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Submission + - UK to ban WhatsApp within weeks (

An anonymous reader writes: United Kingdom is set to ban popular mobile messaging application, WhatsApp, under new strict laws on social media and online messaging services.

Comment Should be a public API for this (Score 4, Informative) 125

Doesn't help that the new tab page lives inside a protected "chrome://" namespace which extensions are almost entirely prevented from touching, and uses private APIs for things like showing the most used pages, meaning that anyone wanting to put it back how it was by writing an extension has to reimplement everything from scratch.


Submission + - shut down, founder charged with pir ( 2

zacharye writes: Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down notorious file-sharing site and charged the service’s founder with violating piracy laws. The Associated Press broke the story on Thursday, reporting that the indictment accuses’s owner with costing copyright holders including record labels and movie studios more than $500 million in lost revenue.

Comment Re:No appeal? (Score 3, Insightful) 157

To protect their interest, they are trying to enforce laws that are currently being broken. Seems reasonable to me. Hopefully, this will deter the casual downloader who isn't particularly aware of the illegality of what they are doing.

It's a slippery slope though. How long before Ryan Giggs or someone like him demands that they block Twitter to protect his super injunction?

Comment No appeal? (Score 0) 157

Disappointed that BT are rolling over on this. It's the thin end of the wedge, and once they make it known that they are willing to censor one site then every special interest group and their dog will be getting court orders to silence parts of the web they don't like - well in the UK at least.

Comment Re:author makes no reasonable point (Score 4, Insightful) 159

the BBC isn't a public body in the sense that is, say, the British Army. The Army is funded by a general, compulsory taxes on income and other trade. The BBC is funded by a licence which you only need to pay if you choose to watch (possibly time-shifted) live broadcast television

A tax doesn't have to be universal, unless you're also going to argue that the tax on cigarettes and alcohol aren't really taxes because only smokers and drinkers pay them. The licence fee is a compulsory tax on anyone who watches broadcast TV, whether or not they consume or even care about BBC services. Now I'm not saying that I don't enjoy BBC output, or even that I necessarily resent paying the licence fee, but please don't try to use weasel words and pretend it's something it isn't. It might be a special purpose tax and the money it generates might be ring fenced, but it's a tax and the BBC is a public body.

United Kingdom

Submission + - UK Minister backs 'two-speed' internet (

Darkon writes: UK Culture minister Ed Vaizey has backed a "two-speed" internet, letting service providers charging content makers and customers for "fast lane" access. It paves the way for an end to "net neutrality" — with heavy bandwidth users like Google and the BBC likely to face a bill for the pipes they use.

Comment Expensive? (Score 1) 126

share the 3G HSPA connection with various Wi-Fi clients as an instant access point

Great... I can has cheap 3G data access now? Don't know what it's like in the US, but this side of the pond I'm looking at at least £1 per Mb.

Comment Re:Indecent Proposal (Score 1) 287

the exact money figure is mostly a distraction from the issue. If he's done something *actually wrong*, then the fact that he can't pay the fine shouldn't mean that he gets off scot free.

No it should mean that the punishment reflects both the harm done and his ability to pay, unless you're saying that what he did really does merit the punishment of lifetime bankruptcy. It should cut the other way too: if he'd been rich he should have been fined more.

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