* Posts by Graham Marsden

5956 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

FCC: A few (680,000) net neutrality comments lost in 'XML gaffe'

Graham Marsden
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Re: If the FCC can't figure this out...

It depends on how much Big Media want to spend...

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Graham Marsden
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Damn right!

I've thought of visiting the States in the past, but there's no way I'm going to go there whilst I'm treated as a Terrorist suspect simply for wanting to do so!

Meanwhile, of course, the real terrorists are laughing their socks off at the way they've got Uncle Sam dancing to their tune...

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Let me edit that for you...

GCHQ: "We can't track everyone any more."

Us: "Thanks to Snowden!"

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Graham Marsden
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Ok, so...

... I've just read a three-page article which seems long on conjecture and hyperbole, but rather short on facts.

(Actually I didn't even notice the byline until I was about four paragraphs into reading it and then thought "Hang on, this sounds like [scrolls up] yep, it's Orlowski."

Let's ignore the rhetoric such as "assassinating" and "silenced" and the background which is interesting, but possibly a little over-done and see what it actually says;

Oh, right. Businesses who have vested interests like to get media outlets to publish stories which are favourable to them. Just like elected politicians do (such as State Prosecutors who like to prosecute high-profile, media-friendly cases against kidnappers, paedophiles and such which boost their profile and, thus, their re-election chances) and just like Big Media do by trying to redefine copyright infringement as "theft".

All the rest of it seems to be Andrew bashing his favourite targets (Obama, people who object to excessive copyright enforcement and DCM and those who want laws to be proportionate rather than overbearing).

At least it was published as "comment" (which is only one step above "opinion")...

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

Re: a choice

Yes, but those who *shouldn't* be allowed out in control of a skateboard are most likely to be those who would *not* avail themselves of this technology, because they're most likely part of that 80%+ of drivers who think that their skills are "above average".

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Fancy a .trust domain? How's $150,000 sound?

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

The Lads from Lagos...

... want to buy 419.trust...

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

Graham Marsden
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@LINCARD1000 - Re: RoboRally

RoboRally suffers from the problem that if someone's good at programing, they can generally get streets ahead of everyone and have virtually won the game whilst others have barely got out of their starting positions because they keep falling into holes or getting zapped by lasers etc.

It works if everyone is on a similar level of skill, but if not it can be very frustrating for those who get stuck at the start.

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Graham Marsden
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@I ain't Spartacus - Re: Escape from...

The main problems with Escape from Colditz are 1) if you're playing it with someone being the Germans, they get to listen in to all your plans which is hardly realistic and 2) it's possible for you to spend ages assembling the bits for your escape and then someone go for a "Do or Die" (I think that's what it was called) escape attempt, succeed and all your hard work is wasted.

Ok, it may be "realistic" as regards what actually happened, but it's not necessarily always good fun.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Hmm

Dune (or, if you can't get the original, buy Rex which is the same game, but with the serial numbers filed off and a new paint job and log book) is great, but it's a "play for the whole of an afternoon and then some" more often than not game.

To your "simpler" (ie good for family play) list I'd add Discworld: Ankh Morpork, Alien Frontiers, Stone Age and Alhambra to name a few more.

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Graham Marsden
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@Duffy Moon - Re: £499?

> £30-40 for a few bits of cardboard and plastic

Ah, thus speaks someone who is completely clueless about game design and production.

Games like these are very often several years in the making, they have been designed, Alpha Tested, redesigned, repeatedly Beta Tested, blind play-tested etc long before they even get to the production phase.

Then you need to get the artwork done for the box, board, cards etc, rulebooks written and checked and that's all before you get into actual production of these elements.

Of course if you're going for your own custom plastic playing pieces instead of generic wooden cubes or whatever, you've got a load of outlay for injection moulding.

And even once you've done all that, you're still taking a big financial risk, for every Settlers of Catan, there's a dozen other games that just didn't make it for whatever reason and you need to cover that financial outlay somewhere along the line otherwise you'll just be another game production company that went bust.

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Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Graham Marsden
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@Mark Price - Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

> For the record there is no legal requirement for a car to avoid driving in the cycle lane

Actually there is, if it's bounded by a solid (not dashed) white line.

