1297 posts • joined Monday 16th April 2007 14:31 GMT
Re: "The more you give them, the more they want".
>>"The PNC should not hold old convictions / cautions UNLESS they are of a serious nature / involve vulnerable people (ie children)."
>>"Minor incidents should be wiped off after the 8 year period as detailed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act for spent convictions, anything less is a travesty and downright goes far beyond orwellian."
I'm struggling to visualise how the combination of the PNC and the rehabilitation of offenders act is worse than a boot stamping on a human face forever.
>>"As a nation, we seem to be moving (or realistically have moved) more and more into the realm of constant surveillance and monitoring of ordinary people..."
I'm potentially constantly monitored whenever I'm in a public space, just as I have always been.
As a result of CCTV technology, some remote or after-the-event monitoring of me is now possible, but still takes some effort to follow me, even in the areas where there are cameras.
Why would someone sitting in a room bother to track *me* on CCTV from one camera to the next?
Let's be honest here - if they have time on their hands, little supervision to make them do proper work, and no-one obviously shifty to look at, they'll probably be following some young woman with large breasts and minimal clothing.
>>"Writing to your MP is about as ineffectual on any matter as asking your dog to do the same, protests just seem to mark you for life for being "disruptive" and no doubt added to some database anyway."
Though whether in the PNC or the NHS may be up for debate.
>>"All this monitoring and it doesn't matter for shit, things like 7/7 still happen. It's completely ineffectual for the most part."
All this healthcare, and people still die in hospitals, therefore most healthcare is completely useless.
Re: No, but seriously ...
>> ">Both seem to be cases of the government operating within the law"
>>"So what you're saying is that that "law" would allow someone you think "possibly is guilty of serious criminal activities" to evade extradition for 10 YEARS, cost the taxpayer £1.7M in legal fees and a few grand a month in benefits .. but that same "law" will extradite someone for questioning as soon as they can get their hands on him when it knows full well there's a far bigger picture and there is a strong possibility that he's done nothing wrong"?"
If you were actually concerned about human rights as absolute things, rather than things which are more important when it comes to people you like, then:
a) Why should you bemoan the principles in the first case, where despite the government being keen to get rid of someone, extradition was refused because the courts ruled that a fair trial could not be relied on.
You could, as many people would, question whether a resolution should have been obtainable earlier, but that's not an issue of principle.
Obviously to deny someone benefits which they were legally entitled to simply because they were unpopular would be a rather tricky situation for someone concerned with 'rights'.
b) You're grossly (deliberately or ignorantly) misrepresenting the Assange situation - he had a long and very public legal process here, during which his legal arguments were repeatedly found not to justify refusal of the arrest warrant, and during which his Swedish lawyer was effectively accused by judges of lying, and one of his UK lawyers got close to (if not beyond) unprofessional behaviour.
To what extent *should* a court take into account an alleged 'bigger picture' of conspiracy, including things like dubious claims regarding extradition to the USA being somehow rather easier from Sweden than from the UK?
That is, compared to any random citizen, how much more serious or more undeniable should allegations have to be when they relate to someone who has made enemies in order for that person to qualify for extradition for investigation or trial?
>>"Are you telling me now that it is beyond HMRC to approach Google and for them to say "we've assessed your income and the amount of business we think you've done in the UK, and this is the amount of tax we would like you to pay" ???"
But I am saying that there's a huge difference between doing that and declaring them guilty of breaking the law and *fining* them before all the relevant evidence is collected, which seemed to be what you were asking for.
I'd certainly agree that something should have been done sooner, but in a situation where it hadn't been, I'd not leap from that to demanding some particular thing was done right now if it might make sense to do something less precipitate in the future.
Re: Book code???
>>"If you thought google just wanted to cash in on thre google books project think what every book in the world digitised would do to one of the few secure ways of communicating."
Very little, I would have thought, given that it would seem trivial for people who'd arranged (via some secure channel) to arrange to use one or more books to also have securely arranged any one of a vast number of possible ways of encrypting the numbers they used to communicate.
Re: So smears work
>>"The fact that so many commentators are saying that they disregard whatever Assange because he's a rapist and evader from justice proves that allegations like this work."
