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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4974 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

What about "Battlefield"?

Forget about the ropey acting and dodgy special effects, the Doctor as Merlin, Ace as the Lady of the Lake, the Brigadier as Arthur and the new Brigadier Winifred Bambera (Winifred is derived from Guinevere...)

This episode should have been included. "What are you going to to [to stop the battle] just run down there and shout 'Stop'?" "Yes!"

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Crack our 'military-grade' email encryption and we'll give you 5% of our firm

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

How much...

... does a length of rubber hose cost...?

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If it wasn't on Twitter, there's NO point talking to us: One in 10 Americans confess

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

So...

... basically there's a whole bunch of Merkins who get all their information about what's happening in the world in 140 characters or fewer...

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'Only NUCLEAR power can SAVE HUMANITY', say Global Warming high priests

Graham Marsden
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@Dodgy Geezer - Re: @Vladimire Plouzhnikov - Sigh...

Thank you for the offer of an Economics Lesson, but since I studied the subject at A Level, I think I'll decline and just point out the flaws in your post:

1) "The market automatically makes us use ALL resources at the appropriate level of efficiency depending on their rarity/value."

Balderdash. In a completely free market, products, energy and so on will be sold at whatever price the customers will bear. This is why, for instance, we currently have the nonsense of the retail energy companies saying "it's not our fault that prices are going up, it's because of the wholesale cost" whilst forgetting to mention that they are buying the power from generators which they *also* own!

Their retail arms are only making small profits because their wholesale arms are coining it in as they have a tacit cartel agreement with their fellow generators that nobody will rock the boat by cutting the wholesale price and they know that the consumers are stuck with buying it at whatever price they're told it is.

2) "If you want to make people save energy and use it more efficiently, you are going to have to raise its price considerably"

Again, balderdash. Why do we now buy fridges and freezers etc which are more energy efficient than the ones that were available in the past? Because they are cheaper to run! If you have the choice between paying X to run a fridge every year or 50% of X, why would you buy a less efficient fridge when you need to replace it?

3) "There is NO justification for forcing energy prices high".

I agree entirely and I wouldn't argue for that as it's short sighted and ignores the fact that energy (like petrol etc) have a relatively inelastic demand curve, whereby pushing the price up causes only a small reduction in the quantity used.

So, inconclusion, more efficient use will either bring down the amount of consumption or (at the least) slow down the rate of increase of consumption. Either way it's win-win.

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Graham Marsden
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@Vladimir Plouzhnikov - Re: @ Graham Marsden

> I, personally, strongly dislike inefficiency (like the inefficiency of the wind power generation, for example).

And the fact that cars are about 30% energy efficient whilst bicycles are 98% efficient?

> as your things become more and more efficient you can afford to run more of them at the same time.

Yes, you can. It doesn't mean you *have* to or need to, though.

> the total energy requirements of humanity are going to go up even as the efficiency of the consumption will continue to increase.

True, but as I pointed out above, at the very least we can affect the rate of change (in the mean time we can wait until we sort out Fusion which I have been reliably informed is only 30 years away... ;-) )

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Vladimire Plouzhnikov - Re: Sigh...

The problem is that many people don't bother listening to anything beyond the rants of the "hard line greens" and, just as in many other situations, tar all people who have a vaguely similar philosophy or belief with the same brush as the extremists.

Lewis, as always, goes to the opposite extreme, citing the claims that "renewable power simply can't provide anything like the amount of energy required for any large proportion of the human race to live a reasonably comfortable life" and this "requires most of the human race to remain in miserable poverty", but misses the point that this assumes that to have a "reasonably comfortable life" requires people to engage in some equivalent of the ridiculously profilgate energy expenditure that the USA and Europe indulge in.

I have said it before and I will say it again, we need to use energy MORE EFFICIENTLY! For instance, switching on the air con when it gets a bit warm or the heating as soon as it gets a bit chilly is simple, but it is NOT necessary if we actually put some effort into designing our buildings correctly and getting from A to B can be done much more efficiently than driving vehicles the size of a small truck whilst carrying a single occupant.

