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Comments

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Info Leak Wars To Get Messier

CmdrGravy Re:Idiots (350 comments)

Yes, this is a good question.

So far the UK government is claiming that GCHQ wouldn't dream of doing anything as evil as the NSA and that everything they do is all above board and legal like.

Were evidence to materialise to the contrary it would be very embarrassing for the government, especially people like William Hague who's been assuring us that he knows exactly what goes on and we have nothing to worry about.

I'd say there's a possibility that the government, or organs of the government, are worried this evidence may exist and would like to know what it could show were it to be released.

about a year ago
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

CmdrGravy what a shame (986 comments)

I've followed Groklaw since the beginning, it was a brilliant site because of the dedication, insight and attention to detail brought to it by PJ and it is, needless to say, a tragedy that she is forced to take this action by the behaviour of the Government.

It's really a double tragedy because it's people like her whom we need more than ever right now. The US and other Governments are highly unlikely simply to stop this behaviour on their own, they will only do so if forced to do so by us, their citizens, and someone with the qualities and platform which PJ has could play a useful part in that ( not I think she should be forced to do this against her will and absolutely not that I'd hold anything against her if she doesn't want to do that )

about a year ago
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UK Government Destroys Guardian's Snowden Drives

CmdrGravy Re:Curious, what gives them the right to destroy? (508 comments)

I think these are two separate incidents; the detention of David and the confiscation of his stuff and the destruction of the Guardian disk drives.

I don't know what law entitles them to destroy private property like that though.

about a year ago
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

CmdrGravy not convenient (443 comments)

I'd guess that people pirated it because that's the easiest and most convenient way of watching it.

I know my friends have been going on and on about this series for months but so far as I know it wasn't generally released here in the UK ( maybe just on Sky or something ? )

If the entertainment companies want us to get content from them directly then they need to make it a lot more easy and convenient than it is now.

about a year ago
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The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater

CmdrGravy Re:Have studied Geomorphology (250 comments)

No it's not, the post is actually quite an good description of what the poster appears to have been doing and offers the poster some good advice into the bargain.

more than 3 years ago
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British Airways Chief Slams US Security Requests

CmdrGravy Re:What is "Kowtowing" ? (335 comments)

I don't think so, Didn't the British lay waste to Peking at the end of the 1800's due to a disagreement between the Chinese Emperor and themselves over whether they should kow-tow to the Emperor ?

more than 3 years ago
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The Hobbit To Be Filmed In New Zealand After All

CmdrGravy Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (123 comments)

It sounds to me like you need to get yourselves a Maggie Thatcher, she was able to sort out the corrupt mining unions here in the UK good and proper.

more than 3 years ago
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Can We Travel To That Exciting New Exoplanet?

CmdrGravy Re:Overly pedantic (662 comments)

You seriously took 30Kg of gear for a one day hike ? WTF for you masochist.

more than 3 years ago
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WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

CmdrGravy Re:Not really (966 comments)

That sounds like a pretty reasonable offer, given the success the US has had capturing Bin Laden in the years since.

about 4 years ago
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WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

CmdrGravy Re:Problem with that logic... (966 comments)

I see one fault in your logic. Rewarding warlords with "peace-time hush-money" only sets precedence for other countries at conflict with the United States

Almost certainly true but nevertheless exactly what the US is already doing. You can clearly see in these documents that the local warlords are more than happy to accept "compensation" when the US accidentally slaughters there people. It's higly likely they are equally willing to accept large monetary gifts in order to not offer support the Taliban, or stop growing poppies etc etc.

about 4 years ago
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WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

CmdrGravy Re:US abuse (966 comments)

The British were trying specifically to not conquer Afghanistan for a number of reasons. All they really wanted was a buffer state between India and Russia ruled by interests sympathetic to the British. Unfortunately the first attempt was commanded by an incompetant and aged buffoon who was scared of refusing ridiculous requests from their Afghan proxy to pay out bribes and keep the British troops well out of the way of Kabul in a makeshift encampment at the mercy of elements and with insufficient food.

