* Posts by veti

3015 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

We're being royalty screwed! Pandora blames price rise on musos wanting money

veti Silver badge

Defensive much?

"Business raises prices following rise in costs." Film at 11?

Seriously, why are you trying to make this into some kind of moral point about embattled rights-holders vs freetards? Where do you see the word "blame" in Pandora's announcement?

French novel falls foul of Apple's breast inspectors

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We're listening to a *publisher*?

I bet pounds to peanuts, they were praying this would happen when they chose the cover.

How many of us would ever have heard of this book otherwise?

Remember how Terry Pratchett described "the dream of all those who publish books, which is to have so much money in their pockets they have to employ two people just to hold their trousers up".

Publishers == scum. At best, opportunist - at worst, scheming. There are no exceptions to this rule, including the publishers of certain websites I may or may not be logged into right now.

Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

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Re: The Most Bonkers Explanation award goes to...

That's not a person. What "person" tweets 20 times a day about the same subject with nothing new to say?

That's a bot if ever I saw one.

Crap turnover, sucky margins: TV is a 'terrible business' – Steve Jobs

veti Silver badge

Depends what you mean by "TV"

The way I see it, one of Jobs's landmark products was a TV.

He called it "the iPad". It's a device that displays video (among other things) and accompanying sound, received over wireless connections.

Oh, of course it can also play games, take notes, access the web etc. Like many other modern TVs.

Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

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Re: Another triumph of designers vs. common sense

Well, that would be your own fault for not sorting out the email in which you told them that, and clicking "reply all" to send the followup.

Oh, you didn't tell them by email? Honestly, there's no helping some people.

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Re: 10,000 unread messages?

But what if one of them is a crisis that really needs your attention? How is GCHQ supposed to alert you to it, if you're not checking your messages?

PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

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Re: Write once, copy many

So you've not heard of "maintenance", then?

Writing code is the easy bit. Reading the code that someone else has written, and getting it to do new things - or do the same things in a slightly changed environment? - That's real software engineering, and that's where the money is.

Global Warming is real, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't Thermageddon

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Re: If this was Wikipedia, that reply would look like this

If you are going to put [citation needed] tags in there, there are at least four unsubstantiated assertions in the post you're responding to:

"Sadly, this discussion is long past the point where rational debate can have much effect [citation needed]. True believers in the thermapocalypse aren't going to pay any attention to a paper, no matter how scientifically sound and well argued [citation needed], issued by the GWPF who are ALL IN THE PAY OF BIG OIL [citation needed]. They tend to foam at the mouth and fall over when anything associated with Lord Lawson comes into view [citation needed]."

Putting in just one of these makes you look like Just Another Partisan.

Getty offers 35 MILLION images for free – if you jump (em)bed with it

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Re: You don't get nuffin' fer nuffin' dese days...

A 'blackmail notice' that you would consider paying - because why exactly?

You don't like what the embedded link is serving, take it off your damn' page. Nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to use Getty's image. If you decide to do it, you do it on their terms - and if you don't like the free terms, I presume there's still an option to pay.

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

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Re: A completely fair charge

It's what Dell thinks the market will bear. "The market" being, in this case, users who are so under-confident they don't know how to do this for themselves. Or who are so over-paid that the ten minutes they take to do it would cost them more than 16 quid.

If they could get away with charging 200 quid, they would. But they judge, I'm guessing approximately rightly, that 16 quid is the optimum point at which they'll get a nice little profit from a not insignificant number of punters. At 200 quid no-one would pay it, and at 50p there'd be no profit for them.

Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

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Re: Perplexing

Oh, I get the concept. But I think it's breathtakingly cynical, a level of evil that reminds one of the Microsoft of old.

Sure, if you want to know what someone's been working on, check out their 'wall' equivalent on the company network. If you want to know if anyone's working on 'X', you can search for that. If you want to evaluate someone's productivity for their annual review (for very uninformative values of "productivity"), you've got a record of it right there. Which is all great, except for the last part which sounds horrible to me, but what do I know.

Except that all this is predicated on everyone religiously using Office and, presumably, Sharepoint for all their work. Work done in tools like Notepad++ or Trello or TreePad or, productivity gods forbid, Google Docs will be effectively invisible. So I read it as "MS is trying to trick management into banning the use of non-MS software". Which is an absolutely minging idea, and I speak as one who works in a heavily-MS-invested company, because frankly the above-named tools are several orders of magnitude better than anything MS has produced for what they do.

Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

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Re: So can babies

Although I think it's fairly unlikely anyone would put a baby into an overhead locker.

You'd be surprised.

Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

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"Going back with support and witnesses" to confront someone who's insulted her is not /exactly/ my idea of "taking the law into one's own hands". It's not going to make a particularly gripping revenge thriller.

And the problem with "should've recorded it" is - how many conversations did you have last week? And of those, how many of them did you record? Typically, by the time you realise the way things are going, it's too late to start recording - the incriminating stuff has already been said, and good luck pulling out a cellphone (or whatever) then and getting the other party to repeat it.

Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

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You seem to be labouring under the delusion that Elder Scrolls games are RPGs. They're not, they are (at best) *C*RPGs.

The C is important. It stands for 'computerised', and it distinguishes them from "real" RPGs, which are played by a group of people getting together and talking to one another. 'Skyrim', for all its best intentions, is not and never will be an RPG - it's a glorified puzzle-solving game, where you jump through preset hoops in a determined order to 'win'.

MMOs are arguably closer to 'real' roleplaying, in that they do at least involve other people as players. However, the DM is still a computer, which is always going to be limiting. (Until the Singularity, I guess. Then they could start running some *really* cool games.)

Candy Crush King stops trying to trademark CANDY in the US

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Re: What's in a name?

Oh, sure the roots of the word are older, but its modern usage comes to us from America. Like trick-or-treating - an Irish custom that came to the UK via the USA. And it's redundant because Britain has, or at least had, its own words and customs, thank you so much.

veti Silver badge

Re: What's in a name?

Trademarks are specific to an industry. 'Windows' in the computing industry is a trademark of Microsoft, but that doesn't mean every glazier in the world is infringing on it, because they're in a different industry, so there's no danger of confusion.

What's irritating about 'Candy Crush' is the insidious infiltration of our beautiful language by yet another hideous and redundant American word, viz. 'Candy'. What's next, 'Mom'?

Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

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I think it's time to update an old fave...

Your post advocates a

(*) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to privacy. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(*) Any technical solution is only as strong as its weakest point

(*) Regular internet users don't have time for this stuff

(*) It requires finding people you can trust to do the implementation

( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks

(*) It will slow down the NSA for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it

( ) Users of email will not put up with it

( ) Microsoft will not put up with it

( ) The police will not put up with it

( ) Requires too much cooperation from the enemy

( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once

( ) Many net users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers

(*) The NSA doesn't care how much data it has to crunch

( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it

( ) Backdoors intentionally built into commercial equipment

(*) Backdoors intentionally built into commercial software

(*) Known-plaintext attacks on encrypted data

(*) Asshats

( ) Jurisdictional problems

( ) Unpopularity of weird new technologies

( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of communication

( ) Huge existing software investment in HTTP(S)

( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than HTTPS to attack

( ) Infected wireless access points

( ) Armies of worm-riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes

(*) Eternal arms race involved in all cryptographic approaches

( ) Extreme profitability of spying

( ) Identity theft

( ) Technically illiterate politicians

( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who use the internet

( ) Dishonesty on the part of spies themselves

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(*) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical

(*) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable

( ) Cryptography should not be the subject of legislation

( ) We should be able to talk without being censored

( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud

( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks

( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually

( ) Sending email should be free

( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?

( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses

( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem

( ) I don't want the government reading my email

( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.

(*) Privacy is dead. Wake up and smell the decay.

( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

US Senator lobbies feds to BAN BITCOIN

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Sounds like the good senator had a few bob in Mt Gox...

I rate this proposed law as 'G' (for 'Grandstanding' - proposals that are pointless and/or blatantly unconstitutional, but can be guaranteed to generate the proposer a fair bit of publicity, not all of it negative).

MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?

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Re: Were people really stupid enough to use MtGox as a bitcoin wallet

@Dr Dan: Calling 'Magic: The Gathering' a role-playing game is like calling Monopoly a role-playing game. It just isn't.

Thank you for observing correctness in insults.

Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

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Damn' straight the punter knows the difference between a "subsidised" phone (i.e. one that comes with a contract to pay monthly for a minimum time) and one that you actually get to buy outright. And if they don't, the sales staff will spend time explaining it to them. Because not doing that would seriously jeopardise their trading license.

Boffins: You'll see, TWITTERNET! We'll get the TRUTH out of you...

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Four types of information

Speculation, controversy, misinformation and disinformation.

So there's no such thing as "true", then? Maybe we should just give up this internet thingy entirely.

Office Online rises from ashes of 'confusing' Office Web Apps

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Recommended tool:

Puretext allows you to paste "just the text" from the Windows clipboard. It's described as "equivalent to pasting the content into Notepad, then copying and pasting it again from there".

It's free, easy to use, and works great, I've successfully got it included as part of the base install for all users in my company. The quality of our documents has improved noticeably.

Big Data is like TEENAGE SEX

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How far does the analogy go?

What's the equivalent of "unwanted pregnancy" here? Or "STD"? Sexting?

And do we elder-generation types risk getting arrested if we take too close an interest?

Actually, that seems disturbingly plausible.

Appeals court decides Dotcom warrant was legal after all

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Re: When Big Brother Is After You

No, it's not. Dotcom is a confidence trickster, pure and simple, and nothing to do with copyright infringment. Check out his record as a pump-and-dump scammer in Germany before he fled that country.

Then you can consider why, despite loudly talking about all the great things he's going to do for New Zealand, he makes no effort to spend his court-allowed $30,000 per month living allowance on paying off some of his debts to ordinary, hard-working Kiwi businesses and people he owes.

Kim Dotcom is scum. Support him if you like, but be aware that if others don't share your opinion, that's not necessarily because they're shills for Big Copyright.

Robots demanding equal API rights? It's just a matter of time

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Related thought

"Money" - is a legally defined thing, which ultimately has to belong to people, or to people-made organisations (e.g. companies) that are themselves, ultimately, owned by people.

But "Bitcoin" - is a legally undefined thing that can be stored on just about anything that has an electronic memory.

There's nothing to stop robots "owning" Bitcoin.

Hell is other people ... Thousands play same Pokemon game on TV. Mayhem ensues

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That's not a game...

... that's performance art.

Kudos to the artist, but let's not pretend it's more than a one-shot. Let's see his next work now.

Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

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One slow seller, and it's all over?

I've had a Wii since, I think, 2008, and I still use it and enjoy it. So does my 3-year-old son, although he doesn't get to play 'Resident Evil 4'.

I've never been attracted by the WiiU. It seems like a backward step - back to sitting down and fiddling with your fingers to control the game, rather than the standing-up-and-moving-around model that was so revolutionary with the Wii.

But I assume Nintendo will, sooner or later, come up with another console. The PS3 was also a slow seller at launch, and for some years afterwards (because it was criminally overpriced); and the XBox One, pre-launch, got a lot of bad press for its Orwellian tendencies. Everyone has slips, misjudges the market sometimes. I don't see why one failed launch should be fatal to the company.

Without a smartphone your reptile brain gets a workout

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Re: Facepalm

Actually it's a "feature phone", which means "neither one thing nor 't'other, but an ungodly hybrid that would make Doctor Moreau blench".

A true dumbphone would give a battery life *way* better than "3 days". (And the games would probably be better, too. Anyone remember 'Snake'?)

But seriously... settling arguments in pubs is a *really* bad reason to have a smartphone. And "giving your own memory something to do" is a good reason not to. I only made the jump to smartphone very recently, and haven't yet got into the habit of dragging it out to settle every piffling question that crosses my mind... and I'm trying to keep it that way.

SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

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Re: Just a News Operation

The obsession with "news" - which Grade shares - has done untold damage to the BBC. Its misbegotten "rolling news" channel is a ridiculous cost for the benefit it brings.

Elitist approach still paying off for Apple in mobile market

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Seems to me that Android is hovering dangerously close to "monopoly" territory now, and its rivals should be supported just to maintain a semblence of competition.

That'd be easier if iOS7 wasn't such a disaster, of course. But I hear good things about Windows Phone 8. Maybe 2014 will be the year of Nokia's comeback.

Oh, and Linux on the desktop, obviously.

It's a scientific fact: Online comment trolls are sadists

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Can you say "sample bias"?

