* Posts by Graham Marsden

6903 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Police drop investigation into 'rent-a-Lords'

Graham Marsden
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Call me a cynic if you want...

... but if the Tory, Lib Dem and Ulster Unionist peers approached had taken the bait and the Labour Peers hadn't, I wonder if we'd be hearing a different outcome at this point...

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Kids online: Parents need to regulate, says Ofcom

Graham Marsden

In other news...

> Parents should take greater responsibility for what their children get up to on the internet

In other news...

Pope found to be Catholic.

Bear seen defecating in arboreal environment.

In more interesting news, a quick glance at their site notes that Media March "heartily endorses the Christian aspirations which have been publicly displayed, ever since 1931, at BBC Broadcasting House in London. We recognise that these are in accordance with Philippians 4:8"

It also links to Media Watch (the latest incarnation of the Mary Whitehouse Brigade) saying:

"mediawatch-uk and mediamarch are independent organisations, but we pursue very similar aims and often work in cooperation on current issues.

"We are grateful to mediawatch-uk for regularly passing on to us vital information and timely advice.:

In other words, they're just another bunch of narrow-minded prudes who think that their personal tastes should govern what everyone else is allowed to see.

And as for "Was there a single reason they could advance as to why all new PCs should not come with optional porn filters on as default?" well, no, not a single reason, several reasons, for instance:

1) If I want to buy a "bare bones" PC I don't want any software installed on it, full stop.

2) I don't have kids, but even if I did, if anything is going to be filtered on my PC, it is MY decision, not the State's nor a bunch of prod-noses.

3) If I'm going to install filtering software, I want to be able to choose for myself which software I install, not have the choice (probably M$) imposed on me (and probably jacking up the price!)

4) What else might a State-sponsored piece of filtering software *also* choose to block? Would it be subject to automatic updates so that if there's more legislation like the so-called "Extreme Pornography" laws, the State could force it to add more content/ sites to its blocked list?

5) Would such software start inPhorming the authorities that I've tried to access certain sites...?

I'm sure there are more, but I've got to get on with other stuff...

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Microsoft celebrates 10,000 US patents

Graham Marsden
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"Patents are the currency of innovation,"

said one of the biggest bunch of Patent Whores around!

I think what they meant is "Money is the currency of patents"... KERCHING!

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Prime Minister out-nonsensed by Conservative Wikifiddler

Graham Marsden
Joke

Prime Minister's Questions...

... a weekly session where the PM spends a half hour weaseling, evading and utterly failing to reply to anything substantive put to him by the Opposition whilst his own benches sycophantically ask "questions" such as "does my Right Honourable Friend agree that we're absolutely wonderful?"

Just corrected it for you.

Oh, sorry, isn't this WikiRegister...?

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Elevator music files for Chapter 11

Graham Marsden
Coat

What a shame...

... that's all!

(Mine's the one with the earplugs in the pocket so I don't have to listen to this crap!)

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DSA looks at 3D animated driving tests

Graham Marsden
Stop

Cars vs bikes

Can I first just point out that 150- 250 kg of motorbike and rider, even when acting irresponsibly, is usually only a danger to themselves, whereas 1,500 kg or so of car and driver just acting *carelessly* by failing to indicate, undertake proper observation or using their mobile phone is a danger to *everyone*, especially those not in a metal box.

As for the videos in the Theory Test, over 25 years of cycling experience meant that when I took the test, I had to *slow down* my click responses because I was identifying a hazard before it was a "developing hazard", I'd already identified a situation as "something to be watched" but the system wouldn't recognise that as a valid response until it was actually *becoming* a danger.

Oh, and the new motorcycle test which was supposed to be introduced last year has been delayed until at least the end of March because there are simply insufficient testing areas available.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/mcn/2008/september/8-14/sep1108-new-test-delayed/?&R=EPI-102831

Oddly enough, there is, at present, no similar car test, even though over two-thirds of the accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles are the fault of the driver (Booth report 1989) ie the classic SMIDSY - Sorry Mate, I Didn't See You...

