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UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

GoddersUK Re:WTF UK? (292 comments)

Free Speech in the states has never been interpreted as a right ... to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

OK, where to start? Firstly it's to "falsely shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre"; secondly it wasn't law, it was part of a judges opinion; thirdly that opinion was given while suppressing a very clear cut case of protected political speech; fourthly that precedent has been overturned by later judgements; fifthly the judge who wrote that accepted that it's wrong and, sixthly, in many cases shouting fire in a crowded theatre, even falsely, is protected speech. Please stop using that quote.

https://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/

11 hours ago
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

GoddersUK Re:You haven't finished asking for service (285 comments)

The service that I prefer and the service that I signed up for are not the same thing. They might not know what I prefer, but they sure do know what I signed up for (the internet, which in the absence of any qualifiers, means the whole, entire internet). I would prefer that the ISP considers me capable of instigating changes if I decide that I want to change the service, rather than treating me like an incapable 3 year old.

12 hours ago
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

GoddersUK Re: Stoppit with this hysteria! (285 comments)

The online account username and password (i.e. billing and support; this is the one I store in LastPass and, since you only use it on the ISP's website I would never consider that I might need it when I don't have internet access) and the connection username and password (i.e. what the router uses to connect to ADSL) have been two separate things with every ISP I have been with.

In fact I just checked my old ISP's support pages and they didn't even use login credentials for the connection for most of their customers (those on LLU exchanges): http://service.o2.co.uk/IQ/SRV...

12 hours ago
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Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

GoddersUK Re:Good news! (213 comments)

Long live clever marketing campaigns.

I don't doubt that this has been excellent publicity, but I don't think, when you consider the facts, this can be a calculated marketing campaign (the initial pulling and then reinstating of the film may have been, but the hacking and the threats? No).

Where does that leave the claims that NK threatened Sony?

Nobody has made such claims, at least nobody that knows what they were talking about. Anonymous internet users threatened cinema chains. If Sony were behind these threats they could be prosecuted for making a true threat or blackmail. Thus I think it was unlikely to have been Sony.

What is the possibility that this is all part of a clever marketing campaign to get all of us to see the film.

If only unreleased films had been released that might be a valid suggestion. However by releasing private employee data Sony would have exposed themselves to significant reputational damage and legal liability (regardless if they were caught or not). If caught both of those would be astronomical. So no. Sony may have capitalised on it (although their response gives the impression of unprepared chaos, rather than planned marketing campaign).

Sony said it was far too dangerous to release the film...

No they didn't. They said they were pulling it because cinemas weren't showing it:

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release” source

If it wasn't an intentional marketing campaign, should it have been?

Bar release of private employee data etc. and threats to life and limb then yes, it could have been very effective. But I (and most people) don't like been lied to so if they got caught it would probably backfire spectacularly. (side note: this is the first high profile data security incident I can think of that has elicited sympathy for the victim company rather than anger that their security wasn't up to scratch. Is this because people are recognising that these are increasingly inevitable and the real bad guys are the criminals, and we're reaching a turning point in the way customers and the media view such breaches, or is it because everyone's favourite comedy villain, NK, was involved?)

tl;dr: The hack was real, although may not have been NK. Same for the threats. It's been good publicity for the film but Sony's response has been too incoherent to have been planned.

13 hours ago
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

GoddersUK Re:Stoppit with this hysteria! (285 comments)

If you have a problem with cleanfeed than I'm totally with you on that, but people seem to be ignoring that mandatory system and whining about optional filters.

I do have a problem with Cleanfeed, but I don't think you need to have a problem with Cleanfeed to have a problem with this.

Originally, at least, all content blocked by Cleanfeed (theoretically, there are vast issues of accountability and due process; I'm using Cleanfeed here to mean the IWF watchlists, not the BT filtering technology which has been extended to other blocks, e.g. torrent sites, on BT's network) was already clearly illegal. On the other hand these optional filters are the product of the government beating the private companies with the stick of proposed regulation/legislation to force them to control access to completely and totally legal content in a way that their customers do not want. All the big players already gave the option of "network level" (apologies for the more or less meaningless term, but it's a favourite of Dave et al.) filtering to customers who wanted it.

The government is trying to control access to a wide range of completely legal content (and it is the government, make no mistake) - that is what people are angry about. It doesn't matter if it's optional I shouldn't have to suffer the indignity of saying I want to view porn (regardless of the actual question asked that is how the question will be read in everybody's minds) to visit websites with, for instance, political viewpoints that aren't widely accepted (or, indeed, to view porn - whether or not I want to do that is nobody else's business, unless I voluntarily choose to make it so by raising the subject with them). Anyone who contracts an internet connection is a responsible adult (even if they then give access to that connection to an under 18) able to decide, without state interference, what they do or do not want to see/filter and what measure they need to take before allowing minors under their charge access. And anyone who follows UK news can no doubt see the day when having the filters disabled will be used as evidence in a kangaroo court trying someone for terror, paedophilia or just being a nasty pervert...

yesterday
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

GoddersUK Re:Stoppit with this hysteria! (285 comments)

I'd have an issue here. I store most of my passwords in LastPass, certainly the infrequently used ones such as ISP details. Now if the ISP is bocking my internet access until I provide my password there's a problem... I can't get to LastPass to get my password without an internet connection... catch 22.

