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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4913 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Google to Microsoft: You're stealing our search results!

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"a brilliantly elegant core search formula...

"...that yields the most useful result almost every single time"

Err, which search engine is this, then?

It certainly isn't Google when so many searches seem to have been "gamed" to the top...

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Japan plans space debris fishing trip

Graham Marsden
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Surely...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078681/

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Wanted: 1 solution architect to fist bankers' asses

Graham Marsden
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Brings a whole new meaning to...

... Take your job and shove it!!

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Boots punts over-the-counter paternity test

Graham Marsden
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Stop

GATTACA

Enough said...

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Graham Marsden
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Sounds like Rincewind...

... who claimed that his mother ran away before he was born!

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Openistas question UK.gov's £300k crime-mapping website

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

'unlikely the figures could be released

' "for commercial reasons"'

Or perhaps because, once again, it would only reveal how incompetent these people are at negotiating a proper contract instead of saving the tax payers from being screwed...

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Assange traveled in drag to evade gov spooks

Graham Marsden
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Dead Vulture

Poisoning the Well...

Once again it seems that the media (including El Reg) are trying to make the story about Assange, not about what Wikileaks is doing.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html

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'Air laser' tech could sniff bombs, probe atmos from afar

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

And how easy is it to spoof?

As soon as I read this, I thought "ok, what if someone plants a few cannisters of petrol/ gas/ diesel etc with pinholes to allow them to leak slowly?"

Every detection would have to be checked out and operations would be slowed to a crawl.

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John Barry dies at 77

Graham Marsden
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Happy

I hope...

... someone's checked the validity of his wikipedia page...

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Chinese 'repurpose' Top Gun footage

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

That's as bad as McGuyver....

... nicking footage from The Italian Job!

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Facebook system messages subverted by French pranksters

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Crowdsourcing = "Doing it on the cheap"

And when you pay peanuts...

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EU ministers strip consumer rights law of controversial elements

Graham Marsden
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"a lot of time and effort was spent for very little"

So, no change there...

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Gatwick Airport security swoops on 3-inch rifle

Graham Marsden
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Troll

Latest News: Security Theatre reduces Carbon Emissions...

... It has been announced today that worldwide carbon emissions from air travel have been significantly reduced because more and more people are refusing to be treated as potential terrorists simply for wanting to get on an aeroplane and are choosing not to travel by air...

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Toshiba intros laptop that CHANGES COLOUR

Graham Marsden
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I thought this...

... would be something like a Global Hypercolour T-shirt (ie ends up getting cheap colour changing dye all over the place!)

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Scotland bans smut. What smut? Won't say

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@AC

No, you are failing to understand the point. To answer your questions:

1) In order to ask this question you first have to know what the limit *IS*. The Scottish law effectively simply says that the limit is "too fast".

2) You say "the prosecutors don't make the law" but then you give an example which seems to suggest that the Police do! (They don't of course)

3) There are Home Office Guidelines on the amount of drugs above which someone can be classed as having "possession with intent to supply".

4) This is not just distasteful, it is stupid and irrelevant. The offence is you forcing yourself on someone else without their consent, that is the limit which is clearly defined in law, unlike the definition of so-called "Extreme Porn" which is *not* defined.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Gerhardt

Oh, well, yes, now you say that it's obvious that our opinions should be:

"It doesn't affect me, so I'm alright Jack and screw anyone else!"

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Graham Marsden
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@Steven Jones

Yes, films with certificates are exempt, but a clip taken from a film with a certificate may not be if it is adjudged that "it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been extracted (whether with or without other images) solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

Which is one of the stupidest things ever to appear on the Statute Books...!!

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Graham Marsden
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@serviceWithASmile

Given the nonsense that's happened with the English law (the Tony the Tiger case for example) what do you think...?!

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@da'squid

Nobody here is dense but you.

