* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2431 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Hacker uses Starbucks INFINITE MONEY for free CHICKEN SANDWICH

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Another day, another exploit

I was thinking exactly the opposite. Another extreme food-porn picture - too close, too clinical, too slimy. It removes more than it shows. I'll be glad when this fashion has gone.

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Heroic German rozzers rescue innocent lamb from sordid brothel

Intractable Potsherd
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Do the wellies go over the jackboots, or the other way round?

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Alternatively...

The Midlands Air Museum in Coventry is great. We lived a few miles from it a few years ago - I had a season ticket! Mrs IP and I got chance to go in the Vulcan. Mrs IP is from a country that would have been on the target list if the balloon went up - she says sitting in the bomb-aimer's seat, knowing that someone had sat in it who could have completely destroyed her city and country, was one of the most chilling of her life.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What a shame

My memories are from Finningley. I grew up about twelve miles as the Vulcan flies from the base. One of my earliest memories is going the airshow and seeing/hearing a mock scramble of two (I think). There were English Electric Lightnings too - I wonder if that's why I have tinnitus :-)

I was at X558s first display at Waddington a few years ago - wonderful, just wonderful. As the Olympi spooled up, I briefly saw a lot of grown men tear up - briefly, because I did too. Unfortunately, I've just looked at the show schedule for the summer, and I don't know that I'm going to be able to get to any of them - all a bit far South. But I'm going to try, dammit!

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Candlelit vigil planned to honour executed Newcastle cow Bessie

Intractable Potsherd
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In one sense, yes. I think it is a chance to make disquiet about police overreaction and use of firearms a bit more public. There is very little trust in the police, and this does not help their cause.

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: A step in the right direction - road deaths

My personal opinion is the road deaths/injuries figure in the UK are within the bounds of acceptability, especially while we accept significantly more deaths from other causes. However, has anyone ever tried to calculate the deaths/injuries that would occur *without* cars? My gut feeling is that any reasonable estimate would show that things would be HUGELY worse.

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Seems straightforward...

Just as a thought - what would "active tolerance" be, anyway?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I am an extremist

Whilst hoping that this is just going to be a storm in a tea-cup*, I can't help thinking that there are going to be some people who have said "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" are going to find out that the rest of us that added "... yet" were on the right side of history. The implication of Cameron's frankly unbelievable statement is that what was legal yesterday will become illegal - still yesterday.

Seriously, what harm is extremist speech to the population of this country? Why can't it be met with sensible speech from others?

* I know - incurable optimism is a curse

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Only able to make 1/3 of a comment.

Having just seen "Prometheus"again, I'd definitely put it as worse than "Battlefield Earth". Nothing is good, from the impenetrable "plot", through the beyond-wooden acting, to the complete disregard for any intelligence the audience might have. Adding this into the watchfest would have resulted in serious brain damage to the team ...

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Theresa May: Right, THIS time we're getting the Snoopers' Charter in

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Marsbarbrain @Matt Bryant - Willfully-dim Godfrey @ Graham

I'd forgotten about PoliticalCompass. I've just redone mine: Economic Left/Right: -7.5

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.31. I'm further to the bottom left-hand corner than Gandhi!

It is safe to say no political party in this country represents my views, and when I say I'm not a Labour luvvie, I mean it!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: now they have a "mandate to govern".

It has been pointed out many times that the form of voting that wasn't accepted in the referendum was not proportional representation. I'm a long-term supporter of PR and I voted against the alternative vote crap that was on offer.

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Even Uncle Sam admits: US patent law is whack

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Intelligent Design

From a presentation I gave yesterday:

There is virtually no evidence that patents have stimulated innovation. There is a hoary myth that the Industrial Revolution was encouraged by IP, but his does not stand up to scrutiny. Of the names that stand out from the Industrial Revolution, many of them never took out a patent. Charles Babbage 1830, denounced patent law as a "system of vicious and fraudulent legislation" which deprived the inventor of the fruits of his genius, and "a fraudulent lottery which gives its blanks to genius and its prizes to knaves".

