* Posts by veti

2397 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Gov websites' value not at all clear despite trimming

veti Silver badge
Devil

What fantasy Britain do you live in...

... where whole bureaucracies can be trimmed back or abolished, just because they're as useless as tits on a crocodile?

No, the *best* case is that there's a huge fuss about how hopelessly outdated the DVLA's database is, and a huge national campaign is launched to make everyone update their details and check them at least twice a year. Then those 7000 people can be gainfully employed with spamming everyone in the country to remind them.

A more likely scenario would be that the DVLA is made responsible for 'policing' car ownership, and you won't be able to buy or sell a car without logging onto their database, identifying both parties to the transaction, creating an ID for the guy you're selling to and checking that his Brazilian driving license does indeed allow him to drive it away, certifying on pain of perjury that you haven't "modified" the car at all, applying for a rebate on your prepaid road tax, entering the odometer reading and viewing a history of every MOT, every tax disc and every reported accident the car has ever been near.

Basically, anything - *anything* - to avoid laying off civil servants.

Greenland 'lurched upward' in 2010 as 100bn tons of ice melted

veti Silver badge
Boffin

Alternatively...

... we can set up a wind farm with this comment written on a huge board behind it, and promote it as a tourist attraction to engineering students. The guffaws of derision should power us all nicely.

There's a little something called "thermodynamics", which says that pumping (relatively) warm water into a cold place won't actually reduce the total amount of heat in the world.

New Turing petition calls for criminal pardon

veti Silver badge
FAIL

Great idea, except for the bit where "those responsible for this persecution" were enforcing laws enacted by a democratic government.

So what you're calling for is the mass imprisonment of everyone in the UK who's old enough to have voted before 1967.

veti Silver badge

When someone has been convicted of a crime and is later found to be innocent, they are pardoned. That's *how* you exonerate them. That's just the way the system works.

If you think about it, it's semantically accurate as well as legally accurate. "Exonerate" would mean "he didn't do it", which nobody (as far as I've seen) actually claims. "Pardon" means "we don't care whether he did it or not, he's still a Good Bloke", which is much closer to the truth.

Windows 8 fondleslabs: Microsoft tip-toes through PC-makers' disaster

veti Silver badge

Shipping beta code?

There's an interesting sleight-of-keyboard in the article, where we go from discussing a BETA release in Jan/Feb and an RTM release in June, and define the period between the two as "the time between final code completion and that code being shipped".

In most companies - certainly in Apple, to take an example not at all at random - a beta release *isn't* assumed to be "final code completion". The fact that Microsoft, or at least the author of this article, seem to regard the two as synonymous might tell us a lot about what Windows 8 will be like.

I'm glad MS has gone back to numbering its releases. From now on, it looks like the rule is "avoid even-numbered Windows versions".

Assange shocker: 'Of course I'm a goddamn journalist'

veti Silver badge

When the US constitution granted special protections to journalists, it failed to define what exactly the job meant, nor to specify a test or establish a register to prove one's eligibility for those protections.

That's partly because *there are no special protections for journalists*. The constitution guarantees "freedom [...] of the press". It makes absolutely no difference whether "the press" in question is run by a journalist, a politician or a baker. Indeed, it's pretty clear that any such rules would be unconstitutional.

So the whole "is he/isn't he a journalist?" question, from the US legal standpoint, makes not the slightest bit of difference to anything.

Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

veti Silver badge
Boffin

Not at all. Being wrong about what the bible says is not heresy, even if you're making unequivocally false statements. In the middle ages, that would have made religious debate impossible, since the loser would immediately have to be burnt; but in fact, it was their most popular intellectual pastime (without, normally, the burning).

"Heresy" is when Mother Church tells you the correct interpretation, takes time to explain it to you in as much detail as you require, and you listen and acknowledge that you understand the teaching - but still insist on rejecting it and keeping your own interpretation. Then you're rejecting the authority of the Church, which is how heresy is really defined in practice.

veti Silver badge
Pirate

Do you know that for a fact? Because I know at least two people who do refuse to wear clothes made from mixed fibres, so it does happen.

But I'm sure you can always find *some* reason to call people "fucking hypocrites", if it saves you the burden of having to think of them as people.

McKinnon might get UK hacking trial after all

veti Silver badge

Extradition is *supposed* to be used when someone, having committed a crime in one country, flees to another to escape justice. The idea that you can be extradited to a country where you have never actually set foot is - disturbing, to say the least.

