* Posts by David Dawson

421 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

David Dawson

Subsidies

Repeat after me 'tax breaks do not equal a subsidy'

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BlackBerry boss vows to keep making phones

David Dawson

Try a passport! It's awesome.

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How swearing at your coworker via WhatsApp could cost you $68,000

David Dawson

Re: Work in a third world backward nation...

First world = western liberal democracies.

Second world = communist.

Third world = everyone else.

This does not mean what you think it does. Yes UAE is third world, a term so thoroughly debased as to be meaningless.

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Beats loudspeaker silenced by Apple after $3bn buyout, report claims

David Dawson

Streaming tech

I just can't believe Apple would spend $3bn to get their hands on streaming technology. The technology behind media streaming hasn't been innovative for at least 10 years. There's nothing really that they could add that would make a difference beyond what apple already has or is industry standard.

It has to have been more than this, with the most likely thing being the brand and to a lesser extent the hardware.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

David Dawson

Tim: Article on the "Economic Cycle"?

Tim, any chance of an article describing what the economic cycle actually is?

It get's bandied around as if it's a fixed thing, but seems to be very ill defined, at least in media usage.

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MIT bods' digital economy babblings are tosh. C'mon guys, Economics 101

David Dawson

Re: Displaced workers @David Dawson

Strange understanding of economies here. I don't recognise the world you paint as reality.

Frankly, it's an 'employee' mindset, where you believe the forces of the economy are run for abstract concepts like 'the company', or 'the state'. Not recognising that both of those things are simply convenient labels on groups of people. They are fictional. This is one of the reasons why macroeconomics is essentially guess work, you are attempting to generate a model that describes trillions of human interactions.

The idea that the entirety of the human involvement in the economy could be replaced with an AI is completely fanciful, as it completely misrepresents what that economic activity is for. It doesn't exist for it's own benefit, ultimately there are owners of all companies which are people.

Whether it's pension funds, 'the state', individuals, via other companies. It simply doesn't matter, people own everything. The fact that you feel somewhat powerless when faced with the economy doesn't change this.

So, in any new economy, that wouldn't change unless we give AI ownership rights.

Everything flows from that.

Unless your hyper intelligent AI can displace us as the owners of stuff, the economy will always be run for the benefit of humanity, either in whole or in part.

Before modern economies formed, everyone had to make their own economic activity just to eat. If push comes to shove, that will happen again. AI's may be able to do all jobs, but would they actually do that?

What would really happen is that humans, the drivers and consumers of all economic activity, would be shoved higher up the value chain. Some people won't make it, but the majority of us will. Look around London right now, the population has moved away from mass manufacture into mostly knowledge work. (outside of London, it's more weighted towards light manufacture).

We've had huge automation, really, massive. This should be seen as part of the great industrialisation move. If this didn't happen, we would still, for the most part, be doing subsistence agriculture. That's not a good life.

So, bring on these magical AIs, they will not have the effect you believe they will.

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David Dawson

Re: Displaced workers

@PleebSmash

That seems a very odd position to take. AI is far from being capable of emulating a human, if that's every going to be possible. There are very, very specific things that robots can do, and we use them to good effect in those, but outside that, not possible.

It also misses the point on where and by whom people are employed. Companies are 'legal persons', so they can make contracts, but that doesn't make them real. They are fictional social constructs that we find it convenient to keep around.

People are the only thing, the market is made of individuals acting out their desires. Companies act the way they do as an aggregation of the humans owning them and those working in them.

What this boils down to is that, if there were mass layoffs, then those people will build a new economy for themselves.

The UK economy is not dominated by large employers, far from it. SMEs employ around 60% of all the workforce, up to 10% (according to some estimates) are freelancers and self employed.

All of them together are focused on finding something to do that people will pay them for, creating new value where before there was none.

A robot could be a useful tool in making that more efficient, but replace the people entirely?

Not. A. Chance. What would be the point? You'd destroy the economy, which is made up solely of the people.

Welfare is not the answer, it's a temporary fix. Education on how economies work, and how you can work that to your advantage is.

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Bitcoin blackmail gang start hurling DDoSes at Scandinavia

David Dawson
Trollface

Re: Yes but...

surely you aren't saying that charities will perform DDOS extortion attacks?

Or that the next logical step for cyber crims is to employ chuggers?

It's a conspiracy!

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Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

David Dawson

as Mr Bernard Shaw tells us..

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man"

Elon Musk seems to be the archetype of this. Unreasonable at every level, reshaping the world on a grand scale.

