Ben Tasker's Blog

Republished: Apple elects for more Vendor Lock In

Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org 04 June 2006

It would seem that Apple have elected for more vendor lock-in. It used to be possible to download a Windows executable file to update the firmaware of your iPod, however now you are forced to download iTunes 7 and update through that.

That may seem like something normal, but the beauty of the old system was us Linux users could extract the new firmware and install it manually, now we can't as Apple don't provide a Linux version of iTunes. This from a company who has already been criticised for Vendor lock in with their Fairplay DRM.

One day companies will remember that it is the consumer who provides their revenue, and that whilst it may be a small percentage, creating disgruntled customers is never a good idea. Once the world becomes aware of what companies are doing to restrict their rights (DRM, Vendor lock-in etc) these companies are going to find themselves very short of revenue.

Republished: Looking at the Digital Britain Report

Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org 16 June 2009

Well, the long awaited 'Digital Britain' report is out. It's 254 pages long, and not being at the RSA I haven't had chance to have a full read through yet. I have managed to pick out a few highlights though, and although certain sections made me want to throttle whoever suggested Lord Carter was the right man, he does redeem himself in other areas.

So lets take a look at the good and then the bad;

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Republished: A look at BT's Trial Documentation

Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org 14 June 2009

Now, it can hardly have escaped anyones attention that BT ran some very questionable trials of Phorms system. It's been on BBC News, as well as many other sources, including the Governments refusal to take action. This has led to the EU intervening on our behalf, not that much has happened from that so far.

But most of the media has focused on the RIPA element of it, that is to say the Illegal Interception of the users traffic. Having read the leaked test documentation (Have a look on WikiLeaks), I'd say that there's another element to it that appears to have gone largely unnoticed.

The original trial involved injecting Javascript into each and every page the user visited (with some unfortunate results on forums), and based on the test documentation, even users who were opted out (not that they were given the opportunity in the trials) would find JavaScript being run on every page.

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Republished: Phorm's History

Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org on 13 August 2008

I've noticed that the number of links on the main page to stories about Phorm is quite large, so to make the stories a more useful resource I decided to create an index with all Phorms links on it.
The newest entries can be found at the bottom of the page, and all links will open in a new window/tab.

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Republished: The Best Bits of StopPhoulPlay

Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org 20 May 2009

I was having another curious read of Phorms PR blog -StopPhoulPlay - and there were a couple of things I noticed. If I'm honest, they made me laugh. There's nothing more you can do when reading such trash.

OK, so lets get started. In this post Phorm talk about the number 10 petition. Now personally, I believe most of these petitions are a waste of time, I've yet to hear of a success story. But, Phorm go one step further,

In the United Kingdom, the tradition of raising a popular petition against a perceived miscarriage of justice has a long and distinguished pedigree, but not one that the privacy pirates felt any hesitation about desecrating.

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