Many of the important inventors of the Industrial Revolution did not like the patent system, and chose not to use it. Papin, Davy, Hales, Faraday, Priestley, and Rumford refused to take out patents as a matter of principle. "When one loves science," wrote Claude Berthollet to James Watt (one who did patent things), "one has little need for fortune which would only risk one's happiness". Isambard Kingdom Brunel never took out a patent, and was actively opposed to the whole idea of patenting.

A researcher called Petra Moser looked at all British exhibits selected to be displayed at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851: only 11% were patented, and of award winners (the crème de la crème of all exhibits) less than 16% were patented. The proportion of American exhibits that were patented was not much different (14.2 %).

Economic historians have found some examples of what Robert C. Allen (1983) called "collective invention"; the main actors in technological innovation freely shared information and claimed no ownership to it (see also Alessandro Nuvolari 2004). Within the technical committees of the Society of Arts, people shared ideas and "sharpened minds" with others engaged in similar occupations. In the Netherlands between 1869 and 1912 there were no patent laws, and there was a huge growth of innovation during that time.

It is long overdue that the entire IP system is overhauled, and the influence of China, India and South American countries will accelerate this need. Making consumers liable to IP by restricting what they can do with goods they bought will also lead to revolution. Attempts at tightening the Western view of IP will lead to alternatives being set up, until it becomes irrelevant.

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NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Laughable

"No one cares about you unless you are a criminal."

Prove it.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Am I the only one who read it ...

Exactly - if there are no attacks, "surveillance works but you never know when there will be an attack so we need more powers!" If there is an attack, "surveillance failed and so we need more powers!"

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Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: IoT Doorlocks... @ Dave 126

"Think of users with arthritis, for example."

This is becoming an issue for me, as rheumatoid arthritis is starting to make life tricky. However, as long as I can manage by making sure the doors fit properly and the locks operate smoothly (oh, and make sure I don't have Yale locks fitted), I'll be okay. I'll also look at the existing options before turning to dodgy electronic solutions.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: IoT Doorlocks...@ Credas

"The problem they have is that they're trying to flog a solution to a problem that hardly anybody thinks they have. And an expensive solution, at that."

Whilst I think you are correct, I can't help but think about televisions and the importance of renting in their success. TVs were a solution to a problem hardly anyone thought they had. They were expensive and complex pieces of kit which, certainly at the beginning, were barely fit for purpose. That they are ubiquitous these days has a lot to do with rental companies that would let you have reasonably up-to-date tech for not a lot of money*. This meant there was a steady turnover of TV/DVRs which probably drove development, at least to some extent. There may well be something in the rental idea for new house tech, though I won't be adopting it for some time, if at all.

*If I remember correctly, my parents didn't own the TV in our/their house until well into the 1980s. Once every two or three years the old one would be taken away, and a new one installed. Our first two DVRs were certainly rented, and I think the only reason mum and dad went for purchase was because the rental company they used went out of business.

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Pacific nation accidentally does good thing in web crackdown

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: And as we all know...

"before Farcebook...there was absolutely no way at all to communicate over the Internet."

This ^^. I have never understood how Facebook is better than email/IM - now maybe all these people will find out that there are better ways to communicate without spaffing their words to all and sundry.

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NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

Intractable Potsherd
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If there had been *more* surveillance ...

... then those two gunmen in Dallas might have been stopped before they ... injured a security guard.* Oh, and because they shred a flat (so probably no mobile comms), we need to have live microphones in everyone's house, car etc. You can't be too careful, you know!

* Is it just me that finds the timing somewhat suspicious?

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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: *Whose* code? @ David Dawson

I don't know what the definition of "theft" is where you are, but it certainly wouldn't pass muster here in the UK. S1 Theft Act 1968 - "dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive". From what I've read here, there are big question-marks over dishonesty, appropriation, belonging to another, and permanent deprivation. Goldman Sachs didn't actually lose the code, or the use of it, so - again here in the UK, we seem to be in the ground laid out in R v Lloyd, Bhuee & Ali [1985] QB 829, where the Court of Appeal held that only a situation in which "all the goodness, virtue and practical value [was] taken from the goods" amounted to permanent deprivation. Of course, the law might be different where you are, but it certainly sounds strange here in the UK to see the word "theft" used in this context.

