4913 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
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Be pure, be vigilant...
"such systems are unpopular with the slackers"
Ah, a variant on the "if you have nothing to hide..." argument, methinks.
After all, you shouldn't object to your employer tracking your every move and every stop to ensure that they're getting the maximum possible amount of work out of you (preferably for the minimum possible amount of money) should you?
"of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review"
Those sound such small numbers, don't they?
But, of course, they aren't *numbers*, they're percentages and is a neat way of burying the fact that actually huge amounts (in numerical terms) of data is being scanned on what is nothing more than a massive fishing expedition in the hope that, somewhere in all the dross, they'll come up with something useful.
Translation: Damn, we've been rumbled! Quick, lads, chuck a few more rocks at them before they figure out how to deal with our attack!
"there's little or no congestion"
Oh great. I've just had to buy a new video sender because my old one (which worked on 2.4Ghz) became unusable due to the amount of interference and now it looks like the replacement is going to end up with the same problem :-(
"forum comments that receive positive votes are disproportionately more likely to be up-voted again"
You mean like when El Reg recently had a list of the "most popular" (or some such) comments at the bottom of an article (before you clicked on the Comment button) which pretty much guaranteed that they were the ones most likely to get votes?
@Iglethal - Re: Kinda pointless if you live in a safe constituency, though.
The problem is that there's a lot of people who don't *want* to know about their candidate. They vote for Party X and the reason they do that is because their parents voted for Party X or because Party X is seen as the "The Party of... whatever" which is a group they consider themselves to be in.
When you only get to put one X on a piece of paper, there is insufficient granularity to determine what the people *really* want (and, of course, that's the way the two big political parties like it...)
@Crisp - Re: Kinda pointless if you live in a safe constituency, though.
"someone else will say things in your name"
They do that anyway. Voting in our current broken system just condones the system without letting you actually have a say in the outcome.
How to make money...
... Don't Innovate, just Litigate!
1) Come up with a ridiculously broad or blatantly obvious idea
2) Patent it (the USPO will let it go through on the nod) and stick it in a drawer
3) Wait for someone to create a product that uses an idea which is something close enough to it
4) Threaten to sue unless they pay you Protection Money (you've most likely got deeper pockets, they'll probably cave first)
Why use Radio when you have subspace?
... I prefer to get the Radio Times every week, read through it and see what's each channel, then set the programmes up to record so I can watch them when it's convenient for me.
And, yes, I'm aware that the RT doesn't feature *all* the channels out there, but given that, when I've bothered to look at them, they're not showing anything worth watching...
To hell with the story...
... thumbs up to your sub-editor for his sub-stantially sub-lime sub-versive, sub-headline! (Now to hit sub-mit...)
"cyber attack [is] a higher threat than a nuclear attack"
I saw Keith Vaz say this on BBC News today and thought "Wow! That must be *really* serious because we are in *such* danger of a Nuclear Attack from... erm..."
@Swiss Anton - Re: Whilst I object to these stupid and unworkable proposals...
The problem with Article 8 of the ECHR is that it contains the following weasel words:
"2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
In other words, as long as the Government can argue (with a straight face) that they're doing it "for public safety" or "for the prevention of crime" or "the protection of morals" the odds are they'll get away with it.
@Dennis Wilson - Re: Brilliant.......
"there was talk of creating a top flight domain just for porn, like XXX [...] Anything that has even the remotest chance of taking it out of mainstream internet is fine by me"
And, as I've pointed out many a time on El Reg, what about businesses like mine? I run Affordable Leather Products, making and selling leather bondage and BDSM gear. I have a .co.uk domain because it's a UK business.
My site has adult content, but it's not a "porn" site, so why should I have (and have to pay a stupid price for) a .xxx domain? You, like Cameron, don't seem to have thought this one through...
Whilst I object to these stupid and unworkable proposals...
... I can't say that I support this sort of action by Anonymous either, not least because it just gives Cameron and his cronies ammunition to say "Look at all this filth and smut we were sent. We need MORE censorship to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.!"
