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Comment: Can you trust it ? (Score 0) 371

by Alain Williams (#49675775) Attached to: Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix

To make this work you take your open source Firefox and download the Adobe Content Decryption Module (CDM) - a closed source ''black box''. Who knows what is in there, maybe Adobe took some dollars from the NSA and put some spyware in there -- you can't tell because the channel to download the video is encrypted. Maybe they have also taken some rubles and inserted some code from the FSB (KGB successor) and maybe from elsewhere ?

Who knows ? I don't -- it is closed source.

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 5, Interesting) 152

by Alain Williams (#49627895) Attached to: Canadian Town Outlaws Online Insults To Police and Officials

Mod parent up

One right that should be absolute is to criticise a politician for their public actions. We elect them and if we don't like what they do we must be able to say so in clear terms. This includes saying that if think they are being stupid or duplicitous.

As regards personal insults: they should have the same protections and rights of redress for ad hominem attacks as the rest of us have - no more, no less.

Comment: Verison did not lie ... (Score 1) 170

it was the sales droid who lied - it is him who should be castigated for lieing - presumably to earn a few extra $ commission or bonus. All those who were conned into paying for something that they did not need should be able to seek compensation from the sales droid - the fine NOT to be paid by Verison. The droid's manager and managers all the way up should have to pay in proportion to their take home pay.

Unless there are consequences it will happen again. Not much different from the bankers who caused the rest of us so much pain and, by & large, have escaped personal penalties.

Comment: So: what is their agenda here ? (Score 5, Interesting) 56

1) Tell us that it is not effective; thus we need not worry about loss of privacy; thus we might we well let them continue ?

2) It is not effective because they have not got enough money for XXX; so: please Mr congress critter - vote them some more money

3) It is not effective; you need not worry about encrypting your communications; hopefully enough idiots will believe that!

Pick one of the above or come out with more suggestions.

Comment: First light == last light (Score 1) 133

by Alain Williams (#49499433) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

From the penultimate paragraph:

When the last star in the Universe flickers out, those photons—long since shifted into the radio and having diluted to be less than one-per-cubic-kilometer—will still be there in just as great an abundance as they were trillions and quadrillions of years prior.

and that is all that there will be left --- according to current theories at any rate!

Comment: I completely agree (Score 5, Insightful) 87

by Alain Williams (#49384379) Attached to: UK IP Chief Wants ISPs To Police Piracy Proactively


  • * the post office should also check every parcel
  • * the train company to check that no passenger is a crook travelling to do a robbery
  • * bakeries that no one buying buns is going to put poison in them and so kill old ladies
  • * clothing shops that no one buying a mac is a flasher

The word will be a safer place if everyone checked that their customers were innocent!

Comment: Re:Type "bush hid the facts" into Notepad. (Score 1) 119

I agree completely. There is no reason that a program cannot read UTF-8 and store as UTF-32 internally. There is a trade-off between time and memory. Note that UTF-16 is also a variable length encoding scheme so you still need to start at the start of string to find the nth character.

Comment: Re:Type "bush hid the facts" into Notepad. (Score 2) 119

by Alain Williams (#49310765) Attached to: OS X Users: 13 Characters of Assyrian Can Crash Your Chrome Tab

Unicode and how it is represented in a file are two different things. Unicode is a good idea, it solves many problems and contains all the (to me) strange characters used by: Greeks, Chinese, etc.

How to represent it in a file is different. UTF-8 is the obvious answer today, but other encodings were tried by different organisations first. The big win of UTF-8 is that you can have characters from very different regions on the same web page (or in the same file) - something that you cannot do you you adopt a purely 8 bit code like iso-8859-1.

We are still in transition: there are files encoded in various ways out there; however I think that UTF-8 will eventually become the encoding mechanism that everyone uses - so files encoded in other ways will become increasingly rare. So: a bit of patience please.

Comment: Re:I choose MS SQL Server (Score 1) 320

by Alain Williams (#49295603) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

Those are the current limits. So do you build your business round the database that is free today and hope that: a) your business does not grow so that it needs more, and b) that MS does not reduce the limits and catch you. Either way you run the risk of ending up having to pay the license fees. Why not pick a database that will always be free - and keep that cash for something else ?

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten