* Posts by Graham Marsden

6903 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

µTorrent for Mac is go

Graham Marsden
Joke

So all the Mac users...

... will now be stealing music and denying the RIAss.A and the BPA (erm, I mean musicians) lots of lovely money and the music industry will collapse and the world will come to an end and...

Signed the RIAss.A and the BPA.

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Oz bill-dodgers nailed on Facebook

Graham Marsden

Of course Wacky Jaqui would have said...

... if they'd had ID cards they'd never have gotten away with it (I blame those pesky kids...)

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Zoo's polar bear breeding plan scuppered by girl-on-girl

Graham Marsden
Coat

There's got to be a joke...

... about bears and woods here somewhere...

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Ashdown brain trust: Democracy isn't a human right

Graham Marsden
Joke

so we don't mind being friends with totalitarian states any more...

And, of course, we've never supported or done business with totalitarian states or dictatorial regimes in the past when it's been convenient to us either...

Joke ahead icon because (oh figure it out yourself)

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'Bloody' is an offensive word, declares ASA

Graham Marsden

The ASA...

... had already tried to ban the Aussies "So where the bloody hell are you" tourism advert but eventually decided it was ok in a post 9pm slot.

Personally I think most kids response to this would be "Fuck that..."!

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Sky mulls PVR software rollback

Graham Marsden

It's working again...!

I woke this morning to find my box was in Standby mode even though I've left it switched on the past few days to ensure this problem didn't arise, but, after pressing the on button in trepidation, I'm pleased to confirm that it's working properly again.

Hopefully (hah!) Sky will learn from this...

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Graham Marsden
Stop

How much is a Sky+ Box...?

I, too, have had this problem after replacing the old 40GB HDD (which died) with an 80GB drive and was within a few minutes of forking out £10 a month for "Sky Protect" (or is that Sky Protection Racket) coverage for a year (ie £120 or so all told) to get an engineer to come out and replace my current box with a refurbished one because after doing all the usual resets etc, it still wouldn't work properly. Fortunately I read El Reg's last article on this just in time to save my money!

The people at Sky (who knew nothing about the problem) first told me that I'd have to buy a new box for £150 and pay £65 to have an engineer install it, but it occurred to me, how much is a Sky+ box?

Consider, a 40GB drive which (if you can even get them these days) are about £20 at retail. Add in a motherboard, a few chips, a transformer, a case and bit of assembly and you've got maybe £50-£60 worth of costs. So where is the rest of the money going, I wonder...?!

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Government finally names the day for porn ban

Graham Marsden

@fifi

The Government have (oh so kindly) offered a "defence" that if you were a "direct participant" in the images then you are allowed to possess them. Of course this rather ignores the principle of Presumption of Innocence since using a "defence" rather requires you to be *charged* with a crime in the first place. It means, therefore, that your partner would be allowed to possess the images, but not you!

There's also the small matter of your partner needing to *prove* that they were a "direct participant", so if those involved were wearing head to toe leather or rubber it would be rather difficult to show this.

And, yes, if a photographer takes pictures of people engaging in acts that could fall under this legislation, even though they are legally the copyright holder of those images, it would be illegal for them to actually own them!

People need to contact their MPs via www.writetothem.com and demand that the Select Committee that the Government hinted at when this law was going through the Lords (and then ignored) is set up to re-examine this whole issue and this ridiculous law is removed from the statute books.

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Graham Marsden
Stop

So the Thought Crime is finally here...

Congratulations, New Labour! You have decided that anything that in *your* subjective opinion is dangerous to *us* should be banned and that if *we* look at it, we must be locked up for our own safety and the safety of society!

The fact that there's still no "guidance" from the MoJ (oh, it's coming, honest!) let alone a stipulation to the Police that this should not be used as some sort of "Consolation Prize" law (well, we can't do them for the crime we nicked them for, but we found some dodgy stuff on his PC) just confirms that our leaders have lost all touch with reality and because they know they've already lost the next election they're just pushing through every piece of nonsense they can think of which will make the country a "better place" (in their opinions) such as locking men up for paying for sex, calling Lap Dancing clubs "sexual encounter venues" and assuming that every prostitute has been trafficked.

