* Posts by AndyS

612 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

AndyS
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Re: Irish politicians will need to fight this ruling...

> Would that have been necessary if the big multinationals like Apple were paying tax at the published rate everyone else had to pay?

Those multinationals wouldn't be in Ireland if they were paying tax at the published rate. That's why they're there.

Ireland still benefits from having them - corporation tax isn't the only way a company benefits its host country (employment, income tax, etc). If they didn't cut these illegal deals, those companies would go somewhere else (as they likely might now anyway), and Ireland will be poorer for it.

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AndyS
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Re: Correction ..

> Apple has so far resisted the temptation to send The Reg a comment on the whole sorry saga for the last two decades.

Actually, it appears there is the occasional chink in Apple's Reg-proof armour. See this article for example (although the Reg failed to comment on Apple commenting to the Reg).

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AndyS
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So they paid €50 on every €1M profit. At 12.5% corp tax, that's €400 of profit declared as Irish.

So the question is simple. In what country was tax on the remaining €999,600 paid, and at what rate?

Was it paid in the country in which the sales were made? Presumably not, or there would be no point routing it through a fictional head office in Ireland. Was it paid in the US, where they are actually headquartered? Well, no. Was it paid in China, where the devices are manufactured? That would seem extremely unlikely.

So, in the assumption that they are paying tax on only 0.004% of their non-US profits, this seems like such a cut-and-dry case of mega-corp tax avoidance/evasion that everybody with an ounce of integrity, Irish, American, Chinese, whatever, should be cheering on the EU.

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

AndyS
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Re: just turn it off already.

You don't need to stop the car and put it in park if you're in the middle of a motorway. Only if you want to re-engage autopilot. You're free to continue driving it like a normal car.

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AndyS
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Re: Its all in the name

Two car family here, one of which is only used occasionally (say 2 days a week). If I could send my car home again after I get to work, the first thing we would do is sell the other one.

We're rural, but if we were more urban, we'd probably be fine without owning a car, provided the cost of a shared system was significantly lower than the current cost of using taxis.

There are many, many people like us, who see a car as a useful but expensive tool, not a prized possession to be coveted, polished and drooled over. It gets me from A to B nicely, but costs a lot of money. If I can still get from A to B as conveniently, but for less money, I'll drop it in a heartbeat.

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India tests Mach 6 scramjet

AndyS
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Re: Scramjet uses

>Guiding it would be as well.

I guess it could always slow down as it approached its target? Or it could simply be a carrier, which would then release more conventional weapons once within range?

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

AndyS
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Re: Particularly interesting...

>Once Ireland decide to leave the EU...

As someone living here (well, the Northern enclave, anyway), once they do that, they'll quickly revert to being a third world economy, praying the potatoes don't fail again...

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AndyS
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Particularly interesting...

...as it substantially reduces the benefits of headquartering in Ireland, after the event.

I wonder if they will now leave Ireland, since the benefit maybe isn't there, and if other high tech firms will follow?

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Brexit Britain: HP Sauce vs BBC.co.uk – choices that defined voters

AndyS
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So, let's see if I've got this right.

People interested in the world around them - news, travel, information, technology - voted stay.

People interested in their lives, right here, right now - fast food, basically - voted leave.

It seems Michael Gove was right. People really are fed up listening to experts.

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

AndyS
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Re: Just one

> This

"Gee, if only there was some sort of button I could press that indicated my agreement with a comment which I felt added to the conversation. It would be so much more convenient than having to type "this" so many times every day."

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Brit network O2 hands out free Windows virus with USB pens

AndyS
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Re: I wonder

> if people will be remembering this in a decade, like they obsess over the Sony "Rootkit" (that wasn't a rootkit at all). [citation needed] This actually is far more severe, [citation needed] and affecting more people. [citation needed]

Here's some citations.

1. Root kit (yes, an actual root kit)

2. The Sony rootkit was on product which had been paid for, it installed itself deceptively (after a yes/no dialogue which it ignored), on a massive number of computers. Sony then repeatedly denied its existence then, once they were cornered, offered deceptive, broken "removal" tools. This O2 debacle is the accidental inclusion of an outdated virus in a small run of advertising media, followed by immediate notification of at-risk people and clear instructions on what to do next.

3. Sony distributed 22 million infected CDs.

Now, go and find a nurse, and tell them you've forgotten to take your medication again.

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Mobile banking for the poor has flopped in India

AndyS
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Re: The poor in India is missing something significant for mobile banking

Hahahaha!!! You should tell Donald Trump that one, he's got the best racist jokes. He should know.

Except the article notes the average monthly income, and it's based on a model successfully developed in East Africa (where the average income is similar to, although a bit lower than, India).

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Hello, Barclays? Why hello, John Smith. We meet again

AndyS
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Re: Dangerous gimmick

Ah yes, the Ford voice "recognition". Assuming it's the same style of system as in my 2014 Focus, it would make a decent random number generator for some highly sensitive encryption.

Did you know the software is produced by Microsoft, incidentally?

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

AndyS
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Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them? What about cream - (s)he doesn't add it to the crumble before it gets to the table, I presume? Jam on scones likewise - what sort of cafe would sell scones with the condiments pre spread?

No, all these things are up to the diner to decide.

I presume the member of staff's plan was never to be allowed to make tea again, and in that respect, presumably, they were successful.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

AndyS
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Re: Waste of time

You can't fix it, but you can eventually take it out of the loop. That's why there are a lot of companies, Tesla included, working so hard to produce self-driving cars - exactly (and sadly ironically) to prevent accidents like this happening.

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AndyS
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Re: Not an AI

>Small low powered radio transmitters are not that expensive and could be retro fitted to older vehicles and mandatory on new sending an 'I'm' here signal out.

Not going to happen, I'm afraid. Any suggestion of this sort (adding additional hardware to in-service cars/planes/etc) almost universally fails to appreciate the real costs.

Every model of car will need a unique one, and it will need designed, tested and homologated, which will cost hundreds of thousands if not millions per model. It will need fitted by a dealership, who will need to provide a courtesy car for the day (probably cost about £100-£150 including labour, admin etc). The MOT will need changed to include it, additional equipment required to test it is installed and working correctly (probably cost about £100,000 per MOT station). There are about 35,000,000 cars in the UK - even if the gizmo itself was only a few quid in production, the total cost of a programme like this, in the UK alone, will run into the hundreds of millions at a minimum, probably the billions. Who is going to pay? The government (ie the tax payer)? Existing vehicle owners who won't benefit? Or the new-start companies like Tesla? None of those three are plausible.

And it would take years. Probably much longer than it will take for the AI to improve to the point it isn't needed.

Now consider vehicle import/export, the use of foreign vehicles on the UK's roads, etc. So unless the entire world implemented these simultaneously, the auto cars could not rely on it existing, so it won't even do any real good.

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Apple Watch exec Bob Mansfield 'gets into secret Apple car'

AndyS
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Wait, stop press...

>Apple ... a spokesperson for the company politely asked The Register...

Are Apple talking to The Reg? When did this happen? How did I miss it? Forget the rest of the article, isn't this the big news? How does did does (immortal) Steve Jobs pronounce it? Reg with a hard g, or soft?

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Oops: Bounty-hunter found Vine's source code in plain sight

AndyS
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Re: "the problem was fixed in March"

It was closed within 5 minutes of him notifying them - who knows how long it was open for.

And presumably, since this all happened 4 months ago (meaning by now the source code is likely out of date, and keys were presumably changed asap after discovery), and since this is the first time I've seen it reported, you'd have to assume no real damage was done.

Which means the bug bounty worked as planned.

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Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

AndyS
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Is this worse

than virtually every other browser on the market, which leaks information back to the USA?

