* Posts by Rob Crawford

626 posts • joined 21 Mar 2007


MP accuses BBC chief of illegally championing Microsoft

Rob Crawford

Re : Please, at least read comments before posting responses to them

>> @ Michael : you are a linux devotee, I'm sorry to hear that, j

>Hmm...I think you should read (a) again and reassess how seriously you think that part of my comment was? Life long. Think about it.

I did, otherwise I would have passed a comment like, you must be one of the younger users on the site. I worry about anybody who describes themselves as a devotee of an app programming language or OS (I used to be like that but family life soon knocked that out of me).

Having used Linux since about 95, I find it does about 90% of what I want to do, but considerably less for what I HAVE to do (christ I'm connected to a VME command prompt ATM), I probably know more know more than most linux users.

>> What is the critical mass of devotees before the BBC has to support your platform of choice.

Personally I find that a valid question, what percentage of users does an OS require before Auntie must cater for them ?

>On second thoughts, given this, you clearly didn't read anything that I wrote at all. Instead it's clear that you decided what I wrote [which you actually got completely arse about face] from reading only the first 4 words. Nevermind.

> I'm thinking of a word that describes you but it certainly isn't "pragmatic" :)

Hey I have enough scars from the OS wars from yesteryear to survive a bit of name calling. Yeah cheeky and rude can certainly apply (on occasion) partially as this thread has been replayed more often than the xmas Dr Who episode over the last 6 months (reminds me of Groundhog Day actually)

It's a tiresome subject as no matter what the BBC do theyre damned (hey possibly it may be the basis of the xmas 08 Dr Who special), if the unleash their own codec and the masses have a problem, theyre ignoring their core audience, if they cater for a masses theyre in the pay of M$.

For the record I don't agree with DRM (it dosn't work), I don't like windows ir MS but it's the platform of the masses and thats who the BBC have to cater for first and foremost.

The non M$ users will have to fend for themselves for a while longer, atleast theyre the group most equipped to find a method of creating a workaround.

My kids parents for the most part wouldn't stand a chance of working out any issues should a codec or BBC created app go frankenstein.

PS I probably was a bit aggressive

Rob Crawford

Fandom has a price

For the BBCs own codec, I seem to remember the BBC being told to cut costs (by HM goverment) and rather a lot of their IT and R&D people forced to depart to pastures new. Unfortunitly you can't have your cake and eat it.

@mr Fair use et al ......

Recording to VCR, you have a shitty copy that degrades with every copy (and even each play). With a digital download, the damn thing is worldwide within minutes of broadcast, therefore killing any overseas sales of the programme that the production company where relying upon to make a profit.

In reality it's a more than just a different media, the digital media is so much more easily transported / pirated. Sadly there is no answer as DRM is inherently breakable it's not worth the effort. However for the BBC to make the content available online they must go with what the content providers insist upon.

Of course we could have a 2 tier system, wherre the BBC publish their own content without DRM (and OS independant).

Any external productions can go out through the DRM equipped player version. At least in that case minority OS fanbase can place the blame where it belongs.


By brother has no internet access, wheres his accessability to the streaming content ? He has a right to it dosn't he ? (actually you could say that he has opted out of that right by living somewhere where broadbandisnt available, just as you have opted out by using linux).

I feel your example of a Sony TV is a poor one (actually childish is closer to my opinion). How about the BBC are hindering accessability as they insist on using PAL rather than NTSC. Your choice is being limited because the TV you want to use is only PAL compatable. Damn the BBC

Rob Crawford

Hell hath no fury like an OS scorned

@ Michael : you are a linux devotee, I'm sorry to hear that, just like I'm sorry to hear about devotees of Windows (are there any), OSX, Free BSD, BeOS (which I liked) OS9, AmigaDOS, TOS, CPM or a multitude of others (how about TRDOS ;) )

I'm a pragmatist and use either the system best suited to the task in hand (the option I prefer) or what I am forced to use (the more usual situation).

What is the critical mass of devotees before the BBC has to support your platform of choice. What about hardware platforms, where should the line be drawn ?

For the other comments

Unfortunitly the British public are not the owners of many programmes broadcast by the BBC (TV or radio)

Ofcourse you could increase the license fee so the BBC can make all programmes in house, but then people would probably complain about that too.

In the end it's got to be DRM (whether it actually works or whether I agree with it or not dosn't matter). This means catering for the majority of potential viewers in the UK (I'm afraid that means windows).

