* Posts by Michael Nielsen

74 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Mar 2007


Climate-change scepticism must be 'treated', says enviro-sociologist

Michael Nielsen

USSR again

The communists did this in the USSR, they treated people who didn't believe in the Socialst/communist ideals, sending them into drug treatments, in the name of mental health.

If the world cannot accept diverging points of view, then we have lost all freedom, and it's time to start the wars again, to regain our freedom.

BTW there is no such thing as a climate sceptic, nor a climate denier, no one denies that there is a climate, nor that it can change.

This kind of thinking is indicative that this is not a sciencetific debate, but rather a religious debate, and is no better than other religions - thou. shall believe or perish!!!

The only thing is, that there is a group of us, who have not yet seen any convincing data that supports the contention that Humans control the climate via CO2 (or even can control it), and thus CO2 is the only factor, of impotance. Particularly when we look at other research, where temperature maps with near perfect correlation to the energy output of the sun.

When you compare CO2 with temperature, then it's only in the last 30 years or so that the curves match.. Prior to that period, CO2 was lagging temperature by around 800 years, indicating that temperature drives CO2, and not the otherway around..

I'm an engineer, and I like to make up my own mind, and as yet, the AGW fanatics, have provided nothing to convince me, other than IT IS THE CASE!!!!!! I actually still believe that the case against AGW is the strongest.. But no one will provide facts to me, only highly manipulated data sets, like the infamous hockey stick, and simliar dataset, which ignore historical information - such as the little iceage/middle age warm period.

It would suit the debate, if when reports were publicised, that it included references to the research papers, which further more would give access to the raw data and methods, so that other people can verify the results, however, most of the data, and papers are restricted access - why, if it is so important ?

UK is a closed source 'stronghold'

Michael Nielsen

You get what you pay for

Lol the last time I tried yelling down the phone at some VERY expensively bought gear, and I have had my company director, breathing down the neck of the software provider.. All to no avail.

(if you read the licensing conditions of ALL purchased software, it says something like "we are not responsible for any data loss that using this software may cause, nor are we responsible if the software misbehaves" - or variations up on that, thus you have accepted the usage conditions, which means you have removed all liability from the softwarehouse to your self - in other words you are no worse off with free software than with propriatory).

Here is a few cases I've worked on.

The problem was that a client could crash very expensive piece of server software, we were developing the client.. What was their response.

1. We don't support that version of Java you ar using, so you're the reason the server is crashing.

2. The server is used by 100's of other people who do not have any problems, thus you must be at fault.

* Conclusion we won't fix.

My arguements were.

1. If my client can crash your server, then any malicious programmer can bring your product down.

2. If a client can crash the server software, said software has a massive problem.

Another time, we spend 12 months locking down a bug in a compiler library, because the producer of the compiler claimed, their compiler did not have a bug, and millions of users did not have the problem we had, thus we were the problem.

lol in the end, we could prove a memory leak in the produced code, using nothing more than 2 calls to their compiler libraries (we even determined where in their code where the race condition was). And after 12 months they conceeded there was a problem, but go-away we won't fix. (we replaced parts of the compiler system to work around the problems, cost us months of work, but fortunately it was a small part, and we had part of the code).

Another time, I had some desktop software that was barfed, I could consistently describe how to crash the program, very simply, it had a habit of going down, when ever you had done a significant amount of work and thus had cost the company a lot of money in lost work, when the users had problems.... The software company's answer - How much will you pay to have it fixed ?

Lol, all bugs i have found in open source software, has either been fixed within 1-14 days by the developers, a workaround has been provided by the community, OR we fixed could easily fix it our selves..

Yeah mathematically I'd say it's.

You get 1/(what you pay for) in service.


ISPs under pressure to control online porn

Michael Nielsen

Really what is the problem

Concentual sex, nudity, and so forth, does not really interest most children, until they reach a certain age. And even then none of that will harm them..

The main problem with society is the "fear" of anything sexual, which adults continually impose upon their children, which makes it harder and harder for kids to get any facts about sexual behaviour, because their parents either act shocked, uncertain, or in general adversion to it's discussion.

It's no wonder that so many young people get into trouble with sexual diseases, teenage pregnancy, because the adults stick their heads into the ground, thinking it's better to make sure they kids know absolutely nothing about the subject... Most adults seem to think "lets keep them absolutely ignorant about the subject, and it will protect them" No it won't it will just make sure that some one can trick your children, or they experiment with friends, and you get a pregnant teenager on your hands, due to your idiocy, it's not the teenagers fault, because you (the parents) are the cause that the teenager is experimenting, and has no knowledge to protect them selves.

Seriously it's stupid to think that ignorance about a subject will solve anything, kids will experiment, and they will get into serious trouble, because they have not been prepared for the the situation. The more taboo, and the more nonsensense like censorship, prohibition people come with the worse it becomes, which we have had more than 300 years of experience with, and we are still having kids in the 14-15 years old becoming pregnant, kids down to 13 years old are having sex - with others around the same age.. So what has ignorance, and prohibition actually done for these teenagers ?.

The best way forward is openess, and information. That is let them seek it out, but take the discussion with them, either proactively or reactively, but do not condem, or behave like it's the worst thing in the world, as that will encourage them, in a negative way, to experiment.

The protecting the children (from porn) mentality is completely the wrong thing to do, because you are NOT protecting them, you are NOT teaching them to survive in the world by protecting them against everything.. In fact a lot of the protection that parents impose on their children have exactly the opposite effect.

Forbid somthing, then it becomes even more interesting.

Act shocked, or offended, then it becomes even more interesting.

Censor something, then it becomes even more interesting.

Use ignorance, and they kids will guess, and probably guess wrong, and get into serious trouble.

So in the name of protecting the children you are infact harming them.

Alien Earthlike worlds 'like grains of sand', say 'wobble' boffins

Michael Nielsen

A lot of people wonder why

Why, if an advanced spacefaring alien race exists, that they have not visited us.

Perhaps the answer is really simple.

We are not interesting, we have nothing they want or need, that they cannot get else where with less hassel.

Most of us make a starteling presumption, that we are something special, or that we are enormously interesting,

Presuming that some of these poential aliens, have poentially had billions of years of advancement ahead of us, it's a huge presumption that we'd even detect them if they were visiting...

Many less developed societies, consider our "modern" technlology magic, because they cannot comprehend them, it's likely that it would be simlilar from our point of view, if a sufficiently advanced civilisation existed.

Also trying to detect a spacefaring civilisation would be per definition, impossible, because we do not possess the ability to communicate nor travel faster than light. Thus the technologies that allows FTL communication or travel, would be beyond our abilities to even detect.

Extreme porn law on the ropes

Michael Nielsen

The sickest thing in the world is not any form of porn, but.

The legislators that think they have the RIGHT to decide what consenting adults can and cannot do or see.

If someone is forced into something, or something is harmed by the act, then charge the person doing the abuse - rape, child abuse, animal abuse or what ever, we already have ample laws (In all countries) to handle these situations.

But some sick individuals in governments, churches, and so forth think they have the right to control what consenting adults think, and do with each other. This is what should be illegal.

Aussie broadband is slower than a slow thing in a slow town

Michael Nielsen

Never really understood why

it has to be so expensive.

Link each town/city with high speed fiber, then use copper, or fiber as needed to provide service to the people living in the town.

Anyone outside town, is hooked up via laser, or MW connections, I know that over short distances - say 12km, 800Mbit can be achieved, and it is possible to carry slower speeds much much futher. It is even possible to relay signals (though detrimental to the latency), and gain a coverage, that would cover around 99% of the asutralian population - mainly on the coast line, from a single fiber back bone through the country.

Funnily I know the electricy commissions were putting fiber next to their powerlines alread in 1993, so I'm curious why it has gotten no futher for private use.

Even limiting the download amounts - in Denmark (one of the few plusses for this country), you can get up to around 100Mb (mind you, if you're luck to fiber to the door, at a staggering $200), but unlimited download. Infact any connection OTHER than mobile broadband has no download limits.

Knowing that Denmark is a VERY small place, compared to Australia, they just started rolling out fiber about 3 years ago, and I know Australia were rolling out fiber in 1993, thus, I'm curious where did it go wrong for Australia ?

Why we love to hate Microsoft

Michael Nielsen

What would need to happen for me to say MS is Ok

Fan I'll never become.

Stop charging ludicreous prices for your software, 400pounds for An operating system, that is not bound to the hardware, but can only be used 3 times before it expires - forget it.

500 pounds for Office professional, a product which does 95% of what you don't need to do, and takes op an incredible amount of resources.

Stop corrupting standards, eg HTML, Kerberos, et. al. Stop implementing just enough of the standard so that it barely works, and the corrupting it so that nothing else works with the MS product.

Use only open standards, or open the standards that Microsoft uses, and standby the standard, that is don't change it periodically to intentionally break 3rd party products - see caldera court case.

Stop Creating hidden API's that boosts MS programs, and isolate 3rd party programs, to make them look interior.

Create a proper security framework, not this requestor hell that started with vista. Ubutntu/Linux got it right, when you need privileges you ask for the password to increase system access.

Remove the need for using between 10-90% of MY system resources to circumvent your security flaws (virus scanners).

And DON'T STUFF WITH MY SYSTEMS like the stupid MAX 10 connections per second on my XP SP 2 machine - mainly use it for games, but I also need to test programs for windows, and some of these use a lot of connections, I'm fed up having to work around problems that MS have created.

I'll never become a Fan, even if they offered me a million dollar contract! I'll do the work, but I'll never be a fan.

