* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Bank of England prescribes 'boredom'

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Why didn't Mervyn King...

... take a lesson from the way Sterling crashed when Darling Alastair opened his big mouth and *not* trigger another plunge for our currency?

Government tied in knots by bondage protest

Graham Marsden

Twenty Questions for the Ministry of Justice

(Yes, I know I've posted comments on this before, but *still* there has been no response or "guidance" from the MoJ with only two months to go before they introduce this law...!)

Here are some questions which the MoJ need to supply answers to in order to give us *any* clue as to what this law will *actually* affect...


Top prosecutor warns against growing state power

Graham Marsden

<Title deleted by Government Censors>

"Jacqui Smith said last week that she wants an open, reasoned debate to build consensus around the Bill. "

A "consensus" that will then be ignored if it doesn't agree with what Wacky Jacqui and friends want, because they've already decided that this is "good for us(tm)" and so will be implemented anyway.

I'd suggest a "Big Brother" icon for stories like this, but that would just allow Jacqui and co to zero in on those of us proles who fail to engage in "blackwhite" thinking (The ability to accept whatever "truth" the party puts out) and, instead are engaging in illegal crimethink (even considering any thought not in line with the principles of the party)...

Microsoft raises anti-piracy posse

Graham Marsden
Gates Horns

"killing American jobs and suffocating competition"

Fish... barrel...


New York sends AOL 'how-to-wiretap' slides

Graham Marsden

Just remember...

... You are being watched Citizen!

UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

Graham Marsden

Hmm, let's see...

Do we allow children to drive cars? No.

Do we allow children to go into pubs and drink alcohol? No.

Do we allow children to go into cinemas and watch 18 certificate films? No.

So the answer is simple, we simply ban children from the internet entirely!

I'm sure we could get the Daily Mail onside, any parent found allowing their child to access the internet should be arrested and charged for neglect and failing to protect their kiddies from all that nasty stuff, *that* should teach them a lesson!

Or (ok, I know this is a stupid idea, but...) how about we expect parents to be *responsible* for the upbringing of their children and monitoring what they do online?

Nah, that's daft and wouldn't allow our Big Brother Government to introduce even more ridiculous and unworkable Thought Crime legislation...

Times: US about to deploy Space Marines

Graham Marsden

Wrong music...

... They should have used the classic 80's hit "99 Red Balloons" by Nena:

"This is what we've waited for,

This is it, Boys, this is war!

The President is on the line as

99 red balloons go by.

"99 Knights of the Air

Ride super high-tech jet fighters

Everyone's a super hero,

Everyone's a Captain Kirk.

"With orders to identify,

To clarify and classify,

Scramble in the summer sky as

99 red balloons go by."

Still, it's only a song about a massive military over-reaction, isn't it...?!

Holy f**k, Microsoft covers up ‘undesired’ words

Graham Marsden


On one internet forum I used, in a discussion of the works of the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, his name was rendered by their software as "Philip K Masculine Area"!

Mine's the one with a copy of Monty Python's "I bet you they won't play this song on the radio" in the pocket...

Google ends gambling ad self-denial

Graham Marsden


Says it all really!

NASA spots 'gamma ray-only' pulsar

Graham Marsden

@Probably the result of....

... not a Thermo-stellar Triggering Device?

"Bomb number 20, you are out of the bomb bay again..."

NASA's nuclear Mars tank is go

Graham Marsden

I hope the Martian are ready...

... to welcome their Nuclear-Powered, Laser Wielding, Robotic Tank Overlords...!

Feds hamstring world's largest spam gang

Graham Marsden


"responcible [sic]"

"they bought [sic] me up"

Explains a lot...!

McCain begs for YouTube DMCA takedown immunity

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Rearrange these words...

... to get a well known phrase or saying.

Petard, Hoist, One's, Own, By.

Obviously McCain is one of those politicos who think they have special privileges (the word derives from "private law"!) and that the sort of legislation they pass is only for the "little people" to obey.

Airport baggage screener charged with stealing passengers' stuff

Graham Marsden

So how about...

... all the baggage handling staff have to leave work via the main concourse wearing a sign saying "Baggage Handler" and any of the airline travelling public can, at their whim, call them aside and search them, just in case they might have nicked something...