I could start bleating about the lack of a Solaris version (I'm forced to use solaris on occasion), windows CE (for my iPaq), Free BSD for an old box I have hanging around. But in the end people would call me acward and indeed I would be exactly that

How come people just bitch about it and never come up with workable solutions.

As for the MP in question, hey those buggers as as much as balls to a monk

US-Iranian naval clash: Radio trolls probably to blame

Rob Crawford


I think you are responding to a bluntly stated response as opposed to a bigoted agenda.

When working in London for the last few years I became subject to much abuse from several individuals of the Muslim faith (I wouldn't say that they where particularly representive of their faith though).

Why ? becasue I disagreed with 2 statements :

1: the UK should have have Sharia implemented in parallel with normal UK law (and it should apply to everybody in the UK)

2: Women should not be allowed to wear revealling clothes (regardless of their religion) at any time

For 2 years I had to put up with crap that my nobody would do anything about (I belonged to the wrong ethnic & religious background). (I also watched the hassles that a born again christian caused with another employer).

You simply don't have to do much to gain the loathing of certain types of people

To say that you are immature if you have sworn enemys is a little rich. Surely the ones insist on having sworn enemy are the immature ones.

Camouflaged code threatens security apps

Rob Crawford

Hash Calculation

@Brian :

The Damn Hash calc would use several hashing algorithms (plus variations) in a single file read.

Of course you had to truse the author of the package in the first place


It's fairly easy in modern executables to hack a file without changing the file length, simply due to the number of 'caves' (caves being the term used by reverse engineers for blank space or redundant code). With current bloatware theres more than enough space to hide a whole operating system in there.

Tiger Team brings haxploitation to TV

Rob Crawford

Thank christ for alcohol

Atleast that gives me an excuse to get rip roaring drink and attempt a Father Jack impersonation

Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

Rob Crawford

DHCP & Servers

DHCP : while it is normal to create reserved addresses for networked printers and machines dedicated to particular tasks (such as apps that require holes in the firewall for example), even then these would be on fairly long leases.

I have not come across placing servers with core services on DHCP in many years of working in data centres, banks & publishing )even with reserved addresses and long leases.)

Perhaps if you are running farms of rendering stations or search boxes where particular machines are incredibly generic or very interchangeable it may just about be justifiable.

Why ? simply because of the DHCP server(s) go Frankenstein you are in a world of unhappiness, for almost no benefit.

You want to move a server then change the DNS entry

Having experienced a developer plugging in a laptop that was running a DHCP server into a user vlan, I wouldn't place any severs on DHCP ever.

Life is just too short, even HMRC don't deserve that

Rob Crawford

Not just NW England

Northern Ireland also got hit with this outage.

After 10 minutes I noticed that they where handing out a DHCP lease of, I had assumed it was a failed assignment, but windows managed to list

Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :

Implying that there was something out there

Even if this address had been useable, the lack DNS servers put paid to that.

It wouldn't have been so bad but all the VM numbers where unobtainable !

Knickerless celebutards: the secure data centre connection

Rob Crawford

Another question is

how did your operative get in carrying a camera.

Any sites I have worked in has been, no mp3 players, mobile phones, cameras, CDs or USB devices

Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD

Rob Crawford

I am so tired of the HD bandwagon

I have to agree with Robbin Nichol to a very large extent.

Do I want to pay out lots of money to watch either commercials or repeats, that I don't want to watch at normal resolutions anyway.

On a Saturday night on the BBC (& ITV) channels has turned into fecking pink night (I am not however macho enough to watch SKY 1, 2 or 3).

For the most part becasue I have a real life and a family, I find it hard to even get watching 1 DVD a month, and even then I'm more interested in the bloody story, than worrying about artifacts on screen during particularly large (and unrealistic) explosions.

I'd rather the blu-ray, HD-DVD and HD TV marketing budgets and tech was spent on making something I could watch without shuddering.

Hmmm thats why I stick to BBC Radio 4 6 & 7

Transformers director blames MS for HD DVD/Blu-ray format war

Rob Crawford

@Shaun Hunter (another)

Most CDs in the 90s where recorded on DAT, nope fraid not.

DAT, most friends in the recording industry used DAT to send rough mixes around (say to the coke addled record company execs that live on artists backs), or for sending session contributions, if the project didn't have the finances to cover trave & hotel expenses.

Most I know went from analogue tape to DAW

I personally loved the minidisc format and went through several Sony products (which my wife manages to break within moments of encountering the equipment)

Rob Crawford

Ooooh what shal I do

From al the great films Mr Bay has made what should I do ?

