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* Posts by Big Dave

37 posts • joined 20 Dec 2007

Netbooks: notebook evolved - or stunted throwback?

Big Dave
FAIL

If netbooks are gimped laptops, what are tablets?

Tablets sure aren't netbook killers. If you're moaning about netbooks underperforming, why buy one that doesn't even have a keyboard?

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Last Xmas for CDs, please, researcher tells music biz

Big Dave
Coat

It's not CDs that are bad, it's the PRICE

26 years of CD sales and they are STILL £15 for a chart album?!?!?!

The (biggest) reason people are downloading for free is they are sick of lining record company execs pockets.

I personally haven't bought a CD in many years, but I own £1000s worth of them. I got 'fed up' with it, starting making the odd dodgey download and found that, never mind downloading being free, it was a much better way to buy music (AllOfMP3.com, whatever you thought of it, was a great website - enormous choice, great interface, samples available, whatever format you wanted (including lossless), download file management, "you might like" suggestions, genre cross-referencing, peer reviews, etc, etc).

Also, people are sick of increasingly bland, over-hyped music and have started actively

avoiding the marketing machine that is the modern music biz.

Also, you guys posting that CD is a great medium: with an alternative of 128Kb MP3, then yes, it is, but there you are the music biz's monkey, because they *intend* that comparison to be drawn. They know as soon as they start offering the kind of choice and quality that people actually want (lossless download from websites with good library/comparison/search/sampling functionality) that next to noone will want CDs and they are afraid to release their stranglehold on those CD sale profits and are perhaps too lazy to change their ways / business model. They certainly seem to rather inconveniencing (DRM) and even attacking (threatening/suing) their customers to responding to demand.

I'll even help the lazy b@stards out: -

Short term: CDs: Make them £5 for a new album. You may more than triple sales.

Mid term: Develop websites with fabulous library interfaces where folks pay one-off track prices or a monthly (£10? £100 per year?) subscription for unlimited downloads. Make available lossless formats with nice album art and other materials. Make the lossy formats cheaper and DRM free. Make it easy for folks to burn their own CDs for backup.

Long Term: Move on guys! There must be a way to go DRM free for lossless formats and still make money, because, let's face it, you cannot control SOUND.

What is happening to the music business is nothing short of a consumer revolution: a rising up of the discontented masses. Am I saying that to make myself feel better over the copyright theft I may have perpetrated? No. As I said, I have £1000s of CDs. I have more than paid my dues to the industry, in fact I still feel a little taken for a ride, as much as I was a CD collector by choice.

Wow - big post. You know why I'm really so annoyed? Because I used to be a music lover, but the music business have beaten it out of me and then blamed me for it's decline. Bitter? Yeah, quite a bit really. A shame, innit?

Mine's the one with my whole music collection in the pocket any time I want it. (160GB Archos)

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Motor quango thumbsup for satnav speed restrictions

Big Dave

If you damn people would all just stay in your houses

Then there would be zero injuries on the roads!

No, really, a pratnav limiter could work... assuming they got EDS or someone equally competant to produce it...

I for one would love to have my safety and freedom in the hands of a low-bid government contract winner!

Of course, for it to really work, we'd have to all have the same kind of cars to eliminate people accelerating faster than others, or perhaps just have some kind of brain implant limiter to make people all the same? Hmm.

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Reg readers in the dark over extreme porn

Big Dave
Stop

Scarey "thought police" crap

Here's hoping someone goes to the high courts and challenges this ridiculous and abusive legislation.

Even the OPA is dodgey, IMHO. How can someone else tell me "that is obscene"?

If they mean "everyone would find that obscene" then they are obviously plain wrong.

If they mean "most people would find that obscene" then who says so and where are the exhaustive studies to support them?

If they mean "some people would find that obscene" then I'll introduce them to quite a few citizens that find women showing more than their naked eyes obscene, so nearly every image in every publication in the land must be illegal.

NuLab REALLY need to cut back on their political law-making - they make themselves look stupid in so many ways these days - they don't need this as well and nor do we.

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Starlust: love, hate and celebrity fantasies

Big Dave

The majority protect the minority... unless they are 'sickos'!

"Honestly I think their should be an insane law against witch hunts, and the fanatics that stoke them, so that they would know what it is like to be a criminal for something as simple as a thought, idea, or belief."

