62 posts • joined Wednesday 25th July 2007 12:33 GMT
Better not to collect it in the first place
I'm fascinated by what problem this zillion dollar database is supposed to be solving.
If it's about having information ready in emergencies, there is already a super low-tech solution which is highly effective and widely deployed: medical necklaces and bracelets. It's a small, discreet item of jewellery which you wear if you have some medical problem (like you are diabetic, or allergic to something) and it alerts medics to your condition in situations where you can't communicate this information yourself.
So there's my solution, which will probably cost about £1 / patient.
Now tell me why we need this huge database again?
This is the illegal DNA database, right? The one with all the innocent people on it who should have been removed by now (or rather, never put there in the first place). Never mind all the people cautioned about some trivial offence who should have their profiles removed too after some period of time.
Red Hat has a patent promise
... Shame nobody reads it before spreading FUD.
In it, Red Hat licenses patents to all open source projects.
Throw the whole thing out. There's nothing in this bill that needs to be passed urgently ...
... unless you're a Labour minister trying to cover up something or other, that is.
You are wrong: The original DNA sample is stored. The markers ("short tandem repeats") are what is stored in a computer, because sequencing is prohibitively expensive at the moment. It won't be in future, and they can go back and look at the original samples. In any case, the markers are enough to show various characteristics such as relationships between people.
<quote>But where is the actual harm? ... Even if the data gets left on a laptop in a taxi, what could someone really do with it?</quote>
We can tell if your father is your biological father, and if you are the biological father of your children. We can tell if you're going to get certain inherited diseases and make it much harder for you to obtain private medical insurance. We can leave DNA evidence at the scene of a crime to stitch you up. We can make a mix-up in analysis of DNA from a crime scene, break down your door, drag you out in front of the neighbours and take all your computers away for a year (don't worry, in a couple of years you'll get your name cleared).
If none of those things bother you, you can voluntarily give your DNA to the police right now. There really is nothing to stop you doing that. Don't make the rest of us do it though.
KVM is so much easier to use. No need to reboot the whole server if I want to start a virtual machine. Linux is the hypervisor already. With the virtio drivers installed in my guests it's basically the same speed as Xen, and it does SMP and migration and all the rest perfectly well.
What's the issue with replaceable batteries
I've owned perhaps a dozen laptops, and I've never replaced the battery on any of them. I've taken the battery out of a couple of them, but that was just to see that it was possible.
About the 17" laptop itself: I own an older model 17" MBP that I essentially got "for free" (list price at the time was around £2000, but I got it in lieu of expenses from a company I worked at). It is huge and weighs a lot, and the battery life on it is about 1 hour, so you don't really use it unless you are within range of a power outlet. The screen is great but the laptop runs pretty hot and it's so heavy that you can't comfortably have it on your knee. I classify it as more of a "luggable desktop" rather than a laptop.
Jesus-Steve icon, obviously!
With git you can have any number of repositories (it is a "distributed" version control system after all).
If you want to use a laptop, you can periodically connect it to a network and send your changes up to your desktop machine, assuming your desktop is backed up. Then weeks later or whatever, you can push those changes from the desktop up to the main repository.
Of course, just because you _can_ do that doesn't make it good engineering practice. Version control systems like git are just tools - they don't force you to use them sensibly.
I'm dealing with spam and many many other bots all the bloody time. Let him sit and stew in prison and think about this crimes.
I'm in the 1 in 10 too ...
I've been writing to IR regularly over the last two years to try to get them to accept that I've moved house. They are still sending letters to my old house (luckily the current occupant kindly forwards them on to me). Last one was received there in Nov 2008, 26 months after I moved.
John Zorn's Torture Garden?
I wonder if this twaddle affects covers of published records, such as John Zorn's Torture Garden (mild cover shot here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture_Garden_(album) -- the interior record artwork I'll leave the less sensitive reader to google). As far as I know you can buy this record at such purveyors of extreme porn as amazon.co.uk.
Re: "legitimate reason"
To Graham above who says that you're OK if ...
(a) that the person had a legitimate reason for being in possession of the image concerned;
Presumably a "legitimate reason" is I downloaded it off the internet. An "illegitimate reason" would be that aliens from the planet Zog beamed it onto my hard-drive?
