* Posts by Andrew Meredith

120 posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

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Facebook 'violates Euro data law' say Belgian data cops' researchers

Andrew Meredith

Ghostery

Excellent tool for blocking and managing cookies

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Boffins bothered by EU prez's proposed science funding cut

Andrew Meredith

Re: Where do I vote?

"The appointment of all Commissioners, including the President (Jean-Claude Juncker 2014-2019), is subject to the approval of the European Parliament. In office, they remain accountable to European Parliament, which has sole power to dismiss the Commission.

Directly elected by EU voters every 5 years, members of the European Parliament represent the people."

So, the short version is ... you don't. You need to rely on a bunch of self interested, mostly NeoLiberal politicians to get it right. What could possibly go wrong ?!

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Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

Andrew Meredith

NFC Unsafe

I remember reading about several different demonstration hacks against the NFC function on Droid phones. I don't remember if any of them involved the payment function, but if the assumed "security" of requiring close proximity to work is bogus, then I do wonder how safe these pay-by-bonk systems involving NFC really are.

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So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

Andrew Meredith

Re: I guess ... not many, but waaay more than "none"

I regularly get blocked from sites because my email address is "invalid".

- it ends in .org

- it has a 5 character word before .org, all alphas

- the username part is 6 characters, all alpha

- it has an MX record

- it has an SPF statement even

I take the approach that I don't want to do business with any organisation incompetent enough to block that as invalid.

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Microsoft cuts Facebook Messenger, Google Talk from Outlook.com

Andrew Meredith

"even though it can use XMMP."

That'll be XMPP then....

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SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Andrew Meredith

Racist

Whenever anyone starts talking any kind of politics these days, somebody gets called a racist.

Oxford English Dictionary:

Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different

race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

So .. how does one distinguish a "racially pure" Scott from a racially pure English person?

Right ... so stop calling each other racists for pities sake. It's a totally overused insult that is becoming denatured by misuse. Actual racism is insidious and degrading. Don't confuse the issue by calling someone discriminating against another of the same race, a racist.

That is all.

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France enacts law to block terror and child sexual abuse sites

Andrew Meredith

Re: So what will they be considering as "Terrorism"?

>>And how long will it be before that definition include anything that is critical of the current administration<<

In the UK, you are a trrst if you protest against government policy by means of an illegal act. Also, if you by get a bunch of vehicles together on the road, that can then at the discretion of a senior cop, be deemed an illegal gathering under the travellers and ravers laws. Now consider a biker demo where a bunch of motorbikes go in convoy to protest something and voila .. protesting bikers are trrsts !!

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Slurping air passengers' private details not great for privacy, concede EU data bods

Andrew Meredith

It's the Greenies !!

You know what, I don't reckon all this has anything to do with Trrrsts at all. It's a cynical plot by the Greens to make air travel so obnoxious, long winded and intrusive that nobody does it any more. Thus saving the planet from being over-run with carbon .. that most deadly of all toxins.

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Andrew Meredith

Re: Nothing to hide if you have done nothing wrong ?

>>Having a crap is not illegal, so why do toilets have doors ?<<

Pithy but spot on (have an upvote)

I have usually answered direct questions as to whether I have something to hide with a straight answer; yes, my privacy, don't you?

Kind of the same as yours but not as funny :-)

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Microsoft takes lid off .Net Common Language Runtime sauce

Andrew Meredith

Re: Copying Java 15 years too late

>>Versus a number of holes in .Net I can count on my hands<<

Now is this because .Net is perfect and contains no flaws .. or is it that only the NSA have been told about them yet?

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SUPERHANDS! Fossils of early human ancestors reveal a GRIPPING development

Andrew Meredith

Re: hand shandy

>>so perhaps tool use goes back a lot further than previously thought<<

I saw a prog on the goggle the other night saying that expertly worked flint had been found in layers significantly predating Homo S. They also stated that Homo Neanderthalensis was expert in tool making including flint knapping.

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Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

Andrew Meredith

Re: All this goes to prove that...

>>the European Commission."

