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Comment BT in the UK (Score 1) 253

Although not open as such, BT in the UK have a system whereby their broadband customers run a second access point that's separate to their internal network. Any other broadband customer who opts in to the sharing scheme can use those access points, as well as BT openzone. The idea is that when you're out and about you get free wi-fi from other BT customers in return for sharing your own. Other people's use of your broadband does not come off of your allowance, but you have limits on how much you can use of theirs (to stop you using the public side of your own connection to get unlimited usage!)

Great in theory. Sucks in practice. You either have to keep searching for access points and go through a browser based logon to access them, or download an app that does it automatically. The app is useless, and fails to prioritise your own internal wi-fi when you're at home, connecting instead to the public facing one.

I've tried it, and wandering around my town I found plenty of access points, but only successfully connected to a small handful - or at least, I connected but failed to get internet access.

Comment Re:And Another Bit from Franklin (Score 4, Insightful) 1160

I also own several editions of James Joyce's "Ulysses", a book which was banned in many countries when it was written. I will tell you right now that we would be missing major cultural artifacts if those in power had succeeded at eradicating "Ulysses" and its author.

Apparently it was banned for obscenity. I applaud the vivid imagination of those who realised it was obscene - I read it, then read about the obscenity, and just thought "He was doing *what* on the beach??? Did not get that". Obviously I'm uncultured.

If, on the other hand, it had been banned for being pseudo intellectual literary codswallop, I'd have understood completely.

Comment Re:this whole story is just sad... (Score 2) 533

Replied above to the same point, but giving money for sex is not illegal in the UK unless the receiver is being coerced or controlled - i.e. has a pimp, is trafficked or being forced into it. It's strict liability, though, so taking her word for it that she is fully consenting and doing it of her own free will is not a defence.

Comment Re:this whole story is just sad... (Score 1) 533

No. Buying is only illegal in the UK if the seller is coerced into it or is controlled by someone else - in other words, to make it illegal if the seller is trafficked or has an abusive pimp. Buying is legal if it is completely consensual on both sides.

Trouble is, it's strict liability - it's no defence to say you asked her and she said she was fully consenting and not being controlled. I don't think the limits of "control" and "forced into it" have been established by the courts - I would hope that it's more than just being "forced" into it by the economy. I think the purpose of the legislation was to have a chilling effect on buying.

Other things around advertising and soliciting are illegal, but having said all that, websites such as Adultwork and small ads in the free papers seem to suggest it's not rigidly enforced.

Comment Does it leak information between accounts? (Score 3, Interesting) 171

I have another concern with gmail, which is that it might be leaking ad information between gmail users.

By that I mean that if I'm corresponding with another gmail user, I get ads that are unrelated to anything we've discussed but which may be related to things that they are likely to have emailed or received emails about.

Just to give a trivial example, a friend has a pet. She has emailed me but never once mentioned the pet in email to me. I do not have any pets, nor have I mentioned them in my emails, but I now get ads for pet food. There are other examples that suggest my ads are based on my correspondents emails that weren't sent to me - that they are pulling in the ads based on both of our email histories.

Comment Re:Racist Idiocy (Score 3, Funny) 160

No, the Neanderthals liked technology, but invented patents so that Ug got exclusive rights to fire and refused to license it to Og. There was also some nastiness over whether the stone tools could have rounded edges.

Humans freely ripped off Neanderthal technology. The Neanderthals tried to take them to court, but the humans had not yet evolved enough to understand the concept of intellectual property rights so just ignored them.

Eventually the Neanderthals consumed all of their resources in a massive lawsuit that left the earth scorched and the humans scratching their heads and telling themselves that whatever happened in the future, they wouldn't ever be so stupid as to repeat those mistakes.

Comment Re:Instagram... (Score 1) 472

... will screw up their pictures anyway in the end. Hipsters will make the purple flare a new trend and a future Instagram update for Android will enable this. Anyone want to bet on that?

And then Apple will sue on the grounds that they the purple flare is their copyright/patent/trademark/whatever.

Mind you, I expect Cadbury to have something to say about this - they apparently "own" a shade of purple.

Comment Re:Reasonable doubt (Score 1) 547

OK, bad choice of word. It exists therefore it must be natural, I get that, but our basic genetic programming is to pass on our own genes to another generation.

Words like pointless and unnatural may sound perjorative but I mean them only in that technical sense. How we, as a society, deal with those who have those sexual preferences is another matter. As it stands, we determine a fairly arbitrary age after which we deem individuals capable of giving informed consent. It's far from perfect - in both directions. There are plenty of over 18s being exploited because they lack emotional maturity or just plain common sense, but the law does not protect them in the same way as under 18s. There are also under 18s fully capable of deciding what they want. Unfortunately a line has to be drawn somewhere - taking every case on it's merits would be too complicated and open to other kinds of abuse.

Comment Re:Reasonable doubt (Score 1) 547

And another thing... it is a critical distinction in some ways.

Pedophilia is biologically unnatural - sexual attraction to pre-pubescents is pointless from a reproductive perspective and is therefore an unsuccessful mutation, if you like. From a purely biological standpoint, the same is true of homosexuality.

When it comes to post pubescents - i.e. those capable of bearing children - the line on age is drawn entirely by society.

The whole thing is probably a bit of a hot topic in the UK at the moment, as there's a current case in the news of a 30 year old teacher who appears to have eloped to France with a 15 year old girl.

Comment Re:Something is fishy (Score 1, Troll) 547

The guy sent the same message to his family members:

Playing devil's advocate, but that would make for a good excuse - "ah, see, I sent it to my mum as well, must have been as mistake"

I would like to think there was enough doubt about his story to get the conviction in the first place. On the other hand I would like to think a lot of things, so, meh.

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