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* Posts by Mike Smith

355 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

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BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

Mike Smith
Mushroom

Re: Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Thanks for a most intriguing suggestion. I'm still trying my damndest to sell a BOFH TV series - I've accumulated enough rejection letters now to wallpaper my office - but in spite of that I'm starting to plan the third series. In which the BOFH needs to find a new job.

Interviewed by Dominic... hmm, I can see where that's going to go. Yep, I really like that idea.

The icon's not a spoiler, because we know how it'll end up. But the journey will be entertaining, I can definitely promise that.

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Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine

Mike Smith

Re: @Mike Smith - Try seeing it from the Kremlin's point of view

"Russia has a legitimate interest in Crimea so was justified in taking it over"

Er, let me fix that - Russia has a legitimate interest in Crimea so believed they were justified in taking it over.

"was no threat to that base except in Russian imagination and propaganda."

Quite correct - there was no immediate threat. And yes, Russian imagination and propaganda doubtless influenced their actions. Putin may have thought that might change in the future, and if he didn't act promptly now, a later objection would lose any legitimacy it might currently have.

"I believe the 'new' Ukrainian parliament did, misguidedly pass a law removing Russian as an official language (oh boo fuckin' hoo, cry me a river)"

You beat me to it with the Godwin's Law alert, but it's a good comparison. Hitler didn't unleash full-scale repression against the Jews as soon as he was appointed Chancellor - he started out by chipping away slowly. There's a useful summary here:

http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/voices/info/decrees/decrees.html

It started with book-burning and intimidation by the Brownshirts and ended with continuous deportations ten years later. When you remember the horrendous brutality the Nazis dished out to the Russians, it becomes easier to understand why people in that part of the world are so sensitive to such matters and don't see it as paranoia; because in Eastern Europe, they've got direct experience of what the eventual outcome might be.

"let's be clear about this: it's none of Russia's fuckin' business who Ukraine decides to align itself with"

Well, the Kremlin doesn't see it that way. To understand why, ask yourself this - how would Britain react if Ireland decided it was in its best interests to align itself with a country that hates our guts? How would America react if Mexico and North Korea signed a mutual co-operation and defence treaty? Would that be none of London or Washington's fuckin' business?

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Mike Smith
Thumb Down

Re: Try seeing it from the Kremlin's point of view

"Which Ukraine had not threatened."

Yet. Again, try to see it from Russia's viewpoint. It probably made more sense to Putin to act quickly to secure it rather than wait for it to descend into chaos. Also, how bad would it look domestically if it looked like he was abandoning ethnic Russians to the vagaries of a lawless state?

"Also Russia has a Black Sea coast on the Caucasus side...I'm sure there's a bay on that coast somewhere that would do if needs must."

Yesss... building a major naval base from scratch in an undeveloped coastal inlet can be done for peanuts and completed in a few months. Of course. How silly to think otherwise.

"How did that suddenly turn into a 97% referendum vote the other way?"

Maybe they felt threatened by the violence and realised they were an ethnic minority in Ukraine as a whole?

"The internationally-recognised Ukrainian government, corrupt or not, has been ousted in an armed uprising."

"Bollocks!"

That's only your opinion. Again, look at it from the Kremlin's point of view. They saw instability in a neighbouring country, realised that it could have an impact on an important strategic asset and moved quickly to secure that asset.

"Iraq was legal."

I must have missed something. Very sorry indeed. Please could you quote me the UN resolution that explicitly authorised the use of force against Saddam and which was passed before the invasion took place?

"Arguably so admittedly, but there is a legitimate legal argument to say that it was legal"

There's a moral argument, certainly. Not a legal one. And if, as you assert, international law is "semi-fictional", then you need to explain how you can make a legal argument in the absence of a legal code without resorting to morals.

"the UN did approve the occupation."

It's called a fait accompli. What else could they do?

"There was also no annexation"

Quite right - an armed occupation is something else entirely.

"and troops were withdrawn after a government was set up."

Indeed they were withdrawn. Eventually. Leaving a lot of dead bodies and an unstable mess plagued with sectarian violence. Or is that what's meant by collateral damage?

"Notice any difference of the Russian invasion of Crimea?"

Loads. A lot less bloodshed, a lot more legitimate interest, far less posturing and no lies to all and sundry about weapons of mass destruction, state-sponsored terrorism and support for al-Quaeda.

