Pons Aelius

Pons Aelius ponsaelius

Niner since 2012


  • Ping 196: Robocop and Search with Bing, AMA Bill Gates, FAA, Nokia Icon and Wearable Skirt

    British people sometimes sound British when they sing. Have a listen to Ian Drury and Blockheads, Madness, the who, ... loads of others.

    I guess some 'sound' American to sell music in the states.



  • Ping 182: Legos & Robots, Bing search, Xbox One Domain name, Kinect spy?

    , IRB wrote

    @ponsaelius: The NSA only gets access to specific information that they have a legal order to obtain. Google, Facebook, Apple etc. all do the same as Microsoft, it seems ridiculous to single out one company for your complaint when they have all done it or does that not sit well with your foil hat?

    Actually I wasn't specifically commenting about Microsoft. I wasn't even complaining. My observation was more that Microsoft have made a big issue about Gmail and Google reading mail in some of their ads. There is simply a degree of irony involved since the US government is reading everyone's mail no matter which web based email service they choose.

    If I were to raise the conversation from slightly humourous to more serious there are some side issues that are worthy of note and perhaps debate. All the services you mentioned are US companies. If you don't live in the USA then should the US government be able to read the email of people who are not US citizens without the protection of a legal framework that allows them (the foreign citizen) legal redress. In a country that said 'no taxation without representation' the sentiment that people should not be spied upon without some kind of legal rights seems to be the modern equivalent.

    The wider commercial question, now arising in European countries, is that in a era of 'cloud computing' can you trust the cloud being in the USA. In other words if Microsoft want to sell Office 365 subscriptions to non-US customers will businesses in those other countries think twice about parking their data in the USA. If trust in the security of data is lost then you might see walled country specific Internets. So customers in say Germany may be required by EU law only to allow personal and private data to be stored on servers physically in that country and IP address ranges may be restricted to prevent unauthorised data transfers. It would be a sort of data iron curtain.  

    I understand that in the USA the President is intensely relaxed about the Government reading email, tweets and facebook. However as political leaders in other countries look at a US based cloud computing environment the other 6.7 billion people on the planet may be less relaxed about the NSA trawling for 'threats to America' as defined by Congress.

    This is bit longer than I intended and a bit more serious than when I started. However maybe worth at least a thought in the minds of the corporate executives who run US business and think that this issue is merely a domestic PR problem.

  • Ping 182: Legos & Robots, Bing search, Xbox One Domain name, Kinect spy?

    I guess since Microsoft lets the NSA read email, skydrive, Skype IM, Skype calls then maybe it should just let them use the Xbox One too. After all President Obama says it's OK.

    Of course for those of us who don't live in the USA it means a foreign government is reading our email etc.

    All of this is ironic since Microsoft spends a lot of time telling Gmail users that Google is reading their mail.

    So Google and the NSA. Actually is there someone in the USA who isn't reading my mail?


  • Defrag: Explorer Won't Run, Network Limited Access, Touch PC's We Like

    I liked the 3.5inch docking station drive. Who makes it?

  • Ping 175: Wp app for Droids, Forbes Wifi, Next Xbox, Bing Offers

    Most important feature of the new Xbox - cup holder.