2132 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
Re: Boston, thanks for the summary
"You voted for Obama, you GOT Obama." I'm confused what Obama has to do with this. This seems to be entirely the local computer-ignorant district attorney. Can anyone give a nutshell explanation, please (preferably one that doesn't descend into conspiracy theory)?
Re: @AC 16:49@ solidsoup
"I beg to differ. Given how expensive jury trials are, it's inevitable that most cases need to be solved pre-trial. Plea-bargaining, despite its disadvantages, is the most fair way to do so and still allow for jury trials." Hmmmm - I suppose that depends whether you (assuming you are American) like being in a country with a ridiculous percentage of its population in prison. From my viewpoint, the system is not fair, and certainly not efficient, but then I have always been on the side of "better that ten guilty people walk free than one innocent person be imprisoned".*
* Yes, I know the original use of this said "hanged", but it was made at the time that hanging was the preferred punishment for many crimes. The point is the same - the State should not get away with using its powers to remove liberty from anyone (citizen or not) without due process and the presumption of innocence.
Re: Iron man smugness
It was one of the things I liked about Iron Man when I was reading the comics - he was not a geek. On the other hand, it did annoy me that the only sensible way to become a superhero (I never bought into radioactive spiders etc. and preferred tech) was to have megashitloads of money (Tony Stark/Bruce Wayne).
Re: Am I the only one...
No , you aren't - I wondered the same (even re-read the article in case I missed it).
Are we the sad ones at this party?
Re: cloudy flexibility meets touchy-feely
"Those that can - do. Those that can't - teach. Those that can't teach - administrate. Those that can't administrate - go into politics - so they can tell all the others how to do, teach and administrate ..."
... and those that can't be bothered to get into politics go into Human Resources departments so they can stop anyone doing anything useful either.
Re: Relationship with compulsory ISP opt-in for "over 18" material?
My first thought, too. Isn't it obvious?
Re: Being "insulting" should not be illegal in its own right
Well said, Justin! I wish I could give you more upvotes!
I know I keep saying it, but it is because it is true - no-one has (nor should have) a right not to be offended.
Re: the tin foil hat wearer in me is deeply troubled
Revolution? In the UK? No chance. We Brits don't do revolutions - the ruling elite move just enough to relieve the pressure every time. Probably for the best (revolutions never improve anything: rapid evolution such as the collapse of communist governments in Europe.
Let's face it, the "Glorious Revolution" is almost a tongue-in-cheek name - it consisted of about 12 men and a couple of dogs ...
Re: You may get the *right* but you won't get the ability.
El Presidente: strong words, but what is your *actual* argument? The evidence is on the side of the argument that the right may be essentially worthless without significant changes in technology (which will be circumvented again), or willingness to sue. Wishing otherwise won't make that change.
Re: It's not difficult, guys...
"If you are unable to ascertain the original author or current assigned copyright holder of *anything* YOU MAY NOT USE IT commercially."
And therein lies the problem - no ascertaining of author, no use. It is silly, and needs action such as the government is promoting. By all means have an appeal system whereby the creator can come along when they see their work being used and say "That's mine, here's the proof, these are my terms", but don't have works lying dead for want of attribution - what a waste.
Re: Not the Met Office's fault.
Flooding and drought both have the same answer - build more reservoirs. Make some of them power hydro-electric generators and that is another box ticked.
Re: Split hardware from software
I absolutely agree, Christian. However, the phone industry isn't going to repeat what they consider to be the mistake (in money terms) that the computing industry made in terms of openness. Lock people in and you have easy access to their money without actually having to compete. Actual efficiency doesn't count, unfortunately.
My Galaxy Note (first gen) will last three-and-a-half days on a charge, though I'm sparing with the wifi. However, if it wasn't exactly the phone I wanted (handwriting was the killer app for me), I'd probably be looking at one of the new Win8 Nokias.
(Yes, I know I've publicly said on here that Android is Google spyware, and that I'd never buy another Nokia after the recent farcical management decisions. I still believe that Android is Google spyware, and have turned off the "Background Data" to reduce that, and don't wander around with wifi turned on unless I need it. However, the new Nokias are far better than I feared they would be, and I'm keeping an eye on what happens.)
Re: No thanks.
Yep - prune hard, prune often!
(I don't get asked to do much in the garden I don't want, either ...)
Re: So Aussie BS knobs go all the way to eleven too!
Yep, and that fire ought to be banned too - lots of ways for children to harm things and many A&E visits per year as a result of it.