"There is not even an arguable case for Russia's annexation to be called legal."

Depends where you're coming from. A tap-room lawyer would certainly say that. Again, in the face of "semi-fictional" international law, it's possible to make a reasonable case.

"Aha. So now the faux moral arguments and the everyone-esle-is-as-bad-too whattaboutery go by the wayside."

No, they don't. They still stand. They just have to be balanced against realpolitik because that's what it comes down to in the end.

"Russia is a serial violator of international law and a threat to world peace."

Maybe they've learned a lot from the actions of the US, the UK and Israel over the years.

"invading their neighbours. What with destroying Chechenya and massacreing thousands"

Chechnya wasn't a separate sovereign state. Bit of a difference there. I'm not excusing what Putin did in Chechnya but he didn't launch an unprovoked invasion, unlike what Bush and Blair did in Iraq.

"So rather than the childish crap about how we need to look to the beam in our own eye before addressing the mote in Putin's we need to look at the reality facing us."

Indeed we do. As far as armed aggression goes, the West, particularly the US, has a track record that doesn't put us in a particularly favourable light.

"The question is can we work out Putin's motivation - and is he acting rationally?"

It seems to me to be far more rational to secure an essential asset without bloodshed than to launch an unprovoked attack on a country on the other side of the world.

"Merkel (up to now Germany has been pretty close to Russia diplomatically) said, after speaking to Putin on the phone last week, that he was "divorced from reality"."

Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. But there is still the point that Putin has not directly threatened either NATO or the EU. If he'd tried it on with Finland or the Baltic states, it would be different matter. If the EU takes a tough line with Putin, there will be some pain on both sides. Why act the hard man when the EU hasn't been threatened? Massive sanctions would hit the EU harder than the US.

"Note that at no time did Putin attempt to negotiate."

His attitude - again, remember how the Kremlin would have seen it - was, and is, that you don't negotiate with terrorists or insurgents. You crush them. Again, the West also has plenty of form in that area. It took a long time to get to the Good Friday agreement. How are the negotiations with ETA going? Or the Taliban?

And no, I'm not a Putin apologist. Or a supporter of armed aggression. I'm just an ordinary bod who's prepared to make the effort to see both sides of the argument and not automatically assume that the West is always right.

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Mike Smith
Mushroom

Try seeing it from the Kremlin's point of view

Consider this:

- Sevastopol is Russia's outlet to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It's a strategically important asset - as much as Gibraltar or Faslane is to the UK, or Pearl Harbor is to the US.

- Ethnic Russians are the majority population in Crimea.

- The internationally-recognised Ukrainian government, corrupt or not, has been ousted in an armed uprising. The fact that the immediate cause was a refusal to buddy up with the EU rather than Russia is neither here nor there.

Think how Britain would react if such an uprising had happened in Spain, or what the American federal government would do if it happened in Hawaii. They'd do their utmost to secure important assets, just as Putin has done. They wouldn't see it as sabre rattling - more like taking reasonable security precautions.

Furthermore, the West's in no position to bleat about flouting international law after what happened to Iraq. Putin's annexing of Crimea didn't involve the slaughter of thousands and the destruction of the peninsula's economy.

The Ukrainian government should have had a lot more sense. They should have realised Sevastopol's importance to Russia, known that Putin wouldn't let it go, and remembered what happened to Georgia. They should also have kept in mind that Russia is the one country on the planet that still has the ability to turn the US into a radioactive cinder if sufficiently provoked. That means that Obama and Kerry can't push Putin too far.

As things stand, Putin has what he wants - access to a secure Crimea - and doesn't need to bother with the rest of Ukraine. He can always turn the gas off if Kiev pisses him off enough.

Basically, Kiev should have seen it coming.

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CHILLING STUDY: Rise of the data-slurping SNITCH GADGETS

Mike Smith
Big Brother

Re: Heck! Where's Guvmint when it is needed

"UK Guvmint says it will increase road tax by 150% to support the nationwide roll-out of compulsory telematic devices based on a specially-skewed study supported by backhanders given to researchers and academics at Cambridge, Heriot-Watt and Manchester Universities.

"Data extracted from these devices will be used to support the United States in their ongoing War on $BOGEYMAN with the specious excuse that's it's really intended for planning UK road networks and this secondary use is just monetising its added value. Police will be given full access to the data to assist their eternal vigilance in keeping the nation safe and justifying kicking people's doors down at 3am because their driving style didn't fit with expected behaviour."

