* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2407 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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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Google creeps up on another sector: Adds car insurance to Compare

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Yay for automation - oh wait, no one can buy our policies anymore!

I'll move away from using an insurance broker at about the same time David Cameron becomes a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. Being able to talk through requirements with a knowledgeable, friendly person who doesn't have a script is worth the (trivial) amount extra it might cost me. I did spend a few years doing the online comparison bit, but eventually realised that it was too loaded with risk unless every clause was checked for "insurance company honesty" - which would be a lie if it worked the other way around.

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UK Supreme Court waves through indiscriminate police surveillance

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Judicial Whitewash !

It worries me that Lady Hale has been turned to the Dark Side. Since she did not go the standard judicial route (being an academic appointed to the bench), she used to have a refreshingly different view of things from the other judges. Five years ago, I feel sure she would have been with Lord Toulson. Now, she is just another Establishment apologist. Really sad.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What - me worry?

Until they decide your dullness is a cover for something else. Are you aware of the difficulties of proving that you haven't done something?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It saddens me.. @BitDr

Upvoted, even though the Nazis were no more "socialist" than the current Labour party in the UK, or the Democratic party in the USA, are today.

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Revealed: Facebook Boss Zuckerberg's One Weird Trick When Hiring

Intractable Potsherd
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I sort of agree with you, but at the same time think it leads to the same old situation of only hiring people who agree with each other. There need to be people who will say "Hold on a minute folks - is this the right way to do this?" This is even more important when the use of personal information is the corporate raison d'etre.

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Fair or Unfair They Still Lock Him Away

With the frankly insane method of jury selection in the USA, there is as much chance of jury nullification as there is of the sun rising in the north tomorrow. Anyone who can spell "nullification" will be vetoed by the prosecution in very short order, and anyone who actually knows what it means will be unable to serve on the jury due to, ummm ... "unexpected illness".

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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

Like others here, I consider plastic to be the only sensible material for phones, if only for the practical benefit of impact resistance and ease of repair/replacement of bits inside (like batteries). The not-trivial advantage of most plastics being largely transparent to radio-waves is the killer argument (two bars average on my Samsung here at home, whereas my friend's iPhone on the same network saw none during a stay here).

YMMV, of course.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I want to love it

My first thought too - how is this going to work in a suitably chunky case, like an Otterbox?

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You're outta here! Baseball star strikes out sleazy trolls who targeted teen daughter

Intractable Potsherd
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Violence for comments

There is a worrying trend recently towards people apparently condoning physical violence for people making verbal or written comments. The Pope seemed to give approval to it recently: "“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal." Unsurprisingly, we get the usual "hang 'em high" comments here, with a depressing number of upvotes. Am I the only person reading this that has *never* hit (or worse) anyone because they said or wrote something unpleasant? I doubt it, so why give support to the same sort of trolls that the article is about?

Also, on a side topic, in the comment thread under Schilling's post, there are a lot of people identifying themselves by their political orientation - is that common in the USA these days?

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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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Pint

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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