* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1610 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Musk seems to be losing it

He might find a few loons wanting to spend the rest of their (possibly very short) lives on Mars, but, no one sane.

Most of the explorers of the last few thousand years (and more) could be classified as "loons". They set out on journeys which most people thought were death sentences (and they probably realised their chances were slim). In fact, most of them did die, but a handful (those we remember) survived their journeys and discovered strange new lands.

Without these explorers, we would not have discovered or colonised many places. I view this mission the same way: Very risky, not something I'd be able to do, has a lot of potential to be a complete disaster, but a very worthy goal which has the potential to benefit all mankind. Kudos!

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Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law?

Dr. Mouse
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Nope. Not the same principle.

Marriott's were spanked for mis-using the spectrum by deliberately making it unusable. Right up FCC's alley and very cane-worthy.

Here they were asking people not to use other WiFi. Private property and entry by agreement with T&Cs only. It is likely within their rights to do this.

I still think they are greedy unprintables, though.

This.

It was ruled that it was against the law to jam wi-fi signals, but that doesn't necessarily stop them from enforcing their T&Cs (which the attendees agreed to) and throwing people out who are breaking them.

Incidentally, I do wonder if the same would be true of an attendee using bluetooth or USB tethering, or a USB dongle. In my mind, stopping people from using their own wi-fi hotspot can be justified. I have seen first hand (at a trade show) how much it sucks when everyone sets up their own wi-fi: They all overlap with each other, and none of them work, even the venue's, so they are protecting the quality of service of their own infrastructure by banning it. However, using BT/USB tethering should not* interfere with the venue-provided service, so there is no such justification and it would just be pure gouging.

* I am aware BT and wi-fi both use the 2.4GHz band, but am yet to see an instance where BT has interfered with wi-fi. If I'm wrong, I'm happy to be corrected.

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Watch out, Openreach: CityFibre swallows Redcentric's network for £5m

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Fighting over cities

so you want all those farmers who sell direct to the public to move into the Cities? (ok, so I'm being simplistic)

I know this was tongue in cheek, but there is a very valid point to be made.

As I mentioned above, reasonable investment needs to be made in rural areas to provide reasonable speeds. When starting out, this farmer will be a small scale operator, and a 4-8Mbit pipe would be more than adequate (heck, 1-2 would do). His website will be hosted elsewhere, and other things can be done to allow more work to be done over a limited pipe.

If he gains traction, he has options. He can pay for satellite internet, for instance. Or he can open a small office and/or warehouse closer to a city. As he starts to grow the business, more options open to him.

So, for a small start-up, a relatively modest connection will do. As the business grows, he will have to ensure he exploits the best available options to keep up. But nothing is held back, as long as a reasonable basic service exists from the start.

Let's face it, the only reasons he would need "super-fast broadband" from the start are:

* He has lots of staff from day 1, which most wouldn't,

* He is self-hosting, which would be insane,

* He want's to stream Netflix, which really has nothing to do with the business.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Fighting over cities

Infrastructure will (almost) always be better in a city than in the sticks. There will be better transport links, better communications, better leccy and gas supplies, more jobs etc. This is both why and because there are more people. On the flip side, living in the sticks will (almost) always be more pleasant than living in a city.

This doesn't mean, of course, that the country side should be neglected. There should be a reasonable amount of investment to ensure a reasonable level of service. However, those in the country side should not expect the same standard of service as those in a city for the same cost at the same time. It is much more expensive to supply those services, so they should accept either higher costs or lower level of service, and probably later than in the cities either way.

Expecting super-ultra-fast broadband to be available as early as in the cities for the same cost is rather pie-in-the sky thinking.

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TRUMP: ICANN'T EVEN! America won't hand over internet control to Russia on my watch

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I honestly don't know who'd be worse

Mrs. Clinton has lied so long and so often that it's easier to just assume she's lying whenever she opens her mouth.

So she's a politician. It easiest to assume that any politician is lying whenever they open their mouth. I know of very few politicians who would not openly lie if it suited their agenda, and those few will never get to the front benches.

