* Posts by Red Bren

1621 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

Plans for half of Europeans to get 100Mbps by 2020 ain't gonna happen – report

Red Bren
Joke

Is Thanos in charge of this?

What happens to the other half of Europeans?

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Brit reseller Aria PC mounts appeal against £750k taxman VAT fiddle ruling

Red Bren
Pirate

"A gangster that in many ways writes it's own laws, Al Capone owned judges and cops, HMRC often are the judges and cops."

And PwC/KPMG/EY/Deloitte have a revolving door into HMRC. The people writing tax law today, will tomorrow be advising their clients where the loopholes are.

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Red Bren
Trollface

Re: Ignorance of the law is not a defence...

"HMRCs determination however has no more legal standing than an opinion. It is a very highly regarded opinion within government, but it is still simply an opinion."

The level of regard given to HMRC's determination by the government is inversely proportional to the wealth of the the individual/corporation involved. Tax is for the little people who can't avoid it, justice is for those who can afford it.

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You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs

Red Bren

Re: "You can call me a dreamer..."

@Adam 52

"Insert your own Voltaire or Niemöller quote."

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to come for the people that disapprove of what you say, because I did not disapprove of what you said.

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UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year

Red Bren
Boffin

Visas and skills gaps

For every role that an employer wants to bring in a skilled worker on a visa because of a skills gap, they have to sponsor two local unemployed people through the relevant qualifications and training. At the end of the training period, the visa lapses and the role goes to one of the trained up locals, or the employer can choose to renew the visa, but will now have to sponsor four locals through training. Each visa renewal will incur an exponential burden of training. Eventually, it will have to be cheaper to hire a local candidate then bring someone in on a visa and pay for all the incurred training.

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UK.gov expects auto auto software updates won't involve users

Red Bren
Black Helicopters

OTA Obsolesence

Gazing into my crystal ball...

My three year old car that I've just finished paying the finance on installs an OTA update without my knowledge or permission. Suddenly, the frequency of needing a recharge goes up and the flux capacitor is more sluggish. Every commercial break on the radio now starts with an advert for the latest model of my car.

My neighbour bought the same car at around the same time, but he's on a 5 year finance deal. His car is still performing as well as it did when it hovered off the forecourt. The only adverts he hears on the radio is for help claiming mis-sold car finance...

Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?

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Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

Red Bren
Boffin

Re: auto-darkening lenses

Peril-sensitive sun glasses

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Red Bren

Re: "Not really - you only need to sweep across the cockpit windows"

@Pascal Monett

I thought the same thing until another commenter pointed out that the beam from a hand held laser pointer, isn't that well collimated and will spread out over distances of hundreds of meters, so not that hard to hit the target. In addition, minor imperfections in the cockpit glass cause the beam to repeatedly reflect and refract, so it's not just a little green dot any more.

Can't find the original comment, sadly.

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TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank

Red Bren
Pirate

Which bit of his bonus will he lose?

The bit before or the bit after the decimal point?

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UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

Red Bren
Coat

Re: "what comes out of a cow's arse"

They had to stop using black horse stuff. That's what caused the trouble in the first place!

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Yes, Emergency Service Network will be late and cost more - UK perm sec

Red Bren
Coat

Re: we're all going to die!

I've never died, so based on all the evidence available, I'm immortal!

I'll get my shroud...

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Red Bren

Bodes well for NI border

So a government IT project that has already been in progress for years, is flagging up a warning that it won't deliver on time, 21 months before the deadline. At the same time, the government is saying it can invent, develop and deliver a technological solution to the NI border issue, in 21 months, even though it hasn't started yet?

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Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

Red Bren
Trollface

Re: "Project Fear"

@Pen-y-gors

"The death penalty no longer applies..."

After Brexit, the UK can withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and reintroduce the death penalty, specifically to deal with the deceivers that sold out the country to further their own (and the Kremlin's) interests. Then we can apply for a fast-track, hard rejoin of the EU, with Schengen and the Euro thrown in.

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Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

Red Bren

Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

Pornography is legal. Maybe you should ask yourself what business it is of your's to judge other people's legal activities, based on whatever intolerant, prudish moral compass you use.

