276 posts • joined 24 Dec 2011
Oh he's got an ethic alright, it's called egotism. It runs something like this. "Actions which please me are morally more preferable than those which do not".
It's pretty medieval. It's also false.
Re: True, but...
"The UK's not exactly a shining example of an empowered populace, either. Easily distracted by 'Bread & Circuses'..."
I think you're mistakenly confusing the presence of slobs within a populace, with the absence of a rich set of political liberties.
Dead Steve Jobs
You've just given me the perfect idea for a Halloween costume...
Is that going to lose me friends? (assuming I have any..)
Re: Can't beat the original
I can still remember the sound of the things loading.
(high pitched hum followed by quick chirp several tones higher)
(same high pitched hum followed by succession of high-pitched chirps like crashing waves of sound, continuing till almost loaded)
Several minutes later - crashes at end of recording.
Repeat for several hours until bootleg game loaded.
Re: Wrong way?
I'd do it with a Lenovo Yoga because it's a glorious piece of kit.
Re: Why Special Treatment for Utility Suppliers?
I agree, the reasons are severalfold.
Mainly that our legal system is complex, jargon-ridden, and costly and time-consuming to use; consumers don't have standing to injunct utilities to desist in using certain practices with other consumers (so the utility just settles, or pays up in small claims, no precedent is set). Even were a precedent set, nobody would know how to use it. The regulators don't even use the ordinary rules of contract formation to guide their regulatory instructions. The law views the disutility (or displeasure) of a breach of contract as relating to that individual alone, in consumer cases - rather than looking at aggregated disutility. I could go on and on.
But it's a problem with the nature of consumer law in the UK, and the ordinary norms of the law of contract not applying to it because of collective action problems, and structural problems with our legal and regulatory systems.
Re: BT Retail used to be masters at this
BT's business model: offer people expensive, uncompetitive contracts, because they don't trust other brands.
Actually ironically BT own plusnet I gather, who offer the same at vastly reduced prices - which goes to show there's price-reference-point marketing going on too.
I think there are new Ofcom regs which preclude the 12-month auto-rollover contracts since a few months ago. But yeah you're right it has been extraordinary - and likely not enforceable under the ordinary rules of contract formation.
Mother in law etc
Good one that, made me smile. But if Winphone is a "cash-drainer" (right), what isn't in the Smartmobe stakes, OS-wise? That's the problem Andrew rightly identifies.
Winphone - out (+ cash-drainer as you say).
Symbian s90 2015 edition - great but as with all custom OSs, no app ecosystem, doomed
Android - too much competition, much of it pulling in massive Chinese govt subsidy. So it's this last option that is the only possibility and yet possibly not even one where a business case can be made.
I think Nokia should have continued their project to make mobile cellular security cameras based on the 3310 phone long ago!
Re: Please tell me I'm wrong...
Yes Bronek I think you've basically seen the big picture there, that's very well summed-up.
That's the strongest argument I can think of why this part of the pact is utterly objectionable.
Re: Please tell me I'm wrong...
I disagree, if you look at the history of the English law of contract, judges have been looking after the little guy on and off since long before the Sale of Goods Act was passed in, wait for it, 1893... now thanks to EU law, companies can't use any terms with consumers, which would be unfair and create imbalances of rights and duties contrary to the requirements of good faith.
If you're talking about industrial sectors having political influence then that's a different question, of politics not law, and you're free to lobby policymakers too, it just happens that you don't have time and you probably can't claim to be an employer of tens of thousands.
Re: Oh really
"apart from the tiny icons", eh? Honestly if I want to look at a Windows 7/XP style desktop and start menu through the wrong end of a telescope I can do that from my home.
Then trying to actually pick out the correct liliputian menu option requires another further Superman-style feat.
This isn't a bug, it's something completely misconceived.