An unelected quango who can ignore the requirements of the elected parliament?

What does that tell you, then?<<

It tells me that UKIP have a most excellent point. This socialist experiment called EU has failed and it has failed because its structure was fundamentally broken from the get go.

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Leaked doc: Europe's justice chiefs forming plans to cosy up to ISPs

Andrew Meredith

Re: When will it sink in?

>>There's a nice clearing near the river at Runnymede<<

have an upvote :-)

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China 'upgrades' Great Firewall. Oh SNAP! There goes VPN access

Andrew Meredith

>>Cough Cough openvpn tcp mode over port 443 (looks just like https) works every place ive been that has vpn blocking, its pretty easy to block ipsec or pptp.<<

Sorry .. tried that trick the last time my colleagues in China couldn't get through. That was blocked too.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

Andrew Meredith

Re: I am a UKIP member.

>>The party I belong to bears no resemblance to the party described by posters.<<

Quite right !!

Round my way, the party regulars are now mostly former LibDems with a smattering of ex-Cons and ex-Labs. Back in the bad old days, they were mostly ex-Cons but there was a major reshuffle a number of years ago and they all kind of disappeared into the woodwork.

I look at the characterizations thrown around by those that have chugged the anti-UKIP koolaid and then I look at the folks in the local party and I see two entirely different pictures. Bear in mind these are not just simply people who have been hoodwinked into voting UKIP, these are the people that stump round delivering leaflets; travel great distances to go to regional gatherings and policy meetings. These are the life-blood of UKIP and the ones who ultimately will be responsible for the formation, or at least approval of policies. They *are* UKIP.

>>Now how has that happened?<<

Oh that's an easy one. The political strategists who owe their seat on the gravy train to the EU and would do anything to keep their seat, had a good long thunk, and came up with a strategy. If you scream "RACIST" loud and often enough, it sticks. It is on a well know list of "Sticky" accusations; ones that don't really need too much justification, the accusation is enough. Once the label has started to adhere, others looking in from the outside will only see that and will feel reluctant to listen to anything they have to say for fear of the racist taint rubbing off on them as well. Furthermore they will justify their reluctance to have a sensible conversation on the subject on the "fact" that the party are racists; which just adds to the effect. ... recurse.

It has happened because of nasty, cynical social engineering by people with no interest in the well being of anyone except themselves.

The fact that a large number of people are falling for it, seemingly with gusto, is just very very disappointing.

[Edit: PS try http://www.ukip.org/ ]

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In the EU? Setting a 'retain that data' rule? Better comply with e-Privacy

Andrew Meredith

Re: Call me Dave responds "stuff you EU".

>>It's about the way the State can exercise even more totalitarian control over millions of people, without them realising they've been hoodwinked by their own leaders.<<

The thing that bothers me is they really do seem to think they've fooled us !

One of the 38 degrees lobbyists who was working on the old TTIP thingy mentioned that the MPs on the committee were trying to make out that 38 degrees had no right to be asking questions and that they should just go away and stop worrying their pretty little heads.

We did "Civics" at school, and that had a lot to say about the theories behind representative democracy .... and THIS IS NOT IT !!

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Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

Re: Link?

>>though good luck if you find yourself trying to persuade a Kipper that the EU isn't attempting to steal our plucky British spectrum.<<

And yet another dollop of gratuitous UKIP bashing .. boooooorrring

Maybe you should watch a few of the YouTube vids of UKIP MEPs making the EU stand up and be accountable and taking them down when they are proved to be spouting rubbish.

have a down-vote for being a stereotype.

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UK.gov prompt payment promise is POPPYCOCK - NAO

Andrew Meredith

Not worth it

Having worked for a firm that dealt with the NHS and observed the chaotic way they behave wrt suppliers, and then started into the process of dealing with local government when I ran my own firm, I decided that the long invoice delays, the unbelievable levels of red tape and their propensity to change their minds every verse end about what you were even there to do; I concluded that it is simply too expensive to do business with the public sector if you are a firm anything smaller than several hundred.

