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Comment: Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (Score 1) 168

by tpholland (#38016196) Attached to: Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks
You could have Googled 1) if you were actually curious. 2) is unrelated to anything in the post you were replying to, but I believe there are websites where people who are that way inclined discuss the relative merits of various weapons; Google will probably give some pointers here, too.

Comment: A first step to personalisation (Score 1) 171

by tpholland (#37142614) Attached to: Wikipedia May Censor Images

Over the past 27 months, two magical and revolutionary concepts have changed the way we interact. The first is the Cloud; the second is the Personalized Web.

We all know what the cloud means, but the personalized web means that when I search Google, it no longer returns results based on the words I was searching for. It returns the results it knows I wanted to see, based on a personal profile built up from information about my geolocation, the version number of my browser's rendering engine, and my degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

Imagine this personalization concept carried through to Wikipedia. Rether than viewing a bland article entirely made of compromise and negotiation, I'd be able to read words and see pictures tailored to my point of view--based on my profile, previous reading habits and the kinds of edits I've made. I believe that the proposed changes are just the start of this kind of advanced personalized functionality.

Remember--choice is not censorship, people. And if the choices can be chosen for you in advance, so much the better!

Comment: Re:for the wrong reasons (Score 2) 135

Yes, but according to the Guardian who have been doggedly pursuing this story, there was an external company involved, Essential Computing, who were the ones who blew the whistle and recovered the incriminating messages. In other news, it sounds like the Bangalore operation they outsourced most of their IT to have had no problems disappearing vast amounts of information.

Comment: Re:3M sure does a lot! (Score 5, Interesting) 120

by tpholland (#32924050) Attached to: 3M Says Its Multi-Touch System Means Almost No Lag

A lot of it is down to the famous 15 percent rule--the idea that their researchers and engineers are free to spend 15% of their time pursuing their own ideas.

Some of the younger developers at our place are in awe of Google having "invented" the whole one day a week innovating thing, and are shocked that some of the less cool corporations were doing this back in the sixties.

Comment: Something you can do about this (Score 2, Informative) 107

by tpholland (#32848844) Attached to: Major ISPs Challenge UK's Digital Economy Act

OK--perhaps it will have little effect on anybody taking decisions, but it won't take more than a few minutes of your time, and if it can drive stories in the press etc, so much the better.

  1. Create an account at that rather lame new government site about repealing unneccessary laws to save money.
  2. Search for Digital Economy Act, or go to http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site%3Ayourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk+digital+economy. Vote up some of the many threads that you find. Comment in support of each of these threads.
  3. Start your own thread asking for the repeal of the Digital Economy Act.

Comment: Re:What part of "use a proxy" can't he understand? (Score 3, Interesting) 577

by tpholland (#30806248) Attached to: Police In Britain Arrest Man For Bomb-Threat Joke On Twitter

Do I feel strongly enough about it to emigrate? The law as it stands in terms of freedom of speech has been much the same for centuries.

Please don't emigrate just yet—you may be in luck. The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of speech for all EU citizens. It was enshrined into UK law by the Human Rights Act in 1998; this was the biggest fundamental change in the law regarding freedom of speech for centuries.

The problem is, the way it is enshrined into UK law also introduces a significant number of restrictions, mostly around the areas of security, crime, and morals. But the government has to actually pass specific legislation to limit speech in these areas, and if these national laws fall short of the European Convention then they can be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.

One of the weaknesses of the British constitutions is that most people—even most British people—seem to have been persuaded that we don't have one, so few people are willing to stand up and fight against unconstitutional laws.

Far from free speech not being a vote winner, it looks likely that reform of our libel laws will become a significant issue at the next election, for example with campaigns like libelreform.org causing a lot of unrest in political circles.

Comment: Re:stupid (Score 2, Interesting) 410

by tpholland (#29144195) Attached to: New Hitchhiker's Guide Book "Not Very Funny"
Maybe it's because TV and movies--regardless of how much the original director or writer put in--are always a team effort, the product of lots of different actors', artists' and technician's visions. A novel on the other hand is the unique product of a single imagination, so it inevitably carries a stronger stamp of its creator.

Comment: Re:You mean like Nokia Maps? (Score 1) 111

by tpholland (#28256289) Attached to: Using the iPhone As a Pointing Device For the Real World
Yes, Nokia make some amazing stuff, like that web server I had running on my phone, what, two and a half years ago. The problem is that the department responsible for communicating the more cutting-edge of what they do is based in a secret bunker under the Finnish tundra, and have the national shyness in spades.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal

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