I bought an 8 inch windows 8 tablet, and had to reject it, reject as in the contract law term of art, because it wasn't fit for purpose. the icons were teeeeny, and i couldn't get the onscreen keyboard to reliably come up, plus there is no swype type keyboard on windows 8. frequently, the keyboard would obscure the field i was typing into, something which manipulating the webpage behind would not alleviate, as it would snap back behind the keyboard as soon as i began to type again. as for intel atom processors, for the birds...
crap. so i wonder if 8 inch windows 8 is just shite as a concept.
Re: What about the authors?
"Only heavy readers are likely to spend more than $10/month on books. "
1) If that's true, then those heavy readers may be keeping the publishing industry, and thus writing, afloat. Allow them to pay $10 only and both may sink.
2) I spend about $100 a month on books, and don't consider myself a heavy reader. But I am a student.
@Anonymous Dutch Coward
How did you do that with your fonts???
It's like putting a twin-turbo V8 in a milkfloat and leaving the 15mph speed limiter on.
Re: Bread. Butter.
I think it's pretty poor form of you to just accuse him of being a shill.
When he says that the 'US govt is hanging out the tech industry to dry', I think he means they're not any longer encouraging as much as they ought, the work of the NSA in detecting and stopping e.g. Chinese industrial espionage and technology theft, such as diminishes US industrial and thus taxation revenues. The interests of the US people just like your interests are necessarily tied up with the health of the economy and government revenues wherever you live. Barring some extraordinary moral wrong involved in it, you'd do well to support that health. I don't think 'snooping' is such an extraordinary moral wrong, and if it is, there are numerous extraordinary circumstances (the threat of terrorism and said espionage) which call for it.
So when he says he knows what side his bread is buttered on, I think he's talking about all of your bread(s), unless of course you live in China or some other techno-kleptocracy.
Great but poison for RSI sufferer
Having just enjoyed a tablet for the last three weeks I can say the specs sound great and yet it's utterly, utterly useless for me as an RSI-sufferer, I'm having the most whopping pain flare-up I've had in years after reading a few pdf e-books on an ipad, so until they invent a tablet which can be controlled very easily and totally by voice (which in reality is impractical because the voice gets tired so quickly) it's all just shite shite shite to me.
but if i wasn't suffering from this i would choose the xperia z2, it sounds like the best thing on the market tabletwise.
Re: They have learned actually
"...and you're a cultural marxist."
Wow, I never realised the Torygraph/Stormfront demographic pitched up here.
Re: @Condiment At Last !
the scholarly convention is to speak of the activity of the union during its entire history, as being the activity of the union, not the eec, nor the ecsc, or anything like that. which you'd know if you knew what you were talking about.
the equal pay act 1970 was barbara castle's random act of doing good, against the wishes of her prime minister who was on holiday and unreachable. it wasn't a requirement of eu law unlike all the post-1972 law.
@Condiment Re: At Last !
And where did those laws come from? That's right - the EU. Article 119 of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. "Each Member State shall during the first stage ensure and subsequently maintain the application of the principle that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work."
We signed up in 1972 not in 1993. From that date on, thanks to the European Communities Act 1972 s 2(1) all our courts were obliged to enforce domestically ALL Treaty provisions and CJEU rulings on non-discrimination, and hold the state itself liable where it had failed to implement directives.
@Rikkeh Re: Good!
Spot on except for a little warning which needs tagging on to your good history lesson.
The Charter rights - I'm not sure if they can found a cause of action on their own - but even if they can, they are only invocable when one of the EU institutions or Member States is applying EU law, and *weighed*, at that, in a balancing exercise alongside the other objectives of the measure which are at stake. They're not absolute rights, they're all very qualified inotherwords, and invocable under limited circumstances. Which is a shame as some of them are quite good, e.g. the right to competent administration!
Re: At Last !
Outlawed sex discrimination in employment terms and conditions including pay and pensions.
Re: Poor Nigel Farage
"You may have missed that it was the EU that created this problem in the first place, they are only rectifying the previous mistake now!"
I see so you want to ban "mistake[s]"? As long as you have mechanisms for continually refining and revising a legal order, which the EU seems to have, then it seems to me either you should take issue with the underlying legal order (the free movement of factors of production), or you should propose refinements, or you should shut up, but to just say that because there was a regulatory policy you disagree with (without even saying why) then the EU should not exist, seems to me a very a weak argument.
"Well the court clearly said that the directive violates Euro Human Rights law"
OK the Court of Justice of the European Union is not any kind of authority on human rights law - that role is for the ECtHR in Strasbourg which is an entirely unrelated entity to the EU. The CJEU ruling does not bear upon the UK's Human Rights Act s 6(1) or s 19 obligations (to comply with ECtHR rulings) or its general ECHR obligations. I think it's entirely possible the Strasbourg Court would take a different view. The CJEU is under all sorts of massive political pressure because of the incredible unpopularity of the EU as an entity within some electorates. The ECtHR is under no such pressure and can take a much longer view in theory.
"Of course someone is still going to have to take UK Gov to court to force them to obey."
The European Commission will do that if it's an important enough case, however, even Joe Bloggs can do that in his local county court afaik, thanks to s 2(1) of the ECA 1972
"As if UK cares. Just look what happened for example with importing cigarettes for personal use via Dover where Customs and Excise ignored EU and confiscated and crushed vehicles used as they deemed the, what was all accounts legal import, as smuggling."
Actually all EU law is enforceable in every court in Britain, and even conflicting UK law is automatically disapplied by the British judge: it doesn't matter if the UK cares, because it simply complies. Have a look at the European Communities Act 1972 s 2(1) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/68/section/2 Those vehicles were crushed because the imports were found to be illegal. Free movement of goods is a qualified, not an absolute right. The qualifications arises from the Article 36 derogations to Article 34 TFEU (http://euwiki.org/TFEU#Article_34) as well as the judicially created derogations.
Re: ARM vs x86?
"we would see no reason for Apple not to begin using the A8 in its laptops"
Quite so re the x86s - there is a very good reason why Apple might not begin using the A8 in laptops and that's Boot Camp. At the moment nobody has to make much of a decision between Windows and Mac - buying a Mac allows both. But the A8 wouldn't allow that. There are important applications where the Mac versions are very inferior to the Windows, e.g. Dragon Naturallyspeaking Legal.
@MrDamage Re: I find it amusing
"Most movies "fail to recoup", not due to piracy, or being bad, but by this wonderful little device called "Hollywood Accounting"."
While tax losses can indeed be valuable to some companies, and there have indeed been known to be some dubious arrangements involving investment banks, these are actually ways of injecting MORE actual revenue and investment into the industry, rather than less - the expenditures they incur, do genuinely go to hiring people to master their art, pay their bills, and keep their skills up for another day when they'll make the next masterpiece which will give you joy at the movie theatre. The accounting trick is to show that a loss was made.
However PIRACY is a different matter. It can only divert revenue away from the industry and the very real jobs it creates. The truth about business is when you're in it, revenue broadly must match investment in the long run. If there is some additional injection from investment banks trying to make a deliberate loss, that's a bonus, but at the end of the day, you can't buck the market, and the market needs buyers.
Re: Out of order.
"Looks like the advice is to pull your domains out of 123-Reg to another provider ASAP and say that you will take them to small-claims to recover any costs as they have not lawfully changed the terms of your agreement with them.
They will then allow you to transfer free of charge, but you need to do it quickly or else you might renew and then you wouldn't have as strong a case."
No, that's not true.
Because the attempt at a renegotiated agreement by one of the parties, lacks one of the essential four factors for a binding contract to exist (offer, acceptance, something FRESH of value exchanged or promised between the parties, and intention to create legal relations), it will not bind, and the previous agreement will continue to bind, unless certain possible conditions are met.
1) One would be that the web firm was going bust because it had promised too much in exchange for too little with that specific offer. Keeping going would be providing something of fresh value. However they would have to have 'clean hands', i.e. be in genuine difficulty.