The counter-argument is that the Internet makes it possible to extend your actions into other countries. But in practice that has been possible for a long time. About 1376, John Wycliffe published a book that spread ripples of revolution all across Europe - but even those (many) who wanted to prosecute him for it didn't try to ship him off to Rome for the purpose; they argued that he should be tried and punished in England.

veti Silver badge
Mushroom

Yeah, we'll get right on that just as soon as George W Bush presents himself for trial in Iraq.

If he can be punished under US law, then he's also protected by the US constitution, which says: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,"

Where did he commit the crime? That's where he should be tried.

Couple rewarded for naming newborn after Elder Scrolls Skyrim hero

veti Silver badge
Megaphone

I'm guessing you don't have kids

Or you would surely have noticed that names nowadays aren't supposed to mean anything. The playgroups are full of toddlers with names like 'Tyler', 'Britney', 'Tyrone', and zillions of other names that translate to 'My parents can't spell'. It's abundantly clear that names are not chosen for meaning, but purely for how they sound.

Little Dovakhiin will fit right in.

veti Silver badge
Go

As names go, it's not bad

By the time he's old enough for his peers at school to have played the game, the game itself will have been forgotten. He'll be left with a fairly cool name with an obscure etymology, which is far from the worst option.

Just trolling: It's OK to poke fun at Christians, says ASA

veti Silver badge
Devil

fiddley: "And yet, without exception, you all think that people who don't believe whatever one true path you happen to believe in are going to spend the afterlife in some excruciating pain. (unless you happen to have chosen to ignore that particular part of your teaching as well)"

Err... it seems to me that "without exception" doesn't really allow for an "unless" clause, but whatever floats your rant...

Meanwhile, you are aware that religious people give more to charity - yes, including secular charities - in both money and time, than non-religious people?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/01/02/do-god-fearing-or-godless-people-give-more-to-charity/

Dispute beliefs all you want, but you should at least consider the possiblity that religion does a lot of *good* for a lot of people.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

veti Silver badge

That was only ever a problem in Oblivion - none of its predecessors did the same.

And I haven't played Skyrim yet, but from what I hear, it's gone back to the Morrowind/earlier system whereby the level of enemies depends mostly on where you are, rather than who you are.

Killer smart meters torch Aussie homes!

veti Silver badge
Devil

You call that fearmongering?

There's some token whinging about smart meters from the usual suspects in Australia, as well as legitimate concerns centring on the (very good) question "so what exactly is in it for us then?"...

... but for real bat-poop insanity in opposition, the Aussies can never hope to rival the Americans. Check out: http://www.bansmartmeters.com/blog/

I'm particularly fond of the comment that tells me "electrical induction [is] illegal everywhere in the so-called civilized world". Apparently, whatever "civilization" means in Texas, it's incompatible with radio technology.

Anonymous runs amock in Israel, Finland, Portugal

veti Silver badge

Oblig: http://xkcd.com/932/

Stallman: Did I say Jobs was evil? I meant really evil

veti Silver badge
Megaphone

Whining that you can't run "any app you like" on your iThing is like complaining that you can't watch movies on your radio.

It's a consumer device. It's not *sold* as a general-purpose computer. It's a device for playing games, for surfing the web, watching TV, storing and listening to audio, e-mailing, and lots of other applications of varying levels of interactivity.

And that's all it was ever supposed to be. It makes no bones about its limitations. To criticise it for not running Flash is like criticising a fridge because it doesn't have a built-in microwave.

Windows XP and iPod: A tale of two birthdays

veti Silver badge
Mushroom

I USED Vista for four years, and I cordially loathed every day of it.

The biggest problem wasn't so much that the minimum hardware requirements were excessive, but that they were ludicrously *under*-specced. I was running it on a laptop with 2Gb of RAM and about 100Gb of spare HD space (when it was installed), and it took - literally, I actually timed it often enough - around ten minutes to boot. It also took several minutes to shut down, or even sleep.

And don't even get me started on the "security" confirmations, each one of which had to be clicked *twice*. Why twice? To this day I have no idea.

Windows 7 is far better. But then: http://xkcd.com/528/

veti Silver badge

It's worse than that. I dread to think what would happen if I tried to install Win7 on my primary home machine with its 2Gb RAM.

I had enough experience trying to run Vista, at work, on a machine of the same generation. "Painful" doesn't begin to describe it.

No, *that* machine's OS is never going to be upgraded. Not to another Windows version, anyway. Maybe to Linux, when I get a new games machine, but until then it's XP forever.

