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* Posts by frank ly

3331 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Oz library finds Lance Armstrong books a new home: The fiction section

frank ly
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Re: WTF??

In some libraries, the books classify themselves; and you'd better not disagree with them.

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China turns to no-name handsets: Android - without the Google-iness

frank ly
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Can anyone tell us .....

What form of open source license did Google release Android under? Will Microsoft be going after the Chinese manufacturers in the same way as it has with the big name ones for patent fees per unit sold? Does Amazon also pay patent fees to Microsoft?

Given that a smartphone is a consumer device, then even if the license has conditions requiring release of source code during 'redistribution', this will not apply to any Android adaptations or forks that are used, since they are 'black box' implementations. This also means that anyone is free to copy Amazon's Kindle code and make their own clone (I think).

I also have a feeling that Google wouldn't be too bothered since any entrenchment of Android or it's derivatives would tend to reduce sales of iPhone and Microsoft offerings.

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

frank ly
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Medical researcher finds that medical people are wonderful!

What a surprising result.

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Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

frank ly
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Facepalm

@AC 06:59 Re: "...other racist apps, such as a Nazi app..."

No. _OTHER PEOPLE_ would be using it on _THEIR_ photos ....... they'd be making themselves look like me .......

I have to explain jokes now .....

FFS

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frank ly
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"...other racist apps, such as a Nazi app..."

Apparently, the 'Nazi' apps were actually promoting Nazi ideas of racial supremacy (and anti-Jewish sentiment), and were not 'make me Nazi' apps. I'm not sure how the objectors can conflate the 'Make me ..' apps with outright racist propaganda.

Is there a 'Make me English' app, that gives a pasty white complexion with crooked yellowing teeth, a permanent frown and a bowler hat? If so, I'd be very offended by the use of my image in that way.

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Martian 'lake' said to hint at 'deep biosphere'

frank ly
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"...groundwater-fed lacustrine setting”

I initially read that as 'langoustine' and was quite excited for about a second. Then I used a dictionary.

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

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"Mercury-rich devices like thermometers and blood pressure meters..."

It's many years since I saw a mercury column blood pressure meter in use. Are they still used much, since the battery powered, electronic pumped-cuff ones are so cheap nowadays? (I paid £15 online for mine and it seems to work just fine.)

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NASA sends Mona Lisa into space by LASER

frank ly
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More detail on the error budget?

"Reed-Solomon coding was used to overcome interference caused by atmospheric turbulence."

Of the total errors, what proportion were caused by atmospheric turbulence? I'm wondering how well this method would perform if the laser communication was through the 'vacuum' of space over the entire path. Also, I assume that modifying a ranging laser is not the most effective way to give high speed data transmission.

In the future, I can imagine a high orbit laser being used for the 'space' part of the link with a broadband radio downlink to earth. The narrow beam spread of a laser would give much better energy density on the target but would make steering and pointing more difficult.

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TSA to pull backscatter perv scanners from US airports

frank ly
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Try a new recruitment strategy

"It seems that when TSA screeners are shown finely rendered images of air passengers' nude bodies, rather than simple outlines, they tend to linger on each image, which slows the lines down."

If they recruited scanner operators who have been active members of a nudist/naturist club for at least a year, or perhaps retired porn actors/actresses, then the operators wouldn't be fascinated by the sight of naked bodies.

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US general: Beware of Iran's Revolutionary Cyber-Guard

frank ly
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Sow the wind ....

... you know the rest.

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Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

frank ly
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Just provide a reliable basic service

"... inevitably out-innovate and reduce operators to the status of bit pipes."

The gas company don't try to sell me saucepans and food to cook. The water company don't try to sell me bottles of flavoured mineral water; they concentrate on providing a reliable basic service. For at least 10 years, ISPs and telcos have wasted money trying to be something they are not. They should pump my data through their pipes and work at doing it well and effectively, so they can make a profit and be content with that.

Tesco Mobile (using the O2 network) provide me with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data for £10 a month on a 1 month rolling contract. If I could find anyone who did it cheaper with a good signal in my area, I'd change to them very quickly.

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Google sinks millions into plush new £1bn London HQ

frank ly
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" ...an office in France with its entrance in Switzerland."

I have an idea for a whacky science-fiction story; suitable for children's television. The stationary cupboard is in Basildon, but that can change at random.

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Use your loaf, Europe! Eat more fibre - high-speed web lobbyists

frank ly
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@AC 10:20 Re: @AC 09:14 An unfashionable idea ......

1: I'm not answering the point because I'm asking the question. You say it's too expensive and we can't afford it. (Note: I don't play computer games and consume about 15GB a month. Don't try ad hominem stuff unless you're sure of the facts.) Others say it's vital for our future and will pay for itself in terms of increased productivity and economic activity in the future.

2. You might be right.

3. Another reason why 'it can't be done'. Oh well, I'll stick with 10MB/s down, 1MB/s up for the foreseeable future. I'm fine with what I have.

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frank ly
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@AC 09:14 Re: An unfashionable idea ......

You raise good points and I did make the comment hoping for discussion.

Point1: Who paid for the roads, the national grid, the NHS, etc?

Point 2: They could and they might. That would be for planning and discussion and El Reg would do it's usual job of keeping us informed (or inPhormed) I'm sure.

Point 3: Disregarding my tongue in cheek final comment, would it matter who built it?

"Why not simply create an environment ......."

Why not indeed? Why isn't it happening? How the heck did this country ever get a national motorway network, A-road system, national electricity grid, gas grid, water network, sewage treatment system, NHS infrastructure, etc? I am beginning to wonder.

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frank ly
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An unfashionable idea ......

If it is vital to the economy and an essential regional/national infrastructure, like roads, then why don't the government plan/make/fund it, like they do with roads? They could then hire it out to ISPs, and if it was worthwhile then a consortium of ISPs may even be willing to buy the completed project from the government.

One caveat: In the UK, BT would not be allowed to bid for the initial laying of this national fibre network.

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Record numbers of you are reading this headline right now

frank ly
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Well done!

"Our fellow sci/tech websites seldom allow any external scrutiny of their traffic, ..."

If they've nothing to hide then they've nothing to fear!

I'm sorry; I've been reading the Daily Mail (I found it on a train).

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PR people 'put duty to the public ahead of employers' interests'

frank ly
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It sounds like PR spin to me

They're just doing their job as best they can. They can't help it.

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You're not cool enough for some malware

frank ly
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@moiety

You can edit posts now. Go to 'My Posts' to see the 'Edit' button under your post. It's active for some minutes after you create the post. I think it deletes the original post to indicate that an edit has been made.

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FAA grounds Boeing's 787 after battery fires on plastic planes

frank ly
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Re: An eco-friendly solution

"...cattle class so that (t)he swine ..."

Ad hoc mixed metaphors are not certified for use in flight.

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Web firms drool as ballgazer spies $11bn mobile ad spend in 2013

frank ly
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Re: Ad spend on mobile - Microsoft FAIL.

"... but I'd love to see you find fault with my logic."

Looks......

"..white elephant around its neck..", "..going nowhere fast, ..", "..left over from Google's and Apple's dinner plate..".

That's not logic, it's soundbites and cliched imagery. It could be regarded as a form of poetry, but not as logic.

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Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

frank ly
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@Chris Re: 'We were big softies all the way' - Yeah, right

" ...but the prosecutor says she wasn't pushing for that and thought 6 months would be appropriate. "

That was my point. I don't see how any prosecutor can bring charges that can net 30 years, or more, and then say , "I only expected him to get 6 months and that was what I was asking for". To my inexperienced and possibly naive ears, it sounds like a lie. It certainly beggars my belief.

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frank ly
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'We were big softies all the way' - Yeah, right

"Swartz faced 13 felony charges including counts of wire fraud, computer fraud and recklessly damaging a protected computer, which could cumulatively carry a sentence of more than 30 years."

Those don't sound like low-sentence, low security prison crimes. Could it be that somebody is lying?

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Pubic louse falls victim to eager Brazilian strippers

frank ly
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Pictures or it didn't happen!

I'm surprised that I'm the first.

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

frank ly
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@Pellinor Re: Ninja Accountants

I never said that income and profit are the same thing. Try reading my post - see the mention of expenses? The article (and the post) are not about how to calculate operating profit, they are about something else. Try reading the article to see if you can figure out what it is.

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frank ly
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Ninja Accountants

" ...that price comes off the UK subsidiary's tax bill as an expense, .."

No. It comes off the profit figure, hence leading to a proportionate reduction in the tax bill.

Also, the US parent would see a profit of 50p for every box sold (minus selling expenses, whatever they could be made to be). The cost of the boxes to the US parent would be booked as an expense hence the total corporate books would show expenses of £1.50 and income of £0.5 (= expense of £1 plus whatever 'buying expenses' they can dream up). So, that expense can be moved to anywhere convenient for the company. Mix that in with licensing deals involving subsidiaries in a different country and no single tax authority can follow what is really happening.

Welcome to the money merry-go-round, where profit and loss are fluid, complex and sometimes imaginary.

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Spy romp Zero Dark Thirty: The tech behind the special effects

frank ly
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How big is BIG?

How big is the 'final cut' when a 4K resolution 90 minute film is stored? What size workspace is needed for doing processing on such a film? (I'd imagine about 3X file size?) The article gives no indication of the amount of data required to work on a project or the total storage that the studio has to work with.

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Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov

frank ly
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Re: Gay horse

But what if the police horse really was gay? Things can get complicated very quickly.

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NASA aims Curiosity's percussive drill at pink, veiny target

frank ly
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Pint

" ... or glass or quarts."

A quart glass you say? I'll drink to that. Is it too late to apply to be a mission planner at NASA? I've always wanted that job.

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Media barons threaten to spike UK.gov's audacious copyright grab

frank ly
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"What happens when someone deletes your metadata?"

Isn't that the same as filing the postcode or other identifying marks off a stolen bicycle or car? If not, why not?

Anybody who makes money from such a creative work is handling and using stolen goods and should have all proceeds confiscated.

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IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

frank ly
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Re: we're completely over it now

Is it just me, or has it been going around in a climactic battle spiral for the past couple of weeks and slowly not getting anywhere in particular? It's as if it's run out of steam, or perhaps the Foglios are stoking the boiler ready for something special...... ?

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Singapore allows pre-crime strikes against online crooks

frank ly
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Re: IT don't grow on trees, you know, therefore you can fully expect it to be designedly expensive

You are henceforth banned from posting comments on El Reg. The CII directorate have determined that your posts contain encrypted strings that are intended to disrupt the El Reg forum servers. The CII directorate are unable to determine the exact nature and potential consequences of this attack but they feel that 'better safe that sorry' is a good principle, and they need to be seen to be doing something.

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China's Android users warned of giant botnet

frank ly
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Re: And that is why

Yes but, they require a phone to be rooted, which is beyond the ability of the vast majority of owners.

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Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

frank ly
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Re: Star Wars is Science FICTION for a reason...

Everything you say is true; but that's not the point. The point is to encourage and to practice methods of analysis in general terms. That way, when something does happen that is outside the knowledge or experience of a scientist, they will have the intellectual methods and ability to deal with it.

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Computers are 'electronic cocaine' that make you MANIC

frank ly
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"Anyone who is still practising Freudian/Youngian psychology is a quack though."

Quite correct. The genuine ones practice Fraudian/Jungian psychology.

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frank ly
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Re: Quick...

"And who approves these posts?! >:("

Are you new here? If so, welcome. Say something interesting and stimulating, now!

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Scientists spin carbon nanotube threads on industrial scale

frank ly
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All we need now .......

...... is room temperature superconductive carbon nanotubes. Five more years?

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Lenovo said to release Intel and ARM Android convertibles

frank ly
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Android Apps for productivity?

I'm a fandroid, (Asus Transformer Tab, HTC Incredible, old Vega, old Wildfire) but I'm not a rabid fandroid and I do recognise the shortfalls of Android and am fed up with the creeping permission grabs of app updated, also mightily pissed of with two recent app updates that broke what I regard as essential functionality. (Fortunately, I have the old .apk files backed up onto my laptop, and other places, using the excellent Air Droid application which also installs .apks over WiFi)

What I don't understand is the totally clumsy method of selecting text on the screen. Do Microsoft have some kind of 'patent' on click-hold-drag to highlight? Android has click-hold to get beginning and end markers around a word; click-hold-drag each marker to the start/end of the text you want; press-CntrlC; click the 'done' icon at the top of the screen. (If there's a better way, somebody please tell me.)