RPM not hell
Please can people who last tried Red Hat Linux in 1996 stop commenting on "RPM hell" now.
RPM is a fine packaging system, and YUM is a dependency manager, like dpkg compared to apt. Do we talk about "dpkg hell"? No because Debian and Ubuntu use APT, and Fedora uses YUM.
I, for a living, have built both dpkg packages and RPMs, and I can tell you that RPM is my preferred system from a technical point of view. The single spec file, proper parser and automatic dependency resolution makes it a much more sane choice than the "big collection of random shell scripts" that is dpkg.
YUM vs APT is a worthwhile argument. APT is faster and uses much less memory. YUM has made great improvements and has a much saner repository scheme (createrepo rocks).
The gravestone should read "RPM hell".
ISPs could do a bit more
I've been doing a lot more to track down and report IP addresses which add comment spam to various websites I run recently. The spam has advertised everything from pills of every imaginable sort, child porn, legal porn, fake bank sites, ... You name it, it's there. From the full logs that I keep it has been easy to trace the extent of each botnet, and even the relationships between parts of the botnets (the bits that look for new links, the IPs that post, etc.)
I've been reporting IPs, in particular back to UK and US ISPs who obviously have users with compromised machines.
I have yet to receive a single reply, nor has any single IP been stopped.
Close down the botnets, you could go a long way to closing down the criminality.
(Bill Gates, obviously, since he's got to take a lot of the blame for putting out the shoddy software in the first place)
What passes for education these days?
I do genuinely wonder if she's heard of the Stasi, East Germany, and repressive regimes in other countries.
You were compiling a closed source program? Yeah right ...
From my Fedora machine, I just select one of 3,000 applications from the menu, wait a few seconds, and it's installed. They're all open source apps, integrated properly into the system.
"It is also required of the UK under a European directive, ..."
That's a nice bit of double-talk from the Home Office. That would of course be the very same EU Directive that the UK government itself laundered through the undemocratic European Commission after failing to get it through Parliament the first time. More links about this here:
Missing the point here
Not quite the PRS, but certainly radio stations in the US & UK pay a fixed fee to play any music. Which is exactly the model that would work for the internet (and sites like OiNK) if only the music industry wasn't intent on committing suicide.
Red Hat already has a storage API
"It all sounds pretty thorough and impressive and raises the bar yet again for VMware competitors Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun and Virtual Iron."
Red Hat already have a virtualization storage API through libvirt (http://libvirt.org/storage.html) It is being used by Sun and VirtualIron too.
Unfortunately running Windows
What you've neglected to mention is the mobile Windows nonsense running on these machines is the most unreliable p-o-c around. The hardware can work great, but when you have to reboot the thing every day and things just mysteriously cease working (as happened to my boss's XDA on countless occasions) you understand why the iPhone2 might actually be a success.
Gates as the devil for, erm, obvious reasons ...
For businesses who need to write some software, but that software isn't a key competitive advantage for them, it makes perfect sense to open source. There's no 'warm and fuzzy' about this - the business gets a big advantage because the software is maintained and enhanced for them, and the business gets these benefits for free or for only a very minimal cost.
Jim Whitehurst's example was Red Hat MRG, originally developed by JP Morgan, and open sourced. Now JP Morgan is not some sort of hippy-dippy peace and love outfit. They did it for very practical financial reasons, and now have the benefit of getting back a supported, open source product (Red Hat MRG) which has been developed (outside JP) to the point where it's better and faster than the proprietary competition. And it's only going to get better in future. And JP Morgan get to use all that innovation for nothing.
The EU directive was 'policy laundered' (look it up in Google). After being initially rejected by the UK parliament, the government pushed it through the European Commission.
So this "law" is completely & deliberately anti-democratic. In a just world the politicians and lobbyists responsible for doing this would go to prison.
I gather you have to take your outer garments (coats etc) off for this thing to work.
So the X-rays get through your clothes and underwear but apparently not through your skin, even though if a person was wearing leather trousers (as an example) it would presumably see through them, yet leather (cow's skin) is thicker than human skin.
Something doesn't add up here ...
It's not like Facebook is some sort of original invention anyway.