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Euro Parliament: Time to rethink DRIP, other snoop laws

Andrew Meredith

>>One wonders if the sadistic teacher would have been selected as a commando if he didn't possess an intrinsic violent streak<<

Having been raised where I was, I know and have known a quite large number of commando and special forces folks. *None* of them were violent nut jobs. In order to do what they did, they needed the sort of sanguine calm demeanour you describe for the submariner. I guess your old teacher was the exception.

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Latest NORKS Linux and Android distros leak

Andrew Meredith

Re: unfiltered access

"How is this unfiltered?"

A filter would stop stuff that broke the rules, whereas a proxy just gives the NORK thought police a heads up as to what you are doing.

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NHS refused to pull 'unfit for purpose' Care.data leaflet

Andrew Meredith

Re: @Terry 6: "must try harder"

>>Great Britain is a weird land: people protested long and loudly at the very idea of Identity cards, even simple, basic ones, while being quite happy to use passports, copies of bank statements and utility bills to provide the proof of identity needed for banking, car hire or just to buy a drink or cigarettes. They tolerate the greatest density of private and state cameras and officials filming them with wearable cameras, while the same people object to the public filming them or their buildings and transport.<<

Being from that strange place we call "foreign" you probably don't know the detail behind the massive information land-grab euphemistically called "The UK ID Card".

First off, it wasn't actually the card that was being objected to for the most part, it was the database behind it. If the cards were optional and stand alone (like in many countries) then they probably would have been able to jam it through. However, it was tending towards mandatory and could easily have become de-facto mandatory given its intended usage; and the database was .. well .. just obscene from a security point of view.

Second it was punted as a "Gold Standard" identification document, but still only used the same 'leccy bill and birth certificate type proofs as its basis. This would mean that once someone had managed to subvert your card/database entry, THEY WERE OFFICIALLY YOU ! You couldn't even prove that you were you sufficient to be able to start the conversation about the fact your identity had been stolen as it wouldn't be *your* identity any more. That's what Gold Standard means.

FarceBake, Nectar Cards etc etc are all optional, temporary and opt-in. Yes I give Morrisburies information every time I swipe their loyalty card; but if I don't want to for some reason, I don't have to.

As for not objecting to the lunatic levels of physical and electronic surveillance we are subjected to ...... You do *read* El-Reg don't you ??! ;-)

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Andrew Meredith

Harmony my arm

So if we in the UK are down at the mucky end of the commercial stick (viz baccy tax etc) then we have to just put up with it and get ripped off. However, when we finally get a break under EU diktats, we ..... don't.

Single market huh .... Harmonisation my fat hairy arm !!

The sooner we get ourselves untangled from this ugly EU monster the better we will all be.

That is all.

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles

Andrew Meredith

Re: I feel that I must defend Linux here.

I call "Troll"

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Firms will have to report OWN diverted profits under 'Google Tax' law

Andrew Meredith

Re: It is only a draft law

"Blindly taking more and more while providing less and less will definitely make the companies look elsewhere and it is us who will lose the jobs, the tax money and the other benefits of each company."

In Google's case the issue is that their sales to UK firms are being dressed up as IE sales and taxed in IE at the lower rate. In order to take their bat and ball and walk they'd have to stop selling to UK firms. Not sure even the most spiteful of firms would actually close their doors to a lucrative market just so they could cock a snoot at the tax authorities.

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Turnbull: Box-huggers are holding back cloud

Andrew Meredith

Box Hugger

"Box Hugger" ??!

Well he's certainly good with the pejorative spins eh?

So a Box Hugger is someone that wants to be able to keep their crown jewels under lock and key on their own kit in their own premises. You spin that whichever way you like buddy, but the sum total as far as I'm concerned is that these "Box Huggers" are very sensible people.

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

Andrew Meredith

Re: Hope they win.@raving angry loony

Aaaah .. a Douglas Adams quote ... have an upvote !

