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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1110 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Google copyright purge leaves Android developers exposed

Dr. Mouse
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How?

How could they think they could get away with it?

"I'll take a copyrighted work, remove the copyright notice and a couple of bits I don't need, and it is not longer copyrighted so I can do what I want"

If you tried that with anything else, you would be laughed at.

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Judge mulls 'wasted costs' as ACS:Law cases close

Dr. Mouse
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Unfortunately...

I don't think that's quite true.

I do not know if the judge can make Crossley pay the actual court costs, although I hope he can.

I think the people who will be most out-of-pocket are those who chose to defend themselves. They will have huge fees for their lawyers. They are the main costs which need to be recouped.

I think, in this case, Crossley (or at least someone involved in this despicable extortion racket) should pick up all the costs involved. It would send a message to anyone thinking of doing the same in future.

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Whitehall to puff punters: 'Hide your fags'

Dr. Mouse
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Hmm...

"These displays are one of the few ways that tobacco manufacturers can work to recruit new younger smokers."

I think the main way they recruit is by a school kid, one of the tough, cool kids, getting their hands on a pack. Their friends then see it as cool, so start.

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Dr. Mouse
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One point to note:

I remember reading somewhere that this will just generate more revenue for Tobacco companies.

Tobacco co's saved a hell of a lot when they were no longer allowed to advertise, and this was not passed on to the consumer.

The same will happen with packets: They will cost the co's a substantial amount less.

It will not discourage smokers. It is unlikely to stop people from starting smoking, as most start in their teens before they are legally allowed, so can't buy them from a shop anyway.

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Dr. Mouse
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Actually

I haven't seen the figures (so don't take this as fact), but someone told me that the tax the govt collects from tobacco exceeds the NHS budget.

This was a few years back. It may be that NHS costs have gone up and smokers, therefore tax revenues, have gone down. It also may just be incorrect.

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Direct action group defaces Vodafone in tax avoidance protest

Dr. Mouse
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If what Voda say is true...

I what Vodafone is saying is correct, and they have not used "tax avoidance" (perfectly legal) to lower their tax bills, they are actually in trouble anyway.

A company's main responsibility is, AFAIK, to bring value to shareholders. This is done by generating the maximum possible profit.

If they have not exploited tax loopholes to lower their tax bill, they have not done their duty towards shareholders and could face action from them.

Rock, meet Hard Place.

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Ofcom says no to automatically renewed contract badness

Dr. Mouse
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Been there too

Had the same problem with my insurance. Not such an easy solution though (I am still fighting it, without much success as yet...)

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Anti-religious campaigners smack down census Jedis

Dr. Mouse
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@AC

"Athiests KNOW there is nothing. It's not about a belief in something which cannot be proven."

Do you wish to prove that there is no god?

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Dr. Mouse
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Maybe I've been misinformed.

But I don't get it.

There seems to be a lot of argument (here and elsewhere in this thread) about that phrase.

"An Atheist believes there is no god."

As far as I have always been aware, that is the definition of an Atheist. Not someone who doesn't believe in any of the religions, not one who neither believes nor disbelieves in a god. The whole premise is the belief that there is no god.

Of course we can go into definitions of god, but apart from that I fail to see the flaw. Is my definition of Atheism that wrong?

As to faith... I was brought up in a religious household. Faith, in a religious context, is accepting an idea as fact without proof. There may be much evidence to support the idea, but not enough to stand up to a full logical argument. This is where faith comes in.

So, by all the information I have at hand, my argument was logical. I am not "exploiting the multiple meanings that English words and phrases can have in the service of a bullshit argument".

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Dr. Mouse
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Disproof of "Atheism is not a faith"

An Atheist believes there is no god.

There is no solid evidence that there is no god (just as there is no solid evidence that there is a god).

Faith is a belief in something for which there is no solid evidence.

Therefore, an Atheist has Faith that there is no god.

QED

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Dr. Mouse
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Not really

Atheists believe that a god does not exist.

Those who are Agnostic do not believe that a god exists.

There is a difference. Atheism is a postitive belief. Agnosticism(?) is a lack of belief.