Aussies face 10 year browsing lock-up

Michael Nielsen

I don't get what is happening ot the "free world"

Everyday you can read about some new law that is introduced, which negatively impact on the freedom, private lives, and reduction of civil liberties, where the state, and bureaucrats continually undermine those freedoms, that cost the lives of so many forebearers.

I really wonder, the "free world" will very soon have to change the designation, as it's is no longer free, and it is starting to be comparable to china and other restrictive regimes. I won't be long before "the free world" will refer to china, iran, and so forth, if we keep going the way we're going.

Most of the changes that "the free world" are introducing are measures that were the ultimate wet dreams of the KGB, SS, and various secret police forces.

It's sad to see.

And it's all brought in with arguments about pedophilia, terror, and other such things, completely ignoring the negative side effects of those laws, I really don't see what these new laws are giving us that we didn't have before, except for the loss of private life, civil liberties and so forth, because the state is not taking police powers that do not belong in a free society.

And unfortunately, not a singel westeren country is excempt from this.

Oz customs search lappies and mobes for smut

Michael Nielsen

Well I can definitely always tick no

Because according to my morals, and view on life, I consider all naked women beautiful (well maybe not all), and works of art in som way, and the act of sex very natural, not to mention necessary function of the body.

Thus all the so called "Porn" on my computer is all works of art, so.

I'll tick no to that question - lol..

The fundamental problem is that whether something is Smut, Porn, or art, is entirely in the eye of the beholder, and the negative emotions raised, says more about the person than about the imagery.

The only reason that people have adversions to nude people is that in their upbringing they have been taught that being naked is shameful, and they've been taught the act of sex is sick - no wonder we have so many screwed up people in the world.

As a matter of fact, if you read the bible (I have, though I'm an atheist), Then the human race was thrown out of paradise, because they started to dress and think - If you believe in god, you'd have to believe that being naked, is being closer to god - from your very own bible..

It's about time that the ruddy governments get away from trying to control everything in peoples lives.

I still do not accept that anyone can tell an Adult what he/she can and cannot see, or do with their own bodies - they are the ones that will feel the consequences, and the only thing society could or should be allowed to do, is to refuse to help people for self-inflicted illnesses. If someone enjoys going down the main street of town naked, it really isn't a problem, as anyone who doesn't like it, does not have to look at it - there's the opportunity to look the other way.

As I said, finding a naked body offensive, says a lot more about the viewer, than the material.

Cartoon Law goes live

Michael Nielsen

It's seen before

A couple in the US were home alone one evening when they both were 14 years old, and they had a camera..

boy + girl + camera + imagination = sex video.

And that's exactly what happened, the stored it on their computer, but it was leaked after a few years, when they'd turned 18, now they're facing charges for distribution and production of child porn..

I never heard what the verdict was, but I hope they got off schott free, as anything else would be sick.

Is that the kind of sick world that we really want, a world where kids playing around with a camera, may end up in jail, and a sexual offender, due to their own curiosity ?

That's the world we're heading for, and I wish i leave at the next station, but it's rather drastic to have to die to avoid seeing the stupidity of man.

Michael Nielsen

you ain't seen nothing yet.

Just you wait

Next step.

It is illegal to take holidays snaps, when having a holiday with family and kids on the beach.

What-do-you-mean that's already the case ?

Next step

Prohibit the use of photographic equipment, except for spying on the public, by the government as it is possible some one gets turned on by pictures of clothed children, that just might be in the photo.

Next step.

All adults without children are required to wear a blindfold in public, because it is possible they *might* become sexually aroused by the sight of a child.

The step afterwards.

All parents are automatically thrown into jail, for pedofilia, as they have seen their children nude, and seen and touched their privates (how do you wipe a bottom without touching ?), therefore they all face lifetime sentences for child abuse. Quite a few parents are already scared of touching their kids.

The step afterwards,

Any child that comes of age is automatically thrown in jail, as they are bound to break a law at some stage in their lives, we might as well lock them up immediately.

geez, it's a ruddy sick world we live in.

if I draw 2 stick figures having sex, and I accidentally draw one smaller than the other - is that child porn ?

The ruddy problem is that it's entirely up to the viewers interpretation if it is a child or not, and also - it's a ruddy drawing!!!! There is no victim nor crime, except in some legislators sick mind.

Now they're talking about putting a minimum bust size on models, to avoid child pornography, lol my girlfriends sister, who is 32 had no bust, until she got her augmentation, lol that would by some legislation, that they're looking at in Australia, classify any pictures taken of her nude - as child porn.

My girlfriend, who is 35 this year, is often mistaken as a minor, she does have a very youthful face, and has often been mistaken as my daughter, I'm 39. Lol, I guess it won't be long before I'll go to jail, because my girlfriend looks young, and it's a crime to be intimate with someone who looks young.

Sigh, Yes we must protect children, but these laws are NOT protecting children, they're just criminalising people, and creating tought crimes - just like George Orwell warned in his famous novels!

RSA crypto defiled again, with factoring of 768-bit keys

Michael Nielsen

it is as always a tradeoff.

If your information that you wish to protect is valuable enough, then some one is going to throw 1500 years of computer time into cracking it.

However, most personal information that we have, can be obtained in other easier ways, using trojans, and social engineering, so I would not bother.

Creditcard transactions may be valuable enough to bother cracking, but considering that it's 1500 years for one key, the few 1000 pounds you have on your bank account, likely isn't enough for it to be worth while.

However cracking Bill Gate's bank account, now that'd likely be worth while.

So take it easy, no one is going to throw 1500 years of computing time, into cracking your WLan, or some firmware upgrade.

However, as it isn't that expensive to move to 1024bit keys, or even 2048 bit keys, then if you're worried, or have something really valuable to hide, then by all means upgrade.

But remember, the basic security issue.

1. Is it worth while to break the key?

Therefore choose the key according to how sensitive, and important the data is.

Police Intelligence may be a thing of the past

Michael Nielsen

You're wrong

"The police are nothing more than a government sanctioned mafia"

You're wrong, they're the henchmen for the mafia (government).

O/S bloat: What's the cure?

Michael Nielsen

It is rather simple

Basically UNIX has had the answer for well over 40 years, called chroot jail.

Here you run - inside the operating system. The program is loaded, then isolated from the rest of the system, access to physical devices can be blocked or allowed, by creating a device access. The application does not have access to system libraries once started, and therefore you move the sub components that the application requires into the chroot jail, they can even be forced in, as read-only, and therefore limiting the damage that a compromised application can even do.

Virtualisation is good when you have an operating system, without security features, and application sand boxing - aka windows - Or when you allow multiple customers to run their servers on the same hardware, and you need to isolate the customers from each other, however, chroot, can do the very same thing, and you can choose how much of the operating system, will be available.

As the system is sharing physical memory, and you do not need to load multiple operating systems, and kernels, the amount of memory used, is reduced enormously.

However, virtualisation allows you to do restrictions that chroot cannot, such as locking a virtual machine to a specificed numer of CPU's, which means if some application goes crazy, it cannot consume all CPU resources, nor memory dedicated to other virtual servers.

EU block to Mandelson's filesharing laws removed

Michael Nielsen
Thumb Down


What is the point of voting when your choice is.

1. Shoot your self in the foot.

2. Shoot your self in the hand

3. Shoot your self in the thigh.

There isn't any point of voting if NONE of the political parties represent anything you believe in, or won't discuss things that are important to me.

Try to get politicians to discuss EU, Copyright laws, Civil liberties, privacy, and they'll either avoid the issue, ignore the issue, or give you a tit-for-tat talk, and completely forget it, once they get into power. They will only discuss the policies that they know people will go for, and they will hide what they really want to do, like the last election, there was unanimous agreement that EU would not be discussed in any debates, though it's a critically important element, that concerns everyone.

I'm sorry to be so negative and cynical, however, I've spent nearly a decade fighting for the right of a sick person to support from the Danish government. I have spent days lobbying, and talking to those politicians I could get a hold of (many of whom are incidentally is in government now), they all agreed that it was terrible what was done to this sick man, in the name of uncaring laws, and dodging of responsibility by the government departments.

So all of them gave their sympathies, all of them (including the opposition) would look into the matter, and now 3 years into the election period, nothing has been done, despite for unanimous agreement that no one should be treated that way by the system, and all of them would do what ever they can to prevent other people falling into the very same crack, and look at the problem.

Nothing has been done.

So give me just one reason to vote?

Don't panic over the secret copyright treaty

Michael Nielsen

Time to start the fight

Question your politicians about their affiliations with the copyright laws, create political parties which oppose those laws, and vote these people into power, so that they can repeal, and weaken these criminal organisations who are trying to bring in draconian laws.

I say criminal organisations, as in Denmark they have detained, and interrogated kids under the age of 13 years, without the presence of the social authorities, nor a legal guardian, these children were subjected to methods which even the police is not allowed to use.

The copyright organisations don't care about civil rights, they don't care about anything but their cash stream, and they will bend, break, or change any laws that block their way, and the politicians in all countries, seems to be controlled by these organisations, one comes to wonder if they're on the payroll? Especially when you consider that these organisations get away with interrogating minors without the presence of a legal guardian, nor the social authorities, without criminal charges being levied on the organisation, nor any kind of government action.

I'm sorry if it sounds like conspiracy, or the like, but the fact that none of the copyright groups are willing to use criminal prosecutions, and only civil law (where you do not have the protection of being innocent until proven guilty), and they just have to claim that you did it, and you have to prove that you are innocent - there has already been many such cases.

This needs to stop before we end in a world where freedom was a thing of the past, I'm not arguing for allowing the theft or free copying of everything, as people have the right to the work they create, but each and every one of the laws being passed breach civil liberties, and privacy rights, and parallel (in a scary way) all the laws that totalitarian governments are so fond of.

