* Posts by Graham Marsden

6868 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

It's amazing the UK Parliament agreed to track 22bn Brits' car trips. Oh right – it didn't

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

@Sirius Lee - Re: Being too literal?

This is not about "the police using a specific record to convict someone of some crime", it is about *everyone* being considered a potential suspect and paedophile/ terrorist/ drug dealer (Oh my!) such that we must *all* be tracked and our journeys recorded just in case we may do something wrong.

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: Grey Pants Retarden "There is no statutory authority.....

Let's see:

We have a report from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, the guy who was appointed *by the Government* to look at these matters on one hand and, on the other, a Funding *Bid* which *recommends* "that the Commissioner approve the submission of a bid to the Police Innovation Fund that if successful would support the development of the National ANPR Service" and a page from Wikipedia that Matt has managed to dig up to support his usual argument that we should allow the State to snoop on all of us, because *he* thinks that's a good idea.

Which one do you consider the more reliable, boys and girls?

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Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

"There is no statutory authority for the creation of the national ANPR database...

"... its creation was never agreed by parliament; and no report on its operation has even been laid before parliament."

"Well, yeah, but nobody told us we *couldn't* do it. (Of course we didn't actually bother to ask anyone...)"

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Flare-well, 2015 – solar storm to light up skies on New Year's Eve

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Obligatory warning...

... about walking plants...

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Facebook must face furious shareholders in class action over IPO

Graham Marsden
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Re: Suing because they "lost out"?

If it was just because they'd "lost out", then there wouldn't be a case.

If, however, FB deliberately witheld relevant information from potential purchasers in order to encourage people to buy over-valued shares, that's another matter entirely...

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Aroused Lycra-clad cyclist prompts Manchester cop dragnet

Graham Marsden
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"Interesting debate"?

Here's what the law says:

* * * * *

Sexual Offences Act 2003:

66 Exposure:

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally exposes his genitals, and

(b) he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

* * * * *

So unless he was waving it around and shouting "Get a load of this, darling!" no offence was committed.

(PS for pedants: Although it says "he", that's simply for convenience and brevity and it includes women too)

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Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

Graham Marsden
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Flame

And I was expecting...

... it to be this story from the USA about the "Hoverboard" that caught fire and caused a shopping mall to be evacuated!

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Watch out, er, 'oven cleaners': ICO plans nuisance call crackdown in 2016

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

Why does anonymous call blocking...

... not block anonymous calls?

When I do 1471 and get a message saying "We do not have the caller's number", THAT is as good a definition of "anonymous" as you can get, yet those calls *still* get through to my phone.

WHY? It is hardly rocket science to realise that if I can get that message *after* I do 1471, then my phone company can do it *before* they put the call through and, if it thinks "Oh, I would play the 'we do not have the caller's number' message if someone does 1471, then it does *NOT* put the fucking junk call through!

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US Marines kill noisy BigDog robo-mule for blowing their cover

Graham Marsden
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Anyone heard of this thing called the internet...?

That started with the military, didn't it?

Now try asking Firefighters or Mountain Rescue teams or any other such group who may need to carry heavy equipment over rough terrain that is impassible to 4x4s and see what they think...

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No, drone owners – all our base are belong to US, thunders military

Graham Marsden
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Re: Accidents happen...

> What kind of nutcase would put something like that in the hands of a child?

The point is, even in the hands of an experienced pilot, things can go wrong. If some idiot decides to fly a drone near an airport or over a busy road or off the top of a block of flats and there's a problem, there is a risk to anyone below. And even a moped in the wrong place can cause an accident...

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

Accidents happen...

Ask Skier Marcel Hirscher who was nearly decked by a falling drone during a slalom race.

I'm sure the drone pilot was experienced and there was no malice or stupidity involved, but none the less, one of these things dropping from the sky is bloody dangerous!

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EU privacy watchdog calls for new controls on surveillance tech export

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Dual use? ITYM Dual Standards...

... In other words, it's ok when *we* do it...

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I have you now! Star Wars stocking fillers from another age

Graham Marsden
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Star Wars (Atari arcade) 1983

Ah, that brings back memories!

Not only great graphics and gameplay, but also voice clips from the film: "Red Five standing by", "Look at the size of that thing!" and, of course, Obi Wan urging you to "Use the force Luke" when you did the Death Star trench run where, if you could complete it without firing your lasers, you got a bonus to your score!

