2642 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Re: Simple. If it can connect to the net, it is subject to the law.
There are plenty of devices out there that can do the job of text to speech from ebooks, as you say. And do it better. So why saddle the ereader manufacturers with having to do this? If it really did cost an extra $20 per device, that's hundreds of millions wasted on shoehorning extra tech in to a device that's still not going to be very suitable. Unless you want to argue they should be forced to add keyboards or Braille input as well...
Accessibility needs to be a trade-off. A compromise has to be made somewhere between the extra costs of accessibility on society, the rights of people to equal treatment and people's desire to keep some of their own money for themselves and not get taxed to buggery. Most changes impose costs.
Personally, I'd suggest that it would be better for everyone concerned to just tax all ereader sales at $20 and use that cash to buy every blind person in the US a more suitable device. Which I don't think would be a particularly good idea either. But probably better than forcing accessibility on an unsuitable device. An iPod touch or iPhone would be far better. I don't know the state of Android accessibility, but I do know that Apple have made some reasonable efforts, and are working on improvements.
Re: The problem is much more pernicious...
We should remember that 200 dpi is typically used as a normal resolution for everyday office document scanning and smaller fonts are very common in the "small print" parts of normal business documents ...
Damn! So are you telling me that I need to check that clause in the small print with my home insurance provider? I knew that it was too good to be true when I read, "in the event of a fire, you will be temporarily re-housed, and we will also provide hot and cold running call girls, plus unlimited pizza and beer."
Re: This is a KNOWN FEATURE... READ THE MANUAL...
It is totally unacceptable to put onto page 107 of the manual, in normal mode our product doesn't actually work for its stated purpose.
If they put that on the front page of both the manual and the marketing materials in say 30 point type, then it would be acceptable. Otherwise not.
Actually even then it wouldn't be. What part of copy do these fuckwits not understand? If the damned thing doesn't work on one of its settings, then that setting shouldn't be available. Or should only be available to be set by the installation engineer or local IT department, after sufficient warnings to people who understand what they mean, and may have actually seen the manual.
One, it's called normal mode. I presume that's in the sense that many companies don't do a 'small' drink, you have regular, large, extra large.
Two, it's a bloody photocopier. And it should be damned well copying! The people who didn't read the manual here are Xerox. It's supposed to copy stuff, not randomly substitute other stuff. Failing to resolve an unclear area is perfectly acceptable, and that's down to the user to deal with.
You shouldn't have to read the manual to do something basic like make a copy of a document in normal mode. If you want to do double-sided, stapled, enlarge, multi-coloured and sorted documents, then a manual may be required.
Re: Not new
I've seen genuine, nasty, stalking as a follow-on to online abuse. But that was a forum for ex-pats, and anyone who's worked abroad knows that ex-pats can form small, incestuous groups that make gangs of teenage girls look stable, balanced and mature.
On Twitter it's a different kettle of fish. But then celebs do get stalked and attacked every so often by nutcases. So you can understand them getting a bit twitchy.
Re: High-profile women gets protection from police
There's a significant difference between saying "you're fat, ugly and horrible" and "I know where you live, I'm coming to rape you." One is rude, and the internet is full of it. One is unacceptable, and if you get nicked by the plod for it, then tough shit. Similarly with, "I've planted a bomb outside your house to go off a 10:35".
Not that they're necessarily credible threats of course. But while I would probably ignore them, I don't think people should have to put up with that sort of thing, and it's been illegal for centuries to threaten people. So you can't claim to be surprised, or that because you were online you thought it didn't count.
Oddly the last time someone threatened me, it was a bunch of nuisance phone calls at about 1am. And the threat was that "your ears are coming off." "I'm going to come and get you, your ears are coming off." I made the assumption that someone might have been drinking... But then I'm a 6' tall bloke who's often asked if he plays rugby, with the muscles (and the belly sadly) to match.
Ah well, you see the internet is news. Many journalists and editors really do seem to want to be cool. And down wiv da kidz. And da kidz iz doing da internetz all da time (sorry, I'll stop that now). Plus it's mysterious and scary. To many ordinary users it's all done by witchcraft - and it's a jungle out there! To journos the internet is slowly putting many of them out of business, while also giving them news-gathering opportunities that they couldn't have dreamed of twenty years ago.
