* Posts by h4rm0ny

4466 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

h4rm0ny
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Re: I think Linehan has it right

>>A few days before the election, he made a post about how to discourage Clinton supporters from voting.

That would be this Clinton? The one who received $250,000 from long-term Democrat supporter and Whitehouse visitor Harvey Weinsten? Who has spent the last week trying to avoid denouncing her friend just in case he pulls through this somehow and retains his influence? Just checking.

And if the post you're referring to is the one I think it is, the one about how to un-hypnotise a rabid anti-Trump supporter, then I don't see what's wrong with providing a list of supported facts that many were glossing over. HIllary has been for every war America has engaged in in the last couple of decades. Trump came out as against the Iraq War when Hillary was championing it. And things of that nature. People attacking Scott for a blog post like that... are frankly the people the blog post was talking about.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Sense of proportion

>>Truly I wonder, what could they have done about the doxing without, um, doxing?

They can provide an error message to the user more specific than "You're blocked because of reasons".

I had a Twitter account for all of a month and then I got blocked by them. No real explanation, just a vague reference to "automated behaviour". I *think* it's because my partner who uses Twitter a bit more than me had his account open in a different browser on the same computer and thus two accounts from the same IP. But it's only a wild guess. Twitter's messages are very unhelpful.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I think Linehan has it right

>>Scott Adams frequently has to post disclaimers that you shouldn't take moral or professional advice from cartoonists.

No, he frequently chooses to. And in my experience, the people who are most hesitant to give advice are usually a lot more qualified to do so than those who love giving it out.

(And hopefully that's it for the homily channel, tonight!)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I think Linehan has it right

Scott Adams is pretty smart. Also, writes a lot more than just Dilbert. He wrote a piece on why Trump would win fairly early on and proved spot on with his analysis in hindsight. Is there any particular reason for your incredulity?

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Just days after tech community abandons plans to punish internet shutdowns… Egypt goes censorship crazy

h4rm0ny
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Re: Today Egypt...

It absolutely will be tried in "the Free World" and is. But I hope nobody is foolish enough to think it will be called the same thing. It will be called countering propaganda and blocking extremism and resisting foreign meddling. And there will be vocal proponents championing it. That happens now in the EU for political purposes and I can give examples.

The key elements are as follows:

1) Is somebody restricting the sources of information you can access?

2) Do you consider yourself unfit to choose your own sources of information?

If the first is true and the second is not, then this is happening to you and what it's called is immaterial.

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Chairman Zuck ends would-be president Zuck's political career

h4rm0ny
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>>Because Puppets are normally silent, voiced by someone allegedly with talent. When the Puppet can talk for itself it shoots its mouth off and gets everyone in trouble.

So... basically when it's not a puppet, then?

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h4rm0ny
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Trollface

Re: Hmmmm.

>>"There was never supposed to be a career political class creating laws that don't affect them."

Actually, the Founding Fathers planned for this eventuality as well. It's called The Second Amendment.

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h4rm0ny
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This is the true consequence of electing Trump. It has shown that if Trump can be elected, anyone has a chance!

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Shock! Hackers for medieval caliphate are terrible coders

h4rm0ny
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As per usual -

- with people like this, they find it easier to destroy than to create.

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NBD: Adobe just dumped its private PGP key on the internet

h4rm0ny
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Key is five days old @rh587

So whilst you are right that it would allow retroactive decryption of any emails that are signed with it, that's only for the past week assuming it was even deployed the same day it was created. It could well be that posting the public key is part of their deployment protocol meaning it was only actually in use for a few hours. Maybe.

Don't get me wrong, it's a howler. But the practical effect is less than you suggest.

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Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

h4rm0ny
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Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

I've always considered Uber a case of Right Time, Right Place, Wrong Company.

We have constant mobile communications and the ability to manage complex systems systems like thousands of car journeys across a city. The rise of a system like this is inevitable and also desirable (because it's more efficient). I've just always felt it was a shame that Uber were the ones to do so.

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The award for worst ISP goes to... it starts with Talk and ends with Talk

h4rm0ny
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Re: Someome needs to tell

>>Their aggressive chuggers then.

I don't think they're chuggers if it's not a charity (chugger = charity mugger). Or is that what's happening here? Is TalkTalk a charity outreach program for incompetent CEOs who would die in the real world? Now that I could believe.

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How's that 'turnaround' year going, Capita? ...Sheesh, sorry I asked

h4rm0ny
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Profit warnings?

