28 December 2010

28/12/10


Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. 
-Edgar Bergen 

149 comments:

  1. Mini rant:

    It is both surprising and aggravating how frequently a Google image search of what one assumes is a perfectly innocent term returns images that are unsuitable for a household wherein an 11 year old boy resides because some fucking idiot has decided to use the term as or in her stripper/porn name.

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  2. Hi Montana

    Ha! Pornogrification deriving from simple Google searches ... is there nothing we feminist mothers can do?

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  3. MsChin, Montana, Good morning. I should ask; is there nothing we feminist fathers can do?

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  4. Montana and MsChin

    Generally, using Google "strict" safe search seems to weed out things, but it obviously depends on what you are searching for in the first place.

    For example, I think there was a porn star called Bambi, but I may be getting confused with a politician.

    After all, politics is just showbiz for ugly people.

    Do you know the joke which undergoes all varieties of mutations and adaptations, but always ends with: "The Aristocrats!"

    Nobody would think that asking Google to be given the chance to admire some snapshots of lovely aristocrats would produce filth, after all, would they?

    Of course, words tend to be co-opted into areas where they do not strictly belong all the time and politicians are adept at skewing the meaning of words in order to disguise their own true intentions.

    As a final warning or parting shot, I would suggest that "facial" is an entirely innocent word which describes an entirely innocent activity which makes women feel pampered and ready to face the world with a smile on their faces.

    I would not suggest Googling images for it in a public place with safe search off, though.

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  5. Just been scanning the George M thread. Ever since I read a piece by him proposing that the export of jobs/work to the East was 'OK' I have been wary of him. Others on that thread have pointed out his inconsistencies cum hypocrisy as well. So I am not alone in this.

    BTW, on yesterday's topic about accents over characters, it is also defined by 'diacritic'.

    Another tip; I find that as the worlds worst speller Google is a fine and dandy spell checker. Better than any built in tool.

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  6. Quite so, Ian and thank you!

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  7. Morning all

    Beginning to feel a bit lazy with all this not working business. Bored now.

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  8. A vistor form Morocco?

    \o at sheff.

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  9. Oh, snap, MsChin!

    I thought that thingy just made it all up as it went along, putting up random flags.

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  10. Atoms

    Could also be Dan Pearce, who used to post here? IIRC he & his partner had a riadh.

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  11. MsChin

    Yes, we are all a bit silly about how we make connections sometimes, aren't we?

    Assuming a visitor from Morocco had to be Sheff is a bit like meeting someone from London and saying: "Oh, I know a bloke called Dave from London. Do you know him?"

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  12. Course I know Dave from that boozer in London, Atoms! Doesn't everybody?

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  13. Feeling very lazy but then my only ambition these days to get the most possible out of life. :)

    Re getting porn sites by mistake. When I first got on line about 12 years ago I was still working as an adult education tutor. So I did a search for 'Adult Education'...


    Errrr!!!!! Should have searched for 'post 16' shouldn't I?

    managed to avoid that sort of thing since then (although there was a kids maths web site that could generate some nasty stuff if you made the right typo - horrid that!)

    Used to get some iffy e-mails caused by a security hole in an early version of hotmail Sent them to internet watch and they were for child porn - ghastly!

    Didn't have Googlesafe or anything like that then!

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  14. *thaumaturge surveys the bodies of the fallen*

    6 bottles wine
    1 bottle brandy
    1/2 bottle port

    *gets paracetamol*

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  15. When I was on t'other side of the pond, I once got asked, when I said I was from the UK, if I knew John!!!

    Brilliant!!

    Anyway, as you were!

    Oh, and morning all!

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  16. we all need to speak very quietly... Thaum has a headache... shhhh...

    Oh! Hi Sheff in Morocco!

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  17. I knew John in the UK, but he moved to China--just ask around, somebody'll know him.

    From geekosystem.com:


    Chip and PIN is a credit security system which consists of an embedded microchip in a credit or debit card for payment authentication; while it’s had a hard time catching on in the United States, where magnetic stripes on cards remain the norm, chip and PIN is a major presence in the UK and Europe.

    While chip and PIN is meant to correct security weaknesses inherent in the magnetic stripe system, it has flaws. A Cambridge computer science graduate student named Omar Choudary documented several of these flaws in an MPhil thesis and suggested improvements to the system.

    The response of the UK Cards Association, which describes itself as “the leading trade association for the cards industry in the UK”? Asking Cambridge to censor Choudary’s work on the grounds that it “breaches the boundary of responsible disclosure.”

    In the words of the Cards Association, “Our key concern … is that this type of research was ever considered suitable for publication by the University. It gives us cause to worry that future research, which may potentially be more damaging, may also be published in this level of detail.”

    Cambridge professor and security theorist Ross Anderson didn’t see it that way. In a withering reply to the trade group, he defended the publication of the thesis, saying that “Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values.”

    to be continued...

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  18. ...continued:

    In a letter to the UK Cards Association on behalf of Cambridge, Prof. Anderson wrote:

    Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values. Thus even though the decision to put the thesis online was Omar’s, we have no choice but to back him. That would hold even if we did not agree with the material!

    Accordingly I have authorised the thesis to be issued as a Computer Laboratory Technical Report. This will make it easier for people to find and to cite, and will ensure that its presence on our web site is permanent.

    Third, Omar’s thesis does not contain any new information on the No-PIN vulnerability. That was discovered by Steven Murdoch, Saar Drimer and me in 2009, disclosed responsibly to the industry, and published in February this year. It is not expected that an MPhil thesis contain novel scientific work.

    Omar’s work describes and publishes the design of a platform for investigating and testing EMV generally and its primary uses are defensive: first, to enable customers to monitor transactions if they wish, and second, to enable merchants and banks to test their own systems to see whether their system suppliers are telling the truth about security.


