* Posts by Graham Marsden

5194 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

DfT denies deliberately misleading on speed cam stats

Graham Marsden
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"which was made publicly available at the time"

On display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard"?

(Mine's the one with the Towel and the Electronic Thumb!)

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NatWest calls off legal attack dogs

Graham Marsden
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"a line making clear the site had no connection to the bank."

... and a couple of paragraphs detailing how the bank threatened them with legal action for completeness, I hope!

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DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

Graham Marsden
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@AC

Whilst I agree that the higher the speed the more serious the accident, you are the one who is apparently missing the point that you should *not* drive faster than the speed at which you can stop in the distance visible to you. It doesn't matter *what* the limit is, you need to tailor your speed according to the conditions prevailing at the time.

Unfortunately when people have the attitude that because "speed limits are LAW" they assume wrongly that means that the speed indicated by the prevailing limit is a speed that it is safe to drive at rather than thinking intelligently about what they are doing.

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Graham Marsden
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@Chris W

There is a debating fallacy known as the False Dilemma where you present someone with two options 1) and 2) as if they're the only ones available and then imply that they have to pick between the two, ignoring the fact that the correct answer is "neither of the above".

Let me give you an example. Last night I came back to Portsmouth from London on the A3. As you leave London this piece of road seems to have speed cameras about every half mile and initially a limit of 40mph which then goes up to 50mph.

Now I'm sure those limits are all sensible and good when the road is chock full of traffic during the day time, but at 2am the road is virtually *EMPTY* and there is absolutely *NO DANGER* in Making Progress along it, but you cannot, simply because of all the bloody cameras.

So you have a choice: trundle along at 40mph or make progress (illegally, of course) then slow down when there's a camera.

Which do you do?

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

Oh dear, here we go again...

Firstly let me say that I have *NO PROBLEM* with cameras *WHERE THEY ARE ACTUALLY NEEDED*, but many of the rules on where they are placed are nonsense and bring the whole system into disrepute because all that happens is that drivers slow down for the camera, then speed up once they're past it.

Hiding them just makes the situation worse and still does *nothing* for dealing with people who drive in an irresponsible manner, using mobiles, failing to indicate or look before turning or changing lanes, tailgate, don't make proper observation at junctions and all the other things which *really* add to the dangers of being on the road.

I'm sure I've read a report which said that the radar-controlled signs that flash 30mph if you're approaching them too fast have been much more successful in reducing speeds, but I have been unable to track it down, so if anyone knows where I can find it, I'd be most grateful.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

DfT 'witlessly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

There, fixed it for you!

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Data for 100m Facebook accounts published to BitTorrent

Graham Marsden
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Facebook has reiterated...

"that their attitude to making data available is that you opt in to everything unless you can figure out how to stop it, bitch".

There, fixed it for you!

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Fog of cyberwar: internet always favors the offense

Graham Marsden
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"of course there are things that can be done to improve defenses...

"...not that the government is doing them necessarily."

I think that's the point he's trying to make! Every time we hear of data being stolen or left on a laptop or sent on an unencrypted CD through the post shows a fundamental failure of understanding of basic security by Governments and Corporations.

And how many companies produce software which then require multiple patches to fix gaping holes in their security?

What is needed is a fundamental shift in attitude, rather than the "let's get the data or write the software and then fix the problems later."

As you say: "The right time to build up defenses is now, before an incident occurs", but at present too many stable doors are being locked and bolted long after the horse is over the horizon.

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Cell phone eavesdropping enters script-kiddie phase

Graham Marsden
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"MSI detach can be used...

"... to prevent a given cell phone from receiving SMS messages and incoming calls. All that's needed is the target's phone number"

Great! Now how do I get the phone number of the annoying twat who is sitting in the Quiet Carriage on the train yakking at the top of their voice and ignoring the signs saying "NO MOBILE PHONES"...?

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Reboot key Brit 'ready to save internet'

Graham Marsden
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"Fellowship of the Ring for the internet age"

Nonsense, this is just an updating of the Seven Swords of Wayland!

http://www.robinofsherwood.org/swords.html

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UK.gov's phone and net snooping hits record high

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"I cannot give a precise reason for this..."

"but there is evidence that more and more police forces have to engage in fishing expeditions on anyone they like in the hope that they might be able to link them to an actual crime."