He supports bluray so I'm poisioned against it

The prospect of one of his films on HD-DVD poisions me against that too.

Infact he has poisioned me against DVD too !

To the Anonymous Coward who posted the NY Times link.

Firstly why not start complaining about the DVD upscaling conspiracy as microsoft support that too ?

150 million dosen't go far in hollywood these days, still it may do as partial payment towards a lacklustre overly sentimental Spielberg film but thats about it.

It dosn't have to be cash either, it could simply be $150M worth of publicity campaigns, such as the bundled HD-DVD marketing by Toshiba. Or even MS only supporting HD-DVD on the 360 for another 18 months ?

I notice that you leave Toshiba (a friend of Sony if you remember) out of your paranoia. I wonder if the Blu ray lobby passed anything in the direction of that hugely moral company Disney. But then that dosn't count does it.

Since when did the technically superior solution win anyway ?

It's usually advertising, price & availability that makes the difference.

Rob Crawford
Black Helicopters

Of course it just so happens,

that Sony back the Bluray standard and they are also involved in the making of films.

But then nobody in Hollywood is swayed by such things are they.

Whould I really listen to a man who spends his time making films about giant robots that disguise themselves as cars ?

Europe too cynical for iPhone

Rob Crawford


You really are well named.

Happily some of us live in a region that has a proper mobile phone network, even a proper choice of carriers.

Obviously you have never been Treasure Island, where companys still and charge 1 UKP to the dollar.

Next thing you are goint to tell us that Paris is the capital of Europe and we don't have running water.

As for the iPhone I couldn't care less about it as I want a reliable phone that isn't locked into an over priced contract, and the iPhone dosn't fit my criteria.

Employee sacked for texting in sick

Rob Crawford

Required a sickline !

Errr your brother dies and you have to bring in a sick line, hasn't the company ever heard of compassionate leave. I don't think I have ever had an employer as bad as that (and I have had some bad ones.) Though I do have to say that texting in sick is a stupid way of notifying your employers (though you donb't always think straight after a death in the family)

Sounds like (on the longer term) he is better off out of that company.

Air France compensates 170kg passenger

Rob Crawford
IT Angle

Another question

Was the person originally booked to sit beside the big guy forced to wait till the next flight to get to Paris ?

Or would he be able to claim compensation for several hours of being sweated upon by Mr Jr black hole

I for one would not like to be kicked off because some lard boy wanted to squeeze himself onboard.

Though I wouldn't complain too much about an upgrade to business class.

Huge jellyfish pack slaughters 100,000 salmon

Rob Crawford

Geography not a strong point then.

Northern Ireland tends to mean British not Irish (your experience of the world dosn't go much further than blogs does it?). No wonder some people don't want to be part of UK !

Most likely the the insurers will claim it's an act of god as those jellyfish don't naturally occur in such frosty climes.

If the goverment can pay out to greedy bastards (in england) that cause animal health issues by shipping animals between each other and claiming grants for animals they only owned while being transported (and spreading foot & mouth far and wide).

How about payouts regarding BSE cos they fed their animals (cheap) feed containing sheep brains (and also dried human sewage). BTW no BSE cases in Northern or Southern ireland because of stronger regulations & tracking of livestock

An organic farmer (well thats the phrase the media are using) being hit by such unforseen circumstances is a little more deserving, than the factory farmers that bring such problems on their own heads by their cheap arsed negliance.

Ditch your blogs and have a look at the real world.

Is the world ready for a 1TB iPod?

Rob Crawford

to Benedict

> And probably double the price because it's "such high quality"

Obviously you are an iDrone and don't understand whats going on ! (oh please let me buy single tracks online, because shops are so last century)

You rip from the original media (SACD for example). Dumping the masters to a nice lossless format would be even better for some of us.

Even better would be to include all the channels from the original recorded tracks ;)

Rob Crawford
Paris Hilton

Large capacity media players

Firstly like others I rip from MY CDs, partially due to belonging to a generation that thought that an artist should be able to produce more than 1 decent track per album. (or perhaps lifetime in the case of so the misappropiated term RnB)

I also have no desire to purchase anything from iTunes as I want my packaging (and the ability to rerip it again should my PC/Media player go tits up)

Ok how I laugh when I see people walking around with headphones which make them look like Princess Leia and boasting about the sound quality.

It's a fecking MP3 it's crap, and probably ripped with really poor settings,

crap + expensive headphones == even more noticeably crap

I want my lossless audio back again, I'm tired of noticing that things are missing from my favourite tracks

lossless requires a lot more storage and I want it now as I'm often away from home for weeks at a time, so it's not convenient to rearrange the contents of my player.

Bring on the storage

Apple TV goes to the movies

Rob Crawford

Here I am for once

about to say I'm glad that an apple product is associated with something more useful than looking nice and paying for misleading advertising campaigns and what comments do I find pointless hatred and fan boys :(

I'm just glad that there are independant film makers out there doing their thing.

D-link & Netgear enough said for their teabagging abilities

US military cyber warriors looking for a home

Rob Crawford

Special forces

I couldn't help noticing that there where mentions made of the US having the up Special Forces.

As I remember it when the US military need a job completed by 'Special Forces' they tend to call on the UK and French (when available) specialists to do the job.

Though the UK troops are reduced to have to borrow equipment from the US to actually get there or do anything

BT home router wide open to hijackers

Rob Crawford
Dead Vulture

Errr not at all

If a user can manage to gather together enough brain cells to turn off their SSID then they can turn on WEP. At that point hiding your SSID absolutely pointless (ot's not 2002 any more)

Actually one reason for not hiding your SSID is to allow people in the neighbourhood to see your base station and choose a suitably distant channel, rather than everyvody sitting in 11 and making a shitty connection even more shitty.

WPA and their ilk tend to be easy enough to break if you want to put the effort in (the usual poorly selected key), but I couldn't really be bothered.

Anyway the homehub is interesting as for once it's easer than attacking either the wireless network or the client machines.

Matthew Robinson : I suggest that you should read a little more before making such statements, it is perfectly possible to forge an ARP request for a WEP based network without seeing any traffic. Once again things have moved forward since 2002

Rob Crawford

Actually people have noticed

Quote :

Dear god, pretty much all these comments are people bitching about wifi security. Read the frikkin article and you might see it has all of nothing to do with wifi!

Yeah some of us noticed, the answer kick up a fuss with both BT & Alcatel and it will be fixed (hopefully sooner than later)

I assume that BT can push out an update to the routers rather than relying on the end user to do so (oops am I showing my stalinist tendencys), cos if we are relying on the end user then nothing will happen, even if BT/Alcatel provide a patch quickly.

The longer term issue (to me and others) is with how the feckers are set up in the 1st place.

Rob Crawford

Here we go again

Firstly the BT Homehub is insecure out of the box no matter what firmware is installed, 'normal users' will continue to keep it insecure.

It's 4 minutes from start to finish to break a normal HomeHub (I proved it to a journalist in work as a bet).

Even my really old Thomson (pre Alcatel) had the admin password set to the routers serial number.

As for spilling it's guts via a malicious web page, I'm not surprised, I notice it's BT taking the bashing and not Alcatel who no doubt provide the branded firmware.

With WPA I have had to step back down to WEP varients due to the performance hit, when more than 2 machines are connencted to the router (if I had wanted a modem I would have bought one)

Hiding the SSID, why do people bother any wardriving (I hate that term) software had had that covered for the last 3 years anyway.

You want something to happen, go to your local newspaper or TV company and demonstrate it for them. The tech press can bitch all they want, it's a niche market, that has no real muscle.

Get the great unwashed involved and it's a different matter, phone Watchdog and watch BT (& Alcatel) take some action pretty quickly.

Tasmanian tumours blamed on inbreeding

Rob Crawford
IT Angle

never mind the spelling as it's off topic anyway

From what little I have read about this, it appears to be spread probably by saliva while they are grappling, fighting etc. Though there are opposing factions on this.

Though all sides agree that a virus isn't involved (apparently dogs have similar cancer which is a STD)

due to the damage caused around the mouth & eyes, the animals die of starvation and don't (seem to) survive long enough to be sure if the disease spreads throughout the body.

I believe the BBC Focus magazine has an article regarding this.

Renewing the mythology of the London ricin cell

Rob Crawford

Love the way people go off track

I don't think there is much serious arguement regarding the intent of these would be attackers.

Evil is evil whether they where successful or not.

However the issue that I have is when the (so called) scientists, et al say to the court (& public) "This was a viable method of attacking large numbers of the public" when in reality it was no such thing.

Politicians I understand taking advantage of the situation (the only lifeforms below politicians are those in the banking industry and terrorists)

Security services have a vested interest in such misrepresentation so we shouldn't be surprised.

However so called scientists, the ones called upon to come up with counter measures and methods of clearing up after WMD attacks are a different matter !

Either :

They are incompetent and know nothing about the subject


They follow the "party manifesto" and don't care about the reality.