There, FIFY.

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Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus?

Mike Smith
FAIL

Willy waving

Not bad - just bloody childish. It would be funny if it didn't concern something of major historical significance.

It needs someone big enough and ugly enough to grab one Chief Egotistical Officer's collar in each hand and bang their heads together very hard indeed. Then give them three choices, to be completed within six months:

1 - put your dicks away and work together like adults, or

2 - resign, all of you. Just go. Or

3 - see the important exhibits taken to the Science Museum and the Bletchley Park site put up for sale with the proceeds going to the Treasury.

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They want me to install CCTV to see what YOU did in the TOILET

Mike Smith
Paris Hilton

Happened to me too.

And I can still remember the sexy way she looked deep into my eyes and said, "You've had enough, love. Drink up and get out before I call the bouncer."

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Mike Smith
Pint

Re: Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

"Piqued anyone's interest?"

You mean you've got some genuine, reputation-destroying dirt on the editor of the Daily Heil that has the potential to completely ruin his life while having nothing to do with the public interest? Excellent. Publish it forthwith; after all, it's what he'd do.

InquiringPrurient minds want to know the details! Have a pint and tell all.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Mike Smith

Just most of it?

Telly's Law: Hardware functionality is directly proportional to the number of available channels and inversely proportional to programme quality.

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ROBO-SNOWDEN: Iraq, the internet – two places the US govt invaded that weren't a threat

Mike Smith

Re: Iraqi wasn't a threat - wow!

"Then there was this Serbian who shot an archduke. Was Serbia attacked? Nope..."

Yes, it was. By Austria-Hungary. And it stayed under occupation for quite a while.

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Mike Smith
Big Brother

Re: As far as I am aware...

" I assure you it is nothing of the kind. It is direct and planned censorship, and we are all complicit"

Hmmm... I'll buy the idea of censorship by default arising from a combination of spineless politicians and ignorant fulmination from the Daily Heil, but direct and planned... well, where's your evidence for that?

That's a serious question, by the way - if you have evidence of that, I'd like to see it. I don't trust the government either.

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Mike Smith
Headmaster

I shall take the opportunity...

... to tell localzuk that it's only its when it's a possessive.

So it's It's "may not have happened..."

I think that's it.

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

Mike Smith
Facepalm

Oh Gawd, do I feel old today

Back in the 1970s, I regularly carried a pocket knife everywhere, including at school. So did a lot of my mates. No-one, teachers included, gave a monkey's.

How the fuck did we get to a state where a tool that has a variety of perfectly legitimate uses is now seen as a menace? I'm beginning to think that Western society in general has passed its sell-by date.

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Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

Mike Smith
Thumb Down

Yes way

"Just as you can not be racist against white people."

Cobblers. You can be racist against any group of people that share physical characteristics that are different to your own. I don't buy the populist crap that racism is confined to white people being nasty to brown ones.

Here's one example - a self-righteous scribbler who in less than 600 words managed to direct twelve racist and sexist insults against a foreign dignitary for having the phenomenal cheek to be (a) female, (b) attractive, (c) friendly and (d) distinctively Scandinavian in appearance.

http://nypost.com/2013/12/12/obamas-flirt-with-danish-prime-minister-is-a-disgrace/

Calling someone a Danish pastry, hellcat, cupcake, tart, hottie and blonde bimbo, who was "voluptuously curvy and married" with "long Scandinavian legs" and who "hadn’t the sense to cover up and keep it clean" is bloody racist in my book.

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Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Not forgetting the...

... idiots who think that being able to use MyTwitSpace and run Microsoft Office puts them on a par with us 'umble grunts who actually know how computers work and whose coding skills go a bit deeper than FrontPage. If I had a fiver for every time I've seen the DTR light turn off when trying to explain a simple technical concept to PowerPoint jockeys who call themselves technical project managers or enterprise architects, I'd have retired a long time ago.

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Labour calls for BIG OVERHAUL of UK super-snoop powers in 'new digital world'

Mike Smith
Big Brother

Re: "Yet all raise the same fundamental questions about how we sustain both liberty and security..."

I do wish you hadn't said that. I wouldn't put it past the LaborPartei to float legislation that would allow the security services to open ballot boxes at will to help them find $BOGEYMAN.

