* Posts by veti

719 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

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He can't give it away FAST ENOUGH: Bill Gates richest man in world again

veti
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Re: Most philanthropic American...

Hey, take a look at the picture at the top of the story. That "swimming pool" doesn't fill itself, you know.

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'The troll stats saddened me as a human, but didn't surprise me as a boffin'

veti
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I don't see how the FCC can police what happens outside the USA. Foreign ISPs are governed by foreign laws, it's up to our governments what our ISPs can do to us.

More or less, anyway. Although we can cite the FCC as an example worth following on this subject - but honestly, I'm not sure that's a road we should be too eager to go down...

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C'mon! Greece isn't really bust and it can pay its debts

veti
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Re: There was never a need for a combined currency all over Europe

@The Axe: Since the foundation of the ECSC, number of wars started between members of that, the Common Market, the EEC, EC, EU as it's varyingly been called?

Zero. Not a one.

Wars started, during the same timespan, between other countries who are not members? Quite a lot. Even involving NATO members. Even between NATO members (Greece/Turkey, over Cyprus).

The point of NATO is not to preserve the peace, it's to "keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down". Which means that right now, NATO is underperforming just as badly as the EU.

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Murky online paedo retreat: The Nether explores the fantasy-reality divide

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Childcatcher

@x7

Theres no need for a new discussion - its already taken place over the years and reached a consensus.

That's an argument against ever changing anything. Once, not so very long ago, there was a consensus about treatment of homosexuals, which was very different from the one we have today. There was once a consensus about the status of women, which was very different from the one we have today. There was once a consensus about the desirability of associating with French people, which - well, actually maybe that one hasn't changed so much.

But just because society has "reached a consensus" is no reason to consider the question closed.

(And incidentally, this very thread is quite strong evidence that whatever society has reached, it's not "consensus", there is still significant dissent on the subject.)

(On a meta note, I find it interesting how many 'Anonymous' comments there are on this particular story.)

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

veti
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RIP BBC

Bye bye "open broadcasts", where you can tune in with any device you like and be reasonably sure that everyone viewing the same channel is seeing the same thing. Hello encryption, private content, "personalised" content, your own little bubble where your masters can ensure you don't see anything that might alarm - oops, sorry, I mean 'radicalise' - you.

British governments have been looking for ways to censor the BBC for more than 50 years. "Reviewing the license fee" used to be the best they could do, but that was too crude. Then they moved on to "regularly reviewing the charter", which was always a thinly veiled threat. But with a system like this, they could stop pussyfooting about and just censor the programs directly!

It's a home secretary's wet dream.

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The Extreme Centre, Rise of the Super Furry Animals and The Kind Worth Killing

veti
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I didn't say anything about "true socialism". I think trying to distinguish between "true" and "false socialism" is a mug's game. All there really is, is "good-faith attempts to apply socialism", and the question that interests me is "if you make one of those, what do you end up with?"

The answers we've got from large countries in the early 20th century (USSR, China) - isn't very promising. Other attempts have been made, but I think Greece could be a uniquely valuable data point - it has all the advantages of being a well connected country, within the EU, with a reasonable democratic tradition, well developed economy, and a well established nation state (i.e. it's not likely to do a Yugoslavia on us). Most importantly: it might be well enough placed to avoid being treated as a pawn in a cold war between superpowers.

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veti
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You can use the USSR experience, if you like, to demonstrate that socialism didn't work when someone tried to implement it in Russia after the First World War. (Arguments about whether it was "really socialism" are missing the point, I think - the point is, earnest and well-meaning people tried to introduce socialism, and the USSR is what they ended up with.)

It's a long stretch from that, to convincing people that it can't be made to work in a much smaller, much more highly developed country almost 100 years later. (Because the USSR experiment was destroyed by embedded corruption; therefore it's the date of implementation that matters, because that's when the corruption was introduced, not the date of dissolution.)

Let's see. That's all I'm asking - let us see what happens.

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@Red Sceptic: hear, hear!

Politics isn't just about getting elected, it's not even just about doing what the public wants. It's about debating ideas - all the ideas, even really lame ones if they've got a noticeable core of supporters - so that anyone who chooses to participate, knows that they've been heard.

We need more people who are prepared to make an argument with passion and conviction. There are a substantial number of closet Marxists out there to this day, and the only plausible way you'll convert them is to let them have their champion - and see him lose, fair and square, on his ideas. Not shouted down or censored by the bigger boys, but engaged in public debate, conceding point by point until the violence of his rhetoric is disarmed.

