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Comment: Re:Space is cheap, rip to FLAC (Score 1) 329

by julian67 (#47000401) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

You have that a bit mixed up. FLAC, or any *lossless* format, is intrinsically gapless and, unless you misconfigure your ripper, you will get an identical listening experience and of course bit identical audio data (including pregaps, gaps, silences).

MP3 is not designed to be lossless nor gapless. Some encoders and rippers can implement true gapless playback but many players still make a mess of it. Lossy formats *designed|* to play back gaplessly include Ogg Vorbis and Opus, but not MP3.

I have a large CD collection which includes many live performances, full ballets and operas, choral works and so on, which play gaplessly on CD (or any original medium). They have all been ripped and encoded to flac and play absolutely identically with any competent player, even as individual flacs. No need for cue+image rips or even m3u/pls playlist files.

Comment: small government (Score 2) 273

by julian67 (#46107161) Attached to: UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

To me the amazing thing is that within the Conservative Party (the dominant partner in the UK's coalition government, and usually presented by the press as anti-liberal, antediluvian, small minded and exclusively self-interested or overly class conscious) there are people who do sincerely believe in small government and the duty to spend tax income prudently. Some of these people have achieved minsterial office and are trying to put into practise what they believe and propound. I find it reassuring and entirely positive that they arrive at the point of advocating Free(dom) Software and decline to simply concur with the payment of hundreds of millions of our money to (mostly foreign) businesses for no public benefit or advantage.

It's a shame and a scandal that the "left-wing" and "liberal" representatives and parties have failed to realise that being bonded to unethical, solely profit driven (and mostly foreign) corporations does nothing for the public purse or the public good.

We had 13 years of supposedly liberal left wing government and the result was that we approached being bankrupt, handed over billions of tax pounds to greedy banks and foreign corporations for no result, fought wars that only benefited foreign powers and a handful of greedy politicians, and gave up rights bought in blood such as habeus corpus, jury trial and control of our own borders. The idea that the Conservative Party could be the UK's leading proponent of sound financial sense and a pragmatic and ethical approach to government IT purchasing and practise is almost enough to make me wonder if I took a lot of acid in the 60s or alkalines in the 70s but there it is, they are actually doing it, and for entirely rational reasons.

Hail Spode!
Hail Stallman!

Comment: slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (Score 4, Insightful) 337

by julian67 (#46076323) Attached to: Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

There are British citizens or residents who, in a private capacity, engage in armed conflict abroad, often due to alliegance to ideologies and religious beliefs that deem their home country to be a target, and they come to the attention of the state, and other states who also fear being targeted by the same people for the same reasons. They may have to explain themsleves on their return home, and may be arrested if suspected of criminal activity. In the mind of some slashdot submitters and editors this can apparently be equated to the imprisonment of hundreds of millions of people, and the killing of many hundreds or even thousands simply for trying to travel abroad.

Dear fucking cretins at slashdot,

here is a small hint: there was no equivalent of Heathrow or Gatwick airports or Dover or Southampton ferry ports in the DDR, the USSR, or any of the other "people's" republics. If you're British and you want to travel abroad do you know how hard it is? You go to the ferry port and get on a ferry. You need some money and some ID such as a driver's license. That's it.

I'm pleased that people who train for and engage in murder and kidnapping are actually faced with the prospect of being held to account, whether they do it here or in Syria or Pakistan or Ulster or anywhere else.

So if you think just getting on a boat or aplane and crossing a national boundary should amount to a license to do as you please and some kind of immunity then just fuck off and get a clue or if that is too difficult maybe you can ask mommy, but please stop whining and regurgitating your misunderstandings, half truths, and flat out lies.

Comment: Re:Works for me (Score 1) 171

by julian67 (#45887485) Attached to: TorrentFreak Blocked By British ISP Sky's Porn Filter

The nature of government is that it has the power and authority to make laws. Sometimes it proscribes activities and sometimes it mandates them. If this is something that you find unsatisfactory or suprising then you are either a moron or a very fundamentalist kind of anarchist or libertarian.

We live in a democracy, and the authority of the government and the sovereignty of parliament are hardly illegitimate. Democracy doesn't mean "I personally can do whatever I damn well like", it means we choose people to perform a role which combines, amongst other things, representing their constituents and also using their own judgement and following their conscience, and sometimes just doing what has to be done even if it won't win a popularity contest amongst the guardianistas and twitterati. The point about a democratic system is that we get to collectively choose our lawmakers, and ultimately to dismiss them if we are dissatisfied. We'll be having an election in May 2015, at which point you can express your support or otherwise via the ballot box. In the meantime you can lobby your MP, your local parties and so on, and make your views known directly.

