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* Posts by Andrew Meredith

88 posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

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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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GPs slam NHS England for poor publicity of data grab plan

Andrew Meredith

No clear information

@"Juillen 1"

As you are the self appointed shill for the medical industry, I have read your posts with interest. Several commentators have pointed out that there is a selection of official information out there that roundly contradicts each other. This is more than likely down to internal changes of plan that have not been followed through to the web pages documenting same.

This is a badly planned and executed mess. It does *not* inspire confidence in their running of the data after they have stolen it. I also note with some concern that you cannot get your data removed if you initially decided to trust them and then changed your mind. I thought the right of deletion for personal was enshrined in law ??! ..and you can't get a great deal more personal than this data.

If the bureaucrats at the NHS are getting all annoyed at the pesky patients mucking up their nice shiny plan, they can only look to themselves and their previous record.

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

Use your own DNS server

Whether Ubuntu comes with its own DNS or just dnsmasq matters not.. All mainstream general purpose Linux distros have the industry strength BIND DNS server as a stock component. Setting up your own caching DNS server is trivial.

If they choose to stop DNS traffic to anything except their own DNS servers, I would consider that a breach of their terms of service and would drop them immediately, not that I'm with BT. Given that they don't do that, the above would effectively bypass the filters completely, as currently explained. I would also suggest that this is actually easier to implement than a proxy. If properly done within a home network it would be completely transparent. Fire up the client; get the local DNS server in your DHCP. Surf at liberty.

Another upside over using the likes of OpenDNS is that a good chunk of the traffic (repeat requests that are resolved out of the cache) will be local to your LAN, or indeed on localhost if on the same machine as the DNS server, rather than going out over the WAN to the remote DNS server.

If this is really what they are doing, then it does seem a little weak. Any suitably geeky minor who can spend 10 minutes understanding how DNS works wrt the BT filters will be able to set up a local DNS server and totally bypass the filters and in all likelihood their parents, who now believe they have it covered. So it could be argued that it is actually worse than leaving it open and leaving the parents with the knowledge that they actually have to take responsibility for their own children .. Heaven Forfend !!!

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Oracle showers gold on OpenStack, dreams of open-source splashback

Andrew Meredith

Dashed

I had high hopes for OpenStack, but if the big O are now moving towards it ....

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

Andrew Meredith

Re: extremist (views)?

"""UKIP - I think those are the extremists the Tories are most afraid of."""

Love the irony here. The comments all bemoan the march of "The League of Liberal Fascists" ie those that will do good *to* you, whether you damned well like it or not. They know what's best for us, despite never having met us, and they will go to frightening length to smash their goodness down on our heads.

Now ask yourself where this malign influence is coming from and who is spewing new law at us at a rate totally unprecedented in the history of civilisation.

And it is UKIP who are the extremisms ??!!??!!

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Vietnam tightens noose on web freedoms with new decrees

Andrew Meredith

Watch this space

With stuff like “Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance” (Google it .. a classic 1984 style piece of literature) coming down the track, it seems the EU are learning their lesson well.

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What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

Andrew Meredith

Its the middleware

I've read the arguments a) Too many rubbish CS grads or b) All the junior jobs taken by outsourcers and in my humble, you're both wrong and both right. I have been both sides of the interview desk recently and the problem as I see it is actually lazy recruiting. Recruiting is and always has been hard. However, rather than seeing to this, one of THE most important aspects of running a business; managers try to outsource this problem as well. The number of times I have seen the requirement written by a supervisor for a new bod being morphed into something almost, but not entirely unlike the original specification by a succession of managers, HR types and recruiters. The supervisor is asked what the current bod, that is leaving, actually does. The supervisor lists the apps and languages used in the department. This list, down to the nearest patch level, becomes the laundry list of must haves that goes into the spec. The recruiters then do a pattern match, down to the nearest patch level, on their database and come up blank. The cry goes up ..."Skills shortage". So the spec is hawked around, and two sets of people reply. First you have the genuine possibilities. They haven't used the exact patch release, but they have used a similar product, in fact they wrote a bunch of a related product and have been in the general vicinity for years. You then have those that take the job spec and reword it into a CV. Guess which set matches on the pattern match run of new applicants. So the fakers get taken in for interview and when faced with actual questions and tests and such, of course bomb so hard they leave a dent. So the cry goes up "CS graduates are rubbish". On the flip side, those that could have done the job and got pushed off the bottom of the short list by the fakers, are mystified as to why they didn't even get a reply and the cry goes up "Massive unemployment amongst IT folks". I know this is all generalisations, but I have seen pretty much exactly the above on all too many occasions. We don't actually need very much different in the way of fundamental skills now than 20 years ago. Sure the versions and products have changed. There are new techniques and tools. However, the basic skills and the fundamental engineering practices have not changed sufficiently to render the existing experience unusable. Oh and finally, when DID it become a sin to actually train your technical staff?

