* Posts by genghis_uk

161 posts • joined 3 Dec 2009


Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps


Re: Oh what a tangled web we weave!

They probably loop round and meet somewhere... Extremists tend to have a lot in common from both sides, they just approach from different directions

Right wing extremists hate everything that is not their idea of 'normal' and will fight anything outside their bubble

Left wing extremists want government control of everything people do. This is their 'normal' and will fight any dissent as not being in 'the best interest'

The end result is if you are not with me you are against me and I will exterminate you. Hitler had a narrow idea of what was acceptable in his bubble but he also used government control over daily life to enforce his bubble so you could argue for both sides despite the generally accepted Fascist = Right Wing. I thnk there is a difference between right wing extremist's opinions and views and the reality of a far right wing government - in government it is harder to tell Stalin's version from Hitler's

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain


Re: It's probably not actually "bad".

I have been an ale drinker since my teens and was always of the opinion that Americans don't know beer.

However, my first US trip was to Denver in 1996 and I was amazed at the number of micro breweries doing really nice beers. Since then I have also found great local brews in Minnesota and California but Colorado is still the best place for craft beer in my opinion. Not all 8-10% IPA either, a good range or Reds, Stouts and even some nice Porters. I actually miss my regular trips to Longmont now... ok, I miss the beer... the flight and US immigration you can keep.

Now there's nothing stopping the PATRIOT Act allowing the FBI to slurp web-browsing histories without a warrant


Re: Welcome to the world

Probably a bit late to address the thumb down but don't trust me...

FBI violating US citizens rights by using the NSA's section 702 collection without a warrant:



These both link to the original report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence


Re: Welcome to the world

Except the FBI have been audited and have never once actually asked for a FISA warrant. They have just been snooping the NSA database for data on US citizens, whenever they want, without one.

Someone really needs to bring the FBI under some sort of control but good luck getting anyone to do it

Coronavirus didn't hurt UK broadband speeds in March. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand...


Data Caps

So if the average speeds have been largely unaffected when a large majority of the population are working/playing at home - will they re-introduce data caps and 'peak' time when the plague is over?

The telcos all say the caps are there to prevent data hogging ruining it for others but their own data is saying otherwise.

It would be nice if we all had genuinely uncapped, all you can eat data 24hours a day

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?


Re: Bugs?

They're not quite that bad.

An IOW smartphone is one of those new fangled ones with buttons... Rotary Dials are so 2000's!


Re: One would have throught...

Pretty much what I was going to say - there is a viable solution, developed by the phone manufacturers and tied into their OS to ensure proper Bluetooth operation, preserve battery life etc.

However, this is obviously a much too simple solution for the UK... It does not contain a database - how could it possibly work without a central database and the potential for feature creep into personal privacy? So NHSX have cobbled a cludge together to get around OS issues (badly) and provide something that might not work for contact tracing but will provide a certain amount of person tracking.

I would possibly use the Google/Apple (Goopple?) app. Largely because I would be interested in seeing how it works. The chances of the NHSX one getting on my phone are right up there with my chances of winning the lottery - and I never buy a ticket!

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Re: Of course, being centrally controlled


There are certain protections provided against corporate abuse. The government can do what they want.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test


417 - 420?

I can understand why Musk could get confused by the numbers - 420 on the brain?

Don't Bogart that Sherlock -->

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


Re: Difficult choice

Missed this on my first pass through the comments.

A more concise version of what I said many posts later - have an upvote!


Re: Not on my phone

This app will go on my phone when they remove it from my cold, dead fingers!

People are comparing the NHS (read UK.Gov) app with Google / Apple but there are fundamental differences in their abuses of privacy.

Google/Apple are corporations - they want to use your private data to make money through adverts etc. Hardly laudable but understandable and if they can send targetted ads based on something they manage to trawl from contact tracing, well, I can ignore those along with all of the other crap they send me.

UK.Gov having a database of loosely anonymised data is a completely different story. This month it is to ensure our 'safety'. Next month they add our NHS records (no more anonymity), the month after, as has been mooted, the police are using the data to enforce lockdown, shortly after that DWP are stopping your benefits as they determine that you were not looking for a job hard enough. Next you are pulled in under caution because your data shows you were in the same places as a suspected criminal and you have to provide proof of your activity... Welcome to Britain 2021... Only slightly tin-foil hat but not too much of a stretch. 20minutes into the future.

