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Comment: Re:We echolocate all the time (Score 1) 136

by BellyJelly (#48371689) Attached to: Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate

When we walk through traffic and hear cars coming up on us, or know people's position in a room from the direction and magnitude of their voice. It's no surprise that someone lacking an important sense like sight will have much better developed echolocation ability.

That's hardly echo location. That's just stereo hearing. The best example I have of that is when I'm skiing - I process where people skiing behind me are by using 2 ears, so that I don't suddenly turn in front of them. No sound generation or echos required....

Comment: Re:It's what you do with it that counts (Score 1) 184

by BellyJelly (#48336439) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

Spies should respect laws and constitutions, at the very least those of their own country. If they don't, everyone - including those who ordered the illegal spying - should be punished severely. We already know this is not happening.

Freedom is far more important than a spy's ability to do whatever they "need" to do.

But now the NSA and GCHQ have positioned themselves as apex predators at the top of the information food chain. They can spy on anyone, but no one is allowed to spy on them. There might be some king of notional "oversight" commitee for window dressing. So who might potentially be able to investigate the security services and hold them to account? That would be journalists and lawyers.....

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by BellyJelly (#48336279) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

Firstly we have the perennial problem that the security services are allowed to spy on anyone with very little oversight. If they want to spy on someone they should be required to get a court order, and that court order should be made public so that everyone can see what they are doing. If the court order cannot be immediately made public for legitimate security reasons then it should be made public as soon as possible (i.e. certainly within a year, preferably sooner). Furthermore, information gathering should not start until that court order is issued - i.e. there should be no requirement for ISPs/telcos to log and retain traffic "just in case" it is needed at a later date.

So given that we already have this problem, further extending the powers of the seucrity services seems like a bad plan.

Futhermore, this stuff is always justified as "to stop a serious threat", and yet there seems to be very little evidence that there are lots of "serious threats" that need stopping. And as always, this stuff is always spun as "to stop the criminals" and attention is diverted from the fact that not everyone who uses a lawyer is a criminal.

This.... What keeps getting forgotten is that in a democracy, the powers that the police and security services enjoy are a privilege granted by the people via our elected government. These privileges require our consent, and to consent we need to know what is being done, by who, to who. If we don't know then we can't consent, and any powers that the security services (ab)use that we haven't consented to are illegitimate.

Comment: Actually no..... (Score 1) 163

by BellyJelly (#48223807) Attached to: British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks
The SV is definitely not "far bigger and more durable than any of its existing tanks", being quite a bit lighter than the Challenger 2's 60+ tonnes. It's is certainly bigger and heavier than the CVR(T) series vehicles it is intended to directly replace, although there are many who say that a vehicle who's primary mission is reconnaisance should not be a 40 tonne tank.

Comment: Re:KMail's not that bad (Score 1) 184

by BellyJelly (#47954939) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Disclaimer: I haven't used KMail for years

Well I have, and I'm sorry to say that kmail is probably the worst of the core kde applications. And I say that as someone who generally loves kde and have used it for 10+ years (and I didn't even moan during the kde3>4 switch). Strangely, I keep on using kmail in the forlorn hope that it will eventually get fixed and stop being a slow and unresponsive resource hog. The latest glimmer of hope I cling to is that the kde devs are finally getting rid of the nepomuk/strigi mess......

Memories of you remind me of you. -- Karl Lehenbauer