* Posts by Don Dumb

388 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal

Don Dumb
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Re: That's your problem right there

@Lost all faith - "Ever thought he may of heard the text in his backback and didn't want the hassle of getting it out?"

YES. That is the point.

If you are in control of a vehicle, and a bicycle is one, then you shouldn't be reading texts, it is rare people are riding on an empty cycle path with no other people or animals and a surface so dependable that you don't need to keep your eyes on what's ahead.

I recognise that he may 'intend' to stop, read the text without getting his phone out and then carry on - but somehow I doubt that is what he or anybody else really would do. Far too many car drivers don't bother to stop whilst they read their phone, I'm guessing cyclists wouldn't either.

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That's your problem right there

"The company launched its first smartwatch under the Pebble name on Kickstarter in 2012 after Vancouver engineering student Eric Migovsky found it was difficult to read Blackberry alerts while cycling."

You're in control of a vehicle Eric, how about paying attention?

And that to me seems to be the problem with all these wearables - as you really should *not* be reading while cycling.

I'm guessing that if the police cracks-down on people using their phones whilst driving, we will see many more people having a good look at their smartphones while crashing, definitely not reading text messages.

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Comcast is the honey badger of ISPs – injects pop-ups into browsers, doesn't give a fsck

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It isn't 2016 here.

@AC - "My god its 2016, who's on a capped connection in this stone age?"

The vast majority of UK internet users

Although whether most people *understand* their usage is limited is a different matter of course.

I'm currently shopping around to see if I can get a better deal on broadband, I have FTTC and no Virgin availability. The competition seems to be fierce *IF* you don't mind a double digit GB limit. Once you look at 'unlimited' usage, there is little to differ between providers. And of course, unlimited, rarely means that*.

I can't work out is why so many people want really fast Fibre but accept limits so low that that they could conceivably burn through their monthly limit in barely more than an hour.

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Mac administrators brace for big changes to Apple-powered fleets

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Re: Headphone jack!?

Seconded. I understand *some* people are happy to *only* use BT Headsets (I do when at the gym). But the vast majority of people I see have their headphones plugged in and I never heard anyone ever say "I really like my phone but I wish it didn't have this normal headphone jack."

In fact, I remember the times when people demanded that phone makers moved away from their proprietary headphone jacks to the 'proper' one.

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Toblerone's Brexit trim should be applied to bloatware

Don Dumb
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Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

@AC - "You can choose what you install in the latest MS Office, as I discovered when I had to install it on my work laptop."

Please tell me how, had to do a similar thing on my home machine. I've got Skype for Business (which I keep confusing with Skype) and a whole load of stuff I don't need/want.

Would be very grateful for a pointer in the right direction.

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FBI's Clinton email comedown confirms it could have killed the story in a canter

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Re: @Don Dumn... I see you use those three letters.....

@AC - "The Clintons do have a relationship to the KKK."

Is that relationship in the form of public denouncements.

The KKK aren't supporting them in the election, are they? Not, when they are fully behind old Drump

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Re: The only letter left to write for Comey..

@AC - "I'm well familiar with the concept of "purdah".....But the point is, it is taken seriously, and everyone knows it......

I'd be genuinely surprised if there isn't something similar in America, or at least an awareness of the principle. If there is, Comey looks borderline negligent or incompetent."

He clearly knew. He was told by the Justice Department the letter would be against department policies and procedures and he ignored them. That is going to put him in a difficult position when the election is over.

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I see you use those three letters.....

@AC - "Trump never did anything to the extent of the KKKLintoons did."

Wow. Despite that being patently untrue (though I 'm clear you are very much post-truth). You oddly use the letters 'KKK', seemingly in an effort to smear the Clintons as having an association with the Klan, when the KKK are clearly rooting for Trump, so much so that he wouldn't even criticise them.

This is what amazes me about Trump supporters - everything they criticise Hillary for, Trump is worse. They call her a crook, when *he* is the one on trial, this month. They say she is 'the elite' when he inherited 10s/100s of $millions. They attack her foundation, yet he used his to pay his bills and buy paintings of himself. They strike at her hiding things from the public, when he *still* hasn't produced his tax returns.

She may not be perfect but the rest of the world wonders why this was ever even close.

