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Comment: Re:Not enough, (Score 3, Insightful) 415

by bongomanaic (#45773489) Attached to: Alan Turing Pardoned
The problem with issuing a blanket pardon for anyone convicted of the same offence as Alan Turing is that 'indecency' was applied broadly to a range of sexual behaviours, some of which remain illegal (e.g. sex with a person under the age of 16). When the crimes of indecency between men and buggery were abolished a procedure was put in place to remove legal disadvantages from those with convictions for behaviour that was no longer illegal. Speaking as a gay man I don't think it would be a worthwhile use of government resources to re-examine all previous convictions to determine which are worthy of a pardon -- the apology and pardon for Alan Turing makes the point well enough.

Comment: Re:define "serious" (Score 2) 244

by bongomanaic (#43911605) Attached to: UK Police Launch Campaign To Shut Down Torrent Sites
The phrase used in the legislation is "in the course of a business" it doesn't require a direct sale of the infringing work or even for a profit to be made -- distribution or public exhibition of the infringing work is enough. A better analogy would be exhibiting a film without the copyright holders permission in order to drive sales of popcorn.

Comment: Re:Shrug (Score 1) 424

Almost. You will successfully defend a libel case if you can prove that the defamatory statements are substantially true, regardless of whether privacy was breached. What has changed is that it has become somewhat easier to win a claim for breach of privacy: Human rights law in England recognises both the right to freedom of expression and the right to a private and family life and courts have been left to try to balance these competing rights whilst Parliament dodges the issue.

Comment: Re:Just porn? (Score 1) 345

by bongomanaic (#42018069) Attached to: David Cameron 'Orders New Curbs On Internet Porn'
I don't agree that the choices for parents trying to do their best should be limited to total surveillance of their children or total abstinence from internet use. The Internet is not just a toy for geeks any more, it is an important part of culture and community. Good parenting is as much about setting boundaries and allowing children freedom within those boundaries. The problem is that setting up and managing your own content filters demands skills that most people don't have and, with increasing numbers of internet-connected devices in homes, device-level filtering is becoming impractical. For most parents who want to place boundaries on their children's internet use the only reasonable way to do this is an off-the-peg solution at ISP level. The only burden on those who want an unfiltered connection is an extra click when signing up for a new ISP, which is a very small price to pay for the expansion of choice that this scheme provides. Nobody's pretending these filters are perfect, or that a determined child won't find ways round them, but at least if they do this they know they've crossed the boundary that has been set for them.

Comment: Re:Suitable technology needed to improve choices. (Score 1) 388

The voting system is only one factor favouring the entrenched two party system in the USA; Other countries with plurality systems typically have more than two significant parties. A more important factor in entrenching the two party system in the USA is the idealogical promiscuity of the main parties -- they happily accommodate extreme views and do not impose party discipline on elected representatives.

Comment: It may make things worse. (Score 1) 247

by bongomanaic (#37421202) Attached to: British Schoolkids To Be Taught Computer Coding
The number of entries for GCSE ICT has halved in the last five years, and not because the course is insufficiently challenging or technical. The reason is that due to the league tables schools have a powerful incentive to push their students into worthless 'vocational' courses that are even easier and duller than GCSE. Making the GCSE more technically challenging will not improve this state of affairs.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 71

by bongomanaic (#37288948) Attached to: UK To Get Whitespace Radio
In fact the rural poor do significantly worse than the urban poor in England, and the gap is greater the further you get from the big cities. I can think of at least two reasons for this: rural schools are less well funded than urban schools, and access to pre-school and nursery care is worse in rural areas.

Comment: Re:Conspiracy? (Score 1) 156

by bongomanaic (#30788724) Attached to: In UK, Oink Admin Cleared of Fraud
'Conspiracy to defraud' is a catch-all common law offence that is committed when a third party suffers a loss as a result of an agreement between others. It is not necessary to show that the action agreed to by the conspirators would be unlawful, but there does need to be an element of dishonesty. In this case the co-conspirators were the users of the site and the 'victims' were the copyright holders.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan