* Posts by DavCrav

1983 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

DavCrav
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"I wonder if he'd have been caught sooner had each patient rated him with that rating aggregated and publically [sic] published for all to see?"

I don't mean to sound crass, but dead men tell no tales.

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DavCrav
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"Anything outside the UK and not directly related to the London taxi operations of Uber will not be considered."

I'd be surprised if that were the case. If you are assessing whether someone is a fit and proper person, you also tend to include their behaviour even in other countries.

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DavCrav
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Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

"According to the highway code, it's not "the fast lane", it's "the overtaking lane" and you are perfectly allowed to do any speed you wish under the limit provided that a) it's safe to do so and b) you are overtaking someone in the middle lane."

False. You are not allowed to go more than 20 mph under the limit without good reason.

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Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

DavCrav
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Re: So Google told them to fuck off

"Monopoly my fat hairy arse. You have Apple, Amazon and various app stores outside of the US. You'd also have Microsoft, Nokia and Blackberry, but they were too fucking incompetent to stay in the game. The alt-wrong are welcome to set up their own App Store, but that would involve a little something called work."

That's great. Now if only you knew the legal definition of monopoly, you'd be home free. Instead, you just stand their looking like an argumentative fool.

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DavCrav
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Re: So Google told them to fuck off

"Sounds like free speech to me. It's Google's online real estate, so they can do what the fuck they like with it."

That's great. Now if only they weren't a monopoly. But they are! So different rules apply.

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EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

DavCrav
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Re: @ J. Smith

"Do you have an ISA or similar tax free savings vehicles? I trust not, since those are all tax loopholes that exercise those practising numpty-nomics"

Oh behave. There is a difference between unintended loopholes and very specific rules designed to encourage something. You know they are different things, stop being silly.

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DavCrav
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Re: And in DC the US Treasury is not happy

"Google would increase the prices of its advertising, the advertisers would increase the price of their products to cover their extra costs, and the consumers will have to pay higher prices. Where else could the money come from, if you assume that Google doesn't want to take a cut in profits, which is a given."

It might be a given, but Google are still subject to supply and demand.

To see why your argument can't possibly be right, suppose that the tax rate were 99.9999% of profit. Now Google needs to charge billions per advertisement, and nobody will pay that, so they go bust.

No you know your argument doesn't work when tested against hypothetical values, you have to decide to what extent your argument works when prsented with more realistic numbers. A rise in their taxes will lead them to put prices up, but their demand isn't perfectly inelastic and so there will be a drop. They will have to eat some of the costs themselves, because they can't all be passed on.

Meanwhile, consumers benefit from having reduced taxes themselves (or not having increased taxes, which is the same thing) to the value of 100% of the incerased tax take, more than balancing out the resultant inflation.

TLDR version: this 'taxes are passed onto the consumer' wheeze is bullshit. People pay in the end, absolutely, but shareholders are people too.

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DavCrav
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Re: And in DC the US Treasury is not happy

"Another libtard who doesn't seem to understand tax tax is paid by the buyer"

If only it were true. This is only true in a single-country market with perfect competition. If Google paid more tax, how exactly would that be passed onto the consumer? And if US companies are taxed, how does that affect the EU consumer?

Answers on a postcard slipped into an economics textbook, please.

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DavCrav
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Re: EU - making it up as they go along

"If companies such as Apple, Google et al in all good faith and with a duty to their shareholders to take advantage of all legal systems present in the EU to minimise their tax payments, however "unfair" that may seem to the rest of us, then it isn't those companies at fault but the EU."

Just because you used boldface doesn't mean it's actually true. There is no duty for companies to maximise their short-term profit, merely to act in the interests of their shareholders. One might very cogently argue that paying more tax now to avoid being slaughtered with a turnover tax later is definitely in the long-term interests of their shareholders.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

DavCrav
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Re: Ah, Mr O, the go to guy for an article

"Ah, Mr O, the go to guy for an article to slag off Apple. Like Apple, El Reg does not change much over the years Glad to see you are on the ball as usual. Keep it up."

It's 1000 notes for a bloody phone. Anyone who buys this needs their sodding head examined.