Time to look out that copy of Truecrypt before the Stasi^W err Geheime Staatspolizei^W^W erm Ministry of Love come knocking on my door...

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Apple forced to pull misleading UK iPhone ad

Graham Marsden

First against the wall...

... when the Revolution comes!

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Google silences Gmail security blogorumors

Graham Marsden
Coat

Waves hand...

... this is not the Domain Hijack Vuln you're looking for...

(Mine's the one with Luke Skywalker's lightsabre in the pocket!)

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Juror dismissed over Facebook poll

Graham Marsden

"she didn't know which way to go"

In which case the default position (which should have been explained to her) is if she has reasonable doubts the defendant should be PRESUMED INNOCENT!

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Government data review grants more data sharing power

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

"Robust Case"...?

ie "we want it, we think it's a good idea and we don't give a toss about what you or anyone else thinks..."

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Lapdancing 'not sexually stimulating', MPs hear

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Ho hum...

... so not content with trying to ban Dangerous Pictures, not content to try to criminalise men for paying for sex, not content with having the WI write letters to newspapers to stop them running legal adverts, not content with threatening trafficked women with arrest and deportation instead of giving them the protection of the law, our New Labour Nanny State now wants to decide whether or not we are allowed to be "sexually stimulated" in the guise of "protecting women"!

What next? Banning of short skirts and the introduction of the Burkha...?

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A sex show of truly Olympian proportions?

Graham Marsden

Re: @ John Ozimek RE: 11th Show

Erotica has been running since 1997, although they're now using the larger Olympia 2 hall.

Speaking as someone who used to exhibit a range of Affordable Leather Products at the show, I have to say that it's now a limp shadow of its former self. Almost all the small niche traders have been priced out of attending, the public are being absolutely ripped off (Saturday tickets were £30 on the door!) and it's now turned into pretty much the equivalent of a glorified Anne Summers event.

To compare: When I was selling my products there, the upstairs was filled with stands and the downstairs likewise. At the latest show the upstairs was virtually devoid of exhibitors and the downstairs had large empty spaces and huge aisles because too many businesses had got fed up with being charged excessive prices for stand spaces.

Of course the organisers don't give a damn as long as they can keep the punters happy, but maybe this year they will finally realise that they can't keep milking the show for all it's worth.

Anyone who is interested in buying the more niche products would be better advised to check out the London Alternative Market, the London Fetish Fair, the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar or the South West Alternative Market and Party (or SWAMP) in Bristol.

PS @Lisa Parratt's "£200 for an electro box?" comparing the E-Stim Series 2 box to a TENS unit is like comparing a top of the range graphics/ gaming PC to something you can buy from Woolworths!

It has two independent channels for safe "above the waist" play, multiple pulsing modes and even a microphone so you can zap someone to your favourite MP3! (Erm, allegedly...!)

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Tories, retail ISVs decry Darling's VAT cut

Graham Marsden

I run a small business...

... that is not VAT Registered, so do I a) not reduce prices and try to inform customers of this or b) have to re-price several hundred items in my range both on my website and on my billing system because they'll still expect things to be cheaper?

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Software update nobbles Sky+ boxes

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Thank you El Reg!

You've just saved me from having to fork out £10 a month for the next year to sign up to the "Sky Protect" insurance scheme (or should that be "protection racket"?!) which was going to be the cheapest way of (as I thought) getting my box fixed or replaced, as opposed to the option of paying out £150 for a new box plus £65 "installation fee" (even though I could do this myself!)

Given that I've been onto their Tech Support Division twice in the last three days (latest was this evening) and they said damn all about it, I'm glad at least *someone* knows WTF is going on!

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NASA readies remodeled ISS ENose

Graham Marsden

I want to trademark....

... The iSniff!

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MPs declare their ignorance on the web

Graham Marsden

"we should act on the probability of risk"

Oh look, another MP arguing that we, the ordinary people of the UK are too stupid or too incapable of making rational, sensible decisions for ourselves that the Nanny State must step in to protect us from our poor selves and we should not worry our little heads about the fact that they are deciding for us, once again, what is or isn't safe for us to look at!

If your MP is uninformed, visit http://www.writetothem.com and *INFORM* them that you do not want to see this sort of BS being made into law in this country.

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BNP leaked list claims first victims

Graham Marsden

You have the right to believe what you want, but...