It seems to me that the solution is not to interfere with the service they're providing to me, which is the service I ASKED FOR, in the first place. One can only hope the ISPs are doing this deliberately to piss off customers and create opposition to Davewall.

(I *think* the passwords in the LastPass browser extension are supposedly available offline, but I've never tested this.)

yesterday
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Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

GoddersUK Re:I don't get it... (266 comments)

in some areas, doctors are not free to prescribe generics ... If the name-brand version of the drug does not exist, then that drug may not be prescribed

What the actual flying ****! Were the lawmakers in bed with big pharma or something? That's ridiculous. What needs fixing there, though, is not anti trust actions against drug companies but stupid, stupid laws.

You'd think health insurers would have kicked up a fuss about this because the bulk of the increased cost must fall on them.

about two weeks ago
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Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

GoddersUK Re:I don't get it... (266 comments)

Neither TFS nor TFA state that the new version is any more expensive than the (non-generic) old version. And, even if it is, that isn't the issue they're claiming is a problem. They're claiming that a patent on a subtly different drug will stop generics manufacturers making generics. Which is bollocks, because the new patent will only cover the differences between the old and the new drugs.

I'm going to guess that the reason your on Tribenzor, rather than a generic, is because there's some perceived advantage (either by your or your doctor), not because the evil nasty drug companies are forcing you to be.

about two weeks ago
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Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

GoddersUK I don't get it... (266 comments)

an antitrust lawsuit accusing the drug company of forcing patients to switch to the newer version of the widely used medicine to hinder competition from generic manufacturers.

Were the drug company sending hit squads round to take out the doctors that were prescribing generics? Did they launch a tactical air strike on the generics factories? Hijack the lorries carrying the generics?

I'm sorry but, so far as I can tell, manufacturers are free to manufacture the generic, doctors are free to prescribe it and patients are free to take it. I don't see why Actavis should be forced to produce a drug they no longer want to produce and I don't see what this can possibly achieve because once the drug leaves patent protection the generics manufactures will be able to manufacture it regardless and, before then, patients will have to buy the pricier brand-name drug anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Case Uses Fitbit Data To Disprove Insurance Fraud

GoddersUK Re:Memory limit and data durability (99 comments)

Or you still want your data to survive even if the device on which it was collected does not (see Malaysia Airlines Flight 370).

My wrist is not Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

about two weeks ago
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (193 comments)

(I mean geolocation is something they have always done, not flouting the law. Google haven't made a half arsed attempt at implementing the law, they've implemented a half arsed "law" (if you can call it a law...) as well as it ever can be implemented and far better than it deserved.)

about a month ago
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (193 comments)

Something they have always done and for which there are many legitimate uses.

And I would be very interested to know when Google (or anyone else) has demonstrated robust, reliable, uncircumventable IP based geolocation because I've never encountered. As I said further up the comments what Google now do (and Amazon and most other large websites) is geolocate you for customer services reasons but you still have the option to view a different page of they get it wrong if you want to for some reason (as someone who's currently an ex-pat I often want to switch between my home country and my country of residence on many websites). The system isn't, and never has been, designed to force people to see a certain page.

about a month ago
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (193 comments)

google are returning irrelevant/out of date information

That's not subjective at all. I mean if I'm hiring a new CFO I probably think the guys ten year old bankruptcy case is highly relevant. (S)He probably because it's a long time ago and things are different now and he's very liquid and has learnt how to handle his finances. Go on, which one of us is right?

about a month ago
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK Re:This is clearly futile... (193 comments)

Except Google are already doing that (as you say in your first sentence, before contradicting yourself in your second paragraph). I visit in the UK, it goes to Google.co.uk, Google.co.uk is filtered.

The Amazon analogy is very poor because that's simply a customer service option that can be overridden (by design) when it's wrong/a customer wants to view a different localisation for some reason (afaik any actually restrictions that are applied based on billing address, shipping address or Kindle registration info (the latter of which can be easily changed on the device)). Clearly a solution in that situation is going to apply effectively in the Amazon case will be ineffective in the Google case and vice versa. To achieve what the EU wants to achieve (hiding these results in its jurisdiction) can only be achieved through global censorship.

Of course I think that any company's LOCAL operations (officially registered companies in any given country; offices, servers physically located in any given country; payment processing etc. that uses banks in any given country) should comply with local laws in that jurisdiction. Beyond that the local law of any given country clearly doesn't apply. If the EU start messing these business around too much they will simply leave. Then the EU will have no leverage at all, and it will serve them right.

about a month ago
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Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

GoddersUK This is clearly futile... (193 comments)

What's going through the EU's mind right now? "This is clearly futile, not working and doesn't stand a chance in hell of working... ...so let's do more!"?

