* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Judge: No cryptographic hash analysis without warrant

Graham Marsden


> Someone (later defined as "the landlord's acquaintance") who took possession of his computer stumbled upon some of the forbidden files and reported them to police.

Or maybe the landlord's acquaintance decided to access some kiddie porn himself and then reported it?

And was it legal for that acquaintance to take possession of that computer anyway? I don't know how the US system works, but AIUI in the UK it is illegal for a landlord to take possession of a tenant's personal property, they must apply for a Court Order for Bailiffs to remove the tenant and/ or any property, not simply grab it themselves.

Tory MP smacks Labour about the balls

Graham Marsden

Can I be the first to say...

... that sounds like a load of balls to me...

BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

Graham Marsden

"Sapphire's not an element!"

... Nor was Steel, but it was still a wonderfully original piece of TV SF!

Mine's the one with the series DVD in the pocket...

Tens of thousands of kids need to be protected from ContactPoint users

Graham Marsden

So how about...

... *Everyone* puts in an application for their children's data to be shielded?

By the time that lot gets sorted out the kids will have grown up anyway!

Microsoft: 'Patents are gibberish - unless you're a patent lawyer'

Graham Marsden
Gates Horns

'Patents are gibberish - unless you're a patent lawyer'...

... and that's the way we like it!

Distrust means cop databases suffer arrested development

Graham Marsden

many coppers are simply reluctant to trust...

... their foreign colleagues with sensitive operational information

Yeah, they might leave it on a train...!

Mobe number middleman turns old sims into gold

Graham Marsden

"Dialling words has never been very popular in the UK"

The original design of the Subscriber Trunk Dialling system used letters for the dialling codes of various places:

"For example Aylesbury was given the STD code 0296, where the letter A can be found on the number 2 and the letter Y on the number 9. The letter O became a zero (except in placenames beginning with O), such as Bournemouth: 0202 - 20 = BO. However as more and more places were given STD codes this system became unworkable. The use of alphabetic exchange (area) codes was abandoned in the 1960s"

From http://www.fact-archive.com/encyclopedia/UK_telephone_numbering_plan

The problem was that not all rotary phone dials were standardised to use the same layout, for instance some put O, Q and Z on the Zero finger hole instead of their standard alphabetical places, which could cause confusion.

Also, of course, it was much more difficult to get "custom numbers" back in the days of the General Post Office who originally ran the phone system (and you didn't even *own* your phone, you only rented it from them!) or even in the early BT days before number portability, so trying to get a number that spelled "plumber" was virtually impossible.

Express Scripts posts $1m reward to net cyber-extortionists

Graham Marsden

Going public etc

It's good to see a company actually owning up to and taking responsibility for its failure to protect customers' information instead of trying to bury its head in the sand or conceal the facts.

I hope the extortionists get all they deserve.

McLaren teams up with chip firm for F1 hybrid tech

Graham Marsden

Toro Rosso...

... will surely be using a system which injects caffeine directly into the engine (or perhaps the driver...!)

Maradona rubbed from Yahoo! web by Argentinian judge

Graham Marsden

So is this the face of the future...?

... The web being sanitised at the whim of Judges who mostly don't have a clue about it, at the behest of money grubbing lawyers who don't care about it, prompted by idiot "celebrities" who think they have a right to control it and what people can read about them...?

Not only do we have to worry about Control Freak Governments telling us what we can or cannot look at in case it's bad for us (or because it exposes their embarassing failures), now we risk seeing the most powerful tool for Freedom of Information being crippled by those who are only interested in a quick buck.

Broadband speed testers fail the test

Graham Marsden

In other words...

... Virgin have a shite service, so they want to slag off anything that proves they have a shite service...

US Forces offer soundtrack-search 'TroopTube'

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

"soundtrack search function"?

So will it scan for words like "Die infidel pig!" or "Death to America"?!

Boffins plan Titanic balloon trip

Graham Marsden


... Someone's been reading Arthur C Clarke's "A Meeting With Medusa" ;-)

Starlust: love, hate and celebrity fantasies

Graham Marsden

"A written constitution"?