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Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: NoneSuch @ Matt

The likelihood is that there were no targetted searches at all, at least initially. The order will have been "intercept stuff because ... stuff!". More than half of spying is about finding information that *might* be embarrassing at the right time. Hopefully, there are other governments with information about the trade embargoes the USA has broken - because there will be a lot of them. No-one is clean in this dirty process.

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Grooveshark closes, blames 'serious mistake' of not paying for music

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: A raw deal, royalty-wise

In a very recent situation (last week), I found it was cheaper to buy two CDs with the download option from Amazon than to buy one download-only version. My phone now has two more albums'-worth of music, and my CD collection has three unopened CDs.

I don't know whether this backs up Neil's argument or not ...

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Licence to chill: Ex-CIA spyboss Petraeus gets probation for leaking US secrets to his mistress

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Ladies and Gentlemen...

The sound of silence speaks loudly, doesn't it?

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IT'S WAR: Hacktivists throw in their lot with spies and the military

Intractable Potsherd
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Depressing

Here we have a good report that actually fully examines an issue, and after three days there are only nine comments. I hope that many of the other commenters I would expect to see here have done as I did, and put the article aside until more time could be devoted to it, but I worry that the readership is made up of the same attention deficient individuals that inhabit true red-top websites.

Well, done, El Reg, for publishing this lengthy article, and don't let the lack of comments put you off publishing more of them.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's just one Monotheistic Deity against another...

If you really don't see any other difference in the two sides than this, you perhaps haven't thought about it enough.

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "The local authorities apparently recommend shooting"

I agree with codejunky. I have been faced with the difficult decision of ignoring a work-place policy in my new employment, because I have no intentions of leaving my pen-knife behind. There is no earthly reason why a university should have a rule against pen-knives (I carry a Swiss Army penknife with all sorts of useful tools on it), and so I have made a rational decision to ignore the policy. For the first time in my life, I actually have an insight into the feeling of vulnerability that gun-owners in America must have* at having a useful tool that I have carried (in type) since I was about 13 (so about 40 years) turned into a prohibited thing.

*I am not equating a gun - which, as a tool, is fairly limited in its range of uses - with a Swiss Army knife, but just realising that the horrible feeling of someone trying to take away something that I feel secure having with me must be similar.

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Selfie sticks BANNED by Apple: No hipster tools' tools allowed at WWDC

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Am I the only one?

In a sense, no. The only reason I haven't had to look them up is because I came across the thrice-bedamned things for the first time on a long weekend break in Barcelona earlier this year. It slowly broke through my general sense of well-being (Barcelona does that to me) that there were lots of people looking the wrong way wrt the lovely sights of the city whilst wafting around what appeared to be broken umbrellas with expensive phones on the end. Somehow my wife - not gifted with any interest in technology at all - knew what these things were called, and said that she had been waiting for me to note them and had tried to guess what strength of vitriol I would generate. Apparently, I was over the expected pH until it came to the utter cunt in front of the old cathedral who spent over twenty minutes trying to capture the zenith of gurning perfection whilst his (assumed) girlfriend looked on. I still don't know why he just didn't ask her to take the photo in the first place ...

Since then, I have seen one person holding the phone end of a narcissis-stick (I love that term!) whilst the other took the photo - again, why?

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Intractable Potsherd
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Maybe we should just stop rugby players charging at pylons?

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Labour manifesto: Tech Bacc, not-spot zapping and hi-speed interwebs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @ Evil Graham @ Voland's right hand

"Same as with academies - given even an inch of deregulation a unionized state employee will peruse that deregulation to do less work."

