* Posts by Yes Me

758 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

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MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

Yes Me
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Stop

Re: We're fecked.

Yes, the lorry park formerly known as South-East Kent will be pretty jammed if things proceed as unplanned. It would be quite entertaining if they had to go to paper-based forms while waiting for the final bugs to be ironed out of a system that hasn't even been specified yet.

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IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies

Yes Me
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FAIL

Re: Lotus Notes as a web proxy.

Using it as an interface to SMTP mail was also a nightmare. As an IBMer I had to run two mail user agents, Notes for corporate stuff and something that worked (Netscape Mail I think it was called then) for external collaboration. Some very senior people tried to use Notes for external email and boy did they get ridiculed for the formatting and other errors that the gateway introduced. That was mainly because Notes started out as a sort of X.400ish thing running over the Domino distributed database mechanism. Sadly, it never recovered from that difficult infancy and childhood.

Notes and Domino came from Iris which was owned by Lotus which was bought by IBM. For a while, Iris was a great place to visit, Silicon Valley in Massachussets, until the IBM Mind Control System discovered it and spoilt it.

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Yes Me
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Holmes

Re: Which country?

Brokenwood? Corny, cheaply made, ham actors, stories even less plausible than Midsomer Murders. Mind you, no storyline has ever been as ridiculous as Top of the Lake 1.

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Big Blue's former CIO tried to join AWS, ends up at energy company

Yes Me
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Don't forget the stock options

Even today, IBM stock options are valuable if priced low enough. When a senior person leaves IBM with unvested options, or even with stock acquired under specified conditions before leaving, IBM can claw them back - a major financial impact of breaking the non-compete clause. My guess is that that's the area where the settlement lies, since otherwise non-compete is pretty much unenforcable.

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Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang

Yes Me
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Headmaster

Re: The universe will now disappear

"They are all wrong !"

Wrong. They are all approximations. Every scientific theory is an approximation; the question is how good (or bad) an approximation. Newtonian mechanics stood until Special Relativity came along, and Special Relativity stood until General Relativity came along. General Relativity and quantum theory are both very good approximations, but since they are inconsistent with each other, they are in fact both wrong in exactly the same way that the IPCC models are wrong - because all approximations are wrong, by your definition.

Climate models are hard - much harder than relativity and quantum mechanics, in a mathematical sense. So it's no surprise that they are less good approximations than physics.

As for the universe, yes, if it turns out that we're in a freaky area where matter predominates, then eventually we'll annihilate with another freaky area where antimatter predominates. So what? You'll never know about [bit stream suddenly ends]

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Concerns raised about privacy, GDPR as Lords peer over Data Protection Bill

Yes Me
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FAIL

Re: Confusing and unworkable

"you don't have to delete what's on the backup tapes but on a practical level you'll have to think about keep a copy of the deletion requests since the backup was taken so that you can re-delete it if the backup has to be restored."

Yeah, right, that will never go wrong.

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Yes Me
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Re: Doesn't really surprise me

"Why do you need simulate all atoms in a star..."

You don't, if all you care about is one pixel down here. But you do, if you care about how the star works internally in detail. However, it's a pretty uninteresting question in terms of what is actually possible.

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Yes Me
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Angel

Re: "To model just a few hundred electrons needs a computer bigger than the universe"

Actually it needs a computer which is exactly the same size as the universe. The universe is, existentially, an exact simulation of itself. That doesn't mean the paper is wrong. Those electrons don't exist in isolation; because of entanglement, it's quite artificial to separate them from the rest of the Universe, and if you do so, you're going to have simulate the effect of the rest of the Universe on them... so you're going to have to simulate the whole Universe anyway, which of course needs a simulator that contains more bits than the whole Universe, even if it's a quantum computer, and even if quantum theory is the true theory.

All we can ever simulate, even in principle, is an approximation.

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Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Yes Me
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Re: Do not press

Er, we can negotiate to become an associate member, and the other members can say no. But there's no sign that the UK 'government' is able to understand such subtleties of the real world.

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Yes Me
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Re: scaling up is the answer?

Anybody who knows anything about large projects knew better than to believe a 2014 date for exothermic ITER. It's well known that you have to provide dates that are near enough to make a politician wet their pants to get budget for this sort of thing. It's also well known that controlled fusion is a hard nut to crack - we've been trying since ZETA in 1957, after all. And yes, there are surely materials science problems, which is why you have to contain the plasma electromagnetically so that it never touches the vacuum chamber's walls. That's been understood since 1957, as well. And that's the tricky part. The problems aren't physics, the physics is well understood - it's all engineering.