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Andrew Meredith

Re: Leviticus is God's gift to Atheists

Smote is the past tense squire ... You're off to Smite them ;-)

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Australian Government funds effort to secure wearable data pulses

Andrew Meredith

Insurance => Payment Club

Once the medical insurers have our wearables, our DNA and all the other bits of info they are slavering over at the moment, their product will entirely cease to be insurance. It will have far more in common with the supermarket savings clubs, where you pay an amount each week into their scheme, then come Christmas, you get it back.

If they have calculated the actual cost of the patient accurately, then the insured is probably better off putting the amount they are paying in insurance into a high interest account. The insurance company calculated the amount they would need to pay out for this patient, then they added their costs and thair profit to the top. If the formerly insured saves this money, they won't need to fund the company or its shareholders, plus they'll get interest on the capital. If the insurance company have done their sums right, the insured gets a better deal by ignoring medical insurance completely.

The insurance companies should simply not be allowed to do this. Their business is risk, but they want to turn it into a simple savings scheme. Nobody benefits.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Andrew Meredith

Re: You don't know how lucky you are

What the holy Grud have you got against Neanderthals !!??

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Andrew Meredith

Re: Douglas was definitely right about a lot of things.

Apposite D.A. quote ... have an upvote :-)

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UK.gov quietly slips extra cash to AUTO ROBOTICA bods

Andrew Meredith

A loooong way to go

Even if I believed that the technology is sufficiently advanced to make this concept even slightly feasible .. which I don't .. the law is and common practice is so very far out from where it would need to be. This same topic was discussed on one of the IET forums and the number of legal and practical issues aired was staggering. Some from those quite close to the subject. The number of accidents on UK roads has been in a steady decline for decades now. Citing "Road Safety" as a reason to deploy this technology is at best disingenuous.

For a start, the first "Driverless Vehicles" aren't. You have a normal driving seat with all the usual controls, and a kind of "Cruise Control on Steroids" button. However, if the autodrive decides that try as it might it can't see a way out of this situation, it just dumps control back to the hapless driver. All this means is that the driver who has been musing to the radio, is all of sudden dropped back to reality with a situation the automation can't resolve and a split second to resolve it in. Sounds like the very definition of "Set up to Fail". Oh and as the driver was legally in control, it's their fault when they plough into the other vehicle/pedestrian/nuclear power station. The driver-bot is figuratively looking at the sky and whistling innocently.

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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

Andrew Meredith

Re: "suggest they break up the European union first"

"Which, of course, is naturally worse than 1000 years of the same, plus murder, rape, incest, pedophilia, war, more war, pointless war, religious war, the burning of witches, crusades, and hounding homosexuals to suicide. Oh, and the publicly stated desire to not be bound by the "shackles" of human rights."

Which was of course stopped solely by our mates in Brussels. NATO had nothing to do with it, obviously.

How's that koolaid taste by the way?

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

Andrew Meredith

Re: Or - STOP PRESS!!!

"Furthermore, it is Plod's intention to change the UK legal system from one where everything is permitted, except that which is expressly prohibited into one in which everything is prohibited, except that which is expressly permitted."

So switch the UK from our post Magna Carta "Common Law" system to something like the EU's Napoleonic "Civil Law" system.

Erm .. bit late on that one, it's been happening for years !

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HALF A BILLION TERRORISTS: WhatsApp encrypts ALL its worldwide jabber

Andrew Meredith

Re: Government...

"Email is probably the worst offender, being based on ancient clear-text protocols"

Actually if you employ opportunistic encryption for outgoing connections from the SMTP server, mandate TLS for mail clients for sending and POP3S or (preferably) IMAPS then email is as good as anything else.

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

Andrew Meredith

Re: WILL THIS BE BRIANS LEGACY?

Frankly anyone that can make STEM accessible to "Da Kidz" is fine by me. I think he does a grand job although he does get called "Professor Boy Band" in our house :-)

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World leaders rubber-stamp tax recoup effort at G20 gabfest

Andrew Meredith

Re: Oh dear

Oh look, some off topic UKIP bashing ..... yawn

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Big shadowy orgs should stop scooping up everyone's personal info – say Google, Facebook

Andrew Meredith

At least on Droid it tells you .. on iShiny it just gets on and does it.

