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* Posts by david wilson

1327 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

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Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

david wilson

Irrespective of how neutral what I pay for is, what's the Great Ideological Problem with letting some providers pay for faster/better connections to me, at least as long as every provider is given the same options?

No-one is asking me to pay for better service explicitly even if they may roll costs into things I (or a pool of people nominally including me) may pay for.

If I buy stuff by mail order, some suppliers may do free UPS delivery, others might not, but as long as UPS isn't cutting exclusive deals and refusing to deal with some suppliers, what's the problem?

If someone chooses to stick with regular post and I choose not to deal with them as a result, where's the foul.

If someone chooses to build a convenience store on the box at the end of my street my phone line runs through, if anyone else also could do that if they paid a fair fee, why should I declare it Wrong?

So someone can sit on their arse ten miles away and expect me to pretend all shops should be equally inconvenient?

Surely the point about a digital landscape is that 'land' isn't a limited resource in the same way that actual land is. If company A chooses to spend money to give me a better service than company B, if A isn't cutting an anticompetitive deal to exclude B, why should I see B's complaints as more than sour grapes from someone who wants my custom but wants to spend less in giving me a service?

The only obvious point is that ISPs shouldn't unduly throttle everything in order to wring money out of content providers. But since that seems basically the same as 'overcharging end users for a service', they could (and maybe do) that already where there is insufficient competition. The issue there is whether there is competitive choice, rather than issues around Net Neutrality.

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Will Europe's ISPs unmask anonymous IP infringers?

david wilson

Re: I'm confused (again)

If you're 'unlucky' and/or piss off the wrong person, all manner of official powers could be used against you, including measures which few people would have issues with when they *aren't* abused.

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Snowden: 'Hey, Assange, any more room on Ecuador's sofa?'

david wilson

Re: Not good

>>"Anyone noticed how different "big brother" systems play an increasingly prominent role in US based criminal series- and their significant role in catching the bad guys and saving the world?"

Would you be talking about things like fingerprint databases, or the more CSI-fantasy stuff like CCTV cameras taking infinitely zoomable images or having fantastic face recognition software, or soil databases with a 10m resolution?

I'm sure many liberties with the truth are taken basically for reasons of speeding the plot along.

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david wilson

Re: Can not resist

>>"Anyone with an ounce of IT knowledge knows that terrorists and child abusers can stay hidden,.."

True, though 'can' != 'does'.

There is no shortage of stupid criminals, and seemingly not a total lack of fairly amateur terrorists.

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david wilson

>> >>"He's accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake."

>>"This is absolutely NOT what he has been accused of. This is primarily because it is impossible to prove what he KNEW at the time and therefore it is impossible to prove him guilty. Indeed, the circumstances you portray are a crime anyway as you need informed consent and being unconscious means he can't get it. So, what he KNEW at the time is completely irrelevant."

Why is what he knew irrelevant?

Possibly irrelevant to whether there was a crime or not, but seemingly quite relevant to the severity of it.

Doing something without consent where one expected consent would be given if asked is somewhat different to doing something without consent when one knew pretty well that consent wouldn't be given if asked for.

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david wilson

>>"I'm not defending what Assange did. Just saying the reaction is totally at odds with the severity with which Sweden normally considers these offences."

What statistics do you have regarding normal Swedish responses to similar kinds of allegations?

With or without people running away after their lawyer has been informed they are wanted for questioning, and

with or without people making loud public accusations of bad faith and dishonesty regarding the accusers and the Swedish legal system in general.

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david wilson

>>"To then have it confirmed, that every citizen in this country has had every keystroke slurped up by the NSA as if we had purportrated some hideous act against them is appalling."

So the NSA has recorded the content of every piece of internet traffic?

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Julian Assange: I'm quite happy to sleep on Ecuador's sofa FOREVER

david wilson

Re: Bah @ Bleu

>>"None of that is from 'net rumours, those of your ilk may have google-bombed those irritating facts to where they are hard to find now, but some of us still remember."

Well,

>>"colluded with the other celeb dong chaser to trump up the charges."

Sounds rather like an allegation rather than a fact.