A very good point which lead me to think this issue is just another modern principle deformed by politics.

Society. Normal. Good. What do these words really mean? I always thought that laws were there to protect 'us', but who are 'we'? There is an obvious, but happily ignored contradiction in law: if laws are there for the good of all, why are there more and more that protect minorities? Surely, these minorities should be rooted out and eradicated for the good of all? If we are going to make laws that persecute those that like to publicise their dark fantasies, why do we also make laws that specifically protect others' beliefs?

Should those that do not think/believe/feel as we do should be protected by law or not? Who is deciding which minorities should be protected at all costs and which should be arrested?

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Blizzard awarded $6m in WoW bot case

Big Dave

Chicken or egg?

It seems to be that the bots are directly linked to gold farming. Sure, Blizzard have a right to go after the botting and botters, but when they add features to the game like elite flying mounts that cost 8000g to obtain (an amount that would take 'manual' effort of weeks to months of boring grind or many months of more normal playing) what do they expect?

If they really wanted to stop botting they would stop making game objectives cost huge amounts of gold to achieve. Put in an enjoyable quest that takes a long time to achieve instead? Nah - that would cost Blizzard.

For a company that profits hundreds of millions of dollars from a game, they could perhaps invest in coming up with ways to beat the botters/farmers.

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Emails show journalist rigged Wikipedia's naked shorts

Big Dave
Paris Hilton

Are there no fricking papertrails?

Ok, so bail out the situation to avert further chaos - that's what governments are supposed to do - but then GO AFTER THE GUYS THAT CAUSED IT AND GET THE MONEY BACK (and then stick them in jail).

So, naked short selling is not allowed, but hasn't been enforced... aren't there records of those deals?

Paris, coz she probably knows more about it than me. I admit it. But it amazes me that this situation seems to implicate crimes and malpractice in abundence but noone is talking about plans to go get the money back from those dodgey dealers.

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Revealed: How the Beano de-menaced Dennis

Big Dave

It would be great...

...if one day people realise that PCness is just another way of avoiding reality the same as statistics, 'normal' politics, religion, etc.

If we could learn that dealing with issues is better that pretending they don't exist, the world would be a better place.

In fact, I'll go further and say that this kind of thing is the root of a lot of 'evil': This kind of PCness leads to people (kids in this case) being cocooned in cotton wool and is more likely to produce an adult that has warped morals and reasoning than any amount of unPC cartoon content.

Subsequent generations are going to end up totally unprepared to cope with anything remotely unusual and people who don't know how to cope often develop nasty reactions, eh?...

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Sony can sue distributor for sales value of stolen goods, not just cost

Big Dave

Sony are evil

Maybe not more than all the other big companies that now see it as normal to use litigation as a new revenue stream, but evil all the same.

It scares me more and more each day what these companies think of as acceptable and normal.

At least when they are sueing other companies Sony are laying off bankrupting the families of 12-year-old file-sharers.

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Amazon flash mob mauls Spore DRM

Big Dave

Whoever keeps convincing EA/etc. to use DRM need sacking

This is yet another happy tail in the epic. DRM is causing inconvenience to legitimate customers in exchange for a minor hiccough to pirates all over the place.

Get a grip, EA, etc. DRM is not the way forward. Make good products, hold back on the enormous marketing spend and have a decent pricing policy and everyone, including your shareholders, will be happy.

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Now Hollywood is chasing UK downloaders

Big Dave

Is this starting to sound like Extortion?

Ok, not in this particular case, but it seems these letters are demanding money when no guilt has been legally established, ie. there is no attempt to punish an infringement, just a demand for money with menaces.

They seem to be playing the same kind of numbers game that email scammers do. Maybe I should give it a go?

"Dear Sir

You have photographed me in the backgraound of one of your Facebook pictures. I did not authorise my picture being used so pay me £300 or I'll take you to court."

Bound to hit one or two old biddies who'll be scared into paying up.

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No snapping: Photographers get collars felt

Big Dave

You have nothing to fear if you are innocent...

...AND you have infallable and obsolutely honest authorities, otherwise you are quite justified in some very big fears. Simple as that.

It is essential that the same level of scrutiny is possible toward our authorities as they point at us else the potential (and temptation) for abuse is too immense.