I mean, seriously, what will they be doing next? Asking all proxies, VPNs, and TOR to filter "right to be forgotten" search results. All airlines and airports offering international flights will require memory wipers to remove any "right to be forgotten knowledge" from your brain. All libraries, archives, repositories and public records offices will be required to go through old paper copies of documents with tipex...

(Fun fact: "Right to be forgotten" censoring was basically Winston Smith's day job in 1984...)

about a month ago
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Re:Why the subsidy? (110 comments)

1) Why not subsidise normal CS degrees then? Or if degrees aren't really dishing out the skills required why not a completely different form of training such as apprenticeships?

2) I agree with most of what you've diagnosed, but I don't think this will solve it. This is too little too late to address the shortage of workers. In my year in A-Levels only one of my friends went on to do CS, the rest of us went in to other fields (despite some of my friends being very talented in, and enjoying that kind of thing). Why? Because mostly people assumed it would be more of the crap we did in school IT. Maybe if I'd had the opportunity to experience some fun (this is probably subjective, but I enjoy the very limited coding my chemistry degree has led me to do), problem solving coding I might have chosen differently (or maybe I wouldn't have; but I suspect a lot of the brightest and most capable students that might consider CS are lost to other fields because school IT is such a joke). (For reference, I went thought the secondary education system 5-10 years ago)

about a month ago
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Re:Why the subsidy? (110 comments)

Ignoring the fact that all school age kids already know how to use Windows and Office at least as well as their teachers let's not pretend that being able to use Open Office and Linux would be much use outside the IT world (and, depending on your job, they may not be much use inside it either). Windows and Office is what you needed then to become a generic office drone and it's what you need now. It would make sense to teach it if the kids didn't know it. When I was at school (proper) typing was probably the most valuable IT skill we were never taught - although I think most kids these days can type fairly efficiently. I think IT would be better to teach some form of basic programming (easy stuff... analysing datasets, automating common tasks... that would be of use in a wide range of jobs) and more conceptual digital literacy required to function well in the modern world (especially when we consider that (some of) these kids will be future politicians, ceos etc.) so they understand how the internet works and don't grow up to become the next Theresa May or Claire Perry.

about a month ago
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UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

GoddersUK Why the subsidy? (110 comments)

I'm struggling to understand why this particular group of students should have such a heavily government subsidised education when they claim they can't afford it for the rest of us. Presumably this scheme, in its current form, will never be funded enough to accommodate a substantial proportion of the UK's students.

Don't get me wrong - I fully understand why this scheme may be good from an educational perspective and I think encouraging employers to invest in the education of the next generation of their staff is a good thing, but I don't understand why this apparently needs the remainder funded by government rather than by the student loans system? Surely it would be better to encourage companies to contribute to the education of any students in relevant fields rather than just this special group? Especially as this would have the effect of reducing pressure on the student loans system (which, for many loans, the tax payer will end up coughing up for when the student finds their degree in tourism from the University of Dudley is actually completely worthless). Not only would it be beneficial for employers, students and the taxpayer it would hopefully help weed out all the non-courses, non-universities and students that probably should be following a career path other than university, that are currently subsidised at taxpayers' expense by the SLC, because no company would pay towards the costs of such a student taking such a course at such a university.

about a month ago
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We Are Running Out of Sand

GoddersUK Re:Did Hugh Pickens RTFA? (264 comments)

Oh, and Dubai isn't in Saudi either... but at least the concrete is going to Dubai, so he got one thing half right!

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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GCHQ destruction of Guardian computers raises questions

GoddersUK GoddersUK writes  |  about 7 months ago

GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Remember when, in an exercise in pointlessness, men in black from GCHQ oversaw destruction of computer equipment that the Guardian had been using to report the Snowden disclosures? Well Privacy International are reporting that the Guardian let them take a look at the destroyed computers and they were surprised by what they found. Under the direction of GCHQ technicians the Guardian staff seemingly intentionally and specifically targeted apparently mundane components of the computers in question, including chips on the keyboard and trackpad controllers and the LCD inverter. This raises two disturbing possibilities: Either GCHQ's technicians are incompetent or they know something about computer hardware that we don't. Especially given that GCHQ knew the distruction was all a charade so there was no reason to be paranoid in performing it."
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The US vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression vs. Privacy

GoddersUK GoddersUK writes  |  about 7 months ago

GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Rory Cellan-Jones writes about the recent European Court judgement on the right to be forgotten in terms of US/EU cultural differences (and perhaps a bit of bitterness on the EU side at US influence online):

He tells me... ..."In the past if you were in Germany you were never worried that some encyclopedia website based in the United States was going to name you as a murderer after you got out of jail because that was inconceivable. Today that can happen, so the cultural gap that was always there about the regulation of speech is becoming more visible."... ...Europeans who have been told that the internet is basically ungovernable — and if it does have guiding principles then they come from the land of the free — are expressing some satisfaction that court has refused to believe that.

(And, certainly, it seems, here in the UK, that even MEPs keen on the principle don't really know how this ruling will work in practice or what the wider consequences will be. Video here."

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