* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1685 posts • joined 22 May 2007

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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New York outlaws ticket-hoarding buybots

Dr. Mouse
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Re: why would a promoter sell a $600 ticket for $100

Why would a promoter sell the tickets for so much less than their obvious value?

Actually, you have a point. This sounds like basic economics. If the touts can sell the tickets for 5x+ their face value, then people are prepared to pay that much. So why aren't they being sold for that price in the first place?

I would guess there are PR reasons (promoter and artist don't want to be seen to be gouging the fans), but from simple economics it makes little sense that they are being sold so "cheaply" (relative to what people are prepared to pay)

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Sell them like airline tickets

It would also significantly slow down entry to the event. When talking about popular events in large venues, the time taken to gain entry is already significant, and organisers have spent a lot of time and money on speeding up this process.

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Kremlin wants to shoot the Messenger, and WhatsApp to boot

Dr. Mouse
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Re: So, just let me get this straight ...

"Whatsapp will be rolled out in "crippled" version for all Russian users."

There is only one realistic method for them to do this: Disable end-to-end encryption on Russian phones. They could do this, and then present a warning (at least to non-Russian users) that the messages are not encrypted and are available for snooping by the FSB.

The problem I see is that this could set a "precedent" in the West. Whatsapp would be much better off just pulling their app from Russia. They would be seen as "making a stand", and could legitimately say that it would break their whole system without serious development effort, which they are not prepared to do just to satisfy the Russian government. This would discourage other countries from doing the same.

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Telco bosses' salaries must take heat for cyber attacks, says MPs' TalkTalk enquiry

Dr. Mouse
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The other thing you have missed is that, even where CT has been paid, the individual still pays tax on dividends. Before this tax year, they would effectively pay nothing on dividends within the basic rate tax band, but above that (and 4K/mo is above that) he would pay.

From this year, the tax rates I mentioned above apply. So it is not that he is paying no tax, and he is effectively paying the corp. tax too.

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Dr. Mouse
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Fair points. I didn't realise you were talking about monthly, but this does mean he will be paying higher rate tax on the dividends. And I do know bosses who would get rid of staff before taking the hit themselves, so maybe the risks don't apply as much to him.

Your point about him not paying the CT is a bit of a falacy. The exchequer is still getting his money. If he was paying as salary, he would be paying it himself, whereas dividends the company is paying CT, him the DT. It makes not a jot of difference, the exchequer is still getting his cut.

I know this one myself. As a contractor, I pay myself using a mixture of salary and dividends. It makes little difference to me whether the company is paying tax or myself, it all comes out of the "pot". The distinction between the company paying or myself is negligible, the money is still "gone".

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Dr. Mouse
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My CEO for example pays considerably less tax than me by only paying themselves and other half 16K (taxable), the rest is in dividends that are not because they are earning less than 16.5K.

I'd say that either your CEO really is earning chump change, or you have misunderstood.

From this year, if you are paying yourself an 8K salary, only the next 8K in dividends is tax free. Even then, the dividends would first have been subject to corporation tax (at 20%). After that, you pay 7.5% inside the basic rate limit (26% including CT), 32.5% in the higher rate band (46% inc CT) and 38.1% additional rate (over 50% inc CT).

So, once corporation tax is included (which is not paid when taking salary), the tax rates are not that far off those an employee gets. Even if they are only taking a total of c. £16k each, they will still be paying an effective 10% tax (c. £1600), which is not far off what an employee will be paying (c. £1900).

He is also taking more risk than you are. If he has an unprofitable year, you will still be paid, but he will probably have to take a hit.

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Snoopers' Charter 'goes too far' says retired Met assistant commish

Dr. Mouse
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And it's also why an [elected] upper house would be a completely flippin stupid thing to do

An elected upper house could, possibly, work, but only if they stood for a long time.

My own suggestion would be along the lines of a 15-30 year term, with a third of seats up for grabs every 5-10 years.

Whatever happens, we need someone to look at the long term. In fact, this is where the Queen (should) come in. She shouldn't be blocking legislation. However, should something go through which was utterly insane, I believe she would (should) still be able to refuse to sign it into law, dissolve parliament, and call for an election.

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Dr. Mouse
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"So our elected representatives, the ones we put in positions of power, basically try and pass any old toss into law and it's up to the Lords to sort it out ?"

MPs are elected for a short time, now "fixed" at 5 years. They know they cannot count on having a job there in 5 years time. This encourages short-term, populist views. It also discourages longer-term planning, especially where money is concerned (why pay for something now which may end up benefiting the opposition after the next election?).