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eBay changes anger smaller sellers

Big Dave

Well, I always thought the fees were high, but it was a good service

Now? Nah. Too much cost for the little guy. You lost me (and hopefully many others). Back to Amazon.

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Old timers rattle zimmers at 'Elderly Persons' sign

Big Dave

Bias? Prejudice? Stereotype? Huh?

It's seems Lizzy McLennan is not the only one jumping the gun. Who says this said depicts anyone Age Concern should be looking out for?

The quote from the BMJ seems confused, also. How is the sign implying anything about expectations of those with advancing age?

A very quick check on Direct.gov explains the meaning as "Frail (or blind or disabled if shown) pedestrians likely to cross road ahead". No mention of old.

It may not be a great sign, but what should be used instead to alert drivers quickly that vulnerable people are likely to be crossing? Physically 'frail' and possibly blind or disabled is exactly what that sign says to me.

Get that chip off your shoulder, Lizzy.

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Game sharer gets £16K fine

Big Dave

@AC : On the other hand

Noone is saying piracy "doesn't cost anything", but they are saying sharing a crappy game doesn't cost them £16K.

There is a long and ongoing discussion debating that the 'old' copyright-based business model is, simply, wrong and copyright-holding companies are presently attempting to cling onto the old-fashined model, milk the last few pounds from it and gouge the vulnerable of their customers who stray away from "the way things are done".

Copyright infringement (anyone who likens it to the crime 'theft' is sadly misguided) is not right, but nor is privacy infringment and suing 12-year-olds.

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ISO rejects Office Open XML appeal (redux)

Big Dave

I've been an MS Word developer for nearly 8 years

And, I have to say, the Open Office XML file format had enormous potential and delivered 5% of it.

As far as I can tell, the main objection to it is that it is rubbish and the more I use it the more I agree. It's not even 'proper' XML in some places - a very brief web search would tell you that.

I'm surprised at Reggie presenting the story in this way.

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Microsoft starts stoking hype for Windows 7

Big Dave

Vista. Does. Suck.

But that doesn't mean Windows, in general, does.

I'll have my fingers crossed that Windows 7 sees MS getting real and quitting the dodgey YOU-MUST-COMPLY and bloatware-rules attitude.

People want XP+ and they want it configurable, they do not want the MS version of Apple's OS and to be spanked like a naughty child when they try and do anything out of the ordinary.

Oh, and they don't want the utils and apps they have bought over the last 10 years at great expense to all stop working (I thought backwards compatibility was an MS 'thing'?)

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US judge says University can ignore Christian course credits

Big Dave

@Richard Scrather

"I bet they recognise and give credit to the diligent study of other mythologies"

I would hope that depends on what is meant by 'study'. Unfortunately for BJU, memorising the bible and church dogma/doctrine and using out-of-context, 2000-year-old theological arguments is not 'study'.

Most modern further education requires students to show understanding, the ability to draw logical conclusions from evidence and the creativity to extend knowledge toward useful theories.

The judge's comment is very easy to understand (even for a BJU grad) "adequately teach critical thinking and modern historical analytic methods". You could study anything, including the bible, and meet the judges requirements - BJU obviously does not. Perhaps they suggest one simply reads and believes rather than 'studies' at all?

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Windfall taxing big oil: how to make the gas crisis worse

Big Dave
Coat

But should "supply and demand" be left to control something...

...that is, pretty much, these days an 'essential' not a luxury item. Also, it ain't just supply and demand once the city boys get their fingers in the pie is it?

This isn't like grain getting more expensive, so we eat less pasta and more potatoes. If (old) people can't afford gas, they risk death this winter. They can't burn some trees until things 'get back to normal'. If hauliers can't afford diesal they go out of business, they can't suddenly switch over to biofuel (pfft) or 'cut back a bit' until things 'get back to normal'.

The job of the government is not to change the world, no - they can't fix the fact that we are running out of oil/gas/whatever (ignoring the OPEC stranglehold and wideboy speculators for now), but they can perhaps do something to stop people dying and losing their livelihoods while adjustments are made.

One thing that is certain: Oil/Gas/etc. companies will not 'help out' anyone but their shareholders without being leaned upon by governments. They, and the law of supply and demand, do not have any social responsibility.

Maybe a windfall tax or a hand with your bills won't fix things, but nor will saying "oh, it'll sort itself out if we leave it alone (and my Exxon shares are doing fine, so bug off)"

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UK.gov pushes £50,000 fine for online copyright infringement

Big Dave

"Crimes committed in the online and physical world should not be subject to different sentences" Er?

WTF? Like typing "YOU'RE AN IDIOT" in a chat room is the same as shouting "YOU'RE AN IDIOT" in someone's face in a supermarket? Or stealing a DVD box set from a shop is the same as downloading a bunch of MKV files from a friend's FTP server?

Once again the UK Gov doesn't let reality or common sense get in the way of criminalising it's populous.

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Man buys $1,000 worth of iPhone pixels by accident

Big Dave

I hope the writer of the app sues Apple for removing his item

Why the heck shouldn't he try and sell crap to rich idiots? Why is his bit of useless, status-symbol tat any more 'wrong' than someone elses?

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Slimmer and lighter cameras promised

Big Dave

Meh. The big upset for me is the research they could have done instead...

...on getting a larger sensor into a 'normal' DSLR body. DSLRs are not too big or heavy (in fact when using a tripod, bigger and heavier would be better) but a bigger sensor would be nice.

This development seems a bit pointless to me.

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Scientists ponder future Moon mission activities

Big Dave

How will colonising other planets fix the earth?

Unless we come up with teleportation and cold fusion to power it?

If we run out of resources to feed/house/whatever the billions on this planet, just how are we going to come up with the resources to send the millions, possibly billions of excess earthlings into space?

Maybe we should be researching a more realistic social/ethical arrangement that limits the unchecked procreation of humans and makes things better for the people of earth, rather than waste enormous amounts of money/resources on visiting a dead, orbiting rock?

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Jeremy Clarkson tilts at windmills

Big Dave

These cameras would be fine

Except the speed limits in this country are, according to the police and other expert motorist groups, especially on motorways, too low.

Once again, the government puts the cart before the horse, just like the congestion charge and other schemes to get folks out of their cars before they've actually put in place a decent replacement transport system.

And we'll increase tax for gas-guzzlers because we want people to use more efficient modes of transport... oh and we're increasing tax on motorcycles too...

Jeremy Clarkson, whatever his level of knowledge and however far in his cheek his tongue is, serves a good purpose - he makes people talk about these issues.

The car used to mean freedom and choice - now, for many of us, it makes us a target and a criminal.

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UK.gov tells throttling petition: Choke on it

Big Dave

@Alan

Good point, except when only some companies do the throttling and they throttle even when the pipe is barely being used because they can't be arsed to organise any intelligent kind of load balancing.

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eBay revenues defy worldwide army of bitter users

Big Dave

Perhaps I've just been lucky

But I've managed to use Ebay for several years without a problem.

Dozens of purchases I would have paid more for elsewhere and dozens of sales I would never had made otherwise.

As for being forced to use PayPal: I prefer to use PayPal - no forcing needed. Another facility that has never been anything but useful and efficient.

Get a grip, folks. Not everything that doesn't work the way you'd like it is evil.

Sure, just because millions of people like something doesn't make it right (the circulation of rags like The Sun always amaze me), but it doesn't make it wrong either.

To expect something with millions of users to keep everyone happy and have no problems is ridiculous.

"I don't know which is more to be despised: the power-hungry exploiters of the world, or the brainless sheeple that empower them". And which is more sad? The blissfully ignorant prole or the ranting misery-guts?

Surely there's only so long you can moan about how society (and Ebay) is all wrong until you realise that, perhaps, if everyone else is ok with it, YOU may be wrong?

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HP begs AMD PC owners to put XP SP3 on ice

Big Dave
Gates Horns

@"So easy to fix"

Yes, that may fix that issue. Unfortunately, it will also cause just about everything else to stop working or be so slow as to be useless.

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IT depts under threat as City braces for 20,000 job cuts

Big Dave

@ Solomon Grundy again

You're either trolling or you're a prat.

Everyone in IT knows very well they are an "unrecoverable expense" - we have it rammed in our faces every 'performance review'. You must be one of those managers that can't find your arse with your elbow never mind work out what anything but the "insteresting" parts of your business contribute.

