* Posts by JohnG

1375 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Complex cyberwar tool 'Flame' found all over Middle East

JohnG

Re: countries like Iran and Israel???

"one is a rogue state intent on genocide though nuclear war, and the other is iran."

Israel has probably had nuclear weapons for about 25 years (maybe longer) but I missed reports that they had actually used any of them.

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UK man to spend year in the clink for Facebook account hack

JohnG

Re: 12 months porridge for a FB 'hack'?

The yob who burgled my house and five others (whilst on probation) got 120 hours community service and took over a year to pay the 100 pounds compensation awarded to me. None of my stuff was recovered. By comparison, 12 months for illegally accessing a few FB and email accounts seems a bit severe.

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Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

JohnG

Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

For your average user, Facebook is wherever Google says it is - remember this?

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login.php

I know several people like the folk commenting to the linked article, whose approach to Internet use is to start their browser, type the name of what they want and take the first link offered by Google's search. It works for Facebook and it works for widgets, so widget sellers understand the importance of being high in Google's search results. If Google screw that up, then they may go the way of webcrawler, excite, etc.

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North Korean GPS blocking sparks cyber war fears

JohnG

GPS reliability

AFAIK, commercial aircraft are required to alternative means of navigation (e.g. INS), as GPS is not (yet) deemed reliable enough to be used in isolation. The first problem being that the commercial GPS signal may be disabled at any time for military reasons.

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'Fake Carla Bruni' Twitter account spreads Thatcher death rumour

JohnG

"...if we were all accessing the Internet via a government controlled ISP, it would be a lot easier to censor and tap."

...and it would cost 100 quid a month or 150 quid a month if you want to use your own router that wasn't designed a decade before.

For those who never had to deal with the GPO, they used to charge you an extra 75 pounds every quarter if you used your own phone with buttons, instead of one of theirs with a rotary dial - but one of their engineers had to check your phone first. This what at a time when you could buy a new car for less than 1000 pounds.

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Pirate island attracts more than 100 startup tenants

JohnG

Caribbean

Why not just open a company in one of the several Caribbean tax havens? These have banks, airports, fresh water, women, warm weather (although there is the hurricane season to think about), sand, nice food, etc. I know it is on the other side of the USA but it is only a short flight to FL.

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Evil plot to control souls via Wi-Fi thwarted

JohnG

Re: Never apologise to superstition

"It's high time we stopped treating religion in such a privileged manner and regarded it as the hate-filled, child abusing, reason stunting, war causing hokum that it is."

You may be right, although some religions are more chilled out than others. Anyway, we'll let you tell the Muslims of this new policy.

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Jolly rogered

JohnG

So many problems

First of all, who decides what is pornography and therefore, which sites should be banned? The legal definition of pornography (in England and Wales) is vague and open to interpretation. After that, we can get into the whole argument as to what is art and what is pornography.

Some online porn sellers in other parts of the EU may take a dim view of having their perfectly legitimate business routinely blocked from customers in the UK and may take legal action against the UK for interference in the single market.

What the "think of the children" brigade seemed to have missed is that, despite having some of the most puritanical pornography laws in Europe, the UK consistently has the highest teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in Europe. This tells us that the draconian approach is not working at all.

Something else that the "think of the children" brigade have missed is violence. Whilst they seem desperately worried that some pubescent kids will see some nudity or some people engaged in sex, none of them seem at all worried that their kids might view videos of someone having their throat cut by some terrorists or some Chechen girl being kicked and then buried alive for alleged adultery or ...

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McAfee founder raided in Belize by gang-busting police

JohnG

Belize has been independent from the UK since 1981, so we don't have any say in how they run their affairs. I guess it is technically still a Crown Protectorate, meaning we are supposed to help out if they get invaded (although that status didn't help Grenada in the 80s).

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Apple to dominate tablet biz, PC market for years

JohnG

"This forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs,"

I'd bet against that.

My tablet cost almost as much as my notebook. If I want to make notes in meeting, I need a proper keyboard - the touch screens methods simply aren't fast or reliable enough. If I need a proper keyboard, I might as well take the notebook instead of the tablet. Then there's the tablet's lack of processing power/memory/storage and the tablet apps being baby versions of what I have on the notebook. The tablet is fine for reading documents and emails, web browsing and the like but whenever I need to do some real work, I go back to the notebook or the desktop system and the tablet tends to be gathering dust.

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Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

JohnG

We also assume our readership has plenty of relevant know-how.

...or they know how to use Google.

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JohnG

Re: No, You need to get real.

"Theft is hardly on the same level as child porn. But it's still theft."

...but copyright infringement is not theft.

From the Theft Act 1968 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60):

"A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly."

