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  • Feb 24th, 2017 @ 2:44am

    Re: Low Level Background Disorder

    Are UK schools boring their students to death?

    Actually... yes. Increasingly, UK curricula seem to focus on rote-learning of methods of dubious validity and/or politically-correct-skewed drivel that often has little to do with the subject at hand (e.g. "Physics" that focuses about the importance of speed enforcement on roads without any of the maths behind it, or chemistry that talks about the need for recycling without discussing the chemistry or even amounts of energy involved).

    If I were at school now, I'd be bored to death by it and as a parent it's hard to keep telling my child how important it is to go to school and get an "education".

  • Feb 24th, 2017 @ 2:34am


    What's missing from the Td article is how much of these bogus claims go against users, doing nothing more than providing videos (mostly under Fair Use).

    This is a good point - it'd be an interesting ancillary statistic to see how much of the 0.05% of valid URLs are actually anywhere close to valid copyright claims. I'm guessing that, even if you left in anything that even might be valid if you tilt your head and squint really hard, you'd struggle to rise above 0.025% valid notices.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 12:40pm


    I don't think the point of the cameras would be to review footage and try to find petty crimes or misdemeanors to chase down, but rather to provide a better perspective of what happens during the most intense student and teacher interactions

    True, that would be the point and certainly the justification of introducing them. Once they're there, mission creep is virtually guaranteed. Put it this way; who, other than the "wrongdoers" (which everyone thinks is "someone else") would object when someone suggests the next thing you could use the footage for? The UK is already the most massively surveilled country on the planet and I can't see more improving things in any respect.

    Considering how much Techdirt pushes for police to have such cameras, it seems reasonable to think they may be useful in other situations.

    VERY different situations. Part of the point of putting body cameras on police is that you want both parties to modify their behaviour because it may be observed and evidenced. In a classroom, you want (within limits) free expression and exploration. You put teachers and students in the same situation of constant surveillance, you're going to negatively affect learning.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 11:17am


    "It’s clear that Pai is serious about closing the digital divide between those who use cutting-edge communications services and those who do not."

    Well, from a certain angle that might even be true! After all, if you're only interested in the US, then eventually the lack of investment will make sure that no-one uses "cutting-edge communications". Divide problem solved!

  • Feb 8th, 2017 @ 12:36am

    Re: The Fourth Amendment

    This amendment contains no specification as to what form a person's papers and effects may take, and as has already been pointed out above, its protection extends to any technological format used to store such information. It is illogical and incorrect to assume that such electronic messages somehow lose that protection merely due to age.

    Then it appears that logically, while knowing sod-all about law (especially US law) which isn't always logical, isn't the way to challenge this to get a whole bunch of people who've had their emails searched and challenge it in court as unconstitutional? Wouldn't that supersede a specific law, whatever it says?

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 6:13am


    Yeah, the semantic gymnastics needed to pull off this manoeuvre are impressive;

    "We'll investigate, but we won't say we're investigating until the investigation passes some more-or-less arbitrary line for investigation at which point we'll call it an investigation and investigate."

    That's some serious word-fu!

  • Jan 31st, 2017 @ 7:51am


    there are at least two sides here: the nation of the people and the nation of the govt/corporations. careful when you say our side. which america are you speaking to?

    I think his point was that Trump will at least do what he thinks is good for America - at least the bit with him in it. Conversely, he has no motivation whatsoever for doing anything good for any part of the UK. And with a leader likely to roll over and let him tickle her... hmm.. belly, that puts us in way worse shape.

  • Jan 27th, 2017 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bullfucking shit!

    Which all sounds splendid, I'm sure, and terribly Rambo. On the other hand, even with all those toys, it still wouldn't run a war for very long, would it? Buying the toys is only a tiny fraction of the cost of war. Plus, none of it seems to get you very far against real war toys

    Interesting Harvard study, BTW... I guess Americans are just more homicidal by nature than other western first-world countries then.

    BUT, in the case of a revolution, one billionaire wouldn’t be supplying a civilian militia per say. Civilians would buy these sorts of things unless they were already armed.

    So, is your contention that all US citizens should already be stockpiling military-grade weapons just in case of a revolution being necessary? Doesn't sound massively practical considering that 30% of the earning power in the top 1% must skew that $56k average somewhat and in US equivalent, my own family would be above that and couldn't find the money to support a firearm habit. Or is your contention that, in the event of the hypothetical revolution, everyone will be able to buy all these things without any interference from the government and military?

    Honestly, you should be more scared of a road related accident or heart disease than the still VERY improbable chance that you will be killed in a mass shooting.

    I am. In fact I made that very point about heart disease when you were claiming government was the biggest killer. Yes, even in the US the chances of actually being in a mass shooting are small. I can't imagine that's much comfort to the coming up for 2000 Americans killed or injured in them last year. Nor can I imagine it would be improved if the probably unstable people responsible had had access to more destructive weaponry. By the way, the equivalent statistic for Europe (and Russia) is rather less - a bit over 200 when Europe's population is twice the US.