As with the English version of the law there are a vague and ill-defined set of stipulations that:

"An image is extreme if it depicts, in an explicit and realistic way any of the following—

"(a)an act which takes or threatens a person’s life,

"(b)an act which results, or is likely to result, in a person’s severe injury,

"(c)rape or other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity,"

The first problem here is that just because it is "realistic" does not mean it is *real*! Consequently a staged photograph which was actually taken will every possible safety precaution observed could *still* fall foul of this law because it is "realistic".

The second problem is what "threatens a person's life"? This is entirely subjective and relies on someone's *opinion* of what it looks like is happening in a picture, instead of what *actually* happened.

Look at some Goth imagery and you'll often see pictures of young ladies in erotic poses in floaty white dresses who are being threatened with knives of have apparently had their throats or wrists cut because they're covered in (fake) blood. Now again if that looks "realistic" it could be covered by this law even though nobody was harmed in the making of that picture.

The same goes for "severe injury" which, in the Scottish case is even broader than the English law which at least only covered injury to the "Breasts, Genitals or Anus", meaning that a picture of someone who has (consensually) been caned leaving bruises and raw skin on their buttocks could be adjudged to be of someone who has sustained "severe injury".

Finally the "rape" clause has the same problem in that if it *looks* like rape, it's illegal, no matter that, again, its a staged act between consenting adults.

Consequently what you have is a law where what is or is not illegal is *not* in any way clearly defined, so it's not a case of "how far over 30mph you are" it's a case of "Yes, M'lud the defendant was, in my personal and entirely subjective opinion, driving too fast, so he's guilty."

PS You're right that it's not rocket science. Rocket science deals in precise statements and accurate measurements, not "how fast do we need the rocket to go?" "I don't know, let's just see what happens when we try to launch it..."

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Graham Marsden
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@alannorthhants

"without clear guidelines as to what constitutes "extreme porn", potential perps may be able to get off by simply saying "how am I to know I was breaking the law"

You are exceptionally naiive if you think that is going to happen! As has already been shown in England (eg with the "Tony the Tiger" case) prosecutors will push to the limits of the law (and beyond) in order to get a conviction, their argument will simply be "ignorance of the law is no defence" (the fact that they were ignorant of what the law says because it stipulates that someone should consider an animal to be *real* or that it was a *joke* wasn't important to them!)

PS As for "someone being prosecuted for having a copy of Mayfair, it could happen simply because before the last Government changed the law, it was legal to print porn showing girls who were aged 16, but now the law says that the definition of a child is age 18, so some back issues have been rendered illegal.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"We do not publicly disclose our prosecution policy"

Paging Mr Kafka, Mr Kafka to Scotland...

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Single complaint sparks police raid and total ban on rental movie

Graham Marsden
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"I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch something like that"

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch a lot of stuff that passes for popular entertainment these days, but I don't call for it to be banned (other than facetiously) simply because I don't like it.

More importantly, however, once again we see the Nanny State stepping in and telling us that we cannot be trusted to watch something because we're so weak-minded and suggestible that, if we do see it, we'll immediately go out and do Bad Things (tm)

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Crematorium to heat council swimming pool

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

@AC "How very clinical"

"I wonder if you'll find consolence in your words when someone close to you dies."

You mean like when my father died of a brain tumour when I was 16?

I could see it happening. I knew it was going to happen. Yes, I was sad, but I was old enough that nobody tried to "sugar coat" it by effectively denying what was happening or saying "he's going to live with Jesus".

I'm now 45, older than my father when he died, I know I'm mortal. I know my mother and sister are mortal, I know at some time we're all going to die. That doesn't mean I won't be saddened by their deaths, but neither does it mean that I'll try to ignore the fact.

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Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Death happens...

... deal with it!

Why are people so squeamish about the end of a natural process?

People are born, they live, they die, that's the way it's always happened and for most of human history it's all happened in one room, so when granny pops her clogs it's no great shock.

But now we seem to want to deny it happens, people don't die in their beds, they die in hospitals and we tell kiddies that granny has "gone to live with Jesus" or some other nonsense to stop them getting upset (we're Thinking Of The Children!) and so anything to do with death is seen as "creepy" and sensible ideas such as this get to be big news because, well, it's icky, isn't it?

