* Posts by DavCrav

1142 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

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Hibernating NetMundial rattles internet governance world at Davos

DavCrav
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"As to NetMundial's three-month consultation period, that will seemingly be led by respected internet governance academic and ICANN Board member Wolfgang Kleinwachter. The NetMundial organizers did not reveal how much they will pay Kleinwachter to lend the initiative his credibility..."

I think you meant

"As to NetMundial's three-month consultation period, that will seemingly be led by until recently respected internet governance academic and ICANN Board member Wolfgang Kleinwachter. The NetMundial organizers did not reveal how much they will pay Kleinwachter to lend the initiative his former credibility..."

Glad I can help.

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Facebook worth more than Portugal? Hell, it's worth a LOT more than THAT

DavCrav
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Re: Wasting twice the time

"Plus the original argument is wrong anyway. If Facebooking has replaced TV watching, it's because people value it more. As they're not really paying for either (no marginal cost anyway - so long as they do some of each), then by definition by switching from one to the other they prefer, they have increased their total utility."

They have increased it at no marginal cost, but you cannot value that increase in utility as equal to the total utility gained from a leisure activity, which is implicit in the original calculation, comparing it to the cost of labour. If I get a free dinner, and then a free apple afterwards, that apple is not worth nearly as much to me as the free dinner, and rating that apple as being worth about £20, the cost of a dinner, is definitely wrong.

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DavCrav
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Re: Opportunity cost? @DavCrav

"Good God, man, that was 13 years ago. Almost 14 if you can count properly right off the bat. (Which I clearly can't.)"

I think it's coming close to the time when I need to revisit my working hypothesis of everything after 2000 being "recent".

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DavCrav
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Re: Opportunity cost? @DavCrav

"I guess my argument would have made more sense if The Register had a tongue-in-cheek icon, huh? ;)"

Choose your colour based on this handy chart, courtesy of El Reg.

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DavCrav
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Re: Opportunity cost?

"The net effect (see what I did there?) of the internet is a massive positive on all aspects of life - from learning and study, through to socialising and travel.

The above doesn't mean its all good though."

Absolutely. There are of course negatives, social ones for example, as well as financial. But even in social terms it has probably been positive on balance, with revolutionizing dating, for example. Internet dating is not something I've personally tried, but it appears to be a significant step above the previous incarnations of dating agencies.

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DavCrav
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Re: Opportunity cost?

"Substitute "Facebook" with "The Internet", and you might be on to something."

Hahaha. The Internet. Reduced productivity. Right. Hopefully Tim will be along with some numbers, but the Internet is responsible for massively lowering costs and this hugely increases productivity. It has also revolutionized entire fields, such as science. The incredible explosion in new science and mathematics that has been caused by the Internet (easy access to literature, e-mail, Skype conversations, even down to something so simple as making it easy for me to book flights to conferences) will make long-term GDP trends significantly increase.

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DavCrav
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Opportunity cost?

If Facebook didn't exist, wouldn't people spend their time doing something else? Sure, they supposedly get less utility out of it (or maybe more because we don't have perfect information -- that would ruin TV, by the way), but they won't get zero utility out of it. I would in fact guess that pointless wank social network game type thingies are all pretty much the same, so if it were not Facebook it would be Google+, or Diaspora, or whatever the others are called. If they aren't quite as good, but still fine, then the person has only lost a couple of cents per hour, unless it's MySpace, in which case they have lost a lot more. Alternatively, if they spend it watching a new TV show they heard about, and that turns out to be Breaking Bad -- which is great -- their utility has actually increased.

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Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

DavCrav
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So there are lots of quotations from people who use language like STEAL (note scare caps), so let's go to her report and see what she actually said. Since I didn't see any actual quotations from the original document in the scare story, or any quotations from people who don't agree with studio executives and mega-corps, let's see whether we, on balance, agree or disagree with what she has said. She helpfully numbered her points.

I recommend having a pdf of her report open at this point!

5. is interesting, and could cause a few problems if all documents in the legal or political process are copyright free, but as a general idea it seems reasonable enough. The text of laws shouldn't be copyrighted so you cannot access them without permission, for example, and that should be written somewhere.

