* Posts by Pyrrho Huxley

28 posts • joined 27 Jan 2009

Want Gmail? Best have your mobile handy

Pyrrho Huxley
Stop

Old Mobile Numbers

I've got an old mobile number from about 10 years ago. In fact, I might just invent one for Google

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It shouldn't happen to a vetting database

Pyrrho Huxley
Big Brother

The world goes bonkers...

Delightfully bonkers - but just wait for all the injustices to come. I just hope I'm not a victim. The Guardian published a piece recently about a man who was sacked from his job as a teacher (having been employed for only 8 weeks) because he'd been accused of causing an affray. The jury acquitted him on the grounds that he'd been attacked and had acted in self defense. The school took the view that being accused of a crime was the same as being convicted of a crime, and therefore sacked him.

What an interesting future we're going to have!!

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PC repair techs police dangerous picture law

Pyrrho Huxley
Big Brother

You know what the real answer is - Truecypt

Come on people, you know that you absolutely cannot rely on anyone to protect your privacy - other than yourself. So Truecypt, Truecypt, Truecrypt.

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Blears is latest to scurry away from Brown's Cabinet

Pyrrho Huxley

Absolute Monarchy?

@ Anonymous coward

"1. Scrap the government completely and go back to an absolute monarchy operating in the interests of it's people."

Perhaps on the planet Tharg absolute monarchs "serve the people", but here on planet Earth they look after themselves and the wealthy elite. And if they stop looking after the latter, they'll quickly be invited to fall on their swords.

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Netizens tell court NebuAd's not dead

Pyrrho Huxley
Linux

Get yourself a private VPN

There's only one way round the web wire-tappers, spies, and high-jackers - and that's a private VPN

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ISPs frosty on Jacqui's comms surveillance plan

Pyrrho Huxley
Linux

Great for private VPNs

Wacky's petty-Stalinist plans are great for the vendors of private VPNs. Time to invest, methinks.

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Critical Windows vulnerability under attack, Microsoft warns

Pyrrho Huxley
Linux

Just how bad does Windows have to get?

No matter how bad Windows is revealed to be, or how good the alternatives are, there will always be those who are can't bear to give up on what they spent so much time learning. In the mid 90's I worked with someone who'd learnt his computing using DOS and when Windows 95 came out was simply too terrified to give up DOS (even though Windows 95 was an excellent version of DOS). His idea of teaching people to use word processing was to show them EDLIN! The excuse he used was that the new OS wouldn't run games or "business apps" properly. The real reason was that he'd invested so much emotion in learning DOS that the arrival of a new OS made his knowledge seem obsolete and threatened his psychological equilibrium.

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Microsoft loses NZ Windows government deal

Pyrrho Huxley
Linux

Feel the fear!

@ Nathan Hague

I can almost feel your fear - at having to learn something new, at having to leave your comfort zone, at having to work out appropriate solutions for ALL types of organisations, solutions based on an objective, deep-level assessment of ALL the options. Microsoft's products, excellent as they often are, are only PART of the solution for many organisations. The NZ decision is nothing to do with "spotty graduates" and is about governments, which are spending our money, for once trying to be flexible and for once trying to get real value for money instead of being persuaded to buy Microsoft because their "IT advisers" are afraid of change.

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Wacky Jacqui defends Michael Savage ban

Pyrrho Huxley

A Very Dangerous Principle

@A J Styles - and what happens when a homophobic Home Secretary of the future decides that we need "protecting" from pro-gay speech? (Have you forgotten Clause 28?) The principle that the government should decide what is "acceptable speech" is extraordinarily dangerous. In the long run no free society can sustain itself where free speech has been replaced acceptable-to-the-government-of-the-day speech.

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Ireland bucks trend with anti-blasphemy law

Pyrrho Huxley

Why stop at "blasphemy"?

What about the other non-existent crimes which the priests used to use to bolster their power? Heresy, for example. Or witchcraft. We need more non-existent crimes. Now!

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Top British boffin: Time to ditch the climate consensus

Pyrrho Huxley

The 4 Positions

@ Phil Bennett: There aren't three positions, there are four:

1) global warming isn't happening

2) global warming is happening but isn't caused by human activities

3) global warming is happening and it is being caused by humans.

4) global warming is happening and this current phase is both natural AND is being caused by humans

I'm a 4-ist, and also believe humanity has adapted to climate change in the past, and will do so again. The facts are that global warming cannot be stopped, and that it will bring gains and losses. In the meantime, I like to sit back and watch the angry, emotional, desperate shouting and slanging matches. I especially like the way "denier" has become the new heresy. I even read a suggestion recently that AGW "deniers" should be classified as morally equivalent to holocaust deniers, and prevented from publicly state their views. What tremendous fun!