Precautionary principlists are the bane of civilisation.
Re: People have opinions, it's not a crime: Shufflemoomin
You are quite correct. People should indeed be able to speak their opinions in public just as easily as they can online. Anything else is an illegitimate restriction on free speech.
No-one has a right not to be offended.
According to Robert Heinlein, the number is more likely to be " ... 6^6^6.' Six raised to its sixth power, and the result in turn raised to its sixth power. That number is this: 1.03144+ X 10^28 – or written in full: 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056 ..." ("The Number of the Beast" - I'm just editing an epub version.)
Re: You are worshiping the wrong God...
This must be the first time I have ever seen *Texas* referred to as socialist! The writer had better not come to Scotland ...
Re: She doesn't have to wear the RFID - P. Lee
You say that linking religion is spurious*, but have you read the judgment? According to the judge, the principal of the school cites only two examples of why this intrusive system is a success:
"Very recently, a parent of a special needs student was concerned that the child did not get on the bus after school and the school staff was able to pull the sensor readings to determine when the student was on campus and when he left, thus reassuring the parent. On another occasion, a building was evacuated and campus administrators were able to quickly identify and locate students' badges that had been left in the building during the evacuation." (pp4-5)
So, this system is wonderful for passing the buck and saying that a student with special needs wasn't on the grounds, but wandering the streets somewhere (very reassuring!), and for finding lost ID cards (not students, note)! Somehow, I don't actually see the value (except for the liability issue).
I think the judge has dropped the ball on this one - none of the arguments actually stack up to create such a need that everyone should be RFID tracked to this extent.
* I have absolutely no time for religious cranks, but the rational side should be better!
Buy them second-hand. I haven't had any laptop but a X-series ThinkPad for several years now (X20, X40, currently X61), and haven't paid more than £130 for any of them. The X20 died after two-and-a-half years heavy use (looks like a motherboard failure), and the power socket came away from the mobo on the X40 after another two years' use - if I'd bought it new, I'd have fixed it, but I took the opportunity to upgrade to the X61 (need to take Vista off it though - it is truly crap).
Re: 20th Century connectivity
I've just moved to a sizeable city between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and I'm absolutely astounded at how bad comms are here. I'm two miles outside the city centre, and there is no cable. The mobile signal on EE and Tesco varies between 0 and 2 bars, and I haven't seen a 3G signal at all in the house. Quite a surprise after years of being a Blueyonder/VM cable customer for well over a decade in two smallish towns, with 5bar mobile signals in both.
Scotland does seem to be behind the curve when it comes to comms - would independence change that?
Re: "Intel is executing on all cylinders"
Death is too good for anyone crating or using such a piss-awful phrase. Long, slow, and horrible torture in public is the only way to let the word-manglers know that they have gone too far.
Re: Nice try
It is the same AC who crawls out every time Anonymous or copyright breach is mentioned. The language and grammar used don't change at all, to the extent I suspect s/he either copies and pastes, or it is a bot.
Re: Nothing really to add except...
I've got a whole stack of them still at my mum's - probably the first three or four years' copies. Are they worth much?
Re: Two words
hamsterjam said: "During the last ten years I have seen serious effort being put in by the deaf community to turn back the tide, and I have seen with my own eyes children who could have learned to speak being crippled by withholding implantation until they were five years old."
It is beyond belief that the deaf parents who do this should be allowed to do so. Some deaf parents even use Pre-Implantattion Genetic Diagnosis to ensure they have deaf children because it is their "culture". Whilst I have somewhat lower than average hearing which is getting worse, and think that it is probably a very useful characteristic in the modern world (just like not having a good sense of smell), I think that the parents that would deliberately handicap a child for their own selfish reasons should be prevented from doing so by whatever legal means exist.
Don't forget Farscape - wonderfully different sci-fi!
DS9 by far my favourite ST series
Having grown up with Star Trek (I remember watching the first runs of the original series in the UK), and having been massively influenced by it and TNG, DS9 is far and away my favourite. It was the first ST series to acknowledge that there are lasting consequences to what has happened previously - something that had started to grate with the episodic format of TNG, where noone ever seemed to learn anything, or relate back to what had happened in previous episodes.
Also, the cast were one of the finest put together for a sci-fi series to that point (Babylon 5 running a close second, especially once the hugely wooden Michael O'Hare had been replaced by Bruce Boxleitner).
