* Posts by Don Dumb

236 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Don Dumb
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Pint

Re: Sad

Seconded

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

Don Dumb
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Re: Why would you even fix this?

@Christian Berger - "Why would you even fix this?Yeah, why would people who pay for Netflix want to connect to the internet?"

Oh FFS - is it too difficult to understand that some of us have TVs with native iPlayer and Netflix apps (which, by the way has no microphone or camera) which we might actually want to use.

I'll be honest, I don't mind my TV knowing which iPlayer programme I've watched as amazingly, iPlayer already knows that too! (and they know no more about me than the TV)

I know privacy is a big issue but not everything is a privacy issue - this is about a TV seemingly so badly made that to watch YouTube, the TV has to know that it can reach an ip address that has nothing to do with YouTube.

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

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Terminator

Re: Blank box

@Francis Vaughan - "Or perhaps all the local friendly corner computer shops should start promoting reinstall as as it as a service as well as a really good idea."

But then it begins to depend on how much you trust the local shop doesn't it?

This could easily extend the adware market. All adware makers have to do is to pay the local shop to include the adware software (or worse) in the 'clean reinstall'.

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Ukraine suddenly 40% more interested in UK tax info – HMRC

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Stop

Cherrypicking the sample size?

From the story - "According to HMRC, 2,466 requests were made in 2013 compared to 1,701 in 2012"

So was 2012 a particularly low amount or 2013 a high amount? With only two sample points we have no idea if this is a sudden (and not neccessarily sustained) massive jump, an unusually low 2012 or the continuing trend. Perhaps even 2,466 requests is still much lower than usual.

Odd that we don't have statistics for 2014, why not wait until they are produced, at least we can see some *very* short term trend.

This is how hack journalists come up with scare stories or propaganda, pick insufficient data and make the claim that this proves something. But then I don't need to explain this to a tech site. No one here would take the writer's poor use of only two sample points as being worth anything, would they?

Tax collectors may be making more requests year on year but there's woefully insufficient evidence of that here.

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

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BBC Documentary

@James 51 - I think that there was such a documentary, it may have been an edition of Horizon, a few years back certainly so my mind is hazy on details.

I seem to remember Prof Cox, guiding the viewer around some of the bits of the LHC and also a documentary on the search for the Higgs-Boson that went around the LHC and talked to some of the academics working there. These may have been different documentaries they may have been the same single one, I reckon both were Horizons or similamp possibly still available on iPlayer.

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Oi, Kanye. BEYONCE deserves that gTLD more than you do

Don Dumb
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Re: I think ... Beyonce deserves that gTLD more than he does.

@ADC -

I believe it's a reference to Kanye West pushing himself on stage at the Grammy awards and telling everyone that Beyonce should get the award instead of Beck.

This, as many may remember, is on the back of him doing it even more infamously a few years before. - At the 2009 MTV VMA's he did the same thing to Taylor Swift, jumping up on stage and gatecrashing Taylor's award speech for best video, taking the mike and claiming that it should have gone to Beyonce.

This was such a classless and ungracious display that even Barack Obama was overheard declaring Kanye to be "a jackass". The Kanye quote "I'mma let you finish" became it's own meme mocking his stupid rant.

It seems that whenever Beyonce loses out to someone else at the Grammy's Kanye simply can't understand and tells everyone that Beyonce should have won the award.

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First look: Ordnance Survey lifts kimono on next-gen map app

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Re: Spotted what's missing?

@Stuart 22 - Have another look, the 'North Weirs Walk' map in the article does have contour lines. Guessing that as the other images don't have contouring, it would seem to be a selectable option.

Agree with your point about how useful 3D is and the ability to clearly understand significant landmarks (like Church steeples). Google Maps is only really good at roads navigable by car, it is terrible at footpaths and other routes off from public roads.

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

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Childcatcher

The Reg RSS feed knows me too well

Terrifyingly, I DID spend a large chunk of the weekend watching Game Of Thrones, with my girlfriend, not something I usually do. She will binge through a 22 episode series almost as quickly as they can be played, but I rarely actually see her watching them, she just likes a background (foreground?) while she is sewing/knitting/working/etc. We are both in good shape.