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Red Bren
Gimp

FoI request

Any chance El Reg could request a list of all domains or IP addresses accessed from devices on the networks at the Houses of Parliament?

My employer would treat it as gross misconduct if I managed to access porn from a work device, especially as it would require me to deliberately circumvent the firewalls and proxies.

I assume MPs would face the same challenges to access porn while connected to the parliament network, and would suffer similar sanctions if they succeeded.

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Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Red Bren
Joke

Re: "after ignoring NTP for 25 years"

@ david 12

Perhaps he's using the MS implementation of NTP to set his calendar?

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UK watchdog Ofcom tells broadband firms: '30 days to sort your speeds'

Red Bren

Re: it will make no difference

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider 1: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

30 days later...

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider 2: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

n x 30 days later...

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. If you can't fix it, I'd like to leave.

Provider N: it's not our fault it's BT. Cheerio.

Customer: So how do I actually get the advertised speed?

Providers: You can't. You get what you're given or go without.

Rather than giving customers the option to cancel the contract without, perhaps OFCOM should be forcing ISPs to provide the service the customer signed up to in good faith or suffer a penalty? Perhaps give customers the right to withold payment when the service doesn't meet the minimum standard?

Customer: Hello, I'm not getting the broadband speed you advertised. Until it's fixed, I don't have to pay!

Providers: Oy! BT! If we don't get paid, you don't get paid, so sort it out!

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Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Red Bren

Re: Food and booze

Ant hill inside?

-- Out of Cheese Error - Redo from Start --

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Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Red Bren
Boffin

Re: No rocks here

Betelgeuse might have already blown up in the last 599 years, we just haven't seen it yet...

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Tax Google and Facebook for a job subsidy scheme? Sigh

Red Bren
Big Brother

Legitimate News Organisations

I find the use of the above phrase worrying.

Who defines whether a news organisation is "legitimate"? The state? What criteria needs to be fulfilled? If it's circulation numbers, how does a new publication enter the market? If it's by accuracy of content, who decides what is fake news? Or is it by patronage, if the owner is a political donor and the content doesn't try to hard to uncover uncomfortable truths about the establishment?

Which of these orgsnisations are "legitimate"?

The Times

The Guardian

The Daily Mail

The Sun

Brietbart

Skwawkbox

The Onion

In fact, when did El Reg become "legitimate"...

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Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

Red Bren
Trollface

I wasn't duped

They told me exactly what I wanted to hear!

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Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

Red Bren
Mushroom

Same goes for Trident

If we're going to lecture "developing" nations about solving poverty and building infrastructure before investing in WMDs, we really ought to ensure we've solved our poverty and infrastructure issues before spending a fortune on Trident.

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Red Bren
Trollface

If your not on the list, you're not getting in

"it’s a stable and peaceful democracy that generally observes international laws."

Apart from the nuclear non-proliferation ones? Funny how we turn a blind eye when some countries are looking to join the nukes club. But other countries get invaded when we have to manufacture evidence of their nuclear ambitions...

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Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

Red Bren
Coat

Boldly going

How long before we break orbit and can go exploring the cosmos from the comfort* of our own planet?

* Might need to put an extra jumper on...

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Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Red Bren
Big Brother

Interesting Cover Story

M: Ah 007 sit down. We have an unusual mission for you. We want you to stop people using these. [points to a device on the table]

007: What is it? An IED?

Q: No 007 it's a GSM Gateway. It allows our greatest enemy the ability to circumvent our surveillance.

007: So you want me to go to China and destroy the factory that makes them?

M: No 007.

007: You want me to assassinate the design team?

M: No 007 we want you to take a senior role at OFCOM and make sure they are banned.

007: Isn't that a bit, erm public, for a spy? I know nothing about communications regulation or competition law.

M:You don't need to be qualified to run a quango, the junior staff do all the real work. You'll be hidden in plain site as it were, and if anyone does suspect, we'll just move you to another civil service role. Why do you think we have so many of them?

007: Ok but do I get my own PA?

