Skip to content


This isn’t cyberscamming

Instead of discovering information about Harry and Meghan’s charitable aims, they were diverted to a YouTube video for the song Gold Digger by the American rapper Kanye West.

The royal couple, it appeared, were the latest to fall victim to hackers known as “cybersquatters”, who, after learning about their plans, had quickly bought up the website

That’s a rather fun joke.

A source close to the Sussexes pointed out that the new Archewell venture is “not a foundation” and subsequently, will not be called the “Archewell Foundation”. They added that the couple could not buy “every formation” of possible websites. It means that the couple may have fallen victim to another scam that involves the registration of slightly different domain names that rely on people entering a typo or getting the website name slightly wrong.

Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, an internet security company, said: “A typical trait of cybercriminals

It’s not a scam nor a criminal activity. If you pretend to be the real thing then of course that’s passing off. But just picking up the traffic of people who mispsell something isn’t either a scam nor crime.

Aha, Aha, Ahhahahahahahahahaha

The Swiss government has ordered an inquiry into a global encryption company based in Zug following revelations it was owned and controlled for decades by US and German intelligence.

Encryption weaknesses added to products sold by Crypto AG allowed the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND, to eavesdrop on adversaries and allies alike while earning million of dollars from the sales, according the Washington Post and the German public broadcaster ZDF, based on the agencies’ internal histories of the intelligence operation.

“It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concluded. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the US and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”

Gurgle, snort…….

Presumably this joke has already been made

France will go ahead with its controversial new tax on the profits of large technology firms such as Google and Facebook despite US threats to retaliate, as the government vows that it is just the start of a crucial rethink of the regulation of tech monopolies.

Cédric O, the French junior minister for digital affairs, told the Guardian that Emmanuel Macron’s drive to make companies including Amazon and Apple pay more and fairer tax would go ahead, despite US warnings that it could open up a new front in the international trade war.

The novel was about being submissive Cedric, not dominant. Still, we can still mutter something about cocksuckers when we’ve a junior French minister insisting the entire world must bow to his demands….

Need some advice about Macbook Pros

So, grandchild thinking that she must have a Macbook Pro.

There’s not the money around to buy something new.

So, how far back and lower performance can we go?

As far as I understand it she needs – she’s doing dance just to give the academic background – to be able to play videos that show new dance steps and so on. And to be able to tape her own and then upload them.

I’ve asked, no, she doesn’t need to be able to do whizzy graphics. It’s video reality, show them, watch videos of reality.

Now, my understanding of Apple sware is that if the OS will run then anything that runs on that OS will work. It’s not like Windows where things only work grudgingly if they’ve not got 10 GB of RAM to play in.

So, she’s an iPad and a iPhone, so she can record stuff. And so what is the entry level of Macbook Pro that goes with that? uk has old (ie, 2012) boxes at £250. Then there’s a box with 1 TB hard drive, OS looks 2 steps behind today’s (Sierra maybe?). But only 4 GB RAM. Is that enough? Or is it necessary to step up to £500?

This might be wrong but my impression is that Apple’s boxes get whizzier screens, more fun keyboards etc, but the basic operating functions of video, record, play, haven’t changed much.

So, is this so?

Anyone actually know all of this?

Err, no Admiral

[2] Why does New Jersey have the most toxic waste dumps and California the most lawyers? California got first choice.

It’s because New Jersey got first choice.

Otherwise the piece is a very good explanation of olds*.

*Stuff that isn’t news via Sir Pterry.

An easy way to test this sorta stuff

Up to fifty per cent of five star reviews for some of the highest-ranking hotels on TripAdvisor are “suspicious”, a Which? investigation has found.

The consumer watchdog has criticised TripAdvisor for failing to stop luxury hotels being boosted by fake reviews which can mislead travellers and ruin holidays.

It’s not that difficult to find work writing reviews…..

Esther, that’s not the point

Dame Esther Rantzen says Skype won’t combat loneliness of elderly like a hug and cuppa

And a hug and a cuppa doesn’t cure it as well as staying all afternoon.

Thus that’s not actually the question. Rather, does Skype aid in curing loneliness compared to no Skype?

Because it’s different honey

The head of the National Crime Agency (NCA) has challenged the social media giants to explain why they can develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) to target adverts at users but not create AI capable of protecting children from child abuse.

