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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5144 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Legendary steampunk computer 'should be built' - programmer

Graham Marsden
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Ten thousand towers...

... the cyclonic hum of a trillion twisting gears, all air gone earthquake-dark in a mist of oil, in the fractioned heat of intermeshing wheels. Black seamless pavements, uncounted tributary rivulets for the frantic travels of the punched-out lace of data, the ghosts of history loosed in this hot shining necropolis. Paper-thin faces billow like sails, twisting, yawning, tumbling through the empty streets, human faces that are borrowed masks, and lenses for a peering Eye.

- The Difference Engine, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

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UK head of online child protection resigns

Graham Marsden
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Go

But Won't Someone Think Of...

... The Quango and Jimmy's Empire Building!!!

Go and good riddance!

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Project Champion Report misses targets

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Let's hear it for weasel clauses:

"You have all these rights, apart from when we decide that you don't..."

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Iran boasts of Stuxnet 'nuclear spies' arrests

Graham Marsden
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Round up...

... the usual suspects...

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Pentagon out to 'destroy' Wikileaks, founder says

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Ian Michael Gumby

No, you are the one who has missed my point.

You brought in the political "left" and "right" which are completely irrelevant to this story and then tried to stop anyone from down-voting your post by implying that, if they did, they were "leftist leading simple thinking".

You may have had a reasonable point, but you blew it by using tactics like these.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Ian Michael Gumby

Watch the right-winger try to dismiss anyone who disagrees with him as "leftist leading simple thinking" because obviously no right(!) thinking person would disagree...

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Canada prostitution laws pulverised: politicians apoplectic

Graham Marsden
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Bravo Canada!

It is high time that every country recognised that "Women's Rights" *INCLUDES* the right of a woman to decide *for herself* what she does with her body and to enjoy the same protections from violence and crime that everyone else does!

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Ofcom imposes new rules on silent callers

Graham Marsden
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"a phone number the callee can use to opt out of future calls"

At what rate? Is it 0800 or 0870 or perhaps a premium rate number?

Why not simply "press 0 if you don' t want us to call you again"???

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Trucker pulled with DVD and laptop on dashboard

Graham Marsden
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"professional drivers"?

Getting paid to drive a taxi, white van, truck or anything else does *NOT* make someone a "professional driver"!

As you mention, those who think of themselves as "professional drivers" are often extremely *bad* drivers because they think they know it all and probably think they have right of way over everything else on the road too which makes them very dangerous.

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Flying gyrocopter jump-jeep gets $3m from DARPA

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

"Transformer TX"?

I can hear a couple of companies of Trademark Lawyers firing up their word processors...

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US demands right to snoop the world

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"necessary and proportionate"...

... does not mean "you've got it, we want it, so hand it over!"

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Video vigilante site emerges from legal battles

Graham Marsden
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Stop

Obligatory Red Dwarf Quote...

... Vote Fascist for a Third Glorious Decade of Total Law Enforcement!

Be a Government Informer.

Betray Your Family & Friends.

Fabulous Prizes to be Won!

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HABITABLE ALIEN WORLD discovered 20 light-years away!

Graham Marsden
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Coat

M-class sun....

But not an M-class planet...?

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Miliband retains Labour line on DNA and CCTV

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"Too casual"?

So what you really mean is "next time we won't go for the laid back, force legislation through Parliament technique, we'll just get the Jackboots out and kick in a few front doors."

("But don't worry, if you've got nothing to hide...)

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Facial recognition tech could hit plod smartphones

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Ok,I object to this on Civil Liberties grounds...

... but it would be incredibly useful for people like me who find it extremely hard to remember names and faces, next time I see someone, a quick zap with the camera and it can pop up their name and other details to save me having to say "Sorry, I can't remember who you are"!

Smile (for the camera!)

