* Posts by JohnG

1349 posts • joined 27 May 2007

WikiLeaks: Intel strong-armed Russian apparatchiks

JohnG

Quid pro quo?

Would the US authorities would allow a Russian company to import and use some unknown encryption in the USA?

Does anyone know what type of encryption Intel are using? Is it some exotic in-house creation?

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WikiLeaks dubs Amazon 'The Cowardly Liar'

JohnG

Publishing US classified material in the USA

IANAL but Amazon may be worried that publishing large amounts of US classified material may be illegal in the USA.

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My Droid EXPLODED mid phone call, says Texan

JohnG

Mossad?

Didn't they do something like this a few years ago?.

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Renta-spook: GCHQ commercialisation 'is a live issue'

JohnG

GCHQ encryption services for industry

Your secrets are safe with our cryptography. You have one key, we have another! What could possibly go wrong?

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DDoS attack, sex warrant won't stop Assange's leaky discharge

JohnG

Bin Laden hunt not successful

Palin should have picked a better example of a manhunt, as Bin Laden has not been caught after ten years of hunting.

Assange may have less to worry about from the USA or Sweden than from countries in the Middle East or Central Asia, where the concept of free speech is unfamiliar and people with wealth and power do not tolerate criticism.

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Canada steps closer to legalising sex work

JohnG

Legalisation

I live in Germany where prostitution is legal, subject to a number of restrictions. Brothels are not allowed near schools or churches and planning constraints mean brothels are typically located at the edges of towns or in industrial areas. Girls have regular health checks, pay taxes, have health insurance and pensions - they even have their own trade union.

The advantages are that there are fewer opportunities for criminals to control or exploit prostitutes, there are fewer girls working streets and trafficking is more difficult. Whilst I would not want to see a daughter, sister or other family member working as a prostitute, the German approach seems much better than that seen in the UK or the USA.

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Feds seize 70 'filesharing, dodgy goods' sites

JohnG

Google?

Google's search seems to be good at finding torrents - are they going after Google as well? :-)

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Stuxnet code leak to cause CYBER-APOCALYPSE NOW!

JohnG

Shutting down the transport network across the UK

A bit like snow but without the snowmen and snowball fights?

What is quite funny about the comments on the Sky news site is that many have commented as if they are true experts in computer security but their comments indicate the opposite.

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MS drops drive pooling from Windows Home Server

JohnG

No active routing since Vista

MS also removed active routing protocols from Vista onwards.

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Fujitsu in deal with Northern Ireland beaks

JohnG

ICT?

"Fujitsu will provide a managed ICT and telecommunications service for the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service for the next five years."

Does ICT refer to Intra-Company Transfer and a load of people hired on the cheap in far flung places?

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Immigration caps won't touch tech transfers

JohnG

Bullshit detected

John Cridland, director general designate of the CBI, said: “Exempting most ‘Intra-Company Transfers’ from the cap will also allow firms with international operations to manage their global workforce effectively. This will make sure that the UK remains an attractive place to base new projects and investment, which means more jobs for UK workers."

This is funny because ICTs seem to be mostly used to bring in Indians so that locals in the UK can show them how to do their jobs, after which the locals are made redundant and their jobs are offshored to India. This may be advantageous to the bottom line of some companies by reducing their wage and tax bills but it results in less jobs for UK workers and less revenue for the UK.

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UK.gov insists e-petitions won't be ditched

JohnG

re: but it's still there

Probably because one of the most popular petitions was the one invited Gordon Brown to resign.

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MP wants age verification for net smut

JohnG

Age verification

There is already age verification in that you have to be 18 or over to sign up for an ISP because they are offering services on credit. The responsibility for how those services are then used by minors should remain with the adult(s) who procured the services. PAYG phones may be different but perhaps the purchase of these services should also be subject to adult approval.

The Internet is not and will never be, a safe place for children and I for one do not want my rights further eroded by more government sanctioned snooping. ISPs should not have to police our communications and any law which promotes this will probably be in conflict with the ECHR.

Then there is the slight difficulty that ISPs would face in accurately predicting what sites are actually hosting porn - particularly given that the UK's legal definition of porn is so vague and flexible. ISPs have the reasonable objection that they could never hope to fully comply with any age control legislation. After this comes the problem that porn is readily available on P2P and Usenet, neither of which would be affected by any web filter. Do none of these politicians actually bother to find out the facts before they start dreaming up new legislation?

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A young and pretty Linux server OS that takes a bit of work

JohnG

Anna Popplewell

letters

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Content 'made available' in jurisdiction where server is located

JohnG

Allofmp3?

I guess that means Allofmp3 was OK after all, as they had complied with the relevant Russian legislation.

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Top Ten Arcade Classics

JohnG

This takes me back a bit

My game was Battlezone - many hours wasted on the machine at the campus supermarket.

I also have fond memories of the "pub table" variant of PacMan. Wacka Wacka Wacka Wacka.....

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UK.gov ignores 'net neutrality' campaigners

JohnG

Currently, there is no net neutrality

A lot of people here seem to be getting upset about the possibility that they won't have net neutrality, guaranteed by some legislation and then policed by some nosey government body. Has nobody realised that the terrible future with no net neutrality they described is actually the current situation? Are there any ISPs that do not stipulate their right to constrain any traffic that they deem to be excessive? How about business broadband customers who have a lower contention ratio than domestic customers? Some large corporate customers may require a maximum average latency to certain specified points - and they pay to have this in their SLA. The unfair Internet described is already here - but it still works, ISPs are not dropping VoIP or VPN connections and the end of the world has not yet arrived.

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Royal Wedding: Prince Charles is a ZX81, Wills is an iPad

JohnG

Pilfering

Is this how "pilfering" is defined?

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Facebook engineer bashes Google for Gmail block

JohnG

Facebook : Our members details private, everyone else fair game

""Each person owns her friends list, but not her friends' information. A person has no more right to mass export all of her friends' private email addresses than she does to mass export all of her friends' private photo albums," he says."

Oh really? I am not a Facebook user but every so often, I get emails from Facebook because one of my friends has given Facebook my private email address and Facebook are using it to punt their service. These emails are typically repeated several times before they give up. Applying their own statement above, Facebook should not be using the private email addresses of people who have not chosen to use their service, whether those emails have come from Google or anywhere else.

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Brussels blocks UK from biometric superdatabase

JohnG

Join Schengen?

Take drive around Coquelles (the area near the French end of Eurotunnel) and you would see why this would be a very bad idea for the UK.

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Marathon adds suspenders to virty server belts

JohnG
Paris Hilton

Suspenders

"...like putting on suspenders as well as a belt..."

This had me puzzled for a bit: Suspenders are held up with a belt. Then I realised, the author is probably from across the pond and is talking about "belt and braces" and wasn't just mentioning an article of ladies underwear to get people to read something boring about servers.

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Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

JohnG

Gold

Nice idea TeeCee but don't the banks measure gold by the Troy ounce?

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Nearly half of top UK firms do not use software escrow

JohnG

Been there

Many years ago, I was working for a large subsidiary of a very large bank. My boss, the systems accountant, had ensured that an escrow arrangement was in place for the multi-currency accounts system we were using. This turned out to be very useful when the group which owned the software house went into liquidation. The software ended up in the hands of a software vendor who then attempted to extract new license fees for our continued use of the software and substantial sums for maintenance. Once my boss had indicated we had already obtained the source code via the escrow agreement and would invite other companies to offer software support, the maintenance costs were reduced to normal levels and the need for new licenses evaporated.

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North Lincs pilots victimisation index

JohnG

What a waste of money!

Pilkington made13 emergency calls to the Police in the year of her death. The culprits were known to Police, local council and social services but nobody was ever arrested. They don't need software - they just need to actually investigate emergency calls instead of ignoring them.

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UK border police seize £500k from Nigerians' hand luggage

JohnG

"Free" movement of capital within the EU

"Since they were coming from within the EU they would not have needed to declare it."

The free movement of capital within the EU is limited by rules which require the reporting of suspicious transactions. This means that banks will report transactions over 15000 euros (or the equivalent in other currencies) and that any cash over this amount must be accompanied by documentation indicating its origin, when crossing borders. Without evidence to support a legal source, such cash can be considered as proceeds of crime and may be seized by the authorities. The owners of the cash are then usually given a time period in which they must provide evidence of the legitimate source of the cash, if it is to be returned. Some member states have set even lower thresholds for reporting of suspicious transactions.

Because Schengen states don't operate border controls, the relevant authorities can make such checks on anyone within a certain distance of their national border.

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JohnG

Bank charges for intra EU transfers : BIC, IBAN and Euros

"I suppose it will make me that little bit more cautious about carrying money between the UK and the continent (which i do occasionally in order to avoid the ludicrous exchange fees British banks charge!)."

The EU/EEA directive 2560/2001 on intra EEA bank transfers states that banks in the EU/EEA (even if not in the € zone) may not charge more to send or receive a transfer in Euro within the EU/EEA than they do for a domestic transfers (which are free in many countries). To benefit from EU regulation 2560/2001, the ordering customer must send the payment in Euros and use BIC & IBAN.

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Facebook comes down hard on Faceporn

JohnG

lamebook,com

Apparently OK.

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European Parliament: If you don't pay, you will pay

JohnG

New terms?

" "Contracts will not be able to extend that period beyond 60 days "unless otherwise expressly agreed in the contract and provided it is not grossly unfair to the creditor", according to the new directive.", I suppose that nothing will actually happen. Contracts will be renegotiated, and payment terms will remain the same."

Only if you agree to the new terms. Unless you enjoy volunteer work, there is no point working for nothing. If a company doesn't have the cashflow to pay in 30 days, they are even less likely to be able to pay later.

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Beeb pulls in Yank to direct Auntie's online digital opera

JohnG

A Yank working for a Dutch boss

For a publicly funded British organisation like the BBC, it is a bit questionable to have two foreigners given such well paid high level positions.

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Microsoft's fear of an OpenOffice

JohnG

"MS compatibility between it's own versions is atrocious."

I wonder if MS do this on purpose to wrong foot the competition (OpenOffice) or if it is just incompetence.

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Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills

JohnG

Re: Chase the money....

...then you get to a money mule. People are offered jobs where they can work at home - all they need is a bank account to receive payments. They keep a percentage of the payment, cash rest and send it via Western Union or similar cash transfer service to someone in Eastern Europe. There are apparently enough people gullible enough to do this.

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Rogue engineer supplied dodgy power to 1,500 homes

JohnG

Coin operated meters

Maybe the landlords concerned had coin operated meters fitted. That might explain the large sum of cash found.

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Bruce Willis relaxes as asteroid skims Singapore

JohnG
Joke

Reminiscent of a recent entry on Lamebook

http://www.lamebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/dumb-assteroid.png

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Hefty physicist: Global warming is 'pseudoscientific fraud'

JohnG

Science vs religion

Climate change does seem to be more like religion than science. Given the number of variables and timescales involved, demonstarting climate change and man's involvement is not a black and white issue. It understandable that politicians and businessmen will follow one side or another to suit their own interests or agenda but it is a pity that scientists the world over are expected to choose sides.

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Google robo cars drive selves on public streets

JohnG

Re: you're kidding, right?

The snag with the strict emission controls implemented in the USA is that they are only concerned with PERCENTAGE emissions and not volume. The emissions of a 4 or 5 litre engine may look good when viewed in percentage terms but when you consider emission as volume per mile driven, the results are not as good.

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Google shuts down GOOG-411 voice data honeypot

JohnG

Cockney accent to Americans

Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins"

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Robot teddy bears attack Alzheimer's

JohnG

Dogs vs. robot bears

"Robot therapy offers advantages such as not having any of the hygiene-related problems that can accompany animals and of course, these robots do not bite."

Dog poo to be replaced by leaking or exploding batteries. Thinking about hygiene - these things will need to be washable or they will end up smelling of old people i.e. piss.

Most dogs (and cats, for that matter) appear to be well acquainted with the concept of "not biting the hand that feeds you".

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Corrupt Akamai worker charged after secrets sting

JohnG

The unnamed foreign power is

Israel

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Google open sources JPEG assassin

JohnG

Compressing JPEGs

"Reading comprehension Fail. You're not compressing JPEGS - JPEG has nothing to do with this."

Oh really? Are you're saying that all your current photos are in WebP and your camera(s)/mobile phone(s) produce photos in the WebP format? If not, then it may not be Pirate Dave who has been inflicted with a lack of comprehension.

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Stuxnet worm slithers into China, heralds alien invasion

JohnG

Infections vs target(s)

The distribution of infected PCs in various countries may only reflect the means by which the code has been distributed and does not necessarily correlate with the ultimate target(s). AFAIK, Siemens stated that they have not licensed any copies of their Simatic WinCC software for use in Iran and have not traded there for 30 years. Maybe Iranians all get their copies of Simatic WinCC from Bittorrent. That might also explain the infection rates in India and China.

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Virgin Media introduces P2P throttling

JohnG

The issue with P2P

Broadly speaking, network components share network resources amongst users on a per TCP connection basis. UDP transfers are typically expected to be brief (e.g. DNS queries) and therefore, insignificant. This works fine with traditional applications like http and ftp, where a single TCP connection or a few TCP connections are used per application. However, P2P applications effectively "cheat the system" by establishing large numbers of distinct TCP connections with multiple destinations. Many P2P applications also use UDP, again using multiple "connections" with multiple destinations. The end effect is that P2P applications grab way more than their fair share of available network resources, resulting in poor performance of other non-P2P applications and complaints from the affected users.

VPNs or applications using nntp, ssl or ssh on single TCP connections are limited by the normal mechanisms, won't grab unreasonable chunks of available resources and are therefore, unlikely to attract attention for reasons of bandwidth usage.

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HABITABLE ALIEN WORLD discovered 20 light-years away!

JohnG

Emigration

We should start building ships to take all the important people to one of the new worlds right away as ours is definitely going to be hit by a big asteroid in a few years time. Sadly, some of us lowly engineering types will have to stay behind to launch the first wave of spaceships but we will follow later. Important people like politicians, senior bankers, reality show celebrities, Scientologists and the like should pack only a single suitcase as space on the space ship will be limited.

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EU sues UK.gov over Phorm trials

JohnG

Punish the victims instead of those responsible

"If the government loses the case, it faces fines of millions of pounds per day until it brings UK law in line with European law."

The "it" that faces the fines being the unfortunate taxpayers who will ultimately pay the fines and who are also the victims of the privacy violations concerned. None of those responsible will see any dent in their salaries, pensions or golden handshakes. Why not fine the former ministers and officials responsible for introducing RIPA in the first place and then fine those currently responsible if they fail to remove the offending legislation in short order?

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Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed

JohnG

M25 Jct 9 because....

....it is the nearest motorway junction to the nutters concerned (Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead).

Someone named their church after their car radio and they have a fascination for cassette tapes.

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Crash grounds RAF Eurofighters - for Battle of Britain Day!

JohnG

Russians

"The Russians have the best ejector seats. We could make SU-30s under license. All you need is a ball-pein hammer and a pop-rivet gun."

...and the Russian defence industry is adopting NATO standards. As so many newer NATO entrants already have Russian hardware, the Russians see NATO as a good market.

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Online hotel bookings to be probed for price-fixing

JohnG

Direct to hotel

I typically email the hotels or their head office directly. What is interesting is how many crappy sites get themselves higher in search results than the hotels' own websites. Many pretend that they are the hotel staff, offering their own contact details in place of those of the hotels.

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Check Point defends ZoneAlarm scareware-style warning

JohnG

Shot in the foot

"...For a legitimate security firm like Check Point to adopt similar tactics is a great shame because it can only increase user confusion, especially if other suppliers respond in kind to the ZoneAlarm slur against the effectiveness of their products."

Many users will now probably associate Checkpoint and ZoneAlarm with fake security software vendors who employ similar tactics. What were they thinking?

Their competitors may choose to capitalise on Checkpoint's error by offering advice that suggests those who try to sell you stuff with fake warnings are all scammers.

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Europe pushes TV spectrum sell-off

JohnG

License exempt

If they really wanted to improve broadband access, they would provide some useful chunks of spectrum for license free use. This would help reduce the costs to a level where providers would then consider providing service to areas currently not worthwhile and/or individuals and small communities could organise their own links.

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Pope makes central London no-go zone for BT engineers

JohnG

Is this what is meant by ......

....an Act of God?

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Trident delay by the Coalition: Cunning plan, or bad idea?

JohnG

Does it deter? When would we use it?

Are there any scenarios in which Britain would use the nuclear deterrent in which neither the USA nor the French would also be using theirs against the same targets? If not, given the limited nature of Britain's arsenal, is it really worth keeping if it means we then have to lose or reduce other elements of the armed forces which see regular use. How much are the Russians or Chinese really deterred by our weaponry?

Can we even use our nuclear weapons without permission from the USA? Back when the Trident systems were first delivered, there was some discussion about dual keys: we had one set of codes and the USA had the others. At the time, we could not fire our nuclear weapons without the USA first giving us the remaining codes. Is this still the case?

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