6 and 7 are an attempt to stop Cliff Richard and Disney doing another mass land grab of public property, namely removing public works from the public domain. As they are public property, I think this is an entirely reasonable statement. I would say that copyright cannot be retroactively lengthened ever, in fact: if Cliff performed his songs expecting a certain length of copyright, why should he get all uppity now it's coming to an end?

9. is another one that is difficult to disagree with the principle.

Many more are to do with harmonization. Nobody in the EU superstate can really moan about this, since that's, you know, the entire point of the EU. Saying a single economic market is silly because it will take a while is a stupid argument: it will always take a while so will never be done. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Unless, that is, we don't believe in harmonization and ever closer union, and if we don't, then some fundamental parts of the EU Charter need to be changed.

15, for example, if just a tweak to the law clearly stating that hyperlinking is not copyright theft.

17. is one that exists in the US, but doesn't in France, and is mentioned in the article. It's not so clear how to strike a balance between the author's ownership and the public's right to mock. Remember all those send ups of Tory campaigns that would be illegal under a French interpretation against caricature?

18. is clearly a response to the recent Ryanair case. Data mining on things you are legally allowed to view is a very difficult question. All data mining is is reading something very carefully with a computer. It's going to be difficult to try to walk a line between "reading" and "mining", especially as we move towards a future where AI exists. We should definitely be thinking about what to do about computer programs reading something: is automatic translation even legal, or is that data mining?

19. is indefensible. A broad exemption for education is bad enough, but informal education is far too broad a term for this to be reasonable. There are educational exemptions currently, but strengthening of these (for example, universities can photocopy stuff, but some might not be able to store the same thing on a hard drive) to eliminate edge case loopholes is the right thing to do, not just say "education gets a free pass".

20. is a response to publishers being fuckwits about digital books, with ideas like an expiry date on a digital book that makes it crumble to pieces after a certain number of reads. These companies need to sort themselves out, and realize that if they pull that sort of stunt, some pissed off legislator will react at some point.

21. is for things like removing levies on a memory stick because someone somewhere steals music. It's rather like a tax on knives to go to a stabbing victim fund, that only pays out to the bosses of victims. Seriously, it was stupid to begin with, it's stupid now.

23. is saying that you cannot block me doing stuff I'm legally allowed to do. It's another attempt to stop companies pulling free content into the chargeable domain through techological blocks. Not sure how that would work in practice.

24. is the anti-DMCA. You should be legally allowed to break any code publishers put on stuff you own, unless the company tells you how it is secured, which is kind of against the point. There's somewhere that the right answer is on this scale, and the DMCA isn't it. It should not be illegal to ever break encryption if you are allowed to read the unencrypted file.

There are some silly things in here, but some good things. For someone who is allegedly rabidly anti-copyright, these proposals are pretty tame. If I saw a laundry list of what Disney wanted for copyright, I think I'd be much more unhappy. Something like

1. Life imprisonment for anyone who downloads anything we have decided they shouldn't.

etc.

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Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

DavCrav
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Re: iPlayer

"Isn't that just the sort of handicap that a common market would try to cure?"

Yes in theory. What would have to happen though is that the BBC couldn't possibly be given worldwide rights to do whatever it wanted though, so the BBC would in fact lose its forced licence and have to buy all its rights the same as everyone else. That might be considered good or not, depending on where you stand, but either BBC programmes would be worse or the licence fee would go up.

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DavCrav
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"Or how about tying content to the account region, rather than the access region, and give people at least a reasonable amount of grace for accessing outside of their home region. (e.g. 30 days since last access from home region)?"

Noooooo! Then I wouldn't be able to VPN into Netflix US, which I clearly don't as it's against the T&Cs.

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DavCrav
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Re: iPlayer

"I'm not going to faff around with a VPN, just so I can get a bit of BBC. Give me "legal" access to it for a couple of quid and I'll be happy."

Yeah, that ain't gonna happen any time soon. It's a licensing problem, particularly for things like music. The BBC has carte blanche to use any music it wants for its programmes, with a compulsory licence on artists. Move outside broadcast signals in the UK and they have no such rights. It's why there is a Top Gear UK, not available to buy, and a Top Gear everywhere else, for example: they have no rights to the music they use. Clearly the BBC would love to sell Top Gear on DVD, but the licensing restrictions mean they cannot.

