* Posts by Outsider

15 posts • joined 15 Jan 2008

81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic



OK, so it's not a "real" computer..... but I cut my teenage programming teeth on a TI59.

It taught me how to think logically and optimise the use of limited resources. The amazing thing was it's portability..... I regularly used it in the field saving hours of tedious paper calculation, with corresponding increase in available pub time. It took until the early 2000's for my industry to routinely use a handheld device that could do what the TI59 could do in 1980.

In my youth I didn't understand why they didn't catch on...... but then again my university dept had just bought a load of Imperial Office Master mechanical calculators... the power of the smartly besuited salesman on the greyhaired senior manager never dims.

Should software developers do it for themselves?


It's all relative

A managers job is to help the developers to work as productively as possible towards logical and acheivable project goals by protecting the team and earning their respect by fighting heroically for them against the boneheaded stupidity to be found in swampy stagnant meeting rooms across Britain.

Basically the developers PA, gofer and sacrificial lamb...

Scotland Mountain Rescue turns on Ofcom



Maybe Ofcom personnel should be exempt from receiving lifesaving services.........

as it would make them appreciate their lives more.

How the fate of the US economy rests on a Dell workstation


Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle?

Economics modelling...... as soon as the model is considered reasonably good the output of the model is a factor in the behaviours the model is trying to model....as others try to game the model by exploiting its weaknesses.

There is no modelling..... the suits are doing what suits do... throwing money at broken things, only this time its suits throwing money around that caused the break.

Mines the one with the dusty Matlab CD in the pocket

Google launching its own navy?


Shipping Forecast

The weather during the next week will be calm and sunny as high pressure moves across the.......

Hey... the server's gone down.

Ship based datacentre...good enough idea without the ecofluff... but then maybe the fluff was put there by PR to con the media into polishing the Googlehalo.

coat....nah not in this weather pass me the sunscreen and shades.

Fog of attack clouds Best Western hack


Danger - weasel words

Read the Best Western statement closely

"You may be aware on Sunday 24th August the Scottish Herald printed a story claiming a hacker had gained access to Best Western guest information. This story is grossly unsubstantiated!"

Note the word "unsubstantiated" ..... not untrue.... just unsubstantiated... sounds good means nothing.

"After a detailed investigation we can confirm that on 21st August a single hotel in Germany was compromised by a virus."

Virus sound better than backdoors or trojans...manflu kinda thing rather than the more eyewidening trojan up the backdoor.

"The compromise permitted access to reservations data for that property only.

This has affected only ten customers who we are currently being contacted to offer our assistance, none of these were GB customers."

Hmmm only 10 reservations in a week...... quiet week?

"There is no evidence of any unauthorized access to any other customer data."

Just because there's no evidence doesn't mean there was no access to the other data, however this does admit that there was access to some customer data.

"Most importantly Best Western purges all reservations data within seven days of guest departure."

Purges, a word which is less definate in it's meaning than deletes

Note also the use of "reservations data" since obviously they wish to reassure customers that some, ephemeral data is "purged" but mask the fact that significant customer info is retained.

Mines the one with Crisis Management for Dummies in the pocket

Royal Navy plans world's first running-jump jet


Simple solution

Velcro ......

hooks on the tyres and loops on the deck

Job's a good un

British pilot makes first supersonic stealth jumpjet flight


Missiles... Nets

Dumping ordnance in the sea....

I hope thats a joke...given the fairly intensive deepsea trawling that goes on.

But then again... given the military's complete disregard for those they are supposed to be protecting maybe it's deadly serious


Royal Bank of Scotland takes three weeks to squash nasty Worldpay bug

Paris Hilton

Scottish Financials

OK so a few years have passed since I worked in the Scottish Banking sector... but in those days there were virtually no staff who understood IT.... it had all been designed and built by outsiders.

