* Posts by DavCrav

1876 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

DavCrav
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Re: Stop taking the p***

"You kind of contradicted your own argument there. If a contractor gets paid the same as a permie but then has fund his own holiday pay, sick pay and pensions why should he pay the same tax?"

I must have missed the bit where the UK Government pays for people's holiday and sick pay. That's nothing to do with taxes, and is why contractors get paid more. They should still pay the same *rate* of tax as other people, as the precariousness premium should already be on their wage bill, not taken out of the schools budget.

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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

DavCrav
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Re: the Guardian is polarizing

"Kieren McCarthy opined "Even the polarizing newspaper the Daily Mail"

Only a Corbynist would say the Daily Mail is polarizing. Many of us think the Guardian is polarizing."

Oh behave. The Daily Mail is simultaneously one of the (used to be the, not sure now) most viewed news websites in the world, while at the same time reviled by many millions in the UK. It has ran more sickening stories than any other newspaper in the UK, while at the same time (according to a journalist friend of mine) employing some of the best investigative journalists in the business.

So yes, polarizing.

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

DavCrav
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Re: "will be TUPE’d to IBM including... contractors"

""will be TUPE’d to IBM including... contractors"

What? Do they mean their contracts will be novated? TUPE'd sounds bad for IR35!!!"

I don't see that. I mean, if a company gets taken over, they can keep the same window cleaning firm.

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

DavCrav
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"You're clearly too drunk to read the article properly: with "moderate" defined as around three pints of beer a day for men, and two glasses of wine for women (as recently as the 1960s, official health advice suggested that a bottle of wine a day was fine)."

Depends on the article. The original BMJ article seems to say it's 3 units per day, approximate 1-1.5 pints.

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Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

DavCrav
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Re: Power corrupts

"Wherever you work, how many of your fellow employees do you trust not to abuse private information they have access to in the course of their jobs?

If the answer is no more than 98%, that suggests police are no more corrupt than the average."

Garbage. This shows that 2% were misusing and got caught.

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Uber bans 'brilliant jerks', will train staff on Why Diversity Matters

DavCrav
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Re: Too little, too late

"Why do I have the impression that action was only taken now because it starts to affect profits?"

What profits?

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Dr Hannah Fry: We need to be wary of algorithms behind closed doors

DavCrav
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"Finally a Fry that actually knows what they're talking about."

Were you thinking Stephen Fry? Or Elizabeth Fry? Or Fry from Futurama?

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DavCrav
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Re: Algorithms that sit behind closed doors

"If I balls this up I can totally fuck up your career.

PS you as the person trying to get the job have no access to the code or the rules that determine weather [sic] you are selected or rejected."

So how do we know you haven't ballsed it up? This sounds like a totally unaccountable, closed-source system that has real-life consequences with no oversight whatsoever. If we don't know your criteria then we cannot be certain you aren't breaking the law with regards discrimination. And you probably are, since you are apparently writing algorithms to decide whether someone is interviewed based on their personal information.

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MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

DavCrav
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"It's rapidly descending to the level of an infant school playground."

Only on the one side. If someone is talking rubbish (which Trump is) then calling it rubbish is not infant school level. It's using language correctly, albeit undiplomatically.

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Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire

DavCrav
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Re: Pommies

"Pomegranate rhymes with immigrant, also, the newly arrived would turn a lovely shade of red in the heat."

Not because the sailors ate pomegranates to ward off scurvy then? Like they are called 'limey' in the US?

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DavCrav
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Re: Limeys?

"And Yanks or Seppos is the Aussie for Merkins."

Seppo presumably comes from Septic Tank, the Cockney rhyming slang for American.

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UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

DavCrav
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Re: @ 2nd AC

"There is a very significant difference between evasion/avoidance [sic].

Since using so loosely the terms [sic] you sound like not knowing [sic] the difference."

Actually, you sound like you don't know the difference between tax avoidance and aggressive tax avoidance, which is an offence in the UK, just as evasion is.

Pro tip: when trying to correct someone, make sure you are right.

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DavCrav
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Re: @ 2nd AC

"It isn't a rocket science to be a contractor, but requires certain degree of ability to tolerate risk, understanding that there might not be tomorrow, etc."

That's why you get paid more than permanent staff. It doesn't give you an excuse to aggressively avoid/evade tax.

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

DavCrav
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Re: "We need to promote women disproportionately, pay them equally or better..."

""One that has been debunked* many times". *For value debunked, substitute attempts have been made to discredit using circular logic and post hoc/faulty causality. Actual derived data supports the opposite. Facts. They're a thing."