(They could also probably have added "And is this really the sort of thing you would want your wife or your servants to see"...)
... American restaurants could just stop serving such ridiculously oversized portions.
Stoned or high...
... you're coming with me!
(Ok, so it should be Robocop, not the Terminator, but WTH!)
... the irony!!
... there's a way of getting protein that's a hell of a lot cheaper, by using insects.
Now of course most people's immediate reaction is "Eww! Insects...!" but, as a recent documentary showed, there are more than a few countries around the world where people are happily and healthily eating insects.
To get away from the "It's a bug!" reaction, take the insects, grind them up, reconstitute and colour the protein, bung in some flavouring if you want and you'll have something which is basically what turns up in burgers these days anyway.
@DrXym - Re: Nonce sense
"It would be far more sensible to let them search away and the results they clicked on."
Sorry, but I don't agree with you because this would require that all our searches are not merely monitored, but all the websites we visit tracked *and* then all our activities recorded *just in case* someone has buried a secret cache of kiddie porn in a folder on the site "Humorous Anecdotes of the Great Accountants".
@BornToWin - Re: It's the least they can do
It does rather depend on how "CHILD PORN" is defined.
FYI, in the UK, even though it's legal for someone to have sex between the ages of 16 and 18, "sexual" images of someone between those ages could get you locked up unless you can demonstrate that you are in "an enduring relationship" with the person involved.
Similarly, images of children in swimming costumes etc, could be classed as child porn depending on the "context" in which they are stored. That's a nicely nebulous term because it's not clear if that's "in the same folder as other porn" or "in a folder that's held with several others in a general classification 'porn'" or "in a folder as a sub-set of the folder 'images' which also contains a folder called 'porn'" or even "on the same hard drive as other porn.
And, of course, there's cases such as the one of Julia Sommerville who was arrested for taking "child pornography" photos because her partner had taken pictures of her and her kid in the bath together and then got them developed in Boots.
(I think those are the right details of that case, but I don't dare search for the relevant terms in case it tells me I'm engaged in an illegal search...!)
Re: What next?
"Covering up lads' mags in supermarkets?"
Off-topic, I know, but I reckon their next edition should be "Burkha Special!"
Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT)
And the award for this year's most contrived acronym goes to...
@murph Re: Go ahead please... block social networks by default as well.
The point which you seem to be missing is that, as with many such things, the Government is getting people to accept the idea that censorship on the internet is acceptable by starting with something that almost nobody is going to disagree with.
Once that's accepted then, like the "Extreme Pornography" legislation, they can look at expanding it to other "unacceptable content" eg something that appears to look like rape, since, well, rape is equally unacceptable isn't it?
And slowly the line moves and more and more "unacceptable content" gets blocked as the Government decides for you what is os isn't acceptable for you to see...
"get one of those £20 mains appliance consumption meters"
When I switched to Scottish Power a while back, they gave me one of those meters for free.
I checked the consumption, then went round and switched off everything that was unnecessary.
At which point the reading had hardly changed because I was *already* switching off unnecessary appliances, lights, chargers etc.
So a smart meter will probably save me absolutely nothing.
Not according to Avenue Q...
In Arthur C Clarke's "The Fountains of Paradise" he mentions a news service like you mention.
Apparently some people would set up spoof search terms like "Circle - Squaring Of" or even "World - End Of"!
See http://www.e-book2u.org/sf/Clarke08/30299.html for details :-)
"The problem is that this kind of arrangement (especially in the £20 range) is often not in private, far from it in fact."
True, but as you might notice in one of the articles linked from the original one "Five women and four men were detained [...] after Police received information suggesting that the property was being used as a brothel".
Now if all the women were there consensually and no force or coercion was being used to keep them there, then why is there a problem? It's all in private, nobody is being hurt (at least, not unless they want to be!) and every one is happy.
But, no, successive Governments have decided that two women working out of the same property is a brothel and if they have someone there as a security guard, he's classified as a pimp who is "living off immoral earnings".
