50 posts • joined Monday 8th December 2008 12:44 GMT
I think you mean Fred Hoyle was right!
For all the mocking panspermia is a very compelling theory. Much more plausible for life to originate in space where big stuff happens a lot, than here on the dull earth.
This is all about finding a use for ID cards
Mandatory authentication - the european commission have been touting it since the early 90s. Double win for them - they get their tracking, and they get a 'need' for ID cards.
Sean, I'd just make a couple of responses to that; firstly, are you really telling me anything more than a tiny percentage of designers are actually artists? I really can't see any definition of 'art' that encompasses "we don't want empty space, we want branding!". I said upthread, I couldn't do that job - sat there at a Mac with some know-nothing account director at your shoulder proding every pixel of 'design'... that ain't art. It CAN be, sure, but how often is it?
UIs - good point, but how it looks is, IMO, trivial compared to how it works, how it *feels*, and that's about the software and, to a greater extent right now, the hardware. They're not called fondleslabs because of how they look.
And criticise Linux... but then what do you say about Ubuntu?
Designers are artists?
I draw (geddit?) a pretty obvious distinction there. Yes, some graphic designers genuinely are artists - I worked with one who has now moved from p/shop to oils and is terrific.
Most are tinkerers.
"Any chance you can stop reducing my job to paint by numbers? It's pretty insulting and shows a complete lack of knowledge about the field."
Oh you use paint? So sorry, you're clearly a step up the ladder. My insults were aimed at the crayoners.
In all seriousness, I would *hate* to do your job. sitting there with some halfwit peering over your shoulder asking for everything to be pinker, redder, bluer, and everything bigger than everything else? God no.
Oh I do understand
Persuasion is the key - I think it's where technical people often fail; we spend so much time getting it RIGHT, that we neglect to focus on persuading others why it's right, how tricky it was to get right, why it's better doing it this way than that way.
So yes, in the end you are correct; what matters is convincing others.
Not it didn't...
"Of course the inquiry found that the actual science performed was without fault."
The inquiries didn't look at the science. If you can call piddling around with models 'science'.
I'm sure that rant was mine first - you missed a bit though. "Tear down the BBC, feed the bodies to pigs, shoot the pigs, burn the pigs, bury the pigs, salt the ground, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
AGW is real!
Real where the evidence appears, in computer models. It's absolutely right - if you fiddle the variables int he right fashion, temperatures soar - in RAM. However, in the real world, everything AGW propagandists talk about is, at best, correlation. At worst sheer fakery. And the idea that science is some kind of democracy where the majority view should automatically prevail is pure tosh. Steve Jones should know that.
I'm happy to be called a denier, an extremist, a sceptic - i don't mind. The evidence for catastrophic man made global warming just isn't there. It ain't.
Any oversight on this?
They SAY they have 'safeguarded' these kids, they 'say' they have arrested people - but how do we know any of this is valid? Is this all in the UK? Were charges brought? How many 'safeguarded' kids were kids taken off men *suspected* of offences?
I have to say, I dont' trust these people an inch. Particularly when they're as intent on talking up their 'brand' (wankers) as anything else.
positive censorship? There is no such thing. If you don't like someone's views, persuade them of the error of their ways, don't try to gag them.
For one thing it's totally counterproductive. If someone suggest you're sick, and you try to silence him, via prosecution, persecution, or a flame mob, he'll go away still thinking you're sick, but also thinking you're an arsehole.
And it's Apple's perogative of course, it's their walled garden. But it does follow a pattern of increasing insistence from the (not)-liberal left that everyone think their way...
By all means punish someone who physically attacks homosexuals - but punish someone who says they think it's wrong? Which is effectively what you're doing if all dissent attracts twitter wars, firings, media outrage, and sometimes prosecution? Nah. I value free speech. You'd think the gay lobby would too; there are notable exceptions - Peter Tatchell being one - but most of the gay lobby really do think it should be against the law to upset them. Sod that.
I have no problem with anyoen doing anything they like in their bedroom. But no one, under any circumstances, ever, gets to tell me what I should do in my head.
This guy is as much a victim of censorship as Assange
Five years? For editing video?
For fuck's sake, this damn country. If we cannot win on the terms we are *supposed* to be fighting on - for democracy and Elightenment values which VERY MUCH include free speech, then we do no deserve to win.
Today's courts would have jailed Tom Paine or even Kipling.
This is where we're at, where the truth - raw bloody truth relayed from the battlefield - is a criminal offence. I dont' CARE what this guy's motivations are. If we are saying that publishing actual video footage, edited or voice-overed or whatever, from war zones where our troops are killing, and dying, is *illegal*, then what have we come to?
What kind of country is is that jails people for having unpopular points of view? What kind fo country locks someone away becuase they put forward a good argument?
You were warned, perves.
First point - when the police 'lose evidence' it's normally because they want to.
Second, yes, the extreme porn alws are JUST as stupid and illiberal and wide-ranging as they appear. You can indeed be jailed for five eyars if you take snippets from perfectly legal, BBFC-rated films, IF they think your main purpose for doing so is to have a wank. I'm not joking, and I have been banging on about this for some time. Three years in fact http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/jul/06/getyourtanksoffourporn
Will the coalition repeal this stupid law? Nope. No government ever abandons power. Instead, when it is shown not to be "working" they'll decide it needs to be 'toughened' up. And all the 'liberals' will applaud.
No conspiracy? No, apart from the conspiracies...
"Absolutely nothing in the emails suggested fraud, conspiracy or any of the other wild eyed allegations that anti global warmers imagined the emails said"
So the mails didn't demonstrate a covert backdoor group plot to prevent dissenting authors gettting published in key journals? Didn't include scientists swapping tips on how to hide data and emails from FOI requests? Didnt' include requests to similarly shape raw data into a matching pattern that hit model "backcasts" - 'hiding the decline'? There's three conspiracies revealed by climategate for you, just from memory. Oh,a nd thats' without the giant gaping conspiracy that is the "model" - packed with fudge factors that even the guy developing it can't find a reason for - other than to somehow match historical data.
What climategate revealed was that whatever sustains AGW, it is NOT science. If someone behaves in this way with their data, they ar enot a scients. What scientist *throws away* raw data FFS? WHO does that? No one does that. No one does that.
AGW is a scam.
"As far as I'm concerned the ICO can, in Glesga parlance, get it right up them."
Great, so pay the fines or go to jail you arrogant little fuck.
If the FOI applies to you, it's because we pay your wages, sonny.
"However given the nature of my employment with children allegations like this could have cost me my job and my family their home."
What a great country we live in today. Your political beliefs will cost you your job. Remind me againl we didnt' like the authoritaian USSR because...?
Wretched hoel this country is becoming - all down to the poisonous PC Left and their meddling; and now even the so-called Conservativeparty has bought into the same anti-liberal nonsense. EQUALITY must trump liberty is seems. Well screw that.
Stainless steel rats.
Good, do it. Take them down. Okay, it's hard to judge who really are the good guys in this world, but it's a lot easier to spot the bag guys - and Mastercard, Visa, Paypal have behaved badly - there can be no debate. They have acted without legal process, after being leant on by the US govt, basically applying US law worldwide. Assange may not be whiter than white, but seeing who is lined up against him, I pick his side.
I hear now that if the banks dont' stop screwing around with wikileaks funding, 4chan say they're going to cancel christmas - take it all down in the last shopping week. Mmmmm.
This year's rage against the machine is... raging against the machine.
" if you do the same in the west, the same fate awaits you"... irony missed by BBC
Last night Newsnight spent the whole prog examining China's attack on the Nobel for a jailed free speech activist there, sitting in a cell on dubious charges, while one of our own sits on trumped up charges in Wandsworth.
Irony, I guess that's what prison bars are...
we have been here many times before
Sounds like perhaps, PKD's Black Iron Prison, perhaps something John Galt might have faced, perhaps the Matrix, perhaps the Dark City - but what we're seeing is that all the dystopias were true, all the conspiracies have a kernal of truth. THEY LIVE!
look for some special sunglasses, and keep your powder dry.
Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers Curtis?
Oh, and btw, *where* did these "crimes" take place? Are they extraditable to the US? In what jurisdiction are Wikileaks and paypal/visa/mastercard's contracts drawn up?
Sorry to break this to you, but the USA does not rule the world.
Scientists? A scientist would be someone who applies the scientific method right - does anyone at CRU? Nope. No controls. No replication. The "experimental evidence" resides inside models that, gosh, we learn are packed to the gunwhales with "fudge factors". AGW is the biggest fattest lie in the world today. Perhaps that's an opinion, but what isn't opinion, but simple fact, is that it ain't "science". Not a science that can sit comfortably next to physics, chemistry or anything since Newton.
The first virtual global information war ....