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Dr. Mouse
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Bull

"If we all believed in pure Darwinism/Evolution then it would be perfectly acceptable to run small children over on the way to work. Going for a new job? Gun down your rivals as they arrived for their interviews. Selfish Gene and all that, survival of the fittest. Perfectly justifiable."

This is pure bull!

We are social animals. We have "known", since long before religion, that in order for the species to continue we must work together. We must support and defend our offspring, our family, our social group.

Morals did not grow from religion, they were incorporate into religion. Religion grew from a desire to understand the universe (from science, you could say). Instead of saying "we don't know", we formulated theories, for example an all-powerful being. Religion grew because, firstly, it gave easy explanations to what seemed unexplainable, and secondly, people realised it was a great tool by which to control people.

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Dr. Mouse
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Beg to differ...

Although I hate to disagree with our all-powerful Moderatrix, I would say yes, you can be a fundamentalist Atheist.

Your problem here appears to be that you define Atheism as a lack of belief, which is not the case. Atheism is a belief that there is no god. It would be all too possible for a group of Atheists to say, for example, "Anyone who follows a religion is stupid and must be killed", and launch a war on religion.

I am Agnostic. I would say a person without beliefs would be Agnostic, but I don't believe that.

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Launcher Pro

Dr. Mouse
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Brilliant replacement

I have been using this on my Motorola Dext for quite a while now, and it is great. Very responsive and stable, I wouldn't have a 'droid without it!

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Three pushes UNLIMITED data to PAYG punters

Dr. Mouse
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Erm...

If you are using your phone as a wireless hotspot for the PC, you are breaking GiffGaff's T's & C's. Don't be surprised if you get booted.

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Dr. Mouse
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T&C

On GiffGaff, the T&C's state that tethering is not allowed. This is because they offer unlimited usage, but only from a phone. Let's face it, a phone is not going to be easily able to download as much as a PC. They are quite happy for you to do whatever you want from your mobile, not imposing any caps. It is unreasonable for them to allow you to use it as a replacement for home broadband.

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Dr. Mouse
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title

The GG £10 bundle is for 150mins, but they are currently running a promo giving 100 extra = 250. At the end of the month that drops back to 150.

I would be curious to know if the three deal allows tethering. It's one thing GG don't allow at the moment.

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Cobalt-barrel machine guns could fire full auto Hollywood style

Dr. Mouse
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Great!

That makes it an even more effective weapon.

Just make sure the dust goes in the same direction as the bullets.

When the bullets run out, as mentioned above, whack the enemy over the head with 1100 degC stick.

This weapon is sounding better all the time!

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TalkTalk silenced over anti-BT comparison

Dr. Mouse
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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

"Most attempts to solve the problems with government IT have treated the symptoms rather than resolved the underlying system-wide problems. This has simply led to doing the wrong things 'better'"

This sounds like most of the companies I have worked for.

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Europe confirms raids on ebook publishers

Dr. Mouse
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I agree in part

Seeing the cost of an ebook being more than the price of the paperback riles me. I'm just glad I have Calibre to convert ebooks from other formats so I can shop around, but even then prices are way too high.

But let's not jump straight onto Amazon as the source of the high prices. If the publishers are charging that much, they can't be expected to sell them at a loss.

The other thing that pisses me off is VAT on ebooks.

I half wish my other half never bought me my Kindle... But then again it's a lovely bit of kit, and has transformed my oppinions of ebook readers. All they need to do is sort the pricing (the ex VAT price should be no more than the cost of the cheapest edition new. So while it's only in hardback, use the hardback price. Once it's in paperback, drop to paperback price. Simples.)

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iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

Dr. Mouse
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This is the first step

This is the first step of such a project.

It may be that the results don't come as a surprise, but in order to gauge the problem, you need to perform controlled, scientific tests.

The next stage, which he has said he will be doing, is to find a way round the problem. This is much easier when you have accurate measurements to start with.

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Godson: China shuns US silicon with faux x86 superchip

Dr. Mouse
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I have never heard of this

It would be incredibly usefull for several projects I am working on. Any change of details of the co you used?

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AMD's Bulldozer cores to push to 3.5 GHz and beyond

Dr. Mouse
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Yep

The AVX mode sounds like something I have been wondering about for a while now. I have been wondering why it hasnt been done before.

Most workloads are mainly integer, so sharing an FPU and allowing 1 core to use all of it sounds like a logical step.