The second attempt was much more successful and Russian plans for invasion of India scuppered for good.

about 4 years ago
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UK Home Office Set To Scrap National ID Cards

CmdrGravy Re:Quaint system... (334 comments)

Even with ID cards you still need to provide proof of address to open a bank account. One of the people who did buy one explained this on Radio 4 this morning. He used his driving licence so in fact it turns out that having an ID card did not make opening bank accounts any easier.

more than 4 years ago
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Mock Cyber Attack Shows US Unpreparedness

CmdrGravy TERROR ! (148 comments)

Yeah, ramp up that TERROR, turn the dial to PANIC !

Are you scared yet citizen ? Are you ...

more than 4 years ago
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Geek Travel To London From the US — Tips?

CmdrGravy Re:i guess this is why i never go to london.. (1095 comments)

I'd like to second this opinion.

You'll be bored out of your mind after a week in London, never mind two, so get out and explore the rest of the British countryside.

Perhaps avoid the Lake District at the moment though.

more than 4 years ago
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Researchers Take Down a Spam Botnet

CmdrGravy Re:good work (207 comments)

No chance.

Guess what, people designing systems on which peoples lives actually directly depend do not simply rip out some old box from an office when they need a new server.

Likewise any system like the stock exchange, in situations like that companies don't care how much money they throw at stuff and since it's their money they're going to be losing if it goes wrong they are generally very careful indeed about randomly hooking up critical infrastructure to the internet.

more than 4 years ago
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London Stock Exchange Rejects .NET For Open Source

CmdrGravy Re:How fast (498 comments)

Accenture and the other big consulting companies have a horrendous track record [yafla.com] for building failed projects at a very high cost. The moment someone says "let's hire Accenture to build this" is the moment the costs go up dramatically.

Indeed they do and one of the reasons for this is their reliance on subpar Microsoft technolgies which they seem to be tied to even when, as in this case, much more effective technology exists elsewhere.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

CmdrGravy Re:The problem (515 comments)

Reeks of nationalism !

Is there anything wrong with being proud of the country you live in ?

Both you and the other guy do seem to think we live in some of sort of ideal world which, as I pointed out, we don't. If you completely open the borders and let anyone in who wants to come then what you're going to end up with is a massive underclass unable to function properly in the country their living in whilst the countries they came from are completely emptied as everyone leaves. That is surely far far away from any sensible method of building an ideal world yet one which, curiously, you and the other guy seem quite keen on. Basically I think you're both just unrealistic and are having difficulty seeing the things the way they are rather than the way you'd like them to be,

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

CmdrGravy Re:The problem (515 comments)

Yes those ones, the ones in the back of the trucks are, when they are discovered by the police told to report immediately to their nearest immigration centre for processing and then left to go on their way with the police trusting to the immigrants honour that they will do as instructed. Needless to say a lot of them subsequently go missing never to be seen again.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

CmdrGravy Re:The problem (515 comments)

If people want to come here and work then fair enough, although I think we should follow the lead of other countries and only allow them to work in those jobs if there are actual shortages of people here already who can do the job.

The UK is only so big and until we can get back to annexing other areas and rebuild the Empire can only support a finite number of people so the difference between someone coming from abroad as opposed to people moving about between counties is that there is one more person here who wasn't here before and my point is that we ought to value the extra spaces we have available to grant to foreigners and make sure they are the best sort of people we can before we give that space to some far less desirable idle layabout who hangs around on the dole and forms an underworld criminal gang.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan

CmdrGravy Re:The problem (515 comments)

I'm sure there are lots of people like your next door neighbour who we would want to come to the UK but equally there are many people who aren't like your neighbour that we don't particulary want to come here and there does have to be some sort of system to sort out one from the other.

This proposed system clearly isn't going to work and the current system is probably not very efficient, partly no doubt to the number of people it needs to process and the amount of money available to do the processing.

There's clearly a massive difference between people moving from Yorkshire to Lancashire and people moving from Tajikistan to the UK. Those moving from Yorkshire to Lancashire are already British citizens whereas people from Tajikistan probably aren't and people from Yorkshire have an excellent understanding of British cultural values and behaviour ( excepting maybe those of Londoners ) whereas people from Tajikistan could conceivably have a much harder fitting in and getting themselves a job.

In an ideal world people would be free to go where they would but this isn't an ideal world and people do have a natural inclination to hold on to their own cultural values no matter how misaligned they may be with those of their host country, people do tend to stick together and form insular communities and mistrust those from other communities and people do want to have an easy a life as possible even if someone else is picking up the bill.