War boffin: Killer cyber attacks won't happen

veti Silver badge
Happy

I for one find it refreshing

It's good to see a "subject expert" who *isn't* making a pitch for himself to be given a budget of billions and a staff of hundreds to spend the next 20 years countering some threat that he's just pulled out of his arse.

Compare and contrast:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/24/us_under_cyber_threat/

Anonymous shuts down hidden child abuse hub

veti Silver badge
FAIL

"The proper action would have been to Anonymously* send the particulars to a laundry list of enforcment bodies, along with a threat that if action were not forthcoming, the list would then be sent to the press."

And how exactly would that help? Evidence that's been passed through Anonymous would still be open to the defence that it may have been contaminated.

Even if, rather than the list itself, they'd just sent instructions on how to get at it - the defence could still claim that since "those lawless hackers" clearly could access it, there's no way to show that they didn't, for instance, insert names and details of people they wanted to take down.

No, any halfway competent defence lawyer would shoot this out of court in jig time. Naming and shaming is the best result that could be achieved with this "evidence".

Chaos feared after Unix time-zone database is nuked

veti Silver badge
Windows

I think your Win7 PC might mean Nuku'aLofa, which is UTC+13.

So is New Zealand, incidentally, since daylight savings kicked in.

And that's the only real reason this information is complicated at all. If we could just agree to forget about the daylight savings nonsense, it would take about half an hour to compile all world timezones and end this nonsense right now.

The reason we can't is because they keep changing, at least twice a year in most places.

Three years ago, the NZ government decided to extend its daylight savings time by three weeks. The decision wrong-footed Microsoft, who released at least three Windows patches to reflect the change - and despite being fully patched, during those three weeks, my Outlook calendar was *still* reminding me of appointments an hour late. But Unix-based systems had no such problems.

This Dianamania is a slur on Jobs

veti Silver badge
Terminator

A couple of facts: over 20% of smartphones in the UK are made by Apple. Plus over 70% of fondleslabs, and most importantly, over 70% of MP3 players. Seriously, don't you know a few people who have iPods?

If you think that leaves them at 2% of the population, you're not paying attention.

As to those flowers: it is our capacity to feel (irrational) empathy for someone we have no real connection to that makes us capable of caring about "unnecessary child deaths" (what other kind of child death is there, by the way?). I'd be interested to see some analysis on the relative charitable giving of people who leave "tributes" like that vs those who don't.

Bank emails punters asking for their, er, email address

veti Silver badge
Facepalm

Why would I want my bank to e-mail me anyway?

E-mail is too slow to be any use in an emergency (such as when they suspect my account's security has been breached), and too insecure to be trusted with sensitive information (like how much money I've got or to whom I'm paying it). I can't see any valid reason for a bank to even record its customers' e-mail addresses, much less use them.

Poll: Porn-watching, net-savvy kids are a myth

veti Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What "myths" are being dispelled here?

So... one-third of kids, by their own report, can circumvent the restrictions that their parents think they've applied to their internet use?

One-*third*?

And 9% have met up IRL with someone they first met online? NINE FREAKIN' PERCENT?

I don't quite see that putting "only" in front of these numbers makes them small.

Ten years after the Twin Towers: What's the Reg angle?

veti Silver badge
FAIL

Not much has changed

I had occasion to put this "Internet-as-primary-news-delivery-mechanism" idea to the test back in February, with the Christchurch earthquake.

My conclusion was - for all you can talk about faster responses, larger reporting populations and improved infrastructure - when a big story breaks, so does the web.

About an hour after the story first broke I was fed up with trying to access meaningful news from the usual sources, and tried Twitter. Lots of tweets coming out of the stricken area, surely? Well, no. Most of them were from people watching news - on TV.

Decisive victory to Old Media, I thought. And I'm convinced that if Al-Qaeda had managed to pull off something big on the anniversary, the same thing would have happened again.

‘We save trips to the library’ – Google

veti Silver badge

Lies, damned lies and statistics

260MWh per year for a service (utility) the size of Google sounds suspiciously modest to me. The UK as a whole consumes around 5MWh per person per year, so Google's consumption is approximately the equivalent of a very small village.

Surely Google does save at least that much power in reduced trips to the library. But I wonder what people do with the time they save? Plan road trips and holidays, maybe...

Cyber crime now bigger than the drugs trade

veti Silver badge
Boffin

The smell test

A million victims a day?

Okay, there are, give or take, 7 billion people in the world. Let's suppose half of these have Internet access. Then your chance of being scammed online, per year, is (365/3500 = about 10.5%).