Re: Four Feather Falls, a puppet Western that didn't catch on
I was wondering where the references to UFO were - in my mind the best of Gerry Anderson's real-actor series. Far better than the hippy-dippy surreal plotlines of Space:1999 (though the Eagle transporters are one of my favourite Anderson tech creations).
I can't hear a whistling at all, just the sort of hum that comes from a computer fan. However, I do have quite serious tinnitus ... My wife is forever complaining about "noises" that I don't have a clue about. I actually think that an acute sense of hearing is a disability.
Re: A well reasoned and written article
"I've no idea what their motivation is, but it cannot be to anyone's benefit."
You almost touch got there in the next paragraph: "I'm pleased that some of the MPs are starting to wake up to how dangerous this idea really is; ...can you imagine the effect on an MP that is having a minor dalliance with a party activist? Being blackmailed as a result of information gleaned from this odious idea is just the start of their problems." It seems likely that there are people that want power over those ostensibly in power, and control over anyone that might rock the boat. These people are terrified that the whole edifice of UK society is going fall dramatically as a result of, for instance, insufficient electricity, food shortages as a result of changing weather, running out of oil etc.* Terrorism and paedophilia seem to be the convenient hooks they hope to pin this whole nonsense on, hoping that noone will ever realise that the numbers of both are so tiny that they are hardly worth any effort at all.
Those of us in the largely undifferentiated mean probably really have very little to worry about, but those at the top and the bottom need to be very, very, worried about these plans.
Re: If I may...
Thanks, Mr Geezer. I was going to have to post the same sentiment if you hadn't got there first.
David Irving spent a lot of time doing a lot of research on his topic. By all means criticise his research and use of data, but the legal equivalent of ad hominem should not have been used to silence him.
Re: This UK Climate Expert needs his credentials stripped.
Trying to counter one argument with dubious evidence (anthropogenic climate change) with even more dubious theories (chemtrails and, presumably, HAARP, since you mention "hitting the sky with electromagnetic energy"), is rarely going to help.
Re: woolly socks, sheepskin loin cloths, viking helmets, spears - money grabbing land clearance
Assuming that there is such a thing as "man induced climate change" - which still seems to be a big assumption.
I thought it was my version of Firefox having another one of its intermittent problems with non-English characters!
The trouble is, I may now always hear SchrÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¶Dinger in my head whenever his name comes up (a bit like I always hear "SkIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIInEEEEEEEr" because of the Simpsons).
Well, leaving aside that we don't know that for certain (who knows what might have happened), I have to agree that, prima facie, you are right.
I feel so dirty ...
Re: Aren't you a little pert for a Stormtrooper?
Very good!!! The only thing worthwhile about the whole show :-)
That is very illiberal. Why don't we just pretend the the world is the same as it was a hundred years ago, when everything was so much simpler ...
@Dire CritiÂ¢ - I sort of agree. Every right should come with the duties it entails (in fact, if you go back to Kant, he said that rights arise from duties - without duties, right cannot exist). Break a duty, and rights that go along with it are liable to be forfeit. Being able to perceive a duty and fulfil it is one of the major aspects of being human.
However, it can never be black and white - children cannot perceive duties, nor can some people with developmental difficulties. How to deal with those groups requires a major change in Western civilisation to a clear differentiation between children and adults: a point, shall we say the 16th birthday, when you can say you were a child yesterday, but you are an adult today, no excuses and the duty on society to bring up children properly. We would also need places - shall we call them "asylums" - where adults who can't live by the rules for whatever reason can have a reasonably good life. Is our society willing to adopt this approach - well ... no. Pointless to even mention it, really.
Re: Hmm. Clarification wanted.
That is the risk of going with trade secrets rather than patents. Patents are protected in return for releasing the information about it to the world. A trade secret isn't released to the world, so the inventor keeps it to themselves - but only as long as whatever it is isn't leaked.
Regarding the question about what the legal position of the trade (ex-) secret holder is vis-a-vis a patent holder who got hold of the secret, in general, they are screwed, though, as long as the evidence is there that they did indeed invent it but chose to keep it secret, it is unlikely that they will be liable for damages. It effectively puts the tech into the public domain, since prior art can be demonstrated, so the patent isn't valid.
Re: Missed the point
No: see y comments above about this being nothing to do with legislators looking towards the next election. If you are offended enough to demand satisfaction, put your money where your mouth is and sue through private law channels.
Re: Freedom of speech v the law
To be clearer, behaviour can be modified in many different ways. To use the criminal law because someone is offended is a gross misuse of the State's power. Let people deal with it through private law if that is what they want to do.