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Yes Me
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Re: "Demo"?

Yes, but the main point is that after such an event, all fusion would stop dead as the plasma dissipates: exactly the opposite of a hydrogen bomb. So people very nearby would be fried, but neither explosive power nor radiation would be an issue outside the site.

I was there while JET was being built. They pointed out that the safest place to stand when JET was running would be right outside the concrete containment building with your back to the wall. Radiation from JET would be negligible and you would be protected from half the normal dose of cosmic rays.

I'll refrain from my Brexit rant for today...

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Something good about Brexit? Errr, more teeth for Ofcom! – report

Yes Me
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Re: More regulation?

@codejunky

" HMG does what it wants and people have even less control?"

Definitely. For example, look at the history of the many Official Secrets Acts. UK governments have a very long tradition of suppressing inconvenient truths, and that's only one area where we the people have less control than in most European countries. EU officials are amateurs compared to all our Sir Humphreys.

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123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration

Yes Me
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Re: Little to do with automatic renewal

"The only way to deal with the domain trading low life is to boycott any of their harebrained schemes."

Suing them for trademark infringement might be a better way (if your trademark is X, then claim they are infringing it by registering X.uk without your permission).

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Yes Me
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Re: Extinct

"Everything is assigned by reference"

True. But

x=1

y=x

assigns a reference to the constant "1" to y, so this behaves like an assignment in every other language I've ever seen. Whereas if x is (the name of) a compound object you get a reference to the object. If that's not what you want, you have to use copy or deepcopy or whatever.

I have no intellectual difficulty understanding this. But it really is a trap for the unwary.

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Yes Me
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Re: Extinct

The difference is that little star in 'int * b = a' and the fact that that statement is clearly a declaration of a pointer.

In Python, if you write a = b and they are both integers you get a new variable a with the same value as b. If you write a = b and they are both compound objects, you get a new name for object b. That's a dramatically hard bug to find in a large program that relies in any way on dynamic typing. And it's not going to happen in C because (a) you have to declare and type your variables explicitly and (b) that * tells you it's a reference, not a value.

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Yes Me
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Re: Extinct

99% of programmers, when they see this:

a[1] = 9

b[1] = 10

What is the value of a[1]?

would answer "9". In the example I gave, the correct answer is "10", because the previous statement a = b simply gives the array "b" an additional name "a". That may be logical within Pythonia but when you have to debug it, it's hardly clean.

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Yes Me
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Headmaster

Re: Extinct

"Python is a nice, clean language..."

Well, not really that clean.

b = [1,2,3]

a = b

a[1] = 9

b[1] = 10

What is the value of a[1]?

All the same, I like Python and a lot of production software is written in Python these days.

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Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

Yes Me
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Re: Not just GDPR

Why do we need a building site? We have a perfectly fine lorry park already; two in fact (one called the M2, the other called the M20).

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Yes Me
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Mushroom

Re: Too late

Exactly. And since in any case our negotiation as a 3rd party cannot start until Brexit day, and the evidence is that such negotiation plus ratification will take 4 years, there will be a 4 year hiatus in any case, unless Parliament gets off its arse, fires the empress, and sends the new Prime Minister off to negotiate withdrawal from Article 50.

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EU court must rule on legality of UK's mass surveillance – tribunal

Yes Me
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Re: Just in time..

No. They will have jurisdiction in a case that starts before Brexit, even if Brexit occurs afterwards. And BTW this is a very good example of why leaving the jurisdiction of the ECJ is a very bad idea - it actually protects citizens' rights, whereas the UK Supreme Court merely protects the Establishment.

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Sweden may extend data retention, splat NAT and register VPNs

Yes Me
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Naughty NAT

"Carrier Grade NAT" with address sharing (i.e. port-limited NAT) is well known to create ginormous logging requirements if you want to correlate sessions with end users. So if this passes into law in Sweden, it will basically change the economics of CGN enough that IPv6 becomes the norm in Sweden.

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

Yes Me
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Re: I don't get it...

> you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return.