You, as a driver, are responsible for undertaking proper observation before making a manoeuvre to ensure that it will not jeopardise another road user (Davis vs Schrogin 2006 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2006/974.html )

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Large Hadron Timewaster

Graham Marsden
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@Chris Mellor

"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

- Douglas Adams.

Perhaps if you'd been an ape-man you'd have been telling other ape-men that there was no point in banging the rocks together, guys...

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MPs confirm new information commissioner

Graham Marsden
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crucial that...

... the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) remained separate from Government.

Good idea.

When's it going to happen?

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UK.gov to send your holidays to sunny Manchester

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

People deemed...

"potential threats to public security".

Start with the occupant of Number 10 Downing Street and work your way downwards, then!

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Google shoves ebook monopoly onto iPhone

Graham Marsden
Joke

Come the Glorious Day...

... Comrade xjy!

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OLPC designer styles goes-like-stink electric motorbike

Graham Marsden
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@stolennomenclature

And, of course, you drive a car which is limited to 70mph, yes?

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Graham Marsden

@Steen Hive

> Anyone who drives a motorcycle like that isn't likely to make it past the first set of traffic-lights.

Yep:

Graham's three rules of defensive riding:

1) Don't assume they've seen you

2) Don't assume they'll respect your right of way

3) Do assume they'll do something stupid which will kill you unless you get out of their way.

It's not how it should be, but it's certainly how it is :-(

(And anyone who says the answer is Loud Pipes is just an anti-social git)

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Graham Marsden

100lb-ft of torque via a single-speed transmission?

I hope to buggery that it comes with some form of traction control, then, so if you grab too much throttle you don't end up getting spat off the back because you won't be able to slip the clutch to control the power!

(And WTH is with the trellis-work on the sides???)

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UK gov unleashes biometric IDs

Graham Marsden
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In other words...

... "we're going to try to convince people that, having pissed a whole bunch of money away on ID cards without readers, if anyone tries to block the scheme subsequently, they'll be 'hurting the taxpayers' and in no way is it *our* fault..."

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MoD orders £3m anti-friendly-fire 'Combat ID Server'

Graham Marsden

"accidentally hit by friendly forces"

Why mince words? Why not just say "The Yanks"...?

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Commissioner pours scorn on internet freedom law

Graham Marsden
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"the peaceful expression of political, religious or dissenting views"

ie "Anything we agree with. Everything else is illegal."

Obviously taking a lesson from Wacky Jacqui et al...

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New Zealand bolts net filtering regime into place

Graham Marsden
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Ye gods...!

Do *NOT* let the UK Government get wind of this otherwise they'll see it as an example to copy to bring in even more ludicrously vague and subjective legislation!

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US Navy spends $12m on electric hypercannon

Graham Marsden
Coat

"this would leave no juice left for propulsion"

So, a bit like the main gun on the Excalibur from Crusade, the Babylon 5 spin-off :-)

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Gates looses mosquitoes on tech conference bloodsuckers

Graham Marsden
Gates Horns

Anyone charged him...

... with Bio-Terrorism yet?

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Man robs convenience store with Klingon sword

Graham Marsden
Coat

The suspect was described...

... as looking like Bill Bailey with a cornish pasty on his forehead....

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MP wants Welsh text on ID cards

Graham Marsden

@Sarah Bee

> Maybe they'll eventually scrap them on the basis that they can't afford that much card.

Damn, I was just about to post a comment saying I supported the idea of this for precisely the same reason!

The more obstacles placed in the way of this ridiculous scheme the better.

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Google on trial over Italian 'defamation' vid

Graham Marsden

"allowing the posting in the first place"

Ok, hands up who wants a job which will simply involve sitting there, all day, every day, watching inane, stupid, boring, trivial video clips for hour after hour (with only the possible occasional bit of porn to lighten your day) as they are uploaded to YouTube or any other such site?

And then think how much of this you've *missed* because it's being uploaded to blogs or web pages or other such media...

Sure, take the stuff down if someone complains about it, but as for the rest, well the name Canute springs to mind.

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US airforce to get ground refuelling robot

Graham Marsden
Coat

Anyone else remember...

... the rather good Stephen King short story "Trucks" from the "Night Shift" anthology...?

