* Posts by Graham Marsden

6899 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

We need to be first on the Moon, uh, again, says NASA

Graham Marsden

We want to stop this falling into the wrong hands...

... ie anyone but ours...

Pope goes fire and brimstone on the dangers of AI

Graham Marsden

I'm sure all those Priests would welcome ChatGPT to write their sermons for them...

... and then their "sincere" apologies and pleas for forgiveness when they've been caught diddling choir boys...

Activists rattle tin to take UK's pr0n block to court

Graham Marsden

Educate, don't legislate!

As always, the Government reaches for the big Ban Hammer, trying to solve a "problem" by hitting it with an unnecessary, unworkable and unneeded law that will do nothing to protect children, but makes for good headlines in the right-wing media.

There is no way to stop access to adult content, not even with a Great Firewall of Britain (even though, I'm sure the Government would love this...) so the sensible way to deal with the issue is to *educate* children about this stuff before they see it, either by looking for it themselves or their schoolmates shoving a mobile phone under their nose and saying "look at this!"

Of course this will outrage the Mary Whitehouse brigade and other such moralistic prigs who believe that children shouldn't know anything about sex, which makes as much sense as thinking that if you don't teach them about swimming, they won't go near the water and risk drowning...

UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

Graham Marsden

Something must be done...!

And this is something, therefore it must be done.

New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties

Graham Marsden

Re: Don't forget the other two holy words

> Semprini?

Arrest that man!

2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

Graham Marsden

> a tetrahedron sounds good to nerds it doesn't look very impressive in the flesh.

They also dropped the idea because people would make associations with Pyramids (even though they're not the same as a tetrahedron has a triangular base and a pyramid has a square base, but most people wouldn't appreciate the difference!)

Graham Marsden

Re: Discovery-1: The Facebook Ship

> It is debatable whether a human could withstand the vacuum of space, as Bowman does, even for a few seconds.

"In a pair of papers from NASA in 1965 and 1967, researchers found that chimpanzees could survive up to 3.5 minutes in near-vacuum conditions with no apparent cognitive defects, as measured by complex tasks months later."


Clarke used this as the basis of his short story "Take a Deep Breath".

He was also annoyed that he wasn't on set when Kubrick shot the scene of Bowman triggering the explosive bolts on the Pod because Bowman holds his breath which is precisely what you should *not* do as the air will expand and rupture the lungs.

What he should have done was to open his mouth and breathe out as much as possible instead.

Graham Marsden

Re: @GIRZiM - Ah well, back to my PowerPoint slides

Ah, GIRZiM is clearly one of those "It's cool and clever to sneer at 2001 because I didn't get it" people.

> Get over yourself

Pot -> Kettle...

Graham Marsden

Re: Blame

But the reason that the Creature became the Monster was how it was treated by people...

Graham Marsden

@Roj Blake

> Which meant that Kubrick already had some experience when it came to faking the moon landings.

Yes, but he was such a perfectionist that he insisted on filming on location...

Graham Marsden

@GIRZiM - Re: Ah well, back to my PowerPoint slides

When 2001 was first released it was panned by the critics.

Kubrick commented that they were probably so used to watching films written for 12 year old minds that they'd probably developed 12 year old brains.

But, hey, you just watch the bang and flashes and excitement and perish the thought that you might actually have to think whilst watching a film instead of having it spoon-fed to you...

Graham Marsden

Re: 2nd HAL

Yes, there was another version of HAL on Earth:

* * * * *

X-ray delta one, this is Mission Control.

Roger your one-niner-three-zero.

We concur with your plan to replace unit to check fault prediction.

We advise you that our preliminary findings indicate that your onboard is in error predicting the fault. l say again, in error predicting the fault.

l know this sounds rather incredible, but this conclusion is based on the results from our twin.

We're skeptical, and we're running cross-checking routines to determine reliability of this conclusion.

Sorry about this little snag. We'll get this info to you as soon as we work it out.

X-ray delta one, this is Mission Control. Two-zero-four-nine.

Transmission concluded.

* * * * *

From https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=2001-a-space-odyssey

PS There's also a version of the original script online which had planned to have a narrator for the prehistoric Earth sections and contained the explanation for why HAL behaved as he did.

See www.archiviokubrick.it/opere/film/2001/script/2001-originalscript.pdf

El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block

Graham Marsden

Re: anonymous, non-tracking system wouldn't be hard

> The USB stick would contain some large number of 1-time use numbers that could be used at a site requiring age-verification.

And then dodgy market traders will start selling copies cheaper than official ones, but, for all you know, they may have malware or spyware loaded onto them...

