* Posts by Graham Marsden

5194 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

UK hot-swaps leaders - Brown out, Cameron in

Graham Marsden
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But will it be real change or more of the same old same-old?

So, Cameron and Clegg have done a deal, now the question is will we get the reforms (not just voting, but political behaviour and on civil liberties to name a couple) that we actually need...?

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BBC nicely summarises Gordon Brown's legacy

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@Chris W

Is that *really* the best argument against PR you can come up with? A vague, hypothetical situation loaded with hyperbole just to validate your argument that FPTP is "far better" than your misconceptions of how PR would operate in this country?

Oh deary me.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Chris W

If you'd actually bother to do some research, you'd understand that the ATV+ or STV system being proposed for this country is *NOTHING* like the system in use in Israel.

Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?

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Mozilla detects insecure plugins for IE, Chrome, Safari

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"Which makes you wonder...

"... why a service like this wasn't offered long ago"

Err, you mean like Secunia?

http://secunia.com/

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'Phantom Ray' robot stealth jet rolls out

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

"full-sized, stealthy robot warplanes"

May I be the first to welcome...

... why are those dogs barking?

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Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

Or perhaps...

... nobody else really gave a monkey's...!

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Voting chaos in not-fit-for-purpose electoral system

Graham Marsden
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@Sillyfellow

See http://www.takebackparliament.com/ for more details.

Over 1000 people turned up to urge Nick Clegg not to compromise in his talks with the Tories but to stick to his guns in order to get a fair system of PR instead of an unfair system of FPTP.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Who do we vote for?

The job of an MP is supposedly to represent the views of their constitutents to Parliament.

Unfortunately what we actually get is someone who, most likely, does what the Party Whip tells them to do and then says to their constituents "This is what the Party Leadership says, like it or lump it".

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Graham Marsden
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Nothing more is needed.

No, you don't need anything more, but that slows down the whole process for everyone else (as mentioned in another post elsewhere, staff were taking between 40 seconds and one minute to deal with each voter, the extra time depending on if they had their polling card or not).

Oh and I accidentally upvoted that post instead of hitting "reply"...

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Jimbo Wales exiles 'porn' from Wikiland

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Jimmy is acting in his traditional role as a thought leader

I think you mean "Thought Police"...

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Election losers? Our clapped-out parties

Graham Marsden
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Not clapped out Parties, but clapped out Party system.

The problem is not with the parties per se, but the Party System itself.

For the last three decades we've been told that "Strong Government" basically means that the MPs toe the Party Line and do what their leadership tells them to, with varying amounts of arm twisting from the Whips office.

Apart from introducing a system like STV where whoever is MP for a constituency actually *has* a majority of the votes, the Whip system should be abolished so all votes are *free* votes such that MPs can represent the views of their constituents to Parliament, rather than telling their consituents that this is how it is because the party leaders say so, like it or lump it.

This would mean that, especially now, no longer would a big party be able to force through any legislation it wants because there can't be sufficient opposition even if everyone else voted against it and the power will no longer be in the hands of politicians "doing deals in shady back rooms" (nor on the decks of someone's private yacht...)

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Cameron aims to bring LibDems into government

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

It's a funny system...

... which means that a party that gets almost a quarter of the votes gets less than ten percent of the seats in Parliamen!

Only politicians with a vested interest in staying in power despite getting less than 40% of the votes could justify keeping such a system.

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

all party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform"

In other words, let's kick it into the long grass with a committee which will be loaded with members who will argue and dither and prevaricate and do their damndest to ensure that it never gets *anywhere*...

If that's the best that Cameron can come up with, he doesn't deserve to govern.

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Jacqui Smith and Charles Clarke shown the door

Graham Marsden
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Ding dong...

... the Wicked Witch is Dead!

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UK polling stations turn away 'hundreds' of voters

Graham Marsden
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Insufficient staff, inadequate preparedness...

There was a queue at my local Polling Station and a bit of checking with the stopwatch function on my wristwatch found that the staff were taking between 40 seconds and a minute to deal with *each* voter ie to go through the process of them getting to the desk, handing over the Polling Card (add extra time if they'd forgotten it), find the name on the register, rule it out, tear off two voting slips and write down the numbers before the person could make actually go and make their mark.

