* Posts by DavCrav

2094 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

America restarts dodgy spying program – just as classified surveillance abuse memo emerges

DavCrav
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Re: Good news for Yandex and AliBaba

"That's the position in Russian. If you're sitting in Smolensk and decide to pen-test the Pentagon the only relevant law is that passed by the Duma of the Russian Federation. American law is an irrelevance to Russian Courts because it is a basic pillar of democracy that you have a say (a vote) regarding the laws you are subject to. Pretensions of extra-territorial jurisdiction are fundamentally anti-democratic."

Ah, so what about killing people in London? Is that a nice thing to do? Shouldn't Britain get its justice too?

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DavCrav
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Re: Good news for Yandex and AliBaba

"but last time I checked those organisations weren't firing off extradition requests all over the planet, kidnapping people off Italian streets or asserting that Chinese court orders supercede Irish data protection laws."

Are you actually serious? The man accused of killing Alexander Litvinenko in London, Lugovoy, actually sits in the Russian parliament. China has been documented kidnapping people in Thailand, not to mention the leaned-on deportations of Taiwanese citizens in Kenya that look an awful lot like kidnap.

So I don't know when you last checked, but you didn't do a very good job of it.

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Unlocked: The hidden love note on the grave of America's first crypto power-couple

DavCrav
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"developed by the British Elizabethan cryptographer Sir Francis Bacon"

I think that's doing rather a disservice to Bacon, who was the originator of the scientific method, was the Attorney General and also Lord Chancellor of England, wrote a dozen books, somehow found time to be an MP for seven different constituencies at various stages, and produced the foundations of the Napoleonic Code.

It's rather like saying that Isaac Newton was a British Master of the Royal Mint. True, but somewhat misleading.

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In Soviet California, pedestrian hits you! Bloke throws himself in front of self-driving car

DavCrav
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"IT's SF. Pedestrians assume they have the right away even when the car has the green light . They will just step out and not even look."

He ran into the rear bumper, so I think it's a little more interesting than that...

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

DavCrav
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Re: Guilty as charged...

"Ditto Torx screwdriver bits that are needed when removing hard disk platters for physical destruction. "Near enough" doesn't work - so a set with all the small increments is essential. Beware the market stall ones - the splines will strip off as soon as there is any strain."

The way I destroy hard disk platters, they can stay in the hard drive for all the good it will do them.

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DavCrav
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"Just the place if you want "Magnetic Wooden Toast Tongs"."

Olive pitter. I don't even like olives.

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DavCrav
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Re: Guilty as charged...

"What.....??? No Allen-Keys (Hex sets)...."

I have an entire tub full of Allen keys, but found the need to buy a three-pack of Swiss-army-knife-style Allen key sets (one Imperial, one metric, one hex), that now sit in the same clear plastic tool box, next to the tub of Allen keys.

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Software that predicts whether crims will break the law again is no better than you or me

DavCrav
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"60% accuracy is not very accurate at all. When the vast majority of people don't commit crimes, it means that almost everyone who is identified by a system with this level of accuracy, or even a system that is 99% accurate, isn't actually a criminal."

Erm, that doesn't really apply because this is a piece of software for deciding if prisoners will reoffend. Some of them won't have committed a crime, this is true, but I think 'vast majority' might be pushing it, even in the US legal system.

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DavCrav
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"If your freedom, or the length of your sentence for a crime, was in question, would 50% seem like a reasonable threshold to you?"

Evidently I didn't make myself clear. I claim that you will likely never be able to do with, no matter what system you use, with more than a 60-70% accuracy. Therefore untrained people, algorithms, whatever, won't be able to guess this stuff.

I made no judgment on whether you should or not, just that they said the results are disappointing, and I think they did fairly well for something that is random. Personally I don't like the idea of using guesswork as to whether you will reoffend to decide if you will be put away either.

My point was, if you are trying to guess based on percentages, you need to turn percentages into yes/no, and that is always inherently inaccurate for individuals. For example, given actuarial tables, tell me when each member of a group of 100 people will die. You won't do well for each person, but will for the group. It's exactly the same thing.