    You complain that our work may undermine public confidence in the payments system. What will support public confidence in the payments system is evidence that the banks are frank and honest in admitting its weaknesses when they are exposed, and diligent in effecting the necessary remedies.

    Your letter shows that, instead, your member banks do their lamentable best to deprecate the work of those outside their cosy club, and indeed to censor it.


    Remember this the next time your bank denies a fraudulent transaction took place and refuses you restitution.

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  19. Two long posts, spamfucked in rapid succession...fucking Blogspot...I give up.

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  20. Politely

    Two posts visible to me.

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  21. I can see them both, PH.

    All that chip and pin has done is to shift the burden of proving fraud away from the banks and onto the shoulders of the consumer. If your card has been cloned and used with its pin number, the banks shrug their shoulders and argue that you must have revealed the pin to someone and been careless, therefore it is your liability. They are very reluctant to concede, and it is for you and the police to prove, that such things as pin readers set up in petrol stations, etc., exist or that they should do anything about it when it happens.

    Gang jailed for prolific chip and pin fraud

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  22. agree about C&P being to shift blame, flipping things so that the cardholder is guilty until proven innocent, but would note that the time some arse swiped my old card (relying on signature), he (yup, he) managed to use it with no trouble at all to buy booze and get £50 cashback at the tesco round the corner, despite clearly not being 'ms booth' and also, from the slip, spelling 'her' name wrong.

    which was all apparently my fault, what with 'waiting for an ambulance' not initially being considered a decent reason for not having my bag under eagle-eyed surveillance...

    sorted it out eventually, but a) no system is perfect and b) banks (or the organisations who have wrongly accepted the card) will always kick hard against providing restitution. C&P just makes it even easier for them to say, 'nah, your fault...'

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  23. had a quiet evening last night. was getting ready to read the latest cj sansom, so thought would just have a look at the previous one to refresh memory. five hours later, had finished that. then opened new one. seven hours later, retired to bed to dream of tudor warships...

    i love 'reading days'. and i think canal+ is finally working so today will be 'football day'. and 'apple tart day'. doesn't get any better than that...

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  24. Sounds fab, Phil. :o)

    I am having a "slobbing about the house" day, although I have to get bathed and dressed at some stage and go and pick my Dad up. But until then I am still in my dressing gown doing nowt much.

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  25. BB - got to bed at 4am and was then woken at 9 by the guys redoing the facade, wanting to repoint my volets or something, so am currently wrapped in a blanket waiting for the apartment to heat up enough to risk having a shower...

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  26. Get dressed? Hm. Maybe.

    Kitchen resembles war zone.

    Dog. Hair of. + food, think.

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  27. forensic science service shutting.

    apparently they 'lose money'.

    and their work could be 'better done in the private sector'.

    don't worry, peeps - if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    we've seen what atos et al can do to compassion, now lets see what DNAInc can do to the truth...

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  28. Hair of the dog is a good remedy, Thaum. And even if it isn't, it still feels good at the time. :o)

    Phil - I imagine you living in one of those really old immeubles with really high ceilings and big windows that are fab in the summer but bloody freezing in the winter.

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  29. in one, BB - after the recent repainting, the lounge windows wouldn't shut properly, so were lying open every time the wind got up (nearly braining the oisette on one occasion). blokey this morning was a bit surprised that he had to cut off half a roll of masking tape from the window lock and unstick the tea-towel baffle when he got to work this morning.

    but it seems to be shutting now. at the top, anyway. need to get out stepladder to lag the top of it again later...

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  30. chappy on the radio just laying into the FSS closure plans now.

    not a man to argue with, by the sound of things. hope he gets to yell at a select committee at some point.

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  31. I don't get why they want to close the FSS, to be honest. Yes there are other organisations that do the same job, but they don't do it any better as far as I can tell.

    And what concerns me is that if companies are vying to tender for services, what corners will they cut in order to ensure they get the work? An error in a DNA profile due to overworked or inexperienced staff analysing it could mean some poor bastard going to prison for life for something they didn't do.

    Conversely, if there are evident chinks in the armour, a decent defence barrister will rip the shit out of the forensic evidence, which could lead to dangerous crims wandering off scot free.

    Very worrying.

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  32. BB - exacte...

    'lowest bidder' is not a phrase i want to hear around the functioning of the justice system. we already have private companies arsing up the prison service, i'm not sure letting emma harrison set up shop with a kid's chemistry set and a microwave oven is a particularly good idea...

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  33. LOL :o)

    A hilarious but worrying prospect.

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  34. On the inadvertent porn thing:

    The worst I ever got was several years ago when Joe was a toddler. I was looking for this. Did a Google search, clicked on what looked like an official website for them, and as soon as I did, new windows with porn websites started popping up just as fast as they could -- faster than I could close them. I had to shut of the power strip to get it to stop.

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  35. Morning all, and an Alka-Seltzer to thauma...

    On the inadvertent porn thing... the worst I've had (so far) was when daughter's laptop picked up a Google redirect virus - can't remember what I was looking for, but Youporn certainly wasn't it!

    Appreciated the Watterson tag yesterday, Montana - reminded me of this...

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  36. Hello everyone.
    I'm struggling with the deep relaxation thing too. I may have to cave and do a bit of writing this afternoon, to avoid losing my mind completely.

    Good news today though, having snuck a look at the work email - symposium accepted for conference in Greece and a paper for Rome. So 2011 looks very promising indeed. :-) I've never been to either place, cause I'm a bit of a travel pleb, so I'm ridiculously thrilled and excited! I'm doing a little victory dance on my couch.

