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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5068 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Clown blasts off for ISS

Graham Marsden
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Dead Vulture

But...

... did they make him leave behind the soda-syphon, the bucket full of white-wash (and the other one that's full of confetti) and the modelling balloons?

We need to know these things!

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UK, France mull Photoshop fakery laws

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Dear Politicians...

... have you ever heard of "education"?

PS That's the *proper* sort of education where people learn to *ASK QUESTIONS* instead of just being expected to believe whatever they're told...

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First prison sentence for extreme porn

Graham Marsden
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@King Jack + Alastair McFarlane

The Extreme Pornography sections of Criminal Justice and Immigration Act don't deal with child porn. It's the proposed Coroners and Justice Bill which will make possession of "pornographic" drawings of children illegal when they're the product of nothing more than the artist's imagination (NB there is already an existing law which criminalises drawings copied or traced from *actual* child pornography)

Regarding bestiality images, however, what about Rebecca Loos who was given the job of masturbating a pig on the Channel 5 celebrity reality show "The Farm" and which was broadcast on national TV...?

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Inmate hacker locks down jail computers

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

What next...?

A convicted fraudster and money launderer being asked to help sort out the Prison's budget and wages...??

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Eurocrat demands MP3 player volume limit mandate

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Is this legislating against stupidity?

Or just stupid legislation?

(Is there a difference...?!)

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DVLA pledges investigation over Castrol spy posters

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

DVLA was "urgently investigating"...

... how stupid it is to give this information out to all and sundry...

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Nation's parents prepare to be vetted

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Paging the Paedofinder General...!

You're all potential kiddy fiddlers, you just haven't been caught yet!!

PS Wait until the Government's "joined up thinking" gets to the stage of "well, whilst we're vetting them, it would be a good idea to take their fingerprints and DNA and stick them on the database..."

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Home Office makes nice cartoon ID card ad

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

Recognise your employee...?

What about "recognise your employer" or, even better "recognise your MP"? Or how about "recognise your Prime Minister"!

"Well, I'm sorry, but you just because you *look* like Gordon Brown doesn't prove that you *are* Gordon Brown, so I'm going to have to ask for your ID card and fingerprints before we let you come into the Labour Party Conference..."

PS @AC Monday 28th September 2009 11:41 GMT "Well considering you lot (UK people) voted in Nu Labour to power in the first place..."

I sure as hell didn't vote for this bunch of incompetant, power-hungry, nanny state control-freaks! And, for that matter, 65% of the people of this country didn't vote for them either, yet still they got a "majority"!

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Home Office jumps the gun on DNA research

Graham Marsden
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Stop

'you might as well just stick your finger in the air and think of a number'".

So, just like all other Government statistics, then...

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AI robots to mark exams

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

the system "'understands' the meaning of text much the same as a human,"

Given that many young humans these days can't even *write* coherent text, I'd be very impressed if this actually worked!

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Geordi LaForge video-to-brain rig built at MIT

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"microfabricated polyimide stimulating electrode array with sputtered iridium oxide electrodes"

Can I get fries with that...?

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Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Four years...?

Well at least it was quicker that Turings apology...

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Don't trust Tories on surveillance, say LibDems

Graham Marsden
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At least El Reg is paying attention...

... wheras the rest of the media gets distracted (by accident or intent) with stories about eg whether or not there's enough consultation between the Lib Dem leadership and Conference Members about new policies (as if there was *any* such consultation by Labour and the Tories!)

The BBC, especially, seem to be intent on running negative coverage of the Lib Dems, taking every opportunity to ignore what the Lib Dems want to do in favour of stories of Nick Clegg's "lack of authority" and how "senior MPs" have criticised him for proposing cuts in public spending (even though even Labour now admit that such cuts are going to be needed)

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Environment Agency goes to High Court for right to spy

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

The Environment Agency...

... are a complete bunch of tools.

There, rephrased it correctly!

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FCC boss moves for stiffer net neut rules

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

@edev

The cheque from the ISPs is in the post...

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'Evil' Windows 7 campaign goes global

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

Please repunctuate your title.

It should be "Evil Windows 7" Campaign, because the current title reads as if it's the "Windows 7 Campaign" that's "evil", rather than Windows 7 itselt being "evil"

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Undead COBOL celebrates (another) 50th birthday

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

If it ain't broke...

... why change it for something that might break and cost you a load of dosh to fix, simply because it's newer or cooler or flashier?