This is our country and we should have the right, and the mechanisms, to decide who we want to come and join us living here.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Minature Stonehenge Discovered In Wiltshire

CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

CmdrGravy (645153) writes "Archaeologists claim to have found a "minature stonehenge" nearby the larger and better known one. The archaeologists claim that hewn into the living rock is the legacy of an ancient race of druids. Dr Tufnell the principal archaeologist responsible for the find went on to say
"Mini Stonehenge! 'Tis a magic place where the moon doth rise with a dragon's face. Mini Stonehenge! Where the virgins lie and the prayers of devils fill the midnight sky"
No one seems quite sure what he meant by that but futher details will be published in full, soon."

Link to Original Source
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Mega Tsunami Devastated New York 2000 Years Ago

CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "The BBC reports that 2,300 years ago a mega tsunami inundated the New Jersey coastline sweeping across Long Island and far up the Hudson river. Were a similar wave to sweep in from the North Atlantic today Wall Street would be underwater and the Long Island Expressway would be awash.

Evidence of this ancient tsunami has been gathered from cores collected from across the New Jersey region by geologist Steven Goodbred. Evidence of the tsunami occuring is conclusive but evidence of it's origins are less clear cut with theories ranging from an asteroid strike to an underwater landslip.

In 2,300 years New York has obviously developed from a grassy coastal plain into a high rise, high tech hub supporting millions of people. North Atlantic tsunamis are thought to be rare occurrences but what contingency does New York have for potential disasters of this nature ? I know London has it's Thames Barrier but does New York have any similar defences and would its position between the Hudson and the East River make for a particulary devastating flood in the event of another tsnumai ?"

Link to Original Source
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Enderle Explains His Motivations Over SCO Affair

CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "Anyone following the SCO saga from the beginning will probably be familiar with the writing of Rob Enderle who was in the early days a key supporter of SCOs claims. Now that SCO is heading swiftly towards bankruptcy and their claims have been completely debunked Rob has offered an explanation, if not an apology, of his involvement in this sorry affair.

You can read Robs explanation here yourselves.

What he seems to be saying is that his primary motivation for supporting SCO is a dislike of Linux supporters who attacked one of his articles written at about the same time as the SCO saga kicked off. Despite having some doubts about SCOs claims he felt he needed to stick up for them because on the one hand he though Linux supporters were a bunch of criminals and on the other he thought Groklaw was misleading people and misrepresenting the facts surrounding the case.

Whats missing from the article is any apology at all from Mr Enderle for failing to research his subject and calling the result so wrongly or any apology to Groklaw who were clearly not misrepresenting anything and predicted the actual result of the case perfectly."

Link to Original Source
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WTC Demolition Theory Collapses

CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "A engineer from Cambridge University has hammered another nail into the coffin of conspiracy theorists who believe the World Trade Centre collapse could only have been caused by a controlled explosion.

Using a mathematical model Dr Keith Seffen has proved that once it was begun by the, well studied, structural failures caused by the planes impact and subsequent inferno the following collapse and pancaking were inevitable, his models showed that once begun the collapse would take around 9 seconds — only a little longer than a penny dropped from the top floor would take to fall to the ground.

Dr Keith sums up his experiment by saying

"In all senses, the collapse sequence was quite ordinary and natural. The World Trade Centre towers were designed to absorb an aircraft impact, but an accidental one with much less fuel and speed. It is widely acknowledged that the impacts on September 11th were extraordinary, which led to consequences well in excess of the design capacity for the buildings. The original design of both towers must be praised for standing as long as they did, saving more lives than might have been expected.""
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CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "The Church Of Scientology is currently engaged in a row with BBC over a Panorama investigation by the BBC reporter John Sweeney. John is investigating the Church Of Scientology for the program to find out if they have changed in the last few years and moved away from the questionable practices and secrecy they have employed in the past.

The row centres around a YouTube video posted by the scientologists and a DVD they have released which show Mr Sweeney losing his temper with a scientology spokesman Tom Davis in which Mr Sweeney is driven to yelling at Tom Davis at the top of his voice. Mr Sweeney has since apologised for losing his temper which he says he now realises was both wrong and stupid. In the DVD the scientologists also accuse the BBC of organising an anti scientology demonstration and yelling terrorist death threats at John Travolta, allegations which the BBC denounce as being clearly laughable and utter nonsense. John Travolta has also accused of Mr Sweeney of harbouring "personal prejudices, bigotry and animosity" against Scientology in the documentary, and accused the reporter of displaying "hatred against my religion." This despite the fact that in the UK scientology is not classed as a religion due to the financial nature of their practices.