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Crypto protocols mostly crocked says euro infosec think-tank ENISA

Andrew Meredith

Opportunistic Encryption

"That's the bit that has not had serious development over the years, which might explain why we use a few of them (like SSL) and have them handle the grunt work.

Except there does not really seem to be one for email..."

Actually, SMTP has a mechanism called opportunistic encryption. The sending server checks the features declared by the EHLO response, and if it sees STARTTLS in the list it does the necessary. While this doesn't encrypt the mail itself wrt the end user, and if there are multiple hops, all would need to be encrypted; for the most part if two organisations run their own mail servers, and they both allow this mechanism, the only publicly visible step of the transmission is encrypted. Those using the likes of googlemail or one of the usual mail hosting companies, don't get a look in of course. This is one of the many benefits of hosting your own internet services.

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NHS preps spammy mailshots advertising 'BIGGEST medical data grab in HISTORY'

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

I will opting out...

YET AGAIN !

Did they not believe me the first time round then ??!

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Dev delays push ship date of Metro-ized Firefox to January 2014

Andrew Meredith

Hold on .. isn't that illegal

The article says "Microsoft has steadfastly refused to give outside developers access to the resources they need to build a functioning browser for [ARM-based Windows RT OS]"

Surely this must break the "anti-gangster" rules they've already been convicted of breaking .. twice now isn't it?

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Steelie Neelie eyeballs ENCRYPTION PLAN for telco data breaches

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

Hack in higher up

All this stuff about encrypted databases is all very well, but IMHO is looking at the wrong issue. If the assailant gains access to the application that is accessing the data, ie the layer above the database processes, then they will be able to read the database through the normal channels and will pass straight through the encryption transparently as would an authorised operator. The encryption, or indeed lack thereof is, in that case, completely irrelevant.

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GPs blow whistle to watchdog on patient record privacy threat

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

So, do we get to opt out of this one too?

I have already had to fill in 2 or 3 separate forms to opt out of having my medical data on "The Spine"; apparently one was not enough, they needed to hear it from me a bunch of times before they believed me. Are we now saying I have another bunch of opt-outs to sign to get out of this one as well ... despite making my wishes on the subject of my primary care data known to my GP .. up close, in person and in very understandable words.

At what point to they start to *Get It" ?

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Sheer weight of Brits' interest knackers new tax tool

Andrew Meredith
Thumb Up

Re: Available on Android and iPhone

> *Another* illustration of how Windows Phones is dead.

I thought that as soon as I read the article as well. Given the depth MS is in bed with gov.uk PLC; the fact that they are not supporting Mobile WIndows is a major slap in the face to Redmond.

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Microsoft unveils Windows 8 'release preview' for June

Andrew Meredith
Stop

Change is for the profit margin

One thing to note here, the proprietary software industry's moto should genuinely be "Change or die". They *have* to change their stuff every now and then in order to make people buy a new copy, or an upgrade and buy new books and training courses. If they just did minor bugfixes on the same old stuff the whole time, they would go bust. They need the cash from the updates.

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'Porn lock' heralds death of WikiLeaks, internet, democracy, universe

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

Smoking Ban ?

> That's more or less what the pub industry and others

> said about the smoking ban. Didn't work then...

So therefore the government stepped in and slammed down a totally over the top, one sided brick of a bill. Step two, we find out that yes, the majority of people who go to pubs to drink beer actually do like a cig with their pint. So they have to either stand outside in the freezing rain, or stay home with their mates and a slab of sub-tax-priced tinnies from Safeburys. And so the pub trade starts a death spiral that is seeing more pubs shut per month than we have ever seen before, through any recession, ever.

