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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1536 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

HP's WebOS mess: When smartphone assets go toxic

Graham Dawson
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Wasn't that SCO's argument as well?

I recall they got a sound thrashing after trying to prove that headers were copyrightable.

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Graham Dawson
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Lewis? Nah...

Not enough american military hardware involved for him to have any real opinion on it.

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Average sozzled Brit sinks 5,800 pints during life

Graham Dawson
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Pint

WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE

I'll drink to that!

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HP chief bows to Jobsian cult

Graham Dawson
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Get a dictionary and lrn2english

Secular means, amongst other things, an event that lasts a long time or that happens, or is celebrated, once within a century (or other long period).

What Apothekar means is that, within the consumer PC space, there is a movement that is at once long-term, highly notable and has nothing to do with relig- wait...

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Injunction suspended: EU can buy Galaxy Tabs again

Graham Dawson
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Not quite

The motivations for the EU were post world war 1, and the solution to preventing war was to make sure that no European nation (or, more accurately, Germany - the EU was proposed by a frenchman, never forget that) could have all the necessary resources to make war. However, in the aftermath of world war 2 most of the justification quickly disappeared, as Europe transformed from a series of fortresses into an open market almost overnight. The EU is late to the game and, on current form, trying to implement a counter-productive solution.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

@Handle This

The EU is not like the US. The US constitution specifically states that any powers not granted to the federal government by the constitution are retained by the states or the people which, until relatively recently, meant that the federal government had very little actual power. Strictly speaking it still has very little actual power, but it has arrogated a great deal to itself following the american civil war and the subsequent war powers acts and various inter-war acts that granted it "temporary" power during the world wars. Nevertheless, the states are still able to legislate freely in all areas except foreign affairs and, to a lesser extent, military spending. They can't create legislation that interferes with inter-state commerce, but that doesn't actually prevent much. Meanwhile, federal laws become laws the moment they are signed by the president, without any froo-farah or re-implementation by the states.

In the EU, the situation is quite different. Member-states have very little sovereignty these days. Instead here there is a concept of subsidiarity: When a directive is created in a specific legislative area, that entire area becomes off-limits to member-states, except where the EU specifically allows them to continue legislating. An example is road safety. The EU has created certain directives on road safety in order to harmonise road safety practices across the entire union. The up-shot of that is that member-states are no longer allowed to legislate in that area, with the result that when, several years ago, a proposal was put forward in Parliament to require more and more visible reflective markers on trucks in the UK, it was shot down because that area of legislation was an EU competence.

Were the EU to allow member-states to exercise subsidiarity in that area, it would have included wording to that effect in the directives that had granted it competence over that area of legislation.

Also worth remembering that, unlike US federal legislation, directives (not including technical and regulatory directives) have to be implemented into law by the member-states' own legislatures, which leads to what may be politely referred to as fuck-ups, as amendments and translation issues introduce little caveats and minor but significant differences - and worth remembering, too, that each country has it's own legal system that has to be taken in to account when drafting legislation to implement a directive, which leads to some instances of law that directly conflicts with existing legislation.

Now, of course the issue is a german court, rather than the german legislature. The courts are also rather peculiar. There are no equivalents of the US federal court circuits, nor any direct equivalent of the supreme court, with the closest being the European Court of Justice (and please remember that the European Court of Human Rights is not an EU institution - something I often forget in my rantings). Member-state courts function as both "state" and "federal" courts, but there is a horrible amount of overlap due to the aforementioned subsidiarity and competence issue. If a german court were to rule on a purely german legal issue, it would have no effect outside of germany. If, however, a german court ruled on an issue that had become an EU competence, there is currently no clear measure of where that court's jurisdiction ends. Does it merely rule on the german law implementing the directive, or against the directive itself? Do directives grant german courts jurisdiction over the entire EU when ruling on that particular competence? It hasn't been decided yet