The Lords tend to be in the position for much longer, so look at the long-term aspects of what is proposed. Also, as they are in "power" for longer, they tend to get to understand more of the subject matter. IMHO their job is, and always has been, to oversee the Commons and make sure they don't do anything too stupid, without looking like they are struggling for power. They are kind of like a parent raising an adolescent: They need to let the kid make his own mistakes, but guide them to avoid as many as possible, and give a yank on the reins when they are about to do something really stupid.

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Dr. Mouse
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Labour did just as much rights-bashing when they were in government as the Tories are now.

Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, they were blamed for the unpopular Tory policies, and the Tories were given credit for the better legislation the Lib Dems pushed during their time in coalition. It was always a risk, and it almost killed off the party.

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Gravitational waves: A new type of astronomy

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Poor science - @Dr Mouse

I was referring to the headline to the post - "Poor science"

I agree that was incorrect. I doubt any of this is "poor science".

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Poor science

You may have a point about someone hiding behind anonymity, but that doesn't make his statement invalid in and of itself.

We have seen 2 results which corroborate the hypothesis. This is not, yet, enough to be called proof (IMHO), but it is evidence pointing to the hypothesis being valid. We will either see more results validating the hypothesis or (probably more exciting) some weird results which suggest a flaw in the hypothesis, leading to potentially exciting new physics.

Whatever happens, it's always good to gather more data.

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UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Dr. Mouse
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Re: @Dr. Mouse - Difference between programmer and software engineer

Fair enough. I agree that some specs are barely more than "We need a website" or "We need an app".

I guess the analogy is not completely accurate, as there are several layers to the design, from the way it interacts with other systems to how data is stored and accessed, so the programmer can be essential to the design process.

I have still met more than my share of monkeys who can write C# when spoon fed what to do and how to do it, and no more.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: @Dr. Mouse - Difference between programmer and software engineer

@Count Ludwig

I know a heck of a lot of programmers who do nothing but write code. They do not understand the system they are developing, or the adjacent systems. They cannot see from a user's point of view, factor in necessary integrations with other systems etc. They cannot understand the basic networking or infrastructure on which the system must run. They take a detailed plan from someone else, and translate it into code in whatever language they know, oblivious to anything else.

Maybe this is me trying to put things in boxes again. I used to maintain a very clear distinction between "friend" and "mate". I had lots of mates, people I would go drinking with or have a laugh with. I had very few friends, the people who I trusted completely, would be there for in an instant and who would do the same for me.

Software engineer fits better, to me (a qualified mechanical and electronic engineer) because what is being done is engineering. Programming is just one skill a software engineer must have, but they must also be able to plan, consider side effects, understand interactions with infrastructure, etc.

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Dr. Mouse
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What's more pertinent is the fact that engineering and computing degrees are difficult and the prospects are entering an industry which is being decimated by bean counters who believe that those in IT just click buttons and whose jobs can be done by someone with loads of dubious qualifications from another country.

In a recent meeting with a client, I had to explain the difference between a software developer/programmer and a software engineer. They hadn't a clue (they were business types), and I found it difficult to put it into words, but my analogy seemed to work:

- The programmer is the builder, operating to someone else's technical designs to erect* the building.

- The software engineer is the civil engineer, who takes pretty pictures from an architect and makes them into a functioning, structurally sound design. He must consider effects on and from the surroundings, possible extreme conditions, and a variety of other data to ensure the building will be safe.

Actually, often the software engineer will also be the builder and the architect, but the analogy still stands in principal.

* Tee hee

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Engineer

In Germany Engineer is a job title on a par with Solicitor or Doctor in terms of respect

This is definitely true, but it is also true (as other comments have mentioned) that here, in England, non-Engineers have been given job titles of Engineer (e.g. Sanitation Engineer, aka the bog cleaner). On the continent, and especially in Germany, an Engineer is pretty much a regulated job title (if not legally, by professional consensus at least), and you must actually be an Engineer to be called an Engineer. They would never even consider calling the people we often call engineers such.

I heard that, not long ago, a survey was done in this country asking who was the most famous engineer they knew of. The most popular answer was Kevin Webster, the character from Coronation Street who is a car mechanic.

Part of the reason, I believe, is actually (strange as it sounds) down to spelling. Engineer conjours up images of engine, dirty things which make noise and break down (especially if you go back to steam engines etc). This leads to thoughts of a mechanic.

In Germany, the word is Ingenieur, which betrays it's roots in the word "Ingenious". This brings to mind thoughts of people coming up with clever new methods of accomplishing a task, which is fundamentally what engineering is. The situation is, I believe, the same in much of Europe, and the simple substitution of an "I" with an "E" is, at least, part of the reason for the denigration of Engineers in this country.

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Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Dr. Mouse
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nothing has changed since the Schrems court ruling

This is true. Data is still being shipped in bulk to a country with incredibly weak data protection laws for those who are not local citizens (if any) and noone is doing anything about it.

Oh, you meant in Switzerland...

