* Posts by Graham Marsden

6821 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Monica Lewinsky lawyer named as first outsider on secret US spy court

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

He will be asked for his advice...

... only if a case presents "a novel or significant interpretation of the law,"

Right, so pretty much never, then if the NSA et al get their way because they *know* they're doing nothing illegal...

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Now you can be tracked online by your email addy. Thanks, Google!

Graham Marsden
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Re: Well that settles it

I own my own domain, so if I buy something from fredbloggs.com I use fredbloggs.com@mydomain as the e-mail address which lets me keep track of who is doing what with my details.

Also I never surf when logged in to google, I only ever log in if there's something I actually have to do on their system, all the other times I'm logged off. Their cookies are only allowed on per session and, of course, I use AdBlock to block google analytics.

Ok, it might not stop them completely, but it certainly makes life harder for them.

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WATER SURPRISE: Liquid found on Mars, says NASA

Graham Marsden
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Alien

Re: Dark Streaks

"Water is patient, Adelaide, water just waits. It wears down the clifftops, the mountains, the whole of the world. Water always wins!"

- The Doctor in The Waters of Mars

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The UN made privacy a human right – but that's not good enough for Team Snowden

Graham Marsden
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Devil

Re: Article 12

Well you know just how good countries (especially ones like the UK and the USA) are at protecting people's Rights and Liberties according to the Conventions they've signed up to...

...or, at least, protecting the Rights and Liberties of people they like and agree with...

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PIGS IN SPAAAACE: HAMS send porker to 25,927m

Graham Marsden
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"One omission from the list of airborne oddities was a pig"

Pink Floyd did try this, but, alas, not under a meteorological balloon...

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NASA announcement of MAJOR MARS DISCOVERY imminent: WHAT can it be?

Graham Marsden
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Alien

O O

This is the voice of the Mysterons... We know that you can hear us!

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332M Kick Ass pirates get asses kicked by scareware ass-kickers

Graham Marsden
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Alert

"offered money in order to provide information on his company"

Chequebook journalism from El Reg? Say it isn't so!

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(But if it is, I've got some great stories for the right price...)

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US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Graham Marsden
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Devil

"all light vehicle models in the US will be inspected"

So watch out which manufacturers suddenly find a reason to issue an urgent "safety recall" for a *completely unrelated* issue which, none the less, results in the ECU being re-flashed...

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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Graham Marsden
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@dogged - Re: Hmmm...

No, he probably doesn't, but he uses them as a reference.

From the bottom of the page he links to: "This is Money is part of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday & Metro media group"

Of course The Mail never has its own agenda...

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How can we manage this internet thing? The Euro gov needs YOU

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"It’s almost as though the Commission doesn’t really know what it wants to do without being told"

So you'd prefer they just went ahead and did whatever they liked and then you bitch about them doing it afterwards saying "why didn't they ask people what they wanted"?

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Controversial: The future is data integrity, not confidentiality

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Let me guess...

... he has "nothing to hide"...

> "I have AB blood," he said by way of example. "I don't particularly care that people know that. …

But what if someone gets hold of his parents blood type data and finds that his mother was type A, but his father was type O?

It's not just what is known about someone, it's how that data can be combined with *other* information which is where it really gets tricky.

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The BBC's Space: A short history of 21st Century indoor relief

Graham Marsden
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Devil

Re: The issue with the Beeb..

And next on Murdoch's Agenda: Shutting down the BBC News Channel and convincing the public that the BBC should be cut back to a few "core services", thus ensuring that his empire continues to grow and dominate and control what we get told...

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Ofcom triples licence fees for mobile operators to £200m

Graham Marsden
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Re: "The mobile industry has not previously had to pay market value for access to this spectrum"

"The mobile industry has not previously had to pay us enough for access to this spectrum"

FTFY!

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PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

Graham Marsden
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Happy

"The day a monkey decides to bring it's own lawsuit...

"...and can go oin the witness stand to defend itself"

Not a monkey, but a chimp: Jerry was a Man

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Bloodthirsty data parasites hungrily eye up healthcare sector

Graham Marsden
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Re: care.data

Exactly. Our data is *valuable* and needs to be kept secure, not made available to any Tom, Dick or Hacker out there simply so the Government can make a quick buck.

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CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

Graham Marsden
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Meh

"carmakers skirt air pollutant rules by circumventing emissions testing"

This is hardly news. Motorbike manufacturers do the same thing, for instance the stock version of my Yamaha FZ6 Fazer has a notorious "hole" in its power curve between 5000-6000 RPM apparently because that's where emissions testing is done, so they reduce the power to make the figures better.

The fact that it means that, if you're trying to do an overtake at those sorts of RPM, the engine bogs down until it crawls over 6000 RPM at which point the power comes back in which, if you're not expecting it, can be disconcerting if not downright dangerous.

I now have a Power Commander III which remaps the fuel injection system to avoid this happening, but it really shouldn't be a problem in the first place.

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Pentagon on manual mission to build nation-wide security database

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

What's the betting...

... that someone will manage to leave this list on a laptop or USB stick in a taxi...?

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You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

Graham Marsden
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@Tim Worstall - Re: I'll be damned...

> We, with Willy the Conq etc, had the thieving, lying, aggrandising, but we ended up richer than those places with the idiots, no?

Sure, it only took the Black Death wiping out enough of the population to cause the downfall of the Feudal System (with a few of those thieving, lying, aggrandising bastards at the top and the vast majority at the bottom in thrall to them) by giving the majority the ability to say "hang on, *we* have the power to say that we're not going to work for a pittance any more whilst you cream off most of the profits".

Hopefully this time around (where we seem to again have a relative few of the thieving, lying, aggrandising bastards at the top and the vast majority at the bottom in thrall to them) we can find a better solution to the problem.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: I'll be damned...

> So, what's worse for an economy?

Oh come on, Tim. I was actually enjoying feeling well disposed towards your arguments and then you blow it with a False Dilemma. They're both undesirable, arguing about which is worse doesn't help matters and just distracts from how to fix the problem.

As for DaveDaveDave's (unsurprising) claim, I think you'd agree that it doesn't matter how perfect the economic policies are if most of the money gets siphoned off before it gets to those who need it.

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Graham Marsden
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I'll be damned...

... a TW article I actually agree with and pretty much approve of as the "Cui" who "Bono" are the ones who actually need it!

(Of course you'll have to convince Uncle Rupert and the Daily Mail of the benefits of the idea, which won't be so easy...)

One suggestion, though: Make it optional. There are (it may surprise some readers) some of the better off who would be happy to say "thanks, but I'll forego my share as I've got enough to get by on, so please pass it on to someone/ something else".

PS one minor point: " Venezuela is a shithole", yes, but is that just because of their economic policy or also because of the massive levels of corruption which are endemic in that part of the world?

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Crash Google Chrome with one tiny URL: We cram a probe in this bug

Graham Marsden
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"no reward was awarded as this was deemed to be only a denial-of-service vulnerability"

Well, goog has to save money where it can, doesn't it...

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Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

Graham Marsden
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Magician, but no Magic Wand!

Hopefully, therefore, in this series we're not going to have so many stories which end with a wave of the Magic Wand (sorry, Sonic Screwdriver) which were such a cop-out last time around.

This series is definitely looking better, simply for the "Holy Shit" moment that followed the lines "What's your name?" "Davros"!!!

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Huh? Cat-wees-like-a-racehorse study pees on fellow physicists to take Ig Nobel prize

Graham Marsden
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Whatever you call it, 21 plus or minus 13 seconds gives a range of 8 to 34 which is a hell of a wide range to make a claim that the "Duration of urination does not change with body size"

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Ad-blocking super-weapon axed by maker for being TOO effective

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Meanwhile...

... I've just used AdBlock Plus's other functionality to block the totally unnecessary and annoying jumping "ad-alike" image they stuck on the article's page for not other reason, seemingly, than that they could.