If Assange was actually someone putting forward a meaningful argument, that might have more traction.
But he doesn't seem to have been much more than a publisher.
I haven't seen anyone arguing anything like
'Assange is a suspected sex offender, which means the videos/documents on Wikileaks are fake'.
'I used to believe in freedom of information, but now I've changed my mind.'
I think a fair few people simply didn't think he was particularly special before, and now they think he's a not particularly special person hiding from a sexual assault investigation.
Re: It's a shill wind...
I suspect if there are any shills, they may be the ones acting like extremist fanbois, posting stuff that's factually complete bollocks to try and make genuine supporters of Assange look bad by association.
Re: No, but seriously ...
>> >>""People have the right to their own thoughts, except where they are considered mentally ill (ie thinking the 'wrong' thoughts) and treated against their will."
>>"At no point should any thought, no matter how evil, perverted, delusional or twisted, be a reason for depriving a person of liberty. That way lies the concept of 'thoughtcrime' and we all know where that leads."
I was giving an example showing the limits of 'principles' or 'rights' stated as absolute entities.
If there were no 'wrong' thoughts, where would that leave the idea of sanity and insanity, the idea of someone not being in their right mind, etc?
If someone who isn't thought to be a threat to others is judged to be thinking certain kinds of wrong thoughts, they can still end up being considered mentally ill and confined and/or treated against their will in order to change the things they are thinking.
And somehow, that *doesn't* seem to automatically lead to ideas of thoughtcrime in most places where it can happen.
That people can be judged to be mentally ill is something which some regimes can abuse to respond to 'undesirable' behaviour, whether it's suppressing dissidents or locking up unmarried mothers.
Though imagining the the former cases, a repressive society lacking the idea of 'forcing treatment on the mentally ill' would seem likely to simply use some different means of suppression for the same dissidents if there were no convenient mental hospitals.
>>"By definition, any 'rights' you have are of necessity limited by the 'rights' of others. The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to be treated the same as any other human being in regard to the law, from which all other rights evolve."
That does rather depend what you mean by 'the same'
The law should treat people with the same relevant circumstances the same, which rather moves things to a rather greyer area.
If accused of a crime, I should have access to legal representation (though I could pay for better representation if I was wealthy).
I should be treated the same as someone else who differers in irrelevant ways (skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc) but I may well be treated differently based on my age, apparent level of competence or intelligence, personal history as might be relevant to claims of mitigating or aggravating circumstances, etc.
The 'absolute fundamental right' seems to come up against all manner of value judgements regarding which things about me as an individual are actually relevant, things which not everyone would necessarily agree about, and things which even one person might rate differently relevant in different situations.
There may be cases where my skin colour or sexual orientation is relevant - such as if I'm being accused of a hate-based assault, or claiming provocation as a result of long-term discrimination as a partial defence to an assault charge where I claim someone said something minor which pushed me over the edge.
How do we decide what the age of criminal responsibility should be, and whether it's a hard or flexible cutoff?
Re: No, but seriously ...
>>"TV news at the time, but there have been several different versions since then. Take a look at the coverage on the guardian website, are the women actually accusing him of rape, or not taking an STD test?"
So that's your explanation for collossally screwing up, misrepresenting the facts around an alleged case and trying to tell everyone else what conclusions they should come to on the basis of those 'facts'?
That you think that's what someone said on TV, and that you prefer to believe that even in the face of that not being what either Assange or the authorities say was what happened..
You think he's likely to be innocent based on the implausibility of a threesome rape situation which doesn't seem to be something he was ever accused of, or anything he claims to have ever been accused of?
Sheesh, no wonder you're anonymous.
>>"Talk about being naive. The idea of the authorities is to destroy their enemies any way you can, if you they destroy them without appearing to attack them for their views, so much the better. You put him in prison and destroy his reputation at the same time. Classic Machiavelli."
Could you point me to where in 'The Prince' Machiavelli recommends getting someone who it's vitally important to crush involved in a legal process and then letting them run away.
Unless you're suggesting that the CIA, Illuminati or whoever *had* to let Assange run away because they couldn't actually manage to engineer fake accusations of sexual assault which would stick?
Which might make one wonder why they didn't try something else.
