* Posts by Graham Marsden

5382 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Really, govt tech profit cash grab is a PRIZE-WINNING idea?

Graham Marsden
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@Tim Worstal - Re: " I find there's a gaping hole or two in her arguments..."

> I've said absolutely nothing at all about any "trickle down" effect. That being where Steve-o goes and buys a new yacht with his billions and thus provides a living to a few carpenters.

Exactly! Meanwhile his products are being made by the cheapest labour possible, being sold by people who don't get paid much more and the profits go into his bank account and to those who are rich enough to be able to put spare money into shares to get dividends.

In the mean time we get the latest shiny-shiny which will rapidly become obsolete or break down and probably has no servicable parts in it (maybe not even a replaceable battery!) so we're induced (if not forced) to "upgrade" to "benefit" and so it goes on.

Cui bono?

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Graham Marsden
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" I find there's a gaping hole or two in her arguments. I'll concentrate on just one here"

Translation: Let me cherry-pick one argument that I can nit-pick and use that to "disprove" her entire case.

Interestingly, TW doesn't mention this bit:

"Some economists argue that the reward for the state comes through taxation. This, in theory, is right. Innovation-led growth should lead to an increase in tax revenue – but not if the companies that benefit the most from innovations don’t pay much tax compared to the income they generate, not only as a result of loopholes but also because of their continual lobbying for tax incentives and tax cuts that they say they need to foster innovation. It’s not a coincidence that groups such as the National Venture Capital Association helped convince the US government to reduce capital gains tax by 50 per cent in only five years in the late 1970s – an “innovation policy” later copied by Tony Blair’s government. (A policy that even Warren Buffett has admitted has had no effect on investment but lots on inequality.)"

TW says "We're only making the observation that if we allow someone who has increased global growth rates so markedly to keep his pile of cash, then this will encourage the next person with an idea that might boost global growth rates to get on with it. This is not a moral nor justice "deserved rewards" style argument. It's a purely utilitarian one regarding incentives that induce people to try."

What he doesn't say is that, rather than the so-called "Trickle Down" effect that is supposed to make us all better off, what we actually get is a "Trickle Up" effect that concentrates more wealth into the hands of a minority, making it *more* difficult for others who want to try to actually get even one foot on the ladder because those at the top can manipulate the markets to undercut newcomers, not to mention leveraging their wealth into political influence.

"economics is is all about incentives and perhaps we might expect a professor of the subject to grok that"

And perhaps we can hope that TW will realise that there's a difference between the incentive to try and the incentive of those who have a monopolistic hold on the market (Google, Amazon etc) to ensure that nobody gets to successfully compete with them.

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You like that E Ink book, huh? How about an E Ink HOUSE

Graham Marsden
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Prior Art:...

"Follow the lighted dots on the floor. Your code is red yellow yellow. Whenever you are assigned a path to follow it will be red yellow yellow, three dots side by side - go where those lights indicate."

- Enders Game

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Graham Marsden
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Devil

I was thinking the same thing.

How long before huge dicks start appearing on the walls of office buildings full of, well, huge dicks...?!

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ISS Robonaut gets LEGLESS ... in spaaaace

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Then they found the small print on the box...

... which said *Batteries not included

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Right to be forgotten? That’s not Google’s call – data MEP Albrecht

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

WT Everlasting F???

A leading Data Protection MEP has to sign a document threatening him with jail just to find out what TTIP is about?

Something is *seriously* fucked up here!!!

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A Cambridge boffin told me YOU'RE A BIG, FAT LIAR

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"A guilty man can always just freeze, but that will rather give the game away"

And an innocent person would never freeze up under questioning, so they *must* be guilty...

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Boffins spy I in your little eye

Graham Marsden
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@Chris G

If you're really that desperate to look at another bloke's wedding tackle, there's easier ways of doing it...

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Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

Graham Marsden
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@Tim Worstal

An article you've written that I can agree with, thank you!

But perhaps you could convince Nigel "I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare" Farage of this...?

