* Posts by a cynic writes...

209 posts • joined 17 Aug 2009

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Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

a cynic writes...

According to an old family story there was a coal man that had that arrangement in East Ham.

It worked well until one Christmas the lads down the pub decided it was unfair on the horse and clubbed together to it a bucket or two of beer. The following day the bloke found himself in the dock on a charge of "drunk in charge of a drunken horse".

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

a cynic writes...

Can I just check I have this right..

There's EU funding mechanisms for research open to non-EU members (eg Switzerland, Israel). There's anecdotal evidence that despite the fact that we're still members funding is getting knocked back because:

(1) people don't know our long term membership position of the funding arrangements. (which is fair enough)

(2) the people involved in the evaluation stage playing politics. Which we know they do since according to the Guardian article they started downgrading Swiss research after a referendum to restrict immigration.

So (1) should be fixable by joining Horizon 2020 et.al as non-EU members. Fixing (2) depends on how long grown adults will sulk. Based on my experience, sometime around the turn of the century then.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

a cynic writes...

Re: We all know what happened

Three months ago I said:

There are positive arguments for staying as part of the EU but I've yet to hear anyone make them. "No Tracy, don't leave. Stay and make a go of it or he'll cut up rough." isn't the winning argument you all seem to think it is. In fact from what I've seen it's flat out counter-productive.

After watching the campaign and the aftermath I think I can add: If you want to convince people of your ideas don't talk about them as though they are the shit on your shoe.

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EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

a cynic writes...

I'd imagine it was two groups....

(1) The lot who weren't registered, decided to register and finally woke up to the deadline. Expect to see them arrive at polling stations at 9.59pm and then throw a strop when they can't get in.

(2) The lot who registered months ago and had a wee panic since they haven't had their polling card yet.

I think group 2 will be larger.

In other arse-elbow news last week it came out that people not entitled to vote had been issued polling cards.

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Subjects! Speek your branes to Parliament on the Snoopers' Charter

a cynic writes...

OK I admit it - I was wrong...

...when back in May last year I said

The Conservative majority is small enough that forcing this bollocks through will be difficult.

In my defence I had sort of expected there to be an opposition for Tory rebels to join.

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Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

a cynic writes...

"...North Korea of Europe..."

Like Switzerland that well known third world country?

This is getting silly.

From the top - if we vote out we've 2 years to negotiate all this stuff. I expect some of it to pass on the nod (because it's in no ones interest to fuck it up completely) and some of it will turn into a right pigs ear (because the people involved have previous). Neither the rose tinted wish fulfillment of the 'leavers' not the dire predictions of the 'remainers' will come to pass.

Yes there may be some countries that want to cut up rough - I expect that the self defeating nature of doing so will be pointed out to them by wiser heads. In the event of a close vote (and given the EU's behaviour to previous referendums) I would not be surprised for there to be an attempt to move the goal posts. I realise that would be against its own rules but that has never been an obstacle in the past and doubt it would be in this case.

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How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

a cynic writes...

For the love of god you lot, never dispense relationship advice...

Seriously guys. There are positive arguments for staying as part of the EU but I've yet to hear anyone make them. "No Tracy, don't leave. Stay and make a go of it or he'll cut up rough." isn't the winning argument you all seem to think it is. In fact from what I've seen it's flat out counter-productive.

If you must bring it down to costs and benefits at least go with the believable "we have to negotiate this shit anyway and it's a fuck site easier inside than outside".

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

a cynic writes...

Re: We make our own prisons

As I understand it he's a fugitive for having sex with a consenting adult who later changed her mind. Which counts as rape in Sweden.

er...no. He's a fugitive for going to bed with someone who said she'd only have sex with him if he wore a condom, waiting until she was asleep and then carrying on without one. Sounds a bit rapey...

In one of his many appeals he didn't argue it didn't happen just that it didn't count. The High Court didn't agree:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131202164909/http://judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2011/assange-judgment-0211201

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Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

a cynic writes...

Bloody hell...The gin and the orange juice were a new one on me. The version I used to drink 20-odd years ago was just a snake bite and Blue Curacao.

One abiding memory is when I introduced a mate to them. A few hours later he was praying at the porcelain alter and I heard the plaintive wail "...you fucking bastard - IT'S GREEN" .

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There's an epidemic of idiots who can't find power switches

a cynic writes...