In fact, I'm not sure what I find scarier - whether they might do that, or the fact that it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

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Mike Smith
FAIL

Sigh

I've been racking my brains trying to think up something relevant that doesn't involve pejorative comparisons with the likes of Ceausescu's Romania or Communist East Germany and doesn't combine wishful thinking, ropes and lamp posts. And I haven't managed it.

Labour can bang on all they like about being the cool, egalitarian people's party who want to share the wealth and bash the rich, but behind that crap are some thoroughly dangerous little fascisti who think that because they've blustered their way into the House of Commons they actually know what they're talking about. Their utter ignorance just adds to the level of menace they present.

The architects of the nanny state caring about our privacy. That's not even vaguely funny. And wanting to follow the lead of the USA with its out-of-control NSA snooping on all and sundry.. epic bloody fail, and no mistake.

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German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign

Mike Smith

Re: "Merely...make money"

"It's actually a breach of copyright"

Wha'evvuh. Is this face bothered?

"If you don't want adverts on your web pages, start *PAYING*"

Sure. Just as soon as the tat promoters start paying me for the computing resources (CPU, disk cache and memory) their unwanted crap is consuming.

Because it's my system, I'm the admin and I say what goes on it.

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Insecure hipsters with BEARD ENVY spur facial hair transplant craze

Mike Smith

Re: I ain't a hipster then

Electrolysis.

You get a needle stuck into each follicle and an electric current is applied. Has to be done for each individual hair.

And yep, it can hurt like hell.

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Mike Smith

Re: I ain't a hipster then

Oh the follicles. Definitely the follicles.

Hipsters should be disposed of by pushing them under a train.

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Mike Smith
WTF?

I ain't a hipster then

Because I'm about to start wasting my money on getting rid of mine permanently. Do they pay for donated face fungus?

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Young, fun and full of comely tech skills? Then BT needs you!

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Good on you

Seriously.

I really hope it works out well for you. Some of the most technically-capable people I've ever had the pleasure of working with were at BT. If you're in a technical role, you'll learn a lot and it'll stand you in good stead if/when you decide to move on.

Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that the BT management way is the right way; because there's an awful lot of dead wood still there, far too many of whom date back to the GPO days and have risen into management positions by worming their way into dead mens shoes. They're far worse than chocolate teapots; because unlike the teapots, when the heat's on, they show themselves to be incompetent sociopaths through and through, rather than just melting away.

No names, no pack drill, but any ex-BTers reading this will know one or two at least.

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Mike Smith
Pirate

Now, now

Of course they'll add value. They'll be taught at great length how to assemble labyrinthine plans in Microsoft Project (based on the BT-standard assumption that nine women can produce a baby in one month), learn the art of ignoring input from their teams (known as consultation) and become experts at PowerPoint (after the two-week training course, naturally).

People skills will include asking 'why haven't you done that yet?' at regular intervals, pulling people off fire-fighting to attend a 'war room' full of nodding suits, automatically saying yes to whatever insane demand the customer comes up with, asserting that because they've got the m-word in their job titles they're right every time and believing because they managed to create a simple website in FrontPage during their first year at uni that they've got stonking great design and development skills.

Advanced skills will include assessing the performance of people whose jobs they know nothing about, setting meaningless and unachievable objectives, learning that someone who is an expert at fibre broadband is also an expert at database architecture and software design because these jobs are all 'technical' and mastering the art of spouting management speak and believing what they say.

BTDT, GTTS and very glad to be out of BT.

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Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

Mike Smith
Mushroom

And at the end of that road lies...

... North Korea.

I doubt they'll intentionally isolate themselves; rather, they'll just gradually piss their erstwhile allies off more and more until suddenly they realise that the world's moved on without them and they aren't so relevant any more.

Remember when the USSR collapsed in 1991? I wondered then who the Yanks would point their guns at next. This is the huge problem they have - two generations of military and security people who were brought up in the Cold War era and taught to regard the Soviet Union as The Enemy (TM). Now the USSR has collapsed and the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction has receded (not completely gone though), they're left in positions of power facing a world order they're quite incapable of dealing with.

So they're falling back on their Cold War training. Iraq is a classic example of that strategy. As they're struggling to deal with the today's challenges, all they can do is do more of what they already do, oblivious of the fact that they're turning the United States into a xenophobic bullying pariah in the process. They don't know, or possibly don't even care, that throughout the world, friendship is developing into suspicion, suspicion into dislike and dislike into full-blown loathing.