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Graham Marsden
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@Phil O'Sophical - Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

Cycle lanes are not obligatory for cyclists, they are "recommended" routes, however it's clear that you're not a cyclist because, if you were, you'd realise that a lot of them are simply intended to try to get cyclists out of the way of cars, *NOT* to actually be useful or helpful for cyclists.

Let me give you an example from down here in Portsmouth.

If you want to get from Goldsmith Avenue to Winston Churchill Avenue you have to:

1) Leave the main carriageway of Goldsmith Avenue, crossing a bus stop (where all sorts of crap kicked up from the road tends to gather) assuming there's no bus there.

2) Go up onto a pavement next to a pedestrian crossing, ie where there may be people standing waiting to cross meaning you have to slow down to avoid them.

3) Cycle along that pavement for about 15 yards until you get to the top of Fawcett Road.

4) Stop and check to see if any traffic is coming from your right.

5) Cross to the island in the middle of the road and stop again as you try to find a gap in the cars waiting to get onto the roundabout or avoid those coming from your left.

6) Cross the other half of the road onto a pavement where, again, there may be pedestrians.

7) Cycle down that pavement, watching out for cars coming out of the school car park on your left which have to cross the pavement to get onto the road and which don't always stop to check if a cyclist is coming before they do.

8) Go between the posts of a road sign, one pillar of which is located right into the centre of the pavement.

9) Get to the top of Victoria Road North and again, stop to wait for a gap in the traffic on the roundabout to your right.

10) Cross to the island in the middle of that road.

11) Watch for traffic coming to your left getting onto the roundabout

12) Get over to the pavement on the other side

13) Cycle along another shared pavement until you get to the top of Somers Road

14) Again, stop and wait to cross a road where traffic may be coming.

15) Finally get onto Winston Churchill Avenue.

Alternatively you can go:

1) Say "Fuck that for a game of bloody soldiers, I'm going to use the road and position assertively as I am entirely legally entitled to do, and save all that pissing around and wasting energy starting and stopping".

Try cycling some time and you'll get a new appreciation for *why* cyclists don't use those "oh so wonderful" cycle lanes.

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Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"the AG insists his legal case is...

"...all about protecting children and stopping drug trafficking"

What, not preventing Terrerism as well...?

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Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

Graham Marsden
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@Tony Green - Re: Get it right!

Hear hear!

I was just about to post pointing out that "Rejected" and "Refuted" are NOT the same thing, but lazy journos don't seem to understand that.

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Johnson & Johnson snatches your .baby for $3m

Graham Marsden
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" So far ICANN has pocketed over $30m in auction fees...

"...which it has still yet to disclose how it will spend"

But I sense some nice big bonuses in the future...

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Re: Marsbarbrain @AC - @Phil O'Sophical - @The Axe - The reality

Don't worry, Matt, I always excuse your ignorance.

I would explain, but I doubt you'd bother to take the time to understand.

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Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: @Phil O'Sophical - @The Axe - The reality

> That's not running a business, that's running a charity.

No, it's just not being stupidly greedy.

I also run my own business, called Affordable Leather Products. I started it over 20 years ago because of the stupidly greedy prices that some people were charging for BDSM gear at the time, eg £30 for a plain 3" wide leather collar, and that's £30 in early 1990's money, making around 500% mark-up.

I still make a profit on my prices, but I don't gouge my customers for every possible penny. Oddly enough, they keep coming back and buying from me...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @Phil O'Sophical - @The Axe - The reality

Unless you suddenly have someone with a massive property portfolio entering the system flooding the market with cheap housing AND people in existing properties were willing to up-sticks, any new entrants would make very little difference if they decided to charge half the going rent for a few rooms or even houses.

But, of course, what actually happens is that majority new entrants will look at the "going rate" (ie what is being charged elsewhere) and think "well if they can charge that, so can I". Sure, if they don't get any takers they may drop their prices a bit, but they're still going to charge as much as the traffic will bear.

And, FYI, I have looked into the market, some years ago I was considering getting into buy-to-let properties, but decided that it wasn't a good option.

PS But also, FYI, if I had, I was looking at what the *minimum* I could charge for rent to service the costs involved, rather than the *maximum* would be that I could get away with to make as much profit as possible.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Marsbarbrian Oh, well *that's* alright, then...

No, Matt, I just don't have the time and the inclination to play Chase the Goalposts with you right now...

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Re: @Phil O'Sophical - @The Axe - The reality

> You persist in using the word "fair". Please be honest, what you mean is "low".

No, I mean "fair". If I had meant "low" I would have said "low".

What you see are private landlords effectively arranging their own little cartel where they don't actually bother to try to compete with each other because nobody wants to rock the boat.

> Helping such people is the responsibility of government-provided social housing

What a brilliant idea! What a shame that most government provided social housing that people are supposed to move into has been flogged off by the Tories to the afore-mentioned private landlords...

Cui bono...?

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Marsbarbrian Oh, well *that's* alright, then...

Matt Bryant BINGO!!!

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Graham Marsden
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@Marcus Aurelius - Re: The reality

Yes, there are, supposedly, measures in place. However they are difficult to access, long winded, slow to operate and don't help much when you're still trying to pay rent and may have had your benefits sanctioned too.

And would *you* want to have to have a stranger move into your home?

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Graham Marsden
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@Phil O'Sophical - Re: @The Axe - The reality

> By definition "market rate" is what people are willing to pay.

There is a difference between charging a fair rent and charging all the traffic will bear, especially when, as the Bedroom Tax has done, it puts people in a position where they have to choose between eating, heating and keeping a roof over their heads.

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

@Tim Worstall - Re: @The Axe - The reality

> Fine to argue about the portion of increased supply/demand in it, but necessary to acknowledge that part of it is increase in supply.

Well, duh! Yes, more people are using food banks because more food banks are now available. They couldn't use them if they weren't there, could they?!

However you appear to be implying that it is the food banks themselves which are driving that demand, rather than the actions of Iain Duncan Smith and his merry (expenses paid) men and women who are forcing Job Centres to deny people benefits (which they are perfectly entitled to) to a level *well* above even that of the Thatcherite era.

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Graham Marsden
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Oh, well *that's* alright, then...

Rather than address the actual issue, TW decides it's much easier to engage in another round of his favourite hobby of Leftie-Bashing instead because that allows him to aim at a set of goalposts which are more to his liking as he triumphantly proves the Grauniad wrong.

Well, bravo, Tim! Congratulations! You've managed to completely ignore the problem, but you can pat yourself on the back secure in the knowledge that you've done good according to your (and Nigel's) political lights whilst carefully avoiding mentioning how, for instance, Nigel's plans would actually mean a whole lot of people would end up worse off whilst those at the top of the income pile would get even richer.

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Graham Marsden
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@The Axe - Re: The reality

> your use of the term Bedroom Tax shows your political leanings

And your use of the term Spare Room Subsidy reveals yours, as does your claim that the Trussel Trust is "marketing" food banks. Why not go the whole hog and repeat the claim that more people are using food banks simply because they've heard from them and they're available, not out of desperation because they can't afford to buy food?

And, if we needed any more evidence, you go for a lovely bit of victim blaming by claiming that people's own fault that they get in debt for spending more than they earn because clearly it's much better for people to be forced out of their homes into unavailable and non-existent smaller properies by this pernicious piece of legislation since it means they can no longer pay the rent on the place they live and private landlords are not interested in cutting the rents to a fair market rate.

Bravo!

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Graham Marsden
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London 1970s....

My family went to a show London at the height of the IRA's mainland bombing campaign when they were targetting theatres and cinemas. The overwhelming attitude in the country was "We will not let the terrorists make us dance to their tune!"

Now some skiddies somewhere shout BOO! and everybody runs and hides under the bed clothes...

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UK cops caught using 12 MILLION Brits' mugshots on pic database

Graham Marsden
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Re: Deus Ex Machina

"If the computer says “it's him” most people, plods included, will believe the computer against all other evidence"

Such as the case of Raymond Easton from Swindon who was arrested for a burglary in Bolton because a DNA sample taken from him years before seemed to match the perpetrator's DNA.