Sounds fair?

Koreans create dancing droid

Graham Marsden

So the Korea Institute of Science and Technology...

... will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes...?

Brussels bemoans low take-up of electronic cash

Graham Marsden

"It's as if people don't trust the financial system."

More importantly, it's as if people don't trust this system and the people operating it and the governments who'll be spying on it (and us) and will probably then find ways of levying taxes on it, not to mention the risk of money disappearing from your account when someone hacks it, followed by the operators saying "we think you were careless with your card, so we're not going to pay you back even though we didn't ensure we had a secure system", to name just a few things...

Black widows: Coming soon to a kitchen sink near you

Graham Marsden

Did anyone else...

... read this as "Black WiNdows" and got really puzzled...?

DarkMarket carder forum revealed as FBI sting

Graham Marsden

@Stings are evil

> Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Maybe you're just misinformed.

Entrapment is where a law enforcement officer or agency actively *encourages* people to commit crimes.

A sting is where they allow criminals to commit crimes so they can be arrested.

For example them saying "Go on, steal that car with the window open" is illegal, but leaving a car unattended with the window open that turns out to lock itself when someone tries to nick it is entirely legal.

Unless someone from the Law Enforcement community on DarkMarket actually instigated any criminal behaviour, then I have no problem with them simply making it easy for crooks to incriminate themselves.

Jacqui Smith resurrects 42-days after Lords rejection

Graham Marsden


> The government can rush the one-page bill through if they've declared a national emergency. I can't remember off-hand exactly under what conditions they have can declare national emergency

For more information (at the risk of a Godwin!) see the "Enabling Legislation" which allowed Hitler to seize power from the Reichstag in 1933...

Euro judges strengthen protections for database creators

Graham Marsden

Ok, but...

... what effect is this going to have on Screen Scraping services?

We've already seen in El Reg how Ryan Air have cancelled or refused to honour tickets that were booked through companies that do this (in order to allow customers to find the cheapest deals), now, it seems, this will give legitimacy to their actions and make life more difficult for the public to save money due to the "confusion marketing" techniques Ryan Air et al use.

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

@Ted Treen

> Believe me, there ain't nobody more fascist & draconian than a "liberal" given power.


Speaking as a liberal (with a small 'l') I can't say I recognise many liberal principles (Civil Liberties, Basic Human Rights, Presumption of Innocence etc) in the control-freak, nanny state legislation that has been brought in by this country and by the USA.

So, are Blair, Brown and Bush really "closet liberals"...?

US satellite returns first hi-res snap

Graham Marsden

I'm off to...

... paint "FUCK YOU!" in large, friendly letters in my back yard...!

Home Office defends retaining comms data

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Communications data...

... does not include the contents of a call, email or webpage

I think someone missed out the word "Yet" :-(

May I welcome our Stasi-emulating overlords...

Porn, abuse, depravity - and how they plan to stop it

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down


... to Thought Crime Britain!

If we think that the porn you look at might make you do nasty things, we'll ban it.

If we think that looking at Hentai and Manga cartoon images of "underage" girls might make you want to groom or molest children, we'll ban them.

If we think that satirical sites about mob rule might be taken seriously, we'll ban them.

If we think that banning sites or making it illegal to look at material we don't like is actually going to have the slightest effect, then we'll do it.

If we think that you are all a bunch of mindless sheeple who are incapable of acting in a mature and responsible adult manner and can't be trusted to look at anything that might make you do bad things then we've succeeded in our mission.

Hooray for the freedom loving and democratic UK Government!!

New USAF Cyber-war formation downgraded

Graham Marsden

@Destroy All Monsters

> purty japanese schoolgirls in sailor uniforms wielding oversized weaponry.

They'd better hurry, the Chinese are already way ahead of them...


'Podestrian' risk rising for drivers, warns insurer

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

And what about...

... the number of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users who are *STILL* being put at risk by idiots using hand-held mobile phones whilst in "control" of a tonne and half of metal despite it being illegal?

(PS "breaking"? "Swindon"?? Methinks some proof-reading is required!)

I'm very sorry, says gay health warning clergyman

Graham Marsden

@Lighten up

Ivana Chagalot:

There is a difference between him being entitled to hold an opinion and him calling for "discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets. Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed..."