Well done, Vladimir. Looks like your side won, after all.

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Archive biz Crossroads lobs sueball at Cisco, NetApp and Quantum

Mike Smith
Trollface

A sound business plan, as pioneered by SCO

OK - so you're sliding down towards the U-bend and need some cash. Here's the business plan:

1. Take a look through your list of patents.

2. Find something that a big noise might be using.

3. Instruct leeches lawyers. Brief them to fudge and delay until the other party either offers to settle out of court because they're fed up with you being a pain in the arse, or until a technically-clueless presiding judge is appointed.

4. Go to court. Try not to jizz in your pants just because you're in a real-life LA Law scenario.

5. Profit! Well, maybe. Stemmed losses, perhaps.

6. Lost the case? Blame the people you sued in the first place and imply that they've got it in for the little guy. Then go bankrupt to avoid paying costs.

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

Mike Smith
Pint

Re: Just a News Operation

"Channel Four was bloody good until Grade took over."

That's about the time I gave up on the idiot lantern for good. These days, I only have it on to keep the kids quiet.

Have an upvote and a pint for reminding me how good it used to be.

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Europe shrugs off largest DDoS attack yet, traffic tops 400Gbps

Mike Smith

"The inability is fear."

Or perhaps a bit of realpolitik, which says that it's better to have Russia as a trading partner than The Enemy (TM) and not to poke our noses into the affairs of a country outside the EU. Europe abandoned imposing democracy at gunpoint a while ago.

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Mike Smith
Mushroom

"do you know that she said it because she was frustrated with EU's inability to act to help Ukraine against Russia?"

She can be as frustrated as she likes but she can still STFU and FOAD. Ukraine is next door to the EU and a long way away from The Land Of The Free (TM). Advice from the US about dealing with Ukraine is neither required nor desired.

The 'inability' could be more like unwillingness to risk a confrontation; after all, Europe does have just a leetle bit more experience in what armed conflict means than the US does. See icon.

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Boffin talks WATER on MARS: Granted, no 'smoking gun', but all clues flow there...

Mike Smith

Re: Boffins

Straight off the top of my head:

Marie Curie.

Rosalind Franklin.

Two highly-respected boffins whose contributions to human advancement went a lot further than anonymous petulance.

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Facebook-for-suits biz LinkedIn shares drop on weakened 2014 outlook

Mike Smith
Thumb Down

Might be showing my age here, but...

...over the last year or so I've seen LinkedIn change from a handy tool into a monumental pain in the arse. The GUI used to be quite clean and intuitive - now it's metamorphosed into some sort of Farcebook clone, with screen refreshes and pop-ups triggered by mouse-overs, dog-slow refresh times and an abundance of flashy (and Flashy) crap. The endorsements prompts would be a joke if they weren't so bloody annoying.

The ability to keep in touch with business contacts is certainly very useful - but that usefulness is rapidly being eroded by an increasingly user-hostile GUI (Gaudy User Interface).

2
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Cisco asks court to bin Rockstar patents

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Probably because it is wrong

"As for these patents, when companies go bankrupt, state or federal courts should escrow the patents and release -- parse -- them out to companies"

Or better still, put them into the public domain.

1
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Report: IBM to peddle its chip wing

Mike Smith

Re: Is there some master plan in Wall Street...

Nope, no master plan. Just far too many incompetent idiots in positions of power who have neither the desire nor ability to see more than three months ahead, and who genuinely believe that companies can be managed with a few spreadsheets.

If I was making a medium to long-term investment of any size, I wouldn't touch an American company with a barge pole.

4
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fWHoaR! Trick-cyclists crack eternal mystery of WHAT WOMEN WANT in a man

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Size does indeed matter

But width is better than length.

14
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Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

Mike Smith
Pint

Re: If there was any doubt@Mike Smith

Thank you :-)

I think a website or a book may be in the offing. Or both, plus a MyTwitBook plug. In the meantime, here's where to look:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0020/105725/GE2010-constituency-results-website.xls

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Mike Smith

Re: If there was any doubt@Mike Smith

"I think your "rule 1" falls at a fairly early hurdle because a very large proportion of people don't vote because the three party system is so broken that they can't see the point. That's not going to change any time soon."

