* Posts by Graham Marsden

5454 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Richard Branson to prowl oceans' hadal depths in flying sub

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Is anyone else thinking...

... SkyDiver: Prepare to launch Sky 1...!

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McAfee recovers from Sesame Street email filter mix-up

Graham Marsden
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Vun...

.... bounced e-mail. Ah-ha-ha-haaa!

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Steven Moffat promises 'darker' Doctor Who

Graham Marsden
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Keep Calm...

... and Don't Blink!

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Graham Marsden
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Story arc - again?

So you'd prefer a whole bunch of episodes where what happens this week has nothing to do with what happened last week and will be forgotten by next week?

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Google bids $900m for Android and Chrome patent shield

Graham Marsden
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Unfortunately...

... those little guys come up with some great idea and then find that the Big Guys have trolled every single possible permutation of patent even (or especially) ones that are so bloody obvious that they should never have been granted a patent at all or which are clearly based on prior art, but the little guys can't afford to employ a big enough legal time to defeat the Big Guy's financial muscle, so the little guys have to fork out big chunks of money that should have gone into R&D to get a licence...

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Graham Marsden
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@of course... and Er...

"Google's argument will have no weight until google as some weight in that same arena - i.e. it is a wolf - or as we may hope, a sheep in wolve's clothing - or with a wolfs jawbone as a weapon..."

"If they fall in to anyone's hand but 'ours' we might end up paying more than the patents cost."

The current system of Patents and Licensing in the US is akin to the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction in nuclear war! Big Company A amasses lots of Patents, so does Big Company B, each agrees not to sue each other and, instead, swaps Patent licenses.

The only problem being that it only works for those Big Companies, meanwhile everyone else is shut out or ends up being forced to pay and pay and pay in order to be able to compete in the marketplace with the "big boys".

Advocating Patent Reform whilst, at the same time, amassing big chunks of IP sounds more than a little hypocritical.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"Google has long been an advocate of patent law reform...

"...but it has come to realize that before such reform occurs, it needs a hefty portfolio for defensive purposes"

Of course. Gods forbid that such patents should fall into the wrong hands (defined as "any other hands but ours...")

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MythBusters: Savage and Hyneman detonate truthiness

Graham Marsden
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How to make science classes interesting...

... show your pupils Mythbusters!

The default position for science is scepticism. You start with an hypothesis and then test it to see if it's valid, if not, it's Busted.

If it comes out appearing to be Plausible or Confirmed, then you put out your results to Peer Review (in the case of Mythbusters, the online forums where fans can comment on what was done and, possibly, things that were missed) and re-evaluate your conclusions and perhaps test again (ie revisit) the myth to check your conclusions.

What's most important, of course, is that you shouldn't get so wedded to your conclusions that you refuse to accept that they may be wrong.

Now *that* is science!

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UK gov 'draws US attention' to Bradley Manning concerns

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@f111f and laird cumings

Just try thinking for a moment: If you were kept under the regime that Bradley Manning is and you weren't a suicide risk at the start of it, you'd sure as hell be one by the end of it!

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Russia, NASA to hold talks on nuclear-powered spacecraft

Graham Marsden
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Coffee/keyboard

Google "Physics: The Problem with Motion"

Thanks for that, Louis, I was in need of a good laugh.

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Judge hits police with massive bill over false Operation Ore charges

Graham Marsden
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@Ally J

Don't you know, he was Thinking Of The Children! That's all the reason he needs!!!

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

@Publicity....

... yes, I can just see the News of the Screws putting out the headline "Man falsely accused of Child Porn acquitted" followed by "Derisory amount of compensation paid"...

In other news: Moon Found to be Made of Cheese, Jim Gamble Apologises to Innocent Victim of His Actions, How to Nail Jelly to the Ceiling...

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

UK tax system takes a little break from the interwebs

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Meanwhile...

... I have just had a letter from HMRC threatening to send in the Bailiffs for an unpaid PAYE bill despite the fact that my accountants have told them *TWICE* that I don't owe them anything!

Of course when they tried to tell HMRC *again* they were told "The computer system is down, call back on Wednesday".

So now I just have to hope that the left hand tells the right hand that I'm in the clear...

(Yeah, right....)

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Operation Ore was based on flawed evidence from the start

Graham Marsden
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Meanwhile...

... the real victims of Operation Ore, ie the innocent people who were coerced into accepting Cautions (effectively admitting guilt for something they didn't do) are still suffering the shame and damage to their reputations that this witch hunt has caused.

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Blighty's official Space Agency starts up on 1 April

Graham Marsden
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Dear Lewis...

... why not just Emigrate to the USA?

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Email compromised at Epsilon

Graham Marsden
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@And yet another

I also had an e-mail from AbeBooks about this, but when I tried to log on to their site it didn't recognise my e-mail address!

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UK's oldest working telly up for sale

Graham Marsden
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Yeah, but...

... can it get Digital...?

