* Posts by Graham Marsden

6903 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

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...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/18/china_space_station/

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'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!)

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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.

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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".

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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...?

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New NASA nuclear Mars rover hits budget, time problems

Graham Marsden
Coat

Yay!

It's got frickin' laser beams!

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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"!

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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.

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Birmingham Airport in X-rated X-ray shocker

Graham Marsden
Alert

Hmm...

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!"

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Crypto attack unveils hidden backups

Graham Marsden

Hmm...

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"...?

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Spam swine break next-gen CAPTCHAs

Graham Marsden
Flame

@ 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.

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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.

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Thunderbird 3 release has wings clipped

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Kudos...

... 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...!

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Phoenix Lander listens to Mars murmurings

Graham Marsden
Alert

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

Ull-la! Ull-la!

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

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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.

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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!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/30/scotland_extreme_pr0n_law/

http://www.caan.org.uk/

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Home Office finally approves UK cybercoppers

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

@Neil

Re: iPlod

ROFLALAL! Excellent!!

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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.

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'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!

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Graham Marsden

@Can someone explain

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

Both.

> 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.

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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"

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

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Graham Marsden
Stop

"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...

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Attack of the 50-foot mobile virus risk

Graham Marsden
Joke

So...

... 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...?

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

Graham Marsden
Coat

"Areal"?

Is someone from Bristle (Bristol)?!

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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!

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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.

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Graham Marsden
Coat

I'm surprised...

... that the Authorities aren't planning to charge the member of the Public and the BBC for having this stuff.

After all, normally they pick on the softest targets...

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Reg competition: Cisco goes isup

Graham Marsden
Coat

HHGTTG

A follow up to the comment at the top:

You have no Tea.

> Drop no tea.

Your common sense says you cannot do that.

(Mines the one with the Joo-Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses in the pocket)

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Byron Review's internet enforcer goes into action

Graham Marsden
Joke

"taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour"

Damn! There goes my plan to start a site called www.runningwithscissors.co.uk!

(Addendum: Double damn, I've just found someone's already registered it! I hope they know they're liable to be shut down any day now...)

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Tories promise to kill off kids database

Graham Marsden

@AC Re: Lib Dems

> the chances of them winning the next election are unfortunately slim to none. Voting for them in certain constituencies risks handing power back to Labour for another term.

And as long as people keep saying (and believing) this, there isn't going to be the chance of any change!

Unfortunately too many people vote for Party X because "my parents voted for them and so did my grandparents" or they don't look further than their wallets and purses and so we're left with a two party state that operates on the principle of Buggins' Turn and neither of those parties have any inclination to change the system that keeps them in power.

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Brits happy to hand over password details for £5 gift voucher

Graham Marsden

@Gareth Dart

Yeah, but unless there's an M&S nearby, you have to spend time travelling to one, shopping for a chocolate bar etc wheras "Here's a choccy bar" gives instant gratification!

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Graham Marsden
Pirate

I wouldn't....

... because, frankly, a £5 M&S voucher is damn all use.

Now if it was a bar of chocolate, I'd be happy to give you all the passwords you want.

(Of course whether they're actually the real ones is another matter...)

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UN urged to prep for non-fiction Deep Impact

Graham Marsden

@Ru

Re: MIRVs

This is a flawed analogy, if you set off all those nukes in one place it would not have the same effect as a big asteroid.

Consider, instead, someone about to fire a double barreled shotgun at you. One barrel is loaded with a solid lead slug, the other with a similar mass of shot. The first will make a small hole going in and a bloody big hole coming out the other side, the second will make a lot of small holes but may not hit something vital.

Which barrel would you prefer to be fired?

That is why breaking up an asteroid before it hits is a good idea.

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US Army unit deployed to home front

This post has been deleted by a moderator

'You can't use Google' - EU Parliament

Graham Marsden
Stop

As opposed to the Common Law system...

... which defines what you may not do and anything not expressly banned is allowed.

Well, that was the way it *used* to work.

Unfortunately the way the current regime is working, soon we will be stuck with the dictum that "anything that is not expressly permitted is forbidden".

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Has the war on terror scored a virtual victory?

Graham Marsden
Stop

If Censorship is the answer...

... It was a bloody stupid question!

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Net Suicide Bill would breathe life into government censorship

Graham Marsden
Stop

Told you so...

Those of us who objected to the Governments plans to outlaw so-called "Extreme Pornography" were often accused of exaggeration or just being ridiculous when we said that if such a law was passed, it would open the door to even more ludicrous and draconian forms of internet censorship by a Control Freak Government.

Given that they haven't even been able to define *what* extreme pornography actually is, how do you think they're going to get on with defining "material that promotes or encourages terrorism" or "reducing the availability of suicide sites"?

Of course they have such a wonderful justification for this: "Protecting vulnerable and young people must be a priority and a responsibility for us all."

- Translation: We want to keep you scared and confused by passing laws which we claim will protect people, but which actually won't do anything of the sort. Meanwhile we're actually whittling away your liberties and freedoms one small step at a time until you're too afraid to do *anything* that might threaten our position.

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El Reg dresses The IT Crowd

Graham Marsden
Boffin

@Trawling.. .

If they are trawling this section for ideas, perhaps they could try something different like, oh, I don't know, actually making the show *funny*!

