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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1158 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Everything Everywhere's 4G monopoly stalled by Ofcom

Dr. Mouse
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Simple solution

It may not be acceptable to everyone, but the simplest solution would be to allow EE to deploy 4G, but on the condition that it allowed it's competitors to use that network (at a regulated price point) until the others have the ability to deploy (with some overlap to allow them to catch up). This provides the best solution from the consumer's point of view.

Doubt it will happen, though. Common sense rarely wins.

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Braben sticks knife into secondhand games market

Dr. Mouse
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Flame

"the idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it."

Then make games which take longer to finish!

If a game takes 3 days to complete, they player is well within his rights to sell it on, and that means the person going to buy it 3 days after release can buy second hand.

If a game takes 3 months to complete, the people buying in the first 3 months have to buy new.

The game industry (and other media industies) trying to stop second-hand sales is disgusting. If you have finished with something you have bought, why the hell shouldn't you sell it on again?

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Big Media drags 142,000 through UK's courts IN A YEAR

Dr. Mouse
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I like the BBC. I enjoy their programming. I like the fact that it has no adverts.

However, I would completely agree that the TV license is regressive. TV has become a large part of everyday life for most of the population. In fact, you could argue that it is more important for the poorer sections of society as the richer end of the scale have much more entertainment options open to them.

There are only 2 ways to address this:

1) Spin the BBC off into a commercial broadcaster, removing all restrictions and the TV license (and, I think, destroying the BBC in the process), or

2) Get rid of the license fee and roll the amount generated by it into income-based taxation.

I actually believe 2) should be done with most taxes. Take the current total tax income gathered by the govt and roll it all into an income-based tax increase. The books balance, but it is completely progressive.

It won't happen, though. The government prefers having lots of complicated taxes so people can't see how an increase will hit them till it's too late.

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UK Home Secretary approves TVShack's O'Dwyer extradition

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Couple of questions

"based on the location of the web server"

I am fairly sure I read that all services were hosted in the UK.

Even if they weren't, the site was developed in the UK, so some part was done in the UK.

I wish a lawyer would come on and explain this. May have to try to convince OutLaw to do a write up...

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Couple of questions

@Androgynous Cupboard

IANAL, but looking at what you quoted there, he is not elligible. Looking at both statements, they say "but no part of it in the UK". He was in the UK, and so were his servers, hence part of it was in the UK. Whether or not the rest applies, surely it must hold that part of the "offence" occured in the UK.

As a side note, from now on I am making any sites I run inaccessible from the US. I don't know US law, can't afford to hire a US lawyer and do not wish to be subject to US law, so I shall block all US IP addresses. Simples.

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Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

I have 2 main gripes

1) The treaty IS unballanced, and this should be redressed. I am unsure what good this would do in the cases publicised so far, but it needs sorting.

2) As many pointed out here, he did all this in the UK, AFAIK hosted on UK servers. To extradite him to the US when all his actions were in the UK is rediculous! There is something to the extradition of McKinnon (as he "hacked" US computers), although I still think he acted in the UK so should be dealt with here. When it gets to the point where someone can act soley in the UK and be extradited to the US, we really do have "Team America - World Police". We all need to learn about US law as that applies here thanks to a spineless UK government and a US govt which thinks it's entitled to police the world.

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PhD pimp's mobe lock screen outwits Feds - Google told to help

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

I am currently working on securing a phone against this, and finding it is much more difficult than I at first thought (to secure, not to break into, that's easy).

The only possible reason I can see for doing this is procudure, whereby the evidence may be seen as being tampered with. But getting data from an Android device when you physically have access to it, "secured" or not, is fairly trivial, and in the case of the FBI direct access to the flash chip, as a final resort, should be feasible.

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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Dr. Mouse
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Implementation details are key

This is a very good idea... IF it is implemented properly.

BBC Worldwide already sell DVDs of popular series, but it is not worthwhile them doing so if not many people will buy them. This changes with online distribution, so those series which would never have made it to DVD could be made available for download, a win for the consumer.

Also, will the media be made available to "buy" (i.e. keep and own forever), "rent" (view once), or both at different price points? I hope the third option. There are many "old" BBC shows which never made it to DVD which I would be willing to pay a decent amount for to buy, but would not pay to rent, yet there are some I just want to catch up on, so view once, and wouldn't pay "buy" prices for them.

I would also say they should restrict the "free" iPlayer to those with a TV license, but allow non-license-holders access to the content for a fee. It's not really fair to license holders that those who don't pay can use iPlayer top view the programmes a few hours later.

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Speedy 3D printer creates 285µm Formula-1 speedster

Dr. Mouse
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: (click to enlarge)

See icon, I will accept cash, cheque, PayPal or bank transfer. Please contact me at iam@joking.com :)

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Flying Spaghetti Monster's works spotted in space

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Proof is in the skies

@LaeMing: That's just another of his noodley appendages. It may look like a middle finger, but if you look closer it's 2 meatballs and a noodle...

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US Justice Department threatens Apple and publishers with court battle

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Why..

Because that would be in violation of their agreement with Apple. As they want their books to be available on Apple devices, they need to keep Apple happy, and Apple don't want anyone to be allowed to charge less than they do.

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Yet another iPhone patent lawsuit

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Things have taken an even more dangerous turn in recent years.

"That's right, because nothing was invented before the 14th Century AD."

OK, sorry, I get your point.

What I meant was that it provides an extra incentive to advance. Obviously people will still invent, but there is a greater encouragement to invent AND share the knowledge if you have protection from others copying it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: How does FRAND work for a 3rd party

Interesting question.

I would guess it is part of the standards process, like the FRAND requirement, that FRAND transfers on sale, but I don't know for certain. It would seem bonkers that such a clause wasn't there.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Things have taken an even more dangerous turn in recent years.

@a_been:

"Of course we must remember that the original reason for patent law... was to limit trade to the detriment of the people within the nation that the patent was granted."

AFAIK, this was not the original purpose.

From what I have read, the reason for patents was to encourage the disclosure of new ideas while protecting the person who came up with the idea.

In order to get a patent, the idea must be published with detailed descriptions of how it works. The knowledge is therefore spread, while the patent holder is able to monetise their idea through the protection of the patent. Anyone can then use the idea in the patent to develop it further, or encorporate it in another idea, hence advancing human knowledge, but they must negotiate with the original patent holder to actually use it.

In a world without patents, any new idea would be produced as a black box, or would be copied as soon as it was released. Human advancement would be held back because either knowledge would not be spread or many people would not bother to develop as they would not be able to make money from it.

The bad part in patents, IMHO, is that companies can own them and trade them. Also people do not have to use them. I believe all patents should have to be held by the individual who had the idea, they should not be traded (licensing is fine), and there should be an invalidation on non-use within a certain timeframe.

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UK.gov holds summit to stop satnav-driven smash-ups

Dr. Mouse
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Minor correction...

"Last month, Confused.com said that satnavs had caused more than £203m worth of damage to drivers on UK roads in the last year, with 83 per cent of 2,000 survey respondents admitting to the site that they'd been misled by their soothingly voiced machines."

Should read:

"Last month, Confused.com said that stupid drivers had caused more than £203m worth of damage on UK roads in the last year, with 83 per cent of 2,000 survey respondents admitting to the site that they were too stupid to apply any common sense to the instructions from their soothingly voiced machines."

I use a sat nav all the time. It is a guide only, and I look up directions first to make sure I have a rought idea of where I am going. If it tells me to go the wrong way down a one way road (or similar) I ignore it. If the instructions don't match what I remember from looking it up myself, I pull over and make sure. A little common sense goes a long way. I am often told I have no common sense, but I have more than these numpties!

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iOnRoad Augmented Driving

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Safe driving distance

As far as I am aware, the 2 seconds is the length of time it takes for you to stop. I.e. if he stopped instantly, you would stop in time.

I am not certain of this, so correct me if I'm wrong.

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Robot NIGHTMARE sets new leggy-bot speed record

Dr. Mouse
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Re: How far / fast will it go...

I would guess 0mph, 0 miles (after it has fallen over of course).

The reason it is run like that is because it doesn't (in it's current form) have onboard power. Hence it will fall over and not move.

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Audi shows off OLED-illuminated concept R8

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Re: the blue strips are

"There's no bad publicity, so why didn't they stick something long and and glowing pink into its rear?"

It's an Audi. If it ever reaches the road, it will already have a dick inside it.

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Two Brits in court over Michael Jackson back catalogue hack

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

SOCA Again?!

Why the hell is this kind of thing being dealt with by SOCA?!

It is NOT a serious crime!! Stealing a penny sweet from a corner shop is a more serious crime than copying files like this from a server somewhere. This deprives Sony of nothing, and the only effect (assuming the files weren't distributed, which the article doesn't mention) is to force Sony to close a security hole in their network, which they should be doing anyway.