Re: Freedom of speech v the law
I assume you are asking me. I thought I had been clear, but, if you want a one word answer - Yes.
Re: Oh, really?
No, I didn't say, or hint, that you were trolling. I merely said that it could be perceived as such by someone with a particular mindset. I have no problem with you expressing your views, as long as you keep showing that you genuinely believe them. I certainly would not suggest that you should not be here because of your different views, merely pointing out that, on some forums (of which I have been a short-term member, usually) you would be classed as a troll because of your clear opposition to the underlying mood of the regulars. Each of the examples I gave were based on real examples, when I have brought up the topics as illustrated and been told to go away (I am a cyclist myself, and seriously think that we should pay tax and insurance). No faulty logic nor hypocrisy involved.
I have, elsewhere in this thread given you my answer to your question about populism, which is "What does that have to do with anything? Maybe the Sun.Mirror/Mail readers would want a law against it, but are they equipped to make a sensible decision? History suggests not: populist legislation is almost always wrong (Dangerous Dogs Act, for an example). If the law were left to the populist vote, the country would look very different, and not for the better - no tax, no roads, no railway lines, no electricity/gas/water grids etc.
Re: Freedom of speech v the law
To put it another way, we could clear up a lot of unnecessary statutes by saying that, if there is a subjective element to the perceived problem (including "likely to .."), it is not the remit of the criminal law, but of the common law (torts, specifically).
Re: Oh, really?
"Why does anyone want to troll anyway?" - the first thing that you have said that I agree with, but once again we are into definitions. It is very easy for someone who has genuine opposition to a point being made being labelled as a troll - you yourself have come very close to this in your replies to some people who have been disagreeing with you. Indeed, if I were of the right mindset, I could refer to you as a troll here, since you are persisting in putting forward a view that - from the number of downvotes you have received - puts you firmly on the other side of the argument.
Some examples - if I go to a religious forum and ask for reasons why people believe in God, am I being a troll? If I go to a cycling forum and say that I think that cyclists are a menace on the roads and should have tax and insurance like other road-users, am I being a troll? If I go to a campaigning forum and say that I agree/disagree with whatever is being campaigned against/for, am I being a troll? If I go to the Conservative Party forum and state that I think that they are an objectionable bunch, is that trolling? In many cases, the answer would likely be Yes as defined by the group users, because sites like that are essentially clubs for the like-minded, and dissent is regarded as offensive, and some might even want sanctions taken against me, merely for disagreeing with their chosen point of view.
Open-minded people accept the risk that they will see/hear/read things they won't like on the internet and carry on accordingly. Closed minded people want silos so they are never challenged. There is room for both, but if you are in the latter category, don't shore up your prejudices by inflicting them on those of us in the former group.
I hope I have shown that I am not "childish" merely because I disagree with you, as you wrote in an earlier post.
Re: Missed the point
Steve - why does what the majority want make it right? The general public are very often totally wrong, because they do not have the educational wherewithal to see the broader picture (a failing of government to provide adequate educational provision).
Re: Freedom of speech v the law
Being a tasteless twat should not be a criminal offence. I support the right to have free speech, regardless of how offensive. Hurt feelings should not, in a free society, make a criminal of the originator of the comments. I don't believe in the concept of "incitement", either - if someone willingly and without duress acts on another's words, it is the actor, not the speaker, who is responsible.
Re: "But ethically, at least to this El Reg hack, the situation stinks."
I have never understood the reluctance of people to pay tax. Living in a country has costs attached to it. A good standard of living requires state intervention (I am waaaaay at the other end of the scale from the Ayn Rand/Lazarus Long* lunacy). People should feel privileged to pay for the things that make civilisation. That includes the companies that want to do business with the people who have lots of disposable income because of the civilisation bought with taxes.
What is so difficult with that?
Just reading Heinlein's "Future History" series back to back for the first time!
If this is more than vapourware ...
... then they have another very interested potential customer here. I'll watch with anticipation!
Re: Just wait ...
I got my new waft-card yesterday (unsolicited). It now resides in a nice aluminium foil insert in my wallet until I can find a reliable way to kill NFID chip without messing up the card entirely (and/or I get my act together and change bank before RBS becomes Santander).
- Vid Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum
- Updated + vids WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH
- 10 years of Facebook Inside Facebook's engineering labs: Hardware heaven, HP hell – PICTURES
- Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic
- Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base