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Meh

Re: inb4

@MrDamage - "during his next "everyone is conspiring against trump" rant"

Well, no matter how true or false, no one conspired against Trump more than Trump himself!

Always seemed a little pathetic of his supporters (and himself no less) to be upset at everyone else (potentially) working against him when even he wasn't working in his favour.

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Build your own IMSI slurping, phone-stalking Stingray-lite box – using bog-standard Wi-Fi

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Terminator

Re: Don't want to be tracked?

@Terry Cloth - "Isn't it sufficient to turn off the Wi-Fi? Who needs it if she's not actually surfing?"

The article does mention WiFi calling in passing and the clue is The Underground. WiFi calling is becoming handy for many to receive phone calls when one's mobile network is weak/non-existent, especially true in places like The Tube. So it's becoming more useful to keep WiFi on and allow the phone to join apparently known networks as one walks around, simply in order to use the phone as a phone, not just an internet browsing device.

Of course 'useful' in this context is a synonym for 'very dangerous'.

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Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender

Don Dumb
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Meh

Re: Eyeo says it [..] wants "user empowerment"

@ Pascal Monett - "Now I install Adblock and I still get ads"

I've got adblock and have used it for years just fine in conjunction with NoScript. Don't see any ads when I'm surfing, or it is actually letting unscripted, imageless ads through and as I'm not noticing them I'm fine with that.

What were you doing to get it to give you ads?

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Survey finds 75% of security execs believe they are INVINCIBLE

Don Dumb
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Re: Reasons

@AC - "Or, more likely, they've done the maths, and realised that the cost of getting hacked is far less than the cost of spending money on security counter-measures.

Patching, secure code, IDS, firewalls, monitoring, multi-tiered defence... it all costs cash.

Compare to the minor wobble and bounce back on share prices, and ambivalence by most of their customers, and the tiny cost of fines,"

So let's call their bluff, this is this opportunity we have been waiting for to get stronger enforcement - the government should now say -

"Well, if you're soooooo confident everything is bulletproof then you won't have a problem with us making the maximum fine for a breach 10% of a company's turnover? I mean, it wouldn't affect you. Would it?"

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Don Dumb
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Re: Oh FFS..

@AC - "I think he was also an accountant. It's hard to engineer or disaster plan when you're given a shoestring budget."

This. 100%.

The amount of times redundancy and risk mitigation has been eroded or eliminated by someone declaring the things providing that redundancy and mitigation as "massive waste". Usually these people are accountants or management consultants too motivated to 'find efficiencies'.

Public services and infrastructure is particularly susceptible for this as every politician wants to "cut down on waste" and every journalist is happy to find examples of "shocking government waste". Something that isn't being used is waste by default right?

Spares or under used assets are too often seen as surplus rather than providing crucial cover, this counts for even powerstations and medical staff. I fear we'll stretch all our national infrastructure and services thinner and thinner for a few decades then realise (when something bad happens) that we no longer have an infrastructure and the services are unable to cope.

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Re: completely embedded cybersecurity into their cultures

@MrDamage - have been in offices which take a very serious line on security. The best way to keep people sharp was to send out an email on their machine to the office telling them they would be bringing in cakes tomorrow.

When the lax individual returned to their desk to see replies gleefully thanking them for their offer, cakes did usually follow the next day.

Hot Fuzz made a joke of 'patisserie punishment' but it's actually an effective way to enforce policies which on their own seem too minor for proper big punishments. Sweet food gives a good natured incentive for colleagues to keep people on their toes rather than cover for people.

An example of a small cost being an effective deterrent, whereas too big a price and it would just become unenforced - "I can't sack them for just that".

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Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

Don Dumb
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Re: I think contracts can override the law

@BillG - a much more succinct explanation.

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@wommit - "A whole section of the employed community, the armed forces, poorly paid for a normal working week, find that their real hourly rate is minuscule when on active service."

Your main point is true but not correct in some aspects.

The UK Public Service is pretty good at recognising 'duty time'. Most Departments pay 'travelling time', overtime or give time in lieu (i.e. all active duty is given to the employee one way or another). The armed forces are technically employed 24/7/365 (they can be called up at any time) so it isn't quite the same. Bear in mind they do have quite strict boundaries on things like how much driving they can do within their duty period each day and if they are on proper operations get paid extra allowances to reflect the absence of real off duty time and the danger, distance from home, etc. At least for the Armed forces they are clearly signing up to some non-standard working and they get some recognition (perhaps not enough) that they do duty outside of normal hours.