There, fixed it for you.

Of course he could have just said "I cannot give a precise reason for this, but THINK OF THE CHILDREN, OMG!!!!1111oneoneeleventyone!!"

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Chilean tarantulas menace Bolton

Graham Marsden
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Yes...

... but only just!

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Police chief: Yes, my plods sometimes forget photo laws

Graham Marsden
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'a small minority of officers see the law as being "what they say it is"'

'these officers are quite prepared to take their chances, on the basis that the number of times they will be caught out by being recorded is likely to be few and far between'

And even if they are caught out, very probably nothing will done about it or they will only be given a smack on the wrist and told not to do it again by their bosses.

This is why I fully support the idea of Police being made to have cameras attached to their person whenever they are dealing with the public because they will know that *WE* are watching *THEM*!

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Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

Graham Marsden
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"we would really be risking people's lives"

Or, more importantly, it would be risking the Safety Camera Partnership's Boss' livelihoods...

Unfortunately I can't find a reference for it at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I've seen a report saying that those Radar Controlled signs that flash 30mph if you approach them too fast are, apparently, more effective than Cameras for actually getting people to slow down because they're not an attempt to raise revenue, so they get more respect from road users.

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NHS spunks £7.5k on porn room

Graham Marsden
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The matron...

... was contracted out to the Private Sector and now is doing the same job for £150 a hour for "tired city gents"...

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Graham Marsden
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Joke

"a friend of mine..."

Ah, right, yes, a *friend*, of course... ;-)

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Firefox update fixes plug-in snafu

Graham Marsden
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In the past few days...

... I've noticed a sudden increase in messages that "A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding ..." so it seems that it's still rather over-sensitive to pages that take a little while to load.

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NASA unveils global Martian map

Graham Marsden
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The chances of that...

... are a million to one...!

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TalkTalk turns StalkStalk to build malware blocker

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"We are not interested in who has visited which site"...

... but you can bet that The Authorities would love to get their hands on this information (of course, as with Talk Talk's plans, it's for our own good!)

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Voting reform finally on the agenda

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Labour is complaining...

... about things being rushed through Parliament and "lack of transparency"?

Oh the IRONY!!!

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Graham Marsden
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@Dave 142

"They're going to be based on the number of people who registered for the previous election, not the actual number of people in a constituency."

Erm, in case you're not aware, it is a criminal offence not to complete and return the annual voter registration form.

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Zuckerberg: I'm 'quite sure' I own Facebook

Graham Marsden
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I wonder if Zuckerberg has a Panic Button...

... he can press to summon the lawyers...?

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MPs call for crackdown on pre-paid credit cards

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

Have these people not HEARD of Operation Ore?

You know, the one where a lot of innocent people were charged by Jim Gamble and co with downloading CP because they had been the victims of *CREDIT CARD THEFT*??

Yes, that's right their card details had been *stolen*, just like many other people's card details are stolen every year.

So what's to stop someone *stealing* someone's pre-paid credit card and using that to download CP?

Oh, that's right, *nothing*.

Facepalm.

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Hitachi hides Magic Wand vibrator under a bushel

Graham Marsden
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Purple wand?

Are you sure you don't mean a Violet Wand? (Or were you merely using a euphemism for the male appendage?)

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Graham Marsden
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To hit the g-spot...

.. you can buy an attachment which fits over the vibrating head which has a soft plastic "extension" allow for for penetration and g-spot stimulation.

And really they're not that noisy, they're only loud in comparison to some other vibrators.

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Airline ejects passenger for being hungry

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Ah but...

... don't forget you'd be arrested for using un-approved electronic equipment...

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Cops taser Somerset chap's nether regions

Graham Marsden
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Troll

Well...

... thank you for that intelligent comment detailing the fact that your Human Rights and Civil Liberties in this country now mean diddly-squat and the Police have the right to shoot, beat you or Taser you at their discretion.

Bravo! Now excuse me whilst I trit-trot along here...

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The Register comment guidelines 2010

Graham Marsden
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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

It's good to see El Reg post these guidelines, but may I make a few suggestions:

1) The author of an article should have no ability to moderate (or edit) comments. If allowed, this simply leads to a blatant conflict of interest. Also the decision to allow/ not allow comments on an article should be down to El Reg's Editorial or Moderation team, not the individual author.

