UK copyright under attack!

Under proposed new legislation contained in the recent Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which received Royal Ascent last week, you may end up not retaining the copyright of all the photographs that you take.

Here’s some more detailed information about this from the BBC, Mashable and The Register. As usual, the changes to the UK Copyright Law are buried in the main act and only now are seeing the light of day.

I have found one report on PC Magazine that is claiming that this is not as serious as we are hearing. Time will tell.

What to do? I’ve written to my MP about the changes, you can do the same using the Write to Them website to make your feelings known.

It seems the UK government is more interested in protecting the copyright of large media corporations (mostly USA based) than UK individuals copyright.

This is not right and needs to be changed.

Picture Backups

We had to help someone last week to recover all of their pictures from a broken computer disc in their laptop. Luckily for the person involved, the disc was not physically damaged, they had just accidentally deleted them, but had then emptied the Waste Bin for good measure! A total of 2,800 pictures potentially lost.

Of course the first question we asked was to use their back-up to make a restore. The silence was very loud! No only had they not backed-up up any of their pictures, they had tried to reinstall Windows as this was what they had been told was required by a helpful friend! Luckily, they had failed to complete the reinstall for what ever reason and after the Laptop refused to boot, they called us.

After a short while we had found their pictures on the disc, got them back in the right place and made a backup onto a spare disc that we have and smiles abounded.

As we have said a number of times here and on our previous site – Back Up Your Data. Small, by that we mean physically, USB disc drives can be purchased for as little as £50.00 and are big enough – storage wise to cope with most laptop discs that are around today.

We’re going to look into Back-Ups again here on SeniorNet UK as there is also the ongoing discussions about using Cloud based backups and whether you still need to keep a physical copy locally – by the way, we think you should.

But in the meantime here is another new player PictureLife that offer Cloud base storage of your picture content with access from anywhere, anytime. We did not look at this one in our recent Cloud Storage post, but we will have a more detailed review at their offering and some others and let you know in another post.

In the meantime, please Back Up your data, somewhere.

Destroying that Data

data destroyed forever

We’ve all read about the hard disks retrieved from rubbish dumps in foreign lands that still contain sensitive data such as home banking information.

I recently needed to get rid of some old hard disks (all quite small – 60/80 GB) from past PC’s that I seem to occasionally acquire. Despite there being a number of very good hard disk wiping/formatting software tools around, I still feel that somewhere there might be a better piece of software that might just be able to rebuild what I think have successfully destroyed.

My routine for getting rid of any old disk drives, which I have employed since my very first PC is to physically damage it after initially re-formatting the disk. Yes, this may be overkill, but I an pretty sure that not many people are going to bother and try recover any data from these damaged disks when there are plenty more perfectly good working hard disks that they have in their possession to search through.

A word of caution, you will need a bit of time and some Torx screwdrivers to undo/remove the hard disk cover. You’ll also need a hammer and a plastic bucket and for personal safety a pair of plastic goggles, all readily available from your local DIY store.

Once you have removed the disk cover, use a flat balded screwdriver to scratch the surface of the disk platter a number of times and then simply place the disk in the plastic bucket and give the inside components of the disk a number of hits with the hammer. How hard is up to you. As you can see from these photo’s disposing of hard drives this way ensures that your disk is pretty much destroyed and unusable again.

Yes, all very low tech, but rest assured, it’s not your disk data that is going to be found again.