So contacting the bank wouldn't do much good...they probably didn't understand what you were saying. Even if the message was understood, the banks tended to have a complacent attitude to electronic security... the main risk being seen as reputational, and requiring an actual exploit to hit the headlines.... which given the banks reticence to admit to anything is highly unlikely....particularly as the Scottish broadsheet press is pretty tame on this stuff.... (financial journalists have a VERY nice life here and don't rock boats)

Even if the message percolated through to someone who understood it....getting any change made would be a laborious process, involving many meetings with IT illiterate senior managers. In my experience three weeks to get anything IT related to happen would be warp speed and require evidence of large amounts of money flowing out of a PLC sized clients account.

The complacency and ineptitude in the Scottish financials I worked in had to be experienced to be believed.

Early on I had a manager saying that I would be the first person suspected if their (in)security was compromised after informing him of (another) whopping hole in the machines acting as gateways between the Internet and their mainframe (default install of NT4/IIS4, anyone)

There should be an icon of head being hit on desk.... but Paris will do since I'd invest in her before RBoS or HBoS.

Google kills Anonymous AdSense account


Not the first time...

A few days ago I noticed that pro-scientology ads were being served up by Google ads on a site that covers a subject the scientologists love to hate.

Judging by comments on the site this did raise some eyebrows.

I wonder if this is another Scientology ploy?

BT's secret Phorm trials open door to corporate eavesdropping

Black Helicopters

Home Office talking rubbish

RIPA is very short and sweet on nterception without a warrant...very short indeed.

It is also very short and concise on who can bring a prosecution under RIPA.... very concise indeed

Anyone CAN bring a case under RIPA but under Section 1 subsection 8..

No proceedings for any offence which is an offence by virtue of this section shall be instituted—

(a) in England and Wales, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions;

(b) in Northern Ireland, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

Pretty open and shut there then....if the DPP consents to proceedings they can happen.

Basically RIPA was worded to make sure Joe Bloggs couldn't take HM Government to court for breaking it.....but it also means that HM Gov can protect plc's.... now why would they do that????

Methinks the technology BT tested may do more than just serve ads

Faces give away giveaways - psych profs' amazing claim

Paris Hilton


The research assumes that the sexual behaviour of students is mirrored across the rest of the population.

Bit of an assumption that.......fortunately for us more mature yet studly types

Paris.....because 99% of students would crawl over broken glass just to look up her skirt....while the more discerning bloke knows trouble when he sees it.


Information Commissioner: Phorm must be opt-in only



It's quite interesting to go and have a look at RIPA.

It's very very obvious that BT's actions constitute interception.

That given reading the very short Section 3 detailing under what circumstances warrantless interception is legal makes BT/Phorm's insistence on the legality of their actions all the more interesting.

Firstly the Act is most explicit that for warrantless interception outside the control of the state security apparatus the consent of BOTH sender and receiver should be obtained.

Since this was not done we are left with a very very small loophole under Section 3 (3) (b) which states that telecommunications and postal operators may intercept communications for the provision and operation of that service.

This is interesting for it states quite obviously that whatever is legal in electronic networks is also legal in postal ones which provides a whopping clue to any legal mind asked to define just what is allowable under this section.

Incidentally...... there's no point in trying to go for BT under RIPA as the power to undertake action rests with the DPP alone. No private actions are allowable without the DPP's permission.

It is interesting that if BT/Phorm believe they have acted legally they have effectively set a precedent allowing interception, analysis and distribution to third parties of private communications without consent if the interception is part of a trial of a system which MAY be implemented with some form of consent in the future....and this can be done to physical letters, phonecalls or IP data.

Strangely it therefore appears that the State is more heavily regulated that communication carriers.

The inactivity of the DPP in this matter is staggering...the precedent appalling.

Truly the emperor BT has no clothes and, as usual, it is the laughing and jeering of the humble public that brings this to the attention of the intellectual and legal elite.


Jimmy Wales to chair World Economic Forum on the Middle East



wikipedia founder

duke of york

in the World Economic forum

truly the lunatics are in charge of the asylum

Tesla hits ejector button on staff


Electric Lotus

Electric cars don't make sense to me ...wheres that lovely Vrrrrm Vrrrm noise going to come from?


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