So in the past five years, almost 50% of the people around you should have been victims of "cybercrime". Does that sound plausible?

Well, maybe if you stretch the definition a bit. If marginally misrepresenting something on eBay counts as "cybercrime", or if visiting a website that's been defaced by vandals makes you a "victim", then I could maybe believe that statistic. So what will Norton sell me to protect me from these outrages?

Yeah, right.

Christ appears in phone advert, secular authorities act

veti Silver badge
WTF?

OK, I don't like iPhones either, but...

I seem to have missed the Apple ad featuring Jesus, or any other religious figure for that matter.

(Unless the Jobs counts as a prophet, in which case they'd only be offending their own religion.)

Green energy and jobs will cripple the UK economy

veti Silver badge
Pirate

Step 3 missing

Unfortunately, developing new tech is not like studying to be a doctor. Specifically, you *don't* get to charge exorbitant rents for the rest of your life to anyone else in the world who wants/needs to use what you've developed.

How many times have we seen it? Country A develops technology, Country B continues on its merry way until the mistakes have been discovered and the wrinkles smoothed out, then Country B grabs whatever bits of the technology look best, makes its own improvements, and gains all the benefits for a fraction of the cost. America did it with telephones, Japan did it with cars, Korea with electronics.

It's not necessarily a bad thing. All those examples have made us all better off. But it means that the assumption that there is some kind of positive benefit in the long term needs to be much more closely examined.

Spamhaus victorious after 5-year fight with mass mailer

veti Silver badge
Trollface

Separate cases

That's how the American legal system works.

If someone takes action to stop you from testing your explosive rockets on the public highway, you sue them for interfering with your business. The fact that you've killed 47 people to date is neither here nor there, that's a separate matter between you and the state, but *this* case is about some busybody interfering with your divinely guaranteed right to the pursuit of profit.

The underlying idea is that if someone brings a case like this against you, you bring a countersuit against them for, I dunno, excessive noise or something. The end effect, as designed, is that the maximum possible number of lawyers get employed for the maximum possible amount of time.

Windows 8 ribbon entangles Microsoft

veti Silver badge
Flame

Let's be fair?

The ribbon *is* THAT bad, however bad THAT is.

Quick: if you have a Word .docx file with figures stored in linked files, how do you get them saved in the .docx itself so that someone else can open it and see them? Which ribbon is that command on? (In case you don't have Word open right now, the ribbon names are:

Home / Insert / Page Layout / References / Mailings / Review / View )

If you answered any of the above, you're wrong.

Now suppose you want to insert a section break, so that you can vary the header/footer content between two parts of your document. Where's that command?

Or you've typed 'http://theregister.co.uk' into your document, and Word has oh-so-unhelpfully turned it blue and underlined it. You select it, but where's the "Remove Hyperlink" option?

Best of all: if you want to find out which version of Word you're using, so that you can actually get help on any of this crap? That used to be "Help/About", but try typing "About" into the "Help" box today and see where it gets you. Now you have to click that gaily patterned roudn thing that doesn't even look like a button, much less a menu, click on "Resources" and look at a whole list of buttons inviting you to try exciting operations that, if you're fool enough to try them, will suck up literally hours of your time to zero positive effect. ("Diagnostics"? Jobs save us. "Is Microsoft Office having problems?" - how the hell would I know, that depends what it's trying to do, I know *I'm" having problems, but to project those onto Office would be to assume that Office is supposed to help me, which is an assumption I currently see zero evidence for.)

I've been using Word 2007 on a daily basis for the past four years, and I've wasted more time looking at those blasted ribbons for functions that, as often as not, aren't even there, than I have actually using any of them.

Telecom NZ invokes wrath of frisky rugby fans

veti Silver badge
WTF?

BFD

Yeah, I don't see how people got their underthings in a bunch about this. I don't understand the campaign, but I'd have been willing to watch it on the offchance that there was a punchline or two in there somewhere.

Instead it's being slated as a gaff. The only "gaff" I see here is that some asshole leaked the story to the media before the campaign was ready for launch. That suggests that either security was a joke or Telecom trusted someone it shouldn't have, but that doesn't even begin to reflect on the campaign itself.

Google+ bans real name under ‘Real Names’ policy

veti Silver badge
Coat

Seriously

Am I the only one who thinks this journo is self-evidently a poseur who changed his name for the sole purpose of generating publicity of exactly this type, and is probably now falling foul of a silent "no wankers" policy?

London rioters should 'loose all benefits'

veti Silver badge
Facepalm

What could possibly go wrong?