So that worked really well didn't it.

turns out the market had been doing the balancing ok all along. The promised hordes of non-smokers who were supposedly put off from going to the pub by the pong simply didn't exist. We now see what the publicans knew all along; if you ban smoking in pubs, they will empty and go out of business. Tadaaa!

You either trust the market to do the job or you make up the truth for yourself based on party dogma .. choose.

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Andrew Meredith
Thumb Down

Nothing new

> I know lib dem bashing is the new sport but can I put up a bit of a defence

Not for people round here it isn't. It's LD vs Con in our constituency, which under the old boundary fell mostly to the Con vote. Labour comes 4th to UKIP most times. However, we now have a LD MP who is the ultimate in political glyphs. He supports exactly what everyone around him supports wherever he happens to be. Put him in a bunch of cannibals and I would be unsurprised if he just chowed down with the rest of them. He looks the very image of a stereotypical modern politician. I wouldn't trust him if he said the earth went round the sun.

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New GM worms mean large scale spider-silk production

Andrew Meredith
Thumb Up

Self limiting

: they make sure these things can't survive in the wild. We've made enough

: errors with that as is.

I think the concept might well be internally self limiting. If the silk is that much stronger, as mentioned above, the adult won't be able to get out of the cocoon :-)

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Nandos 'village bike' ad not sexist, rules ASA

Andrew Meredith
FAIL

White^H^H^H^H^HGirl Power !

"Really? I know loads of women with children who also have successful careers. What is nigh-on impossible is for a man to stay at home and look after his children. Women get statutory maternity leave. Men do not."

Now try taking the little'un to baby groups. Once or twice and you're an interesting novelty. "Oh it's so nice you got the time off. It's so rare that we see the fathers caring for their children" (complete with subtextual pat on the head)

However, if you are the primary carer and dare to bring them along regularly, you will be horrified by the reaction you get. Womens libers as were, have now shifted right and become Female Supremacists. They no longer want equality, they want to rule want they see as their domain and resist any intruders with some quite nasty tactics at times.

... and yes, this *is* first hand experience.

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Bangladesh cuts off Facebook

Andrew Meredith
Flame

Not quite the point

"So if I believe in God and an afterlife and you don't, surely we can agree to disagree and have sensible discussions (if people want that) about our faiths rather than throwing insults and seeking to hurt (physically and/or emotionally) each other. After all, I wouldn't insult your mother because I didn't like that you appeared to love her very much." - Small Mind

Your strand of quiet, personal faith is, I am afraid, on the wane at the moment.

The 21st century is suffering from the "let them express themselves, yaah" approach to child discipline that has left the new (and not so new) young adults convinced that their own needs and wants are paramount and that they are among the most important people on the planet. This seems to have brought out a new breed of utterly convinced religious loonies that don't just want to practice their particular beliefs in the privacy of their own homes, or Churches/Synagogues/Mosques/Hollowed out trees, but feel compelled to try and impose their laws and morals on everyone else.

I do not suffer preachers gladly, so I have gone toe to toe with some of these people. The first thing you have to understand is that they are "Right" and any gainsaying of this position is blasphemy and I should be locked up. When you look at what you said through this lens, you might be able to understand why the agnostic/atheist majority get a bit p***ed off with "Sky Fairy Worshippers" dictating morals, laws and even national foreign policy.

As for "After all, I wouldn't insult your mother because I didn't like that you appeared to love her very much." ... sorry, that doesn't wash. I have talked to, photographed and hugged my Mother, pretty recently, so I am (existentialism notwithstanding) pretty convinced that she exists. I have less proof than that about any God, monotheistic or otherwise.

People don't get fired up because you appear to love your God. They get fired up when you use that love to justify impinging on their lives. Just because your faith gets all nervous in the presence of the female form is no justification for viciously hounding a young non-muslim girl in Bradford for not wearing a full-body-mask. It is this sort of thing that makes the usually tolerant British Atheist Majority angry.

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Sadsack EU regulator relegated to Latvia

Andrew Meredith
Thumb Up

So we are agreed....

....The relocation to Riga was more inn the spirit of a consolation prize for the loss of an empire, than a punishment. If those ladies on the parade are anything to go by, the EU can console me any time they like :-)

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Jacqui drops central snooping database

Andrew Meredith
Stop

My one and only question

Will the people who want to access this data be required to request a proper warrant, be required to present compelling reasons for the need, face the risk of being turned down and be limited to the scope of the warrant?

