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Comment: Re:But what created the law of gravity? (Score 1) 1328

by vittal (#33451592) Attached to: Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

One thing is sure, though: any strategy that involves opening a box is better than the strategy of not opening any of them because you can't decide.

Not if there is a god who values the quiet life, and prefers atheists over theists. This is quite reasonable because theists tend to bother god about all sorts of things (my crops have failed, I've stubbed my toe, computer won't boot, etc).

This god will happily send all theists to hell and take all atheists to heaven on the reasonable assumption that atheists won't keep coming round to his/her house to borrow a cup of sugar.

Comment: Re:What this shows (Score 1) 652

by vittal (#29992538) Attached to: Iraq Swears By Dowsing Rod Bomb Detector

These things should be going off all the time - according to their website, they'll detect amongst other things "...,Cannabis, Morphine, Ivory, Human research, Bank notes,..." (http://www.ade651.com/sustanciasin.html).

While I'm no expert in Iraq, I would have thought bank notes would be fairly common. As for the ability to detect "Human research", the mind boggles.

Comment: Re:Illegal to Photograph Cops in Britain (Score 3, Interesting) 446

by vittal (#27733611) Attached to: UK Government To Monitor All Internet Use

Actually, its not illegal to photograph the police - only if its provably of use to terrorists (or whatever is no longer flavour of the month for our esteemed Home Secretary). However, in typical British fashion, nobody is entirely sure of what is allowed/not-allowed, and that includes many officers on the beat.

The British Journal of Photography (http://www.bjp-online.com/ - just search for police on there) is littered with cases where overzealous officers have declared taking pictures of such-and-such an offence, even to the point of deleting the photos. Needless to say, lots of these cases have follow-ups from the police saying they were wrong.

The police can not stop you because you are taking a picture - they must have reasonable grounds for suspicion under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/operational-policing/pace-code-a-amended-jan-2009) or under the Terrorism Act 2000 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000011_en_5#pt5-pb2-l1g44). If you are stopped at worst case they can confiscate your photography equipment, but they certainly can't get you to delete stuff (arguably, if they did, you could claim it was destruction of evidence).

Bear in mind IANAL, so the above is at best a summary. http://www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php has a proper guide to UK photographers' rights written by someone with legal training.

This is all a classic case of poorly drafted legislation, large amounts of mis-information, the ocassional police officer on a power-kick and the Home Office repeatedly spouting "the terrorists are gonna getcha". Sadly, this is happening all too often in the UK now :(

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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