Two people talking and realising that what they each thought was a one-off poor experience was less one-off isn't automatically 'collusion'.

Likewise, with the official case starting with concerns of STD and unwanted unprotected sex, it's not hard to see how such concerns might be significantly amplified by hearing someone else's experiences.

>>"I have no sympathy for celeb-dong chasers who post-facto collude to trump up charges."

I would have no sympathy for anyone making false allegations.

Though it's not actually clear in this case that that happened.

And if the 'facts' prove even to people remote from the case that the allegations are lies, maybe it would have been better for Assange not to run away from the investigation, and to get things cleared up as quickly as possible?

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david wilson

To be fair to him, he was supposedly in Sweden to try and get residence/legal protection as a journalist, and he had been expressing worries about action by other countries, which whether well-founded or not would be likely to be given a nudge by any kind of unwelcome contact with the state.

And various people in the US *had* been calling for something to be done about him - even if that was largely politicians talking tough to play to the home crowd, it'd be hard to entirely ignore.

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david wilson

Re: Bah @ Bleu

>>"Yeah but the Swedish definition of rape includes all kinds of stuff that isn't even a crime here.

Loads of other stuff has been lumped in with it."

Which suggests that some amount of caution would be advisable for someone who reckoned they were a target for dirty tactics.

And that even for selfish reasons, it might have made sense for to agree to an STD test once it was clear that at the very least there was either some unhappiness with the claimed unprotected sex, or some Dark Scheme brewing.

>>"They could have sorted it out before he ever left Sweden they are abusing the system."

That might have been easier if he hadn't run away when they were trying to arrange an interview.

>>"Feminists are really female supremacists."

Personally, I find the word troublesome, since it seems to cover far too many positions, but is often used without qualification as if all those positions were meaningfully similar.

Not to mention that (because of the wide range of views it gets used to cover) many people who would share the views of some people calling themselves feminists avoid the term because of the views of other people calling themselves feminists.

I can think of a large number of intelligent women I know who believe in equality [according to one or other definition of equality] but unless they'd made a point of telling me, I would have little idea whether any particular one would consider herself a 'feminist'. Or any other kind of 'ist'.

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david wilson

Re: the US has done it's work

>>"Ask yourself, would you rather wikileaks didn't exist? Do you think it's OK for the US government to secretly do whatever it likes - Guantanamo, rendition, regime change, police brutality, Drone attacks, Abu Grahib, Prism, etc etc etc?"

a) It wasn't the first internet leaks site, though it certainly did do a good job at making more people aware of its existence then earlier ones, which may well have motivated many people to give it information

b) People old enough to remember the mists of time *before* random citizens had the Internet know that there were outlets for information which managed to print it even when it did embarrass governments, even to the point of heads of government being removed.

c) People who were grown-ups before wikileaks were already frequently cynical about their governments.

d) The existence of Guantanamo bay detention and controversy surrounding it wasn't a secret wikileaks revealed. They released some information about it after it had long been a source of concern for many people, and frequently mentioned in mainstream media.

e) People have been well aware of all mannner of police brutality for generations, via regular media.

f) Abu Ghraib abuses were exposed by the army revealing their own investigation into them in 2004. Wikilieaks started in 2006.

Wikileaks can be useful, but the world wouldn't wither and die without it, and it's not obvious why it should depend on one person if has importance to enough people.

Neither is it immediately obvious that splurging large amounts of frequently irrelevant information onto the net has done more good than a few pieces of careful journalism would have done.

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david wilson

@Ben Tasker

>>"So whilst there may, possibly, have been an intention to try and extradite him, it's by no means clear that that intention remains (if it was ever present)."

But Julian has Spoken and said it's almost a certainty.

To two decimal places, no less.

Therefore that is the Truth, unbeliever.

If you say otherwise you're clearly a CIA shill, or someone who believes everything in the media despite the terminal cognitive dissonance that even trying to do that would result in.

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david wilson

Re: Bah

>>"If you hadn't noticed, Assange was claiming persecution in another country when he came here."

He/his lawyers were claiming all kinds of stuff - the women were lying, the prosecutor was a biased feminist, ...

If he genuinely thought it was all a high-level intergovernmental plot, why would he seriously think the UK any safer than Sweden, given the endless claims in the media about how slavish and one-sided our extradition arrangements with the US are?

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david wilson

Re: Bah

>>"I think you're reading your own bias into this. His first statement is absolutely true, albeit you can argue about how many of them there are."

Given that people applying for asylum aren't likely to stand up and say 'I hate the UK' or 'I intend to commit terrorist acts', the fraction which may be in those categories can't easily be distinguished from the rest, and even when the odd person might have expressed various views about how societies should work which differ from your view or mine or society's or the government's, legally speaking, that isn't a valid ground for refusing asylum if they are in fear of persecution, even if it may justify keeping an eye on them and jumping on them at the first sign of illegal activity.

If the 'fear of persecution' threshold is wrongly set, that's an issue whether the people coming here agree with UK society or not.

>>"You can argue about numbers, but we have refugees who come here, make no attempt to integrate, get a job or anything and simply sit on benefits for decades with no contribution to this country."

Well, that seems to be an argument for benefit reform (for natives as well as imports), not an argument against asylum.

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david wilson

Re: Bah

>>"If you believe everything you're told by the media and don't realise how in the pocket of these mega rich few the world is, then you're deluding yourself as to the sad truths of this world."

Who's saying they believe everything they read in the media, or that they think governments are perfectly moral?

If you want to delude yourself into believing anyone who dares to disagree with you must hold extreme and quite opposite views, you have a very retarded black-and white idea of the world, which I can only hope you will grow out of someday.

And if you're going to try and claim the Establishment is shit-scared of Assange revealing their deepest secrets in case the sky comes crashing down, I'm really not sure that quoting a declassified memo is the best way to start.

Unless you don't understand what 'declassified' means.

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david wilson

Re: This would be an Assange view of the law.....

>>"But instead he's hung around here, stringing it out. A year ago the US didn't look to have an extradition case ready. "

But at least if his delays does give the US time to put a case together and try to extradite him, he'll be proved both Right and Important, which is all that really matters.

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david wilson

Re: Perfect sense

>>"This is not about speculation, it's established as far as one can with official secret acts that the indictment will be forthcoming the moment Assange is in a position to be secured."

Well, if that really is the case, more fool him.

He should have gone straight to Ecuador, rather than pissing about here.

And let us not forget that Assange was actually planning to stay in Sweden, before any allegations of sexual assault were made.

If Sweden is in such thrall to the USA, that was another dumb choice.

His choice.

And if he really believed the CIA were out to get him, sleeping around with people he barely knew doesn't exactly sound like the smartest move either.

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david wilson

Re: Bah

>>"We in the UK regularly allow in refugees for asylum who either hate the UK or end up committing crimes/terrorist acts. At the very least these people just bleed the welfare system dry. But the government allows this to continue."

And what's worse, some of these Johnny Foreigners have the damn check not to be white.

>>"...we're swallowing the media vilification of him. The more the media attacks Assange, the more I believe in his concerns. "

And the more the Daily Mail attacks asylum seekers, the more you hate them.

But how is the media 'attacking' him?

By failing to give him the unthinking praise some people think he deserves?

By reporting that he's still hiding from the British legal system.

A system he explicitly chose to place himself in when he came from Sweden some time after the allegations were made there.

Has the UK radically changed in political establishment makeup in the last few years?

Seems to me it's pretty similar to the way it was when he freely chose to come here rather than go anywhere else.

It's just that he didn't get his way in court here, so the country has gone from 'ace' to 'crap' simply as a result of not treating him the way he thinks he deserves to be treated.

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Kim Dotcom victim of 'largest data MASSACRE in history'

david wilson

Re: @Mad Mike

>>"I never said it was their fault. However, it wasn't Dotcoms either."

That doesn't seem like <>their</> problem.

>> >>"Why should they pay the price for someone else's dubious business model?"

>>"You're judging this before the evidence is presented"

I said dubious, not illegal.

MU does seem to have at least been in a grey area. Even if it was (or thought it was) operating on the right side of the law, it seems to have been close to the edge, which for me would make it 'dubious'.