I have worked in state institutions most of my life (mainly NHS and universities), and I have never yet come across this particular mind-set. Indeed, it has been in my occasional forays into the private sector where I have found that any leniency or wiggle-room will be exploited to the maximum it can be, plus a large percentage over. "Being nice" on one occasion means a fight like hell to ensure that it doesn't become a habit.

Of course, YMMV.

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Turkey PM bans Twitter, YouTube as 'tools of terrorist propaganda'

Intractable Potsherd
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@Sven Coenye

There is a recent example of the same in the Czech Republic. A man shot several people in a bar and a siege began. There was someone in the back of the building feeding information to the police from a phone. Stupid local politician couldn't keep his trap shut and told the media; media couldn't keep their traps shut either, and told ... anyone that was watching/listening. The police were stampeded into breaking the siege with force, fortunately killing only the man with the gun - though it could have been very different.

What is it with reporters that stops them thinking "We probably ought to sit on that information fro a while"?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @boltar - So....

And the obligatory reference to dihydrogen monoxide - "all criminals drink water. You drink water. You are criminal".

Silly argument, boltar.

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I feel sorry for her unborn kid

More likely "Schindler" ...

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Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Clarification needed (for me!)

So the SIM will be removable - or hackable?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Exactly what problem does this solve?

Oh, and if I'm in a burning wreck, I want to die rather than live as a crisped cripple for the rest of may life.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Exactly what problem does this solve? @AC

Just because shitloads of money, effort, good-will and privacy is spent on "saving" a trivial amount of lives in one situation, it doesn't meant that the same thing should happen because of a slightly bigger, but still trivial, number in another. The number of deaths due to vehicle accidents is really tiny, and doe not justify this state-mandate intrusion into what I do and where I go. If I rent a car with this stuff on board, well, that's probably part of my contract with them. If I buy a car it is mine, and I should have (and will find) a way to turn it off.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Does the EU include Wales? @AC

If there is no coverage, then it doesn't matter what number you are calling - a bit like having a wired phone that isn't plugged in.

Are you sure you should be on a tech site?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @Ac: @Vimes - how to disable it...

AC - merely because you have "seen some things" doesn't give you,or anyone else, the right to dictate how anyone else lives their life. I have said before on here (and elsewhere) that compulsory seat-belt and crash-helmet laws were and are bad, because the state is imposing its views on individuals who risk harm to no-one but themselves (and don't give me the "cost of care" argument - it won't wash). This is another situation where the state is deciding what risk I can take, when it is likely that I am the only one that will be affected by it. Your bizarre assertion that it will somehow be to the advantage of someone else - presumably who spun off the road on the wet and dark and wasn't found for three days - doesn't make any sense, and your appeal to some odd law in France (which suggests that it would be illegal not to have a mobile phone with sufficient charge to make an emergency call on your person at all times) just makes you sound ... well, mad, or an ex-policeman (since it is generally police officers complaining about "the horrors I've seen" - not ambulance/paramedic or fire-and-rescue officers who actually do the real work).

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Watching porn makes men BETTER in bed, say trick-cyclists

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Can someone clarify

It is a term that means "psychiatrist", and seems to be sort of deliberate malapropism. Rearranging the syllables of one sort of gets you the other (oooooerr!), except for that pesky "l" - but then the person that came up with it was probably mad ...

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Osbo: Choose a f*cking IoT fridge. Choose spirit-crushing driverless cars

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: new nickname @Badvok

Why not - aren't they the same person?

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Flying cars will take to the skies in 2017, if government allows

Intractable Potsherd
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Lots and lots of risk-averse people here! No doubt you'd still like a man with a red flag to walk in front of cars ...

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Bulgaria nixes 'metadata' law, Paraguay delays

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Quite amusing

If a country signs a treaty, it should be bound by it in its entirety - no cherry-picking the good and bad bits. If the idiots in charge didn't negotiate a way out, then they are stuck until one is negotiated later.