Back in the days of medes & persians...

...a mate of mine was first line support for a modem company.

The first thing he would ask was "can you unplug it and then plug it back in ?" Funny how many times the user worked what the issue was...

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

a cynic writes...

Re: James is a dick...

Given the company in question has shops in most large UK towns and had a turnover of £123M (~$185M) last year I think 'continuing to eat' wasn't an issue.

Unless there's another well known Nottingham based games company...

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TalkTalk to swallow £35m ‘financial impact’ after attack

a cynic writes...

I feel a rebranding may be on the cards...

I suspect they'll retain most of their customer base through inertia and sometime in the spring will rebrand avoiding the "new customer" issue.

Personally I'm one of those rural ADSL customers who Virgin sold transferred to TalkTalk. If weren't planning on moving they'd be out on their ear - as it is they won't get the business at the new house.

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Hi, um, hello, US tech giants. Mind, um, mind adding backdoors to that crypto? – UK govt

a cynic writes...

I can't help wondering...

...if somewhere in Cheltenham there's one of our number trying to work out how the hell to tell the Boss "It was a joke".

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Doctor Who's The Girl Who Died ships in nasty Vikings floating atop a time-bending tidal wave

a cynic writes...

Re: Was I the only one...

No, you weren't. It confused the hell out of SWMBO.

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Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

a cynic writes...

Re: Science happens to other people

...in a Faraday Cage ?

I thought that for a second then I realised that a Faraday cage wouldn't block sound. Sonic Sunglasses - the hint's in the name.

The science is still bollocks of course but then it always has been. Unless you know a way to "reverse the polarity in the neutron flow"?

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Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

a cynic writes...

Re: However...

On the plus side over the centuries as we've becoming better at wholesale slaughter we've become less interested in it. Which is nice...

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West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

a cynic writes...

Re: Bad luck Estonia

"...Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent..."

I can't help feeling there's something missing from that list...

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

a cynic writes...

Re: Driverless cars do not need to be owned

Perhaps because you want to use a car for the same two hours as everyone else...

In other news automatic gearboxes have been available for decades and most people in Britain drive manuals. I doubt that most people will want to give up the illusion of control and "driverless" mode will end up like cruise control - widely available but rarely engaged.

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

a cynic writes...

In London it's a bit different with two types of taxi - black cabs that are heavily regulated* and minicabs (aka private hire vehicles) which are lightly regulated. Uber ignores both.

Don't under any circumstances ask a black cab driver (like my brother in law) about Uber. He will tell you...

Anyway there are two logical answers - either enforce the existing regulations or relax them. What's the betting neither happens until the first horror story hits the front page?

*Heavily regulated as in you need to pass an exam as to routes (takes 1-2 years), use one of the 3 vehicles which conform to spec (about £40k) and your fare rates are set by government. By contrast minicabs just need to be roadworthy, be pre-booked and with a pre-agreed fare.

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

a cynic writes...

Re: Canuck Post Pub Nosh

Will this do?

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Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

a cynic writes...

We've had 'em in the back garden...

...which explained why the dog went spare at 2am. Thankfully our chickens are in covered runs or like most people round here we'd have lost them.

As to "a whiff of pish" given it was a Saturday night I think a whiff of the ale might be nearer the mark.

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

a cynic writes...

It helps to actually read the article before commenting...

Unless I've just read a different article to the rest of you the title just summarises the position that the rest of it undermines. My reading:

1) Some economists put the argument in the title, saying that there is no alternative to spending vast wodges of cash...

2) But they forget monetary policy. QE has given us the room to cut.

3) Which we did in the 1920s when it worked like a charm. That time in wasn't QE but leaving the Gold Standard but the effect was much the same.

4) Meaning that whilst you can still advocate spending more, original argument that there is no alternative is a load of dingo's kidneys.

Hardly the lefty diatribe that some of you seem to think.

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

a cynic writes...

If memory serves,,,

...about 35%.

At least that's my recollection of the percentage of support for Scottish Independence in England in the run up to the referendum.

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Theresa May: Right, THIS time we're getting the Snoopers' Charter in

a cynic writes...

On the bright side...

The Conservative majority is small enough that forcing this bollocks through will be difficult.

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Facebook echo chamber: Or, the British media and the election

a cynic writes...

How about...

...everyone just accept it's possible for other people to disagree with you without them being stupid or evil or both.

I realise that could be difficult...if you think your decision making is perfect because you're (a) so clever (b) so worthy or (c) like Ms Toynbee the epitome of Lady Bountiful. Tough. We've enough arrogant bastards in the world we don't need any more.

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Bridge, ship 'n' tunnel – the Brunels' hidden Thames trip

a cynic writes...

One for the summer holidays...

...not only is it the sort of trip out my youngest likes it also means I can visit my old local. I used to drink in the Mayflower before I met his mum mumble years ago.

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Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

a cynic writes...

Like seismology...

...you know where the catastrophe is going to hit, but no one can predict when. I remember predictions of disaster years in advanced but the crisis was well under way before it became general knowledge. At least a year before Lehmans went down I was reading the blog of a (now sadly deceased) SAP consultant describing what was going wrong and the likely implications.

It doesn't help that the political class is shit scared of being honest and precipitating things. Do remember the shit Alistair Darling got when he said how bad it was going to get?

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Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse chap in 'desperate' cash shortage

a cynic writes...

I can recommend Neil's bacon & lentil recipe - although as we had them in the cupboard I replaced the red lentils with green and the tinned toms with cheap passata.

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Give me POWER: How to keep working when the lights go out

a cynic writes...

And when the lights come back on...

...you realise that your dedicated line to the DC runs down the same tunnel.

Interesting times...

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Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

a cynic writes...

We just went home...

We lost the fibre (and SIP trunks) to begin with. The power went sometime later.

We've already been warned that the fibre is likely to be down over 24 hours, so if we do have power in the morning then I get to finish off reconfiguring the firewall to use the old ADSL set up. If not then it's VPN direct to the data centre for our key people and I can kiss goodbye to taking next week off.

Joy...

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

a cynic writes...

Re: 5 years without a TV and still not missing it...

With more competition for advertising budgets are lower.

When you're putting together an exploitative hard-hitting documentary about proles ordinary working people, CCTV is cheaper than a film crew.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

a cynic writes...

Re: Too Simplistic

Really? I'd have thought that a supermarket would constitute a permanent establishment as it's "a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on". (OECD model convention article 5 para 1)

Amazon's get out is that exempt are "a) the use of facilities solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise; b) the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery;" (article 5 para4).

A perfectly decent exemption which made sense before the business of the enterprise took place in a data centre (which isn't a permanent establishment either).

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a cynic writes...

Re: Too Simplistic

"...the express letter of the law..."

I think that's the key point. It may satisfy the letter of the law but it doesn't pass the smell test.

Avoidance for me is when you start sailing close enough to the wind that you need to rely on the letter of the law. So:

Starbucks - I don't like the coffee but everything it's been accused of is basically straightforward business practice. One part of the group holds the rights and licences them to the other parts. They charge group members the same as to other companies and only reason they made the news is everyone knows the name.

Google - everything goes through Ireland? Really? So if I was to call and arrange an advertising campaign I'd speak to a guy in Dublin not London? If yes fair enough if no...well something's off.

Amazon - Legally warehouses don't form an establishment. I can see how that would work - you've overseas customers so you ship over a local stock of goods so fulfilment is quicker. You then restock in bulk from your home base. Whereas I reckon a lot of what Amazon sells comes from UK suppliers and I can't see how a crate of books from a UK printer magically goes to Luxembourg when put on a shelf. Lets face it, legal or not, it reeks.

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Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

a cynic writes...

Re: Tim, if there's a weakness in the argument you've presented here

It depends on your definition of rural Tom.

Back in the mists of time when I met my missus I lived in Bermondsey. I now live in the centre of a largish village on the far side of Essex. Granted we haven't got eight shops open all hours, we've three and they shut at 10. But the prices are about the same and Tesco & Asda deliver for less than the cost of the petrol to get to them. So whilst it feels rural to me, it probably wouldn't to you.

Best of all as we move to remote working I will be in the position of being paid London rates whilst living in a 4 bed cottage costing the same as a one-bed flat in Bermondsey.

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The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

a cynic writes...

Maybe I'm I'm weird...

Personally I don't mind the licence fee - it's less than I spend on coffee per year. Yes, I realise there's a lot of dross but there is some good stuff and SWMBO actually likes the dross so it's all good.

However I would mind a household levy. That's just taking the piss.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

a cynic writes...