Serious crimes cause serious harm. Even if the files were distributed and it could be proven that this cost Sony significant amounts of money, it is still not a SERIOUS crime. There is not enough detail to know if it was "organised crime", but I would guess not, just a couple of "hackers" operating on their own.

SOCA my arse! They should go out and meet some victims of REAL, SERIOUS CRIME to get their priorities right, families of murder victims, victims of assault etc. Or, at the very least, be renamed so the name actually portrays what they are dealing with. I wish I had the imagination to fit a decent backronym to a descriptive word.

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Anonymous knocks FTC site offline

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Teach your children well

How many kids graffiti? Carve "penis" or their initials into their school desks?

When older, how many people will join protests against government policy, where some will then be involved in hanging banners, tearing down posters, or even grafitti (again) to try to get their points accross. Should these people also be shot?

At the end of the day, while I disagree with them doing it, what Anon do is normally no worse than grafitti, a petty act of vandalism designed to gain publicity. Defacing a website of a government agency does no real harm, it is just a method of publicising their cause.

IMHO speeding is a more serious offense than defacing or taking down a webite: who are you going to kill by taking some marketting material offline for a few hours? All those calling for harsh, disproportionate punishments of these "hackers": Do you ever break the speed limit? Have you ever broken the law in ANY way?

I'm not at all religious, but I think one line from the bible applies here: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: relevant xkcd link

I am often shocked at how many times an xkcd cartoon is relevant.

Just as I am often shocked at how often a South Park episode is relevant.

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Texan TSA crew accused of nude scanner ogling scheme

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Re: It was pretty obvious this would happen.

Unless I am mistaken they have these at Manchester Airport. At least that's what I assumed they were.

It was on my last holiday, and there were electronically controlled gates. AFAIK they were randomly controlled, or chose every nth person or some such, sending people either through the scanner or straight past.

I could be wrong, but if I am correct I think this is the right way to do it. No human interference (if someone is already flagged as a threat or security officials think they are acting sus, they have other procedures they can follow), just "random" selection.

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Reptile boffins spot world's smallest chameleon

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Re: Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

@Code Monkey

Ah, OK I forgot about that. Thanks

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Island Dwarfism

"All the big hungry bastards kick the bucket and receive a posthumous Darwin award."

Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

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Canadians revolt over draconian internet privacy bill

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Re: sigh

LOL! @ Richard Wharram

I re-read after seeing your comment and now YOU owe me a keyboard!

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UK crime-busters knock hiphop site off the Internet

Dr. Mouse
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For anyone who wants to leave them a message

Assuming you are running Linux:

Put your message, using only alphanumeric characters and spaces, into a file called socamessage, then run the following command:

cat socamessage | sed -e 's/\s/_/g' | (while read L; do wget -O /dev/null "http://webwarper.net/ww/rnbxclusive.com/$L"; done)

If you have a long message to send, it can be split over several lines.

This will also anonymise, although only through a single proxy.

My own just let them know my displeasure at the Serious Organised Crime Agency threatening to investgate the probably innocent visitors to the site, and asking why they don't have better things to do (like investigating SERIOUS ORGANISED crime)

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BOFH: The Cloud Committee Calamity

Dr. Mouse
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"8 Mb total free space? No, you have 4 Mb free. Ha!"

Don't you mean:

"What do you mean you are running out of space?... *tap tap tap* You have NOTHING in your home directory! Not even in the *tap tap tap* backups."

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Googorola's desire for iPhone royalties will upset Apple cart

Dr. Mouse
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"Google will make a final offer of its RAND license terms... without prejudice to any right to recover damages for past unlicensed use... before seeking injunctive relief for infringement of the acquired… patents"

That certainly seems reasonable to me.

Assuming Moto have attempted to license the patents under reasonable terms but these have been rejected by the other party, Google are saying they'll give them another chance before seeking an injunction, although they'll reserve the right to sue for past, unlicensed use.

But this is where the line gets blurry: What is reasonable to one may not be to another.

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Google Wallet PIN security cracked in seconds

Dr. Mouse
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Salt?

Don't tell me they don't even salt the hash?!

It could be salted using some info on the Secure Element, thus allowing the PIN to be maganed by droid, or some such. I can't see how this could be so easily cracked unless they are either not salting or they are using an easy-to-find salt.

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Royal astro-boffin to MPs: Stop thinking about headlines

Dr. Mouse
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Anyone with a brain...

has been thinking this for a long time. Finally someone has told the govt about it.

