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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5066 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

'War texting' hacks car systems and possibly much more

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Software that allows drivers to remotely unlock and start automobiles using cell phones

WTF? What the hell is wrong with a bloody *KEY*???

In any case, why on earth would you want to be able to unlock and start your car from a distance apart from to make life easier for the thief who'll say "thanks for the car, bye bye!"? (There's also the fact that, in England, it's an offence to leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running...)

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Russia: 'We'll dump the ISS into the sea after 2020'

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Erm...

... weren't NASA criticised a couple of years ago for saying that they were planning to de-orbit the ISS in 2016???

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Space scope spies soggy, stupendous Saturnian doughnut

Graham Marsden
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Asimov got there first...

... with The Martian Way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Martian_Way

(Ok, at the time he wrote that, it wasn't known that ring fragments were only a few metres in size instead of a mile or so, but it's not bad for sixty years ago! :-) )

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Lost 1967 spacecraft FOUND CRASHED ON MOON

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Paging...

... the Iron Chicken from The Clangers...

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Beeb to fund ad-mungous Local TV for local people

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Dont forget...

... the slightly dodgy colour rendition on the picture, the shot of hideous 1970's flock wall paper and some tinny background music...

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TSA officer accused of stealing from passenger luggage

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Once again these are the people...

... who are supposed to be "protecting" travellers from terrorists...?

How much longer can this security farce go on before someone with the power to do something gets off their backside and actually *does* something???

PS El Reg, you've linked to the wrong article about the "white powder gag" it's http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/22/tsa_screener_joke/ :-)

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Toyota tech to steer cars round jaywalkers

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

"Let's hope Toyota has planned for this"

Hmm, so the choices are:

a) Try to evade the pedestrian but put the driver of the car and an oncoming vehicle at risk or

b) Hit the pedestrian.

Paging Mr Asimov...!

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Heathrow to get new facial recognition scanners

Graham Marsden
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@s.pam

Pity, you were in line for an upvote until you started channeling the Daily Mail...

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Your mom, girlf, boyf: Spying on your phone and email

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Intrusive parents? No, *Responsible* Parents!

There is a difference between state monitoring of someone's personal data and the actions of a parent who wishes to ensure that their child is safe!

Ok, I think it would be better to be done *with* the consent of the child rather than snooping behind their backs, but how many times have comments been posted in articles in El Reg saying that it's the job of the *parents* to take care of what their children do on the web and who they talk to via e-mail etc?

So why does this article seemingly portray sensible, responsible concerns of parents as a bad thing?

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RUPERT MURDOCH HIT BY PIE

Graham Marsden
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@Only if...

The point is that it's this stupid incident that will get the attention, not Murdoch's weaselling. Naturally it's now on the front of The Times, The Sun and The Mirror's sites (all Murdoch controlled of course) and probably will be their front page story tomorrow allowing them to portray *him* as the "poor victim of an unprovoked attack" and side-line everything else.

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'Wilful blindness? We've heard of it,' says Murdoch

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"his organisation had a zero tolerance to wrongdoing"

Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce!!

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UK top cop: Coulson 'blindingly obviously' mixed up in hacking

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

it was "blindingly obvious"

So that's why the plug was pulled on any more investigation and it was decided that it was all the actions of one "rogue journalist"???

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DARPA project seeks immortality, suspended animation

Graham Marsden
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I think you mean...

... Idiocracy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

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Captain Kirk's Google+ account gets zapped

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

My God! Anonymous Coward...

... Haven't You *Heard* Shatner's Acting *Style*!

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Is Anon ready for the social network?

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

@May I introduce a new word to commentards on this post...

This from someone with the name of "Your Retarded"?

My retarded *what* exactly?

Or did you mean "You're Retarded" which is short for "You Are Retarded"?

Perhaps that's apt...!

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Google: The one trick pony learns a second trick

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Marvin the Martian

Try searching (or googling!) for "Hydraulic Empire" or "Hydraulic Despotism"

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Romanian NASA hacker fights 'inflated' damage assessment

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@AC

If you leave your upstairs window open and a ladder nearby, do you think that you'd get much sympathy from your Insurance Company when you try to claim for your lost valuables?