A team of three once played the game for over 5 days, racking up a top score of one *billion* (and twelve) points before calling it quits! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_%281983_video_game%29#Records

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India may have binned Facebook's freebies on net neutrality grounds

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

Let me fix that for you...

"Every time Zuck is able to put the Internet's resources to work collecting people's information it's a win for him and his advertisers..."

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Graham Marsden
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@Tromos - Re: There's easier ways to destroy a planet

Populating (or over-populating or even going for all-out nuclear war) won't destroy a planet. Sure, it'll majorly fuck up the ecosystem, but the big ball of rock will still be there.

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Graham Marsden
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All that...

... and not a mention of Von Neumann machines or Berserkers?

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IT bloke: Crooks stole my bikes after cycling app blabbed my address

Graham Marsden
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Re: Common sense

Common sense *should be* designing an app with security *first* in mind, not 27th after all the bells and whistles and pretty bits...

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UK ISP Sky to make smut an opt-in service from 2016

Graham Marsden
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Re: @Vimes - Ambivalent @Graham Marsden

> Even if I decide to call the MDs office?

Then you get the switchboard drone who is unlikely to put you through... :-(

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@John Miles 1 - Re: Whats the problem

I suggest you look at the "success" of such filtering systems like that of Australia where it wasn't just porn that was being blocked, but other sites which were considered to be "objectionable".

If you want your ISP to block stuff, feel free to ASK them to do it, but don't be so arrogant as to assume that everyone else wants the Nanny State to tell them what they can or cannot see, simply because you don't like it.

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

@Vimes - Re: Ambivalent

> I would be strongly tempted to call up customer services and make things as awkward for them as possible

Unfortunately, of course, this will just be awkward for some call centre drone who had nothing to do with Uncle Rupert and Nanny David's puritanical decision making... :-(

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25 years ago: Sir Tim Berners-Lee builds world's first website

Graham Marsden
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As soon as I read the subject line...

... I was thinking "Yeah, but how long before the first kitten pic was posted?"

(Followed by "I bet it was after the first porn appeared...!")

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Drivers? Where we’re going, we don’t need drivers…

Graham Marsden
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Alert

@robertcirca - Re: Brainless people

> I still like driving my BMW on a german highway.

But can you still use the indicators (unlike most British BMW drivers)...?

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Graham Marsden
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Happy

@2+2=5 - Re: to walk in the shoes of others....

> other dvr< cars moving out of the way automatically.

Well at least they're more likely to move over when I'm filtering past them on my motorbike :-)

(Instead of being a cunt and deliberately moving to block me because "If I have to sit in this jam, then so should everyone else...)

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EU reforms could pave way for smells and noises to be trade-mark protected – expert

Graham Marsden
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Joke

Ok, guys...

... bit early for April 1st...

... What? You're *serious*???

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Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Gods forbid...

... they don't go the British route where simply refusing to reveal your password becomes a criminal offence (supposedly it was to "protect" us from terrorism, but nobody bothered to include that stipulation in the law, so it's wide open for abuse...)

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Newspaper kills 'what was fake' column as pointless in internet age

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

"fake news has taken on a much more unpleasant tone...

"...with people creating fake news stories in order to reflect their own hatred and prejudices."

Or even taking deliberate spoofs ( eg the fake video clip which intentionally took quotes from Obama and made it sound as if he was admitting that he wasn't an American citizen) and stripping out the bit at the beginning making it clear that it's not real, simply because it fits their political biases and they want others to believe that it's real.

Unfortunately too many people are willing to "like" and "share" such things without even bothering to apply the slightest critical thought to whether it is real or not :-(

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How long until we can build R2-D2 and C-3PO?

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

We're not...

... the droids you're looking for...

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Graham Marsden
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Re: I can subsist on brown rice & legumes & other veggies ...

> human ones are cheaper and so much more fun to make.

And can be built by unskilled labour...

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EE Power Bar recall: Telco will waive £5 fee for laggards

Graham Marsden
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"We have no plans to..."?

That's one of the politicians' classic Weasel Phrases. It doesn't mean "We won't", it just means "We won't *YET*, but we haven't ruled out doing it later..."