Either way I do not feel confident about the research they are carrying out for our defence.

Pentagon: Chinese military hacked us

Rob Crawford


I thought we went to war on no evidence whatsoever

Oh well I stand corrected

Rob Crawford

And for their next trick

Well I see the home office (according to BC Radio 4 this morning) was feeling particularly left out in the cold and has decided to inform the world that it too was attacked by the Chinese military.

Rob Crawford

Not wishing to

Firstly nothing I typed was supposed to be a personal attack, despite addressing points made.

As somebody who has already spent 30 years of his life living through a previous war on terror, and being way too close to several car & van bombs to ever take walking safely down the street for granted. I do understand the intent of security agencys and also the dreadful things that they encounter, and also the choices (& trade offs) they must make to keep people alive.

But right now theres so much shouting wolf going on, people are not going to listen when it is real.

Thats a big worry to me, and it should be to everybody else.

Surely you are supposed to tell a somebody when they're is going wrong.

Anyway :

The practice of keeping networks free for most of the day (for a scheduled 30 minute video conference) was from 3 friends who where stationed in Bosnia. Similar issues are still reported by the one who is still currently serving (in Afganistan ATM.)

Too many friends who have not survived their combat tours (both UK & US forces) some due to what turned out to be misleading intellegence reports (two of these cases the information was known to be known to be incorrect before the operation started). Nothing to do with misdirection or protecting sources, just intel staff not wishing to own up to a mistake in the first place.

The funny thing is I object to that (do you ?), especially as the culprits where 'promoted out of harms way'

Any large organisation is like an living organism, it becomes self serving, to the detriment of other organisms around it (when nessicary for it's own continued good health). This may not be intentional but it happens (sorry folks)

However such lessons from the past have been forgotten (again). The reasons given for invading Afginstan and Iraq is one example. I was called cynical & wrong at the time. Lies and fabrication is what it turned out to be.

I'm not blaming the armed forces for this mess BTW

Drugs : from those I knew who operated multi day missions within Iraq, (pre Dersert Storm invasion) refused stimulants. Official or unofficial it still occured and don't simply say 17 years have passed.

Yes there is a potential of some form of information war, unhappily from previous hacks much of the US goverment agencys (I will have the decency to leave out the 'real military' out of this) could learn the some of the lessons that even home users have learned.

Yeah I liked the Sony comment myself thanks ;)

I don't want sexy theorys, I don't need them at all thank you. The real world generates enough wierdness for me. However I do keep a very careful eye out for the self serving variety, as thats the one that causes the political problems in work.

BTW I didn't pick on anybodys spelling (or made up words in this thread), currently I'm working with 2 broken fingers and a fingertip that would prefer to leave the rest of the finger so please don't get petty about my left handed typing. It's the best I can manage for a while.

However this will not cause anybodys demise (I hope).

Rob Crawford

How about the reality

why anonymous ?

Sometimes our employers (or associates) wouldn't appreciate our comments

to mr anon (the one who went Sigh... @ 17:47 GMT)

Separate network : Thats the separate network that is unusable because if the powerpoint presentations being whizzed about between important people. Or is that the network that couldn't be used in Bosnia because it had to be kept clear (at all times) for the less than daily top brass video conference ?

Such systems are seldom used for their true purpose they become the personal property (and status symbol) of the senior management, whether it is private industry, goverment or military

DoD personnel undergo drug testing,

Still dosn't stop them though does it, (better to use coke/crack or acid than weed as it clears the body quicker), don't forget to keep your hair short ! US service people using stimulants (to do what is asked of them) it would never happen.

Radar / radio comms intercept / traffic analysis / spoofing, always fell into Sig Int and ECM. This cyber warfare only turned up when they wanted more miney so they didn't actually have to attend any warzones in person (Oh yean and to scare the US public that the bad guys where on the publics doorstep)

The poor buggers out on the front line are having a bad enough time, without the shrinking violets back at home talking up another threat, to avoid facing some real shit.

Brent : the system probably went off line because they where listening to a Sony protected CD

for the intelligence community, the only product thay have is fear, to the public or the politicians it dosn't matter as long as they justify their own existance.

If any deeply critical utility puts their control systems on the internet, (even via VPN tunnels) then they should be closed down on general principle If you are that critical then you can afford private circuits.

Rob Crawford


hopefully no lazer as even the US military wouldn't really redeifine

stumulated as zumulated (or would they)

Rob Crawford


Possibly the US military will consider using these password thingies that the rest of us (non US military tend to use) ?

