* Posts by JohnG

1347 posts • joined 27 May 2007

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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Android a photo-slurper too: report

JohnG

"Where's the third approach, which would be to install it but replace dodgy sounding permissions with stub implementations?"

Yeah, agreed but it ain't gonna happen. It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas - the people offering the "free" apps are making their money by pimping users' data to marketing companies - and Google aren't going to help as it was their idea in the first place. There are 3rd party solutions though.

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A sysadmin in telco hell

JohnG

Re: Phew!

Yeah - the European dimension adds language/translation errors and different national legislation to the fun.

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Now Apple opens fire on EPAD trademark in China

JohnG

or Siemens' Simpad.

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Weeing Frenchman sues Google over Street View photo

JohnG

Re: I know

"That dam Google with their magic wall penetrating street view system,..."

The Google Streetview cameras take their photos from a vantage point considerably higher than someone walking in the street - some of the complaints, where Streetview has photographed people in their garden behind a 2m wall, don't seem unreasonable. However, the peeing Frenchman appears to be a bit if a chancer.

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Blighty's Post Office computer system goes titsup

JohnG

Re: Is this the system.......

Actually, no. The defective Post Office system is called Horizon Online, developed and run by Fujitsu. As far as I can tell, the article you linked to was all about email and related office applications for Royal Mail Group.

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Vodafone: Do you take Visa?

JohnG

Re: Why?

...and you forgot to mention, so that they can track your purchases and sell this information to advertisers.

If you're paranoid, it also contributes to the means by which your movements and habits can be tracked by the authorities.

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

JohnG

Been there , done that

WindowsCE and its variants had apps to edit Word and Excel documents years ago - even on my ten year old SIMpad with its 8.4" screen - but nobody used them. It's all too cumbersome when the screen is too small and you haven't got a proper keyboard.

About Android: there are already Android apps for both viewing and editing Office documents but IMO they aren't practical for more than taking a few notes or "emergency use".

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Freedom-crushing govts close to ruling our web, fears FCC boss

JohnG

ITU

Given that the ITU has managed to keep politics out of international telephony, they might be the right people to keep DNS, IP allocations and the like from subversion by large corporations or politicians with an axe to grind. Like the article says, the ITU aren't going to do anything without the agreement of their members (governments around the world) and a budget.

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Sky flaunts F1 app with split-screen functions

JohnG

Re: Or you can watch RTL online

You can also receive RTL via satellite, if you can point a dish at the Astra satellites at 19.2 degrees East (instead of towards Astra2 at 28.2 degrees East, from where SKY and other UK satellite channels are broadcast). RTL is broadcast unencrypted in both digital and analogue transmissions.

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Brit student locked up for Facebook source code hack

JohnG

Irony

How much time did Facebook's founder serve for hacking into a private network at Harvard and harvesting student IDs for his new social network?

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Embattled Foxconn raises wage slaves' salaries

JohnG

"Workers of the world, unite!"

Things are so bad in these Chinese sweat shops, they might need of a dose of Communism. Oh wait...

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Two UK airports scrap IRIS eye-scanners

JohnG

Eire

I guess they'll be using an Irish Recognition System at Dublin airport.

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Cisco complains to the EU about Microsoft/Skype deal

JohnG

Different markets

I can see where Cisco is coming from but I'm not sure that they need be worried about impact to their business. Whilst Skype has attracted a large user base, most (like myself) use Skype for free personal use - whereas Cisco's unified communications offerings (like Webex) are aimed squarely at the corporate market and priced accordingly. MS has previously tried to enter the corporate UC market with little success and I doubt that Skype will make their offerings more attractive to corporate customers.

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Pope's PR says Vatican in grip of WikiLeaks-style scandal

JohnG

"...the pope will be bumped off by November this year."

It sounds a bit like the plot of "The Pope Must Die", a film with Robbie Coltrane.

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EU competition chief threatens patent war smackdown

JohnG

Open Document Format

The EU regulator didn't care when MS had the ISO standard for ODF bent to their requirements. He now seems to be championing the cause of a large organisation whose patent portfolio reflects a preference for form over function, against those companies that have invested heavily in R&D to develop the actual technologies necessary to make mobile phones work.

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Tech! Tech! Teeeeech! Women want gadgets for Valentine's

JohnG

Colour

"A device's colour comes right at the bottom of the list of a woman's considerations when choosing kit, the CEA found."