As I understand it, they currently do need to present at least something official to the ISPs to get access to the stuff they currently hold. If the newly proposed system no longer requires this protection, then it is a major step backwards and opens the way for a system indistinguishable from the original "Mega database of everything" proposal. The difference between a live connection to the ISPs, open to return search requests on tap and storing the same info in a single mega-database is nothing more than semantics. In fact the former would probably lead to a quicker response times.

This is the same semantic nonsense that leads the Waquis of this world to claim with hand on heart that to say the National Identity Register will contain health, vehicular or financial information is dangerous rubbish. On the surface they are correct and that's all that matters of course. However, the actual, practical spin-off of having a single index number for everyone, is that they can then reliably fire off a query to the (now information shared) NHS, DVLA, HMRC (et al) databases and get the stuff that they're not storing locally, just as if they did.

They've wanted to arm twist the ISPs into snooping on their own customers for years. So they propose something utterly preposterous (mega-database) and allow the usual suspects (hi there ;) to whip up public concern about it. Then they take a half step back and expect everyone to breath a sigh of relief that they have only taken half a step forward this time, rather than gone the whole way in one step.

Is it just me getting cynical, or are they getting way too predictable these days?

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Michigan man jailed for humping car wash vacuum

Andrew Meredith
Stop

Erm

Actually no

I have no words :-)

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UK boffin: Social networking causes cancer, heart attacks, lupus, dementia...

Andrew Meredith
Happy

With baited breath

I saw roughly the same article on another web site and googled the author of the "Learned" paper. I put forward the point about causation vs correlation and also the question: How have you separated the people who didn't go out for whatever reason, and filled their time using Facebook while they were in; from the people who prefer to go on Facebook than leave the building.

No reply as yet ;-)

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BT profits crash

Andrew Meredith
Thumb Down

Splintered and arrogant

A friend of mine built himself a new house next door and has just moved into it.

He spoke to BT eons in advance of the move and explained what he wanted. It was fairly simple; he wanted to be able to move himself, his family, his stuff, his phone line and his ADSL (not BT) from one house to the other on the same day. The Indian on the end of the line said that would be no problem and took his details. Then all of a sudden, nothing whatsoever happened. Then it happened again. Despite much phoning and poking and pointed question asking, nothing continued to happen again and again .. but it happened so close together that you couldn't really tell when one stopped and the next nothing started.

Suffice to say he and therefore his business, has been off the net for coming up 3 weeks now while BT keep handing on the buck like a game of pass the parcel bomb.

Why are BT losing money? Because they are completely useless that's why.

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Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Andrew Meredith
Stop

Passport triggered car bomb

Step one

Borrow a taxi used in the airport run, replace the rear seat stuffing with semtex and fit a passport tuned RFID scanner set to trigger the detonator when a UK or US passport is on the seat. You don't even need to know who, just that the codes are of US or UK origin.

There is no step two, particularly for the hapless tourist.

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Private firm may run UK spy über-database

Andrew Meredith
Go

Onion Routing & Opportunistic Encryption

Check out Tor http://www.torproject.org/

The idea is to make your web request emerge from any one of a shedload of IP addresses to completely scramble the continuity. It's more than that but you get the idea.

As for email, if you set up your own self hosted mail server, arm it with a certificate and make sure you only communicate with others of similar setup, then the database can't see what you are doing. The mail doesn't pass through an ISP's mail servers and the data that does go through the ISP is encrypted. They can see it is on the right port for SMTPS but as for what's in it? Nada. I know that you cannot guarantee what everyone else is doing about their mail, but at least you won't be the one telling Jaqubooti all about yourself. They will at least have to piece your stuff together from the fragments that turn up in your less careful friends' ISP logs. It's not rocket science and it's not expensive. A great number of businesses already do this and have been doing so for years.

Texts? You're stuffed there I'm afraid. Sorry.

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Aussie protests over Great Firewall

Andrew Meredith
Unhappy

Now where do I go ??

For many years, up until a few years ago, Oz was my bolt hole of choice to emigrate away from the static prison ship the UK is being converted into. Canada is too cold. I can only speak English. South Africa is too dangerous. Please don't tell me my best option is to stay here, get the bar code tattooed on my forehead and have done with it ??!!