From what I can tell about my friends, it seems the people who most likely binge watch are those who don't like most broadcast telly and often have kids (so a boxset is the only thing to do after the kids have gone to bed). Not necessarily lonely or fat.

But then I'm not a qualified scienticianalist like the researchers in the article.

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German iron meets Monaco's highlands: Audi A1 review

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Re: Sums?

@AC - "Finally, how much leg room up front is there for those us with very long legs? (33in inside leg or bigger)

Most cars of this size are only ok for 1-2 hours driving before your legs start going to sleep."

It doesn't really look any different to the previous A1 and I've just done a 4 hour drive in one of those - The leg room in the front seats is fine, I'm ~6ft and there's a lot more room to give in the driver's seat. It is the back seats that lose all the room and they don't have a lot of space, either for your legs or to sit up straight in.

In my experience of motorway driving in various small to mid-sized hirecars is that what makes a bigger difference to preventing feet from going to sleep is the presence of a left-footrest and adaptive cruise control, my A1 has both and long journeys are very comfortable for a car its size (which is partly why I went for one)

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

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Coffee/keyboard

@Andy Christ - "eh, nuke Mecca."

It's not the mothership*

* (C) Dara O'Briain

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BILL GATES DRINKS 'boiled and treated' POO. Ah, 'delicious'

Don Dumb
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Terminator

Re: Well..

But that means it's homeopathic shit, it's super powerful poo.

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HTTPS bent into the next super-cookies by researcher

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Re: So...

@MrT - But HTTPS Everywhere doesn't cover every site, mostly the major ones I seem to remember. So if I undertsand this correctly, all you would need is to go to a site that isn't covered by HTTPS Everywhere, that then redirects your browser to the secure version and you have the super-cookie on your browser.

Perhaps this needs a Firefox extension of its own?

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THREE MILLION Moonpig accounts exposed by flaw

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Online contact form

@Phil Kingston - Would you be able to put up a link please?

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Don Dumb
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Re: Depends

@Elmer Phud - "Depends on whether you go the whole hog and give them all your details or not.

(similar to people moaning about FB when they have added thier entire life story to personal info.)"

No. It's not like moaning about Facebook at all. Facebook is a social networking site, Moonpig is an online shop that mostly sells greetings cards, often sending them directly to the intended card recipient. Moonpig should (and is required by law) to take responsible care of personal, including payment, details. If you don't want them to have any of your, or your intended card recipient's details then you're not going to be able to do any business with them in the first place.

Try getting Amazon to deliver to you if you don't give them your money or your address.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

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Go

amanfromMars1

@amanfromMars1 - You're back, I for one have missed your incomprehensible (to me) ramblings. Glad to see you posting again.

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We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

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Re: Make your minds up...

@Fluffy Bunny - "Neither of these are proper uses of the word patent. They are registered designs, which can be protected in a similar way to a patent. But a patent has to have some sort of intellectual content.

Only Americans could confuse the two issues"

Only someone who is being annoyingly ignorant (while disparaging others) could not realise that in the USA a 'Registered Design' is called a 'Design Patent'. It's not as if this is the first time it has been pointed out here.

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

Don Dumb
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Coat

Re: Dunno What They're Spending £55m On...

"It's like Channel 4 for teens"

So like Channel 4 then?

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FAIL

Re: Only Connect

@Yugguy - "Only Connect...started on BBC3."

Nope, it was BBC4

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Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

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Re: Not strange to me...

@Wade Burchette - "I know someone who actually saw the planes fly into the twin towers. Saw with his own two eyes."

So they got to him too.

I must say that having read the The Physcopath Test by Jon Ronson, I now find this conspiracy nonsense quite objectionable, I imagine your friend would probably agree. The book features an account of a 7/7 London Tube bombing survior and her distressing harrassment by deniers, ironically including an actual conspiracy whistleblower, David Shayler. The account shows just how vile this can get. Imagine having to go through the experience of thinking you had died underground in a bombing only to be told later by people who weren't there that it couldn't possibly have happened and you must be lying about the whole thing.

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Don Dumb
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Re: Not strange to me...

@Khapitan - Sorry for getting personal but you are a complete cretin, I'm going to have to take this into account whenever I see your posts.

"Do you also call the scientists, engineers and architects that prove the physics as being liars and theorists.."

YES, I DO. Because there are almost none of these people and they have provided no proof. Has Cambridge University or a top Parisien university (for a less possibly biased view), proved, or at least provided any evidence, to dispute the official record. No. Has Iran or Russia, who would have a great deal of motiviation to prove The West wrong, no. Because what happened, happened exactly the way it was demonstrated and exactly the way we all saw it happen, most of us on TV.

"What possible reasons would Americans have for conspiracy theories about their own damned government other than the fact that the realise that something smells very badly in this whole affair......"

Presumably for the same reasons you do - either madness, stupidity, attention whoring or the strange desire by some in the US to see the entire government as some sort of single lucifer-like sentient enemy.

You tell everyone there was no wreckage, you are shown a picture of the wreckage and then respond that it couldn't possibly have fallen there. So presumably the firefighters, police, and everyone filming the disaster and aftermath didn't notice when someone brought in an airframe wreckage to the crash site. The more evidence supporting the established truth you see the more you think that proves a conspiracy - utter madness.

Just stop and ask yourself what is MORE LIKELY, that the events didn't happen as portrayed and a massive conspiracy has been cast that only requires hundreds of thousands of people across in several nations to keep the secret OR the events did happen as shown and a few people harbour doubts that reflect their predisposed bias/madness/stupidity/desire for attention.

No one is capable of such a conspiracy. Just grow up.

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Don Dumb
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Terminator

Re: Not strange to me...

@Khapitan - "Don't you find it rather "coincidental" that no aircraft wreckage was to be seen on any of the 4 sites.."

FFS. No, we find it amazing that you so desperately believe no wreakage was found as somehow evidence. This page has a picture of that wreckage and some reasoning why you are a complete buffoon - www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/debunking-911-myths-planes Had it occurred to you that the public weren't really that bothered with specific recovery of the aircraft wreakage, when there was also two buildings of wreckage that had collapsed. It happened, it just wasn't worth reporting.

"Obviously you want to believe the media/govt, it makes you feel better about the whole event."

Obviously you want to believe a couple of crazy deniers rather than everyone else, because presumably you'd rather think of the government/media as some evil being rather than a collection of disparate human run organisations with differing objectives. If you believe that everyone (gov/media/the non-returning passengers/families of people on the planes/the perpetrators) has fabricated their evidence, then why do you believe that your few sources the only ones that haven't fabricated their evidence?

Occam's razor - 9/11 did happen, with planes and thousands of people died, it would have been more difficult to fake.

Insanity could be defined as not being able to tell obvious fact from fiction, stupidity is not being able to evaluate sources of information, you need to get a psychological test or go to school.

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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

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Mushroom

Re: The human body will decide the winner (if any)

BULLSHIT ALERT!*

I'm guessing these 'studies' (remember kids a study is not a peer reviewed publication) are on your own website Dr Charlatan. I make this conclusion because you clearly haven't understood what the article is talking about and furthermore you are someone who publishes papers in a web journal for which you are on the advisory panel - and unsuprisingly none of the publications made in your online journal have ever been accepted for publication in PubMed, the officially recognised database.

Why don't you go share ethics lessons with Andrew Wakefield?

* - dear El Reg, please can we have a Bullshit icon.

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Don Dumb
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WTF?

I'm living in a future world

"Induction cooking could revolutionize kitchen designs, for example."

Yes, it could, if this is the 1950s. I don't know if the author is trying to be humourous but induction cookers are, and have been, quite common in Europe and the UK. I've been in several houses with induction cookers.

You'd be amazed at how my cheap electric toothbrush has charged for the last decade - as if by magic.

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Gates Foundation to insist on Open Access science

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Pirate

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - "along with public ownership of all patents obtained based on the research"

I realise that I've added a second reply, but this is on a slightly different subject.

Beware of unintended consequences. Public ownership of patents, may not have the desired result. In UK government procurement, the general policy is that the government should get free license but industry should own the IP of publicly funded work. The policy may be slightly different for research.

