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* Posts by Richard

62 posts • joined 25 Jul 2007

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Fedora 11 leaps into filesystem unknown

Richard
Go

Fedora 11 / ext4

I've been using Fedora 11-Preview for about 3 weeks, which has an ext4 filesystem (encrypted). I've had no problems at all.

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Summary care records - you might die, but they never will

Richard
Stop

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?

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DNA database grows faster than forecast

Richard
Stop

Illegal

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.

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Red Hat patent app sparks open source lockdown fears

Richard
Go

Red Hat has a patent promise

... Shame nobody reads it before spreading FUD.

http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html

In it, Red Hat licenses patents to all open source projects.

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Coroners & Justice Bill chewed a new one by opposition

Richard
Thumb Down

Simple answer

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.

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ID and Passport Service brings in ad men

Richard
Unhappy

I want my money back

It is *my* money that they're spending on this nonsense ...

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Three months on, you still can't get off the DNA database

Richard
Unhappy

@Anonymous Coward

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.

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Richard
Thumb Down

Harm

<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.

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Red Hat cranks virtualization power play

Richard
Go

KVM

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.

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17in MacBook boasts bloody big battery

Richard
Jobs Halo

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!

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Open-sourcers get with the git

Richard
Happy

@confused

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.

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BOFH-loving botmaster wants life as security consultant

Richard
Flame

Rot ...

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.

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Infant calls cops to dad's dope plantation

Richard
Unhappy

Serious side

The serious side to this is that he'll get a large fine or go to prison and his kid will be taken away from him.

All because he was _gardening_.

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Internet to Obama: 'Pass the joint'

Richard
Happy

All good

The top 5 are all good suggestions that would greatly improve the US for its citizens. Maybe this "Web 2.0" thing works after all?

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HMRC gets it wrong on one in ten personal records

Richard
Thumb Down

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.

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Microsoft eyes metered-PC boondoggle

Richard
Flame

Software patents rule!

I'm glad Microsoft have patented this.

It will prevent others from doing it. And Microsoft might try out this idiotic scheme themselves.

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The Mac OS 10.5.6 update saga continues

Richard
Unhappy

Minimize button!

They broke the minimize button too:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1418381&tstart=-1

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Red Hat and Novell duke it out in real time

Richard
Linux

Red Hat did the work

What you neglect to mention is that Red Hat did the work and employ the developers, so if you want the best support, use Red Hat.

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UK.gov says extreme porn isn't illegal if you delete it...

Richard
Thumb Down

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.

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Richard
Paris Hilton

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?

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Rock-solid Fedora 10 brings salvation to Ubuntu weary

Richard
Dead Vulture

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".

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Booming cybercrime economy sucks in recruits

Richard
Gates Horns

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)

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Group Test: electronic book readers

Richard
Flame

Paperback

I can't help thinking this review would have been better if you'd compared the eBook readers to an actual book ...

I don't mean that flippantly either. Are we better than books yet? I suspect not.

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Das überdatabase: Inside Wacky Jacqui's motherbrain

Richard
Thumb Down

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.

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Linux at 17 - What Windows promised to be

Richard
Go

@BlueGreen

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.

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Home Office defends retaining comms data

Richard
Alert

EU Directive

"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:

http://www.privacyinternational.org/policylaundering

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No mile-high pr0n for Delta passengers

Richard
Coat

Inappropriates

If the cabin staff on Delta are anything like the ones on BA, I don't want them handling my inappropriate situations.

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Red Hat: Go support yourselves, Fedora users

Richard
Linux

@Rafael

There's been lots of updates for Fedora 8 since then.

Rawhide (F 10) is currently in a scheduled freeze before the beta release, which is why there aren't any updates for that.

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Cisco's dirty dozen fight IOS flaws

Richard
Coat

cisco.com

They should probably work on fixing http://cisco.com first.

Mine's the one with all the letter 'T's in the pocket.

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BitTorrent crackdown cops fail to pay music copyright fees

Richard
Pirate

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.

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VMware sets off another storage bomb

Richard
Alert

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.

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Saatchi to promote foreigners' ID cards

Richard
Unhappy

My wife ...

Since my wife isn't from an EU country, my wife & half the DNA of my children are now to be tagged.

http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html#C.Art8

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Apple, O2 to release PAYG iPhones this month

Richard
Stop

Online

When are they going to start selling them online?

"Walking" to a "shop" in a "high street" is all so very 1990.

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Red Hat scores empty patent pledge

Richard

Not a final decision

The patent troll can still challenge the USPTO decision.

Red Hat have got a license for all of the troll's patents, even ones acquired for the next five years.

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BT opens wallet to send fibre to the home

Richard
Coat

I'm sure the toothless watchdog will side with customers

... just like they bravely faced up to BT over LLU deadlines.

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The Top Ten 3G iPhone beaters

Richard
Gates Horns

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 ...

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Gordo's DNA database claims branded 'ridiculous'

Richard
Pirate

Lethal skunk

Well, according to Brown, there are lethal (ie. will KILL you) varieties of cannabis around. I think the Big Lie is just part of the propaganda nowadays.

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Red Hat chief calls for open source missionary work

Richard
Happy

@Solomon Grundy

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.

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Government orders data retention by ISPs

Richard

Policy laundering

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.

http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-496240

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'Virtual strip search' arrives at JFK and LAX

Richard
Thumb Down

Safe?

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 ...

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Harvard bitch seeks to strip Zuckerberg's Facebook trademark

Richard
Stop

Yawn

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.

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Red Hat scurries away from consumer desktop market

Richard
Flame

@BigYin

> 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.

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Microsoft to Yahoo!: Surrender or else

Richard
Linux

Good news

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.

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Get your German interior minister's fingerprint here

Richard
Alert

Re: DNA

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.

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Adobe to remove Photoshop pic pimping clause

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Steve Jobs rescues freetards from BBC iPlayer wilderness (for now)

Richard
Flame

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?

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Filesharers petition Downing Street on 'three strikes'

Richard
Thumb Down

Re: Proof

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 ...)

Rich.

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Healthcare at your fingertips - a Choose & Book roadtest

Richard

Another experience

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 ...

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Tiscali and BPI go to war over 'three strikes' payments

Richard
Flame

Mozart

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:

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/mozart/story/0,,1747041,00.html

And while he was perhaps not richer than Croesus like Paul McCartney, he was still famous and well-paid in commissions.

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Richard
Boffin

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.

Rich.

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