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1426  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Vocab tune-up on: August 28, 2013, 06:43:18 PM
1427  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Apple Mighty Mouse - Wireless (Bluetooth) Model No.A1197 - Mini-Review on: August 28, 2013, 06:39:34 PM
2013-08-29: I just updated the OP mini-review with some of the comments above.
Thanks, chaps.
I too think the Logitech mice are superb. I shall probably do a review of the Logitech M515 ("Couch") Mouse that my daughter uses.
1428  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: List all subfolders on multiple drives to text of csv on: August 28, 2013, 06:26:13 PM
Using xplorer², I just tried this now:
  • 1. Open xplorer².
  • 2. Select desired Root Directory in a Pane.
  • 3. Press: Ctrl+F (for FIND).
  • 4. Ensure "Named" = *.* (it usually is by default).
  • 5. Untick "files" (so it's folders only, otherwise files and folders are selected by default).
  • 6. Untick "search subfolders" (we're only going 1 level deep).
  • 7. Click OK and wait for search to complete.
  • 8. When the search results come up, select/deselect those columns for display that you want/don't want. Display shows columns for Folder Name, Folder Size, Creation or Modification Date/Time, Path.
  • 9. Press Ctrl+D (replaces <folder> with folder size).
    NB: at this point you could Ctrl+A (select all) and copy all items (Ctrl+C or Ctrl+P) in the search results (including column names) to Clipboard, and then paste into Excel for immediate use.
  • 10. Saved Search as "DCF dcwul62-01.x2fnd".
    NB: At this point you have a repeatable search/display pattern of the above, to run whenever required at some future point.

To repeat in future is a simple 2-step process:
  • 1. Activate the saved search file.
  • 2. Ctrl+A (select all) and copy all items (Ctrl+C or Ctrl+P) in the search results (including column names) to Clipboard, and then paste into Excel for immediate use.

I haven't tried it, but you could probably automate this further using AutoHotKey or AutoIT.

Hope this is of some use/help.
1429  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: BumpTop - last free version BumpTop-2.1-6225.exe on: August 28, 2013, 05:18:46 PM
@Timmmmaaahh: Many thanks for that ^^.
What you say is rather interesting.
It rather seems as though Google had simply bought it (BumpTop) to kill it, but if that were the case, then quite what the motive might have been I have no idea.
Some people (not me you understand) might say that the killing of BumpTop would of itself be a very good reason for installing it and running it, just for spite, but I couldn't possibly comment.
1430  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Best program to compare two files : word and pdf on: August 28, 2013, 02:44:15 AM
Not sure whether this might be of use:
MS Word 2013 seems to be able to convert PDFs to a Word doc, and then lets you get on and edit it as such...
I haven't used it other than to see if it works. Seems to be pretty good - and fast. Tried it on a PDF with several images in. The Word doc file size seems to be a good deal bigger than its source PDF file size though.
1431  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Deliberate hamstringing of Chromecast by Google? on: August 28, 2013, 02:34:39 AM
Rather curious incident reported by ArsTechnica. Though not famous for their journalistic rigour/objectivity, they could be pointing to something new of potential concern about the NSA's co-operative behemoth:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Chromecast could stream local files—until Google killed the feature
A developer writes that his mobile streaming app no longer works.
by Casey Johnston - Aug 26, 2013 3:00 pm UTC

Koushik Dutta demoed his app at the beginning of August. Its functionality dies with the most recent Chromecast update.
A Chromecast app that allowed users to feed local files from a mobile device directly to the Chromecast has been disabled with the most recent software update for the device. The developer of the app, Koushik Dutta, stated that his AirCast used code that had been hanging around in the Chromecast software for a while, but some new lines that Google inserted “short circuit everything but mirroring,” preventing apps that would circumvent Google-approved apps.
Per Dutta’s Google+ posts, the Chromecast extension app contains “video_playback” and “slideshow” cases that would allow the Chromecast to handle local files. Dutta reverse engineered the protocol and developed AirCast to take advantage of these capabilities and demoed the results in a video.
The latest Chromecast update now breaks that functionality with a few new lines:

Formatted for Generic Code with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. if("mirror_tab" != a) {
  2. return null;
  3. }
This code prevents “the ability to play media from external sources,” Dutta said.

It is still possible to play local files from the Chrome browser on the desktop by dragging them into a tab and streaming the tab to the Chromecast. That still leaves local files on mobile devices stuck without transfer to a PC. Dutta said that one of the sample Chromecast apps initially demonstrated mobile playback functionality, suggesting that the Chromecast was as capable of a streaming device as any “full fledged mobile computer.”

Google has not offered any public comment on why the video playback and slideshow cases were disabled, and the company did not respond immediately to requests for comment. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

Update: Google has provided the following statement:
   We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It's still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only.
   We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available.

Yeah, right.
Looks like some good old-fashioned prevarication there. There is also the use of that cliché "excited" again, which seems to often precede a major piece of bullshit from G.
1432  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Nonplussed - Windows 7 random BSODS on: August 26, 2013, 12:45:11 PM
If it was previously fine in the user's site, and if it worked fine and passed all CPU/RAM/disk tests whilst sited in CH's house environment, but now promptly BSODs again on return to user's site, then I would suggest an analysis of the user's environment. Something may have been changed in the user environment.

In particular, I would suggest consideration be given to the possibility of "unclean" mains power supply fluctuations, nearby strong or high frequency radio transmissions, and proximity EMI (electro-magnetic induction). Also check that the mains has a PME (positive multiple earth).

EMI is pretty rare. I have on only one occasion come across a definite case of EMI in computing, and that was in a mainframe computer room environment, where the cause was one data-carrying cable lying on top of another, and we solved the problem by running the uppermost cable along a 3-inch high metal bridge, over the lower cable.

Also, don't overlook the possibility of a poorly mounted chip, or loose cable connection, or dry joint on the circuitboard (the bad connection may have been accidentally temporarily reconnected by moving to CH's house).
1433  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: German Government Warns Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 on: August 26, 2013, 12:24:41 PM
^^ Yup. +1 from me. Kinda obvious, and goes without saying, but seems to need to be said in any event. We can sometimes be soo gullible.
1434  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: August 26, 2013, 12:07:59 PM
An interesting article at Wired on General Keith Alexander:
Superb story. However, given the nature of the subject matter, one has to wonder how true any of it might be, or whether there are all kinds of embedded and deliberately misleading points and/or half-truths in it. Separate cases in point being the "Star Wars" and "Neutron Bomb" stories.
Some people (not me, you understand), might say that "War is deception" is the normal rule - whether it be according to SunTzu protecting his empire, or Muhammed his empire, or the British Raj protecting The British Empire, or the Marxist Manifesto, or CAGW alarmists fighting for The Cause of "The Greater Good" or World Government or whatever, or modern-day US military strategists fighting to support the preservation/continuation of supremacy of "The American Way" (as in the article you link to), but I couldn't possibly comment.

There is another, similar, great story that Hacker News pointed to here, the original source being The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities (see the whole thing here).
Interesting that these great stories seem to be coming out in the Internet media and more MSM outlets now...they seem to indicate that quite a bit of journalistic research has gone into them. However, as we can all observe, journalists don't really do much of any research nowadays, but merely just engage in publishing "leaked" and already formatted press releases and regurgitating other Internet posts - what they scatalogically refer to as "t#rd-eating".
1435  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Greek off-the-grid Internet on: August 26, 2013, 12:28:28 AM
Might be of interest to a few people on this forum...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Greek community creates an off-the-grid Internet
By Joe Kloc on August 19, 2013 Email

In an effort to buck the expensive rates of unreliable corporate telecom companies, a community in Athens, Greece has created its own private Internet.

Built from a network of wireless rooftop antennas, the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) now has more than 1,000 members. Data moves “through” the AWMN mesh up to 30 times faster than it does on the telecom-provided Internet.

According to Mother Jones, this off-the-grid community has become so popular in Athens and on nearby islands that it has developed its own Craigslist-esque classifieds service as well as blogs and an internal search engine.

"It's like a whole other web," AWMN user Joseph Bonicioli told the magazine. "It's our network, but it's also a playground."

The AWMN began in 2002 in response to the poor Internet service provided by traditional telecommunications companies in Athens. However, the past few years have illustrated another use for these citizen-run meshes: preserving the democratic values of the Internet.

As the Internet has become a ubiquitous presence in day-to-day life, governments around the world have sought to control it. In 2011 for example, when former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak found out that protesters were organizing on Facebook, he commanded the country’s Internet service providers to shut down access, denying 17 million Egyptians access to the Web for days.