Not quite. I think you can characterise the widespread undermining of the fake intel used to support war in Kosovo as, perhaps, the first skirmish. Then the same process against the fake intel used to propagandise for Iraq. Maybe the first battle? The first *succesful* battle in the infowars against "our" governments would have to be the campaign to force the media and govt to notice Climategate (and btw, it really baffles me that so many people accept we're being lied to about practically everything in the govt domain *except* this AGW fantasy).
Whatever, as I've written many times, governments that pretend to democratic consent cannot function without control fo the narrative; a free internet makes that control impossible. Ergo, a war on the free internet. They have no choice. Either they relinquish power, or they sieze control fo the internet - there are no other choices.
Good - paypal are knuckling under to the yank govt
It's all well and good having a commitment to free speech in your constitution - but why bother if the first time it bites your arse you send the Black Hats in to attack the mouthy irritation? I was furious with paypal for joining in this witch-hunt, even though, I'm still a little suspicious of wikileaks. Far too many suggestions of a Soros link, etc.
This is the middle of the wedge, not the thin end.
Yes, this guy is being charged for posting factual, publically available info on the web - aggregatting information that is already out there. What he did was took the voting records, PLUS information on constituency offices, and put them together. That then becomes a crime. Own Hansard - that's okay. Own the yellow pages. That's okay. Put them together - BLAM - critical mass. This is the madness we now face.
But this is not new. Okay, you can all listen to me now, in this area, I'm afraid I really am the expert. More than a decade ago I was involved with the "Green Anarchist" case, where three editors of a newsletter were charged, convicted and jailed, for "inciting arson". Their crime was to *aggregate* - they had put local newspaper reports on arson etc attacks on research labs, with info about vivisection, with editorials supporting direct action in support of animals rights. Nowhere did they directly incite violence. Just as the revolutionmuslim articles do not appear to have *directly* incited violence. They posted inflamatory and impassioned articles, alongside reports of violence. Factual reports from the local press. And fo rthis they got, I think, three years. At the time I copied a load of their material and I and Index on censorship republished it, just as people are republishing Fitwatch and Revolutionmuslim today, and we contributed material for their appeal - which they won on a technicality - NOT on a thumping rejection of the aggregation crime.
There' s more - the Nuremburg Trials, an anti-abortion site in the US, did exactly the same. Factual info, freely available public info, but alongside passionate argument - that site was closed down under anti-mafia "RICO" legislation, the publishers slammed with multimillion dollar fines.
What we are seeing now is not the thin end of the wedge; it is the gentle widening of that wedge halfway down its length to take in more than bomb throwers and arsonists; it is about the process of defining the *angry*, as terrorists. If you are angry, if you attempt to organise and channel your anger. if you attempt to persuade others, publicise your argument, hold the guilty to account, then you are, apparantly, a terrorist.
I think perhaps we're all terrorists now.
Offend someone, go to jail
Nope. Wrong wrong wrong. He didn't hit anyone, didn't steal from anyone, didn't cause pyhsical harm - he annoyed people and upset people,and that is not reason enough to jail anyone. I offend and upset people every day. Mostly online. Will some of those pitiful leftie scrotes - the name Sunny Hundal leaps to mind - start demanding the CPS put me in jail?
Nope. What this guy did was unpleasant, revolting, lunatic - but the correct response is to delete or ignore his comments and move on. Let's face it, you put a "tribute page" up on a public site, you are asking for trouble.
Can anyone imagine here what would happen if Thatch popped her clogs and somone put a tribute paeg to her up on Facebook? Would the slavering hate-filled hordes who rush to gloat and abuse be locked up?
Women are NOT paid less
Mothers may be - if you compare non-parents of either sex, there is no pay gap. The "women's pay gap" is a total myth, or rather, because it's intentionally spread, it's a lie. I'm surprised to see the Reg falling for this crap. Stick up for the truth won't you guys? The average pay differentials across the economy are down to skills and experience, and a little luck and brown-nosing, as we all know. Women, *on average* are paid less, but because they are women? No. Because *on average* they are less skilled, less qualified, less experienced - they spend *on average* 20% ish less in the workplace, because they'r eoff having kids - their choice. A choice me and my missus made, btw. She earns buttons. SO gosh, they *on average* earn less.
Put the story straight Reg. Let the rest of the media pump out this socialist propaganda.
Google should buy her a goat...
... then push it off a roof.
Hang on a minute....
Aren't we missing something? The police tell Nominet to take down 1500 websites (which by knocking out the domains is effectively what you do) and Nominet just do it?
Umm. Legal process? Courts? A warrant?
Any of this involved? Or are Nominet happy to do whatever a cop tells them to do?
Fine, these may well be fraudulent sites but... what's next?
