* Posts by Thurstan R McDougle

18 posts • joined 11 Jul 2008

Gamers risk early graves, claims advert

Thurstan R McDougle

As opposed to...

getting knifed

run over by a car

or a train

or electrocuted on the 3rd rail

or falling out of a tree

or falling off a bike

or any of the other items in government scare stories!

Nokia to preinstall Skype on handsets

Thurstan R McDougle

Skype is DATA, i.e. expensive

I don't know the relevant charge rates but might not the operators make more money from Skype calls than ordinary due to higher data charges?

Also IIRC Skype talks to the servers occasionally even when just waiting for calls.

ISPs slam CEOP bid to rewrite RIPA

Thurstan R McDougle

Re Accident report cost

Would a Data Protection Act request legally cover accident reports? (They may be exempt.) If covered you could get it for a max of 10 pounds!

Is filming someone in the street a breach of privacy?

Thurstan R McDougle

Privacy is not a Yes/No status

Privacy is a relative item, not absolute, going along a street with say a dozen people seeing you is not the same as having your picture shown to thousands or millions or people and residing in long term archives etc!

Windows 7, June 2009 and the technologies of antitrust

Thurstan R McDougle

No more useless videos please

Please stop posting these video/audio items, I come here to read this sort of information, not watch or listen to it. (Crowded office, no headphones, just plain quicker as text!)

What's lurking in your data centre?

Thurstan R McDougle

Legacy is the idea that WORKED

No Steven Jones, Legacy is the yesterday's big idea that WORKED, otherwise it would not have hung around long enough to have gained the label!

Schneier sticks it to surveillance

Thurstan R McDougle

Why he has not said anything about Phorm

He has no special knowledge of Phorm so has no strong reason TO comment. Also because he is a BT executive anything he said would have special weight (politically, in the blog-sphere and even legally!) So there is a reason to NOT comment.


P.S. He has NOT come out in support, he has not come out at all.

Newcastle men dodge post-bog handwash

Thurstan R McDougle

Other factors

Neither the story nor the press release (at http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/news/2008/dirtyhandsstudy.html) mention whether they looked at possible other causes than poor individual personal hygiene, such as:-

Did the people have the same hand to multi-user object contact profiles in different places? (e.g. London's Oyster card removing the need to handle money/touch a ticket machine etc)

Travel times of people (and therefore likelihood of using public loos)

Good/bad design of Public Loos (doors instead of maze entrances, cold water/bad tap design discouraging extended washing, taps you have to turn off AFTER cleaning your hands)

Were the studies done at the same time of day. (I would expect a greater chance of unclean hands during RUSH hour.)

TalkTalk ad slapped for misleading on LLU

Thurstan R McDougle

@Jeff Rowse (about BT)

IANAL but under the "Consumer Protection from Unfair Business Practices Regulations" that came into force on 26th May 2008 it is a criminal offense (fines and/or up to 2 years in prison) to repeatedly call you for marketing/selling. You may need to tell them to stop, or to be on the TPS, to make it clear it is unwanted. Unlike previous marketing rules this even applies to companies that you have or had a business arrangement with.

It can apply both to the company AND an officer (of the company) who consented/contrived or negligently allowed the crime. It can also cover third parties if they are the one(s) who caused the breach (this would for instance apply to sellers of lists of email addresses who state that the people listed have consented to receive spam) even if this third party is not a business.

The specific wording from Schedule 1 "Commercial practices which are in all circumstances considered unfair" subsection 26 is "Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation."

See http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/small_businesses/competing/protection and/or http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20081277_en_5#sch1 for more details.

Did the width move for you, darling?

Thurstan R McDougle

Good, bad and ugly, hopefully constructive.


Pretty enough if a little busy at times (but not compellingly pretty!).

Article order not changing about (very good).

The week in summary puts the section in a column to the right instead of wasting tons of vertical space as it did before (much better!).

It also does not group the articles by section (also much improved).



On the week in summary the date breaks could be more prominent (minor niggle).

Takes too much scrolling to read an article or comments (fixed width issue).

Font size is too small for my eyes, since I read each article in a new tab I have to resize every time I open an article! (You should (perhaps must under DDA?) respect the users overall font size preference and so should never have used a fixed font size, at least for the main page contents.)

It took me a couple of days to notice the multipage article page buttons (grey on grey on grey does not stand out that well. Maybe they should be blue text as that is your standard link colour?).

On a web site all direct content links should have a single common link colouration (like blue/red for unread/read) but the most read and don't miss links and the page buttons are not coloured like that. They don't even change appearance once visited.

On multipage articles there is a next button (when appropriate) but never a previous!



Borders around comment icons jar with me.

I find the new heart icon is infuriatingly twee.

"Biting the hand..." is fuzzy.

Just discovered, I cannot put extra blank lines in a comment to cause it to separate sections in it (hence the . lines above)

How to stop worrying and enjoy paying for incoming calls

Thurstan R McDougle

An older anology

The "Railways Clearing House" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_Clearing_House

Back in the days of many railway companies you could buy through tickets between many stations in the UK. You might run over several companies trains to get there. This organization would sort of the inter-company charges, at previously agreed rates, obviously this is a perfect task for a computer to do these days! The ticket was paid for at the time of purchase (when else?), and then the clearing house would be used to transfer the relevant amounts to the other companies.

There are less routes and presumably very few intermediate sections on phone calls so why can it not be done in this sort of way this day and age? I fact it should be possible for modern mobile phones to tell you immediately what the charge rate will be before it connects!

Google restores Chrome's shine

Thurstan R McDougle

@Ronny Cook (re @Paul)

And what EULA does a book or magazine have? There is no difference in the copyright principals between them and software.

No software/book/magazine/comic/film/music recording/forum post NEEDS a EULA, the mere fact of letting you have a copy gives you the rights to use that copy. (See also "doctrine of first sale")

Microsoft to protect furtive web searches

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Pirate Bay evades Italian blockade

Thurstan R McDougle


"How the law is applied is different in a common law jurisdiction. Not the terms you use."

Whilst it is generally true (if it is a term already in use or from a written law then it would), but what about new terms?

As a possible example of one that could currently be evolving: The use of "Piracy" in the copyright infringement situation is not a formal legal term as far as I can tell. Yet I think I have seen court cases where it has been used as if it were one. (I also have a vague recollection that it may also have crept into an (American?) law, and not as an acronym title.)

Thurstan R McDougle


About "Legal terms are not defined by consensus, they are defined by law". Normally I would be with you on this, but I just had an idle thought:- is that necessarily true in common law jurisdictions?

Justice Ministry opens ICO consultation

Thurstan R McDougle

Consultation page address

If you want the consultation page, instead of just the PDF then the address is http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp1508.htm

ISS expands parking capacity

Thurstan R McDougle

Re: Disabled bays

Once they have one is that when Stephen Hawking can go up?

Blears pitches prize draws and online polls at young votes

Thurstan R McDougle

Simple reasoning really

Labour voters are generally the poorer people

Poor people like prizes/free things

If we give people prizes for voting then

more votes for Labour


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