So teenage girl gets bullied is an old, old boring story. Teenage girl gets bullied online! Exciting! Teenage girl gets bullied online on foreign-owned website: Ban this sick filth now! They're probably swan-eating asylum-seeking foreigners too! And you know you can't trust the water, and the waiters don't speak English...
And of course the Twitter threats story is obviously news, as it's happening to actual journalists. That's real people that we know that is. So it must be news.
I saw a headline on the Torygraph of some commentator suggesting that Twitter is one of the few places where rich lefties meet the great unwashed, and it's a bit of a culture shock for the poor dears. Which is probably a bit harsh, but with a grain of truth.
Not to minimise the importance of the death of the poor kid. I was looking up some medical information the other day, and got curious and went on to the forum of a group for my visual impairment. Had a nose round, as you do, and they had a forum for teenagers. It reminded me just how bloody awful being a teenager can be - especially if you've got a disability that makes you stand out from the crowd. Don't know why they just don't paint target on your school uniform really... Would save time all round. Although I'd already 'dealt with' the issue of bullying by the time I was at secondary school - and anyway boys tend to be much less cruel than girls. A punch in the face beats getting sent to Coventry for a month any day.
Thinking about it, I used to live in Coventry - so that sentence is true in both senses...
Re: DUMP CAPTCHAS
At this point we'd have to rename it from CAPTCHA to KAFKA.
Working out a suitable backronym for this, I leave as an exercise for the reader...
Re: I use CAPTCHAS
Firstly I'd like to disagree with the sentiment involved in your post. So long as we don't greatly have to inconvenience society in order to be inclusive, we should do so. There's obviously a trade-off once things become more difficult and expensive - and that's where a process realistic of negotiation needs to take place - which is hopefully the role of politics.
There's no excuse, or reason, for marginalising large sectors of society. Particularly as computer aren't a hobby. They're a vital in many jobs, as well as being a medium of access to various services.
Secondly I'd like to point out your error of fact. Computers aren't fundamentally devices with visual-tactile interfaces. The ones you use might be, but many others aren't. For example look up the Braille-note, which is a 'laptop' with braille keyboard and output device. Which has a tactile interface, with optional spoken output.
Complete speech interfaces have been commonplace for years now, and are getting to be rather good. Plus you've got Microsoft's Kinect and equivalents - which can track gestures or eye movements.
Now I'm happy to admit that the internet has a lot of content that's visual, either video or pictures. But a great deal of it is also text, plus big chunks of audio - and various other formats. For example El Reg. There are pictures and video all over this site, but apart from an odd video podcast, none of it is vital to the articles, so someone could perfectly happily get 99% of the sense of this site by screen reader or braille display.
Now if we return to the topic of the article, we find that CAPTCHAs are extremely unpopular even for people without visual impairments. Thus a discussion of alternatives seems like a pretty reasonable idea, and while we're doing it, considering the convenience of as many users as possible makes sense.
Re: a joke?
I don't think it was. The post about it being a joke may have been a joke though...
The sure way to check would be to follow the link, but I hate those link shortening services that won't let you see where you're going until you've got there - it's too late, and the drive-by exploit is taking over your 'pooter. So I don't click on them. Looked pretty spammy though.
Re: a joke?
El Reg mod all new posters for a certain number of posts, before allowing them real-time posting. So either some spammer is patient, or a moderator just hit the wrong button...
Weirdly their report post button seems to have disappeared.
Re: I use CAPTCHAS
Two words: Screen reader. Or if you want different ones: Visual impairment. Which was rather the point of the article. Pictures resolve a small amount of annoyance for people who can already solve CAPTCHAs, but do nothing to solve the problems for many of the people who struggle with them.
Also, if it's a limited database of pictures, implemented by a commonly used piece of CAPTCHA software, then yes, the bots can solve it. By having access to the same list of pictures and answers. So the arms race would continue and the pictures would have to start being obscured and buggered around with, to stop the bots recognising them...
Re: DUMP CAPTCHAS
You an evil, evil man.
Re: Which two are the lions?
The article is about people with visual/hearing impairments struggling to deal with CAPTCHAs? If your screen-reading software can tell a lion from a cat, so can the bot.
Re: Passwords and Security gone MAD !!
I don't think you understand the problem that CAPTCHA is trying to solve. Which is spammers spamming legitimate forums to buggery.
I'm on a forum run by my favourite science fiction author, with probably 50 regular posters, and I'm sure many more lurkers/occasional posters like me. She had 100 bots apply for accounts in one weekend this month. She doesn't use CAPTCHAs. That's an absolute load of work for a forum admin on a small forum to get through, and I don't want her nixing bots, I want her to hurry up and write more books.
If you click on the wheelchair symbol, you get an audio CAPTCHA. I've no idea what it said, or whether they were even numbers of letters. The sound was so distorted I didn't even know when it started or finished.
The visual game was good. For most people, but then most people can already do CAPTCHAs. However it added some relatively fine motor-control to being very hard to see, so added a few more people with disabilities into the mix of people who won't be able to make it work. Back to the drawing-board I'm afraid. Next time, hopefully with less scripts and crap required to run it?
Plus, I might like the taste of a remote control on my sundae? Or hate cherries?
Re: Slow down
They are truly rubbish. There's obscuring noise, otherwise the bots would just use speech recognition, which is nearly as good as OCR nowadays.
I can barely read visual CAPTCHAs but the voice ones are worse. And I've got above-average hearing, and experience mixing live music, so I was quite surprised by that.
Don't know if you've got any other condition, besides nystagmus. But I recommend alcohol. I did try to get my doctor to prescribe it last time I visited...
It's a side-effect of my eye condition, not the main problem. But I can see better after one glass of life-giving booze than before, as it's a muscle relaxant. Of course after ten...
The problem with most of those puzzles is that they're machine-solvable. So if they go into common use, the spam bots will simply be re-programmed to defeat them. I was trying to think of some way of working with jokes, but everything I can think of requires a database of questions for the CAPTCHA, at which point the spamming bastards just need to replicate (or steal) it and they're good to go.
How's about just asking the question, "are you a spamming bastard?" I'm sure they wouldn't lie, because that would be naughty. After all, it works on visa forms, where they ask if you were a member of the Nazi party...
I've seen "what colour is the text?"*, or "what is this a picture of?". Ridiculously easy for a human.
CAPTCHAs are already pretty easy for a human, so long as they can see properly. The whole point of this article was that if you can't see properly, they're ridiculously hard. And the audio versions are even harder.
Screen-readers tell you what text says, they aren't designed to tell you what colour the background is. Anything they can identify, is going to be equally easy for the spammers to spot.
Admittedly it might make things easier for someone like me, who has usable vision, but struggles with the text in CAPTCHAs.
That post is far too reasonable and thought through. How the hell did you get access to these forums?
I've always hated CAPTCHAs. It's a rare time that I can get the buggers on the first go. I have very severe sight problems. Sadly the audio ones are even harder to decipher, and I've got pretty good hearing. So I just merrily go through a few (swearily if I'm being honest), until I get one right, like house drumpBty or somesuch. The nonsense words are particularly hard for me, because there's no context, so if there's one letter I can't read, then it's impossible to guess. Whereas if the u in house is unclear, I can get it from context.
Unfortunately the same problem applies to OCR. If it's unclear about one letter, it can go to word tables, and come up with a probability for what word it'll be. Hence making it easier for me, is probably going to do the same for the bots.
Actually I think this is the first time I've properly thought about the bloody things, and despite the fact that they're hateful, annoying and discriminatory - they're also quite hard to replace. Email confirmation isn't going to stop a well-written spam-bot. Anything that's commonly used, and available for people to just bolt-on to their site is going to be worth the spammers writing a counter to. And there's always the problem of paying peanuts to people in web cafes.