I think that the inverse square law applies, so it's going to be a lot more than twice as far in fact. But it seems irrelevant since this will help equally well or badly for both sides. I have no doubt that Sea Shepherd know more about this than the commentards here assembled, myself included.

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Yes Me
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AIS

> Ships fitted with AIS must keep AIS in operation at all times

Sure, but they are free to switch off public access to their position at any time.

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Yes Me
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AIS

> satellite AIS is now quite cheap and widely used by merchant vessels

Actually many of them switch off the public access to it when in waters at risk from pirates. No doubt the Japanese whalers switch it off when in waters at risk from Sea Shepherd, and vice versa. So I see no reason to doubt what Sea Shepherd says: that the Japanese are using military technology instead.

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UK.gov wants quick Brexit deal with EU over private data protections

Yes Me
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Re: There 'May' come a time

Yes, some Euro clearing may remain in London, but we can already see that the main focus will switch to Frankfurt. So the one real source of prosperity that came out of the Thatcher years will be thrown away.

"How dare anyone be for democracy and freedom." You aren't for either of those. The result of the Thatcher years, the Blair years, and the Cameron/May years is a reduction of freedom (especially freedom of information) and great damage to democracy, due largely to the rather sinister influence on the media of the super-rich, who have the most to gain from populist politics, secrecy, and a tax-cutting, deregulating right-wing government. The Brexit referendum was a prime example: populist lies and fantasies, fed to the public by biased media, leading to 37% of registered voters supporting a proposal that would reduce their prosperity even more, to the benefit of the super-rich. I'm no fan of Corbyn, but it is high time for the country to get rid of the low-tax low-regulation low-spending doctrines of the last 30 years. Obviously we should stay in the EU too, but it's been used as a smoke screen for what's really going on - increasing inequality brought about as the long-term result of Thatcherism.

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Yes Me
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Headmaster

Re: Diversionary tactics

@codejunky "The EU really needs to pull itself together if it wants to sort something out and stop messing about."

You seem to be confused. The EU doesn't have a problem and has nothing to sort out. We have a problem, because of this stupid idea of leaving the EU. Actually all the EU has to do is sit there, occasionally repeating that Article 50 says only "the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal [my italics], taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union." Don't imagine that the "taking account" phrase means anything; it's diplomat-speak for "not discussing".

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Yes Me
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Re: They need us more than we need them

Which plug, exactly, is it that we will pull?

(Don't bother, I don't seriously expect an answer, because the phrase is meaningless - as the losing party in a 27:1 negotiation, there is no threat we can make that will even raise an eyebrow across the table.)

Oh, and as for democracy - I'm all for it! That's what the European Parliament is all about, unlike the UK Parliament which rides roughshod over little details like the Brexiteer's lies and fantasies, and which slavishly votes along party lines even when common sense and facts suggest otherwise.

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Yes Me
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Coffee/keyboard

Someone in government needs to...

"Someone in government needs to pull their head out of their arse and start sorting this out."

You must know that the shambles known as the British 'government' is totally incapable of either of those things. Their position is totally illogical, and in any case the EU has repeatedly made it clear that any deals for after Brexit are not open for discussion until the mechanics of Brexit, including paying our bill, have been settled. In fact, if you take the trouble to read Article 50, it's clear: the Article 50 talks continue until the mechanics of withdrawal are settled, and then... they stop. Everything else is left for future diplomatic negotiations between the EU and the ex-member. It seems that the British 'cabinet' has utterly failed to grasp this simple (and disastrous) fact. We must all hope that Parliament throws them out of office next month. It's the only hope left.

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DMARC anti-phishing standard adoption is lagging even in big firms

Yes Me
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Devil

DMARC is evil

DMARC should have been strangled at birth. Like most miracle cures, it doesn't work (except in the narrow sense of CYA for major providers like Yahoo) and it breaks stuff (such as most mailing list setups). Enterprise users should avoid DMARC like the plague, and definitely never honour a DMARC p=reject policy. Even p=quarantine will consign valid email to the spam folder.

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The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

Yes Me
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Mushroom

Re: Async not always easy

"It's insanely difficult to get large multi-threaded programs correct," Hettinger explained. "For complex systems, async is much easier to get right than threads with locks." That strikes me as absurd. Threads, queues and locks are easy to get right. The model is clear and the pitfalls are well known to every CS student. There are other things in Python that are much more tricky (the semantics of 'global', the absence of a clear difference between call by name and call by value, and of course sloppy types are but three examples).

Event loops are a cop-out compared to real multi-threading. Tkinter is a good example of how not to do things properly. I haven't looked at syncio, but anybody who thinks Twisted is better than Python threading is... twisted.

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Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

Yes Me
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Re: I'd like something similar, but for local network requests

That scope is too small to be useful - but this is thinking behind .home, which has its own attached controversy as it turns out.

BTW the Windows /hosts file arrives with this comment included:

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.

# 127.0.0.1 localhost

# ::1 localhost

I've filled mine up with lines like this, that help a lot:

0.0.0.0 ad.doubleclick.net

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IBM CIO leaves for AWS – and Big Blue flings sueball to stop him

Yes Me
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logs

His emails will certainly be saved on a company server too. But then, only if he did naughty things using his company email account. A CIO might just possibly know not to do that.

Wiping your devices before handing them back to IT Support seems like normal prudent behaviour to me, although IBM did always claim that they drilled a hole in the hard disk anyway.

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Australia's .au internet registry chair quits amid no-confidence vote

Yes Me
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...intrigue and mismanagement

It's because of the fact that there's money to be made and that, I'm afraid, attracts people with a weak grasp of ethics. Only a very strong non-profit constituition for the registry that caps salaries and bans profits can prevent this; and as this case shows, transparency is everything (and is therefore hated by those of weak ethics).

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Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Yes Me
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Re: "The potential downside of not getting this right is very serious,"

Probably because the majority of vocal remainers were adamant that another referendum should be taken

Not really - the point is that the referendum was deeply flawed and only advisory; Parliament could have, and should have, decided that the result was inconclusive.

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Yes Me
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Re: @ codejunky

I thought the remoaning position was that the EU was all powerful and we were irrelevant. Now you say we have all the power and should be telling the EU how to do things? That's not what he said or implied. They have 27 potential vetos, so yes, they are in fact all-powerful in the talks: it is their deal or no deal. But by being modest and realistic in the talks (highly unlikely with Davis in charge) we have a chance of getting a deal that might get through the Commons. If we don't, of course, the government will be thrown out (if it even survives that long) and I'm pretty sure that the 27 will then agree to putting Article 50 on hold until a sensible (centrist) government comes along. It would be better to withdraw the Article 50 letter straight away though; that isn't exactly foreseen by the Treaty but the right things would probably happen.

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Yes Me
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Re: @Charlie Clark

Sir Humphrey is in despair, but strongly suspects the whole nonsense will go away soon, along with Theresa May and her "friends".

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

Yes Me
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Re: Convenience?

You say "blame Trump for local consumption" but in fact that is exactly not the point. US residents can attend a meeting in SF with no problem; the issue is whether all non-US-residents can do so if they wish - which at this time is unknown for July 2018. Hence, since the IETF is an organisation with no (repeat no) limitations on who can participate, the US is no longer a reasonable venue. This isn't a political choice; it's practical matter. Canada has visa requirements too, but at present they don't appear to be arbitrary or discriminatory.

Personally I've attended successful and convenient IETF meetings in both SF and Montreal in the past, but then, I don't have a passport that leads to discriminatory treatment.

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Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

Yes Me
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Headmaster

"stolen" domain

It's alternative history. Yes, in many countries the original country-code registrar was some geek in some university. Why? Because the university was one of the first Internet-connected sites in the country, and the said geek offered to register a few names in his (rarely her) own time. And in most countries, either the universities themselves got together some years later to get a bit better organised, or some government department (SERC in the UK) prompted the organisation. In some countries with strong PTT monopolies, the government department concerned was the PTT or the telecomms ministry.

In almost all cases the geek was greatly relieved when this happened. Theft was not involved and sovereignty was never an issue. All of this happened long before ICANN existed; when arbitration was needed, it was usually done by Jon Postel personally.

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Yes Me
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Trollface

Re: The radical left do not understand sovereignty!

Good one. Might even suck in some upvotes. Thanks for the laugh.

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Yes Me
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Re: Much ado about nothing?

Actually, running a secure and highly scaleable registry is not trivial, and outsourcing the mechanics of it to a specialist company seems like a sensible idea for a smaller country. But outsourcing the sovereign rights and policy decisions, not to mention the profits, seems stupid. Unlike Kieren, I think that setting up a local non-profit is by far the best next step - even if in the end the actual work is outsourced.

