* Posts by gerryg

544 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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BBC vans are coming for you

gerryg

Re: Regressive tax

Retailers are no longer obliged to inform TVLA of any of your purchases, full details somewhere on this informative site.

I used to watch one programme on iPlayer, once a week, but TBH never really understood why it was legal. If I recall correctly, the original strategy of the BBC was to try to extend its bandwidth grab under the Blair administration to include the internet but the only reference to those intentions I ban find is a 2009 FOI request (so we should remain grateful for small mercies...)

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

gerryg

that I should ever say anything in support of Apple...

They either broke the law or they didn't. I find it difficult to believe that they did anything other than get advice on how to sail as close to the wind as possible, as all corporations do.

Many people dislike international tax policies in the same way that many people are always keen for rich people, defined as anyone that earns more than they do, to pay more tax.

Is this about the EU flexing its muscles on weaker EU states or is there a genuine issue? All answers would seem to have to start with the word "Luxembourg"

Apple's view

Other views include Guido Fawkes Irexit

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

gerryg

@FIA

I was commenting within the context of the article. I was not expressing a world view nor pretending anything.

While, broadly, I agree with everything you say, your use of a "straw man" rhetorical fallacy was unnecessary.

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gerryg

Re: If you own an Apple product, then you are the problem.

The OP is absolutely spot on, it's not Apple, it's their customers

A few years ago, a right-on journal "New Internationalist" tag line "People, Ideas and Action for Global Justice" ran an issue complaining about four first world issues affecting the developing world:

exploitative Intellectual Property practice, environmental pollution, workers rights and the other one (copyright Monty Python) - tax?

natch all four of these can be laid at the door of Apple

On the back page they were proud to announce that the journal was now available as an Apple app

A letter to the editor calling them out (published, in all fairness) elicited the response "customer demand"

A further letter asking if they had evaluated whether the total effect of what they were doing (tag line v promoting poor first world practice) was positive or negative went unanswered

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Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

gerryg

Re: So, to sum up...

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

Henry VI, part 2: Act 4, Scene 2

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Forget security training, it's never going to solve Layer 8 (aka people)

gerryg
Pirate

@Walter Bishop

"link"? Are you having a bubble? Is this a secret test analysing the gullibility of "El Reg" readers?

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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

gerryg

Re: @ gerryg - The fork model...

From the FAQ

Is Google Summer of Code (GSoC) a recruiting program?

No. If you are interested in working for Google, please visit the Google jobs website.

Is GSoC considered an internship, a job, or any form of employment?

No. GSoC is an activity that the student performs as an independent developer for which he/she is paid a stipend.

Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced by students?

No. While we hope that all the code that comes out of this program will find a happy home, we don’t require organizations to use the student's' code.

Do I get paid for participating in GSoC?

Yes! Google will provide a total stipend of $5500 to those students who successfully complete the program

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gerryg
Windows

Re: The fork model...

"Why do you think Google love the Apache licence, and hate the GPL"

Remind me again which kernel underpins Android and which licence it is released under?

Let's look at the Google Summer of Code,

"a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together almost 11,000 student participants and 10,000 mentors from over 113 countries worldwide."

Here are the projects that have benefited.

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Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

gerryg
Childcatcher

Check TDE for a way forward

When KDE abandoned KDE 3, Timothy Pearson took all the code and created TDE*

Since about 1997 I have been a parasite on openSUSE infrastructure (bought a couple of boxed sets, back in the day). I remember them abandoning 16 bit.

It seems to me, that if <pick your distro>'s commercial model finds supporting 32 bit too expensive then that is not their problem.

Get together, do it yourself. Pick Gentoo

That is the flipside of freedom. Don't want to do it yourself? Accept that you are a parasite and move on

*from the website

Contribute to the TDE Project

Creating TDE requires significant computing resources and bandwidth. Please consider helping to keep us online with a donation on our donations page. Without your financial assistance, TDE would not be possible!

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Google's tentacles stretch into the EU as well as the US

gerryg

"anti-Google"

Of course, to a certain extent one is free to be "anti-anything".

