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Comment: Well I like it....... (Score 1) 60 60

I upgraded from kubuntu 14.10 to 15.04 last week (an in-place upgrade, not a reinstall), and then immediately added the latest packages from the backports ppa. Everything is working fine for me, no crashes. I realise there are some inconsistencies as not everything is ported to plasma 5 / qt5, and I know some widgets are missing, but overall my experince is positive and I love the breeze dark theme. Anyone who thinks this anywhere near as bad as the kde3 > kde4 transition has a very short memory.........

Comment: Re: You're not supposed to ask that (Score 2) 223 223

You don't need to buy a phone without google's crap on it. You buy an unlocked phone that is well supported on omnirom or cyanogenmod then you walk through the install instructions that are so simple a child could follow them. You don't install gapps, and then you install the f-droid store where you find firefox, k9mail, vlc and various other cool apps. Anything you need that's not on f-droid you sideload. That's what I did on my work-issued galaxy s4. I now have an ultra fast and responsive phone with great battery life. Oh, and startpage as your default search engine...... If you can't be bothered to do all that, then just suck on whatever apple or google feed you.

Comment: Re: Vague article (Score 1) 319 319

He doesn't want you to know what new powers he wants, just like he didn't want you to know what powers he already has. He wants you to be afraid, so you will let the security services get on with doing absolutely whatever they want without question or meaningful oversight.

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

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) 184 184

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) 184 184

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) 163 163

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.

OS/2 must die!