It's the same with Syriza in Greece: I sincerely hope we'll get to see what a real socialist government can do in modern Europe. What I fear is that they'll be forced to back down by private, back-room browbeating from the Germans and their mates, and then their voters will see them as no more than just another bunch of sellouts - and that'll be basically the end of democracy in Greece (and very likely, neighbouring countries too) for two generations. What should happen is that the consequences of each action get talked and reasoned out, in detail and in public, the voters' wishes get respected, and we can all see what follows.

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Re: Socialism: it's fun, try it!

Say what you like about Chavez - oh, you have. Fair enough, and true enough.

But he still did what his voters elected him to do. He gave capitalism a well earned kick in the nads. He stood up to the banks when they told him disaster would follow. Sure they were right, but he stood up to them anyway.

I just hope Syriza has as much integrity, I really do.

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WANTED: A plan to DESTROY metadata, not just retain it

veti
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Unfortunately,

... "what's no longer needed" is, the police will strenuously insist, an empty set. You never know when some tidbit of information from 1993 is suddenly going to turn out to be the key to a current investigation.

Personally, I think our only plausible salvation from police abuse of this system is police bureaucracy, which I would model as follows:

- Every time an officer runs a query on a database, force them to complete a 'reason' field referencing a case they're working on.

- Insist that results should be recorded only on dedicated police equipment (if that means buying everyone a brand-new top-of-the-line tablet every year, then fine, that's a small price to pay). Copying the results to any other media, including paper napkins or Post-it notes, should be a serious disciplinary offence.

- Program the devices to automatically delete any database query results after, let's say, 24 hours, unless the officer flags them as "interesting".

- Periodically, conduct an audit where you randomly review a handful of cases on the officer's tablet, and require them to justify the results they've flagged as "interesting".

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

veti
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Re: Lock Apple and MS in a room......

@ JohnMurray: Windows 7 gives me days like that. Vista, before it, gave me whole weeks like that, so that's progress I guess.

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veti
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Re: surprise- a translation company doesn't understand IT

I don't agree.

You're an IT company if, and only if, "the thing that your customers pay you to do on their behalf" is IT.

Banks? Are not IT companies. I don't really care how my bank looks after my money, what kind of computer system it uses or if it does the whole operation with quill pens and pneumatic tubes, it's all one to me as long as I get the services I'm accustomed to, such as online banking.

Insurance companies? Same argument. IT is a means, not an end.

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Photoshop daddy: 'I’m not happy with body image issues it creates for a lot of women'

veti
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There has been some quite serious tweaking of the colour balance. Also look closely at the model's forehead.

That said - Mr Knoll is surely aware that "airbrushing" used to involve - well, actual airbrushes, right? Photoshop makes it less skilled and less messy, but he didn't create something new here.

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Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

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"The government is considering changing the rules that govern the internet. Do you know about this?

Do you think you ought to know about it?"

Yeah, no way is that a leading question...

I'm sure, if the rules were published, those 73% who want it to be published would immediately go and read them through in detail, and not in any way take their opinions predigested from their choice of talking heads on TV or talk radio.

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Former Mrs Dotcom hooks up with Xbox 'toyboy'

veti
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Dotcom is a troll, in the finest traditions of creative trolling. Yes he's entertaining, in the same way as it's entertaining to watch someone hypnotised into making a complete tit of themself in front of an audience. No matter how much I laugh, I can't shake a sense of shame for doing so.

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veti
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K.C didn't get where he is today by paying money just because he'd promised to do it...

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Ofcom: We got it right, but let’s have a licence consultation anyway

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Re: Hmm yes..

I think the author has issues. Maybe an ancient grudge from when he was five years old, which he can't help but bring up from time to time.

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A cookie with a 7,984-year lifespan. Blimey, Roy Batty only got 4!

veti
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Re: Vital indeed...

@AC:

Adding the rule:

div[id*="cookie"] { display:none; }

to your browser stylesheet (you do have one of those, right?) should mean you don't have to see cookie warnings on at least some sites.

More rules in the same vein would take out more targets, but each one increases the risk of missing something that might actually be interesting.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

veti
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"You'd expect the Daily Mail to get this right"?

Seriously?

Come on Tim, you're a journalist and pro-capitalist, you know how this works. The Daily Mail's job isn't to "get it right". Nobody's going to pay them to do that. If you want to see people trying earnestly to "get it right", stick to the Independent (and see where it gets you). No, their job is to say whatever is best judged to attract the most eyeballs over the medium term.

