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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4990 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Indonesia in pre-Ramadan web porn blitz

Graham Marsden
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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 07:50...

J1 - I wasn't planning on replying again, but you make comments that I wil not leave unaddressed.

Firstly it is not "arrogant to dismiss all gods in one fell swoop", it is a simple fact that there is *no proof* of the existence of *any* gods. To claim existence and expect others to accept this without proof is arrogance. If you can provide demonstratable proof, I'm entirely willing to admit that I am wrong and gods exist, but even without proof you insist that your god does exist. (BTW calling this "faith" instead does not eliminate the total absence of proof).

Next, why should I not "get involved"? This is a public discussion, not a private conversation. You claimed (incorrectly) that "for Atheists there is not right and wrong", justifying this by claiming that only god (or, at least, your god) could a) do this and b) judge it. I have pointed out that your view is as subjective as mine, but you refuse to accept this, continuing to expect me to accept that, since Atheism is "made up" whilst your "objective" holy book is divinely inspired, thereby it is *you* who "have won".

I have to say, by the way, that I wish I could find it astonishing that you seem to be proud of the fact that you "never claimed to be able to think for myself". You gave me some reasons "to reject such names as god", based on what, it seems, you want to believe a god should be and you seem incapable of realising that those are, once again, totally subjective. When you can objectively and logically justify that a god *should* be such things in the first place, *then* you can start asking me for my reasons of rejecting such claims. Of course that's not likely to happen since you admit you're unable to think for yourself and question what you have blindly accepted "on faith".

You bring up drinking, porn, free sex etc and say "I suspect these are all to do with the Atheist attitude... of you only live once.. enjoy it while it lasts. You claim to be the exception, but still want to enjoy drinking, porn and free sex in all their forms", well, yes, at least you pretty much get that right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Sure, if people abuse drink etc, it causes problems, but that is *not* justification for banning them. There are plenty of people who enjoy such things *without* causing problems, yet once again you seem to think that the Nanny State should step in and say "well *some* people can't enjoy these things without abusing them, so *nobody* should be allowed to enjoy them at all!"

You say "You don't even know what 'good' is, yet you say you behave in a 'good' way. That is the problem. Other people also claim to be doing good.. and justify it in the same manner as you. Yet their good is not yours.. and may end up being to your detriment. So which is good? Your subjective opinion gets you nowhere", yet you fail to remember that there are those who follow the same god as you, who have read the same holy book as you and who have undertaken some truly despicable actions against innocents, yet they still believe that they are "doing good". So where does *your* allegedly objective opinion get you? Sure, *if* you're right and there's some deity passing out judgements after death, they may get punished, but that doesn't do any good(!) in *this* world, does it?

Regarding the quote from Shakespeare, you're really reaching now. Nobody has *told* me to accept what he wrote without question, nobody has threatened me with damnation if I don't believe it, those words simply are a good summation of my feelings, not holy writ.

And so you dismiss me as "not thinking for myself" because you again admit that you are not capable of doing so and have to rely on the crutch of faith, but if your faith is so weak that jokes at its (or your) expense upset you then perhaps it's not as good(!) as you think.

Now I am finished with this discussion and will leave you with what I said back in my first post: "So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude."

If you wish to declare victory or get the last word in, please feel free.

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Graham Marsden
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@Nuke - Re: Graham Marsden - @J1

"He may or may not insist that others believe like him."

I think you missed the point I was making. I was speaking *for myself* as an atheist. I'm not "insisting that others believe like me", nor would I be so arrogant as to think that.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120720 23:26...

J1, it is not me who is missing the point. Yes, "Personal opinion, is just that. You can put them up against each other and decide for yourself which you prefer" I agree entirely, however when someone then goes on to say "my holy book or my prophet or my deity says X,Y and Z and that trumps your personal opinion, so you *cannot ever* win the argument", that is arrogance, plain and simple.