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Kindle users finally get to pay for games

Graham Marsden
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"lack of international support"

This is due to the long running playground spat between Hasbro and Mattel. Hasbro have the rights for the game in the USA and Canada, Mattel have the rights for the rest of the world and they cannot agree to play nicely together...

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Sex Party proposes new classification system for Oz

Graham Marsden
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Ok, but...

Ok, it's good that ASP are challenging the nonsensical puritanical mores of their country, but I find it disappointing that they "express its opposition to violence in all its forms, " with the seeming implication that consensual (but extreme) BDSM videos are the same as non-consensual, violent sexual acts because they say "A category of Non Violent Erotica would include all sexually explicit material between consenting adults that is free from depictions of violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence, coercion, sexually assaultive language."

Perhaps they're trying a "small steps" technique to slowly push back the barriers without the sort of resistance that a "legalise it all" campaign could cause, but they seem to be risking codifying another set of barriers which would be harder to get rid of because "Well, the ASP lobbied for these laws!"

It's also disappointing that they cite "a 2005 Eros summary of all recent research studies into the effects of violent media on children" when they are talking about *adult* material designed for people who are obviously *not* children and should know the difference between right and wrong and consent and non-consent.

BTW I do have to question why it was necessary to include a quote (presumably for "balance") from Vivienne Pattson the director of soi-disant Mediawatch-UK.

This organisation is just the old Mary Whitehouse brigade under a new name trotting out the tired old rhetoric of "porn is wrong because it objectifies women" as if the women who take part in it (what about the men?) are, presumably, mentally or emotionally deficient and cannot understand for themselves what they are doing without Ms Pattson and friends telling them "no, we don't like this, so you shouldn't do it".

Mediawatch are not amenable to reason and, unlike Backlash, they have no interest in engaging in sensible discussion with anyone who disagrees with their position.

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Daily Mail savages Data Protection Act over stolen dog

Graham Marsden
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"potentially some caring person is out of pocket"

Unfortunately that's what happens if you receive stolen goods. It doesn't matter whether you bought them in good faith, you have no legitimate title to them.

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School caretaker jailed for fitting up colleague

Graham Marsden
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Presumption of innocence...?

Not for the poor bastard who had his name spread all over the papers so the lynch mob started sharpening their scythes and lighting flaming torches.

This is just another example of why the accused should be allowed anonymity in cases like this. You can bet that even now he's been acquitted, there are still idiots who will be saying "well, there's no smoke without fire" (even if the fire was set by someone else...) and refusing to have anything to do with him.

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Graham Marsden
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@The Indomitable Gall

But it doesn't *matter* whether the guy is a paedophile or not, it's simply possessing (oh, sorry, isn't that "making", since he "made" the images by downloading them, didn't he?) which is enough to get you branded as a witch, err, sorry, paedophile...

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Fraunhofer boffins develop 'Titanium foam' endoskeletal implants

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Yeah, but..

... this is only measly titanium, not Adamantium!

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Universities warn Willetts on science cuts

Graham Marsden
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Go

I'll support those cuts...

... and ones to the Armed Forces and Civil Service etc *PROVIDED* you start at the *TOP*.

We are definitely in the position of "Too many Chiefs" whose main job is to warm seats and shuffle lots of paperwork (usually in the form of "reports") to make it look as if they are indispensible which the poor bloody infantry (or equivalent) are trying to do more and more with less and less and new recruits are harder and harder to get because the resources are just not there to support them and train them to do the jobs that are desperately required.

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Google cools data center with bottom of Baltic Sea

Graham Marsden
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Flame

"Tekeli-li...!

"Tekeli-li...!"

(Flames because it's the best way of getting rid of them!)

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IE captain flees Microsoft for Google

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

'I want to do good'???

Going from Microsoft (who got so big for their boots that they thought they could tell the world what to do) to Google (who are getting so big for their boots that they think they can tell the world what to think)...?

Has anyone else's Irony Detector just gone into meltdown?