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Yes Me
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Flame

Re: Entirely predictable behaviour

Wrong. They could do with a lot of accountability to the community.

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Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Yes Me
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Re: I don't see a problem.

Being a published author whose book has been pirated (somewhere in .ru, I believe) and also being a believer in open source software and open standards, my conclusion is that TimBL is correct. As long as there's copyright law in the real world, there's going to be DRM on-line, so it's better for it to be based on an open standard (and on open source implementations). I think the EFF position is unreasonable. To get rid of DRM, first get rid of copyright law (and good luck with that).

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Fuji Xerox's chairman resigns over 'improper accounting'

Yes Me
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Meh

And by the way...

...there was a clue a while back if you knew to look for it:

http://proprint.com.au/News/390287,fuji-xerox-boss-out-the-door.aspx

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Yes Me
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FAIL

SOP

"book sales earlier than was usual" was, er, pretty usual in many companies for many years. In fact, Standard Operating Procedure. But most salespeople figured out that they had to log the shipment off the loading dock and onto the truck by 23:59 on the last day of the quarter. Perhaps the famous "she'll be right" attitude in AU+NZ put paid to that.

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Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

Yes Me
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Angel

The truth will out...

So he's telling the truth: there are no tapes (now). (But nobody uses tape these days anyway.)

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Australian Dept Defence pulling kit out of China-owned Global Switch

Yes Me
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Re: Confidence?

"we wonder what is really going on"

We don't. What's going on looks like amazing stupidity, but is in fact economic warfare: using blatantly ridiculous "security" arguments to discriminate against Chinese ownership. Personally I'd be more worried about American ownership, given the Trump regime's approach to privacy and human rights in general.

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Backdoor backlash: European Parliament wants better privacy

Yes Me
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Thumb Up

Excellent

Excellent (and another example of why the EU is a good thing, of course). As has been pointed out repeatedly for 20+ years, the only impact of anti-crypto laws is to encourage bad people into using unbreakable private end to end encryption instead of at least leaving a meta-data trail on the public services.

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Small carriers aren't showing up to IPv6 standards chats, consultant warns

Yes Me
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Re: There are fundamental technical reasons for it

1. " The whole v6 autoconfig in this day and age is a solution looking for a problem." If you're running a reasonably large enterprise network, DHCPv6 is probably useful with today's old-fashioned (basically manual) method of network design and config. That will change over the next 10 or 20 years - you're going to see much more automated provisioning and much less human decision making about trivia like addressing schemes and prefix assignments. The end game is full automation, of which IPv6 stateless address autoconfiguration will be a small part.

2. "The end to end principle is idiotic in the highest order." You don't understand it. It doesn't mean any host can talk to any host. It describes how to design protocols for two hosts that can talk to each other. Different thing.

3. "developers switching from protocols which were NAT unfriendly to protocols which do not give a damn about how many NATs " It's just sad that you believe that is a good thing. It's a quick fix, that's all.

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Yes Me
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An interesting conspiracy theory

" IPv6 does or should make it trivial to connect to devices in the home from outside. " Well it doesn't if you have a firewall, which every IPv6 CPE does as far as I know. And it shouldn't. Actually it needs to be hard to connect from outside, so that only the authorised parties can do so. But you are correct that IPv6 is an enabling technology for things that we really can't do in a straightforward way with one address and a NAT box for a whole home network. So there is a conspiracy to make things better.

I think Jordi's a bit pessimistic though. I've seen many small ISPs offering a good IPv6 service well ahead of the dinosaurs.

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Yes Me
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Re: Ugh.... HomeNet ...

Homenet or not is nothing to do with large or small ISPs. It's to do with simple or complex networks in the home. Once the ISP has delegated an IPv6 prefix to the home gateway, the ISP has nothing to do with the internal complexity (or simplicity) of the home network. And you've missed the point of the IETF homenet work: it's to make home networks 'plug and play' whether they are simple or complex. Whether a particular home gateway vendor does or doesn't include homenet support is a commercial decision, of course. What Jordi is worried about is whether RFCs that end up in procurement specs serve the interests of all ISPs, or only some. That's a quite different question from whether ordinary citizens will end up with complex (multi-router) networks in their home or small office. That's a commercial decision too.

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