All govts these days seem more interested in being seen to be doing something, rather than making good descisions. This is where something like the House of Lords should step in, but they just allow the govt to push through their knee jerk reactions to the latest headlines.

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Revealed: Apple's plea for fairness in mobile patent war

Dr. Mouse
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I agree

"All you are saying is that some firms, e.g. Apple, are better at producing a better, more useable version of existing technology or ideas. That seems to me to be praiseworthy"

I completely agree. Apple are VERY good at repackaging an existing product into a more usable product. I will never take that away from them, they are brilliant at it.

However, IMHO, that is all they are good at. I do not believe they have ever invented anything on their own, and therefore do not believe they have any patents which could not reasonably be covered by prior art (I am happy for people to correct me if I am wrong).

Everything I have seen from them has been done before, and they have improved it and slapped patents on it.

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Toshiba 14in USB LCD Mobile Monitor

Dr. Mouse
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Android Support

Android support is likely to be very difficult. From what I've seen, the architecture of Android dcoesn't lend itself to changing hardware very well. Although the undelying Linux system may support them, many parts including interfaces to the display & audio are hard-coded for their particular hardware.

People may correct me if I am wrong, I'm certainly no expert on this.

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Serial killer PYTHONS stalk Florida's Everglades

Dr. Mouse
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I think the better way would be to find out what it'd natural predator is, and introduce that to the areas.

Then, when they go out of control, find THEIR natural predator and introduce them.

And then... OK, maybe not such a good plan, a la "She swallowed the spider to catch the fly".

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Star Trek tractor beam to save Earth from asteroid Armageddon

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

"But they'll be dead soon anyway. Fucking kangaroos."

Why, do kangaroos carry deadly STDs?

Or is it just that kangaroo love is so common in Aus?

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Dr. Mouse
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That's the point

If one country sees another fire a nuke, they won't hang around to see where it's target is, they'll immediately assume the worst.

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Brit pair deported from US for 'destroy America' tweet

Dr. Mouse
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"I and most people are well aware of the lack of sense of humor homeland security / immigration / customs have while entering (or leaving) the USA. the golden rule is if your planing on going in holiday to the USA or any other country for that matter, make sure you are well aware of what is likely to piss the government or the populous off and avoid it... unless your intention is to piss them off."

Not just the USA. A mate at Uni went to Aus with a group in his year out. One of the lads in the group, when asked if he had a criminal record, reponded with "I didn't know you still needed one to get in".

Always going to be a mistake, and rather an uncomfortable one (latex gloves went on pretty quickly).

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Dr. Mouse
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Only 2 thoughts here.

1, these "kids" were a little misguided (i.e. completely stupid) to make these comments in a public forum. Do they not remember the guy who tweeted about blowing up the airport?

2, the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill. The comments were obviously a bad taste joke, maybe double checking them and questioning them quickly to make sure is OK, but deporting them?

To be fair, I think this just reflects what I have believed for a while: average intelligence of the world's human population is going down hill.

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O2 3G stops giving punters' mobile numbers to websites

Dr. Mouse
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Confirmed

No longer happenning on my Giffgaff connection.

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EU commissioner unleashes draft data protection bill

Dr. Mouse
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Clarification?

"penalties of up to €1 million or up to 2% of the global annual turnover of a company"

Is this whichever is lower or whichever is higher?

I would assume the first, but it is not made clear in the article (and I don't have time to look it up myself).

In addition, I agree with the comment about "a right to be heard". Credit referrence agencies can be terrible, as can the people processing that data (when you apply for a loan, it is the bank etc. who decide whether to approve you, not the agency who suppilies the data). If you have withheld payment for a legitimate reason, you can end up with a mark on your credit history, and there's nothing you can really do to get it removed (quickly) unless the company agrees, and banks are less than sympathetic to such issues.

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O2 leaks 3G users' mobile numbers to every website visited

Dr. Mouse
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Just tried this

from my Giffgaff connection and makes no difference.

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SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Dr. Mouse
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@Charles 9

If they can't meet, either the industry dies or things carry one as they are.

At the end of the day, they make enough money as things stand (forget this bull about them loosing so much, the films still make millions in profit) and the industry CAN continue with the status quo. This is likely why they are pushing for legislation like this: If it is true that many wouldn't go and buy their products even if they weren't available illegitimately, which I think they accept (if not publicly) then they loose nothing and protect their out dated business model.