>>"As soon as you delete any of the data, you are giving him the option of claiming the crucial piece of evidence that proves his innocence was in there."

Was he actually requesting via his lawyers that specific crucial pieces of killer evidence were kept?

Was he loudly claiming via his various channels that there was crucial data on there which proved his innocence but which he had no assurance would be kept?

>>"You can't prove it wasn't and therefore, there is reasonable doubt. "

Surely, in all manner of trials people make claims about evidence which would exonerate them but which is missing, with the extent to which that creates reasonable doubt being left up to the jury or judge[s]?

>>"Just because the US data showed copyright violation (in principle), doesn't mean that somewhere in the other data, critical emails between him and the US justice department (for instance) didn't exist that show he was helping them!!"

He could claim there was evidence that he was being helpful to the government to the extent that that justified any apparent breaches of the law but that they were persecuting him anyway?

I could see that being a difficult sell, especially if he waited to make the claim which would make many of his problems go away until after the evidence for it had gone.

>>"So, who's to blame for this data being lost? Certainly not Dotcom. He couldn't have paid the bill as he had no money as it had illegally been seized."

Well, as I said, I guess more may become clear when data is available regarding communications between his lawyers and the hosting company.

If he can back up all the claims he's made and the hosting company can't show him to be wrong, that might put him in a better position.

If the hosts can back up all they said, that might put him in a worse position.

Personally I would have thought it better if the data could have been kept, at least long enough and with sufficient access to data to allow Dotcom to be able either to obtain good defence evidence or to obviously fail to obtain it, but I wouldn't expect the hosting company to have to pay for that.

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david wilson

Re: The feds are not going to stop themselves

>>"You mean that I pay extra in order to subsidise 3rd world consumers....rather than the entertainment companies gouging me for a product costing pence to produce, just because they can. Oh. Ok then. Makes me feel a lot better knowing that."

You're not actually 'losing out by subsidising' anyone unless the DVD selling in a poorer country is being sold such that you'd be financially better off if such sales didn't take place.

As it is, the situation seems to be that you'd be in the same position, but the film company would make less money.

Less champagne for the executives, no doubt, but maybe also less money for other stuff (like taking the odd gamble on a less-obviously-commercial film).

If I was to pay £30 for an evening meal in a restaurant which used a significant amount of its takings to fund free meals for the homeless, I'd be subsiding meals for the homeless and possibly if there was no feeding of the homeless the price for me to eat might have been lower, though possibly the owner would just have made more profit.

If they did a lunchtime deal which charged pensioners half price, as long as the marginal cost of providing that meal was less than what the pensioner paid, I wouldn't really be 'losing out by subsidising them'.

I could consider myself to be paying a larger contribution to the fixed costs of the business and/or profits, or saying that 'without people like me the business would fold and the pensioner would have to eat elsewhere', but if the pensioners all buggered off elsewhere it wouldn't seem likely to make my meal any cheaper.

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david wilson

@Mad Mike

>>"Firstly, Dotcom did not willingly stop paying the bill. It was not his fault the company stopped being paid and therefore was storing data for nothing."

It certainly wasn't their fault.

Why should they pay the price for someone else's dubious business model?

What was he actually doing to try and keep the data, beyond supposedly asking a company to keep data for free for an indefinite period?

>>"Secondly, a very large chunk of the evidence to be used in any trial will be on those servers. After all, the trial would basically be about the content of his 'service'. Therefore, if you destroy (or allow to be destroyed) all the data, you are effectively destroying any chance of a trial."

You're not destroying any chance of a trial.

You're not even meaningfully altering the chances of a fair trial unless

a) the Leaseweb data contained the only copies of important company records which would exonerate the company

b) an argument was to be made on the overall balance of types of hosted content, and the Leaseweb data for some reason involved user content seriously different in terms of legit vs. dodgy content to the US-hosted data, with the US servers being 'dirtier'.

Would a US case actually have to pay much attention to the types of content hosted elsewhere, if they could show some threshold had been crossed with respect to US-hosted data?

Isn't the hosting in the USA a major justification for jurisdiction being claimed over MU in the first place?