With a bit of luck, this should in itself see a performance boost. It should also allow, say, a 1-thread video encoder to run near the performance of a 2-thread, without the "normal" loss of quality associated with multi-threaded compression.

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German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP

Dr. Mouse
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Agree...

QUOTE: When the "users" are the CEO and his gaggle of supporting lackeys

This is the most likely explanation. I hate to think "backhander" (although it was the first thing which came to mind) but the most likely causes are:

* Higher-ups don't like Linux, miss being able to play games on their work machines or similar, or

* Custom VB macros don't work in OO, and noone has the expertise (or time) to rewrite them

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Acer in alleged Chrome OS monitor plot

Dr. Mouse
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I was thinking that...

Old computer (or even something like a Sheevaplug/Guruplug) hooked up to monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Boot optimised Linux environment, possibly running completely from RAM.

Load X and a web browser.

Done! You have duplicated what ChromeOS is supposed to do. (Plus you still have the option of real local programs for specific porpoises or dolphins)

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Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data

Dr. Mouse
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That's the point

That will only fill the REPORTED disk size with zeros. SSDs are over provisioned, and when new data is written, it often just remaps the block and puts the new data in a new location. Hence, looking at the chips themselves, you could recover a potentially large amount of data.

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Dr. Mouse
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Interesting

I had not considered this from a security point of view before.

But do drives not have an "Erase everything" now? I have heard them mentioned alot for performance reasons (i.e. as performance degrades due, you can backup, fully erase, and restore, setting the drive back to "factory" performance levels) and I was fairly sure that this performed an erase on all flash chips in the device.

One thing I do think should be done is allow the drive to be set as a "pure" flash device, maybe using an extension to the ATA/SCSI command set. That way, these devices could be managed using traditional flash filesystems. Or something similar... I'm sure ZFS could easily be tweaked to work well on semi-raw flash. It would be nice if we were given the option, at least, to have more control below the emulated-hard-disk layer (and if drives would stop pretending to have 512b sectors, reporting the true sector size or page size to the OS),

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Fifa, Uefa lose free-to-view footie challenge

Dr. Mouse
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Thats really anoying...

Get a Pirate film, in a standard DVD player, and you can normally watch the film you didn't pay for straight away.

Buy a legit copy, and you have no choice but to sit through adverts and lectures on piracy. So you pay more for an inferior product.

Sound good?

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Dr. Mouse
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Good for the most part

I am not into football at all. When the World Cup was on last, a reversal happened: it was my girlfriend forcing me to watch the footy. So I don't particularly care about this WRT football.

What I am into is Formula 1. I can see a day when this ends up on Sky Sports. At that point I will be faced with a problem.

I don't mind paying to watch it. What I do mind is having to pay for all the other stuff (football etc.) that's shown on Sky JUST to watch my F1. I don't want to watch ManU play Arsenal or whatever else, just F1, but I would be forced to subscribe to the Sports package and shell out a big chunk of my hard-earned just to see the one sport I am interested in.

I am sure many people would be prepared to pay to watch the sports they want, but don't want to pay for those they will never watch.

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Sheep as smart as humans: Official

Dr. Mouse
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Nope...

That's insulting to the sheep!

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Bahrain Grand Prix may be postponed

Dr. Mouse
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As I said...

I am not making judgements by posting that, I am just passing on another piece of information.

But for what it's worth, I'll play devil's advocate. How do you know it is not the other way around? The majority content with the status quo, a minority who want change and are going to extreme lengths to get it? From what I have seen, not everyone is out protesting. While it is possible that many do not want to protest out of fear for their safety, it is equally plausible that they support the King but are too afraid of the violence to come out in his support.

Once again, I am not expressing my opinion here, only playing devil's advocate.

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Dr. Mouse
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A suggestion

All the coverage of Bahrain has been one-sided. I am not suggesting it is wrong, or that the deaths caused by the police/security forces are right, but I suggest this for a read:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/forum/topic.php?id=1243

This has been written by someone living in Bahrain, and represents an alternative viewpoint. It is always best to hear all sides of any disagreement.

I do not make any judgements here, I am just pointing out a source of information which may be of interest to those with an open mind.