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Dr. Mouse
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Sorry small correction:

3rd paragraph:

"They are able to download a torrent of a file, for example"

should have been

"They are able to download a torrent of a FILM, for example"

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Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Up

Nice article, thanks

Totally agree that there needs to be discussion, debate and compromise to solve this issue. The problem is neither side wish to do so/

The way I see it, the media industries shot themselves in the foot a long time ago and have been struggling to stop the hemorrhage since. They failed to keep up with technology, so people stepped into the gap and provided the services people wanted: the only problem was, without the media industries backing, it was piracy, and the media industry made no money from it.

There is now a generation where a large proportion have become used to getting any media they want almost instantly, and available to watch on any device they wish. The fact it is free is incidental. They are able to download a torrent of a file, for example, on the day of release (and sometimes earlier) and, a short while later, watch it. They can then play it on their phone, their PC, their TV... any device they want, for as long as they want, in as good quality as they would get if they had gone to the shop and bought the DVD/BluRay. There are no restrictions on operating systems or number of devices they can play it on. There are no trailers or adverts about "copyright theft". In short it is convenient and simple.

Having "forced" a big chunk of this generation into such distribution methods, the industry needs to come up with something which is at least as good in order to convert them, as they will not pay for a service of a lower standard than they are used to receiving for free. They also need to price it sensibly, so they are encouraged to use it. And they need to make ALL content available, as with only a limitted amount, why should they switch?

This is a better method than enforcement (at the moment). There will still be some die-hard "freetards" (hate the term, but it's the best term available) who will not switch, but with a reasonable, legal alternative most will. At this point, it will be easier (and less unpopular) to target enforcement action at those who have not switched (if there are enough of them to be worth it by then).

To sum it all up, the media industry (IMHO) need to "win the hearts and minds" of the public (mainly the tech public) with a GOOD QUALITY, GOOD VALUE service before they wage war on the illegitimate sources of media. Instead, they choose to offer services of a lower standard than those availble elsewhere and shut down the places offering what their customers want.

Then they are surprised when their customers fight back.

Instead of fighting the tech, they should be engaging them to find out what they want, and providing it.

Note: I am not saying the "pirates" are in the right, just that the media industry are, IMO, doing things in the wrong way. So are the tech industry.

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Formula 1 revs engines through Virgin Media

Dr. Mouse
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"It will be interesting to see how this works out though. F1 is such a commercially-dependent sport and I wonder how the reduced viewing figures will impact the teams' ability to attract sponsorship."

I wouldn't be surprised to see it end up the same way Premiership football has: so dependant on TV fees that it becomes their bitch.

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Dr. Mouse
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"It'll be a streaming site for me, or friends/pubs with Sky."

I reckon you'll be lucky to find a pub showing the F1.

F1 races are on Sundays, normally in the afternoon. Guess which more popular sport is also shown on Sunday afternoons on Sky?

There was one pub I went to which showed F1, a biker bar which has sadly shut down, but that was because it was FTA (they didn't have Sky).

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Dr. Mouse
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Though I big F1 fan, I had already told the missus-to-be that I would not be paying extra for F1: I already hate paying for Sky, even on the basic (HD) package, and will not pay extra. She blames me for getting her into F1.

Luckily, I have been reliably informed that the F1 channel will be free if you have either Sports or HD packages, so I should get it for no extra.

If not, I can get my motorsport fix elsewhere: MotoGP anyone?

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Pollution-gobbling molecules in global warming SMACKDOWN

Dr. Mouse
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@James 51

"you're assuming that the plants we have can cope with the amount of polution humanity is creating"

I know CO2 is not the only pollutant we are creating, but it is the most talked about, and plants like higher CO2 concentrations (in general).

Therefore by putting out CO2 we are probably helping the plants which will, eventually, remove it from the atmosphere and restore balance.

This doesn't stop your point about "hacking away at the plants" being true.

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Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor

Dr. Mouse
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About time!

Ive wondered before why a "smartphone" needs to contain all the gubbins it does. My own idea was a "dumb" phone which does phone calls and text messages only, in a tiny package, then a "smart" termial, which can do all the cool stuff and uses the dumb phone for connectivity. This goes much further... I like it, I want it :)

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Android-powered goggles bring virtual reality closer

Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

@Aaron Em

He was saying other AR devices require you holding your device out at arms-length in a gesture similar to those used by German Nazi's. He didn't even come close to calling you a Nazi. I, however, come very close to calling you a moron!
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German cops hacked in revenge for dad spying on daughter

Dr. Mouse
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I'm pretty sure that, even in our company (a semiconductor manufacturer), it's a serious disciplinary offence. For a cop... Blimey, I wouldn't be surprised if he could be prosecuted for it!

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