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  37. Afternoon all

    So soon after the festive season the Daily Mail has restarted it's attack on the sick and disabled.And is seeking to drive its readers into a frenzy with talk of state funded idleness

    I despise the ConDems and New Labour before them for the way they've targetted the sick and disabled.But i accept there needs to be checks and balances in the system to stop people taking the piss.For instance the DM is featuring a couple who are expecting their 12th child but who nevertheless haven't workied in years.And the man is claiming he has a bad back.Another couple i remember getting hot under the collar about a few years ago had 10 children yet both claimed they were unfit for work.

    Now these examples are the exception rather than the rule and it seems the ATOS medicals are designed to flush them out.Yet why should the majority of claimants who are genuine be made to suffer on account of those who IMO are clearly feckless?And more importantly what should be done to ensure people who claim they are too sick to work aren't then able to have large numbers of children when in theory their health problems should mean they can't look after them properly.

    If memory serves me correctly there are 60,000+ long term claimants of disability benefits who claim they are too sick to work yet who still have 8 or more children.-i'll try and dig out the link with the stats-.And they were on the 'sick' when they had at least some of these children.I believe that people with chronic health problems shouldn't be deprived of the right of being a parent.However if they are having large numbers of children whilst claiming disability benefits then i think people have the right to question whether they arev as sick/disabled as they claim to be.

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  38. "state funded idleness"

    This is putrid.
    I wish I believed in some kind of afterlife, as then there would surely be some circle of hell reserved for the journalists and editors who contribute to that filthy rag.

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  39. Hello to all. Have arrived in Berlin still feeling a bit iffy only for my mate to tell me I have to help him do the shopping. Bastard.

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  40. The only people who need to worry about Chip&Pin are the idiots who carry both code and card in the same wallet. In which case they deserve their fate.

    A society absent of personal responsibility is an infantile society. I can see why it appeals to too many on here.

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  41. Folks, just back from shopping in Milton Keynes. Very surprised I got out alive! The crowds and queuing traffic, #...never seen anything like it in my life#

    If you want to make the old blood boil watch 'Move to the country'. Two twats who are financial Advisers IE those people who take a commission to sell you some worthless 'product', want a house with2 bathrooms as they both leave for work at the same time! Well, I never, how nice for them to avoid getting up a bit earlier. Nearly 1/2 million to spare as well...

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  42. Paul, Meerk, I was watching a prog on the History channel and how the Nazis blamed the Jews for the failure of the nation after the 1st WW. This Propaganda sounds the same and that sends a shiver down my spine. But can we not complain to the PPC about outright lies?

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  43. PB, not true what you say. Chip & Pin can be circumnavigated by various means all well documented and are not avoidable by the users.

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  44. Aye Peter, it's a nice Brackenesque soundbite and that, but somewhat limited by the fact that it's not true!

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  45. BW, ha ha ha, brilliant!

    Bracks
    "A society absent of personal responsibility is an infantile society. I can see why it appeals to too many on here."
    are you sure that's a road you want to go down?

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  46. Or should I say: slope you want to snowboard on...

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  47. Back later, haven't seen me missus for days !

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  48. Peter Bracken

    Shilling for the bankers, Mister?

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  49. The Brackenator has pontificated!

    There are no chip and pin frauds, only slackers!

    I take it you will be contacting the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation on behalf of all those poor people who have been convicted of an offence that never existed then, Pete me old mate.

    Wotcha Habib, Montana, Spike, Bitters and anyone else I haven't "seen" today. o/

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  50. Nah, BB, just reflecting on how fuckin stupid is the idea that C&P is a banking conspiracy. And that there's nowt you peerless birdbrains won't find cause to whinge about.

    Otherwise, I'm cool.

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  51. Who the fuck said it was a "banking conspiracy"? I merely pointed out, quite correctly, that the chip and pin system shifted the burden onto the consumer where it was previously either on the merchant for not checking a signature properly or the bank for not exercising proper controls.

    Instead of blah blah blahing and insulting all and sundry, point out where and how that statement is false. Go on. You know you can do it. And it would make a nice bloody change. :p

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  52. As to the Cambridge thesis, of course the banks don't want it in the public domaine. Simple reason: if they know about it they will have to do something about it.

    Years and years ago in a previous life I worked for a magazine that served the gas industry. At that point the way in which gas utilities checked the integrity of a pipeline was to have two blokes walking a length of pipe with long iron poles with electrode thingys on them, making a note of how consistently the current flowed between the two. Never what one would call incredibly accurate, but it could detect major breaches in pipelines.

    I visited a bloke who had developed a survey system for pipelines which was based on ultrasound and only required one chap to walk the pipeline with it. It was about the size of a common or garden metal detector and gave a 3 D image of the stretch of pipe you were walking over, and could detect hairline fractures before they developed into serious problems.

    He found it impossible to sell the thing to the utilities, who were quite happy to stick with the old system, because if it could be shown that there was a major gas leak resulting in a serious incident in an area that they had surveyed where they had found a hairline fracture in the pipe and done nothing about it, they would be liable for it...

    It's the same with the banks. If they pretend they don't know, they can't be held liable for breaches in security. What that chap Choudary at Cambridge has done is to rub their noses in it and rather than take it on board and thank him for pointing out the failings of their "perfect" system, they prefer that the information be suppressed.

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  53. Back again ..

    PeterB

    You really think that those people who have to carry their PIN & card are stupid and deserve to be robbed, rather than maybe elderly and a bit confused, or maybe someone with learning difficulties who can just about manage to write their first name?

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  54. "And that there's nowt you peerless birdbrains won't find cause to whinge about."

    Peter, I have one thing to say to this:

    "save the mush the unfailingly apostrophise!"