2) Alternatively, *when the period of the original agreement is up*, they can say they no longer wish to offer services in the future unless the terms are changed, including a domain porting fee. For subscribers leaving at that point, there will be no porting fee. However this raises issues of fairness for those who do wish to stay, which have to be balanced with questions of fairness to the firm.
For those customers, the question of whether the firm ought to be bound by its original agreement will turn a) on the words of the original agreement, and whether they amounted to a promise to be bound for the lifetime of the customer's keeping their domain with the hosting company, and if they do, then b) on the reasonableness of the change of terms, and c) whether (in consumer cases) whether the new change of terms amounts to an "imbalance in the obligations imposed on the parties contrary to the requirements of good faith."
It may be that the offer to maintain no porting fees 'no matter what', was part of the original fresh offer in exchange for which the person joined the company. However if commercial reality says that companies really do have to change their terms at occasional intervals (and I think it does), then they may be bound - BUT ONLY until the end of the original agreement period, i.e. when you come to renew, you will have to pay for FUTURE portings-out, but NOT the one at that moment.
This could be disputed on the grounds that the sheer hassle of joining another company was something which the individual subscriber was keen to avoid by sticking with a company... and it goes on and on. Much will turn on the terms of the original contract, and whether a promise of a price fix was incorporated into it, and whether that clause can be changed fairly, etc etc etc.
Absolutely - putting financial barriers in front of people using this data for medical research purposes is utterly self-defeating if our aim is for medicine to be developed rather than us to turn a buck. I'd rather an extra year of life than a new coffee table.
As for the benefits to the biotech companies buying the data, exceeding the benefits to us, I'd say that these benefits aren't really easily commensurable. You can say an extra year of life is worth £10k or £30k but some people would pay £1bn for the privilege. In any case the sooner the medicines are developed, the sooner the patents will run out and we'll get access to these as generics, for pennies.
As long as the companies concerned don't 'develop-in' horrible side-effects or deliberately diluted health benefits, which 'new' versions of the medicine merely ameliorate... after all who would do such a thing...
@NumptyScrub Re: When Big Brother Is After You
"Feel free to keep insisting that each pirate download is a missed cinema ticket sale"
Straw man - at no point was that stated. I'm sorry but it's basic econ. Even if you argue that every dollar saved on buying movies is spent on skateboards, my moral premise still holds: those who've devoted their lives to giving you joy through their art are not being paid a penny for it. Why should we not likewise deprive you of your earnings? Why should we not support strong markets in the creative sector? Why should we not support the idea of markets and property as such, given they reward the efforts of some of the lowest-paid and most joy-giving people in our society, artists and those who support them?
The Freakonomics authors suggest the "skateboard" thesis but they don't account for misallocation of demand (see above) nor do they account for the possibility that macroeconomically there is a diminution of throughput because of transfer to sectors with lower monetary velocity, e.g. telecoms.
@JoshOvki Re: When Big Brother Is After You
What we're talking about Josh is expecting others not to be paid for their work. If we take either your earnings or that which you've bought through your earnings, that replicates the scenario in your life, which filesharers insist should be wrought upon owners and creators of intellectual property and their agents and assistants.
@Ross K Re: When Big Brother Is After You
Ross, Dowling v United States (1985) relates solely to handling of stolen property. It found for the purposes of the law relating to the transport of stolen property over state lines, which was "stolen, converted or taken by fraud", stolen intellectual property wasn't to be treated in the same way as stolen tangible property in a particular state.
That doesn't mean filesharing of copyrighted work is any less stealing, is any less a moral wrong, is any less economically and socially destructive, besides the fact it doesn't make it any less illegal.
I'm afraid you have no moral arguments or legal arguments whatever.
Re: When Big Brother Is After You
So he can sue me!
"Innocent until proven guilty" as you conceive of it would mean nobody should ever be charged, as we could never consider them blameworthy.