My wife must be in the minority then - colour and styling are key factors in her choice of tech.

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Greenpeace releases 'Cool IT' rankings

JohnG

"The entire Internet was conceived, designed and built by hippies"

I don't think the folk at the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and the originators of ARPANET are/were hippies?

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US entertainment lawyer casts doubt on Megaupload case

JohnG

Destroying the remaining evidence

The latest is that the US authorities are to allow the server owners to delete the remainder of Megaupload's data as the authorities have no further use for it and the server owners are no longer being paid (because the authorities closed the relevant bank accounts). Megaupload are saying they need the data for their defence - presumably to demonstrate that not all their customers were storing other people's copyrighted material.

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Nokia exec praises Brazilian...

JohnG

I did click on some of the images but I couldn't spot her Nokia S40 or a place where she possibly have hidden it.

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Outside-the-box thinking literally can't be done inside a box, say profs

JohnG

"There is possibly no bigger drain on time and productivity than the open office space myth. Whoever came up with the original idea was obviously a trick cyclist and not someone who works in an office."

Open plan and it's derivative, cubicles provide a nice way to separate the proletariat from their bosses, helping the latter to maintain their sense of superiority. The next level is to have a corner office with a nice view, only accessed via an adjacent office with a PA/secretary on guard duty. It is all about status, I doubt they ever considered productivity.

Personally, I have found the telephone to be even more intrusive that being in an open place office and particularly like the "forward to voicemail" feature.

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Pay attention, 007: Wi-Fi cufflinks perfect for a spy

JohnG

Cufflinks - how quaint!

I think the last time I wore cufflinks was at my own wedding. Being an old fart, I might have a couple of shirts with the additional buttonholes necessary for cufflinks but I suspect most of my colleagues would have difficulty finding a shirt suitable for use with a tie - cufflinks would be out of the question. I can think of a few people that might wear cufflinks but most of them can barely answer their own emails. But maybe my colleagues and I are a bunch of Proles.

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Boffins quarrel over ridding world of leap seconds

JohnG

not Y2K

The issue is what happens if the leap second adjustment is made during some critical operation and whether different equipment remains synchronised during the time update. Space missions typically pick some fixed time datum (e.g. launch) and measure time relative to that datum, so such adjustments are largely irrelevant.

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Dutch clog up The Pirate Bay (again)

JohnG

Proxy

I guess users of the ISPs concerned can select one of the numerous free proxies located in other countries and continue to access TPB as normal.

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Apple said to threaten legal action over Steve Jobs doll

JohnG

Re Didn't Snow White...

"...Apple Computer agreed not to enter the music business..."

So, one wonders where they stand vis a vis iTiunes.

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Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab

JohnG

Map updates

Last year, I paid 80 Euros (I live in Germany but the UK price was equivalent) for a combined update package which gave me:

New version of the nav software

Latest maps for all of Europe

2 years subscription for map updates

License for TMCpro

That didn't seem so expensive. Part of the problem is that the sort of drivers who think their sat nav is responsible if they choose to drive into a river are unlikely to consider that they may hold any responsibility for map updates, electronic or paper.

If the councils and government really gave a shit about this, they could be providing a free basic TMC service, as in France and Germany. That would allow them to show roads as blocked or restricted until the nav manufacturers catch up.

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KIBOSH 'non lethal' sticky-bomb hits a car, fills it with gas

JohnG

Mitigation

Drive with the windows down.

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Year of the Penguin - el Reg's 2011 Linux-land roundup

JohnG

"Probably not worth mentioning because they didn't choose the underlying OS..."

That's just silly - it's like saying iphones are irrelevant because most users didn't explicitly choose ios. The point he was making is that Android is introducing linux to a very large number of users, most of whom would probably never use Ubuntu or similar.

About adding Google Market to a tablet - there's an app for that - and you only have to run it once.

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Raving Iranian TV accuses Ofcom of Sky ban

JohnG

Bigger fish to fry?

There's been the talk of more severe sanctions, then the attack on the British embassy compounds and the subsequent withdrawals of so many European diplomatic staff. Iran has now suggested that, if there are more sanctions, they might close the Straits of Hormuz, thereby cutting off an international shipping route and, perhaps more importantly, the supply of oil to the USA. If I was living in Iran right now, I wouldn't be that bothered about Press TV's status in the UK.

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