* Posts by JohnG

1374 posts • joined 27 May 2007

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

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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Google dismisses engineer who violated privacy policy

JohnG

Security Manager

"..but who issues/hands out the passwords?"

An organisation in which I worked had this system. The passwords were under the control of a Security Manager. He had no role as a systems or network administrator - his role was solely to control and monitor access and changes to operational systems.

To the person who suggested many people would have backdoor access: not likely. Regular audits would uncover this and anyone found to be accessing systems in this way would be subject to instant dismissal and possibly, legal action.

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Tinfoil 'radiation shield' maternity wear hits 'Frisco

JohnG

Proving a negative

"So I would not shoot this one off with silly arguments, but rather see some scientific evidence that this protection is crap."

We keep on having studies which report that "no correlation has been found between <some type of cancer or other condition> and EM radiation from <mobile phones, WLAN access points, cellular base stations, etc.>" but the tinfoil hat brigade always say something like "just because you haven't found a link yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist".

Nobaody seems to care much about microwave ovens though, despite these having quite high power transmitters of the sort of wavelengths that will warm up your eyeballs.

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JohnG
Joke

...vested interest

It isn't really a vest though, more of an apron.

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ACPO defuses impending photo row with police forces

JohnG

Evidence

" If they give the photographer 48 hours with the evidence before it is presented to them its value is considerably diminished - to the point of uselessness - by the lack of an evidence-standard audit trail"

I don't buy this. The video and photos that showed the events in which a newspaper vendor met his death after being struck by a policeman at a demonstration in London were not retrieved within 48 hours. Some of the evidence turned up considerably later but was significant in the events that followed.

For any professional or amateur journalist, having your coverage of a newsworthy event confiscated for 24 hours would mean you have nothing to sell. When attending demonstrations and similar events, why don't the police carry some devices with which to copy a wide range of storage media? Their confiscation would then only last minutes rather than hours.

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McKinnon family welcomes extradition treaty review

JohnG

Crimes committed in another country

Given that burning the Koran would be a crime in many middle eastern countries, I wonder if the Americans would extradite Pastor Terry Jones to one of their allies in The War Against Terror (maybe Saudi Arabia) upon request.

As I understand it, the Americans have refused several offers for Gary McKinnon to be tried in the UK, despite the fact that he was in the UK when allegedly committing the crimes in question.

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HP sues Hurd to keep secrets from Ellison

JohnG

Sued for future breach of an agreement?

Whatever this guy may or may not have done and regardless of his alleged ethics, greed, etc. - if I have understood this correctly, HP are suing him for something he has not done yet (but they believe he will do in the future). Additionally, they also want the court to arrange for someone to follow him about, spying on his every move, just in case he breaks an agreement with them. Seriously, WTF?

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German kiddies punted porn-projecting pens

JohnG

Church?

"Like a day trip to church?"

A German by the name of Karl Marx wrote something along the lines of "Religion is the opium of the people"

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General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

JohnG

Horses for courses

Electric cars available at present are suited to a limited market, mostly because of their limited range. I know a few people who use electric cars, all of them from different manufacturers. In all cases, they use them for a commute to work of known fixed distance, park them in the underground car park (and charge them from regular 220V power sockets at the company's expense). They also use them for their weekly shop, where the distance is again, known and limited. They all have somewhere to park and charge their cars overnight.

Another point to consider about electric vehicles is what happens in winter time. De-icing or demisting windows and keeping the interior at any kind of sensible temperature usually means burning something to generate enough heat.

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JohnG

Chinese and rare earth metals

"Yeah, 'cos the Chinese are *so* well known for driving prices up and introducing scarcity into the market, aren't they?

Oh, hang on a second, they aren't? Damn, looks like you're wrong."

Look for recent news items concerning the Chinese and rare earth metals. You will find the story of how they dumped product on the world market in the 1990s to push other producers out of business. Now they have a monopoly, they are hiking the prices to the rest of the world. The Yanks reckon it will take them 15 years to rebuild their rare earth mining businesses, during which time the Chinese can charge what they like or use scarcity to drive manufacturing competitors out of business.

The Japanese spotted the potential problem and have been stockpiling rare earth metals for some time.

So, the other bloke was not wrong.

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Superhuman Chinese monk does a bunk

JohnG

He disappeared into thin air!

Famous vanishing trick.

However, when the Chinese authorities catch up with him, no doubt they will be testing his ability to withstand electricity by passing some through his nuts whilst questioning him about what he has done with the money.

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Nigerian man gets 12 years for $1.3m 419 scam

JohnG

419eater

Have a look at www.419eater.com - the folk there use the greed of the scammers to get them to waste their own time and money. One of my favourites is getting them to go on a trip to another African country, where they are lead to believe, they will receive money.

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Ex-spook jailed for selling secrets

JohnG

Not even 12 Months

He has served about half that time on remand, so they are apparently going to release him soon.

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JohnG

The Dutch

That's because he holds both British and Dutch citizenship.

Are they now going to revoke his British passport, like they did for Anna Chapman? Unlike Houghton, she had not attempted to pass on any British secrets to anyone. EU rules allow EU nationals to be barred entry for criminal offences or matters of national security.

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German gov pooh-poohs biometric ID card hack

JohnG

Re: Is it so bad?

Note that the card holder can opt out of the fingerprint bit - leaving only the PIN to deal with. Also, the German welfare system may be more generous than you think - but you don't have to go and collect cash, they pay it into your bank account. Is it so bad? I guess it depends how many IDs can be stolen/faked.

About the cling film/rubber gloves...... CCC also did this :-

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/30/german_interior_minister_fingerprint_appropriated/

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Symantec Snoop Dogg rap contest site rickrolled

JohnG

Symantec dan wif da yoof

But I'm not sure if Mr Dogg and his musical genre are the right choices to target those youngsters who might be thinking of engaging in hackery.

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Wikileaks founder blasts reopening of rape probe

JohnG

WWII

"There's speculation that Churchill began bombing civilian German targets to suck the Luftwaffe into atacking London in 1940"

There maybe such speculation but it is untrue. Firstly, a German bomber first bombed London in error after failing to find their target. The RAF responded with a bombing raid on Berlin a few nights later.

However, this is irrelevant as Hitler and Mussolini are known to have discussed (in the 1930s) the bombing of the civilian population of Britain, in order to bring Britain to surrender terms.

The Japanese gave themselves their reputation by treating all non-Japanese as animals, not least Chinese civilians, for whom WWII started in 1935.

I agree with your main point though.

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JohnG

Biting the hand that feeds you

Assange has made some comments that he questions the integrity of the Swedish legal system but this is the same system that he hopes will protect him from the wrath of the USA. Maybe he would be better off NOT giving any more statements to the press and letting his lawyers sort it out - but I guess that is not his style.

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Boris bikes for tourists delayed till year end

JohnG

Works in Germany

In Germany, Deutsche Bahn operate a system in several cities which uses mobile phones. You can locate the nearest bike using the Internet, using specific apps for iphone or android or by calling an operator. You unlock a bike and pay for it using your mobile. No registration, no fuss. Simples.

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India gives BlackBerry reprieve, eyeballs Google, Skype

JohnG

Encryption

In most email setups, only the connection between the client and the server is encrypted (SSL). Emails sent between mail servers are in the clear and governments typically have the authority to demand access to the contents of mail servers, if armed with the correct warrants.

If you are exchanging encrypted emails, are you sure that the government does not have a backdoor to the algorithm you are using?

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Porn-browsing Oz minister quits

JohnG

NSFW in NSW

The minister may have been familiar with the abbreviation NSW but perhaps not with NSFW.

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Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

JohnG

They thought the passport was not his

We haven't seen photos to compare but I guess the Dutch authorities and the British Consulate were fairly convinced that he was not the person in the photo and therefore that the passport was not his. In that event, they would seize the passport on the basis that it was being used fraudulently.

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JohnG

@Andus McCoatover

"What, 150 squids"

A passport renewal costs 77.50 GBP, unless you want it in a hurry - the one day option costs 129.50 GBP

Dogs RFID chips are actually injected into the neck but can sometimes migrate around the body. They can also fail, which could make things rather complicated.

There have been some experiments with retina scans but these are actually a bit slow and unreliable (from my own experience).

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Once-prolific Pushdo botnet crippled

JohnG

Re: Browsing in Chrome...

Don't panic - they've generated their own certificate. You can remove the "s" from "https" in the URL and everything will work (but without the encryption).

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Euro bell tolls for UK's data protection regs

JohnG

Negotiations :-)

Yeah - they are pretending there are some negotiations to hide the fact that they just received a kicking.

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Drunken employee pops cap in server

JohnG

Gun Control

"Gun control = limiting arms of law-abiding citizens."

No, gun control is an attempt to restrict the acquisition of firearms to law-abiding citizens and ideally, to those law-abiding citizens who are mentally competent for such responsibility.

If your argument held water, then firearms fatalities per capita in the USA would be similar to European countries with gun control (because gun control would have no impact on the ability of criminals to acquire firearms). As it is, firearms fatalities statistics in the USA place it alongside the crappiest countries in West Africa. This may be because criminals in the USA can acquire weapons with relative ease from others, who originally purchased them as apparently law-abiding citizens. In countries with gun control, lawful owners of firearms take care not to let their weaponry fall into the hands of criminals because they may be held partially responsible for the crimes that ensue.

Anyway, each to their own. I'm sure the Yanks will continue to enjoy living with the consequences of almost unbridled gun ownership and Europeans will continue to live with the life-impairing bureaucracy involved in gun ownership.

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