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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5135 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

'Google Earth for the Iraq insurgency' gets $115m

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

So...

... are the Iraqis going to see black painted tanks with big camera poles driving down their streets next?

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Credit crunch? It won't be over by Christmas

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"growing by increasing debt will no longer be an option."

Oh well, there goes Labour's Fiscal Policy, then...

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eBay stamps on Mussolini's brain

Graham Marsden
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How about...

... an auction for Gordon Brown's brain?

After all, he doesn't seem to be using it whilst Lord of the Sith Mandelson is pulling his strings...

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Erotica 09: Bit limp, but crowds still up for it

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

The reason the Erotica Show is dying...

... is that the organisers haven't twigged to the fact that they've priced pretty much all of the small niche suppliers out of the show.

What they have now is little more than a glorified Ann Summers style event with content that you can buy on the high street these days.

Unless the organisers get over their greed and stop trying to simply squeeze every penny possible out of exhibitors and public, the show will die.

Hopefully, then, someone else will step in with reasonable stall and entry charges and have a little more consideration for the people who actually make the show happen, rather than just thinking how they can further line their pockets.

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eBooks: What to read on which reader

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

One might imagine that books would either be available electronically or not

One might only imagine that if one was extremely naiive given the way that other media have been sold (or not sold) by greedy publishers who are only interested in jacking up their profits by trying to restrict availability (eg regional codes on DVDs), using DRM or assuming that there's an exchange rate of £1 = $1

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Is data overload killing off human initiative?

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"The Virtue of Forgetting in a Digital Age"

Nice title, but a better one would be "The Virtue of Authorities Not Behaving Like a Bunch of Narrow-Minded Idiots in a Digital Age"!

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Potty-mouths charged for Comcast hijack

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

$128,578?

That's an astonishingly precise figure, I wonder how it was acheived?

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LHC dimensional apocalypse from midnight: Your thoughts

Graham Marsden
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@Did I forget anything?

Yes, your Elder Sign.

Cthulu Fhtangn!

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Write haiku, win home server

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

A UK version...

A server at home?

Message from the Home Office:

It's covered by IMP

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Scareware tool dumps smut on Windows PCs

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Thanks AVG, but...

... perhaps you'd now like to fix two major bugs in AVG 9.0 Free which

a) interfere with Zone Alarm (and perhaps other products) meaning that web pages don't load completely, but just hang or require refreshes half way through to complete and

b) which steal the focus every 30 minutes, meaning that in the middle of a game you're dumped back to desk top.

The only way to fix the first one is to switch of "Active Surf Shield" (making browsing less safe!) and there doesn't seem to be any permanent way to fix the second...

Not so impressive.

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Google adds automatic captions to YouTube

Graham Marsden
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Coat

So...

... what effect will this have on Downfall spoofs...?

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ISA report reveals email security lapse

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"the lapse was due to human error..."

"... rather than procedural failures."

General Buck Turgidson: "Well I don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip up" - From Doctor Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

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How blogger kept Belle de Jour's ID secret

Graham Marsden
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Stop

@ Not how, but why?

"what persuaded him to keep his mouth shut?"

Possibly because he thinks that such things are nobody else's business, certainly not that of the muck-raking gutter press.

Exactly what "public interest" is served by a prurient, lip-smacking "expose" of this women in a rag like the Mail on Sunday? Answer: None.

It's nothing but salacious tittle-tattle designed to let middle England tut at the collapse in morals of our society and the fact that splashing someone's private life over its pages might ruin their (entirely unrelated) career doesn't matter to them in their quest to peddle more of their trash.

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Arkansas cop tasers 10-year-old girl

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Forget the "Naughty Step"...

... that's *so* last year...!

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Intel offers non-Jewish Saturday workforce in Israel plant row

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@AC and dogged

I think it's you who have had the "reading comprehension fail" because it seems to me that Michelle Knight is suggesting that Intel leave Israel and set up in the UK instead.

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Anti-filesharing laws are go

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Civil law becomes Criminal law...?

Illegal file-sharing, copyright infringement and so on are *civil* matters. If someone thinks you have infringed their rights, you *sue* them, you do not get the State to *prosecute* them!

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Cosmic Vampire sheds light on dark energy

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Presumably...

