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Letters Several of you were upset by the plans announced by Auntie Beeb to start using some new fangled technology to generate 3D weather forecasts in real time. What was wrong, you wondered, with those nice magnetic charts with stick on clouds and smiley sunshines?

I can't be the only one thinking "noooooooooooooo!" The current BBC weather report graphics are just perfect, unlike the tacky nonsense on pretty much every other channel.

It's like replacing the current tube map with a satellite image of London. Impressive, but useless. Nige


Hi Lucy,

Just thought you would like to know this technology was developed by a NZ company (I think it was the same dudes who wrote the America's Cup and WRC virtual spectator, not sure about that one tho...) and has been in use on TV3 news for about 6 months now.

Looks good too, although a lot of people prefer the 2D weather as 3D can be rather confusing to watch.

matt.


Of course, others still were just interested in the kit. But we knew that:

Reading the specs of their database "servers" for the BBC 3D Weather system... "ooh"ing and "aah"ing until i read the hdd sizes... 146GB each, that all? Surely they could afford something a bit meatier, like a few TBs, considering the size of mass internal storage these days you can get at high street stores...

And since when do database servers have to render stuff? Wouldnt it be better to have a dedicated distribution of machines to do that... and a bunch of computers with their cpu time spent on storing stuff... sounds like a vague minded gaming guru wrote the article that was found on the BBC website...

K i'll get me coat now...

Ciao, James

Yes. Ciao, James.


It didn't take long for you lot to come up with alternative uses for new rules dreamed up by ISPs to try to crack down on spam in the UK. The newly approved code of practice gives ISPs belonging to LINX the mandate to shut down websites promoted through spam, even if junk mail messages are sent through a third-party or over a different network.

What a fantastic way to shut down a website you have a downer on, why bother with the illegality of a DoS attack when all you have to do is "advertise" for them ;-)

Ian


While it is not a bad idea in theory to shut down websites advertised by spammers, I wonder if these do-gooders have considered that they're also introducing new DDOS opportunities. While you probably couldn't get a big company like--for instance--Microsoft shut down with these tactics, it has potential as a petty revenge tactic, especially since the lack of global support means it won't be too useful for legitimate spam protection.

Ann


So now the best way to keep UK web users from accessing my competitors' web sites is to engage in spam for their benefit.

As far as I can tell, this sort of thing just does not work well.

George


I hope and trust that the LINX ISPs understand the term "joe job" - a mode of attack on innocent account holders and Web sites.

George


regarding the LINX war on spam. BRAVO! this is a good step. to destroy the spammers one must attack them at all levels including there clientelle and there infrastructure.

Implementing basic standards of practice and ethics for this is a good thing to do and certainly raises the bar world wide.

Keep up the good fight! [ps: dear echelon: "spammers are terrorists, please bomb them"] [only half joking] ;-)

Sean

Er, yes...we at El Reg, of course, do not endorse any bombings of anyone. Vultures don't like soup.


Hiding from the lawyers is not the best approach to take when someone sues you. This is fairly obvious. Couple of people in the US, however, thought that sticking their head in the sand would help when they were accused of illegal downloading. Not so, you said. And rightly so, we feel...

The Ostrich syndrome is common, it's the first thing that people are advised against when they are trying to get themselves out of debt, stop throwing away the letters, open them and deal with them....

The same thing applies here, part of the problem is that most people don't understand the court system, folk also don't get that judges and magistrates are often sympathetic towards people who don't understand the court system and find themselves alone and facing high powered legal representation.

The defence is simple, 'No, I don't understand the charges, no I don't know why I am here, I don't know, I just plugged my PC in and turned it on, what's P2P? Norton said I had a virus but I didn't know what to do, I don't know'

The burden of proof is then irrevocably shifted on to the copyright holder to prove that *you* breached their copyright, something that is in fact difficult to do beyond doubt. If your PC is hijacked twenty minutes after plugging in to the net then it's much more likely to be some shifty russian character who hi-jacked your PC, or even al qaeda.

Judge: "so it's possible that this PC was being controlled by someone other than the defendant?"

Burying your head in the sand because 'you can't afford lawyers' will result in judgement in default.

Alan


Lastly, a short exclamation from a reader who was so upset by Macrovision's plans to incorporate FairPlay support into its CDS-300 copy control that his caps lock key seems to have got stuck. Perhaps as a result of pounding the keyboard? We'll never know for sure:

Noting the latest Macrovision inventions re IPod,,

I WILL NOT BUY ANY CD CONTAINING ANY FORM OF COPY PROTECTION. END OF DISCUSSION, 'NUFF SAID.

Also, I still running W98SE and Office-95, and will not purchase any further upgrades or software from M$$ Corp. due to their ongoing program of integrating anti-consumer DRM schemes.

-- js

Duly noted, JS, thanks for that.

More on Friday. ®

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