And, no, my Atheism does not "tell me anything" because there is no "Big Book of Atheism" which tells people what to think, unlike the many and multifarious holy books which purport to be the sole bearers of "the only truth", so all of your arguments questioning the basis of my arguments because "atheism doesn't tell you A, B or C" fall based on your lack of understanding of what Atheism is (or, rather, is not).

You ask "If you acknowledge the possiblity that you could be wrong.. then why take it so badly when it is pointed out?" but again you fail to understand. When I mentioned various other claimed deities you " provided a brief set of reasons for rejecting them", but those are simply opinions, not facts. Who says that a god has to be infallible, untirable, indomitable etc etc? Can you prove any of those by any logical or rational argument? Or do you simply have to fall back on the "it says so in $BOOK" which is just a way of dodging the issue. Well, you give the answer yourself: "As soon as God has said something on a subject, ie. do not steal.. I can't now consider the options." you are no longer thinking for yourself, you're letting someone else do it for you.

As for "Which means that your actions in the world of the living add up to a big nothing. Which means there is no responsibility", this is ridiculous. To quote Shakespeare "This above all: to thine own self be true". I don't need threats of some putative hell and damnation or being refused entry into some equally putative heaven to make me behave in a "good" way, I *CHOOSE* to behave that way. Why do *you* have such a problem with that?

You go on to say "People tend to do whatever they want to, whatever they can get away with. The riots are evidence of that." but how many people actually *participated* in those riots? How many just tagged along? How many wanted nothing to do with them? The last group is, of course, by far the largest, but they're not newsworthy, yet they are the ones who *had* the opportunity to "do whatever they wanted" but *chose* not to!

J1 I see little point in continuing this discussion with you because whatever I say, it seems you're going to fall back on "my holy book, my god, his prophet said this, so I can't argue against it". Well fine, that's your choice and I respect your right to believe it. What I will not respect and what I will not submit to is someone telling me "I believe this, I don't like that, so just because of that *you* are not allowed to do it" which is where we came in and this is where I *choose* to step out.

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Graham Marsden
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@J1 - Re: Graham Marsden ... 20120720 12:19...

You said: "The issue is one of what is right and wrong. Who defines it, who sets the limits, who enforces. For the Atheist, there is no such thing.. Objectively, it does not exist.. Subjectively, make up whatever you like. Change it whenever you like.. base it on whatever you like.. it does not have to make sense etc.. your call. "

You are absolutely right that there *is* no objective critieria for what is "right" and what is "wrong". Just because someone wrote a book 1,500 or 2,000 or however many years ago saying "God told me this" and lots of people *choose* to believe that, does not provide any objective criteria ie it's simply something that someone, "subjectively, made up whatever they liked".

Unless $DEITY has personally appeared to you via some form of supernatural manifestation what you choose to believe comes from other peoples *opinions* so the only knowledge you have of Him/ Her/ It/ Them comes from other people. If you choose to reinforce that in your mind, that's up to you.

You choose to believe that your god has defined "right" and "wrong" and seemingly choose to dismiss anyone else's views on the subject, that is not providing an answer, that is arrogance. "I'm right and you are wrong because my god tells me so".

You tell me that my personal choice not to lie etc cannot be derived from Atheism and ask me "how is your view superior to theirs", the answer to that is that is *may not* be, but I am capable of having a rational and logical debate about the subject without needing to fall back on the argument that "$BOOK says $DEITY says so, end of discussion. If you can come up with an argument other than that for why my choices are wrong, please. let's discuss the subject, I'd be happy to engage in it with you, alas I don't think that's going to happen because you don't seem to comprehend that it *IS* just "one view against another" rather than "my belief is better than your belief".

You go on to say "Essentially, all you have said is.. do what ever you want. No one should tell anyone else a better way, because that would be classed as arrogance, or presumption" but once again you either misunderstand or fail to comprehend. There are those who justify atrocities, slavery, killings and so on because $BOOK says $DEITY says it's ok for me to do so (see the Books of Exodus and Leviticus for some perfect examples) in other words they can do what they want *because* their holy book says so. They don't have to think about it, they don't have to make a decision on their own, they've been *TOLD* that it's ok!