Re: Assange is right and not just over Prism
I was using the phrase rather tongue-in-cheek.
But it illustrates a point.
If someone involved in legitimate security services trying to suppress terrorism is meaningfully looking at me, they're not doing their job properly.
If someone involved in stamping on valid dissent is meaningfully looking at me, then they're not doing their job properly either.
>>"My wife's ex-husband investigated me via PNC checks when he found out I was dating her. He wanted to find any evidence he could use to ensure I wasn't allowed near his children."
So he wasn't bothered about you being near his ex-wife, and he told you he was checking you out?
And you're sure he did actually make checks, he wasn't just claiming he would to see if it might put you off.?
Re: This is a massive percentage of police
>>"Even a simple, "hey can you tell me the date of the time I called you guys to help me when my drunk neighbor came into my property and attacked me" gets the response "sorry cant do that, file a freedom of information so someone who can be arsed looks for you""
Presumably even if they were to grant a 'simple' request, they'd have to verify your identity to be sure that you were the person you said you were, and they might feel they need some kind of formal written request to protect themselves from future allegations of unauthorised snooping if someone asks why they were looking up particular records.
It would also require that the person was confident in making a judgement about whether a particular individual did have a right to know some particular piece of information, something which would seem like a fairly murky area.
While there might be a few genuine simple requests like your example, it's not hard to imagine slightly less simple ones where people still felt they had 'a right to know'.
Re: No, but seriously ...
>>"2. Did you actually pay attention to the detail on this? He's not exactly what you'd call a muscle bound body builder, yet he want back to an apartment with two young ladies, spent the night and left, then a little while later (days!) they decided that he'd raped both of them at the same time. "
Might I ask what colossally ill-informed fuckwit gave you that account of events?
Re: No, but seriously ...
>>"I would totally agree and that was my point exactly - "freedom of speech" isn't actually freedom of speech. Governments "say" we have it - but we don't have it. Say the wrong thing and we can get arrested and potentially sent to a foreign country and imprisoned 'forever'. You've nailed my point."
Which just seems to show that you completely fail to see the distinction between the idea of absolute rights and what actually works in the real world.
In reality, anyone who has done more than the briefest amount of thinking can see that there are exceptions to pretty much any simplistic 'right'.
People have a 'right to life' except where they're killed in self-defence, or war, or by capital punishment, or allowed to die because keeping them alive is considered too expensive or not the state's responsibility...
People have a right to liberty, except when it is legally taken away if they're convicted of a crime, or on remand before a trial, or arrested as part of an investigation, or detained for their own protection, or if they're a child grounded by their parents...
People have the right to their own thoughts, except where they are considered mentally ill (ie thinking the 'wrong' thoughts) and treated against their will.
People have a right to do what they want on their own property, except when it breaches any one of a long list of prohibited activities...
The point of 'rights' is to identify areas where there's a good general default case to be made for something, and where arguments against should be good ones, not to exclude whole sections of activity from any sensible consideration.
Re: No, but seriously ...
>>" In which case he's simply exercising what western democracy likes to refer to as "freedom of speech"."
Free speech isn't some absolute thing, except in the minds of people who think reality should be describable by 'principles' without understanding what 'principles' actually are.
There's no obvious moral case to justify things like me being able to lie about things in public, or to publish all the details of your private life irrespective of how I obtained them, or to publish stolen designs for the next nuclear submarine and claiming 'freedom of speech' as an unarguable defence - it's clear that it's not an absolute right but a thing considered generally good which has to be balanced against other things on a case-by-case basis, even if such balancing often isn't hard to do.
Which, of course, means that it would be daft to use 'free speech' in the way that some people try and use 'principles' - as a defence against any further thought or argument.
>>"I would like to know why we're still trying (10 years on) to deport the European head al Al Queda yet our beloved British government has Assange trapped inside an Embassy and threatens to deport him the second he steps over the threshold. I'd say it's outrageous, but it's not, it goes way beyond outrageous, it's simply frightening."
Both seem to be cases of the government operating within the law, rather than behaving in the way that conspiracy theorists would seem to think they would wish to.
If you remember, Assange went through a whole legal process designed to protect the rights of accused people before he ran away from the result when he eventually exhausted all his legal options.