Why are we automatically meant to be more suspicious of China than America? Neither have exactly proved themselves the guardians of decency and consumer protection.

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AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

AndyS
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> Any commercial flights with drones should be done with licenced pilots only! IMO.

Why? Should anyone operating a remote controlled ground based vehicle need a driving licence? What level - would an automatic transmission licence be enough, or should it be full manual? You do know there are multiple levels of pilots' licences, right? Which are you thinking is appropriate? Or are you suggesting a new class of licence just for drones? What has changed, and why do you think this hasn't been required for r/c aircraft up until now (since these have been around in fairly large numbers for 30-40 years plus)?

I've flown fixed wing aircraft (gliders, piston and turbo-prop), helicopters, and many types of RC aircraft including all the above and also quadcopters (drones). Proving you can fly a Cessna safely would be no use at all for flying a drone, and vice versa, and I don't see any need to licence a new class of r/c aircraft just because it has suddenly got more accessible and useful. There are already laws against doing stupid things that could, or do, cause injury or damage - these laws still apply, and are sufficient.

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Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding

AndyS
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Re: Sent mine back.

Ah yes. I suppose that Whoosh noise was the sort of sound a burning electric skateboard thing would make as it trundles gently over my head.

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AndyS
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Re: Sent mine back.

Ah yes, the other Chav marker. Should have got a Staffy though, aren't they the popular way to look hard (and accidentally kill the occasional toddler) these days?

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AndyS
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Re: Huh?

What?

42 cases of burns etc.

16 cases of severe property damage.

Somewhere between 42 and 58 total incidents.

That wasn't too hard to work out, was it?

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AndyS
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Re: "Sideways-Motorised-Rollerskate!"

Surely you mean "sideways-motorised-skateboard"? I'm with you though - not really sure what niche they fill, and without a catchy (and blatantly lying) name, I'm not sure they would have caught on to the extent they have. Which fortunately isn't very much.

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AndyS
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Re: Burns to arms and neck?

A temperature cut-out, even if it is fitted, won't do much for an internal failure, damage caused from outside, or a short circuit. It would be like fitting a fire detector inside a bonfire. "Yup, it's on fire."

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AndyS
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Water is absolutely the correct thing to use to fight a li-ion battery fire.

The cells currently burning cannot feasibly be stopped. However cells are usually in blocks of many cells. Cooling them down will prevent fire/failure from spreading to the neighbouring cells.

A li-ion battery fire is not an electrical fire, for which water will do nothing, or an oil fire, which water will spread. Cooling it down with water is 100% the correct course of action.

I put an axe through a fairly large li-ion pack at the weekend. One cell immediately went up. Within 3 minutes or so, every cell in the pack had gone. Nothing can stop that initial cell, but water would have prevented the (much larger, and much longer) fire from occurring.

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Debian founder Ian Murdock killed himself – SF medical examiner

AndyS
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Not very sensitive.

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Outed China ad firm infects 10m Androids, makes $300k a month

AndyS
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Re: Android versions?

My wife still has a "backup" phone that runs Honeycomb, which still works as far as I know. Although it's not been turned on for a while now.

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AndyS
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Android versions?

"...the horribly outdated KitKat version 4.4 operating system... the significantly more-secure JellyBean version 5.x operating system"

Some mistake? JellyBean is pretty old these days, older than KitKat - isn't 5.x Lollipop?

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Celebrated eye hospital Moorfields lets Google eyeball 1 million scans

AndyS
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Re: Retinal identification as a consequence?

Here's the thing about Revelation. It's so fantastically specific on details which are relevant across all of history (eg the importance of the ability to buy and sell), while being completely vague on the details which could narrow down the time period which it's talking about, that it has been interpreted as applying to everything from Nero, through Napoleon, to Hitler, and now to all sorts of body implant type things.

It was written to offer encouragement under persecution, no matter when in history that persecution happens, and it's been astonishingly well written for that. Google isn't, really, persecuting. So I'd go out on a limb, and say that, perhaps, it's not really relevant here.