Mixi (http://mixi.jp/) started at about the same time in Japan, early 2004, and it's the same as Facebook -- in fact better and much less annoying. It's unlikely that each site knew about the other, not least because Mixi is completely in Japanese and requires that you negotiate a set of incomprehensible forms before you can even view the site.
Livejournal predates both by five years (started in 1999 according to Wikipedia). It has the same essential features -- blogs, lists of friends, photos, etc.
> I've installed Red hat and Ubuntu and them working - but I resent having to spend 2 hours hacking at files to get the mouse to work correctly before I could do anything like installing an app that any user could use. And USB support? Jay-zuz.
[rest of nonsensical rant deleted]
Sorry I'm going to call you out here "BigYin". You are either just a plain liar or you are referring to a version of Linux from at least 13 years ago, because 13 years ago (1995) was the last time I had to hack at any files to get the mouse to work, and Linux has had excellent USB support for a larger variety of devices than Windows for at least 5 years.
This is good news for us penguinistas. We get to watch while MS mismanage Yahoo and its FreeBSD-/Perl-/free software-loving employees into the ground, and at the same time MS lose $44bn from their cash pile. I really hope the EU don't oppose this one.
In reply to the previous comment about DNA:
The problem with DNA is not so much being able to obtain a specific person's sample, which is somewhat hard, or at least takes effort. The problem is that you can get a random person's DNA and frame them.
As an example, if you're a burglar or other career criminal a smart thing to do would be to go to a bus-stop in a dodgier area of town and pick up cigarette butts. There is now a high probability that these butts will have DNA from the DNA database (30% of all black men, more criminals are smokers, etc.) so you just need to leave a butt at the scene of each crime. At the very least this will throw off the police for a while. At best it will mean the wrong guy gets convicted if he is unlucky enough not to have an alibi (DNA never lies).
The risks of this attack increase as more people are added to the DNA database.
It's broadcast DRM free
"Just because someone's taken TV programmes and placed them on the Internet doesn't mean they should be free for everyone to pinch. DRM does sometimes have its place."
This is such a stupid argument. The BBC broadcasts these programmes, radiating them out across the country at the speed of light, DRM FREE. Literally, every water molecule in your body is vibrating with DRM free BBC programmes right this minute and every minute of the day. So how come a few fibre-optic cables and DSL lines carrying the internet are such a problem?
Anon Coward said: It seems to me that this process lacks accountability and therefore will be abused, a lot.
That is precisely the point. In the US all the threats and lawsuits have been expensive and a PR disaster. The BPI wants to avoid making the same mistake, and a system which is unaccountable, cheap and avoids any encounter with the legal system is ideal.
The best we can hope at the moment is that a few innocents will be disconnected and will sue someone back.
("New" Labour government colluding with private interests to push through quasi-laws without public oversight? Say it'd never happen ...)
I used C'n'B not so long ago to book an appointment for my wife. The online service didn't work so we phoned, got through to a nice lady who booked us a suitable appointment in no time. It all went really smoothly.
Later, turned up at the hospital at the appointed time, and they had no record of my wife or any appointment.
Oh well ...
Despite what you may have seen in the film "Amadeus", Mozart was not buried in a "pauper's grave" but was buried in a communal grave which was standard practice for everyone at the time:
And while he was perhaps not richer than Croesus like Paul McCartney, he was still famous and well-paid in commissions.
Paying for content
Anonymous coward asks:
"This then raises the question of how do we pay for content generation? Film and television production and music recording are expensive; if there are no revenues for the artists and producers, how will we get content?"
Well there are three ways this could go:
(1) Content could be supported entirely by advertising or product placement. This is how free-to-air radio & TV work now.
(2) Content could get very cheap to produce, because technology means you don't need expensive cameras and recording equipment. People make their own content. This is how Linux works now. Music is heading this way fast.
(3) We could levy a statutory fee on broadband connections, let everyone copy freely, and divvy up the fee according to what we measure as being the most popular works shared. This is how statutory licensing works right now for radio and certain types of public performance -- eg. in bars.
All of those a perfectly viable models. All of them are proven models, implemented in the real world today. None of them require anyone being made a criminal or having their network access cut off.