That you see it as a fault of IT folks that they "don't understand their management" is almost funny - who is responsible for making sure they are understood? And that you see it as a bad thing that IT folk "remain focused on technical issues" is hysterical.

Here's a little management lesson for you: IT staff are SPECIALISTS, management are GENERALISTS. These two things require a different type of person if they are to be really good at it.

That's it. Simple as that. The only difference is, historically, management had authority because they were owners of or related to owners of the companies. How long that historical justification for the self-importance of what are now blustering administrators is something to think on.

And to the Anonymous Coward sycophant of Grundy's; no not "all businesses are built around IT" but most have an essential IT element. But how many are "built around management"? A factory might have problems if the machinists had to fill in as managers, but you can be damn sure nothing would happen if the machinists didn't turn up.

Talk about "grow up": There's nothing 'special' about managers. Get a grip. Organising a project and going to meetings with other people to talk about their projects is not 'tough' or difficult. If it is stressful that's because you have to deal with other egotistical tw@ts like you all jockeying for the best spot at the trough. Poor things. I pity you.

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Big Dave
Paris Hilton

@Solomon Grundy

"Traders and IT staff are the most superfluous (and often most expensive) in any organization. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty the people that don't absolutely contribute to the bottom line, or whose services can be pushed off on someone else have to go"

*rolls eyes* Right. 'Save' £1m by sacking 20 'expensive' IT staff instead of just one champagne-swilling, roladex-clutching prat. After all, well-connected egomaniacs are something to cherish.

I'm pretty far from being a socialist and am quite happy with a capitalist democracy, but it's managerial blinkered focus on the bottom line that is ruining all business in this country.

The markets are 'bad', so do we accept somewhat less that record profits and dividends this year or do we sack a few thousand poor sods and worry about the weakening of the company later?

It's the same executives advocating "trimming fat" that were responsible for the power-base building initiatives that saw the hiring of that "fat" in the first place. I guess the people that cause the problems know best how to fix them? It's almost like they planned it that way...

Doesn't anyone wonder why the financial sector, supposed experts on risk, always seems dismayed and surprised when the market falls? Doesn't anyone question why it's ok for thousands of people's livings to be taken away rather than tell share holders, sorry, you'll have to forgo your new mercedes this year?

Because the executives and senior managers, government ministers and regulatory institutions have too many vested interests and too many fingers in the pie.

The longer I stay in "financial services" the dirtier, more abused and depressed I feel. I empathise with those anti-globalisation crusties more every day.

Paris, because ignorance is bliss.

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Liverpudlians decapitate Ringo Starr

Big Dave
Paris Hilton

It's not that bad, but it's not that good either

I'm sure noone can really say it's the worst place in the world, but "City of Culture" is just laughable.

People should have been tipped off that the "City of Culture" badge is not what it might seem after Glasgow had it?...

Paris, coz she is more cultured.

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Legal, major label DRM-free MP3s hit UK (at last)

Big Dave

Totally unimpressed

Too little too late, Mr Music Industry.

Personally, until I can pay a few pounds a month for a beautiful interface on my PC to unlimited, high-quality streaming of any track ever produced I'm going to be very unimpressed.

Pay £7 for an album and not even get a CD? WTF are you on?

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Shell IT staff disgusted at mega profits

Big Dave

Try working in IT in an investment bank...

...and you will see examples of this industry sickness from all sides all day long.

I don't know of a company that doesn't make these amoral, short-term, profiteering decisions.

This is how things are these days - most of us IT workers who see some of the system know how - dare I say it - 'evil' it is. ALL of the senior management level know how it works and concern themselves with getting their share of the pie before it's gone and how to buzz along to the next pie.

Outsourcing and offshoring are the latest 'vehicle' for senior management to show how wonderful they are at boosting profits (or rather cutting costs) and getting themselves a big bonus, but anyone who has been around a while knows that it's something different every couple of years.

The fact that EDS and the like are still in business even given the number of examples of their incompetencies and failures is testiment to those-that-make-the-decisions having a barely hidden agenda that has nothing to do with making things better (except their bonus pool).

"Investment" used to mean putting money or resources into a company to help make it better. That is certainly not what 'investors' and investment banks are doing these days.

