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* Posts by gazthejourno

305 posts • joined 15 May 2013

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Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Biting the hand that feeds what?

It's in the Weekend Edition, El Reg's off-piste offering for the regular readership. Do you also post the same thing on the car reviews and the Dr Who punditry?

*sigh* why do I even bother engaging with this sort of thing...

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gazthejourno

I have a theory about how this can be turned into a legally defensible method of carrying out truly random spot-checks. It's to do with constant monitoring of FAC/SGC holders, unaudited local "intelligence" databases full of gossip and innuendo ("can't be too careful with gun owners, you know, especially after Cumbria") and no requirement to state the actual piece of intelligence which led to the visit when on the doorstep.

Put it another way. If this gives the police no extra powers at all, then why bother going to the effort of having FELWG put it through top-level stakeholder consultation and getting the minister to sign it off? Qui bono?

My reading of this is that uniformed coppers could rock up on your doorstep unannounced. To stay within the letter of the guidance Plod just needs to say "We have received intelligence that gives us cause for concern about your suitability to hold an FAC. Please will you allow us in now for a chat," while his mate double-checks his list of lawful powers with which to force entry. You know exactly what will happen if you say no in that scenario. What other choice do you have than to let them in? Having let them in voluntarily, many of your legal safeguards are not engaged as they would be if a statutory power or search warrant was used, meaning the two officers have carte blanche to poke around your home on a fishing expedition.

All Plod needs to say, when he stands up in court later, is that an anonymous caller to the new Crimestoppers hotline said they heard raised voices from your home and saw you stomping around the living room with your shotgun. The police are duty bound to act on intelligence received; to preserve the integrity of Crimestoppers the caller's identity and motive cannot be speculated upon.

If enough adverse rumour, gossip or hearsay could be collected on every FAC/SGC holder in the land, that would give the police defensible grounds to carry out spot checks on all of those unfortunates. Hence the new Crimestoppers number.

I want to think I'm wrong, but the more I see of detailed police procedure in this country the more I'm convinced the worst-case scenario is usually the truth.

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gazthejourno

Re: Non story

Everyone knows that the police have the power to turn up unannounced if there's an actual problem. As the shooting orgs say, this latest change doesn't appear, on the face of it, to give them any new powers. If they've got genuine suspicions, they have the power to revoke FACs and/or get an arrest warrant from a judge.

Yet it does seem the way this has been communicated to police forces by ACPO, away from the public eye, is "You now have the go-ahead for unannounced spot checks".

I am absolutely not cool with the police having official blessing to turn up on my doorstep and "persuade" me to open the door on pain of "consequences".

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gazthejourno

Re: Non story

Given the level of discussion these stories generate, quite a few do seem to be interested.

As for the off-topicness, read all about the Weekend Edition here. You'll note (with some rare exceptions) my firearms writings only tend to be published on weekends, when the whole of the Reg goes off-piste.

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gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Non story

Alright, as I'm not really a gambling man (or a rich one - perhaps the two are linked?) I'll stake you a tenner that FAC fees will rise by December 31st this year. Winner collects at Bisley Camp. Deal?

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gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Non story

I hold an FAC and I wrote the column (we even put it in the URL for you, just to make it easy), so thanks for that.

Read the other stuff I've written - particularly on the licence fee going up at the instigation of the Association of Chief Police Officers starting last year - and then come back to me.

You've had your head in the sand if you truly think the police aren't driving any of this, or even that the Conservatives aren't interested in firearms legislation. Norman Baker's Tory predecessor, Damian Green, vetoed ACPO's demand to quadruple FAC fees, and various muckrakers claim Cameron himself vetoed it again after Green was shuffled out for Baker.

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: A NEW HUDL2 HAS ONLY 9.25 GB AVAILABLE TO USE NOT THE 16GB TESCO CLAIM??

Please turn your capslock off. It's considered bad etiquette to have it on constantly.

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Coughing for 4G, getting 2G... Networks' penny-pinching SECRETS REVEALED

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: confused report

When you say "there is a lot of confusion in this report", what you actually mean is "I read the headline and jumped straight into the comments without reading a word of the actual report which goes into depth about half-rate codecs and networks' misuse of a fallback option as the default setting for 4G customers".

Another day, another commentard.

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Julian Assange discovers Google's given MONEY to EFF

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Oddly enough, that exact scenario is dealt with by law already. It's the end of the day so I can't be bothered searching for the exact act and section, but teachers are entitled to automatic anonymity in respect of complaints made by school pupils - up to the point where the police persuade the CPS to make a formal charge.

Not much of a protection against false allegations (the police aren't interested in the truth, only probability of conviction) but it strikes the right balance between protection against immature children and open justice.

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Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Insufferable Pothead Re: sisk

Folks, the case is still active and as El Reg is a British website you're bound by the Contempt of Court Act and the laws of defamation. Please familiarise yourselves with these post-haste.

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WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Urrrggghhhh

Nah.

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Chipzilla promises $6 billion to upgrade Israeli plant

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: AC

I have accepted this comment purely to tell you, publicly, that this is not what the "report" button is provided for. Read the forum rules carefully, and pay particular attention to rule 14.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: AC @Matt Bryant

a) Usual weekend disclaimer applies to comments; sometimes they'll be bound over until Monday because we're all putting our feet up

b) Please avoid calling people cretins. Make your point civilly.

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Copyright thieves' cyberlockers slurp MILLIONS from honest creators, study finds

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Hmm

You got the meaning, though.

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Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "NAE, Jimmy"?

Och aye the noo, etc.

Fair point.

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Aggressive HGST hurls flashy humdingers at online archiving

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Pedant/Correction Alert

Er, yes, about that. Brain/finger interface malfunction between ms and µs when abbrev'ing the units. Mea culpa.

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I saved Bitcoin and the PERFECT DRAFT OF HISTORY, says Assange

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

And your point, because I'm sure you have one?

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Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Apologies for not arguing at all

Actually no - we're not cool with people being personal about Reg scribes. Your previous comment was just over the line from fair comment into a personal jibe, which ain't cool.

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New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Bytes?

Next time why not use the "tips and corrections" link bottom right of the article?

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Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

gazthejourno

Re: Not bad enough...

This IS CoTW ...

Sigh. Clearly my work here is unappreciated.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

General moderator comment

Keep it civil, please, folks.

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Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: So if you find any errors or omissions...

Indeed it does - though it also seems to think HMS Belfast is a street running along the South Bank and not the WW2 cruiser moored alongside it.

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gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It is the defined centre of London

Ah, the danger of Wiki. The statue is not the centre point of London, although it is very close - there is, in fact, a small brass plate let into the road surface which defines the true centre of London. Which, incidentally, was the original location of the Charing Cross monument. The one outside Charing Cross station, in the forecourt, was a tourist gimmick erected by the owners of the hotel which sits on top of the station.

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Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: How long until the lawsuits?

Strangely enough, "abstracting electricity" is a criminal offence in England and Wales. http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/abstracting_electricity/

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Independence?

Are you for real?

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City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub

gazthejourno

Re: So basically, Lovecraft was right?

I read The Rats in the Walls years and years ago but never did remember the title. Thanks for triggering my memory, I've been looking out it for it ever since.

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Oi, you don't work here, MR ANYTHING BUT incisive – get your grubby mitts off our commentards

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: whyboner.jpg

It's all done at top secret level so we can't discuss it further. You didn't think we'd reveal ALL the secrets of the Great Register Machine of Tardmangling in one screencap, did you?

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Just went to log in to upvote a comment

I really hope you have changed your password in the two hours between your posting this and me approving it...

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What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?

gazthejourno

Re: Rich toffs?

"£10 a year" is a bit of a reductio ad absurdum comparison - you don't say that your annual rail season ticket costs £14.30 a day when you're actually coughing up £5,000 upfront. It's a fixed statutory cost that must be met in full; shooters don't have the luxury of depreciating it over a number of years.

Ammo - for competition grade ammunition that I shoot in county level matches I'm looking at between 96p and £1.01 per round for top-grade factory stuff. By shopping around and compromising a bit on quality I could probably knock 10 or 15p per round off that price; more if I handloaded my own ammunition. Practice ammunition runs at anything between 35p/rd for dodgy ex-military stuff recycled from machine gun belts and 40-50p/rd for ammo that will at least hit the target reliably, if with little consistency.

A typical match for me is between 24rds and 50rds fired in a day, and some matches last for a full weekend; that could be up to £100+ that literally goes up (off) in smoke.

Even for pottering with my old Enfield, I'm still paying 45p+ per round. That adds up quite quickly when you're playing with the world's fastest bolt-action rifle...

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MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Did you read this?

Have you read beyond the headlines?

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HP Storage results: Gloomy, but there's light at the end of the tunnel

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: HP Storage ROCKS!!!!

Well, at least you're open about your affiliation.

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'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Here is a hypothetical for you

It's not often I feel driven to say this with my work hat on...

You, sir, are talking complete horseshit. Kindly do not accuse Reg staffers of fabricating stories again.

In the interests of transparency, I spotted the tweets and tipped off Jasper myself. He then did all the legwork, contacted Neil Cooper and wrote the story. The "bomb" tweet is very clearly screencapped in the article itself. Cooper seems to have protected his account just after we published the story.

Enjoy permanent pre-moderation, by the way. You don't get away with making accusations like that about us in our own house.

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Manufactured story

Your tinfoil hat's slipping, AC. You seem to have confused El Reg with the Guardian.

No Register journalist manufactures stories. If they were (bearing in mind we have a subs' desk precisely to interrogate and corroborate everything we publish - there's no unverified/subless publishing here), they would cease to be a Register journalist in short order. Easy as that.

Please feel free to continue posting your conspiracy theories on a website whose URL doesn't end in theregister.co.uk.

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gazthejourno

I can confirm that's pretty much the same as what I heard him ask the plod press office down the phone.

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Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Quit news period!?

And the IT angle for those is what, exactly?

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gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: And the point is?

You have to remember that senior police employees are obsessed with image and reputation management. A bit of lighthearted fun by the troops distracts the media from the deadly serious PR battle for control of the pages and airwaves. Such distractions could result in a missed promotion opportunity or a smaller pension ... and that just isn't acceptable in modern British policing.

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Google leaves STUPID vuln on Nest devices

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Errr neither post was criticising El Reg

Calling something on the Register a "complete non-story" is criticism, my dear chap.

End of correspondence. Have a nice day.

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gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why are you not allowing me to comment on this story

Because you're a) a new user, and so subject to manual pre-moderation on all posts, and b) you're directly criticising El Reg, which is not permitted hereabouts. Read the comment guidelines to learn more: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/01/register_comments_guidelines/

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GCHQ recruits spotty teens – for upcoming Hack Idol

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: GCHQ

Let's hope so.

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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Quite a few times, though admittedly it's the version that begins "A Frenchman went to the lavatory..."

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but

This sounds like advice borne of experience...

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BSkyB slurps Murdoch's Italian and German Sky assets to beef up European pay-TV biz

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

"Massively popular consumer thing is DEAD!" - once, er, it's no longer massively popular with consumers.

I won't be holding my breath.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: and Ghostery tells me,

We're actually slurping all this data so we can build a digital copy of everyone's first-born children and sell them to narco-traffickers, because EVIL CORPORATION.

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Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

ZOMG BITCHSLAP

/quiet afternoon of moderation

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Oz Re: Erroneous Cowherd Contempt

Be less abusive. Easy as that.

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Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Confusing wording indeed

Chaps, if you've problems with the wording, please use the "send corrections" link at the bottom of the article rather than posting about it publicly. Not all comments get read by us and we're far more likely to spot and make the correction if you send it to the appropriate place.

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Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: What fools

Says the user with almost 700 posts and who never once appears to have posted without the "anonymous coward" tag.

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SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "Vorsprung durch grossendatatechnik"

Was? Sagst du, dass unser Deutsch unleserlich ist? Quatsch!

(It's one of our things to deliberately mangle foreign tongues. We are British, after all)

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New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

gazthejourno
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

We see posts that trip the moderation filters individually, without the context of the ongoing discussion. Hence something with lots of characters and few words looks like spammy gibberish (which, of course, your post wasn't) and gets canned.

I'm feeling charitable this afternoon so I've unfiltered that particular post.

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