If there was usable evidence that Abu Qatada was actually more than a sympathiser and spiritual encourager of extremists, and that he had actively helped organise terror attacks in Europe, he would be unlikely to have been on house arrest awaiting extradition changes.
Possibly he *is* guilty of serious criminal activities in the UK, but if he can't be proved guilty, he can't get sentenced for it.
>>"Who's next? Just how far out of line do you have to step before the powers that be decide you're toast?"
The seemingly somewhat power-limited powers that be, who cruelly and oppressively let Assange out on bail even when he had no more case left to argue, rather than immediately sending him back to certain death in Sweden?
>>"For many years I thought Google were great, but..."
Personally, I try not to get emotionally invested in companies based on their own publicity or on what I'd like to believe - it does seem to be inviting disappointment.
>>"How about HMRC gets it's head out of it's arse and sends Google a tax bill for the amount of tax it "should" have paid for the last <n> years, plus interest, plus a fine, and see how Google respond."
There's a difference between avoidance and evasion.
If/when there is sufficient evidence of illegal activity rather than just morally dubious activity, then maybe HMRC will do something.
But whether they do it or not is not likely to be much influenced by what I demand, especially since politicians are already well aware of the likely public feeling on the issue.
Re: Assange is right and not just over Prism
>>"Any non-US citizen still using Google or any corp on that Prism list must seriously need their head examining!"
I'm not sure which security agency would actually be interested in what I look at, who I phone, or what CDs I buy, or even in the hot steamy emails which I may or may not be writing.
I'd prefer that there wasn't someone sitting in an office trying to follow my every move and poring over every private detail of my life, but unless intelligence agencies are incredibly overstaffed or incompetently-run, I find it hard to see why there would be.
Since I'm not currently plotting to overthrow The System, nor (as far as I'm aware) interacting with anyone who is, am I not doing the freedom fighters of the world a favour by helping clog up the surveillance system with irrelevant information?
If I was going to do anything which I thought 'they' might take a disapproving interest in, then I wouldn't communicate about it in a way which left evidence whether or not I thought that 'they' had current access to whatever channel I was using.
Re: Too true
If 'only a naive idealist would suggest otherwise', what would be the bloody secret?
Re: It's official!!!!
>>"Official publications use the OED for reference."
And what effect does that have?
How differently would they treat relatively novel or niche words depending on their inclusion or exclusion?
Whether thinking of the population in general or some particular subset or the population, some words/usages-of-words which are in the OED will be comprehensible to far fewer people than some which are not in it.
If a writer was unsure whether their target audience would understand a word, looking in the OED seems unlikely to be of much value, except maybe as a buck-passing activity.
Re: Difficult enough to believe Apple on any legal claim!
>>"However, the real crime here, is not the price fixing to the consumers of E Books; but the price fixing to the Authors who get a pittance compared to the publishers share."
>>"Lets hope that the Authors share in the punative damages. That way, there may be some reason to continue to create the content that this whole industry hinges on."
What determines the author's royalty per ebook?
Surely that's a matter for the contract between author and publisher, and unless people were tricked into signing a poor contract or had a poor contract illegally imposed on them, why is what they get paid someone else's fault?
If they have been the victim of illegal actions, that would seem to be a separate issue from retail pricing, and one which they should pursue themselves.
If they have not been the victims of illegal actions but simply of practice of debatable morality, why should that legally justify them getting some kind of compensation?
In any case, these days can't people self-publish ebooks, and take all the wholesale price, assuming they can sort out things like editing for themselves?
That would seem to be 'a reason to continue to create content.'
>>"The problem is this:- it will sell."
Then the 'problem' is really that not enough other people decided a product is overpriced enough to be worth avoiding. Or in other words, the 'problem' is that the opinions of the majority outweigh the opinions of the few
>>"Yet they probably won't have a real debate about selling more at the correct price."
The 'correct' price is whatever they choose to sell it for, not what you want it to be sold for. It's their product, not yours.
They may not be 'fair', but that is their prerogative.
And why would they want to have a debate with a bunch of Kevins?
"Can be upgraded to a proper home computer..."