The private sector is poor sibling in this regard. Your example of the IT industry is very much one where the employee gets the bum deal and gets no recognition of how much duty time is truely taken up by work. It's even worse for sales people so far as I can see.

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Don Dumb
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Re: I think contracts can override the law

@AC - Yeah, I wish basic contract law was taught in schools. It's the equivalent of "Know your rights". There's so much that people should really have a chance of understanding (contract law, banking, bias, the 'real' value of things) that I wish it became a lesson in schools for 16 year olds.

Far more useful than some things taught at that age.

Contracts cannot absolve companies from their statutory obligations and cannot oblige an illegal act. It's amazing how many people thing otherwise.

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Google, Facebook toss cash into LA-to-Hong Kong sub cable corp

Don Dumb
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Genuine Question

How does an undersea cable deal with the fact that the ocean floor in question has a tendency to shrink in quite violent steps? (Especially around the Bay Area)

Similarly how does an Atlantic Cable cope with the seafloor getting wider in the middle?

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Boost Ofcom's powers and fix mobile market woes, Three and TalkTalk tell MPs

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Mushroom

Stronger Regulation?

Yes, a stronger ICO would be just what is needed, a £500k max fine simply isn't enough.

Oh, sorry Dido, you say "not stronger in *that* area of regulation" - Shurely Shome mistake.

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TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

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@Charlie Clark - I don't disagree. I just wouldn't want this to be blamed on the ICO itself so much as the people who gave it its mandate.

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@Queeg "Not enough 0's"

It had the most 0s the authority could hand out. According to the Beeb, the maximum fine is £500,000.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

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Coat

Re: Never had a Nexus

@Danny 14 - I sit corrected. The official specs do not say an SD card is included. Shows how much you can believe from a shop's spec list. At least there is a 128GB option I guess.

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Microsoft disbands Band band – and there'll be no version 3

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Re: Great marketing

@FuzzyWuzzys - Not sure why the downvotes, I hadn't heard of 'Band' either.

Stellar marketing job there MS

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Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Don Dumb
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Re: Software patents, the gift that keeps on giving!

@Mephistro - "Patenting code, patenting numbers, patenting basic geometric shapes."

None of which has happened here as this is a Design Patent A.K.A. a 'Registered Design'. It is purely a specific design. It still may be really f***ing stupid but it is not a Patent.

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Don Dumb
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Re: I'm all for patents...

@AC - "Patents are supposed to allow innovation by providing a monopoly on the invention for a limited time."

This. Is. A. Design Patent.

As others have had to point out below this is a 'Design Patent', which here in the UK we call (IMHO much more helpfully) a 'Registered Design'. The US patent system is abysmal but if we are going to criticise it we really need to understand what Patents are, and are not, before we wade in. This seems to be part of the reason that things haven't been fixed, few know the difference between Copyright and Patent, before we throw in pesky things like Registered Designs or Trademarks.

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Don Dumb
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@tfewster - "I truly believe I'm colour and gender blind"

I suggest you submit yourself to academic studies on unconscious bias, you might not have any but it's much more likely that you are just not aware that you do (the clue is the 'un' in unconscious). The results of the studies may interest you.

Most truly believe they wouldn't simply follow an order to kill an innocent person, it turns out that the vast majority actually would - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

You don't know what you're capable of.

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@Steven Roper - "I see gender studies or sociology on your CV, it goes straight in the bin and you don't even get a phone call, much less an interview. People who study these subjects are almost universally SJWs,"

Citation Please......

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Re: You can say its ok because he apologized...

@Pascal Monett - " I am currently conducting interviews for a training position for a customer.....I try to avoid looking at the personal details until I have gone through the experience section in order to avoid bias. When I have an opinion on the CV, then I check who it is and where they live"

Could you not 'blind' the CVs? Get someone else to strip the personal information you don't want to see. You can then look through all the CVs make your decisions and then go back to the originals to take it further.

In the UK we now have anonymised applications, not sure if it's universal but it does cover public sector positions. The name (and perhaps a few other details) is not presented to the recruiter until they have sifted the applications for interview. It's a simple way to remove most unconscious bias, at least before the interview.