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Oz bill-dodgers nailed on Facebook

Andrew Meredith
Paris Hilton

Or you could ...

: By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 28th November 2008 00:21 GMT

: Alert

: ...the truly stupid of society.

: Wake up people, you need to protect your identity, not give it away

: to just anyone!!

Or you could take the approach that there is shedloads of data about you online already, NOT put there by you and more to the point not controlled by you. In my experience, a great deal of this 3rd party data is out of date and inaccurate.

I control the data I put up about me. If I make sure sure that it is accurate and up to date, then if someone does want to find out stuff about me, the bit I put up will at least be correct. If I am quite happy to tell something to a complete stranger I end up chatting to on a train, then I will put it on a social networking page. If not, I don't.

Managing your online footprint is not stupid. In fact, it could be argued that letting other people shape your online footprint for you is truly stupid. For myself, I choose to manage it myself but have no beef either way. It's all too soon to tell.

Paris 'cos she successfully managed her online appearance

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Europe takes aim at BBC licence fee

Andrew Meredith
Stop

Pot Kettle, Kettle Pot

So the EU, that centre of good practice, honesty, democracy, openness and stellar book keeping are going to investigate an organisation who's reputation worldwide, while having taken a few knocks recently, is still up there as being a straight and fair reporter of world events. I am told that there are still places that a gun or any other form of ID will get you shot or worse, but a BBC sign will get you the truth and a continued pulse. This is valuable to all of us and to be frank, 150 quid is not a great deal to pay. Try getting any other TV system for that.

Read my lips .. LEAVE THE BEEB ALONE !!

PS I was being sarcastic about the EU in case you hadn't worked it out.

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Orange ditches Phorm

Andrew Meredith
Thumb Up

Round of applause to Orange

No .. That's it thanks. Good on 'em.

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UK.gov plans 'consensus' on PAYG phone registry

Andrew Meredith
Go

For the Facebookers amongst us

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/132426

This is a Facebook "Cause" to promote the number10.gov petition to stop the "Communications Data Bill"

Join it and push it out to all your Facebook friends.

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UK.gov £12bn comms überdatabase 'wouldn't spot terrorists'

Andrew Meredith
Stop

Anybody ??

The assembled company seems to feel a little sceptical about the lovely Ms. Smith's latest wet dream. I have to confess I'm a little anti myself.

So .. Is there ANYONE out there who thinks this might be a good idea?

Oh and the rest of you, BE NICE ;-)

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El Reg tells you what the Highway Code can't

Andrew Meredith
IT Angle

Replace GATSOs with real Coppers !!

"Replace GATSOs with average speed checks

By Jel Mist

Posted Friday 18th July 2008 13:08 GMT

[...] but it makes me wonder what possible motive there is for objecting to speed cameras unless they cramp your style."

What winds many of us up is not the presence of the GATSOs, but the all but complete absence of any other form of automotive policing. It now seems that the only sin on the road is going faster than the (quite often) politically inspired arbitrary speed limits. It's almost the only road safety message that is being put out there. It's on the radio, the telly and even on the cinema!

You will now find people who genuinely feel they are doing society and their fellow motorists a big favour by plodding along at an average 35-40 MPH on perfectly clear and serviceable roads with posted 60 limits; but who are incandescent that they can no longer use their handheld mobiles while driving and who quite regularly drive home at 10:30 with several more than a couple of pints in them.

If the existence and placement of speed cameras was self evidently inspired by accident rates and road safety and not by catching people speeding on genuinely faster pieces of road ...

I understand that there is a speed limit. However, which is the more dangerous.

1 - Someone doing 80 on a 70 limit dual carriageway with nothing in front up to a clearly visible distance of a mile ahead in broad daylight on a clear dry day.

2 - Someone doing 45 MPH in the middle lane of a busy but not congested motorway, forcing 3 lanes of traffic into the outside lane and creating a several mile long tailback.

One is legal and one is dangerous and sadly they aren't the same one.

The laws are supposed to prevent dangerous behaviour, not become an end in themselves. Breaking road traffic law isn't in and of itself dangerous, they can only ever be an approximation and the politicos and safety nazis need to keep that one VERY clearly in mind.

IT: Because we need to get back out of the habit of jonesing for technological solutions to purely human problems.

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