Letters This week, the MOD took to gazing into a crystal ball, and came up with a number of scary sounding predictions for what the future might hold.
Many of you felt that this shameless pilfering of the best of cyberpunk might have been better avoided. Perhaps the MOD's think tank could lend its future diagnosticator to Des Browne instead. He probably could have used it this week.
Hell, I could have gotten better results in a weekend, given a half-dozen sci-fi writers and a couple of cases of good beer. (The qualitative value of the resultant prognostication being directly proportional to the quality of the beer.)
"Developments might include the invention of synthetic telepathy, including mind-to-mind or telepathic dialogue."
And you guys have the gall to make fun of Captain Cyborg - clearly this is justification, if I've ever heard it, for gluing bits of electronics to your body and pretending it's an amazing feat of robotics genius when you place you hand within a few millimeters of a doorway and wave like mad to open it. Just because it's easier to use a door handle doesn't mean we should.
"So obvious, in fact, that the MoD brain trust declines to say what they are."
Sure some people may think how nice it would change channels just by thinking about it, but let me spell out the threat for you - space alien invasion.
With implanted telepathic computer bits and pieces (imho the only sensible way to access the internet, as long as we think positively and wish away the malware that will fry our brains and re-program it with say, Robbie Williams greatest James Bond hits) we could easily assist the impending fleet of Alien middle class telepaths, that's been cleverly guided here by those geniuses who think what a great idea it is to broadcast radio into space.
You had me until "A cheap, simple-to-make and easy-to-use weapon might be invented..." Everyone knows the military won't look at anything that doesn't cost at least $50k a throw. And preferably doesn't actually work.
> A superb bit of bureaucratic ass-covering I thought we all agreed to say "arse" like the adults we are?
Is there such a thing as secure data deletion? Yes. It is called a hammer. But beyond that?
"We can apply controls on what can be done with the document, for example stopping a document from being printed, from cut and paste working, from being forwarded to others."
Don't forget the old standby, Print Screen or Screenshot. Granted one would have to use OCR or manually translate from the image, but won't a screenshot work even when cut and paste are disabled?
Sun's shiny new ZFS has a particular problem in that it is not easy to actually erase data; it might still be being held in a snaphot for example.
And the ZFS developers seem to think that having an encrypted ZFS pool from which you discard the key is OK/equivalent. IMHO it isn't because (1) it doesn't give you the space back (2) it leaves the risk that someone has a copy of or can deduce the key and recover the data (3) it generates a legal liability, eg under the UK RIP Act.
So far I have not managed to convince Sun of this. Maybe you could have a go or write a story!
We Brits have got the biggest stonkingest DNA database ever. In among the cries of panic over the horrifying erosion of our alleged civil liberties and rights, there is one amused voice calling for calm.
I wouldn't get too worked up about this, as it will still be useless when it comes down to the complete lack of interest the police have in solving crime. The last time I encountered them was after a local inbreed vandalised my car. Never mind going around to his house to see if he had corresponding glass fragments in his clothing, too CSI futuristic for plod. No, he stands and tells me that there is no point in SOCO attending as 'It is virtually impossible to get a fingerprint off of glass'......Quite. I can almost see them now, looking at a puddle of blood at a crime scene and saying "Blood, nah! You'll never get any DNA out of that"
Having seen the reported instances of Chimeras in the human population, and the fact no comprehensive study of the percentage of the population that are Chimeras has taken place. The cases that I became aware of related to women and their children; DNA testing showed that the women were not the biological mothers but in fact they were. Does this place a query on the accuracy and validity of a DNA database?
Lots of people were worried by an apparent typo in a story about women in IT. The banking industry, it said, needs to jizz up its databases to attract more women. You thought this could have been put more delicately:
> Britain's banking sector has been told to jizz up its customer databases *jizz* up? Really?!
<quote>Britain's banking sector has been told to jizz up its customer databases to more effectively target the female market.</quote>
I really hope this is the most worrying typo I've seen recently, since jizz is slang for semen. If that is what you intended to type then Accenture are offering some deeply disturbing advice :P
Erm, that should be 'Jazz' up, shurely ? Unless the suggestion is that a database full of jizz will attract more female customers ?
If this really is the case, I've a redundant SQL server around here somewhere...
I believe the female market is probably unlikely to respond well to this targeting, unless said female market is A) very comfortable around the banking sector in question and B) has a tissue handy for cleaning up.
Also, said targeting is often remarkably difficult (hard, even), given the amount of control that Britain's banking sector will lose when this event happens.
And of course, the obligatory "that is certainly one way to go for the money shot".
Shall I stop now or go all the way? I do have it in me but I may have to rest for a while afterwards.