So, coding letters, umlauts and things

OK, so , ALT + 0228 gives ä.


And now the big question. Is there an ANSI code for an i but with a little heart replacing the jot?

Yes, I know, but…..or a Unicode or something?

Specifically want to be able to have a heart as the jot, not as a separate letter or image…..

Well, that’s business

Facebook is testing moving publishers’ posts out of people’s news feeds unless the companies pay thousands of dollars to reach their audience.

The new format is being tried in six countries, including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka, and moves any posts that do not come from users’ friends and family into a secondary feed unless they are paid for. Paid promotions still appear in news feeds as normal.

The change could wreck the business models of small publishers who depend on organic sharing on Facebook for a large part of their audience. It could also have a big impact on larger companies such as BuzzFeed that create content designed to go viral on the site, as “likes” cause Facebook’s algorithm to promote them in news feeds.

Well, OK.

Critics yesterday accused Facebook of devious tactics, in giving publishers a huge organic reach and only later charging for that audience.

Yes, that’s how it works. You fiddle around until you’re doing something that people want and profit from then you charge them for that.

Nonsense Jacob, nonsense

Saying he would receive far more abuse if he were female, he added: “This is something we should take really seriously. The abuse of women online for sharing their views is a disgrace.”

Saying the large internet companies like Twitter and Facebook must be held accountable, and brought under the same publishing laws as the UK press, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “It is a real digrace of modern society and will discourage women policians from going into it if they are treated the way Jess is.

“It is deeply outrageous.”

The abuse, sure. But the idea that platforms should be publishers, no way. That’s a truly vile idea, like making BT responsible for what is said down a phone line, Royal Mail for the contents of a letter.

Sir Simon’s lost it

Search engines are like cars on motorways with no requirement for brakes, emission controls or seatbelts. The failure to regulate, let alone properly tax, these massive corporations is the grossest lapse of modern government.

Whut? He wants to regulate search engines? Stop them indexing stuff?


Technology and cloud giant Accenture has confirmed it inadvertently left a massive store of private data across four unsecured cloud servers, exposing highly sensitive passwords and secret decryption keys that could have inflicted considerable damage on the company and its customers.

The servers, hosted on Amazon’s S3 storage service, contained hundreds of gigabytes of data for the company’s enterprise cloud offering, which the company claims provides support to the majority of the Fortune 100.

The data could be downloaded without a password by anyone who knew the servers’ web addresses.

Just put it in the hands of the experts they said…..


The Government is stepping up pressure on Silicon Valley giants to take responsibility for unlawful material online and share the spoils of the internet with media companies.

It’s like the car industry having to share the cash with the coach and horses.

That Russian Facebook spying

Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a U.S. congressman and two other people briefed on the effort.

About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election, the sources said. Macron won in a landslide in May.

Facebook said in April it had taken action against fake accounts that were spreading misinformation about the French election. But the effort to infiltrate the social networks of Macron officials has not previously been reported.

Hands up everyone who thinks that all other spy agencies around the world are doing exactly the same thing?

All of you? What a well informed and practical community we are then.

Amazingly, I agree with plod here

Consumers who buy internet-enabled devices such as televisions, refrigerators and even kettles are leaving themselves open to hackers who could use them to gain access to their bank accounts, one of the country’s most senior police officers has warned.

Not sure that the fridge will ever know the bank account numbers but still, yes, people will indeed hack into everything. No residence of mine is ever going to be internet enabled, in this sense at least, therefore.

Isn’t this fun?

Google has spent millions funding academic research in the US and Europe to try to influence public opinion and policymakers, a watchdog has claimed.

Over the last decade, Google has funded research papers that appear to support the technology company’s business interests and defend against regulatory challenges such as antitrust and anti-piracy, the US-based Campaign for Accountability (CfA) said in a report.


Google described the report as “highly misleading” as it included any work supported by any organisation to which it has ever donated money.

My word, but the kicker?

Miller added that it was ironic that the CfA talked about accountability and transparency when it would not reveal its own financial backers, one of which is Oracle, a company “running a well-documented lobbying campaign against us”, funding hundreds of pieces of research and events.

“Whenever Google’s bad behaviour is exposed, it invariably points the finger at someone else,” said Stevens. “Instead of deflecting blame, Google should address its record of academic astroturfing, which puts it in the same league as big oil and big tobacco.”

They’re not very expensive

Passwords belonging to British cabinet ministers, ambassadors and senior police officers have been traded online by Russian hackers, an investigation by The Times has found.

Email addresses and passwords used by Justine Greening, the education secretary, and Greg Clark, the business secretary, are among stolen credentials of tens of thousands of government officials that were sold or bartered on Russian-speaking hacking sites. They were later made freely available.

Two huge lists of stolen data reveal private log-in details of 1,000 British MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and more than 1,000 Foreign Office officials, an analysis shows — including the department’s own head of IT.

Apparently they’re £2 each. But then that’s probably about what they’re worth. Both in the sense of well, what’s going to be so exciting about their accounts and also in the sense of how tough is it going to be to guess?

Don’t forget that Harriet Harman’s log in to her WordPress site was “Harriet” “Harman”

Well, yes, obviously

Facebook only limits holocaust denial to where it’s illegal to deny the holocaust.