Er, that was EXACTLY my point. IF enough people who can't see the point were to follow those rules, they'd see one hell of a difference. And yes, I know it won't change overnight. But it is theoretically possible if enough people got off their backsides once every five years.

You may be right about a Labour-led coalition, but who would they link up with? Another Lib-Lab pact would only have given them 310 seats - still not enough for a majority.

"It would have been worse because all the damage that Blair and Brown inflicted would have gone ahead, and then you'd have "golden wish" gifts to the minority members,"

I don't doubt that. The idea behind this sort of tactical voting is not to bring in some sort of wonderful, caring libertarian government - that ain't gonna happen - but instead to flip the bird in a big way to the complacent incumbents and (hopefully) make them realise that they can't count on us obedient little sheep to vote how they expect us to.

On that note, you might like to know that if 90% of the refuseniks had followed those rules in 2005, UKIP would have gained 205 seats, followed by the Greens with 83, and the BNP with 79. The Tories would have won 77 seats, the Lib Dems 32 and Labour would have won all of 10 seats. Yep, ten.

"So I come back to why UKIP makes sense. For both parties, they've ignored voters concerns about immigration and about Europe for too long,"

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one :-) My view of UKIP is that they combine the worst aspects of President Blair's Politburo with the more invidious policies of the BNP.

But that is just MHO, of course.

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Mike Smith
Megaphone

Re: If there was any doubt@Mike Smith

"What options are there?"

Tactical voting. Careful, considered tactical voting.

I've said some of this before, so apologies for the repetition:

A lot of MPs are only in place due to voter apathy. If turnouts were a lot higher, and people who don't like any of the big three were to follow two simple rules, the complacent big parties would receive a very bloody nose indeed. Don't think that spoiling your paper makes a blind bit of difference, by the way - it doesn't. Spoilt papers go straight in the bin.

Y'see, the argument that it's not worth voting because of the large Tory / Labour / whatever majority doesn't always hold water. If enough of the refuseniks were to do as I'm suggesting, there could be some serious upsets for all the big complacent three.

If you normally can't be bothered to vote, just forget about all the manifestos, broken promises, patronising bullshit and general piss and wind, and just follow one of these two simple tactical voting rules:

1: Vote for the most popular candidate other than the big three. Doesn't matter which party.

2. If it's only the big three, vote for the candidate that came third last time.

And remember this - it doesn't matter which party.

The last Home Secretary, Jacqboot Smith (no relation, thankfully) came in for some well-deserved contempt from El Reg. If those simple rules had been followed, she wouldn't have been elected. Here is her 2005 result. Stats are taken from the Electoral Commission's website (www.electoralcommission.org.uk):

Redditch had a total electoral roll of 63,150. The valid votes were cast as follows:

Smith, J.J. Ms (Labour): 18,012

Lumley, K.E. Ms (Conservative): 15,296

Hicks, N.S. (Liberal Democrat): 5,602

Ison, J.P. (UKIP) 1,381

That gave the Jacqboot a majority of 2,716.

63,150 - (18,012+15,296 + 5,602 + 1,381) = 22,859 people who were registered to vote but didn't.

Let us assume that 10% of these genuinely couldn't vote, as opposed to couldn't be bothered to. That gives us 20,573, rounding down.

Applying rule 1 gives us this:

Smith, J.J. Ms (Labour): 18,012

Lumley, K.E. Ms (Conservative): 15,296

Hicks, N.S. (Liberal Democrat): 5,602

Ison, J.P. (UKIP) 1,381 + 20,573 = 21,954.

So the UKIP would have won with a majority of 3,942. That's 1,226 more than Jacqboot's majority and without taking swinging voters into account.

Not even safe seats are immune from this. Here's the 2005 result for Gordon Brown:

Registered electors for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath: 71,603.

There were 41,796 valid votes, cast as follows:

Brown, G. (Labour): 24,278

Bath, A.T. (Scottish National Party): 6,062

Cole-Hamilton, A.G. (Liberal Democrat): 5,450

Randall, S.R. (Conservative): 4,308

West, S.C. (Scottish Socialist Party): 666

Adams, P. (UK Independence Party): 516

Parker, J. (Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party): 425

Kwantes, E.S. Ms. (Independent): 47

Sargent, P. Ms. (Independent): 44

Gordon Brown won with a majority of 18,216.

