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Comment There's more than one (Score 1) 3

Comment Re:File a complaint, don't just talk (Score 1) 546

Instead I contacted my credit card, told them what happened, and they reversed the charge on the basis of the merchant not fulfilling contractual obligations (selling the product advertised).

Can you tell us who the credit card issuer was, because I'd like to research switching a card to them.

Any credit card issuer is obligated to refund under these circumstances for purchases between £100 and £30,000 in the UK.

Comment Re:Way to go - 'criminialise' your users! (Score 1) 660

Who are the customers of a site such as this; the users, or the advertisers?

Silly question. As with the likes of Y!Groups, the users are the product. The advertisers are the customers.

It's the only model that makes sense when the adverts are being relied upon to generate cash that is required to keep the site going.

Comment Re:I've lost my idenity, can I have a new one? (Score 2, Informative) 291

I don't recall telling banks in the UK any government-issued ID numbers, but I haven't opened a bank account there recently.

Money laundering requirements in the UK generally take the form of 2 or more pieces of documentation that prove both who you are, and where you live. (Drivers licence or passport for who you are, tax notices, benefits letters, utility bills for address.) Used in conjunction with data held by Experian/Equifax (which includes electoral information as backup for where you live.)

The closest you'll get to explicitly handing over a government issued ID number to a bank is if you open an ISA (Individual Savings Account - limited tax free savings,) and they ask you for your National Insurance number.


Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked 882

huckamania was one of many readers to write with the news that the University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Unit was hacked, and internal documents released. Some discussion and analysis of the leaked items can be found at Watts Up With That. The CRU has confirmed that a breach occurred, but not that all 61 MB of released material is genuine. Some of the emails would seem to raise concerns about the science as practiced — or at least beg an explanation. From the Watts Up link: "[The CRU] is widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Consisting of a staff of around thirty research scientists and students, the Unit has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models. An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server. Here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today: 'We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.' The file was large, about 61 megabytes, containing hundreds of files. It contained data, code, and emails apparently from the CRU. If proved legitimate, these bombshells could spell trouble for the AGW crowd." Reader brandaman supplied the link to the archive of pilfered data. Reader aretae characterized the emails as revealing "...lots of intrigue, data manipulation, attempting to shut out opposing points of view out of scientific journals. Almost makes you think it's a religion. Anyone surprised?" And reader bugnuts adds, for context: "These emails are certainly taken out of context, whether they are legitimate or fraudulent, which adds to the confusion."

Comment Re:They've taken a leaf out of the UK's book (Score 1) 584

Because "Driving without care or attention" has two possible problems.

1 - It is easier for a cop to say "I am fining you because you are talking on your cell while driving" as opposed to "I am fining you for driving without care or attention because you are talking on your cellphone while driving" and to make the point without wasting both parties time.

And by the power of "Slippery Slope," that could be argued (and is, hence the ridiculous state of affairs I allude to;) to apply to absolutely anything that could cause anyone to drive without "due care or attention," like drinking, smoking, talking to passengers...

Why have 100's of individual laws to cover every eventuality, when a carefully worded single law to cover them all would suffice? (Yes, I realise there's a problem with laws in other areas that are too general - I don't believe this to be the case with this one)

2 - "Driving without care or attention" leaves too much room for subjective argumentation - "But I can drive just as well while on the cell as when I am not!" and in (1) above it can become really problematic.

Take it to a judge then. The roadside is not the place for these sorts of arguments, in much the same way it isn't the place to argue whether you were driving 35 in a 30 zone or not.

Comment Re:They've taken a leaf out of the UK's book (Score 3, Interesting) 584

On a related note...

Do none of these places have an offense of "driving without due care or attention" which would suffice, rather than continuously create bespoke laws to legislate against every new device that comes out that could cause drivers to, erm, drive without due care or attention?

(And, yes, the UK does have the first offense, but they still felt the need to create a special law for mobile phone usage.)

