.g. £60 for their service, halve it to £30, give Groupon / whoever £10-15 and still make money.
As for rivals, I expect you could negotiate a better deal but how many people would bother? Perhaps they end up driven out of business or add to the noise of service industry dross on Groupon by joining themselves. Probably why it turns into a sea of shit after a while and why Groupon is lacks the good will to sustain anything more attractive.
Re: How do they manage to make a loss?
I expect they make a loss because the company hyper inflated while at the same time conducting scorched earth policy that left every market they passed through a barren wasteland of "service industry" offers - car waxing, eyebrow plucking etc. All the businesses which actually sold a product either went out of business or got so badly burned as to never use Groupon again. It's only service industries which can survive in the world of coupons because they can invent some preposterous figure for their service and "discount" it and still make money because there are little material overheads.
So they have the massive infrastructure and sales teams and not enough business to sustain it. On top of that their business is hardly unique. There are probably 4 or 5 rival services in most of the markets they compete in, and perhaps some of these are more nimble, have lower overheads and are better to deal with as far as businesses are concerned.
Kindle is only a great cross-platform solution if you consider buying all your content from a single store to be a good idea. Personally I think it's desperately short sighted idea.
There is no reason that any consumable media that a person purchases like music, video or books should be tied to a single device, or to a single store. At the very least the DRM and formats should be supported by a wide variety of stores and devices. The closest thing to that for books would be EPUB with Adobe Digital Editions as the DRM.
Of course a far worse problem is that technically nobody is buying books at all, just the licence to read the book. And book sites lock themselves in with publishers into contracts that don't explicitly collude to keep prices high but the contracts essentially mean prices are kept high.
"Barnes and Noble are currently saying there is no stock. Nook UK are saying they are shipping. Someone is telling pork pies."
Maybe Nook is fulfilling existing orders and can't sell any more until they get new stock in, assuming they ever do.
I know from personal experience that last Saturday Argos didn't have a single Nook in the whole of Northern Ireland and neither did any branch of PC World or Currys. The Nook website said temporarily unavailable. I was lucky to have sauntered into an Argos Extra on the Sunday and their system showed there were 230 in stock in their Home Delivery service. Now home delivery shows there are zero. Fortunately I ordered one while they were there with free p&p too.
Basically they're gone.
Microsoft used to have an ebook service
Microsoft Reader used to be their platform and it worked off .lit files (a zipped up HTML predecessor to EPUB) that could be purchased online. Sadly their DRM was not fit for purpose and nobody was especially interested in their Reader software either which might explain why it flopped. I actually owned 20 odd legitimately "purchased" .lit files. I put "purchased" in quotes because MS gave them away as part of a promotion. Some decent books in the list too - I read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything from that giveaway.
Anyway, I got a Nook in the £29 giveaway though it's in the post. Those buggers sold like wildfire and had to order from Argos home delivery to obtain one. Not sure if I'll root it yet, or use it as-is with its built-in EPUB support.
I think you would have to be talking loudly into a bluetooth handsfree ear piece and wearing an upskirt camera device on your shoes to come anywhere close to the chilling effect these things will have in social situations.
They're probably more useful in a commercial setting - people fulfilling orders in large warehouses and so on where a HUD might be useful.
Biggest issue with these phones
Is the half sized screen will cut the number of supported apps in half too. Probably doesn't matter much if you spent your entire life using mail and calendar though. It won't help Blackberry developers though who have two distinct devices (3 if you count Playbook) to wrap their heads around.
Re: I wish the Nexus 4 did have a button.
Battery life is about 2 days for me with light internet use / periodic twitter etc. though I tend to recharge daily. Screen is excellent. Call quality is excellent. CPU and graphics are extremely responsive. Vanilla Android is (IMO) vastly better than the customized shit that most vendors slap on top and gives a superior and clutter free experience plus timely updates. The best bit is the price which is considerably cheaper than an S3 or other comparable spec devices.
Downsides - Storage is acceptable but non expandable. Battery is non replaceable. The glass on the back gives the phone a worrisome tendency to glide off tables. Camera is okay but nothing special.
For the price it's an excellent phone.
The main application for this
Is to move The Pirate Bay and other sites into the cloud. Kind of obvious really and surprisingly overdue. Implement the site up as a web 2.0 style app, and use XML requests for search requests and the data and ads. Next step after that is a distributed search.
I wish the Nexus 4 did have a button.
I'm forever picking up the thing the wrong way and having to feel around for the buttons to figure which way is up. A button, or a least some distinct "this is up and this is down" visual cue would be quite useful. And get rid of the glass on the back since the Nexus 4 has the eery trait of gliding on a cushion of air straight towards the nearest precipice.
At least a Windows Pro tablet is a bonafide PC
I'd be tempted to get a Windows Pro tablet because it runs any existing Windows software. I don't know anybody in their right minds who'd buy a Windows RT which runs sweet FA.
"Here's how it works: Cite sources, say what you want them to say and hope nobody follows them up, it's becoming an MO."
Climate change deniers tore a page from the same book of denial tactics used by creationists, 9/11 truthers, holocaust deniers, moon hoaxers, anti-vaxxers.
1. Make liberal use of mined quotes. Make sure they're out of context and preferably presented to imply the original author supports the position even when they're usually against it. Or that the author is part of some vast conspiracy to fabricate the evidence or further some agenda.
2. Cherry pick data. Pick out the favourable data even when it belongs to a larger data set which goes the other way.
3. Pseudoscience. Employ it liberally and often.
4. Place enormous weight on unreliable or low quality information and use it to deny or ignore high quality information. e.g. favour crank blogs over peer reviewed publications.