Someone suggested a simple astronomy question for their local astronomy site. Which works by security through obscurity. As soon as that solution became commonplace, bots would be written with a database of easy astronomy questions. Anything that a test can get me to look up, the spammers can also do.
Anything I can think of that's more human is even harder to make accessible. Things like cartoons, or puzzles are going to be much harder to bung through a screen-reader - and I'd have thought any questions can be looked up as easily by the spammers as the customers. Or at least put onto the spammers database, as fast as they go on the questioners database.
Perhaps the answer to spam is identity confirmation before you're allowed to register a domain, and then vigilantes with baseball bats? There are more of us than there are of them...
I'm sorry, I can't come to work today, my current sheet has gone wavy.
My date of birth is 29th February. I always fancied being a leap-baby. Except for restaurants, where there's a chance of getting cheap dinner vouchers, in which case I pick one near to the real date.
Re: Best get off that high horse....
El Reg did report themselves to the ICO a while back, when they had a data breach. I wonder what happened? Perhaps the were sentenced to doing Community Service in the Playmobil space program...
Re: Can't tell if trolling or just stupid
If you see something in the news, and can't believe that it's genuine, or else humanity must have gone mad, you just need to believe harder. It is genuine. It's also possible that humanity has gone mad. Or always was...
I call this the Chris Morris effect. Every day I see more headlines that only Chris Morris could have written. As time goes on I have gradually realised that 'The Day Today', 'On the Hour' and 'Brass Eye' weren't satire, they were in fact media training material that got broadcast by mistake.
It's paedogeddon out there.
Reporting spam/abusive posts
You seem to have disappeared the 'report' button from posts. Or Firefox is doing something funny? Quick check in Chrome and IE suggests not. Are you updating/removing this feature, or is something up?
Just saw a spammer who got through (which you're very good at avoiding normally) and couldn't do anything about it. In case it's still there by the time anyone reads this: link to post
Don't mention the Hobbit! My bum is still numb, and I saw it months ago!
Re: Training your replacement.
Ah, but then you used NSA, which is also a keyword likely to be on their filters...
Adding in the use of both NSA and filters, and the deliberate obfuscation of a priority word, I wouldn't be surprised if the black helicopters aren't circling your house right now!
Re: What happened to Eadon??
This should be interesting. Is this one to start a topic on El Reg Matters, or is discussion going to be launched with an article, in order to get all the commentards involved? You get a much smaller set of us on the non-article forums.
I can imagine it's time for a re-think. Unless I'm mistaken the volume of voting and comments has gone up massively, even in the last 6 months. For example, it was only early this year that I hit 2,000 upvotes (I wondered if my badge would turn silver), and it's now 4,300. Voting's been going for more than a couple of years - so this looks like acceleration. There also seem to be a lot more 100 post topics than there used to be.
I used to moderate on a forum for an online game, with a million users. Although most of them never posted. I don't remember ever being upset by a post on there, although I guess accidentally clicking on links to that bloody Rick Astley song counts as mentally traumatic... I've always hated those link-shortener sites since those days, as they won't let you plug the link into their site and see where it goes, before you play Russian Roulette and click on it. Hence the Rick Astley pain.
Admittedly we didn't have article authors in the same way, so there wasn't the same personal target for bile and spite. There was a game-dev forum, but I didn't moderate that, I'd imagine it suffered from those problems. I never saw a death threat, and I believe El Reg have had to put up with several of those, mostly my job was stopping the bickering getting unpleasant (for which the Scottish forums were a nightmare) and swearing (for which the Irish were worst). And spam.
Obviously you've got the legal issues as well. You don't want to be sued for something written by a commentard, and I believe there's more of a risk of that as you moderate.
As well as laying out what El Reg is thinking the options are, I think we also need to know what problems it is that these changes are meant to solve.
For example I wouldn't recommend changing policy to get rid of swearing. There's not too much on here, so I don't see it as a problem. But it opens a moderation minefield. However, if other users see that as a problem (some who browsing at work), then you'll be forced to get into it. Oh what joy...