2) If an article is based on the author's opinion of a published work etc, it should be clearly marked as such. Occasionally some articles have appeared in El Reg which are extraordinarily one-sided yet not marked as "Comment" or "Opinion".

3) It would be useful if, in the "My Posts" section, there was an indication of whether someone else had replied to your comment (eg a line saying "2 replies") to save having to check each one to see if someone has responded.

4) Since you can tick a box to post anonymously, why not have a box to tick that comes up with [NO TITLE], or if you reply to someone else's post without including a title of your own, have the forum system stick in Re: [previous title]

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Vatican Google-bombed over weekend

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"appeared to be unavailable from the UK today."

Which is a good thing because if Jim Gamble has anything to say about it, you should be arrested for simply *looking* at that site because it *might* hold CP and that is proof enough of guilt for him...

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UK.gov may cut BBC licence fee in 2012

Graham Marsden
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Well now they've sacked Ross...

... they're saving a bunch of money, so if they ditch a few more "big names" they could actually start making some quality programmes again instead of rubbish like 101 Ways to Strictly Come through a Hole in the Wall...

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BT hikes call charges

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

So more customers for...

call1899.co.uk or call18866.co.uk or ratebuster.co.uk or...

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MS confirms Windows shortcut zero-day flaw

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"targets industrial and power plant control systems"?

"executes automatically if an infected USB stick is accessed in Windows Explorer."??

Why the HELL would anyone be putting USB sticks into machines that run these sort of system in the first place???

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Council wins motorbike charges case

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

PS To those saying "It's only one pound a day"

I suggest you read this article:

http://ukfrancebikers.com/2010/07/04/its-only-1-a-day/

In 1980 parking charges were £1 a day.

In 1990 that became £1 per hour

In 1995 that became £2 per hour

In 2000 that became £4 per hour

Now in 2010 it's £5 an hour!

What more, exactly are you getting for that £5 an hour?

What is WC Council getting? Well, they're getting a way to pay down their £22 *million* overspend see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8470804.stm

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

But it's "In the Public Interest" says Westminster Council...

... yet all they are doing is introducing a £1 charge for parking bays that were, previously, free. There is absolutely *NO* benefit to bikers, no extra security features, no extra parking spaces, nothing that justifies this charge other than it makes money.

Yet somehow this is "in the public interest".

Presumably that "public interest" is that the WC Council doesn't have to make savings elsewhere because they can tax bikers...

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Job sites slam domain name land grab

Graham Marsden
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How about...

... mc.jobs

stuffyour.jobs

amonkeycoulddothese.jobs

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Government begins RIPA review

Graham Marsden
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The point you're missing...

... is that, as with many other New Labour laws, the RIPA is vague and ill-defined and pretty much as soon as it was brought in, started experiencing major function creep as, for instance Local Councils etc suddenly realised that "hey, we can spy on people to check they live in the right place to send their kid to this school, the law says we can!".

The aim of the review is to ensure that Investigatory Powers are *properly* regulated and targetted to where they are needed, rather than to where they are wanted.

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Blighty's stealth robojet rolls out a year late

Graham Marsden
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Welcome

All it needs...

... is a red light strobing across the front...

May I be the first to welcome our Cylon Overlords!

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Cockeyed 'Knob Face' confusion masks real malware threat

Graham Marsden
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This is not a virus...

... tell all your friends!!!!!

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I own Facebook, claims New York fuel salesman

Graham Marsden
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I own Facebook...

... and the Brooklyn Bridge, because someone sold it to me and wrote the bill of sale on the back of a post card of it!!

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Abu Hamza ruling clarifies McKinnon case

Graham Marsden
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Re: Polanski

Polanski's "much more serious crime" was not at issue, what was the issue was that a deal was struck that would have involved him not being jailed after the girl's parents agreed that he should not be imprisoned.

What he then did was to leave the USA after it was suggested that the Judge was going to jail him anyway, which is an entirely different matter.

The girl involved has subsequently said that she has forgiven him and doesn't want him to be jailed either.

It seems that, unlike the UK, at least the Swiss aren't willing to turn someone over to the USA without better grounds for extradition that "we want him, hand him over".

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Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards

Graham Marsden
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Apparent sex?

