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Comment Peaceful Protest (Score 1) 115

I would like to suggest a peaceful protest:

On Monday the 9th November, the day after we remember the men and women that fought for our freedom, don't throw your poppy away instead mail it to your MP at the House of Commons in protest against the Investigatory Powers Bill. Perhaps if they get enough poppies they will remember.

House of Commons

Comment Re:And this is why Flash and Silverlight will surv (Score 1) 412

The movie and music industries are very different, I wouldn't bet on consumer pressure to remove DRM from movies any time soon. Most people want to put the music tracks they have bought on numerous different devices so that they can play those tracks back tens, maybe even hundreds, of times in various different locations. With music people want to own a copy I'm not sure most people actually care all that much about "owning" a copy of a film. Yes, they want to see the film whenever and where ever they want but do they really want a film library like they have a music library?

Comment Re:Check your lifetime maximum (Score 1) 651

Wow, I don't know what to say, that seems to me to be unbelievably harsh treatment. Health care over here in Blighty is an expensive mess (from an organizational point of view) but at least you can be sure that you won't be financially crippled for the rest of your days if you get ill. Out of curiosity what happens when you've sold everything and run up all your debt to the max?

Comment Beginning of the end for KDE? (Score 2, Insightful) 356

I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for KDE. Sure it'll continue to be developed for years to come but without major backing it'll probably fade away like a lot of projects do. It's a shame, I feel KDE had much more to offer than Gnome but long term there could be only one winner and all the major players picked Gnome. Over all I think this is probably a good thing for Linux though, the war between Gnome and KDE has been a huge waste of resources and has massively hurt Linux adoption on the desktop. I really look forward to the day when the Linux desktop just works even if that means it's Gnome based.

Comment Re:Unjust laws (Score 1) 728

The trouble is you are using todays yard stick to measure what a victimless crime is, that yard stick isn't the same as the one fifty years ago and won't be the same fifty years from now. When Turing was convicted popular feeling was that being gay caused offence worthy of punishment. That feeling has, thankfully, gone the way of the dinosaurs but we still have similar laws. If you don't believe we do try walking down the street in your birthday suit, I reckon you'll find yourself arrested pretty quickly but the "crime" really has no more "victims" than someone being gay does.

Comment Re:Why use utility poles at all? (Score 3, Informative) 153

I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK. I can only think of a few test sites that have fibre to the home here. Anyway that's beside the point. Where the cables get put is probably more to do with tradition than anything. In Europe it's traditional to put them underground so we don't have many poles. If you want to lay a new cable you have basically no option but to put it under ground. There are plenty of problems with underground cabling though (at least in the UK). Up until fairly recently very poor records were kept about where cables were laid under ground. The utility company might know the cable ran along a particular road and maybe even which side but little more detail was kept. Each company laying cables also used to work completely on it's own installing conduit that was much larger than needed for future proofing. Then there's the upgrade problem, I live along a busy main road that has been in this spot for 200+ years, in the pavement outside our house there are at least three different gas installations and two, maybe three, different water installations of varying ages. Only one of each actually works but it can be really hard to tell which because one muddy pipe looks much like any other and other works have to avoid all of them. Combine that with sewer pipes, electricity, phone and cable and you end up with a right mess. If you are wondering how I know it's a mess we had to get the street dug up when we moved here to have gas fitted, the gas fitting guys hit the electrical cable and took out the power for about 1000 homes - Doh!

Comment Re:Geothermal heat pumps (Score 3, Informative) 62

We looked into fitting one to our house here in the UK. We were doing a full renovation so it seemed like a sensible time to do it. After talking to a number of firms it became apparent that it wasn't a practical technology for the majority of homes here. We have a fairly large garden by modern UK standards but it was less than half the size required for the heat pump pipes. The only option, therefore, was to sink a number of bore holes. The cost of doing that made the system financially impractical - we were much better off just burning gas. It's a shame because I think the technology has a lot to offer and perhaps one day when there's enough demand there will be enough drilling rigs to push the price down.

Comment What happens after though (Score 1) 62

So they suck up all this cool water and make it warm but then what happens to it? Presumably they dump it in the nearest river which probably won't have that much effect (although you often get unusual wildlife downstream from power stations) but don't forget they are depleting the ground water reserve. It's great to see them using less power I just hope they have fully thought through the consequences.

Comment Re:Age old debate (Score 1) 847

In that case you should probably argue for a data escrow service to be set up independent of the Government (although true independence would probably be impossible there could be a lot of oversight).

An independent escrow service would mean that if there is any suspicion the data can't be (as easily) destroyed. As for who's suspicion: anybody could raise questions but before this type of somewhat sensitive information is released the alegation would be reviewed by an independent body.

There is certainly still scope for corruption but there always will be. All we can do is raise the bar high enough that most people can't be bothered to try and jump it and it's the classic case of diminishing returns.

It's also far to easy to see evil lurking around every corner when in actual fact I think most people are generally honest and will do the right thing left to their own devices. There are occasional pockets of corruption and they seem to glow like a cancer but, like a cancer it would probably be better to surgically remove just those elements than put in place a system that polices everyone as if they were a criminal.

Comment Re:Age old debate (Score 1) 847

Re-read the second line of my post. I specifically state that I don't think she has done anything wrong but I feel she has acted in an irresponsible manner by aggregating and making easily available this information.

What she has done is lower the barrier to revenge attacks on these officers and her families. I would be pretty annoyed if I was one of those officers.

Comment Re:Age old debate (Score 2) 847

I think you have badly missed my point. I completely agree that Government needs to be transparent that doesn't mean I agree that we need to make the home address of everyone that works for the Government publicly available.

I'm sure a lot of the information on this womans blog is information that is important that the people have access to such as how much is being spent on drug enforcement and how many people are working in drug enforcement. I don't see the public has any right to know where the individual oficers live.

There is an interesting grey area in the article though: the posting of the movements of the officers. Normally I would say that this is not information that should be in the public domain as there are obvious security risks associated with it. However, the information should be obtainable if there is a suspision of foul play.

Comment Age old debate (Score 5, Insightful) 847

This just another case of rights vs responsibilites. I don't think she has done anything wrong per se but she has acted in an irresponsible manner. These police officers deal, on a day to day basis, with people that range from mostly harmless to exceedingly dangerous. Posting their movements, home addresses and other information all on one place, I would argue, diminishes their safety. The information might have been publicly available but there was a certain amount of affort required to collect it. I would imagine a large number of the people these police officers interact with couldn't be bothered to put in that effort themselves but if it's as easy as just going to a blog maybe they would do something.

In an ideal world the police would have been allowed to just go round to her and ask her to act more responsibly. Let her have her blog just make the infromation a little less specific and perhaps throw in some dummy data for good measure.

Comment Re:Amazed that you are not modded up (Score 2, Informative) 101

I would guess that they are intending to use the methanol on a fuel cell rather than a regular internal combustion engine. Fuel cells produce essentially nothing but co2 and water. It should also be fairl easy to put a catalytic converter on the exhaust to remove any traces of methanol. Over all I think methanol could be a great fuel.

Comment Re:Hang on (Score 1) 454

While I doubt it would be reported as valid by Government readers what they have done is likely enough for a lot of situations. They probably couldn't travel on the card but I wouldn't be surprised if they could get work, claim benefits (maybe), open bank accounts, etc etc. They could also possibly acquire other valid ID with it. For example, they probably couldn't get a passport with a fake ID but maybe they could get a bank account and a driving license, with that they could get a passport.

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