But if one were just venting one's spleen about a particular organisation (e.g., there is a long history of some FOSS-types foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of particular companies/practices) it would be more honest and quicker to write "I hate X, they're shit" (or whatever)

But if the article (as I assume) is about revolving doors then if all other companies are doing it then any one company would be stupid not to follow suit. The open question is whether Google are disproportionately engaged in revolving door practices.

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gerryg

context?

I'm not sure I'm too keen on the revolving door, (does business experience easily or usefully transfer, what about propriety, governance and accountability)

However I wonder how these figures compare (absolutely, by number of staff, turnover) with, e.g., law firms, accountancy firms, management consultants, <name your hated sector here> or even IBM and Microsoft.

Without this information it could just look a bit anti-Google

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UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records

gerryg

Re: Brazil

Brazil?

we could ask the de Menezes family

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gerryg
Big Brother

@Christoph

Choose your answer:

a) at least it will be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

b) it still won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

c) it definitely won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell as they'll be able to justify actions

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HMRC Verify is '2nd class'

gerryg
Big Brother

"verify" yeah, right

This farago has been elaborated in all its gory detail over many months by D Moss Esq

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Inflatable space podule set for orbital trial

gerryg
Coat

International Space Station?

Are these air bags from Bulgaria?

It's OK, I'm not here very often these days

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Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

gerryg

In my world

Motorists crash into lamp posts, illuminated keep left signs (other types of illuminated street signage equally vulnerable) bridges, each other, pedestrians, cyclists (I know, I've weakened my case)

We could paint everything yellow and erect barriers around it but that still wouldn't solve the problem that 99% of motorists think they are above average drivers

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What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains

gerryg

more to the argument than this...

I don't know enough about the rest of the world, so I'll stick to London.

Uber seems to meet a need, AirBnB similarly. I have used neither of them. A few years ago Taxi Drivers were up in arms about those bicycle rickshaw things claiming they would bring the end the world as we know it. Doesn't seem to have happened. No incumbent welcomes competition.

The argument here seems to hinge on the "community" theme, we are all in this together, etc. So what will Uber/Air do to undermine that? Well, if we all agree with one definition of community: nothing at all. Personally I don't care about the schools I don't need, the public libraries I don't use and so forth. Of course I live in a Local Authority that seems to be efficient in both collecting and administering local taxes, so they are low and I am quite happy. YMMV

Those that argue for mechanisms other than competition highlight the accompanying evils but underplay the resulting choice and diversity. Don't like the wages? Do something about it. Don't like the prices? Don't buy it then. But what are the options in the absence of competiton?

Remind me again, why the tube drivers are taking strike action and what alternatives I have?

The Grauniad says it's about working patterns - OK but is that every tube driver*? (in the same way some shops are happy to open on Christmas day) and what about the user demand for a 24 hour service?

The world was going to end, according to some, when buses went cashless - doesn't seem to have happened.

Sure society needs some oversight, but always beware of special pleading and always ask "qui bono?"

* I'm grateful as ever for the Daily Mash view no thanks, we're paid enough

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We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever

gerryg

Re: I could be excited

...and I didn't pay for it when I didn't use it

Isn't that called "a taxi"?

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Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

gerryg

Re: Fatty livers getting more prevelant?

Drinking "Waterloo Sunset" cocktails?

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Oh dear, Microsoft: UK.gov signs deal with LibreOffice

gerryg

Re: The economics just don't stack up

It wasn't five years ago that the London School of Economics published an extensive study on the TCO comparison and the Open Source Consortium published an extensive study on everything else.

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Google watchers react furiously to ad flinger’s competition case defence

gerryg

no, they're not

If they were, they'd be out there competing

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Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

gerryg

Obligatory

"Flipper" reference

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Boffins nail 2FA with 'ambient sound' login for the lazy

gerryg

what people say and what people do

"The boffins also asked 32 folks, none security experts, how they feel about this form of 2FA: most said they would prefer it over no 2FA being used"

Whatever the merits of the proposed system, I was deeply underwhelmed that they prayed-in-aid the preferences of general users. General users generally know what is the right to say when asked however, the researchers would do well to research the dangers associated with relying on Revealed Preferences

In general, general users are underwhelmed by security measures, nobody cares

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SEC: Ukrainian hackers' investment fraud ring raked in millions in 'unprecedented' hack

gerryg
Boffin

Re: ??? I really don`t understand..