(Unfortunately he then made the mistake of trying to make it into a film himself which turned into the rather execrable Maximum Overdrive of which the only redeeming feature was the soundtrack by AC/DC)

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Parliament probes privacy law

Graham Marsden
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That case law was ferociously attacked last year...

...by powerful Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, who condemned the fact that it had developed through the courts and not through Parliament.

What he meant, of course, was "not through the front pages of the Daily Mail"...

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Kids' sites 'must register moderators'

Graham Marsden
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Remember that...

... The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act allows for someone to be barred for "conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images), if it appears to [the Independant Barring Board] that the conduct is inappropriate"

So if you want to work as a Moderator now, you're going to have to let the IBB scan through your hard drive and check you don't have any "sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings" even if it is consensual BDSM!

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European Parliament wants criminalization of online 'grooming'

Graham Marsden

Re: Kain Preacher and Pascal Monett

Kain's comment was pretty blatantly ironic.

I thought Pascal was also being ironic to start with, then I just realised he was being bigotted.

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Harry Potter Lexicon published after judgment-guided edit

Graham Marsden

Forget Rowling, try Pratchett

Rowling writes childrens' books.

Pratchett writes books for children.

Read his latest, "Nation" (ostensibly "for children") and see how much it has to say to adults too.

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EU security agency draws 'privacy baseline' for ID cards

Graham Marsden
Boffin

Privacy Baseline...?

You want a privacy baseline? I'll give you one...

Fuck off, it's none of your damn business!

Good enough?!

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Windows Vista stuck on single digit enterprise adoption

Graham Marsden
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Legacy versions...

I run Windows 2000. It does all I want, it works, I don't have problems.

Except that the latest update to Zone Alarm's free firewall says "Incompatible system" and won't install.

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Woman jailed for texting while driving

Graham Marsden
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21 months...???

You can get more than that for possessing so-called Extreme Pornography and you don't even have to kill someone to get it!

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Judges: Don't know the law? It's understandable

Graham Marsden

@RW

> Isnt' there a legal principle in the UK that the law must be understandable, and if it is misunderstood in good faith, no offense has occurred?

That may, once, have been the principle of English Common Law but (of course I'm not a lawyer!) it certainly doesn't seem to be the case any more.

To give an example from the situation I'm most familiar with, the Ministry of Justice has said of the so-called "Extreme Pornography" legisation: "it may not be possible for an individual to have absolute certainty about which side of the line an image may fall."

To justify this they carried on: "On this issue, it has been held by the Court of Appeal that “it is not necessary for an individual to be able to be sure in advance whether his conduct will be characterised by a jury as a crime” (R v O’Carroll [2003] EWCA Crim 2338). This was in relation to an argument that the term “indecent” (in the context of images of children) was too imprecise to enable the applicant to know in advance whether this conduct was criminal."

IMO, of course, this is a thoroughly specious argument because it is being mis-applied to a situation in which it is not relevant, but still the MoJ wants to justify a ridiculous piece of vague and incomprehensible legislation by using it :-(

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Graham Marsden
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You're not supposed to be able to understand the law anymore...!

How could our Great Leaders maintain acceptable levels of FUD which allow them to pass *even more* laws whittling away our basic freedoms and liberties in the guise of "protecting us" from terrorists/ pornography/ whatever...?

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Black hats poison Google video search

Graham Marsden
Coat

Abode Flash Player?

If people don't spot the difference between Abode and Adobe, who is to blame...?

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Digital Britain: A tax, a quango and ISP snooping

Graham Marsden

@Paul Murphy

> Where's my carrot

You want the carrot? You sure? Ok, drop your trousers and bend over. This Government is going to *give* you the carrot!

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Boffins: Blue light kills MRSA 'superbugs'

Graham Marsden
Coat

To quote from the sign on the toilet on Red Dwarf...

... Now irradiate your hands!

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1m French out of work thanks to dodgy data - UK next?

Graham Marsden
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Opposition was swift and brutal...

... with thousands of people demonstrating in over 60 cities

And over here we get what...? And the Government force it through anyway...

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NASA ponders Spirit's erratic behaviour

Graham Marsden
Joke

Where is...

... that cartoon of an alien joy-riding on the Rover...?

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Extreme pron vigilantes are after you

Graham Marsden

Ok....