Have they forgotten their core business plan?

1. Over-promise.

2. Forget all deadlines.

3. Outsource all actual work to India to the cheapest possible bid.

4. Use ensuing disaster as example of their greater industry experience than anyone else to secure next contact.

How much more simple could it be?

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Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

h4rm0ny
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Alert

>>This is eating into the time I was planning to spend watching the Richard Donner cut of Superman II with my 9 year old. We've just watched the Theatrical cut and I wanted to go through it frame by frame with him until he is bored rigid :)

Then I suggest you re-prioritise your life if arguing with strangers on the Internet is taking precedence over time with your child. You'll enjoy Superman, I imagine. He stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Albeit that last one being somewhat at odds with the first.

By the way, the latest National Defense Authorization Act just passed in the USA and it contains a clause in there that will allow Russian news sources (e.g. Russia Today) to be dropped from US channel providers. So you'll get what you want in closing off one more avenue where Americans can see another point of view.

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UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

h4rm0ny
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Joke

>>"I seem to remember being told that someones 2 year old child could explain economics to me on another story."

<groucho>Then somebody run outside and find me a two-year old. I can't make head nor tail of it! </groucho>

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h4rm0ny
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FAIL

>>"As Brexit hasn't happened yet, you must be posting from the future"

Or alternately, the market is capable of responding to things it knows are going to happen. I'd love to see how you walk down the street. "Hmmm, there's a wall in front of me. Well, I'll just keep walking and only change direction when I bang my nose."

Idiot.

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RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

h4rm0ny
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Re: Non-rational

>>He won. That's better than losing.

>>Now can I be in charge of the nuclear arsenal? Pretty please.

I am reliably informed that when it comes to Thermonuclear War, the only winning move is not to play. So, still no I'm afraid. As a general principle, those who want power most, should be the last people to have it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: "No living memory of the horrors of WWII"?

I mistyped. Thank you for picking up on that. It's too late for me to edit the post but I meant that we DO have living memory of the horrors of WWII and that this is a factor in making another world war less likely. Apologies.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Non-rational

>>"Which makes me the ideal person to put in charge of a nuclear arsenal."

Well, I said it relied on having someone perceived as being willing to launch nuclear missiles, not that we wanted to put in charge someone who actually would. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

>>"The mathematicians would be right, if confining their opinions to specific cases. Two plus two does equal four. [...] So I'm not sure about those mathematicians you're going to show me."

Aaaaaand that would be my point. I can find you mathematicians who believe there can be no error in their systems because mathematics can be absolute. You're entire post reads as if you've inverted my point and somehow concluded I'm saying there can be no errors. Especially when you start arguing that politicians are the most likely to think a system can be made foolproof. Please re-read, that is the very point I was making.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Non-rational

>>Non-rational is maybe not the best description. You have to be perceived as being ultra-belligerent and very easily provoked.

Sorry, I'm going to respectfully maintain my position. Being highly belligerent can be rational. Europeans didn't take over America by being pacifists. (Note, I'm solely discussing rationality, not ethics). Easily provoked can also be a rational attitude. People will tread more softly around me because I'm known for having a truly awful temper (there's a downside of course, which is that I'm known for having a truly awful temper). Neither is irrational. The irrationality comes from being willing to carry out actions that are harmful to oneself.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Oko system

Every year older I get, that film becomes a little bit darker and a little bit funnier. Anyone reading this that hasn't seen it, really should. Can we change the Microsoft User icon from a tramp to Dr. Strangelove? Seems more fitting somehow.

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h4rm0ny
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>>Gaddafi was going for nukes and traded his nuclear programme away for oil and trade, and look how that turned out for him! No one would believe the west in any "Give up your nukes and we'll give you this and leave you alone." negotiation any more.

That's a great example. Which I think most in the UK and the USA aren't aware of. Gaddafi wanted to come in from the cold for years and made a lot of concessions. And then when we got what we wanted we bombed the country back a hundred years. Another example much on the minds of the rest of the world is Iran. They have been complying with the agreed nuclear accords whilst the USA is determined to renege on its side of the deal. I also watched an interview with the President of the Phillipines, Robert Duterte who said he preferred negotiating with Russia and China because he couldn't rely on the USA's word. Now Duterte is not exactly a nice man, but that's irrelevant here. He said the president of the USA (Obama at the time of the interview) would make all sorts of promises but that Congress would then over-rule him and also he'd be replaced every few years with a different president who would do something different.