Windows plays virtualization catch up with Linux

Michael Nielsen

Virtualisation has may benefits

For those that do not understand what virtualisation brings.

When you install several servers on the same physical machine, using the same physical services, you have the possibility of customers accidentally accessing other customer's data. No matter how secure you set up your server, there is always the possibility that the customers make a mistake and create the possibiility of others seeing their data.

By creating virtual instances of servers, you create one server per customer, yes it does consume some extra resources, such as memory, and also requires similar management to a full server, however, there is an absolute seperation of the servers, which means that even if the customer messes up internal security features, such as file permissions, then there is no chance that another customer can gain access to those data.

Now the virtual bit, just means that you can host multiple servers on the same physical hardware, with the same security that seperate physical machines would achieve.

Another benefit by virtualisation is that because each virtual server, in principle, is just a file on the server, moving the instance to another bit of hardware, just means moving that file to another physical piece of hardware, and boot the virtual instance, and wupti you're online after a server hardware crash.

Also if you have a physical server with a lot of virtual servers on it, and your cpu usage is reaching critical levels, you can always move one or more of the vritual servers to other physical servers, and thus distribute the system load very simply, without having to reinstall, or move applications, between servers.

Systems that lend them selves to efficient virtualisation are those that do not carry tonnes of redundant active services with them, eg a linux server stripped down to a web server, would consume less than 128MB of memory, depending on the complexity of the web services provided.

Other systems that have a lot of things that cannot be removed from them, tend to waste more resources, and therefore are less efficient when virtualising them. I would class Windows as such a system, because I've yet to find a way to strip windows down, so that it does not consume around 512Mb - 1 GB to run properly. However, your milage may vary. Considering how many virtual linux servers there are, compared to windows, may indicate that I'm not completely wrong.

Australia mulls botnet takedown scheme

Michael Nielsen

Why always so Draconian

A while ago - when they were very small, and before they became very commercialised - a Danish ISP had found an ingenious way of stopping spam mails and bot nets from their networks, it was very simple, and non-intrusive, maintaining the person's privacy.

They fingermarked the body of each mail issued from the user, and once the finger marking indicated that the body of the mail was the same for a number of emails, they would start analysing the number of emails issued from the customer, and the degree of similarity - all by finger printing, and algorithmic, not by viewing the mails.

Eventually this would result in an alert, where the customers mails were held, and not sent on, and an administrator was called to have a look at the logs - making sure not to breach privacy - and if the mail sent was excessive, like 1000's or more emails, with very similar content was detected in the logs, then administrator would send a note to the offending user with the something like.

"We have detected an extraneous amount of mail from your account, and if it really is your intention to spam the internet, please accept a surchage of 50 cents per email, which brings your total to $...... (usually $10 000 or more) - all of your mail is being held by our servers until payment has been made, however, if it is not your intention, then please clean up your machine, and check for trojans, and this time, we will choose to wave the email charge."

mind you the administrator who was in charge at the time, had a funny sense of humor, however, it worked very well, because it scared people into not spamming, and cleaning their machines. Most people would get a fright, and would scan their machines, and clean up, and those actually intentionally spamming left the ISP very quickly, but there was never a single bill ever issued from the ISP, but they had no problem with spammers. The company did however, make it very clear that if you did not take preventative action, then you would have to pay the bill.

Similar approaches could be used for most botnets, block the botnet traffic, and the botnet traffic only, and send a notice.

Simple effective, doesn't require laws, or shutting down people's internet connections, with internet connections in Australia, always being volume limited, most people would appreciated the heads up, I'm sure.

Microsoft harries XP-loving biz customers on to Windows 7

Michael Nielsen

What do you expect

Microsoft is feeling the economic crisis, and want people to throw money their way, ofc they want you to buy their stuff, preferable multiple times.

There is absolutely no reason for buisnesses to upgrade their existing computers to windows 7, tech junkies will say I'm wrong, I'm a techie too, but I'm also a realist.

A company who is not experiencing any problems with their IT infrastructure, everything is working is not likely to rock the boat, just because of the latest and greatest From Microsoft, the most that will come out is some will buy windows 7 for compatibility tests, and not much else.

No admin worth their wages will even push for it, because it is just a huge expense for companies to change, even a service pack can create enormous problems, and therefore takes a lot of resources for testing, which is why it is always adopted long after the initial release.

Sure they will be testing, the system, getting ready for the time when they're forced to buy windows 7, preparing for this, I really do not think they're even vaugely concerned that XP support is going to go away.

The only ones that see a good buisness and point in upgrading to Windows 7 are windows fanbois, and early adapters, for everyone else it's just money out of the windows (pun intended), there is no reason at all to upgrade from XP, until you buy a new machine and have the windows 7 license forced down your throat.

TBH, this is a great argument for switching to open source, linux, freebsd, Netbsd and what not, because the support for these platforms can be regulated by the admins.. There is no pressure to upgrade, if you want to keep a platform at a older stage you can, and you can pick and choose what needs to be patched, and you can build the patches your self - if you so choose, or you can do like the windows system, and accept bundle upgrades - freedom of choice - gotta love it.

Having to upgrade programs again for compatibility, and so forth, is a good time to consider if there should be a jump to the free (as in beer) open source platforms, which would adequately cover about 90% of all IT tasks.

Boffins: Give up on CO2 cuts, only geoengineering can work

Michael Nielsen

chopping down every tree they see

Most humans seem to hate trees, they're chopping down every tree they see, and several foodball fields worth of trees dissappear every day from the world.. Funny enough most people don't even see the problem.

Vegetation is being destroyed, by humans, to create temporary farmland, which then ends up as arid desert, or something equally dismal, and yet that is not a problem.

Trees introduce moisture into the air, create clouds, clouds reflect radiation, reduces heating, so why are we not focusing on the rapidly diminishing rainforest ?

FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

Michael Nielsen

Funny how people argue for lockin

I find it incredible that people actually argue FOR lock-in, though it makes everything far more expensive.

I've worked for a lot of companies even microsoft centric companies, and I've only once shifted to a windows workstation, and that was only at one company who was near religious about you HAVING TO USE WINDOWS.

Everywhere else, I found the applications they insisted on you using, like lotus notes, CCMail, or variations up on that, which I installed and ran under wine.

Funny thing a lot of these programs were more stable under wine, than under the various versions of windows they were designed to work on, as well as running in wine, I can easily kill the application, without it crashing the operating system, and spending time rebooting.

But hey, it's not MS, which is 99% of the arguments that the pro-lockin, and pro MS people argue for.

Yes Linux has a problem in that it tries to cater for all people, and unfortunately it has segmented, because too many linux developers believe in the Microsoft Approach, total and absolute integration of everything - but they do not agree on the how - which is not what was intended.

UNIX was designed to have a core, which was independant of everything, the bare minimum to boot, start up, and to allow repairs of the system, this used to be a few MB, however, due to the integration, and entaglements of everything, linux is now becoming what windows is, a huge mess - that I must admit, however, MS is still lightyears ahead on the mess part.

The funny thing is the amont of people talking about linux fanboids, you'd be amazed how many windows evangelists (aka fanboids) there are, to whom, if it's not Microsoft and Windows, then it's wrong - you will find a few in this thread too.

The realities is that you do not need MSO for more than 95% of tasks, The other reality is that you do not need Windows for most things, unless you directly want to use some propritory technology - which is also one of the greatest security risks there is - activeX. Java will do the same as active X, but it's not the Microsoft Windows Way (tm). Another reality which pro-vendorlock-in people ingore, is the fact that a real lot of windows software will run seamlessly under wine, and will even install directly from the DVD/CD, except for the cases again where the program is written in the proprietory technology, called .NET, supposed to be cross platform, but is only supported under windows - strangely enough.

Even a lot of games run near seamlessly under linux, som require a bit of finddling, for instance, WoW, Eve, Lotro amongst other can run on linux - I've personally run Eve, and Lotro.

With respect to lock down, if you really believe you can lock a windows system down more than a linux system, from a users point of view, I think you do not understand the technologies very well. Linux functions where uses have limited access to the system, something that is NOT normal for windows, though it can be configured that way, and most corporations do, and yet, the very same lockdown is possible in linux. However, on the external and services side, pls tell me which of the 100's of windows services, that open ports on my machine that I can shut down, without the operating system freezing, and requiring a re-install.. On a Linux system, it can be locked completely down, so that there are no extraneous services running, and therefore no externally exploitable weaknesses. I know it is possible to remove every program that might communicate via the network on a linux machine, very easily, and it is also trivial to find and remove programs that breach that requirement.

Office 2010 to come loaded with WGA's bastard child

Michael Nielsen


Well I do not like to have spyware on my machine, I do not run unlicensed software, and yet, I have to have this spyware installed, if I wish to upgrade, and add in security patches.

Actually I used Linux for everything i can, and only run windows when I play computer games, because all producers are soo ruddy insistent on using .NET applications for patching, which is the only thing that does not work directly under wine.

MS Promises that they do not send personal data out on the net, but you ONLY have their word for that, in principle WGA is no different from all the other pieces of spyware that hackers try to install on your machine, apart from the fact it is installed with administrative privileges on the system - or could be.

It is also possible to piggyback things onto WGA, as it is possible for it to have full administrator rights, we just need to have someone figure out a way of piggybacking something nasty onto it, and you gain full access to every windows machine in the world. As the code is proprietory, and has to be reverse engineered, to see what it *really* does, it is not inconceivable that something can be snuk in on all windows machines, as and when it's desired, possibly already is.