If you're worried about not getting bad stuff off the forums quickly enough, then you could give certain users a bit of moderating-ligtht powers. Just give them a 'report post' button that temporarily hides it, until El Reg staff have had a chance to look at it. Should be easy enough to take away if they abuse it, or over-use it. Non-employee moderation is something a lot of forums do. However, I've not noticed too many bad posts, given the rough-and-tumble that is normally allowed here. But if there's a lot being modded, it may be an option to reduce the workload of paid staff, let more through and catch it afterwards.
Hmmm. Think I've gone on a bit here. So I'll shut up. Perhaps El Reg should introduce punishments for posts that are too long? Eek! Shouldn't have suggested that...
Re: Invisible comments?
If it's forget the blackjack and hookers, then I can see it. I'm afraid your attempt to build a cloaking device, for the invisible stealth-shed, appears to have failed...
Re: No more top three comments below story? :(
I'm glad they killed them. I've seen others post on here to the same effect. Of course, now they have, the people who liked them complain. I guess you can't please all the people all the time...
My reason for not liking them is that the comments appeared out of context. Also, the first comment to get a few votes would stay on there, and get many more (either up or down), due to being in prime position. Not that I care too much about that, but I've noticed more comments with huge numbers of votes than before - and I suspect that's down to the top comments thingy.
However, they do seem to have made the link to the comments less prominent in the page design.
Re: Killed the golden goose.
Erm, a little calm and sense of perspective might be in order here. All comments are still present and correct. They just haven't got the top few listed, out of context, where the voting becomes a self-reinforcing process. Get the first few, get to be visible, get more afterwards. Not that the voting matters, but the out of context bit does.
As for getting moderated on advertorial, it depends what you mean. The Reg do run a few sponsored articles, they're normally marked. Just don't read them. I don't blame them for controlling the comments on those, seeing as that's part of how this site is paid for, and the users are getting it free - what's to complain about?
Unless you're one of those whiners (of which there are many) who call the author a shill when he's nice about a company you don't like. In which case, again, it's their house, their rules (as their forum rules say). I've seen plenty of discussion of products, saying they suck, so I assume that's not too heavily moderated. If people are calling their author's names, then tough shit if they get modded.
El Reg have done their badges a slightly odd way, which Drewc said they were thinking of changing. They've set it up to check if you've made 100 posts in the last calendar year - to give the badges, but what computer can give, computer can also take away. So if you fail to post 100 times in a calendar year, then you will be unceremoniously de-frocked.
A quick check of your posts confirms this. If you click on your username, it lists all the posts under it, and I think they do about 50 to a page. Go to page 2, and the bottom 10 or so are from before August 2012. So you must be a bit under your 100 quota. Get back in those salt mines! The El Reg staff will give you a good whipping, and I'm sure you won't make the same mistake twice...
“The study provides one more piece of evidence that it’s possible to get magma from the mantle to the surface in very short order,”
So when can scientists arrange for this to be delivered to my barbeque at say 7 o'clock each evening, on sunny evenings only of course, ready for me to put on the dinner?
Re: Until they sued them...
Either that, or the app makers motivation is to build the perfect list of people who want to get all goey with their friends (who don't agree), then release a new app called Blackmail With Friends, where you have to pay them not to reveal all.
Hmmmm. This gives me an idea - how do I sign up to write Facebook apps?
Re: Punish Thought Crime vs Real Crime
How's that Daily Mail subscription coming along?
By the way, rapists and murderers should get early release. In order to make prisons governable you have to be able to control the prisoners. One good way is to give them a longer sentence than you expect them to serve, and then give them time off for good behaviour. Thus if they don't behave, they don't get to leave early. So long as the sentences are designed right, this needn't be a problem. You may also wish to consider rehabilitation of prisoners before returning them to society. Unless you want to bring back the death penalty, or build many more jails and go for whole-life sentences.
One alternative is the US system, where loads of people are on long sentences with no possibility of parole. And they have incredibly violent prisons. Now obviously prisons are full of criminals, so this is going to happen, to some extent. But if people have no hope of release, then your only real threats are solitary confinement. Unless you want to introduce punishment beatings or something.
As a final point perverting the course of justice is a serious crime. And should be treated as such. Interfering with a defendants right to a fair trial is damaging to both the defendant (obviously) but also the processes that make society work. As well as the collateral damage of causing expensive re-trials, and putting witnesses and victims through the wringer a second time, because of it.
Re: Oh Please
Are you serious?
Yup. It's dead serious. I've served on a jury. You can find someone guilty and they can get sent to prison for years. If you aren't taking that seriously then you're both a total idiot and a liability to the rest of society.
Banning someone from Googling the accused is no more ludicrous than checking for their name(s) in the tabloids, yet how many people did that before the internet came out?
Indeed, the above mentioned idiots and liabilities to society did used to check stuff out in the papers. Despite the fact that they are told not to. And now they search online, despite the fact they are told not to. Although online is worse, because at least the UK papers have heard (and sometimes comply with) sub judice rules. Also, the papers may not always be accurate, but they're doing a good deal more fact-checking than random bloggers.
There are rules of evidence for a reason, in order to give people a chance of a fair trial. You, as a juror, have to accept that you only get limited information. You usually don't get previous convictions for example. You have a role to play in a complex system, and it's your job to do it fucking properly. So some poor sod doesn't end up locked up when they shouldn't be. Also so the victims don't have to come back to court and go through traumatic testimony a second time, because you've buggered up the very expensive and complicated trial, and it has to be done all over again.
It's not rocket science. You're told what you have to do, and it's your job to do it, as best you can. To go all high-fallutin, its your duty to society. One of the things that makes a decent society, is a fair (ish) legal system. And while no system is perfect, at least juries allow ordinary people to be involved and hopefully keep things sane. With legal checks-and-balances to try and avoid lynch-mob-rule. The only way to ensure the system doesn't turn into a totally self-interested closed shop is to grab ordinary bods off the street, and get them to serve on juries. Which is inconvenient, but necessary. Society would be worse without it. And in my experience, you can be forced to serve on a jury, but they're mostly pretty easy-going about letting you avoid it, if you really want to.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot the Rembrandt on the wall as well...
Re: Excellent work
Ah but there's an advantage to the battleship armour thickness spaceship walls. It gives us a perfect excuse to go for the 'Project Orion' approach to spaceflight. Then we can get pretty much anything we want up there, and deal with nuclear proliferation, by 'recycling' old warheads.
Caveat: Now I like development as much as the next man. And I hate Nimbyism. However, on this particular occasion, I really must protest about the idea of Project Orion being launched anywhere near my house. I get these terrible headaches you see, and the last thing I want is something making them worse...
I can't decide between a smiley face and a big explosion icon. But I think I'll go for the smiley face, because big explosions are fun. When they're not happening to you.
Re: Talking about accessibility...
Sometimes I despair of people on the internet, I really do. I tried to type something rational about the above comment, but I've lost the will to live.
Re: Evil idea #21
Ah the sound of a door opening quietly in the distance, and then a piglike snuffling and grunting getting slowly closer...
Happy memories of playing Doom in the dark, with my first experience of 4.1 sound. You had to learn to look over your shoulder on the screen, not in real life. Happy days.
Re: Smoke and mirrors
You really are deluding yourself if you consider what is in the press or published on the internet as total truth,its all smoke and mirrors designed to hide events and change whats written in the history books.
Take off the tinfoil hat old chap. I wouldn't disagree too much with your statement if you removed that word designed. Then we could agree that truth is hidden, very complicated and incredibly hard to pin down.
Wikileaks didn't really reveal anything we didn't already know. The diplomatic cables confirmed that sometimes diplomats and governments don't say what they really think about foreign policy - and also often negotiate with unpleasant regimes. Say it ain't so! You ought to have had that figured out once you started doing history at school. There's no excuse for not already knowing that by the time you're 18.
The Afghan war logs showed us that civilians get killed in wars. Sometimes by accident, sometimes deliberately. Again, you should have known that already. I don't recall a single case being highlighted of NATO screwing up and killing civilians that was covered up.
