* Posts by scrubber

249 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

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Download Fest goers were human guinea pigs in spy tech experiment, admit police

scrubber

What are you all worried about?

"the facial recognition software does not take or store anyone's photograph"

No harm no foul. If you can't trust security who can you trust?

"TSA has not, will not and our Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) cannot store images of passengers"

See? It's all good.

"Feds admit they stored body scanner images, despite TSA claim the images cannot be saved"

Oh...

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

scrubber

The purpose of licensing...

"is to ensure those being granted the right to practice their craft are the sort of people society wants practising those crafts"

Which is why the people who own medallions don't drive cabs? Which is why the driver behind the wheel actually leases the cab? Which is why the fares:rape ration is currently worse for regulated cabs than Uber?

Okay, here's a thought experiment that you can try in real life: Imagine going to a taxi rank and not getting in the first one but getting in another one further back because his cab looked cleaner/safer. what would the reaction of the cabbies be? Yet that is precisely what the online rating system gives you. Alongside service, whether the banter is racist etc.

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How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden

scrubber
Black Helicopters

If you've done nothing wrong ... you have everything to fear.

"it provided visibility of 96 cyber-attack campaigns"

Note: not stopped just provided visibility with no mention of before, during, or after.

“not in the slightest doubt that bulk interception, as it currently practiced, has a valuable role to play in protecting national security.”

Well, indeed, but so does rounding up all <insert current fear group> - it doesn't mean we need to, or should, do it.

"These include the detection and conviction of a UK-based airline worker who planned to use airport access to launch an al-Qaeda attack"

Who would have been uncovered by traditional means, no need to spy on 64,999,999 innocent people's communications.

"a group who travelled to Pakistan for terrorism training, who were arrested and given lengthy sentences under the Terrorism Act"

Who had done nothing wrong! Preventative justice. And surely you knew they'd travelled to Pakistan without spying on everyone else. And since you knew they'd gone to meet some bad people, you were already spying on the bad people so had absolutely no need to spy on the rest of us.

"the finding of two men overseas who had blackmailed children into exposing themselves online, who were subsequently arrested and jailed in their home country"

As nice as this anecdote is, it's not really in the remit of GCHQ, or a good reason to spy on the British people. And if these perps were British then you have said they wouldn't have been caught because that's internal communications. But, hey, why not throw "won't someone think of the children" into the mix?

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Being common is tragic, but the tragedy of the commons is still true

scrubber

Re: Scooping up as many fish as you can now would massively depress the price of fish

Overfishing != scoop up all the fish NOW!

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scrubber

Re: Rape of the commons vs sustainable management

Kinda. But no.

Scooping up as many fish as you can now would massively depress the price of fish to virtually zero, they tend not to be a great store of value. And given the massive increase in price next year due to scarcity anyone not engaging in the frenzied orgy of overfishing would make enormous profits in future years. Assuming the fishing rights were based on sea area and fish didn't travel too far.

Plus many fishermen are in a family business so are unlikely to mess up their children's legacy in search of short term profits, especially ones that don't exist.

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Arctic ice EMBIGGENS, returns to 1980s levels of cap cover

scrubber

You Buried the Lead

Polar Bear Attacks Imminent!

Recent studies show that the natural habitat of the godless, ghostly killing machines is spreading towards the UK. People in the north of Scotland have been told to evacuate and gun laws are being reconsidered in light of the growing threat.

C'mon El Reg, get tabloiditis.

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2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

scrubber
Joke

Re: Mani beam is still halogen or optionally Xenon

Xenon 2: Megablast had a shop where you could buy upgrades.

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Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

scrubber
Childcatcher

QE is not a magic bullet

The theory before the fact was that QE would cause rampant inflation but because it hasn't, but it has had the desired impact on economic growth, it is magic.

However, the real economy doesn't work that way. If they'd printed the money and given it to people and companies to spend then we'd have had rampant inflation, but they didn't, they gave it to banks and the rich who ... spent it on assets. So we have rampant inflation in asset prices but because they're not part of CPI they somehow don't count and QE is magic. Companies and assets (and houses near the big banks) are overvalued, the BoE isn't using interest rates to quell the bubble that QE has created, so we're heading for a readjustment at some point - it may be a levelling off while the rest of the economy catches up, or it may be a spectacular boom that will make the last one look like a mouse fart.

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

scrubber
Go

"Why would I want my phone connected to the washing machine or cooker?"

Because you're a bloke and you want your clothes washed properly and your food not burnt.

Your phone can take a bar scan/picture of your food and set your oven to cook it properly (and switch it off for those post-pub meals!), likewise with your washing, and also warn you if you're lumping a red in with your whites. It can protect your silks (polyester sports top more likely) from the harshness of a cotton wash, or decide that the amount of dirt requires a daily wash rather than a full cycle. It can deicide exactly how much water and detergent to use so that you simply load up a lot in the storage area, and don't worry about how much to add for each wash. Same for dishwashers.

