* Posts by DavCrav

2554 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Douglas Adams was right, ish... Super-Earth world clocked orbiting 'nearby' Barnard's Star

DavCrav
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Re: "The detached sail will accelerate but the probe will decelerate"

"The idea is only to detach one part of the sail. The laser will still hit that part and accelerate it further. But the laser is being reflected from the detached part and hits the probes remaining sail from the front, which decelerates the probe. But this would be a highly complicated stunt given the differences and the communication latency of 12 years. You could just pre-program the procedure and fire the laser at the right time (six years earlier) in the hope that everything is where is should be. And this simple calculation doesn't even include relativity, which will already play a big role at 0.2c,"

I get the idea. I just think it's stupid. First, the laser hitting the detached sail will push it forwards and the probe backwards (assuming it works), so the sail will need some sort of power of its own to continually readjust the focus of the reflection. Second, we'll worry about how narrowly focused the laser beam needs to be to hit a single object (and not the probe's sail) from six light years away, sent six years ago based on where you think the probe will be. Then, as you say, the fact that you've already pushed the probe to 0.2c makes slowing it down harder as it's now heavier.

This is why I suggest chucking the whole sail and everything else you don't immediately need out the front, or equivalently just firing the whole recording equipment out the back of the probe when you get there would decelerate it more. If it's going at 0.2c, I reckon that will get it down to about 0.19999c, maybe a bit more. Which is still better than the sail detachment idea.

Also, suppose you can accelerate a 1kg probe to 0.2c in six months of laser shining. I reckon that the power requirement is 0.2^2c^2/2/180/24/3600 (0.2^2c^2/2 is the kinetic energy of the probe), which means the laser needs to be about 1GW in power, after heat loss from the atmosphere. And that ignores relativistic effects: both special and general. (The special effect is the mass of the craft getting heavier, so we need to add that into the calculation. The general effect is the loss of power due to gravity on the laser itself, as it will still have to leave the Earth's gravity well. You can build a space-based laser, but on order to harvest 1GW from the sun, well, it's going to have to be big. Something like 3-4sq km.) Chinny reckon.

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DavCrav
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Re: "The detached sail will accelerate but the probe will decelerate"

"Because they are proposing two sails - one that is detached, and still accelerated by the earth bound laser, and one which is pushed by the light reflected from the detached sail...

That would be a retarding force.

Unfortunately I don't think that we could target one of the two sails from here, so we'd likely hit the 'back' back of the 'braking' sail, and accelerate it instead... Additionally the accuracy with which the second sail would need to be positioned for reflected momentum to target the prove would be insane."

I would have thought you'd stand more chance just blasting the sails themselves out of the front, if you're detaching them anyway. Shove some lead on them if they need to be heavier, and turn up the intensity of the laser if necessary.

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DavCrav
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Re: Getting a probe there?

"I suggest you direct your excellent questions to Elon Musk who will provide a collection of facile and only mildly improbable answers"

He'll probably call you a 'pedo' actually for saying his stupid invention won't work.

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Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges

DavCrav
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Re: Fractured

"Statisticians know that mean averages can sometimes obscure the truth and so they have other averaging methods to choose from. The median average (middle of the distribution) will still be less than two but perhaps higher than the mean. Modal average (the most common occurrence) will be a solid two.

IANAS."

The mode is the most common number, so it is 2 in this case. The median is the amount of arms the person in the middle of the line has, when the people are ordered by number of arms (or the mean of the two in the middle if there are an even number of people). In this case it is therefore also 2.

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DavCrav
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"Despite hysteria, mass shootings aren't a real problem though - they are completely buried by background noise. For USA in 2016:

* gun deaths due to mass shootings: 71

* gun deaths due to accidents and war casualties: 1,305

* gun deaths due to homicides (other than mass shootings): 14,344

* gun deaths due to suicide: 22,938

* motoring deaths: 37,806

Reducing gun ownership might at least reduce "gun deaths due to accidents" "

All I see from this is that you lot are also shit at driving. And kill yourselves a lot. And murder each other a lot.

You know, getting rid of guns will reduce the following: mass shootings, accidents, homicides, and suicides. Won't help with your lack of driving ability though. For that I recommend wearing your fucking seatbelt.

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DavCrav
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"And, yet London is the knife muder capital of the world, supassing even New York in violent crimes. So yeah, again worry about your own mess."

Lies. Just all lies.

The UK counts a violent crime as any crime using physical force, so pushing someone is a violent crime in the UK. Whereas, oh why bother, you're obviously an idiot.

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Cheeky cheesemaker fails to copyright how things taste

DavCrav
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Re: As we say up here in Yorkshire when things don't go our way

I camembert these puns any more.

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Russia: We did not hack the US Democrats. But if we did, we're immune from prosecution... lmao

DavCrav
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Re: Wikileaks and Trump?