>>"Finally, many of the actions against Dotcom have been declared illegal or against normal process etc."

Maybe it's better to distinguish between those two categories - there's a huge difference between rights being violated and the police being heavy-handed and/or overcautious when making an arrest.

If anything, I think it might tend to draw attention away from the former when the latter is mixed in with them, especially if the latter is can be more arguably a matter of opinion.

Possibly time will tell who is telling the truth regarding them notifying him about the deletion or not, though if they had no legal requirement to host it for free, it's not clear why they would need to avoid notifying him.

If they'd said 'unless your arrears are settled in the next N days, your data is at risk', what could he have done to stop them?

If there were legal actions he could have taken in NL to prevent the deletion, if he really needed the data he could have presumably taken such actions whenever he felt like it?.

Similarly, if his lawyers had made various requests for the data to be kept, what responses did they get to such requests, or did they treat no response as some kind of agreement?

If the company had been asked but hadn't given any serious assurances of retention, that would have been cause for most people to worry, let alone cause for half-decent lawyers to worry..

If they have given assurances they have now broken, I assume that Dotcom will soon be publicising that quite widely, and providing the evidence.

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david wilson

@austerusz

If the USA effectively can turn off the money tap, it's not obvious why they would need to do anything more in order for the data to end up being deleted.

Whether they should have allowed company funds to be spent maintaining the data is certainly something that there are arguments for and against.

Someone might wonder what use the data was to Dotcom:

Would having the deleted data have helped his case?

Would having the data deleted have helped his case?

If it would make little difference either way, if he considered the MU business lost, does losing the data increase the loss, and if he considered the business (or at least the money in it) recoverable, what's in it for him to have money spent keeping data that isn't making him any money?

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david wilson

Re: The feds are not going to stop themselves

>>"I would like to see a gruesomely draconian judgment against the people responsible that makes them pay what it would cost to restore that data, by typing it in by hand if it comes to it. If they can't afford the money, sit the bastards down at a keyboard and tell them to get to work."

If data exists elsewhere, it doesn't need to be restored to a 'poor-man's backup' location.

If it doesn't exist elsewhere, then it's gone.

>>"Cretins unable to appreciate what is stored on hard disks should have absolutely no say at all what happens to it."

What would you call someone who uses a free service as their sole backup location, let alone their sole storage location?

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STEVE JOBS hits back at ebook ruckus FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

david wilson

Re: Difficult enough to believe Apple on any legal claim!

>>"The biggest market for ebooks is Amazon, and unless you are a publishing house or best selling author, self publishing on Amazon means that Amazon can set your price and determine your cut. If Amazon decide to give your book away for free - and they can - then you get nothing."

In practice, do Amazon actually deviate from the author's stated 'list price' arbitrarily, or do they only do it when they're being undercut elsewhere?

Reading their T&C information, it states circumstances when they might cut the retail price but doesn't make it clear what other circumstances might exist.

However, it does seem like if someone goes for the 35% royalty option, they get 35% of the list price whatever Amazon set the retail price at.

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david wilson

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.'

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Number of cops abusing Police National Computer access on the rise

david wilson

Re: "The more you give them, the more they want".

>>"Fantastic! If the system's just used by mysogynist stalkers to track women, everything is AOK. "

It would only be 'just' if a system was used for nothing else.

The tongue-in-cheek point I was making was that hardly any of the paranoid types here seem likely to be followed by The System unless there's some meaningful other reason to follow them (I'm not sure we're yet to the point of whining on the internet being a valid reason for surveillance*).

Very few seem likely to be attractive females, and as long as they don't go around in an anarchist's black cloak and hat while carrying a spherical comedy bomb, it's unlikely anyone will pay them any more attention on CCTV than people on the street would.

(*and as everyone knows, the Register is actually run by MI5, with all details being recorded, *especially* from anonymous posters).

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david wilson

Re: That evidence against Barry George in full:

Not quite in full.

His 'weirdo' nature involved posing for a picture with a gun which looked similar to the assumed murder weapon, and being caught in the grounds of a royal palace with balaclava, rope and knife, and previous convictions for sexual offences.

