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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4976 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

@AC: re: Bombing

IIRC There was a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera which had a character called the "Chief Exploder" whose job it was to keep an eye on the Ruler of the Country and, if the Ruler got out of hand, the Chief Exploder would, well, explode the Ruler and then become Ruler in their stead.

Of course a new Chief Exploder would then be appointed...! :-)

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Go back to paper petitions

Have you tried organising a country-wide petition? Even if you can organise one, it requires people to be in the right place to get others to sign. In the past I've seen a petition handed in to Number 10 and thought "I'd like to have signed that, but I didn't even *know* about it..."

(Oh and before now AIUI governments have tried and sometimes managed, to get a huge petition written off as a *single* comment!)

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

Re: We live in a REPRESENTATIONAL democracy.

"We vote in a representative for us, who then gets to vote on our behalf... or not, as the case so often is."

Unfortunately, frequently they get *told* how to vote by the Party Whips, ie they're representing to us what their Party decides we want...

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Shh!

Don't even joke about that, otherwise you're liable to end up with a jail sentence...!

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9/11: The day we lost our privacy and power

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Re: "We blindly accept new laws without so much of a squeak"

It's not that "we" accept them, but our "elected representatives" (who are supposed to tell Parliament what *we*, their constituents think) usually blindly follow their Party Whips' instructions "this is Party Policy, this is how you will vote".

A few have the courage to stand up and object, but their voices are generally drowned out and even if they manage to get an amendment tabled, it's usually voted down by the rest.

"[...] 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."

- Herman Goering

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

Dear Moderatrix...

... please don't let comments this excellent article be swamped by endless Conspiracy Theory arguments which have been debunked time and time again, yet never die.

Thank you.

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

I remember the IRA attacks of the 1970s

The word then was "We will not let the terrorists change how we behave or let them destroy our freedoms"

Now it's "We must give up our freedoms, our liberties, our rights to 'protect' society from terrorists and if you don't agree, you must have something to hide like being on their side!"

Every time our leaders introduce another measure that restricts our rights and liberties "for our own good" Al Qaeda et al are sitting in their dens laughing their socks off as they watch us doing their job for them.

Time for Ben Franklin again: "Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security".

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Apollo 17 Moon landing: Shock revelations

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Ah, but don't forget...

... there's the new documentary Apollo 18 which has just been released which blows all the old conspiracy theories away and substitutes entirely new ones!

Of course they had to pretend it was all just a movie to get it past the censors, but now we know the truth!!!!!

(Oh and tell the gentlemen in the white coats that mine's the one with the long canvas sleeves and the tinfoil hat in the pocket...)

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Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Re: ZX81

Pah! My BBC Micro was quicker! Switch on, Boop-Beep! and there you were!

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Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

Graham Marsden
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Re: replies to your posts

I agree, it would save the hassle having to go to "my posts" and then open the discussion and find your posts to see if anything has been added.

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Three in ten Americans urge feds to read their email

Graham Marsden
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@Figgus

"The Tea Party can be lambasted for having 2 sets of standards (one for citizens and one for POW) but even I don't really see a problem with that as long as both standards are humane."

You really don't see a problem with that? Hmm, let me try a few expressions on you here:

Separate but Equal

Some are More Equal than others

American vs Un-American

Apartheid

There's plenty of precedents for double standards...

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Figgus

"Obama isn't reviled because of his color, it's his POLICIES"

Really? Then how come on forums I use which a fair proportion of USA-ians posting on them, even the right-wingers object to a significant number of their fellow countrymen referring to "The N****r in the White House"?

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@AC Thursday 8th September 2011 09:16 GMT

I think you need to re-read the (other) self-described coward's OP with your Irony Detector switched on...

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Graham Marsden
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@Figgus

It was my impression that the Tea Party et al were all in favour of "enhanced interrogation" etc, but only when it's being used on left-wingers/ foreigners/ anyone who isn't Christian because they're the ones that we need to worry about...

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Cybercrooks prey on 9/11 anniversary

Graham Marsden
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Meh

I thought...

... hacking meant you had to make an appointment to be arrested...?

Oh, sorry, wrong sort of hacking, of course!

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Satellite gives better picture of solar flares' effects on Earth

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"Carbon-hating Greens...

"...would naturally point out at this stage that humanity still ought to curtail carbon emissions"

Or just point out that we should use energy *more efficiently* which would make the most of a limited resource *and* cut emissions at the same time.

Win, win.

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Swedish cops free boozy moose from tree

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Elk-oholic...?

Groan!

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UK slashes red tape in apprenticeships scheme

Graham Marsden
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@AC

I'm glad to hear that you got something out of the YTS/ YOP/ Whatever it may be called, but the fact remains that most people on such schemes are just used as a source of cheap, government funded labour doing monkey work with no chance of a job at the end.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Anybody remember the YOP

Ah, yes, part of the MSC which stood for "Massive Statistical Coverup", just like with "Back to Work" or "Restart" or any of the other government schemes whose main purpose was to keep people off the "out of work and claiming benefit" totals because they were on "training" instead...

Of course what really happened is that employers would take on a "trainee" for whatever the set period was, but at the end of that period, oops, sorry, no job available for you, however we'll take on another trainee who's paid for by the State.

At least with an Apprenticeship system there's a better chance of someone getting employment at the end of it.

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End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

I use Call 1899...

... so I dial a prefix and then the full "national" number, no matter what.

It's not really that hard, especially when you've got the prefix and your most commonly called numbers on speed dial!

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Amazon solves wait-at-home-for-deliveries problem

Graham Marsden
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Happy

@Depends on where you work

"a router we've ordered that's been delivered to the company but hasn't found its way to our department"

Check with the BOFH in Mission Control (just do it very *very* carefully...!)

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Early Earth’s ‘golden shower’

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Are you taking the...

... oh, sorry, *that* sort of gold!

Nothing to see, move along...

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Most bosses monitor or block social-network use at work

Graham Marsden
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I wouldn't normally quote the Bible, but...

"Do not bind the mouths of the kine that tread the grain"

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Phone-hack plods arrest another man in pre-dawn raid

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@JakeyC

Ah, but at least his crime wasn't so heinous that, instead of making an appointment or knocking on his door they decided to pre-emptively punish him by smashing the door down and going in mob handed...

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Does Cameron dare ditch poor-bashing green energy?

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

@Andrew Orlowski

"if prices were left to the market, they would fall"

Ah, yes, that's why fossil fuel energy prices rise so rapidly whenever there's a spike in the market, but then fall back equally as quickly when it dips again...

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'New laws not needed' to block / censor Twitter et al

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@Titus Technophobe

Oh dear, again you put try to put *your* words into *my* mouth.

I'm not going to bother re-addressing points I've already made and you've ignored, I'll just point out that so many abusive regimes have started their careers with a "temporary" suspension of rights.

Please feel free to have the last word, but I'll leave the last words in my post to George Satayana:

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@Titus Technophobe

Right, so you did just decide for yourself that was what I said, rather than reading what I wrote.

I see little point in addressing your ridiculous Straw Man arguments, I'll just point out again that just because *some* people might abuse a right or a service like Facebook, Twitter et al, it doesn't justify stopping *everyone* from using it, not least because the "low life youth" would just switch to another method of communication whist the legitimate users are denied access because of your Precautionary Principle idea that "well, we don't know that it will do any good, but let's try it, just in case".

The fact that you have then set a precedent that, if something happens you don't like, it then justifies subsequent abuses of people's rights because "well it might not have worked last time, but let's try it again and we'll go *further* this time..." appears to have escaped you.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@Titus Technophobe

Did you actually bother to *read* anything that I wrote, or did you just decide for yourself that that was what I said...???

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Graham Marsden
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@AC: "It is possible that basic human rights can come into conflict with each other."

Only if you ignore the fact that with Rights come *Responsibilities*.

As you say, if your exercising of one right infringes on someone else's rights then you are abusing your right by causing harm to another.

The point is, though, that *unless* there is evidence of harm, the exercise of a right should not be infringed. The use of Facebook, Twitter, BBM etc does *not* cause harm (even though some may use it irresponsibly) but the power of the Government to mass block such services based on the Precautionary Principle of "well, it might do some good" certainly *would* cause harm to Freedom of Expression.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Titus Technophobe

"We have to work with that which we find, rather than what we might aspire to?"

Right, so let's support Human Rights, all the way up to the precise moment at which they become inconvenient, then we throw them away and go for simple expediency which is far easier.

"Human rights' exist for 'Humans'. "

Are you looking for the word "Untermenschen" here? Just asking...

As for "does not as such complete abrogate the right to 'Freedom of Speech", perhaps you'd like to consider the expression "A little bit pregnant".

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@Titus Technophobe

You appear not to understand the concept of "fundamental human rights" if you think that you can "protect" one right by *removing* another.

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Apple gives green light to Eton solar cell iPhone case

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Hmm...

... so all you need to do whilst you're sitting in an outdoor cafe is leave your iPhone on the table in bright sunshine and whoever nicks it will have a nicely charged battery...

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Amazon refuses Touchpad refunds after price slash frenzy

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

$99 (or £99 in the UK)

So what the Yanks get for around £60, we pay over 50% more for...

Welcome again to rip-off Britain.

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Plods to get dot-uk takedown powers - without court order

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"proportionate, necessary, and urgent".

In other words "Because we say so!"

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Bury council defends iPads for binmen

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Meanwhile...

... whilst he's sitting there waiting for the rest of the crew to get the rubbish on board, the guy who gets to drive the Bin Lorry will be playing Angry Birds...

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Imagine you're a dustman driving a large truck

... at a speed of about three miles an hour, stopping every fifty feet or so...

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Two UK suspects cuffed in Anonymous manhunt

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

"carry out an unauthorized act in relation to a computer"

And in other news "Ohio man cuffed for shagging inflatable pool raft"...

Why do these sound disturbingly similar offences?!

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DARPA wants a working manned starship for $500k

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Re: Tough choice

Well neither of them were that much good when there was a Xenomorph on board...!

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Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

@The answer is obvious

And how much will it cost to ensure that the comet or asteroid that, statistically, *is* heading towards this planet at some time, doesn't?

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Graham Marsden
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Alien

ITYM...

... Nostromo...

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Haiti study: Mass mobile phone tracking can be laudable

Graham Marsden
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@David Wilson

May I draw your attention to another story in El Reg: "Lawsuit alleges that Windows Phone 7 tracks users", to name just one example.

*IF* this data is simply "numbers of phones in an area" then, yes, it's pretty much anonymous. But if that's linked with "phones that made or received a call or text in that area", suddenly there's not so much anonymity.

Your question "If fears of a worst-case slippery-slope were are going to be the main concern every single time suggestions are made of potentially useful use of data, how many useful uses would actually happen?" wanders off into Straw Man arguments, so I'll just point out that you then go on to say "If they're not currently guarding my privacy, then I wouldn't seem likely to be losing anything, whatever happened" which seems like you're saying "oh well, I've already lost my privacy, so why worry?"

You conclude by asking "Do I really have a right to be entirely /unseen/ in public, and not simply a right not to be unnecessarily followed", but you appear to miss the point that unless *we* keep an eye on those watching us (quis custodiet...?) then that "right not to be unnecessarily followed" could, like so many other rights, be gradually whittled away "for our own good".

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@AC

Somehow I don't think that attending a Chumbawumba gig (even if "state un-approved") would be such a serious offence that you would be banned from Switzerland (of course if it had been, say, Justin Bieber...)

But imagine, instead, you'd attended (or just been near) an anti-government demonstration in (insert name of repressive regime of your choice) and your phone was linked to that, perhaps matters would be different.

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Graham Marsden
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@David Wilson

The question you need to ask is "How anonymous will it actually be?"

If you are going to an event which is "not approved by the State", would you want even "anonymous" information being collected about you?

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Twitter to serve unsolicited ads in Facebook style

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

@oh well

I'm one up on you since I didn't even have a Twatter account to unsubscribe in the first place :-)

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Russian rocket flub threatens to empty ISS

Graham Marsden
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Alien

@On an empty, and abandoned vessel

Remember "Salvage 1" ;-)

(There again, you should also remember that doing salvage on "an empty, abandoned vessel" is usually a terminal experience for the majority of the crew...!)

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Isn't it fortunate...

... that the US has its own independent space lift capabili...

... oh, sorry, I forgot, it doesn't any more...

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Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Alternatively...

... "there are enough supplies on the ISS to last six people for three months."

Hmm, how about a real-life Lifeboat Debate...!

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TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app

Graham Marsden
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Re: "satnavs which will use a BT headset "

I don't know about BT Headset, but the TomTom Rider (designed for motorbikes) uses a bluetooth link to a Scala earpiece.

Only drawback is that they're about twice the price of the standard units because of the extra cost of the headset, waterproofing etc...

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eBay biz millionaires proliferate as high street suffers

Graham Marsden
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@Greg 16

I am well aware of the rates that businesses are charged by eBay and PayPal, as well as the percentages charged by card-handling services because I run my own business and have looked into (or pay) such things.

The fact still remains that, in some cases, a business on eBay can lose almost *ten percent* of the sale value of an item by the time you've taken into account listing fees, final value fees and PayPal fees, compared to the 28p for a Debit Card or 2.85% for a Credit Card that I pay my card handling service.

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Paintball round pops Bulgarian airbag

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@TO the pic crowd

And would that count as Extreme Pornography?!

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