* Posts by Chris Davis

16 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Feb 2007

Oz driver sticks seatbelt on slab of beer

Chris Davis
Paris Hilton

Pull the other one

I used to believe all the hype about Australians being macho until I discovered that yer all God-botherers, and consequently as soft as shite.

I think you should be told.


Paris - because she like 'em hard.

Cable cutter nutters chase underwater conspiracies

Chris Davis

I'm saying nothing...

The world is not yet ready for the Tale of the Side-Cutter Shark.


Latest iPhone firmware unlocked

Chris Davis

Probably not a surprise to Apple

Apple have been around, and working with DRM and the like, long enough to know that it's not possible to keep anything locked away from the 'Net community' for very long.

On the other hand they also know that content owners and service providers need to believe they'll have a monopoly before they'll undo their buttons.

Seems to me Apple are keeping both sides happy: get good deals out of music companies and telcos by providing locks; but keep the nerds happy by letting them hack the stuff if they really want to. And they do, and they will, and they do.

I imagine 90%+ of both iPhone and iPod users do it the easy way: accept the restrictions and live with them without grumbling. The small number of savvy and disgruntled types will bust through the DRM and service locks using freely available information - because they want to and can.

Ultimately everyone's happy. But it hardly seems appropriate to bitch at Apple for putting in the locks if they're bustable, nor crowing when you bust them - it's all planned for.


Jonathan King in Harold Shipman song rumpus

Chris Davis

Re^n Hangonaminit

I'm puzzled by your insistence on categorising Shipman as a 'mass murderer', as if the categorisation itself somehow helps one to think about the matter. The phrase itself is misleading: a 'murderer' is one who murders another, but the gut response to such a description is much more simplistic. The label implies a quantum of evil in that person that is mentally increased for a 'mass murderer', pro rata with the number of victims - with an added bonus for being weird enough to murder en masse in the first place. Is this fair?

A murderer may be evil, desperate or insane. A mass murderer is almost certainly insane. Society doesn't judge the insane by the standard of the sane, specifically because they may not be evil at all. I feel that Shipman was nothing like 100 times (or whatever) more evil that one who murders once.

Jonathan has brought up the concerted attempt by his accusers and the media to categorise him as a paedophile - entirely because succeeding would automatically make him seem more evil in the eyes of those judging him, legal and public - regardless of the actions of which he was accused.

I think he's right to consider this serious: what chance does a paedophile have in court, let alone in public? In this country even an *accused* paedophile is automatically guilty - for who would take the word of a paedophile that he's innocent? Even were Jonathan guilty on all counts, his misdeeds pale if his victims are adults. At the ages we are now told they were, it seems to me they were much closer to adults than to childhood.

Knowing as little as I do of the facts and accusations, in the media environment we inhabit I would not be at all surprised at all if Mr. King has nothing at all to pay or even apologise for. It fits the data.


Chris Davis

RE: Re: Hangonaminit

I believe you have my general point - but also, in these specific cases I truly don't think we have enough reliable information (versus the mountains of colourful rubbish we DO have) to have safe opinions on either of these cases.

Just to dig into the drivel a moment: Shipman apparently topped scores of old women with morphine O/Ds. Now that's about the most peaceful death that anyone could be lucky enough to experience - drifting off into a warm buzz, *without even being aware they were dying.* His actual crime against these women, it seems to me, is hugely less that someone who murders just once, but inflicts prolonged pain and suffering.

(Of course, his crimes' true victims are the families and loved ones left behind - who are likely in no condition to draw comfort from the blissful passage of their relatives. I'd still maintain that, statistically, Shipman probably spared many of his victims a much more horrible passing in later years, had they lived.)

Which is not to excuse Shipman. If anyone knows what motivated him it's not reached my ears, but dispatchers of the elderly seems occasionally to crop up in white coats. To simply categorise him - as you do above - as a 'mass murderer' is to ignore both this mystery and the special treatment given by society to those who are madder than they are bad. Shipman was not like Gein, or even Dahmer. His acts were more like involuntary euthanasia than murder. And he was ipso facto insane.

About Mr. King's case I know little - little enough that I am prepared to accept his version of events as no less likely or more biased than the media's. At least one side is horribly wrong, but it's the papers who have the previous form on lies and sensation.

As far as personal responsibility for swallowing the junk we're fed - I don't think fault is an issue here. Having spent time in a country where the media was all state-controlled propaganda, blaming the readers seems unjust, and blaming the writers irrelevant. The system is corrupt.


Chris Davis


Is anyone here actually DENYING that the newspapers in this country - and not just the tabloids - actually *define* reality for almost everyone?

Their mission is to sell papers, and they do that by reporting - and frequently creating - 'news' items with a flavour that pulls in the punters. And those items, given the banality of the real world, usually have the colour and volume cranked up as high as it will go. It's quite possible nowadays to make a front-page story out of 'Dog Bites Man' - you just have to change the dog to a Pit-Bull, change the bite into a near-fatal savaging, and the man into a celebrity.

In circumstances like these, where everything we read is wide of the truth at best, I think it's quite possible for Shipman to have been a misguided Angel of Mercy, and Mr. King himself to have been entirely innocent. I'm not saying it's so, but it's just as likely as the received wisdom that goes for 'facts'.

See the recent 'Queen's angry walk out' out for further details.


Rock star says piracy battle is lost

Chris Davis

Who's responsible?