The principle behind that is that the IP, say a patent, has value to exploit (for better or worse), if the government hold a patent they can't exploit it as well as industry, therefore the value of the IP generated by the taxpayer is reduced. Furthermore, the patent may be less well shared by government than industry, as a company has an interest in actually exploiting and thus a motivation to share the IP, more so than government does.

<unrealistic idealism>

It would perhaps be better for the government to simply not register any patents identified in publicly funded reasearch. It's a foreign idea to many (cough, *Apple*, cough) but no one *has* to register patents when they have invented something, once an invention is made public but not patented then it shouldn't ever be patentable and therefore free to society.

</unrealistic idealism>

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Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: Well done!

@tom dial - the problem is very little research is actually publicly funded. Certainly here in the UK, the majority of university research in many subject areas is funded by industry.

I personally find it quite depressing, as it means that not only do most post-docs exist on fixed term contracts having to move around every few years as science mercenaries (and thus the side effect of potential conflicts of interest in having to constantly get industry to fund projects for them). But it also means that research is focused on positive results, there's no room for exploratory or 'blue sky' research which benefits society (Newton wasn't sponsored to sit there and think) and there's no appetite for negative results, which to the wider world can be more useful than positive results (this is particularly important in medicine, we need to know which treatments are detrimental not just beneficial)

When I see the pathetic amount of public funding that goes into science I do get annoyed, the long term benefit to the country of just putting a small amount more into research.

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

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Re: How long does Ecuador's London embassy lease have left?

@Steve Davies 3 - "The embassy is part of the state of Ecuador."

That is entirely untrue although a very common misconception.

"The saga of the Iranian Embassy some 30 years ago...set the precident here."

Yes, it so set a precendence that the UK passed the 'Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987'. In fact the UK Government rather poorly pointed out to the Ecuadorian government that this law "would allow us [The UK Gov] to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy."

The unwritten reason that embassies are generally protected, is that if Country A messes around with the embassy of Country B, then all of Country A's people in all of its embassies around the world are vunerable. I wouldn't want to be a Brit in the UK embassy in Quito (or anywhere in South America) if the Ecuadorian embassy in London had just been stormed by the Met.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

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Re: wiping iThings

@Planned Departure - "It's in their benefit to not be helpful... One less iPhone in the market is one more opportunity for them to sell."

I don't doubt that, similarly it's in a car manufacturer's interests to have your car cease to work, exactly the day after the warranty expires - it's an opportunity to sell another car!

But the more important question is whether it is legal for a company to effectively damage beyond repair things you own. I suggest that it would not be legal and quite possibly criminal.

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Don Dumb
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Childcatcher

Re: How confident are you about that will?

@Martin-73 - "Refusing to hand over information allowing the device to be used normally could constitute criminal damage to the device"

Agreed. That is why I don't think this has been properly tested in the courts. My hope is that my opinion about what should be possible for a company can do in the event of death of someone who owns that company's product is broadly reflected in law but just hasn't been enforced yet.

In truth the number of elderly tech owners is probably low, owver the next decade the number of people dying who do have significant tech assets will increase to the point that this gets a proper fight.

Basically it just needs a Tory to die - they don't like missing out on inheritances.

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Don Dumb
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Re: wiping iThings

@MacroRodent - "At least an iPad can be reset by the user, wiping (or at least making very hard to access) any old contents."

It's worse for an iPhone (and possibly a iPad with cellular), as there is a security method which links the owner's Apple/iCloud account to the device. As I am recycling a couple of iPhones at the moment I've had to wrestle with this.

Basically the association between iCloud account and device is used to locate the device when it is lost (the 'Where my iPhone?' facility) and this also prevents anyone from wiping and putting their account on the device. Even a factory reset will still keep the iCloud account associated and prevent other accounts from being loaded, you have to manually remove the account (either through an online facility or on the phone itself, with the iCloud password as verification of course). This is all helpful to make the phone more secure, and not valuable when stolen, however it also means the phone is not valuable when passed on without the owner's input (such as in death).

Thus to pass on an iPhone when dead, the iCloud account of the deceased will be needed to remove the deceased's iCloud account from the phone, if you don't have that it would seem Apple are not willing to help (rendering the iPhone effectively useless).

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Don Dumb
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Terminator

Re: Tech companies need to grow up

@Yet Another Anonymous Coward - "They have procedures, all the stuff you bought goes back to them and your kids can buy it all again."

I've said it elsewhere but that is stealing, far worse than the copyright infringement they keep preaching to us about.

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Facepalm

Re: reminds me

@AC - "It's true. Buy a car and you own it, but you don't own the designs to the car. You're buying a copy of an item, not the rights to make it, copy it etc."

Yes of course dumbass, because when I die, Ford take my car away. Right?

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Don Dumb
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Re: Apple's view

And by the logic of the copyright holders, the companies themselves are STEALING from the consumer, it's copyright theft!

As they have effectively taken* the license from the legal owner of the license (the inheritor of the estate) from using or taking possession of the license.

In fact, this is more stealing than copyright infringement as the owner actually has lost access to the item of value.

* - Disclaimer - this is the logic of the MPAA, RIAA, etc; Not neccessarily mine.

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Don Dumb
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Terminator

How confident are you about that will?

@Amorous Cowherder - "I have a will to ensure anything of any value is passed on"

Except, that's the point. If some of that value is in cloud or third party hosting, you haven't ensured that the things of value are being passed on because it would seem so far that the will is not effective at forcing the hosting company to release the things to your intended recipients. Even worse, if you have an electronic device of value like an iPad or iPhone, it would seem that Apple is happy to render these useless if you can't remove the deceased's iCloud account that secures it (as the story reflects)

Although this is only so far at least, I can't help thinking that this hasn't really been properly tested in UK or EU courts. While the US may have set some precedence that favours the business over the individual, I would like to think that the ownership rights of the individual will be protected better this side of the Atlantic.

In my opinion, if one owns something (a phone or a license to a music track) then the value of that thing shouldn't be eroded by a third party simply because the owner dies. Especially if the deceased has explicitly transferred ownership of the thing, on their death, to someone in a legally binding document (such as a will), it shouldn't be legally possible for Apple or Microsoft to change the value of those things.

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Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

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Re: You'll NEVER FORGET about Dr Dre NOW

@Richard Tobin - You may not have heard of Dr Dre but I'm guessing you've probably heard of Eminem. Dr Dre found and signed Eminem and then worked with him on his early (best) stuff.

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Don Dumb
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Isn't he dead and

+1 for The Real Slim Shady reference

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

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Boffin

Re: Absolutely outrageous

@Nick Ryan - "The contract laws are surprisingly recognicient of the fact that most people won't understand or have the inclination to read small print on every occasion therefore unfair clauses are pretty easy to invalidate."

There's a few principles in UK (part of which is EU) contract law which protect the common man from bad contracts. These seem to be the most relevant to this story:

1: - Capacity - Anyone with competence may enter into a contract which is enforceable by law. This precludes minors (under 18), people with mental disorders and people who are incapacitated through alcohol/drugs. - This is the main protection, in that it protects those who can't understand contracts or clauses in them into being legally bound by them. The principle covers being incapacitated or a minor but it also enshrines the principle that the average person can't be expected to understand a complex legal document and therefore consumer contracts can't throw in clauses which the layman would not expect (like charges for bad reviews) or conditions which a court decides are unfair, regardless of whether they have been signed up to. A business signing up to a contract would not have the same protections, as they are expected to understand T&Cs.

2: - Legality of Object - A contract is considered 'illegal' if the consideration or object (i.e. the item that's being purchased) either contravenes the provision of Statute or Common Law or is contrary to Public Policy. - So many businesses seem to try and 'forget' that they can't put a clause in their contracts which is illegal (i.e. a no refunds policy) or which commit to an illegal act (this is why all those who signed away their first borns in a Wifi login did not actually do that).

3: - Mistake - A genuine error, unintentional deceit or misunderstanding might count as Mistake and the contract might become invalid, or voidable by one or more of the contracting parties. The legal concept of Mistake is complex. - But in this case the fact that they thought they were agreeing to stay in a hotel for a night and not signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA - which no one would expect to be signing) should count as a genuine misunderstanding.

If the hotel wanted to prevent bad reviews it could get the customer to sign a NDA, however that would be a separate document (so as to make the fact that they are agreeing to an NDA not a room rate clear) but they would also still need to make sure the hotel isn't making the customer sign the NDA under under duress or undue influence (like saying "sign this NDA or we will make sure no hotels in the town give you a room"), which would also invalidate a contract.

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Don Dumb
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Pint

Re: This one's my favourite

@goldcd - +1 for Sotto Sotto, hadn't seen that review/response exchange but I'm very tempted to start a 'mini-viral' amongst my friends.

I have had a birthday meal there and many friends consider it the best restaurant in Bath. I already had very high regard for this place (I can also validate the truth of their claims that they provide a birthday profiterole and complimentary Limoncello). But that response is so brilliant, it raises my esteem for them even higher.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

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Facepalm

Re: "Organic" - arse.

@AC - "I wish they'd stop calling carbon chemistry organic, it's a bloody stupid thing to do when there is no organism involved."

It may be confusing but they *are* using the term correctly - see here - www.thefreedictionary.com/organic+chemistry

organic chemistry

n. - the branch of chemistry dealing with the compounds of carbon.

[1870–75] Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

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Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

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Re: Anytime the KKK are mentioned...

@John Gamble - thanks for the clarification. Forgot it was the radio show. Even so it still stands that a fictional comic book character brought the KKK down, just through the medium of radio.

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Don Dumb
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Happy

Re: Anytime the KKK are mentioned...

I remember the fact that they were defeated by Superman, yes the fictional comic book hero Superman. He defeated the KKK in the real world. Freakonomics gives a good account and I seem to remember QI mentioning it.

KKK - so 'powerful' a comic book was enough to decimate them.

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Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it

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Alert

It is open source? And will justice will depend on the device?

I seem to remember that red light camera tickets being contested on the grounds that as the software in the particular gatso camera was not available to be viewed by the court (it wasn't open source and the company wasn't willing to share the source with the court) then the conviction couldn't stand as it violated the principle that "the defendant and the court needs to be able to see the method by upon which the accusation is based".*

If the devices in our possession are used by and against us in legal proceedings, it surely won't be long before scrutiny of the very device itself becomes key to the verdict. Can't imagine Apple being too keen to provide its source code to comply with a court supoena to validate the evidence that is being attempted to be extracted from its watch in a low level civil action.

* - Florida seems to spring to mind and I don't know if the defence was successful.

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'Net Neut' activists: Are you just POSEURS, or do you want to Get Something Done?

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Dear the Author

From your piece:-

"This is how the Culture Wars have been conducted."

And

"What makes this week's debate so cynical is that, like most of the Culture Wars, it has been entirely avoidable."

What the bloody hell are the 'Culture Wars'? - the only time I have heard anyone use a phrase like culture wars was some crackpot Christian minister talking on a phone-in show in the deep south who thought he was fighting some sort of battle with "the homosexuals".

Mr Orlowski, are you really suggesting the fight for equality and human (gay) rights is "a hack"?

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Chinese coder's got 99 problems and getting hitched is one: Huge iPhone woo plot FAILS

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Boffin

Re: But... Why?

Time and again we see these lavish gestures to propose. When will people learn - If both partners want to get married, the nature of the proposal shouldn't matter.

if your proposal needs a lavish public display to get engaged (and a simple private question won't do) then your relationship probably isn't strong enough for you to get married. Either the partner doesn't really want to marry the proposer but are somehow swayed by a single silly act (not great long term prospects there) OR, worse, the partner will only say yes to marriage if the proposal is "really special", in which case I seriously question that person's priorities.

Anyone who feels the need to go to extra effort to pop the question is simply saying "I'm not confident that they do want to marry me, so I'll have to sweeten the deal". Truth is, you should be confident about getting engaged before you ask the question, there shouldn't be doubt.

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Trolls pop malformed heads above bridge to sling abuse at Tim Cook

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Boffin

So I guess all the 'Meh' comments now understand.

All those who went to great pains to tell us that Tim Cook coming out publicly wasn't news on yesterday's story - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/30/tim_cook_writes_open_letter_gay/ now understand that, while it shouldn't be a news story, it unfortunately is. Just because you don't care doesn't mean there aren't those who do.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

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Re: There are no words...