You have a responsibility for securing your property, it's no use bleating that "he shouldn't have done it!" after the event and demanding that others pay to fix your mistakes.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"the additional costs are for the security review the hack caused"

You mean the security review that *should* have been held *before* the hack that *should* have found the gaping vulnerabilities used?

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Google turning us into forgetful morons, warn boffins

Graham Marsden
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Then there's fire. Not sure I trust that stuff...

And coming down from the trees was probably a mistake too (or maybe even leaving the oceans)

(Thumb icon because...)

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"concentrate on processing the information for conceptual use"

Exactly!

Why should I need to be able to instantly call to mind who was King in 1605 (to pick a date at random)?

But a quick search reveals it was James the 6th of Scotland and 1st of England and, ah yes, he ended the war between Britain and Spain, survived the Gunpowder Plot because the Catholics didn't want a Protestant on the throne , established trade with Japan and other countries through the East India Company etc.

The latter information is far more useful in a historical context since, as (checks again) Satayana said "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Remembering the order of Kings is less important than understanding what they did as part of a historical process.

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Boffins build JELL-O memory for your brain

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"where they could preform any number of different roles"

So a sort of Factotum, then...?

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Murdoch man who also worked at Scotland Yard ARRESTED

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@UK law applies

Yes, it does, but we *also* have laws against self-incrimination.

"You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something which you later rely on in court."

Murdoch senior is never going to get as far as court, it just remains to see who he might hang out to dry to protect his son...

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Lying Facebook app offers Google+ invites

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"You should also exercise great caution...

"...about what third-party apps you allow to access your Facebook records, especially when they are demanding the ability to post to your wall and grab personal information such as your date of birth and current location"

I think what they mean is that the default on Facebook shouldn't be that any app can demand you hand over all this access unless you specifically deny such access.

But since when did Facebook really give a damn...?

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News Corp kills BSkyB bid amid 'difficult climate'

Graham Marsden
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Devil

And those other words...

... will be probably be a series of subtly manipulative stories trickling out from all the other media he owns saying "hey, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all, here's some hired talking heads and paid bloggers and sock puppets etc to agree with us..."

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Many parents are only on Facebook to stalk their kids

Graham Marsden
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Exactly!

How many times have people posted in comments on stories in El Reg that it is the job of *parents* to take responsibility for keeping an eye on what their children are up to, rather than expecting the school/ state/ everyone else to do that job for them?

Team Register seem to be taking up the News of the Screws mantle here by portraying it as a bad thing...!

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US court test for rights not to hand over crypto keys

Graham Marsden
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@This is why we need a constitution in the UK

I agree, but only if it is written *without* the "weasel clauses" that allow the Government to effectively negate the protections given.

Eg Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights says:

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

But it then goes on to say:

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Those exceptions pretty much let the Government say "well, we need to do this for (insert spurious but plausible reason here)" and thus trample all over the rights it's trying to protect.

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Sunday Times accused of blagging Gordon Brown's records

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@JP19

Do you want a job? I understand there's a new publication, apparently to be called The Sun on Sunday coming out and they can probably use people like you who manage to twist the words of others into something that they never said.

I am not hiding behind *any* "smoke screen", I know for a fact that the News of the Screws has *LIED* deliberately and repeatedly. misrepresenting facts in stories going back decades but have managed to weasel out of it because the Press Complaints Commission (controlled by newspaper editors *for* newspaper editors) has accepted their BS claims of it being just "a difference of editorial opinion"

Their interest is solely and exclusively to peddle whatever salacious tittle-tattle or scaremongering "isn't it dreadful" garbage which will sell more of their rag, pandering to the lowest common denominator and exploiting those who they claim to be "protecting".

If you think my aim is simply to "break their toys", you have, once again utterly failed to comprehend the issue.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@JP19

To describe what the News of the Screws did as "investigative journalism" or the actions of a "free press" simply shows that you have *no* idea what these terms actually mean.