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Germany approves strengthened child abuse law

Pyrrho Huxley
Coat

Evidence?

Is there any evidence that laws like this actually stop people getting images if child sex abuse? Is there any evidence that laws like this actually protect children and cut down child sex abuse? I'm sorry to ask these questions, but I've worked in IT so long now that I think everything should be based on evidence.

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Microsoft supplies Interpol with DIY forensics tool

Pyrrho Huxley

What's New About Windows Backdoors?

There have been backdoors in Windows for years.

See http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/5/5263/1.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/437967.stm

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/01/nsa_helps_micro_1.html

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Pyrrho Huxley
Linux

Backdoors in Windows? Who'd have thought....?

There have been backdoors in Windows for years.

See:

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/5/5263/1.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/437967.stm

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/01/nsa_helps_micro_1.html

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Secret European project to battle online jihad

Pyrrho Huxley

We were warned!

When the government started attempting to censor child-porn, we were told by freedom-of-speech advocates that once we'd accepted the principle of censorship (in relation to child porn), then the authorities would seek to expand censorship into other areas. This is exactly what's happened and what will continue to happen. For example, if they succeed in banning jihadi sites, they will then go on to other sites. My guess is that nationalist sites will be next, to be followed by anti-immigration sites, as well as consensual adult porn.

We have to draw a line between protecting children and protecting the most valuable and socially progressive of all our freedoms - freedom of speech.

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German police boot down doors of Wikileaks offices

Pyrrho Huxley
Jobs Horns

Free Speech and Censorship

Anonymous Coward said "I'm all for free speech, but I'm much more for the right of children to have a childhood without the fear that a grownup will use them for theirs and others sexual pleasure."

This is the usual red herring trotted out by tyrants and authoritarians. But, there's no evidence yet that the current round of censorship - criminalising browsing, viewing and owning pictures - actually protects children. What protects children is arresting, convicting and imprisoning child molestors. Unfortunately for the enemies of freedom, there's some evidence that pornography may reduce sex attacks (see http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/online_artcls/pornography/prngrphy_ovrvw.html). It may turn out that the current round of censorship is counter-productive, i.e. it may lead to more attacks on children, rather than fewer attacks on children. This would be a terrible outcome, which could be avoided by reducing hysteria and ban-o-mania.

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Mormons demand ICANN plugs net smut hole

Pyrrho Huxley

Bad assumptions

@ Anonymous coward who believes "that the proposed constituency would have a great impact on helping to make the Internet a safer environment for our children."

This is the problem: many Christians believe that sex is so evil that the only way to keep our children safe is to deprive them of all knowledge of it. I appreciate that the Chistians believe that sex is evil because they think that it's the mechanism by which "original sin" is transmitted. But many of us simply don't belive that there's any such thing as original sin. And we don't believe that this is a "fallen" Earth or universe. Instead we believe this: Sex is not evil. Our children have every right to know about it. Our teenagers have every right to experiment sexually and to find out what suits them and what doesn't. In all these respects the Internet is a great resource. There is evil out there, including evil related to sex, but the best way of helping our children defend themselves from it is to arm them with correct and truthful knowledge - not the Christians' ignorance, fear and loathing.

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Put down your pens: Cartoons next on censor block

Pyrrho Huxley

Think of the Cartoons!

Before everyone starts bleating on about freedom of speech, it's very important that at a time of economic catastrophe our rulers spend time protecting cartoons. Also, what could be more important than making sure that completely innocent cartoons don't witness other cartoons participating in sex? I know several cartoons who are having to undergo extensive therapy (at great cost to the taxpayers) because of being involved in this wicked activity.

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE! THINK OF THE CARTOONS!

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Science-boosting thickie questionnaire backfires

Pyrrho Huxley

How do we know?

@ Chris "would guess that ZERO percent know that. Unless they're saying that 59% of the people surveyed were among those "earliest humans"

Do you really belive that the only knowledge is direct, personal knowledge? That deducitive and inductive reasoning doesn't lead to knowledge? How do you cope with IT? in any case, your assertion that the science of paleontology is based on guesswork is simply ridiculous. The reason we know that humans and dinosaurs didn't live together is that dinosaur fossils occur only in strata which are more that 60 million years old and that human fossils occur only in strata which are less that 5 million years old. All the evidence about this points to humans and dinosaurs not living together, and there is no evidence whatsoever which points to a different conclusion.

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Homosexuality does for UK blue duck population

Pyrrho Huxley

Evolutaionary Strategies

@Andy

On the contrary, homosexuality is a very sound evolutionary strategy: it maintains social co-operation while ensuring that the species doesn't breed to the limit of available resources. This is why homosexuality is so common in the animal kingdom (Bruce Bagemhil's book "Biological Exuberance" identifies over 450 species which can have gay/lesbian couples). You're right that it is not a sound DARWINIAN strategy, but that's because the Darwinian idea of absolute competition for resources doesn't tie in with the fact that most species don't breed to the limit of available resources.