Note the bit about "permanently depriving" - making a copy of some property does not permanently deprive the owner of the property and copyright infringement is not theft under the law in England and Wales.

Also, it may surprise you to learn that TPB links to many torrents that do not represent copyright infringement.

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GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

JohnG

ICT

ICT could also be Intra Corporate Transfer, this being the type of visa used to bring mostly Indian IT workers into the UK, such that those locals who have taken Computer Science GCSE but have no experience will be going straight on the Dole.

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Terrorists 'build secure VoIP over GPRS network'

JohnG

"Perhaps American citizens can use this technology to protect our communications..."

AFAIK, anyone who uses a form of encryption that defeats the NSA is likely to win a visit from the Feds.

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Google to FCC: Protecting Street View coder didn't derail probe

JohnG

Re: Sounds believable!

The snag with this theory is that Google did not store any encrypted payload data, the 600GB consisted only of unencrypted payload data. It is also difficult to believe that decisions about the content of the software build to be used in this global project was left to only one or two people.

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JohnG

"If you leave your wifi un-encrypted you deserve having your data viewed and recorded by third parties."

Maybe so but it is a criminal offence in most countries and third parties who engage in such activities can expect to be arrested. In some countries, the mere possession of the necessary tools (by those who are not certified security professionals) is also a criminal offence. Why should Google and their employees expect special treatment?

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'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry

JohnG

Cool?

“Misguided school-age career counselling” is another problem, as it often suggests to young women that ICT careers are too hard or somehow unfeminine.

No they don't - they keep trying to convince young women that IT is cool, with things like Women in Science and Engineering. They have been doing this since I was at university, 30 years ago. The snag is, when older folk tell teenagers that something is cool, they will have actually convinced them of the exact opposite.

Another problem is that young women (and men) considering a career in IT may have noticed the impact of ICT* visas, where people from India are brought to the UK to fill IT jobs or the offshoring of IT jobs, all conspiring to reduce opportunities and salaries. They may also have noticed the significant percentage of graduates from IT related courses who cannot find employment. Careers in medicine, law or banking are likely to have better prospects and salaries, which is decidedly more cool than being jobless.

*ICT = Intra Corporate Transfer, a sneaky way to have someone working in the UK under Indian terms and conditions.

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US doc finally fingers elusive G-spot

JohnG

"Hi dear, how was your day? I have some news - I will be going on a business trip to Europe next month. I am going to spend a few weeks trying to find the G-Spot on a selection of Polish women."

I bet his expenses claim makes funny reading too - I wonder what the IRS will make of it.

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Google Drive stalls on LAUNCH DAY

JohnG
Headmaster

Re: Drive not ready

"I don't see microsoft giving us street view"

Actually, Bing now has a StreetView lookalike called StreetSide.

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JohnG

Re: Point?

I guess Google already have a substantial user base and Drive neatly dovetails with their existing Docs service, allowing some types of files stored in Drive to be viewed/edited from within a browser. The sharing feature is pretty straightforward but I haven't yet tried the feature where you can hand ownership of some shared files to someone else.

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JohnG

Re: Windows

Me too. It was activated some minutes after I selected "Notify me when my drive is ready" option.

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Hamburg court: Google must police YouTube content

JohnG

Re: I wonder ...

"I wonder what the loss to Google would be, of not supplying YouTube to Germany ?"

Google do provide You Tube in Germany but for many videos clips, users will get this message instead of the chosen clip:

"Unfortunately, this video is not available in Germany, because it may contain music for which GEMA has not granted the respective music rights.

Sorry about that."

This applies to music from artists from around the world, not just German artists.

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Ten... Satnavs to suit all budgets

JohnG

Re: Motorbike Satnavs?

Medion have some sat navs for car use (i.e. not waterproofed) under £200 with Bluetooth - but I think the Bluetooth may be to use the sat nav as a handsfree kit, rather than to output to a Bluetooth headset. However, Medions and some other brands can output on VHF FM, if that is of any help.

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Austrian village considers a F**king name change

JohnG

Attributed without evidence

"...despite a spate of thefts of its road signs, largely attributed to itinerant snickering Brits."

....because Austrian and Germans can't speak any English and have no knowledge of the word "Fuck". Never mind all the other English speaking visitors to the area - it must be the Brits.

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Gmail goes titsup for 30 MILLION PUNTERS

JohnG

Re: Chocolate factory mail melt down

It was the strain of all those Easter eggs.

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Student's Linux daemon 0-day triggers InfoSec Institute outcry

JohnG

Re: where the buck stops

"Read the EULA - they're not responsible for anything at all anywhere ever"

They wish. Just because you write something in an EULA doesn't mean you can enforce it - especially if it flies in the face of consumer protection law. (As Apple have recently discovered in Italy).