I tend to go by a line I read (I think in a David Gemmel book, one of the Drenai saga): "In any broth, the scum always rises to the top".

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: I honestly don't know who'd be worse

You mean even MORE than Obama has managed?

Actually, most people I speak to have seen Obama as a reasonable President. He hasn't gone around starting random wars all over the planet, and has moved international relations forward. Basically, I believe the world's view of the US has improved since he came to office. Admittedly, not by a lot, and it wasn't difficult, but at least he seems to care about both his own people and the rest of the planet.

As far as Trump goes, I fear for the planet with him in control. I don't know whether his persona is real or just a character he portrays, but I do believe he may be the most dangerous man to run for POTUS ever. I can see potential for war and death planet wide if he is elected, and I wouldn't leave him in charge of a chicken sandwich, let alone a nuclear superpower!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: All hail the new Golden Don!

I'm REALLY hoping that comment was a joke...

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Cops blasted for relying on IP addresses to hunt down suspects

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Dear Fuzz- here's how it goes.

The problem is not investigating that lead and gaining information. The problem is convicting on that basis alone.

I would suggest that getting a warrant to search and seize someone's computer equipment based on IP address alone is also the problem.

Search and seizure of equipment is a massive deal, and is effectively punishment without conviction. How many of us would endure serious hardship if all our tech was seized by the cops? It would likely disrupt our work, potentially costing us our jobs or contracts. Damage to our reputations would be severe, and that's before looking at the effect on our personal lives.

There are many reasons the cops could link an IP address to us when we have done nothing wrong. Someone could have gained access to our wifi network, we could have been infected with malware (yes, it even happens to techies), the ISP could have out of date records, etc. This is without looking at the ones noted in the article, which could all be deemed our own fault (open wifi, Tor exit node etc).

The cops should need more than an IP address to gain a warrant. There should be some other way to link a person at that address to the crime they are investigating. In addition, should the search throw nothing up, the cops should compensate the suspect for damages.

Then again, there are many ways in which the criminal justice system can punish someone without a conviction. Just the fact that you cannot claim back costs from the CPS when found not guilty is a large punishment: You spend tens of thousands on defence, the CPS brought a charge with little evidence, you are cleared, but you have effectively been fined that tens of thousands, plus months (or even years) of stress and wasted time, potentially lost earnings, damage to reputation etc.

The law is an ass, and I don't expect anything to change about that.

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Samsung intros super-speedy consumer SSDs, 'fastest M.2s ever'

Dr. Mouse
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I would guess it means that's the price for the lowest capacity model of each. So it'd be $129.99 for the 256GB EVO, and $329.99 for the 512GB Pro.

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Autonomous vehicles inquiry set up in the UK

Dr. Mouse
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"Using the autonomous driving facility in inappropriate conditions, perhaps"

It specifically mentioned driverless vehicles. In this case, it's use autonomous driving or don't go anywhere. Therefore, I would expect the system to refuse to operate if it is unsafe to do so.

If it's a dual-use vehicle, the autonomous system should refuse to operate where unsafe, and the manufacturer should be held liable for accidents where the autonomous system is enabled. If the autonomous system is not in operation, it is no longer the driver, so the responsibility lies with the person controlling the vehicle.

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Dr. Mouse
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changes to motor insurance

The one thing I would expect* with a driverless vehicle is for the manufacturer to be held liable for accidents.

Very simple reasoning here: The occupants are not driving the vehicle, the manufacturer's software is. As we hold the driver responsible for accidents which were their fault, the manufacturer becomes responsible. The occupants are all third parties in the accident.

* OK, this is what I would expect in a logical, reasonable and consistent world. What I expect in this country (UK) is that the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible, and the manufacturer only when you take them to court because their software or hardware failed. The manufacturer will realise there are faults, but will do the same calculations around cost of recall vs cost of being sued, and leave dangerous vehicles on the road. The owner will have to prove that it was a software fault to get compensated, and the car manufacturer will throw loadsa money at lawyers to prove it wasn't, and that somehow the occupant was using it wrong.

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Umm

I completely disagree. A link is a signpost, no more, no less, a set of directions describing where something is. It does not "deliver the infringing material into someone's possession", except by telling them where it is. It has nothing to do with a "distribution chain".

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Umm

You have just described the offence of aiding and abbetting the commision of a crime.

Assuming this is the case*, the person hosting a hyperlink should be investigated for, and potentially charged with, aiding and abetting copyright infringement, not copyright infringement itself. This is an entirely different crime, with different legal tests and framework involved**.

*IANAL

**AFAIK, see *

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Umm

Let's think of this outside the realm of the internet.

Say I have a market stall. The guy in the next stall is selling cheap DVDs. I put a sign up on my stall pointing to his, advertising that he has cheap DVDs of the latest blockbusters, hoping that this will draw punters in who may be interested in my wares.

Have I committed copyright infringement? Personally, I would not say that I have. He is the one selling pirated material, the customers are the ones buying it. I'm hoping that footfall will increase my profits, but nothing else.

Taking this back to the internet, a hyperlink is a signpost, it tells people where to find something. This shouldn't be a violation of copyright in itself.

Also, with the Dutch case, why did Playboy not go after the file sharing site? That is where the infringement was occurring. If the file did not exist, the hyperlink wouldn't work. Simples.

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Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online

Dr. Mouse
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Full disclosure

While the British concept of justice includes full disclosure by both sides

Ha! Don't make me laugh!!

I have a friend who will be in court next month on serious charges. Not only have the prosecution still not provided all the evidence the defence have asked for*, but what they have provided has been a joke**.

I have lost all faith in the police and criminal justice system. Cops don't try to find the truth, they try to get convictions. CPS use bully boy tactics and bow to political pressure. Judges don't even make an attempt to hide their contempt towards defence barristers. And on top of all this, if you don't have the money for a decent defence team, you may as well just bend over.

* They didn't even supply transcripts of his police interviews, just a summary, at "full disclosure".

** For example the transcripts they received, after practically begging for them for months, had over 50% completely missing and many areas just "summarised" instead of transcribed. Also, some had been transcribed twice, and the two completely contradicted each other. Upon receiving the tapes and transcribing them themselves, there were huge mistakes throughout.

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'Google tax' already being avoided, says Australian Tax Office

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Submit Offshore Tax Returns

But the profit generated by online advertising is not by selling consumers widgets to consumers in another country but by selling consumers to advertisers.

I wasn't talking about advertising, but the argument applies equally to advertising and other services.

Take Google's ads. The are not only selling eyeballs to advertisers. They are also selling a service which, in theory, chooses the right eyeballs to sell them. Therefore, a portion of their value is the consumer, and a portion is added through Google's expertise and services.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Submit Offshore Tax Returns

All taxes should always be paid at the point of revenue

I'm disagree.

Let's say I invent a new widget. I designed it in the UK, set up manufacturing facilities in the UK, and start successfully selling through my own chain of shops in the UK, retail.

I then open a retail chain in, say, Germany. They do nothing but import the widgets and sell them. I charge them a fair wholesale price, and they retail them in Germany for the same cost as I do in the UK, in the same volumes as I do in the UK.

The majority of the "value" is "generated" in the UK, whereas about half the revenue is generated in Germany. In my opinion, therefore, it is fair and correct that the majority of the profit is declared in the UK. The only value generated in Germany is from selling it.

If you look at it another way: Instead of opening my own sales office in Germany, I just sold wholesale to a retailer over there. In this case, it is right and fair that their only "profits" on my widgets come from the margin over wholesale at which they sell. They shouldn't be taking half the overall profit.

Profit should be declared where the *profit* (or value) is generated, not where the revenue is generated.

Of course, this all assumes that all "transfer pricing" is fair, i.e. it is the same as would be charged to an external entity, and is a price they would pay. It also assumes they don't set up contrived arrangements just to funnel profits into tax havens. But I definitely don't think that you should tax based solely on where revenue is generated.

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Non-doms pay 10 times more in income tax than average taxpayer group

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Pretty meaningless metric

I've not seen that before, it's an interesting explanation both of how our tax system works and how "let's tax the rich, they can afford it" can affect things.

Let's just say for a minute that, before the bar bill reduction, the eighth person looses his job. He joins the lower 4 and pays nothing. Now there is a $12 deficit. As the 10th person "can afford it", the 9 decide that he should make up the shortfall.

The tenth man thinks this is unfair: He is already paying 59% of the bar bill, why should he pay the extra? So he decides to stop drinking with this group, who are treating him unfairly. Instead, he joins a bunch of better off friends who split the bill equally at a swanky bar. He still pays $59, but in a nicer place, with people who aren't trying to treat him unfairly.

The 9 remaining friends try to recalculate, leaving the 9th person paying the most. He decides this is unfair, too, and leaves. Eventually, the remaining parties can't afford to pay anymore, and rail at the others for leaving.

Most people agree that progressive taxation is the best way. However, push the top too far, and they will leave (or try to find loopholes). These are the people who are most mobile and have the most options about where to live and work.

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Brexit must not break the cloud, Japan tells UK and EU

Dr. Mouse
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Re: @ dan1980

I think the majority of those of us who voted to leave (myself included) realise that arguing with the Remainers - who are hacked off because they lost - is... pointless

I have the same opinion of many Leave voters: Their beliefs that the EU, and the foreigners taking their jobs, are the root of all evil border on religious extremism. They will brook no debate on the issue, and believe that, as soon as we leave, Britain will become the most powerful country on earth, the land will flow with milk and honey, and all the problems in the country will magically be fixed. Oh, and more importantly, the brown-skinned family next door will be deported back to their own country (no, that isn't Britain, even though they are the 4th generation born here they are still foreigners and should be sent "home" to a country they have never set foot in!)

On the other hand, I (a remainer) have had intelligent discussions with some of the non-racist, intelligent leavers. I agree with most of their points and they agree with most of mine, we just weight their importance differently and come to different conclusions.

Time will tell, noone can predict the future. Let's see what the next few years brings.

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Brave idea: Ex Mozilla man punts Bitcoin adblocking browser

Dr. Mouse
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Good idea

I honestly believe that people would make small payments rather than have their browsing experience degraded by bad adverts*. Personally, I pay an annual fee to F1Fanatic to remove their ads, and would do the same for many other sites. A way to do this centrally, for "all" sites**, would be brilliant, giving sites the funds to continue without bombarding us with pointless, resource hogging and annoying adverts.

*I'm looking at you, here, el Reg, with your highly irritating "Change the whole colour scheme and put ads in the side bars where people click to focus the page without accidentally hitting a link" ones! This is why you get the ad-blocker treatment from my personal machines!

**For some value of "all".

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

Dr. Mouse
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I'm not sure I understand

What he seems to be saying is "Show us it's thousands of times safer than a human at the wheel, or we won't allow it on the road". This is akin to saying "We don't need airbags, there have been a billion crashes with them, 1 million lives saved, but one person died from injuries caused by the airbag. Ban them, they are dangerous!"

I still think there's a way to go, but I expect automated cars to be tens of times safer than meatbag controlled ones at first. That should still mean 90% of fatalities gone... Surely that's worth it the occasional screw up!

We shouldn't expect perfection. We should expect them to be safer than the dickheads on the roads right now, but 2 crashes and a single fatality from a badly-named smart cruise control system in a large number of miles driven has everyone in a panic.

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EU 'net neutrality' may stop ISPs from blocking child abuse material

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Carp

The IWF watchlist might be covered by (a)

As far as I understand it, it is not. The IWF is a voluntary scheme. No ISP is forced by legislation to block child abuse images. Exemption (a) only seems to cover things the ISP is forced to do by law, like honouring a court order or complying with a specific piece of legislation.