Automatic updates are actually the same kind of risk, as it's like having the fox guarding the chicken coup, while it's to the foxes advantage, he'll do the right thing, but when the chickens become more interesting,and the advantage for doing the right thing goes away, well, roast chicken anyone ?

I prefer the open source for that particular reason, as if I become suspecious about anything I can examine it, and there are lots of people out there curious enough to investigate things, and it would be rapported quickly if there were intentionally hidden backdoors.

Though to be honest I'd like to find a way to run users and applications in virtualised sandboxes, so that their actions are more controllable. Which is why I find wine very interesting.

NASA: Extraterrestrial sample holds ingredient for alien life

Michael Nielsen

No one has contacted us != no other life.

lol, the universe is roughly 16 billion years old as the sciencetists say, the solar system is roughly 5 billion years old, before life appeared, so it is almost certain that there are other places with life in the universe, considering the amount of stars present is a number so large that no one can comprehend it.

Why has no extraterrestial life has not contacted us, well any ET with sufficent technological knowledge to traverse interstella distances, would consider us like the europeans considered the Aboriginals in Australia, or the Indians in Amerika, simple savages. With our violent natures, and desire to take that which is not ours (wars over territory etc), are we even worth contacting, would we even recognise an attempt to communicate ?

One can assume that someone who can traverse interstella distances within reasonable time, would also have a communications form that we could not conceive (FTL communications, and FTL travel), since both technologies are unknown on earth, we would not even detect the transmissions even if we were to live in the equivilant of New Your City (in galactial terms)

Another reason why we have not been contacted, is that earth has shown an average of 65 million years between extinction events, perhaps no civilisation has ever survived long enough to be able to travel between the stars, perhaps it isn't even possible to travel such distances, without using millions of years in transit. Imagine to find a power source necesssary to supply the power for lifesupport, or even the degree of efficiency that recycling systems would have to provide for a trip lasting millions of years.

Additionally signals transmitted over interstella distances, are likely to be so weak, that they are buried in the background noise, and as we don't even know what happens between the stars, i.e. is even possible for a ordinary radio signal to remain coherent through interstella space ?

However, I find it interesting that they are finding organic molecules in inhospitable areas like comets, as it does indicate that the building blocks (that we know of) exist in abundance, thus would mean that it is likely that any star with plantes may have some form of carbon based life).

Does anyone ever stop to consider for a moment that we might not even recognise life if we fell over it, for instance, the electrical activity within even the earth, could actually mean that in some sense the Earth or even stars could be alive, and aware, but has a metabolic and communication rate, of millions of years, thus it seems stationary, and inert to our brief flicker lives ?

Oz Firewall still standing after inconclusive filter trial

Michael Nielsen

let me see

If I read this correctly, they have applied the filter to a few 1000 users, however the internet users number in the millions, as do the illicit websites, thus extrapolating the results from this trial is like seeing a hole in a wall, and guessing how did it get there.

I've been involved in too many trials, where you do the 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 tests, and everything appears linear, and people then assume you can extrapolate to 10 000, 100 000 because it was linear until 500, there it must be the same from there on in.

Unfortunately, in the limit of small numbers, an exponential curve may indeed be linear, for the sample, however once you exceed small limited numbers, the load and delays often go exponential.

So say you do a small test with 1000 sites, and 1000 users, nxm is only 1000 000 matrix.. However extrapolate to 1000 000 000 sites x 1000 000 users, and hmm, 1 E+15 in the data set now.

This is going to be interesting..

Though I still cannot fathom that someone can even consider the idea that they know better what OTHER adults should be allowed to see, than the adults them selves ?

Amazon sued for sending 1984 down Orwellian memory hole

Michael Nielsen

I don't care what they call it

Licensed, or bought, I do not care, when I pay for something, be it the text from a book, or music, an operating system or a program, I EXPECT that the copy that I have bought is mine to use as I see fit - obviously not copy and distribute.

However, having bought the item, I expect to have the usage rights of that copy for the rest of my natural life, and the lives of my childre, or other heirs that I may or may not have. That is the way of books, CD's, vinyl records, and so forth, so why should it be any different for digital distribution.

Being able to tamper with what i have bought, revoke my purchase at an arbitrary time, is not acceptable in any for, which is why DRM should never even have been conceived.

I fork out money for a copy (or as they like to call it a license), I have bought the rights to use it, I do not accept that at some time in the future, I will not be allowed to use it any more.

Which is one of the reasons I won't buy Microsoft windows products as they are Per the license owned by your hardware, so if you replace vital system components you are required to buy the same product again, and again, and again.. XP at the moment allows you to reactivate every 128 days, or you can go through an annoying reset process, however as I understand it, this is no longer possible under Vista and above.

I do not understand why consumers do not put their foots down when they encounter it, perhaps because it is the fewest people who read conditions, or even understand, the fact that they do not even own what they fork out money for, when you are talking about the digital world.

It is not acceptable that corporations remove the rights of the customers, just because they can, it opens a whole new can of worms, which this Amazon case shows.

Valid concerns are now very relevant, history books, edited on the fly, to remove "embarresing events", like the japanese who do not tell their young about the atrocities they committed during the wars, so basically, amazon has shown that we cannot trust the history that is shown via electronic medie, and they have the power, and will use it, to alter facts after the event.

It is time to re-introduce the WORM drive (Write Once, Read Many), which basically is DVD/CD like medie, where once you have written the data it is not possible to read it, though it may be possible to destroy it.

Note to self, never buy an electronic book, that cannot be read by 3rd party software - that will overcome the ability to edit or delete.

EU privacy watchdog warns on transport monitoring

Michael Nielsen

I always wonder

Let's say they introduce this, logging of movement to the degree that governments seem to want.

and let us do a tought experiment.

A wife runs from her abusive and violent husband, who just happens to have some friends inside the policeforce, or whatever.

The poor woman takes the family car, and is looking for a place to hide, runs to a shelter, girlfriend, or hotel, from the wrath of her husband.

The husband calls in a favour from his police fiends, and find out where the woman is hiding..

The rest can be read in the newspapers the next day, "violent husband kills his wife".

And yet I guarantee, that there will be no mention of the fact that the total surveillance of people's movments facilitated this.

Let's do another one.. A rapist has somehow managed to infiltrate the survilance system, may even appear as a very aggreeable police officer, or official.

He is now able to monitor women moving around, and finding out who has a tendency to walk alone, and what patterns they follow, and when they are in locations where the monitoring system has a few holes.

So one evening the woman takes her regular walk through the streets - the rest can be read in the papers the next day!.

Of course these scenaries does not require the total surveillance systems that are being introduced, but these total surveillance systems changes the opportunities for criminals, as rather than having to stake out someone, and follow them for sometime to find out their patterns, they can access a central database, and obtain all the information about individual movments through time, and find out if there are any patterns, and where a person is most vunerable.

It is ofc political incorrect to mention that this can be done, and most people seem to think that police, and trusted officials are some kind of angels, that are not criminals, and criminals could never obtain access to this movment data... But fact is, trusted persons are just that humans, and have as many flaws as the rest of us, in fact it is possible that they are highly criminal, but they just haven't been caught yet.

Politicians will call the scenaries as "conspriators", or "paraonia" etc, to try to remove focus from the fact that these very scenaries are very possible, and as technologi implements face tracking, resource tracking and so forth, the information will be more complete, and will in increasing degrees facilitate criminality.

Robbing houses, because you Know they're empty, robbing people in their houses, because you know there's only one elderly person at home, and so forth... Thus the risks of being caught can be significantly reduced by the surviellance. Of course there are possilibities of catching some criminals using the surveillance system, it is more likely that people working together can use the system to obscure their activities, and make it safer for criminals to be active.

Perhaps I am paranoid, however, it seems to me that these systems are as dangerous to indviduals as they are to criminals.

Ukraine slaps ban on all porn

Michael Nielsen

And I thought

The world was maturing, and starting to become more free, where people would be allowed to choose, and decide for them selves.

You do realise that the goal of all this is simple.


They wish to control the population, and the internet is the greatest threat to the control of the people, the Iran situation shows how much of a threat a free, and uncontrolled communication media is to a regime of any kind.

In the old days the kings, queens, barons, and the church had near 100% control of information, and of the people, people where not allowed to travel, unles their lord approved their movements, and even marriages where to the approval of the lords. This was more or less where our western society comes from, and for some strange reason seems to want to move back towards this.

The west, which is supposed to be free, is no more free than most of the oppressive regimes, as it is only those that are in control that differ, and the current amount and type of oppression.

Child Porn and Porn are easy tools to start Censorship with - which is the first step in ultimately controlling the population. These two topics offend enough people that it is easy to sway the population to have censorship of these tings approved. Which is why the started with Child Porn, when you consider that 99% of people are against abuse of children, thus it is a gimme, and easily implemented, with minimal resistance.

Once that has been achieved, and people are used to censorship, then you appeal to the religious majority, and classify extreme porn as something abonomible, and you will probably achieve an 80-95% approval amongst the general population, who are unaware of what is being done.

Next you will target homosexual porn, perverse porn etc, and you will probably get about 70% of the population, and so forth, soon people are soo used to censorship, and the laws so vague, that anything can be censored.

In Denmark they are now moving to ban gambling sites, that compete with the established Danish government controlled gamling sites (only that per definition is defined as legal by the state), unless the other gambling sites pay a 3 million DKK licensing fee, and duties that apply to gambling sites - to facilitate removal from the filters (Hmmm, sounds an awful lot like Protection money demanded by the Mafiaa).