Now I'm obviously not advocating that the USA move away from democracy. I'm just pointing out that it has a terrible reputation for reliability and honesty world wide. Other countries manage to be democratic and still not renege on international agreements. Though I don't really attribute that to our politicians being inherently more honest so much as I do our countries being less powerful. We fear consequences. I think the USA is simply so powerful that it has gotten used to behaving how it wants. It's also possessed, generally, of a horrifying degree of confidence that it is the Good Guy. Domestically, I think it does a pretty good job of being Good Guys. It has a lot more freedom than almost anywhere else in the world. But internationally, nobody sees it that way except itself.

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h4rm0ny
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>>Complete utter bullshit. Where do you get that stuff?

From my good friend Logic. As a deterrent against conventional warfare it requires an actor who will be so pissed off at losing a conventional war that they will escalate it to nuclear war and change the outcome from loss and potential subjugation to death of their own people on a scale that would make the Holocaust look small. That's not a rational action. As a deterrent against nuclear attack it requires someone to say "well, our hemisphere is dead in around fifteen minutes. Shall I for no gain to ourselves, destroy the other half of my species". That is not a rational action.

If only one side has nuclear weapons then it can act as a deterrent. But I refer to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction and this requires you to be perceived as irrational. Nuclear Weapons against another nuclear power that is choosing to only use conventional so far, makes things worse. Launching a wide scale nuclear response against a foe that has already launched the same at you wont protect you or cause you to "win". All it does is wipe out a couple of billion extra people with you.

And MAD is inevitably the penultimate phase with nuclear weapons. If one party has them, that is inescapably just a temporary state. Other parties can and will acquire them.

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>>Fast forward to today and the same is happening to North Korea, they are hell bent on creating a nuclear arsenal and we are now in a situation where neither side can back down.

Yes. It's worrying that some of the same factors are starting to repeat. The EU is fragmenting. (The results of Germany's upcoming elections will be interesting. I have a sneaky suspicion that their ant-Immigrant party AfD will do a lot better than the media predicts). We have a poor financial state in the West. Nothing like the Great Depression, thank goddess, but nonetheless our economies have suffered some serious blows. There are rising tensions as the USA tries to grab influence from Russia and Iran in Syria and there's economic warfare which doesn't get enough coverage amidst stories about Trump tweets and Emmys. And there's quite a degree of discontent in the general population. N. Korea sees its own route to survival being to have nuclear weapons - which isn't surprising given the near daily pronouncements of how the US wants to topple it. And the USA sees no way not to continue because the idea of N. Korea with nuclear weapons terrifies them (and everyone else). The USA would love to use sanctions but if they go any further with this, then they're basically just forcing China and Russia into closer partnership and there's no way China will actually cut links with N. Korea. Why would they? N. Korea isn't a threat to them (that would be like biting your mother's teat) and they equally don't want to see the US hegemony further established on their shores.

Everyone is acting rationally for their little corner of the chessboard. It only becomes irrational if you consider our species as a whole. And nobody does that.

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h4rm0ny
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I missed my edit window so I'll tack this on here.

Inevitably, someone will come along and say how nuclear weapons have provided the longest period of peace in yada yada. Well, that might be true. Of course we have to discount the many wars and proxy wars we've had during all this time, but it might be true. However, coinciding with this period of large nuclear stockpiles we have also had:

• A Europe united by free trade and mutual self-interest (unless you're Greek, but they're not likely to invade Poland)

• Rising wealth and standards of living.

• No Great Depressions as preceded WWII.

• No living memory of the horrors of WWII.

• No recent return swing from an overly-punished defeated nation. (I can make a strong case that there were not two distinct world wars, but only World War Part One and World War Part Two).

• More informed electorate through ever more available exposure to foreign viewpoints.

• A somewhat unified class of international wealthy elites who may profit from the threat of war, but would lose money in an actual world wide conflict.

All of these are strong factors in preserving peace. The threat of nuclear annihilation might be a contributing factor, but one must control for ones variables and there's a substantial list of very significant other factors. And if deterrence is supposed to be the factor, does any rational person not find the conventional horrors of WWI and WWII or Iraq or Libya or Syria not sufficient deterrence to avoid war?

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h4rm0ny
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Well the whole point of MAD is making your opponent believe you're willing to do it. So everything possible is done to make the opposing side paranoid deliberately. Otherwise they'll just cut you to pieces with Salami Tactics.