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North Wales Police institute new happiness law

Graham Marsden
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@The BigYin

> There's a simple answer though, don't enter Wales; take your money elsewhere.

Unfortunately if bikers do that, the Police will have won, since they'll have succeeded in driving the bikers out of "their" area.

Not only that, but it will give ammunition to other attempts to "protect" bikers from themselves such as the campaign to ban bikes from the A537 "Cat and Fiddle" ride in the Peak District.

The only way for bikers to win and, indeed, everyone who respects liberties and the rule of law (rather than the "rule of Police State") is to stage *more* of these rides and point out how much time and public money the Police are wasting harassing innocent riders.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

How do we know it was an undercover firearms vehicle?

Well, because the officer kept repeating this fact!

Perhaps if he hadn't *said* anything about it, his safety would not have been put at risk...?

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Italian Job sat nav driver cops £900 fine

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

This just goes to show...

... that some people are too stupid to be allowed on the road!

The Driving Test should include an IQ test along with reminders that a Sat Nav is an *aid* to driving, not a substitute for using your brains and your eyes.

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Tory surveillance backlash: Worthy, but is it workable?

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

It's a start, but...

... "five principles that the Conservative party intend to apply"

Err, most of those were established as part of the Data Protection Action in 1984!

And, of course, this relies on us being able to *trust* the Tories to actually keep their word when they get into power...

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US researchers demand cell phone safety tax

Graham Marsden
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@ Rob Campbell

> Actually, it isn't the "negative statement" that is the problem it's the "prove" part. We scientists normally never actually prove anything. We may find evidence to support a hypothesis, but proving that there can be no evidence to refute the statement is more difficult. One needs to find just a single example that contradicts a hypothesis to refute it (assuming that one is using sound scientific techniques of course).

Err, Rob, that is "proving" the hypothesis, since "to prove" in this context actually means "to test"!

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Googlebooks crusade captures CAPTCHA king

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

CaPTcHa iS A pITa!

... it's the equivalent of "L33t sp34k" (aka "Moron Text").

I have good visual skils, I am very good at spatial recognition tests, I am reasonably intelligent and can comprehend written language etc.

So why the fuck do I *STILL* have to make repeated attempts to get a web page to agree that I've keyed in one of these bloody things properly?

I fully expect a lot of people to say "sod it, I'll go somewhere else" rather than keep wasting their time being told that they've not typed the munged text correctly.

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Bus driver becomes Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

How about...

... Julius Sad Loser With No Life Jankov?

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James Martin apologises for cyclist outrage

Graham Marsden
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Stop

@Motards, Cycletards, Lorrytards, Pedestriantards and any other $tards

Will you all please just take a deep breath, step back and THINK about what you're saying???

Yes, there are stupid road users of ALL sorts, I know, I cycle, ride a motorcycle and (although I don't own a car now) I have driven in the past and I've seen all the stupid and downright dangerous behaviour of other road users, but the sort of idiotic vitriol I've seen in these comments (and the stupid remarks from James Martin that started the whole thing) help NOBODY!

The attitudes that you have been ranting on about mean you are not part of the solution, you are part of the PROBLEM!

The Highway code says "It is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other. This applies to pedestrians as much as to drivers and riders." but going off on a rant about whatever particular road using group has pi$$ed you off helps nobody and is likely to just make YOUR behaviour on the road worse.

So, someone does something stupid, fine, it happens, so why not just take account of that in your driving/ riding/ walking and ensure that YOU are not in a position where such behaviour is going to put you or someone else in jeopardy?

It's called Defensive Driving/ Riding and I commend the idea to you all...

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France passes three-strikes bill

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

"those accused of illegal file-sharing"

Accused of...?

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights says:

* * * * *

1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

a to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;

b to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;

c to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

d to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

e to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

* * * * *

Yet this law allows for fines and jail based, it seems, simply on accusations. It also allows for an [quote]"ordonnance pénale" - a simplified proceeding that doesn't include the presence of the person accused of copyright infringement unless an appeal is filed.[unquote]

Hmm, so the music and media industry is more interested in protecting their profits than protecting human rights...

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Government swiftly backpedals on vetting scheme

Graham Marsden
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@The unasked question

"Do they genuinely believe that ANY cost is justifiable to save one child's life?"

