* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Rights warriors slam US-Europe pact on personal info slurp, urge reforms

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: Meh...

I've downvoted you because you miss the entire point about Human Rights and Civil Liberties and trotting out a variant on the "I have nothing to hide" nonsense we hear so often.

These protections are there for *everyone's* benefit, including yours (whether you want them or not). More importantly, YOU do not have the right to decide that OUR Rights should be treated with such disdain simply because you don't understand how important they are.

> I fear we will lose some of our liberties in the name of safety.

Do I really need to quote Ben Franklin again...?

UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

Graham Marsden
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"the committee stage of review, where changes will be made in response to feedback"

If they haven't listened to the feedback already, why should we believe that they're going to listen to it now?

Met Police cancels £90m 999 call command-and-control gig

Graham Marsden

Who pays?

"MOPAC is also minded to pursue a claim against Northrop Grumman for costs and damages arising from the supplier's failure to deliver a command and control solution in accordance with the contract"

But if they do, will they have a good chance of getting their (our!) money back or will we end up with an even bigger bill as their lawyers' fees are added on top?

Posh frockers Lord & Taylor spanked after Instagram fillies shocker

Graham Marsden

Slapped on the wrist? Hardly!

it will be prohibited from carrying out such misrepresentations in the future and will require people it has paid to display its goods to clearly disclose the fact. [...]

The FTC did not impose a fine

This is barely a stern telling off, it's just a finger-wagging.

Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey

Graham Marsden

"behavioral support from nurses"

There was a film "Cat's Eye" based on a Stephen King story which had a similar idea...

Graham Marsden

Re: Long odds

Good job I never started then.

(There's an advantage to being the geeky kid at school, you don't tend get into the sort of peer group that thinks smoking is cool)

Brits shun nightclubs and CD-ROMs for lemons, coffee and woman’s leggings

Graham Marsden

Re: Er...


Is that the new Onesie?

Ever heard of 'multi-cloud'? Get with cool kids – it's the New Big Thing™

Graham Marsden

I'm sure...

... there should be Dilbert Cartoon from this lot with the Elbonians running their "cloud" server which is a bunch of guys in a building with *lots* of filing cabinets and keyboards...

Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers

Graham Marsden

The publishers really have got the wrong end of the stick, haven't they?

The problem is not with the ad blockers, it is with the adverts that get pushed out by the people who they *allow* to put their adverts on their sites.

What they *should* be doing is telling the advertisers to stop producing all the bandwidth hogging, malware laden, irrititating, noisy and intrusive adverts which make people HAVE to use ad blockers in order to have a less frustrating browsing experience on their sites!

Until then they are just shooting themselves in the foot with this idiotic stunt.

Cops hacked the Police National Computer to unlawfully retain suspects' biometric data

Graham Marsden

@Matt Bryant - Re: Graham Marsden "no prosecution will be mounted by the CPS"

> are you still not over the thrashing you Lefties took in the General Election?

What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with the election, it has, as I said, to do with the Government forcing laws through Parliament to retroactively make legal something that was illegal when it was done.

Which part of that didn't you understand?

Graham Marsden

And "Lessons have been learned"

(The "Lesson" being "Don't get caught next time...!)

Graham Marsden

"no prosecution will be mounted by the CPS"

It wouldn't matter, Treasonous May and her merry band would just rush a quick law-change through Parliament, retroactively making it legal.

Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

Graham Marsden


Is that Neuromancer or Wintermute...?

Police use of illegally held biometrics broke the law, says commish

Graham Marsden
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Police have been ignoring laws

Full stop.

As far as many (from Parliament and the ACPO downwards) are concerned, laws are for the Little People, to keep the plebs in line, but it's perfectly acceptable for those who have the power to ignore them or interpret them creatively "for the greater good".

Labour will create FUD and then abstain on UK Snoopers' Charter vote

Graham Marsden
Big Brother


... the people who wanted to introduce ID Cards, ANPR cameras at every junction so they could track our journeys and issue automatic speeding tickets if you got from A to B too fast, who wanted to monitor the development of every child *just in case* they might turn out to be a potential juvenile delinquent...

Graham Marsden

They *think* they're exempted - see the Wilson Doctrine for details...

Only 12% of UK thinks Snoopers' Charter is 'adequately explained'

Graham Marsden

@alain williams - Re: Impact explained ?

> She is either stupid or has some other, hidden, purpose.

I don't see that as an either/ or question...

Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

Graham Marsden

Re: Indeed

> I've stopped taking Windows Updates on my Windows 7 boxes.

I haven't, because some of the updates *are* actually beneficial.

However each "Important" update is checked out carefully to see if there's nagware included or, worse, that a previously rejected (and hidden!) update has suddenly reappeared in another guise.

AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International

Graham Marsden

Opt-in Mr CEO?

No? Then sod off!