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JohnG

Re: where the buck stops

"So whatever software I find a bug in, I should hold Microsoft responsible if I'm running it on Windows?"

If it came on a Windows CD or as a download from Microsoft - yes. If it came from somewhere/someone else - no.

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Apple finally deploys Mac Flashback Trojan terminator

JohnG

Re: Strangely...

The original press release about Flashback from Dr Web (the Russian AV firm that apparently discovered this variant of Flashback) lists several Russian web sites as hosting the code. As Flashback gets its victims in browse by infections, the infections are likely to be limited to those who have visited these websites.

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Two teens cuffed after Blighty's anti-terror hotline hacked

JohnG

Re: What no extradition? - I'm shocked.

If they did sit in on that teleconference with the FBI and if the conference server happens to be in the USA or at a US embassy, then they are probably f*cked - unless they have Asperger's syndrome.

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Softphones strangled by smartphone battery life

JohnG

VoIP banned - Germany too

VoIP is banned by all but one of the German cellular network operators. I'm not sure that they actually police this though.

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UK.gov has shaved off 16% of IT staff in 4 years

JohnG

Re: I need a "Mr Cynical" icon

It would be more interesting to see all the relevant numbers and how they have changed i.e. staff, consultants, outsourced, etc. It would also be interesting to see how many jobs have been outsourced abroad.

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Commodore founder Jack Tramiel dies at 83

JohnG

PET - a forgotten leader of its time

In my summer holidays, I had a temporary job with the first computer shop where I lived in Devon. The shop sold PET systems, peripherals and software. The majority of the customers were small businesses who used PETs for accounts, invoicing, etc.

As I remember, there had been some hobbyist microprocessor kits around but most of these had only hexadecimal keypads and 7 segment displays - the PET was the first affordable system available in the UK that had the associated peripherals and software that made it more than just a toy for enthusiasts. The Apple ][ and TRS-80 came a bit later.

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CSIRO patent-trolls ALL OF AMERICA!

JohnG

Re: Ay yes but in the USA

Yes - this is the other side of the "not invented here" attitude.

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Windows 3.1 rebooted: Microsoft's DOS destroyer turns 20

JohnG

MS still the underdog then

At that time, MS was still the underdog to the likes of Lotus123, Wordperfect and Novell - but the popularity of these and other DOS/Windows applications meant that Apple was no longer in the running for the corporate desktop. Windows 3.11 (WFWG) was a winner as it meant that the network client was integral to Windows and no longer had to be built underneath in DOS, before starting Windows. Additionally, users could network between themselves - they didn't have to be connected to a server, unlike some other offerings of that era.

MS started to win later, as Lotus, Wordperfect and other big players seemed to have difficulty moving to the WIMP world, with many users running DOS versions of their applications under Windows, rather than the new Windows versions.

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550,000-strong army of Mac zombies spreads across world

JohnG

Re: The malware prompts for the administrator password

RTFA. V1 did that but V2 doesn't require any user interaction.

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Broadband a climate champion: ITU

JohnG

Re: Telecommuting: The Problem is with your PHB

Agreed - telecommuting in one form or another has been around for couple of decades but has been hampered by "working from home = skiving" and "remote access gadgets are perks for the bosses, not the prols".

Similarly, video-conferencing has been around for a long time but, when some senior manager is whining about how he has to travel to the Far East yet again, the suggestion that he could instead use one of the under-utilised video conferencing suites will be about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. Even the climate conferences in Kyoto and Copenhagen saw hundreds of people travelling from various parts of the world instead of using conferencing technologies.

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IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

JohnG

Re: IPv6 isn't happening any time soon

"People will keep their old IPv4 connections, just like mobile phone users still keep SMS and GSM telephony around."

In which case, everything still works on IPv4, then there is no need for IPv6 and companies won't expend resources on it. That's the point - and it is the current reality. Whilst a few companies (e.g. Google) may be implementing IPv6 alongside their IPv4 offerings, the vast majority are not and have no plans to do so because there is no benefit in such expenditure.

Recovering unused IPv4 ranges doesn't involve changing addresses because, we are discussing the reallocation of entire unused address ranges from one organisation (often defunct) to another. What has changed is that increased memory in routers allows for larger routing tables that arise when allocations are made in smaller chunks.

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Facebook: Your boss asks for your password, we'll sue him! Maybe

JohnG

Re: But but but...

"On what grounds would Facebook take legal action against such an employer? "

Unauthorised access of Facebook's computer systems. Like most organisations, FB allows access to their systems only under their own Terms & Conditions - which don't allow access to someone else's FB account: "You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.".

