Category: Stories

  • Are you a Nouveau-Reithian?
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    Are you a Nouveau-Reithian?

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    How to fund a great BBC … without creating 142,000 new criminals a year

    Not one Hollywood studio or record label company has ever incarcerated anyone merely for not paying for media consumption. A few years ago the entertainment industry filed civil suits against individuals, but received so much criticism it stopped. Now they target industrial-scale pirates, or push for milder sanctions such as speed slowdowns and contract termination.

    To any reasonable person, prison is a harsh and unjust punishment … Read More

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  • Our ‘digital economy’ is still a circular firing squad

    Our ‘digital economy’ is still a circular firing squad

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    The British ISP industry has spent a small fortune of its customers’ money fighting the people who would, in a saner world, be its business partners – only to suffer a crushing defeat. On Tuesday Lord Justice Richards threw out BT and TalkTalk’s judicial review against the 2010 Digital Economy Act.

    Yet as trench warfare goes, they may consider it worth every penny.… Read More

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  • Windows 8’s Metro means no gain for lots of pain

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    By far the most ill-judged design decision I can remember – Andrew

    The public preview of Windows 8 has won “rave reviews” according to the Daily Mail, the newspaper that claims to reflect Middle England and is proudly conservative in every sense of the word. The Mail, it’ll have you know, is a feisty opponent of “change for the sake of it”.

    So not only do I fear that somebody has spiked the water supply at the Kensington HQ … Read More

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  • Peak Oil: RIP
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    Peak Oil: RIP

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    The idea that seized the imaginations of the bien pensant chattering classes in the Noughties – “Peak Oil” – is no longer relevant. So says the commodities team at Citigroup, and policy-makers would be wise to examine the trends they’ve identified.

    “Peak Oil” is the point at which the production of conventional crude oil begins an irreversible decline. The effect of this, some say, is that scarcity-induced prices rises would require huge changes in modern industrial societies. For some, Peak … Read More

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  • French National Front woos internet pirates

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    The leader of the French National Front party, Marine Le Pen, wants Hadopi scrapped and replaced with a blanket licence to compensate creative industries. The extreme right party’s freetard-friendly gambit has caused the Socialists, who also oppose Hadopi, to rethink their policies.… Read More

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  • The angry internet runs on Pseudo Masochism™

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    A mob that’s filled with self-righteous fury isn’t very discriminating.

    In 2000 an angry crowd attacked a paediatrician after he was mistakenly named as a paedophile. Last year the Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy was abused by football fans who mistook him for match referee Chris Foy. And last month, a small Scottish farm certification agency, SOPA, received torrents of abuse from ‘digital rights’ campaigners who were upset about the United States’ proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.

    Once it’s got its … Read More

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