I'm pretty sure at the time journalists seemed to take such claims with large pinches of salt, and view them as, at best, bargaining chips for kids trying to persuade their parents to but them a games console on the pretence that it could end up as something less frivolous.
Did the manufacturers really take the claims more seriously?
Who actually bases their decisions on using words on whether the OED has decided to include them?
The OED openly acknowledges existing usage after the event, and what they decide seems to be of limited interest to people other than journalists trying to find something that isn't actually news to fill an otherwise slow day.
But then I guess, 'It's official!... is essentially shorthand for "you almost certainly don't need to be told this, but I'm going to tell you anyway".
If Apple's intention had actually been a noble one, it would seem odd that they didn't make more of that at the time.
There are arguments for things such as retail price-fixing, but they aren't all one-sided, and some of them are less solid on the net than with physical stores.
Having a small bookshop not being undercut on popular titles by a bigger retailer does help avoid a market dominated by big stores, or where supermarkets selling bestsellers at little profit make small stores uneconomic, but in that situation customers are effectively being forced to subsidise a small store even if they're unlikely to buy anything but the bestsellers.
On the internet, there isn't the same kind of obvious convenience benefit from having multiple stores that there is in real life in having a decent small bookshop in towns too small for a large chain to bother with, even if there may be competition benefits from staving off a monopoly.
The article does cover some important issues, but it does seem to be let down somewhat by an eagerness to ascribe anything good to Apple-led competition, including stuff like having newer versions of Kindles, as if that wouldn't have happened nearly as quickly otherwise.
And is it really impossible to use a Kindle to read ebooks other than ones Amazon sell (should Amazon have to support any competing DRM system, for example)?
Also: "Unchecked free-riding could doom independent bookstores, and their demise would drastically reduce the range of books published and sold. Marketing studies show that, beyond the bestseller list, the main way people discover new authors and “mid-list” books is by browsing in a store."
does seem to be risking a logical fallacy.
1970s-man: "Cheques are the most common way of people buying expensive goods.Therefore in a world with no cheques, far lower sales of expensive goods would be expected."
Re: Two reasons
>>"You have hit the nail on the head. Big business likes the free market, but only as long as it favours them. If it starts to favour the consumer then they get their tame politicians to introduce artificial constraints on trade."
That does rather depend what version of 'freedom' you choose to consider the definitive one, something which, despite appeals to 'principles' will, for most people*, be likely to include a meaningful element of personal bias.
(I'm not excluding myself here, though I do try and avoid claiming 'principles' as if they were some sacred standalone things when in fact they seem to largely be post-hoc generalisations attempting to support one or other person's particular opinions at a particular point in time.)
Unless they're abusing a monopoly on something people actually *need*, rather than on some non-essential luxuries, why should a company not be 'free' to make calculations for any particular market about expected returns at various prices and choose prices accordingly, leaving consumers 'free' to choose whether to buy the product or not?
If a company was making perfume which was sold in the UK expecting to go for ~£50/bottle, why should they not be free to sell it cheaply enough in Colombia to retail for $10/bottle in Bogota if they can make extra money doing that, and free to refuse to supply Colombian wholesalers who were going to export it?
It's not as if anyone actually needs expensive perfume, or that there aren't other perfumes around, and if a meaningful amount of the perceived value in the UK comes from expensive advertising, why should the company let someone else make money on the back of advertising they haven't paid for?
If something is a luxury and perceived to be a rip-off, then people should:
a) not buy it
b) make it known why they haven't bought it
If the people are sufficient in number, that may get taken into account in future pricing decisions.
Pretty obviously, just doing something like buying a games machine for a little less from elsewhere isn't actually likely to make manufacturers see much need to change to equal pricing even if they're aware of it happening, since they still made decent money from the complainer as well as making money from the rest of their purchasing countryfolk at the higher price, and so dropping the higher price would necessarily have involved making less money.
If I don't have a monopoly on some essential products or services, why should I not be allowed to choose who I sell them to, and at what price, based on whatever criteria I choose, as long as I don't fall foul of discrimination laws?
Re: @Mad Mike
>> > "You wouldn't be caught dead with that muck down under. You'd be turned away from the barbie if you turned up with a six pack of Fosters mate!"