Bravo, Governments! I bet we're all safer now...
@John Smith 19 - Re: A good moment to remember Franklin's words
But it's the politicians who are claiming that *they* are the "good men" and they are "doing something" by bringing in these laws.
Of course they don't *like* doing it, but it's for our own good, isn't it?
Perhaps it's time for the Goering quote...
"[...] voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
@Brewster's Angle Grinder
So let's say, arguendo, this is successful and *all* porn is blocked and your kiddies are safe from it. Do we all live happily ever after?
Well, no, because you've not blocked any of those clips of terrorists beheading victims or Saddam Hussein being hanged or the Taliban executing women with a bullet to the head in the middle of a football field or...
Where does it stop? When do we say "ok, now we've blocked children from all the nasty stuff, the world is a better place for it"?
Don't write to El Reg, write to your MP!
As I've already pointed out in another thread, there is a petition here http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51746 which currently has over 13,000 signatures, however if you *really* want to make your voice heard, write to your MP.
Go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com and tell your MP that you don't want to be treated like a child by the Nanny State or see the Great Firewall of Britain introduced.
@Brewster's Angle Grinder
You say "We should focus our energy on making sure it works well - e.g. it doesn't outlaw LGBT", but *how* exactly are you going to achieve that except on an individual, case-by-case basis?
How do you create a filter which outlaws "porn" without blocking access to sexual health sites or breast cancer sites or LGBT advice sites all of which "children" (defined as "anyone under 18") might have a legitimate reason for accessing?
The answer is, of course, you can't. All this proposal does is justify Nanny State censorship (which is an act of stunning hypocrisy from the Tories who criticised Labour for wanting to introduce Nanny State legislation!) and trying to justify it as "the lesser of two evils" is nonsense.
If you want to be protected from "evil" that's your business, don't treat everyone else like children because you can't trust yourself to act responsibly.
(PS and dragging in Gun Control is just a massive red herring, there should be a Godwin equivalent...)
@Bill Ray - We are not responsible for bringing up YOUR children!
When you choose to become a parent you are taking on the responsibility for bringing up that child and protecting it from whatever you think it needs to be protected from.
That's *YOU*. Not me, not the Government, not your ISP, not anyone else but *YOU*!
This "Won't Someone Think of the Children" nonsense that Cameron is coming out with is just a desperate and hypocritical attempt to claw back some of the voters he's lost to UKIP by creating a phony moral panic which will sit well with the Daily Mail reading public of Middle England.
I'd also point out that he's already rowing back from what he's already said (see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/family-filters-wont-block-soft-porn-david-cameron-retreats-in-war-on-internet-porn-admitting-there-will-be-problems-down-the-line-8726991.html) as it becomes clear that he's totally clueless about the actual effects of what he's proposed.
Do you support the Great Firewall of China? Do you want to see the Great Firewall of Britain? No? Because that's what you're supporting!
Are you sure...
... that those apps don't have some secret payload and are actually installed by the Chinese Government to keep an eye on its citizens...?
(I was going to use the Joke Ahead icon, but then again...)
Re: "photographs are forbidden for fear terrorists could make use of them,"
Of course, because terrorists are *so* stupid they can't think of the idea of going to eBay or one of the many websites that sell miniature cameras and using *those* to take pictures...
Re: This is madness
Don't write to El Reg, write to your MP!
I'm going to be contacting my MP because this BS is liable to screw up my perfectly legal business selling adult leather bondage gear since anyone who wishes to visit my affordable leather products website will need to switch off the porn filters because, being a responsbile business owner, it's clearly marked with Adults Only and no under 18's and registered with Surf Watch and Net Nanny et al.
Go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com and tell your MP that "Thinking of the children" does NOT mean "Treat everyone like children!"
"That's public indecency and prosecutable in virtually every civilized society"
Translation: 'That's the way it is in *my* country which is, of course, the sole measure of what a "civilised society" is...'
Nice to see...
... El Reg letting us comment on Lester's articles which are of such world-shaking import...