In truth the principle derives and has its FULL EXTENT in the doctrine that it is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the offence charged, RATHER than the burden of proof being on the defence to disprove a charge. This relates SOLELY to judges' directions to juries, who are the final arbiters of fact in criminal cases.
If someone is patently, brazenly, obviously a thief, and dishonest, amoral, and destructive, then there is nothing whatever libellous in saying so.
By the way if you knew the first thing about the law you'd know all of the above.
@bigtimehustler Re: When Big Brother Is After You
I see, so there is a difference between copyright infringement in order to enjoy others' property without paying for it, and the crime of theft.
So what do you think the important difference(s) are exactly? Morally, lexically, economically? Morally and economically there is no difference. Lexically there is less than no difference. If you look in a dictionary for what theft means, it will say "stealing". If you look up "stealing" it will say "take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it".
Legally it is a formal rather than a substantive difference. The difference is entirely accounted for by the coming into being of non-physical goods, i.e. intellectual property, in the C19th with the industrial revolution.
It's one thing (and a stupid thing) to argue that in every instance the "big bad corporations" (which actually are the agents of individuals) should not be able to hold intellectual property.
It's another thing entirely to say that artists and technicians who've given their lives to perfecting their arts and crafts should not be paid for their creations which you steal to enjoy.
Re: When Big Brother Is After You
I thought the moral objection to a Big Brother was that Big Brother prohibited mere thought-crimes, harms to self alone, and offences against mere morality, on an undemocratic and unaccountable basis.
Kim Dotcom has harmed OTHER people in a big way, by stealing, and helping steal their property and life's work, on a massive scale, and through this destroying thousands of jobs and careers, destroying assets legitimately built up, don't get me started. These are real crimes of which he's rightly accused, properly legislated, by democratically elected governments, acting on behalf of the people, legislation with proper and supportible purposes, please don't even begin...
The executive discretion is indeed broad, but it needs to be. Who will protect you when we come and steal your home and possessions if not fallible police, part of a fallible executive, but who act on the basis of morally supportible and necessary purposes? The warrant might have had a t not crossed but that doesn't amount to an executive beyond the reach of the rule of law, that's an absurd and out-of-place caricature.
Re: He's wrong
Haha I think you're technically right but basically misconstruing the guy slightly pedantically. He basically means ubiquitous handheld computers and the interweb and all that shit ;-)
"Make war on the state and expect war in return; you fuck us and we fuck you back good."
I agree except for that you missed a necessary emphasis. "The state" means, unequivocally, US, i.e. "we", the people, das Volk, die Leute. It really is, as you say, "us".
Re: I feel it in the air
That's a great point AC 08:22, with one or two problems.
This issue goes right to the centre of a problem of confused and conflicting principles at the centre of English consumer protection law. The duty of care extends only to fulfilling those obligations which are *established*. Until they are established, it is ordinary practice for every retailer including John Lewis, to resist all claims (return requests) at all cost. The ordinary practice is to pretend to the consumer that the consumer simply has no claim in law ("I'm sorry you're outside the manufacturer warranty so there is nothing we can do"), rather than admit that the retailer is merely resisting that claim. Your right to resist a claim is a basic right in law: it is no different from the right to defend yourself in court.
However. We can see that a basic objection to this "right" is that some companies base their business model upon resisting all claims including those of clear merit. I'm not sure how you resolve this except systemically e.g. bring in statutory penalties for manifestly wrongful rejections of claims, e.g. £40 or 10% of the price of the item whichever is more.
But even if we agree with all the above, there are reasons why OFT might not blink in this case - the obvious, that it could be argued staff are just jobsworths and need to be incentivised to look after the proper interests of the company, scrutinising return requests properly. Many return requests will be under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 - a consumer will decide they just don't want the item. In that case the company is morally entitled to check to see very precisely whether the return falls within the permissible criteria.