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SO. Which IS more important to humanity: Facebook, or Portugal?

DavCrav
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Wait. You are saying that Facebook has a positive impact on GDP? I find that hard to believe.

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Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

DavCrav
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Re: Who're you kidding?

"That, of course, would be "for public sex with inanimate objects". And then only for those instances that caught the eye."

There's a joke somewhere about one's partner being an inanimate object, but of course that's far too crude for anyone here.

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

DavCrav
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"Bit of an unkind simile there. And you are allowed to own a tank. There is also not much similarity between being able to chat in private and a 30 ton machine designed to kill people."

No, the point is that the government does, and has, all sorts of things it's illegal for the general population to do and have. Detain people for questioning, etc.

It's not hypocritical. It might be stupid to ban encryption, but that's a different adjective.

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DavCrav
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"Now the question I'm asking is how does that stand with the public stance of "hacking is terrorism" and "encryption will be illegal in the unlikely event that I have my way"?

Seems a little hypocritical."

I guess it's about as hypocritical as making owning a tank illegal and then giving the Army them?

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

DavCrav
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Re: Land Value Tax

When I said tenants pay LVT, I mean that the incidence of the tax falls on them, following the theme of the article.

"I'm willing to pay £x amount to rent this house. That's the market price or whatever. Now government taxes that house. I'm not willing to pay more to rent it. Thus it's the landlord that pays that tax."

In that case corporations pay Corporation Tax, not ordinary people. And VAT. You cannot say that it's the consumer that pays VAT and the landlord that pays LVT: they are the same thing.

There is no "market price" for a home. You need one, and you will pay it or leave, it's a good that has a price elasticity of basically 0, and the price elasticity of supply is not far from 0 either, otherwise we'd see many more houses being built now than twenty years ago given the rise in prices. If the cost of providing the house goes up, so will the rent. The renter will just have to bear it. I mean, this is basic stuff, no? The amounts we are talking about would be thousands of pounds a year, and you can bet that the rent will be going up when that happens.

"The important word in LVT is "land". It's a tax on the value of the plot of land, not what is built upon it. 100 m2 of Mayfair pay the same tax whether there's 50 flats on it or one mansion."

Aha, so it's not property taxes. OK, so my freehold house in Oxford has increased in value by (roughly) £50k in two years. How much of that is down to the land? I know there are estimates for the value of the land, but it would be very interesting to have a governmental value of the land that fluctuates with time. As there are basically no plots of land without houses on them being sold in UK cities, this would be a guess, since there are basically no data points to work to. It sounds not too dissimilar from a more finely banded Council Tax, which we all know and love.

In California, well Los Angeles at least, they have a system whereby your property tax is calculated based on the value of the house when it was last sold. This is obviously ridiculous, and hideously regressive, punishing young people and coddling those with old money.

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DavCrav
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Re: Land Value Tax

"But it's too progressive for any of our politicians, to tax the rich more and the poor less according to how much of our scarcest resource they monopolise."

Except it isn't that progressive. Rich people don't occupy all that much more land than poor people, as a percentage of their assets, and so LVT would either have to be hideously complicated and hence easily avoidable, or would be a massive whack in the wallet to poor people.

Here's the point: landlords won't be paying LVT, their tenants will, right? If you tax at a rate that will actually make any money from rich people, you are looking at an LVT of over 1%/year, in which case your family renting a £200k house will be on the hook for a £2k/year LVT bill or more.

Edit: Oh, and a couple more points about LVT:

1) The value of my house changes every year. So every year the government will have to assess the value of every property in the country, and real money will ride on this, so expect millions of appeals if the inspectors overvalue houses.

2) Don't think about making LVT non-linear (i.e., double the value, double the tax), because the person would just parcel up the land into multiple plots. This point applies to mansion taxes as well: no no no, my £2m mansion is split into two £1m semi-detached houses. Sure I'll pay two council taxes, but no mansion tax for me. Etc.

3) Notice that, as part of 1, government inspectors would have to be given access to your house every year to assess its value. People don't even like the landlord coming round!

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Trial of alleged Silk Road kingpin set to begin

DavCrav
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Re: Longer....

