Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Obsoletion is the Answer

It was galling to see the 42-day detention Bill pass a Commons vote despite significant opposition. I remain hopeful that the Lords will stall its progress and that it will fail any further attempts. Nevertheless the fact it could pass at all highlights that the worrying trend we have seen in poorly conceived “anti-terror” legislation is not stopping. Unless of course the government’s cunning plan is to make terrorists obsolete by doing their job for them.

Many bemused Americans are actually taking an opportunity to throw stones, apparently heedless of their glass house. 42 days is, after all, still better than 6+ years and counting. Admittedly that’s in a Cuban holiday resort or however it is they refer to Guantanamo these days. The truth is, of course, that this is simply another Act in the security theatre engulfing both our countries — not merely the erosion of civil liberties, but rather the erosion for high profile ideas that bear no ostensible benefits at all. If those additional days save a single life, I think everyone — including those who drafted the Bill — would be very, very surprised.

Firefox 3 has been dated for a June 17th release. I’ve been using the stable Release Candidates for a while now, and I can thoroughly recommend the new version. Improvements are less dramatic than earlier milestone releases but the focus here is under the hood like memory management, combined with a focus on smaller details. Drawing attention in the address bar to the identity information of the site you are browsing is a good example of a simple security measure that will greatly increase use. Meanwhile Firefox is also venturing into the mobile arena with a concept video of the user interface for a new mobile version of the browser, designed specifically for small touch screen devices. This is only a concept with a real product still some way off.

7 Comments

  1. Have you seen this Priyan? Plagiarism on an epic scale.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=1903

  2. I came across that story earlier today and it is just stunning. Assuming it’s not an incredibly well planned hoax (it’s listed for pre-order at Play.com and Amazon) it’s so brazen that one cannot help but be impressed. Surely they couldn’t have thought no one would notice – you’re infringing a widely considered Game of the Year for starters!

    The publisher seems innocently screwed now – forced to pull the product. I’m certainly keen to hear what the developers have to say… if they ever come back from their “holiday”, that is. 😕

  3. Three letters…. w t f?

  4. Following that up… do you think that if they plagiarised from enough sources, people wouldn’t notice…?

  5. That might work for smaller items (say, the Diablo 2 skulls) but when you’re copying an entire store interior from a game as big as Oblivion there’s just no way you can expect to get away with it.

    Presumably the game itself will prove quite popular through underground channels for gamers who wish to play “spot the game”…

  6. 42 days is even more terrifying when it’s combined with the detention of that Nottingham student under anti-terrorism powers.

  7. Absolutely. I decided not to go in-depth with analysis on exactly why extended detention is both unnecessary and wrong on the basis that here I would be largely preaching to the converted.

    However I must admit being surprised at the number of ordinary people I’ve spoken to in the last few days who feel that, with the “safeguards” included in the bill, they have no problem with it. That it contravenes the most basic tenets of our criminal justice system seems not bother them…

    Here’s the story Rob was referring to, for those who missed it.

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