Graham Marsden

Re: anonymous, non-tracking system wouldn't be hard

Meanwhile, of course, everyone else has to go into a shop and say to the assistant "excuse me, can I buy a porn card, please..."

Remember all the sniggering when Firefox et al introduced "Private Browsing" and people were going "Hah, we know that's really porn mode..."?

> It will allow face-to-face age verification to be completed at the point of sale.

And the kids who are 16 or 17, but *look* 18 will be able to make money buying porn cards for their younger mates...

Graham Marsden

Re: @JDX - Here's a question... does the porn industry WANT to restrict underage access?

1) What kind of argument is that? It's not about protecting adults, but checking users are adults.

A very good argument against censorship. I don't have children. No children have access to my computer, why should *I* have to prove that I am an adult to access legal material in my own home?

I am not the parent of your children. The responsibility for protecting those children lies with you, not me.

"Think Of The Children" is not a good argument for anything!

2) I'd hope we agree it's not a great idea for pre-pubescent children to be exposed to hard-core porn, or to explicit sexualisation in any sense.

Do you read the Daily Mail a lot?

Here's a bit of history: For the vast majority of the existence of the human race, entire extended families, fathers, mothers, children, grandparents and maybe even aunts and uncles lived together in *single* room dwellings. Do you think mummy and daddy got all the kids out when they wanted to make a new baby? Of course not.

Also, don't forget that, in agricultural societies, kids would be perfectly familiar with where piglets and lambs and calves came from and how. So the idea that children would somehow be irreparably damaged by images of sex is complete nonsense.

Back in the present day, what we *SHOULD* be doing is teaching children proper Sex and Relationship Education, not the coy, embarassed, Daily Mail pleasing rubbish they get at the moment and that *includes* an understanding that porn is not a "how to" guide, any more than cartoons or movies are representations of real life.

(PS Oh and please look up the difference between "refute" and "reject"...)

Graham Marsden

Re: "Parents and schools need to be having discussions with their children about pornography"

> The problems incumbent on the Netherlands attitude towards legalising prostitution are linked with this in a significant manner

Try talking to sex workers and you'll find that they DO NOT want prostitution to be "legalised", they want it to be *DECRIMINALISED*.

Legalisation just turns the Government and Police into Pimps, giving them the right to tell sex workers what they can do and when and how and with whom and then interefere in private matters on the spurious grounds of "checking licences" or "safety inspections" etc.

In the Amsterdam, "Window Girls" already have a stringent set of regulations they have to obey, but now the authorities are trying to introduce more restrictions, very possibly in an attempt to "gentrify" the Red Light area. What this does, of course, is force the women out of there and into areas which may well be *less* safe.

Sex workers just want the protections that all other workers enjoy, the right to be treated fairly, the right to be protected from assault or intimidation, the right to choose how and where and when they offer their services and to whom and, importantly, work together and employ security staff for their own protection *without* being accused of "running a brothel" or the security staff being called pimps.

PS In other forms of work, workers have people who manage their money and find them employment. In music and acting, they're called Agents...

Graham Marsden

Re: Possible solution

> "use the cost of buying a laptop to mean thats an adult."

Because kids don't look at porn on their phones?

Graham Marsden

@Dave Bell - Re: Here we go again...

Ah, yes, good old Operation Ore.

Anyone who'd used their card to access adult services was automatically considered to be downloading child porn and the Police were basically telling them "Look, you have a choice, accept a caution and we'll drop this now or we'll drag you through the courts and ruin your life and your career and your reputation, even if (or when) you're found not guilty".

Of course they didn't mention that these people would also end up on the Sex Offenders Register which would, in itself, have a knock-on effect in the future. But why should the Police care? They could say to the media "Look, we've arrested X many child pornographers, aren't we great?!"

Graham Marsden

@JDX - Re: Here's a question... does the porn industry WANT to restrict underage access?

First of all you're conflating entirely separate issues here.

Mechanisms like Age Verification will affect *everyone*, whether or not they have children, and remember the majority of households in this country *don't* have children, so why do we all have to be "protected" from this stuff?

Secondly, the idea that porn is "harmful", cf the American States who are claiming it's a "Public Health Crisis" is nonsense. Provided kids are taught respect and consent from an early age and understand that porn is not a "how to" guide (cf the Netherlands) there's much less of an issue with sexual offences or, indeed, teenage pregnancy.

Thirdly, your statement of getting the next generation "hooked" seems to be based on the claim that porn is "addictive", yet proper scientific studies have shown that "porn addiction" doesn't exist, the effects of porn are nothing like the effects of drugs.

So the idea that porn producers have some sort of nefarious designs simply does not stand up to scrutiny, they simply want to get on with being allowed to distribute adult material to consenting adults and let *parents* be responsible for bringing up their children and preventing access to adult material.