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Suit seeks close of Craigslist's red-light district

Pyrrho Huxley

Why???

Re: Why???

@ Charles "Prostitution is frequently a business that gets hooked by gangs and organized crime."

This is circular though, isn't it? Because the reason organised crime is involved is prohibition (of sex work). And the real reason for prohibition is that many religious people believe that sex is evil. So the problem here is the state's interference in the activities of consenting adults. This will stop, of course, when the USA becomes a free country.

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World of Warcraft: 'The crack cocaine of the computer world'

Pyrrho Huxley
Alert

Another Moral Panic

Oh dear, yet another moral panic fuelling our hysterical ban-o-mania. Look, it's not the game that has made the 15-year-old ill, his was ill already, which is why he played WoW until he collapsed. What was wrong with this lad's life? An absence of parental love, perhaps?

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California ban on violent video games killed on appeal

Pyrrho Huxley

Making sense of lunacy

Of course it's bonkers that making love is censored while making hate isn't censored, but reason why the Christians feel that sex is more evil than violence is that sex is regarded as the mechanism for transmitting a non-existent thing called "original sin". The idea is that if there was no sexual activity, then no one would be born with "original sin" (because there would be no births at all). Thus the Christians think that killing people is bad, but that sex is the ultimate road to damnation becuase it promotes "original sin". Does the lunacy make sense now?

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Watchdog mauls billboard sex ads

Pyrrho Huxley

Reasons for banning words

Last year I heard the director of the ASA being interviewed on Rado 4. The interesting thing about him was that behind his surface talk was an authoritarianism springing from a profound and unacknowleged anxiety about sex. He seemed especially disturbed (i.e. "offended") by other people's freedom in relation to their sexual interests. Remember, we didn't vote for these people, or for the control they have over our lives.

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Jacqui's jihad on web extremism flops

Pyrrho Huxley

What happened to Labour

@ Seán You ask "when did the left wing liberal commie labour party become more fascist than the Torys?"

It's because they're former Stalinists (I call them petty Stalinists), and a basic component of Stalinism is that the government owns the people. This idea that the people belong to the ruler goes back a long way in Russian history. The Bolsheviks picked it when they came to power (in 1917), and their followers and fellow travellers have made use use of it ever since.

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Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?

Pyrrho Huxley

The thin edge of the wedge

This is just a test from the government to see if they can get away with an aburdity: making owning pictures of legal acts illegal. The overall longterm intention is to make sexual images illegal. Here's why: most sexual images are of women. These images "objectify" women. Objectification leads to rape. Therefore, pictures of naked women "cause" rape. Therefore they should be banned. There are lots of women who actually believe this catechism. So beware, the Jackie Smiths of the world have an ideological commitmernt to controlling that great evil: male heterosexuality.

Keep your eyes open for the next installment of petty-Stalinist ban-o-mania. It'll be fun to watch.

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Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'

Pyrrho Huxley

Why use Linix instead of OSX

@Peter Kay "Linux users should also examine the reasons why they're using Linux instead of OS X very carefully indeed."

A fair question. I build my own PCs - Linux (Ubuntu in this case) just works and I don't have to pay a tax to Apple (or Microsoft). Linux does everything I need - email, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, picture editing, surfing the Internet safely, encrypting my data, playing music (mainly FLAC encoded), backing up files. My favourite game is Transport Tycoon - now wonderfully ported to Linux. Linux doesn't spy on me. Why do I need Apple (or Microsoft)?

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Pyrrho Huxley
Thumb Down

Linux v/s Windows

I've been in PC support for 20 years - I use Linux at home and I think that XP is an excellent O/S, The fact is, though, that outside the corporate environment (where there is good, professional support) most Windows PCs are in dire straights - riddled with viruses, bloatware, and sheer junk - think of all those wretched IE toolbars (or dolt-bars as I prefer to call them) . You moan about the Linux command line, as though the Widows registry is paragon of simplicity! Have you tried un-registering and re-registering a DLL in Windows without the command line? And let's not forget the coded registry entries which are designed to defeat even the most experienced user (built-in spyware?). In Linux everything is above-board. Linux and XP are not easy because operating systems are not easy - they are the most complex computer programs on earth, and the domestic PC is the most high-tech device that most people ever touch. Maybe the marketing people should stop pretending to us that we don't have to make any effort to get our computers to work. There is some superb software for Windows - Office 2007, for example - but for most users Linux will do everything they need to do, but for a lot less money than Windows.

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