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Comment Good (Score 1) 662

He put his colleague in A&E over a dispute about hot vs cold food. The BBC did the only thing they could have.

Top Gear works because of the chemistry between the presenters, not because of any one person –this could be good for the series, as their schtick was getting a bit tired and repetitive, in my opinion.

I’m sure lots of us will be interested to see what the BBC, with or without Hammond & May, can do with the show next.

Comment Re:Bright side for those who run web apps (Score 1) 143

...your use of the cookie must be related to the service requested by the user

Clearly, in the case of advertising on the site, even if advertising is how the site is funded, this is not the case, so, if this law is upheld, this would be an illegal way to use a cookie without permission.

However, this surely doesn’t mean advertising on the internet is Going Bye-Bye. Your advertisers may have to stop tracking your visitors, but they can do a certain amount with IPs.

Actually, I very much doubt that this will materially impact sites’ potential ad incomes. The ad market will still exist and have the same basic value, so assuming the law is applied fairly evenly, hopefully it shouldn’t have very much effect, other than to prevent some of advertisers’ douchiest and most unpleasant tactics.

Comment Bright side for those who run web apps (Score 2) 143

From the guidelines (pdf):

The only exception to this rule is if what you are doing is ‘strictly necessary’ for a service requested by the user. This exception is a narrow one but might apply, for example, to a cookie you use to ensure that when a user of your site has chosen the goods they wish to buy and clicks the ‘add to basket’ or ‘proceed to checkout’ button, your site ‘remembers’ what they chose on a previous page. You would not need to get consent for this type of activity.

So, by my reading of that, you do not need further consent merely for logins/session cookies:

This exception needs to be interpreted quite narrowly because the use of the phrase “strictly necessary” means its application has to be limited to a small range of activities and because your use of the cookie must be related to the service requested by the user. Indeed, the relevant recital in the Directive on which these Regulations are based refers to services “explicitly requested” by the user. As a result our interpretation of this exception therefore has to bear in mind the narrowing effect of the word “explicitly”. The exception would not apply, for example, just because you have decided that your website is more attractive if you remember users’ preferences or if you decide to use a cookie to collect statistical information about the use of your website.


Submission + - Happiest places have highest suicide rates says ne (

Kyusaku Natsume writes: carries this story of new research from UK’s University of Warwick, Hamilton College in New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that leads to this conclusion. Acording to one of the researchers:

“Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable in an environment in which other humans are unhappy.”

Maybe this research explains why in third world countries the suicide rates are generally lower than in developed nations.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 357

Reposting my comment to that video here:

Interesting ideas, but hopelessly convoluted. “Sworph?” Seriously? Inventing such terms to describe seems like a sure sign of something seriously messed up with one’s approach.

Can this be done in a simple, understandable (i.e. NOT gimmicky 3D!), cross-compatible (with ALL forms of media) way that solves the problems people identify with (has obvious use cases)? These should be the goals. If they are not achievable, the exercise is pointless, no matter what the putative theoretical advantages.

Comment Re:More important is the government’s collus (Score 3, Interesting) 278

I still basically "support" Obama –whatever that means, being from the UK. How anyone even slightly left of Bill O'Reilly could favour the alternative, the Cavalcade of Crazy currently coming from the Republican side is beyond me.

Still, I don't agree with your assessment that "The President tried change, and was rewarded by the people by taking away his majority in the house." I just didn't see the evidence of him "trying change" –the secret ACTA negotiations and white house events for the MPAA (incl. presence of FBI brass) etc. were all going on way before the Dem majority was lost.

I do understand your point that generally there is a great deal of FUD (must not mention Fox News... dammit) that results in many people being grossly misinformed and therefore punishing politicians trying to act in their interest (cough health care cough socialism cough).

Please if you know of significant ways Obama tried to make government less beholden to "Special Interests" (as he promised), give us some info.

Comment More important is the government’s collusion (Score 5, Insightful) 278

1. It’s great to see this coming (finally) from a well-respected business source. The Lessigs, Doctorows and even Nissons of this world are potentially dismissed as impractical ideologues; not so Harvard Business.

2. The things that really makes me sad and angry is the continuing complicity of the US government in the RIAA & MPAA’s money-grabbing, price-fixing, collusive monopolistic ransom-holding of contemporary cultural output. From the anti-democratic secret ACTA treaty shenanigans to Joe Biden’s White House lunches with the Big Content and law enforcement, even Obama, by far the most technologically forward thinking president ever, has completely failed to comprehend the nature of the problem, despite excellent books on the subject, notably Lessig’s Free Culture.

I thought Obama would change this, because his election campaign was funded by crowd-sourcing and he railed against the “Special interests” in public debates.

It’s the public’s interests vs. those of a business elite with a powerful lobby. Guess where the Administration’s placing its support. Change we can believe in, indeed.


Daniel Ellsberg On WikiLeaks, Google and Facebook 87

angry tapir writes "The Silicon Valley companies that store our personal data have a growing responsibility to protect it from government snooping, according to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Discussing the growing role of Internet companies in the public sphere, Ellsberg said companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter need to take a stand and push back on excessive requests for personal data." Ellsberg spoke as part of a panel at an event from the Churchill Club, which included Clay Shirky, Jonathan Zittrain and others discussing the WikiLeaks situation.

Comment Re:A wise man once said.... (Score 1) 389

“What makes us human”is by definition everything that we are, which includes both our impulses and our ability to control our impulses, and everything else besides.

“What makes us human as opposed to animal” is the question you seem to be answering, and it is invalid, because "human" is an element of "animal".

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