It could be that quick - assuming they don't completely screw up the implementation... oh, actually, nothing to worry about because they WILL screw up the implementation!

Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities? Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more


Re: And yet

Is there such a thing?

Switzerland maybe? but that only works because there are not that many people and they appear to be happy to have a referendum,every quarter.

It is largely down to scale. The reaction to the last UK general election was 'oh, no not another one' so getting genuine democracy where the people have more of a say would not work in the UK. If we gave people a vote on everything they would stop voting. If we remove the party system and had a parliament of 650 independents, nothing would get done (Brexit was a prime example of 650 different opinions).

The problem has always been that the type of people that go into politics are, generally, the last people you would want in politics. A lot of people may care when they start but soon get eaten by the machine and anyone studying PPE ought to be banned from politics for being entirely the wrong sort of person.


They abuse RIPA and now want Contact Tracing?

Only <checks> 6 days ago I said that a central database for contact checking would be abused because it would gradually become available to govenment agencies beyond the original scope... My example at the time was the misuse of the original RIPA by local councils. Since RIPA was extended in 2016 it is even more intrusive and now they want to extend access to another 5 departments.

Do we really want to trust this lot with a database that could give them details of everyone you come into contact with, walk past, happen to be in the same pub, restaurant, party etc? (assuming any open up again). The ability to abuse data like this to bring about guilt by association is immense.

Zuck loves free speech so much Facebook will censor 'anti-state' content in Vietnam after telcos 'crippled' access


Re: So that's how you make The Zuck comply

The problem is that in democratic countries, this is a bit of a no-no.

Cutting of the platform because you do not like what other people are saying on it would cause a bit more of a stir in the West.

A better response should have been the Google nuclear option and cut access to Vietnam. Even if you accept that Facebook is purely profit driven I cannot see Vietnam making a big dent. It would certainly be preferable to rolling over if only from a PR perspective

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly


There is a lot of space on the Register dedicated to the ineptitude of British politicians when it comes to IT so to expect a system that is anything more than basic is probably a bit of a stretch. The MPs will have to set this up at home - no IT to come and do it for them so Zoom is probably not an unreasonable choice.

It obviously matters if someone zoombombs but otherwise the link does not have to be particularly secure as this is open parliament. It is more worrying that they were using it for cabinet meetings but, hey, if it provides some transparency in government... ;)

Intelsat orbital comms satellite is back online after first robo-recovery mounting and tug job gets it back into position


Yes, but I did not know why...

Thanks for the reminder. It was in there somewhere

Have one of these -->

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule


This bit you miss is that government misuse of data is not just a hypothetical, foil-hat argument. There are far too many real world examples of abuse. Government database access can be granted to organisations way beyond the original scope and oversight is minimal.

Hell, local councils are using anti-terror laws to spy on how people use their bins (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3333366/Half-of-councils-use-anti-terror-laws-to-spy-on-bin-crimes.html) what do you think they could do with data showing your every movement? every contact?

This is not big brother where you are a small needle in a large haystack, this could, with only a slight tweak become very localised and very personal.

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data


Re: Salvation from the Devil

Have we got a new moderator??

Where did Bob's post go? It was a biggly beautiful post full of CAPITALS

Must be one of those socialist liberal European types trampling, sorry, Trump-ling over his 1st amendment rights...


Re: Salvation from the Devil

Bob - we've missed you! It's been so quiet for the last few weeks. Some imposter with your name even posted a few responses that made sense and didn't mention DEMO[N]CRATS. I was sure it couldn't be you as I upvoted those posts...

Anyway, welcome back. It's great to see you on form again.

BTW, DT has repeatedly measured his success on the improvement of the stock market. Now it is in free fall, he is in danger of losing in November... I know, who'd have thought it? Those damn commies in Wall St. have done it on purpose! So much better if everyone gets back to work so it makes him look good - doesn't matter if a few people die. Diehard GOP voters and true Americans will be happy to sacrifice themselves to the cause (Greg Abbott - what a hero) and the damn commie, socialist liberals deserve it so they don't count! The 1% need to be protected - there are so few of them after all.