Comment: Re:Works for me (Score 1) 171

by julian67 (#45885953) Attached to: TorrentFreak Blocked By British ISP Sky's Porn Filter

"Any filter that is optional now, can, with the backdoor nod of an elected official, become mandatory over night."

That's complete nonsense and mere assertion. It is also demonstrably untrue. The ISPs have agreed to implement optional family filters and to enable them by default on new accounts (existing accounts are not modified). This has been done at the urging of an elected government, not "with a backdoor nod". The ISPs are not obliged to do this but the government (an elected government made up of two parties in coalition in a parliamentary democracy) has said that if they don't do so then it will aim to introduce legislation. It *cannot* be made mandatory without legislation.

The Conservative party would like the filters to be on by default by law (mandatory) while their coalition partners the Liberal Democrat party disagrees, which is why it hasn't happened and probably never will unless either Labour or Conservatives gain an absolute majority at the next election (if any party has a history of state interference in absolutely every facet of life it is the Labour party).

Even if the Conservatives had got their way and the filtering was legislated it would not change the fact that the account holder can switch it off or on at will.

Your "crux of the issue" simply doesn't exist.

Comment: Re:Works for me (Score -1) 171

by julian67 (#45885755) Attached to: TorrentFreak Blocked By British ISP Sky's Porn Filter

Please don't spoil the story by introducing facts! There is a large array of whiners, bedwetters and fungible rent-a-gob pseudo liberals, all eager to scream "Censorship! Oppression!". If everyone finds out that the filter can be switched on and off at will by the account holder (like any other service or config option - via the settings on their ISP website account page) they will all be revealed as hysterical bloody idiots and empty headed nutcases and it will degrade the /. click farm efficieny. /. seems to have one of these UK censorship stories every week and they always come back to the same thing - it's the ISPs' filters, not the government's, it's optional and if you don't like it you can either scream like an infant or you can switch it off. Apparently the typical /. respondent prefers the "scream like an infant" option and to continue to pretend to be oppressed.

So please keep your awkward-but-true facts to yourself because you risk being identified as politically unreliable and incorrect and also negatively impacting on 3rd party ad revenue. It'll be a re-education camp for you if you carry on like this.

Comment: Re:childline blocked for u12s (Score 2) 148

by julian67 (#45763899) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

I just enabled the Kids Safe filter on my TalkTalk broadband. It takes about a minute to take effect after being toggled on or off or the settings changed. I checked that it is active by trying to visit an online betting site. The filter blocked it and informed me that it had done so.

Next I visited and then

Both pages load perfectly normally and are fully accessible. Anyone in the UK with an ISP that offers this filtering can check this for themselves.

If *completely optional* filtering was in fact some kind of draconian censorship then people who object to it would not need to resort to making hysterical misrepresentations, would they?

Comment: Re:This is not censorship as the user is in contro (Score 1) 148

by julian67 (#45763835) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

Here are two amazing facts:

1) A telephone can actually be used to make voice calls! The childline number is 0800 1111 and is accessible to anyone with a telephone! Doh.

") Here is an even better fact: I have enabled the "Kids Safe" family filter and checked that it is active by trying to go to a gambling site The filter blocks the site and informs me it has done so. Next I search for childline and follow the link to the official site It loads as normal.


This "but what about childline, think of the children!" argument is utterly bogus and dishonest. Anyone in UK who is a customer of one of the big ISPs or telcos can enable the family filter and see for themselves.

Another thing the family filter does not block is slashdot and nor does it prevent pathetic attention seeking activists telling lies and doing their feeble minded pseudoliberal scaremongering.

Comment: Re:This is not censorship as the user is in contro (Score 1) 148

by julian67 (#45763367) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

Would that by any chance be one of those straw men, a leading question, heavily loaded with bias and expectation?

It's good to see that the well worn but always emotive "think of the children!" is a straw clutched by those people of all persuasions who prefer to carefully avoid dealing with such boring and troublesome things as facts and reason.

Comment: Re:Julian67 = Common Purpose shill (Score 1) 148

by julian67 (#45763213) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

To enable or disable my ISP's filtering I log into my account on ISP's www site using my username and password. I can then switch filtering on or off in a couple of clicks. The changes take effect within a minute or two.

This remains the case whether you call me nasty names or not.