Slave labour. Oh yes, that should sort out the problems of unequal wealth distribution and 25% youth unemployment in jig time.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just that you haven't thought it through. It would have consequences, and you need a plan to deal with those.

George Lucas defeated by Stormtrooper helmet man

veti Silver badge
Mushroom

Strange sense of "justice" you have there

Well, yes. If Lucas Enterprises were valued at $500, do you seriously think they'd ever have persuaded a court to grant them a $20 million judgment? There's definitely a connection there, for starters.

And it's not American justice that's stripped the reward. As far as American justice is concerned, Lucas is in the right. As I understand it, it if Ainsworth ever sets foot in the Land of the Free, Lucas will be entitled to the shirt off his back and about 800 years of indentured servitude.

"which are actually no less "official" than the units used in the films" - please define "official" in that context?

As for "why an artisan ... is now entitled to continue producing costumes for personal gain"... because the design was Ainsworth's in the first place. He never sold it to Lucasfilm - all he sold was a number of helmets and costumes. If anyone should be sued for copyright violation here, it's Lucas himself.

You seem to be advocating that when an artist does work for hire, the copyright should automatically belong to their employer. If that were the case, then there wouldn't have needed to be clauses in every employment contract I've ever signed saying that the copyrights in works I create as part of my work belong to my employer. If Lucas didn't have a contract to that effect with Ainsworth, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Nokia ‘giving away phones at cost’

veti Silver badge

Microsoft has been doing the same thing for years

... and it hasn't worked out so bad for them.

It's not particularly unusual, it's yer basic cross-subsidy - take money from one part of the business that's doing well, and use it to prop up another part that's not currently doing so well, but you hope to make more out of in future. MS's XBox division bled cash for at least eight years, but MS supported it anyway.

Of course Nokia is not quite as well balanced for it, but it looks like they're still making plenty of revenues. Unless they go nuts with the R&D spending, they should pull through.

CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

veti Silver badge
Facepalm

Nothing to see here, move on

Could it be that it would just be stupid to speculate about the effects of something for which such scant data exist?

Let's assume for a moment that cosmic rays create clouds. Let's further assume that you've got enough historical data to show that peaks of cosmic radiation have coincided with above-average cloud cover. (Very dubious already - I seriously doubt if this data even exists on any meaningful scale.) Still we haven't even touched on the longevity or albedo of the clouds thus formed.

Or we could, instead, compare cosmic radiation history with global climate history. This is inevitably pretty shaky, given that we're comparing two sets of data for which *only proxy records exist* - there are no actual thermometer readings or cosmic ray counts for the year 1300 - and to assume a causal relationship between them would be not merely to jump the gun, it would be to attach a jetpack and overfly the entire arsenal.

This is an interesting finding, but to draw conclusions about climate change from it would be criminally premature.

And finally, contrary to the article's tone, it's not "unusual" for managers to admonish their underlings against unfounded speculation in political hot-topic areas. It happens on a daily basis. The issue is that, generally, researchers *are* encouraged to speculate about the possible impact of their work, but when this would expose them to the kind of attention that instantly focuses on anything containing the word "climate", the caveats about the "very early stages" and "much more work needed" will be swept away in a tsunami of axe-grinding.

So let's not pretend this is news. This is a director doing his job. Give him a nod of thanks or recognition if you like, then move on.

New NZ copyright law means ISPs could cash in

veti Silver badge
Boffin

Depending on volumes, somewhere between $2 and $10

There's nothing on that list that's (a) required and (b) can't be done by a common-or-garden SQL database.

Think about it. Power companies have been doing this for decades: they send out warnings (in sequence), and eventually (if you don't do anything about it) they raise a service order to disconnect you.

Sure it's complicated, but it's a solved problem. All you need is a decent flowchart, and any competent SQL house could put it together in a matter of weeks. And you're talking about companies that *already have* CIS databases, so it's not going to require massive restructuring or retraining either.

Sunday Times accused of blagging Gordon Brown's records

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Pint

A degree in blagging is much more useful

"Expected to have a degree in journalism" in much the same way as mall Santas are expected to have a degree in children's entertainment.

In other words, what you hear is almost entirely the product of the fertile imaginations of those whose job it is to sell degrees in journalism.

It's an unregulated profession. If you can convince the editor or proprietor that you're the journalist material you're looking for, then you're in. What part a degree plays in that decision depends pretty much entirely on who you're dealing with.

And long may it remain so. The last thing the economy needs is yet another profession closing itself off to people just because they don't have the right paperwork.