Astroboffins suspect twin-star smash may be the culprit for most biggest and brightest supernova yet spotted


Most Biggest???

Really El Reg, you should know better than that

White House creates 'Team Telecom' to probe whether foreign telcos should be allowed near US networks


Re: +++ Spoiler Alert +++

Largely because Verizon, AT&T etc. will pay them to find they shouldn't

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G


As I am only a few miles from the pitchfork wielding attackers of Paediatric Doctors this does not come as much of a surprise.

The cult of stupid is very well established in the UK and does not appear to be getting any less stupid

Not only is Zoom's strong end-to-end encryption not actually end-to-end, its encryption isn't even that strong


Re: If Boris says Zoom is secure...

No, in your linked article, there is no statement from Boris. The only mention of the safety of Zoom is this:

"NCSC [National Cyber Security Centre] guidance shows there is no security reason for Zoom not to be used for meetings of this kind," the government spokeswoman said.

You may want to bash Boris, you may even think you have a good reason to but this one is not it...

That does not make me (or the previous poster) an apologist, I just think you are wrong on this occasion. His relationship with the truth may be suspect but you can't bend facts to meet your narrative - Isn't that what you say Boris does?

Hailing frequencies open, sir... America's Space Force hurls its first military comms satellite into Earth's orbit


Team America - In Spaaaaace! (f*ck yeah!)

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home


Re: Use Singapore Way

WhatsApp = Facebook so not getting anywhere near my phone!

Government emergency alerts should not rely on us installing 3rd party apps

Forget toilet roll, bandwidth is the new ration: Amazon, YouTube also degrade video in Europe to keep 'net running amid coronavirus crunch


Re: Why

Have you not noticed that for any given problem, at least one post will blame the Tories? Whether it can actually be laid at the door of No.10 or not; often despite the previous incumbents doing the same, it's the Tories fault!

In this case, it was mainland Europe requesting the bandwidth reduction, not the UK, but we all know who is to blame...

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in


Whatsapp??? At least they could use Signal - hey, it even sounds more military!

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle


Re: Nothing to Hide nothing to Fear

Right, that will solve everything...

Appareils électroniques: Right to repair gets European Commission backing


Re: Good

If they do the Android sellers will all say thank you very much. I am sure Samsung and Huawei would be more than happy.

The EU market is roughly equivalent to the US market and, as has already been pointed out, it is the whole Apple ecosystem at stake if they pull the iPhone.

UK.gov tells rebel MPs to go Huawei – but 5G Telecoms Security Bill was the price


I wonder how many of these MPs have even the most basic understanding of the technology. They bluster about national security and backdoors but have no idea what the words they parrot actually mean.

This is all about politics and posturing with no base in reality.

Xilinx's high-end Versal FPGA is like a designer handbag. If you need to ask the price, you probably can't afford it


Re: High-level

I remember doing something similar - just because we could... Ahh, the good old days when engineering had some play time!

Can't remember what device - either a 5200 or a 4k I think (mid to late 90's)

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?


Re: "you can no longer laugh at Dance of the Vampires" ?

If it is confusing in Film, Music is even worse...

Gary Glitter - Bad

Pretty much any rock star of the 60's/70's OK (despite strings of underage groupies)

Unless they are also a DJ or presenter in the 70's in which case bad (so that's Rolf out then)

Michael Jackson - Bad... sorry, OK for some reason

Rock and Roll stars - OK even Jerry Lee Lewis! (and Elvis was with Pricilla when she was 14)

Basically, it seems that anything goes unless the tabloids and/or twitter decide otherwise

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms


Re: *HIS* point

Just go back to Twitter and leave the Reg comments alone

Too obvious --->

Don't worry, IT contractors. New UK chancellor says HMRC will be gentle pushing IR35 rules


Re: Who'd trust him ?

Absolutely no point in making this partisan. IR35 came in under Labour and do you really think they would do any different? Do you think a Labour MP in number 11 would say something that may upset voters?