Unfortunately all indications are that the censorship is a planned action, that is slowly extended to gain control of people, established governments see the internet as a danger to them, because people are free to do what they want and say what they wish, contrary to all censorship laws in the country - the power of this was lastly seen in Iran. Australia and UK has problems in that they have defined hate speech as illegal, however this does not apply to other countries, and therefore people can still say what they want, just not on English or Australian sites, thus the governements really do not control their people - yet!

The picture is however, fuzzied, because to hide the progress of censorship, popular issues are taken up, and included in the filters, to appease large groups - especially the religious - allowing more to be included in the filters.

No I'm not talking my personal conspiracy theory here, but unfortunately what I can read from the medias of many countries.

Notice how vauge they make the definitions of the censorship enabling laws - terms such as unwanted, inappropriate, etc - so vague, that it is entirely up to the people in control to define what is censored, which also means no one in reality will ever know the full scope of the censorship.

Child exploitation chief to defend net snooping plans

Michael Nielsen
Thumb Down


Here they are talking about CO2 creating global warming, and just think

How much extra CO2 these filtering and logging schemes will generate.

1. The server farms to actually log, and filter, these will generate 100's of tonnes of CO2

2. All the data storage devices required, these will generate 1000's of tonnes of CO2.

lol But lets not forget "it is for the children's sake" that we're destroying the world - if you believe in androgenic climate change.

Great Australian Firewall to censor online games

Michael Nielsen

Still wonder

What kind of person really thinks that they have the rights to define what other Adult can or cannot see or do.

Adults are supposed to be able to decide for themselves, that's what makes them adults.

Funnily enough I read (in an Australian report) a few years ago that the reason that XXX movies were banned (censored) in Australia was because they were so "violent" (mind you XXX is usually defined as non-violent porn), however at the very same time R18+ allows for various chainsaw massacre movies, and movies where people are having bits chopped off.

So Basically censors throughout the world thinks this way.

showing breasts, rear ends, without clothe or natural human reproduction someone swearing, or criticising religion - end of the civilised world, must be censored.

Seeing someone getting gutted, or cut to pieces in graphic details - that is natural, occurs everywhere anyhow, so no problem.

lol, check out any kind of media censorship through out the world, and that's the general rule, a bit of breast, sex, or the like, then they censor it heavily. Violence, that's ok - after all the usual robberies are done by someone whipping out their unmentionable and threatening to wack off.. in front their victims.. Never heard of a gun, or knife used for violent robberies, or murders - have you ?

Sorry, but I really cannot figure out the censorship through out the world, nor why it exists.

When people starts to believe they have the "rights" to decide what is appropriate for others, then we have already left freedom, civil rights behind, and civilisation behind, and are now talking dictatorships of one kind or another - or at the very least the initial steps towards it.

Child porn is already illegal because child abuse is illegal, under most laws, in most countries, how about enforcing these laws, pressuring the last few places where child abuse is not illegal, to make it illegal, instead of pulling the easy censorship card out, which all too often leads to corruption, and abuses of people's civil rights. In other words, let's do something about the problem "child abuse", instead of hiding it "censorship".

DARPA: Can we have a one-cabinet petaflop supercomputer?

Michael Nielsen


perhaps the predictions that the new Galactica, terminator, etc, made will come true, about humans creating machines, machines becoming self-aware, machines kills off their ineffective, destructive, irrational masters, for the greater good of the world... lol.

Extreme porn law used on beastly Chinese DVD pirates

Michael Nielsen


How I do *NOT* like politicians.

Obscene, is one definition that should NEVER appear in a law text, the word is entirely subjective, and has no objectivity at all. If you take different population groups, and compare what they would find obscene, the problem becomes apparent.

Lets take nude children on a beach.

- A naturist/nudist family would consider it natural.

- A puritant family would consider it obscene.

- Child protection orgainsations would consider it obscene, because some pervert might get something out of it.

Lets take a nude person on a beach.

- A naturist/nudist/person a healthy relationship to their body, would consider it natural.

- A religious person would consider it obscene.

- A muslim would consider it obscene.

A woman wearing jeans and a T-shirt

- most western people would consider this natural.

- some fanatical muslims would consider this obscene.

Lets take a topless woman sunbathing in a park.

- Anyone with a healthy relation ship to their body, it would be considered normal and natural.

- old prudes, and religious fanatics consider it obscene.

Lets take sex

- Anyone with a healthy relationship to their bodies, would find it natural, though maybe not appropriate everywhere.

- Religious sects - only while priest are blessing you, and you go to confession after wards, otherwise it's obscene, and pictures - WOA Nellie.

And so forth, politicians love to use vague words like that, so that they can use it when they like and ignore it when they like. The police like it too, because they can always pull it out of their hat, if they can't quite find anything to charge you with.

In Denmark you are allowed to do pretty much anything, involving nudity and sex, as long as you do not offend anyone, that includes public sex. However, again the vague definition "offends anyone", so as long as the people watching don't mind you doing it, then it is ok, but if someone walks past, who don't like public sex, then you're breaking the law!, It even applies if someone hears about you doing it, and the idea offends them, then you're also breaking the law.

These soft definitions just means, no one will ever know if they're breaking the law, and it is entirely up to the people in power to decide if you go to jail or not, or if you get on the sex offender register (from which you cannot be removed), for something trivial.

Concepts such as




Should never ever occur in law texts, because anything can be considered offensive, to the some audience, you could even arrest fat people, because you find it "objectionable" to be that fat, or even "Obscene".. Likewise skinny people, people who wear makeup, people who have muscles, people who do not etc etc etc.

Why even have specific laws against beastiality, the arguments for making it illegal is to avoid the animals being harmed (or some religious argument), but why are normal animal abuse laws not sufficient ? if you harm the animal, then you can be arrested for abusing animals, if the animal is not harmed, then what's the problem? - well other than personal taste? It seems to be a lot of overkill in laws being passed, new laws are being created overlapping existing laws, making a worse jungle out of the legal system, than what we already have.

Personally, I find it very offensive that someone thinks that they have the right to determine what adults can and cannot do (includes see, hear, say, or whatever), when the activity does not cause any harm to anyone, or anything. If someone or something is harmed against their will, then there already are laws against that.

Behind Microsoft's IE-free, Windows-for-Europe ploy

Michael Nielsen

None of them actually charge for the browser? It's free!

Are you sure. I'm not

From the installer to IE8

"Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) licenses this supplement to you. If you are licensed to use Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 software (for which this supplement is applicable) (the “software”), you may use this supplement. You may not use it if you do not have a license for the software. You may use this supplement with each validly licensed copy of the software."


from http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/ieplatform/ie/license.txt


Unless I'm completely wrong - hate legal speech, then ithis would mean that you are not allowed to use IE, unless you have paid for an operating system product.

Sort of streaches the "free" bit doesn't it ?

Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof

Michael Nielsen
Jobs Halo

Hmm, I seem to remember.

Part of my training as an Engineer, was to take a complex task, break it up into much less complex, and manageable blocks, and a part of this process was to identify which key skills and resources are needed to complete the task, and then to pull in the resources required for the various subtasks. An engineer is supposed to be able to know when their own skills are insufficient, and then to pull in the necessary skilled resources for what ever task, which means they're a long way into the management side of things.

Once the set of manageable subtasks were identified, and specified, then resources would be assigned, according to skills and interests, which may or may not include teams.

At the same time you are expected to keep your eye open for opportunities to improve the processes, that is not just to do things as "we usually do", while assuming the responsibility for the tasks which you are working on.

I have had a lot of debates with MBA people about Hollistic task performance, where the problem is to be solve in entirety, as a single unit. Then the complex task is not broken down, but a lot of people try to solve the problem simultaneous, in a forum based on concensus, resulting in nothing is even vaguely working, until it is completed, where problems are identified late in the process - Do you ever wonder about the huge budget and time line overshoots ? I don't.

When teamwork is necessary for a task, then teamwork is good, if the task is too simple for a team, such that the inter person communications consume vastly more resources than the task it self, then teamwork is not a benefit, and is actually a delaying problem, it is a part of an engineering approach to identify these situations.

On a side note, the best department head I ever had, came with an interesting statement on his first day, that I'll never forget.

"I know nothing about what you do, nor how you do it, but it is my task to make sure you have whatever you need to do whatever it is you do. I trust that you will do your job as best you can, and I will do mine"

He took care of customers, politics, finances, resource requests, and acted as a filter between the customers and us. He managed the non-technical tasks, and we got on with the technical tasks, coordinating when needed.. Basically the engineering approach, the appropriate resource on the appropriate task, and team work when needed. Never seen a more efficient group in my life.

About procrastination, well everyone does that to some extent, it is rare that people do not do this.. As an engineer, I prefer to be ahead of schedule, if it is possible, as it is then possible to anticipate problems before they become really bad problems. However, that aspect is down to personality, and not so much skills or training.

One fifth of humanity deprived of Milky Way

Michael Nielsen


Nonetheless consider the amount of power wasted in cities where the neon lights are on, pretty much 24x7, and all the light that is sent skywards are wasted energy, as that light is not doing it's job.

Not that I'm an advocate for androgenic climate change, but I do find it abhorrent to blatantly waste energy in this way.

and I do like the beauty of the night sky.

It is sad that you drive some 20km from the nearest town, and all you can see in the sky, is pretty much the street lighting, and a few of the brightest stars.

Now this light pollution is not harmless to nature, in turtle breeding areas, they have problems with the hatchlings heading straight for towns, and busy roads, because they're programmed from nature's side to head for the brightest light - normally the dawn at the horizon over the sea, but with all our light pollution, the dawn isn't that bright, and the lights from nearby cities function as better magnets - just one real consequence of light pollution.