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You're crap and paid too much for the little work you actually do

JohnG

Re: I stopped reading after the first point

The problem is management of the sort described in the article. There is a tendency amongst some managers to "pick up and run with the ball" for only as long as more senior managers are interested, switching from one shiny ball to another, never actually completing anything. The snag with this is that whilst things like backups and security are normally uninteresting to senior management, you can bet that they will take a keen interest if backups or security are found to be inadequate and important data is lost or compromised. The only way to ensure such mundane but essential activities are addressed is to highlight the risks associated with their failure to management - if they then choose to live with the risk, that is their prerogative.

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'Fileless' malware installs into RAM

JohnG

Re: Installs the Lurk Trojan?

The Lurk bit is secondary - the initial part doesn't install any files but snarfs some user data (e.g. browser history) and sends it back to the mothership, where a decision is then made about installing Lurk.

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Atmospheric CO2 set to soar - OECD

JohnG

Re: The solution is still nuclear.

"Are Thorium reactors viable at present? Perhaps in the future..."

Have a look at the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment at Oak Ridge.

One of the "problems" with Thorium is that it doesn't provide materials useful for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, which may partially explain why this type of reactor has not been pursued.

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Russell Brand 'threw small voice-enabled iPad through window'

JohnG

Brand and Brown

As law enforcement in Miami have apparently failed to act against Chris Brown for allegedly stealing someone's iphone in similar circumstances, maybe Brand's lawyer will question why he hasn't received the same privileged treatment for what would be a less serious offence.

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Cisco vows to give 4,000 Brit kids a proper IT schooling

JohnG

Cool in Bangalore because there are jobs there

“Tech is a really cool thing to do” in places like Bangalore, he said. “The Indian graduates will work enormously hard to get into the Tata, Wipros, Microsofts and Ciscos in India. It ain’t like that here. We really need to get over why IT ain't cool. It's not a problem people have in other parts of the world.”

Exactly - it may be cool in Bangalore because loads of British jobs have been outsourced to India or offered to Indians on ICT visas who are then rotated in and out of the UK, so the companies concerned can avoid UK/European employment law and save a wad of cash. Statistics clearly show that IT graduates have the least chance of finding work and that's why nobody is interested.

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Stratfor email hackers were tricked into using Feds' server

JohnG

I guess the riposte from the FBI would be that they didn't coerce or otherwise encourage anyone to steal any data - they just provided a place for the loot to be stored.

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Ten... e-cars and hybrids

JohnG

Hybrid 4WD

Peugeot are not the first to come up with a hybrid 4WD - The Toyota Estima Hybrid has been around for over ten years, using an ICE at the front wheels and an electric motor driving the rear wheels to provide a four wheel drive system on what would otherwise be a front wheel drive Previa.

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for Apple-Android peace talks

JohnG

Re: Patent?

There has to be plenty of prior art in the UK, simply to comply with the law with regards to credit, contracts and minors.

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UK.gov holds summit to stop satnav-driven smash-ups

JohnG

Sat Navs cause no damage

"... satnavs had caused more than £203m worth of damage to drivers on UK roads in the last year.."

No they didn't - the drivers are the ones with the driving licenses, not the sat navs. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that they are driving in accordance with the law - observing road signs, that their vehicle is in roadworthy condition, etc. Inanimate driving aids have no responsibility for anything.

Lorry drivers should be using sat navs designed for their type of vehcle i.e. taking width and height restrictions into account.

All drivers must observe the laws of the country in which they are driving - this means speed limits, signage - such as width and height restrictions in metric or imperial measures, the need to carry certain spares or high visibility jackets. Drivers that don't do this can expect to face the relevant penalties.

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Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

JohnG

Re: The worry....

I've had a Prius for almost 7 years now and if there is any degradation in the battery pack, it is not apparent. A cheaper alternative to battery pack replacement is refurbishment and a number of companies (mostly in the USA) offer such services, mostly for the older 1st generation hybrids.

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AOL joins advertiser exodus from Rush Limbaugh

JohnG

Re: Jelly toast always falls jelly side down

"...he has demonstrated what a loose cannon he is"

This is what I don't understand. Rush and those of his ilk are only ever going to lose votes for the Republicans. Those that like enjoy his rants are always going to vote Republican - but the rabid rants, manipulation of the truth and even outright lies are going to dissuade many of the "middle of the road" undecided voters that the Republicans would need if they want to win.

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Stolen iPad leads to 780lb crystal meth seizure

JohnG

IT Angle

The IT Angle was the stolen ipad and the tracking software that lead to its discovery.

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