@zen1 -

I didn't downvote you but I can imagine the downvotes are similar for the others that have been similarly downvoted. You felt so "indifferent" you went to the effort to read and then comment on the story, telling everyone that you don't care. I think you are right that one man's sexuality shouldn't be important but I don't think you quite get the point of the story.

I'll try to explain here:-

I'm pretty sure Tim Cook isn't directing this 'news' to you or in fact most of the people who would be reading El Reg - I'm guessing the readership is western and generally culturally liberal and we don't care about sexuality. However there are many people who do care about this and more importantly, care enough to create, encourage, enforce laws and social customs to oppress, outlaw and even eliminate 'being gay', even in the US.

Furthermore, there are many old social stigmas surrounding homosexuality that remain, such as gay people aren't strong enough or the 'right sort of people' to be CEOs or sportspeople - clearly this story is at least evidence against such ideas.

Look at it another way - society still expects people to be heterosexual and then those who aren't have to realise that they are not and then readjust 'out', both themselves and others around them. You may (or may not) have gay friends who will recount the time they realised who they were and how they came out. For some, it wasn't that difficult, for others it can be a painfull process - losing jobs, friends and even family as many simply do not accept the fact.

Therefore, for Apple's CEO to stand up and simply tell the world 'yes I'm gay and not unhappy about that', does help to drive the gradual social acceptance of homosexuality and create the role models that, as you point out, shouldn't actually be neccessary.

For an example of why this is still unfortunately news, compare the coming out of former NBA basketball player John Amechi, he had to hide his sexuality for his entire playing career, note for a period he played at Utah (and their CEO was vocally not accepting of homosexuality). When he did come out, in his book after retirement, there was a reaction from other players that suggested many do care The reaction

In summary, it shouldn't be news, but it is because there are many who do care about this, even though they shouldn't and this hopefully starts to erode their interest.

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Re: fair play to Cook for coming out

@AC - "perhaps he can also add whether he bowls, bats or is an all-rounder?

He actually did answer that - he bats, for the other team

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

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Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

@chicken Marengo - I do extend a sincere apology. I was aware you were being facietious but didn't realise it was about the order of magnitude. I guess I'm a little tuned in to the outrage of government costs by people who don't understand them. No need to label you a Daily Mail hack

Although, I would just point out that "not a lot...being acquired for that sum", and "the sum itself being excessive" are basically the same comparisons. One is saying that something is too expensive, the other that not much has been brought for the price.

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Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

@Chicken Marengo - Please don't resort to hack journalist reactionary outrage.

The figure £97M is very likely the approved amount for the whole capability. That includes a lot more than the purchase price of the computer and will likely (should) cover all costs that the computer needs for its expected life. But basically there are many questions that need to be answered before you can estimate how good a value has been acheived.

First unanswered question - how long does the approval cover? The amount is meaningless if you don't you understand the approved figure likely involves the whole costs for the life of the asset or for a significant period. How much will a *fully supported* supercomputer cost over, say, 10 years? I guess you have no better idea than I do.

Then add on all the other costs - How much will it cost to building the new building (it's going in a new building) and then how much will the energy costs amount to? What about training and any software development costs to migrate to the new system. Don't forget your project risk budget, things will go wrong that cost extra money, considering there are new buildings and then factor in the cost of doing things properly, they like to do sustainable developments (e.g. not necessarily cheap upfront costs).

All these things mean that the cost sounds expensive if you think they are only talking about buying a collection of servers, but the quoted figure means so much more. Many things that make the figure meaningless to those who haven't seen the full budget.

Summary - it may be an overpriced system, it may not. We simply don't have enough to go on.

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NSA approves Samsung Knox for use by TOP SECRET g-men

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Re: OFFICIAL

@ZSn - "OFFICIAL is the 'lowest level of classified material' in the UK is a bit disingenuous. It rolls up protected, RESTRICTED and CONFIDENTIAL."

And UNCLASSIFIED as well - everything is at least OFFICIAL.

As another has pointed out anything which is sensitive has a specific handling restriction. The classifications are not retrospective either, anything which was marked CONFIDENTIAL still retains that classification and is treated as such.

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Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook

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Re: Tim will be remembered for allowing Yosemite on his watch

"Tim will be remembered for allowing Yosemite on his watch "

The Apple Watch is getting Yosemite? That is impressive!

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