* Posts by DavCrav

1180 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

DavCrav
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Re: A book by any other name...

"You'd think in this age, they'd be trying to make paper books more expensive to promote environmentalism!"

Is it clear that paper books are worse for the environment than e-books?

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Office for Mac 2016 Preview: This letter will self-destruct in 60 days

DavCrav
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Re: The aticle needs to be re-written a bit

"And nobody cares about your opinion."

At current count six people cared enough to downvote him.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

DavCrav
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Re: The difference is...

"Free market, baby. Suck it up. If the poor house is where you belong, the invisible hand will see you end up there."

One entity engaging in wholesale theft and market manipulation (hello China!) is not the free hand. It's the bound hand, as in bound to slap you in the face. The sooner the Western governments wake up and disengage from China the better for everyone.

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Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

DavCrav
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Re: Why

"I guess that Samsung (and the others) have realised that removable batteries (and people like me) were a problem to their sales expectations. But as long as I continue to have a functional phone with a removable battery I'm happy for it to remain their problem, and not mine."

Second battery and second screen for my S3, and this new screen is cracked as well. And less than two years old. I won't be sweating this asset, I'll be ditching it for a different provider at the end of my contract.

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DavCrav
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Re: NSA and GCHQ will be very happy

"Who removes there phone battery because they are 'that' worried about being spied on?"

Spies?

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Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

DavCrav
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Re: Well that was a rollercoaster

"Ooooh. I like free stuff!

".. six-month subscription to McAfee Livesafe security scanner"

Oh :-("

It's like offering someone kicked in the face a free punch in the face.

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FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

DavCrav
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Re: They should compromise

"Tax dollars shouldn't be confiscated to provide services that private businesses can provide better!"

Fine. But which services are those? Health? Education? Power? And what's the definition of better? Cheaper? With more profit?

It's when you start trying to define what the soundbite means that you run into trouble.

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Wanna free web domain for a year? Hey, it's not rocket .science

DavCrav
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I know this is all a bit of a laugh, but is any actual science going to really be on .science? I seriously doubt any actual scientists will bother with it because they have real stuff to do. Leaving only the...interesting...people like this dude:

http://www.jainmathemagics.com/default.asp

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Red or alive, you're coming with me: Feds offer $3m reward for 'CryptoLocker baron'

DavCrav
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I think I saw this guy

in a made-for-TV 1980s spy thriller. He maybe was living in a hollowed-out volcano?

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

DavCrav
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Re: However

"All they have to do is push out heirs and look good on a stamp - something Posh and Becks could do just as well as Betty and Chuck"

And entertain foreign dignitaries. And not rape people, shout racist abuse or attack people in night clubs. Not looking so easy now, is it?

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DavCrav
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Re: The Premiership as an example of good capitalism?

"Assuming you still have a local. A lot of these seem to be falling victim to bad capitalism."

I wasn't aware that falling alcohol consumption amid health campaigns were bad capitalism. I stand corrected.

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DavCrav
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Re: However

"Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

Bollocks."

It's double bollocks when you remember this is an economics article, and you need to include opportunity cost, that is, the cost of an elected president in, say Germany for example for a similarly sized country with a titular head of state. Oh look, he costs about the same as Brenda.

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DavCrav
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Re: No Racism In Recent Football?

"No Racism In Recent Football? Someone isn't paying attention."

Tim is saying that black players are paid the same as white ones, or at least the difference isn't statistically significant. He's not saying that some fans don't do stupid things.

I know that the knee-jerk reflex is faster than engaging the brain, but it isn't better.

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

DavCrav
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Re: Cue the ClassAction lawsuits in 3... 2... 1...

"You're an idiot."

I think it's actually "your an idiot".

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DavCrav
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Re: the fire rises

"Give Acer/ASUS a try, BURN LENOPEVO"

Sitting here trying to fix the girlfriend's ASUS laptop that can with so much crap that I couldn't physically get rid of, and now watching CHKDSK take a few hours to find all the bad sectors on the hard drive too.

No. But OK, so no Lenovo, no ASUS, I tried Acer once, who is left? This Samsung laptop I'm able to use because it doesn't have bad blocks isn't bad, but was fearsomely expensive.

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Dutch MEP slams 'cowboy practices' of GCHQ 'n' pals following Gemalto allegations

DavCrav
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"How is it possible that they have developed so much capacity, while the rise of IS stayed unnoticed?”"

If this Dutch MEP wants to know about the rise of IS/SIS/ISIL he can just look at Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

I mean, it's one thing to criticize the US and UK governments for hacking into stuff, but to then say they didn't know about IS seems a bit weird. Of course they knew. But what, exactly, could they have done? Military intervention in Syria? Tried that, didn't get through Parliament or public opinion. Increasing troops in Iraq? Not going to be popular when people wanted them out in the first place. Etc.

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Google founders to offload $4 BEEELLION in shares

DavCrav
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Re: What's a beeellion?

"What's a beeellion?"

There's a thousand beeellion in a waspillion.

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French minister: Hit Netflix, Google, Apple et al with bandwidth tax

DavCrav
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Re: La Belle France

"If they want to charge Google, apple et al enough euros to clear their national debt then pretty well nothing that th EU or the ECJ can do to stop them."

1) There is.

2) Google might just, you know, have the same attitude and say "no, what are you going to do about it?"

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DavCrav
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Re: Hey French film industry.

"A niche industry producing far better films than anything to come out of Hollywood."

You might think it's better. But it's not popular. Therefore it's niche. Pretty much the definition.

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California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

DavCrav
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"If the ECJ would be the one who sends the delist orders to Google and other search engines the links that is to be forgotten then Google COULD not become the privacy court."

There are thousands upon thousands of such requests. It's entirely reasonable, when one company is breaking the law so frequently, that they introduce a first-stage filter at their expense. This happens in many other companies: it's called their complaints procedure.

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DavCrav
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Re: Written in US English

" I guess Google Translate needs a US English -> UK English they can run it through to obfuscate the origin!"

As well as inserting the 'u's into a bunch of words, will it also insert the UK's stronger privacy protections?

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

DavCrav
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Re: The google.com thing

"Bottom right-hand corner of the google.co.uk page is a link "Use Google.com"."

Hence hard, not impossible. Although I didn't know that was there, so thanks for the info!

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Assange's cop chaperones have cost £10 MEEELLION to date

DavCrav
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Re: Is he still there??

"It seems like all this is based on the assumption that he's still there and hasn't been sneaked out in a diplomatic package (which the plod wouldn't be able to open - and they can be any size http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_bag)"

If they tried that could cause a bit of a ruckus. For example, from that Wikipedia article:

"It may only contain articles intended for official use"

If there's a suspiciously human-sized diplomatic bag come out of the embassy, the UK government would have reasonable suspicion that Ecuador were violating the Vienna Convention by using diplomatic cover to break UK law, not a good thing to do. The government just says "no problem, we'll just seal this bag shut, nice and airtight, and wait a few days, then you can have it back. Unless you'd like to tell us that there's someone inside?"

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DavCrav
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Re: Budget Leaks

"As I said and which you have now agreed with - it's not about right or wrong, but about government embarrassment."

No... It's that normally, when skipping bail, criminals (Assange is now a criminal for breaching bail conditions) tend not to advertise their location on the nightly news. If they did, I suspect plod would pop along to have a chat as well.

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DavCrav
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Re: i cant beleive

"'cos then anyone with an inconvenient person in a British embassy on their territory would have justification (in their opinion) to do the same."

Out of interest, do we have anyone in our embassies we shouldn't?

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DavCrav
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Re: Budget Leaks

"Something thousands do without any such level of expenditure on them by the government. Ergo, there is a different reason at play here. You cannot be so set upon blaming Assange that you refuse to acknowledge this."

Have they done it on national television?

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DavCrav
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Re: idiot

"He had a rather valid concern that justice would not be served correctly."

He also had a concern that justice would be served correctly.

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'Revenge p0rn' kingpin Kevin Bollaert faces 20 years in jail

DavCrav
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Re: He's getting off too easy

"Well I guess if one of the people on the site was someone you cared about, your sister, your mum or your daughter, then I'm quite sure you'd feel that it was equal to murder."

This is precisely why we have the justice system, and not the revenge system. Posting a nude picture is not equivalent to murder. It just isn't. If it happened to someone I cared about I'd be livid, and that's precisely why we don't let victims decide on punishment.

I mean Jesus, get a clue.

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DavCrav
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Re: He's getting off too easy

"He's getting off too easy

50 years in prison would be more appropriate."

I know don't feed the troll, but seriously, 20 years is not appropriate, never mind 50. Unless we are saying that this guy is equal to a murderer.

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DARPA: We KNOW WHO YOU ARE... by the WAY you MOVE your MOUSE

DavCrav
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Re: Typical

"As far as I'm aware, people have created, remembered, and managed, long and complex strings of letters and numbers for a very long time. To say it is inherently unnatural is simply not defensible. Actors routinely memorize accurately a whole script for a play. Singers sing long songs. Etc., etc."

Ah, but memorizing King Lear is vastly different to a few ten-character randomly generated passwords. Here's two reasons:

1) Assignment. I know roughly what King Lear is about, and so if someone asks me for it, it's easy to go through my brain and start with that one, rather than start with Julius Caesar or HMS Pinafore. However, I have four bank cards with four different PINs, and there's no context to relate one to another, I just have to know which is which.

2) Transition between pieces. Although a ten-character password has less information than an entire script, it isn't organized in a way that our brains appear to be used to. Our brains seem to use something like Markov chains to store information, associating one word from the next. There will be significant events to hang words on, a general order, and other people around who also know the script helping you along (I don't mean prompting, but a given character has at most half the words in a script, in most cases). Compared with that, a12hrnf89bkj%DJ& is not something that humans seem to memorize easily, since starting at a12 gives no real information as to why hrnf comes next, whereas from Julius Caesar, "He reads much, he is a great observer" has information content and so the transition to "and he looks quite through the deeds of men" is much easier.

There's also the fact that King Lear doesn't need to be changed every six months, but anyway.

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

DavCrav
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Re: Are we talking about a parallel universe I'd like to live in?

"I totally understand that everyone's circumstances are different, but the important thing is that comments perpetuating the idea that Grindr or 'loud gays' (to paraphrase your crock of nonsense) are weird or somehow should shut up and be greatful they're on the whole accepted is, frankly, bizzarre and archaic."

I at no point said that "loud gays" should shut up. Or even anything remotely approximating it. I was always confused about why it is referred to as 'pride', and as I said I can understand it if it is meant as a personal struggle with understanding oneself.

I think you might be looking for offense -- as you said earlier that you found something offensive that was pretty harmless -- and again you appear to have decided I am anti-gay. I am anti-gay in the sense that I am anti-avocado. I don't like avocado and so I don't have it. If someone offers me avocado I will decline, but I don't see why I should care if other people eat avocado.

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DavCrav
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Re: the solution is simple...even simpler

"Tell your phone provider to activate "barring of all premium rate calls" on your phone....or find an app to do it (I'm sure there are some out there...)"

Ah, don't we have a problem with an app doing that that this is one piece of software blocking another? I cannot find it now, but I remember an article explaining why you cannot have a software-enabled global bar on something: broadly speaking, it's because one program cannot be "top priority", and definitely stop all other programs doing something, because they can just say they are top priority, and even more important than the last one, and switch the thing back on.

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DavCrav
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Re: Are we talking about a parallel universe I'd like to live in?

"As a gay man and regular user of Grindr I take offence to people insinuating (not just in the comments above, but also in the comments on this site in general) that the use of apps such as Grindr (or, being a sexually active gay man) is somehow something funny, quirky, weird or embarrassing.

I for one am *proud* to be gay, and am *proud* that I am comfortable enough in my own skin to be honest and open about what I like to get up to.

I resent the attempts of all the hetronormative morons in the comments fora to somehow 'shame' me and others like me just because they are repressed, illiberal stick-in-the-muds under the impression that it is still somehow the 50's."

Maybe you got downvoted because you are an idiot. You are out and proud. Grand, good for you. Maybe there are people who are not out and proud, or even not out at all. Maybe it's illegal to be out in your jurisdiction, maybe you are gay and Catholic, and you just don't want to deal with all the crap likely to occur, so you are out to some people and not to others. Or maybe you are a private person who thinks that your sexual orientation is your own business.

As an aside, something has always concerned me about the concept of being "out and proud". I am straight. It is part of who I am, and therefore I cannot be proud of it, in the same way that I cannot be proud that I am tall, or some other thing that is mostly genetic. I can understand being proud that you have come out if it is a deep personal battle, or one that involves societal pressures. But if one acknowledges that it is the coming out that is a reason for pride, and not the being gay itself, then one cannot simultaneously deny that there is a reason not to be out, which appears to be what you are doing in this comment. If it is fine and no problem to be gay in today's society, then there is nothing to be proud about that one has come out. One idea requires the other to survive. Perhaps this is standard knowledge, I am not up to date with the current thinking in this area.

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'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...

DavCrav
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Re: Copyright "strength" is irrelevant

"EDIT: I don't usually make such bald and unexplained posts"

That's weird. My posts rarely, if ever, have hairs on them.

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DavCrav
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"unless the artist signs up to the new service terms then they'll stop paying the artist when someone else uses their content in an upload."

You mean, violate her copyright with commercial infringement? OK, so glad you have confirmed that Gootube is extorting her with threats of commercial copyright infringement if she doesn't sign. Exactly the same as "nice little place you have here, shame if anything happened to it".

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NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

DavCrav
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It took a while, but I found this from 2011: 467,321. The problem with comparing crime statistics from different countries is that they count things differently. For example, if you listen to a bunch of liars, they will tell you that US violent crime is significantly lower than UK violent crime. Putting aside for the moment that not all violent crime is the same, and we should treat a murder as much more important than a mugging, for example, the difference is that crime is recorded differently in the two countries, and "violent crime" in the UK is often classed as non-violent crime in the US.

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DavCrav
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"Yeah, because we all know how the UK doesn't have any gun crime at all..."

Not really, no.

Number of gun murders in UK in 2012 (latest statistics I could easily find): 30.

Number fo gun murders in US in 2012: 8855.

Throw in suicide? 28621 for US, 114 for the UK. Indeed, the number of total UK suicides, by population is equivalent to 25818 in the US, which is more than suicides by firearms at 19766, but way lower than total US suicides at 38285.

The number of TOTAL UK gun crimes, i.e., any crime involving a gun, is around the same as US murders by firearm. (This is not adjusted for population, so UK gun crime is around five times more than US gun murders, or about 30% more than total US gun deaths.)

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Hibernating NetMundial rattles internet governance world at Davos

DavCrav
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Re: Not being paid

"The reason he's doing it is, he told us, "academic curiosity"."

That's the polite translation of "shits and giggles", isn't it?

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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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