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  55. Sure Ms Chin; if you carry the number and card in the same purse or wallet, that's flat out stupid. And if someone is so retarded he or she can't distinguish between 1 and 2, they shouldn't be carrying a card.

    BB: anyone whose card is stolen and used to defraud is protected. No change there. All the electronic system does is make it harder for would-be-abusers to get away with it.

    The French have been using the system for yonks. And it works well. Your rampant cynicism - ergo the banks are trying to screw us - just won't see or accept it for what it is: a better method of secure transaction.

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  56. Have to agree with Mschin.
    While you and I may be able and conscious, some people have 'situations'. You might have a motorbike accident, sure you might recover fully, but there might be a time, suppose for a few weeks after the incident when you are recovering, you're on special medicine etc which gives you short term memory loss.

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  57. "And if someone is so retarded he or she can't distinguish between 1 and 2, they shouldn't be carrying a card."

    Such charm....

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  58. Meerkatjie: congrats! (I've never been to Greece or Rome either, although I hope to rectify the latter this spring.)

    Thank you to Shaz and others - feeling much better after a nosebag and a snooze!

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  59. "make it harder for would-be-abusers to get away with it."

    Hands up anyone who can see why Bracks would support this...

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  60. That's your exclamation, not mine, meerkat. Also, I don't rush to correct typos, unless someone prompts or challenges me to: yet I notice your own insecurity won't allow space for uncorrected error. Ego a bit precious?

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  61. Mine in what sense, Peter?

    Interesting that you imagine that there's virtue in not self-correcting. Is it really hard for you to admit when you're wrong, then?

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  62. Peter

    "And if someone is so retarded he or she can't distinguish between 1 and 2, they shouldn't be carrying a card".

    Why not? Surely autonomy over one's finances is essential, in a society which values personal responsibility.

    And you know that I will take you to task over your use of "retarded" there, Peter. That is unacceptable to me.

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  63. Yes, congrats Meerkatjie - saw that before I nipped out and forgot to mention it. Nice one!

    PeterB - we are not talking about people whose cards are stolen. We are talking about people who, through electronic means, have their cards cloned and their pin numbers noted - one example I can think of was a scam in petrol stations where there was a cctv camera positioned directly above the card machine and a device fitted to the machine itself that would read the details off the chip, then they could film what codes were entered and match the times up. Bingo. Cloned card complete with pin number for sale.

    The example the Cambridge thesis appears to expose is a way of bypassing the need for a pin number at all, once you have the card details.

    In both those cases, the burden will be on the consumer to show it was not them using their cards.

    There's an article in the Times about it here.

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  64. In the sense that I didn't use it.

    Typos? Defend them? Why would I do that? I just live with them. I don't chase them down the way you do. Sure, they make us look like a cock but not as big a cock as those who makes hay with them, or scuttles about correcting their own. "Nasal space" an' all.

    Why is the use of retarded objectionable, Ms Chin?

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  65. "In both those cases, the burden will be on the consumer to show it was not them using their cards."

    So what?

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  66. So, as I said earlier, the burden of proof has shifted from the merchant or the bank onto the consumer. Which makes it easier for the banks - even in the most evident cases of cloning - not to reimburse the consumer. Read the bleedin' Times article.

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  67. Erm, yeah, you really really did use it, Peter. I just cut and pasted it straight from your post. How can it possibly be 'mine'?

    "It strikes me that you don't have any terms, meerkat, save the mush the unfailingly apostrophise."

    Perhaps if you weren't being so immensely arrogant in the first half of the sentence, the second half wouldn't have been quite so funny. But I'm afraid it really, really was hilarious. And getting all huffy about it now just makes it even funnier.

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  68. There are some people who have extreme difficulty in entering a 4 digit number onto a screen when each number is represented by a dot or a *.

    The lack of a visual clue makes it impossible for them.

    This is just one example of the way that modern technological society excludes people who have specific or general learning difficulties.

    Oh and btw - the term 'retarded' is ignorant and offensive, with Mschin on this - totally.

    Why is it acceptable to create a situation where people are denied a degree of control over their (often limited) financial resources?

    There are other examples - as I get older I find that visual impairment makes it near impossible to access information on, for example the labels on food packets.

    One company persists in using pale orange on a white background.

    I can't read it.

    The modern world is increasingly excluding anyone whose ability is impaired.

    Just consigning us to dependancy just aint good enough!

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  69. I'm not getting huffy about it, meerkat. I just didn't use an exclamation in the (uncorrected) sentence you quote. Simples.

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  70. You look pretty huffy to me, lovely.

    I'm terribly sorry, please disregard the exclamation mark in my post, everyone. Peter did not in fact use the exclamation mark, and placing it there clearly vastly changes the meaning of his otherwise profound statement.

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  71. Thanks Thaum and BB.
    Now need to convince the significant other that he needs to get his passport up to date, or I'll be doing Rome and Thessalonika all alone.

    I'm also off to Brussels in March. oddly enough, that thrills me rather less....

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  72. "Oh and btw - the term 'retarded' is ignorant and offensive, with Mschin on this - totally."

    It's also just plain inaccurate. It went out of use as a diagnostic term at about the same time as we stopped using the concept of 'mental age'. The connotations of 'slowness' or 'backwardness' are clearly negative, potentially infantilising and profoundly disempowering.

    But perhaps someone who honestly thinks that 'the retarded' shouldn't experience financial autonomy is unlikely to appreciate the nuances of this argument?

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  73. Peter

    Because it's demeaning and insulting to people with learning disabilities.

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  74. Meerkat - was in Brussels myself in the autumn and, amazingly, it is full of normal people - quite the opposite of what I had been led to expect. Was expecting super-race of attractive, well-bred, intelligent, impeccably-attired politically astute opera-goers, obviously.

