SP1 drops, iPlayer falls over and Phorm is less than legal

And bees as far as the eye can see

Phorm just can't catch a break these days. The Foundation for Information Policy Research has advised the government that the company's ad-targetting system is illegal. The problem, they say, is that the consent of the people hosting visited websites is needed in addition to that of the users.

In the long run I think this whole situation will have been less harmful to the ISP's in question to give them a chance to back down a bit rather than if they had gone blindly ahead and suffered the lawsuits after the fact - but I doubt they will see it that way somehow.

Anonymous Coward

Have I missed something?

Where is the home office advice that this is OK?

Who wrote that?

Can they be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten veg?

What's in a name? [That's a name, not a further question]

I think the Home Office advice was quite clever.

While one suspects that the author was under a certain amount of pressure to come up wit the 'right' answer - one that would not leave BT wide open after last year's covert illegal trials of the Phorm technology - he has listed all the reasons why Phorm might be illegal, and the exact parts of RIPA that they fall under, effectively channelling Phorm into the one path of possible legality which requires the 'implied consent' of visited websites.

And then briefly suggests that this may be the case, and closes.

But as Professor Peter Sommer points out, and as the raft of 'denial of RIPA consent' headings on Phorm-aware websites is now making explicitly clear, such consent cannot be presumed.

So whither now, for Phorm?


Got my first "Phorm" call today on the BT helldesk.

There hasn't been any word from above on it yet (there has on every, single, little thing else, like wi-fi's safe, don't mention "watchdog" etc.), so asked for our stance.

The product specailist just shrugged as did the manager, and his manager, who serious aksed why someone was asking about "Porn".

It's the blind leading the inept- if we get a stirring from Upstairs on this, I'll be surprised.

Everything we've heard about this is off El Reg.


Microsoft has missed its mid-March deadline for a manual download of Vista Service Pack 1 for most of its customers. The software giant did squeeze it out eventually, but it has a tendency to break a number of security products.

I was in a branch of a well known high-street retailer @ the weekend and I'm sure I saw a "computer mag" (can't remember which one) with a "Vista SP1" CD as part of its packaging.


The "Vista SP1" CD you saw in the mag is actually PC Pro magazine - when you look closely at it you dont actually get the CD/DVD - what you get is a postcard that you fill in your details and mail to MS - when SP1 is released publicly to all, within a few weeks you should then recieve it on disk - no charge for any of it :)

James Townsend

The reason it is so large on disk (according to Microsoft sources) is that they decided to roll up all the different language versions and other variations into a single image, instead of making different images for different systems. If downloading the updates required for a single system, no system requires more than 100MB to be updated (according to Microsoft sources).

I say good idea to stop having a myriad of different version to confuse, but I would hate to be someone who has to download that giant stand-alone installation image.

Anonymous Coward

Bitter experience of MS's previous Service Packs means I will be quietly sitting back and watching the forums etc. for news of which apps/drivers/hardware get broken by this pack. In about 6 months I will start to consider the option but not before and I will still continue to dual boot with XP. Take your time MS.

Graham Lockley

Working for a volume customer does have its perks - I've had SP1 at home for a month and a bit now. It fixes a LOT of bugs with Vista, including the long, drawnout file copying issue.

Michael Greenhill

It's all very worrying isn't it when a project starts/continues to miss its deadlines and milestones slip by with nothing to show. When that happens it punches holes in your confidence that the people running the project know what they're doing and how they're going to do it. In fact, it suggests to me that the developers on this project have little confidence in the product themselves and are now likely to rush things in order to achieve delivery.

In a way this is a good thing from a consumer perspective because if you see problems at this stage then it saves you the effort of making the purchase and going through the stresses and strains afterwards. Kind of like going to an electrical store and looking at a rather shonky toaster, you can immediately see that there were problems designing and manufacturing the thing and steer well clear.

Note specifically that I wanted to keep away from bashing Microsoft, the above comment should apply to most projects where you as the consumer have the choice not to buy the end result.

Robert Harrison

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