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights says:

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Article 11 says:

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

So there is nothing to stop someone being a member of the BNP or espousing their views *provided* they are not members of the armed forces, Police or Civil Servants and provided that they do not infringe on the rights of others.

If, however, we start declaring which parties or expressions of opinion are "politically correct" simply because we don't like them (and not because they provably risk harm to others) then we are on a very slippery slope...

... hmm, hang on, this Government has already put us on that slope, hasn't it...?

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German bawdy house offers free entry for life

Graham Marsden
Stop

@And the puritan perspective on it

Just as a point, we're not talking about kerb crawling here which does cause problems in the areas it happens, but legal brothels which are a good way of ensuring women are safe and not exploited or trafficked whilst being too scared to seek the protection to which they're entitled in law.

Incidentally, even if a woman does go to the Police to report that they have been a victime of trafficking, they risk being arrested and deported, straight back into the hands of the traffickers again.

Unfortunately Jackboots Jackie wants to criminalise those who pay for sex in some misguided belief that this will somehow stop trafficking based on an imaginary Home Office figure that some 70% of women involved in prostitution are victims of this crime.

See this interview with Cari Mitchell from the English Collective of Prostitutes:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7737144.stm

There is also the fact that (unsurprisingly) the proposals are so vaguely worded that those who visit women who work as professional Dominatrices (and who don't offer sexual services, nor ply their trade on the streets) would probably also be caught by this law.

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Oz sex trade to spank parliamentary prudes

Graham Marsden

Those who are worried about keeping their jobs...

... have always to think about what the Daily Mail reaction would be...

Which is a perfect example of why the Lords should not be an elected body, otherwise they'll just end up pandering to the bigots in the media.

Meanwhile I'd just like to say "Bonzer!" to the Aussies and don't let a bunch of sad wowsers get you down!

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Feds shutter one-stop stalker shop

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

Shut down... comprehensive snooping service...

Of course, perish the thought that anyone should offer competition to comprehensive Government snooping!

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NASA space tests 'interplanetary internet' protocol

Graham Marsden
Alien

Across the gulf of space...

... intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our planet with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely drew their plans against us.

"Hey, Xylmx, now we can really pwn those earthers for all those cruddy movies!"

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UK health records should not be flogged off

Graham Marsden

Consent is irrelevant...

So not happy with, again, ignoring advice about people giving consent to donate organs, the Government now wishes to assume our consent for others to rummage through our medical history to see if there's anything of interest to them...

If people like Bronek Kozicki and Paul Murphy wish to put their details or their child's details on some sort of central register of people with specific conditions who are willing to participate in trials, that's up to them, but they should *NOT* assume that because *they* are happy to do this I or anyone else will also be happy to do the same.

It is *MY* choice, not theirs and not the Government's.

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Unhappy people watch more telly

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Another prouncement from...

... the Department of Stating the bleedin' obvious!

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Judge: No cryptographic hash analysis without warrant

Graham Marsden

@Tom

> Someone (later defined as "the landlord's acquaintance") who took possession of his computer stumbled upon some of the forbidden files and reported them to police.

Or maybe the landlord's acquaintance decided to access some kiddie porn himself and then reported it?

And was it legal for that acquaintance to take possession of that computer anyway? I don't know how the US system works, but AIUI in the UK it is illegal for a landlord to take possession of a tenant's personal property, they must apply for a Court Order for Bailiffs to remove the tenant and/ or any property, not simply grab it themselves.

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Tory MP smacks Labour about the balls

Graham Marsden
Coat

Can I be the first to say...

... that sounds like a load of balls to me...

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BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

Graham Marsden
Coat

"Sapphire's not an element!"

... Nor was Steel, but it was still a wonderfully original piece of TV SF!

Mine's the one with the series DVD in the pocket...

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Tens of thousands of kids need to be protected from ContactPoint users

Graham Marsden
Stop

So how about...

... *Everyone* puts in an application for their children's data to be shielded?

By the time that lot gets sorted out the kids will have grown up anyway!

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Microsoft: 'Patents are gibberish - unless you're a patent lawyer'

Graham Marsden
Gates Horns

'Patents are gibberish - unless you're a patent lawyer'...

... and that's the way we like it!

