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* Posts by Gareth Lowe

26 posts • joined 9 Feb 2007

EXPLODING GARBAGE TERROR hits Florida

Gareth Lowe
Grenade

Personal Injury Lawyers News

Personal Injury Lawyers News reports that he suffered no more than "cuts and scrapes" worth $20,000.

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Ofcom mulls popular number charge

Gareth Lowe
FAIL

I'm sure i'm not the only one

I'm sure i'm not the only one who only has a landline to get broadband.

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Grocery terminals slurped payment card data

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

tampering

Well there have been examples of chip and pin terminals having extra hardware fitted that intercepts the key presses before they get to the logic board and then send all the information off by GSM.

These terminals had the spy units fitted at either the chinese factory or on route, the only way to tell was to dismantle the new units or weigh them.

Could the scale of this issue be down to a similar operation?

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SanDisk launches Cruzer Blade USB thumblet drive

Gareth Lowe

Launched?

What? I've had one of these for months. 8GB, 13.49ukp.

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Neuroscientist: iPhone 4's 'Retina display' not bullsh*t

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

Visual acuity

Resolution is measured by displaying alternating black and white lines. The point at which you can no longer resolve the individual lines and see only grey is the resolution.

All these people saying "I can't see the pixels on my X" are either not doing the correct testing or have poor eyesight.

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DataSlide reinvents hard drive

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

Dismissive comments

Sure is a lot of dismissive comments in here; I guess it is easier than actually reading the article.

This isn't a drum, or a hard disk with multiple heads. It is an 8x8 array of heads shimmying about a static piece of magnetic recording medium.

The technology is the same as that of a hard disk - magnetic heads over a magnetic medium but the execution is a genius 'why didn't I think of that' step.

I'll be interested to see how this pans out.

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Wall Street Journal wants your micro-payments

Gareth Lowe

Mechanism not money

I think the major problem with a micropayment approach is the payment mechanism more than the money.

Sure the article cost needs to be low but if you have to enter all your credit card details just to read an article, most people won't bother.

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Apple eyes patent for web silence

Gareth Lowe

Vista

I love these people talking about how Vista already has already invented per application volume controls as if they weren't in BeOS 10 years ago.

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Sex crime 'lie detector' pilot could prompt wider use

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

Aldrich Ames

Aldrich Ames the Soviet mole in the CIA passed two polygraph tests while spying for the other side.

The CIA eventually had to call in the FBI who used real police work to quickly identify Ames as their chief suspect.

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NASA celebrates return of the Zeppelin

Gareth Lowe
Flame

Zeppelin

But can we cross the Atlantic in Art Deco luxury?

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Man cops to $1m phony bar code shoplifting scheme

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

Lego?

Was this the guy buying Lego by sticking barcodes of cheaper Lego sets on the bigger sets?

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Prof: 'Taser-proof vests put cops in danger'

Gareth Lowe

Workaround

So all Taser have to do is modify their spikes so they are insulated on all but the tip?

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Defrauded punter says 'catflaps' to PayPal marketing stunt

Gareth Lowe

Normal practice

While i have no doubt that PayPal's customer support was poor the simple fact remains:

If someone uses a credit card fraudulently it's the merchant who takes the loss. This is the same with all credit card handlers, it's something merchants have to take into account when they choose to enhance their business by accepting credit cards.

It seems that a lot of small internet retailers seem to assume that they get the same credit card protection as a seller as they do as a buyer.

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Berners-Lee backs web truthiness labelling scheme

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

I thought of this

I thought of this years ago. A proxy (or these days browser plugin) which could warn you that the website you were viewing contains bogus info and provide links to reliable content. I envisioned it for warning of hoax type scams rather than an all encompassing system.

The problem is that truth is often unknown or in dispute. Creationists would want pages on evolution marked as unreliable and visa versa, similarly some would want Scientology marked as dangerous while CoS would no doubt regard that as libellous.

Another alternative would be to subscribe to a list based on your prejudices, but this would reduce the possibility that a subscriber to one idea may be enlightened by another marked as unreliable.

You could also have a mechanism whereby alternative views are overlaid or available to readers of any website such that, for example, someone reading an ID site claiming that intelligent design is just as valid a theory as evolution could be made aware of why evolution is a a robust theory whose ideas can be scientifically tested whereas ID provides no such testable hypotheses.