I know it won't make me popular to say this here, but in pure Biblical terms, Google probably aren't the Antichrist.

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Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

AndyS
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I don't get it.

I've heard her on the radio numerous times. I've read some of her stuff. I sort of agree with her on some topics.

And yet, I've never heard her say or do anything interesting. Every time I've heard her, it's just more Motherhood and Apple Pie (digital edition).

If she had something interesting to say, or could coherently discuss a problem and proposed solution (and how that solution would work), or if she was even vaguely entertaining to listen to, I could understand why she would keep being invited back. I guess she's a bit of a wiki-interviewee - she can be molded and encouraged to say whatever suits the agenda of the interviewer. It's all very... boring.

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John Lewis CIO commands brand-new super-group role

AndyS
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I worked in John Lewis once...

...from summer to Christmas 1999. At that point, telephone sales were fulfilled by phoning the store, being put through to the department, talking to a member of staff who would go and pick up the things you wanted from the shop floor. They would then run it through the till, take a card payment over the phone (no credit cards accepted, debit only), and carry it down to the loading bay in the basement where they would personally wrap it, hand write the address on the outside and leave it in a cage, which usually already had one or two other orders in it, to be taken to the warehouse and posted from there. Postage was free within the UK (including overseas military post codes), but international shipping got a bit more complicated.

Times have changed a lot, in what is really a very short period of time. It's astonishing, really.

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Last panel in place, China ready to boot up giant telescope

AndyS
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Re: Creeping Americanisation

PS - shouldn't this telescope really be measured in football pitches? Wales seems inconveniently large - a bit like a Farad.

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AndyS
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Creeping Americanisation

I'm worried. El Reg, you get a point for measuring in Waleses (rather than our cousin's favoured Texases, which I still struggle to convert quickly in my head to either Wales or football pitches - I mean it's very easy to remember that there are approx 2.825 x 10^6 football pitches per Wales, but I can't ever remember how many rounders baseball fields there are to a Texas, never mind how big a rounders baseball field actually is).

However, you promptly lost it again for talking of "hex" keys. What's wrong with Allan keys? What about spanners - aren't they hexagons too? Or should we start calling them "wrenches"?

5/10, needs improvement. See me after class.

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Man sues YET AGAIN for chance to marry his computer

AndyS
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Re: ReL Windows computers aren't marriage material because

Windows PCs seem to be a lot more fickle than the old Nintendos. All they needed was a quick blow.

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Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

AndyS
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Re: Legal Headaches

In other news, the vast majority of arrests come after interaction with police. Therefore if we abolish the police, crime will disappear!

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Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

AndyS
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Re: I wouldn't take one

Moto G is very simple to root. Don't know about the other handsets being offered.

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AndyS
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Absolutely. Moto G, certainly, is extremely easy to root. So this just looks like a £50 discount for people who want a rooted phone. Nice!

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Plymouth 'animal rights' teen admits Florida SeaWorld cyber attack

AndyS
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>And I, for one, have never got hyperlinks to work properly on El Reg, despite playing around with HTML a little. How do you get them to work?

Seems a little esoteric. I had to edit my comment a couple of times to make it work (which was a bit ironic...)

I eventually dropped the inverted commas around the href argument of the html tag, although playing about now, it seems to work with or without inverted commas, and either single or double work.

It also seems that any abortive attempt to put html in a comment prevents the rest of the html in the comment from being parsed, and also prevents you from being able to post the comment. When you hit post, it tells you "There are some problems with your post. The post contains some invalid HTML".

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AndyS
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Wow. That's a lot of links. I think. Although it's hard to tell to be honest, they're all kind of jumbled up in there. Still, it's a lot of text, so I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

You know nobody is going to go to the bother of copying and pasting any one of them, right? Also, did you know El Reg supports hyperlinks?

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AndyS
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Seaworld is a despicable slave centre

...and looks like a party of saints compared to his other (admitted) target, the Japanese dolphin hunt.

Next we'll find out he's been targeting UKIP too. Then he really will be a national hero.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

AndyS
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Re: old school attitudes to data erasure

> Is manually drilling or hammering thousands of drives really a cost effective method for destruction?

No, but then driving millions of miles a year isn't really cost effective either. However if you need to travel about 20 miles a day, it makes perfect sense.

For most normal people, handling a few hard-drives now and again, a hammer, drill or other mechanical solution is probably perfectly fine - 5 minutes, job done. Obviously if you run a business destroying drives, you need something more... efficient.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

AndyS
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Re: Love's father

I heard his father too, seemed like a very reasonable man.

My issue with "time, crime" etc is that there needs to be continual debate about what "time" is appropriate for what "crime," and that debate is necessarily always started after someone _has_ done the crime. Our and the US's understanding of what time is reasonable for what crime is often very, very far out of kilter, as is our and their sense of a "fair trial."

So sending someone there for what is not much more than a minor misdemeanor worthy of a slap on the wrist, in the full knowledge of lack of real trial (via their "plea bargin" system) and the consequent hell that awaits them, is considered by most right-thinking people as unjust.

Thus while it's possible to have very little sympathy with the individual at the centre of the discussion, it's still a valid and worthwhile discussion.

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Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea

AndyS
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"...adopt a culture of dumpster diving..."

Oh shut up.

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VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

AndyS
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I suspect the other reason it didn't come to light for so long is that nobody's plate is completely clean (although VW's seems to have been particularly dirty). Having worked in the auto industry, it is openly acknowledged by the OEMs, the test houses and the government that a new, clean, more rigorous approach to testing is required. However until that is implemented, it will do nobody any favours to investigate the current methods of "passing" in too much detail.

So, sweep out the entire house and start again. But until then, don't ask too many questions.

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Europe's UK-backed Unified Patent Court 'could be derailed'

AndyS
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Re: The UK is a full member of the EU

That's all great. So in lay-man's terms, nothing is likely to happen for 2-4 years.

So, that completely of pulls the rug out from under a 2017 opening date. And since 1/3 of the funding is likely to be lost (not guaranteed of course, but likely), no sane person would bank on this project continuing.

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AndyS
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Great idea! Let's add this to the list of things that £350M per week can fund!

No doubt with that much money we'll not only be able to fund a new hospital every Tuesday, all the world's science, farms for everyone, 3 schools for every child and this new patent court, but also get rid of tax! And immigrants!

Retake control! We're going to be so rich.

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Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

AndyS
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Re: Lingua Franca

In large parts of Africa, the Lingua Franca is the tongue of whichever country colonised them - so English in East and Southern Africa, French in Central and West, Arabic in the North, Portugese in Mozambique, and Afrikaans (basically Toddler Dutch) in large parts of SA. English won't get you far in any of these, unless you get lucky.

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

AndyS
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Re: A close call?

Martin, I should have given the link, yes - the most interesting aspect is the decision not to change to emergency radio frequency to reduce the pilots' workload, which led to an inability to communicate directly with the fire crew, which led to Chinese whispers leading the fire crew to believe there was a fire inside the cabin. So, they turned up in full haz-mat gear with axes at the ready, prepared for ingress into a burning aircraft.

Unsurprisingly, from the news reports at the time, this spooked the passengers, making them think the situation was way more serious than it really was. Luckily it had no real adverse effect on the response, but it highlights very clearly how seemingly benign departures from pre-agreed procedures, even if done for the best of reasons, can have serious unintended consequences.

Full disclosure: I did a work placement at the AAIB many moons ago, so read their reports like a true geek. I can highly recommend it - many of them are fascinating.

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IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

AndyS
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Re: FTFY...

Wait, does killing unnamed and unarmed brown people somewhere in the middle east not count as a "vital public service"? I always assumed it was essential to our democracy, since we seem to spend so much of our money doing it.

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