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Lester Haines: RIP

Dr. Mouse
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Pint

RIP

Raising this to you -->

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UberEats into food delivery with new app launch in London

Dr. Mouse
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Not a bad idea...

I'm sure there are times when taxis are sat idle. Allowing them to be used for instant delivery doesn't sound like a bad idea to me.

I think, were it me, I would expand this idea to include other goods. Need a new CPU? Order it from a local shop using UberDelivery and it turns up much quicker than ordering using normal delivery services, and you don't have to leave your desk/house and battle traffic.

It could even be combined with taxi services, the parcel being in the boot while a meatbag is dropped off somewhere en route.

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This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I don't fully understand...

Someone you know tells you they want to kill their wife [etc]

The first, yes, I expect I would go down for aiding and abetting or something.

The second, if they asked for the contact details of a person without describing why, I would not expect to have committed a crime.

The third, again, I would not expect to have committed a crime.

I am not actually intending to argue that any of these actions are legal or illegal, I was more asking for clarification. The arguments put forth in the article do not add up, to me. I'm against piracy, but I'm also against governments bringing in nonsensical laws.

Another example: I know the guy at the end of the street is selling weed. Someone asks me where they can get weed, and I give them his details. Have I committed a crime there?

Or, I know the guy is selling weed, and someone asks me for his contact details (without telling me why). Have I committed a crime?

If it turns out that knowledge of why I'm giving details is required in the above cases (e.g. I would be committing a crime if I was asked where they could get weed, but not if they just asked for his details) then the same should apply online. If I linked to a website providing pirated materials, but which also provided non-pirated materials, and I was linking without reference to the pirated materials, then I would not expect that I have committed a crime.

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Dr. Mouse
Silver badge

Re: Hyperlink

a Hyperlink is more akin to saying "I know where you can get a copy of that DVD, here, let me fetch one for you".

I disagree.

A hyperlink to a site which contains pirated material, I am providing directions to the stall where the guy is selling DVDs. The person still has to follow the directions (it's known as following a hyperlink for a reason).

If I hyperlink to the actual material, I am providing directions to the stall and the precise location of that DVD at the stall.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: I don't fully understand...

Someone puts family images on flickr marked as private viewable only by family, so the pages are protected. However, some one gets the links to those images and puts them on a website that is viewable to all. The hyperlinks are to images that the uploader never intended to be public. In fact the hyperlink is no more than a skeleton key to the contents of someone's locked cupboard.

That's an even worse analogy. If this is possible, it's more like you are hiding the images around a public place, then putting a map to those images in a locked box accessible only to family members. It doesn't stop someone accidentally finding those pictures, making their own map and putting it somewhere public, or a family member photocopying the map and giving it to someone.

If the images are actually secure, they are in the locked box and only the family members are able to get at them. Of course, it wouldn't stop those family members copying the images and putting them somewhere public but, without that, noone without the key can get at them even if the know where they are.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: I don't fully understand...

Your argument (possibly made more in hope than expectation) is "Not illegal. Because internet."

Actually, no, that is not my argument. In fact, I explicitly related it to a non-internet situation I felt was similar.

OK, let's take 2 more analogies:

1) I know of a person who has almost every film ever made on DVD, who will copy them for you on demand. When people ask me about potential sources of pirate DVDs, I give them this guy's contact details.

2) I know of a website where one can download almost any film. When someone asks me where they should download pirate material, I tell them the address of this site.

Am I guilty of copyright infringement in either of these 2 cases? Because these are the closest real-world analogies I can think of, and come extremely close to hyperlinking, yet I would be surprised if I had violated copyright myself.

I will actually turn it around: Your own argument is that it's illegal "because internet".

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Dr. Mouse
Silver badge

Re: Strange Sign

I don't understand those who don't want them regulated at all.

They should be regulated, but they already are. There are all sorts of regulations which require the manufacturers not to supply harmful products. What people are objecting to is the heavy-handed, innovation-stifling insanity of the TPD (itself a misnomer as e-cigs are not a tobacco product by any reasonable definition of the word).

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Strange Sign

That's hardly reasonable at all, actually that's deliberately putting non-smokers in harm's way.

And for no good reason. There have been a lot of studies recently into vaping, and none (that I have seen) have shown any potential harm from "second-hand vaping". In fact, none have shown any harm from first hand vaping, except when the device is used improperly*.

* Basically continuing to heat the wick when dry, burning the wick and producing carcinogenic compounds. However, it takes very little knowledge of the device and very little skill to avoid this happening.

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Dr. Mouse
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"trigger a PA message that reminds smokers that it is a smoke free site and asks them to extinguish their cigarette"

Which I would ignore, were I vaping. I am not smoking, and have no cigarette (or anything else burning) to extinguish. Case closed.

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