Dear Laptop losses, mobile ads, gas-guzzler charge, Vista backtrack…

Reader Comments of the Week

Reader Comments of the Week

What's got readers reaching for their keyboards this week? Reader Comments of the Week showcases how our users are responding to the latest tech news and views on the site...

Scary figures
Government admits to 200 more laptop thefts

As if these figures aren't scary enough, I notice there is no mention of how many portable hard drives (USB sticks, flash drives etc) staff from the government have lost since 2001.

Seems a safe bet that it would be higher than the figures for either laptops or mobile phones.

And any guesses as to what data might have been contained on those USB sticks?
-- Matt Fisher, Swindon

Editor's choice editor Steve Ranger flags up his picks on the site this week... Classics: The Peeping Tom phone filter
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Photos: Google Android comes out to play

So this is normal: "Data breaches: No more than normal"

And the ICO still won't be given any teeth. And no one will be sacked for this. And nothing will change except data may be encrypted in future but the level of losses will remain the same.
-- Karen Challinor, UK

In the US they have a law on disclosure which boils down to - if it is encrypted you do not have to disclose what is therefore just the loss of a laptop, however, if it is not you must disclose and place yourself in the firing line for class action law prosecutions.

You would not run a laptop without antivirus or a personal firewall these days, so why in business have we been so slow to utilise the readily available encryption solutions out there?
-- Lynton Stewart-Ashley, UK

Until a public servant is made financially responsible for lost equipment in his or her custody with an automatic penalty there will be little or no real interest in "their government status symbol". And stolen is not an excuse, stolen only happens when security is neglected.
-- Chris Goodman, Fareham

Tiny ads = big annoyance
Mobile ads: Free stuff worth a tiny intrusion?

Advertising in this manner as is done online is intrusive, interferes with what we are already trying to do, and is ultimately counterproductive. Such advertising, as in the scenario of walking past a shop will be useless. Who is walking along listening to jingles reading a tiny screen? Do we really want this intrusion at every shop we walk past? And it will only be a matter of time before we get overwhelmed with spam from an even less-wanted source.
-- Nick Cole, Scotland

So when will we see the "Mobile Advertising Preference Service?" and how will they ever be able to enforce it?

As with all media we should have the right to "opt out" (although it really should be "opt in") of these services.
-- Roy Corneloues, East Anglia

Just a lot of hot air?
London calls time on gas-guzzling vehicles with ANPR

This is definitely little more than a revenue raising scheme for Livingstone as it is broadly punitive with no regard for circumstance.

The emission from vehicles needs to be tackled by the world's major governments by giving manufacturers five years to produce low emission vehicles. This would enable the present zone system to be discontinued, saving the £3m a year in running costs and getting London moving again.
-- Chris Goodman, Fareham

Larger lorries do reduce the number of journeys required, so let's have a balanced perspective in the article please. Not everything big is bad!
-- Anonymous, London

This scheme, just like the 'Kengestion' Tax is going to hit anyone who lives, works, buys or sells, has a business, or is in any way connected with London. Many businesses (mostly small ones, the ones already struggling to compete with bigger groups) will be hit by the costs of having to replace their vehicles.
-- Simon, Cumbria

Vista backtrack
Microsoft backtracks on Vista SP1 update

I had the same problem with this update, it was 18k and it kept installing time and time again. Even after reboot, which wasn't required. Very annoying!
-- Matt, Chipping Sodbury

If you're going to install a major update (in beta to that fact) on a PC that has no backup DVD or CD then you are putting yourself at risk from losing your data. As much as I dislike some of Microsoft's operations, I feel the user has to take responsibility for his/her self. It confuses me that someone with the confidence and knowledge to install a beta of SP1 wouldn't have done this basic backup. A lesson to us all.
-- Anonymous, UK

As a Kubuntu user at home, when I see the "Updates Available" warning appear at the bottom of the screen and follow simple instructions.

... and that's it. I mean, come on, guys, this is just laughable. A free operating system updates itself properly, and causes very little problems for its users. Pay good money for an operating system and it's liable to trash your hard drive.
-- David Fletcher, UK

Please note, comments may be edited for clarity, grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. The views expressed are not necessarily the views of You can write to by posting a Reader Comment below, or emailing


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