... this Vampire Star is not in the constellation of the Southern Cross...?

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Queen promises to make poverty and budget deficits illegal

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Many of the measures appear to be...

... a desperate attempt by Labour towards conning the people it's been screwing for the last 12 years into thinking that a vote for them this time will actually make a damn bit of difference.

There, corrected it for you ;-)

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Facebook battles attack by child protection chief

Graham Marsden
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Stop

More Empire building...

... from Jim Gamble.

It seems clear to me that what Jim Gamble is most interested in "protecting" is his own position and the power that his organisation holds. The more people he can get to buy into his "Won't Someone Think Of The Children!" arguments, the less likely it is that his self-serving Empire can be challenged because "If you don't like what we do you must be a paedo!"

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Edward Woodward dies at 79

Graham Marsden
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You didn't mention Callan...

... one of the best UK dramas from the 1970s, where Woodward played the eponymous Callan who worked for "The Section", a seedy undercover Government intelligence department who would keep an eye on "undesirable elements" and, if necessary, blackmail, bankrupt or assassinate them.

Woodward was excellent in that role for the way he played Callan as all too human, with doubts and ethical questions about what he was doing, even while he was compelled to do his unpleasant duty.

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Taiwanese online hunk lures 20 women into bed

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Apologies to the Moderatrix...

... but surely a Bubba reference should be made at this point... ;-)

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Home Office accused of sexing-up mobile phone rescue

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"The use of telephone communications data was essential to finding this man"

Unfortunately the Home Office couldn't find its own arse with both hands and an atlas...

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Religious discrimination law may open door for decent deviants

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"Codes of Conduct"...

... "which appear to be based on little more than a desire to stop any employee from doing anything that the management doesn't like."

There, corrected it for you.

See http://www2.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/researchHighlights/Law/privatelife.aspx for a couple of examples...

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ISS piss recycler packs up again on eve of Atlantis visit

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Not only do ISS astronauts...

... drink their own and their crewmates' recycled sweat, breath-moisture and urine - they also drink rat piss on occasion

You mean just like everyone who lives on the planet who are drinking water that's been through uncountable bodies over the millennia...

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Quickening satellite quickens pulses at ESA

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science...

"... the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!', but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Block McKinnon extradition, MPs tell UK Home Secretary

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"serious lack of equality...

... in the extradition treaty"

Blimey, good job they've just spotted that...!!!

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Ringback tones outselling ring tones

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

Can I have one...

... that goes

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

"Text me and I'll call you back if *I* think it's important"...

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Parking spot flies to International Space Station

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"much-needed extra parking spot"

Sheesh, why can't they just use public transport or cycle instead...?

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Terrorism chiefs don't know what they've censored online

Graham Marsden
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Why don't they...

... just set up a website where they could put all the details of the sites they've closed down...

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Google expands navel gazing

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

So...

... how long before some PHB decides that every employee who leaves the premises has to carry one of these so their every movement can be monitored...?

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Government consults on possible £500,000 data breach fines

Graham Marsden
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"a penalty up to 10% of an organisation’s turnover."

So if the MOD or the Security Services or the Governmetn lost our data, how much could they be fined.

Except, of course, they're funded from the public purse, so the money would go back to the public purse and the net result would be nothing (except some fat fees for a few lawyers, perhaps)

Now if the money was actually put into teaching such organisations about data security, password protection and file encryption for instance...

... nah, that would be sensible, forget I mentioned it.

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Wikipedia sued for publishing convicted murderer's name

Graham Marsden
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@perikles

> so I can take it as read that you're happy to condone the internet registration of convicted sex offenders (as happens in certain US states)?

I suggest you look up the actual meaning of "Straw Man Argument" because this is a classic example.

That Wolfgang Werlé was convicted of the murder of Walter Sedlmayr is a matter of historical fact. It happened, it was recorded, full stop.

What you are implying, however, is that Wikipedia mentioning this is the same as the German Authorities now publishing his name and address so that anyone can check where he lives, which is nonsense.

Should the Germans go back through all Court Records, newspapers, media broadcasts etc and redact the name of every criminal whose sentence has been completed because they are now a "private individual"?

I don't think so.

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Commentard to lose mask for teasing politico's son

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

So the Law is now a Forum Moderator?

