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How Game Developers Turn Kickstarter Failure Into Success

KevReedUK Re:Most of the failures never would've made it. (30 comments)

Yeah, but he had a cute cat. Maybe the backers just wanted to make sure it remained fed for the forseeable future...

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: It's still a good idea!!! (331 comments)

Your analogy can be taken one step further, too... Bulletproof vests do sod all to protect you from knife attacks, either. Similarly, AV is competent (at best) in protecting you from some kinds of threats, but useless in protecting you from others. In fact, it could be argued that it's worse than useless, as it gives the user a false sense of security.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: AV is dead. (331 comments)

OK, so we should use the word "malware" instead. Just remind me again how many outside the IT industry use that word, though. To nearly all users, virus is not a subset of malware, it is a synonym.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: Shift from blacklists to white lists (331 comments)

Bulls#1t!!! Whitelisting may deal with 0-day viruses, but 0-day exploits in legitimate apps is a whole different proposition.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: Sandboxing (331 comments)

Except that saying that in an open system it's the user's responsibility to stay safe would need to include some form of sanctions for those situations where the user is putting not just themselves, but others, at risk. Sure, the malware may only INFECT their machine, but many malware variants can AFFECT other machines too. Take, for example, CryptoLocker and its variants. An infected machine can encrypt any documents it can see, not just those stored locally. If you're on one of your proposed "safe" systems, but you access the same file-shares that an "unsafe" machine uses, just because you are safe from being INFECTED, doesn't mean you aren't AFFECTED when the user on the unsafe machine gets hit by a CL variant and encrypts your whole document store.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: Sandboxing (331 comments)

That WAS his point! He was saying that your censorship analogy is on a par with money you can have a little, or a lot, of either. Both are situations where you have it. Whitelisting is a binary situation where it's either on or off.

I would, however, counter this with the situations where you say whitelisting only applies to those applications that are installed in the user's profile. In such a scenario, you could say users cannot install apps anywhere other than in their profile without privilege escalation, then apply whitelisting to the profile's apps, whilst still allowing sanctioned apps, I.e. those installed outside the profile, to be run. Technically, this would still be whitelisting, with sanctioned apps dynamically included in the whitelist by virtue of their installed location, but many would argue that this is not true whitelisting. Perhaps this would qualify as the greylisting option you were looking for? (Already possible under MS Windows, by the way).

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

KevReedUK Re: Switch to linux / OsX. (331 comments)

Actually, there is more to it than just market share. It's a combination of market share, proportion of that market share that is logged into via interactive sessions and the perception of a predominant lack of technical abilities (OK, not just abilities... A suitably sceptical/paranoid attitude also falls within this category).

Simply put, it's easier to write malware to do things when a user runs it than it is to get the malware in through an exploit and get it to run itself. You therefore target not the platforms with the most installs, but the platforms with the most interactive sessions. To target more specifically within this group, you then consider which platform's users are more likely to be susceptible to social engineering.

This is likely to be the main reason that Windows is the preferred target platform for most malware. Arguments about the sheer volume of Linux servers on the net are somewhat moot when you consider the rarity with which a "typical user" logs into them interactively.

Truth is, without users, PCs are largely useless. As such, the most effective form of malware prevention (removing the user) is impractical. Moving to a different platform will only work until the tipping point is reached and your new choice of platform has an equal or higher proportion of less-technically-able users in interactive sessions than the one you moved from. As such, the only long-term solution is to upgrade your users. Best of luck in achieving that!

about a week ago
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The Man Responsible For Pop-Up Ads On Building a Better Web

KevReedUK Re: Who freaks who out? (135 comments)

They put about as much consideration into it as you put into paying for your tripod hosting!

about two weeks ago
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The Man Responsible For Pop-Up Ads On Building a Better Web

KevReedUK Re: Not sure I believe him... (135 comments)

I would think that the server-side perl bit was probably to detect/analyse the content of the referring page so that the ad presented was, at least tangentially, related to the page that "launched" it. Otherwise, the ad would have had to be specifically selected by the code inserted into each launching page (a heck of a lot of work). Other alternatives would have been to either use the same, static page for all, or randomly select the target ad, both of which are likely to eliminate any chance of the ad being even remotely related to the content of the launching page.

That all being said, although I work with some very smart coders, I am not well versed in programming. As such, the assumptions on which the above is based could well be far off the mark!

about two weeks ago
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The Man Responsible For Pop-Up Ads On Building a Better Web

KevReedUK Re: Not sure I believe him... (135 comments)

In other words, this was a giant leap in the direction of those who would previously have been considered as their customers (those publishing sites via the "free" hosting) essentially being transformed even further into the product to be sold to their real customers (the advertisers). Sure, banner ads meant that this was already the case, but it's hard to argue that this didn't make matters worse.