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  75. Thank you, Peter.

    And, btw, I wish you & yours a very happy new year.

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  76. Aw, how nice to see a bit of peace and love during the holidays.

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  77. Never been to Brussels. Been to Gent a few times though. Although I was always too tired to really appreciate the city much, as I used to go over for I Love Techno.

    :o)

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  78. evening all.

    now, i have been drinking quite heavily, but is the lynsey hanley article a breath of fresh air?

    Forget social mobility. Education and hard graft will only get you so far while jobs are insecure and the middle class looks after its own

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  79. Hello everyone; just a quick thanks to Peter Bracken for putting me straight about the banks.
    I had no idea that the lovely bankers weren't complicit in running a scam (I must have dreamt about my recent experience of them coughing up nearly £3000 when I took them to court)

    It's so obvious, now I think about it that the bankers took full responsibilty for their actions by ripping off the taxpayers and equally obvious that the poor and disabled have to pitch up their share to get us out of the shit which was no fault of theirs, since "we are all in this together"!

    "A society absent of personal responsibility is an infantile society. I can see why it appeals to too many on here."


    "Infantile" doesn't even begin to describe that sentence.

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  80. BTW: Peter Bracken, I don't disagree with you that people should take personal responsibility where they can but if someone (either a bank or an employer) has you "over a barrel" your options are a bit limited to say the least!

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  81. Completely and utterly apropro of nothing else on the thread... Does anyone know when the new series of Dr Who is due to start?

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  82. Anyway I'm off to my new crush... (Cinemoi) which is much more interesting than you boring fuckers. See how fickle I am?

    Just kidding folks...you know I love you all really!

    Catch up later.

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  83. @Meerkatjie

    It's apparently being split into two; six episodes at Easter, seven in the Autumn, plus an Xmas special. Easter next year is April 22-25.

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  84. Split in two? That's just pants!

    Oh well, I suppose that's four months that I don't have to listen to the significant other complaining about how awful Rory is....

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  85. buona sera tutti.......back in the eternal shitty...oops city......

    re card fraud I thought most of it originated from call centres.....low pay and shitty conditions has meant that people working there are quite happy to flog all your info or use it themselves....well that's what a bank told my sis when someone went on a spending spree in france with all her card info........

    wasn't you was it Pierce Bracken? you've got contacts in the banking world and live in france....mmmmmmmm there's a thought......

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  86. thaum


    was in Brussels myself in the autumn and, amazingly, it is full of normal people
    I thought it was just full of people with much larger amygdalas than the rest of us - or at least way bigger than mine... (Thanks to the inky print version of The Graun 26 Dec for that vital piece of info - one of the joys of going home for Xmas.)


    ¡Hola a tod@s!

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  87. All true, I fear. The press release came out about it in August; it's here.

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  88. Ugh... 9am train to London tomorrow for pre-school-trip recce to the Science Museum - grumblegrumblegrumble...

    Glad you're feeling better, Thauma.

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  89. Hello? It wasn't exactly groundbreaking - or earth shattering. But, why did my little post disappear? Did I repeat the dreaded word Brussels? Or was it the reference to one's amygdala? Not really worth it, I know, but can anyone help me out???
    ¡Hola! anyway (from Xenium1)...

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  90. "A society absent of personal responsibility is an infantile society. I can see why it appeals to too many on here."

    Err... would you care to explain the logic behind that thought?

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  91. Hey Chekhov - had a quick shufty at Cinemoi but didn't like the look of the movie on at 9pm

    Hey Gandolfo! Good to hear you got back safe and sound. Has Bichou come home yet, or has he been permanently dog-napped? :o)

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  92. Hey BB!

    no the fellow is here with me now having been walked to death for days.....in fact seems like he's up for a slobbing holiday......two's company!!!

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  93. Is Montana, or any other admin-designated-person, about? Two posts disappeared into the ether. Is it too late to add my vote for a move? Wot is the fucking point? Is this site more restrictive/censored than Waddya or wot? I may not bother again (but, maybe that's what's intended - one can get a little paranoid at this time of year! ;-))...

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  94. Shaz - sympathies for the trauma tomorrow ... I am luxuriating in the knowledge that I have a whole fortnight off!

    *exudes smugness*

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  95. shaz
    I empathise...being let's say in the same boat tomorrow.......

    thauma.......don't rub it in........!!! ;)

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  96. Hey BB, the "Cinemoi" looks like it being given a run out for free until the end of January when it will be "subscription only" at £5.99 a month.
    I haven't made my mind up yet but it's not inconceivable that £5.99 a month might not be worth paying to watch some of the films on that site.

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  97. shaz - ouch. good cafe, though. the NHM's one is dreadful...

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  98. Sounds good, Gandolfo - I bet he was pleased to see you!

    Shaz - I am schlepping into London with my Dad tomorrow so I feel your pain!

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  99. Chekhov - will keep an eye on Cinemoi and see how it does. Six quid a month seems reasonable if the quality is good. I don't have any of the other "extra" movie channels, just TCM, Film4 etc.

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  100. BB & chekhov, not that I'd consider it myself but I have it from a reliable source that all films are free nowadays if you have broadband. You just need to turn the BitTorrent tap on.

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  101. Speaking of Film4 (I think it was): watched the worst Star Trek movie ever the other night. Number V? Anyway, directed by and starring the ever-cheesy William Shatner.

    So bad it was amusing.

    'The Wrath of Khan' I quite liked though:

    [Chekhov]: Captain ... they put crrreatures in our boddies ... to control our mindss ... they made us tell liess ... do thinks....