>"So to summarise: Australians don't mind selling piss water to other countries, but complain when they themselves get screwed over. Oh well."
I seem to remember when Fosters was first around, it was imported and (at least to my adolescent tastes buds) better than the later non-imported version.
'Brewed in the UK under licence....' typically seems to indicate something a step or two worse than the original product, whether that product was good or bad.
Re: If the suspect was actually "knocking off* his wife"
*in the US that's a term of art for murdering someone.
In the wider world, it has a whole range of context-dependent meanings.
Re: Grim Reaper: Oooh so you're Mr Snowden...
>>"What's the betting Snowdens found floating face down somewhere in a gannex mac.. or in some designer luggage.."
I do wonder why a security service would want to draw public attention to someone's death if they were just trying to shut a generally obscure employee up?
Surely it can't be that hard to convincingly fake a normal accident?
As I said, there are valid arguments to be made against companies selling things below cost for anticompetitive reasons, though there can be distinct grey areas there, but that's not obviously much to do with the Apple issue - if what Amazon were doing was considered illegal, the way to deal with that would be via the legal system*, and if what they were doing was immoral, Apple could have tried to take the moral high ground rather than pushing for an anticompetitive system.
(*unless people think that the legal system is scared to go up against Big Business Amazon while simultaneously keen to go after Apple.)
Re: aggravated copyright violation
>>"Looks like aggravated copyright violation to me - lengthy prison sentences for all NSA top brass are really unavoidable, I fear."
Though who most violated the copyright?
The person who used it for an internal slideshow, the person who leaked it, or the media who publish stuff without giving a damn where it came from "Someone gave it to us for nothing, so it must be OK"?
If someone stole your homemade porn of you climaxing to a cry of "Yabba Dabba Doo" and published it on Youtube, should it really be you who Hanna-Barbera come looking for?
>>"The email actually sent expresses a legitimate business concern that Amazon was in a position to use it's monopoly position in the market to squash Apple's foray into the market."
Seems to me that if company X is established and selling Item A for $10, and after company Y enters the market they both end up selling item A for $15, the citizen was much better off when company Y wasn't around, whether company X was paying $9, $10 or even $11 to buy item A.
The point of having 'competition' isn't to provide money for uncompetitive competing companies, it is to provide better value for end users (which requires the companies to be actually competing on price) and/or more choice for end users (though in this case the 'products' were the same thing, and being produced by existing companies which had (and still had) monopoly rights over them).
Given a choice of a benign monopoly or a significantly more expensive duopoly or oligopoly, only someone with a personal interest or a half-arsed understanding of economics based on 'principles' treated like dogma would seem likely to favour the latter options.
There might be some argument to be made for declaring it 'unfair' for a company to sell items below cost except maybe in temporary promotions, especially if below-cost selling was seemingly being done to stifle competition with an eye to future profiteering, but in this case it seems likely Apple would have been just as unhappy with Amazon selling books at cost or even at a slim margin with a level playing field of equal wholesale prices for everyone, since that wouldn't have given Apple a nice fat margin in return for doing next to bugger all in a market area other people had already developed.
That is, they had a significant profit (43% markup) in mind but wanted to both have that profit, and also to prevent anyone else being able to undercut them at retail, and as far as they were concerned, the consumers could go and *&^% themselves.
>>"I've settled out of court before in a case where (a) I knew I was right and (b) I was pretty sure the court would agree with me. I settled out of court because the settlement cost me £1250 and the cost of the solicitor, barrister and lost billable time for a two day court hearing was going to be £8000+. I would not have been able to recover my costs from the other party."
I can certainly understand that, though possibly less so in a case where the settlement costs are in the tens of millions of dollars, unless lawyers are horrifically expensive.
>>"Perhaps people with that kind of job expect to be watched very closely if they book a ticket to somewhere without an extradition treaty. Perhaps they expect to have an accident on the journey."
So if he'd flown to somewhere in Europe first (maybe waiting for a legitimate holiday rather than faking sick leave), and then booked a last-minute flight to Iceland from there, what would 'they' have been likely to do?
Land black helicopters in the airport and snatch him?
Shoot down an airliner based on the possibility that he was about to talk to the media?