China looking to develop scramjet missile tech

Rob Crawford

Re: Above *what* sea level?

Waves in the Pacific, I'm afraid not, Clinton sold them to the Chinese, Saudi or Alien Lizards (delete as appropiate) for campaign funds

Rob Crawford

Have we missed something

We should equip the dolphins with rocket boosters.

They could easily clear 10 meters.

Enabling the boosters when the FUD level gets high will allow us to create a living barrier of dolphins.

Possibly we could also fit lasers to their heads, to shoot down the missiles should the dolphins mis time their leaps

Rob Crawford

Is it me or

is there a couple of people around here who's Lithium supply has run out.

Not being aerospace type, it's surprising that even I know that scram jet information is very freely available.

Trade unions demand right to Facebook

Rob Crawford

Responsability in the work place

I don't think that many people advocate banning everything, and nobody spends every second in work doing company tasks.

Half my weeks in work are on the graveyard shift, for the most part it's quiet and I can waste my time like this (as I can't read manuals and RFCs all night). All too often all hell breaks loose and my intervention saves my employers considerably more than my annual salary each time (I accept that I earn considerably less than the company benefits from my employment.)

When I am on days things are much busier (dealing with users and managers of other depts). I still have time to read the news online and check my personal emails during my breaks. I have no argument with that situation, I am here to work and my boss is cool about phone calls etc when I have issues that require attention.

However just because I am relatively responsable dosn't mean others are. Although it's one thing to allow users to maintain their personal life (to some extent) in work (ie receive calls fro home, check emails, and even to make a quick call to the bank)

I don't see why I should have to work on alleged fault calls (and my employers foot the bill) because somebody cant do their personal banking online, download from itunes (to their work machine), listen to internet radio or watch silly videos from Finland. If it dosn't work then accept the fact and carry out these leisure activitys at work.

Stuff like internet banking etc was to allow people to maintain their accounts outside of working hours !

Youtube, facebook, myspace et al are leisure persuits, I can confirm that my manager would be less than happy if I brought in some PCBs to etch in the kitchen area, or my shift partner brought in this Ford Prefect to respray on company time.

Rob Crawford

Time tunnel to the 70s

I see there seems to be a few people here who class their wages as appearence money.

Firstly Mike I assume that you are unemployed (if you are not then you deserve to be), sure why not run a warez site from work while you are at it !

As a network analyst I can assure you that if I had my way Bebo and youtube would be banned, everyday we get complaints from remote offices complaining that their network is slow and people can't get doing what theyre paid to do.

Every time we check the usage we find bebo and youtube as the main offenders (except for one scottish site where it ws limewire).

However we are not alowed to block sites incase we are accused of censorship, even though it prevents the responsible humans from doing their jobs.

On top of that I am tiref of dealing with peoples complaints that their home banking dosn't work through out proxies. Thats easy to solve, do you home banking from home you shiftless wastes of space.

UniquePhone answers sceptics with video

Rob Crawford


I am back in Belfast in a 10 days

So if anybody want to supply me with an iPhone I am quite happy to head around there in the behalf of ElReg and test their claims I am quite happy to do so. I'm even happy to video the process

I will even return the phone to the owner afterwards locked, unlocked or just plain bricked. (If the people in question brick the phone its not my fault)

Free software campaigners stonewalled at BBC

Rob Crawford


To those who have nothing better to do with their lives I suggest having a wash, brushing your hairy teeth, leave those star trek dvds in their cases and join the rest of society rather than complaining about how the world dosn't fit with what you want

For the majority (probably vast majority) Windows fufills the average persons requirements

I use whatever OS (or archetecture) suits the task I am required to carry out (or am forced to use by my employers if it's work related). Therefore for most home use windows is the one to use, as my wife and kids can cope with it (and they can be easily talked through any issues they have if I happen to be at work)

I have two machines at home and have better things to do with what little money I posess than buy another machine so I can run an alternate OS exclusively for myself. If anybody out there was stupid enough to support my wifes computer support, I suspect that you would abandon the world of Linux within 2 or 3 days of taking the role.

Most people are not too worried about not being able to keep permanant copies of TV programmes as unlike the hygeneically challenged individuals who obcessively watch star trek / star wars /heros/ lost or Buffy they don't care if the programme wipes itself after 7 days. They have managed to watch the episode of "Permataned minor celeb cooks dinner for somebody who was almost on big brother" and doubtless will never want to watch it again.