Would this also apply to mobile telcos filtering adult content? Or someone like The Cloud filtering on it's wifi (it could easily be argued that the Cloud is acting as an ISP)?

Personally, I would say there should be a (d) option, allowing an ISP to offer filtering services, but:

* They must only be enabled at the specific request of the customer, not by default, buried in T&Cs or opt-in-by-default on a form etc.

* They may charge for the filters if they wish, but may not offer discounts for taking the option (to stop them basically forcing customers into it by charging huge sums for their service but discounting down to nothing if you accept filtering)

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Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

Dr. Mouse
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And, as mentioned by others above, this is why the most effective way to combat this propaganda* will never be used: It would harm politicians as much as terr'ists.

*Teach people proper critical reasoning, research skills, and generally to think for themselves, not just accept what people tell them on face value.

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Roundabouts...

Sounds just like a roundabout in the UK which we have everywhere...

I don't understand everyone's* confusion over (full-sized) roundabouts. There is only one simpler junction: A T-junction onto a one-way road.

The reason that's the only simpler one is that a roundabout is just several T junctions onto a single circular one-way road. Someone's already on the road (i.e. roundabout)? You give way to them. It's neither difficult nor complicated.

Part of the problem is the complicated methods people use to describe a roundabout and it's usage. But if you consider the roundabout a circular one-way road and the exits/entries as T-junctions, you will have no problem understanding, and there will never be confusion over who get's to go and when (unlike 4-way stops or unmarked junctions).

* I obviously don't mean everyone, but there are a significant number of Brits who can't understand them, let alone foreigners.

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Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

Dr. Mouse
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One possibility...

... that I can see is that Google are looking to replace the underlying Linux kernel in future (or at least at the possibility), so are starting work on a replacement kernel etc. for Android and ChromeOS to use in future.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Dr. Mouse
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Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

No that's not what "not guilty" means. It means what it says - there isn't sufficient evidence to find someone guilty. They could be innocent, or they're actually guilty but there's not sufficient proof.

Our legal system presumes innocence. Unless a person is found guilty of a crime then, legally, they are innocent and should be treated as such. If a person is found not guilty, they are legally innocent of that crime full stop*.

I find it incredibly disturbing the amount that a person can be punished for a crime he has not been convicted of now in this country. This case is yet another example, and it is a completely draconian punishment, with few restrictions. I really hope it gets quashed: Whether this guy did anything wrong is irrelevant, unless he is found guilty of a crime by a jury of his peers, he should not be punished for that crime. His life has been destroyed by this. He can not work in his field with this order in place, or in any office environment. At best, he may be able to work as a labourer, some unskilled job. He has no right to privacy, would be unable to have a relationship, has none of the basic freedoms we have a right to. In short, he is practically an unperson just for having "abnormal" sexual fantasies.

*Yes, I know that he could be retried, given the seriousness of these charges. However, this is only if sufficient new evidence comes up AND an appeals court overturns the original verdict. Until then, he is legally innocent of the crimes he was charged with.

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English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan

Dr. Mouse
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a) With Uber, you normally input your destination before the cab even arrives. They do not need to know English to get you to your destination, they just need to follow the directions on the app. They don't even need to talk to you (which is a huge win in my book!)

b) As with a), as the destination is already selected, they needn't know anything about the area, just follow the directions.

c) This should be taken care of separately. Personally, I believe driving with paying passengers should require an additional driving test to be taken, and retaken regularly. This should apply to all such drivers, not just private hire, but it's not contingent on understanding English (except where needed to understand road signs).

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Level playing field

set up a national taxi board and take it out the hands of the councils

I heard recently that there is a small town near me which has more registered PH than residents. The reason for this is that their testing standards are much lower than the surrounding towns and cities. As a private hire license from any council will allow you to operate anywhere, they get their license from that town but then work the larger cities nearby.

This is ludicrous. There are 2 possible fixes I can see: Set up a national standard for getting a PH license, or restrict cabs so that they can only pick up from the area they are licensed. I prefer the former.

As for Uber, I believe they are covered because they aren't offering a taxi/PH service, their drivers are (individually). They just provide the infrastructure to connect them to clients. So Uber do not need a base in Plymouth, their driver does.

The TfL rule takes this a stage further, and too far IMHO. What if a local London PH firm wanted to run their call centre from a cheaper location, say Leeds, or Manchester, or Edinburgh? Or even offshore it? Surely it is completely anti-competitive to disallow this and force them to pay London wages? Why can banks and mobile companies shift their call centres offshore, but a private hire company can't?

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What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: figuring out at their leisure what its weaknesses are

you have to send the thing back to Lockheed Martin just to have its anti-virus software updated!

Erm... Anti-virus?!

Obligatory xkcd: https://xkcd.com/463/

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Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: As a rule of thumb...

More likely to avoid having to meet the (fairly detailed) requirements for handling payment card details.

I wan't clear. The website was hosted by the ERP provider as part of the system. There would have been no additional PCI requirements. All that would have been needed is a CNAME record and a decent SSL certificate.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: As a rule of thumb...

"If you're shopping with Webshop A, then payment will only be done while you're still visiting Webshop A (and you'll be warned about redirects)."

PayPal excluded, I assume...

And all the other payment gateways. It's less common than it was, but there are still sites which rely on a hosted payment page to minimise PCI exposure.

Hell, one of my previous employers still used the "checkout" domain of their hosted ERP provider for any secure parts (checkout, payment, account management). I suspect this was to avoid paying for any decent certificates etc. but I always thought it looked rather unprofessional, and potentially scammy to the outside world.

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

Dr. Mouse
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Simple option

If you have an opportunity to work for the public sector, quote your rate so that your take home pay under IR35 is the same as it would be at your normal rate elsewhere, plus a little for the inconvenience. Then HMRC get their extra, but HMG are paying it, not you. What they collect with one hand is paid back by the other.

If they don't agree to the rate, tell them to go do one.

If all contractors stick to this rule when working with the public sector, the government may realise they are shafting themselves.

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Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Dr. Mouse
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Re: PR stunt

Then by definition the driver was driving too fast for the conditions.

I don't remember seeing what speed they were travelling at, but your statement is not always correct.

I once hit a dog with my car. I was doing less than the speed limit at the time, a sensible speed for that road, noticed something speeding down a driveway out of the corner of my eye and hit the brakes. The dog shot out into the road, and the car hit and killed it. Was I driving too fast for the conditions? No, I was driving sensibly, but a highly unexpected event occurred and there was not enough time for me to avoid it.

Unexpected situations happen all the time when driving. No matter how careful you are, you cannot avoid every one of them. The best you can do is drive sensibly (baring in mind that driving too slowly can also be dangerous), and take the best avoiding action possible when something unexpected happens.

In this case, an idiot stepped out into the road unexpectedly. Even at 20mph, this can happen, and the results can be serious. The driver noticed, and would have taken avoiding action had the car not reacted quicker. That avoiding action may or may not have prevented an accident, but the car's automated reaction did.

If driver aids help a driver to avoid an accident, they are a Good Thing.

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Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Well, here's your problem

I don't understand the benefit of so-called "partial autonomy."

So you don't understand the benefit of ABS, traction control, cruise control (regular or adaptive), automatic emergency braking, automatic headlights and wipers etc.?

"Autopilot" is, in essence, an advanced evolution of cruise control. It should be touted and named as such, because that's what it is. Used correctly, it increases safety. Used incorrectly, it becomes dangerous.

I, personally, used cruise control all the time. It allowed me to set the car to the speed limit where safe to do so and fall back to manually controlling speed where conditions required. While on cruise, more of my attention could be focused on the road, junctions, pedestrians, and any other hazards. When I saw a hazard, a quick flick of the lever or tap of the brake knocked cruise off.

Used as a driver aid, these systems are a great idea. Misused, they can be hazardous, but not as much of a hazard as the idiot meatbag who isn't paying attention.

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Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Idiots!

To be fair, it's pretty much only the name which they have got wrong. It's misleading.

Basically, Tesla's "Autopilot" is an intelligent, highly advanced cruise control system. They need to rename it as such to stop people completely relying on it and turning off their own brains.

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Dr. Mouse
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Re: From another angle...

"It can be in two countries in the world which have no written constitution"

AFIAK the UK having no written constitution is a bit of a misnomer.

We do have a written constitution. However, it is not in a document labeled "The Constitution", it is scattered through dozens of different statutes throughout history, with several pieces coming from judgments in common law, too.

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

Dr. Mouse
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Re: The current plan does not matter

Those that did want it were Boris (buffoon with no eye on the top job in the Tory party), May (mostly hated), Gove (mostly hated). Farage - UKIPs *only* MP.

Actually, there's 2 glaring errors, here.

Firstly, May backed Remain. She pretty much kept her head down, but she was on the Remain side.

Secondly, Nigel Farage is not an MP. He is an MEP. Douglas Carswell is UKIPs only MP.

I'll leave the rest of it. I agree with some points, but disagree with most of it. However, you are entitled to your opinion, and I've had enough of arguing over politics from this campaign to last me a lifetime!

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Dr. Mouse
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Looking the wrong way

You are looking the wrong way with this.

What has depressed wages in jobs like these is not our membership of the EU, in itself. It is globalisation in general.

In modern times, communications technology means that it is not even necessary to have your developer sat in the office with you. He can be at home, or in a cafe, or... on the other side of the world.

People in less developed countries are training like mad in development, IT support, and all sorts of other professions. While they tend to have the reputation of producing lower quality work, they produce results which are "good enough" in many situations, for a fraction of the cost of someone in the UK.

Freedom of movement in the EU is only a symptom of this. It allows a company to employ someone from Eastern Europe to sit in their office and work, instead of them working remotely.

So I do not expect Brexit to increase wages, even if the economy is not damaged by it. On the contrary, I would expect that it will lead to more off-shoring of work, which will lead to less demand in the UK and, subsequently, more wage depression.

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Vodafone hints at relocation from UK

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I call bo**cks!!!!

EU have nothing to offer because UK was on such a stinky deal anyway

Most of the EU were jealous of the special deal the UK got...

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Good

Such great news for their employees too, and those of all the other EU HQs which move to the mainland. They'll be so much better off with all that free time on their hands! Yay!

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Dr. Mouse
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No surprise

It is no surprise that companies with EU HQs in the UK will have to set up a new EU HQ inside the EU if we leave. This will cause jobs to move there from the UK.

They will also probably be a UK HQ. However, this will only be needed for UK operations, and will likely be much smaller, employing far fewer staff.

UK staff will have less to do with EU operations, and EU staff less to do with UK operations. This will likely mean a net movement of jobs from the UK to the EU, although it could balance out.

IMHO the UK government would do well right now to incentivise businesses to come to the UK, probably through lower corporation tax and/or other tax breaks. This would minimise job losses on exit, and could even stimulate growth. Let's face it, most find ways to avoid paying much anyway...

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

Dr. Mouse
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Re: "GPS is often of little help finding an address much outside Dublin"

Fair play to the comments, I had no idea (even now) that there were so many places, even in the UK, which wouldn't fit that pattern. I've, personally, never come accross a UK address which didn't have a house identifier and street name, but I know that I don't know everything.

Thing is, nobody else thought it was wrong either after a lot of end user testing, until it went to Ireland.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: "GPS is often of little help finding an address much outside Dublin"

I was writing some till software for use at trade shows for a company. It needed to take addresses of new customers to set them up an account with the company.

I wrote it in what I believed was a rational and sane way, requiring a house name/number, street etc.

This worked great in the UK. However, before the Dublin show, I got one of the Irish staff to test it.

"It won't let me put in my address"

I had a look, and she wasn't entering a house name or number. When I told her she needed to enter that, she told me, "I don't have a house name or number. Noone on our street does."