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Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

DavCrav
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Re: Interesting principles behind this

"Was Osama Bin Laden brought before a court, found guilty and sentenced to death? Executive actions often have no trial or jury. So, maybe killing one of these animals is simply an executive action?"

Killing Osama bin Laden was almost certainly a crime. That doesn't mean people don't feel happy about it, and doesn't mean anyone will be tried for it, but it's a crime in the sense that it's against the law. And before you say "when the President does it, that makes it legal", it might have been legal under US law, but I very much doubt it was under Pakistani law. Or international law, such that it is.

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DavCrav
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Re: Interesting principles behind this

"Now, is this not effectively finding it guilty of killing a human (murder) and then exacting a punishment (death row) just like if it was a human being?"

No. It's more akin to redesigning a bad junction, callous as that sounds. There's no trial, no jury, etc. Instead it's a safety issue: there's a threat to human safety and that threat is removed.

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DavCrav
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Re: There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door

"Paging Mr. Hilbert! Mr. Hilbert to the front desk urgently!"

I could have sworn he was in this room yesterday. Have you checked the one next to it?

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

DavCrav
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Re: Eight men control as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people

"All of which are gone. Sustainable?"

How sustainable do you want something to be? If we are looking at more than 500 years into the future then a lot of things are not going to be sustainable. For example, energy production, which will boil the oceans long before then at our current rate of energy consumption expansion.

(This is not anything to do with global warming, or hyperbole. Plugging in our increase in energy production, and treating the Earth as a black body, you find that you get a significant increase in temperatures just because of entropy, enough to boil the Earth long before half a millennium's time.)

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DavCrav
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Re: Eight men control as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people

It's also not true, unless you are happy counting Harvard graduates with massive college debt as the poorest people in the world. (Which of course Oxfam is, as it gets a bigger number.) And, of course, if you have very narrow definitions of wealth designed to maximize apparent inequality. (Which of course Oxfam is, as it gets a bigger number.)

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Apache Foundation rebuffs allegation it allowed Equifax attack

DavCrav
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Re: An Attempt at Blame Shifting?

"That's a standard clause you will find in almost any software license (and similar in a huge amount of other contracts)

Basically, if you loose a stack of cash due to a fault, we will only pay for the cost of replacing the hardware / software.

You have to prove deliberate negligence to sue for more."

At least under UK law, since you haven't paid for free software, no contract at all has been formed (no consideration), so negligence would be very hard to prove. Especially if you signed something saying 'use at your own risk'.

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我的天啊! China gives Weibo users a week to use their real names

DavCrav
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"Well, this is a step in the right direction. Cultural imperialism of Japan and South Korea (and the US) is a big deal. Time will tell if China can produce some nice export worthy "pop culture" media."

China exporting its own media is also surely cultural imperialism, to go along with its actual imperialism, you know, like Tibet, Bhutan, Taiwan, the dodgy deals in Africa, the nine dash line, and so on.

In fact, since China is one of the most powerful nations on Earth, I don't see how South Korea could possibly be accused of cultural imperialism towards China. But then, I'm not a blithering idiot.

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Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

DavCrav
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Re: The ad hominems in the comments are unworthy of commentards,

"It's already illegal. So a new law will achieve?

Thought not."

If it's illegal, why were they not convicted?

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DavCrav
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The ad hominems in the comments are unworthy of commentards,

no wait, entirely normal for commentards.

I don't agree with Andrew Orlowski on a few things, but I thought we could all get behind changing the law so that actual cases of forced child prostitution and trafficking (which, back in my day, was called kidnapping) that have been thrown out of court on a technicality are no longer thrown out.

But no, it's all 'I disagree with Andrew so everything he says must be wrong' utter bullshit. Also on this site was the recent story that a Google-funded think tank parrots Google lines and throws its employees under the bus if they go against it, so the fact that the EFF derives a significant portion of its revenue from Google is a pertinent fact when it gives its clearly completely impartial view on this issue. And again, just because you agree with the EFF on a lot of things does not mean they are also right when they say that paedophiles should get away with it because S230 is inviolable.

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A furious think-tank boss, Google, and an academic 'fired' for criticizing ads giant

DavCrav
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"She acknowledges that think tanks are not analogous to universities in that there is less institutional independence to funders."