It's not microsofts fault that Lotus notes is usually crap (though inept administrators dont' help matters)

Perhaps this is also microsofts fault http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/16/ubuntu_pulls_compromised_servers/

Go and find something better to do with your lives please

Rob Crawford

The beeb must be terrified

Ohh it's the attack of the hairy toothed nerds, thank god it was raining or the sun may have roasted them to a crisp.

US wiretap plan will leave door open for spooks and hackers

Rob Crawford

A change that US citizens are spied upon by US agencys

Considering that UK comms has been spied upon regularly by US agencys (and thre sesults relayed back to the UK goverment)

Additionally that traffic between US & UK offices have been intercepted and this information passed to US companys to win bids.

All I can say is welcome to what the rest of us have to put up with !

Chav-hunting toffs cop some flack

Rob Crawford

Damn & Blast

I would have been happy to invite the toffs to go hunting on my estatein North Woolwich.

It's amazing that you can get 3 fractured ribs, after a kicking outside of the cop shop and the best the met can off is, "It's you own fault for walking around east London with a Belfast accent"

Personally I find anything to do with the culling of coffs / neds / spides something that should be encouraged at every opportunity

Securo-prof claims to invent new, much deadlier dirty bomb

Rob Crawford



to me this is sounding like somebody who wants some grant money, and mention of the Terrorism (hence forth known as the "T word") & Radiation should ensure a couple of years wandering around the capitol checking his free lunches for radioactive isotopes

Evesham boss changes tune on tax break scheme

Rob Crawford

Since when

Since when was slapping together a few generic PC parts a high tech industry.

Evesham where more high tech in the 80s when they built ram packs, disk interfaces and freezeframe cartridges for 8 bit computers.

Fecking politicians

Is AV product testing corrupt?

Rob Crawford

No change

This was a problem was was pointed out in the early / mid 1990s

In magazine tests McA**e always came out tops, but strangely enough all the samples that all the scanners where expected to find where also supplied McA**e

When samples taken from the wild where used McA**e dropped down the list, and Thunderbyte and fProt suddenly became the most successful.

The reports where a hyperlinked file that apepared monthly, whos name I unfortunitely cannot remember. As far as I am aware they where the only 'independant' source of antivirus packages around

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins

Rob Crawford

Selective amnesia (again it seems)

I seem to remember more than a little astromomy, surgery, medical research, chemistry and maths going on in Greek Indian and Islamic worlds. Infact much more than occured in the Christian realm until the late 17th century.

Infact it would be easier to say that the west rediscovered the work and claimed it for it's own.

Ethics and old testiment of the judeo christian god, oh please don't be silly, those ethics have been used to justify murder, oppression and torture for a considerable time (and still are you listening Mr Bush)

The majority of the royal society members (who actually contributed something other than their titles and money) where at odds with most of the establishments of the time. One members (whose name I have forgotten) spent years working out what size Noahs arc had to be to contain the animals and feed. I'm sure even a believer in ID dosn't believe in Noahs arc (surely)

They where living within a different world view a time of ignorance (if you will) and they tried to make their theorys fit the view of the time. You could say that they where in the process of evolving ;)

As for lack of persicution Galileo (and to a lesser extent Kepler) springs to mind (even though it had been known in the non Christian that the Earth wasn't at the centre of the universe). This was less than 50 years before the 1663 date that you quote.

I tend to think there is a deliberate misunderstanding of random within the phrase random mutation. Nature and environment tends to weed out the canditates which are not fit for purpose, thereby giving the impression of design.

Any stage magician depends on shuffling being grossly inefficant. It's approx 7 riffle shuffles (done properly) to give anything vaguely approaching randomness. Looking at a casino, thats 7 riffle shuffles per deck, then each sub assembly of decks needs to be shuffled together 7 times, then those sub assemblys need to ..... times

Guess what casinos can't afford to do that on a constant basis, for them they just have to get it 'random enough' to make things difficult.

As for roulette wheels, well any wheel has a bias if left to it's own devices (hence you get the wheels of your car balanced, it's a function of manufacturing cost and benefit.

Pure randomness is hard to find (if not impossible), which is a lot to do with the laws of physics take care of that. Though chaotic randomness isn't a prerequisite for mutation, evolution or indeed the chemistry of life.

In a way you kill your own unlikely random events theory, certain elements have an affinity for other elements (sodium & chlorine for example). From chemists I have spoken to regarding this they have all said that the building blocks for amino acids have an affinity with each other. Therefore making these building blocks more likely to occur.