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Small business denounces extra red tape

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

"Queue" - a line of people...

... "Cue": In this context a signal that something is due to or going to start now.

Thank you.

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US Army inks $66m deal for Judge Dredd smart-rifles

Graham Marsden
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@strictly speaking.

In the Dredd Comic Strip when Dredd was Marshall of Luna City it was actually the Sov Block who first had "range dependent" energy weapons that could even shoot through walls and explode inside the target's body.

Dredd and a colleague managed to figure out how to defeat these weapons by running full speed at the Sovs because the weapons were unable to adjust to the changing range fast enough meaning the energy wave would go through the target and explode harmlessly behind them.

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Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Hang on...

... is this an April Fool or not...???

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Labour MP says police should clamp down on online incitement

Graham Marsden
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Re:Who would have thunk it

"The Home Secretary, Theresa May, who has hitherto shown herself refreshingly reluctant to take on new police powers where existing ones would do,"

Who would have thunk this either!

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The X-Factor goes virtually mobile, expands voting

Graham Marsden
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I think you mean...

Please God, let this be an April Fool...!!

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TV election debate 'worm' graph found to undermine democracy

Graham Marsden
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"it isn't feasible to get a sufficiently large sample."

Why not?

The BARB TV audience figures are (according to their site) based on 5,100 households scattered across the country to represent all regions, why can't they (or a similar selection) be used to ensure that any possible bias from the "I'll vote for Party X come hell or high water" people is negated?

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

TV debates...

... are simply about the Candidate looking good in front of an audience and being able to deliver pre-scripted soundbites whilst ignoring and dismissing the points that their opponents make.

In other words it's PMQs writ large and we all know how much nonsense that political Punch and Judy show is.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

So...

... what they've just proved is that you need a decent sample size to get a credible result.

In other news... bears... Popes... you know the rest.

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Digital player maker 'incited consumers to break the law', says ASA

Graham Marsden
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@What exactly are the ASA's powers anyway?

They can firmly wag their finger at you and say "Naughty! Don't do it again...(pretty please, otherwise we will look foolish and people will realise we're totally impotent)"

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Graham Marsden
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@content i PAID FOR

Ah, but remember, just like certain software products, you don't actually *buy* the product or content, just a licence to use it in certain ways that the licence granter can dictate!

It's like buying a book with permission from the licensor to read it at home, but if you want to read it on the train or in the local park, you've got to buy a *different* copy with a licence to use it there!!!

What a wonderful (money making) idea...

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UK nuke lab, Korean Air Force buy SGI supers

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Odd

If you're running an army, navy or airforce, knowing what the weather is likely to be (pouring rain, high winds, fog etc) tends to be rather useful...

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Google 'clamps down' on world of Android partners

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"According to the report...

"...Google has also tried to prevent partners from bundling rival services such as Microsoft's Bing search."

Err, guys, remember how people got the option to install Chrome on their PCs instead of having IE as the default...???

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Deleting 'innocent' DNA will cost £5m

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Umm...

... so how about taking the initial Batch Files, replacing the data of everyone who shouldn't be in it with a null record and then uploading them onto a new system before purging the old system entirely?

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Microsoft's Google complaint not an April Fool

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

Pick a word...

... should I describe this as Irony or Hypocrisy?

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Vanilla Ice to tackle panto Captain Hook

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Oh no he isn't...!

Hmm, let me repunctuate that...

Oh no! He isn't...?

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ECJ asked to rule on crucial internet publishing jurisdiction issue

Graham Marsden
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@Global Law?

Which part of "global" didn't you understand? It's not *one* country's version of what it should be, we need a global agreement which everyone can sign up to.

Of course we also need to ensure that the MPAA et al don't get to dictate to everyone what the law should be...

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Microsoft: IE9 not yet 'broadly' available

Graham Marsden
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Gates Horns

"Microsoft now claims,,,

"...the numbers are unimportant and that it's the "long game" that counts."

In other words, as they always do, they're shifting the goalposts and trying to redefine the rules...

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FBI asks for help to crack mystery code in 12-year-old murder case

Graham Marsden
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"Perhaps...

"... he was dictating..."

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Google unleashes (another) Facebook knock-off

Graham Marsden
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So...

... when are they going to patent the idea...?

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Vote compass unmasks Canadian political opinion

Graham Marsden
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It might make a change from...

... I'm voting for Party X because my parents always voted for them!

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The Professionals set to abseil into cinema

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Hmm...

... Judge John Deed as Cowley?!

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Nokia talks Pure typographic cobblers

Graham Marsden
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"Gill Sans will do me."

But whales are mammals and don't have gills...

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MPs now free to surf and tweet

Graham Marsden
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'debates could look increasingly "unattractive"...

"... to members of the public, while some members might not listen quite as attentively as they should to complex points made in debate."

So, no real change there, then.

About the only difference will be that, instead of Junior MPs being sent out of the Chamber by their superiors to go and look up an embarrassing quote from an Opposing Minister, they can now just look it up on Hansard.