Here's news for you, El Reg, we *KNOW* what they look like, we don't need reminding!

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Internet Doomsday scenario: How the web could suddenly fall apart

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Domesday scenario?

Is that where you have a lot of Assessors going around every website and server and TLD finding out what they're worth and how much tax can be levied from them?

1086 and all that...

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Screenshot malware targeted innocent online poker players

Graham Marsden
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As the old saying has it...

... if you sit down at a poker table and you can't tell who is the sucker, it's you!

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We are the Knights who code Ni!

Graham Marsden
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Re: We don't want this

[Grams: Dramatic Chord]

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SPOOKY new Pluto snaps will make the HAIR RISE on the back of your neck

Graham Marsden
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Coat

@Rich 11

Dexitroboping, of course!

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Britain's FBI wants 'Five Eyes' cosy hookups with infosec outfits

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"This will apparently help the agency reach across jurisdictions, and...

"... avoid inconvenient laws which stop them from spying on their *own* people by getting people in other countries to do it for them, just like the GCHQ and NSA do already."

FTFY!

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Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Graham Marsden
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Re: @codejunky - @Graham Marsden

I see no point in continuing this. You won't accept any argument that doesn't fit in with your beliefs and demand that in order to object to a problem I have to be able to fix it too and bring in irrelevancies to shift the goalposts.

Again I offer someone the opportunity to have the last word.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @codejunky - @Graham Marsden

> take issue with the private sector for only employing the number needed to do those jobs.

No, codejunky, I take issue with them shaving the quality of care to the bare minimum because they are only interested in maximising their profits, not the effects on their workers or the people their workers are caring for.

It's clear which side your politics are on because you trot out the line that Labour created the deficit, yet fail to mention that George Osborne has borrowed more money in the time that he's been in his job than Labour ever did in their entire time in power! The "deficit" is not the *debt*, it's just the rate at which the debt is increasing. Bravo to the Tory supporting press for conning the people into believing that big lie.

You also still don't seem to understand with your "the government can only destroy jobs" line, that putting the private sector in as a middle man only *increases* costs, it doesn't create value.

> What do we do with the unemployed AND what do we do with those who abuse the system? I

I've already pointed out that those who "abuse the system" are a tiny fraction of the total welfare budget, so I'm not going to do it again.

As for what we "do" with the unemployed, I will again point out (and which you will probably again not accept because it doesn't fit in with your politics) that it's what we *shouldn't* do with them that is more important, which is to penalise them for *being* unemployed as if they were *all* scroungers when most of them are not.

Now try looking at this page from the ONS and see what proportion of the total spending goes on unemployment benefits...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @codejunky - @Graham Marsden

> It seemed you were suggesting the gov doesnt act like that (employing the few needed to do the job) which is what I said.

No, that's not what I was suggesting.

A friend of mine works as a carer. Due the cuts in local authority budgets, the number of carers employed by the agencies the LA's use has also been cut, so she is having to do home visits that last less than 15 minutes to be able to get through the number of visits she's allocated during the day.

This sometimes means that an elderly person has to make a choice between either being washed or being fed because she doesn't have the time to do both!

Those carers jobs *ARE* needed, but in the quest for savings, fewer and fewer people are being forced to do more and more and, inevitably, the quality of the care suffers.

As for the unemployed, you still fall for the government's constant message that we must "do something" about the "scroungers" despite the fact that they are a tiny fraction of the overall total, yet IDS and his motley crew want us to treat them all the same, so we get the nonsense of people benefits being sanctioned for being late for a Job Centre appointment because they were at a bloody job interview!

> The gov cannot create jobs, only take them away.

That sounds like something that Tim Worstall would argue. I've already pointed out how cuts in Local Authority budgets have resulted in carers being made unemployed. Those are needed jobs, but they have been taken away.

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Graham Marsden
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@codejunky - Re: @Graham Marsden

> Your argument of employing people so they have a job instead of employing those you need for a job is the exact point I was making in the bit you quoted.