That's best done by using just enough truth, mixed with unheathly doses of populist bollocks designed to confirm the prejudices of their readers.

Not unlike El Reg, really.

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First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

veti
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Re: Two things

Where does the money end up?

If the Dept of Odds & Sods spends £1200 on a service, and claims £200 back from the Treasury - where exactly does that £200 go to?

Into the DOS's budget, obviously. But it can't be spent from there, at least not on-book, because then accountants would ask where it came from, and you can't answer that without revealing the fraud.

The obvious conclusion is that it's being "spent" off-book, i.e. under the counter, i.e. five-finger discounted into some accountant's home swimming pool or new Bentley. It's not "just an internal transfer", it's the trace evidence of something much more sinister.

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Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

veti
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“A lot of people don't even use mobile phones that much these days, they use Skype and things like that,” he continued, “so metadata and its retention is more important than ever if we are going to be able to track what criminals are doing"

Are you saying, Mr Abbot, that you routinely analyse records of where every mobile phone call is made to and from?

What did you do before we had the software to monitor phone calls in this way? How did governments manage to keep us safe back in the 60s and 70s, when telephones were widespread but "metadata", or the tools to analyse it, simply didn't exist?

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WhatDaHell, WhatsApp? Student claims 'stalker' tool shows security flaws

veti
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WTF?

"Every detail"?

If your idea of "knowing every detail of my movement" translates entirely into "knowing when my mobile phone is online", I think your idea of "stalking" may be a bit - unambitious.

(Especially if it's anything like Skype, where the online/offline notifications are hilariously meaningless anyway.)

Don't get me wrong - it's a serious bug and it should be fixed - but I think the word "overblown", not to say "hysteria", might be appropriately tagged to this story.

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Microsoft: Look at our cloudy privacy award. Isn't it so ... meaningful?

veti
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Re: “If there is unauthorised access ... we’ll let you know about this,”

Be fair: unauthorised access is an enormous problem that strikes dozens of major players every year. Promising to notify you about that - isn't everything, but it's not nothing either.

No, they won't tell you about the KGB - sorry, I mean DHS - weaselling[1] about in your files. But nobody will. They will, however, tell you when Q Blackhat Scumsucker gets in there, and that's more than most companies will.

[1] It's like ferretting, except that weasels are harder to spot.

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'Come on, everyone – block US govt staff ogling web smut at work'

veti
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Re: Why just porn?

For the same reason as putting up posters of naked women (or men, for that matter) is worse than putting up a drawing by your 3-year-old, or a Dilbert cartoon: because it creates an unpleasant, not to say creepy, atmosphere in the workplace, which quite a few people find downright intimidating.

I don't care if the guy who sits behind me spends all day on Facebook. That's between him and his manager or team leader. But, and you can call me a puritan if it makes you feel better, if he's spending even half an hour a day on ChicksWithDicks, I really don't want him doing it there.

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Let freedom RING! Americans can now legally liberate phones from axis of network evil

veti
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That's nice

Next can we get a law that says you're allowed to play a legally purchased DVD on any player you want?

Hurry, before DVDs become completely obsolete...

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Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs

veti
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Huh?

How exactly are you supposed to "use properly configured VPN solutions when connecting to untrusted networks.”?

Someone with more knowledge please correct me if I'm wrong, but shirley - you need to establish the network connection before you can open your VPN? At which point it's too late.

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veti
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Re: Server 2003

Are those the same bastards who are spreading the abomination that is "free reign"?

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Samsung: Our TVs? SPYING on you? HA HA! Whee! Just a JOKE of course

veti
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Re: Is this at all surprising?

That might work - for now.

But pretty soon - maybe five years down the line? - you'll be searching in vain for a new TV that doesn't have this feature. If you want to buy a new TV, as opposed to a secondhand one, you'll be getting voice activation.

Right now you're probably thinking "but then someone will make a cheapo option that doesn't have this, specially for luddites like me". But if the history of consumer gadgets teaches us anything, it's that "luddites" are not a significant market segment, even though they think they are. How many CRT TVs with hand-turned tuning dials do you see in the shops today?

Nobody is going to market a gadget with the unique selling point that it has fewer features than its competition. Not for long, anyway.