... having read through the site, especially the FAQ page, I'm tending towards the idea that this is a spoof, albeit a rather weak one.

I'm not really sure what the authors of the site are attempting to achieve with it, if it is being ironic and satirical they should perhaps add a few more elements such as Martin Salter MPs claims of the existence of snuff movies and a link to the Snopes page debunking the myth to make it more obvious.

PS Yesterday I saw a video clip of a young lady with very large Bulgarian Airbags, trying to ride a bicycle whilst topless.

She proceeds to lose her balance and fall off and it seems that some of the impact was taken by said Airbags.

My question is: Would this be "Extreme Porn"? Well, she's topless, so if you like over-inflated boobs, that could definitely fit the "for sexual arousal" category. I'm sure someone would find it "disgusting or otherwise of an extreme nature" and since she falls off and lands on her breasts, clearly this is "likely to result in serious injury"...

Hmm...

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Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?

Graham Marsden
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@Sid

To quote Sir Terry Pratchett: Someone who goes to a Star Trek convention in a Star Trek Uniform and set of Spock ears is seen as a "nerd" or not "normal", whereas someone who wakes up from under their Manchester United duvet, drinks their coffee out of a Manchester United mug and goes out dressed in their Manchester United replica shirt is just a "dedicated fan".

You just want to define "normal" as "whatever I agree with" or "what people I like do" which, once again, is simply arrogant. And calling someone "sick" just because they do something you don't like is also arrogant and insulting. Paging Mr Pot and Mr Kettle-Black!

I don't consider this denying someone the right to hold an opinion, if you could actually *PROVE* that there was any "sickness" you might have a valid point, but since you don't, no.

I am pleased to hear you are "technically literate" but if you think this law will do *anything* to stop these images appearing on your computer than you *really* haven't understood it!

This law criminalises you for *having* them on your computer! This law says that if in someone else's opinion *you* deliberately downloaded those images or didn't delete them immediately and beyond *your* ability to retrieve, then *YOU* are guilty of a criminal offence! It will then be up to *YOU* to prove your innocence! Isn't that a wonderful thing...??

And just because these images are frequently "linked" (usually by the tabloid media or those who have an anti-porn agenda to push) to people who commit crimes is not proof. I could probably claim that virtually all of those who had committed these crimes had also drunk alcohol, would you therefore accept that there was a "link" between alcohol and such crimes? No, of course not. Yet because this spurious link has been created in the minds of the public (the rule of the mob), it seems you're willing to believe it.

If you want to do some research, try looking at the work of Professor Milton Diamond PhD of the University of Hawai'i who examined the effects of the availability of pornography (including so-called "extreme pornography") on sex crimes in the USA and Japan and concluded: "It is certainly clear from the data reviewed, and the new data and analysis presented, that a massive increase in available pornography in Japan, the United States and elsewhere has been correlated with a dramatic decrease in sexual crimes".

http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/online_artcls/pornography/prngrphy_ovrvw.html

Why should the sex industry *not* be permitted to advertise? In any case, that is utterly irrelevant to this law, which has been created by a bunch of narrow-minded prudes who consider that it is "abhorrent" or "deviant" or "not normal" (sound familiar?!) and that we, the general public, cannot be trusted to look at it in case we do something nasty, so the Nanny State is going to lock us up if we look at it.

I don't care if anyone is "in the majority or not", Rights are there to protect EVERYONE, not just you and those who behave like you, but all of the people. Freedom of Expression doesn't just mean the Right to say things or look at things that Uncle Sid and friends enjoy and don't think are dangerous.

I do blame the politicians (who are often only interested in grabbing headlines) and the general public (who believe the tabloid media's scare story) and I also blame people like *YOU* who can't accept that others have rights too.

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Graham Marsden
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@Sid

> Do you really hold the view that looking at pictures of Necrophilia, or bestiality or other deviation (as outlined in the act), is normal behavior? Do you really believe that a picture of somebodys anus being torn apart could be considered as something that doesn't cause harm to others?

Do you believe that *your* definition of "normal" is the only one that is valid? If so, that's arrogant.

Do you believe that a staged and faked image of an act is the same as someone actually carrying out that act? If so, that's arrogant.