There's a code of conduct in order to co-ordinate the release of financially advantageous information. The press releases are sent out early and embargoed until x o'clock on y day. It's so everyone get the information at the same time in order to prevent the arbitrage of privileged information (a mild version of insider trading but as we see, with similar opportunities)

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Phone scamming up 30 percent last year: Report

gerryg

Somehow

I was briefly on a list used by sub-continent scammers. The first few were wanting to discuss my recent car accident which stopped after a few pre-emptions of the Boris Johnson gambit but my deepest regret was never to have received the Microsoft support call (worse, a non-technical friend for whom I have provided LOTD, has) but my most recent (and hopefully last) call gave me (Linux user since 1999) that satisfaction

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Sharing Economy latest: Women's BREAST MILK is the new 'liquid GOLD' of the internet

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Entertaining prospect: Amazon Fire TV Stick

gerryg

one feature omitted and a user comparison

I got a Chromecast on special offer (£15 with about that on credit with Google play) I was offered a Fire Stick for £18 so I thought I'd give it a go.

Both have their plus points

The Firestick has 8 (5 free?) GB of memory which enables buffering and makes HD watchable on my 19Mb/s broadband - it's more like a DVD experience

Using your phone or table with Chromecast is OK but still gives a clunky UI, I prefer the Firestick remote control, clunky UI, but easier to use.

Use case: I don't have TV and find it neither shiny nor pointless

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Open source? HP Enterprise will be all-in, post split, says CTO

gerryg

Grommet? Was that a good name?

Are HP making cracking contraptions these days, Gwendoline?

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Second-hand IT alliance forms to combat 'bully' vendors

gerryg

Way back in 1972 when the EEC was being created

It was to be formed by countries accepting 100 directives. This was amended to 99 by the UK's refusal to sign up to a directive banning pattern parts (not just any radiator hose but now it's a reassuringly expensive BMW radiator hose)

I've sometimes mused whether this and similar gave rise to the IP wars we've seen over the year ("rounded corners" anyone)

Perhaps the return to trying to eliminate third parties reflects the turning tide in IP wars, but it would be interesting to see how this one pans out as the topic is well worked over

see also

Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

among others...

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Apple: Relax, fanbois! We never meant to read your heart rate during wild wrist action

gerryg

er, wrist rate

They might be wankers, but the last time I checked (see what I did there) right-handers wear their watch on their left wrist and left-handers on their right wrist.

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

gerryg

Re: Shut it you tedious old windbag

Remind me of your contribution to all of this?

Whether or not you use (GNU)Linux, you have benefited from FSF holding critical account.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

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gerryg

Stallman isn't my cup of tea

but he deserves a bit more respect than this

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Russia will fork Sailfish OS to shut out pesky Western spooks

gerryg
Pirate

Re: Same old hokey-cokey

Yup, history repeating itself

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Cop in gay porn film advised to put his helmet away

gerryg

Re: There go the plans for the sequel.

or "The Boys in Blue"

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Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing

gerryg

Re: Just thinking out loud

Stop thinking out loud and start Googling quietly... ? exFAT

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gerryg

Re: You listening Microsoft? Epson Drivers

Never seems popular to say this, however on the Epson website: Image Scan For Linux or search

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Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo

gerryg

Re: why I play Go

A little complacent, methinks, 6 dan, £3 on google play.

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Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

gerryg

openSUSE

Along with almost every desktop environment under the sun, find it here

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

gerryg

Re: Hmmm....

