* Posts by Alfred

363 posts • joined 23 Apr 2007

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Alfred

Re: 20 wks in prison! He's a kid for fucks sake!

I don't get it. Do you mean 20 wks old? Was there a typo in the original article?

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It's here! Defence Secretary launches £800m MoD tech creche

Alfred

Sometimes, the wall is really quite tall. Sometimes, it's several walls in a row and climbing over the first five so you can use a periscope over the sixth isn't really practical. Sometimes the wall is far away, and sometimes standing behind it to use a periscope puts one very much in the open. Basically, there are lots of times when sauntering up to something with a periscope is a worse idea than hiding somewhere safe and sending a little drone to do the looking for you.

If you're happy with the idea of spy planes instead of sending a man to take a look, then this is the same principle, writ smaller.

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It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court

Alfred

Re: Or the Russians haven't updated their website yet

" 'The A and B jointly invaded C'. If you don't know what A, B and C are, would you conclude that A & B moved on the same day? At least I would yet in this case it would be a clear untruth."

So YOU would be stupid enough to make a false assumption not supported by the data? Is that really your argument? Your own stupidity?

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Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

Alfred

Unintended lessons taught?

Does giving a child a robo-baby to look after for a week teach them that having a baby is a temporary thing that will only last a week, so it doesn't really matter?

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'The box' Bones uses to fix any ailment on the Enterprise? Yup, it's real

Alfred
Childcatcher

Outlawed in knee-jerk panic fashion the first time some foreign-looking kid is pulled in and found to have "maKe anTHraX ?? lol ?" scrawled in crayon on the back of a copy of the Beano.

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China cuffs ten white-hats, nobody knows why

Alfred

Makes a lot of sense. Such people challenge the authority of the government by competing with them to provide people with information and security and reassurance. Having the best of intentions doesn't matter; do not compete with the government.

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Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

Alfred

"So flight sim enthusiasts are strange people because they like doing something the author doesn't? Bit of a stretch of logic there."

You know who's stretching here? You are. Nobody said it was because the author doesn't like doing it. I won't keep you; the outrage bus is about to leave and I think they're holding your seat.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Alfred

Re: The truth is whatever people choose to believe

"produced after the fact"

Yeah, exactly. Normally, when something crashes, people know where it's going to crash *before* it happens. Coming up with the idea of where it crashed *after* the crash happens is very suspicious.

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Alfred

Re: Given that they haven't found it...

@mi1400:

As someone said above, wrong aeroplane. We're talking about mh370; the one that vanished into the sea west of Australia. You're thinking of the one shot down over Ukraine.

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Nitwit has fit over twit hit: Troll takes timeless termination terribly

Alfred

"Stop racism by ignoring the racist, trust me it works,"

So I see someone in my organisation systematically ignoring job applications from people whose skin colour he doesn't like, and everyone looking the other way will stop this happening?

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Alfred

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

Here's one.

I don't subscribe to the idea that censorship is always wrong, and I certainly don't subscribe to this fucked up notion that free speech means zero consequences and that I should be able to use someone else's medium to say whatever I like.

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GMB tests Uber 'self-employed drivers' claim at London tribunal

Alfred

"I don't understand how they can be guaranteed minimum wage"

They're not.

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Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Alfred

Legal obligations to shareholders

"it suggests that their legal obligation to do the best by their shareholders over-rides just about any other concern."

It does not, and there is in fact no such legal obligation. The duties of the board of directors are ultimately to ensure the long-term success of the company, and while shareholder considerations are part of that, the shareholders' interests certainly do not override the prime responsibilities.

http://www.lawdonut.co.uk/law/ownership-and-management/the-board-of-directors/your-responsibilities-as-a-director-faqs#YRAAD2

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Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Alfred

Re: ARM is a strategic asset

"The Government has a duty to protect the country's economic wellbeing. "

Happy with that. If selling ARM will ultimately cost UK taxpayer, in however we choose to measure it, more than we will gain by allowing the sale, then UK taxpayer via the government should think it a good deal to beat the offer price and purchase the company for the benefit of the UK.

It's immoral to have it both ways; if it's worth keeping, it's worth paying up for. I recall the the UK government put its money where your mouth is by buying large pieces of banks, subsidising railway companies (and stepping in when they collapse) and making various commitments in energy (including the high price per kwHr for electricity from that new nuclear power station, although I lost track of that - is it still on?). Want to preserve ARM as a UK company? Pay up.