Mechanic computers used to pwn cars in new model-agnostic attack

Graham Marsden

Battlestar Galactica...

... had the right idea: Don't interface all your systems as it leaves you vulnerable!

Polite, helpful? Stop it at once in the name of security

Graham Marsden

Security helpful...?

Yes, of course Security has to be given due prominence, especially in these days of the IoT etc, but it should not be so incredibly frustrating when you have to create a password with an upper case letter, a lower case letter, a number, a punctuation symbol, a Norse rune, a colour, a Haiku and a DNA sample and then get told three months later that it needs updating but you can't use *any* of the aforementioned in the new one...

PS "ask yourself whether you'd break down the door of your secure data store to rescue the guy inside in the event of a fire"

Or ask the BofH...

UK fella is a multimillion-dollar cyber-hustle mastermind – US DoJ

Graham Marsden

There's a privately owned Fire Appliance parked in Goldsmith Avenue in Portsmouth which has been there for the last year or so.

It occasionally changes position, so presumably it gets driven around once in a while, but by whom, I don't know.

Home Office is cruising for a lawsuit over police use of face recog tech

Graham Marsden

@Red Bren - Re: Commit a small crime to stop a big crime?

> If someone was to hack in to a system in order to delete a database of illegally held information, would it be a crime?

Unfortunately, yes. It's what you do, not *why* you do it that tends to count.

Of course that doesn't apply if your the Police/ Security Services/ Government/ whoever because it's one law for us and another one for them (or, at least, one that they can ignore...)

7,800 people's biometric data held on police anti-terrorism database

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption

Graham Marsden

Was there a Q&A afterwards?

And if so, was the first Q: "Mr President, do you have the *slightest* clue what the hell you are talking about???"

Heartless hackers break into Florida cancer clinic network – 2.2 million records exposed

Graham Marsden

Re: This is precisely why...

Excuse me, but I think you've mistaken this for the Daily Mail comments page...

David Cameron hints at Budget law change to end mobile not-spots

Graham Marsden

"a law change"

Whilst this sounds like a good thing, it's probably going to be part of the Tories attempt to rip up all the Planning Laws such that their rich mates can build loads of houses and supermarkets and by-passes ("It's a by-pass, you've got to build by-passes!") on greenfield sites (or flood plains) without needing to go through all that tedious business of demonstrating that there's actually a need or a justification for them...

State should run power firm spam database, says... competition watchdog

Graham Marsden

Re: "ridiculously cheap introductory rates"

So, once every year, you have to check your rate and see if it's still competitive?

Damn, life is *SO* hard, isn't it...?

Boffins give amputee the finger – a bionic touch-sensitive fingertip

Graham Marsden

@Keving Johnston - Re: So...

I was just thinking something very similar: Could this system be reversed to provide a modifiable fingerprint?

It would make a great James Bond gizmo...

Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Graham Marsden

'there's an “urgent need...

'...for antispoofing techniques for fingerprint recognition systems”'

No, there's an urgent need to comprehend the fact that biometric IDs are *NOT* secure and are *NOT* substitutes for passwords or 2FA systems!

GCHQ: Crypto's great, we're your mate, don't be like that and hate

Graham Marsden

"the industry's technical experts...

"... should help intelligence analysts crack crypto used by criminals."

Because the crypto used by criminals is *completely different* from every other sort of encryption, isn't it...???

Flying blind: F-35's radar software fails in the air

Graham Marsden
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... the People who brought you the F104 Flying Coffin Starfighter...

Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Graham Marsden

Re: Maybe an opportunity for creative criticism...?

Ok, which El Reg Hack or Sub-Ed is posting as AC?

Final Euro Parliament vote on passenger name records delayed

Graham Marsden

"The leaders of the left-wing groups...

"...in the European Parliament have played games with this proposal from day one," Timothy Kirkhope, a Conservative MEP said, according to Reuters. Kirkhope said that the proposed law is a "critical counter-terrorism tool".

Ah, Monsieur Pot, je suis Monsieur Kettle...

Buying gov.UK kit via price-comparison digital portal could 'save £10bn'

Graham Marsden

"Amazon-like" procurement

That's one where you have a "oppressive and callous attitude to staff" is it...?

MAME goes fully FOSS

Graham Marsden

Be warned...

... Do NOT download MAME until you have cleared a large space in your calendar!

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Graham Marsden

"in order to do their jobs they need to be able to get at relevant evidence"

Which is followed by "In this digital age, data stored on mobile devices has proven time and again to be critical in assisting law enforcement officers to do their jobs."

That may be the case, but it is *NOT* a justification for fishing expeditions, nor widespread surveillance, ID cards, snooping on everyone based on the principle of "if you have nothing to hide..."

And, of course, it doesn't mention all those many more other cases which have been solved *without* accessing such information with that thing called "old fashioned police work".

> society accepts that the people that break its rules and laws should not be able to rely on those same laws to prevent them from being punished.

Did this one come from the Daily Mail's pages or maybe David Cameron (who thinks that "as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone" is no longer acceptable)?

We have things called Human Rights Laws which say that *everyone* is entitled to the same liberties and protections, not just for people who believe the "right" things or come from the "right" places" or worship the "right" gods or have the "right" skin colour.

Clearly Sir William Blackstone's words: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer” are also no longer applicable.

> wait until you or your family are at the end of a crime and the person walks free because they were unable to prove their case. Thanks to that black-screened iPhone. Then you may not back Tim Cook quite so strongly


This is the same argument I've heard from the pro-gun lobby in the USA: "You may be anti-gun now, but wait until someone's pointing one at you or your family is killed by a criminal because they couldn't defend themselves, then let's see how strong your principles are!"

This is the sort of thing which tests those principles. Do we cave in to the "Terrorists and Paedophiles and Criminals Oh My" demands or do we stand up for what we believe in and say "No, we are not going to let you fool us into giving up our rights and liberties wholesale because you can't get your way in this case"?

PS I have to wonder whether this entire article was written as some sort of massive troll...

Third of US banks OK with passwords even social networks reject

Graham Marsden
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Bank passwords

One online bank I use simply requires you to input a 5 digit code to access your account. Another is slightly more secure asking for eg characters 1, 3 and 5 from a memorable word.

Not the most secure ever...

Android trojan Triada implants itself into older mobes' 'brains'

Graham Marsden

"applications that users download/install from untrusted sources"

If only there was a simple solution to this problem...

BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Graham Marsden


... the BBC allowed me to access their programmes wherever I am in the world, I'd have no problems with paying a bit extra.

Their content is still a hell of a lot better than most of the mass-market crap that's churned out around the world!

Sentinel Earth-watching sat delivers first snaps

Graham Marsden

"the Special Project Bureau's Spanish mountaintop HQ"

Oh come on, that should really be a "stronghold"!

Bruce Schneier: We're sleepwalking towards digital disaster and are too dumb to stop

Graham Marsden

@KeithR - Re: @AC - Hmmm...

> You seem to be confusing Civil Servants with the Daily Mail. They're not the same.

No, but the DM et al can be counted on to uncritically repeat press releases or stories from "sources" and add their own -ageddon spin to them...

Graham Marsden

"The problem is in the design..."

Whilst I don't disagree with Bruce Schneier, when he says this and "People are fairly good at predicting where technology is going, but have a very poor record at predicting the knock-on social effects", surely the problem is that nobody knows (or *can* know) where this stuff is going.

History is littered with innumerable examples of a technology with one purpose having a completely unexpected effect on something which you'd have thought was totally unconnected, yet, because of that effect, the world has changed.

Yes, of course, we should design security and safety into such systems, but predicting what they may lead to is another matter entirely.

Graham Marsden

@AC - Re: Hmmm...

> exactly what 'panics' are you referring to?

The sort being engineered by the Sir Humphreys of this world.

Damnit, man, don't you know we're facing Padeo/Terror/Drug/Crime-ageddon and the only way to deal with them is to snoop on everyone's internet activity!

Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

Graham Marsden

The future is disposable...

... and so are you!

- From the Cyberpunk RPG

UK biz fails to report two thirds of cyber attacks, says survey

Graham Marsden

"just 43 per cent of the 1,000 businesses polled...

"...know where their data was physically stored."

Well, it's in the Cloud, isn't it...?

Regular Fast Radio Burst detected outside our galaxy

Graham Marsden

eight bursts on one day, two bursts on another

I'd wonder whether the source was "wobbling" such that it's not always pointing right in our direction.

Still, it's always great to know that the universe has plenty more fascinating secrets to be discovered.

Greybeard monobrow baldies rejoice! Boffins comb out hairy genes

Graham Marsden


Some years ago at my grandmother's funeral, someone commented how much myself, my cousins, my uncle and my late father and grandfather all looked like each other. Subsequently, looking back through some family photos, it was the same for my great-grandfather and his brothers.

All of us went grey at an early age (my hair started greying at about 21) but none of us have lost it or even showed signs of thinning.

I can live with that :-)

Hack the planet, er, Pentagon: US Dept of Defense puts bounties on bugs

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

Mao's Hundred Flowers Campaign

In the 1950s Chairman Mao announced the Hundred Flowers Campaign inviting the people to express their opinions and criticisms of the regime.

Subsequently the people who spoke out were rounded up and sent to Labour Re-education Camps...

NASA compiles Scott Kelly space photo album

Graham Marsden

This is me...

... in the Observation Dome.

This is me working on the remote arm.

This is me space walking.

This is that lovely couple from Alpha Centauri.

This is the side of the ISS

This is the front of the ISS

This is the front of the ISS but you can see a bit of the side.

This is the Spanish Inquisition...


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