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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4912 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

China recruits volunteer net porn police

Graham Marsden
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So what's new...?

The UK Government had the Women's Institute hassling newspapers trying to get them to stop carrying "objectionable adverts" which, supposedly, would prevent women from being trafficked. The difference is only in the medium...

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Underwear obligatory for Florida city workers

Graham Marsden
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@Reminds me of the good old days

> A friend of mine once posted in his hangar that he was going to have an inspection under QR 2024.

You sure that wasn't a Space Corps Directive...? ;-)

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Britain looks to export net censorship model to Europe

Graham Marsden
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Europe will love this...

... an un-elected, unaccountable body, doing what it likes without any real controls, banning sites based on a list that nobody but them has access to...?

Sounds very European to me.

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Gov considers website to teach tech skills

Graham Marsden
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Paris Hilton

Reminds me of...

... the old piece of graffiti

"Illiterate? Write to this address for help!"

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Law lord lashes out at ID cards

Graham Marsden
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Bravo...

... Lord Steyn!

At least there are a few people willing to speak out about this who might actually get listened to.

Unfortunately people like him are why the Government wants to replace the Lords with a bunch of party hacks who will rubber-stamp whatever nonsense they want to push through.

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Extreme porn law used on beastly Chinese DVD pirates

Graham Marsden
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@Mark 33

Unfortunately right from the word Go the Government has been attempting to create a false association between so-called Extreme Pornography and Child Porn, eg in their highly biased "consultation document" there were repeated references to CP even though the EP law was absolutely nothing to do with children.

Unsurprisingly, now, we see someone being accused of possessing both which will undoubtedly lead to implications that anyone who might have EP is also a kiddie fiddler.

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Graham Marsden
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@Gareth

The point about this case is that the law *assumes* guilt because the offence is one of "simple possession" of the images.

The guy selling the DVDs most probably had nothing to do with the making of them, nor any acts shown on them and so didn't break any laws in that context.

But this law doesn't care about that, it just says "you possess these images, therefore you are a criminal and the only way you can avoid being convicted is by proving your innocence" which is a reversal of the usual presumption of innocence not to mention a breach of Paragraph 2 or Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Graham Marsden
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Well what a surprise...

... a new law gets introduced for one purpose and immediately the Police find a way to extend it in ways that simply make life easier for them.

Let's hear it for good old function creep.

Can anyone tell me how this would have saved Jane Longhurst's life?

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Adventurer demands -70°C phone for next expedition

Graham Marsden
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HELLO!!!

I'M AT THE NORTH POLE!

IT'S RUBBISH!!!

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The Times kills off blogger anonymity

Graham Marsden
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Goodbye Whistleblowers...

So we've seen a nurse struck off for revealing shortcomings in the NHS and now this copper has been given a warning for revealing shortcomings in the police.

:-(

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Minority Report command sales system pushes Euro UAV

Graham Marsden
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So...

... why can't you control it by sticking your arms out to the side and leaning the way you want to go?

And you could make it go faster by making Neooowwwww! noises...

... and you could attack things by going Dakka! Dakka! Dakka!

And...

... sorry, the nurse is here with my medicine...

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Microsoft fans call for Opera boycott

Graham Marsden
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Gates Horns

At least...

... you CAN delete Opera...!

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Imagine! Government to legislate against badness

Graham Marsden
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The Bill contains a regulation...

... making power exercisable by the Secretary of State to set out the steps he will take to meet them.

Whilst the "set out the steps" doesn't exactly sound like a massive sanction, I'm just a little worried that this will turn into some form of "enabling legislation" where all sorts of other dubious laws can be pushed through because "well, they'll help with child poverty and we're legally obliged to 'do something' about it..."

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Sun's top brass get golden parachutes...

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Golden parachute...?

Well if Mythbusters can make a Lead Balloon...

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F1 waves goodbye to KERS

Graham Marsden
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Forget about the F1 procession...

... if you want to watch some *real* racing, watch the A1 GP series.

A grid full of identical cars, one per nation (so no dubious "team tactics"), with a limited number of Power Boosts for overtaking and racing all the way down the field and a real test of the skill of the driver, not who can spend most money on development.

The end of the last season was an absolute corker with four teams all in with a chance of snatching the title, better than any F1 race I've seen in the last decade!

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Mobile directory made legal threats to get personal details

Graham Marsden
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Opting out...

Well I've been to their website and opted out, even though I'm not entirely sure I was on their system in the first place, in which case, I've just given them my number.

They say I'll now be marked as "ex-directory" if someone tries to contact me but but there was, however, no option to say "I don't want my number passed on to anyone, anywhere, any time which strikes me as dubious.

Still, I've saved their number on my phone under the name "Junk", so anything that appears from it will be ignored!

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Pressure group demands UK apes China net filter plan

Graham Marsden
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@John Oz - Devil's Advocate

A simple rebuttal of having the filters default switched on?

Certainly: Opt in or opt out?

Phorm wants us to have to opt out of their service.

118800 wants us to have to opt out of their directory.

This bunch want us to have to opt out of their filtering.