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Philips backs down over firmware that adds DRM to light

Graham Marsden
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Coat

@Grade% - Re: Aww, who'd a thunk it.

> my toaster demanding a certain brand of bread

Howdy doodly-doo!!

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Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Remind me again...

... why they want backdoors into encryption methods...

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Congress strips out privacy protections from CISA 'security' bill

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Well...

... there's a surprise...!

(See icon for details)

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After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Graham Marsden
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"Si non confectus, non reficiat"

("If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Motto of Lord Vetinari)

A fundamental principle of engineering is that function defines form, so if you have a design that works, why mess around with it? (Certain software producers could take better note of this!)

Not only that, but, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the amount of money spent on building not just one, but *two* Death Stars, could have been crippling to Imperial Finances, so when the Alliance took over, they'd not have a lot of dosh to play around with (but hopefully they had more sense than to go on a programme of Austerity!)

So widespread, centralised development probably stalled and it was only the Elon Musks of the galaxy who would actually be engaged in bringing new equipment and technologies to the market.

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Bigger than Higgs? Boffins see hints of bulbous new Boson

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

Re: Something new in physics. Finally!

Time (again) for one of my favourite quotes, from Isaac Asimov:

"The most exciting phrase to hear in physics, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

ADDENDUM: Bugger, just read further down the comments and noticed that Joseph Eoff beat me to it... :-/

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Samsung appeals to Supreme Court to bring patent law into 21st century

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@ Sean Timarco Baggaley - Re: Design Patent approximately UK Registered Design

> Please, do point us at the phone that was identical to the first iPhone, including its user experience

Please do try to get it into your head that that is *NOT* what is being appealed in this case!

Quoting from the Documents linked in the original article:

The court allowed the jury to find infringement based merely on similarities in “overall appearance” and indeed, based on “any perceived similarities or differences” whatsoever.

Compounding this problem, the Federal Circuit allowed the jury to award Samsung’s entire profits from the sale of smartphones found to contain the patented designs—here totaling $399 million. It held that Apple was “entitled to” those entire profits no matter how little the patented design features contributed to the value of Samsung’s phones. In other words, even if the patented features contributed 1% of the value of Samsung’s phones, Apple gets 100% of Samsung’s profits.

The Federal Circuit did not dispute that such a result is ridiculous, but said it was compelled by Section 289 of the Patent Act.

The argument is that the Federal Circuit was *not* "complled by Section 289 of the Patent Act" and the awarding of 100% of the profits is completely disproportionate.

I also have to wonder what would happen if they were found to have infringed *two* such "patents". Would they have to pay out *twice* the profits...?

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Steve Jobs mural highlights plight of Syrian refugees

Graham Marsden
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Re: @Manolo - "well meaning people"

Homophobia is not exclusive to any particular national group or religion!

And I, too, fear an open and liberal society is being eroded, but generally that's by our short-sighted "we must be seen to be doing something" politicians who can't (or won't) consider the long-term results of their actions because they're not going to appear until after the next election. Again, though, this isn't down to the actions or demands of one particular group.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @Manolo - "well meaning people"

> I think the real worry is that there are sufficient of these idiots around, and it is not significant if there are 50 or 200.

Are you familar with the concept of "Risk Perception"? Put simply, you are *much* more likely to die in a car accident or be knocked down whilst crossing the street or any of the common-place everyday activities which we all engage in without a second thought, because, unless such things are spectaculare in some way, they simply don't make it into the mainstream media.

Of course Daesh love people with attitudes like this, because every time they should "Boo!" these people jump and demand even more restrictions of our freedoms and liberties and push for more attacks in the Middle East which will only result in the radicalisation of more moderates.

As for the story about the school (which is actually from a blog, I note written back in 2009, and from someone who has strong views about alleged "political correctness"), it was your "argumentation" which was dubious since you claimed it without citing a source initially, hence my scepticism.

In any case, it sounds to me like a mixture of a militant minority of parents and a group of spineless administrators who were so desperate to avoid offence that they were willing to agree to the parents' demands, neither of which behaviours impresses me.

In response to your final comment, I'd point out that *you* were the one objecting to the way "they live in our societies and are infringing on our beliefs and freedoms, by by pushing their medieval beliefs on us", I just pointed out that *we* were doing the same in their countries. If we don't want them to do it over here, it is hypocritical of us to do it over there.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: @Manolo - "well meaning people"

> Meanwhile, a few hundred meters from where I live, muslims were also demonstrating:

You talk about "believing the media". In the link you give (published in August 2014, I note), it claims "Hundreds of Islamic State supporters", yet in this one, from the BBC it says "a group of some 20 men were captured on video waving the black flag of jihadist groups and voicing support for the militant group Islamic State (IS)" and this one says "The Public Prosecutor's report of the rally said that "there were only 40 to 50 people present…", so whose figure do you accept? Whatever the case, I think you'd agree that they are a tiny minority of the Muslims in the country.

> Meanwhile, Moroccans are vastly overrepresented in crime statistics,

There are plenty of areas of the world where minorities are vastly over-represented in crime statistics, Possibly because they make easy targets for lazy Police who want to boost their arrest figures when it's convenient.

> Meanwhile, an elementary school in Amsterdam can no longer toast to the New Year with their pupils with fake alcohol-free bubbly,

Do you have a Dutch version of the Daily Mail? That sounds like one of their sort of stories!

> where I draw the line is when they live in our societies and are infringing on our beliefs and freedoms, by by pushing their medieval beliefs on us,

Yet it's OK for us to stomp all over the Middle East and infringe on *their* beliefs and tell *them* how they should live our lives because *WE* know better?! Pots and kettles come to mind.

> Just ask those that marched through London last weekend if next weekend they will march for women's rights or against discrimination of homosexuals and see how many show up.

Oh please. There are *many* worthy causes in this world, but if you wanted to join in marches and demonstrations and protests supporting them, you'd end up doing nothing else. Just because someone doesn't turn up to one does *NOT* mean that they are in favour of such discrimination and for you to suggest otherwise is a really shabby argument.

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Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Re: @Graham Marsden @Manolo - "well meaning people"

Oh dear, Turtle. You've been posting on El Reg long enough to have read posts of mine where I point out Straw Man Fallacies, so *why* do you base your arguments on several of them?

Yes, Turtle, I am *SURE* there were "secret Jihadis" going along in that march chortling up their sleeves "Hah! We will fool the stupid Westerners into thinking more of our people are against Daesh" and that *your* assumptions (without any facts or data to back them up) are entirely valid...

The difference between you and me is that your solution to the "real problem" of a violent minority appears to be to assume that they're *all* potential terrorists and treat them as such (just like the French Police have been doing), not realising that that just drives more of those in the middle *towards* the radicals.

It's hilariously ironic that you try to lecture me on "not havnig any great interest in, or respect for the facts", but, hey, as long as it makes you *feel* safer because "Something Must Be Done" and this is something, I'm sure you'll be happy.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Manolo - Re: "well meaning people"

> I'll probably be slaughtered for being a racist and a xenophobe

Or someone who believes what he sees in the media and accepts it uncritically.

As I've mentioned in the past, I have a Muslim family living next to me. Nice people, polite, hard working, don't cause any problems and I don't have to worry about anyone diving over the wall wearing a Semtex waistcoat (usually it's their kids saying "please can we have our ball back").

Meanwhile, for instance, thousands of Muslims marched through London last weekend calling for peace and unity and to say that they don't support Daesh, yet there was virtually *NO* coverage of this in the mainstream media!

So, please, spare us this BS about "large parts believe that religious law goes above secular law" or that "The ones that we have had here for decades have already proven that the majority is not making much of an effort to fit in" because the ones who *do* fit in are the ones you don't even notice because they're not causing problems or they're just not a big deal to the elements of the media who want to portray them as "the enemy within" as you have been conned into believing.

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How to build a real lightsabre

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

@Captain DaFt - Re: Uh, point of order.

> while a light saber's a very cool weapon, it's hardly "the deadliest in the universe".

"The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force,,,"

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Graham Marsden
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Coat

Oh come on...

... Please, let's look at this from an "in universe" viewpoint, where you have directed energy weapons (blasters) and deflector shields meaning that you already have a way of containing and manipulating energy.

So you create your plasma from the same sort of "batteries" you have in a blaster then use a force-field of a similar sort that you use on your shields to contain it, giving you a) the cutting ability and b) the method of blocking other light sabre blades or blaster bolts.