Fine, I'll bite. The 'gender pay gap' (in the UK) is:

1) negative for part-time work;

2) negative for under-30s;

3) positive for over 30s if you look at the so-called undifferentiated wage rate, i.e., not taking into account what the person does, but negligible (around 2-3% IIRC, which is statistically significant, but in light of 2) is likely a legacy issue) when differentiated.

(1) and 2) above were undifferentiated.)

Facts. They're a thing.

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UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

DavCrav
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Re: Ban?

"He has invaded far fewer countries than the previous Republican president."

Fake News! In the first 50 days in office, Trump invaded Yemen. I don't think Bush invaded anyone in the first 50 days in office.

You have to give Trump time, he's only just got his feet under the desk. Then we'll see how many countries he can invade...

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The gospel according to Blockchain, or is it the other way round?

DavCrav
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Re: Can someone explain

Disclaimer: I do represent logic and reasoning. (I'm a mathematician.)

"There are multiple ways to peel an orange as there will be multiple ways of securing data."

Q: Does the person get the e-mail address in plain text?

If so, it cannot be secured. If not, you won't be able to send e-mail to the person.

"we do understand that there is going to be a need for educating the market on its merits."

It's not the merits I have an issue with. It's the possibility of its existence. If you want to secure the data, the person you are securing it from, which appears to be the user in this case, can never get it in unencrypted form.

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DavCrav
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Re: Can someone explain

"How this is in principle any different from giving people a database of encrypted rows, and providing a way for them to get the key to unlock certain rows? This is probably a little simpler, and you can post the blockchain publicly, but they appear to be making claims about its security that they can't deliver on."

I agree. It sounds like rubbish to me. I don't see how you can, after giving someone the e-mail address of a third party, stop them using it any way they want with 'the cloud', 'blockchain', or any other word off the Bullshit Bingo card.

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DavCrav
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Re: Does this mean though...

"That if blockchains are compute and network intensive that as more data is added it becomes uneconomical to continue to hold onto the data? Especially if the data is rapidly changing as well as increasing in size (I thought that was one of the limitations of bitcoin that it was of a finite size for the initial data that the blockchain revolves around?) Surely then if it's in a constant state of flux and increasing in size the overheads would become exponential?"

Pretty much, yes. The computing time required to record the transactions becomes more and more onerous. At the moment the people recording this information are rewarded with Bitcoins. Let's see what happens if that is no longer the case.

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WikiLeaks promises to supply CIA's hacking tool code to vendors

DavCrav
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Re: maybe the leak was INTENTIONAL?

"This release puts egg on their face and makes them look incompetent in managing their own information security, so I can hardly see how it benefits them."

Maybe very competent people want to be seen to be incompetent? Maybe people now think they are safe from the CIA because their device wasn't on this list? And so on.

I doubt this, but it's easy to find reasoning for this.

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DavCrav
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Re: Thank you to Assange?

"Actually, Trump doesn't need the defense. The news broke two days ago that Obama issued a FISA order to wiretap all communications through Trump Tower one month before the election. Obama's Attorney General Lynch signed off on the FISA order."

What you meant to say, in stead of 'the news broke', was 'some bloke in a bar said', as it has about that level of reliability.

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If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

DavCrav
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Re: "accelerate nano craft to speeds up to 161 million km/h"

"or their social structure is much more insect like than ours so they wouldn't consider resources to be wasted if their descendants won't benefit from them for a few hundred generations."

I think you underestimate humans in this respect. It's the only way to explain investments in Twitter and Snapchat.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

DavCrav
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"One way around it is to use the netflix model and open the market up to many countries, including of course the US. Then it'll be probably more like the £10 a month that netflix charges, saving £40 a year for households that want it. But then it won't be British-orientated so much."

Nice idea, probably can't be done. The BBC rarely holds worldwide rights for the programmes it shows. Something like iPlayer might work, if all of the licences can be acquired, but for the actual channels it would be more or less impossible to negotiate the licences.

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Self-employed bear the brunt of Spring Budget with additional National Insurance contributions

DavCrav
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Re: Here's a thought

"We've had 7 years of this bullshit in one form or another. 7 years of "tackling the deficit". That deficit continues to sit there, it doesn't go down. "

Nobody has actually challenged this. The deficit has reduced significantly over the last seven years. Look at this chart for proof.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

DavCrav
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Re: Ms May

Or 99% sure that her speechwriter is a man?