"And if Assange had some secret deal with Trump to make the DNC look bad, why is he still cowering in London, saying he's fearful some U.S. Men in Black will whisk him off to Gitmo or some such place the moment he puts his nose outside the consulate?"

Haven't you read the news? Trump's promises aren't worth shit. You can't trust the fat fuck as far as you can throw him. Which isn't far, what with him being a fat fuck.

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UK.gov fishes for likes as it prepares to go solo on digital sales tax

DavCrav
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Re: Hmm

"By the way punishment is used as a disincentive for behaviours."

Yes, but not all disincentives are punishments. Jesus wept.

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DavCrav
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Re: Hmm

"Yes. Do you need proof? Lets tax you 90% and see how much working (on the books) you do. It is a disincentive which is why you see tax rise on 'sins' such as tobacco and alcohol or bad behaviour e.g. co2 etc. Collectively we accept an amount of taxation to pay for things, but we want it to be least disruptive as possible."

You are right that tax is a disincentive. It however isn't a punishment. I cannot believe you cannot tell the difference between those two words. Traffic is a disincentive to driving at rush hour, but it isn't a punishment for driving at rush hour.

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DavCrav
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Re: Hmm

"Punishing a few firms because they are successful is stupid and could push them away."

So Amazon, Facebook and Google leave the UK market entirely because of a tiny little tax? OK, I'll believe that when I see it. They aren't headquartered here so can't move that. They employ very few people here anyway, so cannot fire those out of spite.

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DavCrav
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Re: Industry mouthpiece TechUK sound like idiots

"You may be interested in whatever it was I made a one-off purchase of."

I've only recently started seeing fewer advertisements for baths, after buying a bath. I mean seriously, whose bath is so good they run off and buy another one after a few weeks?

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Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

DavCrav
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Re: Not Technical!

"It's in the Bootnotes section, you must be new here."

He just hasn't twigged yet.

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DavCrav
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Re: Not Technical!

"Oh, I see. It offers numerous opportunities for double entendre and allusion to penile dimensions and engorgement - which is what technology is all about these days..........<sigh>......."

Speaking of double entendres, in German the act of doing physical exercise with a dog is referred to as das Dogging.

I will just leave that here and walk away.

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Dollar for dollar, crafting cryptocurrency sucks up 'more energy' than mining gold, copper, etc

DavCrav
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"(yes, increasing CO2 in a greenhouse makes plants grow faster. If you expand this notion to the entire world, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will make plants grow faster, and thereby deplete it faster, via a "biological equilibrium" and I happen to LIKE trees and plants, so I'd like more of them, thanks)"

I don't know what the fuck this is, but I can tell you one thing it isn't: remotely true.

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European Union divided over tax on digital tech giants as some member states refuse free money

DavCrav
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"If they have no offices in Europe how exactly are they going to enforce this? A company could just not pay it."

They do have offices in the EU. A quick EAW will see the head of Google Europe in the local nick to explain the situation.

If a company has no offices at all anywhere in the EU, it might have trouble selling large amounts of goods and services into the EU. Also, if the company is declared a criminal enterprise, most other companies won't engage with it.

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Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

DavCrav
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Re: Google's definition of "abusive"

"Google's definition of "abusive""

My definition of 'abusive' would pretty much include this behaviour:

"Of course, it's more likely Chrome 71 will block nasty adverts served from outside Google's network"

Advertising company blocks other companies' adverts. How is that possibly not an abuse of monopoly position?

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Foxconn denies it will ship Chinese factory serf, er, workers into America for new plant

DavCrav
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"$4.5bn in subsidies"

"5,200 workers"

That's $865k per worker.

"minimum salary of just $30,000"

The US Government could just pay these 5200 people $30k/year to play computer games at home for 25 years and still be up on the deal.

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'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

DavCrav
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Re: Spurious conflicts within open source projects.

"Yeah, nah. No it won't. CoCs lay out what is and isn't acceptable behavior in a project team. The only folks, in my view, getting really upset with them are the types of people who'll regularly break the CoC by being an arse to others."

I take offence at you describing people with varieties of autism and therefore unable to easily read social cues as 'being an arse'. Pursuant to the CoC that El Reg clearly doesn't have, based on the conversations that happen here, you should be fired.

CoCs are the modern-day Cardinal Richelieu.

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DavCrav
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Re: what.

"Don't equate 'being a douchebag' with mental illness. A few douchebags may be suffering from mental illness, but most are just douchebags - while most sufferers of mental illness can be delightful."

I'm not. But unless you have a lot of experience with mental illness (and given our current understanding, probably not even then), you probably cannot tell the two apart.

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DavCrav
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Re: what.

"Well, "not being a douchebag" is an "interpersonal skill". You don't need to learn anything new... unless you are a douchebag. And then you need to learn how not to be a douchebag."