Nuclear weapons are only viable as a deterrent if the person in charge of them is perceived to be non-rational. Which explains so much.

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h4rm0ny
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Pint

Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

It's a critical system in which the outcome of it going wrong is death on a colossal scale.

I'll show you mathematicians who believe no error is possible - goes with the territory. I'll show you scientists (usually physicists) who believe no error is possible if you give me a little time. And I'll show you as many politicians as you like who believe no error is possible at the drop of a hat. But you will never, ever find an engineer who believes in the System That Can't Go Wrong. And I'm an engineer.

No vodka icon, so beer will have to do. Thank you Lt. Col. Petrov. Rest in peace and be remembered!

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BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

h4rm0ny
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Re: The closest thing to a . . .

>>I understand that scanning was used to tally the counts, but that's hardly electronic voting.

It is. The moment you introduce a link in the chain that is electronic and subject to someone changing a 1 to a 0, that's electronic voting. You can't say "well, only the counting was electronic". As Stalin remarked, that's the part that counts. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Lies, Damn lies etc

I've always found Jacob Rees-Mogg very open and honest about his beliefs and policies.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The closest thing to a . . .

Fun Fact: We don't actually know if Boris Johnson was elected as Mayor of London. They used electronic voting and the ORG (Open Rights Group) managed to get itself brought on board to monitor the integrity of the elections. I suppose saying "no" would have looked pretty bad. ;)

Their conclusion? Multiple cases in which the votes could have been tampered with and a lack of measures that would prevent it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @James 51 Re"....he won't be able to change......."

Lies, as Boris Johnson is fond of, are self-advantageous in the short term. They get YOU personally ahead. But they're bad for the system as a whole. Boris Johnson would looooove to be Prime Minister and much as I don't hold Theresa May in high regard, Boris Johnson would find a way to stab a Jellyfish in the back.

As Ian Hislop responded when asked if Boris Johnson was a smart person pretending to be a buffoon, or a buffoon pretending to be a smart person: "yes."

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Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

h4rm0ny
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Ad Blocking.

On a related note, I am today for the first time turning on Ad Blocking for El. Reg. I regret it - I want to support sites I value and have held off for a long time. But my breaking point is animated ads. You can show as many static ones as you like but if when I am trying to read, an animated bobble head from Hewlett Packard keeps flying up the side of the screen and wobbling at me, I have to block that.

I'm sorry. Just 'No' to auto-play animated and audible ads. It's an instant tab-closer.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Clowns at GCHQ and your pals, please take note!

>>"Our successes are secret, you only ever hear about our failures"

Counter-terrorism officers have much in common with Sysadmins.

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Pirate Bay digs itself a new hole: Mining alt-coin in slurper browsers

h4rm0ny
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Re: Protection software spews sensitive data to third parties

>>I'd rather help the sites I visit earn money directly

So altruistic! How about you actually pay for the content you want from the people who actually make it?

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h4rm0ny
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>>Surprisingly, however, many netizens seem pretty content with The Pirate Bay leeching their computers' processing energy to make money – especially if it means getting rid of ads.

Well sure. I mean if it's your parents' electricity bill...

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

h4rm0ny
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Re: You realise Google own YouTube

>>It's an advert. Only an advert. Or do you think TV companies, like UK Gold, shouldn't tell you about their sister companies? Or Classic FM (Global) not be allowed to mention what is happening on their local pop channels, if they should want to?

Selective reading there: UK Gold is not in a monopolistic position with TV. At least I hope not!

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h4rm0ny
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Re: You realise Google own YouTube

*gasp!* No! None of us knew that when we made our comments.

They can't "do what they damn well like". Not legally. It's called anti-trust or abuse of market dominance. It's what MS were penalized for by the EU when they tried to push IE over Netscape by leveraging their dominance with Windows. There are laws against it.

It's El Reg. so I suppose a car analogy is required. Suppose one chain of petrol stations had 80% of the stations in the country. And then they decided to produce a line of cars (or more realistically buy an existing manufacturer). They then started selling petrol cheaper for customers with their cars and more expensive for their rivals. Suddenly the choice of car no longer becomes about which is best or most cost-effective. It is distorted by the company's dominance in a different market. And that's a bad thing.

And nobody with a clue can argue that YouTube doesn't have market dominance.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Every time you visit Google with Edge, you see an ad for Chrome

>>They haven't in the EU.