It's clear that when the queues started to form, there was insufficient preparedness on the part of officials to speed up the process by, for example, drafting in extra staff or allowing the Polling Stations to stay open longer (some places, eg Lewisham, did stay open, others closed on the dot of 10pm because "that's the law") and that's not something we should be expected to put up with.

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Graham Marsden
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@Gerhard Mack

PR in the form of Single Transferrable Vote is quite as good as you think, in all those close races where the winning majority was less than the number of votes cast for other candidates, instead of all those other votes being thrown away, those voters' second choice candidate get the votes until someone gets a proper majority.

It works well in places like the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, it could work here too if people would let it.

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NASA tests amazing bailout rocket which will never be used

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"it seems perhaps a little odd...

"... that NASA bothered to carry out today's test at all."

Not at all.

If they'd built the thing, it would have been odd (if not stupid) not to test the thing since even if it isn't going to be used *right now* it provides valuable data and proof of concept which may be usable in the future.

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Met issues internet cafe terror warnings

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Insert obligatory...

"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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Labour manifesto changes a byte bit

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Citizen Collier...

You are guilty of doubleplusungood crimethink! Stay where you are, the Thought Police will be there to unperson you shortly.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: I've seen El Reg go back and fix typos before.

Yes, but El Reg tends to actually *SAY* when they've edited an article if it makes a substantive change to what went before (which isn't the same as "fixing a typo")

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

We have always...

... been at war with Eastasia

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Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Graham Marsden
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if we were able to pick the parties that we didn't want

That's known as Single Transferrable Vote where you rank parties in order of preference...

... hey, isn't that PR which the Lib Dems are in favour of...?!

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Who are we going to nuke in retaliation??

Ignoring the ridiculous Tabloidesque anti-Lib Dem rhetoric that sounds more like something from the Murdoch Press, would Lewis Page care to tell us *who* is likely to try to lob an ICBM at the UK and *which* cities (and their millions of civilians) we are going to oblitterate in our "nation wrecking" retaliation?

In case it has escaped his notice, the Cold War has ended, so it's very unlikely that any country that actually has the ability to launch an ICBM strike on the UK *would* do so and the so-called "rogue states" like Iran or North Korea know damn well that don't have enough bombs to stop the rest of the world dropping on them like a ton of bricks if they did start lobbing nukes around.

A more likely scenario might be to put a nuke (or a dirty bomb) on a boat and sail it up the Thames, but then who do we lob a missile at in payback?

As for Space Travel, I'm all for it, but perhaps we'd better fix the big hole in the bottom of the boat before we start re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic...

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Sharing bank PINs leaves consumers at risk

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

A solution to let you write down your PIN safely...

There is a system used by (I think) some banks in Denmark where the customer is given a 9x9 grid (like an empty Sudoku board) with different colours in the individual squares.

You write your PIN in a way that you will be able to remember, eg the four corners reading clockwise or the four blue squares across the bottom row or the rightmost four squares on the middle row etc, then fill in all the other squares with the numbers 1-9.

This hides your number in plain sight because only you know which four squares are the real ones.

Banks could print these grids out for pennies and save everyone a lot of hassle.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Why would anybody need to write down a four digit number to remember it?

Because just maybe not everyone finds numbers easy to remember.

Why would anyone not consider that others may not find such things as simple as they do...?

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Judge de-ASBOes yoof's low-slung kecks

Graham Marsden
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Coat

What about "Whale Tail"?

Is someone now going to try to pass ASBOs on all those young ladies who wear short tops and then pull their thong up so it's visible above the waistband of their skirts???

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India Parliament adjourns after mobile phone tapping claims

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Of course...

... it's always one rule for them and another for everyone else.

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EU plans IP address snatch to battle cybercrime

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

All your IP Addreses...

... are belong to EU...

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Missing Soviet nuclear electrocar FOUND ON MOON

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Dropped a clanger?

... Err, I think you mean Clangers...!

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Kent police bring obscenity charge over online chat

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

What is wrong with this...

... is that you are being suckered by the Police who are the ones conflating separate issues.

They want you to think that "oh, he had indecent images of children, so that justifies them misusing other laws and stretching them way beyond any legitimate bounds simply to give them a better chance of getting a conviction".

They are trying to create an association in people's minds between child porn and "extreme writings" such that they're allowed to act as the Thought Police and get laws banning anything they don't like, even when there is *NO* evidence of harm at all.