This idea has legs, but as it's in the house, never mind cradles or BT, get everything on the WAN. Your oven is also a fridge, so you put your food in there in the morning/night before and your phone knows when you are leaving, traffic conditions etc. so sets the meal to be ready 15 mins after you arrive (keeping it warm if you're late) so you have just enough time to crack open a beer before your phone alerts you that your dinner's in the oven. Your phone learns your wash cycle and warns you if your 5-a-side kit needs washing before the big game, or you're running out of clean shirts for work. If it could only do the ironing I think there might be some divorces in the offing.

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

scrubber
Terminator

Re: Algorithmic trading

Machines do pick what they trade. Certain large banks have fully automated systems running their own books. They are carefully monitored by humans because once you get into automation they can run up rather large positions rather quickly. Plus, once a computer starts doing something ... mechanically ... then some smart person, or better programmed computer, can take advantage of foreknowledge of what the original machine is going to do.

Incidentally, this is why computers are much better than humans at chess but nowhere near as good as them at poker - yet - in spite of the enormous money to be made by an unbeatable poker bot and the relatively minor rewards for making good heuristics for minimising the gamespace in chess.

PS. My portfolio: 40% UK, 20%US, 15% EU, 20% Asia (exc. Japan), 5% Japan.

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Teaching people to speak English? You just need Chatroulette without the dick pics

scrubber
Megaphone

Good use of public money?

I want evidence that advances in adult literacy (above current rates) increase the health, wealth or happiness of the public at large before soem high-minded Oxbridge oik goes about spending my money on their what they think is good for the great unwashed.

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GCHQ: Security software? We'll soon see about THAT

scrubber
FAIL

Prioties

So... While the best and the brightest computer whizkids that the state could hoover up where engaged in breaking security and spying on (mostly) law-abiding citizens, the Chinese managed to hack into government computers and steal the very private details of 18 million citizens.

Bravo chaps, well played. What's next? While cracking down on pornographic material coming in from Europe you miss a massive paedophile ring in Parliament...

(I know GCHQ and the NSA are different agencies, but they're effectively the same team now.

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Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

scrubber
Big Brother

Re: Politically incorrect

Maybe she gets paid based on hypocritical output - in which case very few people earn as much as HH.

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UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

scrubber
Joke

Re: Hang on a mo

No, no, no. You are licensed to play the CD on a single CD payer through a single set of headphones or set of speakers. And change in device means you need to pay us more money. Any change in listening equipment means you need to pay us more money. Any change in interconnects means you need to pay us more money. Any change of listening location (e.g. room or address) means you need to pay us more money. Anyone else able to hear it makes it a public performance and you need to pay us more money.

As Bob Geldof said: "Give us the money NOW!"

Joke Alert, but worryingly it's actually what they want.

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Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs

scrubber

And in America...

You can be jailed for 20 years for clearing your internet browsing history:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150606/16191831259/according-to-government-clearing-your-browser-history-is-felony.shtml

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Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

scrubber

Free services are not free

Google services are free services, not public services. I'm struggling to see what the hell regulators are playing at here.

Google offered free search and the price was the preferential placement of its profitable services. Competitors should have either advertised more/better so people would go to their site before searching for goods/services, or they could build a better search algorithm.

Running off crying to government seems like an anti-competitive, anti-capitalist move.

NB. This is wholly different from the Intel vs AMD thing in late 90's or most of the MS issues, they both broke anti-competition rules.

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

scrubber

The best reason for not increasing spending...

... Is that it's nigh on fucking impossible to reduce it later. Look at the maniacs screaming about austerity in the coalition government when every single year they spent more than Prudence Brown's handout regime.

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What would have stopped TV5Monde hack? Yup, MOAR LAWS

scrubber
WTF?

European democracy is an oxymoron

The digital commissioner is a member of the European Commission.

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. This 28 strong body is selected by the European Council (1 member per state).

The European Council comprises the heads of state/government of each country.

The European Parliament (the only bunch actually voted for) gets to rubber stamp the Council's selections, but that's really all they do.

Lest you think people might vote for heads of state, I'd just like to point out that only 33,973 people voted for Cameron in 2010. Just sayin'.

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'Oh great Commission, save us from the French' pleads Uber

scrubber

Re: Stupid, stupid people

> The problem is when Uber doesn't enforce compliance with local laws

Like being insured and having an MOT, or applicable insurance? Surely that's a driver's business? Why is Uber suddenly forced to regulate and inspect people on it's glorified craig's list page?

If someone wants to come up with an Uber competitor that enforces all these onerous regulations, and the market decides they want the additional safety or insurance coverage or whatever the perceived benefits are, great, but let the people choose.

