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Comment Re:A confused mess of thought... (Score 1) 235

No, big screens aren't going away

And much of the evidence that might be advanced to show that they are going away can be misleading. People might watch many YouTube videos on their tablets and smart-phones, but all those videos are very short. Looking at the total amount of viewing, in minutes, shows that tablet and smort-phone viewing is much less important than many think.

Comment Re:morons (Score 1) 74

Just how stupid are British officials that they can't see the obvious route is to sue and fine the company directly for false advertising

Because requiring consumers to sue a company, with all the hassle and legal costs, provides consumers with no effective protection. That is why Britain has consumer protection legislation. It provides an easy route for consumers to get redress.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 706

Zero Tolerance: A regulatory philosophy that administrators hide behind to avoid having to make decisions and subsequently defend those decisions.

And also, zero tolerance = zero justice. By replacing human judgement with an inflexible rule, we replace the justice that come from judgement (being judicious) with a mechanical tyranny.

In the context of school bullying, this will disproportionately fall on the victims of bullying. The bullies are good at bullying. From practice they know just how much they can get away with without crossing the line of official sanction. Frustrated and angry victims are not so practiced, so when they snap, they are more likley to cross the line that gets them punished.

Comment What crap? RTFA! (Score 1) 182

The guy that spends a week finding a five year old memory bug, that no one has every been able to find is now ineffective, whereas a dweeb performing trivial refactoring is classed as a genius?

Heaven forbid that you should RTFA, or even the summary, so plow on with your prejudice. Nowere does its say that frequent check-ins would be used as indicating a good programmer. Quoth the patent:

The data analysis component 433 may also include a comparison component 435 for comparing analyzed profile attributes of more than one developer... Determine any other valid statistical comparison between this user profile and other user profiles to find the standard deviation of a profile from the mean profile values. This finds users who may be at the extreme side of the average who may need to be highlighted for support or acclaim

So, Alice and Bob are good programmers and check-in once a week. Charlie is a bad programmer and checks-in ten times a day. Perhaps his manager says to him Why don't you work more like Alice and Bob? They make less frequent changes. Perhaps you need to slow down a little?. Once you have data to analyse, you will be able to find correlations. This is how spam filters work, after all. They do not a priori decide that Viagra indicates spam: the data indicates that is so.

Comment Re:A new DPA application (Score 1) 170

DVR makes this MUCH more difficult because fast-forward/rewind vastly increases the number of datasets you need to compare against. Also, while in theory you could identify a DVD, the selection of possible DVDs is so great and the amount of noise in the measurements is such that you're never in practice going to be able to identify someone's watched content reliably.

Welcome to my world. I write software for computing TV ratings, including for DVR and VOD use, and capable of being used for DVDs. It already exists.

Comment Re:Slippery slope? (Score 1) 301

I'll quote The Register on why it is sad that you don't think there is anything wrong in this:

Once, we did understand. Twenty-five years ago, Independent science correspondent Steve Connor and I wrote a tome about Britain's Databanks and the effect of growing data processing on civil society. Steve had located Britain's first ever vehicle Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) device, a washing-machine-sized contraption planted on a motorway bridge near St Albans. It heralded the potentially tyrannical ultimate development of a nationwide movement surveillance. We both reached for and proclaimed words from early reviews of data protection laws that had warned that new sensors and new software such as free text retrieval (FTR) raised "new dimensions of unease". A quarter-century on, these words are all but unsayable. The thoughts no longer fit the world.

Comment Re:Dear Evangelicals, (Score 1) 1014

a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century

Christianity has already done that. The problem is not Christians, but fundamentalist Christians. I'm an aetheist, but if I were a Christian I would be enraged at the way that fundamentalist Chrisitains identify their particular sect as Christianity in toto, labelling everyone else who also calls themselves a Christian as not Christian.


Submission + - Passenger not guilty despite annoying the TSA (

ConfusedVorlon writes: A six-woman Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court jury has found Phil Mocek “NOT GUILTY” of all of the charges brought against him following his arrest in November 2009 at the TSA checkpoint at the Albuquerque airport.

Annoying the TSA is not a crime. Photography is not a crime. You have the right to fly without ID, and to photograph, film, and record what happens. Your best defense is your own camera and microphone. Ordinary jurors know, and are prepared to recognize with their verdict, that the TSA and police lie about what they are doing and why.


Submission + - MeeGo Handset Security on a Netbook (

M10 writes: We ported the public components of the (Nokia) MeeGo 1.2 security to an (Intel) MeeGo 1.1 Netbook. To get a feel for some of the MeeGo security features, have a look at our blog.
"So how is this better than having mount as a setuid program? Well, we still have to give away the formidable dac_override capability and the root user-id, but mount does not have all the other root capabilities any longer, which previously opened the doors for other exploits. At least now mount is only capable of doing just the filesystem work it was meant to do, and not for instance open raw sockets or load kernel modules. The principle of least privilege, you know."

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