Yeah, absolutely. While you're at it, you can stop being gay as well, right? You need to learn how not to be gay, that's all.

It's almost as if the last few decades of awareness of mental illness didn't happen.

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DavCrav
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Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

Thae problem is as follows:

"Using welcoming and inclusive language"

As defined by whom? Here's a guess: whoever hates you and wants you gone.

"Gracefully accepting constructive criticism"

Only applies to you, not to anyone with power who wants you gone.

And so on. Codes of conduct are nearly always put there as a method of forcing out undesirables. The definition of undesirable is whoever in power does not want to be around.

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DavCrav
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Re: what.

"surely. not every developer who wants to contribute wants to engage interpersonally with the kinds of people who write contributor convenants"

I've generally found, like HR, it's best to never appear on the radar of anyone who writes such things. Avoid at nearly any cost.

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US draft bill moots locking up execs who lie about privacy violations

DavCrav
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Re: I voted for him.

"If we (thankfully), have term limmits for those who wish to be President. Then there should also be limmits on those who serve in the Congress as well."

I guess I shouldn't pay attention to anyone who cannot spell the word 'limits', but there are no limits for those who wish to be President, only term limits for those who are.

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Tax me if you can: VMware UK tosses shrunken offering to HMRC

DavCrav
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"Tax above 20% of GDP is simply waste. There's nothing the state needs to do that done efficiently could not be done with the first 20% of our earnings."

Yeah, those damn poor and old people, wanting unemployment benefit, healthcare and pensions. And you with your schools.

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

DavCrav
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Re: Noted scientists

"Both ebcuase she was very smart, and because women are sadly underrepresented on bank notes."

Hodgkin already has a series of grants from the Royal Society named after her. James Maxwell has some crap instant coffee.

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DavCrav
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Re: Noted scientists

"Obviously, it should be James Clerk Maxwell."

I also nominated Maxwell just now, mentioning that without his unification of electricity and magnetism into the electromagnetic theory of light, most of twentieth-century physics couldn't have happened.

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'He must be stopped': Missouri candidate's children tell voters he's basically an asshat

DavCrav
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Re: "Hitler was right"

""Hitler was right"

er, he was actually right about a thing or two, you know..."

Yes, but when people say "Hitler was right" they don't mean "Adi was right about how the background of this painting washes out the foreground colours, leaving it looking unstructured." Normally it's about the Jews.

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Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

DavCrav
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Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

"If the state schools were better, would you send your children to them then? Then the solution is there to see..."

What? Move to a better state? Or somehow become Education Secretary and Chancellor simultaneously so you can sort out the DoE and fund it properly?

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DavCrav
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Re: A tiny step in the right direction

"No, the EU-mandated minimum amount that VAT can be is 5%, so resulting in tampons being priced at 3.2p instead of 3.1p."

Fine. There are three levels of VAT: exempt, reduced and full. Exempt is 0%, reduced is 5% minimum, full is 15% minimum. You need a justification for exempt and reduced. 'I like my Porsche' doesn't count.

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DavCrav
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Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

"There's one guaranteed way to have the government improve state schools... Close all non-state schools and make it an offence to pay for education. This way all politicians' children will also have to enjoy a state school education and with this in mind it's likely to be amazing how fast government education spending would improve."

I wonder who put the right to privately educate your child into the European Convention on Human Rights. It seems to only be there to stop anyone trying this.

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DavCrav
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"Is the UK planing to tax any foreign company on sales from UK customers?"

Quite possibly, yes. Ones that have sales in the tens of millions to consumers.

"It can still keep its UK shopping site - that makes no profit."

Revenue tax, not profit tax.

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DavCrav
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Re: Design for the coin

"I suspect it needs to be riddled with holes, and thus be a hollow sham."

I think a coin is a perfect metaphor for the vote. After all, 52-48 is more or less tossing a coin.

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DavCrav
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Re: A tiny step in the right direction

"Although they don't set the rate of VAT beyond a minimum amount. The rest of it is down to our government screwing us...sorry....extracting the most indirect taxation they can to fund "tax cuts"."

Although the minimum amount is 15%. And the more important tax for petrol is fuel duty, not VAT.

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DavCrav
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Re: a 50p coin commemorating Brexit

"Slashed them allright, but this balancing seems... as far as it was 10 years ago, eh? :("

Not really. The deficit is now low enough that it's below nominal GDP growth. An acceptable level of inflation (~2%) takes care of the rest. If we ran the economy a little hotter (say ~2.5% inflation) it would make things slightly easier.

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DavCrav
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Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

"There are 3,436 state funded secondary schools. [Table2a in this .xlsx] So that works out at ~£3000 per school. So that ain't much of a boost."

There are about 50k maths and science teachers in secondary schools, so it's £200 per teacher. Although given the answer is

Reduce workload and pointless admin

that's £2m/word.