Re:Not greedy, but in need of employment and unaware of this particular scam.
Pah - eagerly gullible because they think there's a buck in it. You cannot con an honest man. These people know full well that any deal which appears too good to be true *is* too good to be true *and* straight. So far as I can see they are complicit in the fraud.
Lot of types here who don't understand markets
Look fellers - a bank can lend quite happily on a self-cert basis if it 1) lends only a low proportion of the property's value so if you don't bay, it gets a nice fat house back (so those of you who say 'save for a deposit - duhhhhhhhhhhh - the situation doesn't apply) 2) it lends to those already flush with cash, ie lendning 40% to your 60% so *you* lose more than *them* if you can't make the payments. Okay? So why is *that* being banned? Why?
If we really want to ensure that no bank ever loses money on a mortgage deal again, the ban anything approaching a 100% mortgage. Demand 95% or better - but that isn't happening is it?
The big problem with the banks wasn't self-cert, it was lending to deadbeats, generally. And that wasn't even a major factor for UK banks, but for US banks that were meshed in with ours. The problem with UK banks now is that they figure they cna't fail, can't go bust, because the government will always bail them out!
I don't *want* anyone to lend money to people that can't afford to pay it back, but I want to motivation that stops htem doing that to come from simple market mechanisms - eg, don't go bust. Rather than yet more government interference in private contract.
What's next? Gordon says you're not allowed to lend your mate twenty quid on Friday night because he might not pay it back? In what way would that be any different? The State has no business in this. It's nothing to do with them.
An idea that will not die - I wonder why?
C'mon fellers, this just keeps coming back. I wrote about the Euro Commission suggesting this - at the behest fo the French I think - 12 or 14 years ago. Obama walked in to the oval office to find a report proposing this sitting on his desk ready for him. This is coming.
So please, don't belittle, just say it can't work, think it's paranoid fantasy: take it seriously. It is a *serious* threat. Oppose it on solid, practical, arguable grounds.
"Clearly Harman's department has done no reserach on the subject."
Ah but this is what you need to realise - these batty laws dont' come from government, westminster of even whitehall; it's all the daffy NGOs and charridees that lobby minister directly that are driving this. Feminist NGOs are bypassing the democratic system to impose their views right at the top - and do the press report this? If a *business* was getting this kind of access and response the BBC would be all over it, but because it's a "charity" they think "oh, they're the good guys" and no one is fussed.
Ah, but *is* it indecent?
"I don't believe artistic merit is a defence"
Ah, but it may come into play when deciding if the image is "indecent". I dont' think it's as clear cut as John. I've seen the image too and it's absolutely true that this looks to pop out of the top of the the Level 1 at first consideration; she's naked, though artfully posed, she's made up and pouting - it's absolutely a sexualised look for a ten year old girl; but on the other hand, this is what the artist was intending to show - that the gaze can be warped with a pout and lick of paint, that you can see "wantonness" where there is none.
Now, if the image has a purpose *beyond* itself - and that's pretty much a definition of art - does it remain "indecent"? Doesn't it perhaps matter which eye falls on it? Doesn't it perhaps matter, what you are thinking?
I'd say it does - and that's why the law, and those who enforce it, are asses. Confine illegality to *real* images of *real* child abuse, and you remove all grey areas - focus on "indecency" and this absurdity will never end. For instance, what about *paintings*? Oh boy....
Possible blocking of Wikileaks in the UK
Yup, wikileaks is unavailable in the UK today - it *may* be a problem at their end, however, there's a court case going on right now between the Guardian and Barclays, and the Guardian just lost their appeal against the terms of an injunction that forbids publication of some confidential documents. Barclays *know* these are already on wikileaks - I'm wondering if there isnt' a parallel injunction ordering all british ISPs to block Wikileaks.
I urge anyone whoc an check this out to do so asap.
I am not a do gooder!
I'm a troublemaker. I don't give a damn about the rest of you chumps, I just want what's best for me and mine. It so happens that my best interests and your best interests coincide a great deal. While there was a tide of middle class do-gooding sweeping nearly all before it at the COML, particularly in London I think, the prevailing mood was, I believe, not the usual hand-wringing "something must be done" but rather, "we're mad as hell and we're not taking it any more". Plenty of libertarian, anarchist and vaguely right wing anger - along with a fair smattering of perverts, dopers and conspiracy theorists.
And John Oz, up above, made a spirited and somewhat partisan point from the floor too...
From my cold dead hands...