They have managed to twist the definition of "public interest" from "of benefit to the public" to "what people will pay to read" so asking their readers to "vote with their pockets" is nonsense because they and Murdoch know full well that all they had to do was peddle the modern equivalent of Bread and Circuses to keep the money rolling in.

Why should *anyone* apart from the Prime Minister and his family and their doctors be entitled to know anything about the health of his child? I could see a public interest justification if he was abusing his political powers to eg get drugs on the NHS that everybody else has to pay for privately, but otherwise it's nobody's business but theirs whether you give a "rat's arse" or not.

A free press is not one that can simply "publish and be damned", there is a duty of responsibility that goes along with the right to freedom of expression and the NOTW and Murdoch have stepped way over the line.

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Long-lost IT bigwig found in Surrey forest

Graham Marsden
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And yet...

... the Government wondered why we objected to the sell-off of the forests...

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Brussels acts to ensure arrival of new, unknown legal highs

Graham Marsden
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@Giles Jones

"You can't advocate the legalisation of something when you have a vested interest in it."

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't take illegal drugs either.

However I do understand the rationale of legalising drugs because of the utter failure of the so-called "war on drugs" that we have comprehensively lost because trying to ban these drugs is only creating *more* misery in the world and enriching violent criminals.

There is only *one* solution and that is to legalise the production and supply, all that is needed is the political will.

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Cleaning up the Bitcoin act

Graham Marsden
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Short selling *is* "purely speculative exchanges"!

The short seller is speculating that they can borrow a large amount of shares/ bonds/ bitcoins/ whatever, dump them on the market so the price will drop meaning that they can then buy them back at a lower price, return them to whoever they borrowed them off and make a profit.

It doesn't stabilise a market, it contribute to its volatility.

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Facebook dev rules tweaked after US antitrust complaint

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

@Facebook games

There's a very good (and free) online version of Scrabble on there :-)

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Rustock zombies halved as clean-up efforts continue

Graham Marsden
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Flame

@Do spammers chance their luck?

Yep, I own my own domain and at one point I experienced what was clearly a "telephone book" attack with hundreds of mails addressed to john.smith@... jane.smith@... fred.bloggs@... etc

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Nice try, Amazon: 'One-click' payment too obvious to patent

Graham Marsden
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Like the Kindle?

Prior art: Star Trek's PADD...

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NotW accused of hacking Milly Dowler's voicemail

Graham Marsden
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Devil

@Mr Murdoch is probably very upset

Mr Murdoch probably doesn't give a toss, he's too busy planning his celebrations for taking over BSkyB which is liable to get the thumbs up from the Tories later this week.

But there's still time to put a spanner in the works, see: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/murdoch-deal-petition

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Pharmacy spam disguised as Google+ invites

Graham Marsden
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@typo correction

Gods blessings be on you :-)

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

"who would decide to buy Viagra from a random site in these circumstances"

The same sort of person who actually believes that a person writing to them out of the blue has $15,000,000 (fifteen million dollars) to give to them...

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Nissan backs off from Goodwood reverse-race car stunt

Graham Marsden
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Welcome...

... to the new Moderatrix! :-)

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BBC mulls talent Twitter ban to prevent storyline spoilers

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Pots and kettles come to mind...

... given the way the BBC manage to spoil upcoming drama with trailers that give away big plot points or the return of the Cybermen in Doctor Who by putting a bloody Cyberman on the front cover of the Radio Times...!!!

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Stieg Larsson: Oxfam's number one best seller

Graham Marsden
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Trollface

Number one, but only because...

... they won't accept copies of Dianetics any more!

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Pacific rare-earth discovery: Actually just gigatonnes of dirt

Graham Marsden
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Exactly

There are now people who are extracting gold and other ores from tailings which, when they were initially dug, weren't financially viable to bother about.

Now that the seams are played out and others are much harder to extract it becomes worthwhile to start dealing with what was originally thrown away as "rubbish".