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  102. Vizzo - I don't dwl films for free as a point of principle. I have a mate who works in the business who would prolly end up with no work if everyone did that. :o)

    There is a really good website called Blinkbox where you can find older stuff for free, though, officially. Worth a look.

    Ditto music - I sometimes swap tracks with mates if there is stuff I don't know, but if I like it I usually end up buying it (and the whole back catalogue if it is someone I really like).

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  103. ha! brum got a point. fiver. nice...

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  104. Thaum

    My beloved made me sit through that one on Boxing Day afternoon. Bloody atrocious! :o)

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  105. "A society absent of personal responsibility is an infantile society"

    Yes, but posting infantile inanities on a blog in an infantile manner is indicative of personal responsibility?

    Com oorrrnnn Peter... take yer shoes off, stay a while, let your hair down! you should be watching Toy Story 3 in Russian like wot we are doing this evening!

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  106. LaRit!

    Festive greetings, me darlin!

    Toy Story 3 in Russian?! :o)

    Dobre.

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  107. Speaking of torrents, I've been fruitlessly scouring the main sites - btjunkie, kickasstorrents etc - looking for the latest episode of House. Turns out that it's on a winter break and will resume late January. I mean, WTF? Whatever happened to churning stuff out? Maybe Hugh Laurie subscribes to those quaint old-fashioned notions of Christmas at home with the family. Perhaps they're waiting for Olivia Wilde to come back from flogging the new Tron movie. Whatevs. It's inconvenienced me mightily.

    Shatner mind you has been on a pretty good run on the tellybox in his dotage. He was absolutely superb as Denny Crane in Boston Legal ["I have an erection. That's a good sign. I'm ready to go to trial. Lock and load."] and now he's doing well in the ratings with a sitcom called 'Shit My Dad Says' based on a Twitter feed of that name. (Actually the network calls it "$#*! My Dad Says"). But his professional life reached a magnificent peak with Denny Crane. One of the great comic TV turns, in an excellent series.

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  108. ooh, this canal+ thing is cool. football, now crap films!

    BB - thanks for the tip re blinkbox. will have to enable p***y d**e to get in, kind of defeating the point, but...

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  109. I don't dwl films for free as a point of principle.

    Oh yeah, me too :)

    It's interesting though, file-sharing basically means that films and music are now free to the consumer, and people who pay for them are essentially making a voluntary donation, like you do when you go to the Tate. Or at least it'll be that way in a generation or two.

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  110. Eddie, did you know that you can get an add-on for Firefox called 'torrent finder' (HERE. It's pretty good if you're after something obscure as it searches literally 100s of torrent sites (you can configure it anyway you like).

    Reading Bracken's complete misreading of the chip-and-pin issue (hint: it's not about people who carry their PIN and card together, you cretin), I marvelled at the sheer mulish obtuseness of Peter Bracken (or Meter Broken, as GIYUS calls him): is there any point, be it ever so huge and obvious, that Bracken can fail to miss?

    Then I remembered: P Bracken is perhaps parodist Craig Brown's most brilliant creation. It's a pity he gives the game away by placing phrases like these in Bracken's mouth:

    It strikes me that you don't have any terms, meerkat, save the mush the unfailingly apostrophise.

    Neanderthal man have grunted and shat in a corner of a cave, but then so do we sometimes...

    You'll just knit pick and bellyache...

    ...the filleting of discourse that relativism of this kind necessarily engenders...



    This is the English of bad Estonian/English translation software, as is virtually all of Bracken's output.

    The joke was hilarious to begin with but over time, well...it's become a bit lame. Like that whoopee-cushion you bought when you were 12--funny, then less funny, then annoying, then just yawn-inducing.

    I must admit, placing Bracken on a snowboard was inspired (...on a snowboard you are cradled by the snow, as if surfing a wave. That's because you sort of fall into its embrace, and let it carry you home. Bracken Meets Babs Cartland. Priceless.)...but time for a new character. The pompous, blustering, inpenetrably stupid Bracken one is well past its 'sell by' date.

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  111. RapidEddie, I'm working through season 1 of Fringe. It's rubbish but in a watchable way.

    Have you seen John Adams? It's a HBO miniseries starring Paul Giamatti as the 2nd US president. It's the last stand-out thing I have watched, and some unprincipled friends of mine told me you can torrent the whole thing here.

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  112. Eddie

    Shatner was bloody brilliant as Denny Crane. I really loved that show. I will look out for "Shit My Dad Says".

    Vizzo - interesting point.

    Phil - some really good series on Blinkbox too.

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  113. Hello Mizz BB!

    Season's greeting's!

    Ah, yes, I'm full o' festive cheer! Now switched to Morgana Show - much more fun ;)

    Managed to land a big turd on the English Hermaphrodite's head prior to Chrimble without getting banned!

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  114. Spamfucked again, sigh...rescue please, BB.

    I download a lot of films, TV series and music.

    If I like the film, I pay to see it on a big screen and probably buy he proper DVD as well.

    If I like the TV series, I buy the DVDs when it/they come out

    If I like the album, I buy it.

    Lots of people do the same. We're just sick and tired of being expected to pay for shit without being asked if shit was what we actually wanted.

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  115. no i isn't happy at all....blinkbox "isn't available in your region" another thing to add to the never ending list of "things to blame on berlusco"........

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  116. ooh, fringe! love it. have season 1, geting 2 for 'Christmas' - unil then ahem...

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  117. gandolfo - proxy dave is your friend....

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  118. Am happy now I can be back in my own comfy bed, with the cats not visibly damaged by their sojourn on their own (but a liccle bit smelly if you ask me!)

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  119. Meerkatjie
    'But perhaps someone who honestly thinks that 'the retarded' shouldn't experience financial autonomy is unlikely to appreciate the nuances of this argument?'