I prefer to make choices like this myself.

Simple.

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Graham Marsden
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Porn as scape-goat(se)...

Once again we see those who wish to enforce a Nanny State blaming the "evil internet porn" for problems which existed long before the internet ever came about.

And, of course, when they talk about "acceptable content" what they mean is "content that is acceptable to THEM"

Well I find their content "unacceptable" so obviously it should be banned.

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Junior astronomer spots junior supernova

Graham Marsden
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So what is it...?

It's not a Nova. It's not a SuperNova.

Perhaps it's a "NotVerySuperNova"?

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Microsoft to bomb Europe with IE-free Windows 7

Graham Marsden
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Oh look...

... Total Confusion Marketing from Micro$oft!

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'Bionic ear' can detect Wi-Fi, FM,GPS signals simultaneously

Graham Marsden
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Blimey...

... with an aerial that big, you'd have something even larger than that thing Uhura used to stick in her ear!

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Berners-Lee hired as gov internet adviser

Graham Marsden
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Ok, but...

... now can TBL convince them that allowing multiple points of access to our *private* data is *NOT* a good thing?

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Venezuela spits out Coke Zero

Graham Marsden
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@Stu

> Coke Zero does taste like hospital sewage...

I hesitate to ask how you know...!

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US Federal Trade Commission shuts down ISP

Graham Marsden
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@Privateofcourse

> that kind of disgusting crap needs removing so we're not all surfing in massive feckin toilet.

If you have *PROOF* of crime, prosecute the crime.

But when you start removing "disgusting crap" you end up with the nonsense of the "Dangerous Pictures Act" banning so-called "extreme pornography" because some people find that "disgusting or abhorrent", not because there's any evidence of harm.

And don't forget all those innocent people who were victims of false accusations of downloading kiddie porn by Operation Ore after their credit card details were stolen...

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Japanese games group to ban twisted 'sex torture' sims

Graham Marsden
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About time...

.... well in Tony Smith's opinion, anyway.

And that's all it is. OPINION.

In my opinion I think El Reg should ban Tony Smith because I don't like what he writes...

(Well, actually I don't, but, come on, El Reg, let's try to keep things balanced rather than just letting one of your writers go off on a rant)

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New Labour: Chainsaws out, maybe Contactpoint, too

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

How can Brown shuffle...

... when he's not playing with a full deck in the first place...?

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Airport ID cards only for the newbies

Graham Marsden
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The Home Office reckon this was always the case....

... and we have always been at war with Eastasia...

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Poor management hampers gov IT

Graham Marsden
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Another statement...

... from the Department of the Bleedin' Obvious...

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Beware 'mobile elbow', sawbones warn

Graham Marsden
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@Muscleguy

I think you mean:

The finger bone's connected to the hand bone,

The hand bone's connected to the wrist bone,

The wrist bone's connected to the elbow bone

And the Elbow bone's connected to the shoulder bone...

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Royal Navy warship almost fires on UFOs

Graham Marsden
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Where's the..

... Playmobil reconstruction?

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DARPA killer AI robots to 'participate in own construction'

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Let's give them friendly names...

... look, this one can build stuff and on his front it says "Call me Kenneth"!

(Link for those who don't remember their old Dredd stories...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minor_characters_in_Judge_Dredd#Call-Me-Kenneth

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Royal Navy trials 'paging system' for submarines

Graham Marsden
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@David Webb

Calculate the area of a circle with a radius of 100 nautical miles using the formula pi*r^2

The answer is left as an exercise for the student...

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ISPs frosty on Jacqui's comms surveillance plan

Graham Marsden
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Home Office without a clue, yet again...

... maybe they'll actually *listen* for once, though, if industry says "no way in hell"...

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Microsoft buys gene-splicing software unit

Graham Marsden
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I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

I'm a PC...

Err, anyone know how to switch this cloning machine off??

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Tom Tom flags down 'live traffic' XL satnav

Graham Marsden
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Dead Vulture

So...

...I've just watched a 2 minute advert for Tom Tom on El Reg...?

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Sky shoots Swan Lake in 3D

Graham Marsden
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Pull...!

... Oh? Not that sort of shooting...?

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BNP DDoS 'mega-assault' not actually mega in the least

Graham Marsden
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@Why

If you hadn't noticed, El Reg takes pot shots at ALL political parties, the BNP is as much fair game as the rest of them.

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Cameron wants techies to open up Parliament

Graham Marsden
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"for once, a senior politician might just be listening."

Pardon my cynicism, but he's probably only appearing to be listening because he sees political advantage in it...

When we see some concrete evidence of him actually doing stuff, then maybe I'll believe it.

Let's begin with his party (and all the others) making Manifesto Promises to get rid of the ridiculously draconian, vague or ill-defined laws that Nu Labour have brought in and restore the basic liberties and rights that we've long enjoyed in this country and perhaps his words will gain a bit of credibility.

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ICO tells cops to behave on CCTV

Graham Marsden
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And if the cops ignore what the ICO says...?

"Oh, well then we will wag our finger sternly at them as they laugh and carry on doing what the hell they like."