So. Should Shell workers be upset at cost saving exercises when profits are so enormous? Well duh. Does anyone know of a company that really values its employees these days?

The longer I work in IT and investment banking the more I realise that a lot of stuff I used to write off as radical socialist weirdness is actually quite reasonable.

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Ryanair battles ASA over 'saucy schoolgirl' ad

Big Dave

Off topic, but 'bad' feminism really gets my goat...

Oops - this is getting off the thread subject, but I...just...can't...help...responding...

kissing the carpet: I would say the generalisation "men are being prosecuted for rape unfairly or excessively if the victim has 'had a drink'" is about as fair as "Most rapist get off scot free,or are never even charged", wouldn't you? And accusing someone of being a "no means yes" merchant is just abusive.

No doubt rapists do sometimes "get off" because consent is very hard to prove sometimes.

Equally, though, men do sometimes get accused of rape when both parties were drunk at the time, but only one woke up feeling guilty about what happened. Harsh? *shrug* Maybe.

Think I'm done in this thread...

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Big Dave

@ Sub-Vulture II

Lol - I just HAVE to go ahead and dignify the implication that by having the handle "Big Dave" I don't have a right to comment on feminism:

What the hell does my user name and its inference to my size in any way have to do with my attitude toward women?

Yup, you sure show a lot of perspective there. Unfortunately it's the kind of narrow perspective that lead people to jump to wrong conclusions.

Maybe we should also ban people with 'obviously' overtly male and sexual user names like "Big Dave"? That would be just as sensible as banning that ad.

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Big Dave

And for those worried about feminism...

...you get a "get a life" comment as well ;)

When struggling for equality, please try and realise that men and women ARE DIFFERENT. They just are. That's it.

Equality should be less about repressing a male urge to see scantily clad women and more about promoting other images of women.

The sooner feminists understand that you don't have to demonise men and male impulses to achieve equality, the sooner equality will occur.

It would be a very boring world indeed if everything had to appeal to everyone equally and offend noone. Not to mention impossible.

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Big Dave

Good grief. Puritanism is alive and well it seems?

Some people just need to get a life. Ask a head-shrinker and they will tell you straight that fantasies like this are a HEALTHY thing. There's an awful lot of trick-cyclists out there who will, with a straight face tell you that all men want to have sex with their mother and kill their father - it's natural.

Nuns, police, postal workers, nannies, etc. are all fair game for 'sexualising' - the kind of people that wring their hands over this kind of thing are, IMHO, the kind that are worried how THEY feel about it, not how it might effect society.

The attitude that leads to banning this kind of fantasy image is what leads repressed weirdos exploding into a real paedophiliac episode.

You may as well argue that horror films are obscene because they depict murders 'artistically' or action films because they depict life-threatening car chases in an exciting way.

Oh, hang on - if you're the kind of person moaning about a schoolgirl fantasy then you probably ARE the kind to also want violence on TV banned and so are hopelessly biased... I'll get my hat and gloves...

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Drivers on the phone face the slammer

Big Dave

@Nigel - "Rabid drivers' lobby"?

It's plain and obvious you do not drive for a living or even regularly. Perhaps you are a bad or unskilled driver who feels a bit nervous on the road?

Either way - a very superficial web search will dig up this article: -

http://john-adams.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/Seat%20belts%20for%20significance.pdf

and others giving lots of statistics and evidence supporting exactly the kind of thing the "rabid drivers' lobby" bang on about.

Drivers ARE an overly persecuted bunch because they are easy targets and a money-spinner for HMG. If drivers were of any one ethnic group there would be no problem getting many of the current "safety" measures repealed on the basis of racism and human rights infringement, but because they aren't they are fair game.

Fatty foods and alcohol are a vasty bigger danger to society - I look forward to some GATSO equivalent for fat alcoholics and we'll see how fast a "rabid" chubby-winos lobby group springs up.

There are many, many things more dangerous to do while driving than answering a phone (generally one button press and leaning your head to one side) :- arguing with a spouse or child, looking at shop fronts, applying makeup, changing gear at a corner (also involving taking one hand from the wheel and looking away from the road in front).

HMG loves to wield statistics and manipulate bleeding hearts to enable the police to up their figures and revenue. Drivers are often the losers and are bound to feel, relative to other 'groups', a tad abused.

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