Others have already mentioned the False Dichotomy and other fallacies, but there's also the "Appeal to Pity" underpinning this whole business, ie "how can you *possibly* argue against anything that might save a child's life?" with, of course, the implication that if you do object, you are a callous and dangerous individual...

The fact is that, as you point out in your article, after all this time wasted and money spent, this legislation would *still* fail to prevent another Soham and will only massively inconvenience (or implicitly criminalise) the vast majority of people who would in no way harm a child.

Pace the "Reminds me of Niemöller......" comment, it reminds me of the "vetting programme" used by the US Military in Doctor Strangelove:

President Merkin Muffley: "General Turgidson! When you instituted the human reliability tests, you *assured* me there was *no* possibility of such a thing *ever* occurring!"

General "Buck" Turgidson: "Well, I, uh, don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, Sir. "

So the *real* unasked question is if (or gods forbid, when) another "slip up" happens even *after* all this vetting and barring, what will the Government and the Childrens' Charities and so on do then...?

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Graham Marsden
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In the news today...

... I've just noticed two stories:

One is of the Rocking Horse Nursery in Plumtree having its licence suspended after allegations of sexual assault, the other is of three pre-teen boys who have been arrested after claims of sexual by two younger children.

So, going back to the unanswered questions: 1) would the vetting scheme have prevented either of these? 2) Will the record of the second one (whether true or false) follow these three boys for the rest of their lives?

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Tomorrow's World comes back to the future

Graham Marsden
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Don't forget...

... we now have Bang Goes the Theory (aka "Mythbusters did it first"...)

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Home Office shifts feet as vetting database looms

Graham Marsden
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Stop

@the problem is.

Err, the Daily Mail comments page is over there....

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Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Soft information and Dangerous Pictures...

Remember that this "vetting" can include "soft information" ie hearsay and malicious gossip whereby it's enough that a kid with a grudge can accuse an adult of trying to groom them or similar, but, even if (or when) it turns out to be a complete lie, that accusation *still* remains on record.

Not only that, but the "Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act" from where this database comes, included the ability to bar someone from working with said "vulnerable groups" if they had engaged in "conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images), if it appears to IBB that the conduct is inappropriate" , yet the SVGA was introduced *before* the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act which made the possession of extreme pornography illegal!

In other words, it seems that the Independant Barring Board will want to know what porn you like to look at before they will allow you to work with these groups!

Of course now that these laws are *on* the statute books it's going to be a very difficult job to do anything about them.

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TomTom goes Jock to abuse English 'bas'

Graham Marsden
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Apology from TomTom

I also got one of these messages, but, fair do's to Tom Tom, they followed it up a little while later with an apology from Bas Komen the guy who sent it

See: http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/Grahamm_photos/apology-1.jpg

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Ryanair faces ban on luggage charge auto-opt-in

Graham Marsden
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@Number 6

"I've got six years to return dodgy goods?"

Excuse the slight hijack (oops, maybe the wrong word to use in this thread!) but...

The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 says that if a fault appears in a product within 6 months it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault was not inherent at time of purchase and if they can't the customer can require repair, replacement or refund. After 6 months and up to 6 years, if the customer can prove the fault was present at time of purchase and it's reasonable for the product to last that long, they can ask for repair, replacement or refund, although the retailer can decline eg repair if such repair would not be economically viable.

See: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023045.htm

PS @ AC: "We have 6 years to return a faulty good? If only I had kept the receipt!!! "

If you payed by credit or debit card, a record of the transaction on a statement is sufficient proof of purchase.

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Todger-chop woman's sentence depends on hard evidence

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Meanwhile...

... he is being charged for "beating her and forcing her into prostitution", yes...?

No...?

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Disney sued over Pixar lamp 'copy'

Graham Marsden
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@Give As Good As They Get?

Surely Luxo should just make a novelty lamp in the shape of Mickey Mouse.

I'm sure Disney Corp would be fine with that...!

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Brown apologises for 'appalling' treatment of Turing

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Gordon Brown's words of contrition...

...came in response to a petition on the No 10 website

Of course they did! But what about all those *other* petitions that have just been ignored or fobbed off with some meaningless BS or dismissed with "it's not us you should be talking to about this" or...?

I'm reminded of the BBC TV comedy show called "If I Ruled the World" hosted by Clive Anderson that they ran some years back. The final round was called "Desperate Vote Grabbing"...