We need people like this, I'm not totally sure we'd get along :-)

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Cloud Foundry takes first steps into Azure

David Dawson

:-)

d.

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David Dawson

The article image is for Pivotal CF, which is the commercial derivative of cloud foundry that Pivotal makes. It is not open source.

Cloud foundry has been open source since the start, which is now a bunch of years ago. The work Microsoft have done is on the deployment side of things, the bosh tool. This means that it can be easily (<cough>) deployed to azure using the standard tooling for cloud foundry.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

David Dawson

Re: It's only a small step from here ....

Ah, good old terry. I miss him.

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NASA guy to White House: Be really careful with that HTTPS stuff

David Dawson

Re: No middle road to stop the man in the middle

With a clear text protocol it's then trivial to alter the digest in flight.

To make this work, you need to establish a cryptographic chain of trust to ensure that the server you think is sending you data actually is.

Establishing that trust is the key, and is what ssl certs are used for. You delegate trust to a central authority that acts as a mediator. That they are also used to establish a fully encrypted transport is a separate thing to my mind.

All the financial and operational costs will still be there. The minimal runtime overhead of always on encryption on't be, but it's really small.

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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again

David Dawson

Re: *Whose* code?

It's a fair point, however all employment and service contracts for banks have very wide ranging copyright assignment clauses. These are to the point that if you work on something, say some open source, out of working hours then the employer owns it, not the employee.

Algorithms of this type are highly sought after, and are a valuable thing.

He deserved to be punished for this, it was theft.

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Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

David Dawson

Re: Hang your heads in shame!

I'm sure it was some dude called chad...

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Non-American nerds jam immigration pleading for right to live in the US

David Dawson

Re: @AC

Methinks Dan doth protest too much.

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CoreOS bags $12m, touts Tectonic – a DIY Google cloud for big biz

David Dawson

The benefits of containers are really twofold, one is efficiency for ops, the others is standardisation for development.

For ops, containers really can be seen as just the next step in virtualisation. They give lower isolation guarantees than VMs, which in turn give lower guarantees than bare metal. Containers give much of the same benefits as VMs too, potentially denser deployment of software.

This density can be seen in the lower overhead they have as compared to VMs

Memory overhead of just booting a VM on vsphere (ie, before the OS is loaded)

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.resmgmt.doc/GUID-B42C72C1-F8D5-40DC-93D1-FB31849B1114.html

Comparison of VMs and containers (PDF)

http://domino.research.ibm.com/library/cyberdig.nsf/papers/0929052195DD819C85257D2300681E7B/$File/rc25482.pdf

Overall, containers have a lower penalty on CPU usage, and a much lower overhead on memory usage, as the guest OS and hypervisor penalties are removed. This comes at the cost of using linux as the host and overall lower isolation. It's a trade off. For the linux as host point, it has a larger surface area to attack as compared to VM hypervisors.

For development, the container acts as a standardised deployment artifact, that is much, much, much (really) smaller than a VM image. It'll effectively be the application binaries, with supporting scripts. The lower levels are stored as seperate portions and downloaded separately.

They are a good tool, and not a replacement for VMs. Instead, it let's use be a bit more nuanced in the way things are done. They certainly will replace VMs in many situations, but by no means all, and probably not the majority, in my opinion.

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Boris Johnson backs trade union campaign to ungag civil servants

David Dawson

Re: Ministers still so

This is correct. Ministers happen to be mostly picked from the commons, but this is not a necessity.

The office of MP and HM minister are separate.

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Apache finally signs off Hadoop database... after 7 years of development

David Dawson

Re: Seriously bad reporting...

I read that as

"HBase is a non-relational, distributed database for Hadoop"

"Hadoop is written on blueprint of Google’s MapReduce"

Which is correct, no?

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You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

David Dawson

well, yuck

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RIP SPDY, we hardly knew ye: Google to retire next-gen web protocol

David Dawson

Re: spdy://whatever

It's not a replacement for HTTP per se. It's a transport that sits underneath HTTP. So HTTP 1.1 traffic will still flow, but over a SPDY link rather than vanilla TCP.

In this way, it can understand the HTTP traffic flowing over it and enhance it. For example, getting the multi connnections over a single TCP socket, which HTTP totally messed up with the aborted pipelining feature (all browsers switch that off, because it's broken).

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Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

David Dawson

No, the one does not follow the other.

Hacking tools are built by clever devs, yes. They are sometimes picked up by script kiddies, sure. Where the vulnerability information they are based on comes from is an open question.