"How does the postman find your house, then?" I asked.

"Oh, he knows who lives where."

It sounded insane to me, but apparently it's fairly common, and it's why couriers over there insist on having a telephone number. They can turn up at a street with many houses on and have to figure out which house it is, with no indication at all!

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IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Cost benefit analysis

Not quite, because company directors are taxed differently

But, from the details in the article, there was no company*. He was self employed, which means all the income counts as personal income. It will be taxed at the standard rates, and will have to pay NICs as well.

* Although it is not mentioned specifically, if he had no intention of paying tax anyway, he is unlikely to have set up a limited company. Why set up a taxable entity which will make things a little more tax efficient when you are not going to declare anything for tax anyway?

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Cost benefit analysis

Not sure if it would count as proceeds of crime, although it's possible. However, he will still owe the tax, plus interest and penalties, so he's likely to have very little left at the end.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Fixed

So each socio-economic group is largely going to vote for it's own interest apart from a few people either side on political beleifs such as "it's better to be a european citizen" or "we just want to be an independant country" and the referendum largely comes down to "which group is larger".

I agree, but think you have been rather unfair on the remain group in your assessment.

While my own choice for remain is mostly selfish, there is also an element of thinking of the greater good. This some of the points you raise on the leave side are applicable, many of them would very well continue after a leave vote. I seriously doubt house prices will fall significantly, unless an out vote causes a recession. If it does, wages will not rise at the bottom, and will probably fall. If it doesn't, wages will *still* probably not rise.

IMHO the potential for harm across the entire population does not balance the potential benefits, especially with the economy (UK and global) still being so fragile. But that's just my opinion, anyone is perfectly entitle to disagree with me :)

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Dr. Mouse
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"Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified."

Issues for Leeds are decided in Westminster, voted by MPs from various cities and areas around the UK, of which Leeds has only 8 (1.2% of the vote). Leeds should leave the UK!

In addition, we would have more influence in Europe if our MEPs actually bothered to turn up, and weren't members of a party who wanted nothing to do with Europe.

I have as much faith in European democracy as I do in UK democracy... Not very much!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: I'm In

And in what world do you think that TTIP won't be signed up to by a post Brexit government? Ads much as Brexit supporters have any economic arguments, they are all based negotiating TTIP style treaties. Do you think BoJo is going to say boo to a US corporate goose?

And, IMHO, we are likely to end up with something even worse. The US is more interested in free trade with a large block of countries than a single, pretty small, nation. If we were to apply to get a free trade agreement with the US (as many of the Leave leaders suggest), and they fast tracked the process, do you think they would give any better conditions, or even the same conditions, as they give to a large group of rich countries?

IMHO It is likely we would try to negotiate a US/UK FTA, it is likely it would be worse than TTIP, and it is likely that the UK govt would accept it. In the end, we would likely be handing power over to large, US corporations (with them suing the govt if any decision going against them) after just pulling it back from the EU.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Fixed

"he said i have not met one person who voted in"

This is because, just as now, the votes are mostly along socio-economic, as well as age, lines.

I know people intending to vote each way, in roughly equal numbers. Personally, a great many of the leavers I know are outright racist, although I know this is not the case for all. I also know clever, rational people who intend to vote to leave, and have rational and well thought out arguments.

I'm very close to the fence here, but what pushed me to the remain side was mainly risk. Having just recently gone self employed, I am not in a position to withstand an economic downturn, and there is a reasonable chance of that happening purely from the shock to the markets and uncertainty that a leave vote will bring. A remain vote carries fewer risks, at least in the short term.

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Revive revived: Oculus DRM push shattered as DIY devs strike back

Dr. Mouse
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It's war!

Oculus told devs (and others) they would keep their platform open to other hardware. They then yanked that support.

They have now entered a war. Neither side will "win", it will be a constant battle until one side backs down. As it is unlikely that homebrewers will back down (someone will pick up the gauntlet if one dev backs out), this will just cost Oculus a fortune. They will have to constantly develop new ways to lock things down.

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