If you are looking for randomness I suggest PRNG generator for UK premium bonds system it isn't pure randomness (chaotic) system it provides enough randomness for allocating winners http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERNIE#ERNIE

Or are you going to say God did that ?

I also see that the selective ignoring of discredited evidence is ongoing :)

Being polite I think I have had to discover what many science communicators have discovered "it's not worth the bother" <sigh>

Rob Crawford

Still nothing new then

Up until the late 19th century how far did you get without being Christian, and prior to that how far did you get if your observations didn't agree with 'religious fact'

Also if you have ever experianced hypnotism, you can see how powerful a force social compliance is. Wether it is suicide bombers, people damaging their eyesight watching the sun (waiting for it to leap across the heavens), or rioting at G8 summits.

I notice (also) once again that no mention of advances of non christian faiths are mentioned.

I personally will read almost anything and judge from there.

However "the creator did it" is the equivalent of my young son saying "a big boy did it and ran away"

Where is the creator "errr everywhere"

Show me physical evidence of the creator "No he is very shy"

Where did he/she come from "the creator was always there"

Show him to me "I don't need to because I believe"

Take the example of Behe and the flagellar motor, he made a bit of a fool of himself didn't he ? But hey, lets hide the mistake (or pretend it's not a mistake by ignoring it's incomplete operational precursors)

Did you forget or ignore the other evidence that didn't fit ?

I notice that the arguement of 'spontainious appearence of life" dosn't hold sway, yet the creator apparently did start off in that fashion (oh yeah "god is excempt from scientific study" it's rude to point that out)

I also notice that life is always considered to have spontaiously in some sort of modern form, for ID probability calculations.

No skewing of figures there then ! (yeah right)

Thats a little disengenious (ok my spelling hasn't evolved) of the ID community.

I remember 20 years ago with the creationists saying there wasn't enough sunlight, temperatures where incorrect and the athmosphere was too toxic to support life on the early earth.

Funny thing is though since the communities id creatures around the 'black smokers' where discovered, the ID & creationist 'scientists' have 'forgotten' these statements.

Tisk tisk, that a lie by omission God really wouldn't like that would he/she ?

How about giving the world some evidence that stands up for itself, and dosn't get swept under the carpet when it becomes the scientific equivalent of a hair shirt ! So far we have had the eye, wings or the flagellar motor !

I notice the less well educated creationists still use the same arguements that their 'thinkers' have dropped as they don't bother listening to anything they don't agree with.

If nothing else evolutionists don't lose evidence down the back of the sofa, hoping that everybody else forgets about it.

However the scientists evolve, they learn not to waste their time trying to educate the people who need educated most.

Rob Crawford

Regarding fraud

Mr Turner,

If you are going to start into the realms of fraudlent claims, I'm afraid religion and by defination (un)intellegent design should really be quiet

From healing, relics, miracles the list really does go on (ad infinitum)

As for your reading list should I require scientific information I do not resort to books with titles like "Nature's Destiny - How the laws of biology reveal purpose in the universe". Then if I have a sore arse I don't go to a priest and get him to put his hands upon it.

Why does the universe need a purpose, do you feel that insignificant ?

Funny how that purpose always includes a omnipresent being, and the importance of those (alleged) humans who believe in that creator.

Intelligent Design dosn't offer anything other than a comfort blanket to those who are afraid of the dark, and a lucritive income to those who promote it. After all have a look at something you don't understand, ignore (be ignorant of similar structures) and then write a book about it. (Should I mention missrepresent the maths used ?)

Please use the term Evolution as you are obviously trying to make it a personality issue regarding Mr Darwin. Evolution is so far the only 'credible' explination, and ID certainly isn't (it's mumbo jumbo with a scientific mask)

Any theory needs to be worked on and refined but you don't want that, you want a definitive statement to save you from thinking about things that you don't like.

You are entitled to your opinion (even if it is wrong) but please don't misterpresent it as science

Ebuyer.com runs on a Commodore 64

Rob Crawford

I regret remembering


48k models, running at around 1Mhz. The clue is in the "48k" part of the name...

And as for the Commodore Pet, now that was a classic machine!


Fraid not the speccy was always slightly over 3.5MHz (3.513 I seem to remember) even the 16K ones.

Though being a Commodore person you wouldn't believe in clock speeds over 1MHz ;)

Actually I was very fond of the VIC 20 apart from the 20 column display

ISPs face down Tories on file sharing

Rob Crawford


Looks like the recording companys have made another purchase.

Possibly they have offered to finance his Tory goverment concept album


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