In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Lynne Owens said the failure of the social media firms to prevent paedophiles targeting children on the open web was distracting the NCA and police from hunting down the “worst offenders” who were operating on the dark web.

It’s a different problem with a different level of difficulty.

For example, false positives in advertising don’t matter very much. Indeed, they’re expected and allowed for. False positives in allegations of child grooming or paedophilia are quite an important thing.

I know we’ve some telecoms peeps here

So, just had fibreoptic installed at 100 Mbits.

Sometimes, the BBC asks for me to be on one of their radio shows. They don’t like using VOIP. Prefer – for a “big” show that I go to Faro to a studio where they have an arrangement to do ISDN from studio to studio.

Better sound that way apparently.

So, is there a way to get BBC quality ISDN-like over that 100 Mbits fibreoptic connection?

Skype, Google Voice (?) whatever don’t cut it. Is there something better than that?

And yes, it’s specifically to try to link up with the BBC.

Just an idle thought

So, Gutenberg and his printing press. Add that translation of the Bible into the vernacular. The Common Man no longer needed the intercession of the established Church to read God’s word. Which is why printed Bibles in the vernacular were burnt, along with their translators.

Social media allows the direct interaction of the unwashed. Without the intercession of the establishment power structure through the vertical media. No wonder they’re trying to regulate.

And who won first time around? And do we think the result was, after the burnings, a good one or not?

This entirely kills social media

Ministers are talking about redefining the role of social networks to hold them directly liable for the content that gets published on their platforms, in effect enshrining them as publishers in law.

It’s making BT responsible for the content of telephone calls.

Something entirely inconsistent with the basic model. Basically, either they can be publishers or we can have social media. It’s not possible to have both.

Regulator looking for expanded powers

Such a surprise that a bureaucracy looks for this, eh?

Twelve million people in Britain have been harmed by social media and the internet because online firms escape regulation, the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom will warn on Tuesday.

Sharon White, the regulator’s chief executive, will reveal research showing that one in five people in the UK have experienced harmful content or conduct ranging from bullying and harassment to fraud and violence.

“Harmful content” eh?

Alas, Woo is popular, as Jezza shows

Facebook is putting children’s lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims, the UK’s top health chiefs have said.

The anti-vaccination sites which promote the fake science that caused a surge in measles cases as well as conspiracy theories about other vaccines appear at the top of searches when parents use Facebook to find information about the MMR vaccine or other vaccinations.

Andrew Wakefield, the discredited doctor behind the fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to autism, features prominently on the sites with his film Vaxxed in which he accuses the US government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of a cover-up over the risks.

Unlike Google, which filters out anti-vaccination sites to promote guidance from the NHS, government or World Health Organisation, Facebook’s searches appear to be based solely on their most popular and active sites irrespective of whether they are peddling false information. The biggest anti-vaccination sites have more than 100,000 followers.

The problem here is, well, who gets to decide what is Woo?

Proper examination of detailed claims would show that pretty much any economic plans to the left of Tony Blair are woo for example. Should that be filtered out of Facebook listings? One could go on with many other popular beliefs….

Not quite sure what to make of this

An initiative launched by Facebook and Snapchat to help children combat online bullying has resulted in no calls to a national helpline.

Facebook and Snapchat’s parent company Snap entered into a trial with the NSPCC last year to help young children on their sites who might be subjected to bullying.

Through this initiative, if someone reports that they are being bullied, they will see a message suggesting that they talk to Childline for support and advice. Choosing this option will launch more information and the option to speak to a counsellor.

No one wants to call childline? No one is being bullied? No one pays any attention to anything on Facebook or Snapchat?

Presumably the net step is to demand tax subsidy as it isn’t working.

Idiot damn stupidity

There is legitimate fear that GDPR will threaten the data-profiling gravy train. It’s a direct assault on the surveillance economy, enforced by government regulators and an army of class-action lawyers. “It will require such a rethinking of the way Facebook and Google work, I don’t know what they will do,” says Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things, a book that’s critical of the platform economy. Companies could still serve ads, but they would not be able to use data to target someone’s specific preferences without their consent. “I saw a study that talked about the difference in value of an ad if platforms track information versus do not track,” says Reback. “If you just honor that, it would cut the value Google could charge for an ad by 80 percent.”

That is, the value to the advertiser is cut by 80%.

He’s arguing in favour of a reduction in economic efficiency……