Bear in mind that unless he'd been sloppy and started looking at things he wasn't cleared to look at or otherwise left a suspicious trail of document access,'they' didn't know he was going to leak anything, which might have made it rather unattractive to do anything too over-the-top.
Had he actually been under suspicion by some overarching Big Brother, one might wonder why they would allow him to travel anywhere.
How true - going to the opposite side of the planet and drawing attention to himself would seem like a peculiar strategy for anyone with a modicum of sense.
>>"Just 1.6 per cent of UK internet users over the age of 12 are the top 10 per cent of copyright infringers, responsible for 79 per cent of infringement."
Is that a rather circuitous way of saying that 16% of UK internet users are copyright infringers?
>>"One of the first prosecution under the UK's data protection act was a senior police officer who saw a car parked outside his house had the owner traced and then beat up the man who was knocking off his wife. He got off because he didn't know how to use the computer so had a WPC do the actual typing"
So that was information which in no circumstances would have required a court order for the police to get access to?
>>"We then had our own PATRIOT act to stop international terrorism. One of it's first uses was by local councils asking fro cell phone location tracking so they could detect people not picking up dog crap. Then they launched total surveilance programs on people who were living outside the catchement area trying to send their kids to a good school."
Whenever I hear someone say this act was supposed to be about terrorism!' with the implication that that means it was supposed to be about nothing but terrorism, I'm reminded of just who politicians are aiming at when they choose to point at one shiny thing which they think is the most attractive feature of a long piece of legislation.
I wonder, how *should* councils take action against people who think it's acceptable to let their dogs foul public spaces?
Have council officers go around (in packs,of course, for security) and pounce on offenders, holding them until the police can arrive and get their identity officially?
Have someone take pictures of people letting their dogs crap everywhere (which supposedly 'invades their privacy' and breaches their 'right to act like idle selfish bastards in public' ).
Some other means that doesn't involve directly confronting people who might turn violent (sniper on the nearest tall building?)
As far as schools and residency are concerned, personally, I see nothing in principle wrong with checking up to see if people *are* lying to try and gain an advantage they aren't entitled to, as long as the checking up is proportionate and isn't unnecessarily intrusive.
If there was no chance of anyone checking up, it would just encourage more people to lie and cheat.
It'd would be interesting to know what the outcome of such investigations was -how many are genuine cases of cheating, how many are grey areas, and how many are down to someone making an unfounded malicious complaint* - if hardly any suspicions were upheld, then it would seem maybe a waste of money even if it wasn't necessarily wrong for other reasons.
Though it's kind of hard to understand who would want to make a malicious complaint.
Someone would have to be a bit sad to ring their local council falsely claiming that their supposed neighbour didn't really live next door, when it would be likely that if the council actually bothered looking into the complaint they would find out the claim was nonsense.
>>"While that SHOULD be the response, you just know it won't be the end of it..."
The impression I get is that once security services get information, they tend to think of it as theirs, and aren't necessarily keen on giving access even to other similar services, let alone some random enquiry from a local police force or council agency.
I'd wonder whether their willingness to share is actually likely to change much over time, however much some people might wonder about thin ends of wedges?
Regarding NiFe cells, they had been being made for 70 years before Exide bought Edison's old company.
that does seem like long enough for people to have done meaningful experimentation.
Likewise, the only 'rights' Exide could have bought were patents which hadn't yet expired and trade secrets, and any of those patents would have expired decades ago.
In any case, company XYZ having a patent on a particular twist on a technology doesn't stop some other company taking the more general technology and developing it, or even taking the patented tech and developing that with an eye to releasing products as soon as the patents expire.
While they might last longer than lead-acids, NiFe cells don't seem to have performance as good for things like vehicle batteries - similar energy/kg, lower energy/volume, lower power/kg
>>"It would prevent misuse of the data or fishing expeditions and feature creep, as I can see councils requesting records because of trivial matters."
Requesting from who?
If all the records were in the hands of a national security agency (NSA, GCHQ, whatever), are *they* actually going to want to have some random civilian body asking them for details of phone calls to see whether John Doe has broken a restraining order by calling his ex-wife?
"Fuck off and get it yourself!" would seem a fairly likely response.
Is there generally the same level of experience/skill in surgical staff working on different days?
Is seniority positively correlated with ability, and if so, do there tend to be fewer senior surgeons around at weekends?
Is there bias in terms of patients (certain types of people being more likely to opt for weekend surgery for elective operations?)
Re: No legitimate internet cafe is being hurt
>>"Conservatives on the other hand try to balance things along multiple axes to conserve the resources we and our ancestor have built up over the centuries."
I suppose all that maintaining privilege and the imbalance of power must keep one rather occupied, but only having one ancestor does seem to be taking 'keeping it in the family' to a bit of an extreme.
Re: No legitimate internet cafe is being hurt
Well, conservatives often *claim* to be in favour of freedom and small government, but just like other groups, frequently do want the government to impose their views (ie the 'right' views) on the population as a whole.
Dislike 'activist judges', where 'activist'=='not agreeing with what they want'.
Rail against 'red tape' as long as that red tape isn't personally useful to them.
Just like many other people, their 'principles' often magically coincide with what they think (correctly or otherwise) will be good for them and the subset of people they identify with, but just like many other people, they often believe (and sometimes just claim) that they're thinking of the country as a whole.
Re: Defective by design
>>"You have just missed International Day Against DRM - which was 2 days ago."
Me, and about 6 billion other people, I guess.
Re: Ban everything
>>"idiots should not be able to get guns even if they are legal!!"
Arguably they shouldn't, though (unless you're equating 'idiot' with 'convicted criminal' or suchlike) how would you reckon that should that end up working?
>>"I'd love to see what they spent £400m on that is now apparently only fit for the dustbin."
Even if the project had worked out, how much of the kit which had been bought over its long duration would have been naturally written off by the time it finished?
Re: I'm interested to see. ..
>>"I'm interested to see [....] that the consensus on here (a generally liberal rational forum) is that whistle blowing is bad and governments should keep whatever secrets they like."
How many people have actually expressed views anything like that (trolls excluded)?
Personally, I don't think my views have changed meaningfully.
I still believe in general openness, ideally via decent freedom of information laws, with official protection for grown-up whistleblowers revealing information which people have a real right to know, and with responsible journalism providing a safety net for when official channels fail.
I'm also wondering what real effect all the megaleaks have actually had on general opinions of the nature of government and politics.
Hands up anyone who prior to wikileaks had a serious faith in the integrity of their government, or believed that their military forces were above doing unpleasant things in countries where people were trying to kill them, and has had that faith shattered by what they have learned.
Now, *keep* your hands up if you were beyond your mid-20s when the leaks started, with an average knowledge of 20th century political history.
Re: So many ignorant people
Are private sales at gun shows a meaningful fraction of total private sales to strangers?
Have many incidents been traced back to someone who would have failed a background check buying a gun in a private sale at a gun show?
Re: gets my goat
>>"You'd have thunk the writers of the Second Amendment had enough lawyers in their midst to make their meaning clear."
What makes you think that lawyers have any interest in making laws clear?
Re: Back to the Drawing Board
>>"Nah, it was worse than that, some of them were lawyers."
Never mind the lawyers, I am led to believe that French helped as well, fighting nobly for liberty while in the service of their freedom-loving absolute monarch.
Not that it did him much good in the long run.
>>"This would inevitably lead to rent seeking, with "transfer fees" increasing dramatically as happens whenever government grants one group a monopoly. This effective increase in the price of all used guns would, in turn, drive up the price of new guns, creating a spiral which would inevitably lead to the situation in which only the rich could afford guns, as mentioned above."
While I don't doubt that some element of that could happen, and I guess it might depend on exactly what you call 'the rich', surely there aren't that many artificial monopolies which result in *most* of the potential customers being priced out of the market?
Since the existing NICS checks (which appear to cover most commercial sales) don't appear to be onerously expensive, it would seem unlikely that the public would acquiesce for long with a system where the charges for selling firearms became clearly excessive, with people making lots of money for little work.
Also, unless there was some strictly enforced cartel, in the situation you present as an *inevitable* consequence with huge dealer charges on sales but few sales happening, there would seem to be a fairly obvious market for an existing or new dealer to start imposing lower charges, gaining lots of business in the process.