I looked up Common Purpose on Wikipedia and it is apparently a "a British charity that runs leadership development programmes across the UK." which employs 125 staff. I'm not one of them, nor had I ever heard of them until just now.

If I were you I would pay a bit more attention to getting a grasp of some easily available and verifiable facts and a little less to paranoid name calling and exciting conspiracy theories.

Comment: Re:This is not censorship as the user is in contro (Score 2, Insightful) 148

by julian67 (#45763159) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

You use words and phrases such as "pond scum", "mouth foamers", "cunt", "shrill bitch" yet you claim *others* are hysterical?

It's this kind of huge exaggeration and irrational and maniacal reaction that makes discussion futile, or at least too boring and wearisome to pursue. I assume this is intentional as it serves to obscure the facts and clears the field of rational actors leaving the discussion in the hands of people with an axe to grind.

The funny thing is that in your reply you perfectly fulfil the description of an intolerant, unreasonable reactionary who is either deluded or dishonest, all the while clearly imagining yourself to be reasonable, honest and right thinking.

Comment: This is not censorship as the user is in control. (Score 4, Informative) 148

by julian67 (#45762847) Attached to: UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

The article is bunk and the language used is deceitful and apparently deliberately so.

I'm in UK and my ISP is TalkTalk, the first ISP here to introduce such a filter. It is entirely optional. The *account holder* controls it, not the government or the ISP or anyone else. I can switch it off or on at will and it takes just a minute or two to take effect. It is even customisable, for example I can allow/disallow any of the following categories:

Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
Suicide and Self-Harm
Weapons and Violence

The above are default blocked *if* I enable the filter and don't deselect them. Additionally I can add:

File Sharing Sites
Social Networking

Using the term "censorship" implies that something is redacted, withheld or forbidden or otherwise placed off limits in a way that is outside of the user's control. That is absolutely not the case. The account holder is fully able to switch the filter off or on as they see fit. I was informed of the availability of the filter via email from my ISP and tried it in various options in order to satisfy curiosity and then decided it can remain permanently off.

What the government has done is to require the major ISPs and telcos to implement a filtering system that allows the account holder to opt in or out and even to have fine grained control. Basically this means that adults control their accounts as they like but that children whose mobile phones and internet access is the responsibility of their parents are obliged to defer to the responsible adult.

Allowing adults full discretion is not censorship by any stretch of the imagination. Parents having some say in what their children consume is also not censorship - it is part of parenting.

Comment: Re:I feel safer... (Score 3, Interesting) 411

by julian67 (#45051813) Attached to: US Intelligence Chief Defends Attempts To Break Tor

"a future tyrant who will commit more atrocities than all of the terrorists combined."


The atomic detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened almost 70 years ago.

Did anyone count how many non-combatants were bombed and napalmed and otherwise killed in S.E. Asia in the 60s and 70s?

How many civilians have so far been killed by conventional warfare and by drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

How about counting the number of birth defects caused by depleted uranium weapons in Iraq?

What about all the people who were tortured and kidnapped or "disappeared" by US sponsored forces in south and central America in the 70s and 80s?

I haven't done the maths but I find it incredibly difficult to believe that the numbers of casualties caused by anti US terrorism even looks like a pinprick next to the hundreds of thousands or even millions of non-combatants killed by the US in the modern era, and I am really confident that still holds true even if one completely disregards the use of atomic weapons over Japan.

I don't think one can fairly describe any particular modern US president as a tyrant because domestically they have all been subject to elections and held more or less accoutable (or can be), but the behaviour of the US in relation to other nations has often been tyrannical and brutal. If Caesar came back today he could easily understand various US campaigns in his own terms, including such noble qualities as self aggrandisement, greed, cruelty, curiosity untroubled by ethics, and good old vengeance.

Comment: Re:But does it change anything? (Score 1) 245

by julian67 (#44978003) Attached to: When Criminals and Terrorists Communicate In Real Time

This idea that terrorism has anything at all to do with persuading people to like or agree with the terrorists is laughable and underpins complete misunderstanding.

Nor is the goal to "change someone's mind by making them ever more angry at you".

Groups don't use terror to change personal opinions or to ingratiate themselves with their victims! They do it to force concessions (usually political or territorial) or to enforce submission, usually as a tactic in a wider strategy.

One obvious example: the 2004 Madrid bombings. A vicious mass murder of non-combatants by an Al Qaeda cell contributed to huge political upheaval, a change of government, and very soon afterwards the withdrawal of Spanish forces from Afghanistan.

Think about it for two seconds and then consider again if it is actually the case that terrorists care if people agree with them or like them.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky