* Posts by Chris Dickens

16 posts • joined 10 Sep 2007

Teletext licence holder fined for killing service early

Chris Dickens

A lot more...

What good is a fine if it's the "best option" commercially?

Either fine them more than it would have cost to keep the service up or force them to keep to their contract. It's supposed to be a punishment to stop companies from cutting services...

Apocalyptic infection purged from PHP-Nuke.org

Chris Dickens


PHP is just a means of serving the content - a layer on top of the server. The problem is not keeping up to date with fixes/patches - if you don't do that any software on the server is just as vulnerable. Of course, it does have a very low barrier to entry so you get some very amateur developers writing easily compromised software. But, on the whole, it's a good thing.

On the other hand, I agree with the rest of what you said - the improvements in speed do just seem to be a way to push more crap down the line. Hence I use No-Script and FlashBlock - if the site doesn't work without JS or Flash (and doesn't need them - ie. a game) then I'll just find another. Wish more people would - perhaps it'd reduce the "need" for the crap.

Handset also-rans create new mobile platform

Chris Dickens


I still don't understand why they don't just expand the *existing* Java support. Standardise the APIs properly (the current ones are pretty random as to whether they're implemented and generally they're not implemented properly anyway). Also give it a decent UI API for consistency (after all, most of Apple's success is from a standard, easy to use, UI).

Give it proper access to other parts of the phone and you have a ready made runtime which works along with an existing developer base with mature tools. You can do away with the code signing and having to buy certificates by using an app store to provide the signing if you want.

Windows mobile Trojan poses as war game

Chris Dickens
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Better than suing

This seems a better way to deal with piracy than suing people - just make pirate apps cost the users money in another way...

Not that I condone criminals doing it though.

BBC ices launch of free iPhone news app

Chris Dickens

An idea

How about this: instead of the BBC offering an app for just one device it should offer a free XML (or whatever) based information service (like RSS but richer).

It could provide access to video, text and other material much like the website but allow anyone to build an application or to consume the information in any way they want.

They could rebuild their website to be a front-end to the same information as well. That would cut the costs of providing multiple different outputs.

A simple system could simply be an XML definition for what is currently each page on the site. Provide an API to access these "pages" along with search, category and timeline type lookups (along with "most popular", trends etc) (like Twitter) and you've got a useful tool which would be easy (and cheap) for them to implement and for anyone else who wants to use it.

Of course, this being the BBC it won't be done cheaply due to the number of "consultants" and such which will need to be involved.

Palm OS on an iPhone - there's an app for that

Chris Dickens

Pay Web Apps

It's not hard to think of a way to charge for web apps: just add a login. Porn sites have done that for years after all. Safari on the iPhone could easily have a few extra JavaScript bits added which would allow much more useful web-apps (the ability to turn off the chrome [and have it work - the current method doesn't properly] would be nice).

Of course, that doesn't help here but since most of the porn, RSS, info apps and such should have been web based anyway it would have helped there.

Facebook warns over password reset scam

Chris Dickens


Why does any email gateway even allow .exe files to be received anyway? There is no reason to send an exe - if you want to send an app just zip it.

Failing that, the OS knows what things can "run" (scripts, apps etc) - it really should present a severe warning. And since this is such a trivial thing to actually code into an email client why doesn't it exist?

Activision denies Modern Warfare 2 Russian ban

Chris Dickens
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Having played it I certainly didn't get all the "outrage" about the level - you spend the whole game shooting people for god's sake!

To be honest - I spent most of the level shooting random bits of the environment to see what was destroyable. The suitcases were good....

IBM boffins unfurl mobile browser reading map

Chris Dickens


Couldn't we just come up with an "order=" attribute for DIV's? That way you could specify the order the elements should be stacked in order to render a page in a sensible manner as a vertical list.

And before anyone decides to try to patent that - it's mine!

Spammers jump on Gmail, Hotmail mass-hack gravy train

Chris Dickens


Since the providers presumably have these lists can't they just add a warning to the top of any outgoing email from a compromised account stating that it has been compromised and that anything from it should be treated as suspect?

Leave the message there until all security details have been reset. Not only will it warn other people it might shame those who gave their details to be more careful in the future.

Wheels come off O2's data network

Chris Dickens


I've just been down the local O2 show to complain about this - they said restore the damn thing to fix it.

Now, I read this on here - how can the damn shops be so useless as not to know. Now I have to wait god knows how long for the damn thing to reload everything knowing that it still won't work anyway.

I hate O2, even more than usual today.

AT&T's iPhone MMS to be free

Chris Dickens

MMS Rumour

@AC there is a rumour that AT&T have placed a block on all iPhone accounts to disable MMS as it was being used with beta builds when it shouldn't have been. This block needs to be manually removed from every account individually - hence the time.

There is some truth in it from what I can see - using an "unofficial" upgrade to OS 3.0 I'm able to send/receive MMS whilst my brother's iPhone still won't so there is a network level block available. O2 require you to text a number to get the block removed (it won't work until the 17th)

EC rejects Microsoft's browser promises

Chris Dickens
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If there is no browser included with the OS how are we supposed to download the one we want?

And are the idiots involved in this "ruling" doing something of use to consumers, really. With everything else that's going on I'm sure they could waste their time in more productive ways.

For example, my car comes with an exhaust - there are plenty of after-market ones I *could* buy but don't because the one it comes with does the job. Should Peugeot give me the option of telling them which company I want to supply various parts when I bought the car? How is this any different?

Win 7 RC fails to thwart well-known hacker risk

Chris Dickens

Why not...

If they like the feature so much, why not just always display the extension on executables or, even better, add an overlay icon (like the shortcut arrow) to all executables.

Since few people actually ever see the .exe (only the shortcut) that would make it very obvious it's an executable and make it impossible to disguise it.

Perhaps I should patent that idea....

California teen offers GPS challenge to speeding rap

Chris Dickens


All given GPS locations have a level of inaccuracy due to various issues - most recievers will show this somewhere.

Since this inaccuracy can change by a wide margin very quickly this makes snap distance calculations a problem. Since speed is worked out using distance and time this will affect any speed readings.

I have seen this on a handheld unit which would alter the speed by upto several mph whilst a) standing still and b) moving at a steady pace.

GPS is a location system, and should not be relied upon for accurate speeds at a given point - only an average over some time.

MusicStation arrives, but will we pay for digital music?

Chris Dickens

Regarding Rental

When you rent a DVD from Blockbuster you have to take it back after a day or two, if not you have to pay again to keep it.

When you rent a car that has to go back, even if you rent it for 6 months, you can't just say "oh, i've had it for long enough, it's mine now" and stop paying.

Why do people think music is any different? If you want to rent it there has to be a method of stopping access to it if you stop paying.

I subscribe to Napster. It works on my PC which is connected to a stereo, it works on my phone and I can connect that to my car stereo. I've no problem paying them their 15quid a month and continuing to pay it to keep access to the music - they do add new stuff all the time.

If you want to keep the music/DVD/car then buy it outright - don't rent it in the first place.

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