Therefore all we need to do is to massively increase the energy density of our batteries and create some force-field technology.

How? Not my department, that's a hardware problem...

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

Graham Marsden
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Devil

"Fire up any computer running Windows 7 or 8...

"... and you'll be used to a message or three inviting you to upgrade to Windows 10."

Not mine...!

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Who needs CCTV? Get a terrifying slowpoke hoverdrone cam

Graham Marsden
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Prior art...

... Spy in the Sky cameras from Judge Dredd!

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New gear needed to capture net connection records, say ISPs

Graham Marsden
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Meh

"Who's paying for this? Take a guess. Hint: Probably not UK.gov or MI5"

Who we pay for *anyway*.

All this means is that we'll be paying ISPs etc to do it through our bills, rather than Gideon having to raise taxes which gives him (sort of) plausible deniability.

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Twitter warns users of state-sponsored hacking

Graham Marsden
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Meh

Whom...

... will that inconvenience? (Quoting Deep Thought from HHGTTG)

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Expert welcomes UK’s digital health recommendations

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"the NHS needs...

"... to make sure that users have confidence in the security of the networks that are being offered"

Minister: "Yes, we can confidently assure the public that we have been given the best advice on how to ensure that our systems are not hacked and that patients' data is secure. (Sotto voce) And we've ignored all of it because that sort of thing is expensive and by the time it all goes tits-up, someone else will be in this job and some poor sap three levels down will be blamed and any fines levied will just transfer money from one balance sheet to another..."

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Curiosity Rover digs into humanity's first alien sand dune

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"Curiosity's wheels will help it to scrape sand off the top of dunes"

So, the first Extra-Terrestrial Burn-out...

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France says 'non' to Wi-Fi and Tor restrictions after terror attack

Graham Marsden
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@Uffish - Re: "on nothing more than your religion"

> 1. No-one was targeted purely because of their religion so cut that bit out.

Really? Then how were they targetted? How many Churches or Jewish Temples were raided along with the 200 Mosques?

"Mr. Nogueras’s clients are all Muslims, and are in the S-files that register those considered possible threats to the state. Participants in all the major terrorist attacks in France this year were in the S-files, too, including those in the attacks on Nov. 13.

"But Mr. Nogueras says his clients, under the house-arrest procedure, are shouldering an intolerable burden that they do not deserve. Simple attendance at a mosque under surveillance can land someone in the S-files, he noted. The result has been a catastrophe for his clients, he said."

> 2, [...] no-one could say that it was the end of the world for them.

Oh well *THAT* makes it alright, then...!

> 3. You don't know France - this wasn't some local police chief doing this on his own initiative it was a direct, and I am sure detailed, order from the top.

“Police searches and house arrests can now be ordered by the Interior Ministry and the prefects” — local officials under the control of Paris — “without judicial warrant,” noted Bénédicte Jeannerod of Human Rights Watch.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/24/world/europe/in-france-some-see-the-police-security-net-as-too-harsh-paris-attacks.html?_r=0

> trying to make sure that there wouldn't be another 130 deaths takes precedence over seriously pissing off a lot of innocent people. [...] Nothing has changed my opinion that you are a great bunch of people.

You're a great bunch of people who just have to knuckle under and not get too upset that, because of your religion and the actions of a few nutjobs, you're *ALL* under suspicion...!

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

@080 @Uffish - Re: "It seems...

> Nice to see they haven't just been sitting around waiting for the next time.

Oh good grief!

Imagine *YOU* were one of these people who had your door kicked in, were dragged out of your home whilst it was ransacked, who were questioned and accused of being a terrorist based on nothing more than your religion. How would YOU feel?

Would you just say "oh well, it's ok, if they catch one terrorist that makes it all worthwhile" and go back home to pick up the pieces of your life?

@Uffish

> the police and security services came to you with all their intelligence about known, suspected and possible jihadi supporters

Didn't you *read* the article? These were *WARRANTLESS* raids! No need to contact the Minister, no need to even get approval from a Judge, just "Round up the usual suspects"!

The actions of the French are just going to make the next attack *more* likely, possibly carried out by someone who has been seriously pissed off by one of these raids and become a prime target for radicalisation!

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