Graham Marsden

Re: "Parents and schools need to be having discussions with their children about pornography"

And yet the Netherlands begins Sex and Relationship Education in primary school, but *they* don't have problems, because they've not been brought up with the "think of the children" and "sex is wrong outside marriage" BS that the Mary Whitehouse Brigade have tried to force on us all.

Graham Marsden
Big Brother

Re: Still at it

> I don't recognise its so-called 'legality'.

Fortunately we don't have to rely on *your* personal preferences to decide what *we* are allowed to see.

Meanwhile, consider this quote from Myles Jackman, Human Rights Barrister:

"Pornography is the canary in the coal mine of freedom of expression".

Or, to paraphrase Martin Niemoller:

"First they came for the pornographers..."

The Internet has the capability to be the greatest opportunity for freedom of expression ever, but this, of course, terrifies authoritarian regimes, who are doing their utmost to control it using "think of the children" and similar specious arguments to justify their oppressive laws.

Naturally, once such laws are in place, it is easy to add a bit of Function Creep and start blocking other "unacceptable" material.

But, of course, I have no doubt you're just someone else who thinks that "Freedom of Expression" means "Freedom to say the things I approve of..."

Graham Marsden

Don't forget...

... the Digital Economy Act is also supposed to deal with online copyright violations, but Mindgeek are one of the most notorious purveyors of material ripped off from pay sites, then uploaded and distributed for free, whilst they cash in on the adverts which appear alongside it!

Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

Graham Marsden


> science is not proven.

"Prove" means "To test"...

Oh bucket! Unpack the suitcases. TRAPPIST-1 planets too wet to support life

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

> Do you want to do that on planetary scale?

The Golgafrinchams thought it would be a good idea...

Brit escorts: Without the internet to keep us safe, we'd be totally screwed

Graham Marsden

@Nick Kew - Re: Not so bad

"That kind of threat is usually called blackmail, and it's not necessarily a threat at all "

Really? There are sex workers who have been forced to move home by landlords who have found out what they are doing and demanded free sex. Even worse, some landlords are now offering "sex for rent" to vulnerable tenants who can't afford to pay or find other places to live.

Similarly there been people sacked from jobs because some prodnose has decided to "out" them to their employers (even if the person is no longer actively working in the sex industry).

However the number of actual examples of sex workers being convicted of blackmail of their clients over the past few years can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Graham Marsden


The Leeds Tolerance Zone operates with Police knowlege, however the BBC 3 "documentary" has been strongly criticised by sex workers for its allegations that most women got into prostitution because of drug habits instead of the need to make money because of government Austerity.


Doormat junk: Takeaway menus, Farmfoods flyer, NHS data-sharing letter... wait, what?

Graham Marsden

@Korev - Re: Where's the laptop?

Only people of senior management level and higher get sent on training courses.

The poor bloody infantry just get the blame and are sacked :-(

Dark-web pedo jailed after FBI and co use vid trick to beat privacy tech

Graham Marsden

Burn the witch! Burn the wit..

... sorry, am I in the wrong lynch mob?

This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

Graham Marsden

Artificial intelligence agents can invent their own language and talk among themselves

"Colossus to Guardian: 1+1=2"

- Colossus: The Forbin Project

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

Graham Marsden

Re: Sorry Prof'

> I thought that there was some substitution of '[' and ']' for '<' and '>'

That was a forum that uses BBCode

eg [url="http..."]El Reg[/url]

NASA extends trial of steerable robo-stunt kite parachute

Graham Marsden
Thumb Up

Re: No so new.

Re: Rogallo Wing

Thank you! I was reading this article and cudgelling my brain for the name (which I first saw in a book of kites back in the 1970s) but couldn't remember it.

BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Graham Marsden

Read it...

... *BEFORE* you sign it!

Identity disorder: Does UK govt need Verify more than we do?

Graham Marsden

"Verify might be used for the mandatory online porn checks...

"...to be brought in on the Digital Economy Bill."

Because, of course, people are going to be *so* willing to sign up for that and give over their details so the government can keep track of their porn browsing and *nobody* is going to get themselves a VPN and go to sites that don't let the State snoop on them.

Meanwhile, of course, the UK's niche porn producers and independent sex bloggers are not going to end up out of business as their costs massively increase and their revenue vanishes...

Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive

Graham Marsden

@Triggerfish - Re: Do no evil

> What happens if we go totally sci-fi

Philip K Dick got there first, see his story Second Variety

Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination … by woman it hired to stamp out sex discrimination

Graham Marsden

Re: "Wizards Wanted"

> Are women not allowed to be wizards?

