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Comment Re:What is "biometric information"? (Score 1) 58

I'm not so sure on this.
A photograph is not biometric information just because it is a photograph, you could have 1000's of photographs. After analysing the photographs you can then have biometric data from the face geometry which could be illegal.

I can grow poppies at home, it is not illegal to have poppies even though they contain opium.
However if I process these poppies to extract the opium I would then be in violation of a bunch of drug laws. Opium is a class A drug which would attract severe penalties.

There seems to be a transformative event that changes legal possession of flowers into a class A drug. Arguably there is a similar event when you process photos into biometric data.

As an aside google wants to replace the version of picasa I have with one without facial recognition. I think possibly due to infringing European laws.

Submission + - AVG Forces Chrome Extension on Users, Extension is Woefully Insecure (

An anonymous reader writes: The AVG Web TuneUp Chrome extension, forcibly added to Google Chrome browsers when users were installing the AVG antivirus, had a serious flaw that allowed attackers to get the user's browsing history, cookies, and more.

"This extension adds numerous JavaScript APIs to Chrome, apparently so that they can hijack search settings and the new tab page," explains Mr. Ormandy. "The installation process is quite complicated so that they [AVG] can bypass the Chrome [Store] malware checks, which specifically tries to stop abuse of the [Chrome] Extension API."

Simple XSS and MitM attacks exposes data from other tabs opened in the browser, browsing history, and even manages to render SSL useless.

Comment Re:Yes, it does suck (Score 1) 169

Buy at or then. 60 euro (or £43 sterling). it will almost certainly ship from the uk

Google translate really works well with German. Used to be Amazon UK was competitive but these days its better with amazon spain or germany, euro's is my currency and converting to sterling is bad for me but good the other way round.

Comment Re:Extradition from Sweden is a lie (Score 1) 336

What an extra-ordinary person then Assange person is, above laws and able through divine right to dictate to nations the terms under which he will make himself available to their justice system to answer for accusations of rape. We must all abandon all notions of democracy and justice and bend the knee to his holiness...

It's more extraordinary circumstances. He is subject to ecuadorian law , not us law or swedish law or french law currently due to his location. Its more unusual than whats happening in Europe right now where thousands are claiming asylum being subject to persecution is one reason why asylum is granted.


Comment Re:Say what? (Score 1) 392

With older technology the best you could do was to figure out a setting which would allow an engine to perform across a range, for race tuning for a track for example you would be looking for power at higher speeds and not for sitting in traffic idling.

A fully loaded car will require more torque at lower speeds than one carrying just the driver.
Going uphill requires more power than driving on the level. On older vehicles pretty much the only thing that could be done was to lower the gear and increase the revs.

Put simply there was one tuning setting which had to cope with all driving conditions. What Volkswagen have done is make the tuning variable on the fly and the engine management provide the optimal tuning for the conditions, rather than using a compromise tune.

Unfortunately this means that for a rolling road on the level where there isn't as much need for power the engine reduces its fuel intake and burns an appropriate amount of fuel for the conditions it detects. The problem isn't with the car so much as the actual emissions testing methods.

Think about it when your driving on the level and come to a hill you will press harder on the pedal to dump more fuel into the engine some of which will pass through unburnt. If you see a diesel engine vehicle in front, you often see a puff of smoke as the driver dumps more fuel into the engine. usually its for around a second as the vehicle picks up speed. In that second the emissions wouldn't pass inspection.

The emissions test is supposed to be representative of typical engine output with volkswagen engines the output under test is what you would get in similar driving on the road, unfortunately real road conditions are not driving with low resistance at a steady speed.

This is a bit of a disaster for new cars because if they are not allowed to perform optimally then the end result will be higher emissions in order not to be cheating a defective test.

Comment Re:Uhmmmm (Score 1) 620

yeah outside of IT, I have used a tensile test machine well over 100 years old and about the size of a coach used to break steel ropes and slings. (uk sheffield test in the 90's) Doesn't even run on electricity it's water powered and can apply 100's of tonnes of force. Had to stand behind a metal guard with cracked glass holding a pointer against the rope. There was strands of wire rope embedded in the ceiling...

Amazing old rig it's probably still working today.


Comment 1980's sheffield 5pence (Score 1) 654

In the 1980's Sheffield city (4th largest city in the uk) had bus fares at 5p 10p and double that after midnight. with the late buses leaving the city centre a little after 2 am , the clubs closed at 2am.

In the morning rush it might be the third bus that came past that you would catch. The first 2 being full already but that'd mean you had been at the bus stop for 10 minutes. 3 services going to different parts on the out skirts the routes converged and each service running every 10 minutes at peak times .

It worked well, because the buses were cheap people found them more economical than driving to work and parking all day. Because there were less cars on the road traffic flowed, the bus journey was quick, without holdups. Because regular folk used them, they were safe and clean. If you were a smoker, you had to ride on the top deck (yes smoking on public transport, seats were nicer downstairs). There was even kneeling buses which lowered the bus so wheel chair users and mothers with buggies could get on and off easily. The buses were subsidized but to everyones advantage, and 2 sets of doors get on and pay at the front get off via the side door, no waiting for people to get off before you could get on max 88 passengers. oh and the routes ran across the city centre to the opposite side, + circular buses that ran the outer ring road.

Then maggie forced the council to stop subsidising buses and opened up the routes to competition.

The rise in fares resulted in more car's commuting in. the deregulation resulted in over provision on popular routes and under provision for less popular routes. traffic jams with a large number of near empty buses with journeys taking longer to complete.

so done well everyone benefits and gets home quickly. done badly well bigger roads were needed but not budgeted for.


Submission + - Does Windows slow down Windows?

blackest_k writes: I recently reinstalled windows7 home on a laptop a factory restore minus the shovel ware did all the windows updates and it was reasonably snappy. 4 weeks later its running like a slug and now 34 more updates to install. The system is clear of malware there are very few additional programs other than chrome browser.

It appears that windows slows down windows! Has anyone benchmarked windows7 as installed and then again as updated? Even better has anybody identified any windows update that put the slug into sluggish?

Comment Re:What is on there already (Score 1) 175

not really i used picasa web albums as backup a while back and google synced up a bunch of stuff, mostly junk and now its been gathered together in google photo's.

There is nothing there i am concerned about, other people may have more 'sensitive' private images that they may not want stored on google's servers.

on the other hand people lose phones or have them stolen and mostly they are concerned about the lost photo's of grand children and stuff like that. for them it's a life line they probably didn't know they had.

Comment Re:What is on there already (Score 1) 175

well some of them are picasa web albums , there is also an autoback on android which works in the background. Google has its dropbox folder on each account and thats not picky over what it backs up i think i had a linux distro on one microsd card and most if not all the icons (around 1000) ended up in there.

As another poster said it is a tad awkward to delete on mass the rubbish.

I really don't have 'sensitive' photo's connected to google. though so saying be careful setting up chromecasts particularly for other people as it's very easy to end up sharing your photo's on someone elses chromecast backdrop.

Comment What is on there already (Score 4, Interesting) 175

I just went to the site and Its already got photo's of mine from yesterday to 2009. I'm sure most of those are only good for the bin. However it could be a good thing in some cases. Say you photographed something sensitive like the police using excessive force, well that can't be deleted from your phone now.

on the other hand there are some terrible photo's such as when you accidentally click the shutter..

you might want to check to see what you're sharing with google already.

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