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Zuckerberg asks the public to tell him where to go in 2015

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

Take a long walk...

... off a short pier...

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NASA preps lobotomy for Opportunity rover to cure amnesia

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

Re: Necessary XKCD Reference

"My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm afraid."

- HAL - 2001 a Space Odyssey.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Graham Marsden
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Happy

@ Zog_but_not_the_first - Re: Elf and safety

> No to mention the lighter fuel refills in small flexible bottle-shaped containers. Snip off the tip, light match and squeeze. Instant flamethrower!

Ah, we went one better: We'd get the Aerosol type refils which came with various adapters to fit different types of lighters. One of these was a cylinder which had a flange at the base and you could take a short (5 hole) piece of Meccano, put the centre hole over the adapter so it rested on the flange, then, with your fingers safely out of the way, use a lighter to turn it into a controllable flame thrower!

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Graham Marsden
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@Triggerfish - Re: You left out flying models

> Remember those balsa jobs where you had to assemble all the ribs and spars cover it in tissue paper and dope it.

Wow, that brings back memories of going into The Model Airport in Bristol and looking enviously at the massive 6' wingspan remote control gliders they had hanging up!

Alas I never got one of those, but I did have one (a KielKraft Conquest) which was a tow-line glider with a 30" wingspan. We had a golf course behind our house in Long Ashton which was virtually unused during the week, so in the holidays I'd take it up there and launch it down the fairways :-)

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Robox: How good could a sub-£1k 3D printer be?

Graham Marsden
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I'd say the next market for 3D printers will be the ones where you want short-run or low quantity plastic items which would be too expensive to get injection moulded.

An example would be small Board Games producers who want custom pieces for their games (rather than just coloured wooden blocks/ discs etc) but may only be producing a couple of thousand units.

As always, this may start off as a solution in search of a problem, but almost inevitably people find uses that you would never have thought of.

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European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

Graham Marsden
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Devil

By continuing to read this post...

... you automatically and irrevocably consent to have your personal information sold to the highest bidder so it's far to late to start making a fuss about it now!

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Graham Marsden
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> 51% indicated that they would vote to leave the EU.

So well within the +/- 3% margin that such polls tend to have that the figures are actually the other way around.

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Makers of Snowden movie Citizenfour sued by ex-oil exec

Graham Marsden
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Re: Marsbarbrain FrankAlphaXII

Matt, as enjoyable as it is, eventually playing Chase the Goalposts with you, after repeated attempts to make you comprehend the difference between Matt Bryant's universe and the Real World, frankly gets rather tedious.

Please feel free, as always, to declare victory.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: FrankAlphaXII

> PS:- just for the reflexive downvoters, you may not like the Matt's opinions and interpretations but that doesn't make them true.

FTFY

(Awaits the next round of Matt Bryant Bingo...)

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Works 4 me

Says the brave Anonymous Coward...

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NSA's Christmas Eve confession: We unlawfully spied on you for 12 years, soz

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"The organization was only able to file the request...

"...thanks to knowing specifically what to ask for, thanks to internal documents leaked to the world by Edward Snowden"

Damn that Traitor! Giving away information that would be of use to America's The NSA's enemies...

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: @Duffy Moon - £499?

And that proves what? Oh, right, that the people on The Apprentice are clueless idiots who have no idea what they're doing and manage to fail utterly at it...!

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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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Internet community split on who should run IANA

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Well what a surprise...

ICANN thinks that ICANN should run the internet...

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Mysterious STAR set to appear on Christmas Eve above Blighty: The ISS

Graham Marsden
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@Danny 14

Neverwhere...

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Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

"a well-practised player...

"could continue ad infinitum on just one credit..."

Yep! With just a pound (10 pence a game!) I could waste spend a whole afternoon playing on Q*Bert and the vertically scrolling shoot-em-up game Xevious :-)

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Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas

Graham Marsden
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Re: Yippee-ki-yay

And who else's mind added the words "Mother fucker" at the end of that sentence?

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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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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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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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