It can be argued that they did this as the only way to keep their service "free", but it could equally be argued that making funding through advertising so much easier has eliminated the incentive for the industry to think outside the box to find a better way. Are we really expected to believe that, without pop-up advertising to promote psychological separation between the advert and the page, all the advertisers would have fled the industry and free hosting would have simply ceased? I may be overly idealistic, but I prefer to believe that, if advertising revenue had dropped to near zero, the industry would have found another way to achieve it.

about two weeks ago
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Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

KevReedUK Re:TV License (81 comments)

By just having a TV tuner in your household you need to pay the license. Regardless of whether you use it or not. So unless you run an Xbox through an HDMI monitor and don't own a single TV then yes, the license fee dwarfs the cost of the tuner.

WRONG!

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/c...

From the above link:

The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they're being shown on TV. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorders.

You don't need a licence if you don't use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.

In other words, even if you have a tuner, as long as it is not used, you DO NOT need a TV license to cover it. Should you, however, watch any content online at the same time as it is being broadcast, you DO need a license, even if you do not own a single piece of kit with a tuner in it.

It should be noted that when you buy any equipment with a tuner in it (TV / STB / PCTV device / whatever) the retailer will normally take your name and address (I believe this is by law) and this information is communicated to the TV Licensing bureau. If, when they receive this notification, they do not have on record any current valid TV license for that property, they will send out a letter asking you to either provide evidence that you have a license, buy one, or make a declaration that neither you, nor anyone in the property, watch or record TV as it is being broadcast, regardless of whether it is via the equipment you bought or some other method (e.g. online). As we keep our license up-to-date (My wife's daughter lives with us. It would seem that not having the capability to watch the latest reality-TV/whatever-other-crap-is-on is almost considered cruelty by many these days!), I have no idea what happens if you fail to respond to such a letter (I only received one of these letters because we bought a new TV the day we moved, and my change of address notification and their letter crossed in the mail).

about three weeks ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re: Interesting (186 comments)

Except that in the UK we have a piece of legislation called the Data Protection Act, which I believe is our ratification of a piece of EU legislation (the name of which I don't have time to look up. Ironically, Google may be of assistance here), so it is relevant to the discussion at hand. It places restrictions on what data processors are permitted to do with so-called PII (Personally Identifiable Information), particularly where it involves sharing with other corporate entities, and places certain responsibilities upon the processor with regards to the safekeeping of that data. IANAL, but I think it could be argued that this legislation may make it an offence to disclose to the publisher that a takedown request has been made. At the very least, it is likely to limit how much Google et al can disclose about the request. It may also be something of a grey area in cases where the mere existence of a takedown request would be enough to identify the requestor.

Simply put, there are so many pieces of legislation that have the potential to be, perhaps unintentionally, interrelated that they form a very tangled web (no pun intended) and, as such, complying with one may put you at risk of breaching another unless you are very careful about exactly how you comply.

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re: I still can't understand this insanity. (186 comments)

Flawed analogy!

Signboards are there for everyone to see, whether they are searching for you or not. Search results do, at least, require that a search parameter is entered. No one is suggesting that Google is spamming their advertising feeds with links to articles covered by this.

Your post does, however, raise another important question... Does this legislation require that Google filter paid adverts where the link points to articles that would be covered by this, and if so, are they required to reimburse those who paid for the adverts?

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re: Institutional hypocrisy (186 comments)

Privatising the judiciary? Now THAT's a scary thought! Especially when you consider a lot of the discussions in these forums complaining about "evil" corporations.

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re: Slippery Slope (186 comments)

Are you suggesting that Google include the full search results, but when you click on one that is covered by this they send you to a different address to the real result (I.e. one showing the "blocked" message), or are you suggesting that they send you to the right address, but somehow dynamically "hack" the target server and replace the legitimate content with the "blocked" message? (In other words, did you forget that, unlike when discussing YT, Google is not the content's host in these situations?)

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re: Slippery Slope (186 comments)

Oops, my apologies. It would appear that I am misunderstanding your comment (I knew I should have topped up my caffeine levels before reading /. !!!).

If I'm understanding you right then I agree with your assertion that links should only be blocked where the person's identity is the search parameter. I thought you had meant that the results should not be blocked, regardless of the search parameters, as the articles that they point to could have ongoing legitimate interest for other reasons.

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re:Institutional hypocrisy (186 comments)

My understanding is that this (Separation of Powers) is explicitly defined and codified in the USA. In the rest of the world, that may be the intent, but there can often be some overlap.

You mean like the typically politically motivated appointment of the judges of the supreme court? Oh wait, that's in the USA...