Try watching The Big Bang Theory instead...

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Finns develop mobe sleep-cycle alarm app

Graham Marsden
Joke

Yebbut...

What would Phorm do with something like this?

Imagine it monitoring your "arousal" and then auto texting you ads for condoms or Viagra!

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EFF reveals vastly expanded search policy at US borders

Graham Marsden
Stop

Yet another reason...

... to give the USA a miss in your travel plans!

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Pope watched over by flying robots during Lourdes visit

Graham Marsden
Coat

Just a thought...

... Can these things launch Hellfire missiles...?

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Lehmans techies start job hunt

Graham Marsden
Boffin

@Is that all?

Obviously the BOFH's got there first!

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Child abusers adopt blackmail tactics

Graham Marsden
Stop

@sharron farrer

> sorry to sound harsh but some of you sound like paedo trolls. Maybe I'm paranoid

Well I'm sorry to sound harsh, but you do, indeed, sound paranoid if you think that anyone here is a "paedo troll".

In fact you sound like a News of the World "Won't Someone Think of the Children!" troll.

I have no doubt, given what you say about "exposing" people, that you'd support some form of "Megan's Law", failing to realise that, in the UK, the Police know where over 97% of people on the Sex Offenders Register are, whereas in the USA, the figure is only 70%, ie 30% of their offenders have completely evaded official surveillance and monitoring and that's not to mention the people who are completely innocent of any crime, but who have been attacked by vigilantes who have mistaken them for paedophiles.

And please don't forget that the majority of offences against children are committed by close family members, not random strangers...

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Graham Marsden
Stop

Jim Gamble and Operation Ore...

Let us just take a moment to remember that Jim Gamble was Assistant Chief Constable of the National Crime Squad which was responsible for running Operation Ore, a travesty of justice that resulted in innocent people being accused of downloading child porn because their credit card details had been stolen.

He made exaggerated and, indeed, downright inaccurate statements to the Government and to the House of Lords regarding that matter, so please excuse me if I take his and the CEOP's current concerns about, for instance, the "increase" in use of P2P or VOIP "creating an even greater risk" of abuse with a large pinch of salt.

A quick read of their report shows that eg they're still bang alongside the idea of criminalising computer generated images because "The ability to generate images of children, without even having to meet a child, is a useful tool for offenders who can then go on to use that image either to increase their status in paedophile networks or in the grooming process." They also seem to want a "report abuse" button being available on social networking sites that goes *directly* to them (presumably to increase their status in the law enforcement community?)

I have no desire to protect those who abuse children, however I do have a desire to ensure that we do not get more draconian laws or state monitoring of our web usage introduced in this country based on "Won't someone think of the children!" arguments.

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Mozilla slots pr0n safe mode into Firefox 3.1

Graham Marsden
Alert

Firefox Portable...

... has been doing this for ages anyway

Wanders off humming "The Internet is for Pr0n"

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NASA preps Atlantis for Hubble mission

Graham Marsden
Joke

Title

> the inspection via the shuttle robotic arm will be "much more intensive".

Couldn't they just use Hubble to give it a *really* close up inspection...?

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NASA mulls nuclear Moon reactor

Graham Marsden
Coat

@FlatSpot

It wasn't a submarine, it was a World War II bomber, as reported by the Sunday Sport!

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Northrop offer supersonic robot stealth raygun cyber-bomber

Graham Marsden
Coat

May I be the first to welcome...

... our Supersonic Robot Stealth Raygun Cyber-Bomber Overlords!

(Mine's the one hanging next to the Pork Barrel)

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Parents plant spyware to snare sex predator

Graham Marsden

@GF

> the parents most likely had already taken the steps in trying to establish/maintain trust with their daughter

"Most likely"? Got any proof of that?

> If someone consistently lies to you about something, is that trust still there? No

"We don't trust you, so we're going to spy on you for your own protection". Hmm, sounds familiar, do you work for the Government...?!

The point is, however, there are better ways of doing this than installing spyware on your child's computer.

> Several items to consider: 1. Anyone under the age of 18 years old (at least in the US) is a juvenile,

This was in the UK, not the US.

> it would be very bad parenting to not provide an environment of trust where the juvenile should become a responsible family member, but that trust is earned, not given.

Is that the child trusting the parent or the parent trusting the child?! And how about a little *respect* from both sides?

> The juvenile is not mature enough to think for him/herself

So the parent *guides* the child and *teaches* them. They don't *snoop* on them.

And your Point 4 sounds like classic "Won't someone think of the children!" hyperbole.

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Graham Marsden

@Unbelievable

> I do believe that it is not only my right, but my responsibility as a father to ensure that my children do not get into life threatening or emotionally damaging situations.

It is. But the point that some people are making (and that people like you are ignoring) is that this should be done *pro* actively, not *re* actively.

Firstly ask yourself how come "The relationship between the two raised earlier concerns and Lovell agreed to sign an agreement with police preventing him from contacting the girl" and then ask yourself how come, subsequently, "she became more withdrawn and started to lie about her movements".

Perhaps it was because the parents had not adequately taught their daughter what to watch out for and how to deal with this sort of situation? Maybe they just thought "oh well, she's in her room and she's being quiet, that's good enough for us"?

If they already had grounds for concerns, why didn't they move her computer into a family space instead of deciding to snoop on her behind her back?

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