This time, there were 28,807 refuseniks. Taking off an assumed 10% genuine reasons leaves 26,826. All they would have had to do was vote for Ms Sargent - that would have been enough to dispose of Paw Broon.

And if that had been repeated across the country, the House of Commons would have looked very, very different. In fact, it would look like this if only half the apathetic voters had made the effort in 2005:

This was the actual result:

Labour 355

Conservative 198

Liberal Democrat 62

Democratic Unionist Party 9

Scottish National Party 6

Sinn Féin 5

Plaid Cymru 3

Social Democratic & Labour Party 3

Ulster Unionist Party 1

Speaker 1

Your Party 1

Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 1

Respect/Unity Coalition 1

If 50% of refuseniks had pulled their fingers out, this would have been the result:

Labour 262

Conservative 192

Liberal Democrat 58

SNP 35

Green 25

British National Party 18

Plaid Cymru 11

UK Independence Party 10

Democratic Unionist Party 9

Respect/Unity Coalition 8

Sinn Féin 5

Independent 3

Social Democratic & Labour Party 3

Veritas 1

Ulster Unionist Party 1

Speaker 1

Your Party 1

Liberal Party 1

Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 1

National Front 1

There would have been one tied vote between the BNP and UKIP.

Now, I don't claim to be an expert in political analysis. And I don't particularly like the idea of seeing fascists in the House of Commons. But the boot up the arse that a result like that would give all three groups of self-satisfied smug gitbags would force them to take a serious look at themselves and how they dealt with the people who they ask to put them in power.

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1
Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Re: Look you have all taken this the wrong way.

'Zackly.

Do a wee bit of background reading - a good place to start is Peter Wright's Spycatcher. Then think about what these guys were doing, how much clout they had with the upper echelons of the Civil Service, the government of the day and ability to request certain services of BT's predecessor.

Now jump forward from the Cold War to the present day. Do you really, really think that the intelligence agencies have all started being good little boys and girls, operating with complete transparency and obeying the law without question?

If you think that, you're naive to say the least.

Veti's bang on. Of course it happens and has done for a very long time. The only difference is that it's now a little easier to see what they're up to. And the paranoia over the power of the tinterwebs does indeed have the establishments of most countries running scared. Their reactions are entirely predictable, given the way they've reacted to crises in the past. America pulls out a gun, Britain turns to the statute book and the French take to the streets, etc :-)

But think about this also - the intelligence agencies do indeed flout the law on occasion, or at least steer very close to the wind. They work on the basis of the 11th commandment - 'thou shalt not get caught.'

Given that, are they really going to risk having their activities scrutinised in court unless there's an overwhelming reason to do so? Al-Quaeda or its affiliates, yes. Major plot to overthrow the government, certainly. A few Asian kids playing with fireworks and fancying themselves as mujahadeen? Probably not, apart from a phone call to the local plod. Someone pork-swording their neighbour? Nah.

1
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Mike Smith
Trollface

Re: If there was any doubt

"account of my intent to vote UKIP"

Good on you! I'm all for women being branded sluts and not seeing any more money being wasted on Bongo Bongo Land.

Nigel Farage will lead us out of the darkness! Viva il Duce!

22
1

Devs write 'film my shag' sex app for Google Glass

Mike Smith
Paris Hilton

Re: Why?

Nah - the next logical step will be to link it to the Internet of Thingies with the GoogleDoll (TM) that communicates with the Glass and responds to the voice commands. It might even respond to the sound of the Glasshole's panting with some appropriate noises.

They'll need their own protocol though, as IP might be open to misinterpretation and trigger a reminder to refill the doll's bladder at an unfortunate moment.

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0

Tech titan Bill Gates: Polio-free India one of the 'most impressive accomplishments' ever

Mike Smith
Facepalm

Re: @Gene Cash

Possibly, but I certainly don't see anything wrong with this one:

Jenny McCarthy: Pumpkin Positive.

4
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Sniff, sniff, what's that burning smell? Oh, it's Google's patent-filing office working flat out

Mike Smith

Or alternatively...

... just base yourself outside the USA and don't sell to Americans.

After all, there are a lot more people outside the USA than within it.

5
0

Furtive ebook readers push Hitler's Mein Kampf up the charts

Mike Smith
Big Brother

Re: It can be enlightening

A good point, especially when you remember that the mantra 'better Hitler than Stalin' wasn't unknown in the 1930s.