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Bill would let feds block pirate websites worldwide

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

So once again...

... the Yanks decide that *they* own the internet and they can enforce their arbitrary standards (and the wishes of media companies who make big contributions to certain lawmakers' campaigns!) on the rest of the world.

The Land of the "free to do only the things that we like..."

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Police issue lettuce e-fit

Graham Marsden
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Have the Police made enquiries at El Reg's offices?

It could be John Lettice...

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Check Point kills scareware-style pop-up campaign

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"After listening to consumer feedback, we realised that...

"... we screwed up massively so we'd better eat some humble pie before everyone switches to other products!"

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Taxman rejects 'lie detector' tech

Graham Marsden
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@Lawyers

The problem is that if you are being sued you have to waste time and effort and money hiring lawyers, compiling a defence etc.

Even if (or when) you win, you're not guaranteed to get your costs back, so you still lose out :-(

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Nemesysco [..] threatened to sue the journal for libel

Whilst providing evidence that their system did work at a level "better than chance", of course.

What? They didn't show any evidence?

But surely they must have *tested* the thing under controlled conditions before making their claims that it would reliably "detect lies"...???

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ZoneAlarm slammed for scarewarey marketing

Graham Marsden
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I wasted ten minutes of my life...

... checking to ensure that my system hadn't been compromised by a malware product masquerading as a "legitimate" warning before finding out that even though I hadn't been infected it wasn't a legitimate warning at all.

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'Unicorn' captured in remote Laos mountain forests

Graham Marsden
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Now that's...

... "scary"!

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Parents back legal ban of violent vidgames sales to kids

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Again you don't get it.

You ask "Why is it a good idea to allow shops to sell adult rated games to kids?" when what you should be asking is "Why is it a good idea to have a law forbidding shops to sell adult rated games to kids?" with the concommitant legal penalties etc that such a law would include.

And pardon me if I don't waste my time addressing your silly "murder should be legal" Straw Man argument.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

You're right, you don't get it.

The point is that the ESA wants parents to be *responsible* for what their children do and buy and play, not the State or the retail industry.

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Craigslist: no plans to revive adult ads in US

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

So...

... the world is now safe for Mom's Apple Pie.

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School worker jailed for abuse images

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Think you've run out of arguments...

... that's why you're running away from this one with a desperate grab for the Burden of Proof Fallacy (not to mention a pathetic attempt to imply that because I disagree with you, I must have kiddie porn on my hard drive).

It is not up to me to come up with a "better term" for "making" here, it's up to you to demonstrate that this is actually "making" something, a term which I think most people would generally accept to imply "creating an original work", ie in this case actually taking photographs of a child, which is clearly not what is happening.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@What would you call it?

If I download a Linux distro, am I "making" Linux? I don't think so, I think I'm downloading it.

What would you call it?

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Graham Marsden
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"and making"?

I, in no way, support or condone kiddie porn or the abuse of children etc,, but did he actually take any photos himself, or is this the BS of "downloading a picture or video is classed as 'making' it"?

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Robot footballers 'will beat Human Race first eleven by 2050'

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

Ah, but...

... then you start equipping them with lasers and guided missiles and directed EMP weapons... ;-)

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Harry Potter theme park magically swallows big visitors

Graham Marsden
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Coat

They should have read Discworld...

... then they would have known that almost all Wizards come in the "oversized" category!

(Who owns this robe with "Born to Rune" on the back...?)

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Transport Dept's answer to embarrassing, cancelled IT projects?

Graham Marsden
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You've got to love the hypocrisy...

"Mister Speaker! Our Government started large numbers of unworkable, irrelevant or downright misguided IT projects most of which have gone massively overbudget without showing any usable results. Would the current Government like to comment on how we are now accusing *them* of wasting public money by cancelling them?"

