Tuesday 12th February, 2013
An interesting article by Glyn Moody reveals that certain MEPs are putting forward changes to the proposed EU directive on Data Protection which are taken word for word from amendments suggested by US Lobbyists.
According to the website LobbyPlag, there are four British MEPs involved:
- Malcolm Harbour
- MEP West Midlands Region, Conservative
- (email@example.com): Amendments with lobby content: 14 of 55 (25.45%25)
- Giles Chichester
- MEP South West Region, Conservative
- (firstname.lastname@example.org): Amendments with lobby content: 10 of 44 (22.73%25)
- Sajjad Karim
- MEP North West Region, Conservative
- (email@example.com): Amendments with lobby content: 13 of 55 (23.64%25)
- Emma McClarkin
- MEP East Midlands Region, Conservative
- (firstname.lastname@example.org): Amendments with lobby content: 1 of 8 (12.50%25)
If they happen to represent the region you live in ...
... you might ask them who exactly they think they represent: you and the other 500 million EU citizens that pay their salary, currently running at around £80,000 per year, or a bunch of extremely rich US companies that are intent on taking away our privacy so that they can get even richer?
Read the original article for more details.
Someone has already suggested that Europe requires it's own version of the zero rupee note
Sunday 29th July, 2012
I found some interesting links recently, while searching for more information about Privacy International's challenges about the sales of surveillance equipment to irresponsible governments. Of course there are levels of irresponsibility, but I don't think the UK government comes out smelling of roses.
The next four links came via the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
And finally in refreshing contrast - how the Norwegians react to terrorism. Refuse to be terrorised by anyone, not even the State!
Wednesday 18th April, 2012
The Guardian newspaper website has an interesting series of articles running through this week called the Battle for the Internet. It is governments and organisations which are eroding our freedoms, and they're not just the usual suspects.
Tuesday 17th January, 2012
This is interesting.
... the McCombs allege that the bank, and the payment card industry (PCI) in general, force merchants to sign one-sided contracts that are based on information that arbitrarily changes without notice, and that they impose random fines on merchants without providing proof of a breach or of fraudulent losses and without allowing merchants a meaningful opportunity to dispute claims before money is seized
"It’s just like Visa and MasterCard are governments," said Stephen Cannon, an attorney representing the McCombs. "Where do they get the authority to execute a system of fines and penalties against merchants? That’s a very important issue in this case."
Shades of Wikileaks, perhaps?
Monday 9th January, 2012
NixCraft is an excellent source of Linux/Unix documentation in itself, but this article lists 30 offsite sources of technical documentation. Some old, some new, most are good!
Tuesday 7th December, 2010
An interesting article by Simon Phipps
, discussing the implications of actions of Paypal, Amazon, and others, namely blocking Wikileaks from their paid services without judicial review, useful explanation or workable recourse.
While the Internet itself may have a high immunity to attacks, a monoculture hosted on it does not. We might be able to survive a technical outage, but a political outage or a full-fledged termination of service are likely to put a company that's relied on the cloud for critical infrastructure out of business ... a sales system hosted in the cloud can be taken offline instantly by someone we will never discover, for reasons we can't determine and with no way for us to get them back online.
Amazon and PayPal shouldn't be boycotted; they are just reptiles, after all. The problem is that we have a society with the governments that it deserves, ready to encourage summary judgement rather than consider matters deeply.
Monday 1st February, 2010
The first link below has sadly disappeared. Here is a related commentary.
Rob. April 2015.
When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”
If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, you can stop reading now.
Or you can read the whole article.
Wednesday 7th October, 2009
There are various news sources which are reporting that the London Stock Exchange is moving from the Microsoft .Net-based TradElect to the GNU/Linux-based MillenniumIT system
. In fact not only are they moving to this new system, they appear to like the company that produced it so much that they are actually buying it
As usual, the comments contain some of the more interesting viewpoints:
TradElect never met its goals for trading speed, never managed to achieve its availability goals and indeed, managed to shut the LSE for an entire trading day, (this) was a complete disaster for both the LSE and for Microsoft, who had invested considerable time and expertise in underpinning the installation.
TradElect has now been surplanted by a Linux + Solaris setup which has already met the latency goals that TradElect was supposed to provide is a massive loss of face for Microsoft in this area. Those who point to Accenture and assume they carried the can for this alone are ignoring reality.
I'd be willing to bet that the decision to deploy TradElect was one of those crazy decisions, where the techies were all saying, "No, don't do it, it won't work," and the management just ignored them and implemented it anyway. As usual.
Friday 3rd July, 2009
The London Stock Exchange is abandoning it's Windows-based TradElect trading system. The system crashed in September 2008.
TradElect runs on HP ProLiant servers running, in turn, Windows Server 2003. The TradElect software itself is a custom blend of C# and .NET programs, which was created by Microsoft and Accenture, the global consulting firm. On the back-end, it relied on Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Its goal was to maintain sub-ten millisecond response times, real-time system speeds, for stock trades.
It never, ever came close to achieving these performance goals. Worse still, the LSE's competition, such as its main rival Chi-X with its MarketPrizm trading platform software, was able to deliver that level of performance and in general it was running rings about TradElect. Three guesses what MarketPrizm runs on and the first two don't count. The answer is Linux.
I'm sure someone got some nice lunches out of it while it lasted.
Friday 3rd April, 2009
I fixed this after a week or so, but I forget how I did it. :-( I don't use MailScanner anymore. It's a fine product, but I find it to be overkill.
Rob. April 2015.
I ran a system upgrade (from etch to lenny) on one of my Debian servers today. There seem to be lots of people who have their own ideas about how to go about this, which is fair enough, there's more than one way to climb the mountain. In fact I deviated (very) slightly from the steps kindly provided in the official upgrade instructions.
I double-checked the official issues to be aware of for lenny. Nothing about MailScanner!