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Cloudy with a chance of ransomware

Don Dumb
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Stop

You've already got a problem

Most of the things this malware does can only be done if the user is running as admin and accepts the prompts to install software. How many enterprises are letting the users do that?

This would be bad but then most malware would have already defeated an organisation who is already running such an unsafe and unprotected network.

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No wonder we're being hit by Internet of Things botnets. Ever tried patching a Thing?

Don Dumb
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Terminator

Step #1 Missing

The process to install the patch is missing the most difficult bit -

Step #1 - vendor produces and issues patch on their website.

I didn't think that the process of patching sounded that difficult. However, this is all completely academic if the vendor doesn't ever consider supporting the device, let alone issue patches for a 'reasonable' period - that reasonable period being a lot longer than the support durations of even most IT company policies.

People expect appliances to last for longer than a decade, if they are a Thing On The Internet, that means they need to be supportable for that period (either by the manufacturer or by a third party). If the government is serious about 'Cyber' being one of the big threats, then they need to back this up with policy and regulations.

Patching just isn't something that the novice is aware they actually need to do and the old fashioned principle of "if it's not broken don't fix it" conflicts with the principle of regular patching. Getting people to do the patching isn't anywhere near as difficult as getting them to even consider it in the first place.

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Yahoo! joins! Adobe! Flash! flush! mob!

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Happy

Finally the light at the end of the tunnel

I've noticed in the last week or two (oddly since the Olympics) that many fewer videos on the BBC site demand flash on a desktop. iPlayer hasn't for a year, mobiles have non-flash videos but for some reason the news site was acting all stubborn on desktop.

My quick straw poll of a couple of news sites shows that they have finally moved off Flash. I imagine there'll still be a few pages that hold out but this was the reason for most consternation.

Dare I say that I think Flash is finally dying, after years of infections and false alarms.

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Don Dumb
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Re: Yahoo had half a billion users ???

@AC "Yahoo had half a billion users ?"

If you count all the companies they run email for (at least Sky and BT here in the UK) then they might well run 500m *accounts*.

Naturally every account is assumed to be an active user because no one would have a redundant or dormant account.

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Flame

@AC - Nope, just checked and the banner at the top says "BT Yahoo! Mail"

Nothing on the BT news site says anything about the Yahoo breach (quelle suprise) and I have had no email advising me whether I am affected. Obviously changed password anyway.

Feel very much like I am paying for my lazyness in getting off BT email.

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@Roland6 - BT does use Yahoo Mail still (I've just checked)

Oddly nothing on BT's news page mentions the breach.

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Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

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They give more than you found

I find Microsoft's refusal to publish useful update information annoying and deeply suspcious. However for the rollup update patch they do give information behind the first link in the knowledgebase article.

September's rollup update (3185278) includes these updates:

"This update includes quality improvements. No new operating system features are being introduced in this update. Key changes include:

Improved support for the Disk Cleanup tool to free up space by removing older Windows Updates after they are superseded by newer updates.

Improved compatibility of certain software applications.

Removed the Copy Protection option when ripping CDs in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format from Windows Media Player.

Addressed issue that causes mmc.exe to consume 100% of the CPU on one processor when trying to close the Exchange 2010 Exchange Management Console (EMC), after installing KB3125574.

Addressed issue that causes the Generic Commands (GC) to fail upon attempting to install KB2919469 or KB2970228 on a device that already has KB3125574 installed."

I prefer this to having 6 updates. Of course there might be 'more' updates included within the pack they aren't talking about...

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Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

Don Dumb
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Re: Air bag

@Chris G - "Given the level of spending for both the plane and pilot, I wonder if an air bagsystem would help incorporated into the seat and the pilot's pressure suit."

I think the seat already fires airbags that squeeze the pilot firmly into the seat (including pushing the arms close to the body) before launching. Whether there's any scope to extend the system to support the helmet I don't know.

As others have pointed out the simplest solution would be to reduce the weight of the helmet.

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Don Dumb
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Re: "We believe that .... "

"Jonathan Edwards (Brit triple jumper) once said he forgot how he jumped to break records and never managed it ever again."

Remember test pilots aren't young.