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Watson? Commercial – not super – computer

Dr. Mouse
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The point...

The point I was trying to make was not that the calculation was ambiguous from a programming point of view, as I know rules of precedence define this strictly (although these do vary at times between languages).

The point is just that it is one of my pet peeves, as it takes very little extra effort to add them, and saves a lot of effort in reading it. Also, you cannot be certain that a person knows the rules of precedence, or is following them the same as you.

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Dr. Mouse
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Please...

Either structure your equations in an easily -understandable way or use brackets.

So, do you mean:

194 = ( 4e6 / 14 ) * ( 4.2 / 3600 )

or:

194 = ( 4e6 / (24 * 4.2) ) / 3600 = 4e6 / ( 24 * 4.2 * 3600 )

or even:

194 = ( 4e(6/24) * 4.2 ) / 3600

I know I could figure it out by working through the calculation myself, but why should I?

Sorry, rant over. It just riles me when people don't make their equations or calculations clear, especially in programming (I know the orders of precedence are set in stone for a particular language, but a few brackets make the thing SO much easier to read!)

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Debian 6: Have your Debian and eat your Ubuntu too

Dr. Mouse
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I'm not sure...

exactly what you mean by this, but Debian has been able to upgrade in place for a long time.

I normally specify the version name (e.g. etch/lenny/squeeze/sid) in my repository sources, to make sure I don't accidentally upgrade, but if you specify "stable" then, when a new version comes out, all you need to do is "apt-get dist-upgrade" and it will upgrade everything*. All it would need is a reboot (or kexec) to load the new kernel and you are away. It's one of the things I have always loved about Debian, and why I run all servers on it (when I have the choice).

*When I say everything, there are occasions when it doesn't work, for example a package has been dropped from the new release. It sometimes needs a bit of care to do this, so doing a dry-run first is a good idea, as well as checking there are no configuration changes needed.

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Google opens curtain on 'manual' search penalties

Dr. Mouse
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Yep

I used to HATE that with a passion. For many search terms you had to go to page 3+ to find anything which was not a price comparison. An attempt to find the support page for a laptop, for instance, required me to try 6 different queries before it appeared on page 1, and then right at the bottom.

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Sarkozy: Microsoft represents all that is great about France

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Or to Microsoft...

calling them a bunch of "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys"

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Watchdog turns a blind eye to Danish fu*king

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Gov will pay £2.25m compo to ID card suppliers

Dr. Mouse
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Hmmm...

The people who bought a card knew a different govt would scrap them, and knew they would not be compensated if that happened.

The companies involved also knew a different govt would scrap them, so ensured they would not be out of pocket by putting clauses in the contract to cover this eventuality.

To give you an example, I once took a 6-month contract with a company the other end of the country. To do this, I rented a flat, which required a 6-month lease. When negotiating my contract with the company, I made them put in a clause which would cover paying out the landlord if they got rid of me before the 6-month period. These clauses are fairly standard throughout business.

However, in this case I see a more sinister reasoning. Blunket negotiates a large cancellation clause as insurance for himself. He knows Labour is unlikely to win the next election. When they loose, and the next govt decides to scap the project, he can point out how much money the govt is spending just to get out of the contracts, quietly ignoring how much money will be saved by doing so.

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Fort Wayne officials refuse to slap Harry Baals on public building

Dr. Mouse
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So funny :)

"The city had thrown open the choice of moniker for its latest erection to the people"

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Firefox 4 goes to 11 (betas)

Dr. Mouse
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DNT header not useless...

...but it's only a start.

I think the main point of this is that it provides a starting point for a possible legal case.

In this situation, a person has turned on the DNT header, then (somehow) discovers that he is still being tracked.

In every transaction with every server, he is specifically telling the server "I do not give permission for you to track me". This is clear and direct. If the server ignores this, it is like a company ignoring the "don't use my details for marketing" tick-box on an application form. Therefore, a legal case may be able to be brought, which in turn would allow a precedent to be set (one way or the other).

The danger is that people may assume this header is being used by everyone straight away and give a false sense of security.

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Big stink over Malawi farting ban

Dr. Mouse
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Coat

Whoever said the rhyme...

... did the crime (quite literally!)

Mine's the one with the sound-proofing and air-tight seal.

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BOFH: There's no 'I' in team, but there's a 'u' in suck

Dr. Mouse
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He's back!

I was getting withdrawal symptoms!

Cheers Simon, top notch!

(I! seem! to! have! come! over! all! Yahoo! today!)

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ISPs and Vaizey set to bump heads over default porn filter

Dr. Mouse
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Beg to differ...

"It's got nothing to do with raising kids, or abrogating responsibility, and everything to do with being sensible. How many people use premium rate services as a proportion of the population ?"

I would say this has nothing to do with the argument.

Any "filtering" system which blocks access to legal content of any kind should be opt-in.

If you wish to have premium-rate numbers blocked on your phone, it should be up to you to ask for it. If you wish to have internet porn blocked on your connection, you should set it up. If you do not want your little girl playing with Barbie dolls because they "promote an unhealthy body image" (or some such reason), don't lobby the toy shop to stop selling them or place them in an out-of-the-way corner, it's not your place to dictate to others.

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ICO drops BT, ACS Law probe

Dr. Mouse
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It's true

I do wish people, especially tech rags like El Reg, would stop saying they were hacked. I can understand it from the tabloids, but come on, the Register is supposed to be written and read by those who know what they are talking about.

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Republican reps push for mandatory gun ownership

Dr. Mouse
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Very similar...

I believe many states in the US do the same, but in the UK it is mandatory to have insurance if you drive a vehicle on the road. I see no problem in this. I sometimes wince (especially recently) at the prices I am forced to pay, but in the end I agree with the reasoning behind the rules, and would prefer this system to having to take people to court to claim back the damage they cause to my vehicle (or me) by their carelessness.

I know there is a difference. Nobody is forced to own a car, so you have a "choice" (although not much of one when the only other option would be 5 trains and 2 buses to get to work, taking approx 4 hours each way). But having a mandatory health insurance will not only lead to benefits to society (less people dying of curable illnesses just because they can't afford treatment), but should also lead to lower insurance premiums.

I'm just glad I live in a country where I don't have to worry about this. The NHS has it's faults, but it's better than the alternatives (IMHO)

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Mexico demands apology for Top Gear outrage

Dr. Mouse
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Fair and Ethical Comedy...

There is only one fair and ethical way to do comedy:

Either everything is fair game or nothing is.

If you are going to take the mick out of Christians, you should be prepared to take the mick out of Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and all other religious groups. If you are going to take the mick out of the Germans, you should be prepared to do the same for the French, Americans, British, Mexicans and any other nationality. If you are not prepared to do so, or at least accept others doing so, you should never have made the first joke.

The same goes for laughing at those jokes: If you find one funny, you should not be offended by another.

I just wish Top Gear could find a way to loose it's "factual" status. It is a comedy, centred around the banter between the hosts, with a few cars thrown in. As Clarkson said at an awards show recently, there hasn't been a fact on Top Gear for years.

And, as with any comedy: If you are easily offended, don't watch it.

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UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash

Dr. Mouse
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@ Matt Bryant

Oh, one more thing:

'Sorry, but that's just the get-out clause of all anarchists and extremeists - "what I'm doing is for your own good and you'd know that if only you weren't so oppressed/stupid"'

This is not what I was saying. Your previous post seemed to imply that people were "wasting their time" holding to beliefs unless they could convince a majority to support their ideals. This should not be the case. Everyone is entitled to both hold to beliefs and to try to convince others, should they choose to, so long as it is done correctly. As I said, if one person feels strongly about something, and nobody opposes it, why should their view be disregarded?

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Dr. Mouse
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@ Matt Bryant

Most of your points are well made, and I even agree with most of them. But I must point out, I did not call you a fascist. I said that particular comment was authoritarian. I should probably not even have mentioned it, although I was merely pointing out that it bordered on a fascist point of view, in my own personal opinion.

Added to which, I so not see it as a personal attack. Even true fascists are both entitled to their opinion and entitled to voice that opinion.

And no, I am not part of Anonymous, and for the most part I disagree with their methods. I was merely standing up for the right to protest and the right to hold a set of beliefs, even if you are in the minority, which your previous post seemed to be outright against.

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Dr. Mouse
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Security testing

I downloaded it to test the new DDoS defences I was putting in place. Simples.

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