  • Jan 27th, 2017 @ 7:37am


    A cynic might almost think the UK government doesn't really care what its Surveillance Camera Commissioner recommends.

    Well, Duh!

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, we always dispose of the difficult bit in the title. Does less harm there than in the text.

  • Jan 26th, 2017 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bullfucking shit!

    yea, we have NEVER seen a government abuse it's authority at all have we? Government has murdered more people than any WAR or group of criminals on the planet.

    Well, most wars have historically been started in the name of religion and far as I know the top killer, even in America, is heart disease. Added to that, a quick bit of research suggests there were about as many gun-related homicides in America as there were civilian deaths in Iraq from '03-'13 so that claim smacks of hyperbole.

    But all that's rather beside the point. My points were;

    A/ The "right" to have whatever BFG you think does the job is irrelevant in your hypothetical revolution when anyone capable of affording hardware destructive enough to match the most expensively equipped military on the planet is still not going to be able to afford ENOUGH of it to make a difference. Any BFG anyone but a billionaire can afford is likely to be about as effective as urinating off the windward side of a boat.

    B/ Are you really claiming that the situation in America would be improved if, for example, the people who perpetrated the 136 mass shooting incidents last year had had easy access to, say, medium range missiles and military grade explosives?

  • Jan 26th, 2017 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Bullfucking shit!

    The people must have the right to keep and bear arms so that they can form militia as needed to defend against enemies foreign or domestic.

    Which may even have been a good idea back in about 1800 when state-of-the-art military technology was pretty much a rotary machine gun and technology within reach of the "average" citizen could match it with enough determination....

    Now, the only people capable of coming within an order of magnitude of matching death technology with the government are billionaires who are more likely to side with government and frankly putting some of that stuff in the hands of the "average" citizen would just be bat-poop crazy (even more so than the government having it)

  • Jan 24th, 2017 @ 8:38am


    maybe its just me but “Open dissent is the highest form of American patriotism,” rings extremely hollow.

    Then try Aaron Sorkin's prose for the same sentiment:

    A. J. MacInerney: The President doesn't answer to you, Lewis!

    Lewis Rothschild: Oh, yes he does A.J. I'm a citizen, this is my President. And in this country it is not only permissible to question our leaders it's our responsibility!

    Still hollow?

  • Jan 18th, 2017 @ 9:31am


    "The problem is that Microsoft has often hidden behind claims that it has to collect a lot of this data or the operating system won't work"

    Yeah, this one's even harder to swallow...

    So, Mr. Microsoft, you're claiming that if you try and use Windows 10 on a network without an internet connection, or (shock, horror!) airgapped, it'll just randomly fail.... is that right? Wow, way to build an OS!

  • Jan 5th, 2017 @ 10:55am

    Re: Quite a useful mob, the Productivity Commission

    Our Productivity Commission in general produces great stuff. It's independent of Government and full of economists, statisticians, researchers and the like.

    "Pah! Experts! What do they know about anything? My faith-based bullshit shouting is way more valuable!" - Politicians

  • Jan 4th, 2017 @ 10:15am


    Silly question maybe but why we need TVs smarter than "display good quality image and that's it" when there are much better devices that can do everything the smartness can do with added security, comfort and reliability?

    I'd gladly skip $100 or more to get a stripped down TV...

    Yeah, not a silly question all att, but unfortunately if you want a large screen, an equivalent "dumb" TV is not +$100, it's more likely twice-or-more the price.

    This, though, is exactly my "smart" TV has been dumbed-down since purchase to being just a screen for rather smarter devices.

  • Dec 28th, 2016 @ 10:14am


    BUT, BUT... WE'D BE EARNING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IF IT WASN'T FOR PIRACY!! Our math proves it.* - Hollywood.

    *(except when it's tax season, then we lost trillions)

  • Dec 22nd, 2016 @ 10:16am


    To pretend that the Constitutional clause on copyrights and patents means that any and all monopolies are good is ridiculous and misleading.

    Yeah, but from their point of view, it's a pretty good play to go for considering the apparent attention span of the target audience. How likely is he to go looking for actual facts?

  • Dec 16th, 2016 @ 10:25am


    Note to the UK government:

    They might simply pass laws that forbid the use of cameras that encrypt images. By declaring them illegal, governments could seize them at the border or whenever they are found. However, that's a fairly mild response. If the material on a camera seized by the authorities turns out to be encrypted, many would demand the password. If the photographer is lucky, a refusal might mean being thrown out of the country, probably without the camera. In the worst case, government thugs and criminals may try to obtain the necessary passwords the old-fashioned way -- by beating it out of the photographer.

    This is not, repeat NOT, a playbook for how to handle encrypted cameras.

  • Dec 13th, 2016 @ 6:34am

    Re: If it looks like a duck...

    For example, the United States of America.

    You forgot to mention the UK... I think we're slightly ahead on the "Authoritarian" count at the moment, even if you managed to pip us at the post in the "put a dangerous asshat in charge" stakes.

  • Dec 9th, 2016 @ 10:53am

    Can we have another chorus of...

    "Nothing is going to change until there's a penalty for wilfully getting a DMCA takedown wrong"?

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