I think that's called a Pyrrhic victory

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

gerryg

Before "digital transformation" I suspected incompetence; after, I knew

I have lived where I live for over 16 years. Every year I used the two part no-change on-line process to update the electoral roll

With the new process involving gov.uk my local authority couldn't use that information but instead had to match my address details to those held by DWP. Despite me having contacted DWP a few years earlier from the same address by post because I couldn't use their on-line service for my NI record as my address details didn't match their records, they still couldn't match me, so I had to do the passport and inside leg measurement fandango.

It does actually leave me wondering if they are deliberately this bad.

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Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system

gerryg

...update

A history of RPA "successes".

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gerryg

It's difficult to decide....

...whether it's GDS or the Rural Payments Agency here, after all we've been here before with deja vu all over again

in response to the NAO criticisms the then head of the RPA procuded one of the best non-statements I've seen:

"We will be considering the content of the report carefully. The problems we have faced over the last year have been widely documented. We are striving to make payments as quickly as possible and apologise to those farmers still awaiting money."

I can't track it down at the moment but at a Select Committee hearing, the then recently appointed head of DEFRA said (my phrasing) "the thing is, it started before I arrived" and the then recently left head of DEFRA said "the thing is, it happened after I left"

The naked RPA staff seem to be in there, somewhere, too

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Ark of the Government deal confirmed, joint venture established

gerryg

where to start...

"I don't think there is risk, because in the worst case scenario the government could take it over," he said

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Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

gerryg

no longer about Linux

"It might have a point, given that the work IBM and Novell did on Linux is thought to have have helped the operating system reach its current status as a data centre darling."

For those of you who haven't been following this since the start it is worth reading the history on Groklaw.

This no longer about Linux, Novell settled that. So now they are going after IBM on contractual matters.

It was a failing business then (remember we are talking pre-2003, when the suit was launched (oh, how I remember) and it has failed ever since. IIRC IBM have been waiting for them to bring this on.

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Curiosity rover's broken arm heals, exploration-as-normal resumes

gerryg

If NASA made beer...

...it would probably taste better than this

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Attack of the Digital People: The BBC goes fully Bong

gerryg

Too big, too safe

It's a strange thing, there's a lot of concern out there that [insert your least favourite private sector leviathan] is getting too big and that this cause problems for you, me, world peace and global warming

However similar behaviour in the public sector tends to be treated differently and I've never understood why.

If bad outcomes are caused by size then it seems irrelevant what those bad outcomes turn out to be (profits, too many bureaucrats, overpaid "talent", whatever)

Anti-competitive practice in the public sector is loosely described as illegal state aid

it's not as if the BBC hasn't been here before with its digital curriculum.

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Acer enters Windows Phone fray with cheap Liquid M220 mobe

gerryg
Facepalm

Just as well...

...no-one at Google reads El Reg, then

"Razali said that Windows Phone runs better on the same hardware than Android. “It’s not something I can say in front of Google. The truth is that the system is less demanding in terms of hardware,” he told the Reg."

Is this really the best anyone can do?

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Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

gerryg

Their margins are different to most others

As in "at the margin"

What else are they going to do with their money, put in a post office savings account and borrow it back? Invest in each others' shares and profit from each others' growth. If anyone can see how this works they've probably got a patent on a perpetual motion machine too.

Speculative R&D is an essential part of a portfolio investment strategy. They've got to stop it all becoming a zero sum game by finding new areas of economic activity from which they find new sources of return on capital.

It's not difficult.

Yes, no doubt they could give it all to developing countries and no doubt all of it would be usefully and efficiently deployed on schools hospitals, clean water and sewage systems (and none of it would end up Swiss bank accounts and other syphoning activties)

However in the real world, villages in Africa are getting all this stuff through earlier examples of speculative R&D, e.g., mobile phones, solar power and, earlier, bicycles

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Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay

gerryg

Remember 2011...

...and the LSE TCO of OSS study for Cabinet Office

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gerryg

Don't forget 2012

[Microsoft] confirmed last week [...] is raising the cost of its software to UK channel partners by 29 per cent on average.

Is the definition of a monopoly someone that can raise prices 29% during a recession?

2015: "Government departments will pay up to 47 per cent more for the pleasure of using Microsoft desktop software"

Well at least the recession must be over.

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