So in other words, the head of a think tank is directly admitting that you should treat every word out of a think tank's mouth as a press release from whoever is keeping the lights on?

Well, we knew that already, but I'm surprised that she would be so brazen as to say that.

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That virtually impossible classic compsci P vs NP problem is virtually impossible, say boffins

DavCrav
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Re: Queens problem is solvable part(2)

That gives you a solution, which is great, but already known. But the problems are 1) how many different solutions are there? (that's #P-complete) and given some number of queens already placed, can that partial solution be part of a complete solution (that's NP-complete).

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DavCrav
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"Therefore I'm not sure what the actual problem under discussion is here - I wish El Reg would write clearly. Or indeed which prize they are talking about. If it's the Clay Mathematics Institute "Millenium Prizes", then N-queens is not one of them:"

This is the NP-complete problem, as it isn't the n-queens problem per se: given an n x n board, with m queens placed on it already, for some 1<m<n, can it be extended to a solution to the n-queens problem? Obviously none of the m queens can be able to take each other, but apart from that trivial restriction, getting good other restrictions is hard.

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DavCrav
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Re: What the hell is #P-Complete?

NP-complete talks about testing whether something is true or false, or in other words is or is not a solution to a problem.

#P-complete talks about how to compute a function, for example computing the number of solutions to a problem, rather than just finding one. Often NP-complete problems have corresponding #P-complete functions, simply by asking to find how many different solutions there are to the NP-complete problem.

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Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

DavCrav
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Re: Not wishing to stick up for Amazon

"But anyone that bought a set of suspect glasses were emailed rather swiftly, the product was recalled (told to destroy) and all users reimbursed.

You cannot expect Amazon to call each and every person detailing this.

The recall was in the news around the world, all over facebook and twitter.

If you didn't see the media advice on this then the onus is on you."

Oh, don't talk stupid. You saw that some glasses were being recalled. You had glasses, therefore you should have known they were rubbish? That's ridiculous. I have a car, some cars were recalled, therefore if anything is wrong with mine I am to blame? If Amazon e-mailed them to recall it and they used it afterwards then sure, but they said they weren't notified.

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DavCrav
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Re: Get out the popcorn

"Amazon whilst a retailer, is also a market place. If they were sold by a 3rd party on Amazon, then I don't believe they can be held liable - Its akin to buying something from a market stool, then sueing the location owner."

No it isn't, as the money is given to Amazon, who then pay someone else. It's more like a subcontractor, and you don't have to sue the guy the construction company brought in to do the painting, you sue your construction company.

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DavCrav
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Re: Site for sore eyes.

"I do not, however, think that Amazon can be liable for failures of every single product they sell, especially since much of what they sell is listed by third-party resellers through the Amazon Marketplace."

This is starting to become a bit of a theme, trying to dodge consumer law because it's only a marketplace. Is a department store responsible for what it sells? Yes. In the UK, certainly, you take defects up with the retailer, and then they can sort it out with the manufacturer. I guess the US doesn't have very much in the way of consumer law, but here the person that sold you it is legally responsible, and that person is Amazon. You bought it from Amazon, they can write 'sold by somebody else' on it, but that, I would guess, is bullshit from a legal point of view. Amazon takes my money, the contract is formed with Amazon.

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US Navy develops underwater wireless battery-charging tech

DavCrav
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Obligatory XKCD...

here

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India responds to internet shutdown criticism... by codifying rules to make it legal

DavCrav
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Re: Harming the country's ability to maintain services contracts

"Would it be possible for technology companies with the necessary clout to expand the infrastructure in ways that are protected from government interference?"

How exactly do you protect it from this?

"Employees of ISPs and mobile phone companies reported troops turning up at their homes and pointing guns at their families in order to enforce the shutdown."

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Brazilians waxed: Uni's Tor relay node booted after harvesting .onions

DavCrav
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Re: Self-important little pricks

"Sadly, AC is right. Some researchers need to learn that The Internet Is Not Your Chew-Toy."

TOR's ethical guidelines have no legal force. You can write whatever you want in your terms and conditions, but it doesn't mean that I or anyone else need to give a toss what you write down. Of course this applies to law enforcement in particular, but also to researchers. You don't get to shut all inquiry about your conduct down with a 'don't investigate me' line in your T&Cs.