Re: Yes but WHY did he mention El Reg...?

I'd rather believe that than assume Bob's as sad as the rest of us...

Bob's full nom de guerre is Robert (Bob) Oliver Francis Howard.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

a cynic writes...

Re: Have none of you....

I have but I reckon his Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy (Gutenberg version) is better.

Nevertheless, I believe that, as a rule, disorders are more commonly occasioned by those seeking to preserve power, because in them the fear of loss breeds the same passions as are felt by those seeking to acquire; since men never think they hold what they have securely, unless when they are gaining something new from others. (Chapter V)

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a cynic writes...

Re: Astouded!!

"How was the beheading of Charles the 1st right..."

Easy it wasn't. He was condemned by a kangaroo court set up by a Parliament that had seen most of it's Members excluded in "Prides Purge" (for the crime of voting the wrong way). Even the C-in-C of Parliament's Army didn't want to touch it and he was meant to be one of the judges sorry commissioners.

Personally the more stuff comes out from Snowdon the more I worry that it's a sophisticated disinformation campaign by our spooks to appear more competent than they actually are. Either way I wouldn't put anything past them.

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

a cynic writes...

re: doesn't work as planned

Given Telegraph Road was recorded 32 years ago it's probably not the best description of the jobs market today. We currently have more people in work in Britain than ever before and a large migrant population who have moved here in the last 10 years to do that work. That does sort of suggest that nationally a lack of jobs isn't the issue.

On a personal level, I know people through my wife who work part time and are unwilling to increase their hours since they would lose benefits and be out of pocket. I don't think they're lazy (they do work after all) just sane.

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

a cynic writes...

Re: A cynic writes...

You rang?

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

a cynic writes...

eh...Bluestone42?

...and yes Mongrels and half a dozen other things that 20 years ago would have been on BBC2 at 9pm - opposite the 9 (where it should be)o'clock news.

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

a cynic writes...

Re: sometimes...

You're assuming they are sensible mature people and haven't got a personality disorder. Unfortunately that isn't always the case...

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

a cynic writes...

Re: Um... What Gonzalez vs Google Sp. actually said:

In other words, having lost the case Google are going about complying in the most juvenile way they can manage. Presumably it's their turn.

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Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

a cynic writes...

Re: No sympathy

...So, unless a swarm of hornets happens to pass between you and the targets downrange...

Funnily enough my dad was at Bisley the other week when shooting had to stop for 20 minutes after 3 large lumps of venison fallow deer wandered onto the range. The rule is if anyone shoots a deer the entire club is permanently banned from the ranges.

...and for Tony's chinless wonder read retired millwright.

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I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

a cynic writes...

Re: Edge of Tomorrow...

That's a pity - the book it's based on makes perfect sense. I suppose the ending was a little grim for hollywood.

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Giant bank IT cockup of 2012 'could have brought down ENTIRE financial system'

a cynic writes...

Re: I hope I'm not...

Unkind...not unfair.

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a cynic writes...

Re: Who benefits financially and materially*

If memory serves the fine will be paid to the Lord Chancellor's Office (the government), probably out of the bank's reserves, so the banks owners (the government) will pay, albeit indirectly.

It may seem a little silly for the government to fine the government but the point of the exercise is to give the impression that someone got a bollocking.

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

a cynic writes...

Re: Osgood and Missy are not entirely "dead"

I thought the get out was that the missy being killed special effect was suspiciously similar to the missy teleporting special effect.

In other news UNIT now has a competent CO and he's bullet proof...

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Million Mask March: Anonymous' London Guy Fawkes protest a damp squib

a cynic writes...

Re: SPG

I was indeed real.

My first year of uni I shared a flat with an ex-member of Strathclyde police who'd been in the SPG. He was doing a psychology degree and after a few jars would claim it was so he could find out why he didn't like hitting people.

Given that Constable Savage was written by a police forensic scientist need I say more.

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Piketty-Poketty-Poo: Some people are JUST ITCHING to up tax to capital ...

a cynic writes...

Re: Simple in theory, not so simple in practise.

Agreed, at least in part. It was also avoiding the nasty bit of Keynesian economics when in a boom the government is meant to pay back some of it's debts rather than ramping up spending and claiming there is no boom.

A sane move would have been to regulate the multiple of earnings that could be borrowed.

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