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Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority

Andrew Meredith

Re: cacert says hi

CACert is all well and very good, but their root CA certificate is not included in the majority of browsers, so you are almost as well sorting yourself out a self signed root CA certificate and then signing your own host and email certs.

NB this is not the same as a self signed certs, your root signs your host/email cert. All root certificates are self signed ... if they weren't they would not, by definition, be root certs.

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NHS XP patch scratch leaves patient records wide open to HACKERS

Andrew Meredith

Re: How many...

I wonder if anyone did the maths to calculate the costs to migrate to WIn 7 including hardware upgrades vs. migration to Linux which would likely not involve uprated hardware. The cost of the hardware versus the skills update to Linux, then lose forever the cost of licensing Windows.

I know many people have a religious affection for Windows, but in many cases the hard headed financial calculation *should* make it a no-brainer these days; after all whole cities have switched wholesale to Linux and open source. Seems to me that if a whole city can do it.......

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Luxembourg: Engine-room of the tax-break economy

Andrew Meredith

Re: Luxembourg

Actually not even that big a city !!

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Coinbase launches in Europe - but who's its mystery bank partner?

Andrew Meredith

Tit for tat

The article states that merchants cashing in their Bitcoin exerts a downward pressure. However, surely there is a roughly equivalent number of customers buying the Bitcoin that they use to pay the merchants in the first place, so it should even out shouldn't it?

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Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

Andrew Meredith

A toolkit to build an OS

A famous person famously quipped that Unix isn't an operating system, it is a toolkit to build one of your own. This also applies to Linux. You can make it so that the user has absolutely stuff all control over the machine they're sat at, or can do anything they like. You can do this in such as way as those two examples are sat next to each other; and it's not that hard either.

I have long thought that the only reason people don't use Linux on the desktop more today is simply that more people don't so the rest see that and also don't, and recurse.

For my part I have been using a Linux desktop/laptop for about 15 years now and whenever I have to use a Win box for a bit, I miss it like crazy.

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Doctors urged to adopt default opt-out approach to care.data scheme

Andrew Meredith

Expectation of Privacy

"If privacy is your priority, pay for private healthcare and it's all yours"

The words "Private" and "Privacy" are not equivalent. One does not infer the other in case this was a simple case of lexical confusion .... but I doubt it.

This looks more like, as the previous commentator says, a case of vested interest. If you have no particular wish to keep your medical records private then bully for you. The rest of us do. As for your inference that because the state pays for the NHS then it is inherently public. Maybe this is another lexical confusion. Just because the NHS is paid out of the public purse, doesn't mean that all confidential information they hold is therefore public.

And as for the unbelievable statement "And if you don't like the government, vote for another one!" .. well .. I have no words.

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Oz trade minister RUBBISHES TPP fears

Andrew Meredith

If it's any consolation...

... we in the UK are fighting a comparable threat in the form of TTIP. It has all the same components as the TPP and the same underhanded regime of secret negotiations. It still beggars belief that the politicians even suspect that this *might* be good for their countries, rather than their corporate "Sponsors".

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Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

Andrew Meredith

Re: The other side of this

---

"However it does mean that, hypothetically, a UK NCA bod could ask an FBI bod to hack into a UK system; if they find something the UK bod can then apply for a UK warrant to get the data officially."

i bet you $1 that if that is still hypothetical, it wont be for long

---

Isn't that what has been going on for decades anyway with the 5 eyes bods. Menwith Hill in Yorkshire is, I am told, sovereign US territory and is supposedly plugged into some big fat UK pipes. If the US operators find something useful, allegedly the UK spooks find out about it. As I am lead to believe there is a plot of land in Maryland that is forever England as well.

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Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

Andrew Meredith

"Home taping is killing live music"

Anyone remember that one? Back when we all wired our cassette recorders to the radios for Top of the Pops ?