And this will carry on until the Government gives the ICO some real teeth (which they're unlikely to do since HMG are probably the first who will get bitten in the arse!)

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If they can break the law, why can't we?

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@John Smith

If you'd bothered to read that article I linked to you'd note the countries with *STV* Proportional Representation include:

Ireland: Parliamentary elections (since 1919), European elections, Local government elections

Malta: Parliamentary elections, European elections, Local government elections

Northern Ireland: Regional assembly elections, European elections, Local government elections

Scotland: Local government elections (since May 2007)

Australia: country-wide Senate elections (in the form of a group voting ticket)

Tasmania: State assembly elections, Local government elections

New Zealand: Some local government elections such as Dunedin and the capital city of Wellington

United States: City elections in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Yes, the devil is in the (inconvenient) details ( and just because Lee can't see how this will change the current system doesn't mean that it won't...)

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

Re: @Charles

By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 25th May 2009 12:05 GMT

> The only information you are obliged to give the police if asked is your name and if requested some form of ID to back that up.

No, no, NO!!

You are not obliged to give *ANY* information to the Police, not your name and certainly no form of ID!

You have the right to go about your lawful business without let or hindrance, this is an established principle of English Common Law. The Police can *ask* for your name and ID, but you are entirely within your rights to say "No".

Even if they start playing silly buggers and claim they can do this under Section 44 of the terrorism act, you are still not obliged to comply.

See http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/issues/6-free-speech/s44-terrorism-act/index.shtml for more details.

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Graham Marsden
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@Lee

> Which is not really PR in the real sense of the word.

I don't give a monkey's what you call it, the question is, does it work better than the current system and I think the answer is yes, see http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/article.php?id=103 for more information.

And you're wrong about getting "everyone's second choice", if you look at that example again you'll notice that most people wanted Chocolate, followed by Oranges and then there's very little difference in "first choice" preferences for Pears, Strawberries and Sweets, so the second choices determine that Strawberries are chosen.

BTW your example about University Fees in Scotland just shows the flaws in the current system where a vote for "Party X" is interpreted as "I support everything that Party X has in their manifesto" (and simply repeating "STV is not PR" doesn't improve your arguments)

Personally I'd prefer a system where Political Parties as they exist at the moment are banned so people actually vote for a Candidate instead of a coloured ribbon, but I don't see that ever happening.

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Graham Marsden
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@Lee

> RE: LibDem electoral reforms. This means PR. We don't want PR and you should not either, for the following reasons:

I suggest, before you start spouting off like this, you do a little research into the Single Transferable Vote system which does not use "Party Lists" and thus pretty much negates all the problems you raise.

"The Single transferable vote (STV) is a system of preferential voting designed to minimize wasted votes and provide proportional representation while ensuring that votes are explicitly expressed for individual candidates rather than for party lists."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

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Graham Marsden
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It's one law for them...

... and another for us

We are, it seems, supposed to be meek and obedient sheeple, willing to obey our "Lords and Masters" and not question their authority, but what we're seeing now is the sheep turning on the shepherd and his dogs and saying "Just a minute there..."

We have seen the slow but steady whittling away of our rights, yet apart from a few of us, most people have not stirred from their apathy to complain and those of us who do are ignored or fobbed off with worthless platitudes that do nothing to fix the underlying problems.

But, finally, people are starting to wake up because this recent scandal is hitting them in a sensitive spot, ie in their wallets and purses.

The question is, though, whether there will actually be any *real* change from all this?

Will we actually see the sort of reform we need where our government becomes truly representative of the people or will the changes just be cosmetic and the public slump back into their apathy again?

YOU have the ability to do something, the intertubes give you that power.

Write to your MP at http://www.writetothem.com and tell them that you're Mad As Hell and You're Not Going to Take It Any More!

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Scientists: Tasers work, but we don't know how

Graham Marsden
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@"less lethal"? --- Nonsense

Not nonsense, but, if you want to be pedantic, the full version is "less likely to be lethal than other options such as firearms".

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Graham Marsden
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"non-lethal"?

I think they mean "less lethal"...

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Police wrong to spy on peace campaigner

Graham Marsden
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The retention by the police of photographs...

... taken of persons who have not committed an offence, and who are not even suspected of having committed an offence, is always a serious matter

Good! And now for the fingerprints and DNA...

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Now Google tracking follows you out of cyberspace

Graham Marsden
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a database of movement profiles...

... against which devices can compare their own experience.

You realise, of course, this could be combined with the "Geeks make least selfish lovers" idea to provide suitable "movement profiles" to ensure their partners are satisfied...

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Government rejects Lords' surveillance criticism

Graham Marsden
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"departments routinely consult the Information Commissioner"

... and then pay not a blind bit of notice to what he says and go and do what the hell they like, such as treating us all as suspects who are presumed guilty unless we can prove our innocence.

Contact your MP on http://www.writetothem.com

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Downing Street on Phorm: 'Meh'

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Oh look...

... another Downing Street petition response that says "it's not our problem, tough".

And they wonder they have no credibility any more...

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