Later that year in the U.S., the city of San Francisco temporarily shut down cellphone service in its transit system to stop a protest.

As Bonicioli told Mother Jones, "When you run your own network, nobody can shut it down."

These DIY meshes are also used to provide Internet in places major telecom companies can’t—or won’t—reach. For example, one was constructed last year in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook after Hurricane Sandy knocked out resident’s access to the networks of major Internet service providers.

Similarly, Guifi, the largest mesh in the world, was built to address spotty Internet service in rural Spain. It has over 21,000 members.

Meshes have taken on new relevance in the wake of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about the agency’s massive Internet surveillance programs.

It is estimated (albeit roughly) that the NSA touches as much as half of the world’s Internet communications each day. The agency gains access to much of this information through partnerships with telecom companies that allow the agency to install splitters on their fibre optic Internet cables. Privately run meshes would deny the NSA—and other government intelligence agencies around the world—this access point to Internet data.

As the New America Foundation’s Sascha Meinrath told Mother Jones, "We're making infrastructure for anyone who wants to control their own network."
1436  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell) vs. Brave New World (Huxley) on: August 25, 2013, 07:35:22 PM
It's been posted on DCF before:

1437  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Query re FIND [..foldername] problem in Locate32 (and Windows Explorer) on: August 24, 2013, 06:33:09 PM
^^ Thanks for the tips. I shall have to start learning about Everything's feature set now, and how best to use those features.

Meanwhile, a remaining issue seems to be the curious conditional "blindness" bug that I had tripped over that is displayed when using Windows Find and Locate32 - a bug that xplorer² and Everything do not display.
I would have thought that the Windows OS Search/Find would be certain to be able to find any and every filename in NTFS that it had let you create, but apparently not, even in Win7-64.     tellme
1438  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Query re FIND [..foldername] problem in Locate32 (and Windows Explorer) on: August 24, 2013, 06:15:42 AM
@4wd: Many thanks for taking the trouble to test that out for me to prove it on Everything.
I have uninstalled Locate32 and downloaded and installed Everything- It's very fast. Works a treat.
1439  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Apple Mighty Mouse - Wireless (Bluetooth) Model No.A1197 - Mini-Review on: August 24, 2013, 04:23:21 AM
Original post date:2013-08-24

Basic Info
Device NameApple Mighty Mouse - Wireless (Bluetooth) Model No.A1197
Thumbs-Up Rating Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
Device support URLN/A (obsolete device)
Device information URL
Device Version ReviewedThe version used is (including some notes from Wikipedia):
  • Apple Mighty Mouse - Wireless (Bluetooth) Model No.A1197 (obsolete).
  • Release date: August 2, 2005.
  • Discontinued: October 20, 2009 (Wireless).
  • Power: 2 AA batteries.
Test System SpecsMS Win 7-64 Home Premium
Supported OSesCompatible with Win 64-bit/32-bit and Windows XP
Support MethodsDriver/software is automatically identified as the mouse device is detected.
Upgrade PolicyN/A (obsolete device) superseded by Apple Magic Mouse
Pricing SchemeN/A (obsolete device), but can be bought as secondhand - for example, on Amazon.
Pictures of the mouse:
[attach]   [attach]

Intro and Overview:
   Wikipedia has this to say about it - at
  • The Mighty Mouse is made of white plastic and has a recessed Apple logo on the mouse's face. The mouse has four functional "buttons": a left capacitive sensor, a right capacitive sensor, a track ball with a pressure sensor and side squeeze sensors. The track ball enables users to scroll a page or document in any direction, including diagonally. Two of the above-mentioned inputs are not physical buttons. Rather, the touch-sensitive topshell (mentioned below) and the pressure sensing trackball allow the mouse to detect which side is being touched or whether the trackball is being held in.

  • The mouse emits a sound when the scroll ball is rolled, but this is not a direct product of the ball moving; the sound is actually produced by a tiny speaker inside the mouse.[2] There is no way to disable this feature other than physically disabling the speaker inside the mouse. [3]

  • Currently, Mac OS X is the only operating system that fully supports the mouse without third party software. When used with Mac OS X, the sensors can be set to launch applications or trigger features of the Apple operating system, such as Dashboard and Exposé. If not used with Mac OS X, the mouse behaves as a four "button" mouse with a vertical and horizontal scroll wheel. There are third-party drivers (XMouse,[4] AppleM[5]) that provide more functions to users of other platforms such as Windows.

