* Posts by Graham Marsden

6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Graham Marsden
Big Brother

Just because you can spy on everyone...

... doesn't mean that you should.

The problem is that the Security Services see their job as "protecting the country" and they'll protect it so much that whatever made it worth living here in the first place gets trampled underfoot in the process.

Meanwhile they're telling the government "Look, X, Y and Z happened (or could have happened) because we weren't able to read everyone's mail/ monitor everyone's phone calls/ check what website people are visiting/ see who's talking to whom etc etc" and claming that the only way they can prevent terrorist attacks is to be allowed to do anything they want and trough huge amounts of information on everyone in the hope that, by making a bigger haystack they can find some more needles and, regrettably, our governments keep falling for this.

Fortunately for us, the little people, there are a few people who actually have a conscience and believe that the right of Freedom of Expression and the right not to have the State snoop on everything people are doing is more important than preventing "terrorist atrocities" which are actually less likely to kill you than you being struck by lightning.

HAD IT with Planet Earth? There are 12 alien worlds left to try out

Graham Marsden

@Evil Auditor - Re: Great news!

"what's the point of spreading our life beyond earth?"

"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 - The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


"[T]here's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly, and Aristophanes, and - all of this - all of this - was for nothing. Unless we go to the stars."

- Commander Sinclair - Babylon 5

NASA, start your torrents: 622 Mbps broadband link FOUND ON MOON

Graham Marsden

But what happens...

... if we suddenly find out that "That's no moon" and it start shooting back at us...?

Call yourself a 'hacker', watch your ex-boss seize your PC without warning

Graham Marsden


... if someone refers to themselves as a "Gangsta"...?

Pimp my office: 10 cubicle comforts

Graham Marsden

Re: Phillips monitor

It's when it starts adding "And brush your hair", "don't pick your nose" or "that tie doesn't go with that shirt" for example that defenestration is imminent...

Brit PM raps Facebook for allowing GORY beheading vids

Graham Marsden

@AC Re: it was "irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos"

The point is that David Cameron wants to pass laws based on his inadequate and incomplete knowledge of how something works.

As many have already pointed out in other discussions, his idea of "mandatory filters" that we would have to opt-out of will do virtually nothing to protect anyone (they would almost certainly not have stopped anyone seeing this particular video clip), yet, despite this, he no doubt still thinks it's a good idea.

If he doesn't understand a subject, he should get proper information from those as to whether his proposals are sensible or not, rather than jump on an emotion-laden band-wagon in the desperate attempt to show that he "cares" when the evidence shows that he doesn't actually seem to give a damn about anyone who isn't rich.

Graham Marsden

it was "irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos"

And once again Call me David reveals that he's utterly clueless about how the internet works.

But I have little doubt that he will use this as just another justification for his mandatory porn (and anything else he doesn't like) filters...

Pirate Bay captain pleads with Swedes: Don't make me walk Danish plank

Graham Marsden

Re: Human rights

Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights says:

2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.

This is re-iterated in Paragraph 3 of Article 6:

3.Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;

Additionally Article 4 of Protocol 7 prohibits the re-trial of anyone who has already been finally acquitted or convicted of a particular offence.

So, it doesn't matter whether you struggle to comprehend these rights or not, they are what he is entitled to.

Sueball-happy patent biz slaps lawsuits on 14 tech firms

Graham Marsden

Nice products you've got there, Squire...

... be a shame if anything happened to them, know what I mean?

Now if you were to sign up for our very affordable on-going insurance policy...

Chrome for the slurp-weary: Cookie-binning Aviator browser arrives

Graham Marsden


... not least because someone from El Reg asked me to stop plugging Ad Blockers in my comments because "we have to make a living"...

Met Police vid: HIDE your mobes. Pavement BIKER cutpurses on the loose

Graham Marsden

Re: Surely ...

Lol! That's a good one, tell us another...!

Feds charge Vietnamese suspect with slurp'n'flog of half-a-million Americans' ID data

Graham Marsden


Sounds like Bullz to me...

Jury smacks Qualcomm for UNLAWFUL TECH in iPhone, Galaxy chips

Graham Marsden

Re: Their next move...

The enemy of our enemy...

... is just someone we haven't sued yet!

(*Well, recently, anyway...)

Torrent site isoHunt to close

Graham Marsden

“To what extent should a Web search engine be held to 'cause' infringement"

But they do! In the same way that cars cause speeding and knives cause stabbings and guns cause shootings and...

Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

Graham Marsden


Painted Aerial Navigator Tones In Expressive Scheme

EC: NSA slurps scare you? Europe's clouds are open for business

Graham Marsden

@HMB - Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

Well I've just downvoted you because whilst you may "believe" that "a lot of people are working hard to keep us safe and have almost certainly averted some major disasters", it's actually up to you to demonstrate the validity of this belief, not up to anyone else to show that you are wrong. (BTW I have a magic stone that protects me against alligator bites. It must work, because I've never been bitten by an alligator...)

Leaky security could scuttle global ship-tracking system

Graham Marsden

Prior art...

... see Superman III for details.

(Actually, don't, it's a pretty crap film!)

Feline OVERLORDS ditch camera-toting human servants, film selfie vids

Graham Marsden

Re: Urban dictionary has it about right @ Ben Rosenthal

Dogs come when called.

Cats have answerphones.

Rorschach test suggested as CAPTCHA replacement

Graham Marsden

That's a bird...

... that's a horse with a hat on.

- William Shatner in Airplane II

Assange: 'Ecuadorian embassy staff are like my family'

Graham Marsden

Re: Marsbarbrain Personally...

Oh dear, Matt, most people got over the fact that the first four letters of my surname are the same as the first four letters of a popular chocolate product back in school.

As for the rest of your post, please, get yourself a sense of humour.

Graham Marsden


... I'd love to arrange with theatrical and model hire agencies for a large number of tall, thin, blond guys to wander in and out of the Ecuadorian Embassy all day and all night, just so the Met Police can feel like they're actually *doing* something by stopping them all and checking that it's not JA trying to sneak out..


Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in flawed piracy crackdowns

Graham Marsden

"Hollywood could slash piracy rates...

"...by simply making its content easily and legally available,"

See icon for details.

BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

Graham Marsden

Re: So, the BBC CAN still sink lower

It's no myth... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OvefhhMbbg

Coming soon to Twitter: Inboxes BULGING with DMs from world+dog

Graham Marsden


"The feature is completely opt-in"...

... at present!

Smile for the cops! Sexy Snapchat selfies' self-destruct scrubbed by search warrants

Graham Marsden

@Vociferous - Re: I take it we're talking pedos trading CP here?

Ah, yes. Those wonderful laws that are designed to "protect" children by criminalising them...

Osborne to China: Keep watching Downton and we'll gloss over Huawei security worries

Graham Marsden
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George Osborne...

... is only interested in helping line the pockets of his rich mates whilst everyone else gets screwed. Hence why small investors only got a fraction of the shares they wanted in his massively underpriced Post Office sell-off, whilst the big institutions got all the shares they wanted and a tidy profit as the price rocketted!

PS interesting factoid: A professional dominatrix is about to publish a book which features George Osborne. A few days ago, out of the blue, she was raided by the Drugs Squad. Odd co-incidence, that...

See http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/10/13/natalie-rowe-mistress-pain-george-osborne_n_4093138.html fpr details.

Google peered through Glass during solar race

Graham Marsden

@handle - Re: "discretely"

As someone pointed out to me after I asked the same question, it's now at the top of the Comments page right next to Post Your Comment and House Rules :-)

Biometrics not so trustworthy: False Samsung stock-pump buy draws Swedish cops

Graham Marsden

Of course you realise...

... that if press releases had to be biometrically confirmed...

NASA's Jupiter probe wakes up after unexpected snooze

Graham Marsden

"It is possible some of the messages...

"...sent to the probe by radio hams here on Earth may have caused the original problems with the probe."

Did someone discover a buffer overflow error...?

Wanna be Zuckerberg's neighbor? Tough luck, he bought the block for $30m

Graham Marsden

A Zucker...

... sorry, Sucker and his money soon are parted...!

Boffins find MEXICAN WAVE pattern in random climate wobbles

Graham Marsden

"Standing Wave"?

Correct me if my recollection of o-level physics is wrong, but I thought a standing wave is one that oscillates in place, ie the peak of the wave remains in the location.

A Mexican Wave AIUI is a transverse wave where the oscillation is at 90 degrees to the direction of travel of the peak as it moves around the stadium...

YouTube turns on dormant DRM, permits official downloads

Graham Marsden
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"The business was built on copyright theft"

Yes, keep trotting out the Big Media Party Line...

21st Century Elite remake to support Oculus Rift virtual reality rig

Graham Marsden

Re: *Blue Danube starts playing*

Personally I always found the run between Qutiri and Isinor to be the best to start off with.

Reasonable tech levels so not too many pirates and you could run Computers one way and Liquor and Furs the other to start building up enough credit to get some decent equipment :-)

Graham Marsden
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Right on...

... Commander!

Who here needs to explain things to ELEPHANTS?

Graham Marsden
Paris Hilton

"an ancient African tradiation of animals"

Tradiation? What happened to the "send corrections" button? (Or weren't enough people using it??)

Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked

Graham Marsden

Re: Marsbarbrain Destroyed All Braincells The smell of hypocrisy in the morning

Lol! Matt, I am well aware of the futility of trying to have a reasonable discussion with you. I will, occasionally, post a comment or two for the amusement of watching you doing your utmost to avoid conceding even the slightest point, but this is not one of those occasions.

As always, I'll leave the last word to you...

Graham Marsden

Re: Destroyed All Braincells The smell of hypocrisy in the morning

Oh look, once again Matt Bryant goes for the Ad Hominem attack because he doesn't like being called out on his habit of redefining the argument to something else other than the subject in hand...

Graham Marsden

Re: Destroyed All Braincells The smell of hypocrisy in the morning

Oh look, the Matt Bryant Movable Goal Posts(tm) are back out again...

Graham Marsden

@DrXym - Re: The Spice must flow!

So the Silk Road sold "hard drugs, poison, malware, lists of credit cards, blackmail information, firearms, bomb making supplies, hit men, money laundering services and basically anything which was criminal in nature"

Many (in fact, most) of which are available from other sources (if they were actually available at all).

Of course that isn't going to stop calls from the "We must immediately ban this!" Brigade who think that passing even more laws is going to have any effect...

BBC announces plans to spend your cash on digital goodies

Graham Marsden

@AC - Well said!

I agree. Yes, the BBC produces some rubbish, but it also produces some excellent dramas too and documentaries as well.

How many "commercial" channels would dare to produce the sorts of fascinating documentaries and similar factual programming that appears on BBC 4?

Their attitude would be "oh no, too niche, too obscure, we wouldn't get enough people watching to cover the costs and get advertising in. A series on Australian art? Too boring. Medieval Lives? Who would want to watch that? "Pain, pus and poisons" Eww! No way!!

Or what about "Only Connect"? No whooping audience (hell, no audience at all!), no big prizes, no flashy graphics or flashing lights, just some seriously brain-teasing puzzles.

Sure, programmes like these aren't to everyone's taste, but at least such programming *is* available, rather than endless variations on Britain's Got Strictly Big Brother through a Hole in the Wall on Ice...

MI5 boss: Snowden leaks of GCHQ methods HELPED TERRORISTS

Graham Marsden

Re: The problem is

"Do you wear your underpants over your trousers?"

I thought he wore them on his head...

COMET DIAMONDS from SPACE found in Libya's glass desert

Graham Marsden

@Big_Boomer - Re: I have a name for the stone

Too late, see Arthur C Clarke's 2061 for details :-)

NSA data centre launch delayed as power surges 'melt metal, zap racks'

Graham Marsden

"What's going on with these apparent short circuits?"

Divine retribution?

White House promises glitch fix for Obamacare website

Graham Marsden

NSA... busy doing other important stuff.

Yep, lol!


UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Graham Marsden

"it made an entire generation of youngsters want to play Jet Set Willy"

Yes, that's true.

But some of them, like me, learned 6502 Assembly Language after hacking Jet Set Willy (and Chuckie Egg and Monsters and...) for infinite lives.

Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

Graham Marsden

Re: Digital signature conundrum

It seems to me that unless all consumer devices are also built to check/ verify these watermarks and thus refuse to play the content in the home, all this will do is (attempt) to stop re-broadcasting of the programmes by media companies who are using the requisite technology.

Even then it seems to me that it would be simple to circumvent by cracking the digital stream and then adding/ subtracting a small but significant random amount to the data for each pixel .which would negate the watermark whilst not visibly affecting the colour/ brightness of the image.

Cambridge withdraws from World Solar Challenge

Graham Marsden
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@Nuke - Re: @Graham Marsden - @AC - In summary..

"Why the sarcasm?"

Why the necessity for the original AC to post a snarky "Weren't *they* stupid" post? An opinion, it seems, that you appear to share without knowing much more than the AC did. As it says in the article testing “revealed new dynamic instabilities, which we have not been able to fix in the time we have left before the race.” but it's easy to make comments on such things with 20/20 hindsight.

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: In summary..

If you're so clever, why aren't you out there?

Robot WildCat slips its leash and bounds around parking lot

Graham Marsden
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... what does it Transform into?


Graham Marsden

Re: I can't get a twitter account.

"their BS system cannot (apparently) accept an email address that does not include my name."

Says "John Smith 19"?!

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