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DavCrav
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"Dressel reckoned the disappointing accuracy results for both man and machine stems from racial bias."

OK, are these results disappointing? I would have thought that a 60-70% accuracy rate for a random event is pretty good.

Here's the initial guess for a system, based on n variables:

Given a person with variables a1,a2,...,an, look in your dataset and find all matching people. If recidivism rate is higher than 50% in that subset, click 'reoffend'. Otherwise, click 'safe'.

You can get a bit better than that if some of the a_i are more important than others, but that's the same effect as having a larger dataset. Once you have more than, say, 20 people in each subset, you will have a good guess as to whether recidivism is higher than 50%. And once it is, you can only guess 'offend', any other system cannot perform better.

Of course, this is entirely separate from the issue that this only tests whether you reoffend and get caught within two years. Actually, it only tests whether you are found guilty of another offence, not whether you did it either, come to think of it.

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Now Meltdown patches are making industrial control systems lurch

DavCrav
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"Rockwell Automation revealed that the same patch had caused issues with Studio 5000, FactoryTalk View SE, and RSLinx Classic (a widely used product in the manufacturing sector)."

But does it affect the retro encabulator?

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Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

DavCrav
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"That said, maybe FB did blacklist the image did but the miscreant was especially persistent and repeatedly cropped/flipped/modified the image so it's hash didn't match the hashes in the blacklist..."

Surely the blacklist is cleverer than that? Or else the watch list is more or less useless, no? Just chop a line off the top and you are free and clear?

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DavCrav
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"Because the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which included the reverse [sic] porn law didn't come in until 2015, and was required because the police lacked powers to deal with this sort of issue before then?"

Downvoted because the article clearly stated that this continued into 2016.

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DavCrav
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Re: Erm

"Is this particularly FB's fault? Yes they could do with making sure the image doesnt go back up within reasonable grounds of making sure they dont bugger up FB. But whoever posted it up in the first place is surely to blame and the police seem to have failed on that one."

Is it FB's fault that they were hosting child porn, knowingly, and repeatedly? Yes, according to the law, in which child pornography is a strict liability offence. So why are we not carting FB server monkeys off to jail, hmm?

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DavCrav
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Re: As she is 14 years old

"Not a pedophile, the young woman was 14 at the time, in many countries this is the age of consent."

But not, you know, the one in which it happened.

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'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

DavCrav
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Re: santa

"I would imagine this xmas, google managed to kill of belief in santa in millions of kids in the UK, if not the world...old enough to type 'is' into a browser - your childhood is over."

If you are old enough to search Google unsupervised you shouldn't be believing in Father Christmas, and if you are doing that, there's a lot worse things you could be finding out about other than the fact that your parents buy you presents. I knew that he didn't exist at about the age of 4, because I worked out that he couldn't possibly visit every house with children in it in one night. Guess what: my childhood continued.

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Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report

DavCrav
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Re: Horizon 2020

"So each country receives back exactly the amount of grants to match their payment - even though the applications are all judged competitively on their technical merits?"

Not quite. The funding is 'broadly' apportioned according to size of country, otherwise the UK would dominate it. For example, it's much easier to get H2020 funding, for Marie Curie grants for example, if you are at an Italian university than a UK one. However, the UK is close to, if not the, top recipient of funding (depends on the year) despite not putting in the most.

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UK.gov puts Suffolk 7-year-old's submarine design into production

DavCrav
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I can tell them that for free

"Its remit stretches from figuring out how many aircraft can be usefully kept on the flight deck of Britain's two new aircraft carriers (a process known as "spotting" jets and helicopters)"

A: none, as they haven't been delivered yet.

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Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

DavCrav
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Re: It appears from the article that Mr. Wolmar is a railway enthusiast...

"Time will tell of course, but my money, if I had any, would be on the autonomous cars. Imagine this, you go to work in your car. When you get there you go into work, then your car goes to work as an autonomous taxi, returning later to take you home. After dropping you at home the car works the taxi night shift. I don't think The Holborn Effect will stand in the way of that."

1) Not with your golf clubs in the back and child seat in it it won't.

2) How much taxi work do you think you can pick up if everyone's car is doing that?

3) He's saying you won't get an autonomous urban car any time soon, so what it does while you're at work isn't the problem. Mixed-mode car (autonomous on motorways/major trunk roads, manual off them) is much easier, but of course few taxis operate like this, and most journeys are urban.

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No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

DavCrav
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"Possibly but you are not including assets, while the poorest citizens may be in debt most of them will own assets (cars, white goods, phones etc) that exceed their liabilities so they have a positive nett wealth."

No. All of the poorest people in the UK are 21 year old university students, who have -£50k (roughly) in assets thanks to student loans. Throw in the couple of years either side, and there's well over a million people with negative assets there. I should point out that UK student loans aren't quite debts, since they get written off, but so can other debt be written off.

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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

DavCrav
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Re: He may regret waiting

"OK, I'm confused. I thought it was generally accepted now that Wikileaks had selectively leaked information to damage the Democrat campaign and and held onto stuff that might have damaged the Trump/Republican campaign. In which case wouldn't they be rather pleased with him?"

To quote Sir Humphrey, "gratitude is merely the lively expectation of favours to come". He's played his part, so throw him to the wolves, might well be their opinion.

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DavCrav
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"The embassy utilises apartments on the ground floor. The only floor below it is the basement. The embassy isn't the only tenant of the building and all floors are accessible to all by using the stairwell or lift.

If you read the news article here, you'll see that the police guarded the stairwells and lift in the early days to stop him making a dash up to the roof."

Then how did he appear on the first floor balcony?

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DavCrav
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"In 5 years, surely he could have dug a tunnel to freedom with a tablespoon by now."

The embassy is on the first floor. Could be entertaining.

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Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad

DavCrav
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" "Would you punch your ex in the face for a parmo*?" The ASA judged this advert was likely to be offensive for trivialising domestic violence."

Just a minor point, but since it's someone's ex, surely it's no longer domestic violence, and just plain old violence?

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Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

DavCrav
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Re: Oh the misleading...

"The fact that he wrapped it up in so much prosaic verbiage just shows he knew what he was saying was bigoted."

So, in your opinion, someone who writes 'statistically speaking, males under the age of 40 make up a disproportionate number of the offenders for violent crimes such as murder, with the subset of black males again being disproportionately represented' really means 'men are murdering bastards, black men especially so' but they don't have the balls to say it? Maybe nuance is there because things are nuanced.

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GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number

DavCrav
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Re: Appreciation pint

Technically, a prime is an integer p such that 1) p is not a unit (i.e., 1 or -1), and 2) whenever p divides ab, then p divides a or p divides b (or both). What is described here are irreducibles, not primes. That primes and irreducibles are the same thing is the definition of a unique factorization domain. (All primes are irreducible, but not all irreducibles are prime.)

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Women reboot gender discrimination lawsuit against Google

DavCrav
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Re: The Pence Rule

"You guys always miss out the third option.

Hire qualified women and pay them as per the job. Go to bed early and have an untroubled nights sleep. Wake up refreshed."

Only an option if they actually exist. Which they don't, statistically. We get very few women apply for jobs in our department, and they are even more rarely the best candidate, so we have <30% women working here. I cannot see how this is somehow our fault.

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Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

DavCrav
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Re: Surgeon

"One of the people who worked there told me that the surgeons wife also worked as a surgeon at the hospital and her car reg was FIB 1A. I'm not sure if they were winding me up about that."

I would guess so, because the bone is the fibula, not the fibia.

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UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

DavCrav
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Re: But does it need to break to create a risk?

"(say 100km away from the nearest airfield)"

I doubt that there's much of the country that's more than 100km from an airfield.

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And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows - it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

DavCrav
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"they are already locked into LibreOffice, etc and are paying the price to switch to an alternative."

Don't be dense. The cost is for buying a new thing. Lock in generally refers to the difficulty in moving away from one to another, not the cost of that. For example, proprietary formats such as MS Office that you cannot read on other packages.