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DavCrav
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Re: "malicious"

"He is making that call.... that is why he was blocked, the idea is that maybe some people think drug websites are all that malicious and the TOR network is where we don't have a million people moralising for us.... fuck off you stupid student."

To be fair, it's not just him that is making the call that drug websites are malicious, it's every single legal jurisdiction in the world. You(and indeed I) can decide that drugs aren't all that bad, but research into just how much of TOR contains illegal activities is a reasonable project. Maybe you wouldn't like the answer, especially if it's 1% people trying to exercise free speech and 99% crime. But not liking an answer does not mean you shouldn't ask the question.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

DavCrav
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Re: Versatility

"Including presumably the legal maximum speed for a HGV, which certainly isn't 55.9mpg on a single carriageway in the UK (It's 50 in England and Wales, 40 in Scotland)."

No. 40mph in England and Wales, 50mph for dual carriageways, 60mph on motorways.

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

DavCrav
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Re: Does this firing thing only work one way?

"I've just finished reading an article in the Guardian entitled ' Salma Hayek is right: compared with women, men are lazy and entitled.' And yes, the rest of the article reads as you might expect after that headline."

That's the article that finally pushed me off the Guardian. I was taking a break from my seven-day-a-week working (so that I can take off several months after my child is born), while my partner is on holiday as her job gives her six months off every year, to be told that I was lazy compared to her.

Go fuck yourself Julie Bindel.

Let's try that statement with some nouns replaced, shall we?

Compared with whites, blacks are lazy and entitled.

Compared with Aryans, Jews are lazy and entitled.

Compared with straights, gays are lazy and entitled.

(Those last two are true if one uses evidence the same way Bindel does.)

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Fire and fury in Korea: Samsung burns Note 7 owners in lawsuit

DavCrav
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Re: Hmm.

"With the on-going corruption charges levelled at Samsung, cant help but wonder if some currency hasn't changed hands recently..."

It was a stupid suit. You don't get compensation for safety recalls that involve you walking to a shop.

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Speaking in Tech: Do I need some weird thing listening to me in my house all the time?

DavCrav
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Re: Do I need some weird thing listening to me in my house all the time?

"Do I need some weird thing listening to me in my house all the time?"

A friend of mine has one of these home spying kits. Even though it's in the other room, he said, in a normal voice, "Hey Google, what's the weather tomorrow?" and it answered from two rooms away. Everyone involved considered this disturbing. And yet they still have it.

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Corporate criminal tax offences likely to further increase HMRC's use of dawn raids, says expert

DavCrav
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"Fill up with £80 of fuel at a petrol station and the card machine is on the blink. If the vendor declines to accept an IOU then all your available options become criminal offences."

I don't believe that's true. The offence is to fill up without any means of payment. A valid credit card is a means of payment, and you could not reasonably have known theirs wasn't working. If, on the other hand, they put a big sign on the frontage saying 'cash only' then you would have known. And anyway, they should have a No Means to Pay form that you fill in and you get 24-48 hours (I think it depends on the garage) to come back with payment.

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DavCrav
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Re: Time to rein in the use of dawn raids

"Dawn raids were introduced for the purposes of taking down violent criminals who would attempt to defend themselves from arrest"

Surely dawn raids are there so that the person doesn't destroy all the evidence. As an example, see the first episode of Black Books. (No Youtube clip because it's blocked in the UK.) This is even easier in financial crime, as a quick flash drive in the microwave will get rid of many documents.

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Assange offers job to sacked Google diversity manifestbro

DavCrav
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Re: Not related to article ...

"Is there any appetite amongst commentards for a "Tell us the story about YOUR worst houseguest ..." type thread ?"

One accidentally stabbed me.

You mean like that?

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Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

DavCrav
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Re: @DA: "Committed Suicide"

"Indeed, I thought everyone knew not to use that phrase, especially journalists."

I must admit, I always read it not in terms of crime, but in deciding to do something. Like committing to a course of action.

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DavCrav
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Re: whatever is not forbidden is compulsory ?