Aussie carbon tax in actually-makes-sense shocker

veti Silver badge

Not quite

At $18000, the tax-free threshold will still be too low to "remove poverty traps". To do that, you'd have to load the displaced tax onto the higher-tier tax rates rather than the lower-tier ones, as the gov't is doing.

In general, the poverty trap is *caused by* progressive taxation, so the way to eliminate it is to make taxation *less* progressive, not more. The purpose of a tax-free band is to simplify tax collection and record-keeping - if some kid is only earning $60 a week from his paper round or whatever, it's not really worth the time and effort it'll take to collect $9 of it from him. And raising the limit will help with that.

Freedoms Bill: Gov may U-turn on personal data and DNA retention

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Holmes

Could be a long wait

'I will wait for the first case where DNA from a scene is put into the system and more than one match comes out. At which point, the defence have just been handed"reasonable doubt"'

Only if the prosecution chooses to tell them about it.

Good luck with that.

'Robots can save America', says Obama

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Pint

Great idea.

Oh yeah, that worked so well for Japan. Now there's a country that's seen unparalleled growth in living standards for the past 20 years.

Oh wait...

Seriously, if all the low-skilled jobs are done by robots, then how exactly are low-skilled people supposed to make a living? If your answer involves "retraining", then who is going to pay for that, and what happens if the training doesn't work, or if the new job is promptly robotised too?

Just to clarify - I'm not a luddite. I'm all for getting robots to do as much as they can. But I'm also for a universal government benefit - say, 20% of national income, distributed evenly between all citizens, with absolutely no strings attached.

ITU Gen Sec: Why not speaking English can be a virtue

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Headmaster

I hate to be pedantic...

... ah, who am I kidding, who doesn't love to be pedantic?

It's "International Telecommunication Union".

I know it's hard to believe. I once saw Magnus Magnusson himself taking a precious two seconds to correct a contestant who had got it right. But there's no 's' in the name of that organisation.

Now at least El Reg can start getting it right.

Fun and games in NZ politics

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Facepalm

Don't encourage him

Slater is a foaming-at-the-mouth right-winger, whom we saw in court only a few months ago for breaching court orders suppressing the names of both defendants and victims.

The man is an accomplished attention whore, who has no problem with being on the wrong end of the law as long as the maximum penalty is only a fine. He's quite happy to pay for his publicity.

Woman puts shout-out for hitman on Facebook

veti Silver badge

Cause and effect

Yeah, that's not so much a conspiracy as the end result of opportunism.

People see the trend and position themselves to benefit from it. Those who make the best job of their positioning end up at the top of our society, hence they're influential. They're not making us stupid because they're powerful, we're making them powerful because we're stupid.

Police ROBOT attacks and BURNS DOWN HOUSE

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Flame

Collateral damage?

So... the suspect's presence was confirmed by "heat-sensor" technology, suggesting that someone was inside the trailer...

Has anyone bothered asking who it was?

Google euthanizes newspaper archive scan plan

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Big Brother

We need an antidote to hindsight

Whenever the excrement hits the aircon (in any given system), it's incredibly interesting to look back over old news archives and see what the people who are now bleating and hollering for blood were saying a few years ago.

That's getting surprisingly hard to do, online. For instance, you try finding out (online): when Michael Howard, as home secretary, first proposed the national identity register, what did up-and-coming young talent (and erstwhile home office advisor) David Cameron say about it at the time?

You'll find some sources have disappeared completely and are now only visible as secondhand interpretation, rumour and deconstruction, often written years later with the benefit of hindsight. Even if you do find something that looks as if it was *actually* written in 1995, chances are it's been retrospectively updated to make the author or site owner look better.

Newspaper archives, stored on microfilm, are one of the few safeguards against the perpetual Orwellian rewriting of history that goes on around us all the time. Putting those archives online would have enormous value, and I still hope it'll happen eventually.

Don’t leak WikiLeaks: The NDA from hell

veti Silver badge

Interpretation

From Wikileaks' point of view, confidentiality is very important. How else can you offer to protect the anonymity of people who send stuff to you?

This particular document looks like a complete legal dogs' breakfast, and I seriously doubt if it'd be enforceable in any court it's likely to come before. I suspect the objective is not so much to create an actual legal barrier, as to signal to WL staff that Confidentiality Matters.

Australians believe good things about the Internet

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Thumb Down

Four separate page? Was that really necessary?

What is this, journalism for the Twitter generation or something? I'm a big boy, I can read whole pages at a time.

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