Welcome to the future. Looks a bit like Soviet Russia, doesn't it? - except that it's not just the government spying on you, it's a random and unknowable number of private companies in random and unknowable countries as well.

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veti
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Re: Er?

Oh yes, the global shortage of porn has reached such critical levels now that punters will queue up to pay for badly-produced audio-only recordings of amateurs in front of a TV. I'm sure.

On some planet, maybe. But it is not this planet.

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Don't count on antivirus software alone to keep your data safe

veti
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Re: Who's the Audience here?

Antivirus software "alone" can't do anything. In 20 years of having a home internet connection, I think AV has detected maybe 2 threats on my system. It's debatable whether it will ever pay for itself in terms of the storage, memory and CPU resources it demands; and since no financially or personally sensitive information is stored anywhere on the machine, it's unlikely to protect me from much personal loss. Really it's mostly there as a courtesy to others, who might otherwise be inconvenienced by my machine's spamming or DDOSsing them.

When I took my old XP machine offline permanently, I tried to uninstall and disable the AV. Not an easy thing to do, it turns out. For several days I found myself treating the AV itself as malware.

What I do care much more about, though, is the firewall. Now that's something I wouldn't be without.

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Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

veti
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Re: With an utter lack of scientific and statistical rigour...

Microsoft's marketing in the USA makes it perversely difficult to buy a Windows phone there. (Sample anecdote.)

Compare that with - well, almost anywhere else - where the mobile companies themselves aren't married to either Apple or Google, so they have no problem with shifting the handsets. In Australia, for instance, Windows Phone has close to 10% market share. Actual data are hard to come by, but anecdotes and personal observation aren't, and if you walk into one of my local phone stores and ask for a cheap phone, they'll sell you a Lumia.

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veti
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Re: Wait,,,,What?

Back in the day, Microsoft's policy was to design for "the next generation of hardware", on the basis that by the time their new product was developed, tested, beta-tested and shipped, "the next generation" would be entry-level.

That policy served them well for the first 15 years or so of Windows, until Vista. Then it bit them in the arse, hard. Vista found itself being sold on hardware that was totally unsuited to run it, and - partly as a result, although partly also on its own merits - it got a reputation for running like a leprous epileptic three-legged donkey.

Since then, they've actually been working in the opposite direction, to make each Windows release more efficient than the one before. On marginal hardware - assuming decent drivers are available - Windows 7 runs better than Vista, and Win 8 beats either. I would guess that Win 10 will continue that trend.

So there is no hardware-based impediment to MS supporting Windows on a half-gig Lumia device pretty much indefinitely. The decision is purely about marketing.

(Disclaimer: yes, I have a Lumia 520. Yes, it was cheap. And it's a nice device.)

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Official: Single people need to LOWER their EXPECTATIONS

veti
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Re: Meh.

That's not a person. That's a JPEG. The person it shows very likely no longer exists, if she ever did. At the very least she's probably had a haircut since that picture was taken. You know absolutely nothing about her, assuming it is even a 'her'.

Look, I'm not going to pretend that looks don't matter. But they are not the most important single thing to look for in a potential partner. They're probably not even in the top five.

I suggest you find a medium where you can get to know people without knowing anything about them personally, a medium where information such as "real name", "age", "nationality", "gender" is revealed only sporadically and very unreliably, and most people aren't particularly interested. (A non-binaries Usenet group is ideal.) Get to know people there. When you start to feel attracted to some of them, you'll have at least a whiff of a chance of forming a relationship based on something that has a decent likelihood of lasting more than a few years.

Good luck.

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

veti
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Re: Free lunch anyone?

I know several people who have deleted their Facebook accounts

An oldie but goodie. Thanks, I needed the chuckle.

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veti
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Re: yeah but, no but

That £140 figure is complete 100% unadulterated clickbait moonshine, as I posted at the time. It's just a pseudo-random figure that some "experts" pulled out of their backsides, with no justification or rationalisation worth the name at all.

I don't often agree wholeheartedly with Tim, but in this case he's right on the money and providing a valuable public service. Nobody forces me to use Gmail, I use it because it provides me a good service, and I don't begrudge Google whatever it can earn from analysing the data it gets in exchange.

I do, however, wish it would be a bit more upfront about what it does collect from me, because I know "my email" is the least of it.

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Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

veti
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Headmaster

Someone didn't count their negatives...

at least two important “mass casualty” counter-terrorism events in planning were prevented by metadata access

Counter-terrorism events were prevented by metadata access? That's terrible. Ban it immediately.