Well it obviously didn't and what's more it was later shown that those acts that were taped and shared more, sold more records, by quite a margin. In fact a number of bands I went to see around that time were giving away blank tapes with the album art on them for us to tape on and give to friends. One explained that they couldn't record the album on themselves as that would break their deal with the record company.

When you stand back from all this it does actually make perfect sense. If I hadn't have heard my mate's copy of "<insert debut single of now well known band>" then I wouldn't have immediately gone out and bought a copy, plus a ticket to see them and stayed with that band for years afterwards.

"Piracy" is what they now call what used be simply "Social Marketing" ;-)

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Business expects data retention will hit their bottom lines: survey

Andrew Meredith

What is an ISP ?

For the purposes of this act, what qualifies you as an ISP?

Let's take a new-gen firm with most of the staff remote working. The firm may well supply email accounts, VPN access, website updating facilities etc etc. Does this make them an ISP ? They certainly have the email and web traffic going through their kit and unless the authorities are already doing some breaking in and snooping, that traffic will not get collected.

If the fact that it's a company and the users are all employees counts them out, how about a club or a not for profit firm using volunteers and supplying them with the same facilities?

In both these examples they "Provide" "Internet Services", so does that make them an "Internet Services Provider" for the purposes of the act.

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Not so ESXi? Open sourcery could help VMware win... virtually

Andrew Meredith

KVM just works

If you are into mass scale VM deployments and the use of HiTech disk technologies, then you can still use KVM, but as a previous commentator said, it's not very "enterprisey". However, if you are running maybe 100 or so VMs, the low levels command and control and the efficiency of the technology means it is a more than satisfactory answer to the VM question.

One day we'll be able to just plop OpenStack on top as an enterprise upgrade, but today it is a non-trivial exercise to get it set up and doing the good stuff. A simple single server install is relatively easy, but doesn't give you the mobility and data redundancy features you were probably looking for in doing this in the first place.

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Google on Gmail child abuse trawl: We're NOT looking for other crimes

Andrew Meredith

Do it yourself

The only thing I use my Goggle account for is as a username/password pair for the likes of Android Play.

A fairly simple Linux/Postfix/MailScanner/Dovecot/Apache setup with 4096 bit PKI; giving users a highly encrypted closed IMAPS/SMTPS email service, ensures that users messaging within the system can chat away to each other to their hearts content and send whatever they like to each other without let or hindrance.

If Google et al continue down the aforementioned low friction gradient, more and more criminal gangs are also going to do this sort of thing. Squirrel your machine away on a cloud service with filesystem encryption turned on .. maybe even set it up from an anonymous crypto-mail service and pay with bitcoin. The faster the authorities spin up better mousetraps, the more sophisticated the mice will become; leaving the rest of us, as mentioned above, under more and more scrutiny and almost certainly being picked up for lesser and lesser crimes.

One day they will have subjected us all to so much over-observation that it will be routine for the kind of measures I spoke of to be used to simply keep ones messaging private. Then the data taps will all dry up and the TLAs will be totally lost.

i would suggest that the big mistake here was not scanning the mails, which we all know happens with the free services, or even to report the scroat for kiddy fiddling, he had it coming; the big issue is that they told us it had happened. We then of course go off down the road of "What else are they scanning for" and this whole thread leaps into being.

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Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London

Andrew Meredith
Black Helicopters

Cashless society ... please no !!

All these comments about the fine details of the plan and the odd gotchas, and only one post about privacy. A documentary I watched recently just glibly mentioned the massive number of RIPA requests that TfL get, asking for travel history on people. And this wasn't just the big TLAs after the next Os.bin.La. They also included a massive number of requests from local authorities, and Grud alone knows what they were after.

We keep getting electronic cash mechanisms waved in our faces for a bit and then roundly stomped on by TPTB (anyone remember Mondex). The usual old saw is "Money Laundering", but I do wonder if there is more than a little pressure coming from the payment industry and from those that like to be able to find out what we're doing for very little cost.

When oh when we get something that is as anonymous as cash, but works like a card?

Maybe this will be Bitcoin ?

I do hope so

[Obligatory Black Chopper ;) ]

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