That's not my argument, that's your Straw Man. I fully agree that the NHS needs more front line staff and fewer paper pushers and administrators and bean counters etc, but that's not what we've seen from any government for a long while and as Cameron and chums flog off the NHS a piece at a time to their mates, it's not going to change, especially as we see the ludicrous results of policies which mean we have to import Nurses etc and pay them higher rates than those we could have trained at home.

And, no, the public services haven't been perfect by any means and, yes, we need to stop the empire building, but selling said services to private enterprise isn't going to make matters better.

> what do you do with the unemployed and so becoming increasingly unemployable? What do you do with the generations who dont work and those who see it as the better route

First of all you *stop* tarring all of the unemployed with that big brush. Yes, there are a *few* of them who are quite content to scrounge off the state, but they are very much the minority, not the majority. Unfortunately the media both in print and on TV (with unrepresentative nonsense such as Benefits Street) keep pushing the idea into the public's minds that these people are the majority who have to be forced into jobs to stop them stealing our money.

The government has the ability to fix the situation, but they don't *want* to because it suits their ideology to foster this belief, knowing that they can use it to ensure that wages are kept to the bare minimum and that there are sufficient unemployed people that anyone who complains knows that they can easily be replaced.

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Graham Marsden
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@codejunky - Re: @Graham Marsden

> If the gov invest in jobs then they are not real (needed) jobs.

So Nurses and Doctors and other Health Care jobs are not "needed" jobs?

Public services are exactly that, services *for* the public. Someone has to sweep the streets, someone has to collect the rubbish, someone has to maintain the tax service, someone has to run the benefits system, someone has to maintain the roads...

If government stops investing in these and farms them out to private companies, all they are doing is adding a middle-man whose only interest is in what profit they can make between the cost of doing the job and how much they charge the Local Authority or Government for doing that work. They add no value, they just add cost (but, of course, it moves that cost off the Government's books onto someone else's...)

Meanwhile, of course, the private companies are looking at how few people they need to employ to do those jobs, so they trim their workforce, then trim the wages as much as possible because both of those reduce their profit margin, so we end up with *fewer* people employed.

Then, to add insult, you get someone like Iain Duncan Smith forcing the unemployed into doing those jobs, but not even for the minimum wage, but "do this job or you won't get any benefits" and the private contractors go "Whoopee! We get FREE workers from the Government who cost us even less" and sack more people, some of whom may even find themselves being forced to go back and do their old job for subsistence level benefits!

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @TheVogon - Pyhrric victory

Oh dear, LucreLout, I see little point in continuing with this.

You make personal attacks and claims about the "lack of intellectual rigour" of my position, but yours is simply "it's all the fault of the unions" and "the politics of envy" and "I'm alright Jack".

You also somehow think that Blair was Left Wing, but fail to realise that he was only to the "left" of the Tories because they were about as far to the Right as Genghis Khan.

The absolute epitome of the ludicrousness of your arguments is where you say that a Minimum Wage job or a Zero Hours contract allows someone to buy a house!

Please, LucreLout, come and join the rest of us in the real world.

And feel free to have the last word (which will, no doubt, be a smug ad hominem...)

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @LucreLout - Pyhrric victory

No tin foil hat needed. The evidence is in front of your eyes, just avoid the wool that the Murdoch Media is trying to pull over them because Uncle Rupert is bang alongside the Tories on this.

> Jacking up taxes doesn't help the working man get ahead - it keeps him in debt.

And what do Zero Hours contract and Minimum Wage jobs with no prospect of advancement do for him?

> Overly generous welfare make it ever more difficult for him to teach his children about the benefits of hard work and the application of their abilities.

"Overly generous"? You *really* have to stop believing what you read in the papers! And when the message about hard work is "you work all hours of the day and *still* end up with sod all", something has gone seriously wrong.

As for Labour not living within their means, once again we see the Tories trying to flog off what remains of the family silver in the hope that nobody notices they've pissed all of our money away on tax breaks for their mates, laughing up their sleeves as they piously claim "We're all in this together"!