Comment Re:I beg to differ (Score 1) 508

"Do you actually have the slightest idea what you just said? I understand that America-bashing is fashionable these days..."

It would help if we didn't make it so easy. Like it or not, America is the gold-standard for 'sex is bad' (and 'skin = sex', therefore 'skin = bad'). Of course we inherited a goodly part of the from our English cousins, which brings us to:

"Ask Alan Turing about how tolerant Europeans can be about sexual orientation."

Alan lived and died in England, where his sexuality was illegal.

I think you'll find that Alan lived and died in Englan when his sexuality was illegal. It is no longer illegal.

Comment Re:hey, UK (Score 1) 359

Yes, you're right, no one elected Gordon Brown to power... Oh wait, yes they did:

(Results for the 2005 Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath parliamentry elections)

I do believe those are the results for electing him to his constituency, not voting for him to be Prime Minister (which is what the GP was alluding to.)

Technically, no UK prime minister is elected by the electorate to be prime minister - it's other members of his party who do that, however the closest to the public voting for them tends to be a general election where the whole of the country votes, of which Mr Brown has yet to endure. He had a chance late 2007 when rumours were rife that one would be held but he/his advisors backed out of that one.

If his party retains a majority in the election in May(? latest it can be held is June 3rd), it could (tentatively) be said that he had been elected by the general populace, but not until then.

Another measure of 'popularity' could be certain No. 10 e-petitions.

One calling for him to resign:


An opposing one calling for him to stay:

Of course, these tend to be self-selecting, but they're just as valid (i.e. not very) than saying that Mr Brown has been elected by the whole of the UK, when the only reason he's there is because he was elected in his constituancy, and a group of his mates who were likewise elected 3-4 years put him there.

Comment Re:a little metadata (Score 3, Insightful) 494

looks like the data (ssn) needs a little metadata (issuing authority, distinguished name) in order to make it work.

Or, as I've questioned previously on here, WTF are the credit rating agencies in the US using non-unique identifiers (and identifiers that shouldn't be used outside a social security scenario) when (usually the exact same) credit agencies in other countries can manage using other (available) data? (Name, DOB, (Previous and current) Address?)

For example in the UK, the equivalent to the SSN is the National Insurance (NI) number - this is never used by the CRAs - only by HMRC (tax office.)

Anyway, sure, they still get false positives using these details (the most common seems to be when they use the name only), but not quite on this sort of scale.

Comment Re:Read Dr. Vahdat's blog post (Score 1) 174

According to wireshark some of those are reserved to actual hardware vendors.

grep ^02: /usr/share/wireshark/manuf | wc -l

Assuming that those aren't specifically cited as locally administered addresses, I'm sure there are some duplicates in there as well, something else vendors shouldn't be doing. OUI's shouldn't really be starting with 02.


A locally administered address is assigned to a device by a network administrator, overriding the burned-in address. Locally administered addresses do not contain OUIs.

Universally administered and locally administered addresses are distinguished by setting the second least significant bit of the most significant byte of the address. If the bit is 0, the address is universally administered. If it is 1, the address is locally administered. In the example address 02-00-00-00-00-01 the most significant byte is 02 (hex). The binary is 00000010 and the second least significant bit is 1. Therefore, it is a locally administered address.[3] The bit is 0 in all OUIs.

Comment Re:Read Dr. Vahdat's blog post (Score 2, Interesting) 174

Take great care not to use any MAC addresses that are already in use. One would probably need to purchase/register entire blocks of MAC addresses just as a manufacturer of network adapters must do. Or...

Or simply use the private/local range of MAC addresses (02:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx) (The MAC address equivalent of ,say, 10/8)?

Comment Re:TL;DR (Score 1) 339

Student posts flame about hometown on MySpace, subsequently removes it.

Ex-princicple saw it while it was up, posted it to local rag with her name and address attached.

She gets threats, her father has to close his business.

Laywers, when asked identical questions, disagree on certain aspects of copyright and agree on others when using copyright as a possible way of getting money out of the local rag.

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