No hair shirts are required, no living in houses lit only by a single bulb, no thick jumpers necessary, we are supposed to be an intelligent species, but until we actually start *using* that intelligence instead of just short-sightedly worrying about how much it's going to cost (and how that will affect someone's election prospects or the interests of the big businesses who only pay attention to their dividends and bonuses) we are going to end up screwing ourselves into the ground and not solving the fundamental problem!

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IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! Google's secretive Omega tech just like LIVING thing

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

"Then they try to switch it off..."

Tsk, Judgement Day was supposed to have happened in 1997, we're lagging behind, guys!

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SR-71 Blackbird follow-up: A new TERRIFYING Mach 6 spy-drone bomber

Graham Marsden
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Ok, the SR-71 was cool looking and black...

... but, come on, guys, what about the Concorde?!

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'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

I'm Bill Gates...

... and only *I* know the solution for mankind's ills!

Yes, dealing with Malaria is a Good Thing(tm) but giving people access to information and education is, incredibly enough *also* a Good Thing(tm)!

The two are not mutually exclusive, Bill.

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Snowden: Oh, PLEASE let me come to Germany and help Merkel with her phone

Graham Marsden
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Re: @AC

@Intractable Potsherd:

Actually it's probably not him. He is, at least, brave enough to post under his own name (and can spell).

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @AC

No, I don't think anything of the sort, but we're talking about Snowden and the USA here, not our spineless Governments who appear to have agreed to let GCHQ hand anything they get across to them.

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Graham Marsden
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@AC

Sure, he should shut up and stop embarassing the US by revealing how arrogant and power hungry their security services are, thinking they have the right to spy on everyone else, everywhere else because "We're the USA goddamnit!"

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Graham Marsden
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Re: NSA

@Chad H.

"Just wondering when Germany became part of the USA"

At the end of WWII. There are still over 45,000 US troops there.

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John Kerry bombshell: 'Yes, the NSA... reached TOO FAR, inappropriately'

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Icon...

... says it all.

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Alien planet is just like EARTH - except for ONE tiny detail

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Not much of a future

@The Specialist

"What do I win?"

A copy of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy...!

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Not much of a future

It could have been worse.

It could have been knocked into a black hole in a game of Intergalactic Bar Billiards...

... and only score 10 points.

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BETHLEHEM-grade SUPERNOVA possible 'within 50 years'

Graham Marsden
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Angel

All together now... "He's not the Messiah...

"... He's a very naughty boy!"

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Japanese boffins make a splash with bath-based touchscreen

Graham Marsden
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Re: What about bath foam?

And the other sort of bubbles which appear in the bath if you've been eating starchy food...

...erm allegedly...

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Australian confirms Huawei ban

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"If Murdoch organ The Australian is to be believed"

It's a Murdoch publication. If it were to claim that the sky was blue I'd go outside and check...

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Firefox's plugin-blocker slams into beta - but don't jump for joy, Flash haters

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"Adobe's Flash Player plugin...

"...which Mozilla has determined is used by too many websites to fall under the manual activation requirement."

Really? Hmm, yes it's *so* difficult using FlashBlock...

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Vietnam jails man for Facebook freedom campaign

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

' imprison those who “abuse” their freedom of speech'

Ah, so another country that thinks that Freedom of Expression means "Freedom to say what *we* approve of".

It's a good thing that there aren't people in Western Governments who think that way...

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China's Qihoo unveils kids' smart watch for nosy parents

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"at least where their kids might have left the device"

Obviously this needs to include a pulse monitor to ensure that it's still on the child's wrist. Or perhaps it should be lockable with only the parent having the key. And whist they're at it, why not include a remote electric shock device if they discover their child has wandered off the direct path home or has stopped off at a friend's house...

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

@AC

A friend of mine has been known to look in a couple of other places *after* he's found something he was searching for, just so he can say that it *wasn't* in the last place he looked...

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Ahhh, SATISFACTION: Watch while we set a NAS on FIRE

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... can you burn a DVD?

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Google tired of endless AGONY over alleged EU search biz abuse

Graham Marsden
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Re: Oh dear, once again... (Yawn...)

@obnoxiousGit

I hope that if I ever create a market leading brand, I'll still be able to keep to my ethical principles...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Oh dear, once again... (Yawn...)

@Dr Mouse

"If there was a significantly better free online map, I would use that."