Microsoft takes hard line on Win 7 hardware

Michael Nielsen

re: USB devices

re: usb devices By Mark Legosz

That idea you suggested here, was the basic idea behind PCI, however, as no one can agree upon a standard, before one is created, they all create their own implementations, and thus you end up with a billion different ways to interface to a mouse. fortunately eventually defacto standard appear, and devices start to conform to these, until someone finds a neat little feature that they add to their device, making it non-compliant to the standard.

Having the device driver on the device, you then also need to decide which operating system you wish to support, as what PowerPC Apple mac, Intel Apple Mac, Windows 98, windows 2000, windows (blabla), linux, freebsd, etc all use different standards, so you end up with 2-3 gig of drivers stored in your usb device. If these drivers are updatable, then vira has a nice new hiding place, which will make it even harder to combat vira.

So though your idea sounds good (and has been tried before), it causes many problems..

The only way forward is to implement standards, such as what has now happend with Web cameras, where there now is a industry standard interface, such that you only need one single driver for all web cameras.

However, take printers, each printer "speaks" a different language, has different features, which makes it very hard to create a standard that covers everything - actually Postscript was such a standard - but was too expensive at the time (due to the hardware requirements and patents involved), and has then been replaced with the driver nightmare that is associated with printers.

If we went back to postscript, or an updated XML based postscript methodology, where the computer generated a fixed format, which the printers then interpreted, then it might have a chance. However, I doubt the industry would do this in the next many years, though it would save them money in the long term - no need to maintain software drivers on the computer, but the would need to maintain the software on the device instead.

Great Australian Firewall may be optional

Michael Nielsen

How quickly people forget.

My prediction.

The issue will crop again, when the people involved, thinks the population, and the ministers have forgotten how it was misused and abused. It may be defeated then, by some people who vaguely remember how it was abused, it will then crop up a few years later, when no one remembers, and the filtering will be Enforced.

Like just when I left Australia, John Howard lost the federal election because he wanted to introduce a GST - at least it appeared as the tipping stone, which caused them to loose the elections, it was said that labour did not win, but the liberals lost it - So John Howard solemnly vowed that he'd never bring a GST on the tables, again and would not introduce it. He won the next election, and guess what you now have a GST.

Politicians will lie, deceive, cheat, and what not to get into power, then they will break all their promises, using vague excuses, and any hot topic, as a basis for the broken promise being for the "Greater" good.

So remain vigilant, or you will find every "right" you have as being eroded or removed.

In Denmark, the "Filtering" Scheme is voluntary, albeit it enforced by all ISP's so that unless you actively work around it you are filtered. The list if ofc Secret, and being expanded all the time, initially it was only child porn that was filtered (who can argue against that), then it became sites that the Anti-Piracy groups don't like (companies selling legal music cheaper than local Danish sites), now they're talking about including non-government sanctioned gambling sites (that is sites, that do not pay tax to the Danish government), and so the encroachment is slowly increasing. Soon it will probably cover "Hate Speech" (aka critism), Blasfemi (religions critism), and so forth. Funnily enough all of this is completely against the Danish constitution, as it explicit forbids all forms for Censorship, for any reason, the constitution allows for the procecution of individuals who do and say illegal tings (libel etc), but you are not allowed to censor what the person said. However, by labelling it a voluntary filter (though you cannot ask to be excluded), they have circumvented the constitution.

Those in power want censorship, that can be seen through out Europe, and the West in general. All I can say so much for freedom in the West, the so called free democratic societies, are no better than the fundamentalist, repressive regimes throughout the world, they want to control both the people and information, the best way to control people is through censorship and propeganda.

Ofc it is admirable to want to protect kids (which is how censorship is introduced), however, they are only censoring the results of the abuse, and they are not protecting a single child with censorship, however, it is a convenient argument for introducing it in a way where it can be used for other purposes, as the outraged public (with the child abuse, and child porn hetz that is going on), will support anything that smells of protecting kids.

If they were serious about protecting kids, then it would be a relatively simple matter of cooperation, to find the servers in question and shutting them down.

Getting real about Linux on the desktop

Michael Nielsen

Windows Programs on Linux

A real lot of windows programs run directly on Linux, using wine, some distributions will even open a .exe file in the wine environment for you.

The Only real problem is .NET programs, which are NOT supported under linux. Ironically .NET was touted as being cross platform, etc etc etc by Microsoft.

many games will install and run happily under wine.

I've even run quite a few applications that were bugged on windows, and these either ran more stable under wine, or were easier to kill, without having to reboot.

So it is a fallacy that windows programs cannot run on linux, a lot of them can.

It is just that very few people tries.

You can even run some programs that no longer will run on windows, because those programs are too old.

The Wine environment can be tuned per application to supply windows 95, 2000, XP etc support.

Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

Michael Nielsen
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The reason there isn't checking done in memcpy, and related programs, contrary to the "safe" languages is that there is a huge performance hurdle, when you can end up running nearly double the amount of instructions that are to be fired off.

If you add a small amount of overhead, in very basic and fundamental building blocks, you will end up multiplying that overhead, by millions before you're finished, resulting in a huge performance overhead.

In the name of safety and efficiency, new "Safe" programming languages are invented, the resource usage increases many times, as well as the over head - virtually all in the name of safety.

Though the time to write a program is somewhat decreased, the performance is not increased as much as the physical machine performances would indicate.

Thus the idea of taking low level functions such as memcpy and adding overhead, is going to negatively impact the system upwards, I really doubt it's going to solve the problem.

Essentially memcpy(dest,src,size) is a more efficient implementation of

for (i = 0; i < size; i++) {

*(dest++) = *(src++)


so what is the extra parameter going to be, a pre check, on the size ? Additionally the memcpy_s is not going to prevent programming errors, as there are so many ways of doing it.

The original idea was here is an efficient way of copying memory, but be careful with it, you need to know what you're doing. This means that the functions you use, won't add overhead to the system, only the programmer will do so.

Safe languages add massive overheads inside the language, in addition to what the programmer adds - thus sluggish and slow programs.

New England wrestles porn law schizophrenia

Michael Nielsen

I do not understand the problem

There are laws against exploitation

There are laws against rape

So why is it necessary to have specific laws for sex, underaged sex, sexting, etc.

If Someone is having unconcenting sex, it is called rape

If Someone is photographed against their will naked, or a photo they shared privately (with boyfriend) is sent on to others, it would likely come under exploitation.

If someone tricks someone to sex, who does not have the mental ability, experience, or otherwise is unable to see the consequences of the action (such as kids, mentally disabled etc) - it is known as rape, or exploitation.

So why are legislators creating more and more special cases, which basically comes under the heading of exploitation, and rape. we have already seen 2 teenagers who at 14 taped themselves having sex, the recording then was stolen and the teenagers charged (4 years later) for making child porn..

Churches and moralists are wanting to stop kids from having sex, and exploring their sexuality, which I believe is wrong, kids needs to be educated to learn about consequences, not punished for their curiosity, we already have enough people who are ashamed about their bodies, and sexuality, that it is leading to suicide, and anorexia and worse.

Unsurprisingly, legislators are now tripping over their own feet, as they are discovering that the laws they are passing, are infact criminialising teenagers who are exploring their own sexuality, and using new technologies to do this. They are also discovering that not only are they criminalising these kids, but they're also marring them for life, by causing them to become a sexual offender..

Aussies get gov-backed uber-broadband

Michael Nielsen
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Note, even if the governement is only aiming at 100Mbit/sec connections does not mean it is limited to such, it is possible, to run 10Gbit/sec on fiber atm, which means that the infrastructure, once the fiber is laid down can be expanded.

The 100Mbit limit I can understand, because the backbone is where the transfer limits come in, and the backbone requires a lot of work to support.

Basically by having fiber to the house, then the speed between the house, and the concentrator can be in the 10Gbit range, however if you want to carry 10Gbit on, then you need a huge backbone to handle the traffic, so initially limiting the avg speed to 100Mbit, means the infrastructure is easy to build, and later the backbones can be upgraded, to have large capacities, allowing easy upgrade to much higer speeds.

I suspect the cost of upgrading the concentrators, and the backbones will exceed the cost of putting in fiber, so it seems to me that to aim for 100Mbit is a good start, the speed is suitable for running live full screen Video On Demand, and most current technologies, thus for the next few years (which is the horizon for this 8 years), 100Mbit symmetric should be adequate, however, when the time comes, and 100Mbit is no longer sufficient then it is possible to upgrade the infrastructure, and boost the speed with up to 100x. Seems to be a very nice visionary approach to me.

Note Only in the last 6 or so years, has gigabit internal networks in offices become the norm, 10GBit is comming but slowly, thus 100Mbit on the WAN (Wide Area Network), will be quite appropriate as an initial target.

For those talking about the Bush, the simple facts of life is that reaching 90% of the population costs 10%, but to reach the last 10% costs 90% of the total bill, thus those in the country side, a long way from a town, will miss out - initially, until the very last, but at least, a 12Mbit down stream connection to people outside towns is a pretty reasonable start. However, I know that the electricity industry has already laid out fiber for monitoring their substations via their power lines, it could be interesting for them to open those lines for public usage.

But the advantage for Australians is huge, the monopoly on connections will be broken, IP telephony can be used to replace the dependence on copper, which will force prices down. Additionally as current ADSL providers are pressured, by competition then prices will fall, and likely you will find that generally even the people in the bush will receive a good service.

In Denmark, we used to pay up to 5x the price for internet connections compared to our neighbouring countries, and that for a lower speeds, such that the avg connection in Denmark was 512kb/sec, while most neighbouring countries were running 1+ Mbit, for less than the Danes were paying. The power companies then started rolling out fibre, to compete with the established infrastructure monopoly, as well as competitors with FWA started up, and now prices have fallen drastically, such that pricers for 40/40Mbit can be bought for around $AU 80-100, or around 30-40 pounds, with no download limits.