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Proposed Brit law to ban b**tards brandishing bots to bulk-buy tickets

DavCrav
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"That's utter testicles so far as I can see. If it's yours, you may sell it for whatever price you can get"

A ticket isn't a good. The physical ticket is, and you can sell it for whatever price you want, but what the ticket represents is a contract to provide a service. If you contract a plumber to fix your house for a fixed price, can you substitute your house for someone else's? What if there were no free slots for plumbers and you had an emergency? Could you sell someone else your plumbing slot?

In a contract, you cannot just scribble out one person's name and put another in. The good (which is the concert, not the ticket) hasn't been provided yet, so there's no first sale doctrine.

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Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

DavCrav
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Re: C'mon Reg...

"Yep, the award for worst human rights abuser in the Middle East is generally won by Israel. And they are up against some pretty stiff competition!"

Is it really? Is it won by Israel in any competition run by people who aren't anti-Semitic? Because I'm pretty sure Syria would win.

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DavCrav
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Re: Well this could get messy...

"But I admit I woul have preferred to see Senator Roy Moore rather than "that other guy" simply because "that other guy" is going to be a pain in the ass obstructionist for the next 2 years..."

Yes, because Republicans have not been obstructionist for nearly a year now.

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Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

DavCrav
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Re: So ignoring the fact you need an internet connection....

"Not beyond the wit of man to solve that particular problem..."

This may be true. However, we don't have the wit of man in general, but the wit of these people in particular. And it may be beyond theirs.

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DavCrav
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Re: I'm disappointed

"But yes, there is a significant convenience factor to allowing and disallowing access to people at your whim. Once you've given someone a set of keys you've given them full access and the only way to revoke it is to replace the lock and deny access to everyone else until they get a new set of "credentials"."

This is true. But you give people unattended access to your house very rarely. These sorts of things are useful in hotels, but if I saw one on a residential property then I would assume the owner is (illegally) using it as an AirBnB place. And replacing the lock is cheap compared with the cost of this, so you can afford to do that several times.

This isn't a Luddite problem. Maybe we see that the technology isn't there yet for this type of thing, and there are far too many security issues with this hardware/software for it to be worth it. IoT in general is a technology looking for problems to solve, and then making them up when they cannot find them.

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DavCrav
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Re: Question and (hypothetical) answer:

"Don't be silly, of course not (probably). The value of selling your marketing data to unspecified third party affiliates is what subsidizes the price of junk like this at an affordable level."

It was supposed to have cost $700. What would it have cost without that?

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DavCrav
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Re: Bah!

This is such a massive pain in the arse. My bedroom door (not security related, just annoying) fits at the top but is at least 1/2" out at the bottom, my utility room door only fits because the door is as warped as the frame it sits in, and the glass door into the living room only closes properly in the morning. The only reason the outside doors work is that they come inside their own frame as one big uPVC bundle.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

DavCrav
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Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

"Not a solid scrap of evidence to say that no god exists either. Of course there's lots and lots of circumstantial, hear-say and personal non-revelations, not to mention fingers-in-ears 'I can't hear you' arguments that get repeated often enough that they're assumed to be incontrovertible fact."

I'm not sure what you are trying to say at this point. You cannot prove that unicorns don't exist either.

So, there are a few different categories of noun:

1) Elephants. Lots of physical evidence, many people say they have seen them, I have seen them.

2) Dreams. No physical evidence, many people say they have seen them, I have seen them. (Dots on an MRI is proof of something, not proof of dreams.)

3) Tigers. Lots of physical evidence, many people say they have seen them, I have not seen them.

4) Bigfoot. No physical evidence, many people say they have seen them, I have not seen them.

5) Unicorns. No physical evidence, many people do not say they have seen them, I have not seen them.

So in this sort of classification, God fits somewhere between dreams and bigfoot, which is fair enough.

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Judge rm -rf Grsecurity's defamation sue-ball against Bruce Perens

DavCrav
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"So far as I know there is nothing happening whatsoever, and so Perens [sic] statement is for the moment incorrect. And therefore, currently, garbage."