So what truth has St Julian unveiled to the world? That some guys who fly Apache helicopters make tasteless comments as they shoot at people milling around with guns (and it turns out an RPG), because they were afraid they had an RPG, and so might get shot down, and were covering it with bravado. Again what did that reveal? Other than Wikileaks point of view, by calling it 'Collateral Murder', and worryingly dodgy ethics by editing the version they put on Youtube...
Truth is complicated. We don't know everything. We should be sceptical of government, media and also historians and internet comments. As I said, you shouldn't need Assange to tell you that, not once you're past 16, or at the very latest, 18.
Re: A solution
That price is appallingly high. It's worth spending £3m every year to keep that loony confined to Ecuador's mansion flat in Knightsbridge, a bit steep but the Met have padded the figure anyway. It's not worth forgoing an Ashes win in order to get him! That's a disgusting thing to say!
There's a chance of a 5-0 slaughter here, with the opportunity to follow them home and do it all over again! This is a once in a lifetime gloating opportunity, and we might even make their captain cry and resign again. Haven't managed that since the 80s...
The Ashes is far more important than Julian Assange.
Re: If he were a senator though
Would he not get diplomatic immunity ?
There is is a persistent misunderstanding here. You can't award yourself diplomatic immunity. You have to be given it, from the country you're going to. Although I believe there may be some exceptions for the UN, for example I don't think the USA are allowed to block visitors to HQ in New York, because the UN has granted the immunity.
So Assange can only get immunity if the British government give it to him. Which they won't. Once granted, the only option is to declare someone persona non grata, and then they have to leave the country. Although immunity can be waived by their own government or ambassador.
There's no way for Ecuador to get Assange out, without breaking the Vienna Conventions that protect their embassy. Although there's also no sanctions built in, so the only cost would be to get a nasty note from the Foreign Office, have diplomats expelled, or diplomatic relations broken off (which would be overkill). And the legal advice to the FCO is probably that they can't make a deal to let him leave, as a court has already ruled he's off to Sweden. So unless they do a deniable deal, and turn a blind eye - Ecuador are stuck with him until they back down and kick him out - or risk escalating a diplomatic annoyance into a full-blown row. As the police have a legal obligation to arrest him, and the government have no legal right to overrule the Met in operational matters, doing a naughty little deal would have a massive chance of becoming public. The Met and the government aren't on good terms.
jake Old Chap,
I'm never in Nidd! One would never do something so indecorous (if not positively disgusting). I prefer to consider it a state of an under-abundance of non-Niddness. One must try to maintain standards don't-yer-know.
I'm not sure quite why your original declaration of Mornington Crescent wasn't accepted by the chairman. Perhaps he's asleep? But by my reckoning you should have declared a crowned-and-consummated right there, and thus had irreversible title to the win. Hence the game would have had to be re-started.
But seeing as that didn't happen, you allowed another move to be made - and so forfeited your chance of the win. Now obviously Morton (the double-strike without clearing rule) would normally apply here, meaning that it's virtually impossible to ever clear Mornington Crescent and so therefore the game can never end. However, only a mad sadist would implement the rules in that way. Exactly who is the chairman anyway?
On an unrelated note - wine, cava, beer or margaritas tonight?
Good grief! Is this still going on? I've got a gig in Hull next Thursday?
Anyone's been able to say it for at least the last 7 moves, if only you'd bothered to read your 'Mornington Crescent for Dummies' by Rushton and Lyttleton.
Even Tim Brook-Taylor's 'My First Baby Book of Mornington Crescent - New Prince George Edition' covers this! And that was written in crayon, during one of his regular stays at Broadmoor. Well they say it was crayon, I've not seen many crimson crayons myself, they never did find where he hid the stolen kitchen knives... The smudged bits are probably just dribble though. It's amazing how no-one in the audience ever comments on the straight-jacket - and of course you can't see it on the radio. They replace Samantha with the rippling Sven only when he's having one of his dangerous periods.
