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Comment Re:YAY !! DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS !! (Score 5, Insightful) 224

I hope Firefox does thrive. It seems to be the best browser for web developers. I use several plugins to assist in debugging websites (Firebug and Firesizer for example), and the ability to view image info is also handy - Chrome, by default, does not make that easy.

It's possible that similar functionality is available for Chrome, but it's also nice to have one lean browser for real browsing, and a plug-in laden one for web development. IE I only use when I want to see what it breaks, although to be fair IE9 now does a much better job at rendering things the same way as Firefox and Chrome.

Anyway, I still find Firefox useful and hope it has a future. At this point in time, I can't see the lack of a 64bit version being a major drawback.

Comment Re:Apartheid (Score 1) 591

I guess surviving childhood was hard, so those that did were genetically stronger and more likely to live a long life. These days, in the west, surviving childhood is easy, so allowing weaker adults who might not live as long.

The stats thing mentioned by the GP is one of my pet peeves, and as he points out, life expectancy of those who reach adulthood hasn't changed all that much. Hell, didn't the bible even refer to "three score years and ten" as a reasonable age? That is, when it had got past the Old Testament nonsense of living for hundreds of years!

Comment Re:Lawsuit Lotto (Score 1) 147

So only those who can afford to stand the losses can afford to sue? Let's say I sue Random MegaCorp for some reason. They decide to put a dozen highly paid lawyers on it, run up tens of thousands of costs and I lose - perhaps because I can only afford one crummy guy straight out of law school, rather than down to the merits of my case. If they win, I'm bankrupt. If I win, my costs are peanuts.

I'd like to see a system whereby I can limit their costs to match mine - if I choose to pay one guy, or represent myself, they are not allowed to spend a penny more. If they want to spend more, they have to fund my side to match - it's their choice, then, but they wouldn't be able to claim those costs back.

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.

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