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Boffins fix dead satellite using 'dirty hack' in space

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Now *that*...

... is what "hacking" is really about!

It's just a shame that the general media have no clue and use the same word to describe DDoS attacks etc...

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The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Reply to MMMM

I am well aware of Sex Trafficking. I am also aware that ludicrous figures have been bandied about regarding it, for instance former Minister for Europe, Dennis McShane's claim of twenty five *thousand* women being trafficked into the uk which was shown to be utterly false (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/22/gov_proposals/ and http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated for more details) especially when the last Government's Pentameter 2 inquiry "failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country." (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/20/government-trafficking-enquiry-fails )

There again there were the 40,000 sex workers who were expected to be trafficked to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. There were also 40,000 sex workers (the same 40,000 or a different 40,000?) supposed to be arriving at the World Cup in South Africa, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and the last World Cup in Germany who, somehow, didn't surface (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/07/olympic_workers/ )

I agree that FAC are, of course, against trafficking, but when you have groups such as the Poppy Project (who get Home Office funding) using that money to influence government policy by artificially boosting their claims of the numbers of trafficked women then it becomes entirely relevant to the discussion.

You say that "Forcing women to perform for porn production is rape" and, yes, I can agree with that too, but exactly *how many* women are "forced" into it and how many decide to do it of their own free will? I think you will find that the latter number vastly exceeds the former. Should all women be treated as "victims" because of this? (And what about men? Or are none of them "forced" into it?)

By the way, at this point I should comment that I would be quite within my rights to call a Godwin on your desperate attempt to discredit Professor D'Amato with your reference to Auschwitz, but instead I will simply point out how pathetic that argument is and ignore it as a contemptible red herring.

You also try to discredit him with comments about him not being an "intellectual heavyweight" because his essay is only six pages and then make assertions about him "encouraging the growth of industry" from "dubious unregulated sources" (really? See 18-USC-2257 http://www.articlecity.com/articles/legal/article_2672.shtml ) and conflating that with a claim that "many of whom have been charged with forcing sexual labour" (who are these "many people"? Please cite some figures before making wild claims) and then, having conflated all this together you make the laughable accusation of *him* of not being a "responsible academic".

At the end you say "Your cite your sources well my friend, but you're more interested in attacking me than you are in having a serious debate" yet you stoop to Ad Hominem attacks on Professor D'Amato bringing to mind comments about pots and kettles.

Finally you say "Look up on Sex Trafficking please." making a despairing grab for the Debating Fallacy of Appeal to Emotion. "Isn't this terrible? It's so terrible that we *must* do something about it because no matter what the facts are, we should ignore them and *DO SOMETHING* because it's so terrible!"

The evidence that shows the flaws in your arguments is out there, it's not much effort to look...

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@MMMM

"Professor D'Amato has completely missed the point. Is that because he's a man who has never read a page of feminist literature?"

Or perhaps he's actually a scientist who looks at *all* the evidence, rather than just believing the claims of Dworkinite "All Men Are Rapists!" feminists who cherry pick the data that suits them (see the bottom of this linked page for reference to Donnerstein and bicycles http://libertus.net/censor/rdocs/xrhoax7.html or the Rapid Evidence Assessment which three feminist anti-pornography campaigners produced to justify the last Governments "Dangerous Pictures Act" banning so-called Extreme Pornography)

And, tell me, have you ever heard of a group called Feminists Against Censorship (see http://www.fiawol.demon.co.uk/FAC/ ) these are women who are opposed to other women demanding that (mostly male!) law makers pass legislation telling *them* what they can do with their own bodies!

As for Linda Lovelace's claims about in Deep Throat, firstly she must be an incredible actress to be able to perform as if she was enjoying it whilst "having a gun at her head" and secondly it was obviously such a traumatising event that, instead of going to the police, she made a sequel a couple of years later.

Finally, it's clear you have no idea what you're talking about because you bring up the tired old myth of snuff films that, despite over 40 years of searching, the FBI, the British Police and many other law enforcement agencies have *NEVER* found a single example of.