Good article John - amazing that some people *still* think this is about real snuff -- it specifically criminalises *pretend* snuff FFS. There' no law against pretending to kill somone is there? But now there is against photographing it.
Y'know, I'd bloody love to get this law in front of a jury. But I doubt very much that the DPP will risk bringing a prosecutuion against anyone with the balls to front these nasty little fascists out.
In fact, I still doubt there'll be any prosecutions at all. Doesn't change the fact it's an evil law, designed simply to frighten people.
@Benny - re: FOI requests
Nope. The IWF are not a public body - so FOI doesn't apply, but even if they were they wouldn't reveal that - they'd say it would be damaging to the public interest. Even the police refused FOI requests into whether the IWF had consulted them over Wikipedia. There is no way to get this information.
You can see finish and danish lists on Wikileaks. If a concerned IWF, CEOP, or ISP employee were to leak the IP list.... I'm sure we'd all be eternally grateful. TBH I see it as their duty: this is a private body, unacountable and secretive, exempt from the usual guff like FOI that might keep government departments on their toes, not reviewed by parliament, or even any regulatory body. The charity commission can only mange their funding and ensure they stick to their own rules - they can't demand the list. Disgruntled employees, this is your moment.
It's really the best way forward.
"Self-regulation is better than government regulation."
This isn't regular regulation though is it?
Try this: transparent regulation is better than opaque regulation.
If we're to have this, it needs public oversight, at the very least. Nothing else is compatible with democracy
" really hope Frank that you are in the minority..."
I guess I am Jason, but I think that's what's called an ad hominem attack - you seem remarkably trusting of government and IWF; I wonder why that might be?
The fact of the matter is that they operate national internet censorship in conditions of absolute secrecy with no oversight whatsoever. That is not compatible with any kind of democracy I've ever heard of.
Replacing the IWF
Pasting this from another place, but this is my suggestion for replacing the IWF:
I've been thinking about this a great deal – I think if we need ISP level censorship to be done (and I stress I still oppose net censorship, even of child porn – tackle the producers) then we need a system outside of government, but on a statutory basis, to oversee it. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the HFEA (Human fertilisation and embryology authority) where experts and lay members examine key issues and and put out legally binding regulation. It cannot be left inside government – who guards the guards? - we need, alongside the committed censors, outsiders with commitment to free speech, with a right to inspect the list, inspect ISP routing tables, with limited exemption from the law – akin to police officers today – to enable them to verify the legality or otherwise of challenged sites,with a voice inside and outside the body to challenge and shape policy. I don't want this to happen, it shouldn't have to – but if we are having an all enveloping internet censorship in the UK then an authority along these lines needs to be established to ensure the government and all players stick to the agreed rules and dont' slip political IPs onto the list. You'd need a good chair known in the industry, and committed members – and you bet I'd be interested in participating.
No debate? No debate was allowed.
Good article John, but I think you're a bit harsh on the Commons. While it's absolutely true that the most intelligent and in depth debate was in the Lords - on extreme porn and prostitution proposals - I think the main reason was the Government's refusal to allow time to discuss the issues. Literally *minutes* were permitted. Yes, our MPs are useless, but our government is positively malign.
the bigger picture
Good article as far as it goes John - but what about government? You forget that the IWF has this power, and ISPs enforce their will, because this Labour government bullied ISPs into doing so. There's no law underpinning this, no offence is committed by ignoring the IWF - but because there is no law, what can you challenge? This was Jimmy Wales' point this morning - they dont' even know if they can sue!
The IWF is unaccountable and they're clearly out of control - there needs to be a statutory approach to this. Myself I'd prefer no censorship, but it it's there it needs to be open, transparent and on a legal footing - and you have to ask yourself why government is so opposed to that approach....
I'ev been writing about this crap for damn near 20 years - it's always been a minefield, always had internal inchoherence; the problem has always been that because the censors are seen as having a "good cause" no one is preparered to challenge them publically.
Wlel hopefully that's on the way out.
Article from me on Cif later today btw, come play.
A thoughtless thought crime
"It's either child porn or it isn't. It can't change it's status simply depending on what site it it on."
Doesn't work like that in British law - it can change status depending on who looks at it or posesses it, or if you're turned on by it or not. No joke. Naked child photo in parents hands who look on it with fond afection: no crime. Naked child photo in stranger's hands who looks on it as cute: no crime. Naked child photo in paedo hands who looks on it and gets the horn: crime.
The trick of course is how you decide what people are thinking.... At this level - level 1 of their sliding scale, simple nudity, no sexual content - it's a thought crime. The item only becomes child porn if you're aroused by it.
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