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Would you rather watch Titanic or Celebrity Big Brother?

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Letters The biggest fuss (we would say story, but it'd be hard to keep a straight face) of the week has undoubtedly been the mess that is Big Brother. It could be argued that when a reality TV show manages to take up time in the Houses of Parliament, you know something is slightly out of kilter in your country. Nevertheless, rubbish bullying and allegations of racism prompted Carphone Warehouse to pull its sponsorship of the whole sorry mess:

Is this the correct spelling for "schadenfreude"? Endemol and C4 have seemingly been daring each other to push at the boundaries of taste and decency with this drivel for years, with seeming immunity. Can't say it would break my heart to see them taken down a peg or two.

It's just ironic that in this case, the situation seems to have been one that they didn't engineer and can't really control - perhaps they expected professional celebrities to be more...well...professional? Naive, perhaps, especially when you consider that certain of the 'celebrities' chosen are barely one step up from trailer trash themselves, and certainly low-rent compared to the rather affluent Miss Shetty.

The trouble with Big Brother is you can't deny it's an effective vehicle for showing real life writ large. The Goodies of this world do exist, and do have casually rascist atitudes, born more from poor education and concomittant fear of the unknown than any inherant predjudice. This series is simply continuing the tradition. While this whole issue is distasteful, is it really worse than Kinga sliding a wine bottle up her twat?

Colin


Shilpa Shetty and Big Brother.

What the F*** did they expect? Any zookeeper will tell you it's a Bad Idea to put a panther in with the chimpanzees.

Strewth.

John


I think this is all getting a bit out of hand. IMO it's all playground talk from a bunch of boring egos. However, as somebody once said: "You can't buy all this PR". When there are suggestions that a brand is condoning racisim/bullying, the brand will distance themselves pretty sharpish. I'm suprised that no-one has suggested the undercooked food could have been a clever ploy to remove the competition.

Roop


The amazing, incredible disappearing British Army. No, not funding cuts, just Google.

Ahhh, it's tough when you are trying to illegally occupy a country you invaded on a false pretext, isn't it? Especially after you start a civil war. Perhaps they should move the toilet block and tents around every month, to foil the dastardly plans of the evil terrorists.

I just hope nowhere I have ever looked at on Google Earth gets bombed any time soon because "presumably" it was me that ordered the bombing.

JC on a bike, these people are retarded.

Mark


Google should take the request as a business oppertunity. Why not cover all those military sensitive places in the world with google-ads? Then they can pay the widdows and orphans of the destructed bases and troops when the terrorists do find them and have taken appropriate action. At least, some of the revenue of the ads will be generated from the terrorists themselves if good weapons deals can be part of the syndication. Should be a good deal for all then (collateral damage is expected though, but that should be no news to troops deployed in Iraq).

-- Greetings Bertho


Given that these photos have already been distributed, and given that nothing can be done to alter this (or remove the many alternative sources on the 'net), surely the obvious thing to do would be to actually move stuff around?

Far be it for me to understand why certain tents, temporary buildings or vehicles are positioned in particular locations - but it seems to me that the British Army has enough resourcefulness to move about a bit every now and then. Yes, it is annoying, expensive and someone, somewhere has an awful lot of explaining to do. But as soldiers and yourselves have pointed out, this is a done deal now - so surely the only straightforward solutions involve either re-arranging the bases or actually moving them to new locations.

I'm sure they have the odd person here and there that can figure out a way to do this, because if not, that would be yet another reason why they should never have been sent there in the first place.

Andy


More on the bleedin' iPhone. This time, is it a nice juicy target for ackers, or just too obscure:

You can't have it both ways. If the Mac is too obscure a target for virus/malware writers to attack, the iPhone is most definitely safe. Even if Apple achieve their goal of 10M units in the next 22 months, there will still be far fewer iPhones in operation than Mac computers, making it an even more obscure target for malware authors. So, industry pundits can't say on the one hand that OS X is only safe because nobody cares about attacking such a small installed base, then turn around and say that the iPhone with an even smaller installed base is a new fertile ground for attackers.

On the other hand, if indeed obscurity is not the driving reason behind the lack of OS X-based malware, and the real reason is the lack of exploits available (or inherent security of OS X), that would make OS X the best choice possible for a smart phone. BTW the "Month of Apple Bugs" site seems to be proving this theory, as the only remote-execution bugs found in any of Apple software exist only in QuickTime...no remote execution exploits have been published thus far that effect the kernel or daemon level.

Alan


Oh no! Someone cracked my DVD. Yes, they sat on it, and it cracked. Wait, no. Our mistake. They cracked the encryption and put it on BitTorrent:

No real mystery about how they did it: certain "major software DVD packages" (ahem) were lazily coded, and left the title key for the playing disc unencrypted in plain view. One quick memory scan later, et voila.

BackupHDDVD doesn't actually do anything much itself, it merely replicates the decryption routine.

In other words: the key to the house was left lying around in the open, it wasn't the lock (AACS) that was broken.

Next step is AACS will revoke the software players' keys, so no discs made from that point on will be playable in them. Then the hunt for the next flawed player will begin anew, although by then a huge number of current HD-DVDs will be floating around the net in unecrypted fashion.

This is largely the philosophy AACS was designed with, and personally I suspect they won't be too bothered - after all, it does give them a good open view of how effective the revocation process will be. If these flaws hadn't been posted in public, it's likely the damage in terms of decrypted titles would have been much greater - it could have taken them 6 months to figure where the flaw was.

Andrew


Regards your article about Serenity, isn't it ironic that the outlaw pirates should choose as their first film, one about outlaws?

Damn their exceedingly good taste!

By the way, I think we should blame Mr Jayne Cobb's statement in the film of 'Shiny. Let's be Bad Guys' as pure incitement to these pirates.

David


I wonder if the movie executives will get the irony of this. A movie where small, independent, strugling people are trying to fight off a totalarian regime that controles everything.

Frank


Which kinda proves what it seems everyone but the movie industry can't see - it IS going to be cracked sooner or later. If they put as much effort into making it so that otherwise law abiding people didn't feel cheated and ripped off by the effects of these technical protections (reference the overhead and broken features in Vista) then they wouldn't need to protect the disk at all. Lets face it, CD sales are still looking fairly healthy even though there is (normally) no protection at all.

Simon

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