And as well as fibre 'evidence', there was some regarding a claimed piece of gunshot residue, which indeed was one of the major factors in getting a retrial when it was successfully challenged.

>>"Anyone happy for the police to use their unproven or indeed disproven suspicions against us needs to explain why there'll never be another Barry George."

The police don't prosecute, the CPS do, and it seems the 'experts' both relied on to some extent either weren't expert enough or weren't unbiased enough.

The major police errors are arguably around not looking properly at evidence which suggested innocence one they thought they had the right person

There's also the issue of uncertainty about whether evidence could have been accidentally contaminated and whether there were armed police around when he was arrested.

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david wilson

Re: @Evil Auditor

>>"I've argued against this idea of handling people on the presumption of guilt before, but let me summarise it briefly:"

>>"The choice is between ensuring no innocent person is convicted, which runs the risk of some bad guys getting away who know how to play the system, or just locking up everyone who you don't like and damn the poor fellow who gets caught up in the dragnet."

It's not a case of making an either/or choice, it's a case of where to set various thresholds, and, if information is to be recorded, to limit access to relevant access.

>>"If someone is released, their data MUST be destroyed, otherwise you start with profiling people based on earlier mistakes."

Surely there are arrests which are mistakes, and other arrests which don't lead to charges which are not mistakes/

>>"I'll take my chances, thank you, because most of the risks these days are caused by "normal" criminals and idiots with guns, knives and garden implements."

And if someone did stab you, and you were sure you knew who was responsible but between you and the police you didn't have quite enough evidence for them to be charged, you'd retrospectively consider the police arresting them as a mistake?

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david wilson

>>" I only found out about the checks when he confessed he couldn't pin anything on me."

So you found out after the event, not before?

I'd assumed from:

>>"Knowing I had no convictions or anything to hide, I knew he wouldn't get very far"

that you'd found out before the event.

Taking what you say as true, I'd wonder whether someone who'd made an unwarranted check being stupid enough to tell their target what they'd done would be *more* disturbing than someone doing the check in the first place.

Doing the check could be a spur-of-the-moment thing. Being that thick would seem likely to be more of a chronic issue.

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david wilson

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."

No doubt.

Though whether in the PNC or the NHS may be up for debate.

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david wilson

@murph

>>"All this monitoring and it doesn't matter for shit, things like 7/7 still happen. It's completely ineffectual for the most part."

Quite.

All this healthcare, and people still die in hospitals, therefore most healthcare is completely useless.

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david wilson

>>"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.?

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david wilson

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'.

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

david wilson

Re: Pah

>>"Quote"

>> >>"while VMS was born of the multiuser version of PDP."

>>"This seems to imply that PDP-11 systems were not multi-user."

To me it would imply that there were multiuser PDP OSs for VMS to be some kind of successor to, though 'the multiuser version of PDP' does look like a poor choice of words, or a mistake in writing/editing.

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Julian Assange: Google's just an arm of US government

david wilson

Permanent guest?

And now he's claiming that he'll stay in the Ecuadorian embassy even if Sweden drops all charges, since he doesn't trust the UK government to prevent his potential extradition to the USA.

In which case, why the hell did the dick come here in the first place?

He took a gamble on the UK actually wanting to give him the special treatment he thinks someone like him deserves, and he lost.

Now he wants the UK government to ignore that he's a fugitive from justice, and give precedence to his later acquisition of asylum.

It's one thing to apply for asylum at the first opportunity, saying you're fleeing from persecution, which seems, for example, to be what normal people who come to the UK from places where their lives really are threatened are required to do.

It's another to apply for it when you've exhausted your legitimate legal remedies and wasted large amounts of the country's money (and your misguided friends' money) on a process which, like a spoiled brat, you were only ever going to accept as legitimate if it came up with the result you wanted.

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david wilson

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" ???"

No.

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.

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

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'.

or

'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.

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

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?

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

@Eadon

>>"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.

Twice.

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.

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

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?

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

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.

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david wilson

Re: Too true

If 'only a naive idealist would suggest otherwise', what would be the bloody secret?

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It's official: 'tweet' an English word – not just in the avian sense

david wilson

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.

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