Re: @Drewc - Oh look... @diodesign
DrewC - I agree the experiment has not been a success.
Still, at least now El Reg is letting us comment on the important articles by Lester such as the one on low-slung trousers...
@Drewc - Re: Oh look... @diodesign
Oddly, I've just looked at the Latest Topic column and I can't see it there. Possibly because someone has created *another* topic which is even newer.
And why should I have to look at an individual forum to try to find a topic instead of just clicking on a "Enter your comment" box at the bottom of the article I'm reading?
I guess you are missing my point (or being deliberately obtuse), so let me spell it out for you as you request:
El Reg is deliberately putting barriers in people's way, making it difficult for them to comment on articles for no good reason other than, it seems to try to force them to use the forums instead of the regular comments.
Why this should be necessary when the current system has been working perfectly well , I don't know. Perhaps you can spell it out for me.
@diodesign - Re: Oh look...
"It's an experiment to see what happens if we punt comments directly into the forums."
And it appears to have comprehensively failed.
All it does is put barriers in the way of anyone who wants to comment on one of Lewis' pieces because instead of just clicking "comment", you've got to go to the forums, find if there is a thread already and, if there isn't, *then* start one.
It's a well known fact of web design that if you want people to access your content, you *don't* force them to drill down levels to find it, because most people will not bother.
Why do you think it's different for El Reg?
.... another Lewis Page Opinion Piece (this time about energy bills) with no opportunity for us to post comments.
One could almost get the feeling that he doesn't like his opinions being questioned...
Re: Re:Graham Marsden @Matt Bryant - dogged David Pollard Hospital....
Ah, I see the Matt Bryant movable Goal Posts are back out again...
Re: Re:Graham Marsden @Matt Bryant - dogged David Pollard Hospital....
Really, Matt, you ought to write for the Daily Mail.
"All the problems of this country are due to those workshy unemployed layabouts who sponge off the state and spend all their benefits on fags and booze and yadda, yadda, yadda..."
It must be so nice to live in your smug and self-satisfied world where you have enough money to live on and don't have to watch every penny (unlike the friends I have who *are* unemployed and *don't* buy fags and booze because they can't afford it).
And if the unemployed and less well off have to pay more than the rest of us because they can't afford the deals and get the Direct Debit discounts or free minutes or whatever, well, that isn't a problem for you, is it? After all, "I'm alright, Jack!"
Hey, everyone! Matt Bryant says it's not a problem, so we can stop worrying about anyone else but ourselves!
Perhaps because not everyone *has* a fixed line phone these days.
If you can get a pay as you go mobile for a tenner (or less) why do you want to pay line rental every month? If you get a bundle of free minutes, why pay a land-line connection charge?
Several people I know have ditched their land-lines because it's cheaper to use a mobile.
@Matt Bryant - Re: dogged David Pollard Hospital and prison telephones
Maybe it's your inability to do any research that leaves you unfamiliar with the cost of phoning people in hospital, but it costs 49p a minute to call someone on their bedside phone between 8am and 6pm and 39p per minute at other times.
Calling out requires that first you buy a Hospedia Card (non-refundable, of course, unless you can pay with a credit or debit card) for a minimum of £3.50 and then pay 20p connection charge per call and 10p per minute thereafter.
Now if you actually compared that to the cost of most phone calls people make these days, I think you would consider that the words "somewhat excessive" would not be inaccurate.
Oh and, PS, you might be interested (well, if it fitted in with your parocial attitudes, that is) that Hospedia took over from Patientline after getting £30m of debt written off, sacking support staff (so if you have a problem you have to phone a premium rate support line!) and getting NHS Trusts to pay for updating system even though existing contracts have years to run.
But, hell, let's just bleed the sheeple white, it's what we've always done...
"unless customers explicitly agreed it being passed on for each 30 minute period"
So we'll probably get "options" like "Unles you want to pay more for your energy and be denied tariffs which we claim will save you money (whilst giving us a boat-load of data on you), tick this box!"
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