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Action gamers make better drivers, soldiers, surgeons

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Adam West

I notice you don't mention the *cars* which tailgate motorcyclists like me at a distance so close that I first thought there was something wrong with my top box when I looked in my mirrors, only then to realise that there was a 4x4 sitting about ten feet from my rear wheel!

Nor do you mention the classic SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn't See You) as a motorist pulls out of a junction because they don't see the motorbike coming.

The DFTs own research states "Of the total cases, 681 (38%) involve ROWVs [Right of Way Violations]. However, less than 20% of these involve a motorcyclist who rated as either fully or partly to blame for the accident."

"the most common failure of other drivers in motorcycle accidents is a failure in the continuity of their observation of the road scene. Over 65% of ROWV accidents where the motorcyclist is not regarded as to blame involve a driver who somehow fails to see a motorcyclist who should be in clear view, and, indeed, frequently is in view to witnesses or other road users in the area."

It concludes:

"The main conclusions of our research are as follows:

"• A way must be found of targeting the other parties who so frequently cause motorcycle collisions. Drivers have to be made aware of the numerous ways that they can fail to perceive a motorcycle in the typical ROWV accidents that are most frequently not the fault of the rider involved. Our results suggest that interventions should be focused on (but not exclusively confined to) older drivers."

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme5/indepthstudyofmotorcycleacc.pdf

So before you start slagging off bikers, I suggest you consider the log in your own eye!

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Microsoft shields Russia's refuseniks from police harassment

Graham Marsden
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Gates Horns

Of course...

... what's good for Microsoft is good for the whole world...

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Naturist club objects to erection of five storey tower block

Graham Marsden
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I'm pretty sure it's a sex crime in the UK...

... to be in your back garden, naked, playing a game.

Actually it's not.

IANAL, but quoting the Sexual Offences Act 2003:

66 Exposure

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally exposes his genitals, and

(b)he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/66

Also

67 Voyeurism

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and

(b)he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/67

So if someone is in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, they can be nude without problem, but if someone's peeping at them and getting their jollies from this then that person will be committing an offence.

If they can't get the development stopped, I suggest they invest in some Leylandii.

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Burglars used social network status updates to select victims

Graham Marsden
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There are always risks...

... many years ago some friends were burgled when they were on holiday. It turned out that the kid who delivered their newspaper was telling his father which people had cancelled their delivery for a couple of weeks whilst they were away...

Admittedly this isn't as daft as announcing it to world + dog on your all-too-public status page, though.

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Is US prudishness ruining the internet?

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

You could delete the world "prudishness"...

... and still have a valid article.

Somehow the Yanks have got the idea that they "own the internet" and can dictate to everyone else what is or isn't acceptable content which is more than a little ironic given their First Amendment!

Of course, as with many others, what they really mean by "Freedom of Expression" is "Freedom to say or show things that *we* agree with".

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Robots capable of 'deceiving humans' built by crazed boffins

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

Do not worry, fleshy ones...

... we have no plans to kill or enslave you all and take over the world for ourselves!

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All CO2-spewing kit now in existence is OK for the planet

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"if you don't do something with it?"

I don't give a toss what you do with it, just do it *EFFICIENTLY*!

I stay out of the "Global Warming is Man Made", "No it isn't!", "Yes it is!" nonsense and just point out that if we start using that "great big puddle of oil" in a more efficient manner (instead of burning huge amounts in gas-guzzling 4x4s...) then we will, ipso facto, reduce the amount of CO2 and other gasses into the atmosphere *as well as* delaying the point at which those finite resources run out.

In other words, a win-win situation!

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MP urges Parliament to reform FOI laws

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

Great...

... but what about ACPO...???

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UK agrees copyright cooperation with China

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"Understanding...?"

"Yes," say the Chinese, "we understand you don't like this.

"Now you need to understand that we don't give a fuck!"

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Google pulls trigger on 'Instant' search engine

Graham Marsden
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So what this probably means...

... is that Google can serve you "targetted ads" even quicker...

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