(Should I use the Skull and Cross Bones Icon or the Flames Icon on this post...?)

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Beeb say sorry for Stephen Fry A-bomb quip

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Lee

"I suggest you need to do some more research."

Why? Because I pointed out that your "explanation" for WW2 was simplistic and overlooked major causative factors?

As for your suggestion that people weren't lobbing nukes because "everyone had seen what they were capable of", I suggest *you* look firstly at the US use of Napalm in Korea (far more than was used in Vietnam) which in large quantities had effects very similar to a nuclear strike and secondly consider that MacArthur wanted to use them to blockade the border between North Korea and China to prevent them getting supplies and reinforcements by using radioactive cobalt in a "scorched earth" policy, risking potential like-for-like retaliation against US targets.

Had there not been that risk of retaliation, that war and the world could be a very different place.

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Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

@Lee a History Lesson for you...

"one of the reasons for WW2 was that the German army was allowed to march home intact after WW1, rather than in disgrace as a conquered army."

The Treaty of Versailles restricted the German army to 100,000 men and drastically limited military production, so hardly "intact" and Germany was forced to admit guilt and sole responsibility for starting the war, this after they'd laid down their arms and accepted the Armistice proposal based on Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" which was considered a betrayal of their honour.

Oh and of course WW2 was nothing, of course, to do with the crippling reparations that were demanded by France and its Allies which let the Nazis use the rallying cry of "Freedom and Bread" to raise support for their cause...

As for nukes, McArthur wanted to use them in Korea and it was only because Russian had managed to make their own atomic bombs that he wasn't allowed to.

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Next smartphone tech? Predator style thermal cameras

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@James Hughes 1

Or you could try the old analogue method of licking a finger and moving towards where it feels coldest.

(Hang on, wouldn't that be "digital"?!)

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iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

@Test card numbers which pass the validation process

4111 1111 1111 1111 works for Visa cards

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Facebook tightens privacy after friendly warning from Germany

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Perhaps...

... Facebook could also stop lying about claiming that "These friends of yours have found other friends".

One of my friends has an FB account which, after setting it up, he's never used, yet somehow I keep getting told that he's used their "Friend Finder" and so should I...

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'Personal Air Vehicle' VTOL jump-copter in key flight test

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"owner needs a 45-foot-wide space to park it"

So, about the size of an average American family's 4 car garage, then...

(Ok, that does leave the problems of where to park the cars!)

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ICO slaps NHSBT for wrong organ donor data

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"donations of 25 people had been affected"

But in which way?

If they failed to take organs from those who wanted to donate, that's a tragic waste.

If they took organs from those who had not wanted to donate, that's a crime.

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Lawyer wants WikiLeaker kept off suicide watch

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Suicide watch...?

How many people, if treated in that way, would be seriously thinking about suicide after only a few days???

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Mozilla blocks Firefox-breaking Skype toolbar

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

You think you've got problems...?

Have a look at this toolbar madness!

http://www.planitagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/too_many_toolbars.jpg

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Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

@Push 'em down!

I don't know if it still happens, but a while back there was a spate of thefts from idiots who would immediately stop outside the Underground station to check their phone and the thieves would be waiting to simply grab and run...!

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

I'm glad...

... you mentioned Streisand along with all your mentions of Cathy Cruz Marrero...

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FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals

Graham Marsden
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Coat

@Better not fly to Florida.

I tried, but I ended up in Cuba...!!

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WikiLeaks accused of tapping P2P for secret docs

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

So once again...

... it seems that TPTB in the USA are trying to make the story about Wikileaks and, once again, glossing over the *staggering* failures of their own security!

Oh deary, deary me.

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Google gins search formula to favor its own services

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Tigra 07

I find it ironic that you call "fail" on my post when you *failed* to read the end of my post where I said:

'the obvious reply is "Fine, if they *admit* that they're doing it, instead of claiming that it's all fair and above board and there's no preferential tinkering going on behind the scenes!"'

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@paulc

"Basic Set Theory, which should be explained to all numbskulls when they can't find what they want in a search engine..."