I'd say that comment goes well beyond the T&Cs of permissible comment on the site, so why the hell didn't they just complain to the Moderators and have it removed instead of going for the sledgehammer to crack a nut tactic of legal action.

Oh, hang on, it's the USA. Forget being sensible when you can reach for your lawyer...

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YouTube tests skippable pre-roll ads

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Mute the sound...

... If there's a non-skippable ad on any content I want to watch, I'll just silence the annoying thing until it's over.

Problem sorted.

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Police to keep innocents' DNA despite human rights ruling

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@Anonymous Coward 12th November 2009 06:23 GMT

> how to boil it down to a conveniently concise, rhetorical question?...

ITYM a politically convenient, loaded, straw-man, sound-bite question that ignores the issues...

> "who would you rather trust?"

I would rather that the state trusts me, rather than considering me to be a suspect for *every crime* that has been committed for which DNA has been gathered!

> (Feel free to copy and paste my humble effort into relevant threads elsewhere.)

You mean like threads about idiots who think that "if you have nothing to hide..." is a sensible way of deciding how the justice system works...?

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

We need a "Weasel" icon...

... because that's what this is, a Governmental weasel of the worst order!

They have already been *TOLD* that keeping DNA for innocent people is illegal, but, rather than complying with it, they've just weaseled and said "we'll compromise and only keep it for six years" as if that's somehow *less* illegal than keeping it indefinitely!

Another deplorable ignoring of people's rights by a Government that has lost all credibility.

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NASA: the world will not end in 2012

Graham Marsden
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Megaphone

Planet X?

We need...

DUCK DODGERS IN THE TWENTY FOURTH AND A HALF CENTURY...!!!

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Three more quit over Nutt sacking

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Johnson accused Nutt of playing politics...

Which is a bit hypocritical when you have a Home Secretary like Johnson who insists on playing at science!

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Libel reform campaigners seek £10k damages cap

Graham Marsden
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Stop

Innocent until slurred by the Tabloids...

"1) In libel, the defendant is guilty until proven innocent"

In English Law a person is presumed innocent unless guilt is proven! If a newspaper publishes a potentially libellous statement, they need to be able to back that statement up with *PROOF* (and not simply "person X told us that...")

English PEN are falsely using this principle to try to reverse the burden of proof, ie you have to show that their statement was incorrect, which is utterly ridiculous.

2) "We recommend: Cap damages at £10,000".

This makes publishing libel a simple matter of money. If you're going to make more than £10,000 from a libel through increased readership/ viewers/ advertising revenue, publish and be damned.

3) "Abolish the Duke of Brunswick rule and introduce a single publication rule"

This is sensible. Of course if an article is published on a news website etc, it would not be difficult to amend the original to withdraw the libel. Any other copies aren't down to the original publisher.

4) "No case should be heard in this jurisdiction unless at least 10 per cent of copies of the relevant publication have been circulated here"

Again, also sensible. There should not be "libel tourism".

5) "Establish a libel tribunal as a low-cost forum for hearings"

Also sensible.

6) "Strengthen the public interest defence"

Hmm. The "public interest" is not (despite how many have tried to define it) simply what the public is *interested* in (see Max Mosely for details). A Public Interest defence must show that there is material benefit to the public (eg publishing MPs expenses) or that by publishing, the public is protected from or informed about something they *should* know (see Professor Nutt for details)

7) "Expand the definition of fair comment"

Reasonable, provided, of course, that such comments are, in themselves, not libellous!

8) "The potential cost of defending a libel action is prohibitive We recommend: Cap base costs and make success fees and ‘After the Event’ (ATE) insurance premiums non-recoverable"

By the same token, the cost of *proceeding* with a libel action is prohibitive. If Joe Public is libelled by a National Newspaper, without Legal Aid (no longer available for libel actions) his chance of actually being able to afford to get anywhere are slim.

9) "Exempt interactive online services and interactive chat from liability"

There should be "Common Carrier" protection for web forums etc making them not responsible for what is posted on their pages. If libel is proven, the statements should be taken down, but this should not be done pre-emptively with a threat of "take this down or we'll sue you too!"