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'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...

veti
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Re: The new man

To the AC who believes that Google doesn't massage search results in its own favour: try the following experiment.

Pick up a book by a well known author who died more than 75 years ago. (Charles Dickens is my go-to choice for this purpose, but there are plenty more.) Open the book at random. Find a phrase that's distinctive enough to be unique, but not profound enough to appear in anyone's collection of favourite quotes. (From Dickens:

"'What a mooney godmother you are, after all!"

"wiped his corrugated forehead from left to right several times"

"Suddenly a very little counsel with a terrific bass voice arises")

Then Google that phrase.

For the above 3 examples, there are lots of complete, easily-readable texts on the web. Yet the second result, in each case (as tried by me just now), is the Google Books hit - which is ugly and unreadable, and doesn't even link to a complete version of the text. (For the last of these, nine of the top 10 results point to books.google.com, despite the fact that it's far and away the least useful and accessible version on the web.)

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'LOOK into my EYES: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... SO worried'

veti
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Re: Didn't have to look

"Polar sea ice is expanding rapidly past record levels" -

Errr, no it's not.

Arctic sea ice, as of December 2014, was "about a standard deviation below average for the month" (source). Where sea ice is expanding is in the Antarctic, and the reason for that is simple and obvious: it's sliding off the land. (Again, source.)

This is not a good thing.

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2% "don't know" if climate change is predominantly caused by people? Seriously, freakin' 2%?

You could ask people "did you kill your grandmother?", and you'd get more "don't knows" than that. This data stinks.

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Australian spookhaus ASIO could retain private data FOREVER

veti
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Good to know that ASIO is so nice about its legal boundaries and authorities.

At least it's reassuring to know they don't have any personal information on me. If they did, they'd be bound (under the Privacy Act 1988) to make sure I knew about it.

Or maybe that's what Edward Snowden is doing - maybe he's actually in their pay...

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

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Re: Experts?

@Graham: Appointment to the upper house by lot sounds appealing, unless you've actually served on a jury.

As Winston Churchill is reputed to have said: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter".

I'd rather we just put it back the way it was before Tony Blair got his claws into it. I don't blame Blair for the Iraq War, that was a judgement call and I personally think it was the right one. But his constitutional reforms, now... those were a real disaster.

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Anonymous: Snap on that Guy Fawkes mask, we're marching against child sex abuse

veti
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Devil

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, Anonymous are doing much more than that. They're talking about "collecting evidence". And they're intent on proving a vast conspiracy of child abusers that must, of necessity, span across law enforcement, politics, big business and big money.

The fact that they need to "prove" this conspiracy, to justify their own action, should scare the living shit out of - well, just about everyone with an internet connection. Because you know what happens when people set out to prove conspiracies? "Invisible evidence", that's what. "If we can't prove you're a paedo, that must mean someone is helping you cover up." It's not "innocent until proven guilty", it's not even "guilty until proven innocent", it's just "once accused you're guilty, end of story".

Anonymous has already done this. What do you think their standards of proof were then? What do you think they are now?

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Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

veti
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Re: That Steve Guy how about all content globally?

So... which clause, precisely, of which copyright act in which country, gives the rights-holder the right to restrict where their content can be accessed?

I can tell you the answer to that, at least as it applies in US, British, EU and Canadian law: there is no such right. It's been basically engineered into the law by DRM.

Copyright gives you the right to limit copying, distribution, performance and display of, and derivation from, your work. Nothing was ever intended to give you the right to say "this book can only be read if you're in Australia", or "this music can only be listened to on Sony headphones". Those are extensions to copyright, which take away rights from consumers, and we shouldn't stand for it.

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SO. Which IS more important to humanity: Facebook, or Portugal?

veti
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Comparing apples to iPods

But the 'value' of a country is far greater than its GDP. GDP, in so far as it's anything, is the country's annual turnover, not its "total value". The equivalent figure for Facebook would be its annual turnover, which is a shade under $8 billion.

So Facebook is worth about 1/30 of a Portugal (what's that in Waleses?)

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Don't use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp – Data protection MEP

veti
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Re: ISIS needs to hire a PR flack

Oh, I read what you wrote. I just can't believe that you're not trolling, you really believe this drivel.