True, but do your SC judges have a vote in congress? Until recently, ours had the equivalent!

who were serving members of the House of Lords (one of the houses of Parliament). [...]some degree of agency between the executive and the judiciary.

Legislative. Get your facts straight before you argue.

Fair point. To be fair though, I do know the difference. Low caffeine levels, rushing, and not proofreading before submitting (Damn you, mobile interface. No preview!) were the cause of this screw-up. It's also worth noting that there WAS an overlap between the legislative and judicial arms (the creation of the UKSC appears to have mainly been intended to address this), but there REMAINS an overlap between the executive and the legislative arms in that ministers are each members of one or other of the houses of parliament and retain their voting rights. As such, the lines between the arms were so blurred that the whole damn construct may as well have been one giant amorphous blob (I'm not even sure if there was anything explicitly preventing a serving "Law Lord" from being a minister as well, other than the fact that the workload would probably have got in the way)!

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re:Interesting (186 comments)

"6. Do you notify website publishers of delisting? In that case, which legal basis do you have to notify website publishers?" Laws are restrictive not permissive. The response from the search engines should be "by what legal basis do you have to prevent us from notifying website publishers?"

That's overly defensive. The question, as asked, is not accusing, nor implying, that the notification of the website publishers is wrong. The aim is probably to determine whether they considered doing this and, if they didn't, was it for technical (too difficult), financial (too expensive) or legal (concerned that as there is nothing currently in the law compelling them either way on this that no action is the safest option). Alternatively, if they did, this could be used to justify compelling them to continue doing so (so that the linked article can be amended/removed) and, if the legal basis that they have been using thus far is flawed, enact retrospective legislation to protect them from any repercussions of doing so.

On the other hand, I may be crediting those asking the questions with an undeserved degree of rationality and confidence. It's certainly a weird feeling, reading a comment on /. and finding that my opinion on the matter appears to be LESS cynical that theirs!

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re:Institutional hypocrisy (186 comments)

You've heard of this thing they call "Separation of Powers"? Maybe the news hasn't reached you yet, after all it's only been around for some 350 years.

My understanding is that this (Separation of Powers) is explicitly defined and codified in the USA. In the rest of the world, that may be the intent, but there can often be some overlap. As an example, until the (fairly) recent creation of the UK Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK were the so-called "Law Lords", who were serving members of the House of Lords (one of the houses of Parliament). As such, whilst it may not be an executive agency of the government, where any overlap exists it can still be argued that there is some degree of agency between the executive and the judiciary. Additionally, within the EU, there is the further complication of the relationship between the judiciaries, executives and legislatures of the member states and those of the EU as a whole (especially as there have been plenty of cases where they do not agree!).

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

KevReedUK Re:Not a Slippery Slope (186 comments)

... a much better way to go at this would be to require news agencies to remove news content that talk about arrests, but where there were no convictions, after x amount of time...

Fine. This works for online publications published within the jurisdiction where the law exists. However, how about:

Online publications published outside of the jurisdiction. How do you compel them to remove this content?
Offline publications. Are you suggesting that there be some way of tracking every last copy of every hard-copy publication so that when "x amount of time" has passed, someone can be sent to where each affected copy is, with powers to seize, edit (tricky, as most, if not all, are printed on both sides!) and return it. At present, it may not be searchable, but if someone had the time and inclination to trawl hard copies/microfiches at a suitably equipped library, they could turn up all sorts of reports of content talking about arrests without subsequent conviction going back decades.
Publications where the publisher has gone out of business.
I do, however, agree that morally this is something that should fall on the publisher to put right. Technically, however, this is unlikely to be reasonably achieved. As has been said throughout this discussion, for most people, if they can't find it with their search engine of choice, they will never see the information. As such, whilst it is placing an administrative burden on a party who had no part in causing the situation, tasking the search engines with filtering these links is the most cost-effective solution. Whether it should be possible, where the publisher is within the jurisdiction and still in business, they should be compelled to take some action themselves (and maybe even bear some of the costs incurred by the search engines in administering their part of the process) is a separate, although no less valid, debate.

This all being said, however... how do we propose that things like the Internet Archive be affected, should such a law ever see the light of day in the USA (or even now, bearing in mind it can be accessed from within the EU)?

about a month ago

Submissions

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How long now...?

KevReedUK KevReedUK writes  |  more than 6 years ago

KevReedUK (1066760) writes "Our "Friends" over at ZDNet appear to be eulogising over the upcoming death of physical media sales. In their article here they refer to the noticeable drop in physical sales of albums whilst digital sales continue climbing (albeit at a reduced rate).

Normally, this would be a case of "Nothing to see here...", save for their assertion that one of the key reasons for the music industry's slowdown is piracy. Is it just me, or is this a bit of a stretch?"

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