Aussie classification site hacked in censorship protest

Michael Nielsen

What I don't understand

Someone defines something as unwanted (like Australian government, etc), and decides that it is unwanted for anyone to see a pair of tits, complain about the government or anything else that some elite group decides is unwanted, and it is censored.

Unwanted is a very nice term, because it depends entirely on the person (or persons) who are enforcing it, point of view. Which means when the government changes, so does the censored list, and it is not a large stretch of the imagination to see that anti-government sites quickly appearing on the list.

No Democratic government should ever be able to levie censorship, nor to control censorship, as that is a huge breech of all democratic principles, and principles of freedom.

I also don't care who defines what is unwanted, whether it is a Priest, Politicians, Psychologists, et. al. No one should have the right to tell an adult what they can and cannot read, or see, be it movies, websites or pornography. I find it quite demeaning that such thoughts of control exists in society. Any adult is capable of choosing what is not appropriate, but no adult should decide what other adults should find appropriate.

However, there are limits to free speech, such as inciting murder, libel, or violence, and thus anyone who publishes materials are subject to laws, and thus it is the publisher who must answer to the law, this means if someone can prove something is a lie (libel), or otherwise illegal, then it is up to the courts to decide if any laws are broken, and prosecute the publisher accordingly,.

The benefit of using the courts is that there isn't any secrecy about what is happening, everything is open and can be audited by the general public, and groups, which means, if someone is trying to block anti-government or constructive critisme of eg. Religion. Best of all, in the case of Child abuse, the abuse is stopped, and not just hidden.

That is the focus needs to be on curing the disease, and not hiding the symptoms. Shutting down sites, and the producers - is curing the disease - censorship is a poor band aid on the symptoms of the disease, and has a tendency to be abused by those in power, to cover other things (defined as unwanted).

The wish to prevent child abuse is admirable, and a noble cause, however, I have yet to see any real efforts in preventing child abuse, I have seen censorship, being presented as a solution, however the only effect of censorship, is that the whole nasty business is driven underground, and hidden from public view. Unfortunately these measures do not reduce the number of children being abused, it just hides it from the public eye.

The current emphasis on child porn may also have a significant dark side, which is the inability of people with certain tendencies (or afflictions), to ask for help, and to receive treatment. This aspect concerns me, as it might - as with all addicts - cause an unending cycle, where they are unable to break out, and keep going for the bigger and bigger fix, but unlike other addicts they cannot ask for help, without their lives being destroyed, permanently. - Something to think about!

Dear Obama: Please consider open-source a waste of your time

Michael Nielsen

Commercial software better ?

Well I was on a contract, where I was taken in as a technical resource for the customer in negotiations with a supplier of a backup software solution (the customer wasn't too hot on the price tag). The customer wanted a really simple hot backup, they did not want anything sofisticated.

The company with the backup solution wanted roughly 100 000 pounds for the base software, and 30 days of consulting time to install and configure the software, at a cost of 1000 pounds per day. I think I offended the company presenting the solution and costs, when I laughed at their prices, I'd been working closely with their engineers for weeks, and knew the system.

I presented a solution which did cover the customer's needs, at a cost of 14 days of development and test, at a lower daily rate then the backup company presented. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a reputation of only saying something if I can do it, I would have been passed over..

However, using standard technology, based in foss, and standard unix, I wrote a backup system that backed up 20 odd servers, and was fully configurable, so that additional systems could easily be added, and yet, the cost to the customer was around 2000 pounds total, including all software, to which the customer had the rights. (the backup company wanted to hire me after wards lol.).

The problem, however, is usually managers are afraid to try other solutions than what the quick talking sales representation tells them that they need. Personally if I wasn't a technical person, I'd feel rather like a fish out of water too, and opt for the "safe" but expensive option, espc with all the TCO hype.

It does sound implausible that a solution based on scripts, free software,and so forth, could indeed satisfy a customer requirement, when the big sales force is talking software for 100 000s.

It is like some big clever sales force presents the solution as being the Eiffel tower, when in fact what the customer needs is a garden shed, this is not nearly as uncommon as one would think, just look at a lot of the public software projects scandals, a lot of them, could really use a bit of the KISS principle.

Mozilla calls for 'open web' in EU Microsoft row

Michael Nielsen

with respect to free

If IE was free, why is it restricted to people who own a Windows license - you can run IE in wine under linux, if you desire, but if you don't own a windows license then you may not. Same with many of the fonts that comes free with windows. (mind you it has been a while since I've read the conditions, as I never use IE any more, my bank works on liux with firefox :-)).

So a Vista Ultimate in Denmark costs 499 pounds, OEM version about 50 pounds.

IE is said to be free.

BUT you cannot make use of IE, unless you own a windows license.

Does that not suggest to you the fact that IE is not free, and a part of the price you paid for windows was in fact for IE.

This makes it unfair to Opera, as their price is visible, IE appears free.

Firefox, et al. are free developed from sponsors, and the community.

Silverlight annoys me, if Microsoft wanted it to be a cross platform standard, and it is giving the platform away for free, why does it not give out the source, so that the code base on Windows, and Linux could be the very same, thus ensuring that the versions are indeed both optimal ? Microsoft keeps boasting with their mixed source license scheme, and professed love for open source ? (similarly with .net, which a version was built for linux, called mono, and yet not the same code base)

In my opinion, it seems that the silverlight (and .net) exercise seems to be an Anti-anti-trust precaution, by having it implemented on linux as well, could possibly ward off a coming antitrust case from Adobe.

EC will force users to pick a Windows browser, says Microsoft

Michael Nielsen
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Free, IE and WMP

The interesting thing in here is I've read several people saying that IE and WMP is free, well yes and no, if You own a windows operating system, then yes they are free, if you do not, I would not be so sure. I was using IE4Linux and read some of the EULA for IE, which unless I misread it, actually said, that you were not to use IE unless you had a fully licensed version of Windows..

That is Free, as long as you've paid your Windows Tax, similiarly with the media player.

EU stuffed up badly, in the medie player debaucle, because they forgot to find out what the value of the Medie player was, and the price for Windows XP without the Media Player, should have been decreased accordingly, however, they did not, and therefore the consumes received the following choice.

XP with medie player costs Y

XP without medie player cost X

X =Y

So from the consumers point of view there is no difference in price, except you get less for the same amount of money when you buy XP without medie player.

If they do the same with IE, then it is going to fail as well.

XP without IE = y

XP with IE = x

then x > y is required, otherwise it's only signal politics and not real.

As Microsoft requires you to have a windows license for you to use IE - you can run IE on linux, I do that for compatibility testing - then IE is not free, and it has a cost.

This is the problem with Monopolies.

If I had a monopoly, and If I wanted to push in a new product, but I do not want to give it away for free, I'll bundle it with my monopoly item. Then increase the price for the bundle, but in a new release so it's not clear why the price increased.

I then, make money from my new product and on my monopoly, however my competitors are now having to compete against a "Free" product, and cannot make money, and will leave the market.. Then after my competitors are gone, I split the product and make it an add on, all in the name of choice, for a higher price than the bundle - a win-win for a company with a monopoly, except for those Darn Monopoly laws, that keep tripping companies up.

People who keep complaining that Microsoft is being singled out, obviously have not read their history.

1. IBM has tried it, decades ago.

2. AT&T was split up because of it.

there are litterally dozens of examples of companies who have grown to monopoly size, and have been throug the wringer both here in EU, and in the US, as well as local regional monopoly laws.

The reason:

It is simple, if a monopoly is allowed to do as it pleases it will soon take over all adjacent markets to it's original monopoly, and thus stifle innovation, and press prices through the roof, why do you think most countries have gone from one telephone company to many - because they like complexity, no because competition encourages innovation, and brings prices down for consumers, a monopoly though not illegal, is never desirable in any market, because it harms society and the consumers.

Though I first heard it in a spiderman movie, it does have merit "with great power comes great responsibility", this applies to monopolies (power), however, most monopolies do not behave responsibly, as they seek to maximise profits, irrelevant of the harm they're doing. This is why the rules for a monopoly is different from that of an non-monopoly.

So please "pro-microsoft", or "poor microsoft" communities, do some research on monopolies and find out what it means, before you start jumping down EU's throat for investigating illegal monopoly activities. Microsoft is not the first, nor the last company to be subject to monopoly laws.

Tories put toes on Linux bandwagon

Michael Nielsen
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The interesting thing about this article is not so much the open source but, rather the bit about splitting projects, and increasing competition. Though the open source will open op competition a lot more than staying propriatory.

Most Government projects, at least in Denmark, where I live, and other countries, have the problem that for one thing, governements being humanists (of sorts) tend to believe in the hollistic point of view,

That is all or nothing.

The next bit is what goes in to the project, everyone who can wants their finger print on the project, therefore the planning phases, become enormous, development interrupted, concepts skewed, basically, too many cooks ....

As an engineer, I have learnt, that if a project cannot be split into small very manageable components, then the system cannot be constructed, within any kind of given time frame. Having teams of 120 people working together on a single project is far too much, the intercommunication will blow your budget. I know most people believe teams are the best, well yes and no, a team of 5 is optimal, any bigger and it risks becoming slower than if just one person was on the task.

However, having an over all goal, with general design guidelines set at the start, and building it like you build a house, one brick at a time (task), working towards the plans that the architect has drawn up, is far more efficient than trying to get the carpenters, brickies, electricians, et. al. running on the work site at the very same time, falling over one another.