PS I will again remind you that I have no more love for Labour that the Tories, but at least we might see some options other than the failed nonsense of Right Wing Authoritarianism which we've had for the last 35 years.

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All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

Graham Marsden
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Two memories...

1) The first time I saw the film, after it finished I just sat there for about five minutes, absolutely stunned at the intensity of it.

2) When I was in the 6th form, we were forbidden to play "Another Brick in the Wall". Naturally we played it frequently until Mr Parker, Head of the 6th Form, walked in to the Common Room one break time at the perfectly wrong moment and demanded we "Turn that off now!" As one, virtually the entire room, in time with the song, chorused "Hey, Teacher! Leave us kids alone!" :-)

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SOHO solar scope spies 3000th 'sungrazer' comet

Graham Marsden
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Re: Worachate Boonplod?

I was also thinking of Douglas Adams, but wondering if they'd spotted Disaster Area's black stunt ship...

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Obama edges toward full support for encryption – but does he understand what that means?

Graham Marsden
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Meh

"A leaked memo"

Or maybe a trial balloon which was deliberately released to see how people would react to the various options before they decide their policy will be...

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Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Or the coach that was stopped on the M6 because someone was having a vape...

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

@TidySweep

Mohammed and its various spellings is the most common name in the world with an estimated 150 million plus men and boys who have that name.

Are you saying that they're *all* potential terrorists? What about all those men and boys called Timothy?

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US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

Graham Marsden
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Flame

What about all those books?

They can give people dangerous ideas! They can be used to look up chemical formulas to make explosives! They can promote all sorts of radicalism!

Far better to burn them all!

(Excuse me, the nurse is here with my medicine...)

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Chipzilla has its knockers … and now they’re cool in this venting sports bra

Graham Marsden
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The MemoryMirror

"She'd seen a trick fitted for a suit once, a guy who took her to a Holiday Inn. The suit place was off the hotel lobby, and he stood in there in his underwear, crosshatched with lines of blue light, and watched himself on three big screens. On the screens, you couldn't see the blue lines, because he was wearing a different suit in each image. And Mona had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing, because the system had a cosmetic program that made him look different on the screens, stretched his face a little and made his chin stronger, and he didn't seem to notice."

- William Gibson - Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988)

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Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

Graham Marsden
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He's just been invited to the White House...!

"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/644193755814342656

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'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"YouTube viewers using AdBlock Plus had to sit through the full ad"

Or they hit "mute" on the speakers and checked e-mails or browsed another tab until the ad had finished and *then* watched the video...

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Twitter sued for 'reading' private direct messages

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Re: Read the effin' TOS

TOS != The Law.

Just because it says "By using this service you agree to let us do all this", does *NOT* make it legal.

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Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

Graham Marsden
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Re: "Take this opportunity to have your say on Europe's digital future..."

Actually, AC, I *have* contributed.

I was one of the many motorcyclists who objected to the EU's plans to prevent bikers "modifying" their machines by effectively locking down everything from the airbox to the rear sprocket and saying that anything in between could only be touched by an authorised garage, meaning we wouldn't even be able to change our own oil!

We got *some* of those plans stopped, but, thanks to extensive (or perhaps "expensive") lobbying by the ABS industry, all new bikes above 125cc are going to have to have mandatory "always on" ABS included by 2020, despite the fact that there are circumstances and certain bikes (eg those designed for off-road use) where ABS would actually be detrimental.

So, no, I'm not speaking out ignorance, I'm speaking from experience.

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KREMLIN: Google is ABUSING ITSELF, misusing its mighty market position

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

My Irony Detector...

... has just packed its bags and gone on holiday...

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What should we do with this chunk of dead air? Ofcom wants to know

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: re. Three Cows

Obviously that pic is for anyone who doesn't know what a cow looks like...

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Did GCHQ illegally spy on you? Now you can find out – from this page

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Are GCHQ spying on me...?

... We are now!

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