The fact that Easton had never been to Bolton and had Parkinson's Disease which meant he could barely walk to his own front door, let alone travel to Bolton, break in through a window and commit a burglary didn't seem to be relevant because "Well, we've got a DNA match..."

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

@Tom_ - Re: What's his beef?

> I'd have thought that the advantage of a computer being able to present, say, a dozen potential matches quickly and let the police officer review those would be a good thing.

What a great idea! We're looking for a paedophile and Tom_'s face looks like a potential match, so we'll stroll into his workplace and interview him.

Of course when we've decided he's not a suspect and gone away, everyone will think "well that's ok then" and *nobody* will think "there's no smoke without fire" or "they wouldn't have interviewed him unless he was a wrong'un", will they...?

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@Cronus - Re: In other news...

> photographs taken of people while they are held in custody but not necessarily ever convicted of something

Exactly. We have the Right to be Presumed Innocent, that is why, now, if you are arrested and then released without charge, any fingerprints and DNA taken must be destroyed.

These photographs should be treated in the same way.

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30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Graham Marsden
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"There are some items which Royal Mail is unable to carry in the UK...

"... for legal or health and safety reasons.

"Failure to comply with these regulations could result in prosecution. You are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited.

"For a full list of UK prohibitions and restrictions please see our prohibitions and restrictions guide for contract and business customers."

Which includes: "Waste, dirt, filth or refuse"

Hmm...

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

Graham Marsden
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@Phil O'Sophical - Re: Exaggerating much?

I started to read that piece, then I got to the bit where it mentions the 7-day pumped storage which you refer to and laughed derisively at another ridiculous exaggeration because it's predicated on "replac[ing] our heat engines with direct electricity and electrified transport" and "Americans insist[ing] on not changing any of their habits".

The point is that such systems provide an *alternative* to current generation methods such that, when excess power is available from renewable sources, it can be stored and then used to supplement the current system, not replace it entirely as that article argues.

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Graham Marsden
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Exaggerating much?

> "flooded areas for hydro-electricity, agricultural areas needed for biofuels and large spaces needed for wind and solar farms"

Yes, on a local scale, flooding a valley for hydro may seem a big area, but on a country-wide basis it's really tiny. Biofuels are a nonsense, taking food and turning it into petrol equivalent is just stupid.

As for the "large spaces" needed for wind, there's large amounts of *empty* space around every turbine, so that's hardly going to devastate the local environment and solar farms tend to be built in areas where there's damn all life anyway.

PS FYI I have no ideological objections to nuclear, but that doesn't preclude other forms of generation too.

PS "Analysis"? ITYM "Opinion"...

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Terror bomb victims demanding Iran's .ir will appeal US ruling

Graham Marsden
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The US citzens' lawyers believe they have a strong case for...

... making more money out of this...

FTFY.

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Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... will it also make your mouth automatically lip-synch to the words that are being translated like happens on Star Trek?

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

@JDX - Re: German

There was an anecdote I heard many years ago about an international conference and a German man was speaking whilst English people were listening to a translator.

At one point he had been speaking for quite a while but the translator had fallen silent and the English speakers were tapping the earpieces and looking around at the translation booths wondering what was happening when there was an anguished mutter of "The verb, man. The VERB!!!"

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Chum's house burnt down? Facebook mulls 'DISLIKE' button for that

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"dislike button as a way to criticize others...

“Thats not socially very valuable or good for the community"

ITYM not very valuable for all our paid advertising content masquerading as status updates etc which, otherwise, people would be able to express their dislike of...

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Lawmakers should grab red pen and let it RIPA on snoops law – experts

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

What???

A law produced by a Control-Freak Government that was vaguely worded and ill-defined which is being abused in ways that go well beyond its original remit simply because it's convenient?

No, tell me it isn't so!!!

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Parliament face-sit-in to spark mass debate on UK's stiff smut stance

Graham Marsden
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Childcatcher

@Powernumpty - Re: Shop door

> If I saw a bunch of seven year old's hovering outside the door I'd be concerned.

Ah, so, once again, *we* and the Government should be responsible for the upbringing of *your* children. All computers should have default-on filters, all ISPs should block this stuff unless we ask to be allowed to see it.