In fact, there's a good case for arguing that WW2 wasn't so much a global struggle for freedom as the destruction of one big tyrant with the help of an even bigger tyrant. I don't have the figures to hand, but I'm pretty sure that Stalin's butcher's bill was a lot bigger than Hitler's.

The only difference between the two tyrants was that Stalin confined his aggression to attacking Finland and didn't precede that with attempts to undo the treaty of Versailles. But if Britain and France had been prepared to support Finland rather than Poland, that Berchtesgaden photo might have been a reality.

1
1

Google Glass pics will BAFFLE admirers: Nudge nudge, WINK WINK

Mike Smith
Facepalm

Actually, no they're not. Shoe sizes are the same for both....

Oh bugger.

0
0

Snowden latest: NSA stalks the human race using Google, ad cookies

Mike Smith
Big Brother

Could also have used

There's a spy in the sky, there's a noise on the wire, there's a tap on the line for every paranoid desire. There's always someone looking at you...

(OK, I'm showing my age now!)

0
0

BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

Mike Smith

Re: A little more serious than it might appear

Indeed. I think my reaction to the disappearance of football would be somewhere between 'meh' and 'wha'evvah'.

But the loss of most of the UK's home broadband connections is a different matter, because conceivably that's what could happen if BT went bust - and it would take time for the remaining telcos to cherry-pick what they wanted. And you can bet the remains of BT would do their damndest to lose the Universal Service Obligation, so tough titty if you live out in the sticks and want a phone line.

All joking apart, there is a risk of this happening - the bulk of the UK's broadband connections could be at risk of going tits-up just because some cretins though it made sense to blow hundreds of millions on the right to show groups of men kicking a ball about.

0
0
Mike Smith
FAIL

A little more serious than it might appear

Surprised the Reg hasn't picked up on this - frittering money away like this could have serious ramifications for us all.

Y'see, just like the digital TV failures of a few years ago, BT could collapse if they insist on pissing money up against the wall like this without seeing a decent return on investment. Before you all say that the government won't let that happen because BT's responsible for National Critical Infrastructure, just remember this - the infrastructure in question is confined to the PSTN, several dedicated networks that link various government and private NCI sites and the 999 service. The great unwashed like us can whistle if we think we'd be allowed near any of that.

If it did happen, the government would bail out BT, but only to ensure that the NCI they're responsible for is protected. Streaming media, content-free content, overpriced footy matches and all the rest of it are not classed as NCI and they could vanish overnight. So too could home broadband connections - apart from some essential exceptions, they're not classed as NCI either. We'd be back in an instant to the days of 56K dial-up connections. If you've still got that old Pace Linnet in the attic, you might want to hang on to it.

I used to work for BT, so I do (for once) know what I'm talking about.

1
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THIS is the kind of clout a British Prime Minister has: Facebook pulls ONE beheading vid

Mike Smith
Thumb Up

Spot on

What would happen is that Ms Jackson would have been subject to some ribald piss-taking from the tabloids, might even be invited to appear on Have I Got News For You and that would have been the end of it. The idea of slapping a punitive fine on the broadcaster wouldn't even arise.

And if it was discussed on TV, the presenters would be finding it funny, as compared to the reaction on American TV, where everyone looked as if they'd just necked a pint of vinegar when the subject was mentioned.

1
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Mike Smith

I'll tell you what the problem is, Mr/Ms Coward

It's the fact that this sort of crap is freely available to any kid that can sign up, whether they've reached the grand old age of thirteen or not, while other human activities are proscribed. YMMV, especially if you're a Yank, but that isn't exactly a balanced view of the world. And the organisation hosting it just shrugs and says 'so what'. As long as the advertising revenue keeps rolling in, they don't give a toss.

By taking a laissez-faire attitude towards brutality and murder, while clamping down hard on nudity and sex, they're projecting a seriously fucked-up set of values - making sex and the human body seem repugnant while desensitising people to violence and cruelty. Puritans with guns are the scum of the earth, irrespective of whether they live in Somalia or Washington DC.

8
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Mike Smith
Trollface

Or alternatively...

Doctor a video to show Zuckerberg being slowly murdered. Then:

repeat (

create dummy Facebook account

upload video

advertise it far and wide

wait for it to be deleted

)

until Facebook does something effective about it.

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