So... the research is based on surveying people who self-identify as trolls?

To me it seems at least superficially plausible that people who are willing to cop to that, are also more likely to answer the other survey questions - provocatively.

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

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Bait and switch

The Data Protection Act also says - one of its key rules - is that data should only be used for the purpose for which it is collected ("... and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes").

If it's collected for parking enforcement, then there's a mechanical, presumably 100% automated, process that goes from "car being parked too long/in the wrong place" to "car's registered owner gets a ticket in the mail". Once the ticket is paid (or a court declares that it doesn't have to be, for whatever reason), then the record should be destroyed. Records that aren't relevant to parking tickets - e.g. any footage of pedestrians, or anything showing who was in the car or what they were wearing or what they were doing - should be destroyed immediately. (Again, all this is according to the rules laid down in the DPA itself.)

It's not clear to me where in that process "privacy" becomes an issue.

The very fact that it is an issue, then, suggests that that's not what's going on here. So the data ostensibly collected for "parking enforcement" is, in practice, being mined/repurposed for other things as well. That's the real abuse, that's what needs to be stopped.

Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

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Re: I'm tired of reading people who claim the only computers available are Windows 8

That may be true wherever you come from, but where I am - you buy a new PC, you get Windows 8. There is no W7 option.

And even if there were, why is "buying an OS that's already officially obsolescent, and is itself scheduled for 'end of mainstream support' in less than a year" supposed to be an acceptable option?

No, when XP is finally terminated I'll just tell Steam I'm going offline, pull the wireless adaptor out of my old machine, and continue using it for games. We have tablets and phones for web browsing nowadays, so there's no real reason why it needs to be online at all. I'll consider buying a new PC in my own time, thank you so much, not on Microsoft's schedule.

Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

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"had no implications for [,,,] the liquidity of customers' accounts."

Methinks someone needs to look up the word "liquidity".

A liquid asset is one that I can convert to cash, quickly and painlessly, when I need to. If it's subject to this kind of cock-up, it's not liquid.

Google admits 'garbage in, garbage out' translation problem

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Re: Data retention, it's all the rage

@JaitcH: Who's wound up? I'm quite sincerely wondering why this is an issue, when the solution looks so simple.

veti Silver badge

Data retention, it's all the rage

How about Google Translate "remembers" every translation it ever makes, and refrains from using those same values for future self-training?

It's not as if Google has some sort of ethical problem with hanging on to its customer data.

15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

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Re: Autocorrect?

If I were a plod with an iPad, I wouldn't waste time typing in witness statements.

I hear speech-to-text on the iPad is pretty good nowadays. And presumably, at 13k per device, they come with quite a good selection of relevant software and hardware.

EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

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Re: Looks really impressive

Then check out the "Battle of Daecheong".

Or the Royal Navy personnel captured by the Iranians in 2007.

Or the several hundred pirate attacks, mostly in the Indian Ocean, since 2000.

Naval warfare is currently pretty low-key, but it hasn't gone away.

Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

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Re: More people are killed...

Actually, we do.

veti Silver badge

Re: Look you have all taken this the wrong way.


When I was a kid, my father told me: "Always assume that if an official government spook wants to spy on you, they can and there's nothing you can do about it. They can bug your home, shadow you all day and tap your phone, and you'll never be any the wiser. If you ever want to do anything that would be of interest to those sorts of people, keep that in mind."

That was in the mid-70s. Long before privatisation.

When I grew up and started work as a technology journalist in the late 80s, I realised how true that was and always had been. It had nothing to do with "privatisation" or whatever other boogeyman you want to throw in there. It's just the way the UK is organised.

So yeah, I actually agree with Dave on this one. I don't think it's a big deal, because I've been resigned to being spied upon like that since before I was in my teens. I do have my own ways of communicating when I want to be private - but believe me, they don't rely on anonymous net or phone access.

UK internet filtering shouldn't rely on knee tappers, says Tory MP

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Re: Rats in a sack

Actually, "fighting among themselves" is exactly what politicians are supposed to do. It's the main reason - arguably, the only reason - we have them.

The alternative to politics is, basically, war. That's why we put up with politicians - they fight so that we don't have to.

Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

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Welcome to patent law

Yep, that's exactly how patents work. They can and do cover outcomes/effects/results as well as processes. If you re-engineer someone else's process to produce a result that's covered by their patent - you're still violating that patent.