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scrubber

Re: Stupid, stupid people

The Consumer Contracts Regulations (2014) has certain exemptions for regular distance selling regulations, but 'transport services' are no more special than haircuts or window washing. The same exemptions would apply to Uber.

What we are talking about is the additional, burdensome regulation of a company based on the service they provide. Are Uber providing a transportation service, or are they simply providing a marketplace and payment services. It seems clear to me that they are in the business of bringing buyers and sellers together (in the UK at least) much more than they are hiring drivers to take people places. ymmv.

When I buy a ticket on Expedia and my BA plane is delayed I get compensation from BA, not from Expedia. What they are trying to do to Uber is make them responsible for all the things that BA are responsible for, when they should be the drivers' responsibilities. That would mean higher fares, sobeit.

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scrubber

Stupid, stupid people

> "you can buy airline tickets online, but it is still considered a transport service"

Depends who you buy them from, you numpty. Pretty sure lowcostholidays/expedia/cheapflights are not an airline and aren't regulated like one. BA/Ryanair et al. on the other hand are. The difference being, do you provide flights? The question here then becomes "do Uber provide taxi services?" In some markets they do (drivers are paid employees of Uber) and in some markets they are not (Uber simply link passengers with private vehicle owners).

Taxi regulations should be binned anyway. The alleged protection they once afforded passengers has long since been superseded by a stringent M.O.T. test and online references.

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Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

scrubber

Re: freedom is nice to have, until it gets taken by a criminal who can not be found

> Surely that was better than the modern approach which seems to be shake the tree and see what falls out.

That wouldn't be the tree of liberty, would it? It seems to be in need of refreshment. (A bit like me).

btw. Here's a pro-tip for all you crims and terrorists out there - use online banking to communicate using small amounts of money as words or page.word amounts for a given reference book. The spooks won't be interfering with the security of online banking lest the banks lobby the govt. to take away the spooks' toys.

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scrubber
Black Helicopters

While we're at it...

...let's ban talking quietly. If we can't tell what two people are saying to each other they might be talking about terroristic plots...

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scrubber
Flame

"the most dangerous people that are abusing the internet"

Say what you want about (potential) terrorists, but I'm pretty sure they are not the ones who are abusing the internet...

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Pre-Snowden NSA grunts wanted to nix phone spying: report

scrubber
Facepalm

Hang on

Did someone suggest the purpose of mass surveillance was to stop terrorism?

That's the best laugh I've had all week.

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BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

scrubber
Unhappy

safety first

Is this shit keeping us safe? And even if it is, is it a price worth paying?

In a democracy we should be able to ask these questions and get honest answers. Unfortunately the consent of the governed isn't required anymore.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

scrubber
Paris Hilton

I came for the bouncing silicon...

But stayed for the science.

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GRUNTY CHIMPS 'blend in among locals' after moving to Scotland

scrubber
Flame

Bloody whiny foreigners...

...coming over here, taking our apples.

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Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

scrubber
Holmes

What you're forgetting...

... is that this is a casino in Nevada.

The casino staff informed authorities who couldn't get a warrant so lied their way to get enough evidence/probable cause for a warrant, then lied on said warrant about how the evidence was obtained.

So the Nevada court is OK with all of that, except the bit where the judge was butthurt by (the concept of a judge) being lied to when signing the warrant.

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Pirate Bay data now tugged by IP-address-tracking current

scrubber
Pirate

Re: a pool for police to fish

Copyright infringement is a civil offence, when it's not done on an industrial scale, so the police should not be involved.

http://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/small_business/intellectual_property/copyrights/500585.html

However, civil cases are much easier to prosecute, being based on balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt, so many defences are less likely to be acceptable. But, assuming you're not uploading then the damages should be fairly small too.

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scrubber
Big Brother

Illegal content missing

There is no illegal content on TPB, or the majority of torrent sites.

Torrent sites should not host any of the data their users/members are sharing regardless of legality as it should be based on a P2P network where users share data themselves.

Uploaders are responsible for the legality/copyright of the material they upload in the jurisdiction they upload from.

Downloaders are only legally responsible when the whole file(s) is(are) downloaded and if they feel the material is potentially illegal OR copyright protected they should remove it forthwith from their machines and possibly inform the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction they download to.

Or you can assume that everyone on TPB knows the legal status of every file before they have downloaded it and treat them all as criminals.

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Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

scrubber
Coat

Is this racist...

Can Germany be trusted with privacy?

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YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

scrubber
Headmaster

D'Oh!

" at least as functional – or more so –"

That's what 'at least' means...

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Snoopers' Charter amendments withdrawn – FOR NOW ...

scrubber

Re: What the Lords is for

3rd way - random selection, like jury duty.

4th way - direct, online democracy. Let the people represent themselves.

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scrubber

I hate the Lords, but...

I remember the Lords used to stop the reactionary government of the day doing some crazy knee jerk reaction to some temporary threat by screwing with the people's civil liberties, even when the public are temporarily in favour of it (e.g. Sarah's law).

Of course Blair was head of the Met and was involved in all kinds of controversies (no IPCC access to the de Menezes shooting, lobbied for holding people for 90 days without charge etc.)

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Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

scrubber
Black Helicopters

Sounds suspiciously sensible...

Where's the catch?

Got it - roaming mobile data charges.

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FBI has its fingers deep in NSA surveillance pie, declassified report shows

scrubber

Constitutional Shredder

So ... The FBI gets access to illegally obtained NSA data on law abiding Americans in order to investigate the hacking of a Japanese company by (cough) North Korea?

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Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

scrubber
Flame

Cameron: "Do we allow terrorists the safe spaces to talk to each other? I say 'no we don't."

Dear David,

1. They're not terrorists until they are convicted in a court of law of doing something terror-y. Until then they're citizens.

2. The only way to deny possible-future-terrorists safe spaces to talk to each other, is to deny EVERYONE safe spaces to talk to each other.

3. Your duty in government is not to protect us, please stop repeating that falsehood. Drug wars and the nanny state that way lie.

SIgned,

Subject Under Surveillance

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

scrubber
Black Helicopters

Democratic oversight?

So, a supra-state unelected body (A) cannot perform oversight on a supra-state unelected body (B) because an unelected body (C) with limited oversight within a different state denies them access to B's internal documents.

Who do we vote for to change this situation? Oh...

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scrubber
Stop

Re: Good Poodle!

The Ukrainians actually overthrew their democratically elected government, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?

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Sardine fishing in Kerala: Who benefits from mobile phones?

scrubber

Re: "Absolute" poverty

Not exactly Tim. Absolute poverty is based on an arbitrary dollar income that is judged to be insufficient to maintain a living standard that someone has decided constitutes poverty. That we currently include lack of basic requirements for survival is a political choice and should we ever get beyond people not being able to meet their basic needs the dollar value will increase to include refrigeration, or lighting, or internet access etc.

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scrubber
Headmaster

"Absolute" poverty

I know exactly what you're trying to say, but in economics poverty is definitionally a relative term, ergo we literally cannot raise people out of poverty, (Except by some strange finagling of the figures, but assuming any kind of Bell curve then no.)

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Google's plan to become your phone company

scrubber
Headmaster

Econ 101 - Fail

"All of those sums will eventually find their way back to consumers through their cell phone bills."

Sorry, but the costs of buying the bandwidth in a govt. auction are called sunk costs, and are fixed. Companies (want to) produce at profit maximising levels, i.e. where marginal cost = marginal revenue. Fixed costs play no part in determining where this level is and hence the amount the phone company pays has absolutely no bearing on the ultimate cost to the consumer.

Which isn't to say a company splurging their money on a license won't likely provide a worse service, money is in limited supply and money spent on licence means money not spent elsewhere (or given back to shareholders).

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Analysts claim itty bitty iPhone Mini to land next year

scrubber
Big Brother

Re: Miniature iPhone about to launch, says Reuters

Mobile phones will be carried by corporate/state provided drones that watch over everything we do. It seems weird to us now to accept such intrusion but the added convenience of having your entire life recorded and available for upload to Facebook.gov is just too large to ignore. It also takes snippets of your conversations and posts them to twitter. As the algorithm only takes the most pithy or intelligent bits it makes you look great and have loads of followers and likes. You may recoil at the thought now, but that's because you're one of those luddite millenials.

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El Reg tests portable breathalyzers: Getting drunk so you don't have to

scrubber

Re: cheap fun BAC readers too inaccurate

I want my nanobots to be able to soak up the alcohol on command so I can drive home from the pub, then release it back into my bloodstream when I am back home.

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Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

scrubber
Mushroom

Wtf?

Why is a service I pay for (govt.) Spending my money to see what I do online rather than spending money to ensure other people/countries can't see what I do online?

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Norks blame U.S. for TITSUP internet, unleash racist rant against Obama

scrubber
Headmaster

Re: It is now racist to call someone a monkey?

Except he was referred to as acting as out of control as a monkey in a tropical forest, not as a monkey (never mind an ape) and may have been intended as racist or not, but there is no need for our media outlets to state it as fact that it was racist.

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

scrubber

Re: @annihilator

BT was subsidised.

The 3g auction was an increase in fixed costs, it had literally zero impact on customer prices.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

scrubber

Re: passenger density

I always think of this advert when I hear people complaining about the cattle trucks they endure to get to their sickness-inducing desks for the 9 hour (if you're lucky) grind to be able to afford their overpriced rent and £5 beers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX9h558Tz1E

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