10) "Not everything deserves a reputation We recommend: Exempt large and medium-sized corporate bodies and associations from libel law unless they can prove malicious falsehood"

I can see the rationale behind this, eg the McLibel trial where McDonalds using libel laws to threaten into silence anyone who disagreed with them (and failed, spectacularly!) but it does risk setting a dangerous precedent requiring organisations to prove "malice", something which may be very hard to do...

4.5 / 10 Could do better...

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Loud sex a human right, says loud sex woman

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

From the Human Rights Act 1998...

[quote]

You have the responsibility to respect other people's rights, and they must respect yours.

Your human rights are:

* the right to life

* freedom from torture and degrading treatment

* freedom from slavery and forced labour

* the right to liberty

* the right to a fair trial

* the right not to be punished for something that wasn't a crime when you did it

* the right to respect for private and family life

* freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs

* freedom of expression

* freedom of assembly and association

* the right to marry and to start a family

* the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms

* * * * *

* the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property

* * * * *

* the right to an education

* the right to participate in free elections

* the right not to be subjected to the death penalty

If any of these rights and freedoms are breached, you have a right to an effective solution in law, even if the breach was by someone in authority, such as, for example, a police officer.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Yourrightsandresponsibilities/DG_4002951

[/quote]

There is nothing there about you having the right to disturb others...

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More delays for UK.gov's net snooping programme

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"rejected this idea on privacy grounds...

"...preferring to outsource storage to industry."

ORLY?

"Why, yes, Minister, we'd be *happy* to do all the Government's storage for it! Of course we'd need to be able to scan all the data for... (whispers to BOFH: what was it for?) ... ah, yes, revenue integrity!"

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How malware frames the innocent for child abuse

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

@The Fuzzy Wotnot

"A damn good reason, that if you must use PC, you learn how to protect yourself"

Yes, I agree, but consider this: I've been using computers for 30 years now. I run AVG anti-virus, Zone Alarm Firewall, Thunderbird, Firefox with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, Spybot search and destroy and I don't run software I don't know the source of, yet still, last week, I found that my website had been compromised because a trojan had sneaked through an unpatched flaw and stolen my log-in and was merrily trying to redirect people to malware sites (fortunately my hosts' software controls picked it up)

The upshot of this is that, just like when I'm riding my motorbike (which, of course, I had to pass a test for), I know that despite *ALL* the precautions I take, there's always the chance that something will happen out of the blue.

So it's all very well to say "learn a little security", but don't let your smugness blind you to the fact that you, too, are vulnerable.

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Vint Cerf: 'Google doesn't know who you are'

Graham Marsden
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@adnim

"never accept cookies unless the site will not work without them and then use session cookies, block all Javascript where possible, block Analytics, Syndication, Quantserve, Doubleclick and atdmt plus a few others"

Hear Hear! Since I installed NoScript and AdBlock Plus and set Firefox to "ask me" on cookies, I do all of that and it's had virtually no effect on my websurfing, so the argument that "they make using the web easier" is shown for the BS it is.

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Nutt sacking row deepens

Graham Marsden
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@Scott 19

Thanks for the article from the Daily Fail, I needed a laugh.

I was going to post a comment on their pages about it, but then I got to the bit where they started referring to the Nazis and Godwin's Law was automatically invoked, saving me the time.

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Sun's Facebook-slapping hits wrong target

Graham Marsden
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Re: @Ben Smith

"Protection of the innocent - especially the young - is a social function, not an individual one. "

Hello, Gordon...

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'Something may come through' dimensional 'doors' at LHC

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Err, sir...

... there's this business card come through from some outfit called Cybus Industries, offering us all "upgrades"...

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'Searched' web info hits harder than 'surfed' - shock

Graham Marsden
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Once more...

... I find it necessary to lobby for a bear in the woods icon...!

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Sacked drugs advisor pledges new expert body

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Matt Bryant

"the majority of illegal drugs come from serious criminal gangs."

And the majority of ursine poop found in arboreal environments comes from...?

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Judge spanks lawyer for leaking personal details in brief

Graham Marsden
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Coat

This story...

... needs a Playmobil reconstruction!

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Employers to take fingerprints for CRB checks

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"employers will not be forced to take fingerprints..."

".... and job applicants will not be forced to give them to the employer."

But if you want the job, you're going to have to do what they say or you're screwed.

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