Android is great for consuming content, which was probably Google's thinking in the first place, and I now surf the net and type El Reg comments on my Transformer. The cloudy goodness is wonderful with my data appearing on all my devices - I type my shopping list on the Asus Transformer and it appears on my phone, great :) For anything more than typing short text files, I'd want a laptop or desktop every time, running Microsoft Office (or FOSS/Mac/Linux equivalent). I've tried Polaris, it's a pain and has shortfalls.

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Bubble baron treats Space Station crew to blowup model

frank ly
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Can you hear the hiss ......

... of escaping air from inside the inflatable structure, or do you need to go outside to listen for it?

Note: You won't be able to put that thing in a bucket of water to look for leaks.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

frank ly
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Bug-gers

"The Nexus 4 is affected by a current kernel bug which causes excessive battery drain by stopping the device sleeping properly. Should be fixed with the next update."

I don't understand why this sort of thing happens. This is the kind of problem that can be caught by giving it to any reasonably experienced person for a couple of day and then asking them, "what do you think of it?"

Two days after buying my Asus Transformer Tab, I had found three 'bugs' that were simple, obvious and annoying. After the next firmware update, those bugs were still there. I suspect that the developers (and managers) are under pressure to get the product released to a timescale, not to a quality level.

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Sorry for the censorship says Chinese chat service

frank ly
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Chinese whispers

If a user outside China and a user inside China had a conversation involving 'sensitive' subjects, I wonder if they'd see the same words on their screens. It would be an interesting experiment to perform; if you could find anyone inside China who was brave/crazy enough to volunteer.

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Cisco sued by East Carolina University

frank ly
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Cliche me this

I thought that 'Tomorrow starts here', 'The future starts here', etc had been used as marketing catchphrases all over the place and had become cliches.

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Robo-baby Diego-san shows creepy mimicry

frank ly
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Even more creepy .....

.... is that it's walking around with the umbilical cord still attached.

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Blighty's schools shake on new 3-year deal with Microsoft

frank ly
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Sounds like a good deal??

"... more cost effective choices that include "using alternative and free to use software".

I know people who have 'free to use' software that they obtained from 'alternative' sources. Is this a similar thing?

"there is no obligation to buy stuff from the Redmond software giant though, and under the terms of the deal they will not be penalised for using an alternative."

Some negotiating genius managed to get Microsoft to allow schools to use non-Microsoft products without paying a penalty to Microsoft? Just like I persuaded Ford to sell me a car and not pay a penalty if I fitted it with some cheap Vauxhall car mats?

Do Microsoft routinely impose these sorts of conditions on bulk-buy customers, because it sounds like they do.

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Wireless charger posse smacks down rival in EXPLICIT video

frank ly
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Re: Splitter

The People's Judean Front are the ones to join, if you like social events.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

frank ly
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@Dr. 81 Re: Splutter!

Dr. Chen is a double doctor. I wonder if he has a TARDIS? Do you?

P.S. For what it's worth, I consider the man who prescribes my medication to be a 'qualified medical practitioner' (and not a particularly particularly bright one). You da real doc, boffin and all.

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Twitter won't unmask racist Frenchie unless US judge says so

frank ly
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@AC 07:40 Re: "We adhere to the laws of the countries in which we operate."

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

Do you remember when Yahoo gave the identity of a Chinese man to the Chinese authorities, because he had made a statement that was critical of the Chinese government. Well, that act was illegal in China, so the man was treated very harshly. In Thailand, you can be imprisoned for any criticism of the monarchy. Do you think Twitter should obey Thai court orders to reveal identities of users who criticise the Thai monarchy?

So, try to learn from history. Twitter is a US company and will give out user information only if ordered to do so by a US court order. If you don't like or agree with the general principles of US law, in terms of what is an 'offence', then use a service based in your own country, or one who's laws you agree with.

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Anonymous wants DDoS attacks recognized as speech

frank ly
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Find out who signed the petition ......

... then go and ring their doorbell repeatedly and continuously. They'll understand and respect your position.

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Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

frank ly
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Re: " bonk-to-scoff"

I'm having mental images that I don't want to talk about. Thank you.

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Potty-mouthed Watson supercomputer needed filth filter

frank ly
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Re: Immature is as immature does

As to 'profanity' - look up the meaning.

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Happy

It also passed the Tourette test.

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