They have. I'm in the UK and every time I visit YouTube with Edge I get a little blue bar at the top of the screen telling me to install Chrome. Not just once, but on every screen load. Doesn't do it with Firefox (not that this would make it okay).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Memory Utilisation

Honestly, there's no browser currently that I'm happy with. They all seem to have gone to shit.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: And its only Windows 10?

>>Actually, I only suggested wget for comedic effect. In reality, I can simply look at a URL and my brain renders it pixel-perfect in my imagination.

You are Richard Stallman, and I claim my complimentary Slackware ISO.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The interface is terrible

The biggest irritant with Edge is that if you use a Microsoft account, it's next to impossible to get it to not sign you in by default. You have to switch to private browsing mode after starting to avoid sharing everything you do with your browser with Microsoft. Contrast with Firefox where it's perfectly possible to not sign into Microsoft whilst having a Microsoft account on your computer.

This single fact has prevented Edge from being my default browser for some time.

I do like the developer tools built into it. If you've not used, you'd be surprised how good they are once familiar with them.

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Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

h4rm0ny
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Re: What I want to know...

Depussy

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h4rm0ny
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Joke

Whatever is fine. Just so long as they don't make a stereo model, please.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: D'oh - it's obvious

There are so many possible icons for Sir Pterry, but I think ultimately it has to be a tiny little discworld. No?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

Perhaps for Douglas Adams, we could have a little heart of gold. It would be kind of touching. A Black Fedora would be great for Sir Pterry, though.

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h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: NO

I use Paris Hilton sometimes as it's the only discernibly female icon.

Oh, what a representative for our gender! :/

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

>>Actually cats' insides don't inhabit the same dimension as the rest of them. This answers many things about cats. Why they turn up in odd places, etc. They are actually sentient alien drones, designed to examine every part of a world to decide if it is worth invading

So basically they're just an intrusion into our universe of pan-dimensional hyper-intelligent beings?

I think you'll find that's mice.

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Google sued for paying women less than men

h4rm0ny
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Re: first things first...

>>turns out, banksters and CEOs are the LEAST useful people on the planet, BUT the highest paid; hospital janitors are the MOST useful people on the planet, but paid the least...

Pay is determined by supply and demand. Hospital Janitors are easily obtainable. Good CEOs, you might be surprised to learn, are not. It's often thought that CEOs are not worth the millions in salary or bonus because "they don't do any work", also.

Consider this basic thought experiment. You are the board of a company with a billion dollars a year turn over. There are quite a lot of such companies, as it happens. Suppose you have two candidates and the difference in outcome is a mere 2% to your yearly revenues. That is one will be this tiny little bit better than the other. That 2% equates to $10,000,000 difference in revenues. Ergo it is well worth paying a few million for the one that is better.

Furthermore, let us examine the related scenario where the difference in outcome of a CEO busting their arse all year and cruising along working 9 to 5 is, again, 2% difference to yearly outcome. Suddenly it becomes well worth it to the company to offer that million dollar bonus for doing well.

Now of course, 2% is just a figure I picked to illustrate. But having seen first hand at companies I've worked at the decisions of the CEO having a much greater effect than that, I think it's pretty reasonable as a way to illustrate their market value.

Janitors meanwhile, might as a whole be vitale to society, any given one of them however has low market value (no offense to any janitors reading this but I'm pretty sure they're aware they don't get paid much).

Your logic is honestly pretty bad. You sound like you've been reading that execrable pretence of statistics, Freakonomics by Steven Levitt.

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h4rm0ny
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Voland's Right Hand - I really strongly recommend the following article which discusses the Google Memo. It's the invariably excellent Slate Star Codex blog and though long, is really, really worth setting aside quarter of an hour to read through.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

I don't agree with everything Devroe wrote. Especially the peculiarly American Left / Right muddled preconceptions at the start. However, to call it "drivel" as you do is not fair.

And again, I'm going to venture that the large number of downvotes is not because you claim there is sexism in the USA. There is and I've unfortunately encountered it first hand. No disagreement. (Though it was in the area of Upper Management rather than amongst the ranks where everyone was very friendly and I saw no sign of it). I think the downvotes are because you took the extreme position of calling the memo "utter drivel" when Devroe both supports his points and is also at pains to emphasize that women are as capable as men in Tech. Indeed, I've known a couple that are some of the best engineers I've ever worked with.

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