Then the issue becomes, what to do? On one side you'll have people who say "the system must be clarified, streamlined and simplified". They would favour tighter integration and harmonisation, with the EU becoming more of a unitary state. Another side would say "we need to loose, and rationalise", turning the EU into a federal model similar to the United States circa 1880, with very little power residing in the central government. A third group would say "lets call the whole thing off", desiring an admittedly messy divorce and a restoration of national sovereignty, along more holding our own politicians to account. All three would solve the issue of lack of clarity in different ways. I favour the latter, though I'd also be able to live with the second option, but whichever side of the issue you stand on it's pretty clear that the way things are at the moment is a complete and utter mess and that some clarity would go a long way.

There are other arguments too (one being that the EU is largely useless, as the majority of it's activity is to be merely a rather meddlesome middle-man between the member-states and the various ISO committees) but this post is going on far too long.

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Graham Dawson
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That doesn't actually answer the question

Merits or otherwise of the EU aside, the question was how did a German court arrive at the conclusion that it had the right to set an injunction across the entire EU, when the EU itself says probably not, not whether such a right would be desirable.

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Graham Dawson
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Equal partners

The EU is often said to run on a franco-german motor. They are both equally up to their necks in it: Germany provides the money, political will and organisational skills and France provides the histrionics.

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PETA to launch .xxx smut site 'to help animals'

Graham Dawson
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Pack your trunk

... that's all I got.

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Apple changed shape of Galaxy Tab in court filing

Graham Dawson
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Pint

What, like...

Brown, sticky and with a funny smell?

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Has Google wasted $12bn on a dud patent poker-chip?

Graham Dawson
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"and the UI copies Apple's iPhone."

I, er... what? The UI copies what? The iphone? How? The iphone UI is a touch-screen filled with little icons that you can, er, move around a bit. The Android UI is a touch-screen filled with a very flexible and configurable space for widgets, icons and all sorts of things. That counts as "copying"?

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Samsung's lovely illegal tablet: Why no one wants to know

Graham Dawson
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@Bonuse - nope

The tablet identifies itself as a tablet, the sites response is at fault.

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IBM PC daddy: 'The PC era is over'

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Ah-hah...

That should be "humble". Stupid tablet.

See this is why they'll never replace the PC. :D

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Graham Dawson
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Has anyone noticed...

It's worth repeating the observation that there is no such thing as a bubble opinion.

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Graham Dawson
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Be fair

You can have background tasks on most tablets and phones these days, though why anyone would want to use such a limited device as a general purpose computer is beyond me.

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DARPA drops another HTV-2

Graham Dawson
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Boffin

@Craig

Science is:

Postulate a hypothesis

Generate possible experiments to test the validity of the hypothesis

Run the experiments

Measure the results

Reject or adapt the hypothesis based on the results.

The interesting part is that the results are not actually 100% predictable; a working scientific theory is simply a hypothesis that has not yet met a negative result. This DARPA experiment is entirely scientific, as it is attempting to experimentally verify the hypothetical behaviour of a particular design of craft at extremely high speeds. They've made a prediction of its behaviour based on their hypothesis of how this particular design might behave, and the prediction has... well, failed. But that's good science, as it has provided a large amount of empirical data to refine their hypothesis (in this case, the design of the craft) and update their predictions.

You mentioned prior information. Where did that prior information come from? The only place it can have come from is experimentation, and given that this project is dealing with a field that is still largely hypothetical, they have to make these grand experiments to provide the necessary data to make their predictions with.

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London rioters should 'loose all benefits'

Graham Dawson
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Great idea!

They could wear a paramilitary-style uniform and be drawn from the civilian population. They could maintain the peace, enforce the common law and apprehend trouble-makers. I suggest they be called Urban Officials.

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Apple sued over Mac OS X 'quick boot'

Graham Dawson
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@various

@martin owens Assumption? When patents were first created the system worked just fine - it was properly applied, requiring models, actual inventions and not just vague, broad ideas and legalese. Calling historical facts "assumption" either proves you know nothing, or that you're willing to ignore reality when it goes against your argument.