Jonathan Edwards' best jumping isn't a great example, he was the best at-doing-his-thing of his generation. Athletes often have a golden period where everything is at its best. The gradual degeneration of the body (from about 18 years old) being overcome by training and increasing experience, after a point the degeneration wins (it always wins eventually). In track and field, the sweet spot is often only a few years. With Edwards, his sweet spot resulted in him jumping longer than anyone had, twice, in the same afternoon. He was still largely untouched for the best part of a decade and went over 18m quite often but didn't again ever jump as far as either of the jumps he did that afternoon. He is still the holder of the longest jump and the world record* a record that has lasted almost 2 decades. He says he forgot, in a sense the inevitable happened but it must have seemed to him like he had just lost the knack.

For fighter pilots, the flying training is intense, partly because there's exams to qualify from and they want to know how someone is in an intense environment (e.g. a war). But to my knowledge the most intense training is long before a pilot gets trained on their specific plane and flying role. So they never really know how good they are. I reckon a lot has to do with the more experienced pilots being quite a bit more efficient with their effort than the talented youngsters. So it must really seem like they aren't as good but they are probably just (unconsciously) wisely doing less.

If you will, Jimmy Anderson was a quicker bowler when young but much more effective when older.

* - the longest jump is farther than the record as it was wind assisted to a degree sufficient to not qualify for the record.

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Great British Great Bake Off gets new judge

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Re: The BBC is skint?

@MJI - Formula 1 is shared between Sky and terrestrial and apparently has no protection - here the list of sporting events covered by category A and B listing - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofcom_Code_on_Sports_and_Other_Listed_and_Designated_Events

What this shows is that even though F1 is a terribly run sport they are reluctant to go completely off free to air so understand that there is benefit in many people seeing their races.

The Six Nations is in a weird position, it has no protection - the group that run it do know the value of it, they keep it to February/March partly because few other sports are prominent. The Unions also know that as a smaller sport trying to grow, putting it on Sky would kill the sport as an annual event. It's also a case that the England games are far more valuable than the Welsh and Scottish (not a judgement of quality, just the advertising revenue), so the other Unions would be reluctant to have their position weakened by the negotiations for England games, currently they can dictate much more to the BBC and ITV as equals with the English Union than if they all sold out to Sky - each weekend would all revolve around the England game (moreso than now). So the 6 Nations going to Sky might not be in the interests of most of the 6 Nations and would undermine the Unions' attempts to grow the sport. So they've half sold out to ITV and the BBC.

Naturally Wales is keen on the government to put protected status on the 6 Nations, as without it, they might end up with only the World Cup as a chance to watch their national sport live, and only every 4 years. There have been suggestions that the protected List is very much protecting middle class cares at the expense of what the working class and the provinces care about (notice that there are 2 horse races protected on a short list)

Everyone has seen what has happened to Cricket (Tests were massive in 2005, went to Sky and much less notable afterwards) and few are foolhardly enough to follow the same path.

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Don Dumb
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Holmes

Re: "Most watched TV Show"

@Rimpel - "It's unlikely any of you actually counted towards the viewing figures - do you realise that they are just estimates based on monitoring a few specific households?"

Yes, er, that was my point, obviously so badly made you felt the need to reply twice.

I'm aware the stats are based on a few specific households and the house I was in was unlikely to be one of them, I was merely avoiding making the assumption that the house I was at was not one of them.

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Re: Channel 4 get to watch Mr Kipling 'Bake off', in celeb shocker.

@AC - "I've never understood the appeal of watching TV of someone else cooking, you can't exactly smell or taste the food."

I can't eat the foods I really want to very often but seeing people who are good at making them and make them in creative ways, does give me enjoyment. Sort of food porn I guess.

I must admit I don't like most cookery programmes but GBBO seems to have the right mix of entertainment (including the time pressure and cooking difficulty) and some really tasty looking food. A lot of the skill seems to be the creative/engineering aspect.

"If it interests you, get in the kitchen, experiment and actually cook for someone."

And guess what, the SO watches GBBO, gets some ideas and goes and tries to make them. Some people seem to think GBBO's just making Victoria sponge every week but it does introduce things we've never heard of and we have made them since.

It's hardly the greatest show on earth, but it's an enjoyable hour's television.

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Re: The BBC is skint?