Mr Sweeneys outburst came at the end of a tour of a scientology exhibition which attempts to portray psychiatrists as evil nazi type torturers entitled "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" which is both gruesome and utterly unconvincing. In the days previous to this Mr Sweeney and his camera team became the latest in a long line of reporters to suffer harassment at the hands of scientologists whereby he has been shouted at, spied on, denounced as a bigot by John Travolta had his hotel invaded at midnight, and had mysterious strangers visit his neighbours and family and spy on his wedding. You can begin to see why someone might lose their temper having been victim to this sort of activity.

There is an excellent article in the Telegraph and you can read about the incident in Mr Sweeneys own words here at the BBC.

The video of Mr Sweeney losing his temper is available on YouTube, the argument is about Tom Davis claiming he has said things in a previous interview with someone else at which Tom Davis was not present and therefore cannot know what he has said. During this interview with, I think, an ex scientologist Tom Davis burst in half way through to make claims that the interviewee was some kind of paedophile.

Happily it looks like the BBC is going to stand behind their reporter, judging by this interview with the programs editor and the general tone of their reporting but, really why I'm posting this on /., what can be done against an organisation so determined to prevent fair and unbiased reporting on their activities and is clearly able to utilise the power of the internet and YouTube to further their aims. The BBC is a large organisation and can survive attacks like this which would easily cause a lot more problems to individuals or smaller organisations, is there a way of levelling the playing field in favour of the general population being able to access accurate information on organisations or corporations rather than propaganda put out by the said organisations or corporations ?"
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CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "New research by the University of Liverpool has, shockingly, revealed that a quarter of inmates languishing at Her Majesties Pleasure have an average IQ of below 80.

Ignoring the three quarters of prisoners who have an IQ higher than 80 ( the ones who aren't dribbling ) the funders of the study ( The Prison Reform Trust ) tell us that this study raises important questions as to how these criminals were caught ( perhaps because they're stupid ? ) and whether society in general could have done anything to prevent their arrest.

The BBC report ends with the insight that many of these stupid prisoners will struggle to understand their experience of imprisonment.

This is surely a pointless study clearly designed to state the obvious and help to further the campaign of the Prison Reform Trust. Can slashdot think of any studies even more ridiculous than this one ?"
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CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "The British Police have hacked into Government computers as part of the on-going cash for peerages investigation and uncovered evidence which has, so far, led to one arrest and charge of perverting the course of justice for a leading Labour party figure. This charge carries a potential life sentence.

The police have the power to hack into computer systems as part of an investigation and it is this power which they have used to hack into the Governments and the Labour Parties computers. On previous occasions they have said they did not believe the govenment was providing them with the information they had been asking for and had warned that they would seek other methods to gather evidence.

It is suspected that the investigation has led to the discovery of large quantities of evidence the government had not passed on the police and led swiftly to the dawn raid on the house of Ruth Turner a senior Labour party figure. She has been charged with perverting the course of justice and could face a life behind bars when prosecuted.

The police won't say what tools they have used but apparently it is a tool set they use in serious fraud cases to seek out and identify the information they want from the computer systems which they have infiltrated. Does anyone know what tools these might be and are slashdotters happy with the powers the police appear to have to break into whatever Government, or private computer system they like ?

Read more in the Telegraph."
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CmdrGravy CmdrGravy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CmdrGravy writes "As reported by the BBC the UK Police force are currently trialing a scheme to electronically take the fingerprint from any motorists pulled over for investigation.

The device will scan the motorists index fingers and send the fingerprint data through an encrypted GSM signal to a central database which contains the fingerprints of 6.5 million previous offenders against which your prints will be tested for a match.

The government ( not the police especially ) says this will help the police to identify suspects and increase the amount of time they spend on the street fighting crime. Currently almost 40% of motorists stopped by the police provide false details.

During the trial the fingerprints gathered will not be stored in the database themselves but changes to the law are in progress to allow them to be stored for future reference

The system is 94% accurate with 6.5 Million records, what will the consequences be when the entire ( 60 Million ) population of the UK has been stored in this database ?"

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