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New web filter laws questioned by top child abuse cop

Graham Marsden
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@Jimmy 1

If you want me to offer even "grudging support" of Jim Gamble, I'm going to have to see something more convincing than his "diplomatic language".

Remember that he was the one who, only a few months ago, said that ISPs should waive the costs of "assisting investigations" when children are involved and was roundly criticised by ISPs, especially the smaller ones, for this. Then, a couple of days ago, CEOP declared that "the vast majority of paedophiles exchange images via P2P".

Now, suddenly, he changes his tune and decides that "well, maybe small ISPs shouldn't have to be forced to adopt filtration" which sounds to me more like he'd realised that there was no way that such a thing could get pushed through without a lot of resistance that might then backfire as larger ISPs start saying "hang on, if they don't have to filter and since only 7.5% of this stuff comes from commercial websites and most of it is going via P2P, why should we be wasting our money on it either?"

Don't forget, also, that Gamble was a major mover behind Operation Ore, and that house of cards is looking extremely shaky with the Jim Bates/ Chief Constable Colin Port fiasco and innocent victims of credit card fraud being effectively forced to plead guilty to avoid a court case which, even if they won, would have ruined their lives.

Additionally CEOP wanted to censor Second Life just in case someone used underage avatars to "groom" children and they're also one of the groups that pushed for the clauses in the Coroners and Justice Bill to make pornographic cartoons of "chidren" illegal.

Now IMO Gamble is thinking that he's pissed off a few too many people and he's hoping that a bit of "diplomatic language" might smooth things over before too many questions are being asked about the power that he and CEOP have arrogated unto themselves.

Oh and your last paragraph reads like "Won't Graham Marsden Think Of The Children!", so please excuse me if I ignore it (and your title line) with the contempt it deserves.

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Graham Marsden
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Hmm...

... it sounds like he's being sensible, but I'm wondering if he's just looking at preserving his nice little empire?

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IWF takes 'pragmatic' stance on level one images

Graham Marsden
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Ok, but...

... what are they going to do if the Government gets its way with the Coroners and Justice Bill and makes "pornographic cartoons of children" illegal?

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A phone in every car gains hard-won GSMA support

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Hmm...

... how long before someone from the Security Services has a quiet word in their ear and persuades them to add a facility which allows them to eavesdrop on the conversations in all cars, for the public good and prevention of terrorism etc, of course...

(Naturally since every car will automatically be giving off a signal, it will also help in the introduction of road pricing too)

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Guardian hitches ride in Mercedes Bunz

Graham Marsden
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Alien

I was just wondering...

... if she was related to amanfromMars when, lo and behold, I see a post from him as I go to the Comments page...!!

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Ohio armed robber asked victim for a date

Graham Marsden
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@lukewarmdog

It's #14 that really makes the mind boggle...!!

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Good Housekeeping readers play hunt the G-spot

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@ Ian Michael Gumby

> Do any of the play toys come with blue tooth

FYI: http://www.thetoy.co.uk/

NSFW, unsurprisingly

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

Can I be the first to rate this story...

... "Oh Orgasmic"?

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Scientology seeks to squash anonymity

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

@Is that a misquote??

Damn you, Sir, I wanted to post that one...! ;-)

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Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

Graham Marsden
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Come on, El Reg...

... We need the Ursine Mammal Defecating in an Arboreal Environment icon NOW!!

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NASA panel: Human spaceflight in 'unsustainable trajectory'

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"perpetuating the perilous practice of pursing goals"

I just wanted to say "Nice bit of alliteration there!"

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Investigators blind on P2P child abuse

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@Stupidity

Don't forget that the Coronors and Justice Bill includes provisions for *pornographic drawings* of "children" to be made illegal (NB that's not drawings taken from photographs, but ones created ab initio, ie which have never had any basis in reality!)

So no doubt we will soon see a UK version of the Australian case where a guy was convicted of having "child porn" because he possessed images of Lisa Simpson performing sexual acts!

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Army's £114m battle-comms net not up to Afghan demands

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

£114m?

And how many British jobs did that "save"?

Let's say it was 1000 for the sake of argument. So they could have given each of those workers £50,000 and said "Go and find another job or take a year off" and still have over half of that £114m left over which would probably have paid for the Israeli system...

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Bank of America demands thumbprint from armless bloke

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Umm...

... unless you're a *very* dedicated criminal, not having arms is pretty much of an identifier, isn't it...?

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