To those who approve of Kim Dotcom
Fuck you. Either you subscribe to principles governing property which privilege all owners of property, or you advocate the abolition of your own. Do you advocate us taking what you own and working for free? If so then I suggest you demonstrate it by giving it all up now. Otherwise your argument is a chauvinist argument, that is to say it's based on "might makes right", and/or a solely egoistic maxim. "I" doesn't make right, nor does being stronger than a weak party.
When Karl Marx advocated out of pity for the starving proletariat of the 1840s, the abolition of private property, he didn't see that markets with state help and support for those working in them would become the most miraculous and incredible source of incentivising investment and work and growth and distributing material benefits. Markets do this. Music and film are special kinds of goods, they're not public goods generally, they're not free, they usually require paying for. Markets must be supported.
Yes so such a principle privileging property should be subject to qualification for special kinds of of scarce or strategically sensitive property e.g. land, but songs and movies are as far from falling into such a category as is imaginable.
Re: let me be the first to say ...
I spat in that beer.
What principled or coherent argument have you against agencies operating to protect industries and often on behalf of copyright holders including artists?
If a song is worth listening to chances are it's one of the greatest things that person who wrote it will ever accomplish. If you insist they not be allowed to do that full-time but instead have to take a dayjob, you deprofessionalise music, you steal people's work, you steal often that which they properly gave up their life to produce, and all for pleasure and not need, whereas those who work in a field need market mechanisms to operate such that they be paid.
Shall we force you to go without pay? Shall we P2P your work? How about we redistribute your possessions against your will?
Re: Does it
It's not that it's not replaceable, it's that it's not replaceable outside of a Motorola approved service facility without voiding the warranty.
Great news, but steady on :-)
While this is great and surprising, even shocking news given pricing patterns over the last two decades, and it doesn't hurt to be optimistic, and hopefully this endures as evidence of the mobilcomms market functioning like it should to bring low consumer prices and a good offering through competition, it's been an enormously long time coming, and is hardly a resounding confirmation of efficient market hypothesis as such!
The fact the likes of...all the other operators have, cartel-like, singularly failed to price-compete on roaming, indeed going backwards in many instances over the years, very solidly confirms the need for a Steelie Neelie. Would that we had her in other sectors. #bringbackthetechnocrats
Re: A case for the competition authorities?
"And in the real world car makers make their dealers commit to a certain volume as they need to commit to their production line etc. etc."
Indeed, however, unlike in the mobile phone industry, there is no single car manufacturer which has the market power to systematically extract supracompetitive profits from dealers, to the cost of other manufacturers and consumers of other products. Furthermore, unlike in the mobile phone industry, cars are not dominated by a luxury manufacturer whose market power enables it to load high costs onto consumers of non-luxury cars as a matter of course.
I don't think Apple are the commercial target; rather, other Android manufacturers are, I suspect, whose lack of price-competitive handsets with better than landfill specs may be being seen by Google as the chief constraint on greater OS uptake (?)
Re: Talking with passengers
"There are so many distractions. Single seat cars, driver pods, robotics, the only real way to stop accidents us to take the driver out of the equation, hey why not ban cars altogether?"
What is it about libertarians that they come out with obtuse and ill-thought-out either-or responses to any idea of state intervention to protect human beings from themselves or others?
You realize, Dr. Angelo...
...that my intelligence has surpassed yours...
Re: Get nothing for free
You can turn off the Google Plus spams. I used to get one a day or one a week but as a reputable company they do have an optout link. Haven't had one in a very long time.
@thesykes Re: This just in
"There are certain companies that wouldn't dream of doing such a thing as lowering the price."
Indeed quite right - this product seems to be deliberately aimed at forcing other Android manufacturers into proper price-competition with good handsets at the lower end, probably as a push to get half a billion or so more users using the OS. They've really avoided competing in recent years, except on the high-end.
Re: This just in
Very good phone which other people clearly with considerably less money than me can afford and therefore which can have no interest for anybody who matters to me i.e. me.
There, fixed that for you.
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