@ac, you obviously didn't read my post. this is an example of why the patent system is broken now, it has no bearing on the *concept* of patents, as ypu are attempting to argue.

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Graham Dawson
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Shades of grey, dear

A properly applied patent system works. This is not an example of a properly applied patent system, but of a fundamentally broken one. It cannot be used as an example of why patents are wrong, merely as an example of why the current system - which allows patenting of things that are neither obvious, nor novel, nor strictly even "inventions" - is wrong.

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Use found for Twitter and Liz Jones

Graham Dawson
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At that level, left and right lose meaning

She's not left or right, she's the Axis Mundi.

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Graham Dawson
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Universal madness.

What Mrs Jones (Miss? Ms? I don't know.) fails to understand is that, even if we had a completely private healthcare system, she wouldn't have been able to just waltz in to her doctor's office the day before leaving and demand jabs without providing medical records.

She's actually a very good example of the entitlement mentality that causes so much trouble.

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Antimatter close to home

Graham Dawson
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Given E-MC^2...

Regular fission turns an appreciable amount of matter into energy in the form of gamma rays, other high-energy electromagnetic radiation and a great deal of heat. The energy that matter is turned in to would be, similarly, gamma rays and other high energy electromagnetic radiation, the difference being that the conversion would be complete.

The current assumption is either that matter and anti-matter were produced in equal proportions during the big bang, but that they quickly segregated from each other, OR that anti-matter isn't quite as stable as matter, so it was less likely to form.

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Mobile app malware menace grows

Graham Dawson
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Is gthere a simple solution?

Tempting as it no doubt is to declare this a sign that android is a failure, it is nevertheless the very open nature of the android 'ecosystem' that makes it a success.

This presents a problem. An open system can be exploited, which some seize on as 'proof' that the open system is destined to fail and that the apple walled garden approach is the only viable solution. I don't think it's a binary case.

I lile the open model. I also think there's room for a closed, guaranteed market operating alongside it. A two-tiered approach, where both a walled-off area and an open caveat emptor market exist alongside each other would provide both trusted apps and access to the apps that don't meet specific requirements, but which still provide value, without restricting the owner of the device in ways they don't like.

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It's official: Journos are dumb as a bag of IE users

Graham Dawson
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Holmes

Sometimes snobbery has justification.

See title.

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Graham Dawson
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It does raise the issue...

... how much of the news we get is actually true, and how much is regurgitated bullshit? Given how must news is just re-titled and slightly edited copypasta from press releases - especially government and NGO press releases - it's hard not to believe that there's very little actually done by journalists these days, *except* swallowing and regurgitating bullshit.

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Truck nuts swing onto US freedom of speech agenda

Graham Dawson
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@ . 3

But the upside is, we don't need truck nuts.

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Graham Dawson
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Sorry, you lose.

The definition of free speech, per the US Bll of Rights, runs: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There's no specific clause that says "as long as it's about things deemed important". Free speech is free speech, there's no iff nor but, it is the freedom to express yourself however you see fit. In the public sphere you have no right to not see anatagonist immature shit. The minute you exercise that particular "right", you impinge on the free expression of another.

This being trivial has no direct bearing on the issues you raised. They are important. However, the fact that this is a silly, trivial little thing is precisely why it is also important. If we let the State begin to take away trivial aspects of a fundamental right, they can salami-slice their way through it until that right is gone.

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Oi, Android, get gaming sorted out NOW

Graham Dawson
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Was it really such a bad pun?

Seriously guys...

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Graham Dawson
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Coat

Nah...

He's just blowing smoke.