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Euro Patent Office puts itself on Interpol's level, demands access to staff phones and laptops

DavCrav
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Re: re. 'draconian'

"It's a reference to Draco Malfoy, from the Harry Potter stories. It means to misuse your powers, arrogantly and for evil purposes in a place that isn't quite connected to reality."

Nice, and worthy of an upvote. For anyone who wants the non-alternative fact version, however, it's named after the first Greek legislator, Draco was a massive bellend, who hid his true agenda, got elected, and then made everything really terrible.

Absolutely no recent parallels there.

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Pence v Clinton: Both used private email for work, one hacked, one accused of hypocrisy

DavCrav
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Re: @Stu

"Pence for all of his questionable religious beliefs are his right. We have this thing called Freedom of Religion, where as the UK has an official state church (CoE) and still there are fights between Christians. (Catholics and Protestants )"

Yeah, the US doesn't discriminate against certain religions. Apart from Islam, of course.

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BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!

DavCrav
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Re: No spectrum analyser?

"Any reason why it wouldn't have been easier to just point a microphone at the bell and use a spectrum analyser to find the resonant frequencies?"

Because you can't hear the shape of a drum. I mean this literally, the shape of a drum cannot be determined from the sound it makes. (It can in reasonable general circumstances, but anyway.) Knowing the resonance of the bell ring gives little information about how it is being produced.

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

DavCrav
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Re: Simple Answer

"*merging IT, CGT and NI is obvious*

I largely agree - but I suspect that you have never lived under high inflation - CGT without indexation can be punitive and grossly unfair."

Why can that not be taken into account when calculating the capital gain? Like it currently is.

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DavCrav
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Re: Simple Answer

You need to simplify it even more. Eliminate EE and ER NI, roll it all into income tax. (You can pass a law saying that the full ER NI is passed on to employees at the time of elimination, and fiddle with the bands so this doesn't alter things.) Then you treat earned and unearned income the same, by bringing CGT into income tax.

Then you forbid all companies without a banking licence form lending money to individuals. That closes the unofficial lending loophole. And so on. But merging IT, CGT and NI is obvious.

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Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

DavCrav
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Re: Just look at where and what the two ministers studied....

"We can't expect them to handle the complex mathematics on which encryption is based (neither can most of us, I suspect; certainly not me) "

I can. I'm a professional mathematician.

It can't be done.

But what do I know, I'm only an expert.

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DavCrav
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Obviously these people don't understand what's going on, so why doesn't someone give them an analogy?

What they want is equivalent to car companies producing a Master Key, one that will work on any car anywhere in the world. How exactly do we stop criminals stealing, copying or making another Master Key?

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

DavCrav
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Men are 22 times as likely as women to be imprisoned. We should do something to correct this imbalance.

Or something.

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IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

DavCrav
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Re: This is just a way to get rid of people

"Easy, they schedule meetings at the office for 8am every day.

Don't want to move, fine but attendance of the meetings is compulsory.

Enjoy your 3am wake up each day."

Constructive dismissal. Tribunal, payout. Next!

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You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

DavCrav
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"Sounds like a lot more effort than needed. There are plenty of small cameras available that don't have any form of radio transmitter that needs to be turned off. No need to over think things when there are simple solutions, especially since they don't do a full body scan/search of staff. Yet."

The small camera is an option, but difficult to explain if caught with. The small mobile phone offers plausible deniability.

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DavCrav
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"1) If you are planning on using a non-company phone to steal stuff, would you not put it in air-plane mode before brining it in? So cell phone scanning won't do much for anyone that dedicated."

I did think this. Mobile phone, airplane mode, take a few shots, onto an micro SD card in your underwear, factory reset the phone, nobody's any the wiser. Only way to stop that would be to completely ban mobile phones and security scan everyone. I don't even know if standard metal detectors would pick up a micro SD card, as they don't pick up metal buttons on jeans.

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DavCrav
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"he genuinely thought that there was a technical way to stop the camera from focusing on anything other than his face. This was in 2001."

I can manage that. It's the 80 x 60 resolution. You might just about be able to tell there are black marks on the paper, that's about it.

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Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

DavCrav
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Re: Technically the smear campaign has not begun

"They are not "Too big to fail.""

No, but they might be too important to fail. There are a variety of companies that are essential for an economy. Think power, telecoms, postal services, and so on. You cannot just let a cable company shut down, as millions of people's Internet connection will be removed. In the UK, it's fine for Vauxhall (to pick a topical one) to be shut down. Thousands of people will lose their jobs, but it's not a serious problem. You cannot let National Grid PLC (in charge of electricity transport in the UK) shut down.