    Too true, but then I am, sadly, used to this attitude. I taught people with learning disabilities for 15 years and the ignorance of the general public never ceased to appall me.

    The range of ability is very wide, and so is the range of difficulty, all of us develop some degree of 'difficulty' as we et older and I am increasingly frustrated by a society that seems to run on the assumption that everybody has 20/20 vision and is tall enough to reach the top rail in a clothes shop.

    We have an ageing population, but society seems to ignore this fact and ignore the needs of people who just need a little consideration. At work I remember trying to convince a very nice IT professional that my students would have difficulty inputting a password on our new computers. He had a real difficulty too, he genuinely did not understand the problem.

    I'm afraid that, on the whole, its this lack of understanding that is the problem.

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  120. In line with unusual ways of watching films at Chrimbo because the telly's so bad .... watched "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" last night for the first time ever, complete with Brazilian Portuguese subtitles :)

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  121. Fringe keeps me coming back, but they should do an episode investigating how Pacey's character can maintain that level of smugness episode after episode. That's got to be a part of the pattern...

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  122. Phil

    what what tell me tell me.....NOW!!

    LaRit
    me too no cats but big dog and cabbage smell why is it always cabbage...??? however, he could be a bit more snuggled up considering he generates heat and as usual I feel cold and partner swanning around in mexico....when should be here as gandolfo warmer.......

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  123. anne

    "I'm afraid that, on the whole, its this lack of understanding that is the problem".

    Bravo!

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  124. "watched "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" last night for the first time ever"

    What did you think, La Rit? I love this movie - probably one of my top 5.

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  125. gandolfo

    put the URL of the site you want to access into this and tke it from there.

    (doesn't have the speed to cope with iplayer tv, might be ok to get into a download site)

    vizzo - i'm mainly interested in when he's next going to take his shirt off...

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  126. I'm having the most curious experience. Has anyone else had the terry's chocolate orange with popping candy...?

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  127. Gandolfo - the 'eau de cabbage' of pets! along with the vague 'poo n wee' smell..... I still love them though ;) (we have one v. elderly fella and one who's ermmm... never been that good at the personal hygiene... but dim, poor lamb ;( (but very, very, very cute and lovable)

    Sorry to hear you not in Mejico too ;(

    Meerkatjie:

    A great film - I thought Elizabeth Taylor was just incredible.

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  128. I think it's the only film I've really loved Elizabeth Taylor in. The tension between her and Burton is just incredible.

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  129. Done the unspamming - three there from Xenium from earlier too. Gah. Hope you are still about.

    Phil and Gandolfo - I love Blinkbox. Devoured the whole series of North Square in one sitting when I first discovered it. Which is a bit much really... :o)

    Have you been away for Crimble, LaRit?

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  130. Meerkatjie
    god terry's choc orange my most favorite form of vitamin C......got two,,without popping wotsits...bit of a classicist.. eaten one this evening due to lack of food in fridge syndrome.....orgasmic...
    don't have TCO's in italy.......blame list where are you????

    Phil

    THANKYOU! it works! my life is almost complete...

    Thaum
    fortunately dog only farts...and burps.....no need for tena ladies.....yet

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  131. BB:

    Ended up in Brighton for 4 days.... missed the CiF/UT get-together and the UT Brighton shindig... but, must say, 2 days would have been enough. Chrimbo makes me discombobulated..... I'm cancelling it next year.

    Will have to bow out early ce soir.... but I shall be back on the morrow!

    Night all

    PS Meerkatjie:

    I hope she won an Oscar for that performance - it's a very difficult film to watch.

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  132. Gandolfo - bloody dog ate one of the chocolate oranges destined for household. Grrr.

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  133. gandolfo, I didn't intend to get the peculiar version - I'm normally a milk or plain orange person. I can't quite decide whether I like it or not in the odd popping format.

    She did win the Oscar for that, La Rit, and it was richly deserved. It's one of those films that stays with you for days.

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  134. BB
    hope he felt sick......critter...i've hidden mine!!! also bought some plain choc mcvites diges today having been dragged to wait for it.........worthing... of all places by my pa who for some reason wanted to go to Morrisons......??? old people do push ya patience at xmas...... ;0)

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  135. whoops not BB really...but thauma...see what going to worthing does to me.........

    love that film as well....compelling and disturbing at the same time......think Liz and Richard were pretty much acting out their real lives there.......

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  136. On the question of pirate downloads, I'm 100% in favour.

    I think Tarantino is a genius and he should be earning... ooh... 100,000, perhaps even 200,000 pounds a year.

    My musical idol is Elvis Costello and I think in financial terms he's probably making something on the order of the right amount of money because he's never been a commercial success.

    Let's extend it. Berbatov is an excellent footballer and I reckon he should have a really nice house and a good pension when he has to retire in his thirties.

    What I don't want is to have to fund septuagenarian rock and film stars so they can buy Caribbean islands and shag shitloads of 18-year-old models because they were once quite gifted.

    I bought all of Bowie and The Jam and The Clash and The Smiths etc., etc., on vinyl and then for even more money on CD, and frankly, if record-company execs find themselves living in fucking ditches, I'll be feeling schadenfreude all the way.

    On the other hand, if Björk is broke, she can come round and I'll cook her a meal and be pleased to slip her a few quid once she's eaten her fill.

    I want to enjoy all the achievements of human art, and, in return, I'm quite happy to contribute a bob or two. But they really should stop taking the piss.

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  137. Gandolfo

    Worthing? I am soooo sorry! That must have been really traumatic! :o)

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  138. BB

    and you thought you had it bad !!!!!! ;)

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  139. The Importance of Being Ernest?

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  140. Wotcha Spike - hope you are feeling better.

