* Posts by PolicyWatcher

20 posts • joined 20 Nov 2007

Microsoft muzzles IE chief's 'native HTML' nonsense


Dragging & Pinning? Yeah, but,...

In implementing pinning and dragging of tabs between browsers in IE9, MS actually broke the normal "drag the favicon to the desktop/folder of your choice".

If you drag the favicon to a folder, it still creates a shortcut there as planned. Almost.

It also closes the tab in the current browser and reopens in a new browser instance, which is extremely unlikely to be what you wanted...

If your original browser was IE64, you might be mildly irritated that the new instance is IE32.

Oh - and about half the time, the newly opened page is the root page of the site you were visiting, not the page you were actually viewing.

And when you come to re-open the newly-created shortcut on the desktop/folder, you'll find that this, too, refers to the root of the site, and not the page you wanted.

Try opening http://www.pcworld.com/article/235228/activism_and_lulz_motivate_latest_rash_of_hacks.html#tk.hp_fv and dragging the favicon to the desktop and you'll see what I mean.

Bloody annoying, really. FF it is, then.

Stand by for more big, windfarm-driven 'leccy price rises


MPs warn on hidden nuclear subsidies



And of course...

We don't ever get big price increases in non-renewable energy now do we?

Praying for meltdown: The media and the nukes


Mind, there's also the other problem...

While indeed, much of the press has been guilty of a large amount of irresponsible scaremongering, it also has to be said that much of The Reg's coverage, particularly the "Just shut the fuck up and drink the tapwater" reporting of Lewis Page has been equally irresponsible in at all times claiming that all concern is WRONG, and trying, frankly, to spin the entire incident into some kind of advert for nuclear energy.

I can only assume that we will read shortly of Rik Myslewski's summary dismissal and ritual disembowelment for having dared to suggest that the plants may currently have been marginally outside their optimal on-going operational parameters - the one and only time that I've seen you report this incident in any way other than total dismissal of any risk.

I have no truck with those who have used this incident as an excuse for arguing for the end of nuclear power; I do have some sympathy with those who suggest that the industry needs some degree of kicking.

Let's face it - you build a nuclear power plant, on the coast, in a tectonically active area, facing a fault-line. It's a fair bet, therefore, that there will be some risk of Tsunami, and consequential flooding.

As such, the idea that the switchgear and controls for the pumping should be in the basement has to count as an extremely basic failure of simple risk assessment.

It's not hard to feel that whoever failed to specify at least one duplicate set ON THE ROOF, may have missed a fairly trivial trick or two - and yes, I do understand that such ideas are easier with the benefit of hindsight.

The nuclear industry however, is one with (despite the appearance that your coverage has seemed to seek) a number of risks that need to be properly managed, and as such, they are expected to deal with at least the fairly easy ones with a bit of foresight!

Now you may feel that your coverage is merely a counterbalance to some of the more alarmist reporting; sadly I disagree, feeling that you have actively cooperated with a defensive and embarrassed nuclear energy industry that has (as always) decided that attacking its critics and denying the reality of risk, is a better tactic than admitting its mistakes and learning from them.

Elop's choice: Microsoft and Nokia take a bruising

Gates Horns

"right up until the point where Microsoft's new phone platform bricked"

And of course, no other phone OS has EVER had update failures.

Oh wait.... silly me.... of course, I forgot the RULES.

Rule 1) Anything that goes wrong at MS is uniquely bad, and proof that the company can't possibly last much longer without killing itself and everyone who has ever dealt with them.

Rule 2) Anything that goes wrong at Google is merely a blip in their path to global domination of every market in the world except those that Apple wants.

Rule 3) Anything that goes wrong at Apple DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Content 'made available' in jurisdiction where server is located



Anyone want to think through the VAT implications of such a ruling?

Miliband retains Labour line on DNA and CCTV


"I want our party to reclaim that tradition."

Dear Ed.

Sadly, over the past decade, your party discarded its right to be mentioned in the same sentence as "civil liberties" unless those words were themselves preceded by the words "abuse of".

And New Labour's treatment of civil rights was not "casual" at all.

It became very clear that your party's treatment of civil rights was that they were at best an irrelevance and at worst a nuisance to be trampled over as the whims of government dictated.

Even after the election, leading NuLab authoritarians were speaking out in defence of ID cards and other such abuses.

And by speaking out on support for DNA in policing and the role of CCTV without also concentrating on the fact that both have been open to abuse and require greater public safeguards than your party has been prepared to countenance, you merely show that you yourself still haven't got it.

You want to "reclaim that tradition"?

Then your platform has to include as a minimum:

1) Remove from the DNA database all those people who are found innocent in court, or against whom no action is taken.

2) Stand up and publicly say that the ID card project was an attack on civil liberty, and that such projects within the Labour Party must not be tolerated - when you're in Government as well as in Opposition.

3) Start giving the ICO some real teeth against government departments that leak personal data, making named managers and ministers PERSONALLY liable for the loss.

4) Mandate a two-year period for all government departments to meet BS7799/ISO/IEC 27000, with automatic dismissal for the responsible managers and ministers if they fail.

5) Introduce proper legal sanction against officials who misuse personal data - "early retirement" is not a punishment.

6) Introduce legal sanction against superiors who fail to take action when personal data is misused or lost.

7) Mandate that all personal data held by government is accessible only against a specified business case, and get the system designs changed to enforce this.

8) Make a rule that the data of celebs and MPs must be held in the same systems as those of the public at large - that way you'll have some incentive to give the public's data some proper protection.

9) Add a system of damages so that when government data is lost, compromised or misused, you don't just sit there behind crown privilege going "tough".