This is the difference between morals and ethics. Morals are things that are imposed from outside "Thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that" etc usually because a particular religion says so. I, however, have ethics. I have considered what I can do and have made my own decisions. It's my choice, my responsibility, not that of an Imam, Vicar, Priest, Shaman or whatever to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. You seem to think that I would follow Aleister Crowleys "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" because I have chosen to make up my own mind, however, in fact, I prefer to follow the Wiccan Rede of "An it harm no other, do what thou wilt."

BTW I find it somewhat ironically amusing that you claim that *you* cannot tell me what to do, however your god does and can. Well, when and if he appears to me in person and tells me what to do, I may change my viewpoint, but until such time, all I hear are the words of *men* arrogantly telling what god wants me to do (and, of course, what I should *not* do!)

You continue by saying "In a society, you will always find people that will take advantage of the other.. that is why you have rules, laws and punishments if you break the laws.. what you seem to be suggesting is that the world can do without the laws, and law enforcement.. because everyone is able to decide for themselves, and does not need a 'nanny' to keep them in check.. the evidence would suggest otherwise" but yet again you show your misunderstanding (however your views would be welcomed by certain British Governments!)

The law in England is based on the premise that "anything that is not forbidden is permitted". Unfortunately there are too many who think that it should "anything that is not permitted should be forbidden" and, of course *they* are the only ones who are capable of being arbiters of what is or isn't permitted and believe that (as I've said before) if *they* don't like it then *we* should not be allowed to do it, be it drinking, looking at pornography, marrying someone they love if they are of the same sex or whatever. They consider that if *they* are not there to be "Nanny" then society will collapse, the country's morals will vapourise and we will descend into anarchy, so they are doing it to us "for our own good".

Well I say that that is nonsense. Despite what they (and, it seems, you) believe, people *can* behave in a responsible and reasonable manner and they don't need to be forced into doing it by repressive laws or religious dictats, all they need is education, not coercion.

So, please feel free to express your views, but don't be so arrogant as to think that just because *you* believe it, everyone else must too. History is laden with examples of what has happened when that attitude is taken to extremes...

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

@Piloti

"And as far as god is concerned, which god ?"

I saw a lovely quote from Ricky Gervais the other day:

"The dictionary definition of God is “a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

"So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869."

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Graham Marsden
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@J1

I, as an atheist, say that you are free to believe whatever you want to, just as everyone else is free to believe what they want.

If you believe that your god says you shouldn't do something, fine, don't do it, I have no problem with that. However you also seem to think that because *you* don't like something, *we* should not be allowed to do it and that I have a problem with.

To say that only your god (or any god) can define what is right and wrong is supremely presumptuous. I do not cheat, steal, murder etc etc because I *CHOOSE* not to. Not because I am threatened with some alleged divine vengeance at the end of my life, but because I consider the world is a better place *now* if I don't do them.

So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude.

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Darth Vader is a pansy

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Supposedly...

... there's a Darth Vader action figure with a sign on it saying "Warning - Choking Hazard"...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Wot, no H2G2 references?

Exactly! A black keyboard with black letters and black buttons that light up black to let you know you've pressed them...

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BIG BOOBS banished from Linux kernel

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@TeeCee

"I'll make my mind up once he's been convicted or aquitted in a court of law. As he seems intent on avoiding having to challenge the evidence, I'm leaning towards "guilty as sin" myself."

Well that's a nice open minded viewpoint you have there. Forget about Presumption of Innocence, let's just assume he's guilty. I can see you're so willing to wait for a verdict...!

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YouTube blurs faces to protect the innocent

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: What would be the point of publicly protesting anonymously?

I don't know. Perhaps you could ask those who protested in the former Soviet Union or China or Syria or...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Child Protection

"One of the main reasons photos of children are not published, particularly with accompanying names, is to protect children who have been removed from abusive families and relocated to safer places."