Who on earth is leading the record industry to believe that there really is a perfect way to provide music to end-users without a way to copy it? The whole thing is a giant and protracted exercise in rolling peanuts uphill with your nose.

If they invest millions of bucks and thousands of man-hours into making killer copy-protection, the Internet will simply invest an order of magnitude more in cracking them. The crackers are driven by love of the sport and the adulation of their peers, and they're smarter.

Ultimately, all these piddling 'security' system have done is create a market for everyone from (pre-sell-out) Napster to AllofMP3 - who wind up making the money the Industry is after. And when they manage, at great legal expense, to make life difficult for allofmp3, a clone opens up just down the street.

Who can be selling the industry the idea that they really can fight, rather than join? I think they should be kicked inna nads.


UK arrest gives AllofMP3 touts the fear

Chris Davis

Another dyke; another finger

Does the record industry - or their lapdogs pursuing this futile battle - seriously believe that harassing allofmp3 is really going to prevent music downloads?

Seems to me that the industry is being led by the nose, by companies promising to stop downloads without the slightest chance of doing so. Who's making false allegations here?

Tech solutions won't work; legal solutions won't work. The public wants this stuff, and if the industry wishes to make a buck out of this they should follow AOMP3. For every site that shuts down, another will pop up. There's as much chance of stopping this as winning the War on Terror - i.e. even less than the War on Drugs.


Student expelled for high school Counter-Strike map

Chris Davis


Great! Shutting the *bedroom* door after the horse has bolted.


Cracked HD-DVD and Blu-Ray app keys revoked

Chris Davis

DRM's Doomed

Surely the whole idea of using software-based DRM is fundamentally flawed?

Even when these DRM systems represent thousands of dedicated man-hours by very clever coders, they're up against billions of man-hours of yet more dedicated work by hackers for whom this is a labour of love, not a job. And statistically, given the world-wide population, some of 'em are going to be even cleverer.

In recent times we've consistently seen the best encryption systems devised by the content-owners and their subcontractors being taken down by smart young guys who are prepared to spend night after night stepping through execution cycles. Seems to me this kind of dedication can't be bought, or matched, by the other side. The crackers are doing it because they like puzzles, and for the enormous kudos that awaits the successful decrypter. Unlike the black hats, these efforts are fairly uniformly supported by the e-populace, who resent the limitations placed on their ownership of content - especially when those limitations are not present in other media, as with Blu-ray v DVD.

Ultimately, DRM is fighting a losing Red Queen battle against an enemy with greater resources and wider support. I realise that Rights Management/Copy Protection was a necessary carrot to entice content owners to put their stuff into the digital domain in the first place, but it's time they wose up and accepted the inevitable limitations of their limits.


Kenneth Williams tops funniest film one-liner poll

Chris Davis


'One-liners', eh? Hrrmph. Thereby missing entirely such gems as the deathless interchange between Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr in 'Magic Christian':

Ringo: 'Dad?

Peter: 'Yes, son?'

R: 'Do words corrupt?'

P: 'Hmm. Not sure. Let's see - Mary?'

Mary: 'Yes, darling?'

P: 'Nipple!' (pause)

'Well, there's no *immediate* reaction...'


Microsoft calls on UK public to raise the Office standard

Chris Davis

You what?


Serenity beats Star Wars in sci-fi movie poll

Chris Davis

Shome mishtake...

Someone's clearly hacked into someone's database. Or something. The correct order of great SF films is, of course:





5-Scanner Darkly

6-The Matrix

7-Blade Runner



10-Terminator 2

On the basis of which James Cameron wins the actual prize. Star Wars receives an Honourable Mention for introducing the technology that started the wave, nullified by a Dishonourable Discharge for giving every clot in Hollywood license to make crap films out of a lousy story + lousy acting + CGI. In fact, forget Star Wars and just hang Lucas by his thumbs.

Now don't let me catch you publishing that silly list of yours again.


Will there ever be a real 'Lie Detector'?

Chris Davis

Lying polygraphs

Would be nice if daytime television shows - that conduct Trial by Lie Detector on people whose marriages and other relationships may already be rocky - would take note of what junk these things are.

What amazes me is that no false-positive victim has yet sued one of these damn shows - or if they have, that this information is kept quiet. Certainly there seems no apparent doubt among the audiences of these fly-on-the-wall inquisitions that the condemned are guilty as charged. While the squirming of the unfortunate accusees are presumably entertaining, they may also - after the show - be the cause of battered women, unwilling single fathers, or otherwise devastated individuals whose lives have been ruined, having done nothing to deserve it bar failing to control their physiological responses when asked distressing questions.


James Cameron finds grave of Jesus & Son

Chris Davis

A triumph!

This is one in the eye for those cynics who say that Habeas Corpus has been repealed...


Where does the taboo against sex during menstruation originate?

Chris Davis

You need to ask?

The answer to all 'how did this happen' biology questions is always 'because those who didn't died out'.

In this case, shagging unconcernedly during menstruation presumably didn't reproduce as efficiently as not. Maybe the unconcerned shaggers passed too much Hep-C around, as suggested. Maybe the abstainers built up so much, er, tension during the downtime that they were really pumping gametes by the time the woman got round to oestrus.

It's all part of Darwin's Master Plan. Howsabout: PMS tends to cause fights between partners. Menstruation tends to keep them going and prevent a standard cure. Fourteen days later the couple are about ready to make up, sweatily, just in time for conception. Works for me.