I am delighted that the UK concept of parliamentary supremacy is being eroded. The world is a better place for the EU - no European wars for a record length of time, higher standards of living all round, malnutrition virtually eliminated, free movement of goods and services - for the small price of restricting the power of short-termist local politicians having some constraint on their vote-winning activities. Seems like a bargain to me.

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This ISN'T Net Neutrality. This is Net Google. This is Net Netflix – the FCC's new masters

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: You are absolute fools!

Three posts, all in the last month, all with the same slant, and two finishing with the same troll-bait tag-line. The arse is strong with this one - how about we ignore it from here on in?

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Rosetta probe to try contact with Philae lander on Thursday

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Hard science or a fishing expedition?

Or "comay", maybe, in this context?

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Count on it

You forgot to put "perp" in there, AC.

Whilst we're at it, let's do away with fines altogether - they don't deter crime. 35mph in a 30 zone? 5 years! Dropping litter? 3 years! Plugging your phone into someone else's electric socket without permission? 18 months! No time off for good behaviour - they have to be punished!!

Out of interest, do you know the origins of the phrase "Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb"?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: When is theft not theft? @ h4rm0ny

"The thing someone "might have otherwise had", is called "income"."

I don't usually disagree with you, but in this case I sort of do. To me, the operative word in the clause is "might". For a criminal case, using your argument that we are talking about income, the prosecution would have to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that accused had taken *actual* income from the artist, not possible income. This is not possible without torturing legal principles to death. One of the absurdities it could lead to is that I could have e.g. a taxi-driver arrested for not getting me to an interview on time, so that I lost the possible income from getting the job. Civil law has long recognised that there is no recompense for lost opportunities, and it would be daft for the criminal law to recognise such a claim.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @Dr. Mouse - "this is not a serious crime"

Isn't part of the issue whether society needs or wants people whose income is dependent on a monopoly on art? Musicians, photographers, authors etc are cited as saying that they are losing money to pirating, but they give no evidence that they actually have the same audience as they used to. Times and tastes change, and artist go out of fashion regularly - no copyright infringement required.

There are so many amateur musicians, photographers, and authors able to get there stuff off their chests and out there using the internet, that it is difficult to see why we need an environment that protects those that want to do nothing else. "Professional" artists may have gone the way of buggy-whip manufacturers - time has passed them by.

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Crap employers banned from enforcing backdoor crim records checks

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Checks for people running activities in community hall

"I manage (as a volunteer) a community hall, and we ask/require the people who run childrens clubs in the hall to get CRB checks ..."

I'm not sure that you, as the manager of a facility, have any right to require that people merely renting the use of it have CRB checks.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: is it just me?

By all means suggest a suitable peer-reviewed journal that would take such a paper! The difficulties of getting anything that challenges the established view through peer review are very well known, especially in an area like quantum theory, where the only people who are going to asked to review are those who have made a name by adding to the established view.

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BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

Intractable Potsherd
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Yes, but juries are made up of ordinary people - you know, the ones that think there is no smoke without fire, especially if the allegation involves child porn. Reasonable doubt wouldn't stand a chance in such a case.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What I find most worrying...

"And this is why we should insist on fair and open trials, and humane treatment of those who are convicted, no matter what they're convicted of."

^^^ This!! Everyone on the "hang 'em high" side of the debate needs this tattooing where they cannot fail to see it several times a day. There are too many people serving time for things that any sensible jury would have thrown out, purely because it serves some political purpose (e.g. claims of "historical sexual abuse" which wouldn't get past intelligent people because the length of time involved means that there is a surfeit of reasonable doubt). The worrying thing is that it is likely to get worse before it gets better, and no-one can say that they won't fall foul of it. The Rawlsian Veil of Ignorance requires that everyone supports a fair justice system and good conditions for prisoners.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: If you've got nothing to hide....

"... using the microphone to pick up you and your spouse/significant other "doing the deed"."

If we could get over the stupid puritan idea that sex is something that is shameful and needs hiding, then society would be a better place, and the spy/police organisations would have to actually look for something that really *is* "bad" behaviour.

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