@Credas - It is simple Dacre bollocks, I'm betting only the 'talent' got first class, the rest of the BBC workers wouldn't, most of the athletes didn't even get First Class on their return (they *were* all on the same plane). Considering how much the country enjoys and watches the Olympics, I think the coverage was money well spent (perhaps not Inverdale)

"Personally I'm delighted that it's one of the few major sporting events that's still available FTA in this country"

And that's because it has a government protected status. Only a few sporting events have 'Category A' protected status but those that do *must* be shown live on FTA channels.

I believe the current list is:

FIFA World Cup finals (all matches); UEFA European Football Championship finals (all matches); FA Cup Final (both men's and women's); Scottish Cup Final (applies to Scotland only); Grand National; Epsom Derby; Rugby league Challenge Cup final; Rugby union World Cup final; Wimbledon Championships men's and women's finals & wheelchair finals (not the whole tournament); Olympic & Paralympic Games (both summer and winter) - really not that many.

Everything else is free to take BT or Murdoch's dime, although there is a 'B' list where there must be highlights or delayed coverage on FTA television. It's interesting that some sports deliberately chose to argue for themselves to be removed from the list so that they could take Murdoch money and have become far less a part of public consciousness as a result (Test Cricket).

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"Most watched TV Show"

When you remember that the "most watched" stats do not include people watching in the pub or outdoors on big screens you realise that the 'most watched' are biased heavily against major sport events.

The England vs Wales World Cup Rugby match, on a Saturday night was likely to have had a higher number of people watching in the UK but a large proportion of viewers wouldn't have been counted. I was, for instance, watching at a party at a friend's house, I don't believe any of us (other than the householders) would have counted towards the viewing stats.

Shows like EastEnders and GBBO are watched primarily by people in their own homes so always come out high up in the stats. When sporting events that seem to have been watched by almost everyone have much lower rating than you would expect.

Confession - I do actually enjoy GBBO, not all of the weeks and not the early rounds, I find it to be a wonderful food porn. I've found that now I don't eat cake very often, but still have a ridiculously sweet tooth, I can genuinely get enjoyment from watching people make cakes. I also enjoyed the fact that the shows didn't really get into the personalities or back stories and didn't seem to be overly dramatised. or cut throat.

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

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Facepalm

Re: Is Paul Dacre in?

@Ledswinger - Do you know what an ad hominem is?

It isn't an ad hominem attack to state that research performed by the writer of their own article isn't independent research. I didn't say that I disagreed with the results (I genuinely don't know), merely that I would prefer to see a better source of information, which might just be objective a well carried out. A tax lawyer is not a sufficiently objective researcher on the subject of tax, was the paper peer reviewed by academics?

Seeing as you must have seen all these reports, how about linking to one, from maybe an academic in a peer reviewed publication?

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Stop

Re: Is Paul Dacre in?

From the article written by 'Out-Law.com' - "said tax investigation expert Fiona Fernie of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.....

The figures come from a recent survey by Pinsent Masons"

Wow, from such an esteemed research organisation as a law firm. I don't know how you could possibly think to criticise the journalism.

El Reg, this is poor - I would have thought that on a site like this we would at least get independent research referenced, even when doing comment pieces arguing a clearly pre-determined point. Not a survey by *the author* to support (in this case seemingly advertise) the author's business.

Most people on here know how easy it is to do a survey that gets the result the surveyor wants, so please at least try and use an apparently independent one. Even though they are often just as bad, at least you're not insulting our intelligence by being quite so blatant about it.

I'm beginning to think listening to Radio 4's 'More or Less' should be compulsory in schools. El Reg, at least credit us with being able to see through 'Think Tank Tactics'

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Sports doping agency WADA says hackers lifted Olympic athletes' medical records

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Re: TUE secrets?

@Voland's right hand - Fair comment, have an upvote.

You make a good point but I don't agree that it should be *public* knowledge but the knowledge of a properly independent organisation, with proper controls. WADA *should* be that body, if they haven't done their job properly then either reform or replace. I was unfair you do have relevant knowledge, the general public (myself included) don't. Some athletes earlier this year were taking advantage of this by publishing their test results, I suspect cynically knowing that it would 'incriminate' others who weren't cheating but whose result appear to be outside acceptable levels.