It is true that you rarely get truly poor (financially) contractors so we would be prime targets for the left of the party. The right of the party would not change IR35 for being seen to be soft on 'tax evasion'

Governments of all colours want taxes - politicians of all colours lie and the world keeps spinning...

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition


Re: "appalled that [city mayor] Sadiq Khan has approved such....surveillance technology for London"



It was on BBC Click if you want to check your facts - the guy was pulled over because he hid his face.

The police were then 'robust' in their discussions (some could say aggressive and provocative) until the guy told them to f' off. At that point he was charged with a public order offence and given an on the spot fine.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Re: Sigh.

Speed is not dangerous in itself - it is a difference in speed that causes problems. (Like falling is fine...until you stop)

Plus yes, being a self righteous *ick and doing significantly less that the limit may be legal but it is certainly not safer. Through your actions you are causing others to react in a way that they would not do otherwise.

If you feel you need to do 20mph in order to react to events in time - maybe you should let someone else drive?

(ooh, look a road sign Icon)

Aw, look. The UK is still trying really hard to be the 'safest place to be online in the world'


Re: Laughable scheme

I was wondering about this as the other thing Section 230 does is provide YouTwitFaceAgram protection from prosecution based on posts on their site - basically it says they are not a publisher and they only host content. So technically, in the US at least they cannot be prosecuted for content on their site - even though the powers that be threaten it every now and then. Add in the US first amendment that stops government censorship and basically anyone can post anything as long as it is not illegal - immoral is fine.

How does that sit with the UK where we have fairly broad laws on what constitutes hate speech. We have a much more morality based take on what people can publish

An American post ranting about race/gender/sexuality etc. is perfectly fine in the US but may not be in the UK - what are OFCOM going to do about that??

Twitter says a certain someone tried to discover the phone numbers used by potentially millions of twits


Re: Government rather than private?

All 3 of the named are likely to suppress dissent quietly and permanently.

Just suprised UK and USA are not on the list

Elon Musk shows world that he is truly awful at something


Re: Award-winning

Personally, I thought Shatner peaked at the cover of Common People by Pulp.

'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told


Re: Americanisms

Americanizificationism is making a mockery of the language!


Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

Did nobody tell you, we only have 3 seasons now...

Easter - Jan to March/April (with a little pause for Valentines day)

Summer - April to September

Christmas - September to the end of December

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


Re: Why is the company still alive?

That's not fair to someone getting over the annual Christmas plague!

Cheered me up once the hacking coughs stopped.

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy



As I'm staring out of the window at Portsmouth harbour I wonder. If the first one is generally known as "Big Liz" is this one going to be "Big Charlie"? Maybe "Big Leek"? Or for the Private Eye readers, "Big Brian"?

Two can play that game: China orders ban on US computers and software


Re: Ah the great orange one...

"Foxconn is Taiwanese, not Chinese"

You may find that if you ask the powers in China, they will tell you Taiwan is Chinese...

Of course, the Taiwanese may beg to differ but they are a bit outgunned.

Internet Society's Vint 'father of the 'net' Cerf dodges dot-org sell-off during public Q&A


Re: Umm...

He said he _thinks_ Vint is a crook - that is opinion so defamation does not apply...

Christmas in tatters for Nottinghamshire tots after mayor tells them Santa's too busy


Re: I have it on good authority ..

Because, despite the general reporting we have not really been living under austerity...

We tightened our belts and reduced spending but at no point have government spent less than they have been receiving (i.e. producing a surplus to pay down the debt). The debt has just grown more slowly.

Go champion retires after losing to AI, Richard Nixon deepfake gives a different kind of Moon-landing speech...


Re: glitchy

For completeness...

Other dishonest and untrusworthy political party leaders are also available

A short note to say I'm off: Vulture taps claws on Reg keyboard for last time

Thumb Up

Bye Kat

All the best for the future.

It may be a step up but you wont get to research stories about blokes shagging bollards anywhere other than EL Reg :)

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


It seems to be increasingly common 'round here for people to stop at least 1/2 a car length before the line. No idea why they do it and on a lot of town junctions, it decreases the visibility left and right.

I thought for a while it was part of the new driving techniques being taught - along with not bothering to indicate - but it appears to be people of all shapes and ages...



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