Only Eskarina Smith...

New PayPal T&Cs prevents sellers trash-talking PayPal

Graham Marsden

@Adam 52 - Re: If you only buy none of this matters

> I upped my price by 5%

Presumably you're not selling something which has a lot of competition, otherwise the large sellers, who can afford to absorb the hit, will come up cheaper than you when someone selects "Price Low-High".

This creates an inevitable "Race to the Bottom" on pricing which drives small sellers out of business :-(

Police drones, robo surgeons and chatbot civil servants. What could go wrong?

Graham Marsden

Chatbots could shave off around 90 per cent of Whitehall admin workers

Yes, they could just replace them with Eliza and nobody would notice any reduction in service...

Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'

Graham Marsden

As the meme has it...

When kids today are talking about "Old people"...

It's us they mean! :-(

The best of Reg readers' David Hockney-style logo redesigns

Graham Marsden

Re: V for Vulture

I bid a Tin of Baked Beans!

Conviction by computer is go, confirms UK Ministry of Justice

Graham Marsden

Re: The Way Back

As soon as I saw this article I was thinking exactly the same thing.

That edition of Blake's 7 was broadcast 40 years ago, I'm just surprised it's taken so long for real life to catch up...

More tech companies join anti-Trump battle, but why did some pay for his inauguration?

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

Feeding the crocodile...

... in the hope that it eats you last.

Churchill's definition of Appeasement.

(T.May take note...)

Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

Graham Marsden

Re: @enormous c word I like it

> 30 seconds on google found these:

And 10 seconds on google found this page:

"This informal document has been produced by the Law Commission’s Statute Law

Repeals team to answer some of the queries that they regularly receive about

alleged old laws. Most of the curiosities below have no basis in the law as it currently

stands, although a few represent the law as it used to be. This list does not purport to

be definitive, and readers should not rely on it without conducting their own research"


Many of those "silly laws" cited are urban myths, others are fundamental misunderstandings of what the law actually said.

Yes, of the ones that existed, most if not all, have been repealed now, however simply saying "we're going to get rid of two regulations for every one introduced" does not mean that the ones being got rid of are bad ones, they may simply be inconvenient (for big businesses) whilst being very good for protecting the public from dangerous products or unscrupulous business practices.

Graham Marsden
Thumb Down

@enormous c word Re: I like it

> Regulations are like code - every line of code is a potential vulnerability.

And some code is just inconvenient, like salting and encrypting passwords or preventing buffer over/under flows or requirements for documentation or making regular backups etc.

Just like all those tedious requirements for consumer safety or public health or trading standards which stop businessmen from doing what the hell they like because those bleeding heart liberals have objected to children being poisoned by lead paint or landlords having to make their buildings safe to live in or that people should have some redress if a product is faulty or dangerous...

Sure, we can get rid of *loads* of those!

I'm sure Dilbert's PHB would think that Trump's idea is a good one too...

Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

Graham Marsden

Everyone knows...

... you need a Goatee beard to be a proper Evil Twin!


Facebook ad biz comes under scrutiny in MPs ‘Fake News’ probe

Graham Marsden

"the broad plurality of views available via the free British press...

"... where news flows down from Rupert Murdoch, Richard Desmond, the DMG and the Barclay brothers..."


VPN on Android means 'Voyeuristic Peeper Network' in many cases

Graham Marsden

"Google should [...]

"set stricter limits on what apps are able to do in Android."


Too many apps demand ridiculous levels of access saying "either you agree or you can't use this app".

The user should have control over what they can do and on a case-by-case basis if they want.

Ransomware killed 70% of Washington DC CCTV ahead of inauguration

Graham Marsden

"Criminals infected..."??

So someone sneaked in and deliberately planted malware on these systems?

Or was it just some pillock clicking on a dodgy link or opening a zip file etc that they shouldn't?

There's a bit of a difference...

Joe Public likes drones and regulations, finds UK.gov 'public dialogue'

Graham Marsden

Another Box-Ticking exercise.

Scene: A Civil Service office:

"We want this law"

"Fine, but you have to do a Consultation."

"Ok, do we have to pay any attention to the results?"

"No, just as long as you do it, that's fine, but if you like, you can rig the questions to make sure that it comes out in your favour."

"Great, we'll do that!"

Banned! No streaming live democracy from your phones, US Congress orders reps

Graham Marsden

Isn't there a viewing gallery?

That's not "The floor of the House"...

How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

Graham Marsden

Re: Chromebooks

> Exactly how does a Chromebook help education

Ah, but you're thinking of the wrongs sort of education!

These days it's not the ABCs of the alphabet that the kids should learn, according to Google it's Advertising, Buying and Consuming they must be taught!