Whether banks are too important to fail is an interesting question, but it is definitely not as clear cut as people make out.

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Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

DavCrav
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Re: Two Rules Apply

"And yes, I did once take an axe to a particularly recalcitrant PC many years ago :)"

I haven't gone that far, but I had a keyboard with a dodgy Enter key. I calmly unplugged it, went to the window, opened it, and threw it out.

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Drop the F-bomb, get your coding typos auto-corrected

DavCrav
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Re: Lakovlev describes the app as “magnificent”

"If a developer speaks of his own work this way, it either means:

1) It's been done before, but better, or

2) It hasn't been done before, and there's a good reason for it"

Other options:

3) Sarcasm.

4) This one part works, the rest was a complete pile of shit.

5) He is genuinely amazed that it works.

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'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

DavCrav
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Re: At the risk of sounding controversial...

"Google made a competing product (which may or may not have been better than the competition). It promoted its own product, ranking it higher on its own network than those of the competition. The competition subsequently lost market share.

This is just business. Build a product. Promote the product effectively. Grow the business. Eat up or destroy the competition. If you're clever, gain monopoly status (or get close to it). If Google had used underhanded tactics to take down Streetmap then fair enough, there's a case to answer. But simply promoting its own product over the competition, on its own website? I'd say that's just tough titties."

That's business. Illegal business as defined by abuse of dominant position.

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Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive

DavCrav
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Re: Do no evil

"It's hard to think of any technological advance that hasn't been put to use killing"

Bouncy castles. And ice cream.

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US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

DavCrav
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"Banks did not say how his bill would prevent hopefuls from deleting or simply not listing any accounts that may be unfavorable. This bill is Banks' very first attempt at crafting legislation, as the congressman was eager to point out."

Rough translation: "I've never made a law before, so it's completely shit, but let's hope my laws don't get passed until I know what I'm doing."

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The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

DavCrav
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Re: @silverfern: Don't accept it, act on it

"If they were to subsequently try and use the disclosed info on the fashion you mentioned, can you detect a 'constructive dismissal' case heading inbound..?"

Technically no, as constructive dismissal would be only if he resigned. But unless he works in an ROA-exempt line of work (think security services, maybe teaching) you cannot use spent convictions as reason for termination.

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DavCrav
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Re: Don't accept it, act on it

"If your employer finds out that you've got an age-old drug conviction that would prevent you from entering the US and if he is looking to downsize, then it's still P45-land, mate: "Employee not able to perform his job.""

Spent convictions, certainly ones that have been declared, cannot be used as an excuse for termination, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974/Employment Rights Act 1996. Such dismissals are automatically treated as unfair.

Hope you aren't in HR.

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Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too

DavCrav
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There's an easy way to tell if an AI fake-news tester is fake news: give it to an AI fake-news tester.

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DavCrav
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""Fake news" = a desperate fad created by the out-of-touch liberal media and establishment out of panic when they are losing."

I don't know why I'm bothering because you're obviously an idiot, but 'fake news' is to do with made-up stories that are passed off as real ones. Like the Bowling Green Massacre, which is notable in that it never actually occurred, nor was one attempted, nor was one planned. Yet it was mentioned on TV by an adviser to the President.

And if people who think gay people should be allowed to get on with their lives are losing to people who think they should be hounded all day long, I think it's everyone who suffers.

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DavCrav
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Re: It's all rather immaterial.

"It also goes for myself as well. I don't believe myself to be some superior moral authority, or arbitrator of the truth like some omnipotent Q from the collective. I'll leave that to the extremists."

I don't know about a superior moral authority, but I am an arbiter of truth, at least in some senses. Being a mathematician, that's my job.

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Conviction by computer is go, confirms UK Ministry of Justice

DavCrav
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Re: "it works well enough"

"Ooh, look at all the clever downvoters who're embarrassed they never thought of the contingencies and want to be angry at something, and if they can't be angry at the system they thought was wrong, they'll be angry at the person correcting them, bigorra!"

Oi! Listen twat: we're downvoting because the 'corrector' is trying to ignore the person's actual experience of the system. You don't get to say 'but contingencies!' if someone is standing there saying 'that system fucked me over'.

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DavCrav
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Re: Prosecution Costs?! @User McUser

"To get CPS to charge the Police need to prepare a pre-charge pack. Roughly 4 hours of paperwork ignoring the evidence collection."

Luckily, in this country, Police time spent investigating an offence is not counted as a prosecution cost, and only actual prosecution costs are counted. Otherwise long investigations would run into the millions.

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Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

DavCrav
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And this is why I cancelled my trip to the United States.

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