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Alfred

Re: ARM is a strategic asset

It's also private property, not covered by any particular legislation (for example, the laws refusing the selling of weapons to some bloke in the pub). If the gubbermint is permitted to tell people that they may not sell their private property to Softbank, is the taxpayer prepared to reimburse the shareholders for the lost sale?

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Alfred
Joke

Re: Uh-oh

It's like a HAND job, but much more vigorous.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Alfred
Headmaster

Massive misunderstanding of how companies operate

"While it sounds like a massive leap, the majority of new websites already go through testing when they are hosted to make sure that a site is intact and that files and content are free of viruses."

Like fuck they do.

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Dell confirms price rise post Brexit vote as UK pound stumbles

Alfred

Re: great opportunity

Move manufacturing to the UK to make more profit? To make it worth doing the UK workers would have to work for less than their competitors in the developing world (less, because they've got trade agreements, and we'd be starting from scratch). So the opportunity does exist, if UK workers are willing to work for less per hour than someone in a factory in China or Malaysia.

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Alfred

Re: Is this what they mean....

"As I see it the speculators selling £ are making the UK a whole lot more attractive as a manufacturing base."

Offset by the hike in tariffs for selling those manufactured goods onwards, once we're out of the single market. To make it attractive to manufacture those goods here, the cost of manufacturing them has to be very low. Which basically means low wages. So we can attract foreign investment for manufacturing, in the same way that China does; by having low-paid workers. It's a gutsy approach; as the rest of the world tries to move up the value chain, chasing high-pay economies, the UK decides to move back down the chain.

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Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Alfred

Re: You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

But if you have money, you can buy your way in. That's the point. That's why Oxbridge is full of the children of rich people, perpetuating the system.

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Alfred

Re: The ad hominems have started early

No, that wasn't sarcasm. Sarcasm involves implying the opposite of what you said, and you made no such implication. You realised afterwards that you were being the class clown, playing up to an audience of idiots, and then decided to pretend that actually you had read it all along.

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Alfred

Re: Fail

You're very much part of the problem. Perhaps if you and others like you could pay attention to something that wasn't flashing lights and beeping at you to hold your conditioned, obedient mind in thrall we wouldn't be in this mess.

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Alfred
Coat

Mised headline opportunty

"Marathon five-knuckle shuffle finishes on the cuff" surely?

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Alfred

" It raises profound ethical issues of equity between generations."

Given the way the younger generation is currently being treated by their own, still living ancestor generations, I think caring about generations after that isn't on the table :(

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Google's dream city isn't a new idea

Alfred

Been tried, doesn't work

Covered in detail within James C. Scott's "Seeing Like a State". It ends up with unliveable cities like Brasilia, surrounded by zones in which the humans actually get to be humans.

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Former FBI spy hunter: Don’t trust China on ‘no hack’ pact

Alfred

Re: "Former" - Exactly!

I'm not saying they choose not to make the parts for a decent ballpoint pen because they choose to sell bad ballpoint pens.

I'm saying that they are not capable of it. The manufacturing capability to make decent parts for a ballpoint pen currently does not exist in China. For making decent ballpoint pens, they currently import expensive ball bearings from other countries.

Li Keqiang complained about it on national TV four months ago.

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Alfred

Re: "Former" - Exactly!

They cannot make the parts required for a decent ballpoint pen.

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Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

Alfred

Ease of use?

"It has cemented its hold, in part, thanks to the environment's ease of use"

Are we talking about the same software? It's painfully difficult to use. Everything is hidden away in a byzantine maze of options menus, with vitally important settings given the same visual precedence as the trivial.

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'Hot Tech Talent' IT job board ads caught up in sexism allegations

Alfred

The worst kind of sexism

" This is the worst kind of sexism as all the women are fully clothed!"

I saw some sexism once in which one gender was effectively considered property, to be traded amongst the other gender. I think that was far worse than this.

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Your xenophobia is killing us, Silicon Valley warns US Congress

Alfred

Re: @Youngone -- No surprises there then

"I have a feeling that you would have been standing on the sidelines spitting on the returnees much like certain others did."

In the interests of history, that is disputed.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/03/nobody-spat-on-american-gis/

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Alfred

Why the obsession with trashing the other team's candidates?

What do people think this is? Some kind of political website dedicated to being balanced and fair? It's not. The Reg has no requirement to trash politicians in equal handfuls. Some stupid and ignorant people said stupid and ignorant things about technology and the Reg wrote about it.

Why the fuck should the Reg feel any kind of need to then go and trash some other politicians from another political party? What makes the whingers here think that the Reg has that obligation?

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Physics uses warp theory to look beyond relativity

Alfred
Headmaster

Re: thicko amused by ftl boffins

"I said powered flight."

Yes you did.

" As in humans powering their own flight."

No you fucking didn't. You said "powered flight", which is exactly what an aeroplane does. For example, like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#First_powered_flight

If you *meant* to say "humans powering their own flight" and you accidentally misspoke, be adult enough to admit you misspoke and correct yourself. Pretending that actually you're using the correct definition and everyone else is wrong so you were totally correct all along is the action of a little child.

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X-wings, pirates and a generic Lara: Gamescom 2015

Alfred

Re: Originality ...

"Once you are bored with FPS games, they are all going to look the same, in much the same way as action movies, especially if you ignore the plot"

Maybe that's the mistake being made; the plot.

I don't play much anymore, but I recall finding Medal of Honor (the 2010 one) so dull that I never went back after the first hour, but since then I have replayed HL2 at least once. Spec Ops:The Line held my interest, again because of the unfolding plot.

The differentiator is engagement, which relies on plot and characters and making me care. I don't play FPS games because they look pretty; I play them if they're fun, and eye candy isn't actually fun. Eye candy is icing on the cake, sure, but it's certainly not enough to make up for a game simply not being engaging.

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Horrifying MOCK BACON ABOMINATION grown in BUBBLING VATS as ALGAE

Alfred
FAIL

Re: Great news

We could do, but why would we? Right now, the human population is not food-limited and peak child has already been reached. What's so special about this new food that means people will suddenly decide to have a lot more children?

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Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Alfred

Re: Long-time e-Reader user, disappointed with current tech

I had a run of PRS-505 models for the last few years. Generally replacing them when I broke one; they're a replacement for a stack of novels and get treated much the same. In pockets, rammed in bags, by the pool, all that sort of thing. Buy them second hand, run them into the ground.

I likewise liked the buttons instead of the touch screen, and it simply did what it was meant to; a stack of novels, in a single slim box. The last time I broke one I wound up looking at all the options and got a second-hand PRS-300 for a song. Still got buttons rather than a touch screen, none of the unrequired bells and whistles of competitors (lights, internet access, Amazon supervising my reading etc etc), but it was even better for my particular needs; being a little bit smaller made it significantly more convenient. I wouldn't be without it.

Maybe I should buy a few more second-hand while I still can so I've got a supply in the future when there are no good options for my needs (i.e. a replacement for a stack of novels) being made anymore.

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Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

Alfred

"Can somebody explain why this is a real-world problem for normal people?"

Because normal people have to pay enormous prices for a house to live in during a bubble, and then suffer negative equity when it pops. What's proposed would be a way to damp the bubbles.

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Alfred

By definition, calling 911 is an emergency situation, and thus not normal. There is a higher likelihood in such situations that you would not be able to use your fingers than in non-emergency situations. Like all such situations, we can but play the percentages.

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US Air Force drone pilots in mass burn out, robo-flights canceled

Alfred

@Dan Paul

"Blaming our service people for the activities of the enemy is the biggest act of cowardice you can commit!"

I am a reservist of some fifteen years and I have been deployed overseas somewhere hot on active duty in a shooting war. Don't you dare come all Daily Mail / Fox News with me, pretending that to disagree with foreign policy is to somehow be dishonourable to forces personnel.

Second point; bleat about how it's not nice that the bad people hide in amongst innocent people all you like. It doesn't change the FACTS. And the FACTS are that we routinely murder innocent people and in doing so we cause terrorism. I don't give a damn how cowardly it may or may not be for OpFor to hide in amongst innocent people. That's completely irrelevant to the FACT that by murdering innocent people, we cause terrorism.

I could extend your argument to its logical conclusion; these drone pilots are launching their attacks from within the civilian population, so when terrorists turn up and kill pieces of that civilian population, it's the fault of those drone pilots. Utterly ridiculous. Grow up.

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Alfred

Compensation?

Compensation? That's not the price you pay for murdering a dozen innocent civilians. The price you pay is that their friends and relatives are pushed towards terrorism. Every time we murder some innocent civilians going about their lawful business, we strengthen terrorism. We recruit for them (and, frankly, understandably so; if the US was routinely murdering innocent people near me, from the sky, without warning or due process or accountability, I suspect I'd end up damaged enough that I'd want to make someone pay).

We make terrorists. This is how we make them. The price of our incompetence is terrorism. The price of our foreign policy and associated murdering is the death of our own civilians in the future.

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The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

Alfred

The book was a novelty for the first half, but after that it just became dull. Problem, explanation, solution. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. To be fair, given the plot, there wasn't much the author could do about it.

I suspect this is a case in which the movie should be able to improve on the novel. Whereas the novel was for the most part first-person from the stranded astronaut's viewpoint, the movie could make things more interesting with some unreliable narrator devices (or indeed, going insane), and giving us more than just his opinion or perspective.

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The weapons pact threatening IT security research

Alfred

"Thing is, older people can be hidebound: stuck in ruts."

They can also be brilliantly innovative and experienced. Something that is literally impossible for the young. Sure, sometimes you get some child who sees something because they don't know the literature or history, but to say it's a young person's game because of that? Having worked in the software industry for the best part of two decades, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of inexperienced programmers I've met who are better than people with many years' experience. It does happen, but by and large the better programmers are the ones with a lot more experience and knowledge.

The exact same thing is true of architecture. Is that a young person's game? Also surgery. Also electronic design. Also journalism. Also medicine. Also music. Also this, also that, also almost every skilled profession there is. The only true exception I can think of is pure mathematics in which the genius steps do seem to come from the (relatively) young, but that is something that can be done with zero knowledge or experience, unlike hammering on someone's network.

If we say that security research is a young person's game, by the same criteria we have to say that almost every skilled profession in the whole world is also a young person's game, and that's just nonsense.

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Alfred

"Security research is increasingly a young person's game"

Statements like that just don't make any sense. The only things in this life that are a young person's game are various forms of athleticism, and some niches that requires skilled people willing and able to work for low wages (usually in fields where experience is mandatory to progress, such that the role is an apprentice role like apprentice surgeon) such that older people deselect themselves from starting out in that niche.

Security research does not depend on particular abilities of the young. Unless, that is, you want smart, skilled people willing to work long hours for low wages,which incidentally brings us around to the UK MoDs effort, the joint reserve unit, who hope to do just that :)

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

Alfred
WTF?

Genuinely could not make this shit up

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone."

Truly, truly mental. Look what you did, you stupid tory voters.

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Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

Alfred

Alternative TV offering - more TTSS than Spooks

If you've not seen it, TV six parter "The Game" was more Tinker Tailor than Spooks, and is worth seeing if that's your kind of spy thriller. Set in '72, so proper cold war spying, it stars Brian Cox, lending some gravitas, and being spread over six episodes they didn't have to rush things.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_%28UK_TV_series%29 is

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NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Alfred

Like me

Bingo. I don't have any "loyalty" cards for stores ("loyalty" is something I have towards people, involving giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances based on my past dealings with them; I will never feel loyalty towards a business, or indeed a government or nation). It's a choice I make, based on what I perceive to be the benefits and the drawbacks and my personal circumstances.

If the senator wishes to liken governments spying on their own law-abiding citizenry to loyalty cards, might I suggest that they create a similar scheme, allowing people to opt in to being spied on?

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Singapore's prime minister releases source code for his hand-coded Sudoku-solver

Alfred

Senior Wrangler

Not just a funny academic title in a Pratchett novel. It's also a deeply impressive achievement; 李显龙 is ferociously smart.

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Alfred

And what would be the advantage of Singapore becoming a less restrictive society? Democracy isn't some kind of magical higher state that all humanity should strive for.

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Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

Alfred

Re: supermarket pricing

"Sainsbury's was offering their own brand olive oil spread at £2.50/1kg. Right next to it were 250g packs at £1.50, but on offer (for months) at two for two quid - and yet I watched folk look at both and get the big one."

So, a single-pack kilogram for £2.50, or half a kilo for £2? Getting the big pack seems like the better value.

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Alfred

Re: Whatever.

Maybe you've got your eyes closed. I have found many, many things that are much easier to do in C++ than in C.

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Singapore's PM personally programmed C++ Suduko-solver

Alfred
Headmaster

He was Senior Wrangler, which is far more impressive than Rhodes Scholar and negates the need for speedos; as I recall, that lot are happy to run the quads naked.

Icon not for pedantry, but for relevance in general :)

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