10) Banning of biometric systems in children for trivial purposes, such as school libraries. These systems serve no real purpose except to "soften the children up" for universal biometrics later.

11) Institute actual disciplinary procedings against police officers who harrass photographers taking innocent pictures in public places.

12) Where a demonstration is scheduled or violence expected, CCTV cameras must be checked in advance to be working. And in event of violence, evidence from all publicly-owned CCTV cameras in the area is to be collected and safeguarded by the IPCC - and copies released both to the police and the lawysers of anyone subsequently bringing a claim against the police.

Do all of those - and heck, you're trying to be a government - why don't you actually try thinking up some protections for the public's data and rights for a change instead of just doing the "we take this very seriously" act - which most of the public now understand to mean "we will do bugger all unless we are forced".

Yes, do all of those, and more, and you might stand a chance of being able to pontificate about your party's place in civil liberties on some basis other than a sick joke.

Database state breached 11 times


Gawd - any tyrant's wet-dream...

Catch 'em while they're young and condition them that social interaction requires Government authentication...

This Government's "respect" for privacy long ago ceased to be anything other than a VERY, VERY sick joke.

Last time a labour canvasser came round to ask whether she could count on my support, I asked her in all seriousness, whether her candidate was indeed the last man on earth.

Sadly, she didn't get it.

Not, mind, that the Tories look any better, when you look past the PR frontage.

Vodafone ships Mariposa-infected HTC Magic


Open mouth. Carefully insert foot...

"Vodafone acknowledged the problem but said that the incident was an isolated problem, which came to light because the customer working for Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Security."

That appears to suggest that in Vodaphone's mind, it's only a problem if the malware is detected by someone who knows enough to understand what's happening...

Security boss calls for end to net anonymity


Just another dumb authoritarian...

... who thinks that his personal view of Utopia is allowed to be at the expense of other peoples' rights.

Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours


Dell is wrong, and this is a non-debate.

Look this isn't rocket science.

When I'm going places where the size and weight of a laptop are not an issue, yes of course I prefer the laptop.

When size and weight are more of a problem, of course I use the netbook.

The idea that the two are somehow competing for market share is about as dumb as suggesting that an SUV competes with a mini.

Last day for anti-snooping petition


"Code of Malpractice".

The supposed "code of practice" only requires a facility for users to opt OUT - not a requirement that they should have to OPT IN.

And it very specifically only requires that they be allowed to opt out of receiving the tailored adverts.

There any requirement that users be able to opt out from having their data collected, stored, analysed, or used in any other way other than for the serving of adverts.

Joint Committee gets it (mainly) wrong on human rights


"Deal with the hard stuff among the waffle, and ignore it completely in the legistlation

Note that "privacy" occurs a VERY few times in the narrative, and mostly as a justification for calling the Bill a "Bill of Rights and Freedoms"...

And then when you get to the meat - the outline of the bill...



The word does not occur...

Sir Humphrey would be so proud...

Data breach officials could be sent to the big house


And who is responsible...

I see from related news stories that Ruth Kelly seems to think that when government departments send private data to private contractors overseas who lose it, that "the primary responsibility lies with" the contractor...

Unless and until government ministers actually bother to read and understand the responsibilities imposed on their departments by the Data Protection Act, and actually seek to live up to those responsibilities rather than evading them, things are not going to get better.

Perhaps Ministers who fail to impose a proper Data Protection regime on their departments should also face the big house?

Just out of curiousity, why are there ANY governments handling our personal data without BS7799/ISO27001 certification both for themselves and every contractor they use?

Surprise: Ohio's e-voting machines riddled with critical security flaws


A bad case of sloped shoulders?

"No matter what type of voting system is used, conducting elections requires the involvement of well-trained election officials and poll workers," ES&S said in a statement. "All play an important role in the integrity and security of elections. Elements of this report appear to ignore that important reality."

In other words, the same "technical holes are irrelevant, they are prevented from becoming exploits by the administrative procedures" rubbish that the NIST explicitly discounted and discredited in its report last year.

Darling plays wait and see on HMRC disc loss


"Who's this Poynter and why did it take him three weeks"


"Who's this Poynter and why did it take him three weeks to state the bleedin' obvious?"

He's the chairman of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

I think that answers both your questions...

Random number bug blights FreeBSD



"Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin".

John Von Neumann, (1951).

Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming", Vol2, P1.

Oh - and having done some work with seeding randomness from the physical performance of a system, it's not quite as easy as it seems.

Virgin downs 1and1 and Germany

Black Helicopters

It was definitely not just the root users

Web sites, mail, etc., were all affected.

Heck, you couldn't even get to www.1&1.co.uk.

Coincidentally, I have come across two other network outages that were happening at the same time as this yesterday - at least one bank branch lost all connectivity, and an electricity company where there were power cuts that were blamed by the company on the loss of control signals that were carried over the internet.

UK punters lose faith in phished brands




"Secondly, i always forward scam, and spam somtimes e-mails will full headers to abuse@domain.com (where domain.com is where the email was pretending to be from, or in the case of normal spam, the originating ISP for the originating IP in the header)"

Who can usually do nothing at all about it, since as you say it was "pretending to be from" them. Even sending them the headers merely means that they are then in the position of having to check that the source is a botnet that they can't do much about.

So all this does is to hassle the innocent, and turn the "abuse@" into a global spam receptacle where the site owner would be unable to find legitimate complaints about their site or services.

Americans clueless on NASA budgets


Relates closely to other surveys...

That show that most Americans think that their contribution to the UN is also several orders of magnitude greater than it is.

In both cases it shows a failure by the respective organisations to promote properly their cases and the reality of their costs, as well as a deliberate attempt by opponents of those organisations to portray them as far more expensive than they really are.

In neither case does it really say that much about the American people.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019