The right to hold an opinion comes with the attendant *responsibility* not to express that opinion in a way or advocating behaviour that infringes on the right of others to live their lives in a manner that doesn't harm others.

Mosley asks Europe to change UK privacy laws

Graham Marsden

We do not equate the public interest with whatever the public is interested in...

... so says the Press Complaints Commission's own guidelines for editors.

What Max Mosley did had *nothing* to do with his job as head of F1, nor did he do it in a public place or display it for public consumption. What we did have, however, is a gutter tabloid rag which decided that invading someone's privacy for a bit of salacious scandal mongering would boost their circulation figures.

Unfortunately, whilst I entirely understand his reasoning, it's very unlikely that his requests will actually be acted upon because that would tip the balance too far away from the ability of the media to publish stories which are "in the public interest" ie *of benefit* to the public.

What he would, IMO, be better advised to do, is to get the PCC changed from a toothless watchdog which is stuffed with newspaper editors whose only interest is covering each other's backs to an organisation which can actually require editors to be dismissed or journalists sacked if they publish prurient tittle-tattle like this with no real justification other than "it will sell more papers".

Perhaps that will then make the press less inclined to do this sort of "expose".

Reading privacy policies takes 10 minutes on average

Graham Marsden

The other question is...

... as with EULAs (which are generally unread or made unreadable!) are these Privacy Policies actually legally enforceable parts of the implied contract between the business and the customer...?

New NASA nuclear Mars rover hits budget, time problems

Graham Marsden


It's got frickin' laser beams!

Credit agencies get death lists

Graham Marsden

And what happens when...

... someone presses the wrong key or mis-spells a name and some poor (but perfectly alive) sod finds that his credit cards have all been cancelled because "the computer says you're dead"!

Stick health warnings on gays, says Stock Exchange chaplain

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

light-hearted jokes...?

Yes, it's absolutely hilarious for someone like this to suggest that "religious believers" should "recommend ... discouragements of homosexual practices" by spreading blatant lies and hypocrisy.

Birmingham Airport in X-rated X-ray shocker

Graham Marsden


I can see great opportunities for fun here. Take a sheet of cardboard and stick on some letters cut from tinfoil, eg "F*CK OFF, NOSY GIT!"

Crypto attack unveils hidden backups

Graham Marsden


So a company that makes a security product "cracks" the protection of a different security product (well, only in the sense that you need an older image of the disk, which is surely a bit unlikely) and says "use our product instead"...?

Spam swine break next-gen CAPTCHAs

Graham Marsden

@ a recognition task easy for humans but tricky for computers.

Are you kidding? I can think of more than a few occasions when it's taken me multiple attempts to try to decipher distorted text or figure out which image is actually a bloody kitten. These things are a total PITA.

Roll up for the freetard smackdown

Graham Marsden

@Paul M

I don't live in a cave, but, unlike you it seems, I do know that the amount of DRM free music legitimately available out there is only a *fraction* of the total output available from music producers.

I'd be quite happy to pay for the music I wanted if I could actually buy it and, of course, at a reasonable price, instead of paying inflated "rip off Britain" charges.

And, no, I don't want to buy a ten quid CD simply to get one track either.

Thunderbird 3 release has wings clipped

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up


... to a software producer that actually realises its products still need work, instead of foisting off a buggy, insecure product onto the public and then patching it later...!

Phoenix Lander listens to Mars murmurings

Graham Marsden

Just as long as it doesn't hear...

Ull-la! Ull-la!

Still, the chances of that are a million to one...

BT's Phorm small print: It's all your fault

Graham Marsden

"Consumers want...

... greater control over their privacy online"

Right, so when people are browsing my site, selling affordable leather products (ie BDSM gear) they *really* want Phorm snooping around and checking what they're buying...!

I've just added the "Phorm Prohibited" text to my T&Cs.

UK minister looks for delete key on user generated content

Graham Marsden

"the Home Office actively pursuing plans..."

"...to block material that is not actually illegal to possess."

Not forgetting, of course, their plans to criminalise possession of material of acts that are not actually illegal to do!