I don't agree that being an athlete should force your medical record (exemptions are ultimately that) into being public. I don't agree that simply because they are in the public eye (for a few years) means they should give up all privacy, they already have to tell the authorities where they will be for 1 hour every day.

NB - I find it interesting that we demand almost unachievable privacy for ourselves but are happy to argue that others shouldn't have any.

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Don Dumb
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Re: TUE secrets?

@Voland's right hand - "Frankly, the fact that quite a lot of top level USA athletes have successfully applied for "medical exemption" for performance enhancing chemicals should be public as well as all applicants and what chemical were they exempted from."

Seeing as you're making a medical assessment about the performance enhancing effects of these chemicals on the athletes I assume you're suitably qualified in medicine?

The *other* reason for keeping these records confidential is the same as the 'baseline chemical levels' and testing result scores, used to determine whether an athlete is doping or just normally has higher levels of certain chemicals and is within tolerances. It is very specific to each athlete, isn't something that the public can understand, and worse, to the *untrained* eye can seem to be evidence of cheating.

For (simple) instance, I take steroids. Doping right? When I say that these are in an inhaler to prevent asthma, is it still cheating? You could argue that this is performance enhancing for me, but I would argue (and it's the position most sports take) that this isn't cheating or unfair, it just prevents me from having my performance impaired. If I was an athlete and you saw the chemical on this list, you might assume I was getting away with something. The individual circumstances matter and even for a professional athlete are private.

WADA decided that qualified people are better at assessing the results than me. But obviously not you with your many qualifications in biochemistry and medicine.

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Just not cricket: Microsoft's big data Googly called No Ball

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Re: Forcing Results

@MrDamage - "The emotionally stunted players and fans of Rugby League in Australia demanded a "golden point" system (first to score the next point of any sort) to deal with draws in the NRL."

They tried 'Golden Goal' (first to score) and 'Silver Goal' (team in lead at halfway) in extra time in some international [Association] Football tournaments in the 90s/2000s, the intention was to make it 'more exciting', reduce the number of penalty shootouts and prevent teams having to play a whole half hour extra.

But what happened was a classic unintended consequence - it actually made the extra time *less* exciting and led to more shootouts as teams, already naturally risk adverse, became even more defensive as the risk/reward balance had shifted to greater risk.

I know your point was about allowing draws in a league but I think it's interesting when you see what happens with similar initiatives in knockout tournaments. Much like the drug user trying to keep the high going. Often trying to manufacture excitement consistently leads to less overall (look at the final minutes of a close basketball game for 'manufactured excitement'). I think it comes from the flawed idea that everything can be made equally brilliant but all that does is dull the excitement from the whole sport. You actually need the lows, the terrible games, to have the great games and moments in any sport.

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Post-Brexit UK.gov must keep EU scientists coming, say boffins

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Re: Single Issue

@jzl - "We voted to leave the EU.

We didn't vote for anything else the more vocal Brexiters are clamouring for."

I agree with your point but I would also say - How do we know what people voted for? I know several that voted out on protest grounds, a vote of 'Screw Cameron and Osborne'.

That's why I can only see that the negotiation result should be put in front of another referendum. We have no way of knowing if the UK's negotiating position even reflects what the majority of out voters were expecting. They were told so many different things by various different Out groups is difficult to know what people actually brought and who from. Some might even have been under the impression that the NHS is getting a much needed £350M a week uplift and now that it isn't getting that might justifiably feel defrauded.

This is one of the problems with referenda, with a representational democracy you vote for the person you feel will best lead/govern, pretty clear cut. With a referendum you vote for a thing, not knowing exactly what that thing is and then the representative decides anyway.

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Don Dumb
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Re: Democracy? My arse.

"If this were democracy,"

If this were a democracy, the Prime Minister would actually be elected.

Lest we forget no one voted for Teresa May to be Prime Minister and her party are in complete charge despite having less than half the vote in the last general election. This was never a democracy, despite Leavers telling everyone to accept democracy.

Considering how little was/is known about what Brexit means (and, no Teresa, it doesn't mean 'Brexit') If this were a democracy the government would negotiate the withdrawal offer and then put a referendum to the public to ask us "is this really what you voted for?" - my guess is that many people who voted Out won't be happy with the result of the negotiations any more than the Remainers.

After all, once you've had a Referendum to endorse or reject government policy then you can't really not have Referendums every time.

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