    Have to say NN all now though. Cory Burnout is on his way to recovery and has just pulled himself out of the top of his cage and is contemplating jumping down and going for a wander, so I better get him settled down for the night.

    Catch you tomoz xx

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  141. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  142. Spike, it's an easy riff to argue that you're only denying a fraction of income to a few very successful artists who live in huge mansions and drive fancy cars. That they have the whole thing carved up between them and fat cat record execs.

    But this is such a simplistic and innacurate take.

    Regardless of how little the artist is getting, illegal downloading is still not supporting them for the work that they do. How can it be ?

    There is no doubt that downloading music for free hurts artists, especially those who exist on the margins of the music industry. Typically, only a few dozen records make money for the major labels each year. Those few “winners” traditionally made it possible for the labels to pursue new talent and to market more albums. No matter how formulaically or cynically this has been done at times, if the labels aren’t making as much money, they will drop underperforming artists from their ranks, and insist more heavily on formula-based music rsather than true creativity.

    Further, in pursuit of lost revenue, labels have turned to the arena in which artists used to be able to earn their money: touring.

    Yet any attempt at getting on a reasonable support slot (let alone supporting superstars) will regularly set you back five digits - I've heard of £20k - £30k or more being paid for supporting the likes of White Stripes, and other Glastobury headliners - on a three week support slot. You're going to have to sell fuckloads of tee-shirts to make that back if only one in eight of your listeners is actually paying you for your album, no matter how many hits your MySpace is getting.

    Only the Madonnas and the Jay-Zs are actually benefiting from this situation. Sure I’ve heard the arguments about a handful of artists like Arctic Monkeys getting widespread attention. But they still needed sales to support them and were signed to a label from the outset. How can that label that supports them sign other bands if all arctic’s cds are being taken for free ?

    The argument doesn’t stand up.

    Eight of the past nine years have seen double-digit reductions in CD sales, and total units sold is down 52 percent since its high in 2000.

    Labels may remain in profit, but they are becoming more and even more conservative to do so, pumping out more and more anodyne, non-confrontational, insipid, rehashed mainstream pap.

    More and more bands starting out are just as predisposed these days to try to write tunes that may get them played on a lucrative advert for a mobile phone operator as write the kind of songs your heroes wrote.

    Show me someone operating now, and currently as challenging or interesting as Ian Dury, Paul Weller, Morrissey were in their day - or Bowie for that matter - and then also show me how not having a label’s support behind them is working positively for them ??

    No, there's a reason everyone's playing it safer out there these days... and that's just the way the free market likes it.

    Ultimately I’m all for restructuring the record industry – the five or so major labels have been needing a kicking in to touch for decades - but the free-download campaigners frequently rolled out by the Guardian (it is, after all, the cool position to take) are effectively arguing to get rid of Tesco’s by shoplifting from the independent corner shop they buy their fags and papers from.

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  143. Spike, it's an easy riff to argue that you're only denying a fraction of income to a few very successful artists who live in huge mansions and drive fancy cars. That they have the whole thing carved up between them and fat cat record execs.

    But this is such a simplistic and innacurate take.

    Regardless of how little the artist is getting, illegal downloading is still not supporting them for the work that they do. How can it be ?

    There is no doubt that downloading music for free hurts artists, especially those who exist on the margins of the music industry. Typically, only a few dozen records make money for the major labels each year. Those few “winners” traditionally made it possible for the labels to pursue new talent and to market more albums. No matter how formulaically or cynically this has been done at times, if the labels aren’t making as much money, they will drop underperforming artists from their ranks, and insist more heavily on formula-based music rsather than true creativity.

    Further, in pursuit of lost revenue, labels have turned to the arena in which artists used to be able to earn their money: touring.

    Yet any attempt at getting on a reasonable support slot (let alone supporting superstars) will regularly set you back five digits - I've heard of £20k - £30k or more being paid for supporting the likes of White Stripes, and other Glastobury headliners - on a three week support slot. You're going to have to sell fuckloads of tee-shirts to make that back if only one in eight of your listeners is actually paying you for your album, no matter how many hits your MySpace is getting.

    Only the Madonnas and the Jay-Zs are actually benefiting from this situation. Sure I’ve heard the arguments about a handful of artists like Arctic Monkeys getting widespread attention. But they still needed sales to support them and were signed to a label from the outset. How can that label that supports them sign other bands if all arctic’s cds are being taken for free ?

    The argument doesn’t stand up.

    Eight of the past nine years have seen double-digit reductions in CD sales, and total units sold is down 52 percent since its high in 2000.

    Labels may remain in profit, but they are becoming more and even more conservative to do so, pumping out more and more anodyne, non-confrontational, insipid, rehashed mainstream pap.

    More and more bands starting out are just as predisposed these days to try to write tunes that may get them played on a lucrative advert for a mobile phone operator as write the kind of songs your heroes wrote.

    Show me someone operating now, and currently as challenging or interesting as Ian Dury, Paul Weller, Morrissey were in their day - or Bowie for that matter - and then also show me how not having a label’s support behind them is working positively for them ??

    No, there's a reason everyone's playing it safer out there these days... and that's just the way the free market likes it.

    Ultimately I’m all for restructuring the record industry – the five or so major labels have been needing a kicking in to touch for decades - but the free-download campaigners frequently rolled out by the Guardian (it is, after all, the cool position to take) are effectively arguing to get rid of Tesco’s by shoplifting from the independent corner shop they buy their fags and papers from.

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  144. @Bitterweed

    I agree with all of that, but it's hard to envisage what a solution might look like. File sharing isn't a threat looming on the horizon any more, it's the reality - music is now free, for all practical purposes. So with that as a starting point, what do you do?

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