Forget Parental Responsibility, if your children get to see bad things like this, it's obviously our fault, not yours.

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Graham Marsden
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@P.Lee - Re: @Raumkraut

> I'd guess this is just an industry lobby.

Then you'd guess wrong. I know some of the people who will be there, members of groups such as the Sexual Freedom Coalition, Feminists Against Censorship and Backlash (the group that campaigned against the Extreme Porn laws and which has now broadened its remit).

This law and similar ones do nothing to prevent dangerous or abusive behaviour in pornography, because very often such things are actually in the purview of the "mainstream" porn industry rather than the sort of niche material which those who will be affected by this law produce and the "mainstream" industry has no interest in objecting to this law since it simply removes competition for their fare.

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Rolling the ATTACK DICE in King of Tokyo

Graham Marsden
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Ameritrash...

King of Tokyo is ok, provided you're only playing with a few people, say a maximum of four.

The problem comes when you start adding more monsters/ players because, almost inevitably as with such games, someone is going to get knocked out early on and then spends the next twenty minutes or half an hour as a spectator whilst everyone else is having fun.

There are plenty of "Euro" style games out there where you all get to play until the end, some suggestions are Carcassonne, Stone Age, Fresco, Discworld: Ankh Morpork and Ticket to Ride.

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Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Re: Thank goodness!!!!

Of course not! All you need to do is ensure that your laws are so broadly defined that anything you want the Security Services to do can be deemed to be legal and your tame court will happily rubber-stamp their actions.

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Graham Marsden
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Alert

Cui bono?

Call me cynical, but I have to wonder which of the big out-sourcing companies like ATOS, G4S or Serco have their eye on this being outsourced and have offered someone a million quid "Directorship"...?

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Oi, UK.gov. WHERE'S THE DETAIL on your Google Tax?

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

" the move was likely a pre-election sop to voters"

No? Really...?!

Gosh, I NEVER would have guessed...

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

Graham Marsden
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Re: Porn sure has improved over the millenia.

> Though Unk was a big hit at parties with his collection of shells.

Until the Tribal Elders, spurred on after a campaign by the Daily News Rock (Prop: Murr Dok) outlawed this shell art as it was corrupting the minds of youngsters, proven after a series of incidents involving the new discovery of fire (resulting from the excessive rubbing of sticks)

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Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@chris lively

Oh, but they *weren't* doing wrong! After all, as they said: "NSA collects only those communications that it is authorized by law to collect in response to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence requirements..."

Of course the fact is that the laws their actions were authorised under were so broad and sweeping and the "valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence requirements" so far-reaching that they had virtual carte blanche to do what the hell they liked.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Graham Marsden
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@codejunky - Re: Meanwhile....

> I expect metered must be cheaper for someone somewhere but I dont know them.

Hello, I'm Graham, pleased to meet you.

I own a 3 bed house, but live here on my own. Were I to be charged by the old system I'd be paying a hell of a lot more for water and sewerage than I do.

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Magnifico! Galileo satellite nudged back into correct orbit

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Let me go!

Bismillah, NO! We will not let you go...

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@P.Lee - Re: Good, good

> Entering into a legally-binding agreement to "forsake all others until death us do part"- provides an indication of how highly your partner esteems you and dramatically reduces the risk of you being abused.

Oh certainly! After all, marriage is a definite guarantee that you (female *or* male) will not be the victim of domestic abuse, isn't it?

And "legally binding"? Sorry, have the Divorce Laws passed you by?

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Graham Marsden
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@A Non e-Mouse - Re: WTF

Yes, people have died from strangulation and breath-play going wrong. But that sort of thing was happening long before the advent of the internet. Meanwhile, of course, many more people die crossing the road or from smoking or alcohol related causes. Should we ban imagery of these too?

This is the same nonsense that gave us the Extreme Pornography legislation and which may soon give us an extension of that law which will ban "rape porn" whereby pictures of anything that *looks* non-consensual could get you arrested and thrown in jail!

PS as for female ejaculation, despite it being clinically proven that female ejaculate is *not* urine, it's obviously still too icky for The Powers That Be who don't want us to see it because they don't like it.

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