No, that's just the *excuse* that's given to justify a stupid and over-bearing "cover your arse" policy brought in by people frightened of being sued by No Win, No Fee lawyers.

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Humanity increasingly sitting on collective arse

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Re: Yup

See here for some perfect examples of useless cycle lanes...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/nov/05/readers-worst-cycle-lanes

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Compare the Market loses .XXX smut-squat appeal

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

And so...

... it seems that, as expected, the only winners from the .xxx domain sell off are Icann and the lawyers.

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We'll punish crims faster... with lots of shiny new tech - minister

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

How about...

... instead of splurging a boat-load of tax-payers' money on something which is liable to turn into another IT vanity project catastrophe, we deal with those who have committed actual crimes faster by stopping creating new laws and wasting time and money on prosecuting people for trivial "offences"?

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Sky's TV-on-demand registers with regulator just hours before opening

Graham Marsden
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Coat

42 16 12 3

That's Numberwang!

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Nasa guides Mars Rover with Kinect

Graham Marsden
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Joke

"Do you want to drive a car on Mars...?"

Copyright Howard Wolowitz ;-)

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Boffins build eye-controlled interface out of game-console cams

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Definitely misleading

@Ian Michael Gumby

So what you mean is that my mouse which cost £3.99 is actually a lot more expensive because it has to be tied into my computer which cost me £300 to build...

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Fake sandwich shop's big fake Likes leave Facebook looking flaky

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Just as clever headlines [...] and other journalistic tricks

Phew! It's a good job El Reg doesn't use that sort of thing...

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Native Americans arrived to find natives already there, fossil poo shows

Graham Marsden
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Coat

@edge_e

That joke is older than 6000 years...

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Graham Marsden
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@Tel Starr

Eee, that's reet grand!

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Christians get God-optimized 'Edifi' Android fondleslab

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Surely there's prior art...

... with the Jesus Phone...

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WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

More proof...

...that some countries aren't willing to have the USA dictate laws to them.

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UK.gov's cost-cutting 'shared services' went £500m OVER BUDGET

Graham Marsden
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Devil

Re: Ministry of Administrative Affairs, anyone

Jim Hacker: "We’ll have to do a time and motion study to see who we can get rid of."

Sir Humphrey: "We did one of those last year – it transpired we needed another five hundred people."

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Expert: BA doesn't need permission to google your face

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Can see it now

... and that's a charming tattoo you have, Mrs Smith.

Oh, you don't have any tattoos... erm...

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Top spook: ISP black boxes NOT key to UK's web-snoop plan

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"If you have the right kind of data...

"...issues of anonymisation cease to be a problem."

In other words, "Let us snoop *everything*"

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Gaping 'open data' loophole could leave your privates on display

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Yes, certainly, I'll co-operate...

... and since co-operation is a two-way street, I'm sure that you will allow me access to details of the Company Directors Remuneration and Bonus packages and details of any and all share options that they've been allocated...

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China's censors move to stamp out sex and violence online

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Well at least...

... they're not talking about making adults opt-in before they're permitted to access adult content.

No, that's an entirely different repressive regime...

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Atos IT workers threaten strike during Olympics over 'living wage'

Graham Marsden
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Re: I don't give ATOS

"those fucking annoying automated railway announcements"

I remember when those first started and you had a clearly automated announcer's voice telling you that your train was going to be delayed and then saying "I apologise for any inconvenience" which struck me as the height (or perhaps depths) of insincerity!

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50 years in SPAAAAACE: Telstar celebrates half-century since launch

Graham Marsden
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@Christoph

Great piece of music! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryrEPzsx1gQ

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KIT drives off with memory win: 1-bit-per-MOLECULE storage

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"The idea is straight-out stupid."

Oh, well no point in trying to develop it further, then...

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Museum of Computing recognised as PROPER MUSEUM

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: Promoting safe computing?