The documents provided to moderators make quite clear that Facebook does not want to remove Holocaust denial content in any country where it is illegal. But it appears to make exceptions in four countries – those where the site is likely to face prosecution or be sued. Facebook explains it deals with ‘locally illegal content’ by ‘geo-blocking’ or ‘hiding’ offensive material in the countries where it is likely to provoke a reaction. Facebook said the figures set out in the documents were not accurate, but declined to elaborate.

What else does anyone want them to do?

An Austrian court has ruled that the local Green Party leader cannot be called a “corrupt bumpkin.” And insisted that this applies to Facebook world wide.

We would prefer that system, would we? Where 192 different jurisdictions get to decide what everyone in all 192 jurisdictions gets to read?

Rare to see it said so explicitly

Experts welcomed the comments but were sceptical about what could be achieved. Tony Jaffa, a partner at Foot Anstey solicitors, said: “It’s a very laudable aim for Britain to lead the world in policing these companies but I’m not sure how achievable it is. It’s obvious that US tech companies are dominant, and the Americans have a conception of freedom of expression that’s quite different to ours, coming from their ideas about the first amendment.

“These companies claim they’re tech companies and not publishers while we on this side of the Atlantic believe that’s exactly what they are. It’s not only the companies that don’t accept those responsibilities but US lawmakers too.”

How dare the damn colonials just let people say whatever they want?

Mark Skilton, professor of practice at Warwick University, said: “The idea of an expert data-use and ethics commission is a good one, given the monopolisation of yours and my data by Google, Facebook and others for advertising and personal services . . .

Another professor of practice who is an idiot. T%he “and others” rather refutes the idea of monopoly, doesn’t it?


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Why do I think this is a phishing attempt?

Ah, that’s why.

Bleedin’ ‘ell

How far has Yahoo fallen?

Used to be (12 months back say) that getting a piece onto the main page of Yahoo News gained hundreds of thousands of page views as they had easily millions who used that as their reference point to the world.

I seem to have three pieces on there today and it’s not even registering on the hit counter.


There’s going to be a lot of this

A hacker set off all 156 emergency sirens in Dallas which wailed for 90 minutes overnight.

The hacker tricked the system into sending repeated signals 60 times from 11.42 pm until 1.17am on Saturday morning.

Rocky Vaz, director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management said the hacker was from Dallas, USA Today reported.

However, the culprit has yet to be found.

The hacker created havoc in the city. The sirens are normally used to warn of severe weather, such as tornadoes.

I am so not looking forward to the internet of things. Because absolutely no fucker is ever going to secure these things, are they?

So, you’ll be able to wi fi the toaster to start up when the alarm goes off. And instead it will have been making coffee for some spotty teenager in Minsk all night.

Quite so

Cameron’s legislation has not happened, and there’s a simple reason; encryption is a binary. Either something is encrypted, and thus secure from everyone, or it’s not. As the security expert Bruce Schneier has written: “I can’t build an access technology that only works with proper legal authorisation, or only for people with a particular citizenship or the proper morality. The technology just doesn’t work that way. If a backdoor exists, then anyone can exploit it.”

That’s the crux of the problem. While you can legislate to only give state agencies access to terrorists’ communications, and with proper oversight and authorisation, you cannot actually build encryption that works like that. If you put a backdoor in, it’s there not just for security services to exploit, but for cyber-criminals, oppressive regimes and anyone else.

There is no way around this. Either we can say that end to end encryption is legal or that it is illegal. There is no way to have it being legal but not really encryption…..

The solution to the fake news problem

Gaah, why didn’t I think of this?

The only solution to the problem of fake news that neither misdiagnoses the problem nor overpowers the elites is to completely rethink the fundamentals of digital capitalism. We need to make online advertising – and its destructive click-and-share drive – less central to how we live, work and communicate. At the same time, we need to delegate more decision-making power to citizens – rather than the easily corruptible experts and venal corporations.

This means building a world where Facebook and Google neither wield much clout nor monopolise problem-solving. A formidable task worthy of mature democracies. Alas, the existing democracies, stuck in their denials of various kinds, prefer to blame everyone but themselves while offloading more and more problems to Silicon Valley.

Nationalise Facebook and Google. Or at least wield the power of the Curajus State over them.

That’s Evgeny Morozov’s idea at least. What is it about Belorussians that leads to this sort of thing?

Well, he’s right too

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned whether critical computer networks can ever be protected from intruders, alarming cybersecurity experts who say his comments could upend more than a decade of national cybersecurity policy and put both government and private data at risk.

Asked late Saturday about Russian hacking allegations and his cybersecurity plans, Trump told reporters that “no computer is safe” and that, for intelligence officials, “hacking is a very hard thing to prove.”

“You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier,” he said as he entered a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort.

Step one in making your computer more secure is to disconnect it from the internet.

Step two is to disconnect it from any network at all, especially any that might have even the most vague and multi-step connection to the internet.

Then remove all floppy drives, USB ports, pen drives and etc.

Then watch as your sys admin loots it a la Ed Snowden.

So why is Trump’s simple statement of the obvious truth alarming experts?