Home Office finally approves UK cybercoppers

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up


Re: iPlod

ROFLALAL! Excellent!!

Ofcom: No premium numbers for previous offenders

Graham Marsden

@The easiest way to stop premium rate abuse ....

> is to make it so that phone subscribers have to explicitly "opt-in" to be able to make premium rate calls

Back in 1994, during the days of 0898 chat/ sex lines, there was an attempt to do exactly that which virtually killed the income of the businesses who, perfectly legally and legitimately, operated these lines, because nobody wanted to phone up an operator and say "please let me access these numbers". Eventually the system was quietly dropped.

'Extreme' extreme porn law puts Scots out of kilter

Graham Marsden

@Steve Swann

> if you are telling a story that involves such a scene, then its fine because it isn't simply for 'sexual gratification'

Yes, but if you take a clip from a TV show or BBFC classified film and, in someone else's *entirely subjective opinion* you did it "for sexual gratification" then you will have committed an offence.

Of course this will be judged partly by the "context" it is in, although whether that means it's in a folder marked "porn clips" or both are in the My Documents folder or both are on the same hard drive or both are on the same computer or both are in the same house, nobody knows!

There's also the point that the BBFC have given an R18 classification to a pr0n film called "Girls with Guns" that features women "forcing" men to have sex "under firearms duress", but that will still be entirely legal because it's not a clip from a film, it's the whole damn film!!

Still, apart from that, I agree entirely with your main point :-)

PS @NT - Nice rant!

Graham Marsden

@Can someone explain

> Xander: I'm confused. Does this law affect websites or users?


> Say I go on a forum and someone has posted "pornographic material that realistically depicts bestiality or necrophilia, rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise". Am I in trouble for just having viewed the image?

The crime is "possession". Of course since you have visited the website, the image will be cached on your computer, so you are "in possession" of it, even if you didn't save it.

> Is the original poster in trouble for making the image?

Possibly, but only if they're in the UK.

> Is the person who made the image in trouble (even if the image is just a detailed drawing / photo collage)?

If it's "realistic".

> Clarification would be great :)

The Ministry of Justice is supposed to be providing "clarification" before this law comes into effect in January 2009, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

I wrote to Harry Cohen MP (the only Labour MP who seems to give a toss about objecting to this ridiculous law) with twenty questions for the MoJ. That was back in July, but so far there has been no reply from them.

See http://www.seenoevil.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=803 for the letter.

Graham Marsden

@Sarah Bee

> there's never been any proof that looking at nasty porn makes people do nasty things (I suspect it's more likely to be the opposite, and the porn provides the outlet for the impulse, but then you can't prove that either).

It's not proof, but there has been some very valid research conducted by Professor Milton Diamond PhD of the University of Hawai'i

"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"


Graham Marsden

"help ensure society is protected..."

Wow, isn't it great that the Nanny State is there to "protect us from exposure to pornography that depicts horrific images of violence".

Obviously, just because of the actions of one or a few individuals, it is clear that we are *all* incapable of acting in a rational, sensible manner and cannot be trusted to view this material without going out and harming someone.

Excuse me whilst I stop playing GTA and go and steal a car and mow down a few pedestrians...

Attack of the 50-foot mobile virus risk

Graham Marsden


... the smartphone software manufacturers are, of course, ensuring that their code is robust and doesn't contain blatant vulnerabilities like, say, the stack-overflow error which any competent programmer would have ensured wasn't possible in the first place...?

How many terabytes can you fit on a 2.5-inch hard drive?

Graham Marsden


Is someone from Bristle (Bristol)?!

Secret Service camera bought on eBay

Graham Marsden

Consolation prize...

... of course the real reason they seized his computer is so they can check for anything they could consider to be "extreme pornography" on it and, if so, chalk up another brownie point to make their arrest figures look good!

MoD man 'faces Official Secrets trial' for leaving files on train

Graham Marsden

@David Rollinson

> UK Top Secret = Give to Journalist?

1) Hand in to the Police. They hand it back to the MOD. MOD says "Phew! That was lucky, good job nobody noticed" and does nothing about it.

2) Hand it to the media. They hand it back to the MOD with publicity and the MOD are then at least then aware that people know they screwed up and will maybe do something about their data security.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019