As for "freedom of speech is a good issue to right about, but only when it involves consenting adults", what about non-consenting adults? What about all those people who are killed, raped and so on in many books and films? They clearly don't consent, so should any such writings be made illegal...?

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Here come the Thought Police (again!)

Despite the failure of the attempt by Baroness O'Caithan to introduce an "Extreme Writings" provision into English Law, it seems that Kent Police are trying to bring one in by default by suggesting that an online chat counts as "publishing"!

Of course they will probably decide to claim that this is a "loophole" in existing legislation and we'll then see some politician who's heading for defeat jump onto the bandwagon to help generate some positive headlines because "well, it's For The Children, isn't it?" and anyone who disagrees is obviously not "Thinking of the Children!"

What's next? Banning Viktor Nabakov's "Lolita"??

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Murdoch newswire sues over 'hot news'

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"verified by other news outlets at significant expense"

If that were actually the situation, they might have a case, but in these days of 24 hour rolling news, instead what we have is "publish or broadcast first and *then* check to see if the facts are correct" because the important thing is being "first with the story" even if it isn't accurate...

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Gene that allows growing a new head identified

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"smed-prop"? Or...

... "smed-prep"?

(At least it wasn't "Smeg Head!")

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Website shares user credit cards with world+dog

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Very interesting... but stupid!

You bet your Blippy!

(With apologies to Rowan and Martin ;-) )

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Microsoft wins big in Chinese piracy lawsuit

Graham Marsden
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Gates Horns

Microsoft wins in court...

... but the company it vanquished plans to fight back.

Oh the irony!!!

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Nazi soldiers pose for Red Army calendar

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Did they...

... get the pictures from Wikipedia articles?

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Sun sat sends stunning solar snap

Graham Marsden
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Solaris...

...as well.

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Graham Marsden
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Wonder who their ISP is?

And will they start throttling the bit-stream...?

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Cameron promises yet more Avatar

Graham Marsden
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And I thought...

... this would be "Call me Dave" painting himself blue to prove what a good Tory he is!

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Johnson: ID cards will pay for themselves

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"

In other words, as many people have been saying all along, Labour have bulled ahead with this project so that, having spent huge amounts of public money, they can claim that anyone trying to cancel the project will be "wasting" that dosh.

Well, no, Mr Johnson, it is *YOU* who have wasted that money, it is *YOU* who have pissed it away on an unworkable control-freak project that has been doomed to failure from the start, don't start trying to put the blame on others now.

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Mystic Met closed Europe with computer model

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

And so the second guessing starts...

... as someone with an axe to grind sticks his two-pennorth in.

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Election promises: Wi-Fi chain gangs and maximum wage

Graham Marsden
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If you'd prefer to vote for policies, rather than a party...

Take a look at http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ and see which of the policy sets there appeals most to your views.

(NB I'd strongly recommend clicking on the "Show more policy points from this set" because there are some nasty ones hidden below the "headline" policies")

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'Goodness, evilness makes you powerful' - like the Force

Graham Marsden
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Alert

Highly evil...?

'Which part of "Mwahahahaaa!!!" didn't you understand?'

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eBay shill bid scammer convicted

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

One down...

... how many more to go...?

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'R2' robot to join space station crew, says NASA

Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... does it know the difference between a power socket and a computer terminal?

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Political targeting: An unhealthy business

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"before the age of 95"?

So how much statistical data do they have for women contracting breast cancer *after* the age of 95...?

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Omegle invites you to show world+Facebook your bewbs

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Dear parents,

If your kids are doing this...

... where the FUCK are you???

Try taking some responsibility for your kids' safety!

Yours sincerely,

Someone who knows that the net is not a child-minding service!

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Memristors can maybe learn like synapses

Graham Marsden
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On the contrary...

... cats are smart enough to know that their human owne^H^H^H^H slaves are useful enough to keep around to feed them, empty the litter tray, stroke them and so on.

They're also smart enough not to let on that they already rule the world...!

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MS kernel patch skirts infected machines

Graham Marsden
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As the old tagline had it...

Error 606: Lazy programer

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Election algorithm gives Tories sunnier outlook

Graham Marsden
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"16 constituencies short of an overall majority"

Is that like "a sandwich short of a picnic"?

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