I agree with you that the idea of specifying gender (which is not a binary condition) on identity documents is dodgy given that it's by no means a binary condition in all cases.

But there is one point I have to question where you say "a person's apparent sex is something that even the dopiest witness can occasionally remember."

I could introduce you to people whose apparent sex is by no means obvious, either through genetics or personal choice of dress and personal appearance.

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Ireland to block EU-Israel data hoover

Graham Marsden
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So when are the Israelis...

... Going to pass all their data over to the EU?

(I hope that it will include details of all their people's passports...!)

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Gulf spill to annihilate all earthlings, says seer

Graham Marsden
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Alert

Will it ever run out of whackos?

Not whilst they can't even do some basic searches to discover that British Petroleum merged with America's Amoco (formerly Standard Oil) back in 1998.

Or that the biggest shareholder (and thus, technial owner) of BP is the American JP Morgan Chase with 28.34% of the shares.

Or that the that exploded was owned and operated by an American firm, Transocean and that only about 8 people on there were BP employees and BP only had a 65% share in the well.

Or that the failed 'blow out preventer' was made by another American firm - Cameron.

Nope, it's all the fault of the Brits...!

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P2P judge trims student's fine by 90 per cent

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@Robert Hill

Are you *seriously* trying to justify your arguments by saying that "Well 12 American Jurists agreed with this, so it's ok"??? They probably thought they were being reasonable because the record companies original intent was to sue him for $4,500,000!

But still, in all your ranting and name calling and silly analogies and shouting "FAIL!" as if it was a valid argument in itself, you don't answer my question: HOW MUCH of that money is going to go to the ARTISTS?

Oh, and just to clarify, I have no problems with artists signing deals with corporations, provided those deals give reasonable recompense to the artists for their work, instead of much of it being creamed off by those who do nothing in the creative process, ok?

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Robert Hill: Failure of Understanding

You claim that I am supporting or condoning theft and that I am not "sticking up for the little guy" which only goes to show how little you comprehend.

Let's take the analogy posted by Anonymous Coward @ Sunday 11th July 2010 19:18 GMT where he says "obtaining an item whilst depriving the provider of that item of their desired/expected recompense".

Now, being a small businessman, I am ALL FOR allowing the provider of that item with recompense, but imagine what would be the state of affairs if I made an item for a cost to me of eg £5 and then had to sell it to a Tescos/ other big store/ distributor/ whatever for £6 only to see them retail it for £20. I make £1, they make £14, so do you consider that to be reasonable?

The point is that that is how the record industry used to work. An artist gets a pittance of the final sale value of their work and *THAT* is the obsolete revenue model that the Recording Industries want to protect and preserve and they will use every case of file sharing to justify this position by claiming ridiculous "losses" they incur and even when someone gets the amount of damages they have to pay "reduced" from $675,000 to $67,000, the Recording Industry is still onto a winner since there's no way most people could pay that and even if they could, exactly *how much* of that amount would go back to the original artist...?

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Graham Marsden
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Ignored the...

... profound economic and artistic harm to the recording industry' executives pay packets and bonuses that occurs when people realise that they no longer have to put up with an obsolete revenue model...

There, fixed it for you.

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Apple bars radiation nanny from App Store

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

FUD?

There's an app for that!

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New dinosaur dubbed 'Mojoceratops' - 'over a few beers'

Graham Marsden
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Pint

Pity they weren't drinking Rum highballs...

... then it could have been a Mojitoceratops!

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Wikileaks US Army mole Manning charged

Graham Marsden
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"the information could cause injury to the United States"

Or, at least, show them up for the bunch of trigger-happy, gung-ho, "shoot first and ask questions later", idiots that they are...

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Academics challenge moral consensus on sex and the net

Graham Marsden
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EDUCATE, DON'T LEGISLATE!

If someone *really* wants to "think of the children" they should provide them with the information they need, rather than trying to keep them in the dark in the hope that "well, if they don't hear about it, they won't do it".

The latter statement has been the justification of every bit of censorship from the Extreme Porn legislation and the Dangerous Drawings law back to when Socrates was sentenced to death for "Corrupting the youth of Athens".

Information will always get out one way or another, trying to deny children information just means they will get it from other (unreliable) sources and nobody benefits except the "Moral Crusaders" who feel smug that everyone is benefitting from their repressive attitudes.

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