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DavCrav
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"No they won't. British Widgets Ltd will run the job on a cheaper foreign Amazon AWS zone (no GDPR for us now we are free of the ECJ jackboot), Amazon will book the AWS revenue abroad."

Well, given the wording of the article, if they book that revenue abroad and don't declare it to the Exchequer, that would be tax fraud. If they do declare it, the 2% (for example) counts as that. And since British Widgets Ltd will declare it in their accounts, it would be a dangerous game to play.

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Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

DavCrav
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Re: V.amusing but...

"There's a cost here in removing them for proper disposal, this cost has now passed to me through the taxes I pay."

Sort of. Shoving them in the back of a Council van is quick, and surely WEEE directives still apply, so the manufacturer is responsible. Or does that only apply to consumers?

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DavCrav
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Joke

Re: Examine them

"and so would the inevitable DNA that's very likely to be present as well."

That'll be helpful if the keyboards come from the local prison, but most people's DNA isn't on file with the authorities at the moment. This isn't Iceland, for God's sake.

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EU Android latest: Critics diss Google's money-spinning 'cure'

DavCrav
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"That I understand, the original finding was that Google had abused of their power over the Play store to force makers put Chrome on every mobile phone. And now, according to this lawyer, they are abusing of their power to charge money."

Yes, if you are a monopolist, and abuse it, you too can charge people just to be able to come to your shop.

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Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

DavCrav
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Re: Not quite

"A little mental addition reveals that the sales of the entire notebook lineup of all of the biggest notebook manufacturers comes to about 122 million, versus iPad's 44 million. That's not more. That's less. A lot less."

I came here to say that, and also it's meaningless. The number of iPads is dwarfed by the number of TVs sold, but you wouldn't suggest swapping all your iPads for TVs.

They are different things.

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Budget 2018: Landlords could be forced to grant access for full-fibre connections

DavCrav
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"If a landlord is absent or unidentifiable – or if they don’t reply – access can be granted on a temporary basis through a magistrates court-issued warrant of entry. Similar powers exist for gas, water and electricity industries."

I don't believe this. Gas and electricity have the legal authority to enter your property, eventually, if something is dangerous. But if I own a house with no gas connection, and the Gas Board or whoever they're called nowadays want to connect my property to the network, I can say no. Once it's connected, then that's a different story, for example for meter inspections. But I'm pretty sure I don't have to agree to have my house ripped apart to install gas pipes.

Virgin are asking for this: to be able to rip up someone's front driveway without their permission to install broadband.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

DavCrav
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"Yes, but IP traffic from the ISS is carried over proprietary links from the USA (at least, on the US side of the thing)"

Does that work when the ISS is not over the US? I have no idea how the ISS Internet service works, and you seem to know.

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Belgium: Oi, Brits, explain why Belgacom hack IPs pointed at you and your GCHQ

DavCrav
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"last time I came through UK Customs it felt a little like Prison Visits."

Last time my partner (not British) or I (British) came through UK customs we just waved our passports at the electronic gate and walked through. I've not visited a prison in either capacity but I somehow hope it has more stringent security than that.

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DavCrav
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Note two things:

1) People with Belgian passports can walk into the UK without any visa;

2) Belgium seems to have a lot of terrorists.

Given those two things, why on earth wouldn't the UK security services be trying to gather intelligence about Belgian terrorist?

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Apple boss decries 'data industrial complex' while pocketing, er, billions to hook Google into iOS

DavCrav
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"On a certain level I think Apple is somewhat genuine about this topic when it's in its market interest to be genuine"

So they tell the truth when it suits their interests, and don't when it doesn't? The word for that is 'liar', not 'partial truth teller'. Liars don't have to lie in all statements, unless they appear in logic puzzles.

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Linguists, update your resumes because Baidu thinks it has cracked fast AI translation

DavCrav
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"Technically, for German, it's V2 and SOV."

So, you mean it's 'second idea', like I said?

Well, technically, German has a "+Scramble" feature on its universal syntax. My personal favourite feature is +Scramble. Which means your trees are built up in the correct way, and then the words can be moved around afterwards.

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DavCrav
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"German sentences are constructed with the subject at the front, the object in the middle, and the verb at the end (SOV)."

In German the verb is the 'second idea'. It is normally considered SVO.

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Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

DavCrav
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Re: Access is not the same as bulk export

"and should have been able to view what he needed in summary and record by record sitting at a terminal on the company's premises. He never needed the ability to insert a USB device and bulk export to it."

From the article:

"After external auditor KPMG asked for copies of various data including the entire company payroll, Skelton made a private copy of it from an encrypted USB stick."

And how would KPMG get it if not via some sort of export mechanism?

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DavCrav
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Re: Just another tax.

"no audit picking it up"

He was the internal auditor. And he was giving the data to the external auditor. And it was noticed.

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