M: 009 is between assignments and she's a qualified accountant

007: Excellent, she can teach me about double entry

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UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

Red Bren
Trollface

"UAVs pose less of a risk to airliners than government officials"

Can we fire a few ministers at aircraft windows and put the rest on a register of who owns them?

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Red Bren

Re: I finally switch from AMD to Intel, and this is what happens.

"IANAL but surely the chips we have, once patched, will no longer be performing as advertised?"

I was thinking something similar. The Lenovo laptop I bought less than 18 months ago is still in warranty so is it reasonable to ask for a refund/replacement?

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Red Bren

Re: Hmmm...

Would this mean distributing Intel & AMD specific binaries, or would users have to compile their own kernel to enable/disable the patch as necessary?

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UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

Red Bren
Big Brother

Costing or saving?

Surely tech firms are indirectly saving the UK government millions in "human surveillance" of extremist content by building and maintaining services that extremists use to communicate? All the security services need to do is follow due process and get a court order to obtain the communications records of the suspects. Unless the security services don't want to follow due process with judicial oversight, and the "suspects" are anyone who questions authority.

We're all extremists now...

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One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics

Red Bren
Childcatcher

Re: Last of it's kind?

Isn't that the modern equivilant of going into Dixons/Currys/Comet in the 80s and typing

10 print "Red Bren Woz Ere"

20 goto 10

Into all the display computers?

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Brit film board proposed as overlord of online pr0nz age checks

Red Bren
Trollface

Re: This may, perversely, encourage more porn

What if I were to admit I find it highly arousing to watch images of 650 fully clothed men and women sitting in rows, hurling jeers and insults at each other?

I'd hate it if the BBFC were to ban such filth...

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Red Bren
Gimp

First they came for the porn sites and I said nothing, because I had a ball gag in my mouth...

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Netflix silent about ridicule as it discusses punters' viewing habits

Red Bren
Pirate

I've just completed a free trial with netflix. I would have signed up for a subscription, were it not for their refusal to take my money by direct debit. Instead, they insist on a continuous payment authority (CPA) against a credit or debit card. These arrangements offer less consumer protection than DDs as the business can vary the amount or timing of the payment without prior notice.

When I phoned their helpline to ask if there was a way to set up a direct debit, as their website didn't appear to support it, I was assured that yes they did, I just needed to give them the debit card number. After a few minutes of insisting that I would only supply a sort code and account number, and only after he read me the direct debit guarantee script, he finally admitted that he couldn't set up a DD and was trying to set up a CPA. I thanked him for his time and informed him I would not be subscribing until they accepted a payment method with better consumer protection.

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No, BMW, petrol-engined cars don't 'give back to the environment'

Red Bren
Pirate

Re: "He's not the messiah!"

Big cheeses are more than happy to take credit for corporate success due to their "guiding influence" when salaries and bonuses are being decided, even if they weren't involved with the minute details. But the moment there's a hint of corporate failure, it's always the fault of "rogue employees" who kept us in the dark, with no questions asked about oversight, who hired them or why, and who benefited most from the "rogue" behaviour.

"Your department is performing unexpectedly well this quarter. Is there anything you want to tell me?" said no CEO, ever!

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Muzzle our public watchdog much? UK.gov Data Protection Bill adds affect the ICO

Red Bren

Re: Rule by dictat

Once upon a time, one of the checks and balances on the government was the thought of what the opposition might do with these powers.

In the light of

- the Electoral Commission's vicious gumming of the Tories for their (two) general election overspending and polling telemarketing offences.

- the Boundary Commission proposals to cut the number of MPs (which hits Labour hardest) while the number of (Conservative) peers has risen.

- The number of (mainly Labour) voters that have "disappeared" after changes to the Electoral Roll.

perhaps the Tories (or their backers) don't expect a change of government ever again?

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DNS resolver 9.9.9.9 will check requests against IBM threat database

Red Bren
Coat

"somewhere, in a dark, BO-scented bedroom"

The fact that my first reading of this prompted the question, "What does Business Objects smell of?" suggests I might need to get out more...

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Red Bren

Not just change. These new plastic notes are as slippery as hell and seem determined to slither out of my pockets

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Paradise Papers were not an inside job, says leaky offshore law firm

Red Bren

"Who gives the ICIJ the right to decide what gets published?"