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Distrust means cop databases suffer arrested development

Graham Marsden
Joke

many coppers are simply reluctant to trust...

... their foreign colleagues with sensitive operational information

Yeah, they might leave it on a train...!

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Mobe number middleman turns old sims into gold

Graham Marsden
Boffin

"Dialling words has never been very popular in the UK"

The original design of the Subscriber Trunk Dialling system used letters for the dialling codes of various places:

"For example Aylesbury was given the STD code 0296, where the letter A can be found on the number 2 and the letter Y on the number 9. The letter O became a zero (except in placenames beginning with O), such as Bournemouth: 0202 - 20 = BO. However as more and more places were given STD codes this system became unworkable. The use of alphabetic exchange (area) codes was abandoned in the 1960s"

From http://www.fact-archive.com/encyclopedia/UK_telephone_numbering_plan

The problem was that not all rotary phone dials were standardised to use the same layout, for instance some put O, Q and Z on the Zero finger hole instead of their standard alphabetical places, which could cause confusion.

Also, of course, it was much more difficult to get "custom numbers" back in the days of the General Post Office who originally ran the phone system (and you didn't even *own* your phone, you only rented it from them!) or even in the early BT days before number portability, so trying to get a number that spelled "plumber" was virtually impossible.

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Express Scripts posts $1m reward to net cyber-extortionists

Graham Marsden
Go

Going public etc

It's good to see a company actually owning up to and taking responsibility for its failure to protect customers' information instead of trying to bury its head in the sand or conceal the facts.

I hope the extortionists get all they deserve.

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McLaren teams up with chip firm for F1 hybrid tech

Graham Marsden
Coat

Toro Rosso...

... will surely be using a system which injects caffeine directly into the engine (or perhaps the driver...!)

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Maradona rubbed from Yahoo! web by Argentinian judge

Graham Marsden
Unhappy

So is this the face of the future...?

... The web being sanitised at the whim of Judges who mostly don't have a clue about it, at the behest of money grubbing lawyers who don't care about it, prompted by idiot "celebrities" who think they have a right to control it and what people can read about them...?

Not only do we have to worry about Control Freak Governments telling us what we can or cannot look at in case it's bad for us (or because it exposes their embarassing failures), now we risk seeing the most powerful tool for Freedom of Information being crippled by those who are only interested in a quick buck.

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Broadband speed testers fail the test

Graham Marsden
Boffin

In other words...

... Virgin have a shite service, so they want to slag off anything that proves they have a shite service...

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US Forces offer soundtrack-search 'TroopTube'

Graham Marsden
Black Helicopters

"soundtrack search function"?

So will it scan for words like "Die infidel pig!" or "Death to America"?!

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Boffins plan Titanic balloon trip

Graham Marsden
Coat

Methinks...

... Someone's been reading Arthur C Clarke's "A Meeting With Medusa" ;-)

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Starlust: love, hate and celebrity fantasies

Graham Marsden

"A written constitution"?

We have Rights in this country as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights which the UK Government encoded into our laws with the Human Rights Act.

Unfortunately those Rights are shot through with "weakening clauses" (or should that be "weasel clauses"?) such as Article 8's "RIght to Privacy" which says:

"There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

The "protection of health and morals" was the way the Government managed to justify their prosecution of the Operation Spanner defendants (a bunch of gay man engaged in somewhat extreme BDSM acts) and their conviction for such "crimes" as "aiding and abetting assaults on themselves".

It's also an excuse they give for their law making it a crime to possess so-called "Extreme Pornography" because it will "protect others" (they don't, of course, explain how...).

Unfortunately it's very unlikely that any modern politician would not include exactly the same sort of weasel wording in a written constitution were such a thing to be introduced into this country.

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Law Commissions want to keep UK consumers' refund rights

Graham Marsden

In the UK...

... We have some of the best consumer protection legislation around, for example:

Sale of Goods Act 1979 - Goods must be of Satisfactory Quality, As Advertised and Fit for Purpose. If they are not, it is up to the Retailer to sort out the problem, not the consumer or the manufacturer.

Distance Selling Regulations 2000 - Goods must be delivered within 30 days unless otherwise agreed. Goods must be sold according to the SoGA 1979. The customer has 7 days to examine the goods as long as they're not perishable/ time dependant (eg newspapers) and then return them/ cancel the contract if they change their minds.

Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers 2002 - If a fault appears on an item within 6 months it's up to the Retailer to prove it wasn't present or inherent at the time of purchase, otherwise the consumer can claim refund, repair or replacement at their discretion. After 6 months and up to 6 years (if it's reasonable for the goods to last that long) if the consumer can prove the fault was inherent they can still claim this right.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act - If you pay for goods worth between £100 and £30,000 by a Credit Card it makes the Card Company jointly and severally liable for remedying any problems (ie if the Retailer has gone bust, you can still get your money back).

The EU should not be trying to *weaken* these rights, they should be *expanding* the regulations to ensure that everyone in the EU can have them.

PS As well as being a consumer, I'm a retailer as well and I have no problems in giving customers these rights if they buy from me.

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DNA convictions fall as database doubles in size

Graham Marsden
Stop

not only in detecting the guilty but in eliminating the innocent

Erm, excuse me? "Eliminating the innocent"?

"Sir! We've found some DNA and compared it against the DNA of everyone in the country, so that's sixty million people we know *didn't* commit the crime!"

"Excellent, that only leaves us with a dozen or so people whose DNA matches the sample, so let's hassle them all until someone coughs..."

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Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's

Graham Marsden
Coat

My local gym...

... is advertising a new Pilate's class.

Someone was heard to comment that perhaps you should wash your hands after it... ;-)

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Banks to share data on promiscuity

Graham Marsden

is there anything for the ordinary punter to worry about in these proposals?

Hell, yes, there's plenty to worry about!

This is just another of those measures (like Chip and Pin and Verified by Visa) which are brought in "for the customers' benefit" which are actually really there to benefit the banks and card companies.

I'm sure they hate people like me because, when I moved house six years ago I maxed out my credit card, then I've been shifting it around 0% deals ever since effectively getting a six year £5000 interest free loan. Of course, to them, this simply means they're not making money out of me because I'm not paying stupidly inflated interest rates and I'm "costing" them the few pennies a year it takes them to run my account, and that's just not good enough.

If the Card Companies can see that I'm doing this, there's no way I'm going to be able to get new cards and then they can start charging me and many others lots of money...

May I strongly recommend people visit http://www.moneysavingexpert.com and sign up to Martin Lewis' weekly newsletter to find out more ways of making the system work for you!

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Company That Can't Be Named slams critics

Graham Marsden

But we all know...

... that inphormation which can identify people needs to be kept confidential...

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Gary Glitter expelled from GCSE paper

Graham Marsden
Flame

Burn the witch...!

And once you've burned the witch, burn everything else that's even vaguely associated with them!

The Moral Purity of society must be protected at all costs...!

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Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab

Graham Marsden
Boffin

Here's an idea...

... Invite Jackboots Jacqui to make a speech on the value of ID cards at your local Students Union etc, then, as she gets to the door, have officials standing there demanding to see her ID because "how do we know you're the *real* Jacqui Smith?"

Then make her stand there for ten minutes (preferably in the cold and rain) whilst you go inside and "check the details"...!

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Lords demand DNA database deletions

Graham Marsden

@THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY PARTICULAR PARTY ALLEGIANCE

Err, sorry, but that's not the case.

Yes, some Lords, eg the Cross Benchers and Bishops don't have any party allegiance, but the rest of them most certainly do being Labour/ Tory/ Lib Dem peers (and often ex-MPs)

There's plenty of Party political BS still going on in there, the only difference being that the Lords don't have to worry about re-election.

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Graham Marsden

@AC 16:57

"Those who desire power, are the last ones you should allow to wield it"

It wasn't Heinlein (he was just in favour of only letting the military rule), but similar sentiments have been expressed by Arthur C Clarke and Douglas Adams.

PS @what's wrong with those 150?

> Haven't they had their DNA forcibly taken and put on the database.

Nope, they were probably just in the Lords Bar when the time to vote came and the party Whips said "go and vote for this even though you haven't read it"...

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Boffins: global warming kills lemmings, not suicide

Graham Marsden
Joke

@Tanuki

> subdue the bastards by whacking them with a walking-boot

Wow! Whack-a-mole with real critters...!

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