You continue with your arrogance when you state: "So your civil rights and your liberties are affected by this law, well son, theres a really simple answer to that. At the risk of repeating myself, oh again, don't download Extreme porn."

Do you *really* not comprehend this issue? You are saying "if your rights are affected by this law, don't exercise these rights"!

I have the right to walk down the street and go about my lawful business "without let or hindrance". If the Government introduces compulsory ID cards, that will infringe on my rights. So your solution would be "well don't walk down the street, then!"???

> I really don't care what you or others get up to in the privacy of their own homes,

Yet this law will stop me from owning pictures *EVEN IN* the privacy of my own home! Even if they are pictures I have taken myself of two other consenting adults engaged in legal activities if, in someone else's *OPINION* they are "life threatening" or "likely to result serious injury" because I was not a "direct participant" in the acts. And even if I took the pictures with a self-timer and I was a "direct participant" in those acts, if I cannot *prove* that I was, then I am still guilty of a criminal act! (Presumed innocent? Not any more, sunshine)

> however the internet isn't just there for YOUR benefit, others, including children, use it,

Oh dear, it's the desperate "WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" argument. The internet is the *world*. If you're a parent, would you let your children go wandering out anywhere without any control or supervision? No? Then why would you let them do so on the internet?

It is a *parent's* ultimate responsibility to take care of their children, not mine, nor the Government.

> and if people who upload (or download) 'Extreme' pornography, are to stupid to realise that, then Governments will act to curb these abuses, so through their own selfish stupidity these people deserve these laws to make them conform.

Oh good grief! "Make them conform"?!

Yes, Big Brother! We must all be obedient Proles who are not permitted selfthink and accept whatever blackwhite the Party tells us. We must not look at anything not approved by Pornosec in case it causes us to engage in Crimethink or Sexcrime!

Ownlife is forbidden!

Ignorance is Strength!

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Graham Marsden

@Warhelmet

> Desensitisation anyone?

Just because someone may become "desensitised" to something, does not mean that it automatically follows that they're going to be inclined to *do* it!

> there are things that can be done to ensure that looking at such pornography is a very deliberate act rather than an innocent stumble upon.

Exactly! If you don't like it, don't look at it. Install blocking software, sign up to Cleanfeed etc. But don't pass laws that say "I don't want to see this, so let's ban it such that *nobody* else can see it either!"

PS @ Michael

Re: The Dictionary: The Zebra did it.

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Graham Marsden

@Warhelmet

I am sorry that you have had to experience stories of people who have experienced sexual violence, but do you honestly think that this law will do *anything* to change the number of people who experience that sort of thing? How many of those abusers had actually looked at "extreme pornography" and then been "inspired" to go on and carry out their abuse?

I think that you would find that most of them did it because they "enjoyed" it and the power it gave them over the person they were abusing, not because of anything they'd seen. They might, subsequently, have looked at images which fitted in with their "preferences" (no matter how deplorable such preferences might be) but we should not reverse cause and effect, yet that is what this law does.

> And I think Graham's position is one of "special pleading". So, if there are two images depicting the same act, one of them is OK because the motivation is fine by your lights, but the other isn't? Is this position reasonable? Images carry no instrinsic information regarding the motivation behind them.

Err, no, you first miss my point then, inadvertently, agree with it!

The fact is that, yes, there is no "intrinsic information" regarding the motivation behind them, yet this law purports to be justified on the grounds of how an image *appears* to a viewer! How can two images of the same act be both criminal and not criminal simply depending on how it *looks* to someone?

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Graham Marsden
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@Sid

You ask "Why should it be 'arrogant' to believe that anyone who wants to view 'Extreme' porn as being sick?"

Well, you answer your own question in your very next paragraph when you say: "Who ~ apart from a deviant ~ would find 'pictures' that depict "certain specific imagery, including necrophilia, bestiality, activity depicting serious harm to breast, anus or genitals or life-threatening activity" a normal situation?"

Using the word "normal" in this context (not to mention the word "deviant") shows that you consider your opinions of what is "normal" or not "deviant" to be the only ones that matter and you are demanding that I prove otherwise.