First, to your "analysis" (and may I say, seldom have I seen the first four letters of that word so richly earned, so kudos there). You are aware, I presume, that "radical Islam", together with its close relative "pan-Arab nationalism", was deliberately cultivated as a tool of foreign policy, first by the British during World War One, and later by the Americans in the pursuit of cheap oil? That during the 1980s, the CIA was arming the Taliban and the Reagan administration was helping to develop the Iranian arms industry? That George H W Bush and Bill Clinton both fostered the growth of radical Sunni factions in Iraq, with the aim of weakening Saddam and to counter the regional influence of Iran? To characterise these same people as "agents of... Soviet foreign policy" is pure deflection.

Second, exactly how much "leftist media" are you watching? Because the sources I see spend quite a bit of time talking about how horrible ISIS is. The idea that somehow the libruls are turning a blind eye to Islamist atrocities is purely a product of whatever meth-addled hallucinations you've been watching on whatever deranged media channel you do subscribe to - it's simply not borne out by anything in objective reality.

Yes, I daresay the BBC would get itself quite in a tizzy if, say, some deranged right-winger massacred several dozen schoolchildren at a camp in Norway. (I'm not sure what you're trying to convey with "utter shite to pay in the media", but there were certainly some strongly worded opinions on the subject. Are you trying to imply that there shouldn't be, that we should all be like, "meh, whatever" to these things?) But to imply that they don't talk about atrocities committed by muslims because they're somehow "in bed with" the latter - is quite simply, not something that could be said, with a straight face, by anyone who's been paying the slightest attention.

As to "the actual fact of Islam": yes, there are muslims who do terrible things, and we see them on the news. There are also non-muslims who do things just as terrible, and we see them on the news too, but for some reason less attention gets paid to their religion. (You know that, between 1980 and 2005, there were more terrorist attacks on US soil perpetrated by Jewish extremists than by Muslims, right? And both of these put together are hugely outweighed by the contributions of Catholic (mostly Latino - Puerto Rican, Cuban) factional groups.)

And there are the muslims I work with every day, who are generally above-average in terms of courtesy and conscientiousness, if not necessarily in intelligence. So which group should I judge? The ones I'm happy to have working beside me, or the ones the media, in its ever-more-frantic attempt to capture and hold my eyeballs, thinks I'm more likely to watch?

Not everyone who disagrees with you is motivated by political correctness (whatever that even means) or "leftist ideology". Some of us just resent being played for suckers by the military-intelligence-policing-industrial complex.

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veti
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Re: ISIS needs to hire a PR flack

What are you smoking?

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veti
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Re: Playing into Terrorists hands...

Believe it or not, you're not the first person to think "escalating the violence" is the answer to terrorism.

Among others who've tried it in the recent past: the Russians (in Chechnya), the Syrians, the Israelis, Papua New Guinea (in Bougainville), the Libyans...

At best (Israel) it's reasonably contained and you just get an ongoing war. At worst (Syria, Libya), you get anarchy. Somewhere in the middle is an option where you just plain lose (Bougainville, Chechnya). Strangely enough, the brutal murder, rape and maiming of large swathes of civilian population - doesn't render the survivors docile and friendly. Who'd've thunk.

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veti
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Sure, he could run. Anyone can run.

Since he wasn't born American, he couldn't take the job even if elected, and being a Green/Alliance (read: far-left by European standards) politician he'd net less than 0.5% of the votes even without that obstacle.

But run? Absolutely, you just have to talk him into it, then get him nominated in each state. (Come to think of it, I don't know if you even need the candidate's consent to nominate them. Probably varies between states.)

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DANGER: Is that 'hot babe' on Skype a sextortionist?

veti
Bronze badge
Terminator

Re: Some scams are deliberately stupid

I think scamming is a whole ecosystem, with entries at all levels of gullibility.

At the shallowest end of the clue pool, you get classic 419ers (yes, they're still in business - after all, a significant number of people received their very first email yesterday). This Facebook/Skype combo is a step up from that. At the deep end, you get what happened to Sony.

And in between, there's room for thousands of parasitic scum feeding on people of virtually all levels of intelligence, including a great many who delude themselves that they're too smart to fall for anything...

Think of it like - spiders, cats, badgers and people are all predators, but they prey on entirely different things. So the ecosystem has room for all of them.

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veti
Bronze badge

Re: For the love of all that's precious!

I don't know what you do with your Skype profile, but mine's publicly available, and I get essentially zero spam to it. Can't remember the last time I had a contact request from someone I didn't know. I think it happens a few times a year, and the frequency certainly hasn't gone up significantly since Microsoft bought it - probably the reverse if anything.

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