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Comment Re:This is in fact an entirely reasonable proposal (Score 1) 312

Well, the BBC operates web sites. Clearly, anyone who uses any sort of web site should be obliged to subscribe, or at least pay something, to the BBC. Therefore, we are going to have a tax on Internet use, some or all of whose proceeds will go to the BBC, for it to operate its public service web sites.

I know you think you were joking, but a couple of years ago it was announced that the TV licence for DR (Danmark's Radio - the Danish equivalent of the BBC which is responsible for some radio stations, TV channels and websites just like the BBC) would become a "media licence", and it would be extended from radio and TV owners to anyone who owned a device with an internet connection (including mobile phones).

So, in Denmark if you have an internet connection you're paying for DR, whether you access their content or not.

Why on earth are states involved in producing media anyway? They don't make newsapers after all (although the USSR had Pravda).

Comment Re:Windows 7 should go back to home and pro setup (Score 1) 864

dump the retail/OEM distinction too

That's not going to happen unless governments use anti-monopolist legislation to force Microsoft's hand. In the past Microsoft has used the threat of forcing OEMs to pay for the retail version of Windows to prevent them from selling dual-boot systems.

Comment Re:Where exactly is child porn legal to host (Score 2, Informative) 309

Comment Re:Saving emails (Score 3, Insightful) 115

Sweden regarded free? You must be joking.

All emails and phone calls are monitored in the name of national security
Sweden is second from bottom in the EU when it comes to protecting its citizens' private integrity

This is what happens when a government realises it's large imported religious fundamentalist population has ideas that run counter to their modern progressive ones. See also: the UK


Submission + - UK Local Councils Spy on Emails and Calls (

MrSteveSD writes: The Daily Mail is reporting that local councils have been using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on peoples phone and email records. Reasons given for the surveillance include checking for evidence of people storing petrol without permission and investigating unburied animal carcasses. The surveillance was uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act. The scope of the RIPA act is staggering. It would be simpler to list who isn't allowed to access your phone and email records. Aside from political action, what can be done technologically to combat this threat? Use Skype rather than the normal telephone?

Submission + - Codeplex fails; MS doesn't understand Open Source

nickos writes: Microsoft's answer to SourceForge, CodePlex is supposed to be "Microsoft's open source project hosting web site" where users can "Start a new project, join an existing one, or download software created by the community". Why is it then that despite being released on Microsoft's CodePlex website, there is no source code available for Sandcastle (a "Documentation Compiler for Managed Class Libraries")? Sandcastle has been released under the Ms-PL (Microsoft Public License) which does not explicitly state source code must be available, but since it's an OSI approved license it has to conform strictly to the OSI definition which includes the requirement that "The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form".

There's a good discussion of the problem on Sandcastle's discussion board here. Looks like Microsoft's still having problems getting it's head around open source.

Submission + - Water leak at Slovenian nuclear power plant (

Mak writes: "A faulty valve caused a water leak at a nuclear power plant in southwestern Slovenia that raised alarms across Europe a day earlier, officials said Thursday. This is the first time that a State activates the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE). In Italy and in Croatia there are no reported rises in radiation levels and the Slovenian government says that "Everything is normal." I live in Italy, at 140 km from Krsko and I have a warm and fuzzy feeling about this story."

Submission + - UK government to outlaw cartoons of child abuse

An anonymous reader writes: The British government announced proposals on Wednesday to make possession of drawings and computer-generated images of child abuse illegal. Many will say "fair enough", but others worry this will be yet another piece of ill-conceived legislation from the current government. From this article at The Register:

Professor Julian Petley is an expert on media policy and regulation. He believes this government "won't rest content until it has terrified people into viewing only material which bears the official seal of moral approval — an ambition which it shares with Iran, Saudi Arabia and China."

He adds: "For a government which boasts of its commitment to 'deregulation' and new technology, this measure, taken in conjunction with the anti-porn proposals in the Criminal Justice Bill, presents an utterly ludicrous spectacle and one which reduces the UK to an international laughing stock."

Submission + - UK to Criminalise Virtual Child Pornography 1

Brian Ribbon writes: "The English Ministry of Justice has today announced that it will criminalise "all images of child sexual abuse, including drawings and computer-generated images". A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice justified the decision by claiming that "paedophiles could be circumventing the law by using computer technology to manipulate real photographs or videos of abuse into drawings or cartoons", however it is already illegal to do this or to possess any image derived from an indecent photograph of a child, under Section 69 of the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. It is presently illegal to distribute any obscene publication, so the proposed new law will actually target only the possession of virtual child pornography for which no real child has ever been abused."

Submission + - UK proposes banning computer generated abuse (

peterprior writes: The UK Justice Minister is planning to outlaw computer generated images and drawings of child sex abuse. While photographs and videos of child sex abuse are already illegal, undoubtedly to protect children from being exploited by these acts, what children will be protected by this new law? If there is no actual child involved is the law merely protecting against the possibility of offenders committing future crimes against real children?

He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion. It's up to you to cast it into a void or not. -- Phil Lapsley