But how do you know? If someone comes up with a better map which should, organically, go to the top of the search rankings, but Google keeps prioritising its own offering, how will you or anyone else find out about it?

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Oh dear, once again... (Yawn...)

@obnoxiousGit:

Re: Tesco - They (and the other big supermarkets, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons) got to be Oligopoly suppliers because a decade or so ago they started selling bread at 7p a loaf and tins of beans at 3p each, ie at well below even the cost of production. This had the effect of driving all the small suppliers out of business, even those who were supplying better products and giving better service, because they simply couldn't compete when the vast majority of people were simply buying on price.

Getting back to google: Try this example, then, you open a copy of the Yellow Pages (which has been bought out by Google) and instead of finding it listed in A, B, C order, you find it goes Google, A, B, C. Most people will start at the beginning (hence why companies change their names to A1 Computers, 1st ABC Computers, .1Computers etc) but again you're getting one company prioritising its services over all others.

Or try this one: Financial Advisers used to be able to claim to be Independant whilst prioritising their own company's financial products over others which was to *their* benefit because they got bigger commissions from them than the ones which would actually have been best for the customer. Do you think that the government was wrong to make sure that people were kept informed of whether or not they were actually getting impartial advice?

Ensuring fair competition is not "manipulating the market", in fact it is the antithesis of it.

PS @Steve Knox - Building a bigger (or sillier) Straw Man doesn't make your arguments any better.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Oh dear, once again... (Yawn...)

@obnoxiousGit and Steve Knox.

Way to miss the point, guys, so let me spell it out for you again...

"Is that giving you what *YOU* are looking for or what *THEY* decide is best for you to see?"

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Graham Marsden
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Oh dear, once again... (Re: Yawn...)

Once again we get the tired old arguments of "maybe Tesco should advertise Asda" and other such straw-man nonsense.

As Dr Mouse says, if he wants a map, he goes to google, types in a post code and there's Google Maps with all the others pushed down "below the fold". Sure, google makes it easy to find and nice and convenient, but it makes it easy to find their products before all others.

So imagine this: Google does a lucrative deal with Fox News so that every time you search for a news story, Fox's version of events and their opinions are prioritised above all others. Would you still be happy then?

Is that giving you what *YOU* are looking for or what *THEY* decide is best for you to see?

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Yawn.....

Here we go again...

The fact is that, for most people, Google is not just *a* search engine, it is *the* search engine. Do you "search" for something online or do you "google" it?

When a company is in such a market dominating position as Google is, it is no longer sufficient to say "well people can go somewhere else" because most people don't even know that there is anywhere else to go in the first place.

So they go to Google, expecting to get at least a semblence of impartiality in their search results, but, instead, get Google's preferred service at the top and others relegated to lower position *even if* those others might actually have had higher organic result rankings and that is an abuse of a monopoly position, just as it was when Microsoft restricted the browser choice market.

The fact of the matter is that monopolies are generally very bad for consumers because they end up restricting choice and that is the point at which regulators need to step in.

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NSA, UK hacked Yahoo! and Google data center interconnects – report

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"You can't have your privacy violated if you don’t know your privacy is violated, right?"

Sure! And if I steal something from you and you don't notice, you haven't been robbed!

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

" We are outraged...

"...at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks" ... that's our territory and we don't want anyone else trying to muscle in on our Data Troughing.

Said the Google Spokesman.

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Robo-drones learn to land by going bug-eyed

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

"by the time you make contact you’re moving at almost zero speed"

Err, but bees don't have to worry about stalling if they go below a certain airspeed.

Icon because...

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Please+ tell+ me+

... that adding a + sign to every word in a headline about Google+ is not going to become another one of those tiresome "Look! Aren'!t We! Being! Clever!" in-house quirks like we get on Yahoo! stories...

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Ex-Beeb online news guru joins Brit speech-analysis startups

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

Re: I really must do a TED talk

I have to agree.

I can read a lot faster than someone can talk, so why should I waste time listening to someone blather on for an hour when I could read a transcript of the entire presentation in a much shorter time?

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DON'T BREW THAT CUPPA! Your kettle could be a SPAMBOT

Graham Marsden
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@I ain't Spartacus - Re: Where's my tinfoil hat...

What kind of sucker do you think I am...

(OUCH!)

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Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Where's my tinfoil hat...

... my kettle is spying on me and I'm sure it's telling the toster and the microwave my secrets too...!!!

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Dino-boffins discover 100-million-year-old BIRD TRACKS in Australia

Graham Marsden
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Joke

And I thought...

... this was going to be about a bunch of Sheilas in furry bikinis...

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You've spent $1,500 on Glass. Now Google wants you to sell more specs

Graham Marsden
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Alert

"it will come with a mono ear-bud...

"...to better plug folk into the company's ad-backed internet systems"

Wasn't there a Doctor Who episode like that?

(Ok, I know it was really two ear buds with glowing blue lights...)

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Singaporeans BEG government to block website

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@NomNomNom - Re: Finally

You are free to have as many Commandments as you want. You are free to obey as many of them as you want. I respect your (and their) right to do this.

All I, and others who think like me, would like is that *YOU* respect *OUR* right to have different beliefs and not have you and your ilk telling us that we can't do something because you don't like it.

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

W... T... F....???

So is it that the petitioners are so incapable of controlling themselves and their browsing habits that they want the Government to block this site because they fear that if they accidentally visit it, they'll instantly be sucked into a world of infidelity?

Or is it that *they* are Paragons of Moral Virtue but fear that their partners are not (or, at least, don't trust them or are incredibly insecure about the strength of their relationships) that they want it banned Just In Case someone else is corrupted by its seductive message...?

Or maybe it's just another example of "Please ban this to stop someone else from doing something which *I* know they shouldn't be doing"?

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Serco CEO walks the plank as firm fights off Ministry of Justice probe

Graham Marsden
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"The CEO at scandal-hit outsourcing monster Serco has quit..."

... with nothing more than a £1.1 million pay-off, about £5 million in shares and a £2.2 million pension pot.

My heart bleeds for him.

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EU tsars rubbish Brit PM over attempt to delay beefed-up privacy rules

Graham Marsden
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"Cameron's Conservative party have promised...

"...to hold a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU after the general election of 2015, if they're elected with a majority"... in a desperate attempt to claw back the right wing extremist voters who are defecting to UKIP...

FTFY.

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AJAX thread voting

Graham Marsden
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Re: It's sorta working

How about the upvote registering without the page re-setting to put the message at the top of the page?

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Only a merciful BULLET can really save a RHINO, say Texas hunters

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Alternatively...

... get the winning bidder, stick him, unarmed, in the middle of the savannah and then give everyone else the chance to shoot at him...!

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In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake DON'T READ THIS

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Re: Sorry, could you repeat that story?

Well I think that...

... hang on, let me just check this incoming text...

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Study: Arctic warming at 'stunning' rate – highest temps in 44,000 years

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Send a copy to Lewis...

(We still need that Popcorn icon!)

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Just because you can spy on everyone...

... doesn't mean that you should.

The problem is that the Security Services see their job as "protecting the country" and they'll protect it so much that whatever made it worth living here in the first place gets trampled underfoot in the process.

Meanwhile they're telling the government "Look, X, Y and Z happened (or could have happened) because we weren't able to read everyone's mail/ monitor everyone's phone calls/ check what website people are visiting/ see who's talking to whom etc etc" and claming that the only way they can prevent terrorist attacks is to be allowed to do anything they want and trough huge amounts of information on everyone in the hope that, by making a bigger haystack they can find some more needles and, regrettably, our governments keep falling for this.

Fortunately for us, the little people, there are a few people who actually have a conscience and believe that the right of Freedom of Expression and the right not to have the State snoop on everything people are doing is more important than preventing "terrorist atrocities" which are actually less likely to kill you than you being struck by lightning.

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HAD IT with Planet Earth? There are 12 alien worlds left to try out

Graham Marsden
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@Evil Auditor - Re: Great news!

"what's the point of spreading our life beyond earth?"

"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

- Douglas Adams - The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Alternatively:

"[T]here's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly, and Aristophanes, and - all of this - all of this - was for nothing. Unless we go to the stars."

- Commander Sinclair - Babylon 5

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NASA, start your torrents: 622 Mbps broadband link FOUND ON MOON

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But what happens...

... if we suddenly find out that "That's no moon" and it start shooting back at us...?

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