* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2372 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: An inflationary universe

I reckon that soon there will be an initially small but significant market for these as enhancements, or for people with less serious, but still life-detracting, problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, regardless of what the doctor says in the article. This means that economies of scale will be possible, to the benefit of those who nee them to get back to a "normal" level of function.

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How good a techie are you? Objective about yourself and your skills?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Degree qualifications

"And maybe by talking about it someone else will feel a little less alone. That's why I wrote it."

Trevor, you just keep getting better.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: To sign, or not to sign...

"... I enjoy the clarity and passion of your writing. Whatever you do, keep that up at least."

I should have said it that in my earlier comment. As long as it doesn't interfere with your future plans, please keep educating and entertaining us.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Upvoted in spades! Trevor, professional bodies *need* people like you to challenge their smugness. Please, please, please, stop vacillating and move ahead with your life.

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Much Ado

Perhaps, just perhaps, we don't want the sort of people who think that having a significant proportion of a head-teacher's salary is too little to represent the people. Most of the electorate will never see a salary well into the higher tax band (or even come close to it), so maybe their representatives should reflect that, instead of being the products of schools and universities who have never done a stroke of real work in their lives (look at the current cabinet and tell me who has done job that the people they represent can identify with). The years of being a party member deliberately kills any residual ability to actually understand who it is they represent, and what would be ethical behaviour.

Personally, I'd have a go, but not as a party member. Standing as an independent without some sort of name (e.g. Martin Bell from some years ago) is a complete waste of time in the current system.

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BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So a meteor didn't wipe out the dinosaurs

ISTR that "the end of the dinosaurs" actually took something like 70 000 years after the big rock hit (unless that has since been discredited and I missed it).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Science - now a subdivision of Entertainment

Thanks - I'd been trying to remember the name of that gun for a couple of weeks, just to find the abysmal TW report! Have one on me!

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Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: DREAMING IN TECHNICOLOR

Until a decent sized meteor comes along, for instance.

There isn't a single problem facing the Earth as a whole for which the answer isn't "We need to get out into space as soon as possible".

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'Revenge porn' law to arrive in spring – MoJ

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So I presume this only applies to individuals then

But it only takes a small step to make *any* photo of an individual posted with a disparaging comment to become illegal. I really don't like the way the law is going on this (and several other areas) - we are receding into a Victorian vision of the world (which isn't so different from an Islamic view) instead of advancing into the future.

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Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Very slippery slope...

I am also very uncomfortable that gambling comes under the same heading as terrorism, and extreme porn in the minds of the law enforcement agencies. Even to me, who thinks the war on stuff has gone waaaay too far, there is a significant difference between "stuff that might lead to death or disablement" and "stuff that helps people lose money".

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

Intractable Potsherd
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WTF?

I don't suppose you want to elaborate on any of that posting?

No, thought not.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Could it be...

I'd forgotten about that one! I need to download more James Blish to my ereader and revisit some old favourites, just as I've done with (what I think is) the entire corpus of Heinlein work.

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No cellphones in cells, you slag! UK.gov moots prison mobe zap law

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Er, prison... @Khaptain

This should be an option for any prisoner with a sentence over a certain length of time. For me, death would be infinitely more preferable than being incarcerated for any length of time, let alone periods of years.*

* I would also prefer death to long-term care in hospital/care home.

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UK banks ill-prepared for return of the rabid POODLE

Intractable Potsherd
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Great Article, El Reg!

Will you follow up on this when more information becomes available so that I can make an informed decision which bank cares enough about my money to put in proper security? It would be most appreciated!

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Parliament face-sit-in to spark mass debate on UK's stiff smut stance

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Celebrity Deathmatch

Mary Millington was lovely, but I find Mary Poppins much sexier. Is that normal?

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It has been demonstrated

I was only thinking about the "Young Scientist of the Year" series the other day. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a TV station were to resurrect that?

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EU bangs drum over its openness rules – from which it is exempt

Intractable Potsherd
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There are *no* reasons to vote UKIP.

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Old bangers rule @MrXavia

There are too many stupid sensors on a modern car that fail, often in difficult to diagnose ways, and which cost ridiculous amounts of money to replace (a friend's 55-plate Octavia diesel has had a problem with falling into limp-mode for no obvious reason, and the price for sensors was frightening). A relatively simple car pre-2000 will run forever without these problems, and can be fixed at home, or cheaply at a tame garage, if anything does go wrong. I'll stick with my policy of buying old cars and keeping them running, thanks.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Not far enough

AC - there is a corollary to "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" which is "something to hide, nothing to fear" when the "something" is trivial. Legal positivists like you are a plague on humanity.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Err... it is useless for a different reason @ Voland's Right Hand

And here is where we differ - you want it somehow to have all sorts of information it would be impractical to have (how would the system know whether it is you or another driver behind the wheel, what passengers, etc?). However, I DON'T WANT the system at all, regardless of such perceived "benefits". This should (indeed, I'd go so far as to say "must") be opt-in, and if I ever have to use a car with such an intrusive add-on, I will make sure I know how to disable it.