I seem to notice that most government projects are like the state it self, huge monoliths that are designed all at once, and they try to build them hollistically, while trying to bring in the various political changes that changing polticial power wants, ofc it will end in a disaster!

First Windows 7 beta puts fresh face on Vista

Michael Nielsen

lol, ingenious

So Microsoft sells a beta version, and get's millions of users to pay for the privilege of beta testing Microsoft's new operating system.

They then patch it, add a few tidbits, and calls it Windows 7, and then wants to sell it to the same millions of users who paid for the privilege of beta testing vista. So they manage to sell the same product to the same user twice, lol..

Ingenious marketing strategy :-). (should leave those who bought vista with a nice warm fuzzy feeling).

If I had bought vista, I'd be fuming, lol. I wonder what it's going to cost, considering the high end vista costs about 499pounds in Denmark, so High end Windows 7 - another 499 pounds ?

Seriously IMO, it should be a free upgrade, to be fair.

Spinning the war on the UK's sex trade

Michael Nielsen

politicians and hype

Politicians love blowing things out of proprotions to flag in their particular bandwagon, for instance Child Pornography is being used in Denmark to by pass anti-censorship laws, and the latest news from the government is they wish to make it illegal to check whether the internet censorship is being used for anything other than child pornography, which then means it is possible to add other things in under the umbrella of child pornography censorship, for instance.

Sites not like by the music/film industry - already 2 sites listed, piratebay.org and allofmp3.com are both listed, and filtered by the "Child Pornography" filter.

what will be next?

racist comments ?

Anti government sites ?

Freedom of speech sites ?

Well they are trying to make illegal for you to find out, which is what EU is working towards as well, introduction of Chinese like censorship,all carried on the back of "protect children" organisations.

Mind you I wish that particular content did not exist, but I'm concerned by the path that is now being taken, it seems to have deviated from the claimed objective.

With respect to the laws against prostitution, introduction of censorship, terror, and all the other hype laws, they all carry the same theme.

Argue against the measures, you end up having to defend things like child porn, terroists, sex slavery, because that is how the prohibitionists will turn the arguments.

Though this is not directly an IT topic, it is in the respect the same techniques are being used to argue for heavy censoring of the net, heavy hunting of people sharing music (whether legal or not), and so forth. So it is very relevant.

In the case of Prostitution, I hope the politicians think about the following.

1. Making it illegal, will force prostitutes underground, which means they become less visible, but also more vunerable to abuse, trafficing, and sex slavery.

2. Making it illegal, will cause quite a few people to get used to breaking the law.

3. If it is already illegal, and you end on the sexoffender register anyway, some people are going to think, why not go the full hog, and become a peadofile, have snuff sex (killing someone whilehaving sex etc)

None of this is going to help the vunerable groups, and is just going to alienate the people who are in the industry willingly, whether for economic reasons, or because they like it.

What will help, is to legalise prostitution fully, why you may ask.

1. If it is legal, then it is easier for the workers to get help from the police.

2. It is easier for punters to rapport suspected cases of traffiking, or underage girls.

3. Health controls can be stepped up, so that it is safer for all.

4. The workers can form unions, to protect themselves against abuse.

5. Brothels can be formed by the working girls,allowing the hiring of "doormen" which means their enviornment becomes safer.

6. it also legitimises seeking help to exit prostitution, and makes it easier for social workers and what not to contact and work with the women/men who needs help.

7. Cases of rape will be far more uncommon in a brothel enviornment, as the workers can have a panic button that directly calls the "Doormen" to their aid, the punter would know this.

8. and not least of all, it is possible to monitor, and regulate the industry, thereby helping people working in it.

Basically it is a win-win situation to legalise, however, with that said traffiking, and sex slavery should be punished to the extreme, but how does a punter know if a women is trafficed ? Well issue a Workers union card (could be handled by the sex worker union) where the union can do relevant background checks etc, to make sure there isn't coercion involved, it also allows a punter to make a quick call to verify the ID, and that the person is in fact of legal age - not that many would, but the possibility exists, making it harder for the criminal element to function - as long as there is sufficient control with the worker union.

Basically the benefits of legalisation will always outweigh the benefits of criminalising the activity, due to the negatives that criminalisation will cause.

Unfortunately these laws are not driven by rational thought, but by people on a bandwagon, and as they know they cannot win the rational argument, so they choose the irrational one which you cannot argue against, ie if you argue for legalisation of prostitution, the capaigner will turn the argument that you are arguing for legalisation of sex slaves, sex trafficing, etc. Either way it is an argument that cannot be won. Usually the person pushing for criminalisation is not interested in the wellfare of the people in the industry, but are far more interested in the fact that it violates their MORALS, beliefs, or religion.

With respect to the Norweigan citizens, I believe, that they can be arrested and jailed for traveling to Denmark, or Amsterdam and hiring a prostitute there, that is if, if the norweigan police found out that they had done that.. In both countries prostitution is (as yet) legal.

Junk science and booze tax - a study in spin

Michael Nielsen

It really doesn't matter

They claim they want the alcohol consumption down, the people where alcohol is a real problem are people who are addicted to it, and these people would rather starve, live in the streets, freeze to death, than to miss out on their "Fix", and thus even if you were to raise the costs by 100pounds per unit, they'd still find a way to afford their fix.. It will have absolutely no effect, and all the policy makes know this.

But they also know if they raise the taxes there will be hell to pay, however, arguing that this "Tax" is for the health of the general public, is something that is impossible to argue against, and thus they have increased their funding for the state, without real opposition.

I am a staunch anti-alcohol and anti-smoking person, I do not drink nor smoke, mainly due to child hood traumer related to alcholic people trying to literally kill my mother, however, I do not support this kind of propeganda because like so much else, it is not based in fact. I believe in educating people about the effects, and letting people make informed choices, rather than trying to use politics and taxes to "force" people to do something, because it has zero effect. I also believe in there should be room for everyone, that is non-smoking areas where I can go in a pub, resturant, or what ever, and smoking areas for those that enjoy that. If someone wants lungcancer, who am I to argue? I can tell them what may happen, but they're a grown person, and thus their choice, however, I have a right to ask people not to smoke near me.

In Denmark they have such taxes, not as bad as in sweden, but what happens, Danish breweries export beer to Germany, just south of the border, Danes, drive up to 300km, with trailers, and buy the beer and import it, with a limit of about 108 cartons of beer, or around 324 pints, per person. Considering the climate debate, and androgenic climate changes claims, this is the most stupid arrangement that could be made, first we ship the beer 300km in trucks to Germany, then people drive up to 300km down to pick it up, and drive back again to consume it, which is up to 600km car transport and 300km in trucks, how environmentally sound. I buy soft drinks because of a sugar duty in denmark (interestingly enough I only drink sugar free drinks), and I have a saving, after fuel, etc of around 100-300 (1000-3000dkr) pounds for a single trip.

Studies like this is an example of what my old statistics professor proved to us in my university mathematics class, you can use statistics to prove ANYTHING, it just depends on your point of view, and interpretation of data, as well as selecting the correct base samples. If you want to find something, then you will, which is why sciencetists are supposed to be taught not to have presumptions about their work, to avoid mis-interpreting data, which is something, I personally believe is happening in the climate debate, I've yet to see data that really supports the case of androgenic climate change, other than something which very well could just be a co-incidence.

It seems that all countries want more money from their people, and they seem to invent things to increase duties, rather than taxes, because the general populace is not friendly towards taxes, but with the health, and climate hypes, these two things are clear and easy excuses for creating or increasing some duty.

Aussie convicted over Simpsons sex pics

Michael Nielsen
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how is it goes

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people...period.

Comes to mind when I hear things such as this, it is absolutely sickening that laws are now being created, which have no limits, nor sense.

It starts slowly, seemingly sensible, but as it gains momentum, it becomes uncontrollable, and become used for anything and everything, like terror laws are now used for common crimes, because the terror laws remove most of the civil rights that people have, and therefore it is much easier to use those laws.

The Child protection laws are likewise a tool to ban what certain groups do not like, eg porn, and the definitions are vauge enough so that you can extend it to cover pretty much everything.

Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Michael Nielsen

If I was paranoid

Terror laws, indecent images and Child protection laws (specificially child abuse/porn laws), all seem to be written in the vaguest possible way, so that the laws can be applied to anything without exception.

It is almost as if the politicians have discovered a way to introduce the orwellian society, legally, and with the consent of the public.

Most of these laws seem to circumvent the normal protections that the public had, such as rights to privacy, innocent until proven guilty, and so forth.

The change is achieved by diverting the attention from the content of the laws to the focus of the law, which means critics will consistently have to defend actions such as terrorism, paedofiles, and so forth, which means critics are silenced by that association with nasty things, and thus such laws are created without opposition, nor any real debate about their contents. This of course results in the scope of the laws being almost unlimited, and the potential for misuse of the laws is also unlimited.

If the erosion of civil rights, and protection of the individual, is organised or driven by someone, that person is ingeniously moving the so called free world (tm) towards a totalitarian state, that will make the USSR and China seem like progressive, freedom loving societies. Most incredibly, they are achieving it with the support of the population.

My fear is that once a certain critical mass of these types of laws are achieved, then judicial system will collapse, and the west will be shifted from "The Free world" to "the federation of police states"

Most frightening about the way the world is moving is that all these new laws, surveillance of the general public is not improving the security of our world (as the creators of the laws claim), the laws are just the foundation of the coming orwellian police states.

For instance in Denmark the current rate of new laws over the last few years, is more than 1 law passed per day. It is probably of a similar magnitude in other so called free states,