We have Rights in this country as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights which the UK Government encoded into our laws with the Human Rights Act.

Unfortunately those Rights are shot through with "weakening clauses" (or should that be "weasel clauses"?) such as Article 8's "RIght to Privacy" which says:

"There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

The "protection of health and morals" was the way the Government managed to justify their prosecution of the Operation Spanner defendants (a bunch of gay man engaged in somewhat extreme BDSM acts) and their conviction for such "crimes" as "aiding and abetting assaults on themselves".

It's also an excuse they give for their law making it a crime to possess so-called "Extreme Pornography" because it will "protect others" (they don't, of course, explain how...).

Unfortunately it's very unlikely that any modern politician would not include exactly the same sort of weasel wording in a written constitution were such a thing to be introduced into this country.

Law Commissions want to keep UK consumers' refund rights

Graham Marsden

In the UK...

... We have some of the best consumer protection legislation around, for example:

Sale of Goods Act 1979 - Goods must be of Satisfactory Quality, As Advertised and Fit for Purpose. If they are not, it is up to the Retailer to sort out the problem, not the consumer or the manufacturer.

Distance Selling Regulations 2000 - Goods must be delivered within 30 days unless otherwise agreed. Goods must be sold according to the SoGA 1979. The customer has 7 days to examine the goods as long as they're not perishable/ time dependant (eg newspapers) and then return them/ cancel the contract if they change their minds.

Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers 2002 - If a fault appears on an item within 6 months it's up to the Retailer to prove it wasn't present or inherent at the time of purchase, otherwise the consumer can claim refund, repair or replacement at their discretion. After 6 months and up to 6 years (if it's reasonable for the goods to last that long) if the consumer can prove the fault was inherent they can still claim this right.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act - If you pay for goods worth between £100 and £30,000 by a Credit Card it makes the Card Company jointly and severally liable for remedying any problems (ie if the Retailer has gone bust, you can still get your money back).

The EU should not be trying to *weaken* these rights, they should be *expanding* the regulations to ensure that everyone in the EU can have them.

PS As well as being a consumer, I'm a retailer as well and I have no problems in giving customers these rights if they buy from me.

DNA convictions fall as database doubles in size

Graham Marsden

not only in detecting the guilty but in eliminating the innocent

Erm, excuse me? "Eliminating the innocent"?

"Sir! We've found some DNA and compared it against the DNA of everyone in the country, so that's sixty million people we know *didn't* commit the crime!"

"Excellent, that only leaves us with a dozen or so people whose DNA matches the sample, so let's hassle them all until someone coughs..."

Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's

Graham Marsden

My local gym...

... is advertising a new Pilate's class.

Someone was heard to comment that perhaps you should wash your hands after it... ;-)

Banks to share data on promiscuity

Graham Marsden

is there anything for the ordinary punter to worry about in these proposals?

Hell, yes, there's plenty to worry about!

This is just another of those measures (like Chip and Pin and Verified by Visa) which are brought in "for the customers' benefit" which are actually really there to benefit the banks and card companies.

I'm sure they hate people like me because, when I moved house six years ago I maxed out my credit card, then I've been shifting it around 0% deals ever since effectively getting a six year £5000 interest free loan. Of course, to them, this simply means they're not making money out of me because I'm not paying stupidly inflated interest rates and I'm "costing" them the few pennies a year it takes them to run my account, and that's just not good enough.

If the Card Companies can see that I'm doing this, there's no way I'm going to be able to get new cards and then they can start charging me and many others lots of money...

May I strongly recommend people visit http://www.moneysavingexpert.com and sign up to Martin Lewis' weekly newsletter to find out more ways of making the system work for you!

Company That Can't Be Named slams critics

Graham Marsden

But we all know...

... that inphormation which can identify people needs to be kept confidential...

Gary Glitter expelled from GCSE paper

Graham Marsden

Burn the witch...!

And once you've burned the witch, burn everything else that's even vaguely associated with them!

The Moral Purity of society must be protected at all costs...!

Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab

Graham Marsden

Here's an idea...

... Invite Jackboots Jacqui to make a speech on the value of ID cards at your local Students Union etc, then, as she gets to the door, have officials standing there demanding to see her ID because "how do we know you're the *real* Jacqui Smith?"

Then make her stand there for ten minutes (preferably in the cold and rain) whilst you go inside and "check the details"...!

Lords demand DNA database deletions

Graham Marsden


Err, sorry, but that's not the case.

Yes, some Lords, eg the Cross Benchers and Bishops don't have any party allegiance, but the rest of them most certainly do being Labour/ Tory/ Lib Dem peers (and often ex-MPs)

There's plenty of Party political BS still going on in there, the only difference being that the Lords don't have to worry about re-election.

Graham Marsden

@AC 16:57

"Those who desire power, are the last ones you should allow to wield it"

It wasn't Heinlein (he was just in favour of only letting the military rule), but similar sentiments have been expressed by Arthur C Clarke and Douglas Adams.

PS @what's wrong with those 150?

> Haven't they had their DNA forcibly taken and put on the database.

Nope, they were probably just in the Lords Bar when the time to vote came and the party Whips said "go and vote for this even though you haven't read it"...

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Excellent news!

It's pleasing to see that there are still some people with the power to stand up to our Big Brother Government's creeping removal of our liberties!

Boffins: global warming kills lemmings, not suicide

Graham Marsden


> subdue the bastards by whacking them with a walking-boot

Wow! Whack-a-mole with real critters...!

Porn breath tests for PCs heralds 'stop and scan'

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

@Glen Graham

> On the surface, with the negative and fear here, it sounds like people expect this would "catch you".

Have you ever heard the words "False Positive"...?

More to the point, have you ever heard the words "Presumed innocent unless proven guilty"?

> I say go for it - I loathe kiddie-pron, and as a father of 2 daughters, would fully support all attempts to curb abuse of kids.

I doubt there is anyone posting on here who approves of child pornography, however might I remind you that the person most likely to abuse your two daughters is *YOU*!

Obviously, then, the best way to give your daughters protection against abuse is to remove them from your house since you cannot be trusted not to abuse them.

I'm sure you'd support this attempt to curb the abuse of kids...

Graham Marsden

Evidence obtained by a tool is admissible in court

I've corrected the typo for you...

I bet the Oz cops will love being able to scan through everyone's naughty pics.

Nasty Toryboy bloggers ate my politics, claims Blears

Graham Marsden

Dear Hazel Blears...

"mostly, political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy"

... have you ever asked yourself *why* that should be?

Possibly it's because people *do* have "disdain" for the political system and politicians like you who engage in scandalous behaviour, sneak through laws by conspiring with others and then make hypocritical comments about what "legitimate protest" should be whilst denying the people their right to legitimate protest without Police permission...!

Try taking the log out of your own eye first.

Oki okays release of 'jumping robot leg' chair

Graham Marsden

Will the BOFH...

... be getting one of these installed in the Boss' office in case there is the need for an unfortunate incident of defenestration...?

Gordo entertains a couple of lapdancers

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Big Brother is watching...

Obviously this is an attempt by The Party to encourage goodsex whilst oulawing sexcrime because the idea of pleasure and enjoyment is a threat to society and a corruption of morals.

It is already clear that The Party doesn't like the idea of people engaging in non-approved activities, or even looking at "dangerous pictures", this is just another step on their path of Moral Purity, banning anything that doesn't fit in with their views.

I, for one, do not welcome our Puritan Overlords.

Is the internet going down down under?

Graham Marsden

@Paul Clarke

> To be honest, I think this is a great idea. I work in E-Safety

Hmm, so no conflict of interest there, then?

> with the help of government organisations such as CEOPs sites that deliver child pornography can be targeted more effectively.


> What people need to appreciate here is that there is a minority of people who express an interest in the type of material being targeted for filtering. So why not filter it out.

Of course! Perish the thought that the Majority shouldn't decide what the Minority are allowed to view.