No, that is not true. An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Perens's statement is not known to be correct, but not known to be incorrect either. In fact, the only one to make a provably incorrect statement is you, just now; better ring your lawyer?

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To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

DavCrav
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Re: Delusions of grandeur

"Reporting daily is crazy and smacks of micromanagement for a project expected to last months. The idea that reporting daily versus every two days makes a 30% productivity difference can only come from someone who has never worked in a real job. A lot of time will simply be sent collecting, checking, presenting and reviewing figures daily. If this was real then reporting twice daily would give even higher productivity, perhaps they should report the numbers hourly or perhaps every 30 minutes? If they reported evey minute perhaps they could get the whole project done in a couple of days?"

Sorry, bollocks. "How many did you fix today?" "Two" is not an onerous responsibility. And sometimes people need to be micromanaged, because they will slack off if you don't. As evidenced by the fact that asking them three times a week led to a drop in work done.

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DavCrav
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Re: Logarithmic tail

"Maybe the reporting frequency has changed because they knew they wouldn't be able to keep going at the same rate. Much more likely."

And it was just a coincidence it happened the day after a news story about it appeared?

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Bigmouth ex-coppers who fed media MP pr0nz story face privacy probe

DavCrav
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Re: @ Naselus

"> Green's lie came in response to the unwarranted police persecution. If they hadn't leaked, he'd have had nothing to deny.

But the fact is he did lie, and provably so."

After the fact. Or are you claiming they released the information to pre-emptively prove he will lie?

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Ex-Microsoft intern claimed one of her fellow temps raped her. Her bosses hired him

DavCrav
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Re: "seriously sexually assaulted"

"But DougS, the ass grab is still assault, and thus serious, no?"

I thought assault like that was a misdemeanor in the US, and hence not serious by definition?

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DavCrav
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Re: So what did the police say?

"Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape.

You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide."

Well you are an idiot then, Sorry, but you are. If I am seriously offended by the tailgater on the motorway yesterday (he was a complete dick, and it's a crime) I can send him to jail for 30 years for death by dangerous driving?

Rape has a definition. Grabbing someone's arse is a crime, it's just not rape. Words have meanings. And rape is the only crime where there's even a debate that there might be more and less severe versions of it. Murder is murder, but the type of murder determines the sentence. We don't treat all thieves equally as well. The campaigners are definitely wrong on this one.

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Funnily enough, no, IT admins who trash biz machines can't claim they had permission

DavCrav
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Re: Dang it!

"This guy gets a lot done when he's pissed off. Wonder how things would have gone if he had shown a similar level of effort towards actually doing his job!"

Who do you think made the 625 backups?

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'Subdued' year for poor old Capita means more 'restructuring' needed

DavCrav
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"What about Man United? that's a team of expensive players managed by a donkey."

You misspelled 'twat'.

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Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs

DavCrav
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Re: answer:

"The Vega+ however is a case of scenario (2), and backers obviously feel entitled to their cash."

Possibly, but they can only have what exists...

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DavCrav
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"If they don’t intend to deliver, the authorities ought to look at what measures can be taken to fully reimburse those who gave money in good faith for a home entertainment product."

I never understood this with crowdfunding. If people expect to get their money back if it all goes Pete Tong, what do they think the company they gave it to was using it for? I mean, if it just sits in a bank account ready to give back if it's a failure, then they obviously aren't using it to try to create the product, so they don't need it in the first place. Therefore, if it's a failure, you cannot get all your money back, maybe some at best.

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New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

DavCrav
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Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

"Somehow "could" never turns into "does"..."

And yet batteries continue to get better in real-world devices. How does that work?

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Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?

DavCrav
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Re: Wikipedia infaillible ? No!

"Britannica contains many inaccuracies, Wikepedia as well, however, studies have confirmed that in general, Wikipedia was better than Britannica."

Technically true (of course, the best kind...) but misleading. In those studies, the number of inaccuracies was comparable, but the type of inaccuracies was not.

"If you think something is incorrect on Wikipedia, BY ALL MEANS, TAKE 5 F'ing MINUTES and CORRECT IT!"

I do not work for free.

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