Well, sorry, but the burden of proof is on you (and the Government and those who support this law) to demonstrate that this is "abnormal" or "deviant" and not only that, but also that this will actually threaten or cause harm to others. Until you can do this, you are simply being arrogant.

You are equally as arrogant when you suggest that "it will not affect perhaps 95%* of the population" Even if it won't affects 99.9% of the population (a number that is equally made up) that would still leave some six thousand people who *will* be affected by it!

Do you think that all of those 6000 are really such a threat to the rest of us that they should be locked up in jail simply for possessing pictures because they can't be trusted to act like responsible adults? If so, that's arrogant!

> If it affects you there are a couple of things you can do, either cut and paste the above article and keep it handy, or perhaps just don't download extreme porn.

Again, you speak from arrogance (and ignorance). Neither I, nor anyone else, should be obliged to self-censor simply for having material that the Government doesn't like, nor should I be told "we think this is bad for you, so don't download it". That approach has been tried in places like China, Iran and East Germany, do you want to copy them?

PS "Uncle" Sid. It is not my *business* that is affected by the law, it is my civil rights and my liberties which are threatened! What was that comment about "being mischievous"?

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I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

Graham Marsden
Boffin

So now...

... we'll hear lots of gloating from the "I said it was all a myth" brigade, whilst the others will be accusing him of being traitor/ being bought out/ selling out/ whatever.

In the meantime, how about we just forget about this petty BS and try using energy more efficiently then it *WON'T MATTER* who was right and who was wrong because *EVERYONE* will win!

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Hybrid fusion-fission reactors to run on nuclear 'sludge'

Graham Marsden
Coat

Transuranic heavy elements...

... may not be used where there is life.

(Sorry ;-) )

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14-year-old charged with impersonating Chicago PD

Graham Marsden
Boffin

@AC Re: Eric Cartman

No, it won't get you thrown out of an S&M party for not taking it seriously, but it will get you thrown out for being an annoying tit!

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Obama reverses Dubya's tailpipe emissions

Graham Marsden
Boffin

Federal vs State

> Surely, the country would be better served if he pushed through federal regulation that mimics California's tailpipe standards.

Unfortunately then the Republicans (which probably includes Doug Southworth) would be screaming about "Big Government " interfering in the right of States to make their own laws and the whole thing would get bogged down in partisan infighting.

Instead he's going the smart way of realising that even though it may be more expensive, it will cause the US auto industry to finally start cleaning up its act because once they've developed more efficient engines and car designs for one state, they'll roll them out across the rest of them saying "hey, look, we're saving you money on gas!"

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NASA working on boomless supersonic jets

Graham Marsden
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The boom produced by Concorde...

... was sufficient that the mighty Mach-2 airliner was largely restricted to subsonic speeds when over land, and meant that the London-New York route was the only one it could routinely serve.

Or, rather, that this was allegedly used as an excuse by the US air industry who hadn't been able to build their own SST and wanted to make it as commercially unavailable as possible, so they got their Government to force it to slow to sub-sonic speeds whenever they could.

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Deviants, perverts, 'weirdos' - who's going down?

Graham Marsden
Unhappy

@Can we review all laws and vote on the contentious ones?

The Lib Dems came up with a "Freedom Bill" proposing to ban the "ten worst pieces of legislation" that Labour have come up with eg restrictions on protesting outside Parliament.

Of course because they're the Lib Dems, despite it being eminently sensible, it was pretty much ignored and the public barely heard about it.

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Graham Marsden
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A statement from ACPO...

... suggested that they would investigate material as they came across it

Avoiding the obvious pun, all this means is that either a) this law will be used as a Consolation Prize by the Police to charge someone with "possession of extreme porn" if they can't do them for anything else or b) someone going through a contentious divorce/ custody case can accuse their partner of "possessing extreme porn".

In either case it will probably be a simple smear tactic.

Meanwhile, of course, anyone who "lives quietly on their own, keeps themself to themselves" and doesn't come to the Police's attention, will probably not have a problem. Unfortunately those of us who have drawn attention to ourselves by contacting MPs and the Lords may well yet find ourselves the "low hanging fruit" if the Police want to up their arrest/ conviction rates.

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