> The more that the ISPs can do to restrict the delivery of child pornography and other illicit material the better.

Ah, and so we see the classic attempt to link child pornography with anything else that you don't like. This is exactly the same thing that the UK Government did when they published their "consultation" on so-called Extreme Pornography which made repeated and irrelevant references to CP.

But who decides, Mr Clarke? What material would you define as "illicit"? What do you think is so unacceptable that people should not be allowed to view it just in case it might make them think about doing something nasty? Fifty years ago it was gay porn. Now it's "extreme porn". Why do you think your personal tastes should decide what others can or cannot view?

Why should ALL adults be treated as children because some parents are incapable of monitoring what their children do on the net?

Graham Marsden

This sort of material

... "is currently being filtered by a number of ISPs in countries such as the UK.

"This is not strictly true"

Well, not yet, anyway, but given the attitude of Mr Salter and friends...

Also Mr Salter says "No one is trying to stop consenting adults doing whatever they want in the bedroom" but this is BS because if they want to take photographs in their bedrooms, they might be committing a criminal offence!

There again, Mr Salter also believes that snuff movies actually exist, instead of being a well known urban myth...

The Independent gets the wrong end of Jacqui's gIMP

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

We're at risk of labouring our point here...

... but the black boxes don't and won't "hold" data.

Oh, well that's alright then...

Well, no, of course it's not. But why shouldn't El Reg take the chance to sneer at the Indy instead of re-iterating the point that "That will allow GCHQ to target persons of interest for wiretapping via the black boxes." means that *everyone* will be treated as a suspect by our Database Overlords...?

Virgin cuts broadband to a fiver

Graham Marsden

Virgin generosity...

Virgin are currently also sending out advertising offering you the chance to "Experience the internet in Fibre Optic - The mother of all broadband from only £4.50 a month for the first 12 months and £9 a month thereafter".

Of course this is only for *NEW* customers, those of us who are already on that service are stuck with paying £18 a month.

Isn't that nice, we get to subsidise new customers...!

I'm off to see if I can tell them I'm cancelling the service and then re-instating it because then I'll be a "new customer"...

Daily Mail punts Georgina Baillie filth

Graham Marsden

Tabloid hypocrisy...

So, because two over-paid idiots staged a stupid prank which came back to bite them, the Daily Mail seems to think this woman is now "fair game".

What she and her clients get up to as consenting adults is nobody's business but theirs. She didn't consent to Brand and Ross' s "joke".

The Daily Mail should learn to tell the difference.

There again, in their story of the "gutsy pensioner" who "foiled a raid on a jewellery shop" I'm more interested in how he "causally" caught a bus...!

Academic avoids extradition over Holocaust denial

Graham Marsden

@ Anonymous Coward 17:26

> The problem with this strategy is that it's very "convenient" for a bunch of bigots and racists to buy into what these people are saying, invent their own little parallel universe with its own little revisionist history, and then use this new-found folklore to attack innocent people


> when such idiocy has an impact on the welfare of other human beings, it certainly isn't inappropriate to draw a line and to take sanctions against anyone who seeks to cross that line.

And the problem with your strategy is that there will *always* be some people/ bigots/ racists/ idiots will buy into this sort of thing or make up their own versions and believe what the hell they want.

But unless someone is *actually* calling for something that will "impact on the welfare of other human beings" it certainly *is* inappropriate to draw a line and take sanctions because then you get the Great Firewall of China or so-called Extreme Pornography Laws or some other form of repressive CrimeThink simply because *you* don't like what someone else says.

Police collar kid for Wi-Fi pinching

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters


Kudos to the Dad for refusing the Caution because that would have been an admission of guilt, even though the Police seemingly try to convince people that it's not a big deal.

Of course what it really means is "we don't have to do any more investigation and chalk up another successfully resolved crime to make our figures look better..."

Schneier sticks it to surveillance

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

The real debate is between liberty and control.

... this just in from the Department of Stating the Bleeding Obvious...

Man threatens lawsuit after negative eBay feedback

Graham Marsden


Looking at the posted link, in the last 12 months he's had 9 Negative Feedbacks and 10 Neutral, so why threaten legal action now?

Perhaps leaving negative feedback instead of neutral was a bit harsh, given that the customer got a full refund, but threatening legal action because of this...?

EU to stock internet criminal database

Graham Marsden

"It will also run a web site where the public can report illegal content...."

Hmm, so will that include the UK Government's so-called "Extreme Pornography" which is legal in every other EU country...?

Speaking clock gets Disneyfied

Graham Marsden

Personally I preferred...

... Kenny Everett's version which had Cleo Rocos in Dominatrix gear doing the "At the third stroke" voice, then lashing KE three times to make him say "Bip, bip, bip!"

Public ID card support holds steady - says gov report

Graham Marsden

The Government did a poll...

... which said most people didn't want ID cards...

... but they "lost" the results...

NHS needs to catch up on technology

Graham Marsden

Allowing patients to talk to doctors via email...

... That would, of course, be secure e-mail so private information wasn't broacast to any nosy parker out there...

... wouldn't it?

Home Office coughs to Dutch DNA screw-up

Graham Marsden

And still...

... they expect us to trust them will all of our DNA...???

Designer touts 'super sight' sunglasses

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down


How many times has a car/ van driver heard someone say to them, "Sorry mate, I didn't see you"?

How many times have cyclists/ bikers heard the same phrase?

Yes, there are *some* two wheel users who give the rest of us a bad name, but how many of them are responsible for the majority of the three and a half thousand or so deaths on the UK's roads every year...?

NASA kids' compo: Name the inflatable moon habitat

Graham Marsden

How about


Government tied in knots by bondage protest

Graham Marsden

@Scott, @RW


> Boxing and martial arts doesn't involve sex (mostly).

Apart from women's topless boxing, female on female "submission" wrestling and a few NSFW others...!

> if someone makes a video of himself and his wife dressed in bondage gear, and engage in some mutual slap n tickle - but *don't* have sex on tape, then it's OK?

No, because the offence is having *possession* of that video and, in someone else's entirely *subjective* opinion, it fits the criteria for "risking harm" and you had it for "sexual arousal".

There is a "defence" in the CJIA that says you *are* allowed to own it if you can prove you were a "direct participant" in the acts shown, but that means that if you were videoing two other people you wouldn't have been a "direct" participant and even if it was you in it, were you to be dressed in head to toe leather/ rubber etc, how would you "prove" it was you? (Oh, and, of course, Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights says you have the right to be presumed innocent, ie you do not have to *prove* your innocence, but when did this Government ever let trivialities like that get in the way of a Moral Crusade?


> has this kind of nonsense been going on since before Precious Jacqui got her grubby little mitts on the levers of power?

Oh yes, it started under the reign of David "I'm blind, but I'll ban things I can't see" Blunkett, then was followed by Charles "ID Cards are good for you" Clark, followed by John "Jackboots" Reid. Wacky Jacqui is only the latest in a line of Home Secretaries to decide that we can't be trusted to look at pictures they don't like.

Graham Marsden

@Sir Runcible Spoon

> Now you can't take a photo of a politician in a kinky sex act (can you say oranges) and publish it in the news of the screws

Actually you can, because they can argue that it's "not for sexual arousal".

Unfortunately publishing anything on how to engage in asphyxiphilia (asphyxiation for sexual arousal, which is what Stephen Milligan MP was doing) with photographs about how to perform such acts more safely *will* be illegal, so the Government will actually be creating a greater risk to people's lives by denying them important and relevant information!

Google Maps gets gov M-way congestion overlay

Graham Marsden


... the Highways Agency would like to use this service so variable speed limit signs are *switched off* once the congestion they were intended to eliminate has actually *been* eliminated!

When you're cruising down a virtually empty motorway at 1am and see a "Congestion Ahead, 40 MPH" limit sign, it does rather make them look a bit silly.

German privacy watchdogs agree social networking ground rules

Graham Marsden


A sensible piece of legislation from a Government that seems to have actually comprehended something about the net!

Wish it could happen here...

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