The ICIJ spread the workload out as there was too much to sift through for any one publication. Each publication will focus on persons relevant to their home turf, as you're about as likely to be interested in the financial arrangements of some minor German celebrity as a German would be in some UK sitcom actor. So on those grounds, it makes sense to localise what is being reported.

The fact that the BBC decided that sitcom actors were a more newsworthy target than some of the wealthier but unheard of entrants on the list, suggests that the BBC makes its decisions based on what the public are interested in, rather than what is in the public interest.

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Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled

Red Bren
Paris Hilton

Just a thought

As Jupiter has a much stronger magnetic field than the earth, is it much better at sorting charged particles, so that the resulting aurora is markedly different at each pole?

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Health quango: Booze 'evidence' not Puritan enough, do us another

Red Bren
Devil

Re: I Don't Understand The Graphs

An alcohol-related disease doesn't mean exclusively caused by alcohol. Heart disease risk increases with excessive alcohol intake but reduces with moderate intake, compared to no intake.

The secret of a long, happy life is to ensure all your vices counteract each other...

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Red Bren
Happy

Re: Sheffield Alcohol Research Group....

With all that left-over research booze?

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Boffins befuddled over EU probe into UK's tax rules for multinationals

Red Bren

Re: This is just part of the dysfunction that Brexit negotiations have become

RTFA it's nothing of the sort.

The EU is telling the UK to make to level the playing field between native and global corporations instead of offering sweetheart deals to the multinationals. The tax that gets collected still goes to HMRC, not the EU. The EU is looking after the interests of UK business and consumers better than their own government, who are more interested in ensuring cushy directorships when their political careers go south.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

Red Bren

Re: If it's in Ireland ...

"The fact is that Microsoft U.S. could tell its Irish office to send over the data, and the Irish office could hardly refuse to obey an instruction from head office."

If the US parent company instructs its offshore subsidiary to break local law, wouldn't the local management threaten to resign, sue for constructive dismissal and inform the local authorities? It would then be difficult for the parent company to find new management, when their first task would be to break the law while the local authorities were watching.

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Red Bren
Coat

Re: 3D

"but 3D adds relatively little to a RomCom"

It depends just how "romantic" the action gets...

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Red Bren

American Logic

If we all have more guns, there will be less shootings.

If we all have hacking tools, there will be less hacking.

Perhaps the US government would be get better results by insisting that software must be fit for purpose before being sold?

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Outlook, Office 2007 slowly taken behind the shed, shots heard

Red Bren
Unhappy

I dislike the ribbon, not because I'm not open to change, but because I like to have some say in the matter. Had the ribbon been introduced as an interface choice, I would have tried it, decided I preferred the old menu buttons and carried on productively, while other people who preferred the new interface could do the same.

But what I really detest is the replacement of all the keyboard shortcuts; years of muscle memory training that now actively slows me down as familiar finger movements now cause unexpected or downright destructive results. And thanks to the simultaneous removal of menu buttons, I have no familiar mouse-driven way of achieving the task while learning the new shortcuts.

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UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

Red Bren

Re: VOIP over VPN?

"The right to privacy is an important part of a democratic state."

How do you describe a state where the population, every 4 or 5 years, choose governments (regardless of political ideology) that openly demand to breach their subjects' right to privacy, in order to catch paedo-terrorists.

This is the news we want you to hear, and we want to know if you hear anything else...

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Red Bren
Black Helicopters

Re: VOIP over VPN?

Excuse me Sir, but you appear to be publishing information useful to terrorists. Please come quietly, we wouldn't want you to fall over. Repeatedly...

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New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Red Bren
Pirate

Recusal

JW (to public): "I will recuse myself from any decision involving Microsoft."

JW (to underling): "It's almost time for your performance review. How are getting on with that thing I'm recused from?"

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UK attorney general plans crackdown on 'trial by social media'

Red Bren

Re: It's not social media that's the issue

Isn't the problem the overlap between thickies and jurors because smart people tend to wriggle out of jury service and lawyers like thickies who can be swayed by emotional rather than factual arguments?

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