If the conviction rate is 99% then either a lot of innocent people will spend time behind bars when they are found guilty, or a lot of guilty people don't spend time behind bars. 99% ain't gonna happen.

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

DavCrav
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Re: Allah, Most gracious, most merciful!

"Allah, Most gracious, most merciful!

But where is the mercy?

You'll never get a straight answer to that one."

Allah might be merciful, but (some of) his followers are not.

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DavCrav
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Re: Education

""beleivers"?? Education..."

Education is not teh same thing as training to avoid making tpyos.

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DavCrav
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Re: "right to freedom of expression" @DavCrav

"Why do you only quote half of it?

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

In other words your freedom is not absolute. Try denying the holocaust then see how far your freedom of expression gets you."

I only quoted half of it to disprove your statement that Article 10 doesn't apply to ordinary people. It does. As for the second part modifying your right, 1) Holocaust denial is not a crime in the UK, and 2) there is nowhere in the world with an absolute right to say anything. The standard "fire" in a crowded theatre example will have you arrested in the US for public endangerment. So please shut up about the fact that because there are certain narrow exemptions for various safety, or things that are there to try to stop the rise of Nazism again (there is great debate as to whether Holocaust denial should actually be a crime, by the way), that we are as bad as Saudi Arabia. Try getting a clue.

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DavCrav
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Re: "right to freedom of expression" @Doug S

"Article 10 is limited and does not give you the right to freedom of expression, it is primarily intended to protect freedom of the press and whistler blowers."

Article 10:

"1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises."

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DavCrav
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Re: "right to freedom of expression" @Doug S

"And do you have the right of freedom of expression in the UK?"

Yes, we do. It is balanced against other rights, but it exists. It's called Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. As I assume you are a trolling American, that's the same document where state-sanctioned murder is forbidden, and the US still executes minors, placing it on the following illustrious list of countries that have executed minors since 1990:

US, China, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Congo, Sudan, Nigeria.

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Last year was utter rubbish. Thanks for being part of it!

DavCrav
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Re: VATMOSS

"The big pain is the new requirement to collect three pieces of evidence from every customer to prove that they are purchasing your digital goods in the country they claim to be in at the moment of purchase, AND that I must maintain these intrusive personal records about complete strangers in an auditable format for 10 years. Having been forced to collect all this unwanted data, I am then personally responsible for its security - again for 10 years.

When I sell you an eBook, all I want is your money. Now, though, I'll also need your inside leg measurements, DNA records and the deeds of your house - which I'll keep on a USB stick in my back pocket."

To be fair on the EU and its constituents, the reason for the new rules is that you collectively, meaning Internet companies and small businesses, were taking the piss even more than non-Internet companies which, while they avoid corporation ax, at least pay business rates and VAT.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

DavCrav
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Re: Why do......

"Fuck, even my window cleaner takes his £4 visit via bank transfer."

Mine takes his £2.50 by cash only. Although if I gave him £4 like you do he might be fine with Faster Payments...

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Dixons Carphone bye-bye'd 800 staff since merger

DavCrav
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Re: other shops are closer... :)

"PCworld and currys have shops much closer in hemel"

Both of which are part of Dixons Group, or at least were the last time I checked.

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DavCrav
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Facepalm

"I thought the Hemel building was badly damaged by the Buncefield explosion in 2005? Anyway I would expect a building in Hemel to be cheaper than one in Acton."

Not if, as you suggest, it was "badly damaged"...

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Whew, US cellcos... Better find a new revenue stream, QUICK

DavCrav
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Re: Sprint's problems are definitely of their own making

How fast was this train going? The problem with things moving more than about 30 mph is frequent cell handovers that might result in dropped connections. Also, trains are not very good Faraday cages, but they are tubes of metal, and this has to be taken into account. I'm not saying Sprint isn't crap, I'm just saying that bad signal in a fast-moving train (if it is fast moving) is not an uncommon thing.

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DavCrav
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Re: Reason for M&A have nothing to do with cost savings

"So with M&A everyone loses:

-employees layed off

-customers get higher costs

-customer service declines even further

The only people that "win" are the stockholders."

Moving past the idea that stockholders aren't people, it's not clear that M&A even benefit stockholders. The company taken over gets money, at least if it's a cash offer, but for the company doing the taking over it more often than not destroys value. I believe someone on El Reg has written about this before, probably Tim Worstall.

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DavCrav
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Re: When will they learn

"People will pay for fast, reliable, and cheap network connectivity"

As the saying goes, you can only have two out of fast, reliable and cheap.

But the point is, the consumer is apparently unwilling to pay enough to make fast and reliable also profitable. When this storm finally hits, expect bankruptcies and price hikes. It's incredibly difficult, as an ordinary person, to calculate how much a fast reliable service should cost. Apparently more than the money people are paying for it now.

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Elite:Dangerous goes TITSUP

DavCrav
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Re: What they need is....

" What they need is....

Viagra"

I thought that only gave you an uptime of a few hours?

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Music fans FUME over PJ Harvey ticket CHAOS as Somerset House site buckles

DavCrav
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I can answer one of your questions

" And we wanted to know why the organisation hadn't considered farming out the ticket purchases to a third party provider."

Ticketmaster et al charge lots of money.

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Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

DavCrav
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I'm surprised Google hasn't heard of the crime of aiding and abetting.

If I find out that someone's front door lock doesn't work, and tell them, but they haven't fixed it, and then I go on Twitter and tell everyone that so-and-so's house is unlocked, and it gets burgled, I would find myself in the dock for aiding and abetting theft. If this proof-of-concept code is used in the wild, Google is guilty. Simple as.

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Really, govt tech profit cash grab is a PRIZE-WINNING idea?

DavCrav
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Re: @DKKp (Morally wrong?)

"The pompous moralizing self-righteous left-loons should be first in line to have their money taxed and "distributed fairly", but it usually does not work that way and what actually happens is that they are first in line at the tax trough with cushy government jobs with fat benefits and pensions that people with real jobs are forced to pay for."

You mean like Warren Buffett?

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DavCrav
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Re: @DKKp (Morally wrong?)

"Thats the way the world works and if you don't wanna play, please take YOUR hard earned money and give it away to the layabouts too lazy to earn it for themselves.

You and the ubiquitous government DON'T have any right to my money!"

Idiot. You are responding to a comment that states clearly that Apple's billions are because it is protected by its government, both from a security viewpoint (theft is illegal) and by patent law. The government can either take as much of your wealth as it feels is appropriate for this service, or (in theory) Apple could alternatively refuse the government's help. With a tax rate of 70% or more, Apple is still much better off than if the world's governments didn't lift a collective finger to help when Apple gets attacked.

One method to stop corporate tax avoidance would be to only offer governmental services to companies that pay an appropriate level of tax. Just as corporations say that it's technically legal for them to base themselves on the moon or wherever and avoid all tax, the government could (in the UK at least), simply not allow these corporations to sue for anything. The technical way this could be done is for the DPP to take over any corporation's lawsuit and decline to prosecute in the public interest. It's technically legal but highly dubious: they should appreciate the irony.

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Euro iTunes customers get 14 DAY refund option

DavCrav
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Re: Apple might want to publicise this a bit more

"But they have - it's there in grey and white in the Ts&Cs. Never mind if it's the online equivalent of being in a locked filing cabinet, in a disused lavatory, with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard". Also never mind if the Ts&Cs are so long and tediously legalese that no-one can stay awake long enough to read them."

That's the "clearly" part of "clearly informed". That sort of shit doesn't fly any more.

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German minister fingered as hacker 'steals' her thumbprint from a PHOTO

DavCrav
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Re: "but you'll need to speak German to appreciate it."

"(automatic translation does exist and is quite good these days)"

I started writing that Google translate (as an example) isn't great, although it is much better than it was, but I tried it for the first time in a while on some German and you can get the drift most of the time. I took the first article from Der Spiegel, which is on Internet food delivery. The first two paragraphs are translated reasonably well, and the third is a bit more comedy:

Sind diese Sorgen berechtigt oder sind die Lieferdienste eine gute Alternative zum stressigen Supermarktbesuch? Zehn SPIEGEL-ONLINE-Mitarbeiter haben im Selbstversuch jeweils einen Anbieter getestet und sich Waren nach Hause in die Stadt oder aufs Land liefern lassen. Dazu bekam jeder Tester denselben Einkaufszettel. Am Ende haben wir die Online-Lieferdienste dann noch dem Offline-Vergleich unterzogen und einen Tester mit der Einkaufsliste zu Aldi geschickt.

And its translation:

Are these concerns justified or are the delivery services a good alternative to stressful supermarket visit? Ten SPIEGEL ONLINE employees each have tested a provider self-experimentation and have goods delivered to their homes in the city or the country. For this purpose, each probe was the same shopping list. In the end we have the online delivery then subjected to the offline comparison and sent a tester with the list of Aldi.

Selbstversuch, which means self-experimentation, can also be translated, particularly here, as for ourselves.And so on.

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Here's Johnny! Top Ten fantasy Blu-ray boxsets and special editions

DavCrav
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Re: Yer wat?

""The stories may be hockey"

As in "hockey stick graph" - something widely believed to be a loose combination of science and fiction, with the emphasis on fiction?"

Maybe it's Cockney rhyming slang? He's a bit hockey stick? Or I'm off to bed for a quick hockey puck? I am not aware of either of these being real, just speculating.

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DavCrav
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""And am I alone in thinking that The Lost World has aged better than its celebrated forebear?"

Yes."

Indeed. Yes, yes you are.

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DavCrav
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Re: Yer wat?

"'The stories may be hockey, '

Hockey? Did you mean 'Hokum' or are we witness to the birth of an OED 'word of the year'?"

Or, much more likely, hokey?

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Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

DavCrav
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"WTF does STRAPONE mean?"

Let me Google that for you: "STRAP classification" gives you this.

http://electrospaces.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-british-classification-marking-strap.html

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Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

DavCrav
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Re: the worrying thing....

"Now....When , besides US Lawyers and the USPTO, are we going to put Bankers up against the wall and shoot them for Crimes Against Humanity? After all... a foreclosure kills just as much as a bullet."

The Bankers (your capital) did some Bad Things. Sure. Did they do any Illegal Things? As the saying sort of goes, I would prefer a thousand Bankers to go free than us start locking up people who have committed no crime, or crimes that are not punishable by jail. That is a very Soviet Union thing to do.

And what makes you think that Bankers are responsible for crimes against humanity? (I cannot bring myself to continue to capitalize things like you.) If you live in the UK or US you will see that the majority of the problem was retail banks, not investment banks, lending money to ordinary people. Your killer foreclosure wouldn't have happened if the banks had behaved responsibly, because ordinary people would never have been given a loan to buy a house in the first place.

So now you (presumably) are going to blame the banks for house prices, at least in the UK. Interestingly, house prices are still going up even after the tightening of credit, meaning you (presumably) are wrong. There are a few things that the government can do to arrest house prices:

1) Rent controls. As any fule know, this is a quick way to annihilate your housing stock, second only to carpet bombing at efficiency.

2) Price controls. AKA, communism. There might not be anything wrong with that (there is) but at least be honest.

3) Restricting foreign ownership of property. Not a popular move among the people that like to blame rich people for all their problems.

4) Massive social housing projects. We are talking millions of new houses here. Not particularly popular among anyone who currently lives in these areas.

The conclusion of all this is, at one point at the height of the New Great Depression, GDP in the UK in 2009 was almost down to 2004 levels! I remember 2004: there were dead bodies piled up on the streets, pestilence and starvation everywhere, and hardly anyone had decent smartphones.

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DavCrav
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"What industrial base was destroyed?"

Tractor production, which was up 15% every year until 1991.

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DavCrav
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Re: Take a look in the mirror.

"But Russia has to print to back Rosneft? The west has been printing on a scale that dwarfs Operation Bernhard to back zombie companies - headed by the banks - since 2008. The differences in Russia seem to be the circumstances (sanctions, vs a huge bubble), and more crucially the fact that Russia has been running a surplus in the Good Times and therefore has resources to back action in a crisis. Whereas we were (and are again) running a huge instant-gratification deficit right through our bubble."

One big, massive difference: QE in the West was at a period of threatened deflation, and so although it was inflationary, inflation was a good thing. QE in Russia now, with massive interest rates and high inflation, is exactly what they don't need. They already have stagflation, really worse than that, and sticking more flation, and also a bit more stag, is not going to help.

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DavCrav
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Re: @Mage

I love it when people use the phrase "fractional reserve banking". It just means that the rest of the comment is going to be deluded nonsense. It's Bullshit Bingo time.

For the love of God, one final time, here it is: FRB only creates money if you are an idiot that forgets to subtract debt from money. The total assets have gone up, yes, as have the total liabilities. The money isn't generated from thin air.

Just think through it: my family lends me some money because they don't have anywhere to put it, and I know people who need it. I keep a bit of it to one side, in case they need some back, and lend the rest on to someone else at a slightly higher rate than I give my family, to take account of the work I'm doing. How much money is there? I have a few per cent of the original, the people I gave it to have the rest. No money has been created. What also exists now is a debt from the company to me, which I in turn owe to my family, and this is considered a debt on one side of the deal and an asset on the other.

All FRB means is that there is an intermediary doing the loaning, and the loan appears on both columns of their ledger: asset and liability. If I acted purely as an intermediary, and put my family in touch with the people I knew to lend the money directly, charging a small commission, the effect would be the same, and my profit would be the same, but the bank wouldn't have assets and liabilities, and people like you would have to find another catchphrase to get frothy about.

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: If you are going to describe a future, make it aspirational.

"I like driving most of the time which makes your driverless cars a no no."

Then don't enter into a rental system. Nobody is forcing you, yet. Of course, once the car parks are gone, you might have trouble parking there, but then hey, sucks to be you then.

"I want to personalise my space so communal ownership is a no no."

OK then, but you'll pay much higher rental rates than everyone else if Ford, etc., refuse to sell you a car. And the car sales market will be much smaller if you want to buy one.

"Because my car can do both modes I still keep the freedom to choose between community transport and individual transport as needs be."

I would be highly surprised if, as long as you were alive and capable of driving, driverless cars don't have a manual override.

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DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: It's true, they are subsidized

"IDK if you're pulling our leg, but just in case you're not, actually it's true. So also are trains, airplanes, and ... cars! No transportation system in the world actually pays for itself."

I'd be surprised if, in the UK at least, cars did not pay for themselves. I guess it depends on what you mean by the cost of the service, but car-based taxes were at one point six times higher than the Department of Transport's budget. Maybe that has changed, although I expect if it has it's become more than six, after budget cuts.

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DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Obvious troll is obvious

"Indeed. The question of whether buses are more efficient than other forms of transport is irrelevant - right now there is no other form of transport that is more efficient for a buses particular use case if there were anything materially better buses would not exist

so yes the article was a long form troll. Or OpEd if it's written by a journo."

His point was that for every full bus at rush hour there are lots of empty buses at other times. It's very true that public transport is necessary for four hours a day (roughly 7:30-9:30 and 4:30-6:30) but at all other times it's *less* efficient than say car use, because most buses are nearly empty at that point, as are most roads. The efficiency argument is time-dependent.

For example, I just drove my girlfriend somewhere, and it took ten minutes to get there. By bus it would be two buses and take over an hour. It's completely obvious that driving/taxi is the best answer in this case. The question of whether we can just get rid of all buses at off-peak times and replace them with a car-sharing taxi scheme is not obviously stupid.

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Sony FINGERS DDoS attackers for ruining PlayStation's Xmas

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Wrong side of somebody

"10,000 CD's 90% of which were recalled from stores and never actually got to consumers. It also wasn't Sony (it was a company called First4Internet, contracted by SonyBMG)."

So you are saying

1) because it was recalled when they realized the shitstorm it would caused, it didn't really happen, and

2) it wasn't them that did it, it was a subcontractor, so isn't really their fault.

So compare these to

1) the Google WiFi slurp, which they claimed they didn't really do and stopped anyway, so it's fine, and

2) the deaths in the Qatar World Cup construction project, which are done by contractors so it's not really Qatar's fault.

I don't particularly hate on Sony, but that's an apologist stance, sorry.

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Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Microsoft has made it clear that it will fight the case all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary. While it has framed this as a privacy argument there's also a strong business case: if the US gets its way, it will kill American cloud businesses, as those customers who don't want US law enforcement snooping though their files on a whim will avoid US companies completely."

It would kill it for a different reason than people moving their business: it would make US-based cloud providers illegal in the EU, under data protection legislation. That's a proper death, much more than people not liking them.

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