As far as I know, the rule goes back to the original Greensleeves edition - so named as Henry VIII wiped his nose on his doublet while signing the original manuscript, and smeared bogies on the title page. It's Wolseley's Offence - and possibly one of the reasons Henry had him executed - that and wanting to nick his lovely palace at Hampton Court. I don't believe it's ever been superseded, so long as no signals cross-phasing has taken place at any time in the round.
I guess the next thing to do, is play a game of Bordeaux?
Re: ASA remit
It's self regulation: link to CAP website. An interesting little set-up. I can see where Lord Leveson looked for some of his ideas on press regulation, as well as some similarities with the old (discredited) press regulation systems.
It looks like the ultimate sanction is having your right to advertise taken away or at least severely curtailed. Mostly companies just get told not to run the ad again. But if you persistently offend they can get the advertising networks to refuse to take your ads (as they have a duty to make reasonable efforts not to air stuff that breaks the code). After repeated tellings off they can make you have all your ads pre-checked for compliance, backed by the same threat (as happened to FCUK a while back - the company what can't spell fuck). I'd imagine it's after that you get the plug pulled. If the advertising space sellers don't co-operate, and it makes enough noise, they might get full regulation, so they've an incentive to cooperate. Plus the ASA can refer to the OFT who can go to court, so there is a legal backstop.
Of course it's still self-regulation. It applies to pretty much all advertising, and marketing / sales promotions. Although it says that where things are unclear they will have a bias towards ruling on paid-for advertising space, which I guess means they'd be less likely to rule on a company's own website.
Anyway Brewdog could probably ignore it. This is self regulation. If the ASA felt sufficiently pissed off, they could ban them from mainstream advertising providers. If they don't market using those channels, then they might not care. I suspect they'd have to be a lot naughtier than this in order to get any serious sanctions - they're not high profile.
As for the Daily Fail, the code applies to advertising, marketing and sales campaigns. I'm sure their online ads are regulated, the same as the ones that go in the paper - and will mostly comply. The ASA don't have jurisdiction over the articles.
Although they do have the power to rule on 'advertorial' type content. Which could be interesting, given that 90% of the travel and fashion plus half the technology coverage in papers seems to be barely more than thinly disguised adverts.
Re: ISK can be used to buy play passes
CCP discourage it, but you can buy ISK on Ebay. Although it's reasonably hard to do without getting scammed or caught. And CCP can destroy it, if they catch you. So I can't imagine you can sell £1,000 of ISK in more than small chunks.
Of course they've also had an official market for a while now. But it's designed not to let you make a profit, but to allow people with time but no cash to play the game for free. So you buy game time for ISK in game, and people's game time bought from CCP is an in-game resource (a PLEX) until they use it. So by that method you can buy ISK for real money, but you can only sell it for game time cards. Again you can sell them in real life for cash, but then people have to trust you to give them to them in the game.
Also, rather cunningly from CCP, as these are in game assets, not only can they be scammed / stolen, but PLEXes can also be destroyed - if transported on a ship. So if that happens, CCP get to effectively steal the cash paid to them by gamers to play (as I recall there's no need to put them on a ship - so it's your own fault). Sometimes EVE can be an unfriendly place...
Oh and you got scammed in EVE - HaHa!
Tee hee. Nope. I wasn't ever rich enough to look at EVE banks and the stock market. Although I do know someone who ran a bank and didn't steal anyone's money for years. Gave good interest too.
Then I think he just got bored, and so decided to keep the lot. At one point he had over 100 billion ISK invested, so worth thousands of real pounds, if you could convert it.
Good old EVE, a hive of scum and villainy. Good for a giggle if you like blowing things up, and don't mind it all going horribly wrong every so often. Which it undoubtedly will.
"Any investment in securities in the United States remains subject to the jurisdiction of the SEC regardless of whether the investment is made in U.S. dollars or a virtual currency,"
It's a shame they hadn't said this back in the days when I was playing EVE Online. Although anyone trying to clean up the scams in EVE would need an awful lot of staff...
On a serious note, I always thought that Linden Labs were trying to encourage the use of Linden Dollars for real world transactions. Or at least trying to encourage real world companies to trade inside Second Life. So I don't see how they can also try to get away with calling it an in-game currency only.
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