* Posts by James Grinter

13 posts • joined 17 May 2007

BBC fixes BT Home Hub auto-vomit bug

James Grinter

many short-lived connections?

I've only ever watched what iPlayer* does when connecting through a web proxy, and it's not pretty: Multiple HTTP POST requests per second. If it's doing anything similar when going direct then it's probably filling up the port translation tables of smaller/more simplistic ADSL routers.

(* I assume any use of Adobe's RTMP does much the same thing. Also does a nice line in causing Windows web browsers to hang.)

Net shoppers bullied into being Verified by Visa

James Grinter


Cyota/securesuite has been mentioned before in Register stories and in comments: I agree with Mo, and others - it's wrong for banks to be encouraging their customers to type in personal financial details to a website of an unknown company.

About the suggestion of OTP SecurID-like tokens on credit cards - ironically RSA have announced such a product (see http://www.securityinfowatch.com/online/Financial/RSA-puts-SecurID-into-card-form-factor/16047SIW339 - and i'm sure other companies are working on it too). But I suspect the cost would be too high for banks to consider buying and distributing them - it seems they'd rather take the loss on fraud instead, or pass it onto their customers, instead.

Apple's 3G iPhone to launch 11 July

James Grinter

what a lot of fuss..

.. people make about the 'locking' of the phone.

For ages in the UK (I realise it differs elsewhere) even contract phones have often only been available 'locked' to a particular network, to facilitate subsidy. A Motorola Timeport I wanted to buy back in 2000 was only available on (then) Cellnet. Specific versions of Sony Ericsson phones are often only available through one network.

.. people make about the camera.

Nearly all (a sweeping generalisation, sure) phone cameras are rubbish.

.. people make about no front-facing camera.

Have you ever used your phone for video calling? I've had a phone with front-facing camera for 3 years, and its just an annoyance when I hit the video-call option by accident.

MMS - ditto: and the phone has email, so far more flexible.

.. people are making about the GPS.

This new model has Assisted GPS - look it up.

.. tariffs.

I've not found these cheap contract deals in the UK either. Well, you can get them if you want to deal with T-Mobile's UK network. But I quite like having my phone work inside an office.

O2's deals, including the data and WiFi, seems pretty competitive to me. Even the upgrade option sounds fair (for the person on the 35 quid a month tariff - well, the person on the 45 quid tariff who gets an upgrade for free has paid £120 more over the year than you. So your £100 upgrade seems a better deal.)

But, it's a free world. You don't have to buy anything you don't want to. You don't even have to buy a new phone at all.

DNS lords expose netizens to 'poisoning'

James Grinter

Implementing cryptography

So, the random number generator in BIND is poor, but we can all rest assured that they got it right with implementing DNSSEC?

Yes... that makes perfect sense.

Polaroid to close instant film plants

James Grinter

Fuji Instant film still available

for now.

(It's a shame though - Polaroid Type 55 will be missed by many.)

Faster broadband through bonding

James Grinter

BT Martlesham

@Chris Williams - no coincidence. The article even points out that they're a spin-off from BT's Martlesham labs...

(and, despite BT's general inability to get things done, they have invented and pioneered a few things over the years.)

Hasbro fires off legal letters over Scrabulous

James Grinter

What do Hasbro (and Mattel, and Spears) actually claim ownership of?

Is it the board design, the actual wording, the instructions on how to play?

I have been reliably informed that it's actually very hard to protect a board game concept, though there is obviously copyright on art work, and to some extent the design (but can the bonus word/letter score positioning be copyrighted? Or the tile letter frequency distribution? And what about time limits on copyright? Apparently the one patent granted - U.S. Patent 2,752,158 - which may not even apply to Scrabulous, was granted in 1956.).

Remember, "intellectual property" is an umbrella concept invented by lawyers, not law makers.

So Hasbro will undoubtedly 'send letters', but in the end it will probably depend upon who has the deepest pockets and who backs down first.

Phishers bait hook with Verified by Visa scam

James Grinter

Mastercard SecureCode

Only today I was directed to the alledged enrollment site (*) for NatWest's Maestro card version of this scheme (Mastercard SecureCode), whilst attempting to make an online payment.

Of course, as it didn't use any of their recognised domain names and the SSL certificate was not in the name of the bank either, I certainly wasn't going to re-input my details (including extra ones than a merchant never asks for).

Another own goal by the banks.

(* www.securesuite.co.uk, in case you're wondering. The SSL Certificate is registered to Cyota, who I happen to know are in the business of fraud behaviour detection, but I'm not going to encourage sloppy practices in SSL and domain usage. Someone else has written about this, in the past, at http://ambrand.com/2006/09/06/is-securesuitecouk-a-phishing-scam/)

Top judge: put everyone in UK on the DNA database

James Grinter


Put simply, the more DNA fingerprints on file, the more likely there are to be duplicates.

You'd be very unhappy to be found guilty purely on the basis of a DNA fingerprint match, with no proof that you were in the area at the time. DNA fingerprint matching, just like normal fingerprint matching, is not infallible if you massively widen the scope for matches.

O2 starts charging for calls to non-places

James Grinter

They charge for 0800..

so that they get money even if you're dialling a calling card service.

(But charging more than a local call for dialling 0845, and removing it from bundled minute allowances, is simply a rip-off. Vodafone pitched it as "now you have more minutes for your other calls." Ha, ha.)

Oracle refutes 'SSH hacking' slur

James Grinter


I'm sure I remember seeing a hostname with 'proxy' in a referenced article. But they wouldn't allow external connections to come through web proxies and go back out, would they?

Can we have a proper study of Wi-Fi, please?

James Grinter

DECT phones...

use 1880 to 1900 MHz, so it's not so likely to interfere with a WiFi AP.

Fraudsters feast on credit card scam

James Grinter

Secure connections make no difference here

"Firstly, always look for the padlock symbol that shows the site is secure."

Rubbish. If you can't trust the people running the website, who cares whether your credit card details were transmitted to them securely.

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