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The Bayeux Tapestry archiving model

Graham Marsden
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Data Loss / Data Recovery

As mentioned most recently in a documentary hosted by Tony Robinson, on close inspection there appears to be a line of stitch holes indicating that there was once thread depicting an arrow in the eye of the figure on the ground who is being hit in the leg by the mounted Knight but the thread had somehow been lost.

If so, it's rather akin to recovering lost data using more sensitive tools than a standard read-head :-)

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Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

Graham Marsden
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@Barry O'Connell

"Some of the comments on this article suggest that all religious belief and/or behaviour should be criminalised; that’s where your argument leads – they are loonies they should be banned for the public good/health/sanity etc… I think that’s a slippery slope."

I'm sorry, but I disagree (and what others may be calling for is nothing to do with me and I don't necessarily agree with them either).

In any case, the "slippery slope" is actually the one that follows from your advocating that "We either have freedom of expression or we don’t. As soon as we start to qualify it, we have lost it. Who is to decide what is reasonable anyway?"

I am not advocating "silence the heretic" however I am pointing out that if your freedom to act is restricted by the expression "my freedom to swing my fists about ends at the tip of your nose" it is only because you have the Right to behave in whatever way you choose *provided* that it does not infringe on other's Right not to (for example) be punched in the face.

The Exodus group's App is not merely expressing a view, it is advocating a dangerous course of action ie that if you are gay you can be "cured" by their methods.

We have restrictions on "miracle cure" claims from advertisers for their products which is, by your argument, unacceptable, because it restricts their freedom of expression whereas I am simply arguing that unless such claims can be scientifically proven to be demonstrably correct, they should not be allowed to make them due to the harm that could follow.

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Graham Marsden
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@Barry O'Connell

"We either have freedom of expression or we don’t. As soon as we start to qualify it, we have lost it. Who is to decide what is reasonable anyway?"

And the obvious answer to that is "Is it reasonable to yell 'FIRE!' in a crowded theatre"?

The Right of Freedom of Expression (which is one that I most certainly support and encourage) has to be balanced with the *Responsibility* to use that Right in a sensible and non-injurious way.

You can find many posts from me on these forums and elsewhere about the right of consenting adults to produce and view so-called Extreme Pornography, but you won't find any posts from me anywhere about the right of someone to produce child pornography (and just to forestall a possible response: drawings which are entirely fictitious are of course an entirely different matter)

So that is "qualifying" the Right of Freedom of Expression, but unless you would argue for the right to take photos of children in sexual situations (and I am sure you wouldn't), you must, ipso facto, agree that there *is* a line beyond which that Right has to be restricted.

As for your analogy that the idea of objecting to those who claim they can "cure homosexuality" is akin to the Church's objection to the Copernican System of Planetary Motion, I am sorry, but that is complete nonsense.

The former is not an "illness" and to claim this (by saying that it can be "cured") is to ignore not only a huge body of scientific fact, but also to do the same as in, in the latter case, where the Church chose to ignore or suppress or persecute the views (and scientific proofs) of anyone who looked objectively at the evidence.

Science has moved on from the attitude of "we don't like this, therefore it's wrong", it's just that some who hold to "faith" in defiance of facts are not able to do so.

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Graham Marsden
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@Barry O'Connell

It is not simply a matter of the misquoted content. This group are free to hold their view that "heterosexuality as God’s creative intent for humanity, and homosexual expression as outside of God’s will", but when they start talking about "curing" it, especially when that "cure" involves techniques which are akin to brainwashing and which have been linked with depression and suicides they have gone beyond reasonable Freedom of Expression.

As such Apple removing this App is not "censorship", it is them ensuring that the content that they allow is truthful and doesn't risk causing harm to others.

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Online world maps rub jubs against todgers

Graham Marsden
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@Where does Lady Gaga fall

And is that face up or face down?!

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Duke Nukem Forever DELAYED

Graham Marsden
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Let me repunctuate that for you...

... Duke Nukem: forever delayed.

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South West Trains puts squeeze on commuters

Graham Marsden
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These people from 2007 agree too...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/6288115.stm

Yes, that's a news report from *four years* ago with people complaining about the 450s which were originally (supposedly) designed for suburban journeys and only intended to be used on "short run" local routes, not inter-city commuter routes.

Of course what SWT has found is that it can claim to be "making more seats available", ignoring the minor fact that it's almost impossible to *use* those seats!

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Duke Nuke goes misogynistic for multiplayer

Graham Marsden
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Coffee/keyboard

@The BigYin

'"Daisy Duke" Nukem'

You, Sir, owe me a new keyboard!!!

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China rejects Google snoop claims

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"Google...

"...instead blamed the Chinese government for snooping."

So what Google are saying is that it is ok for *them* to snoop your emails to send you "targetted advertising", but object if anyone else does it?

Why does the word "hypocrites" come to mind???

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