Don't be silly, how can we protect kiddies from all the eeeeevilll paedos and criminals and terrorists out there without State control? (Signed T.May MP )

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Anonymous hack hands WikiLeaks TWO MILLION Syrian emails

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: Right then

Ah, but you see it's *different* when it happens to someone else...!

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Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: prescrption glasses

And what about those of us who have ditched glasses for contact lenses...?!

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Ten budget inkjet printers

Graham Marsden
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Re: prints black when colour out?

I use an Epson Photo Stylus D88 with a Chip re-setter.

I bought it because it was a cheap ink-jet and I've only ever printed in B&W on it, so every time the chip says the colour cartridges are empty, I just re-set them and get on with it. It may knacker the colour heads, but since I don't use them, I don't care.

(Oh, and buy compatible cartridges too, not the Epson ones where the ink is more expensive than vintage champagne!)

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Wish you were here? NASA rover beams postcard from Mars

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Re: Do my eyes deceive me, or...

I thought that was Elvis...

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Judge: Patent litigants behave like animals

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

At last...

...a Judge who gets it!

This patent nonsense (pun intended!) is doing more to restrict development than anything else and the only people benefitting from it are the lawyers.

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Computer error triggers mass rocket launch

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

I bet...

... the audience were thinking "Wow! If that's how it starts, what's the rest of it going to be like?! [Long pause] Err..."

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Ten... alien invasions

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Re: Try watching...

I was laughing so hard they just gave up in disappointment!

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

Try watching...

... Independance Day and Mars Attacks back to back like I did...!

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BA staff to google for snaps, dirt on biz-class passengers

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Sounds more like...

... an exercise in arse kissing to me!

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Google Maps takes shelter from the British summer

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: How long

Exactly! The Oly^H^H^ Big Summer Event won't be uploading any floor plans because that will allow the EEEEVILLLL TERRRERRRRISTS to plan their attacks!!!

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Crafty cuttlefish mimics male and female – at the same time

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Tommy Cooper...

... used to do a comedy routine like that!

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Brit anti-terror hotline hacker teen pleads guilty

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: ..said to have prevented legitimate callers..

But there could have been people phoning about suspicious characters taking photographs of London landmarks or in Underground stations which obviously means they're planning a terrorist attack or maybe it was someone buying a suspiciously large number of Castor Oil beans (obviously going to make Ricin) or maybe...

... excuse me the Nurse says it's time for my medicine....

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ICANN's overlordship of the internet confirmed again by US gov

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

"conflict-of-interest"

An American court says that an American company has the right to do what the American Government wants.

Wow, who'd have thunk it?!

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ISP CAN cut off pirates with 'three strike' rule, says Irish beak

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"customers suspected of illegal file-sharing"

And that's the problem, it's not *proven* to have been engaged in illegal file-sharing, but simply *suspected* of it.

Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights states "2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law", but it seems that Big Media doesn't need such stringent criteria and can just say "We think you dunnit, so we're cutting you off"!

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Google makes 'proposal' to Europe on antitrust concerns

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

'what it described as a "proposal"'

Are you sure it wasn't "An offer they couldn't refuse"??

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Trio of 'nauts plonk down after six-month space station stint

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Recycled urine?

Because (almost*) all the water on Earth hasn't been through a set of kidneys in the past...

*For the pedants

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Join the gov consultation on net porn ... and have your identity revealed

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: So is the consultation over?

It was probably over before it began because it looks like they've already decided what answers they want and have "structured" the survey to generate those...

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Governments probe domain land-snatch: many.gTLDs.suck

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"Governments have started...

"...to put ICANN's massive top-level domain name expansion under scrutiny..."

Well, bravo, but it's a bit bloody late, isn't it? People were warning about the potential (probable) debacle this would turn into when it was first proposed, but only now the horse is well and truly over the horizon are the Governments thinking of bolting the stable door!

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Ministers consult public on 'opt in for smut' plans

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Just the latest

Exactly, and what next? Requiring Government permission to buy my business' catalogue of bondage gear? Maybe I'll have to register with HM Inspector of Porn and get a licence?

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