There are established market places for information like this, which wouldn't be the case if it all came from public disclosure reports. It seems likely that a goodly proportion of the data publicly disclosed is actually being rediscovered by legitimate researchers, and is in use already as an attack vector.

Publicly disclosing ASAP in those cases is essential.

Part of the problem is that it's very often unclear when those cases are, hence some in the industry leaning towards general disclosure (as Google and Linus promote), and others leaning towards selective disclosure.

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US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

David Dawson

Re: No point in kicking a dead dog.

If we're to occupy the high moral ground in relation to terrorism we've first of all got to get there.

--

beautifully put.

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AWS CloudFront wobbles at worst possible time

David Dawson

Re: This confirms my theory

Last I heard they hadn't moved amazon.com onto AWS.

It was more of a re-use of skills, tech and systems to build a new product area rather than somewhere to put amazon.com onto

Might not be the case now

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

David Dawson

Re: How long does Ecuador's London embassy lease have left?

This is a complete fallacy. Embassies are NOT part of their sponsoring country.

The treaty of Vienna is the root of most agreements regarding embassies. It talks about access to the embassy by the forces of the host being by agreement of the ambassador. Not territorial exchange, no claims.

This is international treaties, that our government has signed up to.

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Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

David Dawson

Re: Engineers in Parliament

I don't want politicians who can use html, I want politicians who ask awkward questions like "why are we locking all these people up for drug possession when all the evidence is that it doesn't work, and exactly why do we need a nuclear deterrent when if it ever gets used it will because the country has ceased to exist?"

----

You had me until there. Drugs policy isn't quite comparable to a nuclear deterrent. I'd generally agree with you on drugs policy, the evidence isn't there, more research required. We've got a penal system built around rehabilitation, not vengeance, so the policies that puts people into it should be in tune with that.

Nuclear deterrent isn't the same thing. It's stated aim was to prevent another world war, by making war between the great powers too terrible to contemplate. In that, it seems to have succeeded... There was never a war between the first and second worlds (to use the old terms), only small scale proxy conflicts that gave enough of a gap that the main blocks could back out without risking their own destruction.

So, 50 years worth of evidence says that a nuclear deterrent does what it says on the tin.

I'm not sure that scientists are really the right people, as a group, to be in charge of policy. Technocracy seems as poor a choice as anything else. One group, believing they know better. Politics is not science, no matter how much we want it to be. Not defending the current state of affairs, however politics is often making fixed decisions in the absence of good enough information. Science is not, it's the pursuit of that information.

I think that we should go back to the old greek system. Politics as a punishment. Lots are cast, and the losers are the ones that have to serve for a year, and they should be regularly punished for mistakes. Make the job horrible, so that no one wants it. Anyone who wants power is fundamentally untrustworthy.

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It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE

David Dawson
Unhappy

Plus net phone and broadband down here for us

In Stalybridge, Tameside.

They're blaming storm damage.

:-(

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Report: HP to SPLIT OFF PC, printer biz from enterprise wing

David Dawson

Re: they do PCs and services?

they still do a reasonably good line in awesome ideas. http://www8.hp.com/hpnext/posts/discover-day-two-future-now-machine-hp

Execution, still waiting :-(

If HP drop, there'll be very, very few companies still doing basic materials research beyond the 'make it smaller' that the fabs can do themselves.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

David Dawson

Never had a blackberry before, but I'm going to get one of these.

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

David Dawson

Re: Ironic.

I'm with Tim on this one, debasing a word to try to manipulate people doesn't help a cause.

Reduction inequality is a laudable goal in an of itself when you're attempting to gain a more equal society for the expected social good that brings; why not discuss that up front?

In 2009 (from memory, might have been '08), poverty in the UK dropped for the first time in a while. The reason? Not because incomes went up, in fact they went down. No, the financial crisis meant that the median income dropped, thus meaning that many people on 13kish a year went from being in poverty, to being out of poverty. No change in financial conditions, food actually became more expensive in the period, yet they were now part of the celebration that poverty was being reduced. I found this quite distasteful.

There is a stated goal of ending child poverty in the UK, according to the relative median income measure. The most straight forward way to do this is to take a significant proportion of those earning above that median and sack them. This will have the desired effect, however it will also tank the economy.

By using a relative, percentage based measure, you will find that it is statistically virtually impossible to eliminate child poverty in a functioning economy.

This is one cost of debasing words, you lose the ability to have rational discussions using them, because the concepts they used to describe are being rewritten by anyone who wants to, in any way they see fit.

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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

David Dawson

Re: Real coding!

New network protocols required to be adopted. Unless you tunnel it over http, it's not going to be easy these days :-(

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HP: We're still running the ARM race with Moonshot servers

David Dawson

Re: New unit of measure?

I think they're maybe missing a trick. The old "should you use many or much".

1 huge is many of not very much as all the processors are a few generations behind, but there's loads and loads of them in not very much space. For some types of app, this could be epic. We're building lots of microservice based apps, this fits perfectly. If you run on an app on a software VM (eg, the V8/ Node VM , Java JVM etc), whether you are on Intel or ARM makes no difference to the code itself, the VM handles all that.

Personally, I want to see what The Machine would be able to do, if it ever comes out, this feels like something of a halfway house to that piece of HP magic.

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Next blockbuster you watch could be rendered on Google: Star Trek fx biz Zync gobbled

David Dawson

Transcoding and rendering are unrelated.

This allows people using Maya, blender(?) etc to gain extra compute/ storage power to generate new video. Transcoding that into an mpeg suitable for iPad afterwards, for example, is what you'd go to AWS' elastic transcoder service for.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

David Dawson

Re: He needs the attention, but still...

Not quite.

The BBC were waiting for the police to arrive at his house, therefore they weren't just aware that there was an investigation in progress, but the date and time of the raid. That information was given to them, by the police, by their own admission.

The reason they gave was they the BBC said "we'll wait to publish if you tell us when the raid is", which they agreed to.

This is wrong, the BBC shouldn't be proposing deals like this, but the police should certainly not accept them.

What is now happening is that they are effectively investigating him completely in public, while he's not in the country. So, they haven't given him notification or questioned him yet, it might come to nothing.

To my mind, that seems somewhat prejudicial. By all means say "wait for the evidence", but this is trial by mob.

In these cases, there are broadly two totally conflicting and opposed points of view; one side says "we need to publicise the name so that others have the courage to come forward", like with Saville and the others over the past few months. On the other side, these allegations will never leave him now, he will forever be branded 'pervert', no matter the result of the investigation or any subsequent court case

A complex ethical question like this deserves a thoughtful answer, not the blunt destructive tool that is trial by media and collusion by the police with journalists.

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Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests

David Dawson

Re: Isn't this less about docker

It doesn't use LXC anymore, it uses it's own library called libcontainer instead, as of version 1.

Both base onto the kernel primitive containerisation stuff like cgroups that Google originally contributed in.

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

David Dawson

Re: Taking out meteors

if an object is truly that big, then if you were to break it up and the earth were to be hit by the resulting buckshot, we'd be burned to a crisp by the firestorms that would sweep the globe as the debris entered the atmosphere and heats it up hundreds of degrees due to the thousands of compression waves all at once. So it wouldn't really help....

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Debian Linux, Android share a bed in upcoming distro

David Dawson

android is linux.

It actually appears that they are adding debian compatible libraries to an android distribution.

There, I've bitten.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

David Dawson
Headmaster

Re: Scary stuff...

Which begs the question.... why didn't they go with the F1? That thing worked.

--

Raises the question.

Begging the question is a rhetorical device where you try to ask (/ verbally coerce) your listeners to assume that your point of view (a potential answer to the 'question'), is a given and can be assumed; when in fact, it cannot.

:-)

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D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

David Dawson

We live in a world with quantum computers!

I'd still quite like my jetpack, but this is really cool.

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SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

David Dawson

Re: It's how you cook it

That's strange, I know no one that cooks bacon in oil.

I've heard of it, but never come across it outside of the papers.

However, cooking bacon in a pan just used to cook a good steak in adds a while extra layer of flavour to the bacon sarnie.

Time to break out the bacon now.

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Rackspace: OpenStack is the 'Rebel Alliance' in fight for future of cloud

David Dawson

Would the reg fancy doing a comparison of openstack, cloudstack, eucalyptus, the many faces of vmware... ?

If so, I'd love to read it. Openstack seems to take the headlines, but everything I've read so far says that cloudstack is an easier install, eucalyptus is the most mature of the open(ish) source ones and vsphere et al is simply better. I want to be corrected, but the hype is a PITA.

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Amazon veep: We tweak our cloud code every 16 seconds – and you?

David Dawson

These things can all be automated away. It really is possible to do deployments this often, including full regression testing.

As already noted, if you have hundreds of components, which I'm sure they do, these deploy schedules aren't particularly heavy.