Before you tell people to "please go get the real facts", try getting some real facts yourself.

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Graham Marsden
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@Dave Bell

Since the Tracy Lords Case in the USA (she used a fake Drivers Licence to claim she was 20 instead of 15) they have had 18-USC-2257 which requires documentary proof to be kept on file to demonstrate that a performer is over 18 and thus a consenting adult.

Unfortunately in the UK it's much more subjective, to the extent that if even a *drawing* looks "under age" you can be prosecuted for child porn.

There was also the demand in Australia by some nutters who wanted pictures of women with small breasts banned because "well they look like children"...!!

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@The Indomitable Gall

"Most films play their rape scenes for titillation"

Really? Care to cite some examples? I doubt you'll be able to because the BBFC guidelines state:

"A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level. This is more likely with video works than film because of the potential for replaying scenes out of context. Any association of sex with

non-consensual restraint, pain or humiliation may be cut."

http://www.bbfc.co.uk/download/guidelines/BBFC%20Classification%20Guidelines%202009.pdf

As for "it could be that porn moulds the fantasies and desires that lead to sexual violent, and that once this genie is out of the bottle, you've got to keep feeding the beast to make sure it doesn't dine on the villagers...."

Ignoring the woefully mixed metaphor, you're just arguing for the Nanny State "Precautionary Principle" that "well, we don't *know* that this is bad, but we'll ban it anyway, just to be on the safe side".

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Graham Marsden
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Childcatcher

@ "what about the children harmed in production?"

There is already a solution to that problem, or, at least, there was until the last Government in their final desperate attempts to grab votes in their "Won't Someone Think Of The Children" campaign put the kybosh on it by introducing the "Dangerous Drawings" Act whereby a complete fictitious drawing (ie not taken from life or a photograph of actual abuse) or even a 3d rendering of something that looks like a child became illegal.

Of course this was just another stupid and unenforceable law (like the Dangerous Pictures Act outlawing so-called Extreme Porn) but it made for good headlines in the tabloids.

The "Porn Causes Rape" arguments have long been shown to be fallacious, but they keep getting repeated by those whose real position is "I don't like this, so *you* shouldn't be allowed to see it", indeed some campaigners are still trying to cite Donnerstein who thought he'd shown a link between porn and violence towards women but then subsequently withdrew his findings when he found that the same results could be achieved by getting subjects to ride an exercise bike for 10 minutes (should be ban exercise bikes, then?!)

It is good to see that Anthony D'Amato's results back up the findings of Milton Diamond PhD of the University of Hawai'i who also found that an increase in the availability of pornography lead to a reduction in sexual offences (including those with children as victims):

"It is certainly clear from the data reviewed, and the new data and analysis presented, that a massive increase in available pornography in Japan, the United States and elsewhere has been correlated with a dramatic decrease in sexual crimes and most so among youngsters as perpetrators or victims."

http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/1961to1999/1999-effects-of-pornography.html

Of course this will be most unlikely to persuade the current administration to reverse the Dangerous Drawings Act in the near future because the Tabloids would love to jump up and shout "Coalition Promotes Kiddy Porn" so because of the wilful ignorance of a vocal minority, there will actually be a *greater* risk to children.

Bravo to them.

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German vulture detective hits turbulence

Graham Marsden
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Happy

A story from my grandfather...

... He spent some time in Africa when he was in the Forces and at one point was hospitalised.

Outside the hospital was a row of trees which were eventually cut down because the patients found the site of large numbers of local vultures perched in them somewhat disconcerting...!

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Efficiency and Reform Group 'has saved over £3bn'

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

I can save the Government a billion pounds easily...

... I'll offer to do some work for them for £2billion, then when someone objects, cut the price to £1billion.

There you go, a billion quid saved.

Sorted...!

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90% of visitors declined ICO website's opt-out cookie

Graham Marsden
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"Over 90 per cent of site visitors...

"...declined to accept a Google Analytics cookie"

So just like all of us who block GA using NoScript...

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