"whatever is not compulsory is forbidden ?"

We have a legal system that normally proscribes certain behaviour, and everything else is fine, but in some circumstances there are laws that compel people to act in certain ways. One is a putative law requiring people to help another in danger of death, which exists in some jurisdictions and not in others. If that law is not on the books then you cannot be prosecuted for not helping, because there is no actual law that you have broken.

I would have thought we were all on board with the idea that people can only be put in jail for breaking actual laws.

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Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

DavCrav
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Re: Facts are... hard

"@DavCrav; That's being pedantic; I think it would be clearly understood in this context that the value was intended to be accurate *to the number of digits given*."

What? You are surprised that, when making a mathematical statement, the words you use are important?

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DavCrav
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Re: Facts are... hard

""because I know, for a fact, that the decimal expansion of pi is infinite and non-repeating."

Prove it!"

I'm a professional mathematician, so that's not that hard, really. More difficult: is pi a normal number?

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DavCrav
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Re: Facts are... hard

"That is an interesting example. The last time I looked, pi was calculated to about a dozen trillion decimal digits. So, if I hand you a value for pi with 100 trillion digits, and it matches the known first dozen trillion digits, is it fact?"

If you hand me a value for pi that is 100 trillion digits long I tell you you are wrong. I don't need to know what those numbers are, because I know, for a fact, that the decimal expansion of pi is infinite and non-repeating.

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Kill something, then hire cleaners to mop up the blood if you want to build a digital business

DavCrav
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Re: In other news,

"it's vital to kill something just to prove no app is safe"

"The word is that Microsoft is discontinuing Paint..."

I see Microsoft is taking this advice.

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$30 million below Parity: Ethereum wallet bug fingered in mass heist

DavCrav
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Re: Those who don't learn from history

"I think it was Tim Worstall, late of this parish, who remarked that cryptocurrencies seem to be heading towards faithfully reproducing every mistake ever made down the centuries by conventional financial systems."

It's almost like the designers of cryptocurrencies never read any history of economics, but that's obviously a ridiculous thing to say.

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DavCrav
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Re: Who wants anonymous crypto currency to fail

"Who wants anonymous crypto currency to fail

Nobody Seems Aware. Not Sure Actually. No-one's Seen Anything."

So when cars are stolen it's Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who nicked them, because they're the ones who want cars to fail?

Behave, this is the Internet, it's for serious discussion, not.... Nope, can't get through that sentence.

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IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

DavCrav
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Re: Sounds good to me

"For that matter, if a full 15% of the attendees are from the list of six countries, it's a great idea to move it out of the USA, excellent."

For the record, I'm a straight white British male, birth and residence, going back many generations, and I'm concerned about US Immigration, enough to reject an invitation to a conference in Berkeley, just down the road from this. However, I am going to Canada in October.

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GSM gateway ban U-turn casts doubt on 8-year prosecution in Blighty

DavCrav
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Re: He broke the law....

"By that logic all gay pensioners should be prosecuted and thrown away, maybe chemically castrated as that was on the table back then too?

Or maybe, just maybe, when the law moves then past allegations should not be pursued in some crazed pedantic prosecution ... Because well, try not to be moronic to a populace"

I thought someone would come up with that line of thought. The ban on homosexuality was a 'morality' law, so the fact that morality changed is what makes it no longer in the public interest.

If someone stole something in the past that is now given away for free, then things look less clear, right? The ban on COMUGs was treated as part security, part economic. It seems to me, although I am not a lawyer, that to claim public interest you would have to show that those weren't true then, not that they aren't true now.

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Two-factor FAIL: Chap gets pwned after 'AT&T falls for hacker tricks'

DavCrav
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"If there is no way to reclaim accounts without the 2nd factor, you're in a world of hurt if you lose access to the device."

I see this, but one solution would be a third factor, a letter sent to your home address. It'll take a while, but that one is even harder to deal with. Anyone who is up for stealing your phone, e-mail and intercepting your post, well, not every crime can be stopped.

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

DavCrav
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Re: Ewoks.f@$!$ Ewoks

"There should have been The Original Series as well as next generation in the last question of the poll too! :-)"

I don't think including TOS as an option would have altered the results much.

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