How about Basic Fair Competition? Why do you think Microsoft got into trouble for pushing IE at the public and now has to provide links to other browsers as well?

Why should Google not be obliged to give equal prominence to other map providers?

Why not just have a link at the top of the page to "Maps of Gloucester" which takes you to a page where there are links to GoogleMaps, Mapquest et al available giving the user a *choice* of which one they pick instead of having GoogleMaps pushed down their throats?

Google claims to be a "search engine" not "an engine for pushing Google's own services". If it is the latter, at least they should be honest about it.

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

@it is the way I would like it to work

Unless, of course, you're running a company that is in competition with any of Google's services.

If you want to look up something on MapQuest instead, but are given a Google Map at the top of your page, which are you going to use?

Naturally the immediate response is "why should Google not promote their own products over others" but the obvious reply is "Fine, if they *admit* that they're doing it, instead of claiming that it's all fair and above board and there's no preferential tinkering going on behind the scenes!"

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Graham Marsden
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@LB Some reasons why your objections won't work:

1) Batteries, when being replaced/ recharged can be assessed for charge capacity and any that aren't up to scratch can be returned to a central depot for reconditioning or recycling.

2) Storage space isn't a problem if you rip out one of the underground petrol storage tanks which hold (according to a quick bit of searching) upwards of 45,000 litres of fuel.

3) The changing process would be mechanical, you wouldn't have to carry the things around yourself. It would not be difficult to design something with connections sturdy enough to handle being swapped in this way. All it requires is cooperation from the manufacturers.

4) I'd take a guess that all petrol stations already have three-phase AC connections which would make charging easier and quicker.

5) With battery swapping you would get a typical extended day's journey, especially if combined with hybrid technology which would carry 3-4 people with luggage (although how many cars actually *do* that in the course of a year?!)

All of the above can be made to work, people just have to *want* them to work.

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Police DNA test plan to put off prostitutes' punters

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Graham Marsden
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@For f##ks sake

Whilst I agree with your sentiments, as I've pointed out in previous posts on this subject, prostitution itself is *not* illegal, it's just so much that surrounds it that is.

The fact is, however, that kerb crawling, especially when it happens in or near residential areas, is a problem for local people, but the solution is not to criminalise the women or the punters, but to make it easier for women to be able to advertise their services via the web etc and allow them to work in premises with appropriate protection and security to ensure their safety thus making kerb crawling unnecessary in the first place.

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New Taser made to take down angry bears, moose

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Or...

... ones that are Smarter than the Average Bear...!

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

Or...

... Guinea Pigs (qv) ;-)

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Shaun the Sheep shorts to lure kids to Nintendo 3DS

Graham Marsden
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Happy

@Tony Chandler

If you think Shaun the Sheep is aimed at kids, you don't know what you're missing!

Log on to BBC iPlayer and if you're not laughing within a minute, have someone check your pulse :-)

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More privacy for the Queen, less for everyone else

Graham Marsden
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Go

"include the Association of Chief Police Officers"

And about time too!

Although I can see that going down like a lead balloon at the next Freemason's Dinner...

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ASA goes online to swing stick at new media advertisers

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"the ASA has no legal remedies in such a case"

In other words, they're a toothless watchdog who can do nothing more than wag a stern finger at a an advertiser and say "tut, tut, that's naughty".

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Eyeball camera zooms into focus

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... does it make that cool doo-d-d-d-d-d-doo-doo-doo-doo sound effect that always accompanied Austin's use of the zoom facility?

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Europe bites Hungary over media and internet censorship

Graham Marsden
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Sorry, Baroness Ludford, but...

... saying “The EU cannot stand idly by while fundamental liberties are being undermined within its borders” rather over-looks the fact that the EU *has* done exactly that and continues to do so, the UK "Dangerous Pictures" and "Dangerous Drawings" Acts are just two of the latest examples.

However at least the noble Baroness is making an effort to ensure that they *can't* simply let this sort of thing slide, the problem is making sure that it doesn't keep on happening.

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