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SpaceX set to send supply ship to ISS in November

Graham Dawson
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Commercial company

They don't have to rely on the US government for work, they're free to explore alternative possibilities for putting men in space. Retrieving or maintaining satellites, undercutting the current state operators for launching satellites and so forth, but Musk is reportedly keen on sending ships and possibly people to Mars, and presumably many other things that require a man-rated rockiet, but don't require a contract from the US government. If they aren't already working on a bigger goals than the ISS ferry I'll eat my shoes.

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Russia: 'We'll dump the ISS into the sea after 2020'

Graham Dawson
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Actually...

In termsof energy, getting fom low orbit to geo is nothing compared to getting to low orbit. Go look at a the old Saturn rockets they used for the moon launch. Over two thirds of that enormous rocket was used for getting into orbit low orbit, the rest was used for getting all the way to the moon. Getting to GEO equivalent from where the ISS is now would need almost nothing compared to that.

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'NATO RESTRICTED': The lowest possible classification

Graham Dawson
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Drop NATO!

Support the Single European Tank!

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LulzSec says it will partner with media on Murdoch emails

Graham Dawson
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So...

To attack Murdoch for his alleged involvement in a media backing scandal, they're going to encourage the media to... get involved in another media hacking scandal.

Right.

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Rupert Murdoch was never Keyser Soze

Graham Dawson
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Expensive subsidies

Even with the rebate we pay far more into the EU than we get out of it. We could pay those subsidies directly, why do we need to have it administered by a remote bureaucracy that hasn't had its accounts signed off for the last decade or more?

The EU adds administrative costs and sucks up a load of money that we could use to benefit our own people instead of paying for other countries' failed economic policies.

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X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Graham Dawson
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Ox Moron!

Computer turn based is not an oxymoron. An oxymoron would be things like a non-computing computer, or a deadly game.

The phrase you're looking for is "I'm a twit who can't stand anything that doesn't fit my very narrowly defined idea of entertainment."

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Bill seeks to decriminalise pianos in pubs and schools

Graham Dawson
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Coat

Tinpot? Oh no no no, we can't have that...

The process necessary to produce tin in reasonable quantities for making tin pots is would also produce far too much pollution, particularly carbon pollution of the worst sort, and the end result is such a terrible, tatty, *regressive* sort of thing with none of the charm of a north african raffia bond clay cooking urn. Tinpots have consequently been banned, but this is a good thing as it will create more job opportunities for the north african raffia makers, and all the associated urn producers, clay miners and so forth, and it provides a much needed boost to our own economy by creating a healthy tin recycling industry. As a result, it would be fair to say that we are a culturally inclusive non-discriminatory environmentally aware non-metallic (or indeed anti-metallic) single unitary source of law, morality, behaviour and sustenance.

"Dictatorship" is so 20th century darling...

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Graham Dawson
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AH yes...

The tiny dead hand of government.

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Scientists snap amazing technicolour dreamtoad

Graham Dawson
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Bah

Old and boring meme is ol-ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD

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Apple users complain over MobileMe 'censorware'

Graham Dawson
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Not as such.

The first amendment describes acts that the state absolutely cannot contravene. The constitution is a guarantee of fundamental rights that the state shall not abridge, it has no bearing on the acts of private individuals with each other, as long as both parties understand the agreement they are making.

If anything it would fall under breach of contract and passing off. Apple claims to provide a service. If they are deliberately hamstringing that service for political or social ends then they could be open to legal action.

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Microsoft patent points to Skype snooping

Graham Dawson
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Because it's secret!

Duh!

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Google activates half million Androids a day

Graham Dawson
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A N Other Title

Linking your phone to a google account is probably what they mean. That would activate your access to various bits and bobs such as the marketplace and their handy information slurping servers.

That sort of activation.

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Accused autistic hacker Ryan Cleary freed on bail

Graham Dawson
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Boffin

Wrong!

You know why so many cracker types are diagnosed with aspergers? Because it tends to produce cracker types. The combination of high intelligence, obsessive knowledge-seeking and reduced social awareness are classic symptoms of both aspergers and the stereotypical computer nerd. An aspergers brain is thought to have certain structures doubled up, making them highly sensitive to external stimuli, which essentially forces them to retreat into the most controlled environment they can find - one that doesn't have "real" people in it.

However, like adhd and bipolar disorder in the 90s, it's become something of a self-diagnosed "solution" for people who want cover for acting like arsholes on the internet. About half of anon probably self-diagnoses as aspergic when most of them are just pricks. Tough problem to crack, but you can usually tell the fake from the real deal. Aspies are obsessive by nature, as obsessive focus on a single task or subject is the only way they can filter out unwanted stimuli. The way to tell an aspie from a prick on the internet is to observe their behaviour: if they bore easily and constantly move from subject to subject, they probably aren't an aspie.

Bearing in mine much of this is, of course, subjective and based on observations of my wife and associates who have been officially diagnosed with aspergers.

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Solar panel selling scam shown up by sting

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

Not like trains?

You're right, aviation is not like the trains: it's run cheaply and efficiently, without any need for huge government subsidies to keep it going. And no, a low tax rate is not the same as a subsidy, before you try and make that argument: subsidy requires taking money from one entity and handing it to another. Low or zero tax means the government never gets its hands on it in the first place.

And, as explained, aviation is taxed on the demand - that is, on passengers flown. It's a sales tax rather than a resources tax, which is a much more equitable solution for all involved. If it were taxed on fuel it would simply source fuel where the tax wasn't applied. It can't source passengers were there is no tax, because there aren't any.

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Graham Dawson
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Never

They're too busy stamping on our collective heads.

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New malware ferrets out and steals Bitcoins

Graham Dawson
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Nah.

A pickpacket.

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Kindle Store awash with auto-generated crap 'books'

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

My experience of the apple app store was no different

As they say in cliché land, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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X-51A hydrocarb scramjet flames out in second test

Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

@joey

You know how language works, right? Nouns derive rom verbs, verbs derive from nouns, both derive from everything else. It's what language does as it evolves. People coplainin about this are trying to prevent the very thing that made their language what it is in the first place.

Single example from millions: hand. It is a verb (you hand a thing to a person) derived from the noun "hand", that wiggly thing you use to type. I have to hand a handy object, which I shall hand to you using my hand. The type of type I type is typical.

In other words, shut up, you're making yourself look dumb.

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Facebook fuels Israeli cottage cheese insurgency

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Milking it for all they're worth

eof

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet

Graham Dawson
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Linux

Give it time.

Either eclipse will turn up on it, or some enterprising user will manage to hack debian onto it, at which point you'll be able to run it anyway.

Incidentally mine is working out quite nicely too. Already replaced my aged laptop, as you may have guessed. The only downside is the limited codec support, which means that I can't stream my enormous 1080p movies on it (having said that, it might also be the fact that I'm trying to stream . But that's ok, I can just use it as a gigantic upnp remote for xbmc.

ps. we meet at last!

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California set to impose 'Amazon Tax'

Graham Dawson
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Import duty would breach several constitutional restrictions

Current appearances aside, the united states is still a federation of nation-states, not a unitary state with administrative divisions. The US constitution was designed with this in mind, requiring that the states give up control of their internal borders in exchange for a federal government that would handle the external borders, common defence and a few other issues that affected the entire union.

The constitution guarantees freedom of movement without restriction by the states and also prevents one state from imposing duties, fines and tariffs on another. An "import duty" imposed by california would be a very unconstitutional thing. In effect the "use tax" is already very close to such a breach, but it avoids that by expressing as a tax on individuals within the state rather than on the economic activity of another state.

A federal sales tax would likewise breach constitutional guarantees regarding the states ability to legislate and raise their own finances. Strictly speaking even the federal income tax breaches such guarantees. Most activities by the federal government over the last 150 or so years have been unconstitutional to some degree and the issue has become less one of preventing such activity, and more of finding how far people are willing to let unconstitutional activity go.

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