Patents aren't about "not copying technology", they're about "giving inventors a window of opportunity to profit from their bright idea". How effective, or proportionate, they are in this aim is open to (lots and lots of) debate.

MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

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Re: Yeah no offense to anyone but

Perhaps you missed the part where the MPAA confirmed all those details you're sceptical of?

Like it or not, this is exactly how your tax dollars are being spent.

Those NSA 'reforms' in full: El Reg translates US Prez Obama's pledges

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Re: More presidential lip service.

The fed was meant to be as small as possible, but there are widely differing interpretations of what "possible" means in this context.

The system never really worked that well. For the first 80 years or so, America was still growing, and it's easy to govern a country where your stroppy youth can just be pointed at the frontier and told to go grab what they want. It's no coincidence that when America stopped growing westward, the Civil War followed within a generation. And ever since then, the federal government has been steadily growing in power.

UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement

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Re: "steal my work"

In the US in the early 19th century, landowners actually tried to restrict the settlement of land. That is to say, people who'd bought huge expanses of frontier land, then claimed it was theirs and other people had no right to live there. There were conflicts, and the law firmly backed the landowners - but it was the squatters who ignored those "property rights" who won in the end, and they were the ones who settled the frontier.

Current copyright law is something like US property law circa 1820. You can write a song, and 70 years later, some soulless corporation that's bought the rights from your children can sue someone else for singing a song that sounds similar. That system is doomed: the creative space within which new works can be made is not infinite, and it's getting ridiculously crowded right now. (Examples: Coldplay, Men at Work, Pink - all fine, creative artists who've been sued for copyright infringement.) Both the duration and scope of copyright protection are insane, and desperately need to be reined in.

Also, pedantry: Slavery was abolished within Britain in 1772. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 mostly affected the colonies.

Pervy TOILET CAMERA disguised as 'flash drive' sparks BOMB SCARE on Boeing 767

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I assume that "whistle blowing" in this context is a euphemism.

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest ever recorded, global warming is not eroding it'

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Re: That was bizarre.

Lewis's rantings typically attract many more supportive comments than criticisms, and they're routinely upvoted, regardless of coherence or significance.

So yes, it is odd for Lewis to break out this "the whole world is against me!" schtick. A bit like the Pope saying "Why does no-one ever listen to me?"

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Re: Skewed

What irritates *me* is how the "anti-warmist" camp uses exactly the same techniques of strawmen, ad-hominem attacks and contradictory statements, and then attributes them to their opponents.

See, for instance, page 2 of this article. The article is 50% cherrypicking facts (the coverage isn't wide enough to merit the term "data"), then 50% strawman building and demolishing.

There really is a valid debate to be had about the best way to deal with climate change, and page 2 of the article touches on that. However, it's impossible to have that debate as long as one side is still locked in denial. In this article, Lewis demonstrates that he is simultaneously aware of this problem (with his talk of "sea defences" and the effects of large-scale shifts in power generation), and determined to prolong it as long as possible. I'd really like to see some discussion about those things, but we can't do that as long as we're squabbling about basic facts and calling each other names.

Microsoft shops ditch XP for New Year as Windows market share expands

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What's "market share"?

Is it asking too much for an article to explain what its basic premise - actually means?

Normally, "market share" means something like "relative numbers, by volume or value, of sales". But I find it hard to believe that XP still accounts for almost 30% of new Windows licenses. (If I'm wrong about that, please enlighten me.)

So what does it mean? Prevalence of operating systems as measured by some website or online store? By survey of shops (and if so, where are these shops and how were they selected)? Normally I'd read the linked report to find out, but goshdarn it, there doesn't seem to be one.

Exceptionally sloppy reporting. D.

Two Brits face criminal trial for sending 'menacing' tweets

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Re: one way street?

You "think the judge already said" that, based on what exactly?

Feminists don't have any legal immunity. If a feminist libels or threatens you, you have exactly the same recourse as if anyone else does it. On the other hand, if a feminist just calls you a kneejerk troglodyte misogynist wanker, your only recourse is to call her a pug-ugly PC media whore. All of which is "fair comment" and the law has nothing to say about it, because no threats of violence or libellous statements are involved on either part.


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