Of course this would likely to lead to the same problem that already plagues the media - the idea that in order to be "balanced" you give equal weight to other views no matter how ridiculous.

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Upgrade drags Stealth Bomber IT systems into the 90s

Gareth Lowe
Boffin

So many clueless comments

"The B-2's flight-management computer, without which its unstable low-observable flying wing airframe cannot fly"

Everyone here (including the author) seems to be under the impression that the flight management system is what flies the aircraft.

It isn't - something that should be obvious to anyone with even a little knowledge about aircraft.

The flight management system automates previously tedious tasks like plotting and managing your route, how much fuel you need etc. Presumably it is being upgraded to make the B-2 more flexible in the modern, rapidly changing, battlefield. It doesn't matter what language you use to write it, as long as it is tested and gives the required level of availability. After all you can always turn it off and use pencil and paper.

The flight control system on the other hand does not need a performance upgrade, it already works and is already qualified. Nor would they ever dream of replacing a redundant flight control system with "a single board"

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Dogs reduce allergies in kids

Gareth Lowe

Data Dredge

"Significantly, children who had frequent contact with dogs but didn't have one at home lacked the same protective effect. The reason is unclear"

The reason isn't unclear to me. The reason for the difference is that there is no protective effect in the first place. This study is just a data dredge where they collect countless variables, some of which, purely by chance, appear to show some correlation.

Chances are if they ran this study again with a different set of children they would find dogs caused asthma or cheeseburgers did or something else totally random.

A few years ago two studies came out, in the same week, showing that cats both caused and prevented asthma.

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Revealed: USB 3.0 jacks and sockets

Gareth Lowe

but...

will it still be a load of crap?

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MI5, EPA clean up dirty bomb dirt

Gareth Lowe

re: Trimphones

Actually they have been rounding up Trimphones and disposing of the tritium. AEA do it at their Winfrith site.

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Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records

Gareth Lowe

Password Protected

Why does the knowledge that the discs were "password protected" fill me with dread rather than make me feel a little better?

Maybe it's because if the discs had the appropriate levels of strong encryption the government would have said so.

I bet it's just an eXcel spreadsheet with a password.

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Greenpeace admits iPhone 'compliant' with Euro chemicals rules

Gareth Lowe

Greenpeace

Greenpeace have a product and that product is anxiety.

They havn't randomly chosen Apple, they have singled them out so they can piggyback on their successful media presence. The fact that they basically found they had kept to their obligations and meet appropriate laws is irrelevant if they can spin it to further their own agenda.

If this was a story about, say, Samsung mobiles no one in the mainstream media would be interested.

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Tax man praised for owning up to lost laptop

Gareth Lowe

People

The problem is, as always, the people. If the high level encryption key is written on a post-it note stuck on the wrist rest it doesn't matter how many bits it is.

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Google gags Facebook code leaker

Gareth Lowe

@ Brent Gardner

"because someone hacked in and obtained it illegally, but how in the hell can you censor something that you openly served up to the world? At that point in which it is served up to any web browser that happens to visit the URL, I would take that as legally putting it in the public domain."

Just because something is posted on a public website doesn't make it public domain or free from copyright/IPR.

The Register publishes news stories on their website for the whole world to read but that doesn't mean you can take them and stick them on your website or otherwise reproduce them as you wish.

The people who got the code served up to them did nothing wrong, those that took it and treated it like their own are in breach of copyright and probably other things as well.

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UK ID card costs climb £600m in six months

Gareth Lowe

Burying bad news

The identity card act requires updated costs to be published every 6 months, by publishing these figures one month late (totally coincidently on the same day as one of the biggest stories of the year) the government are breaking the law.

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Seagate ships hardware-encrypted notebook drives

Gareth Lowe

New?

"Hardware-based encryption for notebook hard drive is new"

No it isn't. You have been able to get hardware encrypted flagstone hard drives for ages and they meet government certification for classified use which I doubt the Seagate one does.

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UN rebrands radiation

Gareth Lowe

Designed by Greenpeace

The green brand names must be loving this. Now radioactivity means only one thing:

Death! run for your lives!

Should make changing the battery in your smoke alarm an exciting experience.

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Belkin Easy Transfer Cable for Windows Vista

Gareth Lowe

Why not just use firewire?

like Mac users have been doing for years. Standard cable and supererior transfer rate to USBs "480 Mb/s" which is actually unachievable.

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