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Top Apple exec: 'I knew [ebook] prices were going to go up – hell, the whole world knew'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Shock: Vendors want prices to rise

No, no, no - book on the bog, e-reader on the bus. It's the only correct way.

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Legendary Brit physicist Stephen Hawking gets full Intel comms refresh

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: All we need to do...

As long as it isn't bollocks about AI being the end of mankind.

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Abbott scholarship leaker escapes conviction

Intractable Potsherd
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Public v Private institutions

"Newman was not afforded public-interest whistleblower protection as the Whitehouse Institute was a private institution."

I don't know very much about the importance of the Whitehouse Institute in Australian funding, but in the UK, there are some very important bodies, such as Wellcome and Nuffield Trusts, which are desperately in need of some public scrutiny. Their processes for awarding funds are very opaque, and I know of several well-respected researchers who will not apply to them for funding because they are not on the apparent list of "favoured" applicants. Any whistleblowers in either organisation will be gratefully received!

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'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching

Intractable Potsherd
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Of course, you have proof of that, jonathan?

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Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I wish them luck

I'm sort of coming round to the idea for my usual browsing etc. I like my Jolla phone a lot (though the last time I looked, the method of getting it to allow access to the Google app store* was fiddly, to say the least, and I haven't done it), so I stuck my $189 (somewhere between £120 and £121) in quickly. If the tablet is as sturdy and pleasant to use as the phone, I will be very happy.

* I know it will annoy some people, but I'd rather use the official Android app store than Yandex etc

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I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Support for MAtt Taylor

Signed!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Now, IWPCHI - if you're still reading - that ^^ is a misogynist statement.

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Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: My friend's on Facebook

My mum, in her 70s now, uses Facebook, but she doesn't realise how it works. That means she thinks anything that shows up on her wall is aimed at her directly,like email, so she responds to it. Worse yet, she doesn't realise the essentially public nature of anything posted, and so lets everyone know when she is going on holiday - or, more galling, that I am going away. Nothing I say seems to get through, so, even though I don't have an active Facebook account,* all sorts of people know my movements.

*I know all this because Mrs IP does have an account, and sees a fair amount of the gibberish mum pollutes the interwebs with.

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Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble

Intractable Potsherd
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Nice article.I sit on a Research Ethics Committee, and we are getting an increasing number of applications from researchers wanting to mine health-related data. So many come along with proposals that have not considered how easy it can be to reconstruct "anonymous" data so that the PII can be derived. I'll use those entropy figures the next time someone comes up and says "but there is no way our data can reveal the subject!"

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UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: no friends with any computer literacy ?

"Maybe I'm being cold hearted ..."

I was tempted to say "No maybe about it", but as I read further, it became clear that you are not. You believe in community and people helping each other - good on you. However, as the first reply to you says, there are a lot of people who don't have friends, or language skills, or any support at all. You aren't cold-hearted - you just don't have experience of just how isolated a lot of people are.

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Are open Wi-Fi network bods liable for users' copyright badness?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Please don't fuck this up

McDonalds chips are lovely! (I don't eat meat anymore, but still pop in for a portion of fries occasionally)

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EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Overweening @ Trevor

Yup - basically my reaction when I first read it. When I got to the bit where people were immune from prosecution because the law wasn't clear previously, my head exploded! What a fucked up country ... and it's trying to get us all to go the same way.

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SO LONELY: Woman DARED to get rid of her iPHONE - Apple DUMPED all her TXTS

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: User error

I thought people bought iThings because "they just work", which I don't really have a problem with. However, if the user needs to change default settings in order to send SMS, then "it doesn't just work". If the default messaging system is Apple's proprietary thing, and it borks messages sent to other things unless settings are played with (which many buyers have expressed a desire not to do by buying something that "just works"), then it starts to look as if Apple have been as spiteful as people claim they are, and that it is a form of lock-in due to difficulty in changing platforms.

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Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Random TV question: 'juddering' in fast pans

Kristian - that is genuinely fascinating! Thanks for spending the time on that - now have one of these --->

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Don't assume public trusts you, MI5. 'Make a case' for surveillance – Former security chief

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: My interests

"The only person I would ever trust to really act 100% in my best interests is... Me."

I wish I could say the same - I reckon that, over the course of my half-century on this mortal coil, I acted in my own best interests about 70% of the time ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Simple really

"Trust = truth * time". That is a useful way to put the point across. I may use it in a lecture I'm working on at the moment ... :-)

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'Tech giants who encrypt comms are unwittingly aiding terrorists', claims ex-Home Sec Blunkett

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Now there's a first...

His guide dog is the brains of the outfit ...

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Forget 5G, UK.gov is making 2G fit for the 21st century!

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: NIMBYs

I don't think it is anything to do with the "radiation" in most NIMBY minds - it is purely that they might have something industrial in their eyeline, which will (through some unknown mechanism*) bring property prices down.

*In reality, prices are likely to go up if there is decent mobile coverage.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Can't help but think the 'rural' element has been overlooked a little too quickly here

Yep - I've lived in four places in the last few years, all well-populated and with large numbers of well-paid people living there (near Sheffield, Kenilworth, both sides of the Tay near Dundee), and I haven't had a decent mobile signal in any of them. In all of them except Kenilworth I was up a hill, yet going into the garden was the only way to get decent contact with the mast. Data is generally something that my phone has the capability to do under very specific circumstances (such as being in the middle of a city. However, when I go abroad in Europe, I rarely have any problems - and I tend not to holiday in cities. The coverage in Britain is fairly shit.

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Apple patents AUTOGRAPHS. Checkmate, eBay

Intractable Potsherd
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@Stacy

" I love ebooks for travelling, but for reading at home it doesn't come close to going to the library of books, browsing and selecting one."

I finally unpacked the boxes of books yesterday that had been in storage for the last four years while we moved around (I had kept some with me during the last three moves, but it has been mainly ebooks during that time). I now have something like 12 metres of fiction* lining the walls of my study again, and it feels far better than I ever though it would! I had to keep popping back in the the room just to look at the loveliness of my library, and deciding what I'm going to read over the next few weeks!

*Factual and text-books still have to be unpacked.

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Russians hear Tim Cook is gay, pull dead Steve Jobs' enormous erection

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This post has been deleted by a moderator

If being homosexual is a choice, then surely being heterosexual is also a choice. Therefore, even that point of view fails to make the point the anti-homosexuals want to make.

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Bona-fide SCIENCE: Which forms of unusual sex are, um, mainstream?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Phah....

Yep - "living the dream" just means a lost dream. They are called "dreams" and "fantasies" for a reason.

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NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: More debris scattered in the name of science

I think you missed the joke icon or a /s tag.

If not, "ODFO" is the only response I can think of.

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UK.gov rushes out broken 'Orphan Works' system as EU Directive comes in

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: However existing image copyright is broken

"If the term of copyright was more reasonable (a maximum of 20 years) then there would be less of a need for this act." Well said, Duncan. It is the utterly ridiculous term of protection that is the root of the problem in copyright. 20-25 years is enough, not up to six or seven times that period.

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Find My Phone does just one thing but Samsung's messed it up

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What? Sloppy code from Samsung??

More accurately: "What? Sloppy code from <insert any manufacturer of anything that uses software>? Say it isn't so?"

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: FUCKIN VANDAL

Good street art makes an area look better. At least some of Banksy's stuff falls into that category, so I have very little problem. Inane "tagging" - the human equivalent of dogs pissing up a tree-trunk - and really poor pictures make an area look worse - much worse. Kids drawing on the pavement is so far beneath anyone's notice that I would suspect the shouty person is not entirely well.

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Australian E-Health records breached twice in the last year

Intractable Potsherd
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At the risk ...

... of getting lots of downvotes, I take a positive message away from this - Australia has medical records that the true owner of the information (the patient) has access to, and some control over. That is a mere pipe-dream here in the UK.

Stupid, and probably avoidable mistakes have been made (perhaps by the owners who wanted to link their health data with their government data!), but the fact that there is a system, and it works (for certain values of working) is impressive. Would anyone care to guess a) how late, and b) how over budget such a scheme would go in the UK before it was scrapped?

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'GCHQ's surveillance data gulp is BULKY and WARRANTLESS', human rights groups moan

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Multiplicative capabilities

No, but you might have your friends and family investigated, job prospects ruined, financial history scarred, have a baby with an undercover copper etc. Have a look at what people who wanted the police to actually do their jobs have undergone, e.g. Stephen Lawrence's family, and tell me that the information isn't misused - and they are only the cases we know about.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Point 1b is the problem (I think) @ DocJames

"Does anyone know what the principle of Padfield v MAFF is?"

The case is an important one in public law - full citation, if you want to look it up, is Padfield v. MAFF [1968] A.C. 997. The House of Lords stated that a decision-making power must be exercised so as to promote, and not run counter to, the legislation conferring that power. The case also answered the question "who decides, and who oversees: "necessary and proportionate"?" - the courts, who must look at the entire statute and interpret the intent before they can decide whether the power was exercised in a way that runs counter to the legislation.

The court ignored the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get them to allow an application for judicial review to proceed ...

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Why weasel words might not work for Whisper

Intractable Potsherd
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Well done!

Great investigative journalism. Thank you.

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