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Comment Re:SJW (Score 1) 287

All that should matter is to determine if the evidence is real or faked; it should not matter how it is obtained except in so far as it helps to determine whether it was faked. "Procedures" for getting evidence, like search warrants, should just be a factor in helping that decision, not a way to get evidence thrown out automatically if it was not by "procedure".

As for police randomly raiding homes without warrants, if they do find incriminating evidence then fair enough; if they don't, then prosecute the police for intrusion.

We now know that Chahal is an utter bastard who abuses women. That video evidence is good enough for me.
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Comment Re:One of many famous Fermi Paradox answers (Score 1) 250

AC wrote :

My problem with the "civilisation will destroy itself" arguments .....

A problem is what is meant by "civilisation". Strictly it means living in towns where most people specialise (metalworker, baker etc) and trade with satellite villages for food; as opposed to villages alone with most people living by subsistence farming. The human race will not destroy itself in the forseeable future (that is just too hard to do), but I believe it could be reduced to a tiny fraction of its present size in subsistence villages. This would not necessarily be caused by disaster - there are many who want that to happen, the more extreme of the Green movement being the prime example, and extreme Survivalists another. Such opinions, opposing science and technology, have become very powerful. The most likely disaster facing civilisation is over-population, leadng to a boom and then bust instability as seen in some fish and insect populations (yet there are people who still today call for popuation increases).

Husky Dog wrote :

we know from practical experience that getting from the dark ages to now takes about 1500 years or so, probably rather less if you have the smoking remains of the previous civilisation to get clues from. So, we get another go at being an advanced civilisation and presumably can repeat this depressing episode over and over again

Exactly, except as I said not everyone wants to "get back from the dark ages". The most powerful people in dark ages are gang leaders (read Viking warlords, leaders of Mongol hordes etc) who are people who see no gain for themselves in learning and science. All through the dark ages there were centres of learning and knowledge in Westen Europe such as Lindisfarne and St Davids, which gained ground slowly but would then be wiped out over and over again by barbarians of one sort or another. .

Comment Re:How it works? Easy. (Score 1) 212

Yeah, they always had technobabble to explain why TV detector vans work. But the reality is that there is not and never was such a thing.

I had moved house and the very next day had a visit from a detector van guy who said he had detected a TV. He was right, there was one but at that point had not even been plugged in yet. It must have been BS because the TV could not have been making any emissions since its arrival.

I believe that they consult the Land Registry to find people moving house and try to catch them before they have had time to get a licence for the new place.

Comment Re:Privacy? Fuck you. (Score 1) 212

having a database of every dwelling which has had a TV license previously and currently doesn't also helps ensure a brown envelope drops on the right door mats, for years.

I moved house, let the old BBC licence shortly expire, and the old house was empty for nearly a year before I sold it. I'd go back to it once a week to pick up mail, and those brown envelopes soon arrived. They got increasingly hysterical about I was going to be visited and fined for having no licence. Then after about the third letter they'd stop and I'd hear nothing for a month. Then they'd start from the beginning again.

I tried phoning them to say the house was empty but I was led round an automated circle for 20 minutes until a robot told me to use their website. The website told me to use the phone. I'd have written to them but was damned if I was going to pay for a stamp.

They cannot have been using detector vans to find me as there was no TV there. I was probably the only house in a middle-class area without a licence - an easy target (they thought). I expect in an area of flats, squats and bed-sits, especially with a high immigrant population and some pit-bulll terriers around, they would not have bothered.

Comment Re:not all sub records are worth remembering (Score 1) 118

The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth did carry troops during WW2. They ran the North Atlantic without escorts, because they were so fast a U-Boat spotting them would have essentially no chance of getting into position for a shot.

They did have escorts, certainly in European waters, but they were not put in the routine slow convoys. They had a special escort which seemed to have included elderly light cruisers, because in October 1942 the QM cut one in half - HMS Curacoa (a WW1 veteran). While it would have been very difficult for a U Boat to torpedo such a fast target, there were still aircraft and even surface attakers to worry about.

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