  • The Mighty Mouse does not report whether the right and left sensors are activated simultaneously. In fact, it reports a right-click only when there is no finger contact on the left side of the mouse. Thus a right-click requires lifting the finger off the mouse, then right-clicking. This also means that the Mighty Mouse cannot support mouse chording, used by CAD software, games, and other applications where multiple functions are mapped to the mouse.

I got hold of this mouse because a neighbour of mine was throwing out some stuff, and I offered to take it to the local Mission Charity shop - I regularly take all sorts of discarded but still useful stuff there (typically a car trunkfull a week), and they sell it in their various outlet stores.
On inspection, amongst my neighbour's stuff was this apple mouse. Interested, I opened it up, and saw that a sprung stainless steel piece on the inside had come away from where it was supposed to be and that it couldn't work until that was fixed. I stuck it back in place with some hot glue, popped in 2 AA battaries, enabled wifi Bluetooth on my laptop, switched on the mouse, and told the laptop to look for and acquire Bluetooth devices - which it did, and installed the appropriate drivers after a short delay:

The properties checked out:

- and it showed up in my Bluetooth devices list:

The mouse was now operational, and I began to use it to see what it was like.
I have to say here that:
  • (a)  I don't usually like to use a mouse as it aggravates an old carpal tunnel injury (RSI). I prefer to use a touchpad and the keyboard a lot, as a mouse is just too tediously slow for my liking anyway.
  • (b) I have studied and applied ergonomic design principles in time and motion studies and computer interface design, and having had problems with my back since teenage years, and learning to safely weight-train despite that, I am now automatically acutely aware of good and bad ergonomics in anything to do with human movement, man-machine interfaces and printed and audio-video media.

So what was the mouse like to use? I thought it a superb example of intelligent ergonomic design. Very nice to use.

Technical Features and Operation: (mostly from Wikipedia)
Repeated from above: There are third-party drivers (XMouse,[4] AppleM[5]) that provide more functions to users of other platforms such as Windows.

  • Touch-sensitive top shell
  • 360 degree enabled clickable track ball
  • Force-sensing side "squeeze" areas
  • Optical (LED) tracking in wired version
  • Laser tracking in wireless version
  • Compatible with Macintosh, Windows and Linux PCs
  • Programmable functions for the four "buttons"
  • Auditory feedback with built-in speaker[8][9]

Who this mouse is designed for:
People who might need or like to have an improved ergonomic interface with their computer.

The Good:
Seems like a very good, well-designed and well-manufactured product.

The needs improvement section:
I can't really fault it, so far, but Wikipedia says:
Although the Mighty Mouse can sense both right and left clicks, it is not possible to press both sensors simultaneously. The user must learn to lift the left finger off the sensor surface before attempting a right-mouse click.[10]
The scroll ball will eventually become clogged with dust and require cleaning. While there are methods to clean the ball without dismantling the mouse some users have complained that the Mighty Mouse is difficult to clean because the scroll ball mechanism is hard to take apart.[11][12]

Why I think you should use this product:
If you use a mouse a lot, this mouse could well make your computer use easier/more comfortable.

How it compares to similar mice:
Since I don't really like using a mouse, I did not try this one out for very long. I reckon that, despite it's design age (2005), it could still be ahead of many current mouse designs, and the cost would be low (you should be able to pick it up for a song).
However, real mouse users might have more useful opinions. For example: (per comments below)
  • @mouser: I tried one of these mice once, and was driven crazy by the lack of good tactile feedback on the left and right mouse buttons.
    yech, not for me.
  • @lanux128: as interesting as this review is, i prefer Logitech mice which comes in all shapes and sizes with superior (imo) ergonomic features.

I really like this mouse, but would not be likely to use it much for myself. I would like to see if my daughter could take advantage of it instead of her Logitech wireless mouse (which is an excellent mouse), but unfortunately she has no Bluetooth functionality on her laptop. So I will probably not keep the mouse.
In light of @lanux128's comment, I might post a review of my daughter's Logitech M515 ("Couch") Mouse.

Links to other info sources/reviews of this application:
Just the Wikipedia link above, though a DuckDuckGo search turns up a lot of references to this mouse.
1440  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 - Mini-Review on: August 24, 2013, 12:36:28 AM
2013-08-24: Updated software/driver version and operational details, and documented a fix re dongle storage.
The Logitech G930 is still one of the best headsets on the planet, IMO.    smiley
1441  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) - Mini-Review on: August 23, 2013, 10:37:50 PM
2013-08-24: Minor update and new example of threat (Worm) quarantine.
Latest version details updated:
  • Antimalware Client Version:
  • Engine Version: 1.1.9800.0
  • Antivirus definition:
  • Antispyware definition:
  • Network Inspection System Engine Version: 2.1.9800.0
  • Network Inspection System Definition Version:
1442  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Query re FIND [..foldername] problem in Locate32 (and Windows Explorer) on: August 23, 2013, 10:26:19 AM
I have been trialling Locate32 (latest 64-bit version) for a while, and yesterday I was puzzled because some files that I had just created and that would have been indexed by Locate32 in its latest database update were not showing up in Locate32's results page. At the same time I got an error - which was not repeatable.

I wrote to the developer of Locate32 per email:
​I was using Locate32 and searching for files/folders named ..Audio
After sorting the results list, I got this error message:
CLocateDlg::SortNewItem:Something is wrong! Contact jmhuttun@{redacted}
I have established that Locate32 seems to be unable to catalogue/index folders with a preceding dot (.) or preceding two dots (..) in the folder name, and it cannot seem to catalogue/index the files within such folders either.
System is Win7-64 Home Premium.

He replied:
​Looks like that you are trying to something strange. I should recommend not using '.', because it's meaning is quite vague in GUI programs.

However, I see nothing strange about it. Windows File System allows for preceding 1 or more full stops in file/folder names and quite a lot of programs use at least 1 preceding full stop in file-naming - e.g. Google Picasa. I have been using folder names with preceding dot(s) (.) for years with no issue until now - and my File Manager is xplorer² (I rarely - if ever - need to use Windows Explorer).

This is an example of a typical filename and path that seems to be causing difficulty for Locate32:
C:\Workdata.007 (Media 1)\..Audio\Personal + Family\2012-01-31 224456 - Meeting notes at Labour MP office (9m 48s).amr

Puzzled, I did a comparison, using different tools to do the searching:
  • 1. Using the FIND command for files/folders in Windows Explorer and also using Regex ".*.*" or "..*.*" seems to indicate that it is partially blind. That is, it:
    (a) can find non-specific folders with preceding full stops (1 or 2) with no problem, but
    (b) cannot find a specific ..foldername or specific filename.ext within that ..foldername, but
    (c) can find files with specific .ext but a non-specific filename within those folders;
    (d) can find a specific or non-specific foldername within those folders.

  • 2. Using Locate32, it cannot seem to find those specific ..foldername folders, nor non-specific ones, and cannot find any files - specific or non-specific - within those ..foldername folders. It seems to be "blind" to the ..foldername and any files/folders nested within it.

  • 3. Using FIND in xplorer², it can find specific and non-specific ..foldername folders and any files/folders (specific or non-specific) nested within them, with no difficulty.

Q1: Am I doing something wrong here, or have I tripped over some kind of a bug in Windows and Locate32?

I rather like Locate32 because it is fast, but if it fails to actually catalogue certain undefined and apparently legitimate types of file/folder names in NTFS without your knowledge, then I shall have to use an alternative, or go back to using xplorer² (which, though it seems to be fail-proof in this context, is slower, as it does a real-time search the first time you search for something). If I can possibly avoid it, I certainly don't want to have to change my long-established folder-naming conventions to accommodate Locate32.

Q2. What alternatives are there to Locate32 that would not have this ..foldername problem?

(Thanks in anticipation.)
1443  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: August 22, 2013, 11:38:27 PM
1444  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: August 22, 2013, 07:58:01 PM
Those undersea (submarine) cables that got snagged by the deep-sea trawlers...
1445  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Those undersea (submarine) cables that got snagged by the deep-sea trawlers... on: August 22, 2013, 07:56:08 PM
What a surprise! (NOT)
Snowden leaks: UK has secret Middle-East web surveillance base collecting emails, phone calls and web traffic

Image: Edward Snowden

Britain runs a secret Middle East-based listening post collecting vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies.

The station is able to tap into and extract data from the underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the region.

The information is then processed for intelligence and passed to GCHQ in Cheltenham and shared with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States. The Government claims the station is a key element in the West’s “war on terror” and provides a vital “early warning” system for potential attacks around the world.

The Independent is not revealing the precise location of the station but information on its activities was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden. The Guardian newspaper’s reporting on these documents in recent months has sparked a dispute with the Government, with GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives containing the data.

The Middle East installation is regarded as particularly valuable by the British and Americans because it can access submarine cables passing through the region. All of the messages and data passed back and forth on the cables is copied into giant computer storage “buffers” and then sifted for data of special interest.

Information about the project was contained in 50,000 GCHQ documents that Mr Snowden downloaded during 2012. Many of them came from an internal Wikipedia-style information site called GC-Wiki. Unlike the public Wikipedia, GCHQ’s wiki was generally classified Top Secret  or above.

The disclosure comes as the Metropolitan Police announced it was launching a terrorism investigation into material found on the computer of David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald – who is at the centre of the Snowden controversy.

Scotland Yard said material examined so far from the computer of Mr Miranda was “highly sensitive”, the disclosure of which “could put lives at risk”.

The Independent understands that The Guardian agreed to the Government’s request not to publish any material contained in the Snowden documents that could damage national security.

As well as destroying a computer containing one copy of the Snowden files, the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, agreed to restrict the newspaper’s reporting of the documents.

The Government also demanded that the paper not publish details of how UK telecoms firms, including BT and Vodafone, were secretly collaborating with GCHQ to intercept the vast majority of all internet traffic entering the country. The paper had details of the highly controversial and secret programme for over a month. But it only published information on the scheme – which involved paying the companies to tap into fibre-optic cables entering Britain – after the allegations appeared in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. A Guardian spokeswoman refused to comment on any deal with the Government.

A senior Whitehall source said: “We agreed with The Guardian that our  discussions with them would remain confidential”.

But there are fears in Government that Mr Greenwald – who still has access to the files – could attempt to release damaging information.

He said after the arrest of Mr Miranda: “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think  they will be sorry for what they did.”

One of the areas of concern in Whitehall is that details of the Middle East spying base which could identify its location could enter the public domain.

The data-gathering operation is part of a £1bn internet project still being assembled by GCHQ. It is part of the surveillance and monitoring system, code-named “Tempora”, whose wider aim is the global interception of digital communications, such as emails and text messages.

Across three sites, communications – including telephone calls – are tracked both by satellite dishes and by tapping into underwater fibre-optic cables.

Access to Middle East traffic has become critical to both US and UK intelligence agencies post-9/11. The Maryland headquarters of the NSA and the Defence Department in Washington have pushed for greater co-operation and technology sharing between US and UK intelligence agencies.

The Middle East station was set up under a warrant signed by the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband, authorising GCHQ to monitor and store for analysis data passing through the network of fibre-optic cables that link up the internet around the world

The certificate authorised GCHQ to collect information about the “political intentions of foreign powers”, terrorism, proliferation, mercenaries and private military companies, and serious financial fraud.

However, the certificates are reissued every six months and can be changed by ministers at will. GCHQ officials are then free to target anyone who is overseas or communicating from overseas without further checks or controls if they think they fall within the terms of a current certificate.

The precise budget for this expensive covert technology is regarded as sensitive by the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office.

However, the scale of Middle East operation, and GCHQ’s increasing use of sub-sea technology to intercept communications along high-capacity cables, suggest a substantial investment.

Intelligence sources have denied the aim is a blanket gathering of all communications, insisting the operation is targeted at security, terror and organised crime.
1446  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: August 22, 2013, 07:19:17 PM
Hmm. If this (below) is true, then what are the implications?
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
12 year-old NSA spying system revealed that catches 75 percent of US Internet traffic
August 21st, 2013 by Sarah A. Downey

NSA companiesLooks like the NSA lied.

The Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Gorman and Jennifer Valentino-Devries broke the story this morning that the NSA’s systems can access about 75% of all Internet traffic in the US. Not only that, but it can save the content of emails and Internet phone calls sent from one US citizen to another.

The revelation contradicts previous NSA statements, including some by NSA Director James Clapper, that the NSA doesn’t intercept the actual contents of emails and other communications, and that the NSA doesn’t intercept purely domestic (US to US) traffic.

The surveillance programs, with whimsical code names including “Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew,” collect and filter information directly from US telecommunications companies, including AT&T and Verizon. Major companies like Cisco, Boeing, and Juniper provide the gear to build the systems. 

Similar to PRISM, the spying program Edward Snowden revealed that lets government analysts access data from web companies like Google and Facebook, these programs only work because they integrate directly with wireless and Internet providers. Once again, private companies are demonstrated to power the surveillance that feeds the government.

Clapper NSA memeThe government can spy on people “reasonably believed” to be outside the US, which is a low legal bar and easy standard to meet. But NSA officials admit that many of the communications they intercept and store are actually between US citizens, and thousands of other serious surveillance errors happen each year.

The program is largely secret and regulates itself. Civil rights and privacy activists argue that the NSA should have better, more public oversight.

The fallout from 2013′s “Summer of Snowden” has been widespread. Analysts estimate that newfound distrust in US data companies will cost $180 billion, although privacy companies like us and DuckDuckGo have seen major growth in the number of people using our tools. President Obama’s approval rating has dropped, especially among young voters between 18 and 29. Last week, the President announced plans to reform NSA programs to better protect privacy.

On a final note, you can’t stop the NSA from tracking you, but you can make it harder. Here’s how.
1447  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Groklaw shutting down because of our new US survelliance state on: August 22, 2013, 09:37:33 AM
Things to look forwards to:
Self-imposed shutdown of high-privacy/security emailing services = Passive response, self-imposed suppression/censorship by default.
Impotence and capitulation in the face of progressive and incremental grinding down of Liberty by Totalitarianism.
... Snookered.

Things to ask ourselves:
How did we let this happen?
Were we asleep?
When did it start?
What does it mean for our futures?
What, if anything, can we do about it?
Should we just accept it?
1448  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: August 21, 2013, 03:08:40 AM
In an email from today:
...The Obama administration just revived one of the worst provisions in SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act).

The Commerce Dept's Internet Policy Task Force has proposed making it a felony to stream copyrighted content (aka Section 201 of SOPA). Interpreted broadly, this proposal would apply to anyone who puts copyrighted music in the background of their YouTube video or uploads a video of themselves covering a song without permission -- which means, under these rules, Justin Bieber would be a felon.

Even sharing a video of your friend's embarassing karoake performance or your family singing "Happy Birthday To You" could put you in jail! Click here to fight back.

This is all because the federal government wants to make streaming -- including material which falls under the "public performance" category -- punishable by years in prison.

Jail time for streaming videos? Tell the Obama administration: NO!

Obama apparently hasn't been paying attention the past two years: The American people don't want SOPA-style internet censorship or to open the door for more prosecutorial abuse. Period.

We've stopped them before -- from SOPA to PIPA to CISPA -- and we can stop them again.

Tell Obama: we still won't stand for SOPA-style censorship. ...

Whatever the country or governing political party, this form of protectionism would rather seem to indicate the actions of a puppet government, to me.
1449  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why you should record video of the everyday people in your life on: August 21, 2013, 02:19:05 AM
^^ Yes, @fredemeister makes some rather useful points about using modern video technology to catch family - and other - history recounted as perceived by those older family members who had lived through those earlier times before we were born. This got me thinking (again) about the scope for current video technology in society and what might be an "ideal" approach to take at a personal level, as I have had similar experience of trying to collect this kind of history, but from existing and new audio recordings, and silent video recordings, and actual audio-video recordings, and also transcripts of speech/spoken memories.

There is a distinction I would make here between 3 categories of use :
  • (a) Intrinsically personal remembrance: what the opening post refers to - recording video of the everyday people in your life - and the impact of watching those video recordings - of relatively mundane bits of life:
    ...I was stunned by the experience of hearing the voices and seeing the video of these places and people from my past.
    It is amazing how clear the memories become of the people and places when aided by a bit of video, and how quickly it transports you back in time to those days, and how much information comes back to mind when looking at these videos.

    ...As boring as it might be to watch now, in 30 years those boring moments may become the most precious valuable things you can imagine.
    Examples of this would be the many family/personal audio/video recordings that people may have made over the years.

  • (b) Deliberate remembrance/chronicling: the deliberate act of making audio/video recordings of an aged person recounting their recollection of history from memory and as perceived/recalled through their senses/paradigms.
    ...So while this is different to mouser's post, we share similar experiences and good thoughts.
    Just my 2c worth, but I strongly recommend doing this before it's too late.
    Examples of this would be many, and could include @fredemeister's audio-video recordings of his mother-in-law, and audio recordings my brother made (using a Dictaphone) of aged relatives talking about various things.

  • (c) Planned or coincidental audio/video recordings of certain events as they occur - for posterity.
    Examples of this could include:
    • The 1969 US Apollo 11 first manned mission to land on the Moon.
    • The many binaural recordings made and broadcast by BBC radio and TV starting (I think) in the late '70s or early '80s, and now moving into a form of "surround sound" (binaural is best experienced if you listen using headphones).
    • Personal and other video/CCTV footage of the 2011 Tōhoku (Japan) earthquake and tsunami.
    • Personal and other video/CCTV footage of earthquake events (there were some good ones of a Wellington quake this month).
    • Personal and other video/CCTV footage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent events.
    • Bystander's/victims' phone video footage of the 7/7/2005 London Metro jihadist bombings.
    • Bystander's phone video footage, made at the request of the Woolwich jihadist, of his monologue of reasoning and religious motivation ("...many, many ayah throughout the Qu'ran") for beheading the soldier Lee Rigby.
    • Audio-video footage of US and Israeli military drone weapons strikes/surveillance.
    • Police lapel-mic recordings.
    • Police dashcam and lapel-camera video footage.
    • Civilian lapel-camera video footage (some apparently in protection from potential illegal police action).
    • Russian civilian dashcam video footage of road accidents.
    • General civilian dashcam video footage - e.g., of a large meteor and of an aircraft crash.
    • Pieced-together personal cyclecam video footage to illustrate a problematic real-life situation, as in this excellent (silent) video here - Angles morts - YouTube.

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   At a global level, there has been an enormously wide, beneficial social impact from the use of the above technology. For example, our society is already benefiting by knowledge being gained from the fact that much of the video news we see captured - e.g., as in (say) YouTube video clips from citizens around the world - is enabling us to break free of the binds of cynical censorship, repression and even manufacture of news we are fed from the highly politicised MSM (MainStream Media) and which news is arguably replete with propaganda to tell us not only what to think, but also how to think.
   A good recent example of this would probably be the highlighting of apparently deliberate under-reporting of the persecution of Christians (read religious "cleansing", as in rape/torture/killing of Christian men, women and children) and burning of now 50+ Christian churches and  that apparently has been going on in Egypt for over a year now in the so-called "Arab Spring", and which has apparently accelerated rapidly in the current phase of civil unrest and rioting.
   However, at a purely personal level, whilst it seems that the technological advances that have made good quality audio-video recording easy, ubiquitous and relatively cheap in all 3 (a, b, c) of the above categories, and I would love to have (say) a decent lapel-video camera - preferably one that live-streamed everything to the cloud, as well as into local storage - I do not overlook the importance and use of audio-video as being data. From that individual perspective and as an observer, I reckon that the lowest common denominator - the audio component - should not be overlooked.
   Audio data is really easily and inconspicuously collected, and - unlike video - does not so easily risk causing the observed to become self-conscious and change their behaviours. For example, I have succeeded in gathering some beautiful audio recordings of my children - talking by themselves or amongst ourselves, or whilst playing or bed-time reading - which might have been more difficult to achieve if a camera had been in evidence or had to be set up. Furthermore, audio recordings can go into my OneNote notebooks where they are promptly searched for intelligible words, and then indexed, so you can search on it all later. This is not quite as good as OneNote does for all/any legible text it OCRs and extracts from images, but it's not bad.
   The point here is that - from a data acquisition, search and management perspective - audio currently seems to be potentially a lot more usable than video. That's why I usually have my trusty Samsung GT-B2710 cellphone to hand. It has a very sensitive electret microphone which gives it a wide area of capture around the phone, and it's umpteen Gbs of memory can record hours of audio, though its camera/video technology probably leaves a lot to be desired.
1450  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 20, 2013, 04:17:41 AM
Whilst it might make a lot of sense to some, I have to say that my old school never did anything as exciting as this ...    Grin
Interesting ... but then again my daughter's school might get involved in something similar (as part of Science classes), as I gather there is an experiment underway to patrol New Zealand waterways with drones, for visual checks and detection of problems. - e.g., including blockages, or dead stock floating in the river.
The background to that makes a lot of sense. It's all about maintaining the NZ "clean, green" marketing image - NZ research has apparently just established that 61% of its waterways are unfit to swim in...    ohmy
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