Internally, Amazon and AWS use web services heavily. In this instance that means that there are hard contracts for using services, each service expects to be abused, and you can have multiple versions of an API in use at any once time.

This gives a huge tolerance in the system for change.

They have also obviously invested very heavily in serious amounts of automation. They certainly will be able to throw up environments simulating full data centres for regression testing.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

David Dawson

Re: Hmm

David Dawson: "Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same."

Uhuh. What precisely does that mean? Please explain. I need to know. Really, I do.

What do the NSA and gender feminist ideologues have in common? The same mindwarping semantic word games.

----------

This is the first time I've ever been called a feminist. I think I might have a good cry ;-)

If you look, I'm not actually spouting feminist ideology, the opposite in fact, and I did explain, you just didn't care to read it.

I don't want a world where all women are treated the same as I am, as there aren't any 6'6" ginger northern english women software developers.

I think of myself as an individualist. Everyone should be equal under the law, but that doesn't mean they are treated the same way, as they aren't all the same.

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David Dawson

Re: Hmm

David, are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound? Absolutely disgusting, I expect some level of sexism when I'm on the internet but this just goes way over the line.

---

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... HAHAHA ...

( ... got tired of laughing ... )

I make a comment saying that someone should be valued as an individual, and you turn it into this. To answer "is being born a (wo)man (your choice) like being born into a wheel chair". Yes, it is, to an extent.

You get weird stereotypes applied to you all the time, forced into patterns of behaviour you don't want, denied certain opportunities for no reason than an accident of birth. Sure, that actually fits the point I'm making.

Deal with people. Some people need different things, that's the world. Trying to stick everyone into a generic box marked 'human' and thinking that's equality is delusion.

BTW, are you saying someone born into a chair is less valuable than a woman? (don't answer, that was hyperbole)

I expect some delusion when I'm on the internet, but this is AMAZING. ;-)

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David Dawson

Re: Hmm

ObnoxiousGit, have a good cry about it, it helps to vent your frustrations. (is that the pussy angle covered ok?)

I'll bite, but your hyperbole is just as silly as the first gents. Where is your reasoning, or properly marshalled arguments?

To take a different example to illustrate the point. Say, a person born in a wheelchair. We will install ramps, adjust heights of desks, remove lips around doors to give them free and easy access. Obviously more effort is being spent on this person, they are patently not being treated the same as someone blessed with being able bodied.

However, they are being treated equally. Given equal access to a working environment and something approaching the same opportunities in that environment.

So, treating someone the same is very different to treating someone equally. The first is based on encouraging similar behaviour, the second on valuing the individual. I know which I prefer in my staff.

Take another example, someone going through a major life crisis (death in family, divorce, whatever), you really wouldn't deal robustly with them in many a situation, you would (or I would), show some compassion. Someone else though, not undergoing those stresses, they don't get that extra tolerance.

They are not being treated the same, but are being treated equally according to what I consider reasonable.

Am I proud? Yup, extremely, thanks for asking.

(seriously though, get out of whatever work environment you are in where any of what you wrote exists, or is ok, it's not normal...)

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David Dawson

Re: Hmm

Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same.

Your examples are lazy stereotypes and hyperbole, try again.

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Get Quake III running on Raspberry Pi using Broadcom's open-source GPU drivers, earn $10K

David Dawson

Re: $10K bounty

Smells like a way to search and hire good coders. They already have the source code to the raspberry pi part, after all. Why not simply release that too?

If they were to discover devs the traditional way, they'd pay at least twice that to the recruiter and still not be sure. This way, there's less risk and they get to find people they'd never have come across.

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Inquietante testimonio gráfico: Electrosonda orgásmica anal aplicada… ¡a un TORO!

David Dawson
Pint

Digo bienvenida a nuestra jefes supremas bovinas...

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Antarctic glacier 'melted JUST as fast LONG before human carbon emissions'

David Dawson

Re: Climate Atheists

Unfortunately, eugenics, brought to the fore by the origin of species, was used, repeatedly, as a reason for conquest, and to justify genocide.

People can be horrible, no matter their belief system.

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Parking firm pulls app after dev claims: I can SEE credit card privates

David Dawson

Re: What?

And seriously, what kind of inept company did they use if they left all their logging in the release build? I mean, some logging stays in sure, but nothing on the sensitive data. After this I don't think I'd ever use the app no matter how many 'security updates' they release.

-------

Thats not the problem, logging shouldn't matter one bit.

The problem here is that the communication between client and server is not correctly secured and authorised. The server should enforce security in all cases. The client can do so too, but their issue is server side.

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