5. Compile a list of canards and repeat them ad nauseum no matter how many times they are debunked.
6. Nitpick. Get so lost in the minutiae and statistical uncertainty that the big picture somehow magically becomes irrelevant.
7. Arguments from authority. Compile big long lists of scientists who "question" the conventional explanation, even if most of them on inspection turn out to have little or no expertise in relevant specialisations.
8. On no account ever produce a credible alternative theory which more adequately accounts for the data
Re: Might be logical
"I'm sorry, are you trying to imply logic plays any part in this?"
The premise seems reasonable if you read the text. Climate change predictions suggest millions could be forced into starvation and poverty and women's health in particular could be adversely affected.
That said, the bill doesn't really propose any remedial action other than make various affirmations and ask the president to do something to address it.
Less to with fanboism than stickiness
There's an extremely good reason that Apple, Google and Microsoft all use DRM on their content and and increasingly cloud based services - stickiness. The more you invest in a platform, both financially and in terms of reliance on its services, the less likely or able you are to switch.
Look at all the bullshit going on with buying books, movies or TV shows. There *could* be a single industry wide DRM and content specification which lets people use their content from any compliant device, but then people could move and we can't have that now can we?
The best way to ensure your options are open is to avoid buying anything but apps (which are unavoidably proprietary), and if you must buy things, attempt to do so from platform agnostic services - music / video / book services which provide clients for all operating systems and have no stake in which succeeds.
"You really have no idea of how minuscule the output of heat from man made sources is compared to the heat the Earth receives from the Sun, or even the heat due to tidal forces from the Moon, do you?"
CO2 concentrations have increased by nearly 40% since pre-industrial times. Activity such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, methane from cattle and so on has increased the amount of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As the name suggests greenhouse gas absorb more thermal radiation which in turn affects the ambient surface temperature.
The "miniscule" argument doesn't even bear much scrutiny either. Even if it were miniscule If you had a set of scales perfectly in balance then dropping a "miniscule" weight on one side (and continuously doing it over time) will still cause the system to come out of equilibrium.
You figure it out, or read the IPCC reports which will explain it to you. Or just deny it. Reach for one of the usual gambits of the denialist movements to pretend man kind has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Surprised this doesn't happen more
There are all fun ways a game can screw around with crackers beyond the obvious copy protection checks. e.g. a crack might work but then another copy of the protection code (obfuscated so it doesn't resemble the first) that only kicks in if you step on a trigger by chance on level 8 breaks the game in level 9. Or perhaps the check is on the video settings screen but only affects you in level 3 where a switch won't work. Maybe there isn't enough ammo to sustain your shooting, or the enemies become a invulnerable, or doors won't open. And so on.
Basically by putting booby traps all over the place and making the cause and effect non-obvious, the whole game becomes a massive time sink for crackers. They'd more or less have to play the game through in its entirety to be sure it was working.
A few games have done this e.g. Batman Arkham Asylum had some places that you couldn't glide across in the cracked game. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more though.
Re: Not out of the woods yet...
My wife was picking a phone to replace a broken Lumia 800. The choice was between a €129 Luma 520 or a €149 Huawei G5120. Even though the Lumia 520 would have had a more familiar experience, the Huawei was in most regards a better phone for only a little more. She chose the Huawei.
In Nokia's defence I doubt it would have had as much Vodafone crapware as the Huawei did. Nor would I have had to spend a considerable amount of time replacing the godawful Huawei launcher with the ADW launcher to give the phone some semblance of sanity.
Re: Next "innovation" in Macs
"One of my side-bet predictions is an ARM+x86 iOS/OSX hybrid multitouch detachable where the (retina) screen as tablet has passive cooling and you have choice of battery + higher powered CPU etc. in keyboard section. "
It seems more likely to me that they'll start leveraging clang and LLVM and describe a universal binary format which runs over any CPU at near native speeds with API that cherry picks functionality from iOS and OS X. Kind of surprising it hasn't happened already really.
XBMC isn't the only solution on Android though. There must be dozens of DLNA clients on the store and they could be coupled with VLC or some other video player. Providing the media framework is hooked up to use hardware codecs, the performance should be okay.
I think XBMC is a bit too fancy for its own good on low performance devices though. Even the Confluence skin is a bit of overkill. I expect a skin that dials back on the animation, transparency and overall memory consumption would probably squeeze a few % of performance which might make the difference between usable and unusable.
A glance at the AM3358 spec sheet suggests it has a PowerVR SGX530 GPU core in it. It's probably enough to run a simple desktop although there is no mention of hardware decoding for audio / video and I doubt the CPU has the power to decode it in software either. The chip (and the board) seems more targeted towards control devices really as opposed the Pi which has slower but more media capable CPU.
That said, the Pi isn't very good for media playback either, at least under the standard XBMC GUI. The UI is fairly responsive when nothing is streaming, but start streaming and navigating at the same time and the CPU chokes. A dual core or 1.5GHZ Pi would probably resolve these issues, or perhaps a simpler playback interface.
There are also a LOT of very cheap Android stick / boxes powered by the likes of the Allwinner A10, A20, A31. Since XBMC is on Android now, there is a chance that these could be viable platforms for people who want to play media. What would be lacking